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College of Computing News | 2024 Gateway Magazine

Michigan Tech Designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

In March 2023, Michigan Tech was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA). The designation is in effect through the 2028 academic year.

CAE-CDs have met rigorous requirements set forth by the NSA. The prestigious designation
is awarded to select academic institutions offering cybersecurity degrees and/or certificates
at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate levels. The goal of the CAE-CD program
is to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of the United States by promoting and supporting quality academic programs
of higher learning.

Yu Cai, professor, Department of Applied Computing (right), with Mia Kelley ’24, BS
in Computer Science senior a minor in cybersecurity

“CAE-CD designated institutions are recognized as leaders in cybersecurity education
and research, and graduates of CAE-CD programs are highly sought after by employers
in the cybersecurity field,” says Professor Yu Cai, Department of Applied Computing, who led the CAE-CD designation effort. “This recognition can help to attract students
and faculty members, as well as funding and collaboration with government agencies
and industry partners.”

Dan Fuhrmann, chair of the applied computing department, notes that the designation “puts Michigan
Tech on the map as one of 300 institutions in the country with high-quality academic
programs in cybersecurity, which will lead to increased visibility and growth of those
programs.”

Alumna Dianne Marsh Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Dianne Marsh '66 '92 BS, MS in Computer Science
Dianne Marsh ’66 ’92 BS, MS in Computer Science

Dianne Marsh ’86 ’92 BS MS Computer Science is the 2023 recipient of Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, presented annually by the Alumni Board of Directors. The award recognizes University
alumni who have made outstanding contributions to both their careers and Michigan
Tech. Marsh is the first College of Computing graduate to receive the award and the
second woman. She is a member of the College of Computing External Advisory Board and the Department of Computer Science External Advisory Board.

Endowed Position Renewed

The endowed William and Gloria Jackson Professorship will be held by Timothy Havens, Department of Computer Science, for an additional five years. The professorship
recognizes an exceptional scholar and teacher whose expertise and activity bridges
the disciplines of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and business
entrepreneurship. Havens is also director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems and the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech.

Tim Havens, William and Gloria Jackson Professornand director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems and the Great Lakes Research Center
Tim Havens, William and Gloria Jackson Professor and director of the Institute of
Computing and Cybersystems and the Great Lakes Research Center

Honor Academy

The 2023 inductees to the College of Computing Honor Academy are Kanwal Rekhi ’69, Randy Berry ’82, and John Furton ’87. The Honor Academy recognizes Michigan Tech graduates who have distinguished
themselves in their professions and others who have made extraordinary contributions
to the advancement of the College of Computing. The inductees were announced October
4, 2023, at the opening event of Showcase [AI].

Rekhi is a highly successful entrepreneur and investor, and a tireless supporter and
benefactor to Michigan Tech and the College. Berry, a member of the College of Computing
External Advisory Board, is an energy industry professional with 30 years of experience. Furton serves on
the Computer Science Advisory Board. He is chief operating officer of Sifter and an investor and advisor to several early-stage
technology firms.

Randy Berry '82
Randy Berry ’82

John Furton '87
John Furton ’87

Kanwal Rekhi '69
Kanwal Rekhi ’69

Give Back to the Pack Recap

Thank you to alumni and friends who gave a gift during the 48-hour Give Back to the Pack event in February 2023. Gifts to the College of Computing totaled $177,000— the second-highest
Give Back to the Pack giving total across the University.

We are grateful for the generosity of our Challenge donors: Mark Gauthier ’85, who
sponsored the Mechatronics Playground Challenge; Dale Luck ’79, whose matching gift
supported broadening opportunities in computing; and an anonymous donor who pledged
a matching gift in the Dean’s Innovation Fund Challenge. During the Give Back to the
Pack event, 1,200 donors collectively donated $1.29 million to support Michigan Tech
students.

The 2024 Give Back to the Pack event took place April 10- 11. We look forward to sharing
the results soon.

Fall Showcase Explores Artificial Intelligence

The fall 2023 Computing [MTU] showcase, Showcase [AI], held October 4-6, delved into
the realm of artificial intelligence, engaging MTU faculty, students, and visitors.
The event highlighted the excitement, applications, and controversies surrounding
AI, and underscored AI’s impact on academia, industry, and manufacturing. At the kickoff
banquet, the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems presented achievement awards
and the College of Computing inducted new Honor Academy members. A discussion panel
on AI in academia and industry closed out the evening.

Electrical engineering grad student Shivayogi Akki (right), presents his research on “Benchmarking Model Predictive Control and Reinforcement Learning for Legged Robot Locomotion” at Showcase[AI]. On the left is Keith Vertanen, computer science faculty member.
Electrical engineering grad student Shivayogi Akki (right), presents his research
on “Benchmarking Model Predictive Control and Reinforcement Learning for Legged Robot
Locomotion” at Showcase[AI]. On the left is Keith Vertanen, computer science faculty
member.

The two-day event displayed cutting-edge equipment and research, including research
in the Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab, led by Ashraf Saleem, Department of Applied Computing; an interactive AR/ VR demonstration by graduate students working under Vinh Nguyen, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; and research posters from Michigan Tech research institute members and other faculty.
Jennifer Weller of the National Science Foundation and Bill Spotz of the US Department of Energy presented research funding opportunities. Weller also joined the “Women in IT and
Tech” discussion panel that addressed gender challenges in a male-dominated sector.

