2/23/11

Love a Donor


Each year, donors have helped support the $55 million that Carnegie Mellon provides for undergraduate financial aid. While tuition dollars cover about two-thirds of education costs, thousands of donors help bridge the gap.

As part of Carnegie Mellon’s recent “Love a Donor” week, more than 1,500 students turned out to thank alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends who support CMU with their giving.

Why are our students so grateful? They know donors make the difference. Without the generous support of thousands of donors around the world, their CMU experience would not be possible.

Hear from our students about the impact of past contributions.

Thank you so much for last year's annual fund contribution. It helps undergrad students like me achieve academically, expand personally, and think outside of the box like a true Tartan. Thank you!
~ Cynthia

Thank you so much for making your donation and making my education possible. I'm truly pursuing my dreams here as an economics, mathematics, and professional writing major (I know I'm a bit crazy). Nonetheless, my dreams are coming true because of you. Thank you.
~ Zach

Thank you for your continued support of CMU. Everyone talks about our academics, but I feel even more blessed to have made the relationships I've made here. From coaches, to professors, to students, this university exemplifies the spirit of collaboration needed in this world. Thank you for your help in making this all possible.
~ Chris

Visit Carnegie Mellon on Flickr to view more photos from the week.

2/16/11

This is Jeopardy!


Answer: This IBM computer system is the first non-human contestant on Jeopardy!

Question: What is Watson?

That is correct!

The first Jeopardy! game ever to feature a non-human contestant is underway this week.

Watson — a Question Answering (QA) system developed by IBM and Carnegie Mellon University — is competing against former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

With one day of game play remaining, Watson has taken the lead.

"The Jeopardy! problem is an important challenge for the field, because systems have to respond much more quickly than they ever have in the past," said CMU's Eric Nyberg.

Nyberg is a professor at CMU's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at the School of Computer Science.

Just imagine what this computer can do.

Not only does it have to quickly recall knowledge from an array of topics. It also has to evaluate its own confidence level — to determine whether or not to answer immediately or pass on a particular question.

Then there’s the Jeopardy! lingo. The show uses metaphors, rhyming, puns and puzzles – which is another challenge for Watson.

Read more about Watson on cmu.edu or tune in to Jeopardy! tonight at 7 pm est on NBC to watch Watson in action.

2/11/11

Driving the Future


For more than a decade, the General Motors Foundation and Carnegie Mellon have collaborated on the next generation of automotive information technology. They conduct their research at CMU’s Collaborative Lab, tapping into the university’s collaborative, problem-solving environment.

The partnership supplements auto industry initiatives to provide passengers safe and easy access to information and entertainment. It also provides CMU students with unprecedented opportunities.

In Feb., students from Carnegie Mellon’s Collaborative Lab met the engineers who designed the Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range capabilities. They also had the opportunity to test drive the Volt, experiencing its revolutionary technology firsthand.

But that’s not all.

Ed Schlesinger, head of CMU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, was awarded a $70,000 scholarship grant from the GM Foundation. This scholarship will support outstanding student research and studies at the university’s College of Engineering.

And while we're on the topic, check out the OnStar App Challenge. GM has invited Carnegie Mellon students to take a crack at designing the company's next vehicle voice-enabled app.

2/7/11

Brain, Mind & Learning


World-renowned researchers and scientists at Carnegie Mellon are dedicated to excellence in brain and behavior research. And they’re already making important discoveries.

With the launch of the university's new Brain, Mind and Learning initiative, CMU now plans to become an even bigger player in these fields.

CMU recently presented a panel discussion on the topic, featuring:
  • Justine Cassell, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, School of Computer Science;
  • Marcel Just, D.O. Hebb Professor of Psychology and director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging and the Scientific Imaging and Brain Research Center;
  • Michael J. Tarr, George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition;
  • Nathan Urban, Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences and head of the Department of Biological Sciences.
CMU Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Kamlet moderated the discussion.

Learn more about the panelists, the projects they’re working on, and the dozens of centers and departments that are playing leading roles in the university’s the brain, mind and learning initiative.