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Maths, computer science and statistics cups awarded

Friday, July 25, 2014
Maths, computer science and statistics cups awarded

The three top students in mathematics, statistics and computer science at Albany were presented with trophies to celebrate their achievement recently.

Acting head of the Institute for Natural and Mathematical Sciences (INMS) Professor Marti Anderson says the presentation ceremony is a special event.

“What it aims to do is highlight excellence, and we have in our midst today some excellent and wonderful students. You’re the treasure of our today and tomorrow.”

The three cups, for mathematics, statistics and computer science, are presented each year for the best student achievement in the previous year.

Statistics a passion
Top statistics student Sarah Marsden was presented with the Jeffrey J Hunter Cup by Professor Hunter, who was the founding head of the Institute. The cup was first presented in 2008, after Professor Hunter retired. Pakuranga-based Ms Marsden is studying a Bachelor of Science with a double major in statistics and computer science by distance learning.

Now a third-year student, before returning to study Ms Marsden had a successful career as a personal assistant. But after a chance aptitude test uncovered outstanding analytical skills, she decided to pursue further studies.
“I do all my study from my dining room table, but I love it,” she says.

Mathematics one option
Orewa’s Hayden Purdy, who attended Wentworth College, was presented with the Albany Mathematics Cup, awarded to the top undergraduate student.

A third-year student, Mr Purdy is currently completing a Bachelor of Science with a double major in mathematics and computer science, and is considering his options on which career pathway to pursue, including taking an honours degree in computer science.

Professor Mick Roberts, who presented Mr Purdy with his cup says previous winners have gone on to work in prestigious positions both in academia and industry in New Zealand and overseas.

Carrying on a family tradition
The NZ Computer Society Cup for the top undergraduate student in computer science was awarded to Jonathan Scogings, a fourth-year student currently completing Honours in Computer Science.

Mr Scogings, from Browns Bay, was a student at Rangitoto College, and is carrying on a family tradition. His father, Associate Professor Chris Scogings is programme director for information sciences, and his mother, Mrs Ursula Scogings, is a senior tutor in computer science. His brother Grant was also there to see him receive his award.

Dr Scogings says that all three students have worked hard to achieve such top results.

“We’re delighted to present these cups to these outstanding students, who have all worked so hard to achieve such success. It’s also a testament to the dedication of our staff, who are able to give more individual attention to our students, which is a benefit of having smaller classes. We now regularly have large companies coming on to campus to actively recruit students, and I think all three winners today have excellent prospects for their future.”

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