Research is in our DNA.

Carnegie Mellon University is a leader in research, with a focus on real-world impact that benefits real people. Our faculty are doing cutting-edge work, and our students have ample opportunity to get involved in research. Check out the stories below to learn more about the research happening on our campus.

SURF Student Crafts More Effective Political Arguments

As the political divide expands in the United States, one Carnegie Mellon University student's research explores a simple idea to bridge the gap — reframe political ideas using the other side's language. A senior majoring in behavioral economics, Anirudh Narayanan is researching how language can influence the way a person receives political messages.

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SCS Students Chosen Finalists in Collegiate Inventors Competition

An idea for creating augmented reality overlays by exploiting the status lights on everyday appliances such as routers, power strips and parking meters has landed a pair of Carnegie Mellon University computer science Ph.D. students in the finals of the 2020 Collegiate Inventors Competition. Karan Ahuja and Sujeath Pareddy will present the AR concept, called LightAnchors, to final-round judges in a virtual format at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in North Canton, Ohio.

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Student Turns Old Polaroid Into New Digital Camera

Like any aspiring do-it-yourselfer, Sam Zeloof knew the idea in his head might not exactly match the finished product. But Zeloof is an aspiring engineer who's not afraid to try something new, and a quarantine is a fine time to try new things. So he did.

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Fischhoff Recruited to Help Devise COVID Vaccine Distribution Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to assemble a committee of experts to tackle the challenge of distributing a potential COVID-19 vaccine. For this unprecedented task, the committee recruited members with diverse professional and personal backgrounds, including Carnegie Mellon University’s Baruch Fischhoff.

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Carnegie Mellon Heads New Center for Studying Structure of Cell Nucleus

Carnegie Mellon University will direct a new multi-institution research center funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop a better understanding of the three-dimensional structure of cell nuclei and how changes in that structure affect cell functions in health and disease. Jian Ma, the lead principal investigator of the new center and an associate professor in CMU's Computational Biology Department, said researchers will be developing fundamental knowledge to provide new insights into the role that the three-dimensional organization of cell nuclei plays in developmental disorders, aging and other cell processes.

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Libraries Use Computer Vision to Explore Photo Archives

An internal web application built by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries faculty and staff leverages computer vision to improve the discoverability of archival photos by allowing archivists to quickly find groups of images depicting similar subjects and add descriptive metadata tags in bulk. Computer-Aided Metadata generation for Photo archives Initiative (CAMPI), was inspired by a request from the CMU Marketing and Communications team, which regularly works with the University Archives to source images for online and print materials.

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COVIDcast Now Monitoring Daily U.S. Mask Use, COVID-19 Testing

Nationwide trends in mask use, access to COVID-19 tests, and test results are now being monitored by Carnegie Mellon University and shared publicly as part of a symptom survey distributed daily to Facebook users. Since April, CMU's Delphi Research Group has been collecting real-time data on self-reported COVID-19 symptoms nationwide, providing county-level information about the coronavirus pandemic that is updated continuously and available from no other source. The survey has now been expanded to include questions about how people are responding to public health recommendations, such as mask use, and whether people are getting the access to COVID-19 testing that they want.

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Students 'Flush Away 2020'

One class at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering may have an answer to a challenging year — to flush 2020 down the toilet. Assistant Teaching Professor Sarah Christian and lab engineer Brian Belowich designed a project for the students of "Civil and Environmental Engineering Challenges: Design in a Changing World" called "Take the Plunge." The assignment had teams comprising both fully remote and hybrid members design a bridge connected to a ramp capable of sending a bowling ball, representing 2020, into a toilet bowl.

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SURF Student Translates East German Sci-Fi

Wilson Ekern opens the PDF copy of the 1984 East German collection of short science fiction stories "Windschiefe Geraden" on his laptop side-by-side with the translation he's been working on all summer. With painstaking precision, he begins to translate. A page that might take one or two minutes to read can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to translate. After reviewing the sentence several times, he arrives at his translation: "My arm," Dart whispered again, "the Computer has stolen my arm!"

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CMU Scientists Solve 90-Year-Old Geometry Problem

Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists and mathematicians have resolved the last, stubborn piece of Keller's conjecture, a geometry problem that scientists have puzzled over for 90 years. By structuring the puzzle as what computer scientists call a satisfiability problem, the researchers put the problem to rest with four months of frenzied computer programming and just 30 minutes of computation using a cluster of computers.

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CMU's MoonRanger Will Search for Water at Moon's South Pole

MoonRanger, a small robotic rover being developed by Carnegie Mellon University and its spinoff Astrobotic, has completed its preliminary design review in preparation for a 2022 mission to search for signs of water at the moon's south pole. If found in sufficient concentration at accessible locations, ice might be the most valuable resource in the solar system, said William "Red" Whittaker, University Founders Research Professor in the Robotics Institute.

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Student Studies Movement in Fashion's Future

Carnegie Mellon University senior David Perry contemplates how fabric will move in the future. Not just the way clothing can drape a body or how curtains billow in a breeze, but how technology and electronics can change the way we think about clothing and material. Perry, whose self-defined major — applied craft of contemporary kinematic systems — weaves together the intersection of textiles and robotic systems, explains "I'm trying to figure out how we can use robotic tools to extend classical hand crafts."

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CMU Has Network Advantage in Fight Against COVID-19

When CMU mathematics professor Po-Shen Loh came up with an idea for an app that could help the world get ahead of COVID-19, the first thing he did was post on social media that he was looking for help. Dean Dijour, who was a senior at the time majoring in human-computer interaction and information systems at CMU "figured my skills and interests in rapid prototyping might be a decent fit, so I sent Po an email.” The two hopped on a call, and they made a game plan. Next, Dijour called one of the best designers he knows, Bennett Huffman, his friend from the student-run campus organization TEDxCMU.

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New Perception Metric Balances Reaction Time, Accuracy

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new metric for evaluating how well self-driving cars respond to changing road conditions and traffic, making it possible for the first time to compare perception systems for both accuracy and reaction time. Until now, there's been no systematic measure that balances accuracy and latency — the delay between when an event occurs and when the perception system recognizes that event.

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