Category: Applied Computing

Copper Country Coders Is Back in New Online Format

The Copper Country Coders program is back for the 2020-2021 academic year — in a new all-online format.

The fall kick-off meeting will take place at 1:00 p.m., this Saturday, September 26, 2020. Both students and their parents should attend the first meeting. Find the Zoom link here.

All local middle and high school students are invited to participate in the program, for which Michigan Tech students lead small courses in programming and computer science for all levels of experience.

Copper Country Coders meets online on Saturdays, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m, in the fall and spring semesters. All meetings are conducted through the Zoom videoconferencing application.

“We have an enthusiastic and creative team of tutors, and we are looking forward to another year of learning and having fun,” says Associate Professor Chuck Wallace, Computer Science, the faculty advisor to the group.

Parents are asked to make a contribution to help support Copper Country Coders and the Michigan Tech student tutors. The suggested minimum donation is $60 per semester, but parents may contribute according to what they can afford.

For additional information, please visit the Copper Country Coders website. Parents and students are welcome to email Charles Wallace directly at wallace@mtu.edu with questions.


Dan Fuhrmann Contributes Paper to Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report

How should companies prepare in 2020 and beyond for the worldwide digital transformation and position themselves for long-term strategic success?

Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, “Seeing Industry 4.0 Through a 2020 Lens,” recently published, explores this question in a series of new case studies and white papers that explore new trends in Industry 4.0, with the aim of helping businesses stay informed about all things digital. The articles in the report were written in collaboration with academic and industry leaders.

An article contributed by Dan Fuhrmann, interim chair of the Department of Applied Computing, “Michigan Tech Launches New College of Computing,” is included in the report. View and download a PDF of the article below.

Fuhrmann’s paper shares the history and rationale for Michigan Tech’s new College of Computing, and discusses recent College outreach that encourages and facilitates a holistic vision of computing across the disciplines that mirrors the reality of today’s Industry 4.0 workplace.

Download

“I am impressed by Automation Alley’s vision to bring Industry 4.0 thinking to manufacturers in Michigan and the upper Midwest,” notes Fuhrmann. “They have identified eight key technologies that they believe will revolutionize business as we know it: artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, modeling and simulation, robotics, the Internet of Things, and additive manufacturing.” ()

“Many of these topics are being pursued in the College of Computing and elsewhere at Michigan Tech,” Fuhrmann notes. “In fact, Automation Alley has a graphic depicting these technologies that I have ‘borrowed’ liberally for my own presentations about where we are headed.”

“The opportunities associated with Industry 4.0 are enormous,” agrees Adrienne Minerick, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Computing. “The technological advancements of recent decades provide industry with great opportunities for growth, but this is also a time of profound uncertainty for business leaders and the global workforce as we face new challenges, including the enormous amounts of data we are collecting, disruptive and sophisticated cyber threats, and the impact and fallout of coronavirus, the worst pandemic of our lifetimes.”

The relationship between Michigan Tech and Automation Alley is also important to Michigan Tech’s strategy to expand research and development at the University that enhances and supports the capabilities of the U.S. manufacturing industry, says Jacob Manchester, associate director of corporate research in the Vice President for Research office at Michigan Tech.

“In addition to the potential to solve specific challenges through direct partnerships with Automation Alley membership, the connections to these manufacturers provides valuable networking opportunities for our faculty and researchers,” Manchester explains. “This can be key to building successful collaborations on federal research funding opportunities that address broader societal challenges as we embrace a future manufacturing environment defined by Industry 4.0,”

Fuhrmann says that the COO of Automation Alley, Pavan Muzumdar, visited Michigan Tech in 2019 to help facilitate early conversations about forming the College of Computing. More recently, Automation Alley has expressed interest in serving on a College of Computing external advisory board.

“There are tremendous opportunities for Michigan Tech in engaging with the Automation Alley and their network of small- and medium-sized Michigan manufacturers,” Fuhrmann says. “I will continue to pursue those relationships in my role in Applied Computing and as part of the Tech Forward initiative.

Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (MHUB) and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center located in Troy, Michigan.

Michigan Tech is a member of Automation Alley.

The full Automation Alley 2020 Technology in Industry Report is available for purchase and download here; an executive summary can be downloaded on the same page.


Computer Science, Software Engineering B.S. Programs Granted ABET Accreditation

The Computer Science and Software Engineering bachelor of science programs in the Michigan Tech College of Computing have recently been granted ABET accreditations through ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) and its Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC), respectively.

ABET accreditation, which is voluntary, provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates.

The Computer Science and Software Engineering ABET accreditations join two additional College of Computing ABET-accredited undergraduate programs: Computer Network and System Administration and Electrical Engineering Technology.

The announcement follows an 18-month ABET accreditation process, which included an in-depth self-study and report and an on-site visit from the ABET review team, which occurred in fall 2019. A lengthy readiness review was also prepared by the Computer Science department prior to the start of the accreditation process.

