Speak and ye shall find: speech-only web search leads to scholarship success

Research Masters student Johanne Trippas won a 10,000 Euro scholarship

Masters student Johanne Trippas won a €10,000 scholarship

A 10,000 Euro scholarship is set to help Computer Science student Johanne Trippas pursue her Masters research project into web search using speech-only communication channels that could help people with disabilities to more easily access information.

The scholarship is funded by the VOCATIO Foundation from Johanne’s home country of Belgium and is offered to Belgians under the age of 30 who are undertaking a project they are passionate about and which contributes to society in a broader sense.

Johanne was one of a very small number who got the award this year and she’s especially delighted with the funding.

“This is brilliant news as the scholarship allows me to travel to the US to meet with a team at the University of Massachusetts and ​I will also have the opportunity to meet researchers in user experience at University of California, Santa Cruz,” she said. “I’m very fortunate to receive this, as it is a very prestigious scholarship in Belgium, coming under the patronage of Their Royal Highnesses King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, with leading researchers and artists on the selection committee, and in addition to financial support, the foundation offers winners career mentoring and the opportunity to network with former laureates and leading figures in your particular field.”

​Established in 1963 as the “Fondation belge de la Vocation”, before being rechristened “VOCATIO” in 2011, the organisation supports young people in Belgium ​to pursue a ‘life project’ (or your vocation) that benefits wider society in some way. Projects can be in a number of fields including technology, art and science, and the aim is to enable young people to make an impact irrespective of their background.

“As part of my application, I presented the selection committee with my Masters research project which is investigating browsing web search results over a speech-only communication channel”, Johanne said. “I discussed how valuable browsing web search results over a speech-only communication channel would be for people with disabilities as it would enable them to access information with greater ease.”

How much is it worth? What does the scholarship entail?
​The scholarship is worth 10,000 euros. I receive the first half now and I have up to three years to demonstrate the progress I have made with my project before receiving the second half.​
In what way will this scholarship help you?
​This scholarship allows me to travel to the US to meet with a team at the University of Massachusetts. ​I will also have the opportunity to meet researchers in user experience at University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition, the scholarship helps fund me as I complete my research project.
Which organisation gave you the scholarship and what do they do?
​The scholarship is from VOCATIO (www.vocatio.be) which is a foundation established in 1963. They support young people in Belgium ​to pursue a ‘life project’ (or your vocation) which will benefit wider society in some way. Projects can be in a number of fields including technology, art and science. In addition to financial support, the foundation offers winners career mentoring and the opportunity to network with former laureates and leading figures in your particular field. Their goal is to enable young people to achieve irrespective of their background.
Is this a prestigious or exclusive scholarship in Belgium? Are many awarded?
Ten to fifteen scholarships of up to 10,000 euros are awarded each year. Candidates are selected out of 350-400 applicants. ​ ​
​It is a prestigious scholarship under the patronage of Their Royal Highnesses King Philippe and Queen Mathilde with leading researchers and artists on the selection committee.
What are you studying?
I am studying Masters of Computer Science with a minor thesis.
Why did you choose to study at RMIT?
​I decided to study at RMIT because it is a leading university in computer science but it also offers a very hands-on learning experience. When I was choosing where to study, I felt that this practical approach would be very useful for future employment opportunities.
What do you like about studying at RMIT and studying computer science?
RMIT is a very supportive environment and the staff have been very helpful Studying at RMIT has offered me the opportunity to meet people from many diverse backgrounds
What sort of path do you wish to follow after your masters? What are your career ambitions? What do you enjoy about technology and computing?
​I’m looking at continuing my research into a PhD​ and work to contribute to the knowledge of Human Computer Interaction
How common is it for women to study or work in ICT in Belgium? How does the situation in Australia compare? What are the key issues for you?
​ In both Belgium and Australia women continue to be in the minority in ICT. With technology being such a significant part of our lives today, it is important that more women are part of the process of creating technology. Key to getting more women involved is promoting the study of science and technology amongst girls in schools and having networking initiatives for women working in the industry.
What sort of interesting projects, groups or other things have you been involved in while at RMIT?
I have been involved in an interesting project to make a robot with Microsoft Kinect sensors for the Artificial Intelligence department, this has been one of the highlights of my studies. It was a project with other volunteer students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. I learned a lot and met new people from my department who encouraged me to do well in my courses.
I’ve been involved with a team of students to create a good RMIT experience, and acted as a mentor to new international students. I have also been active as a tutor for a couple of courses at the School of Computer Science and Information Technology.
I was also a lead ambassador for Girl Geek Coffees, who are trying to provide meaningful interpersonal support to female students and early career in ICT and related STEM fields. I helped organise meet and greet open discussion groups.
What sort of study/learning environment is it at RMIT and how does this compare to Belgium? How do you find your fellow students and your tutors?
​ The learning environment at RMIT is very supportive and offers a lot of flexibility (so you can study full-time or part-time) with individual learning needs taken into account. So it is possible, for example, to study and work as many classes in computer science are offered outside of business hours. This is great for people who might want to change their career or who have financial commitments and family responsibilities. I have been told that in Belgium there is less flexibility with many universities offering a more traditional model of education for full-time students.
What is it about Melbourne and RMIT that you like? What do you enjoy doing?
​I love the diversity of Melbourne – you meet so many people from so many different parts of the world. And the beauty of technology today is that my family and friends in Europe are never far away! Outside of studies I enjoy climbing, running and singing in my local community choir. ​

