2023 MTU Wellness 360 Program Rewards Update

Thanks to all the employees who participated in the MTU Wellness 360 program in 2023!

Those who submitted their completed activities report via the Google form by the Jan. 9 deadline can expect their rewards to be paid out in the Bi-Weekly 04 pay period, on Feb. 23.

Stay tuned to Tech Today for more details on the distribution plan for those who chose Keweenaw Cash or Tech Gift Cards. Emails will be sent with detailed instructions for these distributions. Those with health savings account (HSA) or flex spending account (FSA) payouts will notice these distributions on their Bi-Weekly 04 paystub.

Questions? Contact Benefit Services at benefits@mtu.edu or 906-487-2517.

Charles Wallace Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

College of Computing Dean Dennis Livesay has selected Charles Wallace as this week's featured instructor in the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Wallace, associate professor of computer science and associate dean for curriculum and instruction in the College of Computing, will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Wallace helped establish CS3000 Ethical and Social Aspects of Computing as a required course for computer science and software engineering majors. The course takes a broad, critical perspective on computing technology. Wallace finds that his students are up for the challenge: “Today’s students are more techno-streetwise than members of my generation. Having grown up immersed in social media, they understand its potential for exploitation and abuse as well as good, and they are eager and able to investigate technology with a more mature, critical mindset.”

As Wallace and his colleague Alexandra Morrison (HU) explain in a joint article, “our primary mission in the ethics classroom [is] one of de-familiarization” — i.e., breaking habits of perception to generate new insights and perspectives. CS3000 students work in small teams on iterative exercises with repeated stages of reflection and revision, exploring computing technology within contexts very different from their own, and rethinking agency: considering the ways in which the tools they build have power of their own to shape perceptions and guide behavior.

Student feedback showed appreciation for the interactive, grounded nature of the course:

“We could have just worked through ethical ideas from the textbook and hypothetical examples, but instead we actually had weekly material involving real-world stories and relevant industry current events.”

“Encouraging discussion and participation allowing people to bring their own perspectives was much better than trying to force discussion in any one direction.”

Wallace also teaches CS5311 Theory of Computation, a required course for computer science graduate students that explores the mathematical foundations and limits of computation. Like CS3000, this course has a defamiliarizing effect that Wallace believes gives students a broader understanding: “Above all, it’s humbling to discover all the interesting problems that computers can not solve!” Students work in small teams on regular assignments. Friday ad hoc recitation sessions, where Wallace and his students meet informally to discuss the week’s material, have become a tradition. Often the students, rather than the instructor, have the compelling insights at recitation.

Student feedback supports the course’s collaborative structure:

"The homework grading system reduces stress while still giving feedback in time for exams. I liked the small group meetings to go over the homework — it helped me understand what I did wrong better than just looking at the answer key."

"The meeting system helped me understand where my mistakes were and if I was thinking in the wrong direction. Study sessions are also great!"

Wallace’s student evaluation scores for both courses were in the top 10% of Michigan Tech instructors. Livesay was impressed by both the breadth and the quality of Wallace's teaching efforts. “Dr. Wallace’s excellent teaching complements the many other efforts he is engaged in to improve curriculum and instruction in the College,” he noted.

Department of Computer Science Chair Zhenlin Wang agreed. “Dr. Wallace’s willingness to make extra efforts on his students’ behalf sets a high bar for all of us.”

Tonight at the Rozsa: Backstage Jazz Small Groups

Tonight (Jan. 26) and tomorrow (Jan. 27), at 7:30 p.m., step behind the curtain of the Rozsa and into a hidden jazz club. For the first concert of 2024, Michigan Tech Music presents Backstage Jazz: Small Groups. Set backstage at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, audiences can look forward to a dynamic concert with short sets by the small groups of Michigan Tech Jazz!

“Each night will feature Michigan Tech Jazz’s small groups, each one coached by either myself or my new partner in jazz crimes, Adjunct Jazz Professor Drew Kilpela,” said Adam Meckler, director of jazz studies. “[The] students are ready to wow you with their musicianship.”

Guests can expect short sets of familiar tunes by jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea, alongside original music written by the student performers. Ensembles featured over the weekend include Hole Note Combo, Quintech, Vocal Combo, United Combo and JazTec. The concerts are emceed by Kilpela and the student performers. Curious about the details? View the digital program in advance.

Seating is limited for these popular backstage concerts. Tickets for the public are available online, by calling 906-487-1906, or at the Rozsa Box Office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and for one hour before shows.

Tickets are part of this season’s new Pay As You’re Able ticketing, with a $15 full fee. Michigan Tech students are eligible for free Student Rush tickets as seats are available; the cost of attendance is covered by their Experience Tech fee.

