Day: September 5, 2019

Oommen Part of Team in Mumbai Working on Disaster Management Curriculum

Thomas Oommen

Thomas Oommen (DataS), associate professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences, was recently featured in a Michigan Tech Unscripted Research Blog titled, ” Geohazards on the Horizon.”

Oommen was part of a US team in Mumbai this August working on disaster management curriculum with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the only institution in all of Mumbai—one of the world’s largest cities with 19 million people—to offer a degree in disaster management.

Oommen’s trip was funded by the US Consulate General in Mumbai. Read more about the team’s work on the Unscripted blog here:

Mari Buche Is Co-author of Article in ACM SIGMIS Database

Mari Buche

Mari Buche (DataS), School of Business and Economics associate dean and professor of management information systems, is co-author of the article, “He Said, She Said: Communication Theory of Identity and the Challenges Men Face in the Information Systems Workplace,” which was published in the August 2019 issue of the newsletter ACM SIGMIS Database: the DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems.

Co-authors of the article are Cynthia K. Riemenschneider, Baylor University, and Deb Armstrong, Florida State University.

Abstract: The preponderance of the academic research focused on diversity in the IS field has emphasized the perspectives of women and racioethnic minorities. Recent research has found that following the appointment of a female CEO, white male top managers provided less help to colleagues, particularly those identified as minority-status (McDonald, Keeves, & Westphal, 2018). Additionally, Collison and Hearn (1994) assert that white men’s universal status and their occupancy of the normative standard state have rendered them invisible as objects of analysis. To develop a more holistic view of the IS workplace, we expand the academic exploration by looking at the challenges men face in the Information Systems (IS) workplace. Using a cognitive lens, we evoke the challenges men perceive they face at work and cast them into revealed causal maps. We then repeat the process evoking women’s perspectives of men’s challenges. The findings are analyzed using the Communication Theory of Identity (CTI) to determine the areas of overlap and identity gaps. This study advances our understanding of the cognitive overlap (and lack thereof) regarding the challenges facing men in the IS field, and provides another step toward developing a more inclusive IS work environment.

ACM SIGMIS Database: the DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems
Volume 50 Issue 3, August 2019
Pages 85-115
ACM New York, NY, USA

DOI: 10.1145/3353401.3353407

Weihua Zhou to Present Invited Talk at 2019 American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Conference

Weihua Zhou

Weihua Zhou (DataS), assistant professor of health informatics, will present an invited talk and give a poster presentation at the 2019 American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference (ASNC), September 12-15, in Chicago, IL.

His talk, “Machine Learning for Automatic LV Segmentation and Volume Quantification,” will discuss the results of his recent research for the American Heart Association, “A new image-guided approach for cardiac resynchronization therapy.” (Project Number: 17AIREA33700016, PI: Weihua Zhou).

Keith Vertanen and Scott Kuhl Awarded $500K NSF Grant

Scott Kuhl
Scott Kuhl
Keith Vertanen
Keith Vertanen

Keith Vertanen, assistant professor of computer science (HCC), and Scott Kuhl (HCC), associate professor of computer science, are principal investigators of a recently funded three-year National Science Foundation grant for their project, “CHS: Small: Rich Surface Interaction for Augmented Environments.” The expected funding over three years is $499,552.00.

Vertanen and Kuhl are members of Michigan Tech’s Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) Center for Human-Centered Computing. A 2018 ICC research seed grant funded by ECE Alumnus Paul Williams was used to produce some of the preliminary results in the successful proposal. More info about the Williams Seed Grant can be found here:

A related video can be found here:

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) head-mounted displays are increasingly being used in different computing related activities such as data visualization, education, and training. Currently, VR and AR devices lack efficient and ergonomic ways to perform common desktop interactions such as pointing-and-clicking and entering text. The goal of this project is to transform flat, everyday surfaces into a rich interactive surface. For example, a desk or a wall could be transformed into a virtual keyboard. Flat surfaces afford not only haptic feedback, but also provide ergonomic advantages by providing a place to rest your arms. This project will develop a system where microphones are placed on surfaces to enable the sensing of when and where a tap has occurred. Further, the system aims to differentiate different types of touch interactions such as tapping with a fingernail, tapping with a finger pad, or making short swipe gestures.

This project will investigate different machine learning algorithms for producing a continuous coordinate for taps on a surface along with associated error bars. Using the confidence of sensed taps, the project will investigate ways to intelligently inform aspects of the user interface, e.g. guiding the autocorrection algorithm of a virtual keyboard decoder. Initially, the project will investigate sensing via an array of surface-mounted microphones and design “surface algorithms” to determine and compare the location accuracy of the finger taps on the virtual keyboard. These algorithms will experiment with different models including existing time-of-flight model, a new model based on Gaussian Process Regression, and a baseline of classification using support vector machines. For all models, the project will investigate the impact of the amount of training data from other users, and varying the amount of adaptation data from the target user. The project will compare surface microphones with approaches utilizing cameras and wrist-based inertial sensors. The project will generate human-factors results on the accuracy, user preference, and ergonomics of interacting midair versus on a rigid surface. By examining different sensors, input surfaces, and interface designs, the project will map the design space for future AR and VR interactive systems. The project will disseminate software and data allowing others to outfit tables or walls with microphones to enable rich interactive experiences.