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    Computer Science Faculty, Students Awarded Best Poster at ITiCSE


    Department of Computer Science faculty and students presented two posters, a paper, and chaired a session at the 26th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), conducted online June 26 to July 1, 2021.

    “A Visualization for Teaching Integer Coercion,” a poster presented by James Walker with Steven Carr, Ahmed Radwan, Yu-Hsiang Hu, Yu Chin Cheng, Jean Mayo, and Ching-Kuang Shene, was one of three posters that received the conference’s Best Poster Award.

    The poster describes the Expression Evaluation (EE) visualization tool. The tool is designed to aid students in understanding type conversions that take place implicitly in C. Understanding type conversions is essential to avoid Integer errors in C which continue to be a source of security vulnerabilities.

    An additional paper and poster were presented at the conference, below. Dr. Linda Ott chaired a conference session on Students: Diversity.


    Poster: Modeling the Growth and Spread of Infectious Diseases to Teach Computational Thinking by Meara Pellar-Kosbar, Dylan Gaines, Lauren Monroe, Alec Rospierski, Alexander Martin, Ben Vigna, Devin Stewart, Jared Perttunen, Calvin Voss, Robert Pastel and Leo Ureel II

    The poster discusses a simulation model developed to teach middle school students about the spread of infectious diseases augmented with affordances to help students develop computational thinking skills. The simulation was partially developed as a Citizen Science project in the courses CS4760 and CS5760, User Interface Design and Human Computer Interaction.

    Presentation: Frozen in the Past: When it Comes to Analogy Fears, It’s Time For Us to “Let it Go” by Briana Bettin and Linda Ott

    This position paper describes a fundamental difference in attitudes toward the use of analogy in the computer science education community versus other STEM education communities. Additionally, it provides suggestions for how to address concerns in the CS education research community in order to advance research into the use of analogy in computing education

    The 26th annual conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) was sponsored by ACM, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computing Education (SIGCSE), the ACM Europe Council, and Informatics Europe.


    Our Stories: Dr. Robert Pastel, Assoc. Prof., Computer Science

    This is part of a series of short introductions about College students, faculty, and staff that we would like to include in the Weekly Download. Would you like to be featured? Send a photo and some background info about yourself to computing@mtu.edu.

    Dr. Robert Pastel, Associate Professor of Computer Science

    • Advisor to Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE)
    • Has been teaching at Michigan Tech for about 20 years, and teaching for 30 years.
    • Researcher with the Human-Centered Computing group of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)

    Education

    • PhD, University of New Mexico, Physics
    • MS, Computer Science, Michigan Tech

    Faculty Profile


    Classes Dr. Pastel teaches: 
    o    CS5760 – Human-Computer Interaction – Usability Evaluation and Testing 
    o    CS4791 and CS4792 – Senior Design
    o    ENT1960 – ENT5960 – Humane Interface Design Enterprise

    The “coolest” class you teach, and why: All my classes are “cool” because they all involve making applications that will be used by people. The “coolest” class is CS4760 – User Interface – Design and Implementation where students work with scientists across the world to make citizen science applications.

    The importance of your class topics to the overall understanding of Computing and your discipline: In all my classes, students learn to design and implement usable applications for people.

    Your teaching philosophy: My teaching philosophy is that students learn best by experience and working with others. Consequently students work in teams on project for clients. 

    Research projects in which students are assisting: 

    • StreamCLIMES – Large collaborative project studying bio diversity of intermittent streams. I’m responsible for developing a web applications monitoring the stream.
    • FloodAware – Large collaborative project recording and modelling flooding in urban areas. I’m responsible for developing the citizen science effort.
    • KeTT – Keweenaw Time Traveler – Historical geospatial information citizen science website for user to record region’s history and explore the maps and stories. 

    Interests beyond teaching and research: The outdoors: skiing, biking and hiking. Every summer, he takes a one-month backpacking trip. 


    Robert Pastel Presents at Social Science History Association Annual Meeting

    Robert Pastel

    Robert Pastel (Computer Science/ICC Center for Human Centered Computing), along with Gary Spikberg (MS Industrial Heritage and Archaeology) and Don Lafreniere (SS/GLRC), presented “A Semiautomated approach to Creating Record Linkages and High Resolution Geocoding Across Historical Datasets” at the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association, which took place November 21-24, 2019, in Chicago, IL.

    The Social Science History Association is an interdisciplinary organization that publishes a journal, Social Science History, organizes an annual conference, supports graduate student travel to the conference, and awards book prizes. With scholars from history, economics, sociology, demography, anthropology, and other social sciences, the association brings together scholars in thematic networks where they can explore common questions.


    Computer Science Workshop Held April 5-7

    Explore CSR GroupMichigan Tech hosted the workshop “Exploring Computer Science Research” last Friday – Sunday (April 5-7). The workshop was one of 15 Google has sponsored in the U.S. and was organized by four CS Faculty: Leo Ureel, Linda Ott, Jean Mayo and Laura Brown; Jean Mayo and Laura Brown are members of the ICC. The workshop was for women and underrepresented groups to explore research and graduate school opportunities in computer science.

    There were 26 attendees from six universities and colleges across Michigan and Wisconsin. Over the course of the weekend each student participated in a research experience, investigating a research question with a faculty mentor. Topics included:

    Machine Vision – Robert Pastel, ICC Center for Human-Centered Computing

    Data Science in Energy Systems – Laura Brown, ICC Center for Data Sciences

    Cybersecurity and Privacy in Storage Systems – Bo Chen, ICC Center for Cybersecurity

    Agent-based Simulations in Education – Leo Ureel

    Human Computer Interactions: Natural Language Processing for Assistive Technologies – Keith Vertanen, ICC Center for Human-Centered Computing

    After learning about and working on their research topics, the students presented out to the group. In addition to their research experiences, attendees learned about different job opportunities after graduate school, heard how to apply to graduate schools and talked to current graduate students about the graduate school experience and their research.

    Guest speakers included Niloofar Gheissari and Anja Gruenheid, two Google employees, Pushpalatha Murthy, Dean of the Graduate School and Robin Hunicke, our keynote speaker from the University of California Santa Cruz and Funomena.