Author: Sue Hill

Former Physics Faculty Keith Baldwin

Keith BaldwinKeith M. Baldwin, 85, passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at Marquette General Hospital.

Baldwin came to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1963 as an associate professor of physics. He taught many physics classes and senior labs and served as a faculty advisor for graduate students. In the early 1970s, Baldwin also became involved with the Keweenaw Research Center. He worked on vehicle research projects and helped secure contracts for vehicle testing. After early retirement from Michigan Tech in 1984, he partnered with the University to form KMB/Tech, developing lab equipment for physics teachers.

Professor Emeritus Don Daavittila (Physics) knew him well. “He was very interested in his subject and a very good teacher,” he said. “I enjoyed knowing him very much. He was also a Tech hockey fan, he was even at some games this year. Keith was a good guy.”

Read more at Tech Today.


Ken Kraft Passes Away

Ken Kraft
Ken Kraft's first year of teaching in the department, from The Michigan Tech Forester, 1962, Michigan College of Mining and Technology.

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences Ken Kraft passed away on Jan. 12 at his Chassell Township home.

Kraft’s research was in invertebrate ecology, particularly in aquatic environments, and some of his work was used by the Army Corps of Engineers and Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Resources) in their environmental studies.

“He was well respected in his fields of study—entomology and aquatic environmental studies,” said Professor Emeritus Bob Keen. “He was also a mentor to a number of graduate students, including some who went on to attain PhDs and did very well.”

Kraft’s career at Michigan Tech actually began in forestry, where he was taught zoology, and he joined the biological sciences department when it was formed in 1962. He eventually rejoined the forestry faculty before retiring.

Read more at Tech Today.


Computer Science Students Make World Finals

ACM ICPCTo Russia with Code: Tech Students Make World Finals in Computer Programming

Only 120 teams of 10,000 worldwide are going, and Michigan Tech is one of them. They earned the right to go to Russia to compete in the world finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest next June by finishing fifth in the North Central regional qualifying contest.

Computer science students Tom Holmes and Eric Rinkus and math major Ryan McNamara will be making the trip to Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg with coach and computer science PhD student Jason Hiebel.

“This was my fourth year of trying,” Holmes added. “We’ll be practicing a lot with Jason, and Dave has been really helpful, too. We want to go there [Russia] and solve a decent number of problems. We want to get Tech’s name up there.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Dennis Walikainen.


Jackson Blended Learning Winners

CTLIn early November, the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning invited faculty to submit proposals to support blended learning course innovations. Proposals were accepted at three levels ($1,000, $5,000 and $10,000), and a total of $50,000 was originally planned to be awarded during this cycle.

The PIs in the College of Sciences and Arts that will receive support are:

$1,000
* Jason Carter (KIP) “Benchmarking Trip to University of Florida”
* Wil Slough (Physics) “Development of Blended Learning Materials for Uncertainty Analysis”

$5,000
* Karla Kitalong (HU) “MTMC and IGTAAP Tech Upgrade” (partial funding)
* Jason Gregersen (Math) “Blended and Online Linear Algebra”
* Leo Ureel (CS) “Canvas Teaching Assistant”

$10,000
* Jared Anderson (VPA) “Video Arts in Blended Learning (VIABLE)”

Read more at Tech Today.


Migration Mapping in Social Sciences

Net Migration Website
Net Migration Website

Assistant Professor Richelle L. Winkler in the Department of Social Sciences leads a project on mapping migrations in the United States. The project was the subject of a recent article in The Atlantic Cities, an online exploration of the most innovative ideas and pressing issues facing today’s global cities and neighborhoods. The article, entitled “Mapping 60 Years of White Flight, Brain Drain and American Migration,” relates the population seepage to deeper problems driving demographic change.

The mapping project involves researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Michigan Technological University and the University of New Hampshire. The group has published a website Net Migration Patterns for US Counties, which allows interactive exploration of map data going back to the 1950’s.

Image courtesy of the net migration mapping tool created by the Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin.


New Faculty in the College of Sciences and Arts

Michigan Tech Campus Fall
Image courtesy of COE.

CSA welcomes new faculty and existing faculty who have now accepted tenure-track and lecturer positions: Brigitte Morin, Andrew Galerneau, Marina Tanasova, Adam Feltz, Kelly Steelman, Leo Ureel, Stephanie Carpenter, Abraham Romney, Zhiying (Jenny) Shan, Tejin Yoon, Jason Gregersen, William Keith, Min Wang, Yang Yang, Ramy El-Ganainy, Melissa Baird, Carl Blair, Ryan Cook, Rebecca Graff, Nancy Langston, Chelsea Schelly, and Josh Loar.

Read more at Tech Today.


Seely on Infamous Tech Predictions

Golden Spike5 Infamous Tech Predictions

Looking back over tech history gives valuable insights into how past innovation was brought to commercial fruition.

Thus, to provide a bit of context for the following five pronouncements — which over time have proven to be woefully off the mark — Forbes.com spoke to Bruce Seely, historian of technology at Michigan Tech University and the president of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).

Read more at Forbes, by Bruce Dorminey.


Three New Department Chairs Began this Fall

Walker BuildingCary Chabalowski, Anne Beffel, and Chandrashekhar Joshi are the three new department chairs in the college for Fall 2013.

Cary Chabalowski joins the Department of Chemistry as chair and professor of practice. Chabalowski is a computational chemist with an interest in quantum chemistry.

Anne Beffel is chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. She defines herself as a “time artist” which she says means that she is deeply interested in connecting art and social context in time, using all forms and media.

Chandrashekhar Joshi chairs the Department of Biological Sciences. Joshi, a world-renowned plant molecular biologist, has been serving as interim chair of biological sciences for the past year.

Read more at Tech Today.


Summer Youth Programs 2013

SYPSummer Youth Programs (SYP), weeklong explorations for students in grades 6–12, begin on Michigan Tech’s campus next week.

Explorations feature a week of hands-on activities, a taste of campus life and a host of new friendships for participants. Popular explorations this year include engineering bridges, dams and skyscrapers; studying wolf/moose ecology while backpacking on Isle Royale; video game programming; sports science; mobile robotics and blacksmithing.

Read more at Tech Today.