The College of Computing 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 and its programs.
2023 Honor Academy Inductees
Master of Science, Electrical Engineering, 1969, Honorary PhDs in Engineering and Business
Kanwal Rekhi is a visionary who works to forward entrepreneurial skills and educational opportunities at Michigan Technological University and around the world. He completed an MS in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 1969. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.
Rekhi was the first Silicon Valley Indo-American founder and CEO to take a venture-backed company public on the NASDAQ. He then became a high-profile super-angel while co-founding and leading TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) into the largest global mentoring network for Indian entrepreneurs. Subsequently, he was a founding managing director at Inventus Capital. He has served on dozens of corporate boards. Rekhi earned a BSEE from IIT-Bombay.
He also founded the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology at IIT-Bombay and the Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall at Michigan Tech, which houses the College of Computing. He has served on many nonprofit boards and is currently a board member of the RAND Corp Center for Asia Pacific Policy.
Rekhi is a tireless supporter and benefactor to Michigan Tech, developing and funding a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among Michigan Tech students and alumni. He received the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction, Michigan Tech’s highest honor, in 2020. Also at MTU, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Board of Control Silver Medal, honorary doctorates in Business and Engineering, and was inducted into the Electrical Engineering Academy
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, 1982
Randy Berry completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Michigan Technological University in 1982. He is a member of the College of Computing External Advisory Board. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.
Berry is an energy industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in the design, delivery, and support of operations technology (OT) solutions around the world. His experience includes electricity T&D, electricity markets, oil and gas, and water systems solutions. He has also participated in federal and state policy and regulatory activities while serving on multiple industry boards.
In 2021, Berry retired from Open Systems International Inc., where he was vice president of utilities. Today, he runs his firm, RWB Consulting LLC.
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, 1987
John Furton graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. After working for Kraft Foods, he co-founded Peapod, an online grocery shopping service and one of the nation’s first Internet companies. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.
Furton then ran Sourcelight Technologies, a predictive analytics start-up building recommendation engines for entertainment retailers in the movie, music, and gaming industries. In 2003, John joined the leadership team of Family Video, helping to grow the company to nearly 1,000 stores, leading the company’s expansion into the telecom and Cable TV industry, and launching new online and offline retail brands.
Furton currently serves as chief operating officer for Sifter, a venture-backed company that licenses its Food as Medicine platform to the healthcare and retail grocery industry. He is a member of SLC Angels and is an active investor and advisor to several early-stage technology firms.
Furton is a member of the External Advisory Boards for the Department of Computer Science and the College of Sciences and Arts. In 1999, he was honored as the university’s Outstanding Young Alumnus. He was inducted into the College of Sciences and Arts Academy in 2006.
2022 Honor Academy Inductees
Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, 1965, Honorary PhD in Engineering
Dave House ‘65, a longtime supporter of Michigan Technological University and the College of Computing, was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on April 4, 2022. He is recognized for his profound and long-term commitment to computing and Michigan Tech.
House’s influence, vision, and support were key to the formation of the College of Computing. He funded the first-ever endowed deanship at Michigan Tech—the Dave House Dean of Computing—as well as multiple endowed professorships within the College.
“Dave has been extraordinarily gracious with his time, influence, wisdom, and financial support here at Michigan Tech,” said Dennis Livesay, Dave House Dean of Computing. “Dave is among the University’s most successful alumni; he’s one of our biggest supporters; and he is the person who always challenges us to innovate and to shoot for nothing less than excellence.”
House played the lead role in Michigan Tech’s acquisition of the Ann Arbor-based Michigan Tech Research Institute, MTRI. He was also chairman of Michigan Tech’s most recent capital campaign.
House’s many career accolades include his work at Intel Corp., where he grew the company’s microprocessor unit from $40 million annually to $4 billion annually and managed the team that developed the familiar and successful “Intel Inside” marketing campaign
Professor of Computer Science and Chair Emerita, Department of Computer Science
Linda Ott, one of the first Department of Computer Science faculty members, was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on April 4, 2022.
“Linda is the heart and soul of computer science at Michigan Tech,” said Dennis Livesay, Dave House Dean of Computing. “Linda’s legacy is within our alumni, our growing prominence, and our exciting future.”
Ott is recognized for a lifetime of work advancing the Department of Computer Science, and more generally broadening campus participation in computing. Among her accomplishments is her work to grow the Computer Science department, now the second-largest major on campus. Ott chaired the department from 1996 to 2010.
Ott, who started at Michigan Tech in 1978, has devoted a large part of her time and energy at Michigan Tech opening the eyes of women and girls to the joys of a computer science education. For her efforts, she was named the first recipient of Michigan Tech’s Diversity Award in 2014.
Ott leads Computer Science department outreach initiatives including the successful Women in Computer Science program, one of the University’s annual Summer Youth Programs (SYP), and the annual Google-sponsored workshop, “Exploring Computer Science Research,” which explores research opportunities with undergraduate college students.