Concert Details:

  • What: Backstage Jazz: Small Groups
  • When: Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26 and 27, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Rozsa Backstage
  • Tickets: Pay As You’re Able ($15 full ticket fee). Student Rush is included with the Experience Tech fee.

Attend the Event.

2024 Winter Baja Race

The Blizzard Baja Enterprise team is excited to invite you to the 2024 Winter Baja Race in Houghton! This wintry race has been hosted by the Blizzard Baja Enterprise team almost every winter since 1981 — but this year, there is a twist in the typical venue.

The 2024 Winter Baja Race will be located at Range Snowmobile Club, 47350 Highway M26 in Houghton, about a 10-minute drive from campus. The race will be from noon to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 27).

Expect to see nearly 50 vehicles from 20 universities traverse the unforgiving landscape up on the range, and dress for the snow! There will also be a livestream to watch the race for those who wish to stay warm!

For those who want to learn more or get involved with the Blizzard Baja Enterprise, come to the Spring Enterprise Day on Feb. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at the Michigan Tech MUB Ballroom.

See you at the race!

Visit the Winter Baja website for race information and the livestream.

RTC Brown Bag with Valoree Gagnon

Join the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture (RTC) graduate program for a Brown Bag event at noon next Friday (Feb. 2) in the Petersen Library in Walker 318.

Valoree Gagnon (GLRC/CFRES/HU) will present: "Bridging knowledges and expertise in community-engaged research partnerships."

Talk overview:
Community-engaged research requires creating and navigating the pathway to equitable, inclusive partnerships. With the realization that a diversity of stakeholders, rights holders and research sponsors require more than can be accomplished by the solo investigator, how might one engage in this work in a good way?

This talk illustrates "bridging" as an adaptable/adoptable concept and practice between Western and Indigenous knowledges and expertise systems. Gagnon will share the “Seasons of Research'' framework, created in partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Lake Superior Band of Ojibwa, and conclude by proposing future directions and good relations for strengthening research partnerships as a shared priority commitment.

AI Working Group Faculty Listening Sessions

Michigan Tech's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group is holding two listening sessions on the topic of AI in the classroom. Charged by the provost, the group is looking to gather feedback and data on usage, ideas and concerns about AI tools in education. Each event will be organized as a guided conversation with an opportunity for all other comments or questions at the end.

There are two dates available:

  • Virtual — Monday, Feb. 5, from 3-4:30 p.m. via Zoom
  • In Person — Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 3:30-4:45 p.m. in the Library East Reading Room (light refreshments will be served)

New Funding

Judith Perlinger (CEGE/GLRC) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $142,867 research and development contract from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

The project is titled "Extent of PFAS Contamination in the Lake Superior Tribal Fishery."

Noel Urban (CEGE/GLRC) is a co-PI on this potential 20-month project.

In the News

myScience mentioned Michigan Tech in coverage of the U.S. Army’s new five-year agreement with the University of Michigan’s Automotive Research Center. Worth up to $100 million, the agreement boosts work on autonomous vehicle technologies. MTU was listed among the center’s participating institutions.


MLive mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the ever-so-slight increase in enrollment (less than 1%) seen by Michigan colleges and universities in fall 2023. MTU was highlighted as one of three universities in the state to see positive growth over the last decade.


UPWord quoted Austin Gongos ’18 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) and Nathan Ackerman ’18 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) in a story about how they came to found the Hancock-based outdoor gear business Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear.


DBusiness mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Keith Lidtke (B.S. Accounting) being named chief financial officer for Bridge Business Credit in Troy, Michigan.


The Midland Daily News mentioned Michigan Tech’s famous pasty recipe in a story about a Midland, Michigan, restaurant serving Upper Peninsula cuisine.


Production System Maintenance on Sunday

A production system maintenance window is scheduled for Sunday (Jan. 28) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The following production services will be unavailable during that time:

  • Banner
  • Banweb
  • MyMichiganTech
  • Aspire
  • Course Tools
  • Fischer/mylogin.mtu.edu
  • mtu.edu/tips
  • OAP Rental System
  • Oracle Reports
  • Papercut Printing
  • Perceptive Content (Imagenow)
  • Pinnacle
  • Sunapsis
  • UC4/Appworx
  • Virtual Cashiering
  • WebFocus

If you have any questions or concerns, we can help. Contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.


Seeking Clients/Partners for Student-Led Usability Assessment of Your Solution

Are you looking to enhance the user experience of your product, system or service? We are seeking partners for a unique opportunity to have your “solution” undergo a comprehensive usability evaluation conducted by our talented students in an advanced Usability Assessment class.

By participating, you'll gain valuable insights into how users interact with your solution, including detailed feedback and design change recommendations.

This collaboration offers dual benefits: It provides you with professional-level usability assessments at no cost, and it gives our students practical experience working with clients.

