Month: January 2020

Guy Hembroff Awarded CCISD Contract for CTE Cybersecurity Course

Guy Hembroff, associate professor, CMH Division, and director of the Health Informatics graduate program and the Institute of Computing and Cybersystem’s Center for Cybersecurity, is the principal investigator on a one-year project that has been awarded a $40,000 contract from the Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD). The project is titled “Cybersecurity Course for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program.”

The CCISD CTE program provides courses and labs to high school-age students from Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties. It is intended to provide the academic background, technical ability, and work experience that today’s youth will need to succeed in today’s changing job market.

The contract funds instructor time, use of facilities, labs, and equipment, and materials and supplies. Student enrolled in the program meet on Michigan Tech’s campus for two hours per day, Monday through Friday, from September to May.

The CTE Cybersecurity course covers topics including security architecture, cryptographic systems, security protocols, and security management tools. Students also learn about virus and worm propagation, malicious software scanning, cryptographic tools, intrusion detection, DoS, firewalls, best practices, and policy management.

Learn more about the CCISD CTE program at: https://www.copperisd.org/career-technical-education.


CNSA Major Vies for Winter Carnival Queen Honors

Zack Metiva, a fourth-year Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA) major, is running for Winter Carnival Queen. Michigan Tech students can vote for Metiva on the Winter Carnival website at https://www.mtu.edu/carnival/2020/#home. Voting closes on Friday, January 31.

“I’d love to be your Winter Carnival Queen. I’m President of IT Oxygen Enterprise and the social chair of the drumline at Michigan Tech. I’m a fourth-year Computer Network and System Administration major and over the years I’ve grown to enjoy the snow. I love waking up in the morning and seeing a fresh dusting everywhere I look. My favorite winter activity is skiing and that constant supply of fresh powder makes Mont Ripley one of the best places to ski north of The Mighty Mac. Winter Carnival is a celebration of that snow as well as all of the great feats students at Michigan Tech can accomplish with it during some of the most brutal months of the year. I think that as long as they use their head and eat some bread, watch out for their friends, and stay hydrated — that means water — anyone should be able to feel like royalty during Winter Carnival. If you agree, vote for me. I’d like to thank the Huskies Pep Band, the most progressive drumline in the Keweenaw, for sponsoring me in this competition.”

Metiva’s candidacy is sponsored by the Huskies Pep Band and Swift True Value Hardware, Houghton.


Faculty Candidate Lan Zhang to Present Lecture February 5

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Lan Zhang on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem. Sci. 101. Zhang’s lecture is titled, “Machine Learning Enabled Better Cyber-Physical Systems: A Case Study on Better Networking for Connected Vehicles.”

Bio: Lan Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. She received the B.Eng. and M.S. degrees in telecommunication engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Zhang’s research interest spans across the fields of big data, cyber-physical systems, machine learning, wireless communications, and cybersecurity. She has published 15 technical papers in top-tier journals and conference venues, such as IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Proceedings of the IEEE, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication.

Zhang has served as a technical program committee (TPC) member for several high-quality conferences, such as the 2020 IEEE INFOCOM poster/demo section and the 2018 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications. She also serves as reviewer for several leading journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Computing. Zhang was the speaker at several flagship celebrations and conferences, such as IEEE Global Communications Conference 19, Grace Hopper Celebration 19, and the IEEE International Conference on Communications 19.

Lecture Abstract: With the recent success of big data analytics, machine learning is being used in various Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) applications, such as smart transportation, smart healthcare, and industrial automation. As a highly interdisciplinary field, the CPS applications require the machine learning-enabled wireless communication strategies to facilitate information exchanges, and meanwhile call for secure and private learning pipelines to manage information exchanges.

In her talk, Zhang focuses on connected vehicles, aiming at supporting the demand for multi-Gbps sensory data exchanges through millimeter-wave bands for enhancing (semi)-autonomous driving. Unlike most traditional networking analysis that manipulates end devices to adapt to the transmission environments, i.e., fight against any transmission obstacles, we propose an innovative idea to proactively manipulate, reconfigure, and augment the transmission environments for better communications.

