Month: January 2021

1010 with … Tim Havens, Weds., Jan. 20, 5:30-5:40 pm

You are invited to spend one-zero-one-zero—that is, ten—minutes with Dr. Timothy Havens on Wednesday, January 20, from 5:30 to 5:40 p.m. EST.

Havens is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computing, Director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, and the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems at Michigan Tech.

In this informal discussion, Havens will talk about undergraduate research opportunities at Michigan Tech, his research in AI and machine learning, and answer your questions about the College of Computing.

We look forward to spending 1010 minutes with you!

Join 1010 with Tim Havens here.

Did you miss the December 16, 1010 with Nathir Rawashdeh? Watch the video below.

1010 with … Nathir Rawashdeh, December 16, 2020

The 1010 with … series continues on Wednesday January 27 … with more to come!


Software Engineering Program Ranked Among the Best

Michigan Tech’s BS in Software Engineering is in the top 10 nationwide according to College Rank. The website ranked the 35 Best Bachelor’s in Software Engineering.

Michigan Tech, which appears at number nine on the list, was one of only two Michigan colleges to make the ranking. The University of Michigan – Dearborn was ranked 15th.

“It’s great to see our program get this well-deserved recognition,” says Professor and Chair Linda Ott, Computer Science. “We consistently hear from industries that hire our graduates that our alumni are well-prepared and quickly become productive developers in their organizations.”

“Our students gain a solid theoretical framework, which provides the foundation for life-long career growth and success, as well as extensive practical, hands-on experience through class projects, internships and the Michigan Tech Enterprise program,” Ott explains.

College Rank uses a ranking methodology based on three aspects — Potential Salary After Graduation (40%), Individual Program Accreditation (30%) and Overall Affordability (30%).

“This program will help you to secure your position in a well-regarded profession,” says the College Rank website about Michigan Tech’s Software Engineering program. “You’ll be able to work with teams in your classes as well as labs and in the Senior Enterprise or Design programs. The Enterprise Program is a unique opportunity that brings together students of all majors to work on real projects with real clients in a business-like environment. You’ll receive guidance and coaching from faculty mentors throughout every step of your journey here.”


2021 Innovation Week Is January 25 – 29

by Husky Innovate

Innovation Week is a celebration of innovation both on and off-campus. We will host talks with alumni entrepreneurs, showcase campus innovation and interactive events. Learn about innovative research, new ventures, solutions to COVID-19 and education prototypes.

Connect with alumni, students and faculty. Drop-in for one event or several.

MTU Health Research Institute: (Monday, Jan. 25, noon – 1 p.m.)

Health research at Michigan Tech has been steadily growing for over 10 years. This growth has led to many practical uses for the technology developed. Three researchers, Megan Frost (KIP), Bruce Lee (BioMed) and Weihua Zhou (CC) will discuss their experiences with start-ups and applying their research to relevant health problems. Register here

Private Equity Investment for Innovation (Tuesday, Jan. 26, noon-1:30 p.m.)

Entrepreneurs exploring financing options for their innovation, future private equity investors, and current equity investors will find this panel discussion with Michigan Tech private equity experts invaluable. Topics include: Private investors goals and strategies The types of opportunities that investors look for Business stages and when investing is appropriate Terms involved Exit strategies for entrepreneurs Current investment trends in private investing Panelists include: John Rockwell, Karl LaPeer, Tom Nye, and Jeff Helminski. Register Here.

Advanced Power Systems Lab (Wednesday, Jan. 27, noon-1 p.m.)

Husky Innovate talk with Jeremy Worm of Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power Systems lab and his team who will share the labs’ innovative approaches to research, education, and collaboration with industry. Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APS LABS) is focused on clean power generation and nearly all aspects of mobility with an emphasis on ground vehicle systems. APS LABS is a full-service organization conducting fundamental research, applied research & advanced engineering, product development, and validation testing. APS LABS supports commercial partners ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies and serves in a lead, or sub-role on many government contracts with commercial partners. Register here

IDEAhub Innovation Hour (Wednesday, Jan. 27, 3-4 p.m.)