Johanne is also pleased that the extra funding will allow her to remain in Melbourne at RMIT.

​”RMIT is a very supportive environment and the staff have been very helpful, while I’ve also been able to meet so many people,” she said. “I love the diversity of Melbourne – you meet so many people from so many different parts of the world – and the beauty of technology today is that my family and friends in Europe are never far away!”

While it was practical considerations that led her to choose RMIT to study, Johanne has found that there are so many other compelling reasons to remain in Melbourne.

“I decided to study at RMIT because it is a leading university in computer science, but it also offers a very hands-on learning experience, and when I was choosing where to study, I felt that this practical approach would be very useful for future employment opportunities,” she said. “Outside of studies I enjoy climbing, running and singing in my local community choir, but I have also been involved in an interesting project to make a robot with Microsoft Kinect sensors for the Artificial Intelligence department, which has been one of the highlights of my studies.”

It was a project with other volunteer students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programs and I learned a lot, while meeting new people from my department who encouraged me to do well in my courses.”

As well as project work, Johanne has also been heavily involved with helping to guide new students and in promoting the involvement and interest of women in computing and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

“I’ve been involved with a team of students to create a good RMIT experience, and acted as a mentor to new international students, while I’ve also been active as a tutor for a couple of courses at the School of Computer Science and IT,” she said. “I’ve also been a lead ambassador for Girl Geek Coffees, who are trying to provide meaningful interpersonal support to female students and early career professionals in ICT and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.”

Increasing the numbers of women actively participating in computer science and ICT, whether in a research capacity or as industry professionals is especially important to Johanne.

“In both Belgium and Australia women continue to be in the minority in ICT, and with technology being such a significant part of our lives today, it is important that more women are part of the process of creating technology,” she said. “The key to getting more women involved is promoting the study of science and technology amongst girls in schools and having networking initiatives for women working in the industry.”

​For her own part, Johanne sees her career as continuing in a research direction, which might possibly see her remain at RMIT in Melbourne.

“I’m looking at continuing my research into a PhD​ and working to contribute to the knowledge of Human Computer Interaction,’ she said. “The learning environment at RMIT is very supportive and offers a lot of flexibility (so you can study full-time or part-time) with individual learning needs taken into account, so it is possible, for example, to study and work, as many classes in computer science are offered outside of business hours. This is great for people who might want to change their career or who have financial commitments and family responsibilities, though I’ve been told that in Belgium there is less flexibility with many universities offering a more traditional model of education for full-time students.”

