- Software engineering, esp., maintenance (software refactoring)
- Service-oriented & object-oriented architectures
- Data engineering, esp., service & schema matching
- Green-aware engineering of service-oriented software
- Software-as-a-Service architectural model on the cloud
- Software design principles & patterns.
Survey & Interviews of Recent ECS Graduates
Pilot Contamination in 5G Massive MIMO Systems
Evolutionary Machine Learning and Data Mining
Study of Industrial IoT applications and use cases in NZ
QoS-aware Web Service Location Allocation
QoS-aware Web Service Location Allocation
Automated training of orchestral conducting
Microfluidic testbed for plasmonic sensors
Lead-free ferroelectrics for tunable capacitors, acoustic transducers and data storage
Virtual Reality Simulation for Healthcare Education
Evolutionary machine learning for dynamic vehicle routing problem
Evolutionary Feature Selection and Dimensionality Reduction for Large-Scale Classification
Physiological signal processing
Electrical Standards MSL Software and Measurement Systems
Electrical Standards MSL Software and Measurement Systems
Developing a Motion Sensor
An automated ambulance critical inventory tracking and alerting system
Harmonic Scale Development
Analytics Harbour Development
TrafficVis: Visualizing Network Traffic Resilience
Transport Network Resilience Proof of Concept
Transport Network Resilience Proof of Concept
Real time video stitching for live 360 video VR streaming
It’s December already (or maybe–finally) and as everything starts to wind down, I’d like to reflect on the past year and look towards the future. It’s certainly been a busy and extremely productive year for the Faculty of Engineering. We have achieved an enormous amount.
First to mention is our tremendous rate of growth. We are New Zealand’s fastest-growing Engineering faculty and we have seen a significant increase in student numbers. I am proud that Victoria University is a place where new ICT/High-tech students want to study. The thing I enjoy most about being Dean of such a buzzing faculty is seeing the development of students who come to us straight from secondary school, and watching them flourish into well-equipped graduates ready for the real world and all kinds of exciting careers. I am also proud of our exemplary pastoral care programme which provides to support to students when they need it. Other highlights of the past year include the addition of the Robinson Research Institute into our Faculty and the announcement of the Computational Media Innovation Centre, which will soon grow to a team of 30 students and staff. On top of this we have been busy supporting exciting developments in our new Cybersecurity and Renewable Energy programmes. These programmes are unique in Australasia and further cement Victoria’s status as the place to study in 2018. We are also seeing the potential for growth in other areas, such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. We’ll meet regularly next year to discuss how best to progress these. None of our achievements would have been possible without the passion, expertise, drive and determination of all of our staff. I would like to personally thank everyone in the Faculty for contributing so much to our success, and congratulate those who have received awards for teaching and/or research, best paper prizes, or distinguished fellowships. There is no doubt our students are getting the best tuition possible, and at the cutting-edge of technology. After such a full on year, I encourage staff and students to take a well-deserved break over the festive season - and take the opportunity to regroup and refresh for the New Year. So again, thank you everyone. You have made the Faculty of Engineering a fantastic place to work and study. I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Lived in? I lived in Hyderabad, India, before moving to New Zealand in 2006. Since then I have lived in Palmerston North, Auckland and Hamilton. First job? My first job was straight after finishing my PhD. I worked as a lecturer of Electronics Engineering at the Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design at the Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton. Key research interests? I have broad interests within Smart Sensors, Wireless Sensor Networks, Internet of Things, Activity detection and wellness pattern generation using ad hoc Wireless Sensor Networks, e-Learning - and last but not least - educational game development. Why Wellington? Wellington is a great place to live and work, with amazing scenery. When did you begin at Vic? I started as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in June 2017. Where can people find you at VUW? EA 107. Who have you been working with? I am working with Dr Karsten Lundqvist as a member of the e-Learning Research Group within the School of Engineering and Computer Science. What have you been working on? Creating tools to improve teaching and learning within various cultural settings, including the use of games and gaming methods in education, and especially for engaging Maori/Pasifika students in Computer Science learning. What have you enjoyed the most so far? Developing culturally-relevant games for Māori/Pasifika students who are still in school. This is because creativity is the foundation of what we do - and it is what makes creating games so exciting. Other than that, a highlight for me has been learning to speak and use Te Reo Māori for research purposes. What are some of the challenges you have faced? Coming from an Electronics Engineering background, taking up a role in Computer Science was initially a challenge – but surprisingly, what I have learnt is that when you are motivated and push yourself to try something difficult, it becomes a passion rather than a challenge. What are you looking forward to in the future? I am looking forward to using the latest technology alongside cultural diversity to advance teaching and learning. I would also like to build on my existing skills and continue my involvement in many professional associations.
Elf also says the Faculty’s good sense of humour creates a unique learning environment.
“The students are comfortable enough to ask for help if they need it, but also to laugh it off if they or I make a mistake.” Head of School Dr Stuart Marshall says Elf will be sorely missed. “It is regrettably time to say goodbye to an extremely valued member of our School community,” says Dr Marshall. “Elf has been an outstanding and engaging colleague and has contributed highly to our School culture, never afraid to put forward ideas and suggestions for improvement.” Elf’s ‘Lecturer of the Year’ award from the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) in 2016 is also a testament to his commitment to his students and inspiring teaching style, says Dr Marshall. “Elf won this award for his hard work, dedication and engagement with students, and he is incredibly well-liked by students and staff alike. We wish Elf all the best for the future and reflect on the times we have shared with him.” Elf also has a busy 2018 planned. He hopes to spend time at the beach, perform in a circus show and tramp in the Andes. He also intends to keep running robotics outreach events and public science outreach. “That should be enough to keep me busy for the short term!”
The end goal of the project was to improve the accuracy of existing classification systems, says Michael. He used a lot of the knowledge he gained studying at Victoria, especially his 400-level Artificial Intelligence papers, which gave him the understanding of the algorithms necessary for the project. However, it turned out to be a challenge. “Often there was a lot of learning required before progress could be made.”
The facilities provided by the University were also invaluable, from the software Michael used while studying, to the hardware to run his experiments. He also has some advice for future students: “Make sure you don’t forget to document all of the small decisions that seem obvious to you. Every aspect of your project is important—and the more you can communicate what you did, the happier you’ll be with your final report.” Being in Wellington also means Michael is close to several high-profile technology companies, including TradeMe and Xero, which could now feature in his future. “I’d love to work on embedded systems, with some aspect of machine learning,” he says. “This project has given me so many skills that I hope to use in my future, both personally and professionally.”
