Waikato University crest

Department of
Computer Science
Tari Rorohiko

Computing and Mathematical Sciences

2007 Seminars

Events Index

Internet measurement: what have we learned?

Kc Claffy
Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), San Diego
Thursday, 6th December 2007
Drawing on 15 years of investment in analyzing various types of Internet data (workload, topology, routing, and performance), kc describes what we have learned, and what we have failed to learn, from Internet measurement. She will discuss how to best apply both (the learnings and the failures) to future cyber-infrastructure research and development, and will outline some assumptions about the current architecture that we still need to investigate with more rigorous underpinnings. She will cover background on the historical context of funding for Internet research and development – including some of NZ's pioneering and continuing contributions in both Internet measurement and policy – and articulate a set of the most paramount and pervasive weaknesses in the current infrastructure.

She will also argue that technological forces will inevitably demand a re-evaluation of the fundamental aspects of Internet architecture, engineering, and governance.


User experience and the design of digital libraries

Ann Blandford
University College London Interaction Centre, London
Tuesday, 4th December 2007
New technologies are facilitating access to ever-growing bodies of information. There is a widespread expectation that, in the future, systems will be able to filter and analyse that information so that people are given exactly the information they need at just the time they require it. "Like Google, but better." However, take-up and use of such systems is slower and less satisfying than anticipated. In this talk, I will discuss many of the factors, technical, individual and social, that influence user’ perceptions, experiences and acceptance of digital libraries, drawing on studies in health, law, journalism and academia. I will present some of our ongoing design work, particularly focusing on support for people finding and making sense of information.


Formal methods your new flexible friend

David Streader
Department of Computer Science, The University of Waikato
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
For a long time we have known that we should be engineering software, just like all other engineering disciplines. But we can't. We can not yet know that the design will work prior to building the software! Engineers, when they build bridges, planes, etc, can! We are the poor relation in family of engineers. The application of any formal method will require extensive tool support. The ease with which a software engineer can use a tool is constrained the theory that underlies it. In particular the theory needs to be easy to understand. Here we will present a high-level intuitive view of our theory for flexible tools.


Building internet digital libraries for patients and professionals – do they have an impact?

Patty Kostkova
City ehealth Research Centre, City University London
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
“The impact of the Internet has largely been unforeseen, and it may have a revolutionary role in retooling the trillion-dollar health care industry in the United States” (June Forkner-Dunn 03). The amount of medical information available online and the increasing availability of the Internet has changed the way information are used by health care professionals and by general public. However, despite the desire of better informed patients to take an active role in the treatment process, and the need of professionals to keep improving their practice according to new evidence available in Internet digital libraries, the reality of utilizing this vehicle for information delivery in healthcare does not fulfil the expectations.

This talk will address the issues surrounding the Internet delivery of medical knowledge to public and professionals and the impact evaluation of these resources taking into account the technical, medical, usability and social issues. Our research into the application of Semantic web and medical ontologies on a provision of customised content and user profiling will be covered. This will draw from the experience with the development and evaluation of the National electronic library of Infection (NeLI) www.neli.org.uk and other government projects hosted by this UK infection portal.


FOXHOLES: News from the front line of the browser wars

Robert O'Callahan
Mozilla Corporation
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Once viewed by some as technologically stagnant, the World Wide Web is being refreshed by renewed competition in Web browsers and the popularization of advanced "AJAX" Web applications. Yet the Web's future is darkened by severe security threats and competition from technologies that seek to replace the Web as we know it. As a contributor to Firefox, I will discuss challenges facing our project: competition from Internet Explorer and other browsers; changes to fundamental assumptions about code-level security vulnerabilities; sustaining and evolving a complex and fragile codebase; and the successes and failures of our tools and processes. Looking forwards, I will discuss our efforts to keep the Web vital, in concert with like-minded browser vendors and standards organizations, by enhancing the Web platform with vector and 3D graphics, offline Web applications, accessibility, richer typography and layout, enhancements to the Javascript language, efforts to improve cross-browser compatibility, and more. I will talk about why everyone should care and what people can do to help.