IDEA hub leaders will share their innovative education pilot projects and approach to address the challenges of Education in the 21st Century. Register here

Innovation and Collaboration at the Library Activity (Thursday, Jan. 28, noon-1 p.m.)

Libraries are inherently interdisciplinary spaces that can serve as a jumping-off point for active collaboration and innovation. Join librarians Jenn Sams and Erin Matas for a speed collaboration activity designed to let you meet new people, see a problem through a different lens, and inspire innovation. Learn about ways the library supports and participates in innovative activities via a Patent & Trademark Resource Center, the 3D printers, and an innovative response to Covid-19. Register Here

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition (Thursday, Jan. 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m.)

Pitch your idea and potentially win some cash. This year, we’ll accept two-minute idea pitches (evaluated on uniqueness and potential impact) and four-minute business model pitches (evaluated on scalability and actionable business models.) Register to compete by January 25, or join us in the audience to watch the event. Register Here.

Journey as an Entrepreneur with Hajj Flemings (Friday, Jan. 29, noon-1 p.m.)

Join us for a talk with entrepreneur and author Hajj E. Flemings, Michigan Tech Mechanical Engineering (‘96) alumus. He will share his journey as an innovator and entrepreneur. Hajj has long embraced the entrepreneurial mindset and chose Michigan Tech because he enjoyed solving problems. Flemings is founder of Rebrand Cities, a brand strategy consulting company that serves clients such as Cadillac, Pfitzer, Walt Disney and the Detroit Lions, to name a few.

Flemings authored “The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking who you are through personal brand management”. In 2011 he was featured on CNN’s documentary series, “Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley.”

During the filming of the series, he came to a deeper understanding of the meaning of “digital divide” for communities of color and dedicated himself to creating solutions. His insight led him to become founder and CEO of Brand Camp University, an educational platform that creates technology accessibility and supports job readiness for clients in underserved communities. In parallel, he led a new global civic design initiative within Rebrand City which focuses on eradicating the digital divide by getting 10,000 small businesses online. Register here.Chemistry Olympiad 2021

by Chemistry & ACS UP Local Section

UP High School Science Teachers and Parents/Guardians: We would like to invite your students and children to compete at the 2021 Chemistry Olympiad. This is all ONLINE this year.

Chemistry Olympiad 2021 will be an online chemistry competition open to all high school students from any U.P school or home school.

Participation is FREE! Sign up on the Google form by Monday, Jan. 25.

Date: March 27 (Saturday) 3 – 4:45 p.m. (EST)

All Participants:

  • Receive participation gift
  • Participation certificates upon request
  • Put into drawing for prizes

Top scorers:

  • Receive medal and prize
  • Opportunity to participate in US National Chemistry Olympiad (also online)

More information and event updates can be found here. The UP Chemistry Olympiad, is hosted by the American Chemical Society and Michigan Technological University. Please contact the coordinator, Momoko Tajiri with any questions!


ICC Distinguished Lecture: James Bezdek, Jan 29, 3 pm

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems will present a Distinguished Lecture by James C. Bezdek on Friday, January 29, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. via online meeting. Dr. Bezdek will present his lecture, “Streaming Data Analysis: Old Clothes Don’t Fit.”

Join the Zoom meeting here: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/81987436773

Bezdek’s interests include clustering in big data, woodworking, optimization, data visualization, cigars, fishing, anomaly detection, blues music, poker. He retired in 2007, and will be coming to a university near you soon.

Bezdek received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University in 1973. He is past president of NAFIPS (North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society), IFSA (International Fuzzy Systems Association), and the IEEE CIS (Computational Intelligence Society). He is founding editor the international journals Approximate Reasoning and IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. He is life fellow of the IEEE and IFSA; and a recipient of the IEEE 3rd Millennium award, the IEEE CIS Fuzzy Systems Pioneer award, and the IEEE Rosenblatt and Kampe de Feriet award.

