Being the newsletter of
The Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences Assembled with care by Freda Mickisch with the vital assistance of
Merrill Bowers, the contributors and readers
From the Head of IIMS ...1
News of the people ...3
ANZIAM medal 2006 ...4
Bio of a new staff member...5
MISG 2006 ...5
A Date with a Bit of History (or: “How I Spent my Summer Holidays”)...8
White Christmas in Blighty ...9
Poetry corner ...11
A visit to Nelson the sunniest city in New Zealand ...11
Next month in history ...12
Research news and views...13
Research at IIMS...15
Save Our Clocks! ...17
Are you a true-blue New Zealander?...18
Laughter lines ...19
PG Diary ...21 Much ado about a lot…
From the Head of IIMS
Welcome back to a new year in IIMS. Our
"family" has grown yet again, as can be seen by the new staff and postgraduate student arrivals.
There have been new awards and successes, some high-profile and some quietly achieved.
Comments in the recent PRP assessments show what a motivated and highly-achieving group of staff we have in IIMS. The last set of SECAT results also have produced startlingly-high student assessments of IIMS staff, and it has
been a pleasure for me to write congratulatory letters to those surveyed.
We start the year in good heart, I think. Overall student enrolment numbers appear to be rising to at least those of 2005, although it is too early to predict final numbers just yet. There is no doubt that, as I allude to above, our students get good teaching, and are served by a group of academic staff with excellent credentials, judging by the research activity and conference invitations and presentations. The PBRF is going to give us an increased average this time round, due to increased awareness of the responsibility of each of us to ensure that our research is sound and that we are active in promoting the environment which nurtures it.
ANZIAM Medal winner
At the annual ANZIAM (Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics) conference held 5 – 9 February in Mansfield (Victoria, Australia), Professor Graeme Wake was awarded the ANZIAM Medal. This is the premier award that ANZIAM bestows. It is awarded on the basis of:
- Research achievements,
- Activities enhancing applied or industrial mathematics, or both, and
- Contributions to ANZIAM.
Congratulations, Graeme - the recognition is very well-deserved.
(See also article later in Newsletter.) The 3 Albany MISG's
Graeme Wake's efforts as Director of the successful Mathematics-in-Industry Study Groups organised here at Albany over the last 3 years have also been most appreciated by ANZIAM. He has been supported by a large IIMS team, including Winston Sweatman as one of the Deputy Directors, Nikki Luke as Administrator, Stephen Ford as technician and cameraman, Leng Leng Lim as Assistant Editor of the Proceedings (with help from Mini Ghosh), several staff who have acted as Moderators (including Winston Sweatman, Barry McDonald, Mick Roberts, Tasos Tsoularis, Claire Jordan and Robert McKibbin) and postgrads as Student Moderators (including Sharleen Harper, Ratneesh Suri, Joanne Mann, Galkadowite Senaratne and Amanda Elvin).
Stephen Ford, one of our Computer Consultants, has resigned his position with his last day (Tuesday 21 February) already gone. Stephen, who is planning a big OE with travel to the other side of the World, has been a great asset to the Institute; Stephen, you will be missed. We paid tribute to Stephen at one of our morning teas, where several people spoke of his willingness, skill and good humour.
- Welcome to Dr Rosemary Stockdale and Dr Brian Whitworth who have both recently taken up Senior Lectureships in Information Systems.
Information is now on our "people" webpage about their research interests, etc. Rosemary can be found in QA2.17 and Brian in QA2.19. The IS staff group is now at last up to a good strength.
- Welcome to Ms Nicoleen Cloete, who is taking up a 10-month Lectureship in Mathematics, to do some teaching as well as collaborate in Professor Mick Roberts' research programme.
[Nicoleen did some teaching for us in 2004, so it is really "Welcome back!"] Nicoleen's study is Room IIMS3.18.
- Also welcome to Dr Ljiljana Skuljan, a FRST Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr Ian Bond and Winston Sweatman on the MOA project.
Ljiljana's study is QA2.51.
- We are pleased to welcome Mr Montri Thongmoon and Ms Naowarat (Nina) Manitcharoen, Mathematics students from Thailand (enrolled there for PhD and MSc respectively), who have recently arrived to spend several months in IIMS while continuing their research. Montri and Nina are in Rooms IIMS2.14 and 2.13 respectively.
- Recently-started PhD students include Enrico de Klerk (supervised by Drs Martin Johnson, Chris Messom and Napoleon Reyes) and Wei Lin (supervised by Drs Ian Bond and Winston Sweatman). Each will be able to be found in one of the PhD studies in QA.
Medical Informatics visitor
Dr Sophie Cockroft has been visiting Professor Tony Norris for about a month to collaborate in work on medical informatics. Sophie has now returned to Australia.
(See also article under Tony Norris, later in Newsletter.)
Congratulations to Chao Fan and Kathryn MacCallum, who have both won Massey PhD Scholarships, and also to Natalia Nehring, Qing Zhang and Aaron Wong who have all won Massey Masterate Scholarships. Also, Maarten Jordens is starting a Masters degree with some NZIMA funding.
Discipline Leader for Mathematics:
Professor Gaven Martin has agreed to take over the role of Discipline Leader for Mathematics, and is so designated forthwith.
Centre for Mathematics in Industry:
Professor Graeme Wake is to be the Director of the CMI for the next 3-year agreement period.
Dr Rashid is one of a group whose proposal for a new "Encyclopedia of Enterprise Systems" has been accepted for production by Idea Group Inc.
This is a big project, and one in which many IIMS staff will be interested. Congratulations, Rashid – plenty of work ahead!
News of the people
by Merrill Bowers
Merrill Bowers collates this material on general news relating to IIMS people.
Judy Le Heron…
On 1 March, Judy and Richard Le Heron became grandparents for the first time.
Their daughter Kiri and husband Richard had a 9 week premature baby girl called Ellie. She is still in hospital but is now improving daily.
…Sadly just 4 hours before Ellie was born, Judy’s Mother in law passed away.
Chip off the ‘old block!...
Congratulations to Robert McKibbin’s son, James, who is the Head Boy at Birkenhead College this year.
Megan and Tony Richardson are delighted to announce that they are expecting their second child in early July.
Statistics and fitness…
Beatrix and Claire took part in the Special K duathlon held in Orewa on Sunday February 19th. The event consisted of a 3.5km run followed by a 10km cycle followed by a 1.5km run. Beatrix completed the running part and Claire the cycling. After months of, ahem, arduous training, they finished in a very respectable 49 minutes and 11 seconds, second fastest of the 27 pairs competing.
