Department of Computer Science

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Welcome to the Department of Computer Science
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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


Outstanding 2013 Graduates

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CS Graduates 2013 002Two outstanding graduates from the Computer Science Department were recognized at the 2013 Montana Tech Commencement. Brent Donoven received the Outstanding Computer Science Graduate award and Zach Wormgoor received the Outstanding Software Engineering Graduate award. The award is based on scholastic achievement as well as the graduate's other contributions to the school, to his or her academic department and fellow students, and to the greater community.

zachBrent Donoven graduated with honors. He served in several elected offices in the ACM Club, including President, Vice President, and Treasurer. He received an award for his work on KapsuleProto at the first annual Montana Tech Techxpo in 2012. Brent was a Teaching Assistant for both the C Programming and Matlab Programming courses. Brent will work for Microsoft in Fargo, ND.


Zach Wormgoor graduated with high honors with dual degrees in Software Engineering and Computer Science. Zach was also very active in the ACM Club, holding positions as Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Zach was a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Embedded Systems and the Programming with C courses.  In his last semester at Tech, Zach designed and co-taught the Computer Game Development course with Matt Morris. Zach will work for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, WA.


2013 Internships

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Many of our students have lined up impressive internships for this summer:

Jeff Hall - EchoStar, Denver

PJ Neary - EchoStar, Denver

Matt Morris - Microsoft, Redmond

Jordan Yates - Microsoft, Redmond

Frank Sholey - HP, Boise

Jon Wareham - PPL Electrical Utilites, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Reid Alford - National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), Butte

Nick Broden - National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), Butte

Ben Butcher - National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), Butte

Anthony Johnson - National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), Butte

Ross Moon - National Center for Health Care Informatics (NCHCI), Butte

Tom Powell - Siafu Technology Group, Butte

Clint Hillerman, Copper Environmental Consulting, Anaconda

Cade Foster, MT Department of Transportation, Helena

Haythem Memmi - Texas State University REU, San Marcos

Brian Knopp - Rutgers University REU, Piscataway, NJ

(Students with internships that are missing from the list should contact Jeff Braun).


Text-entry for the blind and visually-impaired

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tap hardThe points over the keyboard show the input from the user from the first tap location (red) to the last tap (blue). The user was entering "this will be hard". A simple baseline decoding using the closest key and a long-span character language model resulted in the recognition "thud dunnve gatc".

Touchscreen mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad have changed the way people communication and access information while on the go. A crucial task on such devices is the entry of text. But without visual or tactile feedback, such text entry tasks are problematic for the world’s many blind and visually-impaired users.  Existing solutions such as the iPhone’s VoiceOver feature are slow with entry rates below six words-per-minute.  Other faster input techniques require knowledge of Braille and chorded input via multiple fingers simultaneously.

Luckily, assistant professor Keith Vertanen and Montana Tech computer science student Haythem Memmi are on the case.  They recently finished a pilot study in which they collected data of users entering text on an iPod touch both while sighted and while blindfolded.  Using this data, they are investigating several recognition-based approaches that attempt to decode the noisy input from the blindfolded users. Their work appear on the front page of the Montana Standard.

So far results are encouraging. Combining a variety of probabilistic techniques, substantial error reductions have been realized compared to baseline. But there is still plenty of work left to do.  The error rates need further reduction and an error correction interface need to be added. Additionally, the recognition is currently being done offline on a desktop and takes several minutes per sentence. The latest findings from this project will be presented at Techxpo on May 2nd.


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