Department of Computer Science

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Dr. Keith Vertanen Receives Distinguished Researcher Award

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Keith award

Dr. Keith Vertanen received Montana Tech's 2014 Distinguished Researcher Award for his outstanding research in the field of human computer interaction (HCI). In the past three years, Dr. Vertanen has published 16 peer-reviewed publications in top computer science venues, submitted as PI seven external grant proposals totaling over $1.4 million, collaborated with top researchers around the world, and provided research opportunities to Montana Tech undergraduates. Keith is a respected expert in the HCI field, currently serves as an associate chair for the MobileHCI Conference, and has served as a technical program committee member, a reviewer, and a workshop organizer.

Dr. Vertanen’s HCI research focuses on enhancing communication capabilities of users with disabilities by improving recognition-based text entry and mobile device interfaces. Keith integrates the computer science disciplines of HCI, natural language processing and machine learning to a variety of accessibility topics like improved text entry systems, eyes-free text entry, eye-typing, speech-only interfaces, and other alternative communication methods. His 16 publications on these topics appear in top international conference proceedings, including the flagship ACM Computer Human Interaction (CHI) Conference on Human Factor in Computing Systems (acceptance rates around 25%) and ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. One paper he coauthored received Honorable Mention for Best Paper at ETRA’12. Overall, Keith has 30 refereed publications and 286 citations.


Montana Tech CodeMontana Scholarships

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Montana Tech and CodeMontana are teaming up to offer $160,000 in scholarships over the next three years to students interested in enrolling in the Computer Science and/or Software Engineering degree programs at Montana Tech. Twenty $4000 scholarships will be available for freshmen enrolling in Fall 2015 and 2016. Apply Here.

At the Montana Economic Development Summit held on the Montana Tech campus in September, RightNow Technologies founder Greg Gianforte announced CodeMontana, an initiative to teach Montana high school students computer programming through an online software development curriculum. The program is designed to expose high school students to computer science in an engaging way. The goal is to prepare Montana students for technology careers here in Montana and to introduce 1,000 math and science savvy Montana students to computer science in its first year.


2014 CS/SE Graduates

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grads2014The CS/SE class of 2014 will be headed to a variety of locations:

Reid Alford - M.E.P.CAD, Denver, CO

Nick Broden -  M.E.P.CAD, Denver, CO

Cade Foster - Cerner, Kansas City, MO

Jeff Hall - EchoStar, Denver, CO

Brian Knopp - Graduate school at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland

Matt Morris - Microsoft, Redmond, WA

PJ Neary - EchoStar, Denver, CO

Frank Sholey - HP, Boise, ID

Jordon Yates - Microsoft, Redmond, WA


REAL Scholars Earn Additional Scholarship Funds by Coding

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KennySchmitSTrevorBrooksSThe CS Department wants to acknowledge the accomplishments of future Montana Tech students Kendall Schmit (left) and Trevor Brooks (right) for recently completing the first REAL Scholarship programming challange - the Odd Sum Problem.  We hope this encourages all REAL scholars to complete at least the first program in Module 5 (to view without creating an account, enter student and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). If you can get a working program for this problem, Prof. Ackerman ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) will help you get it accepted by the online UVa judge.

Very few high schools currently teach the basics of programming, so most REAL scholars do not even attempt the first program in Module 5. In general, those that succeed have been teaching themselves some programming. While it's helpful to have friends or family members that can help you get started programming, there is a lot of really good tutorial material on the web (,, and our CSCI 135 Online course) that will help give you the skills to complete the first two programs in Module 5.


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