Category: DataS

Tim Havens Is Co-author of Article Published in IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems

Timothy HavensTim Havens (CS/ICC) coauthored the article, “Enabling Explainable Fusion in Deep Learning with Fuzzy Integral Neural Networks,” which was accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems.

Citation: M.A. Islam, D.T. Anderson, A. Pinar, T.C. Havens, G. Scott, and J.M. Keller. Enabling explainable fusion in deep learning with fuzzy integral neural networks. Accepted, IEEE Trans. Fuzzy Systems.

Abstract: Information fusion is an essential part of numerous engineering systems and biological functions, e.g., human cognition. Fusion occurs at many levels, ranging from the low-level combination of signals to the high-level aggregation of heterogeneous decision-making processes. While the last decade has witnessed an explosion of research in deep learning, fusion in neural networks has not observed the same revolution. Specifically, most neural fusion approaches are ad hoc, are not understood, are distributed versus localized, and/or explainability is low (if present at all). Herein, we prove that the fuzzy Choquet integral (ChI), a powerful nonlinear aggregation function, can be represented as a multi-layer network, referred to hereafter as ChIMP. We also put forth an improved ChIMP (iChIMP) that leads to a stochastic gradient descent-based optimization in light of the exponential number of ChI inequality constraints. An additional benefit of ChIMP/iChIMP is that it enables eXplainable AI (XAI). Synthetic validation experiments are provided and iChIMP is applied to the fusion of a set of heterogeneous architecture deep models in remote sensing. We show an improvement in model accuracy and our previously established XAI indices shed light on the quality of our data, model, and its decisions.

Timothy Schulz Named 2019 University Professor

Timothy SchulzThe Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs has announced that Dr. Timothy Schulz (DataS), professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named a 2019 University Professor.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to the University and their discipline over a substantial period of time. University Professors will not exceed 2% of the total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty at Michigan Tech. This year, two professors were awarded the title of University Professor. The second recipient is Dr. Kathleen Halvorsen, professor of Natural Resource Policy in the Department of Social Sciences.

The confidential process for selecting recipients spans the academic year and recipients for each award are notified in mid-May. Additional details regarding the award and selection procedures can be found on the provost’s website:

Tim Schulz Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

Timothy Schulzby Michael R. Meyer, Director William G. Jackson CTL

College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan has selected Tim Schulz (ECE) as the final member of the 2019 Deans’ Teaching Showcase.  As a teacher he is widely acknowledged as one of the ECE departments best, with his friendly, humorous style and his devotion to his students’ learning.  But Schulz’s selection here is, according to Associate Dean Leonard Bohmann for his “leadership in using technology to deliver technical material in electrical and computer engineering.”

Starting in 2012, Schulz created a series of 10 to 15 minute videos collectively titled “Electric Circuits” and posted them on YouTube.  Though he created them with his EE2111 (Electric Circuits 1) class in mind, they are reaching a much wider audience.  In fact, one titled “Introduction to Thevenin Equivalent Circuits” has gotten more than 152,000 views.

Since that time, Schulz has also developed a phone app of randomized electric circuit problems to use in this course. He develops these aids so students can develop a mastery of the course material. As one student noted, “The videos and the infinite practice problems were the most helpful. As much as I hate to say this, the quizzes were also helpful.”

In his courses, Schulz develops from scratch his own interactive web-based approach to homework sets and quizzes, taking full advantage of the capabilities of Canvas and writing his own scripts for generating homework problems with randomized parameters. His colleagues recognize this, and some have adopted Schulz’s materials when they teach the same classes.

Most recently, Schulz has taken the lead in developing new courses for the online MSEE program with a focus on communications and signal processing, in partnership with Keypath Education, Inc. He developed and is teaching for the second time, EE5300, Mathematical and Computational Methods in Engineering, which is the entry point into the program.

His course engages students through a series of interactive MATLAB computational exercises which meet modern standards for online course delivery and are breaking new ground for the ECE Department.

