Category: Software Engineering

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.


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.”


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?”


Michigan Tech Produces Best Software Engineers in U.S.

Michigan Tech ranks 5th on a list of 13 non-ivy league schools that produce the best software engineers in the U.S., as recently published by DesignRush.

The demand for software developers is steadily increasing, with 21% expected growth from 2018 to 2028. To help industry meet this need, DesignRush has published a list of non-ivy league schools that produce the best software engineers in the U.S.

  1. University of California, Irvine
  2. Stevens Institute of Technology
  3. California Polytechnic State University
  4. Iowa State University
  5. Michigan Technological University
  6. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  7. The University of Texas at Dallas
  8. Drexel University
  9. Auburn University
  10. Miami University
  11. Grantham University
  12. University of Louisiana Lafayette
  13. Robert Morris University

DesignRush.com is a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies. DesignRush features the top agencies around the world, including the best Digital Agencies, Software Developers, Logo Design, Branding, Digital Marketing, Website Design, eCommerce Web Design Companies and more.


Undergraduate Tyler Marenger Earns University Honors

Written by Karen S. Johnson, Communications Director, College of Computing

Tyler Marenger’s career goals include constantly improving himself, facing and overcoming the challenges he encounters along the way. The Michigan Tech Software Engineering undergraduate is making sure he’s prepared.

This spring, Marenger was awarded Michigan Tech University Honors, which recognizes the academic excellence of undergraduates.

Since his enrollment as a first-year student in fall 2017, Marenger, from Gladstone, Mich., has appeared multiple times on the 4.0 Deans’ List and the Deans’ List. In fall 2020 (December), he expects to complete his Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering and a minor in Mathematical Sciences.

Marenger says this recognition on the University Honors list encourages him as he continues on his academic journey and pursues his life goals.

“It is an incredible honor to have such a prestigious University recognize and commemorate me on my accomplishments,” Marenger says. “I also truly appreciate the words of recognition and encouragement from the College of Computing and the Computer Science department. I am proud to say that I am a Michigan Tech Husky.”

University Honors are reserved for degree-seeking students who rank in the top 2 percent of their class and maintain at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA while carrying 12 credits or more for both the fall and spring semesters.

More accolades

In addition to University Honors, Marenger has three times received the Department of Mathematics’ Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Academic Achievement for his performance in the courses MA  2160, Calculus II; MA 3160, Calculus III; and MA 2720, Statistical Methods. For one semester, Marenger was a teaching assistant for MA 3160, Calculus III, grading mathematical essays (write-ups) and student coursework.

Marenger is a three-semester member of the Husky Game Development Enterprise, working with his teammates on the game, “Lost in Mazie Mansion,” which won Honorable Mention honors at this spring’s Design Expo. His primary role on the team is software development, and he also contributes to the design and layout of the game. His team plans to continue development of the game in the fall 2020 semester.

Making time for personal pursuits

Marenger says that by breaking tasks into manageable pieces, he feels he can better manage his time, meet his goals, and make time for personal pursuits. 

“I have found that breaking up my work/studying in order to exercise helps promote a high level of energy and encourages me to complete my workload,” he notes. “Dedicating specific time slots to reduce my workload helps me get done in a timely manner. That way, I can enjoy my personal time exploring my interests or spending time with my friends.”

Marenger identifies his most substantial hobby as fitness, and says he enjoys pushing himself towards self-improvement. He is an avid weightlifter, constantly setting new goals and spending countless hours at the gym. He enjoys outdoor and recreational activities, as well, including jet skiing, dirt biking, hiking, skiing, camping, and fishing. 

Supportive faculty mentors

Both Associate Professor Ali Ebnenasir, Computer Science, and Elizabeth Reed, a former senior lecturer in Michigan Tech’s Department of Mathematics, have been especially supportive regarding Marenger’s academic work, he says.

After finishing his MA 2720, Statistical Methods, course in fall 2018—with an outstanding final grade—and earning the Mathematics department’s Certificate of Merit—Marenger shares that in an email Reed extended congratulations and best wishes, encouraging Marenger to seek a minor in Mathematical Sciences and offering to write a reference letter.