The final day of Showcase [AI], Manufacturing Day, featured a keynote talk by Tom
Kelly, CEO of Automation Alley, which explored how AI is reshaping manufacturing. Jeffrey Horn, Northern Michigan University, shared his extensive work on industrial shape nesting. And, nearly 30 MTU graduate
students presented their research in the student poster competition.

MS in Applied Computer Science

Advances in data collection, analysis techniques, and computational power mean that
computers are now being used to solve problems in virtually every aspect of industry
and society. To do so, however, practitioners need knowledge in both computer science
and the application domain. To prepare these practitioners, the Department of Computer Science has recently launched a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science (MSACS).

MSACS students are trained to apply theoretical knowledge within the context of real-world
problems. The program is designed for students who are completing a bachelor’s in
a field outside computer science and wish to add computing credentials to their degree.
Students can be admitted to the new graduate program from any Michigan Tech bachelor’s
program. The program is directed by Professor Jean Mayo, Department of Computer Science.

Charles Wallace Is MASU Distinguished Professor of the Year

Charles Wallace, associate professor, Department of Computer Science
Charles Wallace, associate professor, Department of Computer Science

Ryan Klemm is 2023 Computer Science Departmental Scholar

Ryan Klemm ’24, a senior computer science major, was selected as the 2023 Computer Science Departmental Scholar. A stellar student, Klemm’s journey at Michigan Tech includes numerous achievements.
He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service, a leading competitor and officer of the MTU RedTeam, a research assistant in the MTU Security and Privacy Lab, and an instructor for the local middle/high school CyberHuskies Team.

Ryan Klemm '24 BS in Computer Science
Ryan Klemm ’24 BS in Computer Science

The Computer Science Departmental Scholar Award, established by the Office of the Provost, recognizes a student who represents the best of student scholarship in the department,
especially in the areas of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication.
Departmental Scholars are nominated for the Provost’s Award for Scholarship, to be awarded in spring 2024.

Faculty Awards and Accolades

College of Computing faculty received a number of awards and accolades in 2022 and 2023. AC denotes Department of Applied Computing. CS denotes Department
of Computer Science.

Briana Bettin (CS) and coauthors were awarded the best paper award at the 27th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education.

fall 2022, Bettin received an exceptional “Average of 7 Dimensions” student evaluation
score. Bettin’s score was in the top 10 percent of similarly sized sections University-wide.

Bettin was awarded an Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) Achievement Award at Showcase [AI] in October 2023. The award recognizes ICC
members for their exceptional contributions to the mission of the ICC.

Yu Cai (AC) and Guy Hembroff (AC) were among the five finalists for the spring 2024 MTU Outstanding Teaching Award
in the associate professor/professor category.

Bo Chen (CS) was selected as a Class of 2022 European Alliance for Innovation Distinguished Member. The designation recognizes professionals for extraordinary
accomplishments in their technical areas.

Ali Ebnenasir (CS) and Charles Wallace (CS) were two of only 74 instructors who received an exceptional “Average of 7 Dimensions”
student evaluation score in spring 2023. Their scores were in the top 10 percent of
similarly sized sections Universitywide.

Guy Hembroff was featured in the 2023 Dean’s Teaching Showcase coordinated by Michigan Tech’s William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dennis Livesay was elected to the Computing Research Association Deans Group, a three-person leadership team.

Aleksandr Sergeyev (AC) received the 2023 Best Moderator Award at the 2023 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration.

Keith Vertanen (CS) was named the endowed Dave House Associate Professor of Computer Science.

Zhenlin Wang (CS) and coauthors won the Best Paper Award at the 37th International Conference on Supercomputing.

Brian Yuan (AC) received the 2022 ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in Mathematics/ Computer Sciences.

Spring 2023 Department of Applied Computing student course evaluations were in the
top 10 campus wide. The following applied computing faculty members received “top
10 percent” letters from the University’s provost: Todd Arney, Mojtaba Bahramgiri, Yu Cai, Paniz Hazaveh, Guy Hembroff, Tim Van Wagner, Brian Yuan, and Weihua Zhou.

New Faculty and Staff

The Department of Computer Science welcomed two new faculty members in fall 2023:
Koloud Al Khamaiseh and Stella Otoo, both assistant teaching professors.

The Department of Applied Computing also welcomed two new faculty members in fall
2023: Nader Abu-Alrub, assistant teaching professor, and Ronghua (Sam) Xu, assistant professor.

The College of Computing welcomed two new staff members: Sherry Wyeth, academic advisor,
and Margaret Landsparger, coordinator and graduate assistant for the Department of
Applied Computing.

Promotions, Tenure, and New Leadership Roles

Congratulations to the following College of Computing faculty and staff, who have
received promotions and tenure: Paniz Hazaveh, promoted to associate teaching professor of applied computing; Kristi Hauswirth, promoted to director of finance and data operations; Dukka KC, promoted to professor of computer science; and Yakov Nekrich, who received tenure in the Department of Computer Science.

Congratulations to faculty who have new leadership roles in the College: Yu Cai, associate chair, Department of Applied Computing; Paniz Hazaveh, program director, BS in Mechatronics and BS in Electrical Engineering Technology;
Guy Hembroff, graduate program director, PhD in Computational Science and Engineering; Jean Mayo, graduate program director, Department of Computer Science; and Zhenlin Wang, chair, Department of Computer Science.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

 

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