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Top Achievers Honored At SCS Founder’s Day Ceremony

Byron Spice Thursday March 26, 2015
The School of Computer Science honored outstanding faculty and staff members March 24 during the annual Founder’s Day ceremony in Rashid Auditorium. It was the fourth year for the event and the first to be hosted by Dean Andrew Moore.Charlie Garrod, associate teaching professor in the Institute for Software Research (ISR), was the winner of the Joel and Ruth Spira Teaching Award, sponsored by Lutron Electronics Co. of Coopersburg, Pa., in honor of the company’s founders and the inventor of the electronic dimmer switch.Red Whittaker, professor of robotics, was the winner of the Alan Perlis... 

HCII Researchers Earns Newell Award for Research Excellence

Susie Cribbs Tuesday March 24, 2015
School of Computer Science Professor Scott Hudson and a team of former and current students have earned the school's 2015 Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence.The award recognizes an outstanding body of work that epitomizes Newell's research style as expressed in his words: "Good science responds to real phenomena or real problems. Good science is in the details. Good science makes a difference."In this case, that work is the "innovative and practical physical interaction techniques" that Hudson, a professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, developed with former Ph.D.... 

Carnegie Mellon's Automated Braille Writing Tutor Wins Touch of Genius Prize

Byron Spice Tuesday March 24, 2015
An innovative device developed by Carnegie Mellon University's TechBridgeWorld research group to help visually impaired students learn how to write Braille using a slate and stylus has won the 2014 Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation.The $20,000 Touch of Genius prize recognizes technical innovations that promote Braille literacy. It is presented by the National Braille Press' Center for Braille Innovation and is sponsored by the Gibney Family Foundation. The prize will be presented April 2 at an awards ceremony at the Microsoft New England R&D Center in Boston.... 

Carnegie Mellon's Snake Robots Learn To Turn by Following the Lead of Real Sidewinders

Byron Spice Monday March 23, 2015
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who develop snake-like robots have picked up a few tricks from real sidewinder rattlesnakes on how to make rapid and even sharp turns with their undulating, modular device.Working with colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Zoo Atlanta, they have analyzed the motions of sidewinders and tested their observations on CMU's snake robots. They showed how the complex motion of a sidewinder can be described in terms of two wave motions — vertical and horizontal body waves — and how changing the phase and amplitude of the waves enables snakes... 

Carnegie Mellon Study Shows People Act To Protect Privacy When Told How Often Phone Apps Share Personal Information

Byron Spice Monday March 23, 2015
Many smartphone users know that free apps sometimes share private information with third parties, but few, if any, are aware of how frequently this occurs. An experiment at Carnegie Mellon University shows that when people learn exactly how many times these apps share that information they rapidly act to limit further sharing.In one phase of a study that evaluated the benefits of app permission managers — software that gives people control over what sensitive information their apps can access — 23 smartphone users received a daily message, or "privacy nudge," telling them how many times... 

Carnegie Mellon Spinoff Introduces Speck, a Personal, Wi-Fi-connected Air Quality Monitor

Byron Spice Monday March 16, 2015
Speck, a personal air pollution monitor introduced today at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, will enable people to monitor the level of fine particulate matter suspended in the air inside their homes, helping them assess if their health is at risk.Developed at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute and now being marketed by a CMU spinoff company, Speck provides individuals with an unprecedented depth of knowledge about their personal exposure to particulates known as PM2.5 — the tiniest of particulates, capable of lodging deep in the lungs and aggravating heart... 

The Future of Health Care is in the Data

Byron Spice Monday March 16, 2015
A new alliance is uniting Carnegie Mellon’s unrivaled machine learning capabilities with Pitt’s world class health sciences expertise.Funded by UPMC, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance with CMU and Pitt  promises to transform the explosion of health-related “big data”—from sources as varied as electronic medical records, genomic sequencing, insurance records  and wearable sensors-- into new technologies, products and services that will change the way diseases are prevented and patients diagnosed, treated and engaged in their own care.“The complementary strengths of the alliance’s... 

ISR's Breaux Receives NSF CAREER Award

Byron Spice Tuesday March 10, 2015
Travis Breaux, assistant professor of computer science in the Institute for Software Research, is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the agency's most prestigious award for junior faculty.The five-year, $600,000 award will support the study of privacy and security policies and their impact on the evolution of software requirements for pervasive and distributed systems. The study aims to help end users, lawyers and software engineers predict changes to software due to changes in contextual and environmental assumptions."Mobile... 
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