Archives—December 2015

CS Hosts Local Hour of Code

Hour of CodeHOUGHTON — Houghton High School students are learning all about computer coding.

Students are being taught by none other than Michigan Tech’s Computer Science Department.

Faculty and students from Michigan Tech’s Computer Science Department are hosting the program Hour of Coding.

Read more at Upper Michigan’s Source, by Aleah Hordges.

Local students participate in ‘Hour of Code’

During Computer Science Education Week, tens of thousands of Hour of Code events are held around the world, like the one at Houghton Middle School.

Representatives from Michigan Tech introduced the wonders of coding to the students.

MTU Software Engineering Major Mitch Davis said, “They’re learning just the basic approaches of how programs run, the idea of a step by step instruction that if you want something done, you can’t just say ‘I want this done’, you have to say all of the minor details of how to get there in the first place.”

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 News, by Rick Allen.

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DOD-ARO Funding for Tim Havens

Timothy Havens
Timothy Havens

Timothy Havens received a research grant of $285,900 for the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $983,124. The work is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense-Army Research Office. Timothy Schulz of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is the project Co-PI. Havens has a joint appointment in both Computer Science and ECE.

The project is entitled “Heterogeneous Multisensor Buried Target Detection Using Spatiotemporal Feature Learning.” The project will investigate theory and algorithms for multisensor buried target detection that achieve high probability of detection and classification with low false-alarm-rate. The primary sensors of interest are multisensor FLGPR (i.e., FLGPR plus other sensor modalities, such as thermal video or LIDAR) and acoustic/seismic systems, although the methods will be applicable to other modalities as well.


New Assistant Professor Keith Vertanen

Keith Vertanen
Keith Vertanen

Keith Vertanen joins the Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor. Prior to Michigan Tech, Vertanen was at Montana Tech, where he received the 2014 Distinguished Researcher Award. Vertanen received his PhD and Master’s of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Computer Science from Oregon State University.

He has industry experience with Wildfire Communications and etrive, Inc. He specializes in designing intelligent interactive systems that leverage uncertain input technologies.

Read more at Tech Today.


New Lecturer Kim Tracy

Kim Tracy
Kim Tracy

Kim Tracy joins the Department of Computer Science as a lecturer. Before coming to Michigan Tech, Tracy was chief information officer at Northeastern Illinois University. Tracy earned a Master’s in Computer Science, specializing in artificial intelligence, from Stanford University and a dual Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

He has worked in industry for Monsanto Company, Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories and AT&T. He is also a senior member in IEEE and ACM.

Read more at Tech Today.


New Associate Professor Spiridon Bakiras

Spiros Bakiras
Spiros Bakiras

Spiridon Bakiras joins the Department of Computer Science as an associate professor. Before coming to Michigan Tech, Bakiras was at John Jay College at City University of New York. Bakiras received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and a Master’s in Telematics from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom.

He has a professional membership to the Association for Computing Machinery. He has also been published in GeoInformatica and Computer Communications.

Read more at Tech Today.


Ott Quoted in GoodCall

Linda Ott
Linda Ott

Professor Linda Ott (CS) is quoted extensively in an article on GoodCall, a website on education and consumer news, in an article on what factors predict success in a career in computer science.

From Tech Today.

Recent Survey Predicts Whether You Would Do Well in Computer Science

“A high percentage of the high school women who apply to our Women in Computer Science summer workshop are involved in music, and many are very accomplished musicians.” Ott says that campus musical groups will frequently have a disproportionately high number of computing majors as compared to other majors.

“I have heard numerous stories from young women who were surprised to discover how much they enjoyed coding.” Ott says that sometimes this occurred in a required computing course, but since most K-12 students are not required to take a computer science course, it usually occurs in an informal educational setting, such as a summer math or science camp, or an after school program.

Read more at GoodCall, by Terri Williams.