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Victoria University Teaching Fellow Presents Workshop at PacNOG Meeting

14 Jul 2011 - 11:52 in Event

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Victoria University Teaching Fellow Andy Linton co-presented a workshop, with instructors from NSRC (University of Oregon) and Google, on DNS operations at the 9th Meeting of the Pacific Network Operators Group (PacNOG). The meeting was held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, from the 27th June to the 2nd July.

PacNOG was initially established in 2004 as a mailing list for ISP operations engineers working in the Pacific region, in order to facilitate the exchange of technical information and cooperation on implementation issues.

The educational workshops offered by PacNOG are part of a capacity development programme offered to IP-ISP providers in the Pacific Islands. Three workshops were offered on days 2-6 of the meeting.

The "Robust and Reliable Domain Name System (DNS) Operations" workshop offered participants the opportunity to learn about the principles of DNS design, DNS server software, best practice in deploying DNS servers, security mechanisms for DNS servers, and Internationalized Domain Names (IDN).

Due to the global success of the Internet, the range of numbers in the original address scheme, IPv4, has almost been used up. The replacement, IPv6, marks a radical change and training is vital. The "IPv4 / IPv6 BGP" workshop provided participants with the knowledge and skills needed to utilize BGP for multihoming, take part in an Internet Exchange Point, and utilize IPv6 across networks.

The "Internet and Network Security Fundamentals" workshop addressed the basics of network security, network analysis and forensics, the anatomy of network attacks, penetration testing, and DNS security.

A survey of participants from several Pacific Island countries confirmed that many found the workshops useful and informative, with one person commenting "It was a real pleasure to attend this workshop. The instructors are really interesting, they gave me a lot of information." Many participants plan to attend the next PacNOG meeting in in Noumea, New Caledonia in November.

Winternz - Open For Applications

28 Jul 2014 - 20:51 in Event

The Winternz program brings New Zealand undergraduate students to Silicon Valley for 12-week internships over the New Zealand summer.

Micah Cinco, a Networking student at the School of Engineering and Computer Science, spent the four-month summer break interning with Pertino Networks. Read about his experience here: http://kiwilandingpad.com/sacrificing-a-nz-summer-for-winter-in-silicon-valley/

Applications close August 15 2014. For further information:

http://kiwilandingpad.com/program/winternz/

Startup Weekend Wellington

13 Aug 2012 - 10:40 in Event

School of ECS student Matthew Betts led the winning company in Startup Weekend Wellington on 29th July. Along with SOAD student Max O’ Brien, he successfully pitched Questo!, an educational gaming platform which encourages student participation in homework. The first prize includes $10,000 advertising on TradeMe, $1,000 MYOB business services start-up package, a 3 month part-time desk based at Bizdojo, $500 cash from Hyperstart, and a US $200 voucher for Amazon Web Services.

Another ECS student George Davie was part of the runner-up company Mia’s Ideas, whose business was based on buying and selling pre-loved party décor online. Other VUW students who participated in the event include Thomas Caskey, Pauline Kelly, Hans Lim, Ian Loh, Matt Rollitt, and Earl Stewart.

Startup weekend is an event that brings together entrepreneurs, developers and designers for an intense weekend of pitching business concepts to participants, forming teams, developing ideas, market research, receiving coaching, and developing mock-ups, culminating in a final presentation on Sunday night, followed by judging and awards. A number of successful New Zealand businesses have arisen from Startup Weekend Wellington, including previous winners TranscribeMe and Usnap.us.

TopTenReasons to Study at ECS

19 Dec 2013 - 10:29 in Event

Here are the top 10 reasons why students choose to study with us at ECS!

The Clash of the Robots - the Annual Lego Competition

22 Sep 2009 - 15:16 in Event

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With names like Praying Muntaz, Predator, Icarus and Optimal Prime, the stage was set for an exciting match at the Annual Lego Competition. Monday night gave students enrolled in ECSE430 Advanced Mechatronic Engineering II the opportunity to design, construct and programme autonomous robots that not only had to work but compete against each other. The aim of the competition was to score the most points by having the robots locate and physically pick up a puck then deliver it to a donut shaped goal. Pucks varied in value depending upon how hard they were to locate. Maximum points were scored if the robots deposited the puck in the donut centre as opposed to the raised outer surface. As the Robots were required to operate completely independently of humans, points were deducted if a competitor touched their robot.

Harry Jones and Ben Drayton with Predator proved from the very start that they were contenders to be reckoned with. Predator lived up to his (or her) name and preyed upon the pucks (and other contenders) scoring well in the first few rounds. The final round resulted in a play off between Predator and Praying Muntaz designed by Vincent Fletcher and Patrick Thomson. The photograph show the results, a victorious Vincent Fletcher and Patrick Thomson celebrating their win and the A+.

Summer of Tech

21 Aug 2014 - 10:32 in Event

Summer of Tech is a very successful student internship programme for those studying for a technology-related career. Launched in 2006 and now in its eighth year of operation the award-winning programme helps businesses source top talent from local tertiary institutions while giving students valuable real-world industry experience. The programme includes a series of bootcamps and industry-led skills development workshops to help bridge the gap between industry needs and educational development.

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The programme has helped Wellington employers source top local talent while easing the move from study to industry for hundreds of tech students.

Employers and technical experts deliver bootcamps, which are practical workshops that enable students to use technologies that are in demand in the local workforce. Bootcamps and exposure to employers during their tertiary years really kick starts their careers.

