All posts by karenjoh

SnowBots Storm the Yeti Cup

(Front row, from left) Yamato Tajiri, Tyler Gregersen, Maddie Minerick, Peter Rudnicki, Mason Heldt, Daniel Xie. (Back row from left) Rachel Bergstrom, Elizabeth Bergstrom, Kayleigh Matson, Ben Manchester, Nathanael Strome, Nelson Monte, Joel Brubaker, Kyle Hubert (SnowBot), Evan Massaway. Not in photo: Collin Damsteegt, Evan Hill, Edward Liu, Colton Sam, Anna Wu, Zhi Tao Yap, Joshua You.

The SnowBots Middle School Robotics teams competed in Kingsford, Mich., last weekend for the Yeti Cup U.P. FIRST Tech Challenge robotic qualifier competition. All three teams were in the finals and brought home awards from the competition. SnowBots teams are open to area sixth-eighth grade students, and meet at Houghton Middle School. The story, “Snowbots Storm the Yeti Cup” was featured on the front page of the November 15, 2019, issue of the Daily Mining Gazette.

The Kingsford event was sponsored in part by Michigan Technological University College of Computing.

SnowBots teams are sponsored by: Michigan Department of Education, GS Engineering, Destination Unstoppable, Boundary Labs, ThermoAnalytics, IR Telemetrics, Michigan Tech Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Michigan Tech Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department, Monte Consulting, and Houghton Portage Township Schools. The Copper Country was also well represented with 18 community volunteers supporting the event.


Guy Hembroff Quoted in Article About Telehhealth

Guy Hembroff

Guy Hembroff, College of Computing associate professor, director of the Health Informatics graduate program, and director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystem’s Center for Cybersecurity, was quoted in the article, “Your virtual doctor is in,” published on November 20, 2019, in the online newspaper The Hill (the hill.com).

The article explores advances in telehealth services, areas for expansion, and barriers that remain for patients.

View the article here: https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/health-care/471165-your-virtual-doctor-is-in

The Hill is an American website, based in Washington, D.C. which began as a newspaper publisher in 1994. Focusing on politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill coverage includes the U.S. Congress, the presidency, and election campaigns. On its website, The Hill describes its output as “nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business”. (Wikipedia)


Guy Hembroff Presents Paper at MobiHealth 2019

Guy Hembroff

Guy Hembroff, College of Computing associate professor, director of the Health Informatics graduate program,  and director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystem’s Center for Cybersecurity, presented his paper, “The design of a holistic mHealth community library model and its impact on empowering rural America,” at MobiHealth 2019, the 8th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare,  November 13-14, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland.

The objectives of the EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare are to advance medical diagnosis, treatment, patient care and patient safety through application of sensing technologies (e.g. Internet of Things IoT), mobile computing, and effective data management methodologies. Contributions will be solicited regarding the interdisciplinary design and application of relevant technologies to help provide advanced mobile health care applications and infrastructures. The essence of the conference lies in its interdisciplinary nature, with original contributions cutting across boundaries but all within the sphere of the application of mobile communications (e.g. technologies, international standards, new and existing solutions, methodologies) aiming at the betterment of patient care and patient safety. As such, the conference will have a multi-tier approach, going from wearable and Implantable Devices to ubiquitous patient monitoring environments (e.g. remote monitoring, healthcare surveillance and Public Health).


Guy Hembroff Invited Speaker at MedFuse ’19

Guy Hembroff

Guy Hembroff, College of Computing associate professor, director of the Health Informatics graduate program,  and director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystem’s Center for Cybersecurity, was an invited speaker at Medfuse ’19, held in Minneapolis, MN, on October 24, 2019. Hembroff’s presentation  was titled “Treating the patient holistically and securely.” He also served on the conference panel, “Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Security.”

