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ADVANCE Team Receives NSF Grant Funding

Adrienne Minerick
Patty Sotirin
Sonia Goltz

The ADVANCE team at Michigan Tech has received a three-year $170,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. This project is part of the one million dollar grant, “ADVANCE Partnership: Joining Forces – A Midwestern Partnership for STEM Faculty Success,” led by Iowa State University in partnership with North Dakota State University, Western Michigan University, and Michigan Tech.

The overall aim of the ADVANCE program is increased retention and career advancement opportunities for underrepresented women and women with family responsibilities working in the STEM departments of midwestern universities. Target audiences for the ADVANCE programs include academic leadership, tenured faculty, and under-represented minorities.

“This partnership is a bold move to realize cross-institutional collaborations supporting faculty career success and equity,” said Dr. Patty Sotirin, interim chair for the Department of Humanities and professor of communication at Michigan Tech. “The grant takes a regional approach to make sure our programs engage with intersectional issues and share resources and ideas that impact Midwest campuses.”

The goal of the newly awarded grant is to create an integrated ADVANCE package of programs that can be implemented across universities in the midwest. This package, called an Integrated Equity Support (IES) system, will expand, integrate and coordinate programs developed with prior ADVANCE NSF funding.

 The IES will include cross-institutional components including mentoring communities, male advocates and allies, and department chair professional development. The project will be implemented in phases: year one will expand three existing ADVANCE programs to include a focus on minorities and faculty with families; year two involves integrating these programs and introducing the package to a university that has not previously implemented them (as a test case); year three involves the expansion of an IES Caucus to facilitate community building and introduce the project to additional Midwestern institutions.

“A long-term goal for Michigan Tech is to institutionalize changes and programs that increase and sustain faculty equity,” noted Dr. Andrew Storer, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES). “This new NSF award will ensure an enduring return on investment for both the ADVANCE project and the University’s investment in faculty development and retention.” 

Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing, is principal investigator of the project at Michigan Tech, co-PIs are Sotirin and  Sonia Goltz, professor of organizational behavior in the School of Business and Economics., 

A participant in the NSF ADVANCE program since 2006, Michigan Tech and the ADVANCE team—led by Minerick, Goltz, Sotirin, Storer, and Audrey Mayer, professor of ecology and environmental policy in SFRES—have launched a number of programs aimed at increasing faculty retention, success, and inclusion. They include Advanced Career Management (ACM), Academy for Responsive Leadership, Advocates and Allies, Diversity Literacy Workshops, Early Career Management (ECM), and AMP UP. The ADVANCE initiative also has a Resource Center in Room 102B of the Van Pelt/Opie Library.

Learn more about ADVANCE at Michigan Tech at mtu.edu/ADVANCE. Contact ADVANCE at advance-mtu@mtu.edu.


Vertanen Teaches Workshop in Mumbai, India

Keith Vertanen (CS/HCC), associate professor of computer science, traveled to Mumbai, India, in July to co-facilitate a three-day workshop on best practices for writing conference papers. The workshop was presented by ACM SIGCHI and its Asian Development Committee, which works to increase its engagement with researchers and practitioners from Asia. The aim of the workshop was to encourage researchers from Asia to submit papers for the ACM CHI 2021 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Vertanen, who is co-chair of the Usability Subcommittee for CHI 2020, presented lectures on paper writing and experimental design to 20 PhD candidates from various universities in India, Sri Lanka, and South Korea. Vertanen also presented a talk on his text entry research and served on an advisory panel that offered feedback to the PhD students on their research in a forum similar to a doctoral consortium. Also co-facilitating the workshop were faculty members from University of Central Lancashire, UK, KAIST University, South Korea, and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Visit https://www.indiahci.org/sigchischool/paperCHI2021/ to learn more about the workshop.


Computer Science Faculty Students Attend Innovation and Technology Conference

Computer Science doctoral candidate Briana Bettin

The College of Computing and the Computer Science Department were well represented at the 24th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education  (ITiCSE 19), July 14-17, at University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Senior Lecturer Leo Ureel, along with  James Heliotis,  professor of computer science at Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology, led a working group titled, “Towards an Ability to Direct College Students to an Appropriately Paced Introductory Computer Science Course.” Professor Linda Ott and Associate Professor Charles Wallace participated in the working group, “1.5 Degrees of Separation: Computer Science Education in the Age of the Anthropocene.”

PhD student Briana Bettin presented her paper, “More Effective Contextualization of CS Education Research: A Pair-Programming Example,” co-authored with Linda Ott and Leo Ureel.  Charles Wallace presented his poster, “A Prototype MATLAB Code Critiquer,” co-authored with Leo Ureel and undergraduate computer science student Marissa Walther.  Associate Professor Jean Mayo (ICC/CyberS) presented, ” Teaching Integer Security Using Simple Visualizations,” co-authored with Lecturer James Walker, recent PhD graduate Man Wang, Adjunct Professor and Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Western Michigan University Steven Carr, and Professor Ching-Kuang Shene.  Also attending the conference was computer science undergraduate Miriam Eikenberry-Ureel.

 


Welcome and Invite to Reunion Celebration on Friday, August 2

Adrienne Minerick

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to Michigan Tech’s new College of Computing! By now you’ve received the latest Michigan Tech magazine and have read the announcement of Michigan Tech’s newest college. This is an exciting time at Michigan Tech as we reimagine existing programs, add new majors, and pursue innovative new initiatives to prepare our graduates—and Michigan Tech—for Industry 4.0!

As you saw in the magazine, Michigan Tech embraces an exciting, diverse learning and research community. Computing and information science are an essential part of it all. Computing skills and computational thinking are essential in virtually all fields and job markets today, and Michigan Tech’s College of Computing is in position to ensure all our graduates are prepared, comfortable, and agile in a world in which cyber-technologies influence virtually everything.

