On the Map: Students Use Geographic Information Science to Evaluate Their Communities

It’s one thing to feel there are too few parks or crosswalks in a community, and another to back up that assertion with data.

This past summer, high school students participating in the GRACE project (GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education) explored area communities armed with GIS-enabled iPads to show where these places have infrastructure important for childhood health—or don’t.

The GRACE project trains high school teachers and students to use GIS (geographic information science) and spatial technologies to foster new ways to analyze community well-being. Michigan Tech researchers, partnered with colleagues at Eastern Michigan University and a number of other organizations, are equipping K-12 teachers and students to use GIS in multiple subject areas and empowering youth with marketable professional skills.

Statewide, the GRACE project is comprised of three levels. The explorer level introduces students to GIS applications and technologies. Next, the investigator level demonstrates data analysis capabilities and techniques. Finally, students participate at the internship level, on paid six-week internships with GIS professionals to work on real-world, community-based projects.

Read the full story on Unscripted.

Special Edition of Tech Today Saturday

Tech Today will present a special edition Saturday. The special edition will feature new faculty members who have started with the Fall Semester. Tech Today will be online Saturday and will be sent via email to those with subscriptions. 

Michigan Tech Among Best Colleges for Veterans

College Factual, a website that provides information about colleges and universities, has analyzed the best schools for veterans, ranking Michigan Tech in the top 12 percent of more than 1,400 institutions.

Looking at 4-year undergraduate programs, the College Factual list compares the quality of education at a given college, based on factors veterans are interested in. Among those factors are affordability, veteran policies, veteran resources and overall quality of education.

Veterans Ceremony Today

Stand to honor our flag, our fallen and our future. All are invited to a Veterans Ceremony at noon today (Nov. 10) at the Husky Statue. 

The Lowdown on Lead

Last week, the City of Houghton issued a public advisory regarding lead in tap water. Simple precautions can ease your mind. Check out our story on Unscripted for details.

Caution on Cliff Drive

Reminder that the Chem Stores Facility is still a construction site. Slow down and use caution when driving on Cliff Drive in this area to keep construction workers safe.

2017 RUCUS in Lansing

The Center for Technology & Training (CTT) hosted its second annual Roadsoft User Conference of the United States (RUCUS) Nov. 1 in Lansing. RUCUS was attended by 80 individuals representing 50 Michigan and Indiana road agencies.

Conference attendees looked at a variety of topics including roadway asset inventory, inspection, maintenance and traffic counts; using the Roadsoft Culvert Module, safety, pavement management strategies and project planning. The event also provided attendees with networking opportunities with other agencies and with the CTT staff.

CTT staff attending the conference were Research Engineers John Kiefer, PE and Dale Lighthizer, PhD, PE; Training & Operations Senior Project Manager Christine Codere, CRM Administrator & Software Support Analyst Carole Reynolds, Customer Service & Data Support Specialist Allison Berryman, Principal Programmers Nick Koszykowski and Luke Peterson; Software Engineers Mary Crane, Byrel Mitchell, Mike Pionke, and Sean Thorpe.

A one-day "Introduction to Roadsoft" training was conducted at the conference venue on Oct. 31.
Also that day, CTT staff provided on-site Roadsoft training and technical assistance for the Van Buren County Road Commission in Lawrence, Michigan; and in Bristol, Indiana for several Indiana road agencies, including the cities of Elkhart, LaPorte, Mishawaka, Goshen and Middlebury; as well as Lake, Laporte, and Elkhart Counties and the Lochmueller Group, Inc..

On Nov. 2, training and technical sessions were held at the Kalkaska County Road Commission and with engineers at Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc. in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Roadsoft is a roadway asset management system for collecting, storing and analyzing data associated with transportation infrastructure. Roadsoft is developed and supported by the CTT with principal funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Women's Basketball Inks Four

Michigan Tech women's basketball Head Coach Kim Cameron announced the addition of four new players to the program for the 2018-19 season.

They are Clara Johnson (Negaunee), Jordan Ludescher (Glen Flora, Wisconsin), Ellie Mackay (Novi, Michigan) and Alex Rondorf (West Bend, Wisconsin). All have  signed National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies next season.

