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Carnegie Mellon's RoboTutor Advances to Global Learning XPRIZE Semifinals

Shilo Rea Thursday June 22, 2017
RoboTutor, educational technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University that teaches children basic math and reading skills, has been named a semifinalist in the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE competition.An estimated 250 million children around the world cannot read, write or do fundamental arithmetic, and many of these children are in developing countries without regular access to schools or teachers. XPRIZE is attempting to address the acute shortage of teachers in developing countries by funding an international competition to create open-source Android tablet apps that enable... 

Smell Something? Say Something

Byron Spice Thursday June 22, 2017
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab are rolling out new features in Smell PGH, a smartphone app that helps Pittsburgh area residents collectively report foul odors and alert each other to suspicious smells that waft through city neighborhoods and suburbs.Smell PGH now includes time-lapse animations on its map based on times and locations of smell reports. This feature gives people a better idea of which way a plume of possible pollution is drifting. Also, a new companion website allows anyone to interact with the Smell PGH map visualization and improve their understanding... 

Two Student Teams Win Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships

Byron Spice Wednesday June 14, 2017
Two teams of Ph.D. students in the School of Computer Science are among eight U.S. winners of 2017 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships.The team of Yang Zhang and Abdelkareem Bedri, both Ph.D. students in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and the team of Minh Vo and Aayush Bansal, Ph.D. students in the Robotics Institute, were selected from 116 teams at 18 schools that submitted proposals.The Qualcomm fellowship program is unusual because it requires pairs of students to submit proposals. The company says this approach reflects its core values of innovation, execution and partnership. Each... 

Dunietz Receives AAAS Mass Media Fellowship

Byron Spice Monday June 05, 2017
Jesse Dunietz, a Ph.D. candidate in the Computer Science Department, will spend 10 weeks this summer at the New York offices of Scientific American magazine as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media fellow.The highly competitive Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship program places science, engineering and mathematics students at leading media organizations nationwide. By reporting, writing and editing for publications and broadcasts, fellows sharpen their communication skills and learn how to make scientific and engineering issues easy for the public to... 

Surtrac Traffic System Wins Le Monde Honors

Wednesday May 31, 2017
The Surtrac intelligent traffic signaling system developed by the Robotics Institute and spun off as Rapid Flow Technologies has won the Smart Cities Global Innovation Award for Mobility organized by France's Le Monde newspaper.RoadBotics, another Robotics Institute project and spin-off, received a runner-up prize.The leader of the Surtrac project, Research Professor of Robotics Stephen Smith, will accept the award at a ceremony in Singapore on Friday, June 2. The ceremony is part of a Smart Cities conference organized by Le Monde, Business France and the Straits Times — Singapore's most-read... 

Robot Design for Dummies

Byron Spice Friday May 26, 2017
A new interactive design tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute enables both novices and experts to build customized legged or wheeled robots using 3D-printed components and off-the-shelf actuators.Using a familiar drag-and-drop interface, individuals can choose from a library of components and place them into the design. The tool suggests components that compatible with each other, offers potential placements of actuators and can automatically generate structural components to connect those actuators.Once the design is complete, the tool provides a physical... 

Ambassadors Experience America at NREC

Malaysian ambassador and CHIMP robot
Byron Spice Tuesday May 23, 2017
More than 30 ambassadors and their spouses visited the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) on Tuesday, May 23, as part of the U.S. State Department's latest "Experience America" trip to Pittsburgh.Carnegie Mellon Provost Farnam Jahanian, NREC Director Herman Herman and Robotics Professor Illah Nourbakhsh spoke to the group during a breakfast session about CMU robotics research and how it impacts the world. The group then toured NREC, seeing its semi-humanoid robot CHIMP; chatting with high school students on the Girls of Steel robotics team; and learning about projects to remove... 

NVIDIA Names SCS Students 2017 Graduate Fellows

Xiaolong Wang and Adams Wei Yu
Byron Spice Wednesday May 17, 2017
Two School of Computer Science students are among 11 recipients of 2017 NVIDIA Graduate Fellowships. The company sponsors the annual program to recognize and support excellence in computing research using graphics processing units.Adams Wei Yu, a Ph.D. student in the Machine Learning Department, and Xiaolong Wang, a Ph.D. student in the Robotics Institute, were named 2017 fellows.Yu's research lies in large-scale optimization, deep learning, statistical machine learning and their applications. He has interned with the Google Brain team and the Microsoft Research machine learning group. He...