“I am grateful to all the faculty, staff, and students, as well as our alumni and advisory board members, who participated in this process,” says Department Chair Linda Ott, Computer Science. “It is time-consuming, but well worth the effort, to give our students even greater assurance that they are getting the quality education that they deserve and expect from us.”

“Linda, Nilufer Onder, Chuck Wallace, and so many others contributed to this accomplishment,” says College of Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick. “This accreditation status is one of many quality indicators that potential employers can use to assess the breadth and depth of our graduates’ knowledge.”

Associate Professor Nilufer Onder is the undergraduate program director for the Department of Computer Science. Associate Professor Charles Wallace, Computer Science, is the College of Computing’s Associate Dean for Curriculum and Instruction.

“With these accreditations, prospective and current students and their parents know that our programs are rigorous, and that our high quality curricula embrace continuous improvement,” says Minerick. “It reaffirms that as the Computing fields evolve, so do College of Computing academic programs.”

“The self-study process at the heart of accreditation is laborious and no one’s idea of a good time,” shares Wallace. “But the results of that intensive reflection have already led to constructive changes in our Computer Science and Software Engineering curricula. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues Nilufer Onder, Zhenlin Wang, Gorkem Asilioglu, and James Walker in pushing the process through to completion.”

“It is fantastic to see that ABET has recognized what we have known all along: Michigan Tech’s Computer Science and Software Engineering programs meet the highest quality standards and are committed to continuous improvement,” says Leonard Bohmann, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. “Students, and the companies that hire them when they graduate, can be confident that their Michigan Tech education meets exacting global standards in these high-tech fields.”

“Our graduates have always been in high demand by industry,” Ott confirms. “The ABET focus on continuous quality improvement, core to the accreditation process, further ensures that our graduates’ knowledge and skills will continue to meet industry’s expectations into the future.”

The Computer Science and Software Engineering undergraduate programs were offered through the College of Engineering prior to the establishment of the College of Computing in July 2019.

“ABET accreditation demonstrates the direct involvement of faculty and staff in the self-assessment and continuous quality improvement processes, and validates that the pedagogical practices used in Computer Science and Software Engineering courses–and in all courses in ABET-accredited programs–are based upon learning outcomes, rather than teaching inputs,” Bohmann says.

ABET is considered the gold standard of accreditation in engineering and related programs. ABET accreditation has been granted to exceptional academic programs since 1932. (https://www.abet.org)

The Michigan Tech College of Computing, established July 1, 2019, offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in Computer Network and System Administration, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, Health Informatics, Mechatronics, and Software Engineering.


College of Computing Focus of HostingAdvice Article

The College of Computing and the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) are the subjects of an article published today (Sept. 2, 2020) on HostingAdvice.com, a website and blog that educates visitors to the site about the world of web hosting.

The article, for which College of Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick was interviewed, provides a close look at the new College, its well-established Computer Science and Software Engineering degree programs (BS, MS, and Ph.D.), new Cybersecurity and Mechatronics undergraduate programs, as well as faculty research and the ICC.

Special emphasis is placed on the Computer Network and Systems Administration undergraduate degree program, in which students prepare for careers as network and computer systems administrators, commonly referred to as a “sysadmins.”

Read the full article here.

“Our readers know that a lot goes into finding the best providers of shared, dedicated, and virtual private servers,” said Sean Garrity, managing editor at HostingAdvice.com. “The article provides information about how to prepare if you want to to break into the industry as a professional, not just a consumer.”


Yu Cai is PI of 2-year NSA GenCyber Project

Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, a member of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity, is the principal investigator on a two-year project that has received a $99,942 grant from the National Security Agency (GenCyber). The project is titled, “GenCyber Teacher Camp at Michigan Tech. “

Lecturer Tim Van Wagner (AC) and Assistant Professor Bo Chen (CS, DataS) are Co-PIs. Yu Cai will serve as the camp director, Tim Van Wagner as lead instructor.

This GenCyber project aims to host a week-long, residential summer camp for twenty K-12 STEM teachers in 2021 at Michigan Tech. Target educators are primarily from Michigan and surrounding states.

The objectives of the camp are to teach cybersecurity knowledge and safe online behavior, develop innovative teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content, and provide professional development opportunities so participants will return to their home schools with contagious enthusiasm about teaching cybersecurity.

The GenCyber camp will be offered at no cost to camp participants. Room and board will be provided. Teacher participants will receive a stipend of $500 for attending and completing camp activities.

Read about the 2019 Michigan Tech GenCyber camps for teachers and students here.


Curious about Your Computing Professors?


Greetings College of Computing students. Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester.

College of Computing faculty recorded these 25 videos to introduce themselves to you and the College. We hope you’ll take a look.

