Category: College of Computing

MTU Creates Dave House Deanship in College of Computing

by University Marketing and Communications
Read the Michigan Tech press release here. (Published Feb. 8, 2021)

Michigan Technological University has appointed Dennis Livesay to hold the inaugural Dave House Deanship in the College of Computing effective February 1, 2021. 

View a video of the announcement from the Feb. 5 Michigan Tech Alumni Board meeting.

Michigan Tech launched the College in 2019 to meet the technological, economic and social needs of the 21st century, and answer industry demand for talent in artificial intelligence (AI), software engineering, data science and cybersecurity. In doing so, Tech became the first University in the state with a college of computing.

The gift from Dave House ’65 to endow the dean position reinforces the University’s commitment to computing.

“The College of Computing is central to the future of Michigan Tech. Thanks, in part, to Dave’s visionary gift and Dennis’s leadership, the college is poised for tremendous success on both the national and international stage,” said Rick Koubek, President. 

House, whose many career accolades include growing Intel’s microprocessor product business from $40 million to $4 billion per year, has championed Michigan Tech’s efforts in computing.

“Computing is centric to all disciplines, and Michigan Tech has been wise to move forward with a focus on computing,” said House. “This endowed position will allow the new college to attract the best faculty and the brightest students and the University to continue to be the leader in computing education.”

Livesay, who most recently served as dean of the College of Engineering at Wichita State University, brings 20 years of experience in higher education to Michigan Tech. With a diverse background spanning the biomedical sciences, computing and engineering, he plans to work with partners across campus to address the digital transformation happening in every discipline.

Provost Jackie Huntoon stated she is very happy that Livesay is joining Michigan Tech. “His deep understanding of computing and its impact on all aspects of modern life make him well suited for the deanship of the College of Computing,” she said. “He brings an entrepreneurial perspective to the dean’s role that will enhance efforts currently underway in the College of Computing and across campus.” 

Livesay shares House’s conviction that computing is fundamental to all disciplines.

“Every discipline is a computing discipline,” said Livesay. “When I first started saying this a decade ago, it was more of a tagline, but it is absolutely true today. The modern economy is defined by our ability to create data, transmit it in a secure way and then translate it into action. This is particularly true in science, engineering and business, but also in the social sciences, humanities and the arts. Going forward, we want to be a critical partner in all of those areas.”

The Dave House Dean of Computing is Michigan Tech’s first endowed deanship. The University has nine endowed department chairs and dozens of endowed faculty positions, allowing it to maintain a world-class faculty.

“We thank Dave again for his vision and commitment to Michigan Tech’s future. We are indeed fortunate to have alumni like him who care so deeply for our students,” said Bill Roberts, Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement.

View the announcement below about the new deanship from a recent meeting of the Michigan Tech Alumni Board.

College of Computing Invites Applications for Two Faculty Positions

Are you interested in a faculty position with the new Michigan Tech College of Computing? Do you know someone who is?

Michigan Technological University’s College of Computing invites applications for two (2) assistant, associate, or full professor positions to start in August 2021.

Areas of particular interest include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and data science; exceptional candidates in other areas of computing will also be considered.

Successful candidates will demonstrate a passion for their research, an enthusiasm for undergraduate and graduate education, and a strong commitment to cultivating diverse and inclusive learning environments.

View the positions description and apply here: https://www.employment.mtu.edu/cw/en-us/job/492473

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To learn more about this opportunity, please visit https://www.mtu.edu/computing/about/employment/ or contact the search chair, Dr. Timothy Havens, at thavens@mtu.edu. Applications received by March 1, 2020 will receive full consideration.

Michigan Tech is building a culturally diverse faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from all individuals. We are an ADVANCE Institution having received three National Science Foundation grants in support of efforts to increase diversity, inclusion, and the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in STEM.