Presentation Abstract: We propose a holistic mHealth community model for residents to overcome significant barriers of care and improve coordinated patient health intervention by integrating multiple health and safety data sources through a mobile digital personal health library application. AI algorithms strategically connect residents to community resources and provide customized health education aimed at increasing the health literacy, empowerment, and self-management of the user. Users are able to securely share their health data with others (e.g. physicians, caregivers). Clinicians can better track patients offering improved preventative measures and care management. The architecture’s security includes a touchless biometric feature, capable of large-scale identity management using a novel fingerprint algorithm to establish a unique health identifier (UHID) for each individual, with the use of facial-recognition as a secondary form of validation prior to a user viewing patient data. Standard smartphones and web cameras are utilized in the identify management process where the application is installed.

The MedFuse conference focuses on advancing Medical IoT (IoMT) devices and exploring the future healthcare implications of Health Informatics.

 


Article by Alex Sergeyev Published in Journal of Engineering Technology (JET)

Alex Sergeyev

An article co-authored by Aleksandr Sergeyev, College of Computing professor and director of the Mechatronics graduate program, has been published in the Journal of Engineering Technology (JET).

The conclusive article, titled “A University, Community College, and Industry Partnership: Revamping Robotics Education to Meet 21st century Needs – NSF Sponsored Project Final Report,” summarizes the work funded by a $750K NSF grant received by Servgeyev in 2015 to to promote robotics education.  The paper details the achievements in curriculum and educational tools development, dissemination, and implementation at Michigan Tech and beyond.

Co-PIs on the project are  Scott A. Kuhl (Michigan Technological University), Prince Mehandiratta (Michigan Technological University), Mark Highum (Bay de Noc Community College), Mark Bradley Kinney (West Shore Community College), and Nasser Alaraje (The University of Toledo).

A related paper was presented at the 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 21-24, 2019, in Tampa, FL, as part of the panel “Academe/Industry Collaboration” presented by the Technical Engineering Technology Division, where it was awarded the Best Paper Award in the Engineering Technology Division. Download the conference paper here: https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/140/papers/26234/view.

Conference Paper Abstract: Recently, educators have worked to improve STEM education at all levels, but challenges remain. Capitalizing on the appeal of robotics is one strategy proposed to increase STEM interest. The interdisciplinary nature of robots, which involve motors, sensors, and programs, make robotics a useful STEM pedagogical tool. There is also a significant need for industrial certification programs in robotics. Robots are increasingly used across industry sectors to improve production throughputs while maintaining product quality. The benefits of robotics, however, depend on workers with up-to-date knowledge and skills to maintain and use existing robots, enhance future technologies, and educate users. It is critical that education efforts respond to the demand for robotics specialists by offering courses and professional certification in robotics and automation. This NSF sponsored project introduces a new approach for Industrial Robotics in electrical engineering technology (EET) programs at University and Community College. The curriculum and software developed by this collaboration of two- and four-year institutions match industry needs and provide a replicable model for programs around the US. The project also addresses the need for certified robotic training centers (CRTCs) and provides curriculum and training opportunities for students from other institutions, industry representatives, and displaced workers. Resources developed via this project were extensively disseminated through a variety of means, including workshops, conferences, and publications. In this article, authors provide final report on project outcomes, including various curriculum models and industry certification development, final stage of the “RobotRun” robotic simulation software, benefits of professional development opportunities for the faculty members from the other institutions, training workshops for K-12 teachers, and robotic one-day camps for high school students.

The Journal of Engineering Technology® (JET) is a refereed journal published semi-annually, in spring and fall, by the Engineering Technology Division (ETD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The aim of JET is to provide a forum for the dissemination of original scholarly articles as well as review articles in all areas related to engineering technology education. engtech.org/jet


Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series

Tomorrow Needs Seminar Flyer

A seminar series to bring advanced PhD students and postdoctoral scholars to Michigan Tech has been launched by the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, in partnership with the College of Computing, the College of Engineering, and the Great Lakes Research Center. The Tomorrow Needs Faculty and Scientist Seminar Series is intended to build connections with up-and-coming researchers, recruit and retain top talent at Michigan Tech, and provide opportunities for these promising scholars to learn more about Michigan Tech and the University’s excellent resources for research and education.

