Category Archives: News

Dr. Wallace Wins Fulbright Scholarship to Chile

Dr. Charles Wallace has been named a Fulbright Scholar. Beginning January 2010 Dr. Wallace will spend six months teaching and conducting research in the Computer Science Department at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile.

The highly competitive Fulbright Program is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the US government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries.

While at Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Dr. Wallace plans to help the university develop a software engineering specialty curriculum there. He is also looking forward to investigating the complexities that non-native speakers of English encounter when trying to communicate with the English-dominated software industry. Dr. Wallace’s research interest is in software engineering, particularly the challenges of communicating about software.

The full story about Dr. Wallace is online.


Software Engineering Research Funded

Drs. Ali Ebnenasir and Steve Seidel were recently awarded $106,000 from the National Science Foundation in support of their research. Their project is entitled “Towards the Model Checking of the Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) Applications”. The goal of this project is to use model checking techniques to increase the dependability of High Performance Computing (HPC) applications based on the Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) model of shared memory parallel computing. The project is expected to take approximately 18 months.


Faculty Updates

The Department welcomes three new faculty members, Dr. Chaoli Wang, Dr. Scott Kuhl, and Laura Brown.

Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. in computer and information science from the Ohio State University in 2006. He recently completed two years as a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on large-scale data analysis and visualization, high-performance computing, and user interface and interaction.

Dr. Scott Kuhl received his PhD in computer science from the University of Utah in 2009. His research interests include computer graphics, immersive virtual environments, and human space perception.

Laura Brown is completing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests are in machine learning, bayesian networks and variable selection.

And, congratulations to Dr. Zhenlin Wang who has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Computer Science.


CS Alum Recognitions

We send congratulations to two of our Computer Science alums.

Dan Wakeman, B.S. in Computer Science 1990, was named to Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders list for 2009. According to Computerworld’s website, “Computerworld’s annual list of the men and women shaping the IT industry showcases the best talent in the industry.” Dan is currently the Chief Information Officer at Educational Testing Service.

Dr. Janet Burge, B.S. in Computer Science 1984, recently received a prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Janet’s proposed research is entitled, “CAREER: Rationale Capture for High-Assurance Systems”. Janet is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Systems Analysis at Miami University of Ohio.


MTU Computer Science Students Finish First

A three person team of MTU Computer Science students finished 1st out of 38 teams in this year’s BonzAI Brawl AI programming competition. BonzAI Brawl is an MTU student run competition, where teams of 1 to 3 contestants implement an AI player for a client/server game. The contestants are given the details of the client API the day of the competition and must design a winning strategy within the 8 hours allotted. After coding ends, the AI’s are pitted against each other, one on one, in a double elimination style tournament (known as the BRAWL) to determine the winner.

The winning team, consisting of undergraduates David Cawley, Sam Schinke and Peter Miele, was among 83 other contestants from MTU and NMU who competed in the Brawl. The event was organized by students in Women in Computing Sciences, Husky Game Development and Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computer Science Honor Society. In addition, several local sponsors made this year’s BonzAI Brawl possible. They include Computer Mechanix, GE Aviation, LaSalle Technology Group, the Computer Science Dept and USG. For more information please see http://wics.students.mtu.edu/bonzai.


BonzAI Brawl

Put your AI to the test! On April 11, 2009 the 2nd Annual BonzAI Brawl programming competition will take place in the CS department at Michigan Tech University. The programming competition will be an all day event, where teams of 1 to 3 contestants will implement an AI player for a client/server game. The contestants will be given the details of the client API the day of the competition and must design a winning strategy within the 8 hours allotted. After coding ends, the AI’s are pitted against each other, one on one, in a double elimination style tournament (known as the BRAWL) to determine the winner. Spectators are welcome to attend and cheer for their favorite AI at the BRAWL. For more information about BonzAI Brawl or to register your team, visit http://wics.students.mtu.edu/bonzai. All teams must register by March 20, 2009.

This event is being organized entirely by the following CS student organizations: Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS), Husky Game Development (HGD) and Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computer Science Honor Society (UPE). Students in these groups have developed an original client/server game including the concept, rules, code, and graphics.


Ph.D. Student Receives Best Paper Award

Computer Science Doctoral candidate Alicia Thorsen, Assistant Professor Phil Merkey, and Professor Fredrik Manne from the University of Bergen, Norway received the Best Paper Award for their paper, “Maximum Weighted Matching Using the Partitioned Global Address Space Model”, at the High Performance Computing and Simulation Symposium (HPC 2009) March 23-25 in San Diego, California. Alicia presented the paper at the conference.

The paper described the design and implementation of an algorithm for the weighted matching graph processing problem. The algorithm was expressed in the new programming language, UPC. UPC is based on C and expresses parallel computations using a partitioned global address space. Languages such as UPC are being developed to make programming the coming generation of peta-scale supercomputers easier and more reliable. The UPC implementation developed is much simpler than a similar implementation using MPI, which is currently the most common way to express algorithms for parallel systems.


Computational Discovery and Innovation: Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative

Michigan Tech has announced a strategic faculty hiring initiative in Computational Discovery and Innovation. This initiative is this year’s reflection of the Board of Control’s commitment to enlarge the University’s faculty by 10 positions each year in strategic, interdisciplinary areas. Advanced computation is integral to research and educational activities across Michigan Tech. Thus, a search to fill ten growth positions is underway and qualified candidates are encouraged to send an application, following the “How to Apply” guidelines at http://www.mtu.edu/sfhi/.

More information about the strategic faculty hiring positions is available here.

The Department is also looking to fill regular faculty positions. More information is available here.