Michigan Tech actively supports dual-career partners to retain a quality workforce; we offer career exploration advice and assistance finding positions at the University and in the local community. Please visit https://www.mtu.edu/provost/programs/partner-engagement for more information.

An applicant must have earned a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computing, or a closely related area. Michigan Tech places a strong emphasis on balancing cutting-edge research with effective teaching, outreach, and service. Candidates for these positions are expected to demonstrate potential for excellence in independent research, excellence in teaching, and the ability to contribute service to their department and profession. Salary is negotiable depending upon qualifications.

Michigan Tech is an internationally renowned doctoral research university with 7,100 students and 400 faculty located in Houghton, Michigan, in the scenic Upper Peninsula on the south shore of Lake Superior. The area provides a unique setting where natural beauty, culture, education, and a diversity of residents from around the world come together to share superb living and learning experiences.

The College of Computing has 36 faculty members, 650 undergraduate students in five degree programs (Computer Science, Computer Network and System Administration, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics, and Software Engineering) and 90 graduate students in four MS degree programs (Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Health Informatics, and Mechatronics) and Ph.D. degree programs in Computer Science and Computational Science and Engineering.

Sidike Paheding Wins MDPI Electronics Best Paper Award

A scholarly paper co-authored by Assistant Professor Sidike Paheding, Applied Computing, is one of two papers to receive the 2020 Best Paper Award from the open-access journal Electronics, published by MDPI.

The paper presents a brief survey on the advances that have occurred in the area of Deep Learning.

Paheding is a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’ (ICC) Center for Data Sciences (DataS).

Co-authors of the article, “A State-of-the-Art Survey on Deep Learning Theory and Architectures,” are Md Zahangir Alom, Tarek M. Taha, Chris Yakopcic, Stefan Westberg, Mst Shamima Nasrin, Mahmudul Hasan, Brian C. Van Essen, Abdul A. S. Awwal, and Vijayan K. Asari. The paper was published March 5, 2019, appearing in volume 8, issue 3, page 292, of the journal.

View and download the paper here.

Papers were evaluated for originality and significance, citations, and downloads. The authors receive a monetary award , a certificate, and an opportunity to publish one paper free of charge before December 31, 2021, after the normal peer review procedure.

Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access journal on the science of electronics and its applications. It is published online semimonthly by MDPI.

MDPI, a scholarly open access publishing venue founded in 1996, publishes 310 diverse, peer-reviewed, open access journals.

Paper Abstract

In recent years, deep learning has garnered tremendous success in a variety of application domains. This new field of machine learning has been growing rapidly and has been applied to most traditional application domains, as well as some new areas that present more opportunities. Different methods have been proposed based on different categories of learning, including supervised, semi-supervised, and un-supervised learning. Experimental results show state-of-the-art performance using deep learning when compared to traditional machine learning approaches in the fields of image processing, computer vision, speech recognition, machine translation, art, medical imaging, medical information processing, robotics and control, bioinformatics, natural language processing, cybersecurity, and many others.

This survey presents a brief survey on the advances that have occurred in the area of Deep Learning (DL), starting with the Deep Neural Network (DNN). The survey goes on to cover Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), Recurrent Neural Network (RNN), including Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) and Gated Recurrent Units (GRU), Auto-Encoder (AE), Deep Belief Network (DBN), Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), and Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL). Additionally, we have discussed recent developments, such as advanced variant DL techniques based on these DL approaches. This work considers most of the papers published after 2012 from when the history of deep learning began.

Furthermore, DL approaches that have been explored and evaluated in different application domains are also included in this survey. We also included recently developed frameworks, SDKs, and benchmark datasets that are used for implementing and evaluating deep learning approaches. There are some surveys that have been published on DL using neural networks and a survey on Reinforcement Learning (RL). However, those papers have not discussed individual advanced techniques for training large-scale deep learning models and the recently developed method of generative models.

Sidike Paheding

Dean Livesay to Hold Open Office Hours Fridays, 3-4 pm

New College of Computing Dean Dennis Livesay will hold open virtual office hours every Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., beginning February 5, 2021.