If you're interested in having your solution evaluated for usability improvements, send an email to Assistant Professor Erich Petushek (CLS) at ejpetush@mtu.edu.


Chemistry Seminar with Kathryn Newton

Kathryn Newton, an assistant professor from the Chemistry Department at Northern Michigan University, will be presenting at this week's Chemistry Seminar. The seminar will be held in person at 3 p.m. today (Jan. 26) in Chem Sci 101.

Newton’s presentation is titled "Microwave-Assisted Synthesis and Ligand Exchange of Ge and Ge-Alloy Nanocrystals."

From the abstract:
The band gap of germanium nanocrystals (Ge NCs) is tunable over a wide range of particle sizes due to germanium’s large excitonic Bohr radius. Use of Ge NCs in photovoltaic applications, however, has been limited by germanium being an indirect band gap absorber. Incorporation of 6-11% Sn content in germanium-tin alloy nanomaterials has been predicted to cause an indirect-to-direct band gap crossover. While photoluminescent Ge1-xSnx alloy nanoparticles have been demonstrated by co-reductive methods, using convection and microwave-assisted procedures, crossover has not been observed. For Ge NCs, exchanging the oleylamine surface ligand for dodecanethiol has been shown to increase band gap energy for a given particle size and to reduce surface defects. Additional studies in which temperature, time, and precursor concentration are systematically varied are necessary to fully understand the effects of microwave-assisted synthesis conditions on NC size, composition, structure, and surface functionalization. The presented work examines the effects of reaction temperature on the particles size, composition, and structure of Ge1-xSnx NCs synthesized by microwave-assisted heating methods. A hydrazine-assisted ligand exchange method to achieve thiol-passivation of Ge1-xSnx NCs will also be presented.


CS Colloquium with Julie Roell '01

Julie Roell ’01 will present a Department of Computer Science (CS) Colloquium lecture today (Jan. 26) from 3-4 p.m. in Rekhi 214 and via Zoom.

The title of Roell’s talk is “The Future of Work: How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in Your Career.” She will reflect on her career path in Dow IT and her key learnings. She will also touch on the challenges for a large organization to keep up with emerging trends and technologies.

Roell is an accomplished IT leader with a strong track record of success leading high-performing global teams in executing operational strategies to achieve business objectives. Currently serving as an IT leader at Dow Inc., a leading global materials science company, Roell is responsible for overseeing the application development lifecycle and service management for a portfolio of applications used in Dow’s manufacturing operations.

Roell holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Michigan Tech. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and learning, growth and professional/personal development.

Join the colloquium via Zoom.

Read more on the Computing News Blog.


Center for Business AI Presents First Seminar Series Speaker: Jeff Voorhees

The Center for Business AI is glad to announce our first seminar series presenter. Jeff Voorhees from Bread Financial will be presenting the seminar virtually today (Jan. 26) at 4 p.m.

Voorhees' brief biography:
Jeff Voorhees has built a career using AI and analytics to grow companies. He has developed enterprise capabilities and patented technologies that guide operational execution and shape go-to-market strategies for several Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Voorhees is the vice president of artificial intelligence at Bread Financial, where he leads the AI Center of Excellence. A multiyear effort has culminated in an industry-defining organization that harnesses ML, DL, NLP and GenAI initiatives to drive operational efficiency, profitability and cost reduction.

Voorhees is a people-oriented leader who thrives at the intersection of business and technology. He sees data and technology not just as tools for delivery, but engines for growth.

Join the seminar via Zoom (use password Q3exLk).

Best regards and looking forward to seeing you all there!


Heikinpäivä Midwinter Festival

The Michigan Tech community is invited to join local Finns, friends of Finns and fans of winter to celebrate Hancock's annual Heikinpäivä midwinter festival.

The month-long festival will close with a full day of events in Hancock on Saturday (Jan. 27), including a parade featuring the Huskies Pep Band at 11 a.m. down Quincy Street. Also, the popular Polar Plunge is back after several years' hiatus. Take the plunge at 1 p.m. at Quincy Green using a portable pool, with a $5 cost per diver. There will be a few portable saunas on-site to thaw in after completing the sisu-laden rite of passage. Appropriate footwear is strongly encouraged.

Want to support Heikinpäivä as a volunteer this upcoming weekend? Sign up to help out on GivePulse.

Heikinpäivä Events — Saturday, Jan. 27:

  • Tori Markets — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center and United Methodist Church
  • Parade (featuring the Huskies Pep Band) — 11 a.m. on Quincy Street
  • Spiral Bear Dance and Outdoor Games — After the parade at Quincy Green
  • Polar Plunge — 1 p.m. at Quincy Green
    • Cost: $5 per person
  • "Animal Life: Art from the Kalevala" Opening Reception — 2:30-4 p.m. at Community Arts Center
  • Iltamat (Dance and Buffet) — 7-10 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center
    • Cost: $15 per person
    • With music by the Back Room Boys, hors d’oeuvres and a raffle


Requesting Interview Rooms for Spring Career Fair

Career Services is excited to be hosting the 2024 Spring Career Fair Forged by Nucor at Michigan Tech on Feb. 13! As we have done in the past, Interview Day will be Feb. 14, and we need your help.