There is currently a lack of resources to help beekeepers know when their hives require attention, says Reuben, as well as a recent spate of thefts throughout New Zealand that have robbed beekeepers of hard-earned revenue. Honey from hives is one of New Zealand’s main agricultural exports, with over 700,000 registered beehives. Reuben ‘smart’ beehive solution has internet connectivity and uses sensors to monitor key metrics for the beekeepers. These metrics include tracking colony activity and swarm health, and providing real-time alerts for threats to the hive. “I wanted to create an entire system to solve the problems that beekeepers are currently facing,” Reuben says. “Because there are so many elements to the system, making everything work in harmony was a challenge. I used all the skills I learnt through my university courses, from Arduino programming in first year to cloud computing in fourth year.”
Reuben used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to make a cloud database and a web application for accessing beehive metrics through a simple interface, supported by AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, API Talent.
He says that he wanted to create something using both the ‘Internet of Things’, where objects are connected to the internet, as well as the ‘cloud’ where the data is stored, as both are cutting-edge technologies. “I’ve loved the whole experience of this project, especially working with API Talent and learning about AWS which is a massive game-changer at the moment,” says Reuben. “Learning from the best in the industry really made me understand what it takes to be an engineer. It’s awesome to have experience of the process involved in designing, implementing and evaluating a solution to a real-life problem. “This experience has inspired me to keep expanding my knowledge, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the technology field.”
“This is a great opportunity for our students to build a Proof of Concept that can then grow into a start-up idea. “This is where Mahuki can get involved, as afterwards the students can take what they have and apply to be part of the next Mahuki incubator programme, beginning in August 2018.” NZ Cricket Museum Director Jamie Bell says he was impressed with the concepts and solutions the students put forward. “All of the teams came up with unique solutions to the problems put to them. Some focused on a core element and developed a simple solution, others created an engaging experience related to the Museum, and some thought laterally to how a concept could fit our brief but develop into a product in its own right. “It’s been great for the Museum to be part of this hackathon, following on from our burgeoning relationship with Mahuki and some of the teams there. The creativity and skillset these students have shown offers an exciting future for museums, heritage, and storytelling.” nzcricketmuseum.co.nz Our 12-month Master of Software Development (MSwDev) is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree. This conversion programme has been designed for people from non-information technology disciplines who want to become software developers. Next intake for MSwDev is July 2018 — June 2019. Applications for 2018 are open now. Book an advice session to find out more about the programmes we offer.
New digital media centre one of first recipients of Government’s Entrepreneurial Universities funding
L-R: Nikkitesh, Dipen, Fatemah and Michael The other winning team from Victoria ‘Team IV & CO’ comprises Bachelor of Commerce students Michael Kotlyar, Fatemeh Saleh and Nikkitesh Gurnani, and Software Engineering student Dipen Patel. ‘Team IV & CO’ secured their spot at the national final by designing an app called ‘MYOB Recruit’ that streamlines the recruitment process for small to medium businesses. Michael says the app fills a gap in the market by being an “all-in-one app that organises finding the applicants, completing forms and finalising the contract”. The app makes the hiring process easier, quicker and cheaper as businesses would no longer have to use multiple services. Michael adds there’s still work to do ahead of nationals as they need to develop their prototype, refine their business plan and practise their presentation ahead of the finals. Both teams are being flown to Auckland to compete in the national final against teams from University of Auckland, AUT and University of Canterbury, each hoping to pocket some of the $5,000 prize money.
Montoux offers software that provides insights into life insurance companies’ products, pricing and profitability. The fast-growing Wellington-based business has clients in New Zealand and Australia. Dr Stephen Nelson was hired at Montoux as a software engineer fresh after his graduation from Victoria in 2012. Stephen completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours, and a PhD in Computer Science. “When I was job hunting I had a few different offers but decided on Montoux because it was a start-up. That was attractive to me,” he says. Stephen joined co-founder Gert Verhoog and fellow Victoria alumni Simon Doherty in a small office in Lyall Bay. Montoux’s development team has since grown to eight developers and the team has moved to the central city. “At the start, it was really an idea. Gert had developed a prototype that they wanted to turn into a product. I spent my first six months creating a web platform that was useable for non-technical people,” says Stephen. “I’m a full stack developer, which is a relatively rare role in New Zealand. I really like that my job is varied and I get to work on pretty much everything. And now working as team leader I get to contribute even more.” Stephen isn’t the only Victoria alumni at Montoux. The company currently employs four graduates and one former postdoctoral researcher from Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. Another three alumni have moved onto other positions elsewhere. Montoux is now starting an office in New York, and hiring a software engineer/data scientist to be based there. “Our connection to the University is very valuable to us. We've employed quite a few Victoria graduates—all positive experiences,” says Gert. “We hire senior software engineers because of the complexity of the work that we do and technology we work on. It seems to be a big jump from having an undergraduate degree to working on our large systems. This says a lot about the calibre of Victoria graduates.” This is why Montoux, similarly to companies like Google and Facebook, often hires candidates with postgraduate education. “The skills students gain through research is important—we apply a lot of research and theory to the problems we solve,” says Stephen. “Our employees learn a lot on the job, whether it’s programming languages or tools.” Victoria graduates Tim Jones and Luke Inkster agree. They were both hired as software engineers at Montoux in early 2017. “I’m enjoying the opportunity to be part of a company that’s doing cool things, in an environment that means your work is thorough and has to be constantly critiqued,” says Tim, who is in the process of completing his PhD in Software Engineering. Luke, who previously worked at Xero, says he really liked the idea of working at a start-up. “It’s interesting to build things from scratch and to be involved in the development of processes. At this point I still only know a tiny chunk of what the whole company is learning—you really have to apply yourself at Montoux. It’s great.” Victoria University is home to one of the leading programming languages research groups in the Southern Hemisphere.
• Proven research and publication track record within areas e-Learning, graphics, games development and/or programming languages over the last five years
• Excellent written and oral communications skills in English.
• Demonstrates strong interpersonal skills especially across cultures For further information on the position contact: Dr Karsten Lundqvist, School of Engineering and Computer Science, at:
firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel : +64 4 463 5233 ext 8018. Please do not send applications to this email address. Applications close on Thursday, 18 May 2017. For more information and to apply online visit http://www.victoria.ac.nz/about/careers/ Victoria University of Wellington is an EEO employer and actively seeks to meet its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.
The project was one of several available to students to choose as part of a compulsory year-long project management paper, where students were asked to combine their electronics, software and networking expertise to solve a problem for an external client.
A team comprising Patrick Savill, Layne Small, Callum Gill, Miten Chauhan, Kandice McLean and Marc Laroza created a product for the New Zealand Fire Service’s Urban Search and Rescue team that simulates human behaviours for search and rescue training exercises.
