Tag: Computer Science

Central Intelligence Agency Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

This Research Solicitation by the Central Intelligence Agency announces a Fiscal Year 2011 solicitation for the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program.  The Program was created in response to the Intelligence Community (IC) requirement to address long-term IC research and technology needs.  The Program serves the IC and research communities by engaging experts in the solution of problems critical to IC goals and missions.  Science and technology are fundamental drivers of global developments, and the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program facilitates the necessary research in leading-edge technologies to support broad IC technology needs.  The Program awards multi-year postdoctoral research fellowship grants to address these needs.  In addition to facilitating research for the long-term needs of the IC, the mission of the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is to establish long-term mentoring relationships with its Postdoctoral Fellows and provide research institutions with an understanding of the IC’s research requirements.  The Program fosters partnerships with these Fellows as they move into career positions and provide innovative solutions to address critical IC problems.

Through this solicitation, the Program expects to make twelve or more grant awards in the specific research topics described herein.  If additional funding becomes available, the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program may choose to make additional awards under the terms of this Research Solicitation from the remaining selectable proposals.  The grant will be awarded for two years and funded up to $120,000 per year ($240,000 total), with a potential for a one-year option in the third year for up to $120,000.

Applicants may submit a proposal under this Research Solicitation without having a Postdoctoral Fellow identified. The applicants must be associated with a U.S. domestic accredited college, university, or other degree granting institution or a U.S. Government Laboratory.  Although all research in this program is unclassified, each Postdoctoral Fellow MUST be a U.S. citizen.  Fellows must have completed and have been awarded their doctorate degree before starting the IC Fellowship, and the degree must have been conferred within the last five years prior to the submission of this proposal.  The Principal Investigator (PI)/mentor is NOT required to be a U.S. citizen.  If a grant is awarded as a result of the proposal submitted, the PI has one year from the award date of the grant to recommend a postdoctoral research candidate, who must be approved by both the Program Manager and Government IC Advisor prior to starting the IC Postdoctoral Fellowship. Funding is limited until a Postdoctoral Fellow is identified and approved (see Section 8, paragraph B).

As required by the terms and conditions of the award, Fellows must participate at the annual IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Colloquium (both as an attendee and as a presenter), and publish yearly in a peer-reviewed journal, with the full article submitted to the Journal of Intelligence Community Research and Development (JICRD), or an original publication in JICRD.  Yearly publications submitted to a journal other than JICRD must include permission, following copyright law, for the CIA to reprint the article.

Please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) if you are interested in applying.

Research Associateship Programs

The mission of the NRC Research Associateship Programs (RAP) is to promote excellence in scientific and technological research conducted by the U. S. government through the administration of programs offering graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level research opportunities at sponsoring federal laboratories and affiliated institutions.

In these programs, prospective applicants select a research project or projects from among the large group of opportunities listed on this website.  Prior to completing an application, prospective applicants should contact the proposed Research Adviser to assure that funding will be available if their application is recommended by NRC panels.  Once mutual interest is established between a prospective applicant and a Research Adviser, an application is submitted through the NRC WebRap system.  Reviews are conducted four times each year and review results are available approximately 6-8 weeks following the application deadline.

There are four review cycles annually. Deadlines for 2011 are:

February 1

May 1

August 1

November 1

Click here for more information: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/rap/

A (Graduate) Family Affair

The rigors of graduate education are daunting enough, and adding a new child into the mix can raise the stress level into the stratosphere.

Now the Graduate School has helped ease the burden for Lihui Hu, a PhD student in computer science who has just given birth to her first baby, a boy named Alex. The Graduate School recently adopted policies to help graduate students transition to parenthood by offering excused absences and paid leave for new mothers or fathers of biological or adopted children, providing they are already supported full-time by the University.

Hu is the first beneficiary of the new policy. “I’m very grateful to my department and all the people who helped,” she says. “I was able to come home one week before my delivery. It has really helped. At the end of the leave, I’ll be ready to return to campus to work and do my research.”

The timing was perfect, too. Hu’s husband, Linjia Hu, had a job offer that just fell through, and the couple would have been without any income.

“We are among only 13 percent of universities nationally who offer six weeks guaranteed, paid leave,” says Kristi Isaacson, assistant director of marketing for the Graduate School.