Without damaging the aesthetic nature of environments, we deploy multiple small-piece controllable reflecting surfaces, and adaptively manipulate the angle of the used reflecting surfaces to address the vulnerability of blockages in mmWave vehicular communications by creating alternative indirect line-of-sight connections. To autonomously and efficiently augment the highly dynamic vehicular environments in real-time, deep reinforcement learning techniques are implemented. Effectiveness of our proposal is showcased on the traffic at the City of Luxembourg using a traffic simulation toolkit, Simulation of Urban MObility (SUMO). 

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Computing Majors on GLIAC All-Academic Team

Congratulations to College of Computing grad student Bernard Kluskens, Cybersecurity, and senior Robbie Watling, Computer Science, who are among 18 Michigan Tech students recognized on the 2019 GLIAC Men’s Cross Country All-Academic Excellence Team. https://www.gliac.org/general_news/2019-20/Fall_2019_Academic_Teams/GLIAC_Fall_Academic_Teams_2019

Bernard Kluskens

Robbie Watling


Faculty Candidate Fan Chen to Present Lecture February 10

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Fan Chen, Monday, February 10, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem. Sci. 102. Chen’s talk is titled, “Efficient Hardware Acceleration of Unsupervised Deep Learning.”

Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, where she is advised by Professor Yiran Chen and Professor Hai “Helen” Li. Her research interests include computer architecture, emerging nonvolatile memory technologies, and hardware accelerators for machine learning. Fan won the Best Paper Award and the Ph.D. forum Best Poster Award at ASP-DAC 2018. She is a recipient of the 2019 Cadence Women in Technology Scholarship.

Abstract: Recent advances in deep learning are at the core of the latest revolution in various artificial intelligence (AI) applications including computer vision, autonomous systems, medicine, and other key aspects of human life. The current mainstream supervised learning relies heavily on the availability of labeled training data, which is often prohibitively expensive to collect and accessible to only a few industry giants. The unsupervised learning algorithm represented by Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) is seen as an effective technique to obtain a learning representation from unlabeled data. However, the effective execution of GANs poses a major challenge to the underlying computing platform.

In her talk, Chen will discuss her work that devises a comprehensive full-stack solution for enabling GAN training in emerging resistive memory based main memory. A zero-free dataflow and pipelined/parallel training method is proposed to improve resource utilization and computation efficiency. Hao will also introduce an inference accelerator that enables developed deep learning models to run on edge devices with limited resources. Finally, Hao’s lecture will discuss her vision of incorporating hardware acceleration for emerging compact deep learning models, large-scale decentralized training models, and other application areas.

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Faculty Candidate Cong “Callie” Hao to Present Lecture February 17

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Cong (Callie) Hao, Monday, February 17, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem Sci 102. Hao’s talk is titled, “NAIS: neural architecture and implementation search.”

Dr. Hao is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), under the supervision of Prof. Deming Chen. She holds a PhD (2017) degree in electrical engineering from Waseda University, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in computer science and engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her research interests include high-performance reconfigurable computing, hardware-aware machine learning and acceleration, electronic design automation (EDA) tools, and autonomous driving.

Abstract: In her talk, Hao introduces a neural network and hardware implementation co-search methodology, named NAIS, to pursue aggregated solutions of high accuracy DNN designs and efficient hardware deployments simultaneously. To enable a comprehensive co-search framework, there are three indispensable components: 1) efficient hardware accelerator design (e.g. FPGA); 2) hardware-aware neural architecture search (NAS); and 3) automatic design tools to quickly deploy DNNs to hardware platforms. I will discuss each component and their integrations to support an efficient and optimal NAIS implementation.