All of the team members are studying Engineering, but as they are pursuing different majors, they each brought something different to the table. The project was called ‘Operation Zombie’ as it is targeted at replacing humans during training operations. Real people cannot be placed in realistically dangerous scenarios for fear of physical harm - and using dummies to simulate these scenarios is currently too expensive.
Patrick, the team’s spokesman, says they were aiming to produce a simple and cheap solution to the problem, by creating a small, self-contained motorised control box that can be operated wirelessly from a website. Instead of using a real person, the motorised box can mimic heat loss from the human body that might occur due to exposure in an emergency situation, as well as providing a realistic rescue scenario where someone is trapped in a river or under rubble. The group’s design was praised for being robust, waterproof and able to be operated at long-range.
“We had to build the hardware, configure the network, and design software to run the web page, so we were able to utilise our team members’ individual skills based on their areas of expertise”, Patrick says. “It was an enjoyable challenge with a tangible result, which is always a bonus”.
Patrick and his teammates found the project a useful platform to practise both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills learnt in class.
“I used what I knew about creating printed circuit boards - equipment that supports electrical components - as well as everything I had learnt about micro-controller coding”, says Patrick. “A happy by-product of the course was getting to practise people-management and communication skills which are so valued by employers”.
The team met some hurdles along the way, including “timing, work falling behind, untested assumptions - and blowing up electronic parts!”
“It was definitely challenging”, says Patrick. “I went in imagining the utopia of a high-functioning team, perfect circumstances and rigid scheduling – but came out the other side with an intimate understanding of Murphy’s Law.”
Patrick says that despite the challenges, the project has definitely added value to his university degree.
“I now realise that the challenging projects are the ones you learn the most from”, he says. “I have learnt far more by making mistakes than I ever could have from easy successes. Now I hope to find a job where I can use my engineering skills and really make a difference in the world”.
And Patrick’s advice to future students?
“No one said Engineering was going to be easy, so to paraphrase American writer Denis Waitley, “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised!””
People like to think of themselves as complex, but compared with things they are all too predictable. That’s what Winston Seah, Professor of Network Engineering in Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, has found as he leads a team of researchers working on the Internet of Things (IOT). Currently the area of internet development “the whole world is crazy about,” says Winston, IOT seeks to give everyday and other objects network connectivity so they can send and receive data. Supported by a three-year $1 million deal with telecommunication giant Huawei New Zealand, one of the aspects of IOT Winston and his team are exploring is how networks might handle the massively increased traffic such functionality would bring. “It’s already been predicted the numbers are going to exceed human connections by hundreds of thousand times or even a billion. How many smartphones can we carry? Maybe two or three—and that’s a lot. But let’s say my jacket is embedded with sensors that measure my body statistics. It could easily have 100 sensors, each sending data. Multiply that by the number of people in a city. And that’s just one application.” Then there is the variability of what is being transmitted and when. “It’s not like the internet in the past where you’re just dealing with human beings’ communications. People are creatures of habit. How we communicate tends to be the same. Whereas machines are so different. And sometimes you just can’t think what kind of data they will send and what kinds of patterns will emerge.” Winston and his team are also developing individual IOT applications such as land movement sensors that give advance warning of potential landslides, which are being trialled in the Manawatu Gorge near Palmerston North. With a glint in his eye, Winston ponders other New Zealand sensor candidates, turning the Internet of Things into “the Internet of Sheep, the Internet of Cows, the Internet of Pinot Noir vines…”
The School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) was twice recognised for teaching excellence at the Student Representation Celebration held by the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) recently. From more than 100 nominations, VUWSA's selection committee awarded ECS's Dr Elf Eldridge the prestigious Lecturer of the Year Award, while Senior Tutor Dr Howard Lukefahr received an Honourable Mention. It was the first time that Victoria's outstanding lecturers were recognised at the awards, alongside the achievement of exceptional student representatives and student leaders. Annaliese Wilson, VUWSA's Education Officer, said the time was right to celebrate Victoria's unsung heroes with a formal awards ceremony. "We wanted to recognise the quality of our talented teaching staff and the time and effort they put into making their lectures useful and engaging", Annaliese said. "The Education Team had a tough time selecting the winners becaues of the high calibre of the candidates". Elf Eldridge, a well-known personality around campus and an ECS institution in his own right, is currently teaching ENGR101 (Introductory Engineering) and ENGR110 (Engineering Modelling and Design). He is also actively involved in many of the student hackathon events held throughout the year and frequently uses social media to engage with students. Students nominated Elf - one describing him as "hands down the best lecturer I have ever had" - for always making lectures enjoyable, for his clear and accessible teaching style, and for going above and beyond the call of duty when students need extra help. "Elf is very passionate about engineering, friendly and empathetic - and he makes every class interesting", said one student. "He can explain difficult concepts well, he is entertaining to listen to, and he captivates the audience no matter what the topic". "Elf really enjoys the subject he is teaching, which makes for a good vibe in class", said another student. "When I queried a grade, he sat down and remarked my assignment with me, giving me personal feedback as he went". Elf himself says the best thing about being an ECS lecturer is working with students who have a great mix of enthusiasm and humour - and teaching a subject that is so relatable. "Engineering and Computer Science is so easily connected to modern life; be it from examining content throttling by Internet Service Providers, to discussing the effect of bugs in games; from the design of new graphics cards to the ethics of probing the security of a network", he says. Elf has also honed his teaching technique to get the best from his students. "I try to acknowledge that my students are human - for example, I split my lectures into two 20-minute chunks with a break for a discussion or a video in between, so it's easier to concentrate", he says. "I also use my class reps to keep track of how busy students are; I sometimes cancel lectures to give students more time, and I visit the labs regularly to keep tabs on their progress." Senior Tutor Howard Lukefahr's students were equally quick to point out his commitment to helping students achieve highly in the four 100-level Engineering courses he teaches. "Howard has gone out of his way to help us get through our first year of engineering and our first set of university exams", said one student. "He even ran extra tutorials before assessments". Students also commended Howard for making sure that no one is left behind. "He always makes sure that everyone understands the concepts by teaching in an engaging, fun and informative way. I am nominating him because he is the most involved and passionate lecturer I have ever had. "It's because of him that I have succeeded this year". Howard himself says it is a "great honour" to receive the Honourable Mention from VUWSA. "I get to work with very keen and able students everyday - they like learning and I like helping them learn", he says.
“PxlJam is a whirlwind event where teams have to design a game in just 48 hours based on a given theme. This year’s theme was “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” We competed last year after we were encouraged to get involved by one of our tutors - and we enjoyed it so much we decided to have another crack this year.
Our team consisted of us coders – Hannah and Tana – as well as designers Nicola Yeo and Gerrit van Rooyen, and our friend Jackson Cordery, who studies musical composition. There’s a great mix of people who take part, from first years who we’ve tutored ourselves through to PhD students who’ve tutored us. There are even people outside of the University who come along because they have a passion for game-making.