And shortly after completing the senior-level CS 4710, Model-Driven Software Development class in spring 2020, Marenger recalls that Ebnenasir both congratulated him on his performance in that class, and encouraged him to consider continuing his education beyond the bachelor of science.  CS 4710 focuses on mathematical methods for the design and verification of software systems. Marenger has since shared his resume with Ebnenasir, and earlier this summer they discussed Michigan Tech’s Computer Science Ph.D. program and funding and research opportunities.

“In spring 2020, Tyler demonstrated excellent performance in solving individual assignments, as well as professionalism in group projects,” Ebnenasir confirms, noting Marenger’s positive attitude towards learning new topics.

“Tyler is meticulous and hardworking, and I also I am sure that he will be a star if he maintains and improves his outstanding self-discipline and perseverance,” Ebnenasir says. “Good luck Tyler, and we hope to see you back for your Ph.D. at Michigan Tech in the future!”

Collaborations in software development

Marenger clearly excels at learning and mastering the ideas and content in his Computer Science courses. He says he especially enjoyed CS 4760, User Interface Design and Implementation, for which he and his CS 4760 team developed an application for use with the Micro:bit Web USB Grapher device, part of a teaching tool and curriculum aid already widely used for computing-related learning by K-12 teachers and students.

Marenger and his team reasoned that since the Micro:bit pocket-sized computer can record data through a variety of sensors, this capability, along with its board sensors and its extensibility, could also be used to augment classroom science demonstrations.

“Our application is designed to take the data that the pocket-sized Micro:bit provides and display it on one or more graphs,” Marenger explains. “The application graphs, manipulates, and saves data collected on the Micro:bit, which will help expose K-12 students to computing and programming principles while they learn about a wide variety of scientific phenomena.”

The team’s development and deployment of their React.js application was accomplished in collaboration with the Michigan Tech Humanities department, the Michigan Tech Graduate School, and Bill Siever, a teaching professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at Washington University of St. Louis, Mo.

Building the future

Looking forward, Marenger says he will continue furthering his education and building his software development skills. 

“I plan to constantly educate myself on new and upcoming technologies so that I can pursue advancements in the field of computer science,” he confirms. “I want to gather as much industry knowledge as I can so that one day, I can take on project leadership roles or develop a product of my own that I can manage and promote.”


More Achievements for MTU RedTeam

The MTU RedTeam ranked 13th out of 162 teams in a recent 24-hour Cybar OSINT Capture The Flag (CTF) cybersecurity competition. The team finished tied for 5th place, having completed all the challenges presented by the competition.

Students on the team were Trevor Hornsby (Software Engineering), Shane Hoppe (Computer Science), Matthew Chau (Cybersecurity), Steven Whitaker (Electrical Engineering), and Sankalp Shastry (Electrical Engineering).

Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, and Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science, are advisor and co-advisor of RedTeam, respectively.

RedTeam promotes a security-driven mindset among Michigan Tech students and provides a community and resource for those wishing to learn more about information security. The RedTeam competes in National Cyber League (NCL) competitions, a great way for students to gain competency in cybersecurity tools and boost their resumes.

RedTeam is on Slack at mturedteam.slack.com. Interested students can sign up with a Michigan Tech email. View past RedTeam presentations here.

This OSINT CTF is non-theoretical and contestants work in teams of up to four members to crowdsource the collection of OSINT to assist law enforcement in generating new leads on missing persons.

The contest runs as a Capture the Flag (CTF) format where contestants must collect various “flags” which equate to points. Since the each flag submitted is treated as potential “net new intelligence”, Trace Labs has a team of volunteers known as “Judges” who validate each submission and award points if the flag meets the category requirements. At the end of each CTF, the team with the most points on the scoreboard wins.


Michigan Tech Ranks 22nd in “Cyber Power” Top 100

NCL Logo

Twenty-one Michigan Tech students on three teams finished the spring 2020 semester with impressive success at a recent National Cybersecurity League (NCL) competition. All three teams ranked in the top 100, out of 925 teams nationwide. Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science, is the faculty advisor to the teams.

Michigan Tech’s overall “Cyber Power Ranking” is 22nd nationally and 6th in the central region, as of Spring 2020. Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students.

