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    Our Stories: Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh

    This is part of a series of short introductions about College students, faculty, and staff. Would you like to be featured? Send a photo and some background info about yourself to

    Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh, Assistant Professor, Applied Computing

    • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Years teaching at Michigan Tech: 2
    • Years teaching overall: 12
    • Member, Data Sciences research group, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)
    • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2007
    • MS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2003
    • Faculty Profile

    Classes Dr. Rawashdeh Teaches

    • Programmable Logic Control (PLC)
    • Digital Electronics
    • Analog Electronics
    • Image Processing
    • Automatic Control Systems
    • Instrumentation and Measurement

    The “coolest” class you teach, and why:

    Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), because every factory in the world is controlled by PLCs.

    The importance of your class topics to the overall understanding of Computing and your discipline: 

    Computing is the way of the future. And in all disciplines we rely more and more on sophisticated design, modeling, and control software. The Digital Electronics course is key to the overall understanding of computer systems. We discuss the building blocks of computers, and programmable logic controllers apply computing solutions for automation programming and industrial communication.

    Your teaching philosophy: 

    • I believe in the social connection between teacher and student because it enables them to learn from each other, and more than just technical material and information.
    • In today’s changing world, courses and delivery methods must be constantly updated to maximize learning in a wide sense. When teaching online, I always turn on my camera and teach from the classroom.
    • I interact actively with students, and when I see that they need a break I tell them a story from my professional or personal experience. In the labs, I am almost always engaged with students, helping them solve problems.

    Labs you direct and their general focus:

    • In the Programmable Logic Controllers labs (for introductory and advanced level courses), students learn how to program industrial controllers and interface with sensors and actuators.
    • In the Digital Electrics lab, students learn the building blocks of computers and program FPGA boards, which is the fastest programmable hardware possible.

    Research projects in which students are assisting: 

    • An ECE PhD student is working on sensor fusion for autonomous driving in the snow.
    • I plan to hire a graduate student this summer to implement indoor simultaneous location and mapping of a mobile robot.
    • Recently, an undergraduate EET student helped me build a virus sterilizing mobile robot that uses ultraviolet light. Read a news article, view photos and a YouTube video here.
    • In personal research, I also work on image analysis and industrial inspection research.

    Other cool things your students are doing:

    • Recent senior design projects include a gesture controlled robotic arm and a PID control system based on a levitating ball.
    • See more projects on my lab website:

    Interests beyond teaching and research:

    • I am married and have four children. The eldest is studying Environmental Engineering at Tech.
    • I like cars and ground robots, painting, swimming, and playing soccer.
    • I speak three languages and have lived in four countries, in each for over a decade.

    Call for Manuscripts: Future Internet Special Issue

    Associate Professor Ali Ebnenasir, Computer Science, is co-editor of a special issue on Fault Tolerance in Cloud/Edge/Fog Computing of Future Internet, an an open-access scholarly journal from MDPI.

    Details are below.

    Deadline: April 20, 2021
    Author Notification: June 10, 2021

    Download a printable, sharable Call for Papers below.


    Collection Editors

    Dr. Ali Ebnenasir, Michigan Technological University
    Dr. Sandeep S. Kulkarni, Michigan State University


    •Fault tolerance
    •Cloud computing
    •Edge computing
    •Resource-constrained devices
    •Distributed protocols
    •State replication

    Special Issue Summary

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a new era of computing that permeates in almost every aspect of our lives. Low-end IoT devices (e.g., smart sensors) are almost everywhere, monitoring and controlling the private and public infrastructure (e.g., home appliances, urban transportation, water management system) of our modern life. Low-end IoT devices communicate enormous amount of data to the cloud computing centers through intermediate devices, a.k.a. edge devices, that benefit from stronger computational resources (e.g., memory, processing power).

    To enhance the throughput and resiliency of such a three-tier architecture (i.e., low-end devices, edge devices and the cloud), it is desirable to perform some tasks (e.g., storing shared objects) on edge devices instead of delegating everything to the cloud. Moreover, any sort of failure in this three-tier architecture would undermine the quality of service and the reliability of services provided to the end users.


    Theoretical and experimental methods that incorporate fault tolerance in cloud and edge computing, which have the potential to improve the overall robustness of services in three-tier architectures.

    Topics Include

    … but are not limited to:
    •Faults and failures in cloud and edge computing.
    •State replication on edge devices under the scarcity of resources.
    •Fault tolerance mechanism on the edge and in the cloud.
    •Models for the predication of service latency and costs in distributed fault-tolerant protocols on the edge and in the cloud.
    •Fault-tolerant distributed protocols for resource management of edge devices.
    •Fault-tolerant edge/cloud computing.
    •Fault-tolerant computing on low-end devices.
    •Load balancing (on the edge and in the cloud) in the presence of failures.
    •Fault-tolerant data intensive applications on the edge and the cloud.
    •Metrics and benchmarks for the evaluation of fault tolerance mechanisms in cloud/edge computing.

