Category: News

Humanities at Tech Ranked in the National Top 100 for Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its annual research spending report, and Michigan Tech has moved up in its rankings. Of 634 institutions that received research funding in 2014, Tech received $68.5 million, ranking 163rd overall nationwide. The University ranked 117th among public institutions. Mechanical engineering research at Tech received $13.1 million in research funding, ranking 19th in the nation. Atmospheric science—a new interdisciplinary category—received $3.1 million and ranked 34th.

14 Disciplines in Top 100

Fourteen disciplines at Michigan Tech ranked in the top 100 for research spending.  They are:

  • atmospheric science (34th)
  • business and management (76th)
  • biomedical engineering (94th)
  • chemical engineering (90th)
  • civil engineering (89th)
  • electrical engineering (62nd)
  • environmental science (52nd)
  • humanities (94th)
  • mechanical engineering (19th)
  • metallurgical and materials engineering (58th)
  • mathematical sciences (88th)
  • oceanography (56th)
  • overall engineering (84th)
  • visual and performing arts (85th).

“The research funding environment is increasingly competitive, and our improvement in overall ranking, as well as the increases in last year’s funding that will impact future rankings, all indicate the exceptional efforts of our faculty, staff, and students,” said David Reed, vice president for research.

NSF ranks research activities by discipline, not by organizational structure, Reed pointed out, so the spending in some of Tech’s institutes and centers, such as the Michigan Tech Research Institute, the Keweenaw Research Center and the Great Lakes Research Center, are included with the appropriate academic departments rather than reported separately.

(This article originally appeared in Tech Today.)

Syd Johnson Speaks at KIP Seminar Series

SydThe final KIP Faculty and Graduate Student seminar is today, Friday Dec. 4, at 3pm in the ATDC Conference Room. Dr. Syd Johnson from the Department of Humanities will be presenting on the ethical and legal implications surrounding concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic en​cephalopathy). This is timely as there is a new movie out this month called “Concussion” (features Will Smith) which highlights Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of CTE in NFL athletes and how his scientific findings were challenged by the NFL. Below are a few background links that might be of interest. This should be a great talk to wrap up the fall seminar series!

Head trauma: Key questions on CTE lack answers

HOUGHTON – Decades after the first research on concussions and chronic head trauma, there’s a widespread effort to mitigate their damage. But many of the most pressing questions still don’t have answers.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese (subscription required).

UP-STEAM Summer Workshops

UP-STEAMMichigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula is organizing summer week-long workshops starting in June 2016 for academics interested in the interrelation of the liberal arts, humanities, and STEM fields at the college level. Following movements in K-12 education, we seek to address for higher education the observation that STEM plus Arts = STEAM, and that STEAM is crucial to universities, especially tech-heavy ones.

Our first workshop will take place June 13-17, 2016, on the campus of Michigan Tech.  We will bring faculty, campus leaders, and researchers together to discuss the state of the liberal arts, humanities, and sciences in higher education. Located near the tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior, Michigan Tech is a tourist destination for many people from the Midwest and beyond.

Convening Committee

Andy Fiss (Humanities) writes and teaches about the communication of science and the history of STEM education. He is especially interested in mathematics education and in its intermittent partnerships with science education, engineering education, arts education, and language education.

Scott Marratto (Humanities) works on philosophy of technology.

Patricia Sotirin (Humanities) works on communication, language, and gender.

Ron Strickland (Humanities) writes on the cultural politics of the Humanities and higher education. He is Chair of the Department of Humanities at Michigan Tech.

Steven Walton (Social Sciences) is a historian of technology and science with a background in mechanical engineering. He studies how technical systems are developed and how technicians make sense of their systems and their wider role in society.

For questions, please contact Jacqueline Ellenich, UP-STEAM Coordinator at (906) 487-2008 or jmelleni@mtu.edu

Elie Wiesel Essay Contest

Every year the Elie Wiesel Foundation presents awards to college students for top essays on ethics. First prize is $5,000. This year’s prompt is: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.

Note this topic is only a suggestion. Students may write about any topic they wish, as long as it explores the theme of ethics. Essays must be submitted by Dec. 14. Find out more here.

(This article first appeared in Tech Today.)

Roxane Gay Wins 2015 PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award

Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay

English professor Roxane Gay will recognized by PEN Center USA, a literary and human rights organization, at the 25th Annual Literary Awards Festival on November 16, 2015. Gay received her PhD from Michigan Tech in 2009 in Rhetoric and Technical Communication. She has received acclaim for her novel An Untamed State and her bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist.

“The freedom to write,” Gay said about winning the award, “has been one of my life’s greatest blessings and it is a freedom that should be available to everyone who wants or needs to share their voice,” says Gay. “I am thankful that organizations like PEN Center USA are doing the necessary work to ensure that such freedom is protected. It is humbling to be considered worthy of such an award. I am thrilled and honored.”

Read more about her accomplishments at the Literary Hub, by Jonathan Russell Clark.

Gay’s recent article in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, Where Are Black Children Safe?, has been widely circulated.

Technology has made the world a panopticon. It has widened the range of who watches and who is watched. Each day, we learn of a new injustice against the black body and in many cases, we now have pictures, videos. We have incontrovertible evidence of flagrant brutalities though, sadly and predictably, this evidence is never enough. At some point, this evidence, these breathtaking, sickening images, will render us numb or they will break our hearts irreparably. There is no respite from the harsh reminder that our black bodies are not safe. The black bodies of those we love are not safe.

Read more at the New York Times, by Roxane Gay.

Fiss to Share “Feelings About Reading”

Laura Kasson-Fiss
Laura Kasson-Fiss

Laura Fiss (Hu) will present “Feelings About Reading” at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Portage Lake District Library. The event kicks off the Great Michigan Read program by exploring some of the assumptions behind a community reading program: What does it mean to read as a community? In what communities do we read? And, how do programs such as these speak to the cultural value of reading? Fiss will invite discussion from the audience and provide a historical perspective. All programs at the PLDL are free and open to the public.

 

(This article originally appeared in Tech Today.)

Peace Activism Events Co-Sponsored by Humanities

HOUGHTON, MARQUETTE — Just a few weeks before renewed violence between Palestinians and Israelis hit the news this month, audiences at Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan universities heard stories about this long conflict from the perspective of an Israeli-American peace activist and author, Miko Peled, whose dream is not the often cited “two-state solution” but a more optimistic solution that would accept Palestine/Israel as one country — cured of its current apartheid-like colonial occupation.

At the invitation of Miguel Levy, Michigan Tech professor of physics and materials science and engineering, Peled visited Marquette and Houghton on Sept. 16 and 17, respectively, and gave two presentations open to university and community audiences. The events were sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and departments of Humanities, Social Sciences and Physics; the Michigan Tech Indigenous Issues Discussion Group; and Northern Michigan University’s Center for Native American Studies.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bourdieu.