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Department of Computer Science News and events

20th May 2019

Associate Professor Ali Knott has made some comments about dealing with online extremism,for the Washington Post - "Governments can combat violent content in a way that does not violate rights to free expression..."  Full story.

Another journalist also quotes Ali Knott on the same subject in the Wall St Journal.  Full story.

20th March 2019

Yesterday Associate Professor Ali Knott appeared on NewsTalk ZB (twice) and on the Panel in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, to discuss tech companies’ ability to remove offensive video content, and how much effort they are expending in this area.

Tech expert calls for law change to pressure social media giants.

Stopping violent content online

20th March 2019

Willem Labuschagne

With sadness we hear of the passing of Willem Labuschagne, on Tuesday 19th March, after a long illness. Willem taught in the department for 18 years, and retired in April 2017.

14th March 2019

Kaye Saunders - funeral and memorial arrangements.

Kaye's funeral will be held on Saturday 16th March at 11am at the Avenal Park Funeral Home, 75 Fox Street, Invercargill.

A memorial service for Kaye will be held on Thursday 21st March at 3pm in the University Union Common Room.

12th March 2019

Kaye Saunders

The whole department was stunned and saddened to learn of the passing away over the weekend of our Administrator, Kaye Saunders. Kaye had worked in the department for over 30 years.  A ceremony of remembrance is to be held soon.

25th February 2019

The Department congratulates Professor Anthony Robins on the publication of 'The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research' of which he was co-editor.

Cambridge University Press



11th December 2018

The Department would like to congratulate Brendan McCane on his well-deserved promotion to professor, effective February 1, 2019. Please join us in congratulating him on this significant achievement.

Brendan McCane profile photo - CAIPP

26th November 2018

From A/P Brendan McCane

Congratulations to PhD candidate Tapabrata Chakraborti for winning the best student paper prize at the recent Image and Vision NZ conference. Tapabrata’s paper was titled: "Fine-grained Collaborative K-Means Clustering” and presented a generalisation of the K-means clustering algorithm with applications to recognising fine-grained differences between similar classes (for example, recognising the difference between a kea and a kaka).

Tapabrata accepting the award:


13th November 2018

From Dr Steve Mills:

Congratulations to Tom Adams, who has recently completed "Te Pae Kōtuku: Building Future Māori Science Leaders". Students are selected for this programme based on academic excellence, and develop their leadership skills, cultural understanding, and contribute to their communities by volunteering for leadership, outreach, and service activities.

Tom has just finished his final year of a double major in Computer Science and Information Science, and is going on to work in Wellington where we wish him all the best. Whakamihi kia Tom!

30th October 2018

The department congratulates Dr Stefanie Zollmann, who has won the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship 2018, worth $25,000.

"The world of Augmented Reality will soon be leaping into our everyday lives thanks to the work of award-winning University of Otago scientist Stefanie Zollmann, who has just been granted the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship 2018.

Endless Augmented Reality (AR) possibilities, such as All Black fans accessing game and player statistics in a stadium simply by pointing their mobile phone towards the sports field, are just within reach."

Stefanie Zollmann will be presented with her fellowship alongside four Australian recipients in Melbourne on 15 November 2018.


10th October 2018

From Professor  Anthony Robins: We congratulate Glenn Blanchette, who is to be awarded a PhD. for his thesis "The Boltzmann machine: a connectionist model for supra-classical logic".

Glenn investigated the use of Bolzmann machine neural networks to represent properties of inference in supra-classical logic, including state preference rankings, model selection, and belief revision.

10th October 2018

Vacancy - Lecturer in Computer Science

This is a full-time, fixed term position over the period February 1, 2019 through December 31, 2021. The successful applicant will be expected to:
- teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
- develop an active research programme; and
- provide academic support for the Diploma for Graduates endorsed in ICT.

Your Skills and Experience
- Have a PhD.
- Have a commitment to ongoing research
- Have experience in teaching.

Applications close Friday, 9 November 2018.

Full details and how to apply here.

31st July 2018

Lecturing position

We are seeking to appoint a Lecturer to a full time, confirmation path position. In exceptional circumstances an appointment at Senior Lecturer level may be considered, based on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.

In this role, you will contribute to teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, develop an active research programme, and supervise postgraduate research students. This is a rare opportunity to combine a successful academic career with the work-life balance people at Otago enjoy. We foster a collaborative and collegial approach to teaching and research.

Closing date Friday 31st August 2018. Full details here.

22nd May 2018

Research Grant from InternetNZ
Aleksei Fedorov, Haibo Zhang and Mahdi Amiri Kordestani have won a $25,000 research grant from InternetNZ. The name of the project is "Accurate synchronization for coherent joint transmission to provide better mobile Internet service". This was the equal highest amount awarded this year. More details.

4th May 2018

Professor Artur Ekert, one of the inventors of quantum cryptography, will be speaking on Wednesday 9th May at the Otago Museum (5.30pm Hutton Theater). The talk, "Is there a perfect cipher?" is for a general audience. Artur is the Director of the Centre for Quantum Technology in Singapore and a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He is visiting the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies at the University, with whom he is a member of the Science Advisory Board.

15 Feb 2018

Congratulations to Maria Mikhisor
The department today congratulates Maria Mikhisor whose PhD thesis '3D face tracking using stereo cameras with whole body view' has been accepted.

07 Feb 2018

Kiri Lenagh-Glue of Comp Girls Otago wins prestigious scholarship
"On the merits of her studies and passion for computer science, Kiri has received a scholarship from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) for women studying STEM fields at tertiary level.
The scholarship awards the winning students with $10,000 towards their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects at New Zealand universities."
Read more about Kiri and this prestigious award here.

13 Dec 2017

AI and the law workshops
Alistair Knott has recently co-organised two workshops on Uses of Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System, together with Colin Gavaghan (Law) and James Maclaurin (Philosophy), as part of their AI and Law in New Zealand project. One workshop was held in Oxford, and hosted by the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. The other was held in Dunedin.