The support system within academic departments and administrative offices also includes extension time for the degree programs, subsidies for campus child care and local resources to help new parents, Isaacson adds.

Central to the new benefit is the Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy, which applies to the mother or father. Under the policy, the graduate student-parent is excused from courses, research, teaching assignments or other responsibilities at Tech for up to six weeks.

“For many women and men, the best time to begin to raise a family is when you are in graduate school,” says Jackie Huntoon, Graduate School dean. “This policy makes it easier for our students and faculty to manage a birth or adoption in a positive way.”

“The excused absence can actually begin three weeks prior to the birth or placement,” Isaacson adds.

The policy also provides a one-semester extension to the time-to-degree limit, as well as extensions to deadlines for completing the qualifying exam or proposal defense.

The academic departments receive funding from the Graduate School to hire temporary replacements for the students on parental leave.

“It’s great that we are able to support her and still cover her duties,” says Steve Carr, chair and professor of computer science, who sits on Hu’s dissertation committee. “With tight budgets, we can still afford a TA. We don’t want to discourage graduate students from starting families, but this type of support is necessary,” Carr adds.

Isaacson agrees. “We don’t want the program to be a burden on the academic department, and we want the grad students to know that we are family supportive,” she says.

Programs like Michigan Tech’s could help stop the “female brain drain in science,” where women are more likely to abandon their academic careers in favor of raising their families, according to research by the Council of Graduate Schools.

“I am proud that our policy is among the best in the nation,” Huntoon says. “This certainly will help us attract and retain more female students, which is one of the University’s strategic goals.”

Isaacson says that help for graduate student-parents, new and old, extends beyond campus resources, such as Little Huskies Child Development Center and the Michigan Tech Preschool.

“The Keweenaw Family Resource Center has the new tree house indoor play area, maternity closet of “gently used clothing” and other programs, and Community Coordinated Child Care (4Cs) also has many ways to help parents.”

“Everyone benefits, and students are not burdened with any additional stress from their academic lives,” Huntoon adds. “They truly can take the time to enjoy the new addition to their family.”

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations
Published in Tech Today and Michigan Tech News (by
Dennis Walikainen)

Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

The Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE
CSGF) application is now available online at
https://www.krellinst.org/doecsgf/application/ .

Students must be planning full-time, uninterrupted study toward a Ph.D. degree at a U.S. university.  Students in their first or second year of graduate study in engineering, mathematics, or the physical, computer, or life sciences are eligible to apply for the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF).  Exceptional senior undergraduates who can meet all the requirements listed in this application may also apply.

The deadline to apply is January 11th, 2011.

DOD SMART Visit Canceled

Due to a family emergency, Dr. Knox Millsaps needed to cancel his visit to Michigan Tech next week.  He apologizes for any inconvenience and encourages anyone interested in the DOD SMART program to contact him directly (millsaps@nps.edu) with any questions or concerns. 

On Tuesday, October 19th there will still be a general presentation about the SMART scholarship by Jodi Lehman, which faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.  The luncheon for Wednesday, October 20th has been canceled.  The presentation will be from 12:00-1:00 in the Memorial Union Ballroom B1. 

Jodi is also available to work with students to identify a national lab that fits with SMART applicants’ field of interest and to mentor students in developing a competitive proposal.  She is also available to present and answers questions about the SMART program to classes, departments, and student organizations.   

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your interest and support in helping Michigan Tech students understand more about the DOD SMART program.  We also thank those individuals and departments who went above and beyond to provide Dr. Millsaps with a campus visit that highlights Michigan Tech’s unique attributes related to DOD SMART fields. 

The DOD SMART visit will be rescheduled for spring.  Please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu) with any questions. 

Arthritis, Soil, Cabaret, and DNA: Students Share their Research

The Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library was packed recently, but it wasn’t full of students cramming. This day, more than fifty students were presenting their research via posters in the bright sunlight streaming in from a wall of windows.

It was a poster session held as part of the University’s kickoff of its Generations of Discovery Capital Campaign, coinciding with Homecoming.

Megan Killian, a PhD student in biomedical engineering, discussed her work with arthritis in knees, especially after traumatic injuries. She was looking at what can be done to stop or delay the onset of arthritis after a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a common problem in contact sports.

