What's happening

Archive

You've been framed - keyframe technology

25 October 2013
Important visual sequences in news, security or personal camera footage will be faster to identify thanks to a keyframe technique developed by University of Sydney researchers.
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Scaffold Hunter heads to Google

17 October 2013
The University of Sydney researcher behind Scaffold Hunter, prize-winning open source software, has been invited to attend the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) Mentor summit held in San Francisco, USA.
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Rewards program helps robots think for themselves

14 October 2013
Intelligent machines are a favourite subject for science fiction writers, who have mined into the rich potential for mayhem when robots with brains rebel against their human masters.

In real life, robots are often assigned mundane tasks that are too boring or dangerous for human hands. But Fabio Ramos is helping to produce a new breed of intelligent robots with applications more ambitious than vacuuming the floor or dealing with unexploded bombs.
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No place like home - Neighbourhood Networks

10 October 2013
Oatley has been selected as the best Sydney suburb to trial Neighbourhood Networks, a new online site developed by University of Sydney information technologies researchers.

Community noticeboards similar to those found in local supermarkets or libraries were the inspiration behind Neighbourhood Networks, a website co-founded by Dr Rainer Wasinger and Hai He as part of the University's collaboration with the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
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Spam challenged by Game Theory

9 September 2013
A new anti-spam model using repetitive games theory has been developed by University of Sydney researchers. Tested over a year-long period the model showed a 30 percent increase in detecting and classifying spam.
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SIT alumnus Harvard bound

Stephen Merity

School of Information Technologies alumnus Stephen Merity has been awarded a prestigious Australia to US Fellowship from the American Australian Association. The Association provides individual Fellowships of up to US$40,000 for advanced study in the United States, and aims to help existing strong social and economic partnerships and foster intellectual exchange between the United States and Australia.

Stephen received the Dow Chemical Company Fellowship and says the funding will help him off-set the cost of attending the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: “The Fellowship will enable me to focus my efforts fully on studying and networking whilst at Harvard. I'm grateful to the American Australian Association and its sponsors for giving me this opportunity.”

Endless Cloud double edged sword

29 August 2013
Hybrid or multi-cloud deployment is the most cost effective and efficient method for a business to manage abundant cloud computing resources, cloud computing experts at the University of Sydney say.
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Cloud computing researcher a star

5 August 2013
A cloud computing researcher at University of Sydney has been selected as among the world's top 200 young computer scientists.
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Race to code at the National Computer Science School

2 August 2013
It will be a race to top the coding leader board when as many as five hundred high schools join the annual National Computer Science School (NCSS) challenge at the University of Sydney next week.
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Making Business Fun in a Digital World: Cruiser Receives iAward Honours

21 June 2013
A new multi-user software platform that allows users to collaborate and seamlessly share content between any surface (interactive whiteboards, walls, touchscreens, tablets and smartphones) was a recipient of a 2013 NSW iAwards Merit in the New Product Category.
Read more.

A marriage of Chinese Medicine and Information Technologies

13 June 2013
Chinese Medicine (CM) and Information Technologies (IT) seem to be polar opposites but Dr Josiah Poon is on a mission to marry these two disparate fields.
Read more.

Interactive public displays not being used to full potential, says research

Interactive public information displays and wallflowers have something in common, according to University of Sydney information technologies researchers: they simply sit around hoping someone will notice them. Read more. 4 June 2013

Cyber Security Challenge Australia contest

Cyber Challenge Australia

Students from the School of IT participated in the second ever Cyber Security Challenge Australia, with three teams of four from the school entered into this demanding 24 hour event. This is the first time the University of Sydney has competed in this contest, designed to test a wide variety of IT security skills and raise awareness of the importance of cyber security in Australia. Run from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and supported by the DSD and Telstra, it is open to a limited number of undergraduate students from Australian universities and TAFEs.

Please join me in thanking the teams for their participation and congratulating them on their rankings, and in particular in congratulating team US3, which came in a very close fourth, following judging on pending results after the final bell, to one of three very practised and experienced UNSW teams.