Summer of Tech culminates in paid summer internships, but its success can be measured by what happens after the internships: 2 out of 3 Summer of Tech students get on-hired, retained by their host company in a full or part-time capacity, or employed by another company in the

Since 2006, Summer of Tech has created over 300 IT jobs in Wellington, enabling NZ companies to invest in, and hire top local talent. Employers tell us the programme has become their go-to place to recruit graduates, and it’s an especially good way to find female programmers – who they’ve found rarely apply for developer roles.

The goals of the programme are to keep building the talent pipeline for NZ ICT companies, connecting local employers to local students, showing both sides of the equation that there are fantastic candidates and fantastic careers in ICT available in New Zealand.


During the summer, their Seminar Series gives interns and students who were unsuccessful getting an internship the opportunity to get connected, inspired and informed, through lunchtime learning and networking sessions. They have over 200 unique attendees at seminars every year, about half of which are students, with the other half being professionals.

For further information go to: http://www.summeroftech.co.nz

Study Software Engineering for Game Development Skills

31 Oct 2013 - 09:21 in Event

Study Software for Game Development Skills

"Booming NZ game industry faces skills shortage"

Study Software Engineering (BE) or Computer Science (BSc) at Victoria University of Wellington to gain skills necessary for success in the rapidly expanding New Zealand game industry.

Studying at Victoria gives you a range of skills, starting from the core programming skills, algorithms and ending with dedicated game design courses. The final year project a compass many aspects of computer game design from artificial intelligence algorithms, to networking, to user interfaces and beyond.

Beyond your studies, we run graduate level boot camps, where two successful spin out companies are making their living through game design. Many of our students are now employed in local gaming companies, such as Pik Pok.

Students create their own league to find legends

17 Apr 2014 - 16:04 in Event

Victoria University of Wellington will play host to an e-sport tournament over the holidays, with students both co-ordinating and competing in online games.

Organised by the Victoria Engineering Club (VEC), teams of students will play League of Legends which, with 27 million active players, is currently one of the most popular video games worldwide.

Through the support of Riot, the company behind the successful game, the winning Victoria team will go on to compete against other Oceania teams at the Oceanic Gaming Winter Arena in May.

After battling it out for two weeks from 21 April, the final on 2 May will be screened on campus for students to watch. VEC organiser, Kieran Carnegie says the entertainment of e-sports isn't just for those playing.

"Commentary of games is much the same as with sports, and it's something that's really blossomed within e-sport culture. So we're going to have students within the club commentating every game for those wanting to watch, and then some professionals for showing the final on campus," says Carnegie, a computer science Master’s student.

Victoria researcher Dr Yuri Seo from the School of Marketing and International Business at Victoria Business School says that as computer gaming has grown worldwide, a spectator element has developed, as is the case with any other professional sport.

"There are people who want to watch the game, and it becomes a form of performance. And because you have increased spectatorship, you then have companies which want to sponsor events, and they just grow from there," says Dr Seo.

According to Dr Seo, a lot of the industry is consumer driven, and the tournament at Victoria is a good example of how the industry is working in a variety of ways to engage with consumers.

"The thing with e-sports is that community is a really big thing, and plays a very important role. This means it's common to see companies try and engage with them, and leads to both large and small scale events."

Dr Seo says that although the local market is currently quite small, because it's youth and technology driven, people living in New Zealand can still be a part of the growing international e-sport culture.

Victoria's first big e-sport tournament is open to students of all abilities, and there are a number of prizes being offer to competitors by both Riot and the VEC.

"This isn't a tournament where we're expecting everyone to be amazing. Whether you've only played a little bit or a lot, get together with a couple of mates and have a lot of fun," says Kieran.

The VEC, which has grown to over 300 members this year, is open to all students interested in engineering, computer science, or technology in general. Along with e-sports, the club runs a number of events from LAN-parties to robot building competitions.

For more information or to register for the tournament, visit: www.facebook.com/VictoriaEngineeringClub

To find out more, contact Kieran Carnegie on 04-463 5233, extn 8286 or email kotarou@ecs.vuw.ac.nz or vuw.vec.esports@gmail.com

Podcast - Autonomous Rescue Robots

19 Oct 2010 - 14:55 in Event

Our Changing World, Radio New Zealand National (14 October 2010).

The threat of being buried in rubble in an earthquake is a real and horrifying prospect, and trying to rescue trapped people from collapsed buildings is a dangerous task.

To help in such situations, Dale Carnegie from the Mechatronics Research Group, is developing a hierarchy of small, autonomous `rubble robots'. He tells Alison Ballance how the `grandmother' will deploy all-terrain `mother' robots that enter such sites and in their turn deploy expendable mobile phone-sized `daughter' robots to search for signs of life.

Student Michael Rothbock is working on the currently out-of-commission grandmother robot, nicknamed the `tank' because of the tank tracks that make her mobile, updating all her sensors and computers.

Listen to the podcast and watch a video of the robots in action.

Read more about the Mechatronics Research Group.

Pavle Mogin Retirement

25 Jun 2012 - 09:40 in Event

Dr Pavle Mogin recently retired from Victoria University of Wellington having served the department and faculty for over a decade, from 2000-2012. To help celebrate Pavle's retirement a small party was held with some speeches and a document as well as a tribute video was put together: A Tribute to Dr. Pavle Mogin.

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Pacific Network Operators Group Meeting

09 Jul 2009 - 16:04 in Event

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Recently Andy Linton, a teaching fellow at the Faculty of Engineering, took part in the 5th conference and educational workshop of the Pacific Network Operators Group (PacNOG). Held in Tahiti, the 5 day conference provided an important forum for service providers in the Pacific Network community to meet and discuss current issues as well as receive technical training. The workshops at the conferences are deliberately designed to strengthen technical expertise by training people and organisations. In return the participants are expected to return home and teach others in their country what they have learnt at the PacNOG workshops.

