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    Signature Research, Michigan Tech win $1 Million NGA Research Award

    Signature Research Inc. has partnered with Michigan Technological University to accomplish a Phase II STTR project sponsored by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The two-year, $1 Million project is titled, “Algorithms for Look-Down Infrared Target Exploitation-Phase II.” Michigan Tech’s portion of the $1 million contract is $400K.


    Principal investigator of the project is Dr. Timothy Havens, director of the Institute of Computing and Cyberystems (ICC) and associate dean of research for the College of Computing. Havens is joined by Signature Research, Inc. (SGR) Program Manager Matt Blanck, who will lead the SGR side of the project.

    At Tech, Havens will be assisted in accomplishing the goals of this project by Research Scientist Adam Webb of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) and Nicholas Hamilton, a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate.

    “This project will identify physics-based novel signatures and data processing techniques to exploit overhead infrared (IR) imagery using machine learning algorithms.”

    “The SGR/MTU Team will generate, collect, and label a wide body of data, implement learning algorithms, develop use cases and tests on those data, and perform a comprehensive study to determine ways in which learning algorithms can automate IR imagery recognition tasks.”

    Dr. Timothy Havens

    And while this effort is focused on overhead IR imagery, Havens says the methods and software developed will have applicability to other sensing modalities, leading to investigations of multi-modal fusion of all-source data.


    Signature Research, Inc. (SGR) solutions to DoD and Intelligence Community customers, and specializes in in Signature Phenomenology, Analysis, and Modeling of items of military interest covering the breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence in support of national security.

    The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) promotes research and learning experiences in the areas of cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, data sciences, human-centered computing, and scalable architectures and systems for the benefit of Michigan Tech and society at large.

    The Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) is an innovator in building information from data through the marriage of phenomenological understanding and implementation of mathematically rigorous algorithms. Together with University and other national and international collaborators, MTRI researchers and scientists work to solve critical problems in national security, protecting and evaluating critical infrastructure, bioinformatics, Earth sciences, and environmental processes, according to their website.


    CS Ph.D. Candidate Ali Jalooli Awarded Finishing Fellowship

    The Michigan Tech Graduate School has announced that Computer Science Ph.D. candidate Ali Jalooli is among the graduate students who have received a Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award.

    Jalooli’s research studies the optimization of message routing in heterogeneous wireless networks. His dissertation is titles, “Enabling Technologies for Internet of Things: Optimized Networking for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.”

    Each semester, the Graduate School awards Finishing Fellowships that provide support to Ph.D. candidates nearing completion of their degrees. The fellowships, available through the generosity of University alumni and friends, are intended to recognize outstanding Ph.D. candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees, and who are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. Support ranges from a $2,000 stipend to full support (stipend and tuition).

    Jalooli’s research focuses on vehicular “networks in smart cities. He notes that research in this area is of great importance, as it advances cutting-edge connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

    “This has far-reaching consequences for many aspects of daily life, given the expanding world of the Internet of Things,” he explains. “Connected vehicles provide various benefits, spanning from advanced driver assistance, remote diagnostics, and infotainment for consumers to road safety, improving response time for emergency vehicles, and even improving national and international economies by ameliorating traffic congestion.”

    “My work at Tech on the underlying networks that drive these technologies enhances the performance and feasibility of robust wireless networks,” Jalooli says. “During my time at Tech, I have also gained teaching experience and increased responsibility in course development and assessment as a teaching assistant and lead instructor.”

    “I am grateful to the Graduate School and the Graduate School Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship,” Jalooli says. “I am also grateful to my advisors, Dr. Kuilin Zhang and Dr. Min Song, for their support and guidance.”

    Read a Grad School blog post about Ali Jalooli here.

    Additional recipients of graduate student awards appear below.
    Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Award: Elizabeth M. Barnes, Forest Science; Shahab Bayani Ahangar, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Haitao Cao, Geophysics ; Eassa Hedayati, Computational Science and Engineering; Pratik Umesh Joshi, Chemical Engineering ; Kevin C. Nevorski, Biological Sciences ; Bethel Worku Tarekegne, Environmental Energy and Policy; Hua Wang, Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
    Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship: Lavanya Rajesh Kumar, Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors; Dylan G. Turpeinen, Chemical Engineering
    Matwiyoff & Hogberg Endowed Graduate Fellowship: Wenkai Jia, Biomedical Engineering
    The DeVlieg Foundation 2020 Summer Research Award in Biology/Wildlife: Angela M. Walczyk, Biological Sciences

    Profiles of all the current recipients can be found online.


