Michigan Tech professor awarded $500,000 in funding


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HOUGHTON — An assistant professor at Michigan Tech University has received the National Science Foundation Career award.

The award provides more than $500,000.00 in funding for up and coming researchers. 

Keith Vertanen was the recipient of the award and plans to use his funding to improve devices that speak for non-verbal individuals. This includes software that is run by eyesight, for individuals who cannot use their hands or arms.

Vertanen explains, “Due to a variety of different reasons, some people are unable to speak verbally. So these people sometimes use and interface to be their voice. So the problem with these interfaces that they use to speak for themselves is, sometimes, they’re very slow. This project is really about trying to accelerate their ability to communicate with these interfaces.”

The project is funded for five years. Vertanen hopes to continue to develop the software for both verbal and non-verbal individuals.

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