Tag: Mathematical Sciences

Graduate Programs Assessed

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies has released a comparison of more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities across the nation, including Michigan Tech.

The assessment–seven years in the making–rated 12 PhD programs at Michigan Tech, giving highest marks to two in SFRES: forest molecular genetics and biotechnology, and forest science.

Other noteworthy Tech programs included chemical engineering, chemistry, environmental engineering, mathematical sciences, materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

“The NRC used a complex and very sophisticated statistical analysis procedure to attempt to objectively compare similar PhD programs,” said David Reed, vice president for research. “I’m very pleased that our programs in forestry–and in some of the engineering and science specialties–came out so well. It speaks very highly of the faculty and students involved.”

Although the results of the NRC study were described as “rankings,” graduate programs at different universities weren’t actually ranked or compared directly one to another. Rather, using a complicated statistical analysis of 21 variables and two sets of data, the programs were assigned “ranges.”

Both data sets were based on results of faculty surveys. In one survey, faculty members were asked what factors were most important to the overall quality of a graduate program. In the other, they were asked to rate the quality of a sample of programs in their field.

The results, which took several years to analyze, show the number of programs evaluated in each field and the range in which Tech’s programs fall. In forest science, for example, 34 programs were compared, and Michigan Tech’s were ranked between 2nd of 34 and 23rd of 34.

“The results are not rankings,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School. “The report tells us that there is a 90 percent chance that the ‘true’ ranking of each of our programs falls somewhere within the reported range.”

“The results do have some interesting implications,” Huntoon went on to say. “We found out what is most important to a good reputation–the number of PhDs graduated, the number of publications of the faculty, and the research awards received by faculty. The results clearly show that the reputation of a graduate program depends on its size.”

“That validates the direction in which Michigan Tech has been moving–making a conscious effort to grow its Graduate School programs,” Huntoon added.

She expressed concern that the NRC data is out of date. It was collected in 2006-07 and included data from 2001-02 to 2005-06.

“We aren’t the same university or the same graduate school we were then,” Huntoon noted. “In 2005, we only had 870 graduate students. Now we have 1,241. We have made a major commitment to growing our graduate school.” The new data will be useful as a benchmark to measure future progress at Michigan Tech, she said.

The last NRC graduate program assessment was conducted in 1995. It evaluated only three PhD programs at Michigan Tech: geosciences, mechanical engineering and physics.

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Published in Tech Today


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).


    New Theses and Dissertations Available in the Library

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations from the following programs:

    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Environmental Policy
    • Forest Ecology and Management
    • Forest Science
    • Industrial Archaeology
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

    are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library.


    Spring Travel Grants from Biotechnology Research Center

    The BRC announces the recipients of its 2010 Spring Travel Grants:

    • Adam Abraham, (graduate student in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference, to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
    • Rachel Bradford (graduate student in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the 31st American Society for Bone and Mineral Research held in September in Denver, Colo.
    • Shurong Fang (graduate student in Mathematical Sciences) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings to be held in August in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    • Kasra Momeni (graduate student in ME-EM) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the 2010 MRD Spring Meeting Symposium held in April in San Francisco, Calif.
    • Duane Morrow (graduate student in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
    • Saikat Mukhopadhyay (graduate student in Physics) received $500 toward a podium presentation at the American Physical Society 2010 Meeting held in March in Portland, Ore.
    • Christopher Schwartz (graduate student in Biological Sciences) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology 2010 Conference held in April in Anaheim, Calif.
    • Sarah Stream (graduate student in Biological Sciences) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology 2010 Conference held in April in Anaheim, Cali.
    • Echoe Bouta (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease Conference to be held in June in Lucca, Italy.
    • Connor McCarthy (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease Conference to be held in June in Lucca, Italy.
    • John Moyer (undergraduate in ME-EM) will receive $500 toward a poster presentation at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers–Summer Bioengineering Conference to be held in June in Naples, Fla.
    • Eli Vlaisavljevich (undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering) received $500 toward a poster presentation at the Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting held in March in New Orleans, La.

    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.

    Joshua Carlson
    Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: Surendra K Kawatra
    Thesis title: Effects of Particle Shape, Particle Size, Composition and Zeta Potential on Filtration at an Iron Ore Concentrator

    James Diaz-Gonzalez
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    Advisor: Gordon G Parker
    Dissertation title: Closed Loop Docking with a Nearly Periodic Moving Target

    Mark Griep
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
    Dissertation title: Quantum Dot / Optical Protein Bio-Nano Hybrid System Biosensing

    Cameron Hartnell
    Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
    Advisor: Patrick E Martin
    Dissertation title: Arctic Network Builders: The Arctic Coal Company’s Operations on Spitsbergen and its Relationship with the Environment

    Jill Jensen
    Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
    Advisor: David R Shonnard
    Dissertation title: Cellulosic Ethanol: Optimization of Dilute Acid and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Processing of Forest Resources and Switchgrass

    Parimal Kar
    Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
    Advisor: Ulrich Hans Ewald Hansmann
    Dissertation title: Proteins in Silico-Modeling and Sampling

