Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Lynne Porter, M.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Donald Bonk interviews Lynne Porter, M.D., entrepreneur-in-residence for the Innovation Fellows Program at The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. Read Read Lynne Porter, M.D.’s full bio here. “The only thing that …

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Bold Action Needed: Helen Casey, Bill Schenck, Farnam Jahanian

At a time when the Pittsburgh region is continuing to lose population and has been seeing regional job losses the past few months, we asked a group of regional leaders to respond, in 200 words or less, to this question: What action do we need to take to create the kind of growth, vitality and dynamism that will stem …

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Pittsburgh Tomorrow Podcast: Michael McQuade, VP for Research at CMU

We began recording the voices of Pittsburgh Tomorrow in January through early March as a new decade fueled excitement about the future of our community. We delayed publishing the interviews, however, during the pandemic shutdowns. Now, it is too soon to know how the virus, it’s economic aftermath and the recent protests and riots will …

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Farnam Jahanian, President of Carnegie Mellon University

I am an immigrant. I left my family’s home in Iran, as so many immigrants have, to pursue an education. My family hails from Tehran, and all of my siblings—five in total, all older—went to college in either Europe or the U.S. But I decided to begin my journey at age 16, and traveled from …

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Girl on the Move

I arrived at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in the fall of 1959 as a 16-year-old first year student in the architecture department in the College of Fine Arts. I had chosen architecture because I loved art and math ever since I was a kid, and architecture seemed like the perfect combination. Besides, I lived …

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Herbert Simon: 20th Century Galileo

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. Although he was less approachable …

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Raj Reddy: Modern Circumnavigator

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. Raj Reddy began life in …

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Allen Newell: The Lone Ranger

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the School of Computer Science as well as the Silicon Valley campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. After succumbing to Alan Perlis’s …

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Robert Taylor: Demanding Coach

James H. Morris is a retired professor of computer science and dean of the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In a series of blogs for Pittsburgh Quarterly he writes about some of the computing pioneers he encountered during his career. As I struggled with the rigors of being an assistant professor at University …

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Alan Perlis: The First Computer Scientist

I was a teenager in 1957 when the Russians launched Sputnik. In the national reaction to it I was inspired to pursue science. I was all set to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the California Institute of Technology to become a physicist, when the Carnegie Institute of Technology offered me a full …

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Protecting Free Speech on Campus

For this special feature, we invited the presidents of the region’s leading institutions of higher education to respond to the following: The American Civil Liberties Union has written that “An open society depends on liberal education, and the whole enterprise of liberal education is founded on the principle of free speech.” Yet surveys suggest that …

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What Drives Red Whittaker?

In January, Carnegie Mellon University professor Red Whittaker set a goal that had nothing to do with robotics: to best a field of competitors in an indoor rowing race. The ergometer competition, a 2,000-meter battle on stationary machines, marked the first time the 69-year-old Whittaker had rowed since his college days at Princeton. Since then …

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CMU Brings Vivid Life to Marlowe’s Great Work

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama manages to combine some of the strongest and rarest elements of great theatre in their production of Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward II”: rawness, mystery, risk and precision. This is the kind of performance of a classic play that eschews the pitfalls of tired masterpieces, and instead, evokes its subject like …

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Pittsburgh Dark and Light

Depending where you look, you can get two different views of Pittsburgh’s economy. On the gloomy side of the street, Pittsburgh dramatically underperformed its 15 benchmark regions last year. We had virtually zero job growth. We had the highest unemployment rate. And our average weekly wages rose just .8 percent—only a third of the benchmark …

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Taming Air Pollution: The Region’s Century-Old Challenge

Southwestern Pennsylvania and air quality have long had a complicated relationship. For the better part of a century, the region had been a place so polluted from the soot of industry and homes heated by coal that street lamps were lit in the afternoon and walking a single block could ruin the collar of a …

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Finley, McClendon, Castillo, Hill, Shiller, Newton, McKone

On July 1, Macon Paine Finley will become head of the Ellis School. She comes to Pittsburgh from St. Louis, where she has been assistant head of school at the John Burroughs School since 2012. Her appointment comes on the heels of celebrating The Ellis School’s 100th anniversary. Before joining Burroughs in 2000, Finley served …

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A Question of Learning

As a digital revolution changes classrooms across the region and country, one key question lingers at the end of each school day: Do the new technologies actually enhance students’ learning? The answer is unclear. After decades of research in fields such as cognitive science, the debate is no longer about whether digital technologies have the …

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Rethinking Education

Janice Smith’s fifth-grade reading class at Central Elementary in the Elizabeth Forward School District was supposed to be working on a book report. Huddled around iPads, the students chatted with one another, pointing and swiping at the screens. No one was being shushed, few were sitting square in their seats, and no one was holding …

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When Applying to College

What do you wish you could tell young people who are considering applying for college? Marc L. Harding, University of Pittsburgh If you know what you want to study in college, great… and if you don’t, please know you’re in the majority. This is the time to explore. Do you want to improve global health, …

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Setting a New Standard

The professor sits at her console and looks to the monitor at her right. There, she sees the smiling, eager faces of her students, 16 strong, for this evening’s lecture. She greets them and is greeted in return. On the monitor to the professor’s left is a SMART Board, an interactive whiteboard that she uses …

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Allan H. Meltzer, Economist, professor, author

As a kid, I moved a lot around Boston, where I was born. My mother died when I was 5, after which I lived with my grandmother. When I was 9, my father remarried and we became suburbanites, moving to Westwood, Mass. Practically no Jews lived there other than me, my dad and my sisters. …

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A new front door

Nestled comfortably at the intersection of Schenley Park and the Junction Hollow Railway, at the border of Oakland and Squirrel Hill, the campus of Carnegie Mellon University could appear as a serene grove of academia, where eminent professors and industrious students perambulate through green spaces from one building to the next. In fact, a remarkably …

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