After the theme was announced, we spent the first few hours coming up with an idea for the game, which we found really challenging to begin with. The theme could be interpreted so many different ways and we wanted to come up with something unique. So we deliberately built bugs into our game, but gave players the ability to turn those bugs into tools they could use to complete each level.
Although we probably got more sleep than the majority of competitors, time management was still the biggest issue. We spent a lot of time getting the game mechanics to work - and we still didn’t have any levels designed three hours out from the end of the competition!
There were so many awesome games and it was amazing to see what other people came up with. One of the highlights was collaborating with the two designers in our team – they were great to work with and they also created some really cool content that was key to our success. Jackson’s compositions were also a real selling point: his music was amazing and everyone who played our game commented on how nicely the different pieces of music complemented the overall experience.
We didn’t expect to win overall – we were just there to have fun making games with our friends – but we were so happy to place first after last year, when our game was nowhere near as good. This year’s competition was sponsored by Victoria University, Victoria Engineering Club, Acidic website developers and Powershop, so we got to choose from a big pool of prizes: everything from Nerf guns with foam ammo to Steam gaming vouchers.
We’d love to revisit our game in the future to really flesh it out. We need to fix up some bugs and create some more levels and content. We met some awesome people, got great content for our portfolios – and it was some of the best fun we’ve had this trimester!”
- David T. Freeman
“The appointment of someone of Mandy Simpson’s calibre as Chief Executive Officer is further testimony to the quality and impact of Cyber Toa,” said Professor Dale Carnegie, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering.
“A combination of Victoria’s research and teaching excellence, Cyber Toa’s status as one of just 10 certified training partners in the world of the gold-standard Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States and Mandy’s extraordinary leadership skills makes for cybersecurity capability and potential unmatched in New Zealand.”
Victoria’s partnership with Cyber Toa, previously the cyber division of Total Risk, includes a new Master of Cybersecurity, with a range of undergraduate degrees also proposed.
In addition, Cyber Toa’s existing SEI-accredited cybersecurity training delivered in association with Victoria is being expanded to eventually include all 42 courses the SEI has available.
Cyber Toa and Victoria will be the only provider in the Southern Hemisphere to offer all the courses, teaching them in Wellington and Auckland, and if demand requires in Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries.
The partnership also sees the establishment of a commercial computer security incident response team, or CSIRT, run by Cyber Toa and based at Victoria’s Kelburn campus, where it will offer proactive and reactive cybersecurity support to businesses and other clients.
Chief Operating Officer at NZX for the past four years, Ms Simpson has held senior roles at the State Services Commission and IT services company Fronde.
Born in Britain but a Wellingtonian since 2006, she has an Executive Master of Public Administration from Victoria’s Australia and New Zealand School of Government and a Master of Arts in Law from the University of Cambridge.
She trained as an accountant at Deloitte in London, specialising in financial investigation, and later spent four years at the London Stock Exchange, initially in market surveillance.
Ms Simpson said: “I’m excited to be joining Cyber Toa in this key growth phase. As the use of technology accelerates in all areas of our business and personal lives, the need for qualified, capable cybersecurity professionals has never been clearer. With Cyber Toa’s world-class expertise, and in partnership with Victoria University, we’ll be able to make a significant difference to our clients’ ability to respond to this growing threat.”
The event, titled "Digital Disruption: A Wellington Case Study", brought together staff and students from Victoria's Schools of Engineering and Computer Science, and Management, with industry experts and practitioners, who delved into what it takes to thrive in the digital age.
Dr Richard Norman, a co-host of the event, is a senior lecturer in Victoria's School of Management. His research focuses on understanding how people and organisations can adapt to technology change.
"The work environment is changing. Occupations are changing, there are new sectors emerging—such as the cyber security sector—and companies are becoming more agile, with a focus on fast development and fast turnaround", says Dr Norman.
"What is distinctive about this event is that it brought together both the people and the technical sides of business. For companies to be successful they really have to be on top of both. We have had a lot of interest in this event from the local digital industry—it's a good opportunity to share knowledge".
Dr Stuart Marshall, Head of Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer Science, says that the event gave students an important opportunity to hear about the industry many of them will be working in.
"We ran a similar event late last year, which was solely for industry. This year we wanted to open it up to students, so we ran it during class time to make it even more accessible. When students graduate a lot of them will be working in these digitally-focussed companies, and this was a valuable opportunity to hear about what the environment is like".
This year, the speakers were:
- Associate Professor Kris Bubendorfer, Victoria University of Wellington
- Professor Neil Dodgson, Victoria University of Wellington
- Collier Isaacs, Farm IQ
- Ruth McDavitt, Summer of Tech
- Dean Pemberton, Network Startup Resource Center
- Anthony Pratt, Park Road Post Production
- Laura Reitel, Lightning Lab / Creative HG
- Chris Ward, Total Risk / CyberToa
- Dr Ian Welch, Victoria University of Wellington
- If you are going to spend money on Pokémon GO, the egg hatchers are the best bet for improving Exp gain and getting rarer Pokémon – just don’t use them on 2 km eggs.
- Take it easy! The game will be around for a long time and will be rebalanced and modified, so don’t try to do everything at once.
- Don’t bother with Zubats. Catch Pidgeys, Caterpies and Weedles for mass evolution.
- Combat Points (CP) values on gym defenders are irrelevant. You can take a gym that is 500CP above you with a type advantage, and 750-1000CP above you if you can time dodges well.
- Multiple people on the same team can attack a gym at once to make it easier.
- Team Valor is the best.
- If you are going to use lures, the Botanical Gardens, Frank Kitts Park and Victoria University all have locations where three PokeStops overlap. These are the best lure spots - lots of people get to use them, and you get to spawn lots more Pokémon.”