Team 1 ranked 16th in a field of 925 teams; with Alex Larkin (CS), Jack Bergman (CS), Jon Preuth (CS), Trevor Hornsby (Software), Shane Hoppe, Dakoda Patterson (CS), and Matthew Chau (Cyber).

Team 2 ranked 45th among 925 teams; with Sophia Kraus (EE), Sam Breuer (EE), Ian Hughes (Cyber/CS), Austin Doorlag (CS), Sankalp Shastry, Hunter Indermuehle (EE), and Samantha Christie (CS).

Team 3 ranked 78th of 925; with John Claassen (CS), Stu Kernstock (Cyber), Jacson Ott (Cyber), Bradley Gipson (CNSA), Ethan Frenza (CNSA), Tim Lucero (Cyber), and Anders Jacobsen (EE).

Shane Hoppe was ranked 95th among 5,357 participants in the NCL individual game.

The National Cyber League (NCL) is a biannual cybersecurity competition. Open to U.S. high school and college students, the competition consists of a series of challenges that allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.

Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. participate in the NCL competitions. Student players compete in the NCL to build their skills, leverage the NCL Scouting Reports for career and professional development, and to represent their school in the national Cyber Power Rankings.

Powered by Cyber Skyline, NCL provides a platform on which students can prepare and test themselves against practical cybersecurity challenges that they will likely face in the workforce, such as identifying hackers from forensic data, pentesting and audit vulnerable websites, recovering from ransomware attacks, and more.

The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). The rankings represent the ability of student competitors to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform.

Cyber Skyline logo

Computing Convocation Honors 109 Grads

The College of Computing presented a Convocation Ceremony on May 1, 2020, to honor and recognize Spring and Summer 2020 graduates. At the virtual event, undergraduate student achievement awards were announced, graduates were congratulated, and faculty and staff congratulatory videos were viewed.

Michigan Tech Computer Science alumnus Brian VanVoorst ’93 presented the Convocation address. VanVoorst is a Lead Scientist at BBN Technologies, a member of BBN’s Distinguished Scientists, and a Raytheon Technologies Fellow.

The College’s inaugural class of 109 graduates comprises 5 doctor of philosophy, 14 master of science, and 90 bachelor of science degrees. The College of Computing Class of 2020 is nearly 20% women, 27% of the class graduated with honors, and the average undergraduate GPA is 3.28.

View the Convocation video below and on YouTube.

College of Computing Convocation 2020

See a lists of all the graduates here. Two undergraduates completed dual majors: Lucas Catron, who majored in Computer Science and Humanities, and Mark Heinonen, Electrical Engineering Technology and Audio Productions and Technology.

View faculty and staff congratulatory videos, read student and faculty profiles, and discover all things Class of 2020, on the College of Computing webpage: mtu.edu/computing/class-of-2020.

The Department of Computer Science awarded Class of 2020 undergraduate awards to the following Computer Science (CS) and Software Engineering (SE) graduates:
Christina Anderson, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Keith Atkinson, CS: Award for Exceptional Community Service and Leadership
Dean Bassett, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Jack Bergman, CS: Award for Exceptional Leadership
Lucas Catron, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Crystal Fletcher, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Chris Holmes, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Mads Howard, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Jacob Jablonsky, SE: Award for Excellence in Teaching, Award for Excellence in Teaching
Maddie Le Clair, SE: Award for Exceptional Leadership
Amy Slabbekoorn, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Emily Winkleman, CS: Award for Excellence in Teaching
Parker Young, SE: Award for Exceptional Leadership and Teaching, Award for Excellence in Teaching

Award for Exceptional Community Service and Leadership: Keith Atkinson
Keith has helped older adults in the Houghton community become comfortable with digital technology through one on one tutoring through the BASIC (Building Adult Skills in Computing) program. He taught several cohorts of middle school students about computer programming through the Copper Country Coders organization, and served as president of that organization. Keith developed and deployed a food inventory system for the Husky Food Access Network, which helps combat hunger issues on Tech’s campus.

Award for Exceptional Leadership: Jack Bergman
Jack has served as the president of MTU RedTeam, a student organization dedicated to promoting cybersecurity education among Tech students. Under his leadership, RedTeam organized students to participate in national cybersecurity competitions. In Fall 2019, the MTU Red Team was ranked 8th out of 689 in the NCL cyber competition. Jack led RedTeam to host a cybersecurity competition at MTU in Spring 2020, which attracted 35 students competing on 15 different teams.