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Paper trail leads William to academic heights

PhD student William Raffe, Dr Fabio Zambetta and Ass Prof Xiaodong Li have co-published with Kenneth O. Stanley (a major player in games research who  visited from Florida to give a NICTA Vision talk: <a href=”http://youtu.be/tZBViI8ZaU0″ target=”_blank”>http://youtu.be/tZBViI8ZaU0</a>) a paper entitled “An Integrated Approach to Personalized Procedural Map Generation using Evolutionary Algorithms” in IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games.
That is the top journal for AI in Games with an impact factor of 1.694
(at the level of other established top machine learning and AI
journals).
This is the key contribution from William’s PhD that has just been
passed, by the way :-)
Computer Science PhD student William Raffe with his co-authors Associate Professor Xiaodong Li and Dr Fabio Zambetta.

Computer Science PhD student William Raffe with his co-authors: Associate Professor Xiaodong Li and Dr Fabio Zambetta.

Having your thesis passed would be cause enough to start celebrating for most students, but Computer Science PhD William Raffe also discovered that he was getting a paper published in one of the top peer-reviewed journals in his field.

The paper, “An Integrated Approach to Personalised Procedural Map Generation using Evolutionary Algorithms“, was published in IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, which is a journal produced by IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and is considered the top journal for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Games (with an impact factor of 1.694).

“By publishing there, I not only exposed my work to a rigorous peer-review process (which has benefited my thesis immensely) but have also disseminated the knowledge to a large audience of like-minded games researchers; an important achievement for any research student studying AI in games,” said William.

“The journal is relatively new, but is growing in popularity and impact every year and is a preferred venue for experts in the field, such as my co-authors, who I can’t thank enough for their support and encouragement.”

William produced the paper in collaboration with his thesis supervisors from the School of Computer Science and IT, Associate Professor Xiaodong Li and Dr Fabio Zambetta, as well as Kenneth O. Stanley (a major player in games research from the University of Central Florida who visited the school to give a NICTA-sponsored talk, “Discovery without objectives“).

“This paper is about personalising video games to the preferences and skills of individual players,” said William. “This is done by getting a player to leave feedback on the maps in the game that they play, and this data is then combined with machine learning and evolutionary computing techniques to procedurally generate new maps that are tailored to maximise that player’s enjoyment.

“This is important, because rather than assuming that all players are the same or fit into broad categories, as is traditionally done, personalised procedural content generation respects the individuality of each player.”

While he was primary supervisor during William’s PhD, Dr Fabio Zambetta is also keen to point out that his familiarity with William’s work does not begin or end there.

“Getting the paper published in a top journal is a great achievement for William and it’s great to see his PhD passed too, but I’m not surprised,” he said. “I’ve watched William’s progress since he was an outstanding undergraduate student here at RMIT, then through his PhD, and now Xiaodong and I are delighted to have him working with us as a Postdoc Fellow on an ARC Linkage grant.”

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Professor Sellis explains Big Data potential to Australia’s financial sector leaders

Big Data expert Professor Timos Sellis

Big Data expert Professor Timos Sellis

After speaking in Melbourne today (5 August) at a major conference for business leaders, RMIT Big Data expert Professor Timos Sellis is off to Sydney on Thursday to present the same seminar at the event’s second leg. The conference is one of the biggest ANZ Technology & Innovation events for the financial sector, featuring top financial services institutions such as Westpac, ANZ, GE Capital, Commonwealth Bank and BT Financial Group.

The Sydney and Melbourne editions of the conference, Technology & Innovation – the Future of Customer Experience and Business Intelligence, are bringing together the best and brightest of Australia’s financial sector to share their industry-specific experiences.

As one of the keynote topics on the conference agenda, Professor Sellis explains how to harness big data analytics for improved business and customer insights. More details of Professor Sellis’ talk today can be found on the Melbourne agenda, while the Sydney conference has a slightly altered schedule.