It’s an exciting week in the Victoria University calendar. From Monday, the first cohort of students officially begin classes at the Wellington ICT Graduate School, located in a new space on Wigan Street in the heart of Wellington’s CBD. As our world becomes increasingly digitally-dependent, graduates with strong digital skills are more in demand than ever. The School – a partnership between Victoria University, WelTec and Whitireia – is offering four brand new Master’s programmes: a Master of Software Development, a Master of Engineering Practice, a Master of Professional Business Analysis and a Master of Information Technology. Wellington is widely known as the ideal place to study ICT. It boasts a creative and innovative environment, with significant local digital, film and gaming industries, alongside a strong start-up culture. While New Zealand’s ICT industry is booming, Wellington is at the heart of the growth with more than 13,000 full-time ICT jobs in the wider region. Rees Ward, Director of the School, says New Zealand’s industry leaders have identified the need to grow the ICT workforce. “The Wellington ICT Graduate School will expose students to the industry as they undertake their study, to ensure they join the workforce attuned to the latest trends and practices”, says Mr Ward. “Industry partners will be able to connect with students through scholarships, mentoring opportunities, internships and project work”. The Master of Software Development, for example, is a one-year, 180 point Master’s degree delivered through a combination of coursework, and Research and Development (R&D) projects with industry partners. The course will also include a range of case studies from Wellington’s software development industry. About 18 of the programme’s enrolled students recently completed SWEN131, a programming ‘bootcamp’ designed to develop their basic skills, prepare them for their coursework and give them a taste of what is to come. Students learnt to design and debug small programmes and work on larger software projects in groups while applying software development methodologies and tools. Professor Mike Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculties of Science, Architecture and Design and Engineering at Victoria, is welcoming the new classes. “This is an excellent opportunity for Wellington and for us all to combine our existing networks, resources and education capabilities", he says. ”Our aim is to develop a school that will create a pool of ICT talent and develop research partnerships, not just for the benefit of Wellington, but for all of New Zealand". For more information, check out https://www.wellingtonict.ac.nz/
-Content/Information Centric Networking (ICN)
-Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)
-Software Defined Networking (SDN)
-Self-Organising Networks (SON)
*Resource management (resource block scheduling)
*Networking mechanisms for 5G mobile networks to support:
-Multimedia applications (IPTV, VoLTE, Video Streaming, AR/VR)
*Strong programming skills in C/C++ or Java
*Strong motivation for developing practical networking solutions
*Good knowledge of computer networks
*Good knowledge of cellular systems
*Good analytical background in modelling and optimisation
Please contact Dr. Qiang Fu at email@example.com
Two highly-respected academic staff from the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Victoria University in teaching and research. In Victoria’s Staff Excellence Awards for 2016, Dr Ciaran Moore received an Early Career Teaching Award and a $5000 grant, while Professor Mengjie Zhang received a Research Excellence Award and a $10,000 grant. The Awards are designed to acknowledge staff who have gone over and above the call of duty and are also a tangible way of promoting excellence at Victoria. Dr Moore, a lecturer in electronics and maths, says his teaching responsibilities have included re-designing first-year engineering maths papers, and encouraging peer-led learning among students. “I delivered a series of labs to show how maths can be used in an engineering context”, he says. “I also organised self-paced labs and student-led tutorials. Students learned a lot from each other and got to see their learning in action”. Dr Moore’s techniques had a great effect on overall engagement and achievement in his courses. He says it was a “wonderful feeling” to be recognised for his efforts and plans to use the grant to attend an engineering education conference in the United States in October. Colleague Professor Mengjie Zhang also has plans for his grant. The Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) for the Faculty of Engineering was recognised for superb research leadership, especially in Evolutionary Computation, including several international awards. “I will use the money to support staff and students’ research”, says Professor Zhang. “I would like to help more people within our Group and Faculty to play an international leadership role in their areas, and to attract high-quality students from overseas”. Vice Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford agrees that acknowledging exemplary staff contribution is a crucial step for Victoria. “In order to achieve our goal of being a world-leading capital city university, we need to ensure we foster and support excellence for the world-leading people across our organisation”, he says. This year Professor Guilford presented 22 staff excellence awards, including several to teams. He says, “These accolades are testament to the work of all the people who make our capital city university tick”.
ApplicationsPlease see this page after 1 September 2015 when all scholarships will be listed, alongside instructions on how to apply. Applications close 16 September 2015.
Administrator - Science Faculty Office
Phone: 04 463 5233 extn 8293
- "Performance Evaluation and Analytical Modelling of SDN and OpenFlow-based Networks and Systems". The successful candidate is expected to have a good foundation in theoretical performance analysis techniques, viz. and queuing theory. Knowledge of common network simulation platforms (e.g. OmNet++, QualNet, etc) would be advantageous. He/she will also have the opportunity to spend time in Kyoto University, Japan, to work with world leading experts in performance analysis.
- "Traffic classification in Enterprise Networks using Software Defined Networking". The successful candidate is expected to have a good fundamental knowledge of networking and strong hands-on skills required to validate his/her research results on a real network testbed. Knowledge of traffic classification techniques for supporting quality of service in the Internet would be given preferential consideration.
- Be a female student enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate study in the 2016 academic year.
- Be enrolled in a university in Asia Pacific. Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply.
- Be majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field.
- Exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for increasing the involvement of women in computer science.
- Coordinated resource allocation / scheduling in 4G/5G mobile cellular networks
- Content distribution in mobile / vehicular networks
- Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)
- Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Worldwide, the economic impact of cybercrime is estimated at $523 billion (http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60096249/cybercrimes-cost-at-523b-worldwide) and as New Zealand ICT companies grow so does their exposure to cybercriminals.
Fighting back against cybercrime requires web security experts to share their expertise and Wellington Security Defender Day was organised to provide this opportunity.
Wellington Security Defender Day was organised by Mr Kirk Jackson who is a well known Wellington computer security expert, and the School was pleased to be able to support this initiative by hosting the day at our Pipitea Campus. Kirk who currently works for Xero is a former student and staff member of ECS.
Kirk timed the day to coincide with Kiwicon, an annual gathering of people from the New Zealand security community that takes place in the Wellington CBD on December 11th and 12th. The day was a mix of informal presentations and discussions between computer security experts and academics. Activities such as this build upon and enhance the work completed by ECS security researchers. Since 2006, collaborative web security work at the School has resulted in the development of open source tools for academics and security professionals. For more information please contact Dr Ian Welch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Magritek specializes in providing compact NMR and MRI systems for industrial and educational customers around the world. The present R&D focus is the development of compact low field NMR spectroscopy systems for chemistry education, industrial chemical processing and pharmaceutical markets. The product development work we are undertaking involves several technical disciplines including electronic, software, mechanical, magnet and chemical engineering. Our products consist of electronic hardware with embedded systems that interact with an application running on a users computer.
We are developing a new software control system for a new hardware platform to be used in upgrades of existing and new NMR related products. The new embedded ARM based hardware platform will use LINUX and will typically be controlled using an Ethernet port or WIFI. In order to simplify the development for the new NMR products we intend to create one or more custom high level languages that will be used to design experiments and NMR pulse sequences. The custom languages will generate LLVM IR output. This LLVM IR can be optimized for specific CPU's, like ARM or a custom FPGA based softcore processor. The task and challenge is to create a language and an associated debugging tool to debug code on a remotely connected system. The compiler and debugging tool shall run on Windows.
Magritek has an established team of world leading scientists and engineers and this is also bolstered by our collaboration with staff at Victoria University of Wellington. This position will provide someone with the unique opportunity of developing in these areas:
1. interacting with a diverse technical team that has a commercial focus.
