IT Addresses Service Disruption

submitted by Walt Milligan, chief information officer

In response to recent instabilities in our core central services (Banner, Huskymail, etc.), Information Technology is currently accelerating a project to replace some critical equipment in our network’s core.

We expect to complete this project by the end of this week. We are scheduling actions that have the potential for network and application disruptions. Due to the severity and frequency of the instabilities that have occurred recently--and the level of threat to our operations--these actions will be taking place both during and after business hours.

Under normal circumstances, we would be doing this maintenance late at night, and more slowly. However, in this case, we believe it is critical to complete these replacements as soon as possible.

When this project is completed, we are confident that network and application performance will be much more stable.

We understand that these outages cause all of our customers great inconvenience and lost productivity, and we apologize for the service interruptions.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

For more information, contact Milligan 487-2015 or at .

National Science Foundation Hands Out CAREER Awards

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named three assistant professors winners of NSF CAREER Awards. Veronica Griffis (CEE), Shari Stockero (CLS) and Greg Waite (GMES) received the 2011 awards.

CAREER Awards are among the most prestigious honors granted by the NSF. They recognize faculty members early in their careers who are effectively integrating research and teaching.

"The CAREER program recognizes and supports teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century," said David Reed, vice president for research. "These young faculty members add tremendously to the reputation of Michigan Tech."

Griffis's research seeks to develop a statistical model for projecting future flood risk in the northeastern US, accounting for impacts of natural climate variability, potential climate change and impending land-use changes.

"I hope this work will increase high school students' awareness of the impact of human activities on water resources, and that it will increase undergraduates' interest in pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering," Griffis said. The project will include field trips for area ninth graders, development of an interactive web module and corresponding lesson plans. Graduate and undergraduate students will participate in community outreach activities, and the research will be integrated into undergraduate water resources coursework.

Stockero is designing teacher education experiences to help beginning mathematics teachers "notice" and build on important student questions and comments that are often missed by inexperienced teachers. Prospective teachers will record and analyze math instruction in local schools. During later student teaching, the future math teachers will use what they’ve learned as they interact with students in classrooms.

"This award is an exciting opportunity for me to build on my current research by testing some of what I've learned about supporting beginning mathematics teachers in practice," said Stockero. "I'm hoping that this study will be a step towards helping us better prepare mathematics teachers to be responsive to all students."

Waite's research focuses on the dynamics of small-scale volcanic earthquakes that result from the interactions of multiphase magmatic fluids with conduit walls. He and his students will collect data on sulfur-dioxide emissions, low-frequency sound, and ground tilt, along with seismic data to construct better models. "Ultimately this work will push waveform modeling of volcano seismic signals into wider use," he said.

NSF has recognized three Michigan Tech faulty members with CAREER Awards twice before, in 2004 and 2007.

Mind Trekkers Take Science Fun to Knoxville

Mind Trekkers, a travelling science show produced by the University's Center for Pre-college Outreach, packed up some of its most engaging hands-on activities and hauled them to Knoxville, Tenn., this week to perform at the Global Finals of Destination ImagiNation, an international science competition. Student volunteers and staff will be showing youngsters there how to make liquid nitrogen ice cream, electrify their hair with a Van de Graaff generator and "walk on water" (actually, on oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid that acts like a solid under pressure).

Mind Trekkers is participating in Destination ImagiNation's Innovation Expo, featuring science-focused organizations and companies such as NASA, Texas Instruments, Volvo and the US Air Force. Sponsors of the exhibition are IBM, 3M and Motorola.

The event begins today, and runs through Saturday, May 28, at the University of Tennessee of Knoxville. More than 14,000 young people from 50 states and 49 countries participate.

The Innovation Expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., today, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, in the KCC Exhibit Hall B at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

"We're taking Mind Trekkers to Destination ImagiNation to continue our mission of turning as many students, families and communities as possible on to the incredible opportunities of careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)," said Cody Kangas, assistant director of pre-college outreach. "This venue is a perfect fit for Michigan Tech, since some of the brightest young minds in the world will be together in one place, participating in activities that will make them stretch their minds," Kangas continued. "As students are getting their 'geek' on, Mind Trekkers will be right there with them, showing them that science can be a blast."

Last summer, Mind Trekkers performed at the national Boy Scout Jamboree, and in October, 2010, the group participated in the first USA Science and Engineering Expo in Washington, DC. More recently, they have taken their hands-on science show to Detroit, Green Bay, Wis., and across the UP.

To learn more about the group, see Mind Trekkers.

Reminder: Retirement Social for Pat Ross Today

The Graduate School invites all faculty, staff and students to a social celebrating the retirement of Pat Ross from 2 to 4 p.m., today, in Admin 404. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. Take this opportunity to stop in and wish her well.

Michigan Tech Individual Sports Programs Hand Out Yearly Awards

Michigan Tech head coach Joe Haggenmiller recently announced the yearly award winners for cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field. Overall, 24 different athletes were honored.

"The winners of these awards are very deserving due to the fact that we have many quality student-athletes on our teams," said Haggenmiller.

For more information, see Awards.

Nara Exhibit Moves to Carnegie Museum

"People, Place and Time: Michigan's Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara," a traveling exhibit created by the Archives, has moved to the Carnegie Museum at the corner of Huron and Montezuma Streets in Houghton. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public through July 5 during the museum's normal hours:

* Tuesdays, 12 to 5 p.m.
* Thursdays, 12 to 5 p.m.
* Saturdays, 12 to 4 p.m.

The museum will host a public program at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, in conjunction with the exhibit installation. Archivist Erik Nordberg will give an illustrated presentation featuring dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw.

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, in the heart of America's most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, Nara’s lens also captured the people, place and time he experienced in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw's rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses and pastoral back roads.

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack, works from historical photographs held at the Archives. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime, and include material on urban life, farming and the 1913 Michigan copper miners' strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection.

For more information, contact Archives at 487-2505 or at or the Carnegie Museum at 482-7140 or at .

In Print

Wayne State University Press's Great Lakes History Series recently
published "Iron Will: Cleveland-Cliffs and the Mining of Iron Ore,
1847-2006." The book was authored by Professor Terry S. Reynolds (SS) and Virginia P. Dawson.

On the Road

Assistant Professor Laura Brown (CS) presented a poster and served as program committee member at the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference at Ohio University, May 2 to 4. PhD candidate Li Song (CS) also gave a presentation, "A fast longest common subsequence algorithm for finding similar sequences in a genome database".

In the News

Director Pasi Lautala (RTP) was recognized for his engineering expertise on cold climate railways with an invitation to film a documentary by a British film group for National Geographic International. The film focuses on the engineering feat of the Qinghai-Tibet Railroad, the world's highest railroad built under arctic conditions.

The program, titled "Megastructures – Extreme Railways," will air on National Geographic in the United Kingdom at 8 p.m., today.

The press release announcing the debut of the film appeared in the British newspaper, the Global Herald. For more information, see Railroad.


The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) presented the Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award to John Johnson on April 12 at the SAE World Congress.

The Pischinger Award was established in 2008 by FEV Inc. to recognize exceptional innovation and competence in powertrain design and development. Johnson, presidential professor emeritus (ME-EM), is a pioneer in the field of diesel emissions.

For more information, see SAE Award.