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30 Years of Computer Science


30 Years of Computer Science

The computer science department at Waikato University is celebrating its 30th birthday with the creation of a unique kowhaiwhai design that incorporates computer binary language.

The design was unveiled on Friday 5 December, along with four tukutuku panels depicting the traditional baskets of knowledge and honouring the Waikato Iwi.

Since the computer science department officially opened in 1973, it can lay claim to a host of significant research and technology outcomes.

A focus on developing ‘human capital’ has seen a succession of highly sought after graduates emerge from the department. Successful alumni include Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, who now heads up the New York office for Google.com.

The New Zealand Digital Library (NZDL) research group’s Greenstone Software is being used around the world by organisations like UNESCO, the BBC and the New York Botanical Gardens. Head of the group, Professor Ian Witten, was recognised earlier this year with the Namur award, an international humanitarian honour, for work on the software.

Closer to home, successful Waikato company Endace, founded in late 2001 to commercialise technology developed by Professor Ian Graham in the department’s WAND Networks Research Group, has been the recipient of several awards. Endace was recently named the fastest growing company in the Waikato at the 2003 Deloitte/Unlimited Fast 50 competition, with a place of 16th overall in New Zealand, as well as having the Most Innovative Product of the Year in the Westpac Hi Tech 2003 awards.

Last year the Computer Science department started offering the new Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design degree in partnership with the Wanganui School of Design (a school of UCOL) – the first such dual approach in New Zealand. It also offers the unique and well-established four-year Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences honours degree.

Waikato Computer Science student numbers have been growing over the past eight years and the department is expecting this trend to continue in 2004, paving the way for another thirty years of excellence.

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