2. undertaking leading edge research and development
3. working on a real project that will end up with customers
4. working within an environment will real commercial pressure
5. presentation and report writing
The skills that the applicant must have are C++, Linux, LLVM and compiler development. Additional skills such as C#, ANTLR and knowledge of ARM processors would be desired but are not essential.
The applicant must also have recently graduated with a Masters or PhD in computer science or software engineering or equivalent.
For eligibility criteria, please go to https://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/what-we-do/funding-and-grants/rd-student-grants
Application proceduresPlease email CV and cover letter to: Robin@magritek.com
Please also include a copy of your academic transcript and two referees. Closes: 2 Dec, 2014 Commences: 1 February 2015 Type: Contract Remuneration:$60,000 per annum pro-rata Location: Wellington, New Zealand Website: http://www.magritek.com/ Program: Graduate recruitment program
Contact detailsMr Robin Dykstra
Ph: 04 920 7671
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
SDN is a new networking technology, which greatly improves network programmability, that is changing how we design, build and operate networks. In this project, we will investigate the practical issues on the adoption of SDN in production networks. It is a great opportunity to work with SDN communities both locally and internationally.
Value of award: Up to $20,000 + tuition fees
Tenure: One year
*Strong programming skills in C/C++ or Java.
*Strong motivation for developing practical networking solutions
Contact person: Dr. Qiang Fu, email@example.com
- Be a female student enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate study in the 2015 academic year.
- Be enrolled in a university in Asia Pacific, excluding Greater China* where we have an additional scholars’ retreat in China Mainland. Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply.
- Be majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field.
- Exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for increasing the involvement of women in computer science.
Daniel Akinyele has been awarded one of two student sponsorships to attend the 2014 NZ Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition, which will be held from the 14th-16th April at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. In addition to presenting his proposal at the conference, Daniel will spend a day at Transpower, meeting staff and learning about the company, and about the electricity market and transmission planning and investment. Daniel’s proposal focuses on the intergration of wind power into distribution networks in New Zealand from the end-use and wider application perspectives. His research will model and simulate grid-connected micro and commercial-scale generation from residential and commercial premises respectively. It also considers microgrids connected to local grids for city-wide applications, which may also be disconnected from the network and operated independently in the event of a disaster. New Zealand probably has the most abundant wind energy resource in the world. Harnessing this natural resource for widespread distributed power generation (DPG) in New Zealand will not only provide support to the electrical network, improve the reliability and efficiency of the electricity supply and offer environmental benefits, but also aid the achievement of sustainable and future smart grid and help the government realize its goal of 90% renewable power by 2025. Daniel holds a National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Distinction from Osun State Polytechnic, Nigeria in 2002. He holds a First Class Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nigeria’s Premier University, the University of Ibadan in 2008. He attended Loughborough University, UK for his Masters Degree in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, graduating with Distinction in 2010. He was a Senior Engineer in the renewable energy research group of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Nigeria. He was responsible for renewable energy systems design and installation. He then joined the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, Covenant University, Nigeria, as an assistant lecturer, teaching the fundamentals of Electrical Engineering and Network Analysis. He is currently a PhD student in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington, under the supervision of Dr Ramesh Rayudu.
At the recent Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO, Amsterdam, July 2013, they were awarded the best paper in the Genetics-based Machine Learning Track. GECCO is an Australian Research Council (ARC) A-rated conference. There were only 13 best papers awarded out of 570 submitted papers from the leading researchers worldwide.
The core idea of the work is to reuse already learnt information to solve increasingly harder problems, which the research team has shown to scale successfully to problems previously unsolved in machine learning. Surprisingly, nearly all other machine learning algorithms restart learning at the start of each new problem. This work introduces evolvable finite state machines into a problem's representation as a way of reusing cyclic building blocks, which are most appropriate for domains requiring repetitive patterns of knowledge. The work produced for the first time compact solutions that could solve any size problems in a number of important domains, such as parity problems. Evolutionary Computation is a branch of Artificial Intelligence which takes its inspiration from Darwinian ideas of survival of the fittest as multiple solutions are tested and bred with each other until the fittest survive. The research team form part of the Evolutionary Computation Research Group (ECRG), Victoria University of Wellington, which is one of the largest and most successful groups of this type in the world - currently with available doctoral places and scholarships available.
Track: Genetics Based Machine Learning
Extending Scalable Learning Classifier System with Cyclic Graphs to Solve Complex Large-Scale Boolean Problems. Muhammad Iqbal, Will N. Browne, Mengjie Zhang
(firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Evolutionary computational techniques have had limited capabilities in solving large-scale problems, due to the large search space demanding large memory and much longer training time. Recently work has begun on automously reusing learnt building blocks of knowledge to scale from low dimensional problems to large-scale ones. An XCS-based classifier system has been shown to be scalable, through the addition of tree-like code fragments, to a limit beyond standard learning classifier systems. Self-modifying cartesian genetic programming (SMCGP) can provide general solutions to a number of problems, but the obtained solutions for large-scale problems are not easily interpretable. A limitation in both techniques is the lack of a cyclic representation, which is inherent in finite state machines. Hence this work introduces a state-machine based encoding scheme into scalable XCS, for the first time, in an attempt to develop a general scalable classifier system producing easily interpretable classifier rules. The proposed system has been tested on four different Boolean problem domains, i.e. even-parity, majority-on, carry, and multiplexer problems. The proposed approach outperformed standard XCS in three of the four problem domains. In addition, the evolved machines provide general solutions to the even-parity and carry problems that are easily interpretable as compared with the solutions obtained using SMCGP.
DoView helps companies visualise outcomes in strategic planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of tasks and is gaining worldwide appreciation:
Please see their website
Or a recent stuff article
It is great to see our Computer Science (and Software Engineering) degrees help our graduates develop innovative software with worldwide applications.
Victoria University is pleased to announce a co-funded PhD scholarship position (approx NZ$35k/year for 3 years) in Software Defined Networks (SDN). The position based at Victoria University will provide research which is of practical benefit to the SDN community and the NZ networking community in particular. This may be via applied research of use and interest to REANNZ, and possibly international research partners like ESnet.
Possible research areas
Interdomain SDN (“east-west interface”): how to connect SDN networks in different administrative domains, including BGP alternatives
Optimal network design: how to design and test through the use of automated software optimal SDN based network designs based on specified constraints (Eg, number of routes, redundancy of critical links, etc)
Migration to SDN: how to migrate common ISP/carrier architectures from non-SDN to SDN (including network management)
SDN network management: how to manage an SDN network without needing legacy protocol support (Eg, streaming statistics replacing use of SNMP polling)
Systems/networking software experience preferred
Algorithm development including its software implementation
Software development experience in C++/Java (python advantageous)
Software engineering/test practices such as unit testing
SDN/OpenFlow experience advantageous but not necessary
Networking protocols (Eg, BGP) advantageous but not necessary
Basic familiarity with network architectures and protocols, some exposure to new Future Internet Initiatives like OpenFlow, Named-Data Networking, GENI etc.
