Campus news in brief

CMU's UDream receives national recognition

Carnegie Mellon’s Urban Design Regional Employment Action for Minorities (UDream) has recently received national recognition. UDream is an 18-week intensive program offered over the summer and in the fall at Carnegie Mellon. The program gives minority students a hands-on taste of urban design, with the goal of keeping them in Pittsburgh.

UDream was recognized twice this year by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

At the organization’s 2015 Grassroots Leadership and and Legislative conference in Washington, D.C., the AIA recognized UDream for its innovative method of diversifying Pittsburgh’s urban design industry. The AIA also recognized UDream as a Diversity Recognition Program at the AIA National Conference in Atlanta.

Many UDream alumni have stayed in Pittsburgh to implement new concepts for neighborhoods, work with local architecture firms, and participate in the local chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). The local chapter of NOMA is an example of UDream’s impact on the city — before the program began, Pittsburgh had lost its NOMA chapter because the city had so few minority architects.

Ashley Cox participated in UDream after graduating from Howard University with an undergraduate degree in architecture. When Cox arrived at UDream, she and a team of other students were charged with planning a residential corridor in the Hill District.

“It’s thinking about what makes a community a community,” Cox said in a university press release “How do you develop a new thing that resonates with what was there?”

The program also includes a 12-week internship, which allows students to gain valuable real-world experience as architects and urban planners.

CIT conducts national survey on device trust

Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering recently conducted a survey of over 2,000 U.S. consumers. The survey asked participants to rank the 10 electronic devices that they trust the most with their personal information.

Consumers are generally more likely to trust items in the home. At the top of the list were items like home phone and home security system, while items like cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets were at the bottom.

Results also differed by factors such as gender and age. Men are more likely to trust electronics in their car than women are, and young adults (18–24 years old) are more likely to trust their smartphones, compared to older users.

Ken Mai, a systems scientist in Carnegie Mellon’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is working to create low-cost, hardware-level methods of securing electronics against malicious attacks.

“When users think about the security of their electronics, most are concerned with their software and the Internet,” Mai said in a university press release. “But it’s critical that users consider the security of their hardware, too. Security vulnerabilities in hardware can be just as dangerous (if not more so) as software breaches, and are usually much harder to fix.”