Category: News

Faculty Candidate Lan Zhang to Present Lecture February 5

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Lan Zhang on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem. Sci. 101. Zhang’s lecture is titled, “Machine Learning Enabled Better Cyber-Physical Systems: A Case Study on Better Networking for Connected Vehicles.”

Bio: Lan Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. She received the B.Eng. and M.S. degrees in telecommunication engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Zhang’s research interest spans across the fields of big data, cyber-physical systems, machine learning, wireless communications, and cybersecurity. She has published 15 technical papers in top-tier journals and conference venues, such as IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Proceedings of the IEEE, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication.

Zhang has served as a technical program committee (TPC) member for several high-quality conferences, such as the 2020 IEEE INFOCOM poster/demo section and the 2018 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications. She also serves as reviewer for several leading journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Computing. Zhang was the speaker at several flagship celebrations and conferences, such as IEEE Global Communications Conference 19, Grace Hopper Celebration 19, and the IEEE International Conference on Communications 19.

Lecture Abstract: With the recent success of big data analytics, machine learning is being used in various Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) applications, such as smart transportation, smart healthcare, and industrial automation. As a highly interdisciplinary field, the CPS applications require the machine learning-enabled wireless communication strategies to facilitate information exchanges, and meanwhile call for secure and private learning pipelines to manage information exchanges.

In her talk, Zhang focuses on connected vehicles, aiming at supporting the demand for multi-Gbps sensory data exchanges through millimeter-wave bands for enhancing (semi)-autonomous driving. Unlike most traditional networking analysis that manipulates end devices to adapt to the transmission environments, i.e., fight against any transmission obstacles, we propose an innovative idea to proactively manipulate, reconfigure, and augment the transmission environments for better communications.

Without damaging the aesthetic nature of environments, we deploy multiple small-piece controllable reflecting surfaces, and adaptively manipulate the angle of the used reflecting surfaces to address the vulnerability of blockages in mmWave vehicular communications by creating alternative indirect line-of-sight connections. To autonomously and efficiently augment the highly dynamic vehicular environments in real-time, deep reinforcement learning techniques are implemented. Effectiveness of our proposal is showcased on the traffic at the City of Luxembourg using a traffic simulation toolkit, Simulation of Urban MObility (SUMO). 


Computing Majors on GLIAC All-Academic Team

Congratulations to College of Computing grad student Bernard Kluskens, Cybersecurity, and senior Robbie Watling, Computer Science, who are among 18 Michigan Tech students recognized on the 2019 GLIAC Men’s Cross Country All-Academic Excellence Team.

Bernard Kluskens

Robbie Watling

Faculty Candidate Fan Chen to Present Lecture February 10

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Fan Chen, Monday, February 10, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem. Sci. 102. Chen’s talk is titled, “Efficient Hardware Acceleration of Unsupervised Deep Learning.”

Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, where she is advised by Professor Yiran Chen and Professor Hai “Helen” Li. Her research interests include computer architecture, emerging nonvolatile memory technologies, and hardware accelerators for machine learning. Fan won the Best Paper Award and the Ph.D. forum Best Poster Award at ASP-DAC 2018. She is a recipient of the 2019 Cadence Women in Technology Scholarship.

Abstract: Recent advances in deep learning are at the core of the latest revolution in various artificial intelligence (AI) applications including computer vision, autonomous systems, medicine, and other key aspects of human life. The current mainstream supervised learning relies heavily on the availability of labeled training data, which is often prohibitively expensive to collect and accessible to only a few industry giants. The unsupervised learning algorithm represented by Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) is seen as an effective technique to obtain a learning representation from unlabeled data. However, the effective execution of GANs poses a major challenge to the underlying computing platform.

In her talk, Chen will discuss her work that devises a comprehensive full-stack solution for enabling GAN training in emerging resistive memory based main memory. A zero-free dataflow and pipelined/parallel training method is proposed to improve resource utilization and computation efficiency. Hao will also introduce an inference accelerator that enables developed deep learning models to run on edge devices with limited resources. Finally, Hao’s lecture will discuss her vision of incorporating hardware acceleration for emerging compact deep learning models, large-scale decentralized training models, and other application areas.


Faculty Candidate Cong “Callie” Hao to Present Lecture February 17

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Cong (Callie) Hao, Monday, February 17, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in Chem Sci 102. Hao’s talk is titled, “NAIS: neural architecture and implementation search.”

Dr. Hao is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), under the supervision of Prof. Deming Chen. She holds a PhD (2017) degree in electrical engineering from Waseda University, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in computer science and engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her research interests include high-performance reconfigurable computing, hardware-aware machine learning and acceleration, electronic design automation (EDA) tools, and autonomous driving.

Abstract: In her talk, Hao introduces a neural network and hardware implementation co-search methodology, named NAIS, to pursue aggregated solutions of high accuracy DNN designs and efficient hardware deployments simultaneously. To enable a comprehensive co-search framework, there are three indispensable components: 1) efficient hardware accelerator design (e.g. FPGA); 2) hardware-aware neural architecture search (NAS); and 3) automatic design tools to quickly deploy DNNs to hardware platforms. I will discuss each component and their integrations to support an efficient and optimal NAIS implementation.