All of our teams performed commendably, with team US1 being the first to capture a flag in the competition.

The winning UNSW team blitzed the field, and well deserve their win of a trip to Las Vegas to attend Blackhat - a premier security conference.

The University of Sydney teams were:

US1: Christina Camilleri, Alex Hogue, Alec Posney, Dylan Scott
US2: Ian Dick, Michael Foley, Patricia Lor, Alexander Vincent
US3: Alex Fang, Michael Goodyear, Stephen Mallon, Amber Rosado.

Greg Ryan.

Student app-makers hit world stage

Three of our IT students have won the Microsoft Asian Cup with their BlueClover mobile phone app designed to help diabetics manage their condition. Read more. 30 April 2013

Go8's meet the 'China 9'

More than 100,000 Chinese students study at Australian universities, but fewer than 3000 Australian students attend universities in China. Sydney PhD candidates Erin Smith and Andrew Clayphan have successfully applied to be part of a federal government program aimed at addressing this disparity and fostering engagement between the University of Sydney and other 'Group of eight' (Go8) universities with their 'China nine' (C9) counterparts. Read more. 8 April 2013

Making the invisible visible - mananaging massive datasets

Understanding increasingly massive data sets is challenging information technology developers worldwide, according to University of Sydney IT researchers who are hosting the annual International Pacific Visualization (PacificVis) symposium this week. Read more.

Clouds and green lining

Newly-developed cloud computing algorithms may be the solution to reducing the increasing energy consumption and cost of high performance computing networks according to Professor Albert Zomaya, IT expert at the University of Sydney. Read more.

Chinese Language - breaking the chain

Cathy Xiao Yu has won the Sydnovate Prize for Excellence in Innovation for her poster on "Information Extraction from Chinese Text" at this years Research Conversazione. Cathy and her supervisor, Josiah Poon, are determined to find a solution that will make the Chinese text more accessible to millions of people across the globe. Read more.

Big Data poses big questions, so how do we answer them?

Fabio Ramos, Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning at University of Sydney, discusses the issue. Read more.

Standing tall - University honoured in science prizes

Dr Tara Murphy, from the school of Physics and School of Information Technologies, won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the year Award. Read more.

Students focused on inspiring industry

Engineers pride themselves on being thinkers and problem solvers and today students from the University of Sydney have presented their novel ideas to more than 200 industry representatives who attended the annual Research Conversazione event. Read more.

IEE Best Student Presentation award

Mahboobeh Moghaddam, a PhD student from the Knowledge Discovery and Management Research Group has won the IEEE Best Student Presentation award at the 4th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference held at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Sydney. Mahboobeh has now been invited to the annual IEEE NSW AGM where she will receive the award for her paper "A Combinatorial Procurement Auction for Composite Web Service Selection".

Brogrammers win battle of the brains

It took five hours to answer the complex mathematical problems, but a team of young algorithm whizzes from the University conquered their nerves and their opponents to take out this year's South Pacific Regional Collegiate Programming Contest. Read more

Artful algorithms

Money laundering and other suspicious behaviours will become more detectable with the refinement of a 2D graphic visualisation tool currently under development at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies. Read more

Developing a more rounded and work-ready PhD graduate

Developing a more rounded and work-ready PhD graduate - For Fulbright scholar and University of Sydney PhD candidate Dominick Ng there would be a certain irony in completing his degree without adequate communication skills. Read more

Sci-fi tech coming to a classroom near you

IT'S the kind of futuristic technology familiar from sci-fi films, but touch screen tables, robot study buddies and 3D virtual learning environments could soon feature in the classroom. Read more.

Savvy students' solution can cut costs of power bills

Consumers could save up to 10 per cent on power bills thanks to a new energy saving solution designed by two PhD students at the University of Sydney. Read more.

Fulbright scholar will help computers understand us better

Research into how computers can better understand human language has won University of Sydney PhD candidate Dominick Ng a Fulbright Scholarship to spend eight months studying at UC Berkeley in the US. Read more.