All faculty, staff, and students who wish to chat with Dr. Livesay are invited to “stop in” to this weekly Zoom meeting. Appointments are not needed.

Open office hours will not be held when classes are not in session.

Link to the meeting here: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/83846079187.

CsE PhD candidate Karen Colbert Named 2021 Diversity Scholar

Ms. Karen Colbert , a PhD student in Computational Sciences and Engineering and a graduate research assistant for ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, has been selected as a Diversity Scholar for the 2021 RStudio Virtual Conference.

Ms. Colbert is one of 70 Diversity Scholars selected from around the globe, all of them focused on building skills for teaching and sharing. Ms. Colbert notes that her role as a Diversity Scholar will focus on ways she can use RStudio to help “bridge equity for Native faculty and faculty who serve Tribal communities.”

A plethora of teaching and user workshops and resources are available through the RStudio network. Following completion of the Virtual Conference, Ms. Colbert will participate in two online workshops and become part of an enhanced network of scholars and resources, available both before and after the conference.

Ms. Colbert says that a large barrier facing tribal colleges is accessibility and sustainability with regard to costly technology, such as licenses, equipment, and support. Since RStudio is open source and has vast capabilities to perform tasks ranging from web design to reporting to statistical analyses and assessments, Ms. Colbert hopes that learning how to “teach” R will enable her to host workshops for faculty. She says it may also help her design an interactive course to help those who may be intimidated by programming, and ultimately create a platform to introduce tribal colleges to the data visualization, supercomputing, and cloud computing communities.

In addition to the equity gaps facing Native faculty, Ms. Colbert also acknowledged that there are many equity gaps for faculty at all ranks and across institutions, including MIchigan Tech.

This is where Ms. Colbert’s connection to ADVANCE at Michigan Tech–and its mission to enhance equity in STEM faculty–comes into play. She hopes that her research, her experiences as a Diversity Scholar, and her position as a graduate research assistant with ADVANCE, will allow her to pursue opportunities to bring resources to all faculty members.

Further, she will endeavor to assist faculty in demonstrating “their best work to the world in the most professional way, whether it’s for teaching undergraduates or within our own research.”

Ms. Colbert believes this goal starts with making tools and resources accessible to everyone. Her ultimate aim is to develop unique R packages as a part of the solution.

Ms. Colbert holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a master of science in data science, both from Michigan Tech. She also serves as lead math faculty at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Baraga. Mich., in addition to pursuing her PhD and conducting research.

ADVANCE is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at advance-mtu@mtu.edu and visit our website at mtu.edu/advance.

Read the original ADVANCE blog post here.

ETS-IMPRESS Scholarship for Transfer Students in Technology Majors

Applying to MTU as a transfer student? Interested in engineering technology? Check out the ETS-IMPRESS scholarship program.

Open to community college transfer students, applicants must select as their major the College of Computing undergraduate degree programs in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA) and Electrical Engineering Technology (EET), or the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) bachelor’s program.

The program requires participation in the Honors Pathway Program in the Pavlis Honors College, as well as mentoring activities. It fulfills unmet need of $4,500.

Other requirements are listed on the scholarship website, and the deadline for application is February 15.

When I had discovered the ETS-IMPRESS scholarship, it took very little time to understand how helpful it would be to my life, both in and out of college. Not only was I able to afford to go to college, but I was also getting more out of my college experience.

Brad Gipson, 3rd-year CNSA major

Check out ETS-IMPRESS scholar Caleb Devonta Rogers’ story, below, in which he describes his journey to MTU and his plans for his Honors Project, and remember to apply by February 15!

View the original blog article.

New NSF Project to Improve Great Lakes Flood Hazard Modeling

Thomas Oommen, Timothy C. Havens, Guy Meadows (GLRC), and Himanshu Grover (U. Washington) have been awarded funding in the NSF Civic Innovation Challenge for their project, “Helping Rural Counties to Enhance Flooding and Coastal Disaster Resilience and Adaptation.”

