Category: Outreach

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.


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.


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.


Huskies to Serve as Virtual K-12 Tutors

July 8, 2020

by Kari Henquinet, Pavlis Honors College, Social Sciences

When the COVID-19 pandemic began this spring, it rapidly affected every facet of life, including the lives of K-12 students and families across the country when schools began closing. Schools changed gears to provide virtual and remote education almost overnight, a major challenge for teachers, students and parents alike. At the same time as universities closed, Michigan Tech students also found themselves stuck at home with plenty of their own on-line class work, but still wondering how they could help the community. As Tech students, faculty, and alumni brainstormed and connected with local educators for advice, Tech Tutors — a free, virtual tutoring program for K-12 students — was born.

Connecting on Zoom, Elise Cheney-Makens (alum and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Pavlis Honors College), Lydia Savatsky (undergraduate), and Charles Fugate (alum) worked together to quickly roll out the Tech Tutors program in a matter of weeks. By early May, the program was up and running.

Tech Tutors allows Michigan Tech students to volunteer while staying home to keep their families, friends, and communities safe. Volunteer tutors and K-12 students meet virtually through programs like Zoom. Participants range in age from first grade up through high school, and tutors help their students with everything from solving basic math problems to learning the principles of acids and bases by dipping oranges in baking soda or diving into the complex scientific and social implications of the pandemic. Currently, participating students come from throughout the Western UP, and tutors are able to work with any students and families interested in tutoring.

The benefits of Tech Tutors extend far beyond helping with subjects like English, science, and math. While completing schoolwork and traditional learning are essential parts of the program, equally important is tutors mentoring and building connections with their students. At a time when many people — K-12 students, families, and college students alike — have had their normal routines and lives interrupted, building connections with new people, supporting one another, and learning from new perspectives is more valuable than ever before.

Created by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in the Pavlis Honors College, the Tech Tutors program will begin operating this fall under the Center for Educational Outreach at Michigan Tech and the program will continue to help K-12 students — and provide opportunities for Michigan Tech students to give back — as we navigate what school and life look like during the ever-changing COVID-19 world.

More information about Tech Tutors and how to get involved is available on its website and the Global and Community Engagement blog.

https://blogs.mtu.edu/global-community-engagement/
https://sites.google.com/mtu.edu/techtutors/home

A Message from Adrienne Minerick, Dean

Dear Computing Alumni and Friends,

This has been a tumultuous time for our society and for the Michigan Tech family. As the implications of COVID have unfolded, our College of Computing teams have strategized and adapted to do things differently/better with fewer resources. As our country has grappled with racism, we have leveraged this to educate ourselves on systemic racism within the academy and what we can do to improve our classrooms and community here at Michigan Tech. R


Read the May 2020 College of Computing Newsletter here.

In the last CC newsletter, I mentioned how proud I was of our students. I’d like to shift the spotlight to talk about how proud I am of our faculty. With the rapid shift to remote instruction in the spring semester, we recognized we needed to learn skills to maintain and even enhance the learning experience for our students.

By the end of the summer, nearly all of our faculty will have gone the extra mile by completing a 3-credit course on online instruction. Our team members did this because they believe strongly in protecting the quality of our Michigan Tech computing degrees as well as the importance of enabling accessibility of the learning resources for all students having a myriad of resources/infrastructure for their learning in these unprecedented times.

The following outstanding accolade demonstrates just how far our faculty went for our students (and how it will be even better in the fall): At the end of the spring semester, a survey was conducted by the Provost’s office in which one-third of MTU students participated. Nearly 90% of our CC faculty were rated “excellent” by students for their on-line teaching efforts. We are planning for face to face and remote classes in the fall, and our exceptional faculty will be at the forefront of innovation and quality in the MTU Flex framework.

On July 1, the College of Computing turned 1 year old! Our team has participated in numerous discussions, negotiations, and changes over the last year to stand up a fully functional new college with student enrollment growth and expansion of degree programs.

We launched two new degrees (BS Cybersecurity, MS Mechatronics), had a third one approved (BS Mechatronics starts Fall 2020), formed the new Department of Applied Computing, selected key individuals to help lead each department (Dr. Linda Ott and Dr. Dan Fuhrmann), to strategically lead research (Dr. Tim Havens), as well as curriculum enhancements and innovations (Dr. Chuck Wallace).

We have organized a well-functioning staff team with superb advisors providing meaningful support to students. We continue to advance quickly with six new faculty starting in Fall 2020 and the search for the new Dean actively moving forward.

The College of Computing and our students, faculty, and staff are doing phenomenal things to prevail in these challenging times.

Best regards,

Adrienne Minerick, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Computing
President-Elect, American Society for Engineering Education (www.ASEE.org)


Free Virtual Computing Workshop for Girls, Grades 6-10

The College of Computing Department of Computer Science invites girls in grades six through 10 to join a virtual workshop in which participants will explore, design, and program web pages and data analysis programs, while tracing how data flows through our daily lives.

The free workshop will take place Monday through Friday, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., July 13 through August 14, via online Zoom meeting. Space is limited, so register by July 7. Prior programming experience is not necessary.