“I’m looking at the changes in the meniscus,” Killian said. “Specifically, how the cells behave, how the meniscus degenerates over a short period of time. I am focusing on the molecular biology and histology, and other students in my lab, Adam Abraham and John Moyer, are looking at the mechanics.”

Her advisor, Tammy Haut Donahue (associate professor of mechanical engineering), is developing a better understanding of how the meniscus behaves mechanically and biochemically, and how it responds to injury and degenerative changes.

Together, the inquiry has Killian close to completing her PhD this semester, before she “goes on to a career in research-focused academia.”

Nearby, Carley Kratz presented her research in soils. The PhD student in forestry is comparing soil in special plots of the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and the Ford Forestry Center in Alberta, with an eye toward the effects of warming.

“I’m studying how increased heat and moisture affect the soil microorganisms,” she said. “I’m mimicking future temperature and moisture increases to look at global warming, among other areas.”

She is focusing on the fungi and bacterial concentrations, she said, especially metabolic changes over time, including increased amounts of carbon cycling (how carbon moves through the global environment). “If more carbon in the soil cycles more rapidly, then that could lead to more carbon in the atmosphere, which could increase global warming,” she says.

Her research is sponsored by a US Department of Energy Office of Science graduate fellowship. Adjunct Professor Erik Lilleskov and Associate Professor Andrew Burton (SFRES), also worked on the research.

Kratz’s hopes include a postdoc in microbial ecology and an eventual professorship in the Midwest “or wherever life takes me.”

A senior in sound design, Nicole Kirch researched potential sound effects for the play, “I Am My Own Wife.” Set in Nazi and Soviet East Berlin, the play won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in 2004.

“I looked at the setting of the play and tried to figure out the best sounds,” she said.

That meant using items, some old and some new, from Marlene Dietrich audio to a music box to bombs and air raid sounds to John Kennedy’s Berlin Wall speech.

“I also worked with an old phonograph, with a wax cylinder,” she said. “I didn’t want to improve the sound,” aiming instead for realistic pops and scratches from the old machine.

The setting is the bar/museum Mulack Ritze in the basement of the protagonist, and Kirch had to account for a wall of shelved memorabilia that is used in the back of the stage in the play.

“I send the sounds through speakers behind it,” she said. And she had to create pre- and post-show audio, as well as the sounds that help carry the action, all for a play that was not actually being performed here.

She did “a lot of research while bored last summer.” She wants to be a sound effects editor when she graduates.

Finally, Bryan Franklin, a PhD student in computer science, was working with common subsequences of nucleotide sequences.

“This is important because, if one is a close match with another, it can be used to study viruses and illnesses in labs and then apply the findings to humans,” he said

He had one major surprise.

“The original, published algorithm I was working with was flawed,” Franklin said. “That made it really confusing at first. It was hard to debug.”

Franklin made progress, eventually, using multiple parallel processes, to get results faster.

“I was able to get results in 1/6th the time it would have taken on a single processor,” he said. “My results are also better than the previous work I based my research on, as it always produces the longest matching subsequence.”

After leaving Tech, Franklin wants to continue working as a researcher, either in academia or industry.

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Published in Tech Today

Facebook Fellowship Program

Every day Facebook confronts the most complex technical problems and we believe that close relationships with the academy will enable us to address many of these problems at a fundamental level and solve them. As part of our ongoing commitment to academic relations, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Facebook Fellowship program to support graduate students in the 2010-2011 school year.

We are interested in a wide range of academic topics, including the following topical areas:

  • Internet Economics: auction theory and algorithmic game theory relevant to online advertising auctions.
  • Cloud Computing: storage, databases, and optimization for computing in a massively distributed environment.
  • Social Computing: models, algorithms and systems around social networks, social media, social search and collaborative environments.
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning: learning algorithms, feature generation, and evaluation methods to produce effective online and offline models of behavioral signals.
  • Systems: hardware, operating system, runtime, and language support for fast, scalable, efficient data centers.
  • Information Retrieval: search algorithms, information extraction, question answering, cross-lingual retrieval and multimedia retrieval

Eligibility Criteria

  • Full-time Ph.D. students in topical areas represented by these fellowships who are currently involved in on-going research.
  • Students must be studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, System Architecture, or a related area.
  • Students must be enrolled during the academic year that the Fellowship is awarded.
  • Students must be nominated by a faculty member.

