Winter WonderHack Starts Tonight

Students from throughout the Midwest will be at Michigan Tech beginning tonight for Winter WonderHack, a 36-hour competition where participants use their knowledge and creativity to make something new.

The event is sponsored by the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in partnership with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Smash Club and Film Board, among others.

Winter WonderHack is officially sanctioned by Major League Hacking (MLH), the official student hackathon league.

According to MLH, each semester more than 50,000 developers, designers and makers compete for their school’s glory and bragging rights at more than 150 official hackathons in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Event organizer Mitch Davis says the goal of the weekend is to stimulate thinking and creativity.

“The definition of hacking is using something in a way it was not originally intended,” Davis explains. “For this reason, it’s crucial to think outside the box and look at technology in a way that nobody else has.”

He says they are expecting about 300 students from the Midwest and Canada.

MLH hackathons generally target students who are interested in programming, electronics and mechanics.

Fellow organizer Nathanial Shapiro says Winter WonderHack is designed to appeal to a wide-ranging audience. “While focused around technology, it’s designed to be open to people from many disciplines and all levels of experience,” he says. “Everyone is welcome; even the prize categories are generally neutral. The theme here is innovation and creativity."

While organizers are expecting the majority of participants to be current college students, MLH rules allow those who have graduated within the last 12 months to compete too. Shapiro says high school students may also participate with permission.

The event begins at 10 p.m. tonight, (Friday, February 12) with opening ceremonies and dinner. Hacking is set to begin at midnight, with events throughout the night and into the day Saturday. Closing ceremonies are scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Sunday.

Organizers hope to have time for technical talks with a few side events to break things up.

Among the highlights of the weekend will be a Tech Talk by Jeff Nyquist at 2 p.m. Saturday. Nyquist is founder of Neuro Trainer. Nyquist created a game that works with virtual reality to restore sight to people who are legally blind.

There will be a Super Smash Brothers Tournament at 3 p.m. Saturday, MLH’s Code in the Dark, 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s Closing Ceremony at 10:15 a.m.

The majority of the events will be held in the Opie and Van Pelt Library.

“Near the end, there will be a sort of expo where people will share what they’ve done, and judges will make the rounds,” Shapiro said.

 He said representatives from MLH will be on hand to help run the event and should have some hardware to loan out.

Event sponsors include Target, Meridian Health Plan, Ford, ControlTec, Isaacson Engineering, Neuro Trainer, Jackson National Life, Arcelor Mittal, Epic Systems, TrustWave, Wireless Communications Enterprise, and the Humane Interface Design Enterprise. The sponsors will help competitors with their projects and have a say in the selection of winners, according to Davis.

 For more information and to view a schedule, visit

Spring Career Fair is Tuesday

Michigan Technological University's Spring Career Fair, one of the largest on record, will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, in the multipurpose room of the Student Development Complex.

Steve Patchin, director of Career Services, says there are 221 registered recruiting organizations from 23 states, the third largest number ever for a Spring Career Fair.

Last year’s Spring Fair drew a record 241 organizations.

Patchin says more than 180 organizations are looking to hire co-ops and interns, while more than 200 have  full-time positions to fill.

Many of the companies travel a great distance to attend the Career Fair, and Patchin says his staff works to make it worth their while.

“We are excited to welcome the hundreds of company recruiters who make the long journey to Houghton," Patchin says.  “They bring an energy to campus, driven by opportunity to put the skills to work that each student has developed in the labs and classrooms, as well as in student activities, from building intricate statues to competition on the broomball courts. This unique set of experiences and challenges create the values recruiters are searching for to add to their teams.”

In addition to recruiting world-class students, for many of the company representatives the week is a homecoming of sorts.

"More than 70 percent of the recruiters are graduates of Michigan Tech,” Patchin says. “They treasure returning to a place that has provided them so many memories.

Each individual ensures they enjoy their favorite and unique Keweenaw memory, whether it be a picked egg or a tostada pizza. The hospitality of the community leaves them with another warm memory.”

The week starts off with the Career Cookout on Monday. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. students can get hamburgers and hot dogs, all in the warm confines of the MUB Ballroom. Company reps will be there to meet with students as well.

Posting for Upcoming ACS Student Research Symposium

The Upper Peninsula Section of the American Chemical Society is now soliciting abstract submissions for the Student Research Symposium, which will be held at Northern Michigan University's new science facility in Marquette on Saturday, April 2.

