Category: News

Computer Science Groups to Participate in Campus World Usability Day Events

World Usability Day (WUD) is an annual event highlighting the importance of humans as participants in technology. In a world where basic infrastructures (including health, education and finance) depend on rapidly changing technologies, World Usability Day organizers call for ways to serve people first.

We are taking the spirit of WUD to the Upper Peninsula with WUD-UP. If you are interested in research, education or service that is associated with human factors, human-centered design, usability, ergonomics or other fields related to humans and technology, you are invited to attend.

Here’s what’s on tap for WUD-UP on Thursday, Nov. 13:

9:30-11a.m.: Tour of the Mind Music Machine Lab

  • Meese Building: Indoor wayfinding for the blind; Brain-computer interfaces; Interactive robots for children with autism; Advanced auditory menus
  • MEEM 128: Driving research
  • EERC 510: Immersive interactive sonification

11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Open House, Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE)

Rekhi 116: Join HIDE members for an open house, which will feature a driving simulator and a new technology that will soon be competing for our attention—the Google Glass.

2-3 p.m.: Lab Tours, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (begins at the SDC ticket counter)

  • Exercise Physiology Lab: Come try the cycling workstation (integrated exercise bike and computer desk), designed to facilitate increased physical activity and recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Neuromechanics Lab: Get a free report on your segmental body composition, muscle strength and power. You can compare your strength and power with Michigan Tech student-athletes, and you will find our players are very powerful!
  • Integrative Physiology Lab: Research in this lab primarily focuses on neural control of circulation in humans. These studies aim to better understand the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and orthostatic hypotension, with the goal of uncovering methods for reducing their incidence.

7-8:30 p.m.: “Cyber-Seniors” Screening and Discussion

East Reading Room, Van Pelt and Opie Library: A humorous and heartwarming feature documentary, “Cyber-Seniors” adds to the important international conversation about the growing generation gap. Focusing on a group of senior citizens who take their first steps into cyberspace under the tutelage of teenage mentors, the film expertly renders a thought-provoking look at a spirited group of men and women who are enriched by digitally reconnecting with their families and each other. Finding their footing rather quickly, the group moves on to compete for the most YouTube views while swiftly building their online inventory of friends.

Following the screening, we will have a discussion of the Cyber-Seniors project and ideas for implementation in the Copper Country. Teachers from the Copper Country Intermediate School District and members of Michigan Tech’s Breaking Digital Barriers group will participate.

From Tech Today, November 11, 2014

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Making energy efficient in the UP

Abhilash Kantamneni, a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate, presented research on solar energy in the Upper Peninsula at the Solar Powering Michigan conference. See the complete Michigan Land Use Institute article here.

Also, see the October 2, 2014 Keweenaw Now article about Abhilash Kantamneni’s community presentation at the Keweenaw Research Center.

Kantamneni was also featured in the October 6, 2014 article in Midwest Energy News where he discusses renewable energy options. Kantamneni’s work in solar energy with Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center has led to a Federal Economic Development Assistance grant in collaboration with CUPPAD. See the associated TV interview about the grant.

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Copper Country Middle & High School Students: Sign Up for Free Computer Programming Lessons

The Department of Computer Science is offering local students free, hands-on instruction in the basics of computer programming and computer science.

Starting Sept. 13, Copper Country Programmers meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays during the academic year at the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Computer Science faculty and students will teach the fundamentals of programming, starting with simple languages like HTML and BASIC 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.

Advanced students can get involved in competitive programming, including the American Computer Science League and Michigan Tech’s famous BonzAI Brawl competition.

CC Programmers continues through late April. Organizers also plan to schedule an additional after-school meeting during the week.

PhD student John Earnest, Lecturer Leo Ureel and Associate Professor Charles Wallace lead the CC Programmers effort. “We also appreciate the work of our volunteer assistants, and we encourage more individuals from the Michigan Tech community to get involved,” said Wallace.

To register or for more information, contact Wallace at wallace@mtu.edu, 487-3431.

From Tech Today

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Computer Science Student Pursues Peace Corps Master’s

Science and technology are transforming the way we live, and Tim Ward is working to make sure this transformation reaches everyone. Tim is the first student to pursue the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) in Computer Science at Michigan Tech, working in the remote Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Students in the program take courses on campus during the first year of the program, then they spend two years in the Peace Corps applying their knowledge within their Peace Corps community. You can read more about Tim and his work at his blog.

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Using “Superior” Supercomputer for Advanced Research

Michigan Tech is home to a supercomputer known as “Superior” and this computer is used for a variety of projects by research faculty right here in the Department of Computer Science:

Laura Brown, Towards a reliable method for comparing large scale machine learning algorithms

Ali Ebnenasir, Computational synthesis of self-stabilizing protocols

Chaoli Wang, High-performance parallel analysis and visualization of Big Data

Read more at insideHPC.

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