Exploring and discovering information by sifting through large quantities of data
How to acquire, understand and correlate social media for decision making
Understanding the behaviour of customers based on geospatial and text data
Speaker: Professor Timos Sellis, International Big Data Expert, RMIT UniversityTransforming Big Data into Unlimited Knowledge
How is the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data affecting knowledge discovery?
Exploring and discovering information by sifting through large quantities of data
How to acquire, understand and correlate social media for decision making
Understanding the behaviour of customers based on geospatial and text data
Speaker: Professor Timos Sellis, International Big Data Expert,
Transforming Big Data into Unlimited Knowledge

  • How is the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data affecting knowledge discovery?
  • Exploring and discovering information by sifting through large quantities of data
  • How to acquire, understand and correlate social media for decision making
  • Understanding the behaviour of customers based on geospatial and text data

Speaker: Professor Timos Sellis, International Big Data Expert, RMIT University

RMIT University
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Clean sweep for RMIT in student iAwards at ICT industry gala night

RMIT student projects claimed both the undergraduate and postgraduate prizes at the 2014 Victorian iAwards, a showpiece industry event to celebrate the best of the best of Victoria’s ICT scene.

iAwards banner

The two projects from RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT faced intense competition, with more than 90 nominations across a range of categories – a 40 per cent increase in nominations from last year – and Head of School Professor Athman Bouguettaya believes that winning these iAwards shows the calibre of not just the projects themselves, but also of the work being done in the school.

“I’m so proud of our students for producing such outstandingly innovative projects, and the staff for excellent supervision and leadership,” he said. “It’s gratifying to receive this sort of recognition from the local ICT industry, as that’s primarily the aim of much of the work we do – industry-partnered and industry-focused with real world applications.”

The iAwards are hosted by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and the Pearcey Foundation, honouring the most innovative and unique ICT solutions, companies and individuals on an annual basis, and are highly valued as industry recognition of excellence and innovation.

2014 Victorian postgraduate iAward for RMIT's EnviS

2014 Victorian iAward for RMIT's EnviS

“Everyone sits up and takes notice of the iAwards, as they’re all about innovation and providing industry-focused solutions, which is why such prestigious institutions as the ACS, AIIA and Pearcey established them,” said Professor Bouguettaya. “We’re keen to build on success like this, to develop even more partnerships with businesses and organisations, whether from within or from outside the ICT industry, who are seeking tech-based answers to their particular problems.”

The winner of the postgraduate iAward, EnviS, is a wireless multi-sensor monitoring system that tracks movement and monitors the accruing data accordingly. It was developed over three months by a team of five RMIT postgraduate Computer Science students during their Software Engineering course, and continued by a product development team, all recent graduates of RMIT’s Industrial Design program, from the School of Architecture and Design. Leading the project is Dr Flora Salim, from the School of Computer Science and IT, and she hopes that this iAward will help EnviS attract an industry sponsor to help develop the tool to its full potential.

“EnviS has mainly been a research project that has been supported by various seed fundings in RMIT,” said Dr Salim. “Now that EnviS has won the Victorian state level iAwards for postgraduate student project category, we are calling for industry partners to collaborate with us and invest in this project.”

The wireless sensor network modules are cheap to manufacture en masse, and end-users will be able to add or remove sensors to suit their needs, which widens the potential market for the product, according to Dr Salim, while creating the app for Android also allows for greater flexibility and scalability in the future. Dr Salim believes the EnviS wireless sensor network modules could be adopted to suit a range of different uses, including:

  • Smart health and activity monitoring. The router-nodes are fitted with accelerometers to monitor the low-level activities (walking, standing, sitting, running, cycling, etc). If combined with location information derived from GPS or Wifi access point data, the data could be analysed to monitor high level routines and predict the users’ activity and mobility patterns over time. If associated with their medical and physiological data, their cardiovascular activities can also be measured.
  • Parents can attach the sensor modules to their children’s school bags and monitor their whereabouts, activities, and the environmental contexts (air quality, noise, etc).
  • Smart home/building monitoring. EnviS could be used as a wireless sensor network at fixed points indoor and outdoor to monitor the changing thermal, light, noise, and occupancy conditions, and air quality indoor and outdoor. With the data management on the cloud, the data could be analysed to inform better operational management and reduce energy.

The undergraduate iAward went to RMIT Bachelor of Software Engineering student Shishir Chawla for his work in the initial development of an evaluation tool for assessing housing options. The tool is currently being developed by RMIT with funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC)SJB Urban and the Telematics Trust. As part of the RMIT team working on the tool, looking into how people make housing choices and implications for the city, Dr Dhirendra Singh is very excited about the interest being shown in Shishir’s work and the potential impact it could have.