2012 NCSS - a great success!

The 2012 National Computer Science School in January brought together over eighty of Australia’s brightest young minds for 10 days of intensive programming, robotics and web development. Over the course of NCSS, students learn and refine their programming skills, interact with cutting edge technologies and make new contacts with other like-minded students from across Australia.

Students at NCSS are split into two streams: Python and Embedded programming. Each stream involves lectures, lab work and a major project.

The Python students honed their web development skills by creating new social networking websites. Each group developed their own idea for a site, ranging from organising events and event-based photo sharing to engaging school students with reading, or even having a good old satisfying argument on the Internet.

“You think that you’d come here to learn how to program and you do, but it is so much more than that. You learn to work in a team,” says Georgia Judd, who was a returning student this year.

The embedded students’ project involved programming a Roomba robot on a rescue mission. The students worked with NICTA ed1 boards. Robots were built, programmed, debugged and decorated as students worked with the light sensor, accelerometer, LCD display, and even the buzzer, programming victory songs and dance numbers into a successful rescue routine.

Andrew Hopkins, a student in the Python stream, describes NCSS as a “unique and awesome learning experience.”

Students were also given insight into their future careers during mock interviews with industry mentors and had the opportunity to present an ‘elevator pitch’ to a panel of technology entrepreneurs. The industry representatives involved in both activities were impressed with the tech-savvy students. Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com and Sydney University alumnus, said he is “continually blown away by the students at NCSS.”

NCSS is more than just lectures and lab time, though. Students also took part in a scavenger hunt and trivia night, as well as having plenty of opportunities to stretch their newly-honed coding skills with more academic endeavours. A cryptography challenge tested students’ code breaking skills, and a programming competition saw students teamed up with industry mentors and University of Sydney alumni.

NCSS also included site visits to Macquarie, Atlassian and Google, giving students a chance to see first hand what working in the IT industry entails: pool tables, nerf-guns, portals and ice-cream included. Students were inspired by talks from fellow Australian IT gurus, and came back to the labs excited not just about their projects, but also about the IT industry, opportunities in Australia, and especially passionate about forging their own place within it.

NCSS is run by A/Prof. James Curran and Dr Tara Murphy from the University of Sydney's School of Information Technologies. They work with a team of volunteer tutors and lecturers, including A/Prof Bob Kummerfeld, Dr Uwe Röhm and A/Prof Michael Charleston and many current students and alumni. The embedded stream is possible through collaboration with Dr John Judge and NICTA.

NCSS would not be possible without the generous support of major industry and government sponsors including gold sponsors Google, WiseTech Global, Freelancer and NSW Trade and Investment, and silver sponsors Atlassian, Macquarie and the Defense Signals Directorate.

For more information visit http://www.ncss.edu.au/

High school students pitch ideas to technology entrepreneurs at the 2012 National Computer Science Summer School

Over eighty year 11 and 12 students from across Australia were given the opportunity to present their 'elevator pitch' to a panel of technology entrepreneurs as part of the University's annual National Computer Science Summer School (NCSS) last week.

The Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation Panel, including Freelancer.com's Matt Barrie and Alex North from Posse, were impressed with the tech-savvy students' pitches.

"I am continually blown away by the students at NCSS" says Mr Barrie. "Many of them are at the level that we were at in second year computer science back in the day!"

"The pitch session was a lot of fun, the students were passionate about their projects and that really came through in their pitches. Some would have been strong contenders for prizes at one of the many pitching competitions I'm a judge at!" Read more.

Sydney Hackathon 2011 a great success

Sydney Hackathon is a new 24 hours application development competition jointly organised by the University of Sydney's School of Information Technologies, the Sydney University IT Society (SUITS) and Elsevier and is aimed at fostering innovation and creativity among developers utilising open source APIs. Students and professional software developers can take part in this competition.

