Campus News in Brief

Students rush to RecycleMania

Carnegie Mellon students are taking “reduce, reuse, recycle” to a whole new level.

Carnegie Mellon stands with more than 400 other schools in an intense competition of who can gather the most recyclables per capita, with the amounts measured weekly in pounds.

Running from Jan. 27 to April 5, this year’s RecycleMania competition has more participants than ever. During the 10 weeks, colleges and universities compete to see which one has the greatest recycling rate, largest amount of recyclables, and least amount of trash. During the week of Feb. 10, Carnegie Mellon ranked 54 of 400 in the Grand Champion Category, according to the Carnegie Mellon website.

There have been a number of initiatives aimed at making recycling fun. In a recent event in Wean Commons in the University Center, students aimed their cans and plastic bottles at a basketball hoop, which is available from the school to departments or residence halls. The hope is to support awareness of the competition.

This year’s event coordinators at each university are going beyond putting up posters to advertise the cause.

In efforts to use technology, coordinators have been invited to join a special webinar on how to use MySpace and Facebook websites to promote the competition to their campus communities.

With the amount of participants increasing each year, the RecycleMania initiative aims to ultimately raise student and faculty involvement in reducing trash production, in addition to promoting awareness about the importance of recycling.

For more detailed information on RecycleMania, see the article in Sci-Tech.

Researchers work with Fox Sports

Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) has made it possible to engage in a virtual interview with NASCAR race analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds, and studio analyst Jeff Hammond.

With just a click of the mouse, NASCAR fans can hear and see these experts answer questions.
Developed with the help of faculty advisor Scott Stevens and Carnegie Mellon researcher Michael Christel and in partnership with FOX Sports and, the technology is already available to the general public.

After logging on, users can choose one of the three analysts and ask him questions about NASCAR racing by clicking on the questions from a menu or by typing their own. The responses are pre-recorded answers of the individuals speaking, simulating a live conversation.

The technology behind the interviews allows each question to be tied to one of hundreds of responses, which is replayed for users with similar queries. Users can ask questions in whichever order they choose in addition to creating their own questions, which allows each interview to be one of a kind.

Created in celebration of the Daytona 500 race’s 50th anniversary, the virtual interviews will continue to evolve as FOX Sports and work with the ETC.