As PacNOG aims to build relationships among individual and institutional contacts in the Pacific region, a key outcome of the organisation is the building of relationships with peers/colleagues in the region. Andy, who is an instructor and active member of PacNOG, has been involved in technical knowledge transfer in the Pacific Region for the pass 12 years and views PacNOG as an excellent opportunity for people in the Pacific region to share and develop technical expertise - "People in New Zealand understand the tyranny of distance, which is even more of a challenge in the South Pacific region. Geographically these island nations cover huge areas, which result in scattered and sparse populations. By bringing people together they are able to identify similar experiences and share innovative solutions."

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This year's conference highlighted many of the challenges and issues facing internet development in the Pacific region. As John Crain, Chief Technical Officer ICANN, stated in his keynote address - "Everyday more than a Billion people rely on the Internet to conduct aspects of their daily life. Those who use the Internet and those of us who operate the networks need to be more aware of the risks". While the workshops addressed a range of challenges, this year the conference focused on current best practices in security and the importance of well engineered router and server infrastructure.

Relationship building is also an important aim of PacNOG and as Andy states," it was really good to see the sharing of knowledge and the building of relationships, which continues well after the conference finishes. The Fijian contingent stayed for a few days after the conference to work with their Tahitian counterparts and this working together is what the organisation is about". PacNOG also receives support from a number of institutions in the Pacific region. Victoria University provided Andy's time, while InternetNZ paid for his travel and accommodation. The next meeting this November in Fiji, will be supported by the Internet Society (http://www.isoc.org/ ) and InternetNZ (http://www.internetnz.net.nz/).

For further information check out: http://www.pacnog.org/

New Zealand Computer Science Research Students Conference

18 May 2009 - 09:38 in Event

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During the mid-trimester break in April, seven students from ECS (Keith Cassell, Adam Clarke, Rashina Hoda, Ben Palmer, Kourosh Neshatian, Kok-Lim.Yau, and Craig Anslow) attended the New Zealand Computer Science Research Students Conference (NZCSRSC) at Auckland University. The Conference, which is in its 7th year, is organised and run by postgraduate students, and aims to promote and strengthen the nationwide community of ICT research students.

Key note speakers included former Victoria University masters student Alan Blackwell, who gave an insight into Interdisciplinary Design Research for Interactive Technology. As Alan, who is now at Cambridge University, states on his home page "I only have one big research question, but I attack it from a lot of different angles. The question is representation. How do people make, see and use things that carry meaning? The angles from which I attack my question include various ways in which representations are applied (including design processes, interacting with technology, computer programming, visualisation), various methods by which I collect research data (including controlled experiments, prototype construction, ethnographic observation), and the theoretical perspectives of various academic disciplines (including computer science, cognitive psychology, engineering, architecture, music, anthropology)" (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/research.html ).

Another key note speaker, J.P. Lewis from Weta Digital, used the movie King Kong to illustrate Why Academic Research Matters to Weta Digital. Specifically the presentation looked at the graphic techniques used to recreate the city of New York in 1920 and the realistic skin, fur, eyes and movement of Kong.

A core component of the annual Conference are the presentations and posters from students. This year 25 graduates studying at New Zealand universities (and 7 from ECS) gave presentations and as in previous years the standard of talks and posters were of high quality. A range of workshops also gave students the opportunity to build on their research skills and topics ranged from thesis writing, time management, presentation skills, the publication game, to discussions on careers in research and the industry in general.

The conference not only gave student researchers an understanding of what others are doing, but also gave them the opportunity to interact with others who are motivated and passionate about their work. But it wasn't all work, highlights of the conference included the Endace opening dinner and the Orion Health social night that involved a boat cruise on Auckland harbour.

Feedback from the students who attended was positive - "The organisers did a fantastic job in planning the conference which ran very smoothly. We are looking forward to next years conference".

New Computer Graphics Programme Launched

18 Aug 2011 - 14:28 in Event

Victoria University has unveiled plans for a leading-edge study programme that will support innovation and growth in Wellington's internationally recognised entertainment and digital technologies industries. From 2012, Victoria will offer a Computer Graphics programme that is unique in Australasia in the way it blends computer science and design. Other courses available at tertiary level focus on one or other of the two disciplines. Victoria's Computer Graphics subject will be a course option for Masters level students in both the School of Design and the School of Engineering and Computer Science, with the computer science and design components weighted differently for the two degrees.

Professor John Hine, Dean of Victoria's School of Engineering, says the cross-disciplinary nature of the programme is one aspect of what makes it unique. "The other is the involvement of local industry. We have worked very closely with leading companies in the digital industries sectors, particularly Weta Digital, Sidhe Interactive and Unlimited Realities, to develop a course that is relevant and will produce graduates with the skills the sector needs." Professor Hine says the relationship with local industry will be continued through sponsored scholarships - with Weta already having confirmed one PhD scholarship - consultation, guest lectures and internship opportunities. "Weta in particular has a lot of experts visiting its research and development facility in Wellington and we hope to get some of them along to teach our students."

The long term goal is to build in-depth capability at Victoria to support New Zealand's digital industries. That will include specialist programmes at Master's level, supervision for PhD study and a research programme that can deliver new technologies and skills to industry. "The initiative will lead to a range of new career opportunities in the region's internationally acknowledged digital creative sector, making Wellington and Victoria University a logical location to study this exciting specialisation."

