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Victoria Takes Top Honours in Int. Competition

Victoria Takes Top Honours in International Competition

Victoria University computer scientists, Professor James Noble and Associate Professor Robert Biddle, have taken top honours in the Eclipse Software Development Innovation Awards, winning a combined prize package of $US35,000.

Computer giant IBM sponsored the awards, which recognised 70 winners from around the globe for their expertise in software development. Victoria is the only tertiary institution to receive two awards in Australasia.

Professor Noble and Associate Professor Robert Biddle, both from the Victoria’s School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, received their research grants in recognition of the creative and innovative nature of their submission to the programme.

Entrants in the awards must submit research proposals based around software programs using the Eclipse software development platform. This year, the awards were made to applicants from more than 12 countries. IBM sponsors the awards as a way of promoting the awareness and use of the Eclipse platform.

Victoria’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, sees the awards as direct recognition of the calibre of the University’s staff and research programmes.

“These grants represent a significant achievement in the international arena by Victoria University staff and also serve to highlight the competencies and skill-sets of the people we have leading our teaching and research activities on a daily basis.”

IBM New Zealand Managing Director Nick Lambert was delighted to have been able to present awards to two New Zealanders.

“These awards are recognition that their skills are equal to the best and most innovative software development minds in the academic world. On a personal level it is particularly pleasing that the winners are both staff at my own alma mater.”

Professor Noble’s award will help him further his work on an extension of Java programming language, which uses ownership types to help programmers avoid aliasing, which occurs when one component of a programme can be reached in two different ways.

Professor Biddle will use his grant to investigate whether aspect-oriented programming and visualisation can be supported in a particular software environment, which will help both programmers and students to write programmes more effectively.

The Eclipse platform is an industrial-strength open source project dedicated to providing robust, full-featured, commercial-quality software development tools. Eclipse additionally offers significant value to researchers and educators, by providing infrastructure for conducting research and developing curricula in many areas of computer science and computer engineering, with particular relevance to programming languages, development tools, collaboration and programming environments.

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