Working with secondary schools to recruit students

Alison Littler
On the Rails
Tuesday, 31st July 2007
The following points will be covered in this presentation/discussion
  • Background
    Who are the people helping shape student decisions about tertiary study and careers, and what is the timeframe for decision making?
  • The students
    What is driving their choice of tertiary courses and career paths?
  • The sell
    How should you market your degrees?
  • What careers teachers, students, subject teachers and parents need to know
    What is the story beyond the prospectus?
  • What students and teachers are looking for
    What can you do to go up a notch in their estimation?
  • Working with subject teachers
    Which subjects? When? How?
  • What makes a presentation memorable?
    For careers teachers? For prospective students?
  • The Waikato University image
    How you are being perceived right now.
  • What are the best ways to market to secondary schools on a limited budget?


Pixlocator and WaikatoLink Storefront Presentation

Bruce Bowering and Kate Ross
WaikatoLink, The University of Waikato
Tuesday, 17th July 2007
PixLocator is a personal photographic management tool that uses GPS data encoded in the EXIF header of JPEG images to display and manage a user’s photographic collection geo-spatially using a map interface. This software has grown from the prototype produced as a result of Bruce Bowering’s Masters Project entitled “Geospatial Searching and Browsing Digital Photographic Collections”, and which WaikatoLink have recently made available for download online. We will use this opportunity to demonstrate the software and encourage the department’s feedback. In the second part of this short seminar we will present Storefront, a WaikatoLink initiative that looks to provide a cost effective online mechanism for delivering ICT products/projects that come out of the Computer Science Department to the market place. PixLocator will be presented by Bruce Bowering an ex student of the department now working for WaikatoLink as a Technology Developer, and, Storefront will be presented by Kate Ross, Technology Development Manager for the company.


A science of computation

Steve Reeves
Department of Computer Science, The University of Waikato
Monday, 25th June 2007
As a computer scientist I am concerned at the widespread view, including amongst our policy makers, that ICT is "purely an enabling technology".

I believe we need to remember where the technology originally came from in order to have a more realistic view of it, and to see how future technological advances might be made. Advances, to be sure, were and will be suggested and generated by existing technology. But 70 years ago there was no such thing as IT, so where did it spring from? And for technology to move forward there has to be some scientific input, at least occasionally, so where will that come from?

Also, since our science is not just "there" to be discovered as in natural sciences like physics and chemistry—we are working, after all, with the "Science of the Artificial"—what sort of science is needed, in order to throw up ideas for technologists to grapple with in the first place?

In this talk I want to remind people that there is science behind our technology and do a bit of revision concerning its roots 70 years ago.

I also want to look to forward and look at areas where computer science has obvious future implications for technology and explore the environment for doing such science in New Zealand. I make the point that we need to focus on computer science alongside IT: it is well understood in general that science provides an intellectual compass to allow us to navigate the world around us, and it is no different for IT.

This presentation will be of considerable interest to anyone who wants a broad view of IT—past, present and future—and is likely to include teachers, practitioners and policy makers.


A retrospective look at Greenstone: lessons from the first decade

Ian H. Witten
Department of Computer Science, The University of Waikato
Tuesday, 29th May 2007
The Greenstone Digital Library Software has helped spread the practical impact of digital library technology throughout the world, with particular emphasis on developing countries. As Greenstone enters its second decade, this talk takes a retrospective look at its development, the challenges that have been faced, and the lessons that have been learned in developing and deploying a comprehensive open-source system for the construction of digital libraries internationally. Not surprisingly, the most difficult challenges have been political, educational, and sociological, echoing that old programmers’ blessing “may all your problems be technical ones".