    Nathir Rawashdeh Publishes Paper in BioSciences Journal

    A paper co-authored by Assistant Professor Nathir Rawashdeh (DataS, Applied Computing) on Skin Cancer Image Feature Extraction, has been published this month in the EurAsian Journal of BioSciences.

    View the open access article, “Visual feature extraction from dermoscopic colour images for classification of melanocytic skin lesions,” here.

    Additional authors are Walid Al-Zyoud, Athar Abu Helou, and Eslam AlQasem, all with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan.

    Citation: Al-Zyoud, Walid et al. “Visual feature extraction from dermoscopic colour images for classification of melanocytic skin lesions”. Eurasian Journal of Biosciences, vol. 14, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1299-1307.

    Rawashdeh’s interests include unmanned ground vehicles, electromobility, robotics, image analysis, and color science. He is a senior member of the IEEE.


    Sergeyev, Students Earn ASEE Conference Awards

    Professor Aleksandr Segeyev (DataS), Applied Computing, and a group of Michigan Tech students presented two papers at the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Gulf-Southwest Annual conference, which was conducted online April 23-24, 2020. Both papers received conference awards.

    Faculty Paper Award

    “Pioneering Approach for Offering the Convergence MS Degree in Mechatronics and Associate Graduate Certificate”
    by Sergeyev, Professor and Associate Chair John Irwin (MMET), and Dean Adrienne Minerick (CC).

    Student Paper Award

    “Efficient Way of Converting outdated Allen Bradley PLC-5 System into Modern ControlLogix 5000 suit”, by Spencer Thompson (pictured), Larry Stambeck, Andy Posa, Sergeyev, and Lecturer Paniz Hazaveh, Applied Computing.

    Sergeyev is director of the Michigan Tech Mechatronics Graduate Program and FANUC Certified Industrial Robotics Training Center.

    Founded in 1893, the American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.


    Thomas Oommen PI of 41K RD Contract

    Professor Thomas Oommen (DataS, GMES, EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a one-year project that has been awarded a $41K research and development contract with the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

    The project is titled “Flood Hazard Map to Water Management & Planning.”

    Oommen’s research focuses 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.

    To achieve his research interests, he has adopted an inter-disciplinary research approach joining aerial/satellite based remote sensing for obtaining data, and artificial intelligence/machine learning based methods for data processing and modeling.


    Recap: Virtual Parallel-in-Time Workshop 2020

    The virtual 2020 Parallel-in-Time conference, co-organized by Assistant Professor Benjamin Ong (DataS, Mathematics), took place June 8 to 12, 2020.

    The conference consisted of 20 presentations, including one by Mathematics department graduate student, Nadun Dissanayake.

    140 participants in more than a dozen countries registered and participated in the conference. View the conference video lectures and program information here.

    The primary focus of the Parallel-in-Time Workshop was to disseminate cutting-edge research and facilitate scientific discussions on the field of parallel time integration methods.

    Download the conference program booklet here.


    Flex Fall Faculty Workshops, Q-A Sessions from IDEA Hub, CTL

    To help faculty prepare for Flex Fall, IDEA Hub and the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning have organized a series of events, each including Flex Fall Q&A sessions and discussions about teaching.

    Click the below links to register and receive a Google calendar invitation and the Zoom link. Questions? Email margaret@mtu.edu.

    Session #2: Wednesday, June 17, 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Online Teaching Showcase
    Teaching, Q&A: 3 – 3:30 pm; Teaching Showcase, Discussion: 3:30-4:30 pm)

    Session #3, Wednesday, June 24, 3-5 pm: Develop Innovative Solutions
    (Teaching, Q&A: 3 – 3:30 pm, Design Thinking Workshop: Develop Innovative Solutions: 3:30 – 5 pm)

    Session #4: Wednesday, July 1, 3 to 5 pm: Prototype Your Innovative Solutions
    (Teaching, Q&A: 3 to 3:30 pm; Design Thinking Workshop–Prototype Your Innovative Solutions: 3:30 – 5 pm)

    Read the full story in Monday’s Tech Today.


