Department of Computer Science

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Tech Expands 3D Visualization and HPC Systems

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3D VizDuring the past summer, Computer Science Department Head Jeff Braun and Chemistry Department Head David Hobbs expanded both the 3D Visualization System and the high performance computing (HPC) cluster. Dr. David Hobbs (photographed by Walt Hinick, Montana Standard) explains how the immersive 3D visualization system is used to research molecular dynamics for a Montana Standard article.

We added optical tracking to the 3D visualization system so that the viewer can better interact with the data.  The x, y, z position of the user's head is tracked with 6 reflective markers on the 3D glasses. These markers reflect the infrared light back to the tracking system cameras so both the head's position (3 coordinates) and orientation (3 independent angular coordinates) are calculated so that the 3D display is optimized as the viewer moves in and around the data. The SmartTrack system purchased from Adanced Realtime Tracking includes a wand or controller device (not pictured) that allows the user to directly manipulate the data visualization imagery.

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Melissa Holmes Receives 2013 Alumni Recognition Award

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holmes

Melissa Holmes received the 2013 Computer Science Alumni Recognition Award as part of the Homecoming festivities on September 27. Melissa is pictured with CS Department Head Jeff Braun (far left), Provost Doug Abbott, and Vicki Blackketter (far right). Melissa completed her degree in Computer Science at Montana Tech in 1996 and went to work in a variety of IT positions while continuing her education at the University of Montana, where she completed her Master's Degree in Computer Science.

Melissa chose a career path in education, first working in the Provost's office at the University of Montana, then as the as the Montana Tech Webmaster. During this period, she also taught computer science courses at UM, Montana Tech, and Helena College.  She is currently in the final stages of completing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and has recently joined the faculty at Rocky Mountain College as a Computer Science professor.

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Economic Development Summit and CodeMontana

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Safra Catz (Oracle CFO) address the Montana Economic Summit at Montana Tech.Montana Tech was the site of the 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit. Senator Baucus made sure the computing industry was well represented, bringing corporate executives Eric Schmidt (Google Executive Chairman), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), Safra Catz (Oracle President and CFO - pictured on the left), Meg Whitman (HP President and CEO, former eBay President and CEO), and Elon Musk (PayPal founder, SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder and CEO) to the Montana Tech campus for the 6th Jobs Summit. One of the underlying themes was the strong future for technology and demand for software developers that will exceed the supply of computer science graduates from U.S. universities over the next decade.

Greg Gianforte (founder of RightNow Technology in Bozeman) announced the newly established CodeMontana program at the Summit. This new program teaches  Montana high school students computer programming through an online software development curriculum. The goal of the program is to prepare Montana students for technology careers here in Montana. Mr. Gianforte pointed out there will be 400 computer science job openings this year, but only 40 computer science graduates from Montana universities (see graphic below). There is no fee to join the program, the first 1000 students receive a tee shirt, and there is opportunity to win cool prizes by participating. We encourage all Montana students considering a computer science or software engineering career to join the CodeMontana program. The Montana Tech Computer Science department also offers additional opportunities to learn programming through a free online college level computer science course for high school students. Students who successfully complete this course and enroll at Montana Tech will earn three computer science credits.

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CS and SE Seniors Perform in the Top 1%

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The Montana Tech Computer Science and Software Engineering students continue to perform impressiviely on the Educational Testing Services (ETS) Computer Science Major Field Test. Over the last five years, our students have perfomed at the 90th percentile or better on this national standardized exam. The 2013 seniors outperformed 99% of the other other institutions taking the exam.

Test 4HMF (given 2012-13) National 2012 MT Tech 2013 MT Tech
 Mean* Score Percentile Score Percentile
Total Score 148.1 164 92% 169 99%
Programming & Software Engineering 48% 61% 85% 65% 93%
Discrete Structures and Algrithms 39% 54% 91% 60% 97%
Systems (Archtecture, OS, DB, Networking 39% 57% 98% 60% 99%
#students 3259 7 5
*Mean is based on 175 instituitions

 


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