Workshop presenters are third year Computer Science undergraduate Sarah Larkin-Driscoll (pictured above), and second-year Computer Science student Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel (pictured below). Email aspire-l@mtu.edu with questions.

Workshop Description

Why do people collect data? How is data collected? What kinds of things can you learn from data? What is wrong with the chart on this flyer? Join us on Zoom to learn about data collection and privacy while building your own website, designing a poll, analyzing collected data, and learning about cryptography.

In the Code Ninjas workshop participants answer these questions while they:

  • Build their own websites
  • Explore how to set and remove cookies
  • Design a survey and learn how polling agencies choose what questions to ask
  • Write a program to analyze a data set and present a summary
  • Learn about data privacy laws
  • Learn about cryptography and write secret code
  • Learn about opportunities and careers in data science, web development, and other computing fields
  • Meet other girls interested in computing

Class Schedule

Week 1: Basics of Data, HTML, & Cookies
Week 2: Data Collection
Week 3: Data Analysis
Week 4: Data Storage & Encryption
Week 5: Project Week

Workshop Sponsors

The Code Ninjas Workshop is sponsored by an AspireIT grant from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and facilitated by the Michigan Tech Department of Computer Science.


Dan Madrid ’10, CNSA, Elected to Alumni Board

Daniel Madrid ’10, Computer Network and Systems Administration, of Livonia, Mich., has been elected to a six-year term on the Michigan Tech Alumni Board of Directors effective July 1, 2020, the Office of Alumni Relations has announced.

Madrid is a product manager in the Mobility Products Solutions: Connected Vehicle unit of Ford Motor Company, where he has worked for nine years. He is also a member of Ford’s Michigan Tech Recruiting team.

The Alumni Board is a group of volunteers elected from around the country. Board members work with the Alumni Engagement team to develop and support programs for students and alumni.

Learn more about Dan Madrid and his wife Kaylee in these Michigan Tech posts and articles:
https://www.mtu.edu/magazine/2017-1/stories/alumni-engagement/
https://www.mtu.edu/magazine/2015-2/stories/something-borrowed/
https://www.mtu.edu/techalum/issue/april-25-2017-vol-23-no-17/network-mentor-connect-volunteer/
https://blogs.mtu.edu/alumni/2020/02/10/cool-hobbies/

View Dan Madrid’s LinkedIn page here.

The additional new members are:
• Arick Davis ’15, Electrical Engineering, Grand Rapids, MI
• Darwin Moon ’79, Mechanical Engineering, Madison, AL
• Peter Moutsatson ’88, Mechanical Engineering, Manassas, VA
• Drew Vettel ’05 ‘06, Mechanical Engineering, Sheboygen Falls, WI
• Brandon Williams ’00, Electrical Engineering, San Diego, CA

Alumni Board Elections are held in even-numbered years, but nominations are continuously open. Learn more about the Michigan Tech Alumni Board of Directors here.


IGSC3 Hosting Conversation Circle Thursdays, 10 am

Michigan Tech Graduate and Undergraduate Students

The International Graduate Student Communication and Culture Center (IGSC3) is hosting a weekly Conversation Circle on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. through June 26, 2020.

The aim of the conversation circles is to give international students opportunities to practice conversational English in an informal setting.

International students will discuss a range of topics selected by IGSC3 coaches, as well as students. Topics often include American culture, popular culture, travel, and history.

The meetings will be hosted through an online Zoom meeting. Sign up to participate here.


MTU’s Adrienne Minerick Elected to Lead Engineering Educators

by Allison Mills, University Marketing and Communications

Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing, is president-elect of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She will serve as president-elect from June 2020 to June 2021, a year that will surely be shaped by COVID-19 response efforts and their impacts on education, engineering industries and student lives. She will serve as president from June 2021 to June 2022, and as past-president the following year.

“ASEE is the place where engineering and engineering technology educators plan for the futures our students will encounter,” Minerick said. “I am able, willing and ready to help seed conversations that enable engineering professionals to leverage the rapid growth in computing and cybertechnologies to ensure our students engineer a bright future.”

Diversity in engineering education is key, she added. “Study after study, many by ASEE authors, has shown that increasing diversity of teams decreases engineering failures. We are in an exciting time when traditional engineering and educational practices are being re-examined from additional — and different — perspectives.”

Drawing on her research experience in microfluidics, her leadership in the College of Computing and championship of the ADVANCE program, Minerick plans to shift the governance mindset to encourage engineering access and mobility of ideas.

“I am thrilled that Adrienne will be following me as president-elect and then president of ASEE. Two women from Michigan Tech for two years in a leadership role at ASEE is fantastic,” said Sheryl Sorby, ASEE’s next president and professor in the Engineering Education Innovation Center at Ohio State University, who formerly taught in Michigan Tech’s Engineering Fundamentals program. “Adrienne shows steady, solid leadership and is insightful and visionary. She is someone who gets things done!”

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news and learn more about Michigan Tech’s contributions to ASEE.