Category Archives: Announcements

Bo Chen is PI of $200K NSF Research and Development Grant

Bo Chen, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Bo Chen (Comp Sci/ICC) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $199,975 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “EAGER: Enabling Secure Data Recovery for Mobile Devices Against Malicious Attacks.” This is a potential two-year project.

Abstract: Mainstream mobile computing devices like smart phones and tablets currently rely on remote backups for data recovery upon failures. For example, an iPhone periodically stores a recent snapshot to iCloud, and can get restored if needed. Such a commonly used “off-device” backup mechanism, however, suffers from a fundamental limitation that, the backup in the remote server is not always synchronized with data stored in the local device. Therefore, when a mobile device suffers from a malware attack, it can only be restored to a historical state using the remote backup, rather than the exact state right before the attack occurs. Data are extremely valuable for both organizations and individuals, and thus after the malware attack, it is of paramount importance to restore the data to the exact point (i.e., the corruption point) right before they are corrupted. This, however, is a challenging problem. The project addresses this problem in mobile devices and its outcome could benefit billions of mobile users.

A primary goal of the project is to enable recovery of mobile devices to the corruption point after malware attacks. The malware being considered is the OS-level malware which can compromise the OS and obtain the OS-level privilege. To achieve this goal, the project combines both the traditional off-device data recovery and a novel in-device data recovery. Especially, the following research activities are undertaken: 1) Designing a novel malware detector which runs in flash translation layer (FTL), a firmware layer staying between OS and flash memory hardware. The FTL-based malware detector ensures that data being committed to the remote server will not be tampered with by the OS-level malware. 2) Developing a novel approach which ensures that the OS-level malware is not able to corrupt data changes (i.e., delta) which have not yet been committed to the remote server. This is achieved by hiding the delta in the flash memory using flash storage’s special hardware features, i.e., out-of-place update and strong physical isolation. 3) Developing a user-friendly approach which can allow users to conveniently and efficiently retrieve the delta hidden in the flash memory for data recovery after malware attacks.

Link to an Unscripted article about related research at  https://www.mtu.edu/unscripted/stories/2018/march/how-to-speed-up-bare-metal-malware-analysis-and-better-protect-mobile-devices.html.


Welcome and Invite to Reunion Celebration on Friday, August 2

Adrienne Minerick

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to Michigan Tech’s new College of Computing! By now you’ve received the latest Michigan Tech magazine and have read the announcement of Michigan Tech’s newest college. This is an exciting time at Michigan Tech as we reimagine existing programs, add new majors, and pursue innovative new initiatives to prepare our graduates—and Michigan Tech—for Industry 4.0!

As you saw in the magazine, Michigan Tech embraces an exciting, diverse learning and research community. Computing and information science are an essential part of it all. Computing skills and computational thinking are essential in virtually all fields and job markets today, and Michigan Tech’s College of Computing is in position to ensure all our graduates are prepared, comfortable, and agile in a world in which cyber-technologies influence virtually everything.

The new College of Computing (CC) merges a talented, forward-thinking, innovative group of faculty and staff. We oversee core undergraduate degrees in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA), Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Software Engineering, with minors in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and Data Acquisition and Industrial Control.  Our graduate degrees include Computer Science (MS and PhD), Cybersecurity, Data Science, Health Informatics, and Mechatronics. On the research front, CC faculty and students are developing innovative software and hardware solutions to address today’s societal, technological, and sustainable challenges. Visit www.mtu.edu/computing to learn more.

I am pleased to introduce myself as the founding Dean of the College of Computing, effective July 1, 2019. It is an honor to help launch the College of Computing and assist in positioning Michigan Tech for this new era.

By way of my background, I am a chemical engineering BS graduate of Michigan Tech (’98); I completed my MS and PhD in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame du lac (USA). I returned to Michigan Tech in 2010, and am currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering. I have also served the University as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation for the College of Engineering, Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development, and Dean of the School of Technology.

As you may know, Michigan Tech’s Alumni Reunion is just around the corner, August 1-3, 2019. Graduates from all years and majors are welcome, and we sincerely hope to reconnect with many of you—our computing/software and electronics/robotics alumni!