The new College of Computing (CC) merges a talented, forward-thinking, innovative group of faculty and staff. We oversee core undergraduate degrees in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA), Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Software Engineering, with minors in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and Data Acquisition and Industrial Control.  Our graduate degrees include Computer Science (MS and PhD), Cybersecurity, Data Science, Health Informatics, and Mechatronics. On the research front, CC faculty and students are developing innovative software and hardware solutions to address today’s societal, technological, and sustainable challenges. Visit www.mtu.edu/computing to learn more.

I am pleased to introduce myself as the founding Dean of the College of Computing, effective July 1, 2019. It is an honor to help launch the College of Computing and assist in positioning Michigan Tech for this new era.

By way of my background, I am a chemical engineering BS graduate of Michigan Tech (’98); I completed my MS and PhD in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame du lac (USA). I returned to Michigan Tech in 2010, and am currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering. I have also served the University as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation for the College of Engineering, Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development, and Dean of the School of Technology.

As you may know, Michigan Tech’s Alumni Reunion is just around the corner, August 1-3, 2019. Graduates from all years and majors are welcome, and we sincerely hope to reconnect with many of you—our computing/software and electronics/robotics alumni!

At a special celebration Friday, August 2, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., we’ll be sharing additional information about the College of Computing, and showing off some of our senior design projects. It is our hope that you’ll gain a few new and fun memories at this event.  Please join us outside Rekhi Hall (weather permitting) or on the second floor of Rekhi Hall for this wonderful opportunity to catch up with everyone and share your best—and perhaps even some of your worst—Michigan Tech memories! Ice cream and light refreshments will be served. The event is free and guests and family members are welcome.

Please let us know if you’re able to attend this College of Computing event, and register for the Reunion, at www.mtu.edu/alumni/connect/reunion. We look forward to seeing you in Houghton!

Best regards,

Adrienne Minerick, PhD

Dean, College of Computing


Brown, Ureel Selected as C-4 Winners

Canvas courses taught by Dr. Laura Brown and Leo Ureel (CS) were selected as two of the eight spring 2015 CTL Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) winners. Their Canvas courses were recognized as effective by both students and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Both instructors will have the opportunity to record  a “video tour” of their courses to share as a model for new instructors or those looking for ideas to improve their Canvas courses. Please join us in congratulating Laura and Leo on creating courses that were so well received.


2015 BonzAI Brawl Results

Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS) and the Husky Game Development Enterprise (HGD) are excited to announce the results of the 8th annual BonzAI Brawl programming contest on Saturday April 11, 2015. Both groups put in hundreds of hours to develop the game and make the Brawl a success. More information about the event is available at: http://bonzai.cs.mtu.edu/

BonzAI is an day-long programming contest where small teams of students have eight hours to write software to compete in a custom-built competitive multiplayer game.  At the conclusion of the event, teams watch their programs “brawl” against each other to determine which is the most capable.  BonzAI student organizers have been working since September to develop the game and infrastructure for the event.
This year BonzAI is hosted over 50 teams and over 110 students from multiple departments across Michigan Tech’s campus, Northern Michigan University, and high-schoolers from the Copper Country Programmers club.  Additionally, teams will participate remotely from Western Michigan University.
After 8 hours of programming, each team’s AI was run against all other teams in a 3-on-3 round-robin format to get an initial ranking of the teams (over 18,000 matches run). The final tournament structure consisted of two parts.  First, using the initial ranking a ladder (or king-of-the-hill) tournament was run starting with the lowest ranked teams with the winner advancing to compete with the next ranked teams.  The top 9 teams then competed in an elimination tournament to determine the final top three teams.
In third place was Grayson Briggs, Jesse Moore, and Keith Atkinson for team “Jesse’s Girl”; team members are first-year computer science students at Michigan Tech. In second place was Ethan Novak, John Novak, and Mike Grimes, team “The Last Pizza Dogs”; team members are 4th year computer science and a graduate mathematics student at Michigan Tech. In first place was Andrew Shirtz and Justin Syria, team “Conways Claim of Life”; team members are senior computer science and mathematics majors from Northern Michigan University. The final match was very close with scores of 943, 1071, and 1097 respectively.
The final match can be viewed on Youtube.
BonzAI Brawl sponsors include: Lasalletech (Camerontec Group), Jackson National Life Insurance Company, ControlTec, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Humana, Epic, and UPPCO.

 


CS Tutorial Announcement: December 3, 4, 5

Title: A Tutorial on Theorem Proving in the Prototype Verification System (PVS)

Abstract: This tutorial will be offered for faculty members and graduate students whose research involves any sort of logical reasoning that can be expressed in predicate logic. The Prototype Verification System (PVS) is one of the premier theorem provers developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). This tutorial provides a basic understanding of PBS along with the elementary techniques for formal specification and mechanical verification. PVS has been used in the verification of numerous real-world applications such as mission-critical systems, air traffic management systems, fault-tolerant distributed systems, security protocols, spacecraft autonomy and AI planning.

Organizers: Mr. Amer Tahat (CS), Dr. Ali Ebnenasir (CS), and Dr. Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM).

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Dec. 3rd, 4th and 5th
Place: Rekhi 112
Registration: Please send an email to Mr. Amer Tahat at atahat@mtu.edu. Space is limited, so register early please.

Acknowledgement: The organizers extend their gratitude to the Formal Methods group at NASA Langley for providing technical support. Prerequisites include preliminary knowledge of propositional and predicate logic.

 




Computer Science Groups to Participate in Campus World Usability Day Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

From Tech Today, November 11, 2014