Computer Science Departmental News

Ph.D. Students work on groundbreaking artificial intelligence research.

April 8, 2019
Ph.D. Students Shadi Alian and Bikesh Maharjan work on groundbreaking artificial intelligence research designed to provide targeted health care for American Indian patients with diabetes.

The project, which received a nearly $1 million National Science Foundation grant, is led by computer science professors Jen Li and Jun Kong. Computer science graduate students Bikesh Maharjan and Shadi Alian also play an integral role in the research.

“This project gives students an excellent opportunity to apply what they have learned from their graduate courses to real application, which will be used with real patients,” Li said.  “This sort of hands-on knowledge can't easily be taught in textbooks or classes since it requires a real setting where people are doing real work and not just preset exercises with known results. Everything they are learning will be valuable experiences for their future career as researchers or engineers.”

The research project is a targeted and personalized diabetes management aid for members of the Minnesota Lower Sioux Tribe. One of the components is an app that uses the latest artificial intelligence technology to provide patients with real-time health management recommendations for food, exercise and social activity. With help from projects like this, NDSU and the computer science department have become regional leaders in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. 

The app also provides a direct link to health care providers, who can use the app to closely monitor their patients. The direct link is especially important for the American Indian population, which often has poor access to health care due to location and other factors.

Maharjan and Alian are working on coding the app and doing in-depth research to make the finished product as personalized as possible. They work hand-in-hand with Li, the medical community and the tribe.

“The opportunity to help the tribe is one of the motivations that made the project even more important for me,” Alian said. “I’m helping to do something really good for people who actually need it. It’s not just something for me to say ‘look at this thing I did.’ It’s helping people who actually need help.”

The research project is supported by NSF grant No. 1722913. 

Read the full article on Experience NDSU here.

NDSU computer science announces participation in Cyber Fast Track national competition

February 20, 2019
As part of its support for the North Dakota-wide K-20W effort, the North Dakota State University Department of Computer Science announced today that it will have students participate in the Cyber Fast Track program.  The K-20W initiative is a collaborative effort with more than 40 public and private sector partners who are advancing statewide efforts to provide computer science and cybersecurity training and resources to North Dakota’s educators and students ranging from kindergarten through Ph.D. students and into the workforce.  The Cyber Fast Track program allows students to assess and demonstrate their skills to succeed in cybersecurity careers through a specialized online assessment tool and game. 

North Dakota is one of only 26 states eligible for students to participate in the program.  Students competing in the Cyber Fast Track program can win prizes from a $2.5 million prize pool including scholarships and access to professional certifications and specialized instructional materials.

“The Computer Science Department at NDSU has been actively participating in the state-wide K-20W initiative,” noted department chair Kendall E. Nygard.  “We are excited to be part of this program and encourage our students to engage in the game environment when it becomes available later this spring.”

NDSU computer science graduate named VP technology for Forum Communications

February 16, 2019
NDSU Computer Science graduate Rodney Holm has been hired as the Forum Communications Company vice president of technology.  Prior to joining Forum Communications, Holm worked as director of IT and engineering at Email on Acid in Denver and vice president of engineering at FocusVision Worldwide.  He joined FocusVision when they acquired the assets of QualVu, which he co-founded and served as the chief technology officer of.

According to the company, Holm will “lead the organization in development and maintenance of digital products, content delivery systems and Informational Technology systems.”

Holm is originally from Jamestown, North Dakota and graduated from NDSU with a B.S. in computer science in 1997.

Read more at Inforum.

NDSU computer science graduate attends state of the union address

February 14, 2019
NDSU Computer Science Department Master’s graduate Betty Gronneberg attended the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. on February 5th.  Gronneberg was a guest of North Dakota senator John Hoeven at the event.

Betty Gronneberg completed her Master’s degree at NDSU under the advisement of Dr. Kendall E. Nygard.  She now runs uCodeGirl, an organization that seeks to drive girls’ interest in computer programming and inspire the next generation.  She is also the recipient of a Bush Foundation Fellowship in support of this work.

She was born and raised in Ethiopia and earned a degree in Computer Science and Statistics at Addis Ababba University.  She also worked at the United Nations.  She completed her master’s degree at NDSU and has since worked extensively in the software industry.  Gronneberg serves on Gov. Doug Burgum's Innovative Education Task Force, is an adjunct instructor at Concordia College, was recognized by the Women Economic Forum and was named the 2018 YWCA Woman of the Year in Science and Technology.

Gronneberg is still active in the NDSU community.  She has returned to NDSU to give students tips for success.  She inspire students through her presentations with one saying that it was “inspirational to learn from Betty’s diverse experiences.” 

Read more at Inforum.

Dr Lu Liu featured in NDSU's Office of Research and Creative Activity's RCA update

December 10, 2018

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
Bioinformatics, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Computational Biology.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I am from China and I received my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

What excites you about NDSU?
Research and collaboration opportunities. 

What motivates you?
My family.

NDSU hosts 2018 ICPC north central NA regional programming competition.

November 3, 2018
NDSU was a site host for the 2018 International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).  Twenty-seven teams from North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota. Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia College, and University of Minnesota Morris attended the five hour event.

Site Results:             Regional Results:
1 - North Dakota State University
2 - University of North Dakota
3 - University of Minnesota Morris

1 - South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
2 - University of Nebraska Lincoln
3 - University of Wisconsin Madison

Computer science adviser recognized at an NDSU men’s basketball game.

February 27, 2018
Joan Krush, Adviser/Lecturer in Computer Science was recognized recently at an NDSU Men’s Basketball game. She was nominated as someone who “makes a difference” in student-athlete’s undergraduate experience. Joan was nominated by student-athlete Jordan Meidinger, a sophomore Computer Science major.

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