"We are thrilled to announce our class for 2018-19," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We knew this was an important class for our program and aimed for the stars. We are fortunate to have amazing players and even better people to continue our tradition. The families of these players and the girls themselves have been so fun to go through the recruiting process with. We are grateful that they chose to be Huskies. Every one of them has a high academic standard, and a work ethic that will allow them to compete for playing time immediately."

The Huskies open the 2017-18 regular season today in Pepper Pike, Ohio against Davis & Elkins followed by a battle with Ursuline tomorrow. today's tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. with a 4 p.m. start time tomorrow.

Second Saturday Opens Michigan Tech Archives

From noon to 5 p.m tomorrow (Nov. 11) the reading room in The Michigan Tech Archives will be open to the public for Second Saturday.

The Archives will offer the full range of its research support services and genealogy assistance during Second Saturday hours. The next Second Saturday the reading room will be open is Dec. 9.

For more information about Second Saturday email the Michigan Tech Archives at copper@mtu.edu or call 7-2505. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @mtuarchives.

Retirement Social for Paul Nelson

School of Business and Economics invites the campus community to a retirement social to recognize Paul Nelson who will retire at the end of the semester. The social will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 in the Academic Office Building, room 101.

Paul has provided more 45 years of service to Michigan Tech. Join us in celebrating his career and wish him all the best in his retirement. Refreshments will be served.

Husky Football Ends Season at Home Tomorrow

The Michigan Tech Football Huskies will conclude their regular season at home tomorrow when they host Ferris State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference action. 

Tech is 4-6 on the year and 3-5 in the GLIAC. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 11 in the nation with an overall record of 8-1, 7-1 in conference play.

Kickoff is set for noon at Sherman Field. The game can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM, audio webcast on pasty.net, video streamed and live stats.

Michigan Tech Athletics is hosting Military Appreciation Weekend today through Sunday. The Huskies host six events and have partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor both active and retired military personnel.

The weekend is being sponsored by Keweenaw Chevrolet, TV6 and Pepsi of Houghton. The Huskies will host Wounded Warriors Jon French and Joe Tormala at hockey and football. Anybody wearing camouflage to any Tech Athletic event can buy a Husky Deal at concessions stands for $5. A Husky Deal is a hot dog, popcorn and a pop.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will be held at 3 p.m. Monday (Nov. 13) in GLRC 202. Gord Paterson (Bio Sci) will present "The Toxicokinetics of Legacy and Emerging Pollutants."

Understanding how pollutants bioaccumulate and biomagnify in food webs directly reflects the capacities of animals to acquire, assimilate and eliminate these materials from their bodies. Critically for many pollutants, it is the imbalance between pollutant uptake and elimination that represents the mechanism contributing to the ability of a species to achieve the steady-state condition with pollutant concentrations in the diet and/or respiratory exposure pathways. 

This seminar will provide an overview of the kinetics of elimination for these classes of environmental pollutants and their relationships with chemical hydrophobicity and consideration of the risks posed by these classes of environmental pollutants.

Terrific Teaching at Tech

As we head into the final stretch, our focus turns to wrapping up our courses and, of course, to grading. The issue of grade inflation was discussed on one of my subscribed list-serves this week, with many thought-provoking posts.  

First, a number of participants expressed strong condemnation of grading “on a curve.” Several went so far as to call the method “unethical”, but all agreed that at a minimum, it sets up a fundamentally competitive environment which destroys the cooperation between students that’s essential to learning.

Second, it was acknowledged that rising grades might be attributed not just to softening standards, but also, perhaps, to better teaching and more learning. This last bit of heresy is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but haven’t previously heard many others consider.

Especially at a place like Tech, where the ultimate motivation for most students is career-related, we need to acknowledge that we’re rapidly moving toward a grading system that’s at least partially criterion-based.  Students who don’t earn a B average are marginally employable and even less admissible to graduate school. Why, then, are we surprised when there is pressure to make the average grade a B?

To me, there’s no peril—and maybe even cause to rejoice—in the average grade rising, so long as standards aren’t dropping. In fact, developing educational systems that get a majority of enrolled students to “B” standards is a laudable goal.

Embracing this goal requires several paradigm shifts. Instead of using grades to rank and order students, we need to focus more on how to build systems that help all students meet well-defined (and high) standards. Instead of assuming poor grades result entirely from a lack of student effort, we need to consider how our teaching and learning systems share responsibility for increasing the likelihood of student success.

