We’re now a School of Computer Science

From 1st January 2019 we are now a School of Computer Science, which is the university’s way of recognising our size and complexity. We are the largest academic unit in the Faculty of Science (by number of students, comprising around 1400 EFTS). We manage seven undergraduate degrees (in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Systems, Logic and Computation, and Computational Biology – and also teach into Software Engineering). We manage nine postgraduate degrees (in Computer Science, Data Science, Digital Security, and Information Technology). We are home to the Auckland ICT Graduate School and its associated Microstrategy Centre of Excellence. We have 54 academic staff including 10 professors and 7 associate professors. We have three formal research centres (Cyber Security Foundry, Centre for Computational Evolution, and Centre for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science). We celebrate being made a school, recognising Computer Science as a very large and diverse part of the university with great strengths and expertise across the major fields of Computer Science.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2019/01/were-now-school-of-computer-science.html


Google is tracking Santa

We all know that Google probably has a pretty good idea where we are most of the time. Well, this year they will be tracking Santa’s movements as he delivers presents to all the good children around the world. Follow Santa’s journey as he sets of just before midnight on Christmas Eve with Google’s Santa Tracker. Happy holidays everyone.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/12/google-is-tracking-santa.html

Teenager Finds Classical Alternative to Quantum Recommendation Algorithm

A teenager from Texas has taken quantum computing down a notch. In a paper posted online earlier this month, 18-year-old Ewin Tang proved that ordinary computers can solve an important computing problem with performance potentially comparable to that of a quantum computer. Read more about this in Quanta Magazine.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/12/teenager-finds-classical-alternative-to.html

The 20 best tech gadgets of 2018

It’s nearly Christmas, perhaps you want to buy a gift for someone, or for yourself. Here’s a list of the 20 best tech gadgets of 2018 compiled by the Guardian.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-20-best-tech-gadgets-of-2018.html

Computer Science wins major international award

John Hosking, The Dean of Science at The University of Auckland, writes that: “Peerwise, developed by Computer Science’s Paul Denny, has won the QS Reimagine Education 2018/19 Award, which includes a $US 25,000 prize. Peerwise was the overall winner and won the ICT Tools for Teaching and Learning category in a competition that attracted 1,184 teams to submit portfolios of their work each of which was judged according to four criteria: Pedagogical approach, Engagement and reach, Measurable impact, and Scalability.

This is very well deserved recognition for Paul and the Peerwise team, who have clearly demonstrated that the Peerwise approach enhances learning outcomes for students.

Peerwise is in use in 80 countries by more than 0.5M students.”

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/12/computer-science-wins-major.html

NASA’s inSight probe lands on Mars

I’m a big fan of NASA’s space exploration program using probes and rovers. Yesterday their latest probe, InSight, successfully landed on Mars. Landing on Mars isn’t easy, almost half the missions to Mars have failed during landing. InSight is already sending photos back to Earth (see above). You can follow the mission on NASA’s website here.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/11/nasas-insight-probe-lands-on-mars.html

Voice of HAL 9000 actor dies

Douglas Rain, the actor best known for voicing the homicidal HAL 9000 computer in Stanley Kubrick‘s film 2001: A Space Odysseyhas died aged 90. HAL 9000 is probably the most famous computer in Science-Fiction. The movie was prescient is showing that speech would be the primary method that we would use to communicate with computers.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2018/11/voice-of-hal-9000-actor-dies.html