The inaugural Sydney Hackathon, held on 24 and 25 September 2011, was a great succes. Thirty-two contestants in eleven teams created thirteen applications ranging from games, search tools and professor genealogy tools to collaborative commenting of journal articles. The applications were web gadgets that embedded on Elsevier’s SciVerse platform, a platform used by 15 million researchers and academics. Prizes of up to A$1500 could be won. Read more.

IT Professor appointed Distinguished Speaker by ACM

Professor Albert Zomaya has been appointed as a Distinguished Speaker by the USA’s Association for Computing Machinery. The Distinguished Speaker Program provides colleges and universities, corporations, event and conference planners, and agencies – in addition to ACM local Chapters – with direct access to top technology leaders and innovators from nearly every sector of the computing industry.

National programming challenge targets high school students

The University of Sydney is calling on high school students with a penchant for computer programming to take part in its annual programming challenge. Read more

Australia's biggest security risks in the cyber world

About one in five home computers and one in 10 work computers have been taken over and used to conduct illegal activity, says School of IT cyber security expert Professor Michael Fry. Read more.

IT professor awarded for high performance computing work

Professor Albert Zomaya has received global accolades for his longstanding contribution to the development of high performance computing systems that provide the computational speeds needed to model the likes of large DNA structures, forecast global weather patterns and track the motion of astronomical bodies. Read more.

Best paper award

Rommel Ceguerra, Joseph Lizier and Albert Zomaya have received the Best Paper award at the IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life 2011 (IEEE ALife) for their paper: "Information storage and transfer in the synchronization process in locally-connected networks". IEEE ALife is an ERA A-ranked conference, held as part of the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence in Paris from 11-15 April 2011.

The paper resulted from Rommel's thesis work for the Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) degree in 2010, which received a High Distinction grade; it applied information-theoretic methods developed in Dr Lizier's PhD dissertation (2010) to study the synchronisation process. Rommel's thesis was supervised by Dr Lizier and Professor Zomaya; Dr Lizier's thesis was supervised by Professor Zomaya with Dr Mikhail Prokopenko at the CSIRO ICT Centre.

IT Professor awarded IEEE TCSC Medal of Excellence

Congratulations to Professor Albert Zomaya, who has been awarded the 2011 IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing (TCSC) Medal of Excellence in Scalable Computing. The award was established in 2008 to recognise significant and sustained contributions to the scalable computing community.

In recognition of the award, Professor Zomaya has been invited to present a keynote address at the CCGrid 2011 conference.

Putting Traditional Chinese Medicine to the test

The centuries-old practice of traditional Chinese medicine is undergoing a digital overhaul by a team of University of Sydney researchers.

David Winning, Wall Street Journal, 28 March 2011.

Story featuring Senior Lecturer Dr Josiah Poon.

Read full story

Memorial ceremony for Emeritus Professor John Makepeace Bennett

Family, friends and colleagues gathered in MacLaurin Hall on Thursday 24 February to celebrate the life of Emeritus Professor John Makepeace Bennett AO (1921-2010), Australia’s first Professor of Computer Science, founding Head of the Basser Department of Computer Science, ICT pioneer, and founder of the Australian Computer Society.

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of Engineering and IT, welcomed the guests, and tributes were given by Professor Bennett's daughter, Dr Jane Bennett, Professor Tommy Thomas, former Head of the School of Physics Professor Harry Messel, Dr Peter Jones, Professor Jenny Edwards, ACS President Mr Anthony Wong, and the current Head of the School of Information Technologies, Professor Sanjay Chawla.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, refreshments were served and many guests lingered in MacLaurin Hall to share their personal and professional remembrances of Professor Bennett, a final tribute to a man whose many contributions shaped the development of information technology in Australia and around the world.

NCSS students create Facebook alternatives

High-school students from across Australia have designed four alternatives to Facebook in their final day at the National Computer Science School. Read more.

Australians could be charged for site attacks

Australians who took part in attacks that brought down the websites of firms refusing to transfer payments to WikiLeaks may find themselves in breach of the law, says School of IT cyber-security expert Professor Michael Fry. Read more.