In order to provide the best interview experience for both students and employers, we are requesting office and room spaces for interviews on campus. Please submit any available rooms to be included for our Interview Day schedule using our Rooms for Interviews form.

On average, there are over a thousand individual interviews conducted on campus following Career Fair.​​

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to CareerFair@mtu.edu.

We are looking forward to another great Career Fair this spring!


Tech Talk Proposals Wanted for Alumni Reunion 2024!

Attention Michigan Technological University community members!

Are you passionate about a particular Tech-related topic? Working on cutting-edge research? Considered a thought leader in your area of expertise and eager to share your knowledge with alumni? Exciting news — the Office of Alumni Engagement is now accepting proposals for a “Tech Talk” event to kick off Alumni Reunion 2024, happening Aug. 1-3 in Houghton.

Make your submission by sending an email to Jordan Shawhan at jjshawha@mtu.edu, including a presentation title and a brief description (three to four sentences) of what you would deliver as your “Tech Talk,” by Feb. 16.

To inspire your submissions, here are examples of Tech Talks from previous years:

  • Wolves, Isle Royale, and the Endangered Species Act (Reunion 2023)
  • Michigan Tech is Propelling the Small Satellite Revolution featuring Professor Brad King (Reunion 2023)
  • 100 Years of Michigan Tech Hockey (Reunion 2022)

These Tech Talks tend to be a favorite among Reunion attendees and are often delivered to more than 100 alumni and friends. Tech Talks in the past have covered a diverse range of topics, highlighting the expertise and achievements of our faculty.

We look forward to receiving your exciting Tech Talk proposals and creating an engaging and informative event for everyone. Save the date for Aug. 1-3.


2023 Electronic W-2s Now Available on Banweb

Electronic W-2s for 2023 are now available on Banweb for all employees who have consented to an electronic copy. Paper W-2 forms will be mailed on or before next Wednesday (Jan. 31).

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of your W-2, it's not too late. Log in to Banweb and click the Employees box, then Tax Forms, and then Select Electronic Consent (W-2 and 1095-C). Click the box under "My Choice" and next to "Consent to receive W-2 electronically," then click Submit.

Today's Campus Events

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

Innovation Week: Enterprise Ventures

Michigan Tech’s Enterprise teams are known for their skill at developing technical solutions. When teams identify their own technical challenge or host a startup partner,...


Cookies & Coloring

De-stress with an afternoon of adult coloring and learn more about what the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being offers! Located in the basement of CDI and hosted...


Computer Science Colloquium Lecture: Julie Roell '01

Julie Roell ’01 will present a Department of Computer Science Colloquium lecture on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 3-4 pm in Rekhi 214 and via Zoom. The title of Roell’s talk...


Understanding and Leveraging Cell-mediated Forces during Multi-cue Directional Migration

Biomedical Engineering Research Seminar Ian Schneider Chemical and Biological Engineering Iowa State University Abstract In tissues, cells exist in a dense and structured...



Join us for an exhilarating evening of dodgeball fun hosted by Triangle Fraternity! Whether you're a dodgeball enthusiast or just looking to blow off some steam, this is the...


Film Board Presents: Five Nights at Freddy's

Join Film Board this weekend as we show Five Nights at Freddy's 🐻🐰🐥 We have continued showings Friday 1/26, Saturday 1/27, and Sunday 1/28 in Fisher 135! ⭐5:30pm,...


(Men's Ice Hockey) Michigan Tech at Lake Superior State

Men's Ice Hockey: Michigan Tech at Lake Superior State


Backstage Jazz: Small Groups Presented by Michigan Tech Music

Step behind the curtain for a superb concert that recreates the feeling of a jazz club with you on stage with the musicians. The small ensembles of Michigan Tech Jazz will...


Film Board Presents: Five Nights at Freddy's

Join Film Board this weekend as we show Five Nights at Freddy's 🐻🐰🐥 We have continued showings Friday 1/26, Saturday 1/27, and Sunday 1/28 in Fisher 135! ⭐5:30pm,...


Film Board Presents: Five Nights at Freddy's

Join Film Board this weekend as we show Five Nights at Freddy's 🐻🐰🐥 We have continued showings Friday 1/26, Saturday 1/27, and Sunday 1/28 in Fisher 135! ⭐5:30pm,...


Middle School Volleyball Development League

A four-week developmental program for middle school girls in grades 7 & 8 to learn and improve their skills in preparation for the upcoming interscholastic season. This...