Students find this approach to be very helpful. One said, “The canvas structure paired with the lecture truly was a great combination. The prep work must have been substantial but was well worth it.”

Another provides even broader praise of both Schulz and the course by saying, “The course is excellent and engaging. Overall, I think this class is a must for any student wishing to have a solid starting foundation in graduate studies in engineering. Dr. Schulz is an outstanding professor with extensive research and professional experience and I would totally recommend students to take this class.”

Schulz is currently developing the third course for the online MSEE program, EE5500  Probability and Stochastic Processes, which will be taught for the first time this summer. He agrees that developing an online course is much more rigorous then teaching face-to-face, saying “You need to do more planning of how to approach a topic.  You don’t have the ease of correcting an approach (or even an equation) in real time, so it is a much more deliberate process.”

However, this higher level of rigor is a challenge he enjoys; he’s already signed on to develop his next course, EE5521 Detection and Estimation Theory, which will be offered online for the first time sometime in 2020-2021 academic year.

Callahan emphasizes that it’s really about the technology enabling better learning. In her words, “Tim Schulz’s effective use of technology shows that student learning and satisfaction can both increase with the use of modern tools.”

Schulz will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members and is now elgible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Havens is PI on Naval Surface Warfare Center Project

Timothy Havens
Tim Havens

Timothy Havens (ECE) is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received $96,643 from the Naval Surface Warfare Center. Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) is the Co-PI on the project, which is titled, “Localization, Tracking, and Classification of On-Ice and Underwater Noise Sources Using Machine Learning.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $299,533.

Tech Today, March 7, 2019

ICC Members Secure Contract from MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Tim Havens
Timothy Schulz
Tim Schulz

Timothy Havens (DataS) and Timothy Schulz (DataS) were recently awarded a $15,000 contract from MIT Lincoln Laboratory to investigate signal processing for active phased array systems with simultaneous transmit and receive capability. While this capability offers increased performance in communications, radar, and electronic warfare applications, the challenging aspect is that a high-level of isolation must be achieved between the transmit and receive antennas in order to mitigate self-interference in the array. This project spearheads a collaboration with Dr. Jon Doane (BS and MS from MTU) in MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s RF Technology Group. Ian Cummings, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow who is co-advised by Havens and Schulz, is undertaking this research for his PhD dissertation and will spend the summers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as part of the project.

Three ICC Members are Nominated for the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Awards

Three ICC members are finalists in the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Awards presented by The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning. Nominees are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University. Based on more than 50,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2017 awards. The ICC member finalists are:

Associate Professor / Professor Category

  • Mari Buche (DataS), Associate Professor
  • Yu Cai (CyberS), Associate Professor

Assistant Professor / Lecturer / Professor of Practice Category

  • Jeffrey Wall (CyberS), Assistant Professor

Jeremy Bos Awarded Young Investigator Research Program Grant

Only 58 scientists and engineers were invited to join the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) this year. Jeremy Bos (DataS) is the recipient of this prestigious award. The three-year YIP grant is for his project entitled, “Imaging Theory and Mitigation in Extreme Turbulence-Induced Anisoplanatism.”  This project will explore the nature of imaging in conditions characterized by extreme anisoplanatism.  Under these conditions each point in an image may be affected by a locally unique blurring kernel implying a violation of the linear shift invariance. Bos and his students will use a combination analysis and extensive experimental data to develop new models and new understanding of this phenomenon. Bos has also proposed using angular diversity as a means of mitigating the effects of extreme anisoplanatism on imaging and beam control problems.

Read more on Michigan Tech News.

Nilufer Onder Recognized for Exceptional Teaching Performance

Nilufer Onder (DataS) has been identified as one of only 91 instructors at Michigan Tech who received an exceptional “Average of 7 dimensions” student evaluation score during fall semester 2016.

Onder’s scores were 4.95 (Excellent Teacher) and 4.71 (Average of 7 dimensions). These are in the top 10% of similarly sized sections across all courses/sections on campus. Only 111 sections university-wide (out of more than 1050 evaluated) were rated this highly by students.