Last Day to Drop Without a “W” (Withdrawal) is September 19, 2014 (Friday, Week 3)

All first-year students must meet with their academic advisor to drop a class after orientation. All students must go to the Student Service Center to drop classes after 1st week.

When a student drops a full semester class between 1st and 3rd weeks, nothing appears on their transcripts. When a student drops a class between 4th and 10th weeks, a withdrawal grade (W) appears on their transcripts. This indicates that the student took the class for a significant amount of time (more than 3 weeks) and then decided to drop the class. One W on a transcript is not a big deal (check with Financial Aid to see a W grade will affect your financial aid, scholarships, or loans). More than a couple of Ws will start to indicate to a potential employer that a student cannot complete what they set out to do.

No Time for Lunch?

Do you have a meal plan with the Residence Hall but skip lunch because you have classes through lunch time? You could get a bag lunch from your dining hall, and here is how it works:

Dining Service provides bag lunches for students in the residence halls that cannot make it to lunch due to their class schedule (note, class schedules will be checked to confirm lunch-time conflicts). To request a lunch, ask any dining services staff person for a Bag Lunch form. To complete the form, you will need to specify service days and pickup times. Bag lunches, which will require a swipe when picked up, include a sandwich of your choice, fruit, chips, yogurt, and cookie. You will need to pick up your bag lunch at your dining hall.

Writing Professional E-Mails

Professional e-mails (those going to a professor or to a prospective employer) are different from personal e-mails or text messages in several ways.

  • Include a descriptive and detailed subject line for the e-mail. See the following examples:
    • Poor: I have a question
    • Better: ENG1101 Homework
    • Best: ENG1101 Homework due 9/12/2013, Problem 3.5
  • Address the person you are e-mailing (e.g., Hello Dr. Smith,).
  • Use full sentences.
  • Use capitals and punctuation.
  • Do not shorten words (i.e., use “you” instead of “u”).
  • Spell check the e-mail.
  • Sign the e-mail.
    • Thank you,
    • Your Name
    • Your Contact Information

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First-Year Engineering Courses (what do I take next)

The courses in which you enroll during your first 2-3 semesters at Michigan Tech will depend largely upon your initial math placement, and somewhat upon your intended major. For course descriptions, go to the Michigan Tech undergraduate course descriptions.

If you start out in Calculus I (MA1160) or higher,$ your approximate schedule for your first two semesters will be (see your academic advisor for any changes):

Fall 1 (15-17 credits) Spring 1 (15-17 credits)
MA1160 or higher$ – Calculus I (4-5) *
ENG1101 – Engineering Analysis & Problem Solving (3)*
PH1100 – Physics Lab (1)*
CH1150 – Chemistry I (3)**
CH1151 – Chemistry I Lab (1)
UN1015 – Composition (3) (English)
MA2160 or higher$ – Calculus II (4)
ENG1102 – Engineering Modeling & Design (3)
PH2100 – Physics I (3)
Major Specific Elective (1-4)
UN1025 – Global Issues (3) (Social Studies)

* Learning community scheduled: Groups of 20-24 students are scheduled in the indicated classes.
** Chemistry readiness guidelines
$ Typical Math sequence: MA1160 or MA1161, MA2160, MA3160, (MA2321 and MA3521) or (MA2320, MA3520). NOTE: Electrical Engineering students typically take MA2320/1 and MA3520/1 before MA3160. Computer Engineering degree does not require MA3160.

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First-Year Engineering Learning Center

Engineering Fundamentals has a First-Year Engineering Learning Center for students taking first-year ENG courses. If you have questions regarding your ENG course you can see your instructor or go to the First-Year Engineering Learning Center.

  • Room: 208 Dillman
  • Sunday – Thursday
  • 7-9pm
  • Staffed with Coaches

Dillman 208 is also open for students to do homework when there is not a class in the room.

If you need help with other classes, there are other learning centers available across campus.

Important University Dates

Each semester, Michigan Tech has important dates regarding course schedule changes. These are based on the week of the semester (i.e., Orientation week is Week 0, the first week of classes is Week 1,  etc.). After orientation all first-year students will need their advisor’s signature to drop or add a course. Below is a list of these important dates (Add and Drop refer to adding and dropping a course):

  • Last day to Add (without instructor’s signature): Friday, Week 1
  • Last day to Late Add (with instructor’s signature): Wednesday, Week 2
  • Last day to Drop with a refund: Wednesday, Week 2
  • Last day to Drop with no record: Friday, Week 3
  • Last day to Drop (Withdraw) with a W grade: Friday, Week 10

For a full list of university academic dates go to the following link.

Michigan Tech Receives $5 Million from Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to Reform Middle-School Science Education

Young children are naturally curious about everything around them. They want to know how and why things work. Then, around middle school age, many of them lose that natural attraction to science and engineering.

