Month: December 2019

All Researchers Invited to Research Development Day 2020

by Research Development Office

All Michigan Tech researchers are invited to participate in the 2020 Research Development Day at Michigan Tech. The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 9. The content of the 2020 event is new and designed for both new and returning attendees.

Multiple sessions are planned for faculty at all career stages and from all disciplines. Research staff and post-docs from any discipline are also likely to find sessions of interest. We are excited to welcome Jose Fuentes as our keynote speaker.

Fuentes is an experienced faculty researcher at Penn State, with a significant track record of international work and broad research impact. As in previous years, we will end the day with research recognitions, celebrating accomplishments from across the university over the past year, followed by a networking social.

A condensed agenda is found on the reservation form. Your RSVP is requested by Jan. 3 to finalize meal counts and room arrangements. If your schedule does not permit you to attend the full day, the RSVP allows you to sign up for morning, lunch, and/or afternoon sessions.

The RSVP form should take only a minute or two to complete. A reminder and final agenda will be sent in the new year. Please contact rd-l@mtu.edu with any questions.


Nathir Rawashdeh to Present Paper at Advances in Mechanical Engineering Conference

Nathir Rawashdeh

A conference paper co-authored by Nathir Rawashdeh (CC/MERET), has been accepted for presentation and publication at the 5th International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering, December 17-19, 2019, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The paper is entitled, “Effect of Camera’s Focal Plane Array Fill Factor on Digital Image Correlation Measurement Accuracy.” Co-authors are Ala L. Hijazi of German Jordanian University, and Christian J. Kähler of Universität der Bundeswehr München.

Abstract: The digital image correlation (DIC) method is one of the most widely used non-invasive full-field methods for deformation and strain measurements. It is currently being used in a very wide variety of applications including mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, structural engineering, manufacturing engineering, material science, non-destructive testing, biomedical and life sciences. There are many factors that affect the DIC measurement accuracy where that includes; the selection of the correlation algorithm and parameters, the camera, the lens, the type and quality of the speckle pattern, the lightening conditions and surrounding environment. Several studies have addressed the different factors influencing the accuracy of DIC measurements and the sources of error. The camera’s focal plane array (FPA) fill factor is one of the parameters for digital cameras, though it is not widely known and usually not reported in specs sheets. The fill factor of an imaging sensor is defined as the ratio of a pixel’s light sensitive area to its total theoretical area. For some types of imaging sensors, the fill factor can theoretically reach 100%. However, for the types of imaging sensors typically used in most digital cameras used in DIC measurements, such as the “interline” charge coupled device CCD and the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging sensors, the fill factor is much less than 100%. It is generally believed that the lower fill factor may reduce the accuracy of photogrammetric measurements. But nevertheless, there are no studies addressing the effect of the imaging sensor’s fill factor on DIC measurement accuracy. We report on research aiming to quantify the effect of fill factor on DIC measurements accuracy in terms of displacement error and strain error. We use rigid-body-translation experiments then numerically modify the recorded images to synthesize three different types of images with 1/4 of the original resolution. Each type of the synthesized images has different value of the fill factor; namely 100%, 50% and 25%. By performing DIC analysis with the same parameters on the three different types of synthesized images, the effect of fill factor on measurement accuracy may be realized. Our results show that the FPA’s fill factor can have a significant effect on the accuracy of DIC measurements. This effect is clearly dependent on the type and characteristics of the speckle pattern. The fill factor has a clear effect on measurement error for low contrast speckle patterns and for high contrast speckle patterns (black dots on white background) with small dot size (3 pixels dot diameter). However, when the dot size is large enough (about 7 pixels dot diameter), the fill factor has very minor effect on measurement error. In addition, the results also show that the effect of the fill factor is also dependent on the magnitude of translation between images. For instance, the increase in measurement error resulting from low fill factor can be more significant for subpixel translations than large translations of several pixels.
Request the full paper here.

Congratulations, RedTeam@MTU!