    Robert Lothschutz
    Master of Science in Civil Engineering
    Advisor: Jacob Eskel Hiller
    Thesis title: Back-Calculation of Effective Built-In Temperature Difference in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement

    Lisa Rouse
    Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
    Advisor: Andrew J Burton
    Thesis title: Early season ozone uptake is important for determining ozone tolerance in two trembling aspen clones

    Tara Swanson
    Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
    Thesis title: Titanium Surface Morphologies and their Effect on Vancomycin Loading and Release Profiles for Orthopedic Applications

    Xuexia Wang
    Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences
    Advisor: Shuanglin Zhang
    Dissertation title: Genetic Association Studies Considering LD Information and Genome-Wide Application

    Wei Wang
    Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
    Advisor: Timothy J Schulz
    Dissertation title: Estimation of the Degree of Polarization through Computational Sensing

    Andrew Willemsen
    Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
    Advisor: Mohan D Rao
    Thesis title: Objective Metric for Assessing the Perceived Annoyance of Impulsive Sounds

    Ziyou Zhou
    Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
    Advisor: Miguel Levy
    Dissertation title: Metal-Oxide Film and Photonic Structures for Integrated Device Applications


    Fusion Energy Sciences Fellowship Program

    Description: Offers talented students the opportunity to engage in the study and research of fusion energy sciences and technology, while fostering practical work experiences at recognized research facilities. Provides incentive and support to students as they continue their education in graduate school and prepare for careers in fusion energy.

    Discipline(s): physical sciences; engineering; mathematics; related scientific disciplines

    Eligibility: U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. Undergraduate seniors; bachelor’s recipients; and first and second year graduate students at the time of application

    Location(s): Various locations across U. S. Participating universities with practicums at various U.S. Department of Energy research facilities

    Duration: Maximum 36 months with annual renewal

    Deadline(s): January 31

    Benefits: $24,000 annual stipend and full payment of tuition and fees; $750 per month practicum allowance; opportunity to attend professional meetings and to participate in long-term graduate research ad DOE fusion research facilities.

    Funding source(s): U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences

    How to apply: Application materials available at http://www.orau.gov/fusion.


    American Society of Naval Engineers Scholarship Program

    ASNE Scholarship Announcement

    The purpose of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Scholarship Program is to    improve and promote the profession of naval engineering. The Society’s goal is to encourage college students to enter the field of naval engineering and to provide valuable support to naval engineers seeking advanced education in the field.

    Since the program was inaugurated in 1979, 421 ASNE scholarships have been awarded.  For the 2009-2010 academic year, ASNE scholarship awards supported 12 undergraduate students ($3,000) and 9 graduate students ($4,000).

    Eligibility:  Applicant must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in or entering a graduate program in engineering or physical science

    Deadline: Feb 12, 2010


    Predoctoral STEM Awards

    The Association for Women in Science offers $1000 awards for women pursuing PhDs in the STEM fields.  Four categories of awards are available:

    • Predoctoral Award
      For a female graduate student who has advanced to PhD candidacy studying in any STEM field except Physics (
    • Schutzmeister Award
      For a female predoctoral student who has advanced to PhD candidacy studying Physics
      The Schutzmeister Award has a separate application process managed by Dr. Gerald Hardie at Western Michigan University. Do not use the materials on this site. To request application forms contact Dr. Hardie at gerald.hardie@wmich.edu.
    • Satter Award
      For a female predoctoral student who has interrupted her career for three or more years to raise a family
      The Satter Award application includes an additional document provided by the applicant’s graduate department certifying that you meet the Satter criterion.
    • Filner Award
      New this year, this award honors Barbara Filner, a long-time active AWIS member who served as President of National AWIS, and as President of the AWIS Educational Foundation for ten years. This award is given to a predoctoral student who has advanced to PhD candidacy and has participated in activities, such as mentoring and organizing workshops, that encourage women to pursue careers in science and related fields. The application process includes an additional document (up to 700 words) reviewing activities to help women achieve their career goals.

    Funding Opportunities in STEM Graduate Programs

    Funding Opportunities in STEM Graduate Programs

    • AGEP:

    programs offer minority students support in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

    • GK-12:

    The NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program supports fellowships and training for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

    • IGERT:

    fellowship programs offer a $30,000 stipend plus tuition and fees. Over 100 programs nationwide emphasize interdisciplinary studies in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

    • MSPHDS:

    The Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success (MSPHDS) in Earth System Science initiative was developed by and for underrepresented minorities with the overall purpose of facilitating increased participation in Earth system science.

    • NSF Grad Research Fellowships:

    provides students with three years of funding for research-focused Master’s and PhD degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

    For additional information please visit: http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/Grad.asp


    DHS Summer Scholarship

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) realizes that the country’s strong science and technology community provides a critical advantage in the development and implementation of counter-terrorist measures and other DHS objectives. The DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program is intended for students interested in pursuing the basic science and technology innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission. This education program is intended to ensure a highly talented science and technology community to achieve the DHS mission and objectives. Eligible students must be studying in a homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) field with an interest, major, or concentration directly related to one of the homeland security research areas.

    For more information