PITTSBURGH--Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Automated Learning and Discovery (CALD), which focuses on data mining research, has received a $560,000 gift of equipment from IBM Corp., a corporate member of the center. The equipment includes workstations, computer servers, a one-terabyte "RAID (redundant arrays of independent disks) storage device and an expandable tape-cartridge robot with hundreds of 10-gigabyte tape cartridges and data management software, including DB2 on Linux, and Intelligent Miner. "This IBM equipment grant will become the core of CALD's research computing environment," said center Director Tom Mitchell, a professor of computer science. "It provides us with an advanced hardware environment on which to develop tomorrow's data mining algorithms today." CALD includes faculty and students from many departments, including computer science, statistics, business, engineering and philosophy. They pursue basic research on computer methods for using historical data to improve future decisions, including research on machine learning, data mining, statistical methods and knowledge discovery. Some CALD research projects involve learning to predict medical risks for new patients by mining historical medical records, learning to predict behavior of users browsing the Web based on records of their past click streams and understanding how such data mining can be accomplished while protecting the privacy of individuals. According to Mitchell, machine learning, data mining and computational statistics are attracting strong commercial interest as more data become available online, as networking makes these data more accessible, and as basic research in machine learning reaches maturity. "Carnegie Mellon has taken an impressive initiative in creating a center for automated learning and discovery," said Chid Apte, manager of data abstraction research at IBM Research. "IBM welcomes this opportunity to provide CALD with a technology base for exploring significant new research directions in knowledge discovery and data mining." The Center for Automated Learning and Discovery was founded in 1997 with internal and corporate grants. In addition to IBM, CALD has 15 corporate sponsors, including Caterpillar, Giant Eagle, Exxon, KeyBank, Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and PNC Bank. The center also offers a master's of science degree in knowledge discovery and data mining. For more information, see www.cs.cmu.edu/~cald.