    GSG to Present Webinar Series in Computer Programming

    The Graduate Student Government (GSG) Professional Development Committee has organized a free webinar series in Computer Programming, which begins Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

    July 14: “Introduction to Machine Learning with Python,” by Timothy Havens (CC)

    July 15: “Managing Data” (Data Mining)” by MS Data Science candidate Sneha Nimmagadda

    July 16: “Introduction to Deep Learning,” by Timothy Havens (CC)

    Seats are not limited, but participants are asked to register so webinar organizers know how many attendees to expect.

    Find more information, including links to register and join Zoom meetings, visit the GSG website.


    Bo Chen, Grad Students Present Posters at Security Symposium

    College of Computing Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science, and his graduate students presented two posters at the 41st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, which took place online May 18 to 21, 2020.

    Since 1980, the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy has been the premier forum for presenting developments in computer security and electronic privacy, and for bringing together researchers and practitioners in the field.

    Chen leads the Security and Privacy (SnP) lab at Michigan Tech. He is a member of Michigan Tech’s Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) Center for Cybersecurity (CyberS).

    Chen’s research focuses on applied cryptography and data security and he investigates novel techniques to protect sensitive data in mobile devices/flash storage media and cloud infrastructures. Chen is also interested in designing novel techniques to ensure security and privacy of big data.

    Chen will serve as general chair for the First EAI International Conference on Applied Cryptography in Computer and Communications (AC3), which will be held in Xiamen, China, in May 2021.

    Visit Bo Chen’s faculty webpage here.

    Poster: A Secure Plausibly Deniable System for Mobile Devices against Multi-snapshot Adversaries
    Authors: Bo Chen, Niusen Chen
    Abstract: Mobile computing devices have been used broadly to store, manage and process critical data. To protect confidentiality of stored data, major mobile operating systems provide full disk encryption, which relies on traditional encryption and requires keeping the decryption keys secret. This however, may not be true as an active attacker may coerce victims for decryption keys. Plausibly deniable encryption (PDE) can defend against such a coercive attacker by disguising the secret keys with decoy keys. Leveraging concept of PDE, various PDE systems have been built for mobile devices. However, a practical PDE system is still missing which can be compatible with mainstream mobile devices and, meanwhile, remains secure when facing a strong multi- snapshot adversary. This work fills this gap by designing the first mobile PDE system against the multi-snapshot adversaries.

    Poster: Incorporating Malware Detection into Flash Translation Layer
    Authors: Wen Xie, Niusen Chen, Bo Chen
    Abstract: OS-level malware may compromise OS and obtain root privilege. Detecting this type of strong malware is challeng- ing, since it can easily hide its intrusion behaviors or even subvert the malware detection software (or malware detector). Having observed that flash storage devices have been used broadly by computing devices today, we propose to move the malware detector to the flash translation layer (FTL), located inside a flash storage device. Due to physical isolation provided by the FTL, the OS-level malware can neither subvert our malware detector, nor hide its access behaviors from our malware detector.

    The 41st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy was sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security and Privacy in cooperation with the International Association for Cryptologic Research. The Symposium was May 18-20, 2020, and the Security and Privacy Workshops were May 21, 2020.


    ICC, ME-EM’s Bo Chen Named ASME Fellow

    Bo Chen, the Michigan Tech Dave House Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has received the designation of Fellow from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

    The Fellow level of membership is conferred to worthy candidates by the ASME Committee of Past Presidents to recognize their outstanding engineering achievements.

    Nominated by ASME Members and Fellows, an ASME Member nominee must have 10 or more years of active practice, and at least 10 years of active corporate membership in ASME.

    Chen is the director of Michigan Tech’s Intelligent Mechatronics and Embedded Systems (IMES) Laboratory. She has a dual faculty appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Visit Chen’s faculty webpage here.

    A member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)’s Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Bo Chen conducts interdisciplinary research in the areas of mechatronics and embedded systems, agent technology, connected and autonomous vehicles, electric vehicle-smart grid integration, cyber-physical systems and automation.

    William Predebon, chair of the the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said, “Dr. Chen has made major contributions in her field of embedded systems with application to hybrid-electric and electric autonomous systems. Her course in Model-based Embedded Control System Design is regularly in high demand by not only ME students but also EE students. This is a testament to the importance of the topic and her teaching ability.”

    ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.