A team of university and public school educators in Michigan say they know what’s wrong with middle school science education. And, with a $5 million, three-year grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, they intend to develop and test some solutions. Continue reading

Jon Sticklen to Chair Engineering Fundamentals

image108602-rsideJon Sticklen, the director of Applied Engineering Sciences at Michigan State University, has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Tech.

Sticklen, an associate professor of computer science and engineering at Michigan State, is also director of MSU’s Center for Engineering Education Research. In that position, he has promoted research on engineering education and curriculum revision. Led by Sticklen, the center has attracted over $8 million in external funding over the last five years, largely from the National Science Foundation.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Sticklen join the team at Michigan Tech,” said Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington. “He brings years of experience in interdisciplinary education and will enhance our mutual goal of providing future engineers and applied scientists with the background to succeed in today’s environment of innovation.”

As of Aug. 1, Sticklen will replace the current chair, Jean-Celeste Kampe, who is returning to the faculty. “As chair, Dr. Kampe did a wonderful job revamping the engineering fundamentals curriculum, elevating it to a truly excellent program,” said Pennington. “Having accomplished her goals, she’s now looking forward to turning responsibility for the department’s continuous improvement to Dr. Sticklen, while she returns to full-time teaching and research. We are looking forward to working with her as she continues to progress in her career.”

At Michigan State, Sticklen spearheaded an interdisciplinary working group devoted to engineering education research. The group, incorporating representatives from the College of Engineering, the College of Natural Science and the College of Education, addressed curricula reform, with an emphasis on freshman engineering and integrating computing throughout the undergraduate engineering programs.

Before shifting his research to engineering education, Sticklen focused on artificial intelligence. In addition to pursuing collaborative research with fellow faculty, he also consulted with McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratory’s Artificial Intelligence Group, where he was responsible for integrating deep reasoning capabilities into aerospace computer systems.

As director of Applied Engineering Sciences, he presided over a growth in enrollment from 120 students in 2009 to 230 students in 2014. He also led a substantial redesign of the program.

Sticklen cited Michigan Tech’s reputation as a primary reason for his decision to accept the chair’s position. “Michigan Tech has long been recognized nationwide as a leader in developing young men and women who become next-generation leaders in engineering,” he said. “With such a high bar already in place, I look forward strongly to working collaboratively with dedicated engineering fundamentals faculty and with faculty from across Engineering and the other colleges to develop instructional approaches and environments that ignite the imagination and creativity of our students and instill in them the desire to ‘get the job done—well and on time’—characteristics that underpin successful engineers.”

Sticklen has been the major advisor for seven PhD students and a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $8.7 million in funded research and holds one patent in distributed problem-solving architectures. He has coauthored a textbook, “An Introduction to Technical Problem Solving with MATLAB,” and authored or coauthored approximately 125 papers, chapters and theses.

Sticklen earned PhD and MSc degrees in Computer Science and a BSc in Physics from Ohio State University. He received an MS in Astronomy from Columbia University and is completing an MSc in Problem-based Learning from Aalborg University, in Denmark.

2014 Engineering Fundamentals Design Presentations & PACE Contest

The 2014 Engineering Fundamentals Design Presentations were held on April 23. Over 50 student teams presented their projects in three classrooms; each team consists of three to four students. The eight finalist teams presented to judges from the PACE Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education Competition on April 24.

Photos of the winning teams and finalists are in the Photo Gallery, followed by photos of some of the other fifty teams.

PACE judges selected first place, second place, etc. presentations.

The list of judges is as follows:
Ryan Schumacher, GM, Warren, Michigan
Laura McCausland, GM, Warren
John Baker, Siemens PLM Software
Don Wirkner, GM Milford, Michigan
Nancy Neikirk, GM, Warren
Vinay Gunasekaran, Mathworks, Novi, Michigan

First Place Award PACE 2014: Autonomous Fire Suppression Unit Nils Miron, William Reck, Tristan Slabaugh, Sam Wachowski

1st Place

1st Place Award for 2014: PACE Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education
Section L09, Team C: Autonomous Fire Suppression Unit
Nils Miron, William Reck, Tristan Slabaugh, Sam Wachowski

2nd Place

2nd Place: Section L12, Team 9: Human-Powered Vehicle
Nikolai R. Hedler, Joshua Nicholas, Derryl Poynor, Thomas Tetzlof

3rd Place

3rd Place: Section L09, Team L: Snowmobile Trail Autonomous Groomer (S.T.A.G.)
Leonard M. Harri, Brett M. Michaud, Jesse J. Olson

4th Place

4th Place: Section L04, Team 3: HEAT UP; Kemin Fena, Parker McColl, Erin Nicole Richie, Bradley Turner, Joel VanLanen
Photos of the winning teams and finalists