Category: Announcements

Today is #GivingTuesday

 Today (Dec. 1) is #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 and has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

How you can participate at Michigan Tech:

• Support any area of campus
A gift to Michigan Tech or any specific area of campus will help us prepare students to create the future. Give now.

• Help Michigan Tech students through scholarships and fellowships
Scholarship/fellowship funding is Michigan Tech’s top strategic priority. This is especially true now with the need created by COVID-19. Donor-funded scholarships/fellowships come through two sources — the Annual Scholarship/Fellowship Fund and the Endowed Scholarship/Fellowship Fund. Learn more.

• Make a gift to the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund (HEAF)
The HEAF has been established to help provide financial relief for the Michigan Tech campus community (students and employees) who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of crises (including COVID-19). Donate to the HEAF.

• Donate food or resources to the Husky Food Access Network
The on-campus food pantry has helped hundreds of students in their time of need. Make a financial donation or email huskyfan@mtu.edu to coordinate a food donation during social distancing protocol.

Last year, GivingTuesday generated $2 billion in giving, just in the United States, and inspired millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform countless acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money, and goods.

Join the movement! Make a gift to Michigan Tech today.


Master’s Defense: Ann Ciesla, Computer Science

Computer Science graduate student Ann Ciesla will present her master’s defense on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. The presentation is titled, “Digital Skills Assessment: A Tool for Assessing the Digital Literacy of Older Adults.”

Ciesla is advised by Associate Professor Charles Wallace, Computer Science.

Attend the defense virtually here.


Bo Chen, CS, Wins REF Grant for Decentralized Cloud Storage Project

Bo Chen, Computer Science, has been awarded a Fall 2020 REF Research Seed Grant (REF-RS) for his project, “Towards Secure and Reliable Decentralized Cloud Storage.” Funding for the 12-month, $25,800 award begins on January 1, 2021.

“This grant will provide significant help to advance my current research,” says Chen. “This is really exciting news for me.”

As a recipient of the REF seed grant, which is awarded by the Michigan Tech Office of the Vice President for Research, Chen will participate in review and feedback for the next round of REF proposals. View the full list of Fall 2020 REF award recipients here.

Bo Chen is a researcher with the ICC’s Cybersecurity and Computing Education research groups. The ICC–Institute of Computing and Cybersystems–brings faculty and students together to discover innovative new knowledge in the field of computing.

Abstract

A decentralized cloud storage system eliminates the need of dedicated computing infrastructures by allowing peers which have spare storage space to join the network and to provide storage service. Compared to the conventional centralized cloud storage system, it can bring significant benefits including cheaper storage cost, better fault tolerance, greater scalability, as well as more efficient data storing and retrieval, making it well fit the emerging Internet of things (IoT) applications.

While bringing immense benefits, the decentralized cloud storage system also raises significant security concerns, since the storage peers are much less reputable than the traditional data centers and may more likely misbehave.

This project thus aims to build a secure and reliable decentralized cloud storage system which can serve as the cloud infrastructure for future IoT applications. The project will actively investigate two fundamental security issues faced by the decentralized cloud storage system: 1) How can we prevent the malicious storage peers from stealing the data? 2) How can we ensure that once the data are stored into the system, they are always retrievable even if the storage peers misbehave?

To address the aforementioned issues in an untrusted p2p environment, the PI will integrate efficient integrity checking with the blockchain, as well as the broadly equipped secure hardware like Intel SGX. The PI will also broaden the educational impact of the proposed project by actively involving both graduate and undergraduate students from the MTU cybersecurity programs.


Minerick Appointed Interim Dean of Pavlis Honors College

Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, announced that Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing, has agreed to serve as the interim dean of the Pavlis Honors College beginning February 1, 2021.

Minerick will be the successor to Lorelle Meadows, who will retire at the end of January. Dennis Livesay, currently dean of the College of Engineering at Wichita State University, will become the dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Computing on Feb. 1, 2021.

Huntoon said, “I hope the campus community will join me in thanking Adrienne for her willingness to take on this new role at Michigan Tech. I know that the Honors College will benefit from her leadership and I look forward to continuing to have the opportunity to work with her.”

Huntoon thanked Meadows, who came to Michigan Tech in 2014, for her service to the University. “She has provided the leadership necessary to move the Honors College from an idea to a reality,” Huntoon said. “I have enjoyed working with Lorelle since she arrived and will miss hearing her perspectives and ideas in the future. Thankfully, she does not plan to completely sever her ties to the University and will maintain affiliation and continue to pursue her research interests.”