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Faculty Candidate Jean Hardy to Present Lecture Feb. 3

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Jean Hardy, Monday, February 3, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in EERC 214. Hardy’s talk is titled “What does community-driven technological development look like in rural Michigan?”

Hardy is PhD candidate and Rackham Merit Fellow in the University of Michigan (UM) School of Information. His research uses ethnographic and participatory design methods to understand how people use information and communication technologies for community formation and economic development in the rural Midwestern United States.

He is the co-organizer of UM’s Rural America Working Group and is affiliated with the UM Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Hardy’s formative work in rural computing has been published in Information, Communication, & Society and the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. He was awarded Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards at CHI 2016 and CSCW 2017, and a Best Provocation award at the 2019 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.

Lecture Abstract: The growth of the digital economy and the adoption of digital technologies continue to be widely regarded as opportunities to shift economic prospects, invigorate communities, and have transformative effects on society as we know it. But, digital technology, and the infrastructure that supports it, is largely designed and built for urban assumptions of scale, connectivity, and density. This presentation asks, what does digital technology and infrastructure look like when it leaves the urban and enters the rural, and how do we respond to the unique digital needs and aspirations of people living in rural communities?

Drawing from ethnographic and participatory design research in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I show how assumptions of growth and scalability built into contemporary social technologies do not reflect the reality of rural communities. I demonstrate how community-based research methods can be used to better understand the aspirations and needs of the people living in rural areas. I argue that the corporate obsession with scalability in contemporary social technologies misplaces opportunity for creative and unique digital tools that can engender a diverse future rural society.

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Tomorrow Needs Seminar: Homin Song, Thurs., Jan. 23, 4 pm

Homin Song, a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, will present a lecture on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., in EERC 103.

The lecture is part of the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar Speaker Series. It is presented in part by the Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series sponsored by the Michigan Tech colleges of Computing and Engineering, Great Lakes Research Center, and Institute of Computing and Cybersystems. Learn more at mtu.edu/icc/seminars.

Song completed a Ph.D. in civil engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. He holds an M.S. degree from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and a B.S. from Hanyang University, also in civil engineering.

Homin’s research interests lie in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) based on ultrasonic wave motion. His broad spectrum of expertise encompasses the topical areas of NDE/SHM, such as advanced ultrasound sensing technology, signal/data processing, numerical modeling, and experimental solid mechanics. His current postdoctoral research aims at developing a super-resolution non-contact ultrasonic array imaging technique via deep learning.

Homin was awarded the Student Best Paper Award at the 2017 International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, the Student Award for Research on NDT from American Concrete Institute, and the Outstanding Paper Award from the Korean Society of Civil Engineers. 

Abstract: Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) systems are essential for today’s modern structures to ensure their long-term performance and reduced maintenance cost. The talk will present two full-field high-resolution ultrasonic imaging approaches to detect, image, and characterize internal damage in various materials and structural elements. The first approach is a near-field imaging technique via noncontact ultrasonic scanning measurements. Development of novel ultrasonic scanning hardware, numerical and experimental wave mechanics study to understand complicated wave scattering, and wavefield data processing are presented. A unique application of the developed approach to large-scale concrete structures under realistic damage-promoting environments is also presented. The second approach is a far-field imaging technique based on deep learning. A novel hierarchical multi-scale deep learning approach designed to image subtle structural defects is presented. The results are compared with those obtained by a widely accepted high-resolution imaging technique, Time-reversal MUSIC. 

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Tim Havens Named Associate Dean for Research

Timothy C.  Havens, the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems and the director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, has been appointed the associate dean for research for the College of Computing, effective immediately. 

In his new role, Havens will encourage and enable research success in the College and promote collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and learning experiences through research support and development, communication and marketing, advancement, and College strategy and planning.

“Tim is highly passionate about supporting research creativity and pushing the boundaries of computational knowledge.  He also has a strong history of supporting student degree completion and growing Michigan Tech’s reputation,” said Dean Adrienne Minerick, College of Computing. “For these reasons and more, he is an outstanding individual to cultivate and grow the College of Computing via independent research, collaborative research, and large team endeavors.  I am thrilled he has agreed to lead in this exciting new era of computing at Michigan Tech.”

