Scientists and Applications

CS4760 & CS5760 Scientists and App Ideas

Below is the list of scientists and their potential applications for collaborative CS4760 & CS5760 teams.

Ricardo Perira – Assistant Professor, Construction Management

Contact Information

Email: reiris at
Office: Dillman 201B
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Michigan Technological University

App Idea: 3D_rone App

The use of drones is becoming prevalent in many scientific domains such construction, civil, environmental, and geospatial engineering. Data derived from drones is useful for human decision-making processes during the performance of flight operations for drone systems. Particularly, drone data is useful for manually operating drones within indoor environments where GPS removes the possibility of automated flights. The utilization of 3D data proposes an intuitive approach to represent spatial and temporal drone data similarly to what would be encountered in the real-world. However, challenges occur with respect to the ability of users to interpret information using complex 3D visualizations. The team in this project will explore ways to leverage 3D models and 3D data obtained from drone flights to demonstrate indoor flight operations to novice users by displaying spatial and temporal information in a 3D-based interactive web-app.

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/18/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/25/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
If possible in-person, otherwise by Zoom

Charles Wallace – Associate Professor, Computer Science

Contact Information

Email: wallace at
Phone: (906) 231-2895
Office: Rekhi Hall 205
Computer Science Department
Michigan Technological University

App Idea: Family FEW App

We would like to educate middle and high school students about the connections between FEW (food, energy, and water) consumption. In particular, we’d like them to learn about the environmental costs of their food purchases (in terms of energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions). The learning activity will take the form of a game, where the student/player acquires food for their family by filling a grocery basket with food items.  Each item has a monetary cost, a nutrition category, and an environmental cost category. The objective of the game is to choose food items that will (1) fulfill the nutritional needs of the family, (2) stay within the family’s budget, and (3) keep environmental costs below a certain level. When considering a food item for purchase, the student will learn about what the environmental costs are and what the contributing factors are to those costs.

Further details: Each food item in the game has a nutritional category (based on the categorization system of MyPlate) and an environmental cost category (based on the categorization system of USEEIO).  We have developed a cost model that assigns per-dollar environmental costs (greenhouse gas emissions and water usage) for each USEEIO category. We will refine this cost model so that each total cost for an individual item is distributed over a set number of contributing sectors (e.g. production, preparation, transportation); this will allow us to convey some sense as to why a particular item has the environmental costs that it does.

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Wednesday, 1/19/2022 at 4:30 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Wednesday, 1/26/2022 at 4:30 pm EST
If possible in person at Rekhi 205, but Jessica (stakeholder) will need Zoom.

Kathryn Kass – Physician Assistant

Contact Information

Email: srkckass at
Phone:  (906) 281-0992
Office: Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center Houghton Clinic
600 Mac Innes Drive Houghton MI 49931 Learning Sciences

App Idea: Health Care Code Generator

In the midst of the pandemic, the world of medicine experienced another change.  The old way of coding and billing medical visits was discontinued in favor of a completely new system which started January 1, 2021.  Because the new system is complicated, many medical providers feel overwhelmed and resort to coding all visits by time.  Doing this might make it easier, but it causes two problems 1) the providers don’t fully grasp the new system and 2) the providers’ reimbursement for expertise and treatment provided to patients may be reduced.  This app provides a guide to medical providers for correct coding.  Providers will input information into the app and the app will generate a code and possibly some documentation language that can be copied and pasted into the office visit note to ensure that the visit is coded correctly.

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/18/2022 at 5:15 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/25/2022 at 5:15 pm EST
by phone, 906-281-0992

Chelsea Schelly – Associate Professor of Sociology

Contact Information

Email: cschelly at
Phone: (906) 487-1759
Office: Academic Office Building 200a
Department of Social Sciences
Michigan Technological University

App Idea: Energy Utility Polling App

Residential households access electricity through electric utility companies, which can be organized as private-for profit entities or public municipal entities. Utility companies offer a diverse range of programming and opportunities for their customers. For example, utilities may provide options to for customers use more electricity generated from renewable energy, incentives to install renewable energy, information or incentives on becoming more energy efficient, or changing how much customers are charged for energy based on when it is consumed. However, customers may not always know what kinds of programs are available to them. Utility companies are also proactively involved in planning for the renewable energy transition – particularly the utilities that have regulatory requirements or elective commitments to increase renewable energy usage. This application will target 4 specific municipal utilities in northwestern lower Michigan (Traverse City, Petosky, Charlevoix, and Harbor Springs). It will allow customers to indicate which utility company provides their electricity, and then will provide information about the programs and opportunities available through that utility for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and time of use pricing, as applicable. It will also provide information about the current energy portfolio mix of the utility and their goals for renewable energy. Finally, it will include polling questions so that users can provide their input regarding what kinds of programs they are interested in and what kinds of renewable energy they are most likely to support for future utility investments. Thus, this application will be used for both education/information provision and for polling/data collection. This application will provide information for the partner utilities to inform future decision making. This application is one facet of a large collaboration, and Dr. Chelsea Schelly will provide access to information about the utilities as well as questions to be used in the polling feature. The development of this application will provide new information about how to most effectively transition to renewable energy and more efficient energy use for public utilities in Michigan.

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Wednesday, 1/19/2022 at 2:00 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Wednesday, 1/26/2022 at 2:00 pm EST
in-person at 200A Academic Building. Can reschedule.

Leo Ureel – Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Contact Information

Email: ureel at
Office Phone: (906) 487-1816 
Office: Rekhi Hall 209
Computer Science Department
Michigan Technological University

App Idea: Supply Chain Simulator

Crisis in the Supply Chain! There are many complex factors impacting the global supply chain that keeps the economy moving. The goal of this project is to help middle and high school students learn the complexities of supply chain issues through modeling and simulation. Students play the role of a junior economic advisor to the President. They must construct a model of the global supply chain, which is represented by a network of supply, distribution and demand nodes. The network, its nodes, and settings can be manipulated to explain or predict supply chain issues or reconfigured to find solutions. Can the student resolve the supply change issues in time to help the President avoid certain economic Doooom? We will only know if you join the supply chain simulator team!

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/18/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/25/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
Prefer by Zoom.

Kuilin Zhang – Associate Professor of Transportation

Contact Information

Email: klzhang at
Phone/Text: (906) 487-1869
Office: Dillman 301i
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan Technological University

App Idea:  Trip Tracker

This project aims to develop a Trip Tracker App to record a high-frequency trajectory along a path between an origin and a destination. This App will be used in an undergraduate course in transportation engineering for both students and the professor. By selecting a trip from an origin and destination on a map, students can choose a path to follow at a departure time from the origin, and specify the destination activity or trip purpose, how they go there or use which mode (e.g., car, bike, walk, or bus). The App will record detailed trajectory (i.e., timestamp, x,y,z, speed, etc.) at a high-frequency time interval such as 0.1 or 0.2 seconds. The App also needs to record information on their identification (e.g., student name and MTU email address) and trip information (e.g., origin, destination, departure date/time, purpose, mode). Students will upload the trajectory information to a server. The professor can log in to the server to view all the trip tracking data by specifying a range using criteria such as date/time, student’s email, origin, destination, and download those data to a CSV file for more advanced data analytics or travel behavior.

Initial Meetings

First Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/18/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
Second Team-Scientist Meeting: Tuesday, 1/25/2022 at 4:00 pm EST
Via Zoom: