Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Here

Hi everyone!

That time of year is just about here - the week of the NZCSRSC 2008 - starting with the main conference 14-17 April followed by the CSUnplugged Workshop 17-18 April. We are excited and looking forward to this fully immersive week. It's all about being part of the NZ ICT family, building your social networks, sharing your ideas, giving and receiving feedback, and learning important skills.

After the check-in at 1:00pm on Monday, we will see the official kick off (***now at 3:00pm***) with the opening ceremony. Straight afterwards, there will be a presentation and trips to the supercomputer - NZ's fastest research supercomputer. At 6pm, we will be at the UCSA ballroom for a nice sit-down dinner followed by a keynote presentation by a well known public speaker and businessman Martz Witty at 7pm. He will be talking about the do's and don'ts of presentations, public speaking, social networking (all the things that are important for us to know!) - with funny stories from his own life - tailored specifically for us. Following the presentation at 8pm will be dessert!

Over the next few days there will be presentation and poster sessions where we will get to hear the latest in research about what is going on around the country. We have had some great quality research papers - and we are looking forward to viewing the presentations (both talks and posters). Digital proceedings will be made available during the conference.

Like everything else, the workshop sessions this year have been designed with postgraduate students in mind, covering 8 of the important issues over two categories (Present and Future). Students can choose four of the eight topics offered - and attend up to four 30 minute sessions on Wednesday afternoon. Check out the workshops page ( for more details.

All keynote speakers (including Edwin Dando, Dave Lane, and David Park) have been chosen specifically for their passion, enthusiasm, and their work in their Industry. These are not managers who are tired of what they are doing - but enthusiastic, passionate people who are right there in the forefront of their field working hard every day. They know the in's and out's of their domain - and what it entails including what works, and what fails. This is their story. Check out:

The Orion Health Social Night on Tuesday promises to be a night of fun and entertainment. Enjoy the evening starting with a casual BBQ dinner (accompanied by a local Jazz trio) and our own local talent (did you remember to pack those instruments?) followed by a Night of Comedy at the Ngaio Marsh (starts at 8pm) with the first performance by nationally renowned Court Jesters. After the intermission, be entertained by the Aranui Drama Theatre Company and their rendition of "Mr. and Mrs A Scottish Play" - a Monty Python-meets-Blackadder take of "Macbeth".

The NZi3 Industry event on Wednesday is geared to meeting and mingling with people that work in Industry. From the stand-up/mingling dinner at 6pm, through to the "Meet the Industry" event at 8pm at the HIT Lab. This should be a very informative and interesting event with people who are very keen to talk with students about daily life in the ICT industry.

The lunches are purposefully informal, casual, stand-up/mingling lunches. This is a chance for you to wander around and talk with others - perhaps the ones whose research presentation has caught your attention. On Tuesday, the lunch will also have "chalk and talk" sessions scattered around the C-Block foyer. Software developers who are working in industry have volunteered their time to come and discuss various issues (including stories from their work life) with students. These include experts in Software development, Processes (including Agile and SCRUM), Test Driven Architectures and Environments, Security .... etc.

Straight after the main ceremony (and the awards for best presentation and poster - yes there will be awards and you will be voting!), the CSUnplugged Workshop will begin. Remember this is separate registration to the main conference - so register now if you haven't already. Everyone is invited to the first session where you will be able to view the very interesting activities of the CSUnplugged project.

Check out the programmes page:

This in an immersive event. Come prepared to inspire and be inspired. This conference is run by students for students ... it is your conference. You are not the 'audience' but the 'interactive participants'.

We are excited and looking forward to seeing you all here next week.

Moffat Mathews
Moffat Mathews,
General Chair,


Orion Health, premium sponsor of the NZCSRSC 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Adding fun to the NZCSRSC 2008

Sharon and XianglinBesides attending presentations, poster sessions and workshops, what else do you expect to experience when coming to NZCSRSC’08? Fun, entertainment, excitement, while keeping within the goals of this immersive event - all this is our job. As the NZCSRSC'08 Ministers of Culture, our main responsibility is to organize all the events during the conference. These include check-in on your arrival, opening and closing ceremonies, the industry event, as well as social event. Therefore everyday, the two of us keep on thinking about how we can make people comfortable and happy, how things can be interesting and appealing, how…

Anyway, I think you get the idea. Now, only if we had an unlimited (non-student) budget!

We want to give you the warmest welcome when you arrive in Christchurch, followed by a "welcome-to-NZCSRSC/Canterbury" opening ceremony. After the ceremony, you may want to take in a tour (with presentation) of NZ’s fastest supercomputer or have a look around the university! That evening we are combining a delicious sit-down dinner with an informative and fun after-dinner public speaker. After presentations on the second day, you get to relax during the social night, meet with others, and make new friends (build your network). Here people can mingle with each other and enjoy a couple of nice comedy shows we have planned. If you are a musician at heart, bring your instruments down and you might have a chance to jam during the BBQ (keep an eye on the forum for more details). The following evening you will be dining and mingling with representatives from the ICT industry. Here you can see some cool demos and talk to people from local or even national wide ICT companies and organizations, and build your industry-based network. We hope that you will find useful information there on software/tools or for future employment, collaboration, or partnerships. On the last day, award presentations and the closing ceremony will, we hope, draw a perfect end to the conference.

Now the question is: “who are we???” “We” are … Sharon and Xianglin - two of a few girls in the Computer Science & Software Engineering Department (We have to add, girls here are powerful!), who enjoy working for this Ministry. Sharon is from the ICTG (Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group). She is currently designing multiple presentations for open student models used in one of the tutoring systems. Xianglin is from the Network Security Lab. Her topic is on the security of Voice over IP.

NZCSRSC is new to the both of us as we enrolled in our Masters thesis in mid 2007, but now we have become very passionate about it and are really looking forward to experiencing it first hand. Imagine … many of the best computer science research students from around the nation will gather here and present their findings; how can we miss such an event! So come on and join us! Let’s talk to each other, learn new things and make friends. Together, let’s make it a fun, educational, interesting, and memorable experience!

Sharon and Xianglin are looking forward to meeting and mingling with all of you at the NZCSRSC'08.


BuildIT, premium sponsor of the NZCSRSC 2008