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    Special Recognition for Class of ’21 Applied Computing B.S. Graduates


    The College of Computing has announced the special recognition of eight Class of 2021 graduating seniors in the Applied Computing and Computer Science departments. Please join us in congratulating these exceptional graduates!


    Link to the Computer Science Special Recognition awards.


    Applied Computing


    Link to the Computer Science Special Recognition awards.


    Heather Harris: Outstanding Graduating Senior

    Heather has been an outstanding student ever since she has started at Michigan Tech. She was punctual, rarely missed a class, was a very active participant in class, and never missed an assignment in her EET courses. She also played a major role in the EET Senior Design swingset project. She spent a lot of time on developing the swing and addressing all the comments that were received regarding safety of the final product.


    Charles Warren: Outstanding Graduating Senior

    Charles was an undergraduate studying Computer Network and System Administration and a graduate student pursuing an MS in Cybersecurity. He graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.90 and a departmental GPA of 4.0.

    During his time at Michigan Tech he co-founded a student organization that focused on student-led instruction and research in networking and computing topics. It has grown into an undergraduate, graduate, and alumni organization focused on providing cloud and education services at low to no cost as a Non-profit Organization.

    Charles has also been an instructor with Dr. Guy Hembroff’s State of Michigan’s Career Technical Education (CTE) funding (2018-2021), which provides local high-school students a cybersecurity curriculum at Michigan Tech.

    He is currently working in Palo Alto as a Resident Engineer for security automation. He is a lifelong learner who is always looking to push the boundaries of his industry and to further his own and others’ understanding of topics in computing. His research interests include: cybersecurity, secure design, network security, public key infrastructure (PKI), and Internet of Things (IoT).


    Joseph Barbercheck: Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

    Joe has been a trustworthy and responsible teaching assistant. He has been extremely flexible and has tried his best to help everyone even outside of the scheduled lab times. If a student or a faculty needed extra help, he volunteered his time to make things work.

    Besides being an excellent teaching assistant, he also took good care of equipment in the lab and performed routine maintenance tasks such as changing fuses, ordering parts, and stocking the lab with all the necessary components.


    Stuart Hoxie: Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

    Stuart provided teaching and lab assistance during the Spring 2021 semester for our CNSA and Cybersecurity students in three classes: Microsoft System Administration, Scripting for Automation, Administration, and Security, and Cybersecurity II.

    While Stuart has already proven to be a valuable team member working in groups, the Spring semester was his time to exhibit his strong work ethic while operating independently to assist students with both classroom and laboratory questions and issues.

    The semester was challenging dealing with COVID and remote work, but Stuart took it in stride – remotely assisting students using the virtual cluster for labs, managing emails and the Canvas course sites, making himself available by attending Zoom meetings, all while reviewing and grading student submissions.

    Stuart turned a challenging situation into one of the best semesters for both students and faculty.


    Congratulations Class of 2021!

    It has been a challenging academic year, to say the least. As part of the Class of 2021, you are an exceptional group of graduates. Your final academic year presented you with unforeseen and unprecedented challenges, yet you persevered.

    We are all proud to have mentored, instructed, and supported you on your educational journey. We know you’ll do well. You are a Husky, after all!

    Please stay in touch!


    Computing Programs Ranked Among Best in Nation

    Several Michigan Tech College of Computing degree programs have been ranked among the best in the nation by Intelligent.com. In addition, the research guide ranked the University number three among all colleges in Michigan.

    Intelligent.com looked at nearly 2,300 accredited colleges and universities nationwide making evaluations based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment. Programs were evaluated on a scale of 0 to 100 with Michigan Tech making it to the final list for 12 separate degree programs.

    The four College of Computing programs and their national ranking as rated by Intelligent.com are:

    Additional Michigan Tech degree programs included in the rankings are:


    Briana Bettin, Part II: Research, Mentors, and Creative Energy


    Read Part I: Briana Bettin: Neopets, HTML, Early Success.

    Briana Bettin, front, far right, with fall 2019 Computer Science dept. teaching assistants

    Michigan Tech 2020 Ph.D. graduate Briana Bettin, Computer Science, is among six new faculty members the College of Computing welcomed this fall. Bettin is an assistant professor for the Department of Computer Science and the Cognitive and Learning Sciences department.

    This semester, she is teaching courses including CS1121 Introduction to Programming in C/C++, and pursuing research and other projects with faculty and students.

    In this, Part II of this profile of Briana Bettin, Bettin and her faculty mentors talk research, education, and novel ideas.

    Read the first installment of this article, ‘Briana Bettin, Asst. Prof., Part I: Neopets, HTML, Early Success Part I”, published Oct. 28, 2020, here.

    Mental models, constructing knowledge, programming analogies.

