Guest Blog: Researchers Break Digital Barriers

A distant cluster of buildings is lit by bright morning sun with broken ice floes in the foreground.

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of Unscripted guest blogs highlighting the pandemic's impact on campus community members.

The pandemic’s impacts on our campus research ecosystem are many and varied. In his guest blog, Charles Wallace (CS) shares how not meeting in person illuminated a new opportunity.

For more than a decade, the tutors in the Building Adult Skills in Computing (BASIC) program met face to face with people in the community to help them become more digitally competent and confident. A big part of the program’s success was the in-person aspect of tutoring; personal contact relieved anxiety among learners and helped tutors better understand their issues.

The pandemic ended that. But it also revealed a new opportunity. For the Breaking Digital Barriers research group, the pandemic’s demand for digital literacy served as a calling.

Read the full story on Unscripted, the University's research blog.

The Rozsa Adjusts Public Event Guidelines

The Rozsa Center is adjusting guidelines for public events held in the James and Margaret Black Performance Hall, McArdle Theatre or Rozsa Galleries.

Effective today (Sept. 23):

  • Face coverings are required for public events held in the James and Margaret Black Performance Hall, McArdle Theatre or Rozsa Galleries.
  • Most events will have general admission seating to allow patrons to social distance at will.
  • No food or drink is permitted inside the performance hall, theatre or galleries.
  • Limited concessions will be available when the University is at Health and Safety Level One.
  • Concessions will be closed if the University is at Health and Safety Level Two, Level Three, Level Four, or Level Five.

Please reference and adhere to all posted signage in the Rozsa facilities. Visit the Rozsa COVID-19 Policies to see the most updated practices and features.

We encourage all Rozsa attendees to please continue frequent handwashing (especially before and after meals), hand sanitization, monitoring symptoms, and receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

'Copper Planted Seeds' Artists To Speak at Michigan Tech

Ashanté Kindle and Khari Turner are coming to Michigan Tech next week to discuss their joint art exhibit, "Copper Planted Seeds," currently on display at Finlandia University.

With "Seeds," Kindle and Turner seek common ground between the history of the Keweenaw Peninsula and their life experiences as Black American artists. The theme of their exhibit is "sisu," a Finnish term meaning "human grit and determination," in the face of daunting circumstances.

Join Kindle and Turner at Michigan Tech on Wednesday (Sept. 29) from 4-5:15 p.m. in the Electrical Energy Resources Center (EERC), Room 103. All are invited. The discussion will begin with a presentation on their life, art and influences, followed by a Q&A session.

Read more about the discussion at MTU and see some of Kindle and Turner's art on the Diversity and Inclusion Newsblog. For more info, contact the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at

For further info on the "Copper Planted Seeds" exhibit, contact the Finlandia University Gallery at

SRC-Squared: First Meeting!

Mark your calendars and join us for the first meeting of the Sustainable and Resilient Communities Social Network and Research Collaborative (SRC-Squared) for fall 2021!

We will be meeting at 11 a.m. on Oct. 4 in the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building (Dow), Room 875, or via Zoom.

At this SRC-Squared event, participants will have the opportunity to meet Director of Sustainability and Resilience Alan Turnquist.

Turnquist will introduce himself and describe his priorities for this academic year, including development of a campus sustainability plan and a campus energy plan. Discussion will focus on how researchers can engage with campus sustainability and how campus sustainability can provide opportunities for research and student engagement.

Come share ideas, ask questions and participate in the MTU Sustainability and Resilience Community!

Poetry Reading and Conversation

Presenting his debut collection, "HOMES," about nature, modernity, identity, and belonging in the Great Lakes bioregion/borderland, poet Moheb Soliman will be joined by Michigan Tech creative writing faculty M. Bartley Seigel and Stephanie Carpenter (HU) for a poetry reading and conversation in the East Reading Room of the J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library next Thursday (Sept. 30) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This event is funded by the Department of Humanities, the Michigan Tech Writing Center, and the Visiting Professor Program (funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the state of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative).

Read more about the Department of Humanities’ English and creative writing program.

MTU RedTeam Wins GrrCON Capture the Flag Contest

The MTU RedTeam captured first place in an open-source intelligence capture the flag contest (OSINT CTF) at the GrrCON Cyber Security Summit and Hacker Conference, held Sept. 16-17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

RedTeam is a student organization that promotes a security-driven mindset and provides a community and resource for students wishing to learn more about information security. Thirteen RedTeam members and two RedTeam alumni attended the conference.