Dr James Curran among 100 most influential people

SIT's Dr James Curran has been included in a list of Sydney's one hundred most influential people, published in the Sydney Morning Herald's 'Sydney Magazine'. Read more.

Best paper award

SIT PhD student Timothy DeVries paper "Finding Local Anomalies in Very High Dimensional Space" has been selected for the "Best Research Paper" award at the International Conference on Data Mining 2010 (ICDM'10). Timothy co-authored the paper with SIT's Professor Sanjay Chawla and Professor Michael Houle from the National Institute of Informatics (Japan). The conference was held in Sydney in December.

Spotlight article

Congratulations to Raymes Khoury, Bernd Burgstaller and Bernhard Scholz. Their paper "Accelerating the Execution of Matrix Languages on the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture" is the spotlight article in IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Computing.

ARC grant success

The School has won over $1million in funding in the latest round of Discovery and Linkage grants awarded by the ARC.

The projects highlight the interdisciplinary nature of IT, with staff collaborating with physics and finance on two of the projects.

Congratulations to all staff involved.

Discovery grants

Algorithms for geometric Turan-type problems and network visualization
Total funding from 2011-2013: $300,000
Staff: Professor Peter Eades

Recent technological advances have large data sets, in a data deluge. Some of the most critical data sets are networks; examples abound in Systems Biology, Social Network Analysis, and Software Engineering. This project aims for algorithms to construct readable pictures of these networks, and thus make the data easier for humans to understand.

Extreme events: mining the radio sky for gamma-ray bursts with intelligent algorithms
Total funding from 2011-2014: $480,000
Staff: Dr Tara Murphy (SIT and Phyics), Professor Bryan M Gaensler (Physics)

Gamma-ray bursts and supernova explosions are some of the most extreme events in the Universe, and working out what causes them, and other transient phenomena, will give us new physical insights. The project will search, using next generation telescopes and intelligent algorithms, to find these 'needles in a haystack'.

Linkage grants

Visual analytics for high volume multi attribute financial data streams
Total funding from 2011-2013 $105,000
Staff: Associate Professor Masahiro Takatsuka, Professor Peter D Eades, Dr Maurice Peat (Finance)
Partner: Thomson Reuters

While our ability to accumulate data (such as financial data) is increasing, our capability to analyse them is still inadequate despite technological improvements. The new Visual Analytics methods will allow processing of the massive and time-varying data so that the time-critical decisions can be made with minimum effort.

Visual interaction methods for clustered graphs
Total funding from 2011-2013: $345,000
Staff: Professor Peter D Eades, Associate Professor Seokhee Hong, Associate Professor Masahiro Takatsuka

Partners: NewtonGreen Technologies Pty Ltd, Tom Sawyer Software
This project aims to improve human understanding of huge network data sets, such as those arising in social networks, biological networks, and very large software structures. The project will enable analysts to explore and interact with such data sets, leading to better understanding.

High school challenge wins iAward

John Judge and James Curran

By Jocelyn Prasad

Dr James Curran, Dr Tara Murphy and the National ICT Australia have received the Australian Information Industry Association's 2010 iAward for e-learning. The award recognises excellence in online teaching and was presented for a web-based programming challenge.

The annual National Computer Science School (NCSS) Programming Challenge puts a series of computer programming challenges to school students over five weeks. Problems include writing programs to solve crosswords, create anagrams and negotiate mazes. The challenge's automated marking system provides feedback to answers about 30 seconds after their submission, so geographic location does not impede competitors.

James and Tara created the challenge to get school students thinking more about careers in IT and to complement a high school syllabus wanting in relevance.

"In New South Wales, the software design and development curriculum was last updated in 1995," says Curran. "In the computing world that's ancient history.
"The challenge is our opportunity to inject some enthusiasm and energy into schools and teach programming in a way that's more like computer science at university level."