Strong ability to articulate technical problems and solutions, using various communication mechanisms such as presentations, conference papers etc.
Dr Mansoor Shafi Member of New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) For services to wireless communication technologies. Dr Mansoor Shafi, of Wellington, is Telecom Fellow at Telecom New Zealand and Adjunct Professor, School of Engineering and Computer Science. His rich industrial experience and knowledge of telecoms informs his teaching on the Advanced Communications Engineering course ( ECEN-410) This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of wireless communication systems. The characteristics of fading channels are considered and their effect on the propagation of signals. Countermeasures such as diversity, forward error control and modulation schemes for wireless communications are studied. Multiple-access techniques such as time-, frequency- and code-division multiple access are examined. WLAN, WPAN wireless sensor networks, cellular concepts such as capacity, congestion, interference and multiple access are also presented. Victoria University of Wellington is ranked number one for research in New Zealand, where our teaching is directly led by our research. Students benefit from top-quality academic and industrial research practices, provided by experts in their field, such as Dr Mansoor Shafi. Staff and students join in congratulating Dr Mansoor Shafi on his well-deserved award.
The Google Anita Borg Scholarship was established in 2004 to honor the legacy of Dr. Anita Borg and her efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in computer science and technology.
Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of candidates’ academic background and demonstrated leadership. A group of female undergraduate and graduate student finalists will be chosen from the applicant pool. Each scholar recipient will receive a $5,000 AUD scholarship towards the following academic year. In addition all finalists and scholarship recipients will be invited to an expenses-paid networking retreat to be held at Google’s Sydney Engineering centre. Watch highlights from the 2012 Sydney Retreat here.
Who can apply?
Applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria to be eligible:
Be a female student enrolled in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study for the 2013-14 academic year.
Be enrolled at a University in any of the following countries: Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and India. Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply.
Be studying Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a closely related technical field.
Maintain an excellent academic record
Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply. Past applicants and finalists are also encouraged to re-apply. If you have any questions, please email the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Team at email@example.com, or reply to this email.Deadline to apply: 31st of May 2013
For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out www.google.com/anitaborg/apac
A passion for problem-solving leads brothers to collaborate on study and work
Seeing the interesting assignments his brother was doing for his Engineering degree at Victoria University of Wellington confirmed Alex Quinlivan’s decision to follow the same path. John Quinlivan is a third-year student and Alex is in his first year. Both are majoring in Software Engineering.
“We spent a lot of our childhood mucking about with computers and played our fair share of video games,” says John. “Eventually the passion for ‘how does it work?’ extended into the tertiary education field.”
Alex always knew he’d study computer science or engineering because he was drawn to computing and problem-solving.
“When decision time came, I was swayed by the interesting courses that my brother was taking, as well as some of the assignments, which looked like something I’d be keen on doing. The other drawcard was the sheer number of courses you can choose from for a Software Engineering degree at Vic.”
The first-year Autonomous Vehicle Challenge is one of the assignments that hooks students into Engineering, says Lecturer Dr Will Browne. Students have to make a vehicle using a micro-processing board, a gear box and a motor driver. Sensors are added to improve performance in a competition to see whose invention takes top honours.
The hand-sized vehicles—which range from mini-tank lookalikes to sand buggies and go karts—have to look good, be recyclable and able to complete physical tasks such as weight pulling, a drag race, a slalom and navigating a maze. “The challenge happens at the end of the first trimester so students are thrown in at the deep end, but it’s really popular and a great way to get students engaged in many aspects of engineering,” says Will.
Although Victoria’s Engineering degree is relatively new, having siblings and cousins involved at the same time is increasingly common, says Will. “Once other family members get to see some of the hands-on and fascinating projects Engineering students do, they get inspired to follow in their footsteps. “To recommend a university course to your own whānau is a pretty high recommendation.”
Although the Quinlivan brothers are at different stages of their degree they get to take some classes together. That’s because John was Alex’s tutor in the first trimester. “It was a bit of fun having my younger brother in the tutorial,” says John, while Alex enjoyed a few perks from living in the same house as the teacher. “I could hitch a ride in to the early morning labs that started at a ludicrous time of 9am which meant I didn’t have to get up early and wait for public transport!”
Studying engineering together has also deliver benefits outside of the university. John and Alex have developed applications for Android and iOS systems, along with a corresponding website, and already have projects underway with several small start-up businesses.
Paving the way for female Māori graduates13 May 2013 Miria Royal doesn’t see herself as a trail blazer for Māori women but, as the first Māori female to be accepted into Vodafone’s Graduate Technology Programme, it’s a concept the Victoria University graduate is getting used to.
Miria, who will be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, says she feels a responsibility to other Māori women in the engineering and telecommunications field. “It’s a bit intimidating to be set up as an example, but if I can open the door for other Māori women to come into this career then that would be fantastic.” Miria, who is one of 10 in the Vodafone Graduate Technology Programme, started working in Vodafone’s Auckland-based optimisation team in February. “I’m working to maintain, manage and optimise the network to improve the customer experience in terms of coverage, speed and reliability.” However, she almost missed out on a place in the programme, which has been running since 2008. “I attended a tech users event, where Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer, Sandra Pickering, was speaking. I introduced myself and told her I was looking for a job and even though applications for the graduate programme had closed, she told me to send in my CV.” Four days later, the job was hers. “I was surprised at getting in, because I always thought graduate placements were for A+ students.” Amy Oding, Leader of the Technology Graduate Programme at Vodafone, says Miria is “a star in the Technology Group”. “She has displayed a high standard of engagement and her team leaders are confident she will make a success of her career at Vodafone. We are very pleased to have a female Māori graduate of this calibre,” says Amy. Miria, who was born and raised in Wellington and is of Ngāti Raukawa descent, is following in the footsteps of her engineer father. “I did a two-month internship at 2degrees in Wellington which really cemented my enjoyment of technical engineering and the telco industry. The industry is so fast-paced and varied, it’s exciting to know that there’s always something new around the corner.” After finishing the two-year graduate programme, Miria hopes to gain overseas experience in her field before returning to New Zealand. “I want to give back and technical engineering is one way I can do that.” Miria will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, Monday 13 May at 6pm. She will also attend Hui Whakapūmau, a celebration for Māori graduands at Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria University on Tuesday 14 May at 9am.
