Friday, February 6, 2009

Discussion Groups!

As you might have seen, registration for NZCSRSC '09 is now open!! At the same time we also revealed some information about something we are quite excited about – the DISCUSSION GROUPS! (Note to ourselves: we need a fancier title for this)

During the conference we'll be introducing a number of discussion groups as part of an effort to strengthen ties in the postgrad computer science community in New Zealand. You, the participants of NZCSRSC '09, will decide which topics are fit for discussion and a short gathering will be arranged where you will be able to discuss those topics with like-minded conference participants.

This idea was inspired by similar concepts like
Birds of a Feather, the Unconference, BarCamp, and others. A similar session was also help at NZCSRSC '07.

You can find
details about how it will work on our conference website.

What will roughly happen is this:

1) You, the participants of NZCSRSC '09, will propose topics during the registration process. Possible topics could be anything related to CS/IT which you think would be an interesting topic to discuss (tip: this would be a good chance to discuss things with link-minded people, that is NOT neccessarily the actual focus of your research ;)

2) After we collected your suggestions for topics, we will send them out to all conference participants. All of you will than have the option to choose up to (probably) 4 different topics which you will actually want to participate in.

3) We will then do some scheduling magic, decide which topics will be discussed at what time, and finally…

4) …we will have the discussion groups, in an informal setting during the conference (groups of around 6-8 people, 15min per discussion, probably during a lunch)

One last thing: We would like to have arbitrators who will guide the individual discussions to some extent (details about the role of arbitrators can be found on the website). Please let us know during the registration process, if you would be up to such an interesting, challenging, character-building, [insert any buzz-word here], and fun task!

Feel free to use the forum to post questions or discuss this event. You can also contact the discussion group committee (Andrew and Christian directly.

We hope that we can get you all excited about this fun event, and we count on your active participation! Looking forward to seeing you all at NZCSRSC '09!


Andrew and Christian


BuildIT, platinum sponsor of NZCSRSC '09

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Registration for NZCSRSC'09 is now open!

Registration for NZCSRSC'09 is now open! Be sure to get in quick to secure your space in the Waipapa Marae for FREE!

As the conference date approaches, I'm feeling both ecstatic and terrified at the same time! Things are really getting fired up here at UoA - sponsors are signing on, and we've secured J.P. Lewis from Weta digital as a keynote speaker, with a number of other exciting speakers in the pipeline.

My main task is looking after external communications, acting as the interface with other universities and departments through our excellent and enthusiastic team of local contacts at your university. This has involved relaying announcements and keeping local contacts abreast of progress in organisation.

I participated in the last two NZCSRSCs, brilliantly organised and hosted by Waikato in 2007 and Canterbury in 2008. NZCSRSC is such a great opportunity to meet students and make friends, find out about the awesome research happening all over the country, attend thoroughly instructive workshops and enjoy wonderful exciting keynote talks -- and if you're a student you can get all this for just $50!

I really can't wait to meet you up here in Auckland come April, as either a NZCSRSC new-comer or a friend from a previous NZCSRSC episode!