Award for Exceptional Leadership: Maddie LeClair
Maddie has been a highly effective leader of the Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS) student organization.  Under her leadership, the group has increased its visibility, holding regular events on campus to highlight the opportunities for women in computing fields.  She led the effort for the WiCS group to become affiliated as an ACM-W chapter, and she has been active in supporting departmental efforts to diversify our undergraduate student body, both individually and as a leader of WiCS.

Award for Exceptional Leadership and Teaching: Parker Young
Parker served as president of not one, but two student organizations: Copper Country Coders and the Michigan Tech Pep Band.  Under his leadership, the Coders group made great strides in its organization and sustainability through revising its charter. Parker is passionate about teaching others, whether it is young students learning to mod Minecraft at Copper Country Coders or older adults learning to Zoom with their families in the BASIC program.  His leadership skills also facilitated his Senior Design team’s  successful completion of the Dragonfly app, an offline app developed for the North Carolina Natural History Museum’s after-school program to assist children monitoring the weather and counting dragonflies.

Award for Excellence In Teaching: Christina Anderson, Crystal Fletcher, Chris Holmes | Mads Howard, Jacob Jablonsky, Parker Young
Christina, Crystal, Chris, Mads, Jacob, and Parker have been mainstays at the College of Computing Learning Center, which provides peer assistance for Michigan Tech students in their computing studies. Learning Center coaches help students from a wide range of backgrounds in a wide array of topics, and must be able to quickly assess and deploy the right tutoring strategy for the situation.

Award for Excellence In Teaching: Dean Bassett, Lucas Catron, Jacob Jablonsky, Amy Slabbekoorn, Emily Winkleman
Dean, Lucas, Jacob, Amy, and Emily have served as lab assistants for our introductory courses. These programming labs are where some of the most important learning moments happen for our beginning students. Lab assistants play a crucial role in providing peer support and guidance. These four individuals have shown great commitment, compassion, and patience in this role.


The CMH Division presented Class of 2020 undergraduate awards to the following students:
Michael Dabish: Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award for exceptional performance as a research and laboratory assistant.
Bernard Kluskens: Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award for exceptional performance as a teaching assistant.
Gary Tropp: Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award, for excellent student academic mentoring in the College of Computing Learning Center.
Emma Davidson: Outstanding EET Graduate Award for exceptional service as a laboratory assistant and grader.
Mark Heinonen: Outstanding EET Graduate Award for an exceptional Senior Design project in audio system design.
Spencer Thompson: Outstanding EET Graduate Award for exceptional service as a teaching assistant in the transition to remote instruction.

Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award: Michael Dabish
For exceptional performance as a research and laboratory assistant. 
Michael’s work in the lab has been very helpful in fulfilling our needs to provide the best lab environment for students. He has shown that he is always willing to put in the work necessary to get the job done.
In 2018 Michael became a research/teaching assistant, working with the CNSA faculty on two NSA grants to create and update course content regarding cyber ethics and cybersecurity.
Michael is constantly collaborating with CNSA faculty and students to discover new ways to implement popular technologies in system administration and security.
He has even created a YouTube channel to document and share methods of implementing these technologies.
What Michael learned in these jobs has inspired him to pursue graduate school in the hope of becoming a teacher right here at Michigan Tech.

Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award: Bernard Kluskens
For exceptional performance as a teaching assistant.
Bernard was teaching assistant for four classes taught by Todd Arney, who nominated Bernard for this award.  Arney says Bernard took the lead on answering lab questions, and then even made calendar appointment slots for students to get one-on-one help using Zoom online. Arney says he would not have been able to manage his  classes with Bernard’s help with grading, fielding questions, and reviewing material before posting to Canvas.

Outstanding CNSA Graduate Award: Gary Tropp
For excellent student academic mentoring in the College of Computing Learning Center.
Gary is the first CNSA student to work as a “Student Academic Mentor” (SAM) in the new “College of Computing Learning Center” (CCLC), offering in person one-on-one help with two of the lab intensive classes in the CNSA program and then even continuing to offer online personalized help for students.