Lecture Title

Streaming Data Analysis: Old Clothes Don’t Fit

Lecture Abstract

This talk concerns models and algorithms that are generally described as “streaming clustering.” Some of the semantics and methods that are used in this field are co-opted from static clustering. But often, they don’t serve their purposes for streaming data very well. A review of “state of the art” methods such as sequential k-means, Birch, CluStream, DenStream, etc. shows that methods borrowed from classical batch techniques don’t transfer well to the streaming data case. Most of these models fail to acknowledge that the data are seen but once in real streaming analysis (e.g., intrusion detection, quality control). When the data are not saved, batch clustering ideas such as pre-clustering assessment, partitioning, and cluster validity are not relevant. I do not argue that current approaches to streaming clustering are wrong: but they are described wrong. This class of algorithms comprises transitional methods for an intermediate case that lies between static and (near real time) dynamic analysis which will eventually lead to a new and useful paradigm for this type of computation. I call these methods start and stop streaming data analysis.

Five models are briefly reviewed and illustrated (albeit poorly, with small labeled data sets!). Then I will discuss four new incremental Stream Monitoring Functions and a new approach for visual assessment of streaming data. The conclusions? Useful analysis of real streaming data is in its infancy. We need to carefully define the objectives of streaming analysis, and then choose terminology and methods that suit this evolving paradigm.

Bezdek says his views on this topic are a bit controversial. You can read them here:

Bezdek, J. C. and Keller, J. M. (2021). Streaming data analysis: Clustering or Classification?, IEEE Trans. SMC, DOI: 10.1109/TSMC.2020.3035957 


Tech Forward Campus Update Series Is Jan. 20, Jan, 27, Feb. 3

by Office of the President

The Tech Forward leaders will provide the campus with an update on the progress of each initiative and related milestones. Each of the hour-long sessions will feature three Tech Forward initiatives, occurring weekly on Wednesdays for a period of three weeks. Below are the dates along with a link to the webinar for each of the presentations.  

Wednesday, Jan. 20 at noon (EST) 

  • Policy, Ethics, Culture 
  • Data Revolution and Sensing 
  • Health and Quality of Life 

Jan. 20 webinar link: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/85494251129

Or Telephone:
        US: +1 312 626 6799  Webinar ID: 854 9425 1129

Wednesday, Jan. 27 at noon (EST) 

  • Autonomous and Intelligent Systems
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
  • Natural Resources, Water and Energy

Jan. 27 webinar link: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/82220150376

Or Telephone:

        US: +1 301 715 8592  Webinar ID: 822 2015 0376

Feb. 3, 2021 at noon (EST)  

  • 21st Century Education
  • Sustainability and Resilience
  • Diversity and Inclusion

February 3rd webinar link: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/86541707345

Or Telephone:
        US: +1 312 626 6799  Webinar ID: 865 4170 7345


Computing Majors on Team that Takes 3rd in Lockheed CTF Competition

Two College of Computing RedTeam students are part of a five-member team that finished 3rd in last weekend’s invitation-only Lockheed Martin Advanced Technologies Laboratories (ATL) Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition.

The multi-day virtual event involved 200 students on 40 teams. It opened for answer submission Friday, January 8, at 8:00 p.m., and closed Sunday, January 10, at 8 p.m.

The 3rd Place team, GoBlue!, trailed the 2nd Place team by only 14 points. RedTeam members are Michigan Tech undergraduates Dakoda Patterson, Computer Science, and Trevor Hornsby, Cybersecurity, and three University of Michigan students from the RedTeam’s partnership with that institution.

Michigan Tech RedTeam faculty advisors are Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, and Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science.