As part of its support for growing New Zealand's high tech creative sector, the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) has contributed $500,000 towards the cost of establishing the programme. Murray Bain, Chief Executive of the MSI, says the Ministry is keen to support and encourage industry engagement with universities.

The website for the new Computer Graphics program is at http://computergraphics.ac.nz.

NZCSRSC 2010

14 May 2010 - 13:44 in Event

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During the mid-trimester break 12-15 April 2010, ECS hosted the 8th New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference (NZCSRSC) on the Kelburn campus. The conference was organised and run by postgraduate computer science students from ECS. The aim of the conference is to promote and strengthen the nationwide community of ICT research students.

There were a number of exciting keynote speakers. Nat Torkington a graduate from our school talked about "The Career-Spotter's Field Guide", which explained about life beyond the ivy-covered walls of academia. Nat drew upon his vast experience and anecdotal evidence from working in small startups to large corporations. Rob O'Callahan from Mozilla talked about how computer science can change the world. Rob encouraged people to think hard about what research problems one should solve in order to make a significant impact on society. Sebastian Castro from the .NZ Registry Services talked about "A Day in the Life of the Internet Project" which collects traffic data from key locations of the Internet for analysis to provide insight and questions about the future of the Internet. Miriam Lips from Victoria University of Wellington talked about the "Value of E-Government Research for Designing 21st Century Government".

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There was an entertaining panel on what are your options once you have completed your masters or PhD degrees. The panelists ranged from people working in academia, government organisations, industrial research labs, startups, and large corporations. They gave the audience interesting insight into their careers since completing their PhDs and offered some good advice to follow such as networking with other people and think carefully about the kind of job you want to do once you graduate.

A range of workshops gave students the opportunity to build on their research skills. Workshop topics ranged from critical thinking, thesis writing, time management, presentation and poster skills, Maori and Pacific Nations students engaging in computer science research, women in the New Zealand IT industry, preparing to succeed in the job market, how to get yourself the job you want, the publication game, commercialisation and intellectual property in the IT, to discussions on careers in research and the industry in general.

A core component of the annual conference are the presentations and posters from students. This year 33 graduates studying at New Zealand universities gave presentations and the standard of talks were of high quality. While 21 graduates had short papers presented as research posters. Siva Dorairaj, James Bebbington, and Craig Anslow from ECS presented papers. The Intergen best paper presentation was awarded to Michael Walmsley, "Automatic Adaption of Dynamic Second Language Reading Texts", and The IET best poster to Stefan Schliebs, "Heterogeneous Probabilistic Models for Optimization and Modelling of Evolving Spiking Neural Networks".

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The conference not only gave student researchers an understanding of what others are doing, but also gave them the opportunity to interact with others who are motivated and passionate about their work. But it wasn't all work, highlights of the conference included a powhiri and a performance by a local kapahaka group at Pipitea Marae, Google opening dinner, Pingar social night that involved ten-pin bowling, and Careers Industry Night where a number of companies were present to recruit eager graduate students.

The conference was made possible with the tremendous effort by the organising committee, the local university contacts, and support from our key sponsors: Google, Intergen, Pingar, The IET, InternetNZ, VicLink, and Victoria University of Wellington.

We are also grateful for the valuable assistance provided by the following people and groups: Sue Hall, Ally Reid, Peter Andreae, David Pearce, John Hine, Ian Witten, Tim Bell, Doug Hauraki, Liz Richardson, Robert Amor, Rachel Blagojevic, panelists, workshop presenters, Andy Linton, Will Browne, Ian Welch, OLPC Project, Victoria Communications and Marketing, ITS Teaching Services, Campus Care, VicVenues, KPR Catering, and Eurest Catering.

Further information about the conference is located on the web site: http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Events/NZCSRSC2010/

NCEA critique on Seven Sharp

06 May 2014 - 09:25 in Event

A news item of Seven Sharp about NCEA that features Victoria University students and Professor Dale Carnegie from the Faculty of Engineering:

http://tvnz.co.nz/seven-sharp/ncea-more-harm-than-good-video-5949178

Inside the world of a nanotechnology researcher

19 Jun 2014 - 20:09 in Event

Victoria University physics student Elf Eldridge will discuss the field of nanotechnology and provide a glimpse into the world of PhD study at a free talk in Napier this month.

Presented in association with the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Elf will give a broad introduction to what nanotechnology is and why it's important, followed by a discussion of his own PhD research.

Elf will also provide insights into some of the issues facing science PhD students in New Zealand, and discuss how the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a Centre of Research Excellence based at Victoria University, is attempting to address these. This includes providing industry internships with companies in New Zealand and abroad, and offering short term scholarships to carry out research on a commercial project.

“I got to spend two weeks on a short term scholarship doing a feasibility study on a new technology developed at Victoria. That was great for me. I loved it,” says Elf.

“We were looking at the industry areas it could fit in, how big they were, what the competition was and what the intellectual property law was like. It’s an experience in a whole area you don’t get to touch on in science. But if you want to work as a scientist or an engineer in the technology field, you have to know about it.”

Elf, who was part of the University’s 2013 Know Your Mind recruitment campaign, is nearing the end of his PhD research in which he is using a device called the qNano to look at the characteristics of tiny invisible particles that can be found everywhere in nature (similar to viruses and bacteria).

In his role as senior tutor at Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, Elf's time is split between working with New Zealand secondary schools to encourage more students to consider engineering and computer science as a career, and supporting currently enrolled students with their studies.