Deadline Feb. 15th 2011

To view the 2011 announcement please visit COS.

First In Series of Federal Funding Workshops – Sept 15th and 16th.

A federal fellowship/scholarship writing workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 15th  and Thursday, September 16th at 4:00 in Fisher 135.

You will only need to attend one of the workshops, as they are the same workshop, different days and time.

During the workshop we will review 3 samples of NSF GRFP personal statement essays. Tips will be given on how to organize your essay, utilize wording, and meet the merit criteria expected by reviewers

Prepare for the workshop by:

1. Understanding how NSF defines “broader impacts”

2. Brainstorming answers to NSF “personal statement” questions

    If you (or someone you know) plan on attending, please RSVP to Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu).

    Computer Science Doctoral Student Receives Best Paper Award

    Computer Science doctoral student Bryan Franklin and Professor Steven Seidel received the Best Paper Award for, “A Parallel Longest Common Subsequence Algorithm in UPC,” at the High Performance Computing Symposium, April 12-14, in Orlando, Fla. Franklin presented the paper at the conference. The paper describes the design, implementation, and performance of a parallel algorithm for the longest common subsequence problem, an important problem in bioinformatics. This is the second consecutive year that Michigan Tech authors have won the Best Paper Award at the HPC Symposium.

    Published in Tech Today

    New Theses and Dissertations in the Library

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

    Brian Beachy
    Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
    Advisor: Andrew J Storer
    Dissertation title: Impacts of the Exotic Beech Bark Disease Complex in Michigan

    Jessica Beachy
    Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
    Advisor: Andrew John Storer
    Dissertation title: The Development of Trapping, Survey and Educational Tools for the Exotic Invasive Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilusplanipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

    Luke Bowman
    Master of Science in Geology
    Advisor: William I Rose
    Thesis title: Community Perceptions of an NGO’s Impact on Disaster Preparedness in Los Planes de La Laguna, Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador

    Venkat Donuru
    Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
    Advisor: Haiying Liu
    Dissertation title: Design and Synthesis of Novel BODIPY Polymeric Dyes, and Redox-active Tetrathiafulvalene-Carbohydrate Conjugates for Potential Biosensing Applications

    Chad Fortin
    Master of Science in Applied Ecology
    Coadvisors: Christopher Raymond Webster and David James Flaspohler
    Thesis title: Floristic Quality as a Potential Driver of Vegetative Diversity-Productivity Relationships and Arthropod Habitat in Restored Grasslands

    Bryan Franklin
    Master of Science in Computer Science
    Advisor: Steven R Seidel
    Thesis title: Analysis and Performance of a UPC Implementation of a Parallel Longest Common Subsequence Algorithm

    Valerie Fuchs
    Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
    Coadvisors: John S Gierke and James R Mihelcic
    Dissertation title: Nitrogen Removal and Sustainability of Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands for Small Scale Wastewater Treatment

    Alex Joseph Varghese
    Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
    Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
    Thesis title: Fabrication of Piezo Resistive Strain Sensor for Orthopedic Fracture Implant System

    Jodi Lehman
    Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
    Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
    Dissertation title: International Teachers in the American Classroom: Deposing the Myth of Monolingualism

    Ruben Otoniel Matias Gomez
    Master of Science in Geology
    Advisor: William I Rose
    Thesis title: Volcanological Map of the 1961-2009 Eruption of Volcande Pacaya, Guatemala

    Julian Mills-Beale
    Master of Science in Civil Engineering
    Advisor: Zhanping You
    Thesis title: New Test Procedures for Aggregate Specific Gravities and Absorption

    Srichand Pendyala
    Master of Science in Computer Science
    Advisor: Robert Louis Pastel
    Thesis title: Sketch Recognition through Shape Based Interaction

    Ratul Saha
    Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
    Advisor: Susan T Bagley
    Dissertation title: UV Disinfection of Metalworking Fluids: Analysis Using Molecular Tools

    Steven Vormwald
    Master of Science in Computer Science
    Advisor: Steven M Carr
    Thesis title: Predicting Remote Reuse Distance Patterns in Unified Parallel C Applications

    Fuyu Xu
    Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
    Advisor: Chandrashekhar Pralhad Joshi
    Dissertation title: Molecular Mechanism of Cellulose Biosynthesis in Plants