Jacob Duligall, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours majoring in Software Engineering

Zombie apocalypse

Ever wondered just how a Zombie attack could play out in your town—or what a Zombie apocalypse might actually look like?

Turning everyday folk into zombies

Ever wondered how a Zombie attack could play out in your town?

By the end of this year, fourth year Engineering and Computer Science student Jacob Duligall could be able tell you. As part of his major in Software Engineering, he's developing software that will simulate the spread of Zombie disease through a virtual city, turning everyday folk into the flesh-eating, un-dead.

Developing insight in how diseases are spread

As any good Zombie fan will tell you, Zombie-ism is spread by disease. By building a system that models a Zombie apocalypse, I’ll also be able to create a simulation of how real diseases—such as colds or flu, or even Ebola—are spread.

Enhancing user experience

I'm focusing on enabling the system to deal with a range of diseases, and allowing users to specify how the Zombies behave.

I will then add geographic data by laying real maps over the top of the simulation to enhance the user experience. I’ll be able to pick a person’s home town and overlay the relevant map to show Zombies invading that town.

Seeing changes instantly

Using Java to implement the system—I'm enjoying the visual simulation aspect of the project and working at the front-end of software development.

If I make a change to the code, I can almost instantly see that change depicted on screen. Working at the back-end of development, on servers and gateways, is usually a less visually responsive exercise.

Tackling real-world problems

My supervisor, Roman Klapaukh, wanted me to tackle a real-world problem—the spread of disease—and build a system from scratch, using all the skills I've learnt during the past three years of study.

When I've finished this project I'll have a block of work in my portfolio that shows future employers just what my capabilities are.

Choosing engineering at Victoria

I chose Victoria because of its strong focus on, and good reputation for, Engineering and Computer Science.

One of my favourite subjects in Year 12 was computing. We had to build our own educational game, which I really enjoyed, although I didn’t actually learn to write code until I started at Victoria.

Joining Snapper as an intern

I currently work part-time at Snapper—a New Zealand contactless payment system—after being introduced to the company through my course work at Victoria. I’m hoping to turn my internship at Snapper into a full-time job when I graduate.