“We were lucky to be one of the 40 teams invited,” said Cai. “This was no small task, as the CTF included a large number of points in Reversing and “pwning” challenges, which proved to be fairly difficult. Other challenges were Cryptography, Stegonography, Web Exploitation, and miscellaneous challenges.”

CTF competitions place hidden “flags” in various computer systems, programs, images, messages, network traffic and other computing environments. Each individual or team is tasked with finding these flags. Participants win prizes while learning how to defend against cybersecurity attacks in a competitive and safe arena.

Top Three Teams

PlacementTeam NameInstitutionTotal Points
1st PlacenullbytesGeorge Mason University3697
2nd PlaceChrisSucksGeorge Mason University3330
3rd PlaceGoBlue!Michigan Tech and University of Michigan 3316

We Want Your Books and Major Scholarly Works

by University Marketing and Communications

If you would like to be highlighted in Michigan Tech’s next Research magazine, send University Marketing and Communications more info via this Google form about your book (or album, performance, or other longform scholarly work in mixed media).

Include a link, a cover image, and a way for us to contact you with questions. All submissions will be reviewed by University Marketing and Communications. Published projects must be research focused, published in 2020, and authored by members of the Michigan Tech community. Incomplete submissions will not be included.


VPR Research Series: Funding Graduate Students

Meet the VPR Sponsored Operations Team and VPR Staff

by Office of the Vice President of Research

Join VPR team members and other members of the Michigan Tech research community from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 12) for presentations and discussion to help you and your team as you pursue funding for your research and other externally supported programs.

This month’s discussion will be led by Will Cantrell, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. Cantrell will describe how researchers can work with graduate students to provide the best learning experience while achieving research goals, followed by a question and answer session.

Session attendees will also have a chance to meet the Sponsored Programs Operations Team and VPR Staff. Attendees will have the chance to ask presentation and general VPR-related questions at the end. Join this virtual session via Zoom.


Lan Zhang, ECE, to Present Lecture Jan. 15, 3 pm

Assistant Professor Lan “Emily” Zhang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, will present her lecture, “Augmenting Radio Environments for Better Wireless Ecosystems,” on Friday, January 15, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., via online meeting.

The lecture is hosted by the Michigan Tech Department of Computer Science. Zhang is a member of the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) research group of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC).

Zhang’s research interest span the fields of cyber-physical systems, distributed machine learning, wireless communications, and cybersecurity. In her talk, she will discuss a series of studies leveraging smart-surfaces, e.g., meta-surfaces or reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs), to augment radio environments for various purposes.

Join the Zoom lecture here. (https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/83259089532)

Lecture Abstract

In the last several decades, wireless technologies have become well-established to fight against propagation obstacles. Most conventional efforts are focused on optimizing end devices, such as transmitters and receivers, in order to adapt to the given transmission environment for better communications. However, the recent rapid convergence of the cyber and physical worlds (Cyber-Physical Systems or CPSs) presents unprecedented challenges to the wisdom of conventional design. Given ever-growing service demands, as well as the diverse wireless application scenarios, it is critical to adaptively augment the radio environments in a cost-effective way, while maintaining the aesthetic nature of living environments.

In her talk, Zhang will discuss a series of studies leveraging smart-surfaces–e.g., meta-surfaces or reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs)–to augment radio environments for various purposes. Specifically, she will focus on three promising areas for enhancing the throughput and reliability of wireless communications, mitigating the physical-layer security threats, and facilitating wireless sensing activities. Both model-based and learning-based methods will be used for theoretical and practical analysis.

Biography

Dr. Lan Zhang is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech. She received a Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from the University of Florida in 2020, and M.S. and B.Eng. degrees in telecommunication engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in 2016 and 2013, respectively.

Zhang has served as a technical program committee member for several respected conferences, such as NeurIPS-SpicyFL 2020 and the 2020 IEEE IFOCOM poster/demo section. She has also served as reviewer for leading journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Computing.

Lan Zhang, ECE