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CMU Launches Mobility Research Center

Carnegie Mellon University has launched the Mobility Research Center to study business, organizational, and technical issues related to cell phones, home appliances, and building infrastructures, and to develop underlying technologies that will ensure the privacy, security, and reliability.

In conjunction with the new research center, the university's Information Networking Institute (INI) has launched a new master's degree program in mobility. Because handheld devices are so ubiquitous, the demand for the growth and adoption of new technologies to manage data and streamline connections to share photos and video has already exploded into a $70 billion industry.

Carnegie Mellon's Mobility Research Center will conduct research to improve hardware and software technology for mobile devices, including studies of how people work, play, shop, and collaborate, and how new applications and services can change their lives, according to Pradeep K. Khosla, the founding director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab and dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering.

"Several hand-held manufacturers, including Motorola and Nokia, are on board to work with us, and we will continue to work with industry to improve mobile applications," Khosla said. "The new center is part of our strategy to integrate our campus in Silicon Valley with Pittsburgh."

"This anywhere-anytime computing capability has prompted a need for increased emphasis on how all this novel mobile technology will benefit consumers," said Martin Griss, a co-director of the new Mobility Research Center and associate dean for research at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Silicon Valley. "We are moving from the plain old mobile phone to the truly mobile companion," Griss said.

Increasingly, consumers want handheld devices that can help them find the best route through rush hour traffic or the nearest restroom. Carnegie Mellon researchers are working to expand these "context aware" systems that ultimately know enough about a user's surroundings to anticipate when the consumer needs certain information.

Students involved with the new research center will be able to earn a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering and participate in a variety of industry practicums. This fall, the Silicon Valley campus also will launch an associated Ph.D. degree program focused on mobility, security and networking.

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