Faculty Candidate Jean Hardy to Present Lecture Feb. 3

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Jean Hardy, Monday, February 3, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in EERC 214. Hardy’s talk is titled “What does community-driven technological development look like in rural Michigan?”

Hardy is PhD candidate and Rackham Merit Fellow in the University of Michigan (UM) School of Information. His research uses ethnographic and participatory design methods to understand how people use information and communication technologies for community formation and economic development in the rural Midwestern United States.

He is the co-organizer of UM’s Rural America Working Group and is affiliated with the UM Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Hardy’s formative work in rural computing has been published in Information, Communication, & Society and the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. He was awarded Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards at CHI 2016 and CSCW 2017, and a Best Provocation award at the 2019 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.

Lecture Abstract: The growth of the digital economy and the adoption of digital technologies continue to be widely regarded as opportunities to shift economic prospects, invigorate communities, and have transformative effects on society as we know it. But, digital technology, and the infrastructure that supports it, is largely designed and built for urban assumptions of scale, connectivity, and density. This presentation asks, what does digital technology and infrastructure look like when it leaves the urban and enters the rural, and how do we respond to the unique digital needs and aspirations of people living in rural communities?

Drawing from ethnographic and participatory design research in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I show how assumptions of growth and scalability built into contemporary social technologies do not reflect the reality of rural communities. I demonstrate how community-based research methods can be used to better understand the aspirations and needs of the people living in rural areas. I argue that the corporate obsession with scalability in contemporary social technologies misplaces opportunity for creative and unique digital tools that can engender a diverse future rural society.


Heather Knewtson to Present Lecture January 31

Heather Knewston

Heather Knewtson, assistant professor of finance in Michigan Tech’s College of Business, will present her lecture, “Toward Understanding FinTech and its Industry,” on Friday, January 31, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. in Rekhi Hall Room 214.

Abstract: We define the term FinTech, differentiating it from financial technology, and use the definition to develop an industry framework. FinTech is a technological innovation that promises a financial market a product or service characterized by sophisticated technology relative to existing technology in that market. The existing FinTech literature is mapped into the FinTech Space, reflecting research on Agile Technologies, the Value of Agile Technologies, FinTech Asset Standards, FinTech Assets, FinTech Services and FinTech Policy and Regulation. These research areas surround FinTech firms and its industry. The Tech Paradigm is proposed to clarify the type of technology needed to qualify as a FinTech firm. We use the definition to identify FinTech firms, and provide a structure for its industry, classifying each type of firm by FinTech characteristics. 

Keywords: algorithmic trading, blockchain, crowdfunding, cryptocurrency, digital bank, distributed ledger technology, FinTech, InsurTech, LendTech, Peer-to-Peer, RegTech, robo-advising 

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Soner Onder and Dave Whalley Investigate Instruction-level Parallelism

From Florida State University News

A Florida State University researcher is working to make computer processors execute applications in a more energy-efficient manner with the help of a new $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Professor Dave Whalley, Florida State University

“The general goal is to increase performance but to do it in a manner that is more energy efficient than the dominant computer processors that are in use today,” Professor of Computer Science David Whalley said.

To do that, Whalley and his colleague Soner Onder, a professor at Michigan Technological University, hope to more efficiently exploit what’s called instruction-level parallelism, or the ability of a computer to simultaneously execute multiple machine instructions.

Professor Soner Onder, Michigan Tech Department of Computer Science
Professor Soner Onder, Michigan Tech Department of Computer Science

“In general, VLIW processors are more energy efficient but cannot approach the performance of OoO processors except in limited domains, such as digital signal processing,” Whalley said.

Whalley’s project, called SCALE for Statically Controlled Asynchronous Lane Execution, is designed to overcome these current limitations. SCALE supports separate execution lanes, so that instructions in separate lanes can execute in parallel and dependencies between instructions in different lanes are identified by the compiler to synchronize these lanes when necessary.

“Providing distinct lanes of instructions allows the compiler to generate code for different modes of execution to adapt to the type of parallelism that is available at each point within an application,” Whalley said.

The grant began this fall and will run through August 2023. Half of the funding will come to Florida State, with the other half supporting Onder’s part of the work at Michigan Technological University. The FSU portion will support two graduate students in computer science.

College of Computing Media Coverage: July-December 2019

The College of Computing is grateful to Michigan Tech’s University Marketing and Communications for the excellent marketing and communications efforts they’ve undertaken on behalf of the  College, which include a digital marketing campaign, a recruitment website, media outreach, and print materials.

Ongoing digital marketing began in September, and College of Computing ads resulted in 5,700+ new users to our webpage: 225 users requested more information, 24 people clicked on Apply Now to begin an application, and 39 scheduled visits. The digital  ads also received more than 500 reactions on social media, including likes, comments, and shares.

A Tomorrow Needs Computing website was also launched. To direct traffic to the site, UMC has run 205 digital ads in Google and 19 ads in Facebook, across all formats and variations.

Media outreach to announce the College’s launch resulted in  20 unique news stories featuring the College and its faculty. These stories were shared on social media by 34 journalists, resulting in a reach of more than 305,000 social media users and more than 140 million unique visitors to the news stories.

Print marketing publications included udates to undergraduate degree info sheets and a mailer sent to peer institutions to elevate awareness and generate buzz within the industry.