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Carnegie Mellon University Student Priorities

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Campus Overview

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a global research university with more than 13,200 students, 100,000 alumni and 5,000 faculty and staff. 

CMU has been a birthplace of innovation since its founding in 1900.

  • For 2014-2015, the Times Higher Education of London ranked CMU No. 24 in the world, and No. 17 among U.S. universities.
  • In a 2010 Wall Street Journal poll, job recruiters looking for new hires ranked CMU No. 1 in computer science, No. 4 in finance and No. 7 in business. CMU ranked 10 overall.
  • CMU is one of the only 25 universities in the world, 11 in the U.S., invited to join the World Economic Forum's Global University Leaders Forum. Business members of the Forum include the world's top 1,000 companies who drive the economy forward, and who collaborate on shaping global, regional and industry agendas.
  • Thirty-five percent of CMU’s students are from 115 countries outside the U.S., giving the university one of the 10 most international student bodies, by percentage, among four-year U.S. institutions.  
  • CMU has helped to greenlight more than 1,000 companies, creating jobs across the U.S. and internationally, with the highest concentrations in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley and India.
  • CMU is a world leader in robotics. Software that guides NASA’s Mars rovers and crash avoidance systems in Cadillacs began at CMU. Now, our scientists are developing technology to assist the elderly with household chores, respond to natural or man-made disasters and land a robot on the moon.
  • In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter rated CMU's School of Drama among the world's best with a No. 3 ranking. 
  • CMU attracts award-winning talent. Current and former faculty and alumni are winning top awards in arts, science, and technology.
  • With 100 percent of CMU’s electricity coming from green power sources, the university is ranked as a green power leader by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

IDeATe Program

The Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) at Carnegie Mellon University connects diverse strengths across CMU to advance education, research and creative practice in domains that merge technology and artsexpertise.

IDeATesupports eight interrelated undergraduate concentration areas, all of which can also be taken as minors. The themes of these areas integrate knowledge in technology and arts: game design, animation and special effects, media design, sound design, learning media design, entrepreneurship for creative industries, intelligent environments, and physical computing.

The IDeATeconcentrations aim to train a student to be excellent in one area of technology or arts and be able to collaborate within diverse cohorts of technology and artsexperts. To achieve this goal, IDeATehas sponsored the development of 30 new interdisciplinary technology-arts studio based courses. These studio classes are focused on hands oncollaborative learning and are structured to combine students from many different disciplines. The curriculum is being developed and delivered by 65 faculty across 15 different academic units of CMU and being delivered at the new IDEATE collaborative making facility housed at the central Hunt Library.

Strategy 1: IDeATe Layout 

IDeATe Lounge

By creating a strictly non-work affiliated space in IDeATe, students will be able to have a common meeting and relaxation space beyond their classrooms. The creation of an IDeATelounge will encourage students, regardless of their IDeATeminor program, to interact in a casual setting while still remaining in the sphere of IDeATe

Expanding Beyond the Basement

Carnegie Mellon's campus is in a constant state of flux. New buildings are going up while others are being modified to feature new learning spaces. 

The majority of IDeATe facilities are located in the basement of Hunt Library, a central space for many on campus; however, when building a larger community, more work spaces central to IDeATe are necessary.

By securing a space on campus beyond the basement, IDeATe will have a physical presence elsewhere on campus. This presence will allow more non-IDeATe students to witness first hand the facilities available through the program and encourage them to explore the possibility of taking a class in the program.

Classroom Layout

Changing the physical layout of IDeATe seems like a simple concept, but it will be effective. 

Currently, the IDeATe classrooms feel like many other rooms on campus — blank and structured. They function as a place for classes and a base for students to work on group projects, but beyond that, the rooms primarily remain empty. 

The axis of any community is its members and IDeATe is no different. In order to strengthen the sense of community in IDeATe, students must feel comfortable enough to work in the space whether or not a project is due the next morning. With more students working in IDeATe, there is a higher chance students from different concentrations will interact and communicate, thus building a core community.

By changing the physical layout of the IDeATe classrooms, spaces can be tailored to act as both group work spaces and places for individuals to work on their own unrelated projects. Small alterations such as table placement, wall color, and material organization can go a long way when creating an inviting work space.

Strategy 2: Interaction of IDeATe Minors 

IDeATe Capstone Project

By implementing an IDeATe Capstone course, students from all concentrations will be given the opportunity to enroll in small centrally located sessions that allow them to work with both faculty mentors and each other to create self-directed projects.

The open format of the class allows students to practice skills they have already learned and apply them in a semester-long capstone project. This project will allow students to break out of their assignment driven course structure and delve into a topic of their interest. Along the way, students from different concentrations will be encouraged to collaborate and communicate on ideas to strengthen their projects.

IDeATe Tutoring

Student Recognition

Strategy 3: IDeATe/Community Involvement 

Campus Calendar

IDeATe Hackathons

Hackathons are a great way to encourage collaboration and group work in a fun, experimental setting. By hosting an IDeATe hackathon, students from different concentrations will be encouraged to pull their individual talents and collaborate on quick interdisciplinary projects that can then be expanded upon later in the semester.

Also, by hosting such events in IDeATe, it will encourage all non-affiliated participants to explore the opportunities hosted by the IDeATe.

Monthly Pop-up Events

We think these are important and we will soon post a plan.

Related Links

Carnegie Mellon University


University Innovation Fellow:

Spring 2016:

Lauren Valley