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Third AIMES Award Given for Computer Science

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Computer science researcher and PhD student Daniel Playne has won a North Harbour Club award for his groundbreaking work on computer simulations used to solve physics-related problems.


It is the third year running he has received the Massey-sponsored IT, Innovation and Science Award worth $10,000.


The awards, for top achievers from North Shore in arts, information science, music, education and sport (known as AIMES) were presented last week.


Mr Playne enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in 2004, graduating last year with honours. By July this year he had completed his first year of PhD studies in computer science, researched and produced several articles, including a series of three on using graphics cards, which were among the first to be published in this field. He has worked with fellow PhD student Arno Leist and their supervisor Professor Ken Hawick on three more papers submitted to the 2009 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing in Las Vegas, where Mr Playne travelled to present the research.


He says receiving the award was extremely encouraging and motivating. "There are a lot of awards for sport and music, and not a lot for science so it's really great to get this recognition."


Last year he received a Massey Vice-Chancellor's Doctoral Scholarship and a Tertiary Education Commission Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship.


The focus of his current research is creating computer simulations based on mathematical models to represent and further understand a range of phenomena in physics and chemistry. Other projects include the use of high-speed computers to model "quenching", or particle cooling in metal alloys, potentially to be used in creating fortified steel in nuclear reactors.


ENDS

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