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September 27, 2007


Hassan Karimi, associate professor at the School of Information Sciences, has been awarded the Intergraph Research Award by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). The award honors his proposal entitled “Grid based processing,” the goal of which is to add geoprocessing resources to Pitt’s grid computing system using Intergraph technology.

UCGIS is a multi-disciplinary group of universities and professional associations that fosters research and teaching activities related to geographic information science.

Karimi’s research interests include geomatics, computational geometry, parallel/distributed computing, spatial analysis algorithms and modeling and management in geographic information systems.


David Moses, co-founder and former chief operating officer of Gaussian, this month has joined the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) as executive director. He succeeds Beverly Clayton, who was PSC’s executive director since its founding in 1986.

Moses will manage the day-to-day internal operations of PSC, overseeing about 75 scientific and technological staff.

While serving as director of computing facilities in the Carnegie Mellon chemistry department, he helped to found Gaussian, a computational chemistry software developer, applying theoretical insights from the work of CMU professor and 1998 Nobel laureate in chemistry John Pople, also a Gaussian co-founder.

In 1990, Moses became Gaussian’s vice president and chief operating officer, responsible for staff management, contracting and day-to-day operations.

In 2004, Moses rejoined Carnegie Mellon in the associate provost’s office, where he worked with all levels of sponsored research infrastructure, negotiating and managing contracts with government and industrial sponsors and academic collaborators. He also was instrumental in developing and managing CMU’s export compliance policy.

The PSC is a joint effort of Pitt, Carnegie Mellon and Westinghouse Electric Co.


Judith D. McConnaha has been named senior director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences.

McConnaha had been director of development the Graduate School of Public Health.

McConnaha’s background includes expertise in strategic planning and program management and experience in budgeting, administration and personnel management.

She holds bachelor’s degrees in horticulture and English from Ohio State University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Northern Iowa.


The Association of American Medical Colleges has named Steven L. Kanter, vice dean of the School of Medicine, as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Academic Medicine, effective Jan. 1. He will maintain his current position at Pitt, where he oversees the medical school’s faculty affairs and academic programs.

Kanter has served on the editorial board of Academic Medicine since 2005. His diverse medical background includes experience in clinical medicine, medical informatics, medical education and medical school administration.


L. Dade Lunsford, director of the Department of Neurological Surgery’s Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, was honored at the annual gathering of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. CNS bestows this recognition on only one neurosurgeon each year.

Lunsford, who is the Lars Leksell Professor of Neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, has achieved international acclaim as an expert in stereotactic surgery. Through his leadership, UPMC in 1987 became the first hospital system in the United States to use the gamma knife, a device for performing brain surgery without an incision. More than 8,500 patients have undergone gamma knife brain surgery at UPMC.

Lunsford chaired neurosurgery from 1997 to 2006. He recently was named Distinguished Professor — the highest honor the University can accord a faculty member.

CNS is an international neurosurgical organization with a mission to promote public welfare through the advancement of neurosurgery, commitment to excellence in education and dedication to research and scientific knowledge.


Faculty member Karen Bursic has been named director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Bursic, whose areas of expertise include engineering and project management, engineering education, engineering economics, probability and statistics, joined the IE department in 1994.

Prior to joining the department, Bursic worked as a senior consultant for Ernst and Young in its operations and quality area. She also worked at General Motors Corp. as an industrial engineer and a production supervisor. She also has taught in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and at Penn State.

Bursic serves on the editorial review board for the International Journal of Industrial Engineering. She is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania and an ASQ certified quality engineer.

She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Pitt.


Terry Smith, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, has been named a senior fellow by GlaxoSmithKlein, a research-based pharmaceutical company.

Smith’s major research interests are world contemporary art, including its institutional and social contexts; the histories of multiple modernities and modernisms; the history and theory of contemporaneity, and the historiography of art history and art criticism.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

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