Outstanding EET Graduate Award: Emma Davidson
For exceptional service as a laboratory assistant and grader.
Emma has been helping faculty and students in the lab for over three years, and she also helped with “texting day” to reach out to prospective students.

Outstanding EET Graduate Award: Mark Heinonen
For an exceptional Senior Design project in audio system design.
Mark designed a 4-way passive electrical circuit specifically tuned for a pair of loudspeakers he created as part of his Audio Production and Technology degree.  He started out with a design based on the latest in digital signal processing, but in the end he discovered the value in “old school” analog electrical circuits built from resistors, capacitors, and inductors – what used to be considered mainstream electrical engineering but is now something of a lost art.

Outstanding EET Graduate Award: Spencer Thompson
For exceptional service as a teaching assistant in the transition to remote instruction.
Spencer has been lab assistant for most, if not all of the EET labs. He was nominated for this award by new faculty member Jungyun Bae, who pointed out his dedication to helping students with labs and homework in the EET data acquisition course. After mid-semester, Spencer actively helped the students during lab hours through emails and Zoom meetings. He also took videos of all the labs left within the semester when we transferred into remote instruction and, thanks to him, the course went smoothly even after the campus was locked down.


Honors Graduates: These Department of Computer Science students graduated with honors.
Christina Anderson, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Isaac Appleby, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Daniel Carrara, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Lucas Catron, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Zach Dill, CS, Cum Laude
Peter Dukes, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Trevor Good, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Ethan Hegg, CS, Cum Laude
Mads Howard, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Sophia Jensen, CS, Cum Laude
Derek Kamin, CS, Magna Cum Laude
Alex Larkin, CS, Cum Laude
Maddie LeClair, SE, Cum Laude
James Michniewicz, CS, Summa Cum Laude
Michael Munoz, CS, Summa Cum Laude
Dante Paglia, CS, Summa Cum Laude
Brandon Paupore, SE, Cum Laude
Elijah Potter, CS, Cum Laude
Emily Winkleman, CS, Cum Laude
Kieran Young, CS, Cum Laude
Parker Young, SE, Magna Cum Laude

Honors Graduates: These CMH Division students graduated with honors:
Dina Falzarano, CNSA, Cum Laude
Timothy Graham, CNSA, Cum Laude
Mark Heinonen, EET, Cum Laude
Andrew Hitchcock, CNSA, Magna Cum Laude
Chris Koch, CNSA, Summa Cum Laude
Zack Metiva, CNSA, Magna Cum Laude
Joshua Peter, CNSA, Magna Cum Laude
Spencer Thompson, EET, Cum Laude


Computing Students Participate in DesignExpo 2020

College of Computing students participated widely at Michigan Tech’s Design Expo 2020, which was held virtually in April.

Participating Enterprise Teams included Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE), IT Oxygen, and Husky Game Development.

College Senior Design Teams developed a cybersecurity “Penetration Testing Course,”a “Cloud Computing Cost Analysis,” and an “Automated Distributed Configuration Management Systems.”

See project details below. Learn more about Design Expo here.


Senior Design Team: Penetration Testing Course

Team Members: Chris Koch, Joe Bartkowiak, Kelson Rose, Austin Clark, Computer Network and System Administration
Advisor: Yu Cai, College of Computing

Project Overview: To meet the need for new courses in the new Cybersecurity degree program, our team was tasked with developing a Penetration Testing course, which includes the business how-to as well as technical skills necessary to succeed in the field as a professional ethical hacker. We delivered a completed course, including a chosen course textbook, slides, an online lab set with accompanying lab manuals, and exams. GenCyber is a Michigan Tech summer program for local younger students. We provided instructional material, utilized Google Interland activities for younger students, and created the GenCyber camp curriculum to further develop and improve this course—another step toward the future of cybersecurity.


Senior Design Team: Cloud Computing Cost Analysis

Team Members: Alex Kuhn, Austin Walhof, Ryan Jacobson, and Stephen Grobbel, Computer Network and System Administration
Advisor: Todd Arney, College of Computing

Project Overview: Our team compared the cost of running services in a cloud environment between the three largest service providers: Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.


