Copper Country Middle & High School Students: Sign Up for Free Computer Programming Lessons

The Department of Computer Science is offering local students free, hands-on instruction in the basics of computer programming and computer science.

Starting Sept. 13, Copper Country Programmers meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays during the academic year at the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Computer Science faculty and students will teach the fundamentals of programming, starting with simple languages like HTML and BASIC and progressing to the well known and widely used Java language.

Beginning students use their new programming skills to create their own games and computer art. They also get exposure to physical applications of programming, such as mobile computing, microcontrollers and 3D printing.

Advanced students can get involved in competitive programming, including the American Computer Science League and Michigan Tech’s famous BonzAI Brawl competition.

CC Programmers continues through late April. Organizers also plan to schedule an additional after-school meeting during the week.

PhD student John Earnest, Lecturer Leo Ureel and Associate Professor Charles Wallace lead the CC Programmers effort. “We also appreciate the work of our volunteer assistants, and we encourage more individuals from the Michigan Tech community to get involved,” said Wallace.

To register or for more information, contact Wallace at wallace@mtu.edu, 487-3431.

From Tech Today

Making energy efficient in the UP

Abhilash Kantamneni, a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate, presented research on solar energy in the Upper Peninsula at the Solar Powering Michigan conference. See the complete Michigan Land Use Institute article here.

Also, see the October 2, 2014 Keweenaw Now article about Abhilash Kantamneni’s community presentation at the Keweenaw Research Center.

Kantamneni was also featured in the October 6, 2014 article in Midwest Energy News where he discusses renewable energy options.

Charles Wallace Named Fulbright Alumni Ambassador

Associate Professor Charles Wallace (CS) has been chosen as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador. Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors are selected competitively for two-year terms. During that time, they present information on their Fulbright experience at campus workshops, academic conferences and other venues.

The goal of the alumni ambassadors is to help increase the diversity of the individuals and institutions of higher education that participate in the Fulbright Scholar Program, which sends more than 800 faculty and professionals to teach or conduct research in 125 countries around the world.

The Fulbright programs are supported by the US Department of State. They are named for the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, who served as long-standing chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and established a program of international exchanges after World War II.

Wallace worked as a Fulbright Scholar at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile, during 2010.

From Tech Today

Call for Presenters: World Usability Day in the UP

World Usability Day, an annual event highlighting the importance of humans as participants in technology, is Thursday, Nov. 13. Michigan Tech is the center of activities for World Usability Day in the Upper Peninsula (WUD-UP).

In a world where basic infrastructures—including health care, education and finance—depend on rapidly changing technologies, WUD organizers call for ways to “serve people first.” This year’s theme is “Engagement: Getting People on Board with an Idea, Earning Trust and Working Toward Mutual Goals.”

If you are involved in research, education or service that is associated with human factors, human-centered design, usability, ergonomics or other fields related to humans and technology, you are invited to participate in WUD-UP. Participants from other institutions are welcome.

For more information, visit WUD UP or contact Charles Wallace at wallace@mtu.edu.

From Tech Today

Dr. Soner Onder Receives NSF EAGER Award

Dr. Soner Onder received an NSF Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) award in the amount of $97,944 in support of his research investigating alternative execution paradigms. The project is titled “EAGER: Combining Data and Instruction Level Parallelism through Demand Driven Execution of Imperative Programs”.

Dr. Onder states that demand-driven execution can potentially lead to the development of multi-core processors in which multiple processors can collaboratively and efficiently execute a single threaded program, eliminating the need to develop parallel versions of programs. Funding will be used to evaluate the feasibility of, establish theoretical performance bounds for and identify the key scalability aspects of demand-driven execution paradigm.

According to NSF, “EAGER awards can be used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work could be considered especially “high risk-high payoff” in the sense that it involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.”

Computer Science Student Pursues Peace Corps Master’s

Science and technology are transforming the way we live, and Tim Ward is working to make sure this transformation reaches everyone. Tim is the first student to pursue the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) in Computer Science at Michigan Tech, working in the remote Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Students in the program take courses on campus during the first year of the program, then they spend two years in the Peace Corps applying their knowledge within their Peace Corps community. You can read more about Tim and his work at his blog.

Emeritus Status

The Michigan Tech Board of Control granted emeritus rank to Steven Seidel, a professor of computer science, who died in June. Dr. Seidel played a substantial role in the growth of the Computer Science program throughout his career at Michigan Tech.

In the Headlines

The Detroit News published a front-page story about crowdfunding at Michigan universities, focusing on Michigan Tech’s Superior Ideas crowdfunding site. The story quotes Natasha Chopp, Superior Ideas’ research development and marketing manager; alumna Linda Wittbrodt ’83; and Associate Professor Charles Wallace (CS).