The Michigan Tech campus and Rekhi Hall

Message from the Dean

The Michigan Tech campus and Rekhi Hall

While computing and innovation are not synonymous, they are inextricably intertwined.

The computing disciplines are evolving at an unprecedented rate with far-reaching impacts, and technology innovations are fueling broad changes in industry and society. This is particularly true in AI, but also in edge computing, connectivity, cybersecurity, and more.

The pace of these external changes is at odds with the thoughtful (read: slow) way that curricular updates typically occur in higher ed. In the College of Computing, we are working vigorously to bring the two into alignment. In fact, one of the main reasons for creating the College was to better support and grow the disciplines of computing. This is happening both via the knowledge we create through research and the workforce we train through our degree programs.

Dennis Livesay, Dave House Dean of Computing
Dennis Livesay, Dave House Dean of Computing

In this issue of Gateway, we highlight three success stories from our mechatronics, data science, and health informatics degree programs. Our mechatronics programs are a true partnership between the College of Engineering and the College of Computing, representing the convergence of mechanical, electrical, and computational systems. Data science has grown out of the overlap of applied statistics and computing, often as applied within some domain. Our data science programs reflect this throughout, and our new data science BS degree makes it easy for students to earn minors in statistics and pursue an in-depth focus area. One of the fastest-growing programs at Michigan Tech is our master’s in health informatics, which has grown more than eightfold in the past five years. Underlying this growth is a set of significant curriculum updates that focus on AI and have created multiple opportunities for credentialing on the way to the degree.

We are also celebrating a pair of anniversaries this year. This is the fifth anniversary of the College of Computing. Since 2019, we have grown dramatically in terms of students, programs, and research, and we are working hard to continue that pace of innovation and growth over the next five years. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Department of Computer Science. Computer science started as part of the math department, spinning off as its own department in 1973. It is now the second-largest major at Michigan Tech and has driven Michigan Tech’s recent enrollment gains.

Exciting times for sure. Thanks for reading about our continued innovation.

Dennis R. Livesay, PhD, Dave House Dean of Computing

PS—Please help us continue our upward trajectory! Your gifts make an essential and immediate impact on our students and programs.

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.