Marcus Stojcevich was named 2018 Computer Science Department Scholar!
Way to go Marcus!
Marcus Stojcevich was named 2018 Computer Science Department Scholar!
Way to go Marcus!
Alex placed 36th out of 3,350 students/players in the 2018 National Cyber League (NCL) cyber competition! CS Assistant Professor, Bo Chen, is the faculty coach.
The NCL was founded in May 2011 to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for collegiate students to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity skills. It is a defensive and offensive puzzle-based, capture-the-flag style cybersecurity competition. Its virtual training ground helps high school and college students prepare and test themselves against cybersecurity challenges that they will likely face in the workforce. All participants play the games simultaneously during Preseason, Regular Season and Postseason.
Way to go Alex!
Zhenlin Wang received an REU supplement of $15,876 to his his NSF award titled “CSR:Small: Effective Sampling-Based Miss Ratio Curves: Theory and Practice”. The supplement will support two undergraduate students for one year, offering research experiences in cache modeling for modern multi-core processors and data center key-value stores.
The USDOT ITS Professional Capacity Building Program is hosting a webinar, free and open to all interested, on the topic “Transportation Cyber-physical Security: Things We Should Know,” from 1-2 p.m. May 10.
Threats to cyber-physical systems are targeting institutions and infrastructures around the world, and the frequency and severity of attacks are on the rise. Industries considered the most lucrative targets include healthcare manufacturing, financial services, education, government and transportation. Hacking is about more than companies, organizations and banks—it also affects transportation-critical infrastructure (e.g., automotive systems and field devices).
Webinar registration and additional information can be found here.
In this project, Keith will create new real-time communication solutions for people who face speaking challenges, including those with physical or cognitive disabilities.The primary goal of this project is to develop technology that improves upon the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices currently available to help people speak faster and more fluidly.
Keith and his team will expand resources for research into conversational interactive systems, and will create a probabilistic text entry toolkit, AAC user interfaces, and an augmented reality conversation assistant.
Book Signing at the CS Learning Center
Thursday, March 29 from 4-5pm
Undergraduate student authors Shaun Flynn and Marissa Walther will be at the CS Learning Center signing copies of their recently published a book “A World of Java Programming”. Free copies of the book will be available. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
Computer Science faculty members Keith Vertanen, Scott Kuhl, and Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon, were recently awarded the 2018 Paul Williams Seed Grant from the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC). The grant will give the researchers the opportunity to develop a research program that could be eligible and attractive for long-term and higher-level funding from external grants and contracts.
The project entitled, “Sensing and Feedback for On-Body Input,” will investigate how to appropriate everyday surfaces, including one’s own body, as an input device for interactive systems. In a series of user studies, they will compare the performance of the on-body sensing approach with vision-based hand tracking.
Per the article in Tech Today, this week, College of Sciences and Arts Dean Bruce Seely recognizes Ruihong Zhang, lecturer in Computer Science for more than 13 years, as the newest member of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Seely selected Zhang for her role in delivering foundational CS courses while enrollment has increased dramatically.
Asked to discuss her approach to teaching, Zhang says she finds herself balancing four pairs of ideas: her teaching goals vs. student learning goals; what she wants to teach vs. what students want to learn; her teaching style vs. student learning styles; and self-evaluation of teaching vs. student evaluations.
Zhang recently offered three foundational courses for CS majors: Data Structures, Databases and Introduction to Programming. None are easy. With its focus on different algorithms for structuring data, for example, Data Structures challenges students.
“During class, I constantly ask motivational questions, encouraging students to have short discussions with each other before presenting answers,” Zhang says.
The goal is to promote student engagement. Databases are equally essential, but this class is more practical and requires attention to detail. She relies upon lab sessions, not lectures, to “help students troubleshoot problems. They like these sessions and feel they learn a lot in one class period.”
Growing enrollment and larger class sections over the past three years have created serious teaching challenges, but Zhang has adapted in several ways. First, she begins the semester by asking students to introduce themselves and find a team partner. This enhances small-group work and short discussions. In each session, “I ask three to five interesting, but not too difficult, questions for students to approach as a team.”
After a few minutes, depending upon the problem, “I go over the answers or ask for responses from the teams. Many students actively participate and feel no pressure about giving wrong answers in front of the class.”
Zhang also has cut back on detailed PowerPoints, asking students to take their own notes. “Research shows that writing notes with paper and pencils helps people to retain knowledge.” Coincidentally, students must set aside electronic distractions to follow the discussion.
Because students will not always ask questions in large classes, Zhang holds extra office hours and evening study sessions led by herself, student mentors or teaching assistants. “This semester we offered four weekly study sessions for Data Structures, led by mentors from the Computer Science Department’s new Student Academic Mentor (SAMs) program.”
Finally, Zhang is aware that different students have different skills and learning approaches and considers these when designing homework problems. “The problems have different levels of difficulty. I strive to use real life problems whenever it is appropriate. I often include challenging problems with extra points for students willing to study and work more after class.”
In summary, Seely indicates “This is the picture of a committed teacher constantly adjusting to changing conditions in her classes. The idea of balancing the potentially competing factors she identifies seems to be serving Ruihong’s students well.”
Zhang will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer, recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
Problem: Scheduling learning center appointments. Solution: Apply education; develop online scheduling program.
Maybe you’ve heard the claim that Michigan Technological University students are crazy smart. In case you needed proof, meet Caden Sumner, a third-year who is double majoring in computer science and psychology. He’s also a coach at the Michigan Tech Multiliteracies Center (MTMC) and leader of the Human Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE) programming team that developed Timeslot.
Timeslot enables students to schedule appointments in campus learning centers from their mobile devices and computers, instead of having to sign up in person. A combination of factors inspired Sumner to develop the program: his interest in psychology, his first (intimidating) impression in a learning center, his experiences as a coach in the MTMC, and encouragement from his boss and MTMC Assistant Director Bill De Herder.
Sumner says, “We were using a software that was really difficult to use. It was hard to figure out how to schedule appointments. Students didn’t like it, coaches hated it. My boss mentioned ‘you should do something about that’ at about the end of last (academic) year. I said absolutely, I’ll give that a go.”
Sumner and his fellow HIDE teammates started working on Timeslot at the start of the fall 2017 semester. Though they didn’t keep track of the hours they put into development, Sumner says it was “a lot.”
Timeslot went live for the MTMC the first week of spring 2018 classes. The HIDE team is taking a soft rollout approach so as to catch and fix all program bugs and prevent a huge scheduling snafu. The math lab will implement the software in the fall, and plans for the biology lab are in the works. Sumner and his team hope that in time all 17 University learning centers will adopt the system.
Please see the full story from Tech Today here.
Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon (CLS/CS) and his colleage Paul Fishwick guest-edited a special issue on “Arts, Aesthetics and Performance in Telepresence” in the journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments – per the article in Tech Today! Congratulations Philart and Paul!