Saud's paper investigated models of human eye movement. Humans concentrate only on small parts of an image at a time, termed fixation. Saud developed an existing biologically inspired model of how humans attend to a scene by using artificial intelligence to weight important aspects of the image. His method was compared with alternative artificial approaches and actual recordings of human eye movements, where he showed positive results in being able to predict human eye movement.
The practical applications of Saud's work range from developing fast camera systems for autonomous robots to predicting the best places for road signs to be mounted so that drivers notice them quickly.
The award carries a prize of $1500, which will be spent on assisting Saud with conference travel, was kindly funded by a donation to the conference from Google. This will enable Saud to present his follow up work that has been accepted for publication in the International Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2013), which is a top rated A international conference, to be held in Cancun, Mexico.
This is an example of Victoria's national and internationally leading research as recognised by the first place ranking in the recent research evaluation exercise. Doctorate scholarships are currently being offered for bright, hard-working and enthusiastic researchers to join the Evolutionary Computation Research Group and other world-class researchers.
NZCSRSC 2013 was the 10th conference in the series which started in 1992 and has now become a regular event in New Zealand.
The aim of the New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference is to establish and reinforce a nationwide community of ICT graduate students. It provides an opportunity for students to establish contacts and share their research with graduates from across New Zealand, and members of the wider community. Students will gain experience in communicating their research and participating in an ICT community by:
- submitting, presenting and reviewing research papers in a supportive and enthusiastic environment,
- participating in workshops dedicated to providing practical information for completing a successful graduate programme, and pursuing future careers in academia or industry,
- participating in a range of special events that get students in touch with like-minded people working in related areas within ICT, and
- hearing from leading ICT experts in a series of exciting invited keynote presentations
Masters student Abigail Arulandu has been named as a finalist in the youth category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. For her Master of Engineering project, Abigail designed and built a device to assist with the rehabilitation of stroke patients by helping then re-gain control and strength in their hand and arm muscles. New Zealand company Im-Able obtained funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation for Abigail develop a prototype, and is currently working to patent and sell the device. “The Wellys” are an annual celebration of the extraordinary contribution some Wellingtonians have made to their community, across a number of different sectors. The nine categories in the awards are arts, business, community service, education, environment, government, science and technology, sport, and youth. There are four finalists in the youth category. The Wellingtonian of the Year Awards Dinner will be held in The Ballroom, Amora Hotel, on Thursday the 22nd of November. The winner of each category will be announced, and then from these winners, the Wellingtonian of the Year award winner will be named. Past winners of the award include Peter Jackson, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, and Father Des Britten.
About IPENZ accreditationIPENZ, the professional body which represents professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand, manages the accreditation of all New Zealand professional engineering programmes. Full accreditation means that Victoria University‘s BE programme is taught to the standards set out in the Washington Accord, and that Victoria now stands equal with other professional New Zealand engineering programmes in terms of international recognition. IPENZ accreditation provides graduates with international recognition through the Washington Accord. Other jurisdictions currently covered by the Accord are Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the USA and the UK. To learn more about IPENZ accreditation visit http://www.ipenz.org.nz
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
Play it Again: Creating a Playable History of Australasian Digital Games, for Industry, Community and Research Purposes.
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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Value of digital economy in 2011 was $100 billion ICT
- demand forecasts 14,000 extra jobs in 2012 and up to a total of 35,000 by 2013
- University ICT annual enrolments down in NSW, VIC, QLD, WA & TAS
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.
- Events and technical visits.
- Networking at local level.
- International speakers as well as monthly seminars that cover a wide range of topical issues.
- 4th Year student presentations - a local competition called Present Around The World where the local winner could go to a final in Australia and possibly on to the UK.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Dr. Simon Lovatt, AgResearch (Chair). Simon is a Science Strategist at AgResearch with a software engineering background.
- Prof. Chris Cook, Dean of Engineering, Univ of Wollongong.
- Prof. Tanja Mitrovic, Head of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Univ of Canterbury.
- Mr. Ivo Tisch, Founder and Managing Director, Precision Technologies.
- Mr. Brett Williams, Director of Learning and Assessment, IPENZ
The development of an engineering programme at VUW had been considered at different times in the University's history so, when the decision was finally made to develop a Bachelor of Engineering in 2005, it was seen as an evolutionary rather than revolutionary step. The existing Bachelor of Information Technology, which was to be replaced by the BE, was considered to have a strongly applied focus. All the same, the decision was supported by a significant programme of staff recruitment and capital expenditure, consistent with the University's objective of developing an internationally recognised engineering programme. The panel also wished to recognise the following strengths of the programme.We are continually listening to constructive comment from students, industry/business and professional bodies to adapt, improve and keep our courses/degrees at the forefront of professional engineering education in New Zealand and internationally.
The Accreditation Panel set the following requirements to be met by Victoria:
- Part III of the degree structure provides excellent potential for producing broader graduate skills. (Part III of the degree is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop wider contextual understanding by allowing them to select three coherent courses that are outside the student's specialisation from across the University.)
- The strength of the team- and project-based experience gained by the students
- The collegiality and enthusiasm for engineering demonstrated by staff
- The strength of the staffs' research and industry interaction and the richness this brings to the teaching program
- The strength and commitment of the institutional support for engineering from VUW
- The quality and quantity of infrastructure, personnel, technical and other resources provided to engineering by VUW
Coverage of the IPENZ graduate profileThe panel was satisfied that the VUW outcomes were substantially equivalent to the generic IPENZ Graduate Competence Profile for Professional Engineers; that by deriving them from VUW's overarching outcomes they were linked to VUW as a specific provider; and that they incorporated feedback from VUW's industry advisory panel and programme advisory panel.
Milner, Chair of the IEEE New Zealand Central
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.
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).
“So I've been looking at a passive way to measure the foetal heart rate. You can do this either by putting electrodes on the mother and then detecting the Electric Cardiogram (ECG) signal, or by listening with microphones, which is what my research has focused on. This is more like using the Pinard – the foetal stethoscope that midwives used before the invention of Doppler ultrasound, but much more reliable and easy to use.”Paul, who previously worked at Industrial Research Limited (IRL) in Gracefield, has been collaborating with his former colleagues to develop a method of using microphones to separate out the mixture of signals emitted from the womb by using a technique called Blind Source Separation.
“This isolates the foetal heart rate from the mother's heart rate, and the background noise. It's also a more passive method of monitoring that doesn't negatively impact upon either the mother or the baby.”Paul says he and his IRL counterparts are now working closely with Wellington midwives to collect data from mothers using this less invasive method.
“We've proved the method works in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but we're hopeful that eventually we will be able to use it from when a foetus is 18 weeks. Doppler ultrasound can work from about 12-14 weeks, but the important stages are later in the pregnancy.”