“This iAward is great recognition of the value of this tool for home buyers and renters, and the excellent work Shishir has done in developing it,” said Dr Singh. “It really is about helping us make informed housing choices, and building vibrant and sustainable cities and neighbourhoods, and the tool is getting a lot of interest from all sorts of people and organisations (including realestate.com.au), even while still under development.”

Winners of the State iAwards will now go on to compete in the National iAwards in August, which is sponsored by the Victorian Coalition Government. Find out more about the iAwards.

EnviS: personalised wireless sensor monitoring system

EnviS is an integration of configurable wireless sensor network modules with cloud-based web services, which include a database that stores real-time readings from multiple sensor types and a mobile application which provides both historical and real-time data visualization of sensor readings within user-modelled three-dimensional maps of indoor spaces. Find out more.

This project is seeking an industry sponsor to help with further development and if you wish to get involved, contact Flora Salim (flora.salim@rmit.edu.au).

Housing Assessment Tool

Housing Assessment Tool.
* The Housing Assessment Tool was conceived of by SJB Urban (http://www.sjb.com.au/people/urban-design), and is currently being developed by RMIT, with funding from the Australian Research Council (435k for the larger project looking into how people make housing choices and implications for the city: http://goo.gl/zCZrfg), the Telematics Trust (http://www.telematics.org.au/), and SJB Urban. A early version of the tool was awarded the Victorian iAward this week for work by student Shishir Chawla: http://goo.gl/r7DbLE. A first public release is planned for later this year.
* The tool gives home buyers and renters an easy way to evaluate their housing options. Users can enter any residential address in Australia, and the tool then accesses it on a range of lifetime affordability and liveability factors. These include how well the place rates in terms of walking access to shops and services, how well connected it is in terms of public transport, and how accessible are green open spaces. It can even calculate the actual time it will take to travel to the user’s workplace or other frequent destinations, using public transport or car, and compare their costs. Assessment also covers aspects of the specific dwelling, such as likely ongoing energy costs based on the type of house, but also recommendations where significant savings are possible.

The tool gives home buyers and renters an easy way to evaluate their housing options. Users can enter any residential address in Australia, and the tool then accesses it on a range of lifetime affordability and liveability factors. These include how well the place rates in terms of walking access to shops and services, how well connected it is in terms of public transport, and how accessible are green open spaces. It can even calculate the actual time it will take to travel to the user’s workplace or other frequent destinations, using public transport or car, and compare their costs. Assessment also covers aspects of the specific dwelling, such as likely ongoing energy costs based on the type of house, but also recommendations where significant savings are possible. A first public release is planned for later this year.

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iAwards in the news

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Boeing scholarships for CSIT students at Science Awards night

Here are the recipients for the School of Computer Science and IT and Boeing Scholarship:
1) NICTA Prize for Computer Science – Best Bachelor of Comp Sci in their final year.
Joshua John Webb
2) NICTA Prize for Information Technology – Best Bachelor of Info Tech in their final year.
Jayden Kristian Ivanovic
3) NICTA Prize for Software Engineering – Best Bachelor of Software Engineering in their final year.
Wriddhi Banerjee
4) NICTA Prize for Master of Computer Science – Best Master of Computer Science in their final year.
Pulkit Karawal
Alsharif Abuadbba
** As per before, for the Boeing Scholarship, out of 5 awards/recipients, 4 were CSIT students:
1) Boeing Female UG Scholarship – Bachelor of Info Tech
Kim Alda Tria
2) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Maria Elena Duenas
3) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Saurav Jha
4) Boeing Middle to Latter Career Undergraduate Scholarship – Bachelor of Technology( Computing Studies)
Yoann Herve StringiniHere are the recipients for the School of Computer Science and IT and Boeing Scholarship:
1) NICTA Prize for Computer Science – Best Bachelor of Comp Sci in their final year.
Joshua John Webb
2) NICTA Prize for Information Technology – Best Bachelor of Info Tech in their final year.
Jayden Kristian Ivanovic
3) NICTA Prize for Software Engineering – Best Bachelor of Software Engineering in their final year.
Wriddhi Banerjee
4) NICTA Prize for Master of Computer Science – Best Master of Computer Science in their final year.
Pulkit Karawal
Alsharif Abuadbba
** As per before, for the Boeing Scholarship, out of 5 awards/recipients, 4 were CSIT students:
1) Boeing Female UG Scholarship – Bachelor of Info Tech
Kim Alda Tria
2) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Maria Elena Duenas
3) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Saurav Jha
4) Boeing Middle to Latter Career Undergraduate Scholarship – Bachelor of Technology( Computing Studies)
Yoann Herve Stringini
The SEH Science Prizes Ceremony 2014

