Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Earth and computer sciences collaboration a success

3 April, 2014

Earth and computer sciences collaboration a success

When Earth Sciences student Gemma Johnson embarked on a University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship, she didn’t expect to come out of the experience with her first research collaboration under her belt.

Under the supervision of Dr Shaun Barker, Gemma worked with Waikato University Computer Science student Anthony Barr-Smith to create software that optimises the manufacture of terrain models created by a 3D printer.

Before 3D printing, models were commonly made from wood and were costly and time consuming to build.

“My project involved researching how to use the 3D printer to create different methods of displaying Earth sciences related information, such as topography surfaces through contour data, geological fault and fold models, geological maps and so forth, for 3D printing in first-year labs,” says Gemma.

Due to the lack of appropriate existing software, Gemma and Anthony collaborated to develop software, later dubbed '3DTM' (3D Terrain Maker) which models elevation data from any area around the world and converts it into a 3D model format which can be then printed.

“The software I developed with Gemma was similar to something I was developing in my spare time for game creation, using real data pulled from the cloud. The software basically automated a repetitive process that before now was being done by hand,” says Anthony.

“Challenges like this interest me so I created a model generating program that lets you select coordinates and creates a model to your selected detail level. This means anyone could now generate a model, even if they have no experience in modelling software.”

“This scholarship experience was hugely beneficial as I learnt so much about the ups and downs of research, which I’m sure will be great preparation for next year when I start the research component of my masters,” says Gemma.

Gemma, a former Waiuku College student, completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Earth Sciences, with supporting papers in Materials and Processing, and began a Master of Science (Research) this year. She originally chose to study at the University of Waikato due to the “flexibility of the BSc degree, the beautiful campus and top-notch facilities”.

A former Tauranga Boys’ College student, Anthony has a few papers towards left before he completes a Bachelor of Science (Technology) majoring in Computer Science. He is currently taking a year out to work for ISO at the Port of Tauranga, in a position that he describes as “almost the perfect job” for him. Here he is working on automating processes and providing data applications for reporting and logging.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news