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CMU's HERB and CHIMP Star in National Geographic's "Robots"

Byron Spice Tuesday September 01, 2015
HERB, the robot butler, and CHIMP, the semi-humanoid that was one of the top finishers in the DARPA Robotics Challenge in June, share the silver screen with such robots as Honda's ASIMO, Boston Dynamics' Atlas and a European consortium's iCUB humanoid in National Geographic Studio's latest film, "Robots."The giant-screen documentary will open at the Rangos Omnimax Theater at the Carnegie Science Center on Friday, Sept. 4. HERB himself will be at the science center for a 21+ Nights Robots program on Friday, Sept. 18, and a daylong, all-age Robots Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 19.The movie,... 

In Memoriam: Joseph F. Traub

Byron Spice Thursday August 27, 2015
Joseph F. Traub, a pioneering computer scientist who led Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department during a crucial period in its history, died unexpectedly Aug. 24 in Santa Fe, NM. He was 83.Traub, most recently the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, was known for his research on computational complexity and quantum computing and for his academic leadership in computer science — expanding and strengthening CSD in the 1970s and later founding the computer science department at Columbia.After spending much of his early career at Bell Laboratories,... 

Gosling Wins IEEE John von Neumann Medal

Byron Spice Thursday August 20, 2015
The IEEE has honored James A. Gosling (CS'83), chief software architect at Liquid Robotics, with the 2015 John von Neumann Medal for his pioneering work on Java and other programming languages and environments.Gosling's development of Java in 1995 was a major milestone in computing, the IEEE noted when presenting him with the medal at its June 20 awards ceremony in New York City. Java, one of the most popular programming languages in history, was the first widely deployed language that enabled code to be transmitted over the Internet while still meeting security requirements. Its features... 

Manuela Veloso Will Keynote Grace Hopper Celebration

Byron Spice Tuesday August 11, 2015
Manuela Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Computer Science, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Oct. 14–16 in Houston. "I am thrilled to be a keynote speaker at this year's Grace Hopper Celebration, and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the importance of recruiting, retaining and advancing more prominent women in technology," Veloso said. "I am excited to encourage all these talented women technologists to pursue their career goals and become leaders in technical fields."The Hopper celebration, organized... 

Robotics Hub Will Leverage CMU's Rich Talent Pool to Foster Pittsburgh Startups

Byron Spice Tuesday August 11, 2015
A Pittsburgh venture capital fund, Coal Hill Ventures, is launching a new business accelerator, dubbed the Robotics Hub, to identify, build and guide the most promising startups — regardless of origin — in the burgeoning field of advanced robotics. GE Ventures is its founding sponsor."The Robotics Hub concept grew out of almost a year of interaction between business and technical leaders throughout Carnegie Mellon University, the growing Pittsburgh robotics community and industry leaders nationally," said Chris Moehle, managing director at Coal Hill and previously associate director for new... 

Carnegie Mellon Wins Second Place at DefCon

Daniel Tkacik Tuesday August 11, 2015
Carnegie Mellon's cybersecurity team, the Plaid Parliament of Pwning, took second place at this year's DefCon Capture the Flag competition. The competition, widely considered the "World Series of Hacking," took place Aug. 6–9 in the Bally's Events Center in Las Vegas."Every year this contest gets harder and harder," said David Brumley, the team's faculty adviser and director of Carnegie Mellon’s cybersecurity institute CyLab. "It's amazing to see our team, year after year, put in long hours of preparation and compete with the best hackers in the world."First place honors were awarded to... 

Energy-Efficient Depth-Sensing Camera Gleans 3-D Information in Bright Sunlight and Darkness

Byron Spice (Carnegie Mellon University), Sean Bettam (University of Toronto) Monday August 10, 2015
Depth-sensing cameras, such as Microsoft's Kinect controller for video games, have become widely used 3-D sensors. Now, a new imaging technology invented by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Toronto addresses a major shortcoming of these cameras: their inability to work in bright light, especially sunlight.The key is to gather only the bits of light the camera actually needs. The researchers created a mathematical model to help program these devices so the camera and its light source work together efficiently, eliminating extraneous light, or "noise," that would otherwise wash... 

New Siebel Energy Institute Awards Seed Grants to CMU Researchers

Byron Spice Wednesday August 05, 2015
The newly established Siebel Energy Institute, a consortium of Carnegie Mellon and seven other research universities, marked its official launch Aug. 4 by announcing 24 seed grants, including three to CMU researchers.Zico Kolter, assistant professor in the Institute for Software Research and Computer Science Department, will lead a project with Sebastian Scherer, systems scientist in the Robotics Institute, using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and machine learning algorithms to assess electrical distribution systems, identifying portions most likely to fail or, in the case of...