The SEH Science Prizes Ceremony 2014

Computer Science and IT students took out four of the five Boeing scholarships awarded at RMIT’s Science Prizes ceremony, held on 15 May 2014 at Storey Hall, Melbourne. The School of Computer Science and IT is one of four science schools at RMIT University, yet its students dominated the Boeing scholarships – the only awards competed for by students from all the science schools. Read more about RMIT’s Science Prizes ceremony.

Here are the prizes awarded to students for the School of Computer Science and IT:
NICTA Prize for Computer Science – Best Bachelor of Comp Sci in their final year.
Joshua John Webb
NICTA Prize for Information Technology – Best Bachelor of Info Tech in their final year.
Jayden Kristian Ivanovic
NICTA Prize for Software Engineering – Best Bachelor of Software Engineering in their final year.
Wriddhi Banerjee
NICTA Prize for Master of Computer Science – Best Master of Computer Science in their final year.
Pulkit Karawal and Alsharif Abuadbba

The Boeing Scholarship (out of 5 awards/recipients, 4 were CSIT students):

1) Boeing Female UG Scholarship – Bachelor of Info Tech
Kim Alda Tria
2) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Maria Elena Duenas
3) Boeing Postgraduate Scholarship – Master of Comp Sci
Saurav Jha
4) Boeing Middle to Latter Career Undergraduate Scholarship – Bachelor of Technology( Computing Studies)
Yoann Herve Stringini

Congratulations to all our student award winners!
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PhD completed, future looking bright for Dr Daniel

Daniel Macias Galindo - PhD completion!

Daniel Macias Galindo - PhD completion!

After all the study Daniel Macías Galindo can finally relax as the erstwhile PhD student at RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT (CSIT) has received his glowing reports from his examiners that confirm his completion.

Currently employed as on Ontologist for Sensis, Daniel had been an active and popular member of the CSIT research student community during his studies. He was involved in all sort of activities, including: the organising committee for the the Computer Science and Information Technology Research Student Conference 2009; member of the RMIT IEEE Student Branch (2009-2010, Website Lead); finalist in RMIT’s Three Minute Thesis Competition 2010; and the organiser of the Agents Meetings for the Multi-Agent Systems Discipline at RMIT University (2011-2012).

“My thesis involved the automatic construction of modular ontologies representing the vocabulary of a topic (e.g. zoos, museums, food),” he said. “These ontologies were incorporated in a conversational system capable of engaging in chat-like dialogue with users and I also investigated the effect of conversational domains in the human perception and automatic measures of semantic relatedness.”

His supervisor, Dr Lawrence Cavedon, is looking forward to working with Daniel on developing some of the ideas from his thesis into future conference papers.

“Congratulations Daniel. These are excellent reports from two very experienced and knowledgeable examiners! There’s very little in the way of ‘corrections’ required, and even suggestions for possible further papers, which we can look into later on. But first, just relax and enjoy it!”

Thesis title: Domain-Sensitive Topic Management in a Modular Conversational Agent Framework
Supervisors: Lawrence Cavedon, John Thangarajah and Wilson Wong
The thesis classification has been “Passed subject to minor amendments”.

Congratulations from everyone at the School of Computer Science and IT and the best of luck with your future career. You’ll be missed at morning tea!