At a special celebration Friday, August 2, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., we’ll be sharing additional information about the College of Computing, and showing off some of our senior design projects. It is our hope that you’ll gain a few new and fun memories at this event.  Please join us outside Rekhi Hall (weather permitting) or on the second floor of Rekhi Hall for this wonderful opportunity to catch up with everyone and share your best—and perhaps even some of your worst—Michigan Tech memories! Ice cream and light refreshments will be served. The event is free and guests and family members are welcome.

Please let us know if you’re able to attend this College of Computing event, and register for the Reunion, at www.mtu.edu/alumni/connect/reunion. We look forward to seeing you in Houghton!

Best regards,

Adrienne Minerick, PhD

Dean, College of Computing


Call for Applications: Songer Research Award for Human Health Research

2018-19 Songer Award Recipients. Pictured Left to Right: Abby Sutherland, Billiane Kenyon, Jeremy Bigalke, Rupsa Basu, Matthew Songer, and Laura Songer.

Matthew Songer, (Biological Sciences ’79) and Laura Songer (Biological Sciences ’80) have generously donated funds to the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) to support a research project competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Remembering their own eagerness to engage in research during their undergraduate years, the Songers established these awards to stimulate and encourage opportunities for original research by current Michigan Tech students. The College is extremely grateful for the Songers’ continuing interest in, and support of, Michigan Tech’s programs in human health and medicine. This is the second year of the competition.

Students may propose an innovative medically-oriented research project in any area of human health. The best projects will demonstrate the potential to have broad impact on improving human life. This research will be pursued in consultation with faculty members within the College of Sciences and Arts. In the Spring of 2019, the Songer’s gift will support one award for undergraduate research ($4,000) and a second award for graduate research ($6,000). Matching funds from the College may allow two additional awards.

Any Michigan Tech student interested in exploring a medically related question under the guidance of faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts may apply. Students majoring in any degree program in the college, including both traditional (i.e., biological sciences, kinesiology, chemistry) and nontraditional (i.e., physics, psychology, social science, bioethics, computer science, mathematics) programs related to human health may propose research projects connected to human health. Students are encouraged to propose original, stand-alone projects with expected durations of 6 – 12 months. The committee also encourages applications from CSA students who seek to continue research projects initiated through other campus mechanisms, such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Pavlis Honors College activities or the Graduate Research Forum (GRF).

Funds from a Songer Award may be used to purchase or acquire research materials and equipment needed to perform the proposed research project. Access to and research time utilizing University core research facilities, including computing, may be supported. Requests to acquire a personal computer will be scrutinized and must be fully justified. Page charges for publications also may be covered with award funds, as will travel to appropriate academic meetings. This award may not be used for salary or compensation for the student or consulting faculty.

To apply:

  • Students should prepare a research project statement (up to five pages in length) that describes the background, methods to be used, and research objectives. The statement also should provide a detailed description of the experiments planned and expected outcomes. Students must indicate where they will carry out their project and attach a separate list of references/citations to relevant scientific literature.
  • The application package also should provide a concise title and brief summary (1 page) written for lay audiences.
  • A separate budget page should indicate how funds will be used.
  • A short letter from a consulting faculty member must verify that the student defined an original project and was the primary author of the proposal. The faculty member should also confirm her/his willingness to oversee the project. This faculty letter is not intended to serve as a recommendation on behalf of the student’s project.

Submit applications as a single PDF file to the Office of the College of Sciences and Arts by 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 22. Applications may be emailed to djhemmer@mtu.edu.

The selection committee will consist of Matthew Songer, Laura Songer, Shekhar Joshi (BioSci) and Megan Frost (KIP). The committee will review undergraduate and graduate proposals separately and will seek additional comments about the proposed research on an ad-hoc basis from reviewers familiar with the topic of the research proposal. Primary review criteria will be the originality and potential impact of the proposed study, as well as its feasibility and appropriateness for Michigan Tech’s facilities.

The committee expects to announce the recipients by early May of 2019. This one-time research award will be administered by the faculty advisor of the successful student investigator. Students will be expected to secure any necessary IRB approval before funds will be released. Funds must be expended by the end of spring semester 2020; extensions will not be granted. Recipients must submit a detailed report to the selection committee, including a description of results and an accounting of finds utilized, no later than June 30, 2020.

Any questions may be directed to Megan Frost (mcfrost@mtu.edu), David Hemmer (djhemmer@mtu.edu) or Shekhar Joshi (cpjoshi@mtu.edu).