As well as giving his own talk, Elf will also be attending the Victoria University information evening in Hawke’s Bay, and running workshops with year 11 to 13 students at local schools.

Details:

Connecting stargazing, nanotechnology and the future in New Zealand

Thursday 26 June, 7.30pm

Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium, Chambers Street, Napier

No RSVP required

For more information contact Elf Eldridge on 027 964 3575 or elf.eldridge@vuw.ac.nz .

Industry Evening

19 Jun 2009 - 10:02 in Event

On Wednesday 10 June 2009 the Faculty of Engineering hosted approximately 70 people from the Wellington engineering and computer industry.

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The aim of the event was to further develop relationships in the community by showcasing the new Faculty of Engineering. As well as tours of the new space on the second floor of Cotton, staff and students displayed a wide range of interesting research projects. The evening gave staff, students and industry the opportunity to interact and discuss developments in the engineering and computer science field.

In the first photograph, Master's student Vipul Delwadia is demonstrating his software for remote control of mobile applications.

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Peter Andreae (Pondy) explains a learning agent: the agent watches what is happening in a world (a kitchen with a tap, sink etc) and constructs mental models of how the world works in order to predict and plan.


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The Mechatronics Group, headed by Professor Dale Carnegie, has developed a fleet of mobile robots capable of autonomous operation over a wide variety of different terrains. Here Dale is explaining the importance of maneuverability for rescue robots in disaster environments. The goal is to provide these robots with the ability to learn and adapt, and eventually be able to operate autonomously (without human assistance).


iPredict Smartphone App Competition

23 Jun 2011 - 16:00 in Event

Latest news. Unfortunately the contest has been cancelled. See http://www.ipredictapp.co.nz/ for details.

iPredict is an online political and economic trading market which allows traders to buy and sell “shares” in future events.

At present, all trading is done via the web site, but iPredict is looking for a “innovative, useful, accessible, and fun” application that will allow people to trade on iPredit using their mobile devices.

Win up to $3,500 cash by making an iPhone, iPad, Android Win7 Mobile smartphone trading app, or mobile web site for iPredict.

Applications close 17 July.

http://www.ipredictapp.co.nz/

IPENZ Seminar on Assistive Technologies

19 Sep 2012 - 10:11 in Event

* IPENZ Networking Evening September 2012:
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On the 5th September, The School of Engineering and Computer Science with IPENZ were pleased to host a public seminar by Marcus King on the development of technologies for the rehabilitation of people affected by stroke. Research work into assistive robotics and human machine interaction, coupled with industrial professionalism, was expounded by an internationally renowned guest speaker.

Marcus King is a leading research engineer in the field of assistive technologies focusing on the use of information technologies during rehabilitation following brain injury or disease. He has received New Zealand Innovator of the Year 2011 and engineering excellence awards for his work in this field. His work is commercialised by a locally based international rehabilitation company, Im-Able Ltd. This company has a joint project with the School to develop the next generation of active assistive devices.

http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Main/ECSPostgraduateStudentWinsVUW3MinuteThesisCompetition

This work influences both undergraduate and Masters level study for students interested in biomedical engineering. The seminar was received enthusiastically by approximately 60 students, staff, IPENZ members and members of the public. It underlined the professional nature of the Bachelor of Engineering Degree which enables students to progress on to professional careers, e.g. in companies such as Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.

http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Groups/Alumni/AlumniStoriesBrendanVercoelen

IEEE Postgraduate Presentations Event 2009

25 Sep 2009 - 14:10 in Event

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Harry Jones receiving his prize from Murray
Milner, Chair of the IEEE New Zealand Central
Section Committee

On the 4th September Massey and Victoria engineering and computer science students came together in the annual IEEE New Zealand Central Section (http://ewh.ieee.org/r10/nzc/) postgraduate presentation event, held at Victoria University in the Old Government Buildings. Fifteen students presented to an audience of their peers, staff from Massey and Victoria and members from the IEEE and IET. The presentations were of an excellent standard covering a range from electronics, communication systems and networking to Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering and it showed many synergies exist between the Massey and Victoria research groups.

It was difficult to pick the winners, but after an agonising discussion the overall winner was Harry Jones (Victoria) who talked about his honours project in channel sounding with software defined radio. In second place Ayesha Hakim (Massey) presented on a reliable hybrid technique for human face detection. As runners-up Adrian Jongenelen (Victoria) talked about compact real-time range imaging systems and Keith Cassell (Victoria) told us about clustering techniques to improve the maintainability of object oriented classes.

Many thanks to all who took part and we look forward to next years event!

Google Revamps Network With OpenFlow

01 May 2012 - 10:43 in Event

OpenFlow (an open source networking technology) research is currently being conducted at Victoria University of Wellington, UC Berkeley, UC Stanford, and University of Waikato.

Google has explained how it is revamping its network, which is ranked highly amongst large Internet service providers, using an open source networking technology called OpenFlow.

The Open Networking Summit 2012 was held on the 16th -18th of April at Santa Clara, California. Participants included representatives from US universities (UC Berkeley, UC Stanford, Georgia Tech, Princeton, Cornell), major network equipment vendors (Juniper, Cisco, HP, NEC, IBM, Extreme), and tech companies (Google, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon).

Steven Levy from Wired outlined Google’s plans, and Urs Höelzle, Google’s head of infrastructure, explained the technology behind OpenFlow. OpenFlow is the linchpin of Google’s network overhaul. It is an open source technology that separates packet switching and management. Network control is moved to servers.

The swap to OpenFlow was carried out data centre by data centre. Networking equipment was pre-deployed to take over half the capacity. Höelzle said that Google will make its own networking equipment, and already makes its own servers. Google’s routers power the G-Scale network.