Google Australia

Alan Noble and Will Blott
Google Australia
Tuesday, 24th April 2007
Alan Noble and Will Blott from Google Australia are visiting the Department and will give an informal talk about the activities there. Alan will talk about the Sydney engineering centre and their projects; Will will focus on Google Apps for Edu and Google research grants. Hopefully we'll learn something about the possibility of working with them, or getting funding.


Formal validation of hierarchical state machines against expectations

Ian Toyn
Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
Tuesday, 3rd April 2007
This talk presents a formal method and associated tool for validating statecharts against expectations. The expectations express things like rate of change of an input to the statechart while in a particular state. The validation ensures that the expectations are mutually consistent and that the statechart conforms to them. The presentation gives an example to illustrate the method. An anonymous paper reviewer described it as "a light-weight formal notation [...] plus deep-semantic analysis in the background with all the reasoning notation (Z and theorem proving) hidden from the users."


Wireless Sensor Networks

Georg Wittenburg
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Tuesday, 20th March 2007
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are currently a hot topic in networking research. A WSN consists of a potentially very large number of highly embedded devices called sensor nodes, each of which consists of a microprocessor, a radio unit, and one or more sensors. As part of a WSN deployment, the individual sensor nodes cooperate to achieve the application-specific goal of the deployment. Given the scarcity of resources available on each sensor node, most prominently energy, research is centered around rethinking traditional networking concepts to make them applicable to the domain of WSNs.

After a short introduction to WSNs, this talk will both cover some of the key publications that started the whole field and discuss current trends in research. It concludes with a brief overview of some of the research projects currently underway at Freie Universität Berlin.


Robustness in teams of autonomous robots

Mitchell A Potter
US Naval Research Laboratory, USA
Tuesday, 6th March 2007
We face many challenges when designing control systems for autonomous robots. Operating environments are noisy, dynamic, and uncertain; mission objectives may change midstream; sensors and effectors degrade or fail, leading to robots with reduced functionality at best, or worse, robots that are inoperable. When a team approach is required, the failure of a single robot performing a critical role could jeopardize the success of the entire team. Ideally an autonomous robot team should be robust to changes in the environment, the mission, and the makeup and capability of the team, enabling the robots to adapt and complete their mission.

In this talk I will describe three approaches to achieving a greater level of team robustness, with an emphasis on adapting to changes in the makeup and capability of the team. First, an architecture for continuous and embedded learning will be described. This architecture supports the transfer of learned knowledge or skills to new situations. Next, an approach for evolving solutions that are optimized for robustness to changes or failures in teammates will be described. And finally, a swarm approach based on an artificial physics model will be described in which robustness to change is achieved through the emergence of complex aggregate behaviors from collections of simple agents.


A Bioinformatics Grid in China

Weimin Zheng
Tsinghua University, China
Tuesday, 20th February 2007
Grid computing provides a way to share computation power and data resources efficiently. In China, we have built a Bioinformatics Grid which connects more than 10 super-computers from 7 top universities. The aggregated peak performance of this grid system is 2 Tflops with 5TB storage. Nearly 60 bioinformatics softwares are pre-installed in the Grid system. Biologists in China are using this grid system actively. The grid system get 50,000 request per day now.


The Office of Tomorrow and experiments with next generation

Michael Haller
Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Hagenberg, Austria
Wednesday, 14th February 2007
The Office of Tomorrow is a project that explores how desktop projection with pen and gesture input can be used to enhance face to face collaboration, and shared design. It allows up to eight people to work together around a large projected table surface and vertical holoscreen in a very intuitive manner. In addition, Michael will talk about other new media design and interface projects undertaken at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. These projects are available to University of Waikato staff and students through the EU-NZ exchange program that Waikato is a key partner of.


Open Source at Google

Chris DiBona
Thursday, 1st February 2007
Chris will be talking about interesting stuff he's doing at Google and is open for discussion. Chris DiBona is the Open Source Programs Manager for Mountain View, Ca based Google, Inc. His job includes running the Summer of Code and releasing open source software on Google's Code website, which can be found at http://code.google.com.


Events Index