Sign Up for Computer Programming Lessons

Young students sitting at computersThe Department of Computer Science at Michigan Tech is offering local middle and high school students hands-on instruction in the basics of computer programming and computer science. Copper Country Coders meets each Saturday during the academic year from 1 to 3 p.m., starting this Saturday (Sept. 15) at Rekhi Hall, room 112.

Computer Science faculty and students will teach the fundamentals of programming, starting with simple languages like HTML and Scratch and progressing to the well-known and widely used Java language.

Beginning students use their new programming skills to create their own games and computer art. They also get exposure to physical applications of programming, such as mobile computing, microcontrollers and 3D printing.

We ask for a suggested donation of $60 to help pay for student teachers and computer access. To register or for more information, contact Charles Wallace, 7-3431.


Code Ninjas Programming Workshop for Middle School Girls

The Code Ninjas Workshop for middle school girls is June 18 – 23. Code Ninjas is for girls interested in programming computers, making websites and helping everyone use technology.

Presenting the workshop are Sarah Larkin-Driscoll, a second-year student and Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel, an incoming freshman. Both are from the Computer Science Department.

Are you interested in web design? Building smartphone apps? Programming a video game? Do you wonder what it might be like to be color-blind? What about someone who can’t comfortably tap on an iPhone? How can computers help a speech-impaired person talk?

Join us for a week-long workshop where girls grades 6 – 9 explore, design and program web pages and apps for special needs groups.

Make a web page with special settings for color-blind users. Explore using a mobile device from an elderly person’s point of view. Program a video game and then make your own custom controls. Make a web-based game with custom links and resizable text. Learn about careers in game development, web design and usability testing. Meet other girls interested in computing. Tour a research lab where people use computers to create better lives.

Workshop Dates:

  • June 18: noon – 3:30 p.m. Web Design Basics
  • June 19: noon – 3:30 p.m.  Web Design for the Visually Impaired
  • June 20: noon – 3:30 p.m. Web Design for Mobile Devices
  • June 21: noon – 3:30 p.m. Game design for special needs
  • June 22: noon – 3:30 p.m. Make a game controller
  • June 23: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Design a program of your choice

These workshops are located in Rekhi Hall, room 112. Space is limited, so register for this free workshop by Sunday ( June 10). No prior programming experience is necessary. Questions? Contact aspire-l@mtu.edu

This workshop is sponsored by an AspireIT grant from the National Center for Women & Information Technology and facilitated by the Michigan Technological University Computer Science Department.


Undergraduate Programming Competition Win

18th Annual NMU Invitational Programming Contest Logo with 95 Students, 6 Schools, 34 TeamsComputer science undergraduate students received top honors at the 19th Annual Northern Michigan University Invitational Programming Contest held March 24, 2018. Tony Duda, Justin Evankovich, and Nicholas Muggio took first place; Michael Lay, Parker Russcher, and Marcus Stojcevich took second. Michigan Tech earned the highest program count and No. 1 ranking.

Congratulations!

“We are proud of our students for representing Husky values of possibility and tenacity.” —Min Song, Chair, Computer Science




ICC Distinguished Lecturer Series Tomorrow

ICC_Jie_wuThe Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) will host Jie Wu from 3 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 22) in Rekhi 214.

He will present a lecture titled “Algorithmic Crowdsourcing and Applications in Big Data.” Refreshments will be served. Wu is director of Center for Networked Computing (CNC) and Laura H. Carnell Professor at Temple University. He served as the associate vice provost for International Affairs and chair in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University.

Prior to joining Temple University, he was a program director at the National Science Foundation and was a distinguished professor at Florida Atlantic University. A full bio and abstract can be found online.


Havens and Pinar Present in Naples and Attend Invited Workshop in UK

Timothy Havens
Timothy Havens

Tim Havens (ECE/CS) and Tony Pinar (ECE) presented several papers at the IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems in Naples, Italy. Havens also chaired a session on Innovations in Fuzzy Inference.

Havens and Pinar also attend the Invited Workshop on the Future of Fuzzy Sets and Systems in Rothley, UK. This event invited leading researchers from around the globe for a two-day workshop to discuss future directions and strategies, in particular, to cybersecurity. The event was hosted by the University of Nottingham, UK, and sponsored by the National Cyber Security Centre, part of UK’s GCHQ.