Software expertise is key to Google’s ability to schedule traffic and Off-load work to regions. Google also needs to predict the time to move backups and other key tasks.

Höelzle also discussed the returns the company expects on its investment. The returns aren’t quantified just yet, but Google has hundreds of engineers working on the project.

Victoria University of Wellington is also supporting OpenFlow Research in conjunction with REANNZ through a Bootcamp to be held on the 7th May. The Bootcamp is aimed at giving participants practical experience at implementing OpenFlow, and will involve building and trouble-shooting an OpenFlow-based L3 router.

For more information, contact the engagement team at REANNZ. engagement@reannz.co.nz

Evening with Industry

11 Aug 2009 - 10:14 in Event

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On Thursday 6th August Victoria University were the hosts for the New Zealand Computer Society Evening with Industry 2009. The McClaurin foyer and lecture theatre MCLT101 were packed with 200 students, NZCS members and employer representatives for the annual "Evening with Industry". Students from the Wellington region tertiary institutions came in by bus, mini bus, car and foot to hear from eight recent graduates about their experiences in the ICT industry and to mix and mingle with employers such as Deloittes, KPMG and Orion Health. The speakers came from a range of Wellington ICT employers, including BNZ, Catalyst IT, Code to Customer, Intergen, KPMG, ProjectX, Provoke and TradeMe and included John Clegg who spoke about Summer of Code 2009.

To hear more about the event, go to Twitter: http://twitter.com/search?q=%23ewi


Engineering Video Competition

20 Jun 2010 - 17:20 in Event

We are looking for creative and bright ideas on how you would tell the world about the Engineering students and the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University Wellington.

1st Prize is an 32GB iPod touch (value $520), 2nd Prize 8GBiPod nano (value $240), 3rd Prize Sennheiser headphones ($120)

If you're interested, then contact: Senior Tutor Ambreen Khan-Evans Email: Ambreen.Khan-Evans@ecs.vuw.ac.nz Phone: 04 463 5936 Room CO340 Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus

The Rules https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Main/VideoCompetition

Engineering School Outreach

01 Jul 2014 - 13:30 in Event

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Elf Eldridge is leading Victoria University's new engineering outreach programme for secondary school students and challenging stereotypes about what engineering is and where it can lead.

Elf, who is currently completing his PhD in Physics and was part of the University’s 2013 Know Your Mind recruitment campaign, was snapped up by the School of Engineering late last year and given the mission of exciting students about engineering.

Part of his role is visiting schools and communities to encourage students to do whatever they’re interested in, from animation and robotics, to game design and basic electronics. “My work aims to help students be well prepared if they choose to pursue engineering at university,” says Elf.

One of the challenges is that there are many students interested in engineering and science, but only localised pockets of knowledge. “You might find one school with an amazing teacher who is really gifted in all kinds of technology, and another school with a bunch of interested pupils but with no teacher that takes the lead,” he says.

One initiative aimed at tackling this problem is <Tek Ctrl/>, an after-school programme aimed at Year 10 to 13 students, giving young people a chance to play and learn about various technologies in an informal setting.

“I turn up and see who else turns up—it’s normally a mixed bag. Each student has a different idea of what they’d like to do,” says Elf.

“One of the toughest challenges is to get girls to continue on in the engineering field, which is why one tech group, based at the National Library, is targeted specifically at females and run by a female second year software engineering student.

“One of my favourite examples is a girl who is absolutely nuts for space and astronomy. She wants to build her own planetarium and software, which is great, but no one else at her school knows anything about doing it. I really want to enable her.”

Elf says it’s all about breaking down walls, particularly with female students. “A lot of young people tend to disengage, particularly with something like robotics, because it just looks complicated. If you sit down and build a fully functional robot in an hour, that's what I see as the value,” says Elf.

Teachers have also started to come along to <Tek Ctrl/> for support and to learn about digital technology. “Generally I’m trying to make it clear that if they want to try something technology based, like build a robot, and they’ve never done it before I say yes, go for it!”

Watch Elf’s Know Your Mind video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx-7isGhxbQ

Energy, Engineering, and Social Justice

24 Jun 2013 - 10:31 in Event

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On the 17th June at Transpower House, Associate Professor Henry Louie from the College of Science and Engineering, Seattle University, gave a seminar on the importance of energy in raising the standard of living amongst people living in poverty, and the role engineers might play in helping them gain access to electricity. The seminar was jointly organised by EEA, IEEE PES Chapter, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Professor Louie explained that at present, 1.2 billion people or 17% of the world’s population don’t have access to electricity. A high proportion of these people live in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia, and live in rural rather than urban areas.

The dilemma we face is that if all 7 billion people in the world used 9.94 MWh, the average annual power usage per person in New Zealand, and the world’s population continues to increase at its current rate of 1%, and demand per capita also increases, by 2050, 109 1000 MW coal plants will need to be built that year to meet the energy demands of 10.2 billion people.

Assoc Prof Louie then described how appropriate and affordable technologies that are expandable and scalable can be used to provide electricity on a sustainable basis to the rural poor, and can also provide them with opportunities to generate an income.

As a result of attending the seminar, several ECS students are keen to attend the upcoming Engineering Change workshop at Auckland University, in order to gain inspiration for developing technologies for the poor as part of Dr Ramesh Rayudu’s special topic course ECEN 427.

Electronics New Zealand Conference (ENZCon 2009)

23 Nov 2009 - 12:57 in Event

The sixteenth Electronics New Zealand Conference (ENZCon 2009) was recently held at the University of Otago. The papers presented broadly covered the areas of electronics, signal and image processing, RF-design, FPGA processing and antennas.

