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Carnegie Mellon and Astrobotic Awarded NASA Contracts To Develop Prospecting Technologies for Moon, Planets

Byron Spice Friday May 01, 2015
NASA's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program has awarded $375,000 in contracts to Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University to develop sensing and navigation technologies for finding minerals and other resources on the moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies."Water, minerals and volatiles are critical resources for exploration of the solar system, but they are trapped in rugged, dark and remote terrain," said Kevin Peterson, Astrobotic's chief technology officer. "The technology we are developing in this research will enable robots to robustly search and explore dark and... 

Poker Pros Lead at Halfway Point of "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence"

Ken Walters (Carnegie Mellon) and Emily Watts (Rivers Casino) Friday May 01, 2015
Today marks the halfway point of an 80,000-hand journey in the "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence" poker competition. After 40,000 hands, the humans — four professional poker players — have taken a lead over Carnegie Mellon University's artificial intelligence program, Claudico.Hosted at Rivers Casino, this first-ever challenge began on Friday, April 24.  The pros — Doug Polk, Dong Kim, Bjorn Li and Jason Les — were confident that they would crush Claudico over the course of two weeks. Though the pros have prevailed overall, Claudico has won some days and maintains a lead over one... 

Carnegie Mellon Project Divides Everyday Tasks, Expenses in Ways Scientifically Calculated To Make Everyone Happy

Byron Spice Monday April 27, 2015
The next time you share a cab, get a little help on splitting the fare from a Nobel laureate in economics. That's possible as of today through Carnegie Mellon University's Spliddit.org website, which offers "provably fair" solutions to everyday dilemmas.The free, not-for-profit website, which launched last fall to provide help in dividing rents, sharing credit on work and splitting inheritances, is adding two new services today: how to divide chores or work shifts, and how to fairly divide cab fares. Like the previous Spliddit services, the new ones leverage decades of academic research on... 

Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Carnegie Mellon Computer Faces Poker Pros in Epic No-Limit Texas Hold'Em Competition

Ken Walters (Carnegie Mellon) and Emily Watts (Rivers Casino) Thursday April 23, 2015
In a contest that echoes Deep Blue's chess victory over Garry Kasparov and Watson beating two Jeopardy! Champions, computer poker software developed at Carnegie Mellon University will challenge four of the world's best professional poker players in a "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence" competition beginning Friday, April 24, at Rivers Casino.Over the course of two weeks, the CMU computer program Claudico will play 20,000 hands of heads-up no-limit Texas Hold'em with each of the four poker pros. The pros – Doug Polk, Dong Kim, Bjorn Li and Jason Les — will receive appearance fees derived from... 

Frieze Receives Gelfand Award for Educational Outreach

Byron Spice Thursday April 23, 2015
With the Computer Science Department boasting record-breaking 40 percent women in its first-year class last fall, Carol Frieze's colleagues thought it was the perfect time to nominate her for Carnegie Mellon University's Mark Gelfand Award for Educational Outreach. After all, she's devoted the past 15 years to creating opportunities for women and underrepresented groups in computer science. She will accept the award at the Celebration of Education today at 4:30 p.m. in the Cohon University Center's Rangos Hall.Established in 2009, the Gelfand Award is annually presented to a member of the... 

Beyond the Touchscreen: Carnegie Mellon, Disney Researchers Develop Acoustically Driven Controls for Handheld Devices

Byron Spice, Jennifer Liu Sunday April 19, 2015
As people find ever more inventive uses for smartphones, touchscreens sometimes fall short as control surfaces. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have developed an inexpensive alternative — a toolbox of physical knobs, sliders and other mechanisms that can be readily added to any device.The researchers drew inspiration from wind instruments in devising these mechanisms, which they call Acoustruments. The idea is to use pluggable plastic tubes and other structures to connect the smartphone's speaker with its microphone. The device can then be controlled by... 

CMU Gets Early Screening of "Ex Machina"

Byron Spice Wednesday April 15, 2015
Carnegie Mellon, where so many people are preoccupied with robots, artificial intelligence and the nature of consciousness, will get an early screening of "Ex Machina," a new sci-fi thriller that explores those themes.The movie was written and directed by Alex Garland, writer of "28 Days Later" and "Sunshine." The School of Computer Science will host a screening at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in McConomy Auditorium. A CMU ID is required for attendance.Though already released in some markets, it won't be available in local theaters until April 24. Carnegie Mellon is one of several universities... 

Carnegie Mellon Places Fifth in 2014 Putnam Mathematics Competition

Jocelyn Duffy Friday April 03, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University has placed fifth in the Mathematical Association of America's 75th William Lowell Putnam Competition, the premier mathematics contest for undergraduate students. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon had 55 students who scored among the top 507, the second most of any university.Computer science was well-represented among the top scorers, with senior mathematical sciences and computer science major Albert Gu among the top 16 overall.This marks the fourth consecutive year that Carnegie Mellon has placed among the top five teams."Our showing at this year’s Putnam... 
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