In his new role, Havens will collaborate with faculty and staff in identifying and pursuing research opportunities, lead and assist with College efforts to support and secure large, externally funded research awards, and work closely with the Dean, College leadership, and other constituent groups to advance the College of Computing’s reputation, research capabilities, and impact. Havens will also work to enhance communication and relationships between other units on campus surrounding computing and related research areas and contribute to College teaching needs, among other duties.

Havens’s overarching goals for his new position encompass developing key, sustainable resources to enable research success in the College and Michigan Tech as a whole. This includes recruitment of technical research support, mentoring for new faculty and research staff, continued development of a seminar series for distinguished visitors and rising stars, and growing donor engagement in research activity.

“My long-term goal is to develop a flourishing, sustainable culture of creativity, innovation, and education, where research is the thread of daily eagerness to move the boundaries of knowledge and to solve hard puzzles,” Havens explained. “The product of this culture will be productive, rewarded researchers who exemplify their passion for pushing the envelope to our students, our alumni, and the greater research community.”

Havens knows that this sounds lofty and utopic, but his hope is that someday “we will all turn to each other and say, ahhhhh, this is it! This is inspiring!”

“During his time at Michigan Tech, Tim has proven to be a dedicated and productive researcher and—most importantly—a great collaborator,” said Peter Larson, director of research development at Michigan Tech. “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Tim this academic year in the ICC. I am confident that his leadership will be a great asset to both ICC and the College of Computing in the coming years. Tim’s collaborative nature will be instrumental in bringing teams together as we seek to expand the portfolio of computing research at Michigan Tech across new programs, new areas of research, new sponsors, and larger projects.”

Havens has a passion both for academic research and innovation, and also for mentoring. This is why he loves being a professor, where he can do both. “I really look forward to working with all the College researchers—it’s a unique opportunity to both act as a mentor to our researchers, and also to continue my own learning experience. I’m especially eager to learn more about all the great research going on in the College and at Tech, and to help our researchers accomplish their research goals,” Havens said.

“Those who know me well, know that I also like to put on a show. I view part of being an Associate Dean as exactly that—I really enjoy telling the stories of the College and our researchers, and cultivating the visibility of our new College. It’s an exciting time to be in computing at Michigan Tech.”

Havens considers himself fortunate to have to have worked with several talented research mentors in his career path, starting with his experience as a master’s student at Michigan Tech, where he investigated the optical properties of the atmosphere with his M.S. advisor, Michigan Tech professor Dr. Mike Roggemann.

Havens first job following completion of his M.S. was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he investigated adaptive optics systems in support of the Airborne Laser program. Following that experience, he knew he wanted to be an academic researcher and a professor, so he returned to school to complete his Ph.D. at University of Missouri with advisor Dr. Jim Keller.

“Dr. Keller is a consummate researcher and one can’t help but to catch the research bug working with him. He was and continues to be a great mentor; he made sure that I received lots of practice writing papers and proposals, talking to program managers, strategizing research projects, collaborating outside my field, all important aspects of running a research program,” Havens said.

Havens notes that the duties of his latest gig, as director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC), are very similar to those of the Associate Dean for Research. 

“The ICC is very much a part of the strategic vision for research in the College of Computing, as the institute acts as the research arm of the College. This integration allows us to best utilize the finite resources of both the College of Computing and the ICC to get the greatest return on key investments in people and resources,” Havens explained.

“Launching the new College has been a wild experience so far and such a fantastic opportunity,” Havens said. “With this shift, we boldly announce that computing is a major field of study and not just an underpinning to other disciplines. I see the new College as a place of opportunity to experiment, collaborate, develop new pedagogies, and become a model for other institutions of higher learning. Our team is strong and creative, and it’s fun working on this puzzle with them.”