25 years of marriage to celebrate…
Gaven Martin and Diane Brunton.
March 1981 - the photograph was taken in the grounds of the University of Auckland.
Just graduated from university and married.
Potluck Dinner…Friday 3 March 2006.
Our Institute’s Potluck dinners are always a success and this one was no exception. Around 60 people attended and as usual we had a wonderful array of food. The wine was donated by Graeme Wake from MISG, for which we were very grateful.
ANZIAM medal 2006
Research medal for Australasia awarded to Massey Professor
At the annual ANZIAM (Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics) conference held 5-9 February in Mansfield (Victoria, Australia), Graeme Wake, Professor of Industrial Mathematics at Massey University, was awarded the ANZIAM Medal for 2006.
The ANZIAM medal is awarded on the basis of - Research achievements,
- Activities enhancing applied or industrial mathematics, or both, and
- Contributions to ANZIAM.
This is the premier award that ANZIAM bestows and is usually awarded every 2 years.
Professor Wake is the first NZ-based person to receive this award, which was first awarded in 1995.
Professor Peter Taylor, President of ANZIAM (left) announcing the award of the ANZIAM Medal for 2006.to Professor Graeme Wake.
Citation for The 2006 ANZIAM medal
The Selection Panel for the 2006 ANZIAM Medal proposes that the Medal be awarded to Professor Graeme Wake. We cite the following
outstanding contributions by Professor Wake in terms of the selection criteria for the medal.
Graeme Wake's research career is very broad- ranging, both in areas of application and in its mathematical basis. He has published more than 175 papers, most in refereed international journals. His first paper in 1964 was entitled
“Calorimetry of oxidation reactions” and his third in 1969 was entitled “Uniqueness theorem for a system of parabolic differential equations”.
This movement between applications and mathematical methods has been a constant theme of his research ever since. Thermal problems, especially involving chemical reactions and combustion, have continued as his major application of interest, and parabolic differential equations as a major mathematical method. However, there have been many other interests, especially lately in biological areas and dynamical systems.
Prof. Wake's academic and professional merit has been recognised by awards, appointments, and elections to significant bodies. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2004, and has been a Fellow of the NZ Mathematical Society since 1999 (and President of that Society twice, first in 1979-80) and of the IMA in the UK since 1977. He has supervised more than 22 completed PhD theses, and is Associate Editor of five international journals. His academic career has included Chairs at Massey University, University of Canterbury and University of Auckland, as well as visiting appointments in the UK and USA. He is a strong and competent academic leader, carrying the flag for Applied Mathematics with great vigour in NZ and internationally.
Prof. Wake has made very substantial contributions to ANZIAM. He was elected to the Chair of the Division in 1995, serving two years as Chair, and two years as Deputy Chair. In fact Wake was the very first New Zealander to be so elected. He was universally recognised as having done an excellent job in his two years in the Chair, and in particular was able to manage the fact that most of the business of ANZIAM relates to Australia, while maintaining a uniquely NZ contribution. Even prior to his period as Chair, and indeed prior to its transformation (to which he contributed substantially) from a Division of the Australian Mathematical Society, he was an active supporter of ANZIAM, a regular attendee at its conferences, and an Associate Editor of its Journal. More recently, he has been Director of
its Mathematics-in-Industry program, and again was responsible for the first migration of the annual MISG meeting across the Tasman in 2004.
Graeme Wake has shown by his energy and achievement over a long career that he meets the criteria for this award. The Selection Panel recommends that Professor Graeme Wake be awarded the ANZIAM Medal for 2006.
Bio of a new staff member
Tony joined Massey as Professor of Information Systems from the University of Auckland in late November 2005 just in time for what seemed an endless round of Christmas celebrations. He is now finding the truth of the old saying ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.
At Auckland, Tony was Deputy Head in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management but post-school in the UK he began his career as a laboratory chemist with BP before moving into academic research and then lecturing in physical chemistry.
Research interests centred on gas reactions and explosions and that experience (I valued my eyebrows!) encouraged journeys through the far less dangerous realms of mathematics, computing, and information systems.
Whilst at Southampton University, he was approached by the local University Hospitals Trust to mount some IT training and this led to a move into health informatics – the application of information management and technology to the planning and delivery of high–quality and cost- effective healthcare. A lecture tour to New Zealand in 1999, produced an invitation to help Auckland University develop this new area.
Massey is the eighth university that Tony has taught at and he believes that it promises to be one of the best yet with a rare combination of quality, professionalism, and humanity.
Outside the University, Tony’s main interests centre on his wife Jo, a Kiwi (‘I liked the people so much I married one’), wine, and his high-end audio system, the glowing valves of which provide some useful heating to overcome the inability of Aucklanders to insulate their houses properly.
Adjunct to Tony’s Bio:
Dr Sophie Cockcroft from the University Of Queensland Business School spent part of her sabbatical leave with Tony Norris in Information Systems. Sophie’s research interests span both the technical (databases, conceptual data modelling and system development) and social (privacy and security) aspects of information systems. Whilst here, she worked with Tony and a Canadian colleague on the impact of information and communication technologies on informed consent in healthcare.
Today’s ease of travel and communication make healthcare information privacy a global issue and it is hoped that the international collaboration will help to address the problems and opportunities presented by the technology.
by Graeme Wake Director MISG 2006
The Mathematics-in-Industry Study Group took place as follows:
30th January – 3rd February 2006
Massey University at Albany, Auckland, NZ This was the third of three ANZIAM MISGs that the Centre for Mathematics-in-Industry at Massey University has hosted. I can report:
1. Seven good problems were presented. See Appendix 1 attached. A problem (number 7) was obtained from Australia after considerable effort was spent in this connection.
2. There were approximately 110 registrants, with substantial representation from Korea, reflecting our ANZ effort at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
31 students overall attended.
3. The budget of $NZ 64,000 was on target.
This is made up of:
Industry contributions 7 x $NZ5000 -
$35,000 + GST NZ Foundation of RST $22,000 + GST
Statistics NZ (Govrnmt Dept) $2,000 + GST
4. There were 19 Student Grants awarded of
All students (31) got a free WED dinner ticket.
5. The Minister of Research Science and Technology for NZ, Dr Steve Maharey opened the Study Group and Professor Kinnear, VC of Massey University also spoke in the opening session.
The problem “formulation, solution and report”
format was followed as usual and supplemented by:
- A Student workshop on the Tuesday - Plenary talks on the Wednesday afternoon - An informal dinner at a nearby beach on Wed.