    Manuscript Submission Information

    Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website ( Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form (

    Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

    Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

    Please visit the Instructions for Authors webpage before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

    Submitted papers should be well-formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

    Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903) is a scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access journal on Internet technologies and the information society, published monthly online by MDPI.

    Cooperative Eco-driving Automation Improves Energy Efficiency, Safety on City Streets

    by Kelley Christensen, University Marketing and Communications

    Connected and automated vehicles, which can interact vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and between vehicles and roadway infrastructure like traffic signals and stop signs (V2I), promise to save energy and improve safety. In a new study published in Transportation Research Part B, Kuilin Zhang (CEE/CS) along with Shuaidong Zhao ’18, now a senior quantitative analyst at National Grid, propose a modeling framework for V2V and V2I cooperative driving. Cooperative driving helps cars and their drivers safely and efficiently navigate.

    The framework uses an eco-driving algorithm that prioritizes saving fuel and reducing emissions. The automated algorithm calculates location-based traffic control devices and roadway constraints using maps and geographic information. Read the full story on

    Kuilin Zhang is a researcher with the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’ (ICC) Center for Cyber-Physical Systems.

    Michigan Tech Announces NSF CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program

    Michigan Technological University is one of six universities to join the National Science Foundation CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, a nationwide program to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals and security managers.

    The five-year, $3.3 million NSF grant provides up to three years of full scholarship support for 20 undergraduate and graduate students.

    In return, following graduation, recipients must work in a cybersecurity-related job for federal, state, local or tribal government for a period equal to the length of the scholarship, among other requirements.

    “The U.S. is facing a significant shortage of well-trained and well-prepared cybersecurity professionals,” said Yu Cai, professor of applied computing at Michigan Tech and the principal investigator of the grant. “Michigan Tech has developed a national and international reputation in cybersecurity education, research and outreach activities. We are thrilled to be part of the solution to the nation’s cybersecurity workforce challenge.”

    Applications for Michigan Tech’s 2021-2022 cohort are now being accepted. Application guidelines and requirements can be found on the SFS website. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2021. Student informational sessions will be announced shortly. 

    The degree programs included in the CyberCorps scholarship opportunity are listed below.

    1. BS in Cybersecurity (CyS)
    2. BS in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA)
    3. BS in Computer Science (CS)
    4. BS in Software Engineering (SE)
    5. BS in Computer Engineering (CpE)
    6. BS in Electrical Engineering (EE)
    7. BS in Management Information Systems (MIS)
    8. MS in Cybersecurity

    The SFS program at Michigan Tech involves multiple programs and departments, including the College of Computing and its Department of Applied Computing and Department of Computer Science, the College of Engineering’s Department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the College of Business’s Management Information Systems B.S. program. 

    The SFS program also partners with the Pavlis Honors College to engage SFS scholars in a blend of faculty mentoring, peer mentoring and customized pathways.

    Michigan Tech joins 78 current CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service universities across the country. In its announcement, NSF noted that Michigan Tech has a long history of K-12 outreach, which it expects to leverage as part of its project.

    The project PI is Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing. Co-PIs and other important personnel include Professor Jean MayoProfessor Todd O. ArneyProfessor Bo ChenProfessor Chee-Wooi TenProfessor Kedmon N. Hungwe, and Dr. Laura Kasson Fiss.

    Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

    Yakov Nekrich Paper Accepted for Top Computing Conference

    A publication by Associate Professor Yakov NekrichComputer Science, has been accepted to the 53rd Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC).

    The paper, “Optimal-Time Dynamic Planar Point Location in Connected Subdivisions,” describes an optimal-time solution for the dynamic point location problem and answers an open problem in computational geometry. 

    The data structure described in the paper supports queries and updates in logarithmic time. This result is optimal in some models of computation.  Nekrich is the sole author of the publication.

    The annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), is the flagship
    conference of SIGACT, the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and
    Computation Theory, a special interest group of the Association for
    Computing Machinery (ACM).

    Dean Livesay to Hold Open Office Hours Fridays, 3-4 pm

    New College of Computing Dean Dennis Livesay will hold open virtual office hours every Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., beginning February 5, 2021.

    All faculty, staff, and students who wish to chat with Dr. Livesay are invited to “stop in” to this weekly Zoom meeting. Appointments are not needed.

    Office hours will not be held when classes are not in session.

    Link to the meeting here: