Category: College of Computing

College of Computing Welcomes Six New Faculty Members

The Michigan Tech College of Computing welcomed six new faculty members this fall to the Departments of Applied Computing and Computer Science.

College off Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick says the new hires reflect the fast growth of the new College, which was launched July 1, 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome these six talented new faculty members,” Minerick says. “Even amid the challenges we are all facing, our proactive recruitment and retention activities are making a difference.”

Assistant Professor Briana Bettin, Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan Tech. She is also an affiliated assistant professor for the Cognitive and Learning Sciences department. Bettin’s research interests include user experience; human factors; human-computer interactions; mental models; information representation; rural digital literacy; education, engagement, and retention; and digital anthropology. Bettin is a member of the ICC’s Computing Education Center.

Assistant Professor Sidike Paheding, Applied Computing, has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from University of Dayton, Ohio. Prior to joining Michigan Tech Paheding was a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University Northwest. His research interests include image/video processing, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and remote sensing. Paheding is a member of the ICC’s Center for Data Sciences.

Assistant Professor Junqiao Qiu, Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from University of California Riverside. His research focuses on parallel computing, programming systems, and compiler optimization. Qiu is a member of the ICC’s Center for Scalable Architectures and Systems.

Assistant Professor Ashraf Saleem, Applied Computing, has a Ph.D. in mechatronics engineering from DeMontfort University, UK. He comes to Michigan Tech from the electrical and computer engineering department at Sultan Qaboos University, where he served the mechatronics engineering program. Ashraf will be on campus starting in the spring 2021 semester.

Saleem’s research interests are in autonomous systems, vision-based unmanned vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, control of Piezoelectric actuator, and servo-pneumatic systems.

Assistant Professor Leo Ureel, Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan Tech. He has been teaching at the college level for 10 years, and has over 20 years of industry experience. Ureel is also coordinator of the College of Computing Learning Center. Ureel is a member of the ICC’s Computing Education Center.

Ureel’s research focuses on a constructionist approach to introductory computer science that leverages code critiquers to motivate students to learn computer programming. His areas of expertise include software engineering, computer science education, and intelligent tutoring systems.

Assistant Professor Brian Yuan, Applied Computing and Computer Science, has a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Florida. His areas of expertise include machine learning, security and privacy, and cloud computing. Yuan is a member of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity and Center for Data Sciences.

Paper by Yakov Nekrich Accepted for ACM-SIAM SODA21 Symposium

A paper by Associate Professor Yakov Nekrich, Computer Science, has been accepted for the 61st ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms 2021 (SODA21), which will take place virtually January 10-13, 2021.

Nekrich is sole author of the accepted article, “New Data Structures for Orthogonal Range Reporting and Range Minima Queries.” An extended version of the paper is available for download on ArXiv.

The annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA) is an academic conference in the fields of algorithm design and discrete mathematics. It is considered among the top conferences for research in algorithms.


Paper Abstract

In this paper we present new data structures for two extensively studied variants of the orthogonal range searching problem.
First, we describe a data structure that supports two-dimensional orthogonal range minima queries in O(n) space and O(logεn) time, where n is the number of points in the data structure and ε is an arbitrarily small positive constant. Previously known linear-space solutions for this problem require O(log1+εn) (Chazelle, 1988) or O(lognloglogn) time (Farzan et al., 2012). A modification of our data structure uses space O(nloglogn) and supports range minima queries in time O(loglogn). Both results can be extended to support three-dimensional five-sided reporting queries.

Next, we turn to the four-dimensional orthogonal range reporting problem and present a data structure that answers queries in optimal O(logn/loglogn+k) time, where k is the number of points in the answer. This is the first data structure that achieves the optimal query time for this problem. Our results are obtained by exploiting the properties of three-dimensional shallow cuttings.


The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is an international community of 14,500+ individual members. Almost 500 academic, manufacturing, research and development, service and consulting organizations, government, and military organizations worldwide are institutional members.

Guy Hembroff Presents Invited Talk at Bahiana Medical School, Brazil

Associate Professor Guy Hembroff, director of Michigan Tech’s Health Informatics graduate program, presented an invited virtual talk to physicians, residents, and medical students at the Bahiana Medical School, Salvador, Brazil, on September 25, 2020.

Hembroff spoke about, “The Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence in Disease Prevention and Monitoring.”