7. Dr Peter Howell of OCIAM came as a senior facilitator, and contributed talks in the Student Workshop and Plenary sessions. Peter has attended MISGs before and is well-known in ANZ.
8. During the year the Proceedings of MISG 2004 appeared and were distributed.
It was free to participants, and otherwise sold.
DVDs of the MISG2005 were produced and proved popular. They are excellent for teaching and promotion purposes. The Proceedings of MISG2005 were being produced in time for MISG2006. Ms Leng Leng Lim, a postgraduate student here at Massey University acted as a very able Assistant Editor.
9. As in 2005, FRST staff were in attendance to facilitate the forming of on-going contracts, post MISG.
Points to Ponder:
1. The statistical input is increasing, with 2 problems this year being substantially statistical in character (as in 2005). This has fortunately attracted good statistically-qualified people and I
have included talks on statistical modelling issues in the plenary sessions. Statistics NZ, a Government Department approached me late in 2005 for details and are, as a result, to be heavily represented at MISG2006. They also came up with a sponsorship package.
Are we looking at MSISGs?
Should we seek an alliance or partnership with SAA/NZ?
We certainly need to continue to attract statistically-qualified Professionals to future MISGs.
2. Trans-Tasman collaboration works well for us but Industry is much harder to crack in this connection. Accordingly I have sought, and obtained, an ongoing (post MISG in NZ from March 2006) mechanism by which we will have
“Industry-specific in-house targeted workshops”
with small hand-picked teams visiting a week at a time with the host industries. Funding for this from the NZ Government is expected. It is expected both NZ and Australian experts will be in these teams. This in turn should throw up suitable problems for future MISGs. This will be run from our Centre for Mathematics-in- Industry in conjunction with the NZ Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology – the latter is to provide the funding. As Director of Massey’s Centre for Mathematics-in-Industry I have agreed to oversee this activity.
Postscript and Thanks:
As this concludes my term as Director of the ANZIAM MISG, I would like to thank the ANZIAM organisation for its strong support of myself and our Centre, while we were entrusted with the task. It has been demanding but rewarding and has, I sincerely believe, improved the activity in this area in NZ especially. The immediate point above is an obvious long- lasting footprint which would not have happened without the chance of us hosting MISG in NZ. I firmly believe this is one of many (not the only of course) good ways of furthering the health of our profession World-wide and I have really enjoyed the opportunity ANZIAM offered.
Thank you to the ANZIAM organisation for trusting us to do it.
I wish the next Director, A/Prof Tim Marchant, and all the team at Wollongong, much success with their stewardship of MISG2007+. I look forward to continued participation in MISG from New Zealand, and hope I can continue to assist from the sidelines as this unfolds.
Problems for MISG2006
1. Multi-variable relationships in a batch annealing process. New Zealand Steel Ltd, Glenbrook.
2. Process driven models for spray retention by plants.
Plant Protection Chemistry NZ, Rotorua.
3. Developing a prediction model for agricultural land management.
Soil Sustainability Management Group, c/o Crop and Food Research, Christchurch.
4. Expectation for loss of supply in the New Zealand power system. Transpower, Wellington.
6. Dynamical modelling of a washing machine balancing system. Fisher & Paykel, Auckland.
6. Tree growth and wood formation - application of anisotropic surface growth. Ensis Ltd, Rotorua.
7. Sustainable water management in the Minerals Industry. Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry / Australian Coal Association Research Program, Queensland.
by Hossein Sarrafzadeh
Next generation intelligent tutoring systems On Thursday February 16, Dr Bruce MacDonald and Dr Liz Broadbent from the Robotics Research Group at Auckland University visited Dr Abdolhossein Sarrafzadeh and other members of the NGITS team including Dr Hokyoung Ryu and PhD students Farhad Dadgostar, Chao Fan and Samuel Alexander.
The Robotics Research Group is working on Human Robot Interaction and Instructable Systems. Their research goal is to provide trainable systems to help humans. Dr MacDonald is the Chair of IEEE in the North Island.
The purpose of the visit was to collaborate in research on issues of mutual interest. The robotics team is keen on using the emotion
detection tools developed by the NGITS group at Massey, Albany for Human Robot Interaction.
Dr Ryu’s research interest is also in Human Robot Interaction. During the visit Farhad presented his hand gesture analysis system, Chao Fan presented his real-time facial expression analysis system and Sam talked about his PhD project and explained the tools he is using for developing agents capable of expressing emotion.
The two teams discussed future collaboration and agreed:
• For the NGITS team to visit Auckland University and to continue to have similar visit in 2006
• Hold a workshop for the PhD students of the two teams to present their projects and receive feedback
• Jointly apply for NERF funding
• For the planned NGITS conference- Affective Computing and Intelligent Human Machine Interaction to be sponsored by IEEE The visit was very useful and well organized.
The NGITS team would like to express their thanks to the Institute for their support.
A Date with a Bit of History (or: “How I Spent my Summer Holidays”)
by David Wilton
Having heaps of leave owing to me and about to be subjected to the old “use it or lose it” regime, I had to come up with some creative ways of using it. This article describes a three-week stint I spent as a volunteer with Tongariro Natural History Society (TNHS) in January-February this year, ostensibly to undertake a task of identifying, surveying and documenting the numerous sites of archaeological and/or historical interest in the Tongariro National Park region.
As I live in Thames and Torbay and my day-job is that of a lecturer in Information Sciences, the background to how I ended up at TNHS doing a historical survey makes quite an interesting story in itself. To set the scene, I’ll attempt the short version. I’ve been a DoC volunteer for about 3 years, mostly working in the Coromandel area, and during 2005 I carried out some research aimed at improving the telemetry system for the Moehau kiwi sanctuary. In one of my research projects, another current TNHS volunteer who is also a Coromandel resident, came to help out and also brought along a couple of the other TNHS volunteers – quite a substantial addition to the work force.
Incidentally, this project was very successful and the Moehau sanctuary now has a permanent telemetry station which monitors transmitter- equipped birds entering or leaving the sanctuary area - a kind of automated “border patrol” if you like. Previously, if birds emigrated from the sanctuary, they simply “went missing” and often were never located again, or in best-case, turned up tens of km away several months later.
I guess as a kind of quid pro quo and also because I know the Tongariro area well (having served in the NZ Army for 20 years with several postings to Waiouru) I offered to spend three weeks of my annual leave with TNHS. This was accepted & the task offered to me was the historical survey. I jumped at that, being interested in local history and wanting a complete change from telemetry.
I soon found, however, that the small workforce of TNHS means that everyone has to pitch in to help with far more than just their own
designated task(s). In my case, this meant that I spent probably about half of the three weeks engaged in non-historical work, such as the Waimarino wetlands & Lake Rotopounamu projects and also “incidentals” such as helping with the annual Tussock Traverse mountain race, sorting out the TNHS computer system and repainting the historic old Waihohonu hut.
While this was a bit of a distraction, it did add lots of interest and variety and also gave exposure to many new conservation-related tasks such as filling bait stations and installing tracking tunnels.
Regarding my main task – historical sites – we did actually manage to make progress in this area as well. We decided that a two-pronged approach was needed – firstly, there was a need to continue the site surveys that had been started by two other volunteers in January 2005. We managed to complete another seven site surveys which have been written up in the NZ Archaeological Association format for submission to DoC and eventually for inclusion in the CINZAS (Central Index of NZ Archaeological Sites) database.
We were able to utilise modern information technology to assist in finding sites initially and then in describing and documenting them.
Technologies useful in this regard were GPS (for navigating our way to locations, and also geo-locating them for finding in the future), computer imagery, including digital photos and air photos, digital mapping applications (particularly TUMONZ – The Ultimate Map of NZ – which retails for about $200 and gives a low-end GIS capability at a fraction of the cost of a true GIS) and modern Office Automation applications such as MS Word and Powerpoint.
Examples of the outputs that have been drafted into CINZAS reports are shown below.
An example of the use of technology for the location of a site was that of the old Tongariro Farm which is about 20km south of Turangi, and just off the Desert Road. The only information we had was that it was somewhere near the Mangamate Stream and a description (nearly 20 years old) of what was there. (Incidentally, what was originally tussock is now quite thick Kanuka scrub.) Using the TUMONZ air photos of the area, we identified a likely track in and a few areas that could contain the relics we sought. Using GPS, we navigated to the area(s) and conducted a detailed ground search (as detailed as two people can do in about four
hours, anyway). We were able to locate all the known relics (sheep dip and tank, site of old shearing shed and staff quarters) and just for good measure, we found the remains of another building that doesn’t appear to have been documented before.
The second prong of our approach was to attempt to analyse and catalogue the large quantity of information on historical sites that TNHS was handed by DoC last year, with a plea to help analyse it. On my first day, I was handed a large cardboard box with envelopes stuffed full of maps with sticky labels and handwritten notes and numerous other documents. It soon became apparent that many of the sites referred to in this collection were already known and/or recorded by DoC and/or included on the CINZAS database. An Excel spreadsheet system was set up to catalogue the information in the box, and work was commenced to record each location (specified on the maps or other documents), determine whether it represented a “new” (unknown) site and allocate some sort of priority for TNHS to conduct a survey of it.
It is estimated that about 25-30% of the information contained in the box has now been analysed. A key finding is that only about 20%
of the sites require a TNHS survey, although there are a few “unknowns”, which represent difficulty in determining whether a site on CINZAS is actually the same as one marked on a map or detailed in another document. Work on this aspect will continue as time and staff availability allow.
In summary, I enjoyed my three weeks with TNHS immensely, and I feel we made significant progress on the historical sites task. I certainly don’t claim to be an ace historian (even after three weeks intensive experience) but believe I managed to introduce some information management techniques and IT which should assist the task. The TNHS staff and volunteers were great to work with – I came away knowing a lot more about conservation techniques than when I arrived.
See the www site at http://www.tongariro.org.nz for an excellent description of TNHS. New members and volunteers are always welcome!
By the way, I’m going back to help in a survey of very rare blue ducks (whio) in the Kaimanawas at the end of February – helicopter flights in and out at DoC expense.
Old log bridge in Tongariro National Park.
GPS waypoints of old bridge site plotted in TUMONZ and superimposed on an air photo of the area. (The detail on this photo appears clearer on the IIMS Newsletter website.)
White Christmas in Blighty
by Dave Parsons
Over the Christmas break I visited the United Kingdom for a combination of work and family visiting. My ticket was paid for with overseas duties funds, so part of my time was spent in research related activities. Somehow I manage to choose eventful times to visit the UK. Last time I went, suicide bombers were attacking London, and this time our flights coincided with a major fire at an oil storage depot near Heathrow. However we were fortunately unaffected by the giant black cloud spreading over Southern England. My wife and eldest daughter flew out on December 12, and I followed on with my other two daughters on December 19, leaving the New Zealand summer for Winter in the UK. The only compensation
for this was a (nearly) white Christmas.
Unusually for England (where snow is more common in January and February), it snowed on boxing day evening, though down South it was no more than a sprinkling, forcing the construction of a rather small snowman.
After the Christmas holidays I got down to work. I travelled to London to visit my commissioning editor at Thomson Learning, who has the impressive name of Gaynor Redvers Mutton. My last book (the second edition of Introductory Java) came out in 2003, since which time I have been trying, unsuccessfully to get another contract. This was my fourth proposal, each one of which had involved a large amount of work producing book outlines and sample chapters for review, so I was beginning to despair of ever getting to write another text. However I am pleased to say that this time I was given a contract to produce the book, provisionally entitled Web Application Development with XML and Java. Now there is just the small matter of actually writing it by the end of the year…
While I was in London I also met with Cliff Murphy, a director of Liemur. Liemur is a software consultancy and training company largely comprised of former colleagues from Valtech, the French software consultancy that I worked for in London before coming to New Zealand. We discussed plans for a future seminar presentation in London while having a few drinks at a 15th century pub near London Bridge. Just a bit more character than the British Isles Inn at Rothesay Bay...
The following Monday I caught a plane to Manchester and drove up to Lancaster University to meet with my longstanding research collaborator, Dr Awais Rashid, who runs the Aspect Oriented Software Engineering group there. We first met at the European Conference on Object Oriented Programming (ECOOP) in Brussels in 1998, where we both attended the same PhD workshop. Along with two others we went on to run the workshop in Lisbon the following year, and have continued to work together when possible. In fact one of our joint papers has just been published in Software Practice and Experience, alas too late for the PBRF deadline. On the Tuesday I presented a seminar at the university on the combination of Java Data Objects and Aspect Oriented Programming on mobile devices. It was well attended, and I was pleased that one of
the attendees was Nigel Davies, who is a significant researcher in mobile computing, and we had a useful discussion after the seminar.
Awais and I intend to continue with joint research on this topic over the coming year.
On Wednesday 11, I was at Southampton Solent University, where I had lectured from 1990 to 1999. It was a good chance to meet up with old colleagues, and I presented a seminar to the IT and Computing groups within the technology faculty. Afterwards I met with ‘Professor of Software Quality’ Margaret Ross, regarding the British Computer Society Quality Specialist Interest group. I was invited to submit papers to their joint software quality conferences in April, and also to explore the possibility of organising a joint British Computer Society / New Zealand Computer Society software quality conference in New Zealand, hopefully to be hosted at Massey. Apparently there has already been a positive response from the NZCS regarding this proposal in principle, so I hope to pursue this further on my next visit to the UK which I hope will be in April to present at the two BCS refereed conferences, the 14th International Software Quality Management (SQM) Conference and 11th International Conference for Process Improvement Research and Education (INSPIRE).
On the way back to NZ we stopped over in LA for a short break. Anyone who complains about the traffic into Auckland should try driving a rental car the size of a house in LA. Even London orbital motorway didn’t prepare me for the sheer volume of traffic.
We got back to New Zealand on January 17, which was a beautiful day, and it was great to be back in my adoptive home and have a beer on the deck.
If you are interested in the content of either of my two seminars, the slides can be found on my
Massey University web page,
Mobile Data Management in Location Based Services, Lancaster University, January 10 2006 Applications for the Mobile Web, Southampton Solent University, January 11 2006.
submitted by Merrill Bowers
Klimt, Gustav. The Kiss. c. 1907-8.
by Bianca Ginevra Turabi I close my eyes
Seeking refuge from my surroundings Enveloped in his arms
Sheltered by a blanket of protection I drift beyond the harshness
And leave it all behind He releases me for a moment Looking down at me
Searching for comfort in my eyes We are mesmerised
Caught up in the silent security Of one another
My eyes close
When the kiss befalls me
Like silk on skin and sun on face Enraptured by the sweet sensation Swept away on the waves of eternity He embraces me once again
And I retreat
To the sanctuary of his arms
A visit to Nelson the sunniest city in New Zealand
by Farhad Dadgostar
The International Association for Pattern Recognition Workshop on Document Analysis Systems (DAS) is a prestigious bi-annual conference presenting the state of the art research and applications of document analysis.
DAS 2006 was the seventh conference in its series and was held in Nelson, New Zealand.
The DAS conference is based on the tradition of past workshops held in Kaiserslautern, Germany (1994), Malvern, PA (1996), Nagano, Japan (1998), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2000), Princeton, NJ (2002) and Florence, Italy (2004).
The conference covered a wide range of subjects in document analysis including systems architecture, multi-lingual documents, algorithms for layout analysis, document image processing for the Internet, and document reformatting for multimodal mobile access.
In addition to enjoying my stay in the beautiful city of Nelson (and the meals of course), I found the conference very well organized and of high quality. This was a great opportunity for me to meet the pioneers of the subject including Larry Spitz (see the picture) who was this year’s conference chair, and become familiar with current challenges and progresses.
I also spoke with several people from the industry including the CEO of a US based company who showed interest in the research we are doing at Massey University and was
asked to arrange further contacts for possible collaboration in the areas related to quality of life for the disabled.
My travel was funded by the DAS conference committee. I would like to acknowledge and give my thanks to the sponsors who made it possible for me to attend the conference, and meet those great people. I would also like to thank IIMS for providing the funding for me to attend the IVCNZ earlier, where I met the people who funded this travel.
Next month in history
by Chris Scogings
17 February 1843 – The Battle of Miani Sindh is the southern province of Pakistan and, by 1843, had been divided under three distinct rulers - the Amir of Khairpur in the north, the Amir of Hyderabad in the centre and the Amir of Mirpur about 70km away from Hyderabad.
The British had signed a treaty with the Amirs allowing them to occupy the great port of Karachi in the south. The roads through Sindh as well as the Indus river were vital supply routes from Karachi northwards to where British forces were fighting in the Punjab, the North- West Frontier and beyond. Due to the recent British retreat from Qandahar in southern Afghanistan, the Amirs began plotting to fight against the British – as well as amongst themselves. Little evidence of these complex plots remains and much speculation has taken place as to exactly what was going on.
The British General commanding in Sindh, Sir Charles Napier, decided that it was pointless to wait until the forces of the Amirs were ready and he decided to launch a pre-emptive strike.
During January he began to move his army towards Hyderabad. On 16 February they reached Matari and scouts reported that the main forces of the Amirs of Khairpur and Hyderabad were 15km away, entrenched in the dry bed of the Falaili river near Miani (Meanee). The lowest estimate of the enemy's strength was 22,000. Napier's force was less than 2,800, and this number was further reduced by six hundred in charge of baggage. Of the 2,200 men remaining, fewer than five hundred were British
and the rest were pro-British Indians including the famous Bengal cavalry.
At dawn on the 17th of February, the British formed a battle line and advanced towards the Amirs’ forces who had formed in the dry river bed with their artillery behind them. Thus the two lines faced each other with the British on the river bank firing down into the masses in the broad, deep river bed below them. The Amirs’
forces (many from the neighbouring province of Balochistan) made frequent charges but as these were not delivered in concert along the line, the British troops were able to overlap their flanks and push them back over the edge. For over two hours the Balochis persevered. Hundreds were blown away by British guns firing grape shot at point blank range but the gaps in their line were continually filled from the rear. Finally the Bengali cavalry charged into the enemy flank and tipped the balance. The forces of the Amirs withdrew having lost over 6,000 killed or wounded. The British, having lost 250 men, marched into Hyderabad.
Amir Shir Muhammad, the Lion of Mirpur, confident that the British would be defeated – and not wanting to swell the triumph of his rivals – had waited a few miles off, with 10,000 men. He now retreated to Mirpur, where he soon found himself at the head of 25,000 men.
Napier was now faced with numerous difficulties. His force was greatly reduced, the temperature was approaching 50 degrees in the shade, he had no transport, and he was obliged to garrison Hyderabad with 500 men.
Fortunately for him, Shir Muhammad was cautious and preferred to wait in a defensive position but as time went by and the British were reinforced, his army became restive and he was forced to attack.
On the 24th of March 1843 the two armies met at Dubba, about 12km north-west of Hyderabad.
The Lion of Mirpur reached the area first and entrenched his 25,000 men in two lines. The flanks were well held – one resting on the village of Dubba and the other on an impassable area of soft mud in the river bed. Napier formed his 5,000 troops into line and then personally led a charge against the village which was captured after much hard fighting and resulted in placing the British in a position to outflank the enemy line. At this point the Mirpur forces withdrew having lost 5,000 men against 270 British. Shir Muhammad fled northwards and was eventually defeated on 14 June at Shah-dal-pur.
Sindh had been conquered and was annexed as part of the British Empire. A great controversy arose as to the necessity for the war – many people maintained that the conquest and annexation was unnecessary and that negotiations and treaties with the Amirs would have served the same purpose. Napier and others maintained that the Amirs were inherently anti-British and were negotiating only while searching for a weakness on the British side. Sir Charles Napier was hailed as a great hero throughout the British Empire and a town in New Zealand was named after him. A great bronze statue of him was raised in Trafalgar square in London where it can still be seen today at the left of the staircase down to St. James’s Park. The statue was paid for by donations from the public and the majority of donations came from the private soldiers who served under him.
When the last Amir was defeated, Napier sent a telegraph to Lord Ellenborough, Governor- General of India to inform him of the conquest of Sindh. In those days telegraphs were charged by the word and the commanding officer was expected to pay for them out of his own pocket.
Napier sent what has become the shortest military communication in history – his telegraph consisted of the single word “Peccavi”
which is Latin meaning “I have sinned”.
Research news and views
by Ken Hawick
We continue our series of articles bringing technology to the masses. This month André Barczak describes the Linux operating system.
As some of you may already know Linux is of particular importance to us in IIMS as it’s the operating system used to run our supercomputer clusters. Linux is also the common operating system of choice to give students a chance to use something other than the usual proprietary you know whose OS. Andre and Heath James have recently set up the twin Linux systems
"Romulus and Remus" which are being used to help computing students learn just what goes on under the user interface of a modern operating system.
Hopefully these semi technical articles are proving of interest. We would appreciate any further volunteers who could describe one of their favourite software tools or technologies.
by André Barczak
According to www.linux.org, “Linux is an operating system that was initially created as a hobby by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland.” Linus worked from 1991 to 1994 on his project until the kernel version 1.0 was released under the GNU license (www.gnu.org). The source is freely available to the public. What started as a mix of hobby and undergrad project, rapidly became very serious to the point where “IBM, Hewlett-Packard and other giants of the computing world have embraced Linux and support its ongoing development.”
People who use Windows OS tend to think of Linux as difficult and awkward to use, something useful only for hackers. Maybe that was the perception when the first distributions were released, but that is not true for the newest ones. In fact the installation is as easy as any other OS. But even if that is the case, why should we bother using it? Because Linux is free, it is reliable and it is efficient.
The first advantage, the “financial” one. Firstly why is it free? Can you get any value for free?
There is a subtle difference between open source and free software (see www.gnu.org and www.fsf.org). The reason for the existence of open source is historical. When AT&T developed UNIX they were licensing it at cost price to the universities, mainly due to some anti-trust laws that were troubling the company at the time. Because of that they were never really too enthusiastic about giving support to the system, users started to support themselves gathering in electronic communities and sharing tips, code and knowledge (AT&T gave away the source code when licensing UNIX, some aspects of this story can be seen in Ritchie, 1984).
Slowly the idea was extended to many areas of software development. So many years before Linus Torvalds created his OS there were many existing free/open source software and platforms.
Why Linux is reliable? Mainly because it was based on UNIX, an OS that accumulated more than 30 years of experimentation. Another reason is that more developers can get their hands on the source codes of an open software and point out mistakes and problems. In some
cases the process works like an informal peer- review, where developers from other projects can contribute by reviewing the code.
Commercial software development cycles tend to be slower to complete, not only because this is a very expensive exercise, but also because it may be difficult to admit that there is a flaw in the OS. A comparison between commercial and open source UNIX showed that “the reliability of the basic utilities from GNU and Linux were noticeably better than those of the commercial systems” (Miller et. al., 2000). Although the paper does not explain the reasons why this happens, it has been suggested that it is the informal peer-review process during the development cycle that improves the quality of open source code.
Is Linux really more efficient? Even if the user is not into the technicalities, Linux tends to be more efficient in part because the kernel can be built only for its purpose, i.e., without any extra
“hooks” that would be needed. For example, one can build an optimum kernel without any graphical interfaces for machines that will only act as servers.
A common misconception regarding Linux is about what kind of software it is capable of running. Normally the distributions will pack Linux together with other software which include graphical interfaces, utilities, etc. Often proprietary software is included in distributions.
Therefore there are sometimes remarkable differences between two distributions, to the point where a user of one distribution would have to be acquainted with another distribution before he can manage the system comfortably (usually it takes just a couple of hours). Linux users tend to stick to their favourite distribution.
The most common ones are listed in www.linux.org.
There is a strong argument in favour of open source software that has a relationship with culture. There are many communities around the world that are desperately trying to preserve their native languages. It is usually too expensive to translate software for languages with few speakers, so no commercial software would be available in their own languages. A classic example is Icelandic. There are less than 300 thousand speakers, not enough to justify a Windows version in Icelandic (Holmarsdottir, 2001). They adopted Linux as soon as they realised the potential language freedom.
Eventually Microsoft agreed to translate
Windows, but apparently still did not do so completely for Word, Excel etc. Interestingly Microsoft just released a M ori version of
Windows and Office
(http://www.microsoft.com/nz/maori/), but there was already a Linux distribution in M ori since 2004 (http://www.nzlinux.org.nz/index.html).
The strength of the open source in this case is that these language communities can translate software independently.
Summing up, Linux might not be a panacea, but we cannot underestimate its potential both in the academia (as a teaching and research platform) and in industry (where in areas such as embedded software Linux already has a very strong position indeed).
How to pronounce Linux?
The original name in Finish language would be pronounced more like “LIH-nucks”
The Linux penguin
A penguin is the official logo for Linux – Its name is Tux. Linus explained why he chose a penguin, but I also add the fact that most penguins live in an internationalised continent, so one presumes that no politics are involved with the logo.
What are the countries that adopt Linux for their publicly owned institutions (government, schools, Universities)?
Brazil, India, South Africa, China, Russia and South Korea are using Linux to support government and educational platforms.
Other countries such as Germany have made agreements to favour desktop machines pre- loaded with SuSE (a popular distribution in Germany).
New Zealand has been particularly slow to join the trend, possibly because of the lack of expertise in late 90s and early 00s. It is surprising that we still lack computer labs for undergrad students that at least offer the option of running Linux, which would potentially save thousands of dollars in license fees, while still offering a similar if not better service. Students are catching up though, as many ask us how to get Linux installed at home, so they can broaden their OS skills. Students can benefit from a lot of free information (documentation, tutorials, technical reports etc) besides the OS itself.
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/schools.html the gnu arguments on why they think schools should only use free software.
