Campus News in Brief

Environmental efforts recognized

If going green is a trend, then Carnegie Mellon is one of the cool kids. The university was named one of the nation’s 25 most environmentally responsible schools by the Kaplan College Guide 2009. The list, according to Kaplan, named “schools whose efforts reflect a commitment to long-term sustainability and to encouraging students to make better choices” based on an examination of each school’s commitment to environmentally responsible campus projects, environment-related initiatives and courses, and environmental advocacy organizations and student groups on campus.

This fall, the city of Pittsburgh is contributing to Carnegie Mellon’s efforts and committing to improving the environmental health of the city with its “Go Green Oakland” initiative. The Oakland Task Force, a division of the Department of City Planning, will provide a reusable grocery bag to each of about 5000 first-year students at Oakland’s higher education institutions — Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow University. Inside each bag is a resource guide detailing environmentally friendly businesses and community groups.

The Oakland Task Force is composed of institutions, community groups, businesses, and public agencies who work together to improve the Oakland area. Other projects the group has undertaken include the institution of recycling programs, the Oakland farmers’ market, green building initiatives, and toxic waste and hazardous material disposal.

CMU Alum Johnny Lee named Top Innovator Under 35

Carnegie Mellon alumnus Johnny Lee was recognized as one of the world’s top innovators under age 35 by Technology Review magazine.

Lee was selected for his creative uses of the Nintendo Wii and designs for other projects using limited and inexpensive resources. His YouTube instructional video “Head Tracking for Desktop VR” has received millions of hits and was nominated in the instructional video category at this year’s YouTube Awards.

Lee received his Ph.D. from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute last spring and is now working as a researcher for Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, Lee developed a digital whiteboard that cost significantly less than any similar product on the market, altered a standard television to create a virtual reality (VR) display, and created inexpensive alternatives to a calibration system for projector applications and a camera stabilizer.

Lee was chosen from a pool of more than 300 nominees.

Lee joins Carnegie Mellon assistant computer science professor Luis von Ahn, who received the same honor in 2007.

For more information on Johnny Lee, see the SciTech article on page A6.