Participation in the challenge has grown tenfold since its inception in 2005. The sixth NCSS Programming Challenge, which finished in September, drew 1600 students from across Australia, including the Northern Territory, and offshore locations as far away as Singapore.

James and Tara's success at the 2010 iAwards follows on the heels of receiving a citation worth $10,000 for outstanding commitment to (university) first year IT teaching from the Australian Learning & Teaching Council.

Photo: L-R: Dr John Judge from NICTA and Dr James Curran.

IT faces squeeze in high-school syllabus

The federal government is planning to reduce the hours of computing studies for high school students.

Fran Foo, The Australian, 31 August, 2010.

Story featuring senior lecturer Dr James Curran.

Read full story

SIT Professor named editor of IEEE TC

Albert Zomaya

Professor Albert Zomaya has been elected as the new Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computers. The appointment for an initial two years will start from 2011. IEEE Transactions on Computers is the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society. First published in 1952, it is one of the most prestigious publications in the field of computing.

ARC’s Linkage Projects

Funding has just been announced in relation to the ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme. Congratulations to Professor David Feng, Dr Weidong Cai and Dr Lingfeng Wen who have won over $400k in funding. Their project titled “Integrated multi level interpretation and its applications for intelligent multimodality biomedical image navigation, retrieval and tracking" is a collaboration with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital staff Professor Michael J Fulham and Associate Professor Stefan Eberl.

Welcome to visiting visualisation expert Professor Beppe Liotta

Professor Giuseppe (Beppe) Liotta from the University of Perugia (Italy) is visiting the School of IT this month. Professor Liotta will mainly be working with Professor Peter Eades on research on information visualization, graph drawing, and geometric computing research.

Visualization is a common approach for making sense of data. Data in different application fields can be relational in nature and is conveniently modeled as a network. Examples include: social networks, telecommunication and computer networks, web maps, biological networks, and software engineering diagrams. Devising systems and algorithms for effectively visualizing data requires the integration of techniques from different areas of computer science, including algorithm engineering, software engineering, data mining, and human computer interaction.

Think, for example, of the problem of mining information from the world wide web: Instead of browsing a long list of results returned by a classical search engine, it could be more efficient to visit a map where the pages are semantically grouped into categories and the relationships between the different categories are described by the edges of a graph. The categories can be expanded, and include subcategories, so users could find information with just a few clicks.

Professor Liotta will be giving a Basser Seminar, “The Anatomy of a Graph Visualization System” on Friday 20 August, 4pm. Full details including abstract and bio.

2010 Teaching citation awards announced

SIT's Dr Tara Murphy and Dr James Curran will shortly receive citations from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) for their significant contributions to student learning. Read more.

Big ISPs to benefit from mandatory Internet filter: Academic

The burden of managing the costs associated with the implementation of ISP-level filtering could put many of Australia's smaller ISPs out of business, according to a University of Sydney academic Asscociate Professor Bjorn Landfeldt.

Tim Lohman, Computerworld, 19 April, 2010.

Read full story.
 

Keynote

Professor Judy Kay has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the 5th European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ECTEL2010), to be held in Barcelona, Spain in September.

ECTEL is a series of conferences used as the key forum for presenting state of the art European research in technology-enhanced learning. It attracts many participants from both technology, education, psychology and industry.

Internet filtering laws outdated before they are passed

The Federal Government's plan to compel Internet Service Providers to filter the Internet has been unanimously opposed by Australasian Computer Science academics, says University of Sydney Associate Professor Bjorn Landfeldt. Read more.
 

CORE Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Prize

Dr Michael Cahill

University of Sydney alumnus Dr Michael Cahill has won the 2010 Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE) Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation prize.

Universities around Australasia compete for this prize, entering the most outstanding doctoral work by an IT student awarded their degree the previous year. A committee of CORE judges then select the best thesis in the field, based on originality, significance, innovation and the scale of the work.

The prize was awarded to Dr Cahill, who graduated in November 2009, for his thesis “Serializable Isolation for Snapshot Databases”.