Victoria University's Faculty of Engineering students made an impact, with Carl Benton winning the best presentation prize for his joint paper on: The Comparison of Analogue and Digital One-Cycle Control Feedback Methods around the Output Stage in a Digital Audio Power Amplifier (C.D. Benton, D.A. Carnegie and P. Gaynor). Ben Drayton (Victoria University Honours students starting a PhD next year) was awarded the best novice presenter prize for: Life Sign Detection on a Disposable Robotic Platform as Part of a Three-Tier System for Urban Search and Rescue Operations (B.M.M. Drayton, and D.A. Carnegie).

Professor Dale Carnegie said, "overall the conference was a good opportunity for staff and students in this field to share technological research that could future benefit New Zealand's economy. The Conference highlighted the depth and quality of the research coming out of the Faculty of Engineering at Victoria University".

ECS Hosts Successful Annual Programming Challenge 4 Girls

30 Nov 2011 - 14:11 in Event

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On the 23rd of November 2011, ECS and VUW hosted 51 Year 10 girls from around the Wellington Greater Region as part of the annual Programming Challenge 4 Girls competition. The girls worked in pairs to complete a series of challenges developed by AUT in Alice. At the same time, teachers attended a Professional Development workshop to learn about electronics and programming.

ECS graduate students and staff helped run the challenge: Harsha Raja, Shahida Jabeen, Bing Xue, Sharon Gao and Monique Damitio assisted in the labs, while Luke Frogley, Roma Klapaukh, Ian Welch and Stuart Marshall ran the workshop for teachers.

Gold medals were awarded to the following two pairs:

  • Nicole Rennie and Rachel Wong (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School)
  • Nadja Jury and Piper Biswell (Wellington East Girls College)

Silver medals were awarded to the following girls:

  • Isabella Strang and Chanelle Doole (Sacret Heart College)
  • Janice Chin, Bettina Dela Paz, and Anna Lin (Onslow College)
  • Jialin Sae-Jin and Anna Singleton (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School)
  • Samantha James and Gemma Burns (Wellington East Girls College)

Finally, bronze medals were awarded to the following girls:

  • Anneka Wijetunge and Zahra Zanahir (Newlands College)
  • Bella Wallace and Tulsi Wallace (Wellington East Girls College)
  • Danielle Bettany and Pippi Sargent (Wellington East Girls College)
  • Jess Dellabarca and Shannon Denham (Wellington East Girls College)

The prizes were kindly provided by Google and ECS. The gold medalists were also invited to attend a Girls Summer Camp hosted by Victoria University from 24th – 26th January 2012 for the top teams around NZ in the Programming Challenge 4 Girls. This event is being organised by Stuart Marshall.

ECS will be hosting the Programming Challenge 4 Girls again in late November next year. We highly encourage you to get in touch with Alex Potanin, the organiser of the challenge, for more information.

ECEN 405 Students See Power Electronics in Action at Haywards Substation

30 Jun 2011 - 14:12 in Event

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On the 16th of June, students enrolled in ECEN 405 visited Haywards Substation in Stokes Valley, in order to see power electronics at work on a large scale. They were accompanied by the course lecturer Dr Ramesh Rayudu, technicians Jason Edwards, Tim Exley and Sean Anderson, and two post-graduate students, Dayna-Maree Kivell and Matt Bourne.

Hosted by 5 staff from Transpower, the students were shown pole 1, which contains the ‘old-style’ mercury-arc valves that have been in operation since the 1960’s. The students also toured Pole 2 where they had a closer look at the thyristors used for power conversion. Transpower staff also toured the students through Pole 3 that is currently under construction, and explained the processes involved. More particularly the students got up-close look at capacitors, filters and synchronous condensors at work.

The students appreciated the enthusiasm of the Transpower staff for their field of expertise, and their willingness to provide detailed explanations of how things work. “The fact that what they said made sense after doing power electronics totally made the course worthwhile” said Henry Williams.

The trip also gave students an ideal opportunity to see how the things they had learned about in class were applied in real life. “The sheer size of the equipment used was astounding, but at the same time, the knowledge gained from the ECEN course allowed us to understand the theory behind it all.” said Luke Frogley.

The students thanked Dr Rayudu for organising the trip, and sharing the practical knowledge he has acquired from working in the industry. Dr Rayudu says Transpower staff enjoyed hosting the students, and hopes that a visit to Haywards substation will become a regular component of the course.

Contest Winner Announced

11 May 2009 - 11:36 in Event

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The winner of the School of Engineering and Computer Science contest is 13 year old Tariq Kader. Tariq is in year 9 at Wellington College and one of his favourite subjects is mathematics. He also enjoys computers and as this photograph illustrates he is very happy at receiving his prize - an Aluminium MacBook supplied by Student IT based at the Victoria University, Kelburn Parade. Tariq won his prize after entering an on-line contest advertised at the recent Wellington Armageddon show. While on campus, Tariq also received a quick tour of the new School of Engineering and Computer Science, and was shown the Honeynet Project and the visualisation display OptIPortal.

Dr Ian Welch, who was on-hand to give Tariq some pointers on his new prize, states, "we hope that the new MacBook helps to further develop Tariq interest in computer science, and with his strong maths interest, Tariq is developing an educational foundation that will stand him in good stead for future university study in engineering and computer science."

