MTU Vice President of Research appoints Timothy Havens as next ICC Director

Timothy Havens
Tim Havens

By Dan Fuhrmann, published on the ECE Newsblog, August 6, 2018

Timothy C. Havens (ECE), the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems, has been named director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC), effective immediately.

As the Jackson Associate Professor, Havens holds a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. He is also director of the interdisciplinary master of science program in data science. His technical areas of expertise are machine learning, computational intelligence, data science, and signal and image processing.

Havens was selected to lead the ICC by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon and Vice President for Research David Reed, following an internal nomination and recommendation process organized by ICC Co-Director and ECE Department Chair Daniel R. Fuhrmann. Havens’ term as ICC director extends through Dec. 31, 2021.

Read the full story.

Ye Sun Wins CAREER Award

Ye Sun

By Kelley Christiansen, published in Michigan Tech News, July 18, 2018

An innovative idea to replace wearable health monitoring devices with embroidered electronics garners attention from the National Science Foundation.

Health monitoring devices—FitBit or Garmin accelerometer watches, apps on cell phones, heart monitors—are becoming ubiquitous, but they have their drawbacks. In some climates, these devices can rub irritatingly against skin. Some are heavy and bulky. So imagine if embroidery on clothing could replace these devices altogether.

Ye Sun, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received an NSF CAREER Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement by early career faculty. The research and development grant is for Sun’s project “System-on-Cloth: A Cloud Manufacturing Framework for Embroidered Wearable Electronics.”

Sun’s project is funded for $500,000 for five years.

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Vertanen receives Research Excellence Fund (REF) Seed Grant

Keith Vertanen (HCC) has received a Research Excellence Fund (REF) seed grant from Michigan Tech for his project entitled, “Automatic Speech Recognition using Deep Neural Networks”. This one-year project has a budget of $45,421. This project will create a state-of-the-art speech recognition engine based on deep neural networks. The recognizer will be used to investigate speech-based interactive systems for instrumented physical environments (e.g. cars) and person-centric devices (e.g. augmented reality smartglasses). The recognizer will also be used to investigate the input of Java source code by voice.

2018 ICC Achievement Awards Presented at ICC Annual Retreat

Min Song (L) and Indrajit Ray

The ICC Annual Retreat was held on April 20, 2018. Min Song presented ICC Achievement Awards to five researchers – one from each center – for their outstanding research and honorable contributions to the ICC in 2017-2018. Congratulations to this year’s recipients: Laura Brown (DataS), Yu Cai (CyberS), Keith Vertanen (HCC), Zhaohui Wang (CPS), and Zhenlin Wang (SAS). In addition to the award presentation and dinner, ICC Distinguished Lecturer Indrajit Ray presented his lecture, “APTRON – Active Perception for adapTive Response in cOmplex Networks”.

Paul Williams Seed Grant Recipients Announced

Zhaohui Wang

The ICC Executive Committee recently announced the winners of the 2018 Paul Williams Seed Grant Competition. Two awards of nearly $50K each were granted to two ICC teams with the primary purpose of giving researchers the opportunity to develop a research program that would be eligible and attractive for long-term and higher-level funding from external grants and contracts. Those submitting proposals for the grants were required to submit written proposals and to give a 2-5 minute presentation at the ICC TechTalks which took place on February 16, 2018. The winning teams are:

  • Zhaohui Wang and Nina Mahmoudian, The Center for Cyber-Physical Systems, “A Low-Cost Marine Mobile Networking Infrastructure,”
  • Keith Vertanen, Scott Kuhl, and Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon, The Center for Human Centered Computing, “Sensing and Feedback for On-Body Input”

Keith Vertanen Receives NSF CAREER Award

Keith Vertanen (CS/HCC) has been awarded a 2018 NSF CAREER Award for his project entitled, “Technology Assisted Conversations”.  This 5-year award has a total budget of $538,799. In this project, Keith will create new real-time communication solutions for people who face speaking challenges, including those with physical or cognitive disabilities. The primary goal of this project is to develop technology that improves upon the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices currently available to help people speak faster and more fluidly. Keith and his team will expand resources for research into conversational interactive systems, and will create a probabilistic text entry toolkit, AAC user interfaces, and an augmented reality conversation assistant. For more information, see the Michigan Tech News story.

ICC Member Awarded Endowed Professorship

Nina Mahmoudian

ICC member Nina Mahmoudian(CPS)was recently named the first Lou and Herbert Wacker Associate Professor in Autonomous Mobile Systems. William Predebon, chair of Michigan Tech’s ME-EM Department, says the endowment of a professorship is an important recognition of faculty who are rising stars or at the top of their fields.  He added, “Dr. Mahmoudian is a rising star and already a leader in her research in autonomous mobile systems. She is driven and a highly motivated scholar and teacher. Her enthusiasm in the classroom and in her research is infectious and compelling in such a way that students gravitate to her.” Read more in the Michigan Tech News.

ICC TechTalks and Paul Williams Seed Grant Competition

The ICC hosted its first TechTalk on February 16. Each presenter had 2-5 minutes to present his or her research using under five slides. This TechTalk was also a platform for researchers submitting proposals for the Paul Williams Seed Grant Competition. Eight researchers discussed their proposals for the competition that awards two $50K grants to the project that best fulfills the mission of the ICC and shows the most promise for future funding. Topics discussed include exascale computing, marine mobile networking, effective clustering algorithms, cybersecurity, on-body sensing, and the IOT implementation. The winners will be announced by February 23, 2018.

ICC Associate Director Presents Defense Research on the Hill

Tim Havens, ICC Associate Director and Director of the Center for Data Sciences, will present his research on Sensor-fused Explosive Hazard Detection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. this week at “STIx on the Hill.” STIx, which stands for science, technology and information exchange, brings together leading experts in the defense research community to discuss innovative areas for research and development for the Department of Defense. Read more in the Michigan Tech News.