Your professors share info about their courses and research, the Computing clubs and Enterprise groups they advise, College outreach and volunteering opportunities, and even a little something about themselves. Enjoy.

View all 25 Fall 2020 faculty videos here.

Meet Your Professors in the Michigan Tech College of Computing

Meet Your Professors in the College of Computing


Find contact info for your Computing professors in the Faculty Directory.


New Computing Bits Session is Wednesday, August 5 at 6 pm

A second College of Computing Computing Bits session will take place Wednesday, August 5, at 6:00 p.m. via online Zoom meeting. A link to the event has been emailed to students.

This week’s session will include presentations by two student groups: the cybersecurity RedTeam and the Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE). Following, students are invited to join conversational breakout rooms with College of Computing faculty members, and advisors and representatives from College of Computing student groups. Students may move from room to room according to their interests.

Join the Computing Bits session here.

We really enjoyed visiting with you at the first Computing Bits sessions, so we calibrated content for this next week to emphasize discussion time with faculty. We will also have returning Computing Huskies join in conversations.

New students: This is your chance to ask that question you’ve been wanting to ask–about computing, college, degree programs, careers, snow, pasties — anything!

Dean Adrienne Minerick

At the first Computing Bits session, July 29, 2020, new Assistant Professor Briana Bettin, Computer Science, and Senior Lecturer Todd Arney, Applied Computing discussed introductory Computing courses. Additional presentations included the Copper Country Coders student outreach group and conversations with department chairs Dan Fuhrmann, Applied Computing, and Linda Ott, Computer Science.

Additional Computing Bits sessions will be scheduled in the weeks ahead; topics will be announced in advance. Sessions will include breakout rooms in which faculty members will discuss a unifying topic, such as A.I., cybersecurity, health informatics, or even “what do I need to know about computers before I start?”


ICC Announces Computing Education Center

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) has announced the addition of the Computing Education Center (CEC). Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, is director of the new center.

“A special thanks to Yu Cai for stepping forward to lead this effort,” said Tim Havens, director of the ICC and associate dean for research, College of Computing.

“This has been discussed for a few years, and I’m excited about the group of people that has come together in this center,” Havens added. “I look forward to hearing about their successes.”

The ICC is funded in large part through returns on grant overhead and expenditures (F&A). Commonly called IRAD funds, these quarterly distributions are allocated among the six ICC centers according to their respective research expenditures that quarter.


Weihua Zhou Receives PHF Seed Grant

The Michigan Tech Vice President for Research office has announced the Spring 2020 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards.

Among the recipients is Assistant Professor Weihua Zhou, Applied Computing/Health Informatics, who received a Portage Health Foundation Research Seed Grant.

Zhou’s areas of expertise include image processing and computer vision, machine learning, medical image analysis, health informatics, and text mining.

The proposed project represents Zhou’s continuous research on cardiac resynchronization therapy for patients with heart failure.

His co-investigators are Associate Professor Qing-Hui Chen, M.D., Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, and Timothy Havens, the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor, College of Computing.

Ph.D. candidate Zhuo He, College of Computing, is a research assistant on the project. Rudy Evonich, MD, a cardiologist with the Department of Cardiology at UP Health System Marquette, Mich., is a clinical consultant.

Read the Tech Today announcement here.

Learn more about Michigan Tech REF awards here.


ACT, SAT Waived for Some Applicants

For incoming students next fall, first-year applicants with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.00 or higher will not be required to provide official SAT or ACT scores to receive an admission decision. The domestic application, now available online for spring, summer, and fall 2021 semesters, remains free for all applicants.

The University recognizes that the incoming class of 2021 faced many obstacles, one of which was the postponement or cancellation of spring SAT and ACT examinations, which traditionally trigger the start of the college application process. In Michigan, all high school juniors were scheduled to take the SAT free of charge as part of state assessment testing in April. Due to school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this testing has been postponed until September 23 or October 14—the date of administration to be determined by individual districts.

“Many students wait until they receive their scores before deciding where to apply. The delays in testing would likely push back both the application process and receiving the admission decision until November or December, putting students at a disadvantage for applying for scholarships and federal financial aid,” says Allison Carter, director of admissions operations.

Official SAT or ACT scores will be required for admission purposes for homeschooled students, as well as applicants who have a cumulative high school GPA below 3.00. Additionally, all first-year students who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships must submit official test scores. Student athletes are required to submit official test scores per NCAA eligibility requirements.

“We’re excited about this change, especially when you consider the access it provides to students who do well academically but may test below their potential due to a variety of factors,” states Carter. “The response from families about this change for 2021 has been very positive. We’ve been able to keep student excitement about Michigan Tech high and the stress associated with the college application process low.”

Applicants will be reviewed individually based on high school academic performance, including courses taken, grades received, and trend in grades relative to their intended major. Test scores will be taken into consideration for those required to submit them or who wish to supplement their application.

Read a July 1, 2020, Tech Today article about this here.