And finally, instead of punishing students who make mistakes, we need to find ways to help them fail early and often with minimal consequences and learn from those mistakes.

Of course, student effort is an essential part of the package. But during this time of the term, when I grow frustrated with students, I do everything possible to remember that my role is to facilitate development. We have to keep our focus on working with the students we have and moving them closer to  what we envision rather than complaining about what they aren’t. That’s why we are teachers, and why they are students.

If you’d like to talk more about criterion-based grading, stop into the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


Climate Survey Closes Today

Today is the last day to participate in the campus-wide survey — the Michigan Tech Assessment of Working, Living, and Learning at Michigan Tech.

The assessment asks questions on a variety of topics that affect the University Community.

The assessment includes every member of the campus community: students, faculty, administrators, staff and all undergraduate and graduate programs.

The survey opened on Oct. 17 and will end today (Nov. 10). If you haven't already done so, you can access the survey, which is expected to take most people between 20-30 minutes to complete, online. For more information read the full story on the Michigan Tech News Website.


Chemistry Seminar Today

The next Chemistry seminar will take place at 3 p.m. today (Nov. 10) in Chem-Sci 102.

Sangyoon J. Han (Bio Med) will present "Early Competition of Actin and Vinculin for Talin-Binding Dictates Nascent Adhesions’ Maturation and Force Transmission."


KIP Seminar Today

The KIP November seminar will be from 3-4 p.m. Friday (Nov. 10) in the ATDC 101. Bill Cooke (KIP) presents "Is Micro-gravity Sympathetic to Humans? Results from Space and Upon Return to Earth."


Faculty Author, Stephanie Carpenter Book Reading Today

Stephanie Carpenter will read from her new book of short stories, "Missing Persons" at the Finnish-American Heritage Center today (Nov. 10). The reading will begin at 7 p.m., followed by questions and a reception. Copies of Carpenter's book will be available for sale.


This Weeks C-Cubed Lunches

Today's C-Cubed luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 10) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted. Find more information and share C-Cubed feedback here. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email karenjoh@mtu.edu.

Today (Nov.10)

  • Kansas City Style Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters (GF)
  • Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Avocado Mayo (V)
  • Southwestern Cole Slaw (VE)
  • Red Potato Salad (V)

V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan, Vegetarian, GF- Gluten Free


Chinese Cuisine at Today's Khana Khazana

Today's Khana Khazana at the Memorial Union North Coast Grill and Deli, features a menu from China.

The menu:

  • Sweet and Sour Chicken 
  • Braised Tofu
  • Mango Sago

Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Nov. 10). The cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain beverage. Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.


Diwali Night

Sponsored by the Indian Students Association, Diwali Night will be held today (Nov. 10). Dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Memorial Union Building. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosza Center.


Wind Symphony Presents "Perfectly Frank"

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents a concert by the Superior Wind Symphony, titled “Perfectly Frank,” a celebration of the great conductor for winds, Frank L. Battisti. They will perform at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 11) in the Rozsa Center.


GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lecture, Monday

The Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) seminar will host Cynthia Ebinger, Tulane University, New Orleans, as part of the GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lectureship Program (DLP).

Ebinger will present a seminar titled "Earthquakes within continental plates: How, where, and why it matters"  at 4 p.m. Monday (Nov. 13) in M&M U113.


Daisuke Minakata (CEE) has received an Excellence in Review Award from Environmental Science and Technology. The award, established in 2003, recognizes contributions made during the past year. 

Environmental Science & Technology is a biweekly peer-reviewed scientific journal published since 1967 by the American Chemical Society.

In the News

TechCentury, an engineering, science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, published an article about the funding that StabiLux Biosciences has received to help Yoke Khin Yap (physics) move his research from the lab to the marketplace. See here.


Many news outlets, including Phys.org, Energy Daily, Innovations Report, Technology Networks, IEEE Electronics360, Azomaterials, Before It's News, EIN News, Scienmag, Phys, Electronic Component News Online, R&D Magazine, Nanowerk and BrightSurf.com, reported on the metamaterials research recently published by Elena Semouchkina (ECE/physics)