The purpose of the event is to provide a venue for students to present their research in chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields.

This symposium will be an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and the community at large to learn about the interesting research being conducted in the UP.  We expect to see participation from a variety of institutions and academic levels of the Upper Peninsula and northeastern Wisconsin.  

Poster abstracts can be submitted online. The deadline for abstract submission is March 18. There is no registration fee.  More information is on the UPLS-ACS website.

Cash awards to the best posters will be given, and every participant will receive a gift from the UP local section.

Questions should be directed to Andrew Galerneau  (Chem), UPLS 2016 Chair.


NSF and NASA Speak Up Against Harassment and Discrimination

Institutional Equity and Inclusion would like to share two recent press releases from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

On January 25, in a press release entitled, "The National Science Foundation (NSF) Will Not Tolerate Harassment at Grantee Institutions" the National Science Foundation stated, "Not only is a discrimination-free environment the right setting for all people, it also fosters important learning, mentoring and research that are imperative to the advancement of science."

NSF also stated "For any NSF-funded entity that fails to adhere to Title IX, NSF will work with the Departments of Justice and Education to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination laws. NSF may terminate funding to any institution found to be in noncompliance with Title IX regulations and that does not voluntarily come into compliance."

NASA Lead Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden stated, "NASA takes very seriously our obligations , both legal and ethical, to make sure that when we provide Federal dollars to a STEM educational program that the program is extending equal opportunity to all of its participants. We seek to help STEM programs nationwide in their efforts to achieve educational environments in which equality of opportunity and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but are internalized by all members of the community and institutionalized in fair and equitable policies and practices."

Bolden ends with this important statement, "We must lead the way by refusing to be silent in the face of conduct that is not only illegal but destroys the very fabric of our STEM community. I believe we can grow stronger as a community by arming ourselves with knowledge about the kinds of behavior that are unacceptable and won't be tolerated in our STEM workplaces and educational environments."

Visit Michigan Tech's Institutional Equity and Inclusion website for more information.

Visit NSF Will Not Tolerate Harassment at Grantee Institutions and NASA Administrator Communicates Harassment Policies to Grantees to read the press releases in their entirety.

Hearing Loop System in Fisher 135

Recently, Institutional Equity and Inclusion (IEI) and Information Technology (IT) coordinated the installation of a hearing loop system in Fisher Hall, Room 135. This system allows students, employees and community members who use hearing aids to have a greater ability to hear the content of classes, programs and events in this room.

The idea of a hearing loop system was originally brought forward by a hearing impaired student. The Calumet Theatre has a hearing loop system and this student indicated that Michigan Tech could benefit from a similar system. Funding for diversity and disability initiatives, received from The General Motors Corporation, was devoted specifically to this hearing loop system.

IEI and IT worked with Hearing Loop Systems from Holland, MI to determine the best options for Michigan Tech. In the future, as new construction is designed on campus, hearing assistance systems will hopefully be incorporated.

IEI would like to promote the availability of the hearing loop system on campus. If your department, group or organization is hosting an event in Fisher 135, include the statement "Fisher 135 is Hearing Loop equipped" in your advertising. If you have questions or feedback about the system, email

ASEM Sponsoring Career Fair Panel

All majors, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) Career Fair Panel at 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 17 in Chem Sci 104B.

Come join us for an informative panel discussion and learn about various companies. If you have any questions or would like more information about the panel or ASEM, email Tim Spehar or Justine Barker.

FREE Husky FAN Cooking Class

Are you interested in learning how to create affordable, healthy meals? Join Shelley and Wesley as they prepare two tuna dishes and share recipes for 8 more.

This cooking class is free and will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday February 18 in the Hillside Place Kitchen. Make sure to RSVPIf you have questions, please email or checkout their website for more resources.

KIP Seminar Series: Human-Computer and Human-Robot Interaction

The next KIP seminar is at 3 p.m. today (February 12) in the ATDC room 101. Philart Joen from cognitive and learning sciences/computer science will present on his research related to human-computer and human-robot interaction.

Refreshments will be provided.

Nancy Auer to Speak at Biological Sciences seminar

There will be a biological sciences seminar given by Nancy Auer (Bio Sci) at 4 p.m. today in Dow 641.

The presentation, titled "Our Biological Sciences Legacy - Fish Science at MTU," will teach attendees about research in the Biological Sciences Community.

Moving into the digital age we can preserve our history more easily. This seminar will give an example tracing our legacy of fish-focused studies and our students since the department was founded in 1962. 