Those selected will be invited to present a research seminar, tour the Michigan Tech  campus and research facilities, and meet with faculty and students.

Applications to nominate scholars from around the globe are sought from all areas of the university. Nominations of advanced PhD candidates and postdoctoral scholars currently at Michigan Tech are also encouraged.  Find the online nomination form at  mtu.edu/icc/seminars. In the near term, applications will be reviewed as they are received, with a more formal review process to be instituted in the near future.

“Recruiting and retaining talented faculty and researchers is essential for Michigan Tech as we pursue the growth strategies identified by Tech Forward and the University’s leadership team,” says Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing. “We have an abundance of excellent teaching and creative research at Michigan Tech that complements a terrific quality of life here in the Upper Peninsula. This seminar series will showcase our top-notch people, facilities, teaching and research support infrastructure, and the Houghton/Hancock area to talented new PhDs and post doctoral researchers.”

Tim Havens, the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems and director of the ICC, stresses that the seminar series is open to all University areas. “The need to attract and retain top-tier faculty and researchers is a challenge shared across campus. We welcome nominations from all units. We are also very open to adding new partners to this initiative.”

Download the Seminar Series flyer.


University Research: A Multifaceted Endeavor

University Research: A Multifaceted Endeavor

The following commentary is part five of a six-part series featuring updates, national trends and personal perspectives from the University’s leadership team regarding the future of higher education and Michigan Tech. All questions or comments may be directed to the author of the article (ddreed@mtu.edu).    

Michigan Tech receives most of its research funding from the federal government. The federal research environment is challenging, with low and even declining funding rates, regulatory changes and the evolving federal budget climate, but Michigan Tech has managed to hold its own. Even in this difficult environment, in the last fiscal year Michigan Tech researchers achieved all-time highs in new sponsored awards ($63.5 million) and in research expenditures ($80.4 million). This was only possible through the outstanding creativity of our faculty and staff, a concentration on the development of outstanding proposals and a focus on areas where we can be recognized as one of the world’s leading institutions.

The campus developed these focus areas through the Tech Forward process last academic year. Several of the initiative areas include a significant research component. In particular, the Institute for Computing and Cybersystems (ICC, Tim Havens, director), the Health Research Institute (HRI, Caryn Heldt, director), and the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture (IPEC, Jennifer Daryl Slack, director) were identified as highly exciting opportunities for future growth.  The Vice President for Research Office (VPR) is working with all three throughout this academic year to develop plans for continuing growth and eventual maturation as vibrant, self-supporting centers of scholarly activity.

Michigan Tech is well-positioned to reach $100 million in annual research expenditures within the next five years. To reach this will require continual work to improve the research environment on campus. There are several such initiatives underway this academic year:

  • Financial Services and Operations has removed the 3.5% annual administrative fee from all IRAD accounts, allowing all of these funds to be used to support and grow our research and graduate programs.

  • Our Shared Facilities were established five years ago. The associate vice president for research development is working with them to review their activities over the last five years and to formulate plans for their continued success and growth over the next five years.

  • Michigan Tech has made significant strides over the last few years in reducing the administrative workload associated with sponsored research activities. According to the Federal Demonstration Partnership’s 2012 and 2018 Faculty Workload Surveys, we have reduced the proportion of investigator’s research time spent on administrative tasks from more than 50% to 43%, below the national average of 44%. Many people in VPR and elsewhere on campus have worked to achieve this significant accomplishment. I think we can all agree, though, that there is still too much effort on administrative work when researcher’s efforts would be better spent on the creative activities involved in research and scholarship.  Thanks very much to all on campus who participated in the survey; the results shed light on a number of areas ripe for further process improvement, and we will prioritize and address them over the next few months and coming years.