A (very) cheap laptop for developing countries:
Recently MIT proposed a cheap machine for developing countries that would cost about US$100.00
stm). In order to keep the costs down the
machines will run Linux
How many supercomputer sites use Linux?
Professor Meuer (who maintains the top500 list) estimates that Linux is installed in about 301 of the 500 top machines, compared to 189 on Unix, two on FreeBSD, and one on Microsoft's Windows.
(http://www.forbes.com/home/enterprisetech/20 05/03/15/cz_dl_0315linux.html). Massey's own clusters (Sisters, Helix, DoubleHelix) also use Linux. Clearly Linux and Unix are the OSs of choice for scientific computing.
The SCO controversy
In 2003 SCO (Santa Cruz Operations) prosecuted IBM claiming that they released code to the public that belonged to SCO. Allegedly parts of the Linux kernel use their proprietary code. After two and a half years of litigation SCO refuses to tell developers which parts would be proprietary, which makes defence very difficult (it is like saying someone has stolen goods from you, but you refuse to tell the police what exactly was stolen... so the would-be burglar can't prove his/her innocence). A common view is that this is a strategy to delay the inevitable, i.e., the fact that Linux is taking over a large chunk of the market share. More
 H. B. Holmarsdottir “Icelandic: A Lesser- Used Language in the Global Community”
International Review of Education, vol. 47, pp.
379 - 394 , 2001.
 B. Miller et. al., Fuzz Revisited: a Re- examination of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities
and Services, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2000.
 D.M. Ritchie, "The Evolution of the UNIX Time-sharing System," AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal vol. 63, number 8, 1984.
Research at IIMS
IIMS research news reported at December and January 2006.
Cat 1 - Refereed Journal Papers
Ben-Tal A. (2006). Simplified models for gas exchange in the human lungs. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 238, 2, 474-495.
Jones, B., & West, M. (2005). Covariance decomposition in undirected Gaussian graphical models. Biometrika, 92, 4, 779-786.
Jones, B., Carvalho, C., Dobra, A., Hans, Carter, C. C., West, M. (2005). Experiments in stochastic computation for high dimensional graphical models. Statistical Science, 20, 4, 388- 400.
Parsons, D., Rashid, A., Telea, A., & Speck, A.
(2006). An architectural pattern for designing component-based application frameworks.
Software Practice and Experience, 36, 2, 157- 190. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi- bin/abstract/112146617/ABSTRACT
Hasan, S. M. Rezaul, & Ula, N. (2005). A novel feed-forward compensation technique for single- stage full-differential CMOS folded cascode rail-to-rail amplifier. Electrical Engineering (Archiv fur Elektrotechnik), [online http://www.springerlink.de/(0kixpq45fc4dcdmsv kz5qg55)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=p arent&backto=issue,5,62;journal,1,641;browsep ublicationsresults,369,1539;] ISSN: 0948-7921 (Paper) 1432-0487 (Online)
Day, K.J., & Norris, A C. (2006). Supporting information technology across health boards in New Zealand: Themes emerging from the development of a shared services organization.
Health Informatics Journal, 12, 1, 13-25. [Online http://jhi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/12/1/
Wake, G. C., Begg, R., & Wall, D. J. N. (2005).
On a functional equation model of transient cell growth. Mathematical Medicine & Biology, 22, pp 371-390.
Horn, B., Wake, G.C., & Anthony, G. (2006).
Decompression schedule optimization with an iso-probabilistic risk of decompression sickness.
Aviation Space Environ Med., 77, pp 13-19.
Category 3 – Book edited by staff member Wake, G. C., & Lim, L. L. (2006). Proceedings of the Mathematics in Industry Study Group 2005. Centre for Mathematics in Industry, Massey University, December 2005, 220 pages.
Category 4 – Chapter in book
Dadgostar, F., Sarrafzadeh, A. and Overmyer, S.
P., (2005). Face Tracking Using Mean-Shift Algorithm: A Fuzzy Approach for Boundary Detection. In J. Tao, T. Tan, and R.W. Picard (Eds.): ACII 2005, In Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3784, pp. 56–63, 2005.
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Dadgostar, F., Sarrafzadeh, A. (2005). A fast real-time skin detector for video sequences. In M. Kamel and A. Campilho (Eds.), ICIAR 2005, In Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3656, pp.
804–811, 2005. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Category 5 – Refereed conference paper Barczak, A.L.C. (2005). Toward an efficient implementation of a rotation invariant detector using haar-like features. Bredan McCane, IVCNZ, 1, 31-36, November 28-29, Dunedin IVCNZ.
Dadgostar, F., Sarrafzadeh, A., A (2005).
Component-based architecture for vision-based gesture recognition. Proceedings of the Image and Vision Computing New Zealand Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, November 28 – 29.
Fan, C., Sarrafzadeh, A., Dadgostar, F., &
Gholamhosseini, H. (2005). Facial expression analysis by support vector regression.
Proceedings of the Image and Vision Computing New Zealand Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, November 28 – 29.
Dadgostar, F., Ryu, H., Sarrafzadeh, A.
Overmyer, S. P. (2005). Making sense of student use of nonverbal cues for intelligent tutoring systems. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction (OZCHI), November 21-25, Canberra, Australia, In ACM Proceedings Series.
Fan, C., Dadgostar, F., Sarrafzadeh, A., Gholamhosseini, H., Face and eye detection
using support vector machines. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Computational Intelligence, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, December 13-16, Singapore.
Hawick, K.A.., & James, H.A. (2006).
Simulating a computational grid with networked animat agents. Rajkumar Buyya, Tianchi Ma, Rei Safavi-Naini, Chris Steketee and Willy Susilo. Proceedings of the Fourth Australasian Symposium on Grid Computing and e-Research (AusGrid 2006), CRPIT, 54, 63-70, January 16- 19, Hobart, Australia ACS.
Hawick, K.A.., James, H.A., & Scogings, C. J.
(2005). A virtual prolog approach to implementing beliefs, desires and intentions in animat agents. Shichao Zhang and Ray Jarvis.
AI 2005: Advances in Artificial Intelligence LNAI. 3809. 852—856. December 5-9. Sydney, NSW, Australia Springer Verlag.
Hawick, K.A.., James, H.A., & Scogings, C. J.
(2005). Roles of rule-priority evolution in animat models. H. A. Abbass, T. Bossamaier, J.
Wiles. Australian Conference on Artificial Life 2005. Recent Advances in Artificial Life.
Advances in Natural Computation, 3, 99-116, December 5-9, Sydney, NSW, Australia Sydney, Australia.
Mathrani, A., Viehland, D., & Parsons, D.
