News of Note

Issue Date: 
November 7, 2011

Pitt Students Win State Planning Award for Analysis Of Pittsburgh’s Quality of Life

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has chosen a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) capstone class project to receive its 2011 Student Project Award. The award was announced during the chapter’s 2011 annual conference Oct. 18 in Scranton, Pa.

This is the sixth time GSPIA professor Sabina Deitrick’s capstone class report has been recognized by APA’s Pennsylvania chapter.

This year’s award-winning Pitt project, “Pittsburgh in the 21st Century: A Decade of Difference,” examined changes in the region since the late 1990s across such indicators as education, diversity, outdoor amenities, social media, environmental improvements, and migration patterns. It analyzed perceptions against current indicators by comparing Richard Florida’s Competing in the Age of Talent: Environment, Amenities, and the New Economy (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000) to Pittsburgh-Post Gazette columnist Brian O’Neill’s recent book, The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the 21st Century (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009).

—By Audrey M. Marks

Teaching Award to Provide State-of-the-Art Labs And Equipment for Pitt’s Department of Computer Science

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Computer Science in the School of Information Sciences has been selected as a 2011-12 Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) Teaching Center by NVIDIA, world leader in visual and high-performance computing. This award recognizes institutions that have integrated and shown a commitment to teaching parallel computing, an architectural concept that allows computers to simultaneously run very large programs and multiple applications on multiple processing units.

As a recognized CUDA Teaching Center, the University will receive more than $25,000 worth of CUDA-enabled graphics processing units, a commonly used device for creating strong visuals on mobile phones, computers, and game consoles. Funding will also support a teaching assistant, an expansive CUDA teaching kit that includes textbooks and software licenses, as well as access to NVIDIA’s remotely accessible testing for students to assess their CUDA programming skills. Additional hardware will be provided upon request.

—By B. Rose Huber