And it sounds like the School may see Tariq in the near future. "I have always wanted a computer," said Tariq. "And more specifically, an Apple Macbook. I would avidly look at all the features it came with and imagine how it would be to have one. So when I heard that I had won a new Macbook, I could hardly believe it. I was also taken on a tour of the School of Engineering and Computer Science and learned about the amazing things people were doing with computers, getting information and even building robots. Even before this tour I was interested with computers and technology, and seeing those exciting things happening in there has given me confidence in my curiosity. I hope to continue my interest with computers and engineering, and hopefully take it to a university level in the future; and my new Macbook should help me get there."

Annual Lego Robot Competition

19 Aug 2011 - 09:56 in Event

The School of Engineering and Computer Science's Annual Lego Robot Competition for 400 level ECEN students will be held at 7pm Monday 22 August in AM106.

The constructed robots must be autonomous – any human intervention occurs a penalty.

This competition forms a significant component of the assessment in the course ECEN430.

For further information, contact Dale Carnegie

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ECS hosts Wellington site for ACM South Pacific Regionals

14 Sep 2010 - 16:37 in Event

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On Saturday, the 11th of September, 2010, School of Engineering and Computer Science hosted the Wellington Site for the regional qualification round of the world oldest and most prestigious programming competition: The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. Victoria was represented by 5 teams of three students each. Four hours into a five hour battle, a Victoria team called DJ Tomato (Roma Klapaukh, Joshua Baker, and Daniel Atkins) was leading New Zealand with 5 out of 9 problems but the shortest time taken to solve them. Unfortunately, in the last minutes of the competition, a Christchurch team and two Auckland teams solved an additional problem each to edge DJ Tomato into a 4th place in New Zealand and 11th place in the South Pacific region overall. The other Victoria teams: Bunny on a Turtle (Victoria Ozorio, Amy Chard, Michael Homer), WUV (Carlton Downey, Michael Mudge, Hugh Davenport), Last Minute Entry 1 (Jiaen Xie and Ben Russell), and Bobby Tables (Simon Welsh, Chris Hall, and Melby Ruarus) came 6th, 7th, 10th and 13th in New Zealand respectively. A total of 16 teams from New Zealand took part and a total of 59 teams took part in the South Pacific region this year.

At the same time, a special High School site was hosted in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch with the same problems as the University teams and additional 2 high school level problems. A team called Calcky (Luke March, Cain Edie, and Luke Bravenboer) proudly carried the Paraparaumu College flag at the Wellington Site and solved 3 problems - coming safely in the top half of NZ-based high school teams and beating some of the University teams while at it! At least two of Calcky's team members already chose Victoria to continue their University study at.

The site was organised and ran by Alex Potanin with a lot of help from Neil Ramsay and Stuart Marshall. We thank the contest's sponsor: IBM. IBM has provided us with prizes and catering during the contest and had 3 current IBM employes (two of which have recently graduated from Victoria) present throughout the event and award prizes at the end. If you have any questions about the ACM Programming Contest or a local Australia and New Zealand Algorithmics and Coding League that holds 6 contests leading up to the regionals throughout the year, please contact Alex Potanin.

Update: Official results are available here.

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2010 Programming Challenge for Girls

14 Dec 2010 - 10:11 in Event

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At Victoria University on the 24th of November, 52 year 10 girls from 9 Wellington high schools took part in the 2010 Programming Challenge for Girls. This is an annual event held in various locations throughout New Zealand and around the world, and is designed to introduce year10 girls to computer programming. Dr Alex Potanin coordinated the Victoria University event.

The girls had a 1hour practice session prior to the 2.5 hour programming competition, which used "Alice," an educational software program for teaching students 3D animation. Dr Peter Andreae ran additional activities and games designed to introduce computer science concepts such as error detection and correction, public key cryptography, and algorithm complexity. A 2.5 hour workshop was run for teachers on teaching and assessing the new NCEA level 1 programming achievement standards.

Stu Sharpe and Julianne Lim from Sidhe Interactive helped to judge the competition. The company also provided the prizes, which included a "Shatter" computer game, the soundtrack for this game on CD, and T-shirts.

Gold medals were awarded to:
  • Bonnie Liao and Poonam Patel, Wellington East Girls College
  • Francina West and Claudia Devlin, Onslow College
  • Sonja Bimler, Wellington East Girls College and Maia Holder-Monk, Wellington High School
  • Geogina Kebbell and Rose McLellan, Paraparaumu College

Silver medals were awarded to:
  • Emily Fiennes and Isabel Kelly, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
  • Ashilta Sharma and Jessica Suo, Wellington East Girls College
  • Cassidy Cosgrove and Georgia Groen, Kapiti College

Bronze medals were awarded to:
  • Morgan Archer and Hannah Sampson, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
  • Polly Pesheva and Megan Park, Naenae college
  • Shagufa Mirzad and Joely Huang, Wellington East Girls College
  • Briana Hunt, Paraparaumu College, and Evangeline Martin, Onslow College
  • Georgia Borthwick and Maddison Batten, Kapiti College

Victoria University will host the 2011 Programing Challenge for Girls around the same time next year, and all year 10 girls are welcome to participate. Please contact Dr Alex Potanin for further information.

To find out more about about the Programming Challenge for Girls, go to: http://www.pc4g.org.nz

Many thanks to the following people for their help in making this event a success: Dr Alex Potanin, Dr Peter Andreae, Dr Stuart Marshall, Dr Hui Ma, Dr Petra Malik, Dr Xiaoying Gao, Dr Monique Cano-Damitio, Dr Marcus Frean, Dr Ian Welch, Huia Hopkirk, Stu Sharpe, Julianne Lim