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Professorial Lecture Series

Celebrating Fresh Thinking
Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Elena Moltchanova and Professor Peyman Zawar-Reza in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2020.

Date:               Thursday, 13 August, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

Presentation details:

 “Serial Killers, Epidemics and Control” – Presented by Professor Elena Moltchanova, School of Mathematics and Statistics.

How many patients can a doctor kill before someone notices? What about a statistician? (Hint: significantly more!) Could it have been stopped? When to declare an epidemic and what to do once it has been declared? When is it worth it to gamble? Is learning worth the wait? In this talk, I will discuss the underlying principles of the control chart theory which can help answer all these questions. I will also introduce a novel dynamic control chart and explain how, together with reinforcement learning, it can help us make better decisions in the future.

“Climate of Arid Environments: From central Iran to Dry Valleys of Antarctica” – Presented by Professor Peyman Zawar-Reza, School of Earth and Environment.

 In this talk I will give an overview of our research on the very hot and the very cold places on Earth. Arid environments – mainly defined by a distinct lack of surface water – might seem bland or unforgiving in a meteorological sense, but they provide some of the most interesting ‘wild’ temperature fluctuations of the atmosphere near the ground. For example, in the Dry Valleys, air temperature can increase by 30 degrees in just a couple of hours in the middle of winter and the absence of the sun.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research | Tumu Tuarua Rangahau

Professorial Lecture Series

Celebrating Fresh Thinking:

Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Mukundan Ramakrishnan and Professor Andreas Willig in the first presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2020.

Date:               Thursday, 2 July, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

Presentation details:

 “Digital Pathology Research in the NZ Context” – Presented by Professor Mukundan Ramakrishnan, Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering.

In the rapidly growing field of digital pathology, several new image analysis and machine learning algorithms are currently being developed for automated extraction and quantification of tissue biomarkers used in pathological evaluations. The application of digital technology in pathology has the potential to transform care of breast cancer patients through improved pathology workflow, early and accurate disease diagnosis and enhanced disease management.  However, despite numerous benefits digital pathology offers for routine diagnosis, its uptake in clinical practice in New Zealand has been slow.  Our research group (Computer Graphics and Medical Image Analysis group, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering) has established strong research collaborations with anatomical pathologists specialising in breast cancer, and is at the forefront of research and development in this field in New Zealand. This lecture gives an overview of the projects undertaken by the group in the past few years, some of the key accomplishments, and the current state of research.  This lecture also looks at the challenges in the adoption of digital pathology implementation in clinical practice, and discusses how some of the emerging technologies could be used in future for the transition of digital pathology from 2D to 3D tissue specimen analysis.

“Past and Upcoming Research in Wireless Networking” – Presented by Professor Andreas Willig, Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering.

 In the first part of this talk I will focus on wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs), a technology in which a group of sensors is attached to the human body to collect vital signals. These sensors communicate wirelessly amongst each other, using standardized technologies like the IEEE 802.15.4 personal area network. It is of critical importance that this communication is reliable, but unfortunately WBSNs can easily experience interference from other technologies (like WiFi) or from other WBNs using the same technology. We will discuss results on the impact of interference and some ways to manage it.

The second part of this talk is more futuristic. In recent years, drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have found numerous applications, e.g. in delivery of goods, aerial photography, asset inspection and other fields. So far, most of these applications have relied on single drones. There is now growing interest in going beyond this and to consider applications of collaborating swarms or formations of drones. We look into some of the communications / networking and coordination challenges that need to be solved to support networks of hundreds / thousands / ten-thousands .. of drones.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research | Tumu Tuarua Rangahau