Effective July 1, 2020, the Department of Applied Computing (AC) will open for business as Michigan Tech’s newest academic department, and the second department of the College of Computing. Daniel R. Fuhrmann, Dave House Professor of Computer Engineering, has been named the interim chair of the new department, for a period of one year.
The Applied Computing department administers undergraduate bachelor of science programs in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA), Electrical Engineering Technology, and soon a new B.S. in Mechatronics (pending final approval by the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees and the state of Michigan). Applied Computing also shares responsibility, with the Department of Computer Science, for the B.S. in Cybersecurity, which began enrolling students in Fall 2019
On the graduate side, the Applied Computing Department hosts the Master of Science in Health Informatics and the Master of Science in Mechatronics, which also started in Fall 2019. In addition to teaching AC program courses, faculty in the new department will pursue research in a variety of areas where computers and computing play a major role, including cybersecurity, mechatronics, health informatics, and machine learning.
Fuhrmann notes, “I am delighted to be a part of the continued growth of the College of Computing, and to do what I can to get our new department up and running. I believe that the Department of Applied Computing makes the CC unique among similar colleges nationwide, and gives Michigan Tech a distinctive edge.”
Key goals for the interim chair position, identified during the nomination and selection process, include strategically increasing the visibility of and enrollment in in Department of Applied Computing degree and certificate programs, and supporting and strengthening collaborative, interdisciplinary, and interdepartmental relationships in curriculum and research.
“I think I speak for others when I express how extremely appreciative I am of Dan’s willingness to contribute to the growth and success of the College of Computing over the last year, and his further willingness to agree to serve as department chair during this particularly challenging time,” says Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing.
“Dan has repeatedly proven to be an excellent team member who is willing to do the work to support the greater good of our teams in the CC. By stepping forward into unfamiliar tasks as is needed and framing most things as opportunities, he helps bring out the best in our team.”
Fuhrmann says that the new department will continue to deliver strong programs in the AC department’s areas of primary responsibility, and he hopes to increase synergies among the various groups within the department, for instance, looking at how cybersecurity and mechatronics work together in industrial control systems.
Growth in the Health Informatics graduate program is also anticipated, and Fuhrmann notes that the need for trained, talented health informatics professionals has never been more apparent than it is right now.
“In addition to what we will be doing internally, I hope to build a culture of collaboration and cooperation with other Michigan Tech departments that have an interest in computing applications, both inside and outside the College of Computing. We have a lot to offer,” Fuhrmann says.
For more information about the Department of Applied Computing as it becomes available link here.