Lecture Previews

Great Decisions Webcast: Global Food
Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
Giant Eagle Auditorium (Baker Hall A51)

Global prices for food staples have risen dramatically, resulting in a number of serious protests and unrest around the world. This lecture will discuss what factors are driving prices up and if can they be tamed, as well as what the political fallout will be for governments that fail to act and what role global institutions can play.

The Great Decisions lecture series is part of the Passport to Global Awareness course, a webcast by the World Affairs Council. For more information on Great Decisions 2009 — Discussion Groups, please visit the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh site at

Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award Recipient Lecture: Robots at Work
Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
Rashid Auditorium
(GHC 4401)

The presentation will weave some of the story around robots for industry, exploration, fun, wonder, and competitions. The story of Carnegie Mellon robotics is more about people than technology. The presentation will consider how innovation continues to thrive, and how automation continues to move from laboratory to life with its inevitable effects on ourselves, our world, and our futures.

Red Whittaker is the Fredkin professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. He has developed dozens of robots, breaking new ground in autonomous vehicles, field robotics, space exploration, mining, and agriculture.
He developed the robots that cleaned up the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Currently, Whittaker is competing for the $20-million Google Lunar X Prize for privately landing a robot on the moon.

Whittaker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has been recognized by Design News and Aviation Week & Space Technology magazines for outstanding achievement. At Carnegie Mellon, Whittaker received the Alan Newell Medal for research excellence and the Teare Award for teaching excellence.

How Does the Financing of a University Work?
Monday, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.
Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100)

Deborah Moon will discuss the financial background of a university. She joined Carnegie Mellon University in March of 2001 as the director of finance and administration and CFO at the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute (CMRI).

In January of 2005, Moon was named vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Carnegie Mellon. Reporting to the president, the CFO is a senior member of the university’s management team with oversight responsibility for finances of the university, from the Oracle financial system and university budgets to international finance.

In 2008, Moon was named CFO of the Year by The Pittsburgh Business Times and received the award in the large nonprofit company category to recognize her accomplishments in supervising the financial records of the university’s seven schools and colleges, her work in managing the requirements and limitations of the school’s research grants — which total nearly $300 million annually — and her contributions to Carnegie Mellon’s international operations, including the opening of a campus in Doha, Qatar — the university’s first international undergraduate campus.