Wei Zhang at ACSHF Forum

Wei Zhang, PhD student in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors, will present at the ACSHF Forum on Monday, February 15 in the Harold Meese Center, room 109, from 2 to 3 p.m. Her presentation is titled "Social Network Analysis on Software Development Teams."

Software development is a creative process which requires effective team collaboration. As a new approach to analyze the complex intra-team relations, Social Network Analysis has been used in sports team, business management etc., but rarely in software development teams.

Krackhardt developed Cognitive Social Structures, a cognitively based, three dimensional network structure, to collect team member's perceptions on the interactions of people sharing in this team. We collected data in a collaborating course at Michigan Tech in the 2015 spring semester. Thirty-five undergraduate students in Computer Science and Humanities worked in six teams to develop citizen science software applications. We investigate their dynamic team process and analyze the team cognitive structures. The talk will present the result of this study.


February First Friday Social at Hamar House

Faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees are invited to join the Center for Diversity and Inclusion from 4 to 6 p.m. today at the Hamar House. Complimentary beverages will be served along with some great appetizers.


Khana Khazana Features Korean Food

Korean cuisine is on the menu for today's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union Foodcourt. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The menu includes:
  • Beef Bulgogi : Stir fry beef marinated with Korean style sauce and served with rice.
  • Soegogi-muguk : One of the popular soups in Korea. 
  • Musaengchae : Spicy Korean salad like Kimchi.

The price is $7.25 for the full meal and includes a fountain drink. Like the Khana Khazana at Michigan Tech Facebook page.


How Sugar Made Hawai'i the 50th State

The Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sunday Forum presents Professor Carol MacLennan from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, February 14 at BHK Campus, 700 Park Ave. MacLennan will present "How Sugar Made Hawai'i the 50th State."

For more information on this event, see original Tech Today story.


Geoseminar: Erik Herbert (MSE)

The next Geoseminar will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. today in Dow 610. All are welcome.

Erik Herbert will present "The Frontiers of Small Scale Mechanical Characterization: Past, Present and Future Platforms."

For the presentation's abstract, see the original Tech Today article


 Community Seminar About Wetlands

The Carnegie Museum is convening a series of Tuesday evening community discussions about the Keweenaw's natural history.

Rod Chimner will present "The Fascinating World of Wetlands: A Overview of Types, Importance, Issues and Restoration of Our Local Wetlands" from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 16 in the Carnegie Museum Community Room, Corner of Huron and Montezuma, downtown Houghton. Refreshments and introductions are at 6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture and a discussion.

For more details on Chimner's talk, see the original Tech Today post


Today's C-Cubed Menu

Action Station: 
Pork & Apple Burger Sliders with Cilantro Lime Cucumbers and Apple Slices 
Brilliant Veggie Burger Sliders with Fresh Sprouts and Dilled Red Onions (V)
(Both can be had without buns for gluten free)

Flavored Burger Dipping Condiments: Honey Sriracha Ketchup (VGF) & Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise (VGF), & Jalapeno Cream-cheese Spread (VGF)

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (VGF) 
Ratatouille Salad (VGF) 


Forty Years of Forest Soil Research at Michigan Tech: What Was Learned (Or Not..?)

The next SFRES Forum will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. today in Forestry G-002. A social will follow from 4 to 5 p.m. in the atrium.

Martin Jurgensen, Research Professor, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, will present "Forty Years of Forest Soil Research at Michigan Tech: What Was Learned (Or Not..?)"


Film Board Presents "Spectre"

This weekend, Film Board Presents "Spectre."

The film will be shown in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each for candy, pop and popcorn.

Today, February 12 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Tomorrow, February 13 — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 14 — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.

New Funding

Daisuke Minakata (CEE), is the principal investigator on a project that received a $75,000 research and development grant from the University of New Mexico. The project is "Predicting RO Removal of Toxicologically Relevant Unique Organics."
This is a 32 month project.


In the News

The Daily Mail (London, England) published a lengthy feature on Tech alumni Bob and Trish Evans, who perform breathtaking acro-juggling with knives and fire all over the world. See the feature here.


The unusual geologic pop-up structure has captured the attention of many audiences, ranging from local and regional news to national science media like Ars Technica and Eos. A variety of science blogs also picked up the story.


WLUK-TV Channel 11 (Fox Green Bay) aired an interview with Dean Wayne Pennington (COE) on his investigation of the Menominee Crack. Watch the interview.