Senior Design Team: Automated Distributed Configuration Management Systems

Team Members: Andrew Hitchcock, Tim Graham and Derek Laker, Computer Network and System Administration
Advisor: Tim Wagner, College of Computing
Sponsor: College of Computing

Project Overview: Systems administrators working in environments of all sizes are rapidly adopting configuration management systems to automate provisioning and deployment, enforce system configuration, and streamline their work. However, it can be difficult to figure out which product to choose. Our project consisted of deploying three of the most popular products on the market today— Puppet, Ansible, and Saltstack—and comparing the computing resources that they used, their ease of use, and the scenarios that they would be most fit for.


Enterprise Team: Husky Game Development (HGD)

Team Leaders: Colin Arkens and Xixi Tian, Computer Science
Advisor: Scott Kuhl, Computer Science
Sponsor: Michigan Technological University Pavlis Honors College’s Enterprise

Program Background: Husky Game Development (HGD) is a student-run Enterprise focused on developing video games. Each year, Husky Game Development breaks up into subteams of around six students who experience a full game development cycle, including ideation, design, and end product. HGD explores a wide variety of video game engines and platforms, including Windows, Android, Xbox, and an experimental Display Wall.
Overview: Do you know that old mansion down on the corner? Of course you do. Everyone does. No one who’s entered it was ever seen again. Will you be? Lost in Mazie Mansion is a 2D mystery-puzzle game. To reform the mansion and escape, you’ll need the help of Mazie, the only one to nearly solve the mystery. Play by the house’s rules, dodge monsters patrolling the halls, solve puzzles, and find the keys to get Mazie’s memory back.


Enterprise Team: IT Oxygen

Team Leaders: Calvin Voss, Computer Science; Zack Metiva, Computer Network and System Administration
Advisors: Nagesh Hatti, Electrical and Computer Engineering; James Walker, Computer Science
Sponsors: DENSO, Ford Motor Company, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Mel and Gloria Visser, Northern Specialty Health, Michigan Technological University Pavlis Honors College’s Enterprise Program, Milan and Shailee Lathia

Background: IT Oxygen is a cross-disciplinary, student-run Enterprise that specializes in Information Technology (IT) for student organizations and businesses, with a focus on developing Information System and Information Technology solutions. Team members work on real-world projects that foster skill development and utilize business intelligence. Areas of interest include systems and information analysis, software development, database design, data sciences, cybersecurity, and web-based application development.

Overview: This year, the IT Oxygen Enterprise is working on projects sponsored by Ford, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Northern Specialty Health, and DENSO. In the area of data analytics, IT Oxygen is building predictive models and applying statistical analyses to understand the relationship between technical obsolescence and purchasing strategy for automotive electronics—thanks to support from DENSO. For Ford, a team has been working with the Wireless Communication Enterprise (WCE) to provide data analysis and storage for a smart home energy management system. Finally, IT Oxygen is also collaborating with WCE on continued efforts to improve Little Brothers’ holiday resource management and medical transportation scheduling systems.



Enterprise Team: Human Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE)

Team Leaders: Christopher Ward and Justin Martin, Computer Science
Advisor: Robert Pastel, Computer Science
Sponsor: CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (US Army)

Background: The members of Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE) come together to design, develop, and evaluate user interfaces. The goal is to make daily work more efficient and easier to manage. As a whole, the team works together to design and test different applications for industry sponsors that can be used on Android, iPhone, and other devices. HIDE accomplishes these projects by combining knowledge from multiple disciplines, such as computer science, psychology, and human factors. HIDE team members can get involved in various stages of the design process, from developing an app by programming, to evaluation by designing usability tests and analyzing data.

Overview: Tempi.st is a project from the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, a research center for the US Army located in Warren, Michigan. Tempi.st is a program designed to provide students with the opportunity to work on a real-world project, and is aimed to connect the students to an industry where they can actively participate in research in order to expand their knowledge base and deliver new ideas to the industry in return.

Our objective is to utilize Raspberry Pis to collect weather data in real time for its given location, and to send the collected data to a user through a device such as a phone, computer, or tablet in the form of an alert or by the user opening a web page. How this will be implemented is purely up to our team. We will take these basic specifications and put our own twist to it.