    Briana Bettin’s research interests are many. They include user experience, human factors, human-computer interactions, mental models, information representation, rural digital literacy, education, engagement, retention, and digital anthropology. Her Ph.D. dissertation aims to better understand how novice programmers approach learning programming, and how their construction of programming ideas might be better facilitated.

    “I delve into mental models research and explore theories for how students might construct knowledge,” she explains. “Specifically, the major studies in my dissertation explore how prior applicable knowledge might allow for transfer to programming concepts, which can feel very novel to students who have never programmed before.”

    Bettin is also exploring methods for designing programming analogies, testing their application in the classroom, and observing how their use may impact student understanding of specific topics. “I take a very user experience-oriented approach, and work to apply methods and ideas from user-experience research in the CS classroom space,” she says.

    Creative energy, insight, and humanity.

    With Computer Science department faculty members Associate Professor Charles Wallace and Assistant Professor Leo Ureel, Bettin has worked on projects studying how novice programmers communicate. She and Ureel also worked on several ideas in the introductory CS classrooms, including exploring pair programming obstacles in the classroom and in research.

    “I got to know Dr. Wallace during my Ph.D., and I love getting his perspective on research ideas,” Bettin says. “He has so many interesting ideas, and he’s so fun to talk to!”

    “Briana brings loads of creative energy, insight, and humanity to everything she does,” says Wallace. “We are very fortunate to have her with us.”

    Passionate about Computing Education.

    Other research collaborators include Lecturer Nathan Manser, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and Senior Lecturer Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Engineering Fundamentals, College of Engineering, with whom Bettin has explored topics in technology acceptance across engineering and computer science.

    “Briana has been an enthusiastic addition to our research group,” Jarvie-Eggart says, who is working with Steelman and Wallace on improving engineering students’ acceptance of programming. “She really is amazing!”

    Jarvie-Eggart sat in on Bettin’s Intro to Programming class in fall 2019, and noted that Bettin’s. approach of teaching algorithmic thinking and logic—before students begin programming—helps make programming more accessible to all.

    “It builds foundational knowledge from the ground up,” she says. “Our research team is very excited about using her progressive CS education approaches to teach engineers programming.”

    Stefka Hristova, in Michigan Tech Humanities, has always been supportive, helping me cultivate an interdisciplinary research vision and voice,” Bettin says. “Dr. Robert Pastel has also been so valuable in helping me approach my research with strong design. He has given me a lot of insight and I am so appreciative!”

    “Briana is passionate about Computing Education, and she is invested in infusing equity and diversity into the STEM field,” Hristova says.



    College of Computing Welcomes Six New Faculty Members

    The Michigan Tech College of Computing welcomed six new faculty members this fall to the Departments of Applied Computing and Computer Science.

    College of Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick says the new hires reflect the early growth of the new College, which was launched July 1, 2019.

    “We are thrilled to welcome these six talented new faculty members,” Minerick says. “Even amid the challenges we are all facing, our proactive recruitment and retention activities are making a difference.”

    Assistant Professor Briana Bettin, Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan Tech. She is also an affiliated assistant professor for the Cognitive and Learning Sciences department. Bettin’s research interests include user experience; human factors; human-computer interactions; mental models; information representation; rural digital literacy; education, engagement, and retention; and digital anthropology. Bettin is a member of the ICC’s Computing Education Center.

    Assistant Professor Sidike Paheding, Applied Computing, has a Ph.D. in eelectrical engineering from University of Dayton, Ohio. Prior to joining Michigan Tech Paheding was a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University Northwest. His research interests include image/video processing, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and remote sensing. Paheding is a member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences.

    Assistant Professor Junqiao Qiu, Computer Science, has a
    Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from University of California Riverside. His research focuses on parallel computing, programming systems, and compiler optimization. Qiu is a member of the ICC’s Center for Scalable Architectures and Systems.

    Assistant Professor Ashraf Saleem, Applied Computing, has a Ph.D. in mechatronics engineering from DeMontfort University, UK. He comes to Michigan Tech from the electrical and computer engineering department at Sultan Qaboos University, where he served the mechatronics engineering program. Ashraf will be on campus starting in the spring 2021 semester.

    Saleem’s research interests are in autonomous systems, vision-based unmanned vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, control of Piezoelectric actuator, and servo-pneumatic systems.

    Assistant Professor Leo Ureel, Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan Tech. He has been teaching at the college level for 10 years, and has over 20 years of industry experience. Ureel is also coordinator of the College of Computing Learning Center. Ureel is a member of the ICC’s Computing Education Center.

    Ureel’s research focuses on a constructionist approach to introductory computer science that leverages code critiquers to motivate students to learn computer programming. His
    areas of expertise include software engineering, computer science education, and intelligent tutoring systems.

    Assistant Professor Brian Yuan, Applied Computing and Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Florida. His areas of expertise include machine learning, security and privacy, and cloud computing. Yuan is a member of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity and Center for Data Sciences.


    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.