News and events

News and events

News and Events at Computing

2018 News and Events

News and Events for September 2018

25.09.2018 Computing's Jandson Santos Ribeiro to receive the Marco Cadoli Distinguished Student Paper Prize at KR 2018

Congratulations to Computing’s PhD Candidate, Jandson Santos Ribeiro who will receive the Marco Cadoli Distinguished Student Paper Prize, for his research paper to be presented at the 16th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR) in Tempe, Arizona, USA.

Paper details: Ribeiro, JS, A. Nayak and R. Wassermann. Towards Belief Contraction without Compactness. KR-2018: 16th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (2018, forthcoming).

KR is one of the most prestigious conferences on knowledge management and is a CORE rank A* conference.

What a fantastic achievement!

19.09.2018 Congratulations to Dr. Len Hamey for 30 years at Macquarie University

18.09.2018 Successful Huawei HIRP Open Award

Congratulations to Professor Michael Sheng and Dr Wei Zhang on the success of HIRP (Huawei Innovation Research Program) Open Award of US $70,000 (A$97,000) for their project entitled “The Creation and Understanding of Intelligent Space”.

Huawei Innovation Research Program provides funding opportunities to support innovation research of world-class faculty members at leading universities around the world.

17.09.2018 Congratulations to Peiyao Lithe Third Prize Winner of the University 3MT ® Competition

13 outstanding presentations were given by students across faculties of Macquarie University for the 2018 Macquarie University 3MT competition finals.

Our computing contestant, Ms Peiyao Li, was awarded the 3rd prize winner, picked by the Judging Panel. Peiyao was the audience's favourite by **winning** the People's Choice Award.

Well done, Peiyao. What a fabulous performance!

17- 18 September 2018. Congratulations to Dr. Amin Beheshti for his Keynote Invitation at the Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit.

Dr. Amin Beheshti, head, Data Analytics Research Group, was invited to deliver a keynote address and Chair at the Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit”, September 17 - 18, 2018, Sydney. Amin delivered the keynote “Knowledge Lakes in the Age of Big Data Analytics” to senior business executives.

The Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit is the largest gathering of senior business executives leading Big Data initiatives in Australasia.

26th – 28th September 2018, Big Data Society Hack-a-thon

The Big Data Society a Hack-a-thon 26th – 28th September 2018. The challenges in this hackathon will focus on novel applications of block chain technology to revolutionise the technological underlay for Government, Finance, Health, Education and more.

Hackathon Programme:

26th September: Seminars and Workshops

  • 08:30-09:00: Registration
  • 09:00-10:00: Key Note, Dr. Amin Beheshti, "Blockchain and the Future of our Economy!"
  • 10:00-11:00: Panel Discussion: Panel comprised of lead academics and executives in Blockchain, Big Data, and Education sectors with Q & A part. 
    Panel Members: TBA
  • 11:00-12:00: Industry Talk (AGATE)
  • 12:00-13:00: Lunch and networking
  • 13:00-15:00: Block Chain Workshop 1: Learn Blockchain Skills
  • 15:00-17:00: Block Chain Workshop 2: Learn Blockchain Programming

27th September: Hackathon

  • 09:30-10:00: Hackathon Challenges and Discussions
  • 10:00-17:00: Hackathon Day 1

28th September: Hackathon and Prizes

  • 09:00-14:00: Hackathon Day 2
  • 14:00-16:00: Hackathon Demo and Presentation
  • 16:00-17:00: Prizes

For more information about registration and prizes follow

News and Events for August 2018

27.8.2018 Congratulations to Peiyao Li, the double winner of the Faculty of Science Engineering Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

14 PhD students from 7 Departments in the Faculty of Science and Engineering participated in the Three Minutes Thesis Competition. Peiyao Li, PhD student in Computing is the winner selected by the Judge Panel as well as the winner chosen by the audience (People's Choice Award).

Peiyao will participate in the Macquarie University 3MT finals on 17 September 2018.

24.8.2018 Congratulations to Hedieh Ranjbartabar and Deborah Richards for receiving the best paper nominee award at ISD 2018

Hedieh Ranjbartabar, Computing PhD Candidateand Professor Deborah Richards received the best paper nominee award at the 27th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2018) for their paper titled: Towards an Adaptive System: User’s Preferences and Responses to an Intelligent Virtual AdMPID visor Based on Individual Differences.

ISD is a rank A conference. Well done and congratulations!

21.08.2018 Congratulations to Associate Professor Michael Hitchens for his accepted paper in the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security

Paper Title: A Policy based Security Architecture for Software Defined Networks

Authors: Kallol Karmakar, Vijay Varadharajan, Udaya Tupakula & Michael Hitchens

The IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security covers the sciences, technologies, and applications relating to information forensics, information security, biometrics, surveillance and systems applications that incorporate these features.

16.08.2018 Congratulations the 2018 Department of Computing Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition Winners

3MT celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD Students. Students need to explain their research in only 3 minutes to a non-specialist audience. Students are to use one PowerPoint slide.