National Cyber League Logo

RedTeam@MTU, one of Michigan Tech’s National Cyber League (NCL) teams, placed 8th out of 689 teams in the recent NCL Fall 2019 cyber competition team game. The team consists of seven College of Computing undergraduate and graduate students: Alexander Larkin, John Claassen, Jack Bergman, Jon Preuth, Trevor Hornsby, Shane Hoppe, and Matthew Chau. In addition, two RedTeam@MTU team members ranked in the top 100 out of 4149 players in the individual game: John Claassen (67th) and Alex Larkin (70th).

“This is a breakthrough since first joining the NCL competition in Fall 2017,” said faculty coach Bo Chen, assistant professor of computer science. “Congratulations to the RedTeam and John Claasen and Alex Larkin!”

Three teams and 21 players from Michigan Tech were involved this season, most of them with the RedTeam@MTU, a student organization which exists to promote a security-driven mindset among the student population, and to provide a community and resource for those wishing to learn more about information security.  The RedTeam is co-advised by Bo Chen and Yu Cai, professor in the College of Computing.

Students from hundreds of U.S. universities participated during the Fall 2019 NCL season, which comprised a week-long Preseason placement game, followed by a weekend Individual Game, and culminating in a weekend Team Game. A total of 689 teams and 4149 players  participated.

In addition, Michigan Tech ranks 11th among the top 100 colleges and universities in the “Team” Cyber Power Rankings, 51st in the Individual Rank, and 23rd in the Participation Rank. The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). The rankings represent the ability of students from these schools to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform, such as identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more. Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students. View the full ranking list at https://cyberskyline.com/data/power-ranking/fall-2019-national.

Founded in 2011 to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for participants to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity skills, the NCL 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 played the games simultaneously during all of the Fall season games.

The NCL challenges are based on the CompTIA Security+™ and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)™ performance-based exam objectives and include the following content: Open Source Intelligence, Scanning, Enumeration and Exploitation, Password Cracking, Traffic Analysis, Log Analysis, Wireless Security, Cryptography, and Web Application Security. Players of all levels can participate in the NCL games. Through easy, medium and hard challenges, students have multiple opportunities to excel.

Learn more about the NCL at: https://www.nationalcyberleague.org/.

Cyber Skyline Logo

Cyber Skyline is an immersive cloud platform on which to practice, develop, and measure technical cybersecurity skills. It is built for Incident Response Handlers, Security & Network Engineers, SOC Analysts, Software Engineers, Pentesters, and more. Visit the Cyber Skyline website at: https://cyberskyline.com.


BASIC Program Featured on TV 6-WLUC UPSide

Kelly Steelman

Building Adult Skills in Computing, or BASIC, is a program where anyone in the community who has questions about computers, smart phones, or tablets, can receive individual instruction. The BASIC program tutors, all Michigan Tech students, and faculty mentor Kelly Steelman, member of the ICC’s Center for Human-Centered Computing, were featured on the TV6 feature UPsiders on November 25, 2019.

View the video on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/uppermichiganssource/videos/2669673899926711/.

More about BASIC:

Since 2011, Michigan Tech students and faculty have been helping Copper Country community members improve their basic computer skills through the free tutoring program Building Adult Skills in Computing (BASIC).

The sessions take place every Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 at the Portage Lake District Library, Houghton, when Michigan Tech classes are in session. Up to 15 tutors are available this semester and all community members are welcome. Computer experience is not necessary and an appointment is not required.

“As the digital revolution continues to transform our society, many older adults and other groups are being left behind,” said Charles Wallace, associate professor of computer science. “Using computers, smartphones and other digital devices remains unfamiliar territory for many and it can be a source of great anxiety.”

Wallace explains that through this free tutoring, the BASIC program aims to overcome this anxiety and build the computer skills and digital literacy needed for participants to effectively operate digital devices and technology and safely find the information they need.

For more information, please contact Charles Wallace (906-487-3431, wallace@mtu.edu) or Kelly Steelman, associate professor of cognitive and learning sciences (906-487-2792, steelman@mtu.edu).


Weihua Zhou is PI on $25K R and D Grant from Tulane University

Weihua Zhou

Weihua Zhou, assistant professor, Health Informatics, and member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $24,497 federal pass-through research and development grant from Tulane University. The project is titled, “Trans-Omics Integration of Multi-Omics Studies for Male Osteoporosis.” This is a 7-1/2 month project.