The six-month project award is $49,999.

Vision. The vision of the new project is to develop methods that use remote sensing data resources and citizen engagement (crowdsourcing) to address current data gaps for improved flood hazard modeling and visualization that is transferable to rural communities.

Objective. The objective of the Phase-1 project is to bring together community-university partners to understand the data gaps in addressing flooding and coastal disaster in three Northern Michigan counties.  

The Researchers

Thomas Oommen is a professor in the Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences department. His research efforts focus on developing improved susceptibility characterization and documentation of geo-hazards (e.g. earthquakes, landslides) and spatial modeling of georesource (e.g. mineral deposits) over a range of spatial scales and data types. Oommen is a member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences.

Tim Havens is associate dean for research, College of Computing, the
William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems, and director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems. His research interests include mobile robotics, explosive hazard detection, heterogeneous and big data, fuzzy sets, sensor networks, and data fusion. Havens is a member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences.

Guy Meadows is director of the Marine Engineering Laboratory (Great Lakes Research Center), the Robbins Professor of Sustainable Marine Engineering, and a research professor in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department. His research interests include large scale field experimentation in the Inland Seas of the Great Lakes and coastal oceans; nearshore hydrodynamics and prediction; autonomous and semi-autonomous environmental monitoring platforms (surface and sub-surface); underwater acoustic remote sensing; and marine engineering.

Himanshu Grover is an asssistant professor at University of Washington. His research focus is at the intersection of land use planning, community resilience, and climate change.

About the Civic Innovation Challenge

The NSF Civic Innovation Challenge is a research and action competition that aims to fund ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities.

Health Research Institute Panel Is January 25, 12 pm

Michigan Tech’s Health Research Institute (HRI) will host a panel discussion on Monday, January 25, 2021,, from 12:00 to 1:00 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, Dr. Megan Frost (Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology), Dr. Bruce Lee (Biomedical Engineering), and Assistant Professor Dr. Weihua Zhou (College of Computing) will discuss their experiences with start-ups and applying their research to relevant health problems.

Winter WonderHack Is February 19-21

Winter WonderHack is just around the corner. The event begins February 19, 2021, at 9:00 p.m., and ends February 21, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

Are you an up-and-coming coder? Do you have a coding project in mind you’ve been itching to finally bring to fruition? Or perhaps you have no ideas, but you need to add some new projects to your resume, something you can brag about to recruiters?

Do you like to win prizes? How about just hanging out and/or playing games?

Do all of the above and more at the virtual Winter WonderHack February 19-21.

The event is sponsored by the College of Computing, Wolfram Language, Auto Owners Insurance, and Domino’s Pizza.

“Okay, but what IS Winter WonderHack?” you may ask.

Winter WonderHack is a hackathon hosted annually by MTU’s very own Humane Interface Design Enterprise, or HIDE. It is an event that extends over 36 hours, in which groups ranging in size from one to four people come together to build and code any project from scratch–but it’s not all work and no play! There are a wide range of activities that will be occurring all day and all night for you to take a break from brainstorming and just have fun!

After the 36th hour on Sunday, all projects will be presented to a panel of judges, and then prizes will be awarded under a variety of categories, ranging from the Most Creative project to the Most Useless!

For the entire weekend, MTU’s Red Team will host a Capture the Flag event. On Saturday, a Rocket League tournament will occur! Both events will be conducted virtually via Discord. (For anyone worried about missing out, Rocket League is available free for download on PC, PS4, XBox One, and Nintendo Switch.)

All events during Winter Wonderhack are free, and all levels of technical backgrounds are welcome to attend! To register, visit the Winter Wonderhack website at https://winterwonderhack.com/#, and click on the Register link.

Do you have more questions about the event? Please reach out to team@winterwonderhack.com. We hope to see you there!