Competing for RedTeam were Matthew Chau, Ben Gerhart, Devon Midkiff, Jacob Ludwig and Trevor Hornsby; and Leeanna Burns, who is not an MTU student. Their opponents included students from Big Ten universities and teams of industry professionals.

GrrCON is an information security and hacking conference that provides the Midwest information security community with a fun atmosphere to engage with like-minded people, according to the event website.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.

Parade of Nations Scavenger Hunt Winners

Winners in this year’s Parade of Nations Scavenger Hunt were announced at the parade in Houghton on Sept. 18. The top three teams took home cash prizes.

First place was a team representing the Elaine Bacon Literacy Program. Team members were Denise Heikkinen, Dejlah Mezeel, Jan Handler and Beth Flynn. They won $300.

A team called RAAJ won $200 for second place. Team members were Cassy Tefft de Muñoz, Jannah Tumey, Liz Fujita and Cody Kangas.

The Puzzle Lovers won third place, receiving $100. Team members were Zazil Santizo Huerta, Hongjing Xie, Jacob Blazejewski, Yasasya Batugedara and Dananjani Dissanayake.

The Parade of Nations Scavenger Hunt involves teams that hide clues to a country or cultural heritage and other teams that use those clues to figure out what country or culture they represent. Like the parade itself, the scavenger hunt celebrates the cultural diversity of the Keweenaw.

The Parade of Nations is sponsored annually by Michigan Tech and Finlandia University.

Job Postings

Job Postings for Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available on the Human Resources website. For more information regarding staff positions, call 906-487-2280 or email

For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Lecturer or Professor of Practice, Chemical Engineering. Apply online.

Administrative Aide 7, College of Sciences and Arts (UAW posting Sept. 23 to Sept. 29, 2021 — internal UAW applicants are given first consideration if they apply during the UAW posting dates). Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

In Print

Sidike Paheding (AC) is a co-author of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Computers & Chemical Engineering, published by Elsevier.

The paper is titled "Using ATR-FTIR Spectra and Convolutional Neural Networks for Characterizing Mixed Plastic Waste."

The paper presents a convolutional neural network (CNN) framework for classifying different types of plastic materials that are commonly found in mixed plastic waste (MPW) streams.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.


Face Coverings Required in Classrooms, Labs, Library

Michigan Tech remains at Health and Safety Level TwoFace coverings are required in certain locations — classrooms and laboratories during classes and lab courses, and in the library — and may also be required during instructors' office hours. In all other settings, face coverings are encouraged but not required. This applies to all students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Michigan Tech strongly recommends that all employees and students receive the COVID-19 vaccine and continue with handwashing and hand-sanitizing practices, especially in light of the virulence of the COVID-19 delta variant. Please be aware that if you are exposed to COVID-19, quarantine guidelines vary depending on vaccination status. 

In Level Two, students and employees are not required to monitor their symptoms daily prior to coming to campus. But, individuals should be mindful of their own symptoms. A useful monitoring tool is available from the CDC. 


On-Demand COVID-19 Testing Available on Campus

Walk-in, on-demand COVID-19 testing is available to Michigan Tech students and employees during the fall 2021 semester.

Testing is located in the Datolite Room at the MUB on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. There is no cost to be tested, and no appointment is needed. 

Read more COVID-19 Testing Information on the MTU Flex website.


Request for Proposals: Research Excellence Fund

Proposals are being solicited for the Research Excellence Fund (REF) program, an internal award of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Proposals are due no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, and must be submitted electronically per the guidelines.

Please note that the program has changed in a number of respects, so be sure to download the current documents and review the current guidance carefully. Those scholars, creators and researchers who started with Tech or moved into a new research role after Dec. 1, 2020, must be enrolled in the Responsible Conduct of Research course for new researchers taking place this fall.

For additional information, see Research Excellence Fund web page. Questions can be directed to


AAUW Fellowship Application Support

The Graduate School is offering writing support to assist graduate students in applying for American Association of University Women (AAUW) domestic and international fellowships.