Abstract: Osteoporosis is the most prevalent metabolic bone disease and it is representative of many diseases typical of aging. While advances in omics technologies,  such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and epigenomics, have been successful in identifying risk loci for osteoporosis, each technology individually cannot capture the entire biological complexity of osteoporosis. The integration of multiple technologies has emerged as an approach to provide a more comprehensive view of biology and disease. In addition, recent advances in image analysis have enabled the characterization of not only the bone mineral density but also the bone microarchitecture and biomechanical quality with the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measurements. The Tulane Center for Bioinformatics and Genomics (CBG), led by Dr. Hong-Wen Deng, has accumulated/is acquiring extensive multi-omics data and DEXA/QCT images through a number of research projects for osteoporosis and other related phenotypes. Tulane CBG is actively seeking collaborations with investigators who have the expertise and experience in integrative multi-omics analysis and advanced image analysis. With this NIH subcontract award (U19AG055373), Tulane CBG will collaborate with Dr. Weihua Zhou and his team on the development and implementation of sophisticated methods for multi-omics analysis and DEXA/QCT image analysis.
Dr. Zhou is looking for volunteer research assistants. Please visit his web pages for more details: https://pages.mtu.edu/~whzhou/, and read this blog post: https://blogs.mtu.edu/computing/2019/12/03/medical-imaging-…earch-assistants/.

MEDC Cyber and Mobility Division Visits Michigan Tech

MEDC Logo

Michigan Tech’s ICC Center for Cybersecurity and the MTEC SmartZone hosted members of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC’s) Cyber and Mobility division in Houghton, MI, on December 2, 2019.

The group’s visit included presentations by several Michigan Tech faculty who are conducting research in the cyber and mobility space, strategic economic development discussions highlighting Michigan Tech and the local community, and tours of selected Michigan Tech cyber and mobility labs, including GLRC, APS Labs, and the KRC.

The tour concluded with a talk to Michigan Tech students by Karl Heimer of the MEDC regarding information and student opportunities with MEDC-affiliated CyberAuto and CyberTruck competitions.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Guy Hembroff, director of the ICC Center for Cybersecurity and the Health Informatics graduate program.


“Artificial UnIntelligence,” A Keynote Lecture from Meredith Broussard

Meredith Broussard
Artificial UnIntelligence Book Cover

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture series continues with “Artificial UnIntelligence,” a keynote lecture from Meredith Broussard, on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Union Building Ballroom B, followed by a Q&A.

Collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.


Meet and Greet with Author Meredith Broussard Is Thurs., Dec. 5, 2-3 pm

Meredith Broussard Meet and Greet Flyer

A Meet and Greet with author and professor Meredith Broussard will take place Thursday, December 5, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, in Fisher Hall Room 127.

Dr. Broussard will present a public lecture Thursday, December 5, 7:00 pm to 8:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Building (MUB), Ballroom B.

Our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.

Download the event flyer.


Nathir Rawashdeh To Present Talk Fri., Dec. 6

Nathir Rawashdeh

Nathir Rawashdeh, College of Computing Assistant Professor of Mechatronics, Electrical, and Robotics Engineering Technology, will present a talk this Friday, December 6, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., in Rekhi 214. Rawashdeh will present a review of recent advancements in Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) applications, hardware, and software with a focus on vehicle localization and autonomous navigation. Refreshments will be served.

Abstract: Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) are being applied in many scenarios including, indoors, outdoors, and even extraterrestrial. Advancements in hardware and software algorithms reduce their cost and enable the creation of complete UGV platforms designed for custom application development, as well as research into new sensors and algorithms.


Algorithmic Culture Series Lecture: Artificial UnIntelligence Is Dec. 5

Meredith Broussard

The Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture’s Algorithmic Culture Series continues with “Artificial UnIntelligence,” a keynote lecture from Meredith Broussard, at 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 5) in Memorial Union Building Ballroom B, followed by a Q&A.

Collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a vast number of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding our technology actually work.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at whether self-driving cars really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. You can follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.

Learn more about the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture here: https://www.mtu.edu/ipec/