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Lawrence Tech wins grant for interdisciplinary computer facility

Release Date: June 27, 2012

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Lawrence Technological University has won a $72,414 grant from the National Science Foundation for a new computing facility for undergraduate interdisciplinary computer science research.

The successful grant application was submitted by Assistant Professors Lior Shamir and Yin Wang of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in Lawrence Tech’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“The ability of computer scientists to work in collaboration with other scientists in an interdisciplinary environment is increasingly important,” said Shamir, who is the principal investigator for the grant. “New applications of computer science are proliferating, and today’s computer science students can expect to work on projects in a number of fields.”

At Lawrence Tech, computer science has already been applied to astronomy, biology, medical and clinical research, biometrics, remote sensing, and robotics. “Interdisciplinary research experience provides students with the background they need for effective real-life industry or academic research,” Shamir said.

LTU provides all undergraduate students with a laptop or tablet computer loaded with all the software programs that they need for their courses. The new computer lab will provide them with access to the higher level of computing power needed for advanced research projects.

The new computer lab will provide more opportunities for LTU undergraduates to participate in the type of research that is often conducted by graduate students and PhD candidates.

“Some Lawrence Tech undergraduates are engaged in top-tier research and have even been primary authors of scientific papers,” said Hsiao-Ping Moore, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new lab will also be used by graduate students and faculty members. For instance, it will enable effective application of the methods that faculty develop for massive astronomical or biomedical datasets in order to turn data into knowledge, according to Shamir.

Lawrence Tech faculty have collaborated with other universities on computer science research, and the new lab will provide additional opportunities.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, was founded in 1932. Bloomberg Businessweek lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 20 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area.  Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.