BAHIANA (Bahia School of Medicine and Public Health) is a private, nonprofit, educational, cultural, scientific and healthcare institution. Its main purpose is “teaching, research and the spread of knowledge and special services in the fields of health, science and culture in general.” Learn more here.

College of Computing, CNSA Program Focus of HostingAdvice Article

The College of Computing and the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) are the subjects of an article published today (Sept. 2, 2020) on HostingAdvice.com, a website and blog that educates visitors to the site about the world of web hosting.

The article, for which College of Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick was interviewed, provides a close look at the new College, its well-established Computer Science and Software Engineering degree programs (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.), new Cybersecurity and Mechatronics undergraduate programs, as well as faculty research and the ICC.

Special emphasis is placed on the Computer Network and Systems Administration undergraduate degree program, in which students prepare for careers as network and computer systems administrators, commonly referred to as a “sysadmins.”

Read the full article here.

“Our readers know that a lot goes into finding the best providers of shared, dedicated, and virtual private servers,” said Sean Garrity, managing editor at HostingAdvice.com. “The article provides information about how to prepare if you want to to break into the industry as a professional, not just a consumer.”

College of Computing Welcomes New Dean

Dennis Livesay will become dean of Michigan Technological University’s College of Computing on Feb. 1, 2021.

Livesay comes to Michigan Tech from Wichita State University (WSU), where he is dean of the College of Engineering and a full professor in both the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Engineering. Livesay replaces outgoing dean Adrienne Minerick.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Livesay to the University as our next dean of the College of Computing,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The combination of Dr. Livesay’s prior experiences and his vision for the future of the College of Computing make him ideally suited to strengthen the College going forward.” 

“Digital transformation is impacting every industry, including engineering and manufacturing,” said Livesay. “Computing, data, connectivity, and security are already the cornerstones of the modern economy. I look forward to working with everyone in the College of Computing, and across campus, to strengthen our efforts in these areas.”

Livesay noted that, while he has been happy in his role at WSU, he saw the opportunity to lead Michigan’s only college of computing as one he could not pass up. “I really see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that — given MTU’s traditional established strength in engineering — aligns perfectly with my background,” he said. 

Livesay brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to Michigan Tech. His career began in 2000 at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he was assistant and then associate professor of chemistry. From there, he continued on to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), where he was a founding member of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics and developed two of UNCC’s most visible research programs: the bioinformatics and computational biology doctoral program and the Charlotte Research Scholars undergraduate research program.

In 2016, Livesay joined WSU as dean of the Graduate School and associate vice president of research and technology transfer before becoming dean of the College of Engineering in January 2019. Livesay’s research expertise is in the area of protein family sequence, structure and function relationships, with a particular focus on understanding how physical and chemical properties vary with evolutionary divergence. He has spent his career working across disciplinary boundaries and intends to prioritize interdisciplinary work in his role as College of Computing dean.

“The University was fortunate to attract a very strong pool of candidates during this search and I am confident that we have hired the person who will be best able to lead the College of Computing in the coming years,” said Huntoon. “I want to thank Dr. Adrienne Minerick for her tenacity and commitment to Michigan Tech. She provided outstanding leadership for the College from the day it came into existence. Because of her efforts, the College is well positioned to grow in the future.”

Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Livesay was a first-generation university student. He will be joined in Houghton by his wife, Lauren, and son, Maxwell. “My family and I are rabid hockey fans,” Livesay said, “and we will be huge supporters of Michigan Tech hockey. In fact, I already have an MTU jersey that I’ve started wearing during rec league.”

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

The article was originally published on November 6, 2020.

Hembroff Attends KEEN Workshop

Guy Hembroff, associate professor and director of the Medical Informatics graduate program (CC/CyberS), attended the three-day workshop, “Teaching With Impact – Innovating Curriculum With Entrepreneurial Mindset,” in Milwaukee, Wisc., this July.

The workshop, presented by KEEN, a network of engineering faculty working to instill within student engineers an entrepreneurial mindset, introduced faculty participants to the framework of entrepreneurially minded learning (EML), which is centered on curiosity, connections, and creating value.  Hembroff and other participants identified opportunities for EML integration into existing coursework, developed a personal approach to integrating EML within the course design process, and learned how to implement continual improvement of their own EML practice.

Visit https://engineeringunleashed.com for more information about KEEN.