(2005). Dynamics of offshore software development success: the outsourcers’
perspective. In Pauleen, D. and Husted, K.
(Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference in Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific, November 28 -29, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. ISBN: 0-475- 122774.
Mathrani, A, Parsons, D., Viehland, D. (2005).
Virtual team issues: culture, communication, coordination and control - the New Zealand and Indian perspective. In Kumar, K. and Krishna, S.
(Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Globally Distributed Work, 291-301, December 28 – 30, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India. ISBN: 81-7525-684-2.
Mathrani, A., Parsons, D. (2005). Dynamics of Offshore Software Development Success: An Indian Vendor Perspective. Proceedings of the Fifth Global Conference on Flexible Systems Management, 817-825, December 27-30, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalay, University
of Technology of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, India, ISBN: 81-903397-0-2.
Mathrani S., Viehland, D., & Rashid, M. A.
(2005). Creation and utilization of knowledge:
key to success. Proceedings of the Fifth Global Conference on Flexible Systems Management, 222-233, December 27-30, Bhopal, India, ISBN:
Mathrani, S., Viehland, D. (2005). Using knowledge-based processes to improve enterprise system effectiveness. In Pauleen, D.
and Husted, K. (Eds.). Proceedings of the International Conference in Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific, November 28 -29, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
Category 6 – non-refereed conference paper Barczak, A.L.C., .Johnson, M. J., & Messom, C.
M. (2006). Real-time computation of Haar-like features at generic angles for detection algorithms. Research Letters in the Information and Mathematical Sciences, 9, 98-111.
Parsons, D. (2006). The java location API. Dr.
Dobbs Journal, 380, 53-58,
Category 14 – Addresses to professional bodies
Ben-Tal, A. (2006). Simplified models for the lungs and the control of respiration. Seminar January 8, Department of Biomedical Engineering Technion, Israel.
Hunter, J. J. (2005). A survey of generalized inverses and their use in stochastic modelling,.
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney, November 25, Sydney, Australia.
Jones, B. (2005). Bayesian inference for brood structured data. Eighth New Zealand Molecular Ecology Meeting, December 4, Wainui, Banks Peninsula.
Laing, C. (2005). Equation-free modelling: some neural examples. New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium, December 7, New Zealand Mathematical Society,Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ.
Carlo Laing 2005 The importance of different timings of excitatory and inhibitory pathways in neural field models Biomathematics meeting, December 12, Auckland University, Auckland, NZ.
Sweatman, W. L. (2005). Interplay orbits in the few-body problem. New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium, December 7, New Zealand Mathematical Society Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ.
Wake, G. C. (2005). Animal fouling of pastures:
a discrete stochastic dynamical system. New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium, December 7, New Zealand Mathematical Society Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ.
Wake, G. C. (2006). Director Mathematics-in- Industry Study Group (ANZIAM): January30 - February 3, Massey University, Auckland, NZ.
Alexander, S., Sarrafzadeh, A., Hill, S., Foundation of an Affective Tutoring System:
Learning how Human Tutors Adapt to Student Emotion, Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2006.
Dadgostar, F., Sarrafzadeh, A., Ryu, H., A macro model of human emotional-response for intelligent agents applications, Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 1st Korean-New Zealand Joint Workshop on Advance of Computational Intelligence Methods and Applications, 8, February, 2006, Auckland, New Zealand.
Laing, C. R., & Coombes, S. (2006). The importance of different timings of excitatory and inhibitory pathways in neural field models Network: Computation in Neural Systems.
Lesnic, D., & Wake G. C. A mollified method for the solution of the Cauchy problem for the convection-diffusion equation. Inverse Problems in Science and Engineering”, accepted December 2005.
Save Our Clocks!
by Dennis Viehland
Have you checked your clock lately? If you haven't I advise you to do so or, like me, your negligence may lead to a case of clock suicide.
What am I on about? One mid-January morning I came into my office and found my wall clock in several pieces on the floor – motor, face, cover and the minute hand were strewn across the carpet. How could this happen? The hook was still in the wall, there were no earthquakes reported over night, the cleaners hadn't been
around…. How did my clock end up on the floor in more than a few pieces?
When I investigated the possibility of reassembling it, I found that the battery had leaked and the battery acid had corroded one of the steel terminal points and some of the plastic.
My unerring conclusion was that the battery acid was causing my clock motor great pain. Over time, the pain became so unbearable that my clock decided to commit suicide, jumping from its wall hook in the dead of night to a certain death on the floor beneath.
While I can't say I have lost any sleep over it, I still feel guilt pains. I loved my clock. My office clock provided many years of devoted service, it always accurately told me just how many minutes I had left before lecture begins and I looked at it frequently, especially during meetings. If only I had known my clock was in such pain. I would have changed the battery, cleaned the terminal points and still have a healthy and happy clock.
I can't do anything to save my clock. John (RFM) took it away for a proper burial in the tip and a new clock now adorns my wall. However, I can save other clocks. So, please, check the battery in your office wall clock now, make sure it is not leaking and creating pain for your clock.
Prevent clock suicide…. Save Your Clock! You and your clock will thank me for it.
Are you a true-blue New Zealander?
Answers to Quiz
submitted by Dave Wilton
This quiz appeared in the previous issue
1. Winston Peters lost his electoral seat in this year’s general election. Is he now:
b) Used-car salesman?
c) Foreign minister?
2. Who sings: “I’m a little fire engine …”?
a) Fluke b) Flake c) Flock d) Flick Answer: d.
3. Name the waitress blamed for poisoning the All Blacks before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.
4. What is Fred Dagg’s real name?
Answer: John Clarke.
5. Fill in the blank: “If it weren’t for ya
…….. where would ya be?”
6. What is “kai”?
a) A small kite b) A Greek letter
d) A mathematical symbol Answer: c.
7. What is the plural of the word
Answer: M ori.
8. Who was the batsman who had to face Trevor Chappell’s underarm delivery? (Hint:
he also kicked the winning penalty for the All Blacks against Wales in 1978.)
Answer: Brian McKechnie.
9. Who succeeded Buck Shelford as the All Black number eight after he got dropped?
(correct answer compulsory).
Answer: Zinzan Brooke.
10. Name five things colloquially known as
Answer: a small brown flightless bird, a New Zealander, the NZ dollar, a player for the NZ rugby league team, a brand of shoe polish.
Supplementary question for those wishing to gain employment at IIMS (correct answer compulsory).
11. “Massey” is a:
a. NZ Prime Minister b. West Auckland suburb c. NZ university
d. All of the above e. None of the above.