  • Lastly, many of you may be aware that a number of cases have emerged nationally where university and other researchers have exhibited egregious behavior that has resulted in federal criminal charges of fraud and abuse. My understanding is that over 1,000 researchers across the country are under investigation. Many of these relate to failure to disclose financial conflicts of interest and also unfunded conflicts of commitment.  We expect there to be new federal requirements to change our disclosure practices at some point. In the meantime, it’s important for all to disclose any commitment and financial conflicts through our internal processes, as well as externally in technical reports and funding applications. When in doubt, the best practice is to disclose.

In closing, I would again like to recognize the outstanding efforts of all members of the University community, including researchers and the personnel who support them, both centrally and in their units, in developing and supporting a vibrant and creative environment. This improves our educational activities and strengthens our ongoing research efforts. Michigan Tech is in a great position with our outstanding strengths in areas of state, national and international significance.  Through progress in the Tech Forward initiatives and continued growth in our research and graduate programs, we will continue to increase our contributions to areas of great societal need.


Yakov Nekrich to Present Computing Seminar Talk this Friday at 3 pm

Yakov Nekrich

The College of Computing (CC) will present a Friday Seminar Talk on November 22, at 3:00 p.m. in Rekhi 214. Featured this week is Yakov Nekrich, associate professor of Computer Science. He will present his research titled: “Space-Efficient and Compact Data Structures.” Refreshments will be provided.

Massive data sets are becoming increasingly common in many areas. Therefore, it’s desirable to keep the data in compact form so that it fits into the main memory. What operations can be performed on data that is stored in compressed form without decompressing the data? This question is addressed in the emerging research field called compressed (or compact) data structures. In this talk, Nekrich will describe a compressed index for a collection of strings and efficient solutions for several related problems.


Health Informatics MS Program Is Among Top 20 in Nation

Health Informatics Graphic

The website OnlineSchoolsCenter.com has released the “Top 20 Online Schools for Master’s of Health Informatics Degree Programs for 2020.” The ranking provides readers with the twenty finest online colleges and universities offering graduate degrees in health informatics.

Michigan Tech was listed among the top 20 programs and was the only school from Michigan to make the list.

Find the full list here.

OnlineSchoolsCenter.com identified the following Michigan Tech Health Informatics program standouts: Michigan Tech is an excellent university that is well-decorated with glowing recognition. Namely for students’ professional success, the best online graduate programs, and one of the finest online Masters in Health Informatics in the nation! What makes this degree most exciting are the eleven different areas of focus in which students can concentrate their coursework. No other school on this ranking has as many specialization options. Online students learn from expert faculty members in the areas of healthcare systems analysts and design, cybersecurity, and much more. Graduates from Michigan Tech often go on to earn six-figure incomes, and the school has been recognized for this achievement in education, according to Money Magazine.


 Meet and Greet with John Cheney-Lippold Is Mon., Nov. 18, 3-4 pm

John Cheney-Lippold

Meet & Greet with John Cheney-Lippold, University of Michigan associate professor of American culture and digital studies and author of We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves, will take place Monday, November 18, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., in Rekhi G09.

Dr. Cheney-Lippold will present “Algorithms, Accidents, and the Imposition of a World of Calculation” on Monday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. in EERC 103. The lecture is part of the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture Series. 

Algorithms are everywhere, organizing the near limitless data that exists in our world. Derived from our every search, like, click, and purchase, algorithms determine the news we get, the ads we see, the information accessible to us and even who our friends are. These complex configurations not only form knowledge and social relationships in the digital and physical world, but also determine who we are and who we can be, both on and offline.

The explosive, sometimes accidental transformations performed by statistics and algorithms alter our world to produce “someone else,” no longer the beings we thought we were. 

To demonstrate how statistics and algorithms are fundamentally transformative, Cheney-Lippold explores the use of statistics to invalidate the signature of a multimillion-dollar will and to objectify racial categories in the case of People vs. Collins. He also examines the accidental algorithmics that led to the lethal collision of a Tesla autonomous vehicle. 

His lecture reorients many of the pressing questions of contemporary culture of algorithmic bias, ethics, and ideas of justice.

Download the event flyer.