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Campus news in brief

Carnegie Mellon presents at World Economic Forum’s Summer Davos

This week in Tianjin, China, the World Economic Forum’s Summer Davos will host a “Data Science in Action” session, featuring four Carnegie Mellon faculty members.

Carnegie Mellon began working with the World Economic Forum in 2010, when the university joined the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF). GULF brings together 25 international universities to create an open dialogue on affairs of higher education, research, and global policy. 15 Carnegie Mellon faculty members have presented at GULF meetings since 2010.

University President Subra Suresh will introduce the session, which explores how to evaluate and use large amounts of data from diverse fields. Professor of psychology Marlene Behrmann’s discussion on data looks into how autism can be better predicted by analyzing brain signal pathways in autistic individuals. In the field of engineering, James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the College of Engineering and Thomas Lord professor of civil and environmental engineering, will explore the enormous cost-cutting potential of sensors collecting water in sewer pipes, buildings, and bridges. These sensors detect the potential for damage before it occurs.

Marsha Lovett, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon, will present her research on data from student use of online learning software. This research could be used to individualize users’ experiences, thereby strengthening the educational experience online. Herbert A. Simon Professor of computer science Manuela Veloso’s presentation examines autonomous robots’ strengths in collecting and analyzing real-time data and using the data to think and act independently.

Also attending the forum are three Carnegie Mellon scientists nominated as “40 under 40” young scientists, who will be commenting on the sessions with their knowledge of cutting-edge scientific research. President Suresh will also participate in the “Optimizing Education Through Technology” session.

CMU student crowned Miss Pennsylvania

Junior musical theater major Amanda Smith was crowned Miss Pennsylvania 2014 at the 2014 Miss Pennsylvania USA competition. Smith will go on to compete at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City on Sunday, Sept. 14. This was the first time Smith competed in the Miss Pennsylvania competition, where she sang a rendition of “Music of the Night” from the musical The Phantom of the Opera.

Smith will be taking a year of absence from Carnegie Mellon as she attends to her duties as Miss Pennsylvania, including community service, scholarship, and personal appearances. In an interview with The Piper, Smith described her pageant platform as “Fitness and Nutrition: The Key to Healthy Living”. She hopes to promote a healthy and affordable lifestyle of fitness and nutrition accessible to all Americans. Smith is proud to be a part of a pageant organization with similarly accomplished, ambitious young women, according to The Piper.

At Carnegie Mellon, Smith studies acting, voice, ballet, jazz, and tap. She credits the School of Drama with helping her poise, confidence, and social finesse. After graduation, Smith envisions herself continuing to promote health and nutrition, as well as pursuing a career onstage in New York City or in film and television in Los Angeles.