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CSIT students win trip to the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence in Beijing, China

We have 3 PhD students (Mohammad Nabi, Borhan, and Asad) successfully
obtained a travel grant to WCCI’2014 (ERA A conference) in Beijing.
There are only 4 recipients from Australia (for CEC’14), and 3 are
from our ECML group at RMIT!
Let me know if you need further information. Our ECML group I believe
has 12 papers accepted by CEC’14 and IJCCN’14 (part of WCCI’14).  This
is a record for us:-)
Cheers,
Xiaodong
Borhan Kazimipour is one of 3 RMIT students to win prestigious conference travel grants

Borhan Kazimipour is one of 3 RMIT students to win prestigious conference travel grants

Three of the four students from Australia to win travel grants to a major international computing conference are from RMIT University’s School of Computer Science and IT.

The three RMIT students received the grants in recognition for the quality of the papers they submitted to the 2014 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (IEEE CEC 2014), which is part of the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (IEEE WCCI) – the largest and most prestigious technical event in the field of computational intelligence.

Asad Mohammadi, Borhan Kazimipour, and Mohammad Nabi Omidvar are all pursuing PhDs with the School of Computer Science and IT, and the Higher Degree by Research Coordinator, Associate Professor Xiaodong Li, who oversees research students at the school, is very proud of their achievement.

“This is really good news and just demonstrates the calibre of research student we have here at RMIT – genuine world class!” he said. “I’m sure the papers these guys submitted will be highly regarded by the international audience you get for this sort of conference and hopefully they’ll make quite an impact.”

The three students are also members of the school’s Evolutionary Computation and Machine Learning (ECML) group, which is looking forward to making a significant contribution to this year’s conference, taking place from July 6-11, 2014, in Beijing, China.

“There are only 4 recipients from Australia [for IEEE CEC 2014], and 3 are from our ECML group at RMIT,” said Associate Professor Li. “Apparently, our ECML group has 12 papers accepted by CEC 2014 and IJCCN 2014 (The 2014 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, and also part of IEEE WCCI), which is a record for us!”

Rated ‘A’ by Excellence in Research Australia (ERA), the conference is an exciting prospect for PhD student and grant winner Borhan Kazimipour.

“I’ve actually got three papers at the conference, so I’ll be quite busy,” he said. “But all three of us that are going are tremendously excited, as it’s not every day you win a grant to a prestigious conference like this one – it’s a great honour!”

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Silicon enhanced: Ex-CSIT academic Hugh Williams an eBay success story

Hugh Williams: from RMIT to eBay Vice-President in five years

Hugh Williams: from RMIT to eBay Vice-President in five years

From the RMIT School of Computer Science and Information Technology to Vice-President, Experience, Search, and Platforms at eBay, hear what Dr Hugh Williams has to say about making the leap from Melbourne to Silicon Valley.

Read Hugh’s big story in the RMIT Alumni magazine.

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QS rankings rate RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT joint 6th in Australia

You may be interested to learn that RMIT University features in the world’s elite (Top 200) institutions in 10 of the 30 subjects featured in this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject, which will be published on 26th Feb 2014 on www.topuniversities.com and by leading media around the world .
For the third edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, we evaluated 3,002 universities and ranked 689 institutions in total. 130 million of citations attributions were analyzed and we verified the provision of 10,639 programs.
Of particular note, RMIT University has an improved ranking or is featured for the first time in the following subjects:
Engineering – Electrical
Engineering – Mechanical
Congratulations!
The wheel chart below illustrates the performance of your institution across all disciplines with more detailed notes below.
In this year’s QS rankings RMIT University’s School of Computer Science and IT is ranked joint 6th in Australia and receives the highest score of any school across the whole university.
Head of the School of Computer Science and IT Professor Athman Bouguettaya welcomed the recognition and looks forward to the School achieving even more in the year ahead.
RMIT University features in the world’s elite (Top 200) institutions in 10 of the 30 subjects featured in this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject.
For the third edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 3,002 universities were evaluated with 689 institutions ranked in total.
The wheel chart below illustrates the performance of RMIT across all disciplines with more detailed notes below.
QS World University Rankings by Subject | ResultsMethodology

RMIT UNIVERSITY

Subject Academic Employer Citations H Score 2014 Rank
ARTS & HUMANITIES
Modern Languages 29.1