Dr Cahill’s thesis proposes an innovative change to the internals of database management systems. Professor Alan Fekete from the School of IT, Dr Cahill’s supervisor, explains: “Michael’s thesis describes a novel algorithm, which allows database operations to run in parallel but avoids situations where data consistency is violated. The algorithm can be implemented by making a small modification to current techniques, and will have an impact on commercial and open-source databases around the world.”

His work has previously been recognised, winning the Best Paper Award at the 2008 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, the leading forum for work in this area. This paper has been chosen as one of the core readings in the graduate Database course at University of California at Berkeley.

The Dissertation prize was announced at the Australasian Computer Science Week on 19th January, held at Queensland University of Technology.

The Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE), is an association of university departments of computer science in Australia and New Zealand.

To Google and Beyond: University nurtures future IT programmers

Students and teachers in the National Computer Science Summer School.

It's not everyone's idea of how to spend their January school holidays. But for 78 motivated high-school students, interested in web applications and robotics, the University of Sydney's National Computer Science School (NCSS) - now in its fifteenth year - still holds great appeal. Read more.

Best Student Paper at ADCS

Honours student Tim O'Keefe and Irena Koprinska have been awarded the Best Student Paper for their submission, Feature Selection and Weighting Methods in Sentiment Analysis, at the Fourteenth Australasian Document Computing Symposium (ADCS) in December, 2009.

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems has recently released a list of it’s most published authors. Using data from Scopus, the list was compiled and sorted according to the number of papers that an author published for the whole life of the journal. The list was limited to authors who have published at least 4 papers in the IEEE TPDS over the last 20+ years. SIT’s Professor Albert Zomaya was on the list, with the 5th highest number of papers in the TPDS. Professor Zomaya was also the only person listed from Australia.

General Sir John Monash Award

Jonathan Kummerfeld

SIT Honours student Jonathan Kummerfeld has received the General Sir John Monash Award.

The award, presented this week by the Governor-General Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, recognises excellent academic achievement and future leadership potential.

Jonathan has a Bachelor of Science (Advanced), and completed honours this year in the School of IT, supervised by Dr James Curran. He was awarded first class honours and the University Medal. The General Sir John Monash Award will enable him to study a Doctor of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) in Computational Science.

His research involves developing computational approaches to problems in chemistry, which he hopes will further the field of sustainable power generation and storage. Jonathan is also a trumpeter, a vocalist, and a long distance runner.

Zelie Wood, who has Bachelor of Arts and LLB from the University of Sydney also received an General Sir John Monash Award.

Dr Peter Binks, CEO of the John Monash Foundation, highlighted the success of the Sydney University graduates: "Jonathan and Zelie are outstanding winners, not just for their academic excellence, but also for their community involvement and their leadership capabilities."

About The General Sir John Monash Award
Annually, up to eight Awards are made to outstanding Australian citizens graduating from Australian Universities to enable them to undertake postgraduate study abroad at the world's best universities.

The awards are based on various criteria, including outstanding intellect, leadership, altruism and active citizenship and the applicant's potential to contribute to their field and to the community.

IT Students win Graph Drawing Competition

School of IT students Nicholas Jefferson and Hui Lui have won prizes at the 16th Graph Drawing Contest, which was held in conjunction with the 17th International Symposium on Graph Drawing (GD 2009) in Chicago this year.

Competition organisers provide graphs that are partially laid out, then entrants from around the world try to make pictures of the graphs, creating an aesthetic drawing suitable for the application domain. They need to be innovative and in most cases, the winning entries invent new visualization algorithms. There were 4 categories this year: A Simple Tree; An Org Chart; A Flow Chart and A Mystery City Graph, and each category was awarded a prize.

PhD student Nicholas Jefferson won first prize in the Org Chart category, and MIT student Hui Lui won first prize in the Flow Chart category. The flow chart had 57 nodes and 72 directed edges. 26 nodes were fixed and 24 edges were fixed. A diamond pattern was created to highlight the fixed nodes.

Congratulations to Nicholas and Hui.