Alumni Office, School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
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June 28, 1999
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Current Issue: July 26, 1999
NEWELL-SIMON HALL!!!...It has been formally announced that "At the recommendation of the president and provost, the University's Board of Trustees has honored the pioneering achievements of Herbert A. Simon and the late Allen Newell....as founders of the fields of artificial intelligence and cognitive science and their pivotal roles in creating Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, by renaming Buildings C and D of the Bureau of Mines complex 'Newell-Simon Hall'." What can SCS say, except that this is a breathtakingly inspired and appropriate choice. In recognizing their unsurpassed contributions as scientists, colleagues, educators, advisors, and friends, we can only anticipate what exciting new science will emerge from these soon-to-be-occupied walls. Thanks to Herbert and Allen for leading us into this great scientific adventure!
MOWRY AMONG THE TOP 100!...Todd Mowry has been selected as one of the 100 young innovators, with "the potential to make significant technological contributions in the next century" by Technology Review. These folks are the "ones to watch" and "promise to impact the world" in the coming years. Todd and the other recipients will be profiled in a Special Issue of TR in November and honored at an awards gala on November 4. The program also includes an "historic, one-day gathering of business, technology and academic leaders who will meet to celebrate these young visionaries." Watch for particulars at www.techreview.com/tr100/. Our many SCS hats are off to Todd!
NEW HONORS AND DISTINCTIONS...Texan Alien Woman, "a talking robot with a southern twang who hands out graham crackers as appetizers", has won second place in the "Hors D'oeuvres" robot competition, an event that featured robots serving appetizers during the grand reception at last week's American Association for Artificial Intelligence's National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI NCAI 1999). Created by Chris Hardouin, a student of Illah Nourbakhsh, the prize included a new RWI Megallan robot for their lab. Texan Alien Woman demonstrated the use of pyroelectric sensors, which it uses as "eyes" to find, track, approach and offer people finger food. Y'all done real good, ya hear!
AND MORE DISTINCTIONS...Allison Bruce (Senior CS) and Brian Magerko, also attending AAAI NCAI 1999, were a hit with their project -- two robots that presented a "comedy improv routine." Rahul Bhargava, Chris Quick and Dan Robinson, all ECE seniors, were also present with "OfficeBoy 2000", a robot that wandered the halls of the conference hotel asking people for directions. It was noted that it "acts like a grad student at a conference." :-) Congratulations to all on some stunning displays of imagination and skill.
"CMUnited" IS OFF AND KICKING...at the 1999 Third Robot Soccer World Championships (ROBOCUP99) from July 27 to August 6 in Stockholm, Sweden, a competition co-scheduled with the 1999 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI99) in Stockholm. The competition features 90 teams and over 400 participants from around the world who are competing in RoboCup's four leagues: Small Size Robot League, Middle Size Robot League, the Simulator League, and the Sony Legged Robot League (canine-like quadruped robots). Following up on extraordinary World Champion performances in Nagoya, Japan (1997) and Paris (1998), CMUnited-99 is immersed in its greatest challenge to date. Many toots and hollers of support for Manuela Veloso, Sorin Achim, Michael Bowling, Kwun Han, Patrick Riley, Peter Stone, and Will Uther! Visit the competition at: www.ida.liu.se/ext/RoboCup-99.
UM, UHH, URRR..C-STAR ORCHESTRATED INTERNATIONAL VIDEO CONFERENCE...The International Consortium for Speech Translation Advanced Research (C-STAR) conducted an international video conference in Wean Hall on July 22, demonstrating a travel planning system on the Web that employs groundbreaking speech-to-speech translation technologies enabling simultaneous translation of 6 languages at 6 different locations around the world. The demo highlighted research breakthroughs in large vocabulary, spontaneous speech translation systems in speech recognition and machine translation, featured a web-based interface for travel planning, and illustrated the role of wearable computers with translating capabilities. The participants planned "trips" to Heidelberg, Kyoto, or New York City, conversing in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean as they planned planned their trips. In addition to Alex Waibel and his team, the research participants in this exciting effort included Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Kyoto, Japan; Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Taejon, Korea; Communication Langagiere et Interaction Personne-Systeme (CLIPS), University of Grenoble, France; Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, Istituto Trentino di Cultura (IRST), Trento, Italy; and, the Interactive Systems Laboratories at the University of Karlsruhe, with the European Media Laboratory EML, Heidelberg, Germany. Established in 1991 to conduct research in spoken language translation, the C-STAR consortium includes among its founding members CMU, ATR, the University of Karlsruhe, and Siemens AG. In addition to the principals, there are over a dozen affiliates in Europe, Asia, North America and India.
SCS FAMILY ALBUM...
BYE-BYE CS LOUNGE...The CS lounge on the 4th floor of Wean has been closed for 5-6 weeks for major renovation. The coke machine continues to do brisk business in the 4100 corridor (as if you haven't noticed!). Progress on the room has been astounding, but our lips are sealed as to what is in store. Stop by and peek through the "glass enty" and see the new and parameter-improved space.
ON THE NEWS...A special segment on the BOA Robot, busily removing asbestos in Washington DC, was aired on CNN Science & Technology Week on Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25. NOMAD was featured on a special Discovery Channel program on the Moon on July 23.
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