72.7

n/a n/a 42.1

>200
ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY
Computer Science & Info Systems 61.3

87.8

79.3

68.8

73.1

51-100
Engineering – Civil & Structural 30.8

81.5

68.3

73.4

54.0

101-150
Engineering – Electrical 61.5

82.3

75.9

65.3

70.5

51-100
Engineering – Mechanical 67.2

82.6

65.1

68.7

71.8

51-100
LIFE SCIENCES & MEDICINE
Agriculture & Forestry 23.0

55.9

38.8

30.0

30.8

>200
Biological Sciences 46.4

79.3

57.1

38.9

50.5

>200
Medicine 46.5

77.5

51.7

38.1

48.8

>200
Psychology 46.0

86.4

37.1

37.2

56.4

151-200
NATURAL SCIENCES
Chemistry 16.7

76.7

58.4

46.6

43.0

>200
Earth & Marine Sciences 31.7

82.0

43.2

32.9

39.9

>200
Environmental Sciences 52.4

64.9

67.3

54.1

57.9

>200
Mathematics 47.1

89.0

46.2

41.0

54.1

>200
Physics & Astronomy 43.8

74.8

51.3

34.8

49.7

>200
SOCIAL SCIENCES & MANAGEMENT
Accounting & Finance 46.0

73.5

68.5

78.2

59.7

51-100
Communication & Media Studies 44.7

81.7

59.3

59.0

54.2

101-150
Education 43.0

78.2

65.1

54.8

51.6

151-200
Economics & Econometrics 36.8

76.4

34.8

22.6

47.1

151-200
Law 26.9

79.6

50.9

46.8

46.9

151-200
Statistics & Operational Research 31.5

79.5

27.5

26.5

34.5

>200
© 2014 QS Intelligence Unit (a division of QS Intelligence Unit)
QS Quacquarelli Symonds www.qs.com
Founded in 1990, QS Quacquarelli Symonds is the leading global provider of higher education and careers information, independent research and solutions. Its activities span across 50 countries, working with over 2,000 international universities and business schools. QS’s mission is to enable motivated people around the world to fulfil their potential by fostering international mobility, educational achievement and career development. QS provides services at each key career stage; first degree, Masters, PhD, MBA, and Executive-level. The team at QS consists of over 250 highly dedicated individuals from every corner of the world; collectively speaking 35 languages. QS is headquartered in London. Main offices: Paris, Singapore, Stuttgart. Satellite offices: Alicante ( Spain), Beijing, Johannesburg, Philadelphia, Portland ( Oregon), Shanghai, Sydney and Washington DC.

QS Intelligence Unit www.iu.qs.com
QS has been conducting research in a range of areas since 1990 beginning with a global survey of MBA employers. The QS World University Rankings®, the most established of the range of research projects that QS operates, have been in existence since 2004. To meet the increasing public interest for comparative data on universities and organisations, and the growing demand for institutions to develop deeper insight into their competitive environment, the QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU) was formed in 2008 as a distinct and autonomous department. Committed to the key values of rigorous integrity, undeniable value and charismatic presentation, QSIU strives to be the most trusted independent source of global intelligence on the higher education sector.

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IEEE nomination honour for CSIT Head of School

I was just nominated to be on the prestigious  IEEE Fellows
Evaluation Committee for 2014 (CS stream).  This committee evaluates nominations of IEEE Fellows, a world top honor and scholarship  in the field of computing and electronics. To quote the IEEE “As it stands today, the IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership.”  More information can be obtained from http://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/fellows/index.html
Professor Athman Bouguettaya will serve on the IEEE Fellows Committee Evaluation Committee for 2014

Professor Athman Bouguettaya will serve on the IEEE Fellows Committee Evaluation Committee for 2014

Professor Athman Bouguettaya, Head of RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT, has been nominated to serve on the prestigious IEEE Fellows Evaluation Committee for 2014 (Computer Science stream).  This committee evaluates nominations for IEEE Fellows, globally considered a top honour in the field of computing and electronics.

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership.
More information about the IEEE Fellow Program can be found on the IEEE website.
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