All posts by jbfranke

Brown, Ureel Selected as C-4 Winners

Canvas courses taught by Dr. Laura Brown and Leo Ureel (CS) were selected as two of the eight spring 2015 CTL Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) winners. Their Canvas courses were recognized as effective by both students and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Both instructors will have the opportunity to record  a “video tour” of their courses to share as a model for new instructors or those looking for ideas to improve their Canvas courses. Please join us in congratulating Laura and Leo on creating courses that were so well received.

2015 BonzAI Brawl Results

Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS) and the Husky Game Development Enterprise (HGD) are excited to announce the results of the 8th annual BonzAI Brawl programming contest on Saturday April 11, 2015. Both groups put in hundreds of hours to develop the game and make the Brawl a success. More information about the event is available at:

BonzAI is an day-long programming contest where small teams of students have eight hours to write software to compete in a custom-built competitive multiplayer game.  At the conclusion of the event, teams watch their programs “brawl” against each other to determine which is the most capable.  BonzAI student organizers have been working since September to develop the game and infrastructure for the event.
This year BonzAI is hosted over 50 teams and over 110 students from multiple departments across Michigan Tech’s campus, Northern Michigan University, and high-schoolers from the Copper Country Programmers club.  Additionally, teams will participate remotely from Western Michigan University.
After 8 hours of programming, each team’s AI was run against all other teams in a 3-on-3 round-robin format to get an initial ranking of the teams (over 18,000 matches run). The final tournament structure consisted of two parts.  First, using the initial ranking a ladder (or king-of-the-hill) tournament was run starting with the lowest ranked teams with the winner advancing to compete with the next ranked teams.  The top 9 teams then competed in an elimination tournament to determine the final top three teams.
In third place was Grayson Briggs, Jesse Moore, and Keith Atkinson for team “Jesse’s Girl”; team members are first-year computer science students at Michigan Tech. In second place was Ethan Novak, John Novak, and Mike Grimes, team “The Last Pizza Dogs”; team members are 4th year computer science and a graduate mathematics student at Michigan Tech. In first place was Andrew Shirtz and Justin Syria, team “Conways Claim of Life”; team members are senior computer science and mathematics majors from Northern Michigan University. The final match was very close with scores of 943, 1071, and 1097 respectively.
The final match can be viewed on Youtube.
BonzAI Brawl sponsors include: Lasalletech (Camerontec Group), Jackson National Life Insurance Company, ControlTec, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Humana, Epic, and UPPCO.


CS Student Accepted to the 2016 Byron Fellowship

AbhiCS graduate student, Abhilash Kantamneni, recently was accepted to the 2016 Byron Fellowship. Kantamneni, advised by Dr. Laura Brown (CS) and nominated by Dr. Joshua Pearce (EE/Materials Science), will participate in the Fellowship this summer.

The Byron Fellowship is a transformational experience and community of generative leaders co-creating a flourishing world.  Our program empowers the next generation of emerging leaders to engage their unique abilities in leading generative efforts within their own communities.

Each year, 20 exceptional fellows travel to Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina to learn alongside a collection of academic teachers and active practitioners, representing a wide spectrum of disciplines including the arts, natural science, social science, engineering, business, philosophy, and theology. The teaching methods include mindfulness exercises, collaborative dialogue, envisioning practices, deep individual and group reflection.  Byron fellows represent a diverse group entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and social entrepreneurs who are both making a profound difference in their own communities and keenly attuned to the challenges we share globally.

More information regarding the event is available at:


Hannah Wilder Selected as 2015 CS Departmental Scholar

Hannah Wilder
Hannah Wilder and CS Department Chair Dr. Min Song

CS student Hannah Wilder has been selected as the 2015 CS Department Scholar by the department faculty. This award is in recognition of Wilder’s outstanding academic accomplishments during her career at Michigan Tech. Hannah will be recognized, along with all other department scholars, on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the 21st Annual Student Leadership Awards.

Michigan Tech Sweeps Top Honors at NMU Programming Competition

Michigan Tech placed 1st overall in the competition

On Saturday March 28th, thirty-six Michigan Tech students took part in the 16th Annual NMU Invitational Programming Contest.  The students sent a record number of 13 teams of up to three students to compete against 18 other teams from Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Algoma University, and The College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN).  Michigan Tech also sponsored the first ever high school teams to compete in the NMU Invitational; two teams comprised of students who participate in the Copper Country Programmers.

Teams worked for five hours on six programming problems.  The final ranking is determined by the number of problems that are completed correctly with ties broken by the number of minutes taken to solve the problems.
The Michigan Tech team of Mitch Davis, Hurricane Hamilton, and Chad Meyers placed first solving five of the six problems.  Second place went to the team of Corey Bilski, Chris Wallis, and Eric Zimmer solving 4 problems.  Third place went to the team of Mike Grimes, Brendan Kerrigan, and John Novak.
The strong overall performance of the teams resulted in a 1st place school ranking for Michigan Tech.  The continued success of Michigan Tech teams at the NMU and ACM programming competitions has benefited greatly over the years from Prof. David Poplawski’s direction and creation of an elective course on competitive programming  (CS1090).
Additional information on the programming competition, rules, and full results are available at:

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.

Nilufer Onder Receives High Instructor Evaluation Scores

Michigan_Tech_Nilufer_Onder_smallComputer Science Professor Nilufer Onder was ranked in the top 10% across all university classes for student evaluation scores. Onder’s ranking for Fall 2014 was based among other classes with a similar size of 50 students. She taught CS3311, Formal Methods of Computing, last semester and earned a score of 4.85 on the Question of Excellent Teacher and her score for the average of the seven elements of the evaluation was a 4.74. Please join Max Seel, Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Computer Science Department Chair Min Song in congratulating Nilufer Onder on her scores.

CS Tutorial Announcement: December 3, 4, 5

Title: A Tutorial on Theorem Proving in the Prototype Verification System (PVS)

Abstract: This tutorial will be offered for faculty members and graduate students whose research involves any sort of logical reasoning that can be expressed in predicate logic. The Prototype Verification System (PVS) is one of the premier theorem provers developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). This tutorial provides a basic understanding of PBS along with the elementary techniques for formal specification and mechanical verification. PVS has been used in the verification of numerous real-world applications such as mission-critical systems, air traffic management systems, fault-tolerant distributed systems, security protocols, spacecraft autonomy and AI planning.

Organizers: Mr. Amer Tahat (CS), Dr. Ali Ebnenasir (CS), and Dr. Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM).

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Dec. 3rd, 4th and 5th
Place: Rekhi 112
Registration: Please send an email to Mr. Amer Tahat at Space is limited, so register early please.

Acknowledgement: The organizers extend their gratitude to the Formal Methods group at NASA Langley for providing technical support. Prerequisites include preliminary knowledge of propositional and predicate logic.