Campus News in Brief

Carnegie Mellon professor given APA early career award

J. David Creswell, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College, has been chosen by the American Psychological Association (APA) to receive the 2014 Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, in the field of health psychology.

The APA’s award recognizes scientists for their work and contribution throughout the first nine years after receiving a doctoral degree. Also a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Creswell specializes in studying the impact of the human mind and brain on physical health.

Creswell has studied management and intervention strategies for stress, contributing work on how mindful meditation can reduce stress, loneliness, and disease progression while improving health. He has also delved into how self-affirmation improves problem-solving and recovery abilities.

Additionally, Creswell has used human brain imaging to study learning and decision making. According to a Carnegie Mellon press release, he recently found that the brain regions responsible for making decisions continue to be active, even when the conscious brain is distracted with a different task.

In the press release, the head of the department of psychology, Michael J. Tarr, stated, “David is very deserving of this award, and we are all extremely pleased that the American Psychological Association decided to recognize him for his achievements.”

Creswell is set to receive the award at the APA’s convention, which will take place in Washington, D.C., from Aug. 7–10.

CMU researchers look to lower mobile device energy cost

Carnegie Mellon’s Jeyanandh Paramesh and Pulkit Grover are creating tools and systems aimed to reduce the energy consumption from wireless mobile device data traffic. Because mobile devices are expensive, consume large quantities of energy resources, and compete for airwave access, the two researchers are hoping to create a more efficient system.

According to a university press release, thanks to a four-year, $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Paramesh and Grover, assistant professors of electrical and computer engineering, “are working to establish new information theory, concepts, and technological solutions to keep pace with the explosion in wireless traffic, which is projected to outpace ‘Moore’s Law,’ the trend that predicts that transistor capacity will double every 18 months.” The systems operate in millimeter-wave frequency bands, where large bandwidth can be found.

The duo’s hope is that their system will be effective enough to lower energy use by at least 50 percent. In the press release, Grover stated, “Part of our novelty lies in designing systems that reduce the energy it takes to send a message together with the energy it takes to decipher that same message. These two problems have traditionally been addressed in an isolated manner, leading to huge inefficiencies in energy usage by existing systems.”

On a broader scale, the two feel that their research will help train new scientists with experience in interdisciplinary fields, to develop new courses, and to include more women and minority groups in their work.