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  • Month: March 2015

    Nilufer Onder Publishes on Interplanetary Trajectory Planning

    JAISAssistant Professor Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM), Associate Professor Nilufer Onder (CS) and Hui Meen Nyew who graduated with a CS PhD in summer 2014 published a paper titled, “Structured-Chromosome Evolutionary Algorithms for Variable-Size Autonomous Interplanetary Trajectory Planning Optimization,” in the AIAA Journal of Aerospace Information Systems (pre-print doi: The paper describes a new technique to represent and search for optimal solutions that are organized in sections

    From Tech Today.

    Houghton High School Girls Recognized for Computing Activities

    Aspirations in Computing AwardA Houghton High School student who has been active in Michigan Tech’s Copper Country Programmers, a computer club for local teens, has been named winner of a Michigan regional award in the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing competition. Another Houghton High School student is a runner-up.

    Caitlyn McKenzie received a Michigan Regional Award. Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel was a runner-up. They were honored at an awards ceremony last weekend at the Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing conference at the University of Michigan- Dearborn.

    Both girls have been involved with the Copper Country Programmers for several years. They also work to help others in the community learn more about computers and coding.

    “They have become role models for other young women,” said Leo Ureel, a lecturer in computer science at Michigan Tech and one of the faculty advisors to the computer club. Associate Professor Charles Wallace and computer science graduate student John Earnest also work with the teens.

    Copper Country Programmers meets every Saturday in the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact Charles Wallace at

    NCWIT is a national non-profit organization of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits and government agencies working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. Michigan Tech is one of NCWIT’s designated Pathways universities.

    The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award honors high-school young women for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education. National and regional NCWIT Aspirations in Computing awards are given to generate support and visibility for young women’s participation in computing.

    For more information about NCWIT, the Aspirations in Computing award or how young women can become engaged in computer science, contact Linda Ott,

    From Tech Today.

    Papers Published

    Soner Onder
    Soner Onder

    Associate Prof. Soner Onder and his graduate students published a paper titled “LaZy Superscalar” in the 42nd International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA). ISCA is recognized as the premier conference in computer architecture with 10-20 percent acceptance rates. CS PhD student Gorkem Asilioglu (first author) will present the paper on June 15 in Portland, OR.

    Associate Prof. Onder and his graduate students also published a paper titled “Mower: A New Design for Non-blocking Misprediction Recovery” in ACM/SIGARCH International Conference on Supercomputing (ICS). ICS is the premier international forum for the presentation of research results in high-performance computing systems held since 1987. PhD student Zhaoxiang Jin (first author) will present the paper on June 8 in Newport Beach, CA.

    Linda Ott appointed Associate Dean in CSA

    Linda Ott
    Linda Ott

    The College of Sciences and Arts is very pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Ott as associate dean for special initiatives, focusing on diversity in computing. Ott’s appointment signals a renewed effort to increase the diversity of students in computing and information. The under-representation of women and ethnic minorities has been little affected by significant national efforts to introduce changes—indeed, there has been some backsliding on earlier gains.

    National attention for the difficulties came from recent attention to the poor record of largest firms in Silicon Valley in recruiting and retaining women in these firms. Michigan Tech, like many universities, has worked steadily to increase the number of women enrolled in computer science, software engineering and computer engineering, but the five-year average enrollment of women stands at only 7.5 percent of the total student population in computer-related degree programs. Morevoer the situation has changed only a little since 2009. Clearly, progress is elusive.

    Ott’s appointment will bring much more energy to efforts to recruit a more diverse population of students into computing fields. Bruce Seely, dean of the college, notes how the appointment builds off Ott’s long-standing commitment to addressing the lack of diversity in the field. Over the past two years, Linda led the effort to bring Michigan Tech into the Pacesetters progam of the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). And for a much longer time she has engaged in activities with the Summer Youth Program and other outreach efforts at the state-level to raise the awareness of female students concerning the opportunity in computing. Seely noted that “Linda is perfectly positioned to explore and help implement ways to bring more students from diverse backgrounds to campus. This is her true passion.” She will continue these programmatic efforts and outreach initiatives while also studying the lower retention and persistence rates for all students—not just women—pursuing Tech degrees in computer science, computer engineering, network and systems administration and software engineering. In addition, she will compare and benchmark Tech’s efforts against other schools and national patterns, understand the retention of students in computing-related fields and seek external funding to support programs to address these issues.

    Because many groups on campus are working on these questions, Ott will collaborate with different groups on campus, including academic departments, schools and colleges, admissions, development, alumni relations, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and WISE.

    By allowing her to devote all of her time and effort to these tasks, Seely added, he hopes Michigan Tech can make real progress on diversity. “I am thrilled Linda is going to devote her time and energy to these important and challenging problems.”

    She will begin her efforts Monday, March 16.

    From Tech Today, by College of Sciences and Arts.