Funding amounts vary from $6,000 to $30,000 and may be available for master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral studies. Applications are due Nov. 1 until Nov. 15. See the AAUW Fellowships & Grants web page for more details.

Questions? Contact Sarah Isaacson, GLAS program director, at


Physics Colloquium

Aditi Chakrabarti, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, will give a talk at today's Physics Colloquium.

Chakrabarti's talk is titled "Singularities in the Morphogenesis of an Apple Cusp."

Please join the presentation today (Sept. 23) at 4 p.m. in Fisher Hall, Room 139.

Read about Chakrabarti's background on the University Events Calendar.

From the abstract:
Singularities are ubiquitous in diverse physical systems and lead to universal structures, from black holes in gravity to caustics in optics, from wave breaking at interfaces to cusps in viscous fluids. This universality suggests they should also naturally arise in biological systems, where active growth and self-motion focus deformations in space-time. A familiar example of a morphogenetic singularity is seen in the humble apple, which forms in the neighborhood of its stalk as the apple grows. We have studied the geometry and morphogenesis of this singular apple cusp by combining observations of apple growth with a simple theory, finite element simulations and controlled swelling experiments using a physical gel simulacrum. I will discuss our results and show that axisymmetric cusps can also lose stability and become lobed, which are also seen naturally in drupes.


This Week's C-Cubed Luncheon Menu

Dining Services presents this week's C-Cubed Luncheon, being held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Sept. 23) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge, Room 107. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The C-Cubed lunch buffet menus are created by executive chef Eric Karvonen and prepared by Karvonen and his culinary team. As the name suggests, the meals are meant to foster conversation, community and collegiality. Attendees may bring their lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available free to all attendees.

The buffet lunch is $12 per person. Cash, credit cards and gift cards are accepted. Gift cards can be purchased in the Memorial Union office, Room 101. You can submit C-Cubed feedback using this Google form. To join the C-Cubed Google group and receive weekly menus, email

Menu for Thursday (Sept. 23):

Greek Salad and Pasta Buffet:
Lamb Pastitsio
Lentil Pastitsio (Vegetarian)
Greek Roasted Vegetables (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Warm Garlic Bread Sticks (Vegetarian)

Deconstructed Greek Salad:
Chopped Romaine, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onions and Green Pepper

Today's Campus Events

To have your event automatically appear, please submit them to the University Events Calendar.

Hyperconnection: A New Series by Tiffany Lange

Tiffany Lange’s newest series “Hyperconnection”, examines overstimulation and anxiousness through abstraction. After a year of increased screen time during quarantine and...


The Spirit of the Hunt: Ecological Art Exhibit & Public Wolf Discussion

Art Exhibit: August 30-October 15 Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm Noblet Atrium, Michigan Tech College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science Opening...


UP & Moving Aerobic Exercise, Agility, and Balance Workout

We are a group of Michigan Tech graduate students who are focused on improving the health of our community. We are contributing to the COVID-19 response by providing health...


CTL Instructional Award - Innovative or Out of Class Teaching: Smitha Rao

Thursday September 23, 2021, 3:45 PM


Physics Colloquium - Dr. Aditi Chakrabarti

Dr. Aditi Chakrabarti, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, will give a talk on "Singularities in the Morphogenesis of an Apple Cusp" at the next Physics Colloquium. ...


Introduction to Design Thinking

Developed at the Stanford, design thinking is a tool to help you reframe life’s challenges into opportunities. This interactive workshop held in the Alley Makerspace...


Mathematics in Scientific Computing

Mathematical Sciences is having Math Colloquium (In-Person) Thursday, Sepetember 23, 2021 at 5:00pm-6:00pm. Our speaker is Dr. Chi-Wang Shu from Division of Applied...


The Lode - General Meeting

Join the Lode (Michigan Tech's student newspaper) for our weekly general meeting! This is a great way to see if the Lode is a good fit for you. We are always looking for...


Open Rock Climbing

All ages (we can allow all ages to climb as long as we have the proper fitting equipment). No need to sign up, just stop by the Climbing Wall between 6 and 8 pm Monday through...


Bob Ross Paint Along Rush

Hello! This Thursday we will be painting along with the legendary Bob Ross at our house! All supplies will be provided. Rides from Wadsworth Lobby at 6:15. See you there!


Range Day

Students are allowed to come down to the range to either use their own firearms or the firearms provided by the club.