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From the latest issue:

ScottyLabs: Making it easier for makers

BY Jason Togyer - Tuesday January 07, 2014
You’re a first-year undergraduate in computer science. Your coding skills aren’t great (yet), but what you lack in knowledge, you make up for with hard work and enthusiasm. When you see posters advertising a “hackathon,” you decide to check it out. You arrive to find small groups of students have already broken off into teams. They glance in your direction, and then turn back to their laptops. None introduce themselves. No one offers to help. You’re intimidated. You slink out, dejected, wondering if you’ve made a mistake in choosing your major. 

Screenshot

BY Jason Togyer - Monday January 06, 2014
It may not have the same cache as the Pittsburgh Marathon. But for 33 years, the “Pretty Good Race” has marked the end of the Immigration Course for incoming CSD doctoral students, and the beginning of another school year. According to a history of the race written by Phil Miller, the PGR was created in 1981 from an idea by then-faculty member Phil Hayes, who had run a 10K that summer during an AAAI conference. The name was suggested by Bruce Lucas (CS’81,’84) as a spoof of Pittsburgh’s 10K “Great Race.” 

A different twist on locomotion

BY Meghan Holohan - Monday January 06, 2014
In a lab in the basement of Newell-Simon Hall, robotics doctoral student Matt Tesch grabs what looks like a PlayStation controller and begins quickly pressing buttons and moving the joysticks. A serpentine robot, about two-feet-long and with 16 distinct segments or modules, slithers across the floor like a snake. It stops for a moment and then begins crawling sideways, much like a sidewinder.  

Life, death and software

BY Nick Keppler - Monday January 06, 2014
In the field of medical devices, the da Vinci Surgical System has been a breakthrough. It allows a surgeon at a remote console, viewing a 3D image of a surgical area, to operate on a patient using four small robotic limbs. It’s similar to surgery performed with the aid of a laparoscope—a thin, lighted tube, connected to a camera, which can be inserted into a patient. But it’s also much, much more. 

The power of play

BY Linda K. Schmitmeyer - Monday January 06, 2014
Walking into the offices of Carnegie Mellon’s Project Olympus on Henry Street—a long, narrow brick building that once stabled Oakland’s many horses—feels like walking into the proverbial “garage” of one of the Silicon Valley’s great startup companies. (Think of Hewlett and Packard, or Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.) 

In the Loop: David Garlan

BY Jason Togyer - Friday January 03, 2014
David Garlan (CS’83,’87) is a professor in the Institute for Software Research and the Computer Science Department, and director of SCS’s Professional Software Engineering Programs. A graduate of Amherst and Oxford, he is a fellow of the IEEE and a senior member of the ACM, and is considered one of the founders of the field of software architecture. 

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