Minerick has served as dean of the College of Computing since its launch in July 2019. Prior to that she served as dean of the School of Technology (2018-19) and was the associate dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering from 2015-2018.


RedTeam NCL CyberLeague Rankings in Top 2%

Outstanding RedTeam results in Fall 2020 NCL cyber competition.

Of the 27 Michigan Tech RedTeam students who successfully completed the individual games in National CyberLeague games this fall, seven students ranked in the top 100, out of 6,011 participants. And in team play, two teams ranked in the top 100, out of 957 teams.

RedTeam exists to promote a security-driven mindset among the student population, and to provide a community and resource for those wishing to learn more about information security.

Faculty coaches to the RedTeam student organization are Asst. Prof. Bo Chen, Computer Science, and Prof. Yu Cai, Applied Computing.

This is the highest achievement MTU students have achieved in NCL individual games since we began participating in fall 2017.

Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science

Individual Rankings (6,011 Competitors)

  • Jacson Ott: Ranked 52
  • Trevor Hornsby: 78
  • Shane Hoppe: 80
  • Dakoda Patterson: 90
  • Matthew Chau: 92
  • Ryan Klemm: 93
  • Stu Kernstock: 98

Team Rankings (957 Teams)

  • RedTeam@mtu, Team 1: Ranked 22
    Team members: Trevor Hornsby, Stu Kernstock, Jacson Ott, Shane Hoppe, Dakoda Patterson, Matthew Chau, Ryan Klemm
  • MTU Alumni Team, Team 2: Ranked 67
    Team members: Jack Bergman, Jon Preuth, Trevor Taubitz


The National Cyber League (NCL) is a biannual cybersecurity competition. Open to U.S. high school and college students, the competition consists of a series of challenges that allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.

Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. participate in the NCL competitions. Student players compete in the NCL to build their skills, leverage the NCL Scouting Reports for career and professional development, and to represent their school in the national Cyber Power Rankings.

Powered by Cyber Skyline, NCL provides a platform on which students can prepare and test themselves against practical cybersecurity challenges that they will likely face in the workforce, such as identifying hackers from forensic data, pentesting and audit vulnerable websites, recovering from ransomware attacks, and more.

The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). The rankings represent the ability of student competitors to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform.


Livesay Named MTU’s Next Computing Dean

Dennis Livesay will become dean of Michigan Technological University’s College of Computing on Feb. 1, 2021.

Livesay comes to Michigan Tech from Wichita State University (WSU), where he is dean of the College of Engineering and a full professor in both the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Engineering. Livesay replaces outgoing dean Adrienne Minerick.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Livesay to the University as our next dean of the College of Computing,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The combination of Dr. Livesay’s prior experiences and his vision for the future of the College of Computing make him ideally suited to strengthen the College going forward.” 

“Digital transformation is impacting every industry, including engineering and manufacturing,” said Livesay. “Computing, data, connectivity, and security are already the cornerstones of the modern economy. I look forward to working with everyone in the College of Computing, and across campus, to strengthen our efforts in these areas.”

Livesay noted that, while he has been happy in his role at WSU, he saw the opportunity to lead Michigan’s only college of computing as one he could not pass up. “I really see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that — given MTU’s traditional established strength in engineering — aligns perfectly with my background,” he said. 

Livesay brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to Michigan Tech. His career began in 2000 at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he was assistant and then associate professor of chemistry. From there, he continued on to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), where he was a founding member of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics and developed two of UNCC’s most visible research programs: the bioinformatics and computational biology doctoral program and the Charlotte Research Scholars undergraduate research program.

In 2016, Livesay joined WSU as dean of the Graduate School and associate vice president of research and technology transfer before becoming dean of the College of Engineering in January 2019. Livesay’s research expertise is in the area of protein family sequence, structure and function relationships, with a particular focus on understanding how physical and chemical properties vary with evolutionary divergence. He has spent his career working across disciplinary boundaries and intends to prioritize interdisciplinary work in his role as College of Computing dean.

“The University was fortunate to attract a very strong pool of candidates during this search and I am confident that we have hired the person who will be best able to lead the College of Computing in the coming years,” said Huntoon. “I want to thank Dr. Adrienne Minerick for her tenacity and commitment to Michigan Tech. She provided outstanding leadership for the College from the day it came into existence. Because of her efforts, the College is well positioned to grow in the future.”

Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Livesay was a first-generation university student. He will be joined in Houghton by his wife, Lauren, and son, Maxwell. “My family and I are rabid hockey fans,” Livesay said, “and we will be huge supporters of Michigan Tech hockey. In fact, I already have an MTU jersey that I’ve started wearing during rec league.”

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.