From the latest issue:
BY Joanna Steward - Wednesday April 15, 2009Manuel Blum came to Carnegie Mellon as a visiting professor in 1999 and has been the Bruce Nelson Professor of Computer Science since 2001. The 1995 winner of the A.M. Turing Award, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Husband of Lenore Blum, Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science, they are together the parents of a third member of the SCS faculty, Computer Science Professor Avrim Blum.
BY Meghan Holohan - Wednesday April 15, 2009You don't expect to find Carnegie Mellon computer scientists working in apple orchards and orange groves. But maybe you should, says Sanjiv Singh, a research professor in the Robotics Institute. "I am very interested in automation in agriculture," he says. "I have gravitated to farm applications because I can see a benefit for society."
BY Meghan Holohan - Wednesday April 15, 2009The creature crawls on the edge of a dormant volcano called Mauna Kea in Hawaii. As it rolls along, its chassis adjusts to the terrain, moving up and down to help the tires grip the black sandy surface. This beast resembles a bumper car on dirt-bike wheels, but it's no toy. Known as Scarab--because its hull is shaped like a beetle's body--this autonomous robot is a prototype for a lunar rover.Onboard lasers scan the landscape and plot a map that looks like the simulated 3D topography inside a video game. The map will help Scarab find the best route down the steep hillside.
BY Karen Hoffmann - Wednesday April 15, 2009Carnegie Mellon Provost Mark Kamlet likes to say that he would have more respect for physicists if they could find out where they misplaced 95 percent of the universe. Behind his joke is a serious question--maybe the most fundamental question facing science today. The vast majority of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, about which very little is known. Future discoveries about the nature and origin of the universe hinge on learning more about these mysterious substances.
BY Andrea L. Zrimsek - Wednesday April 15, 2009When people enter the new home of Carnegie Mellon Qatar in Doha's Education City, they're often overwhelmed by the structure's beauty. And coming this year, they'll also be greeted with "hello" or "marhaba" from a robot named Hala.
BY Jason Togyer - Wednesday April 15, 2009It's a Wednesday morning, and in Christina Levkus' classroom at Steel Valley High School outside Pittsburgh, a group of 10th graders is learning how to derive the measures of the angles in a triangle. They're working on geometry problems using a computerized tutor. Green-colored bars, or "skillometers" (think "thermometers for skill") show how much a student has learned in any given lesson. When an indicator turns gold, the student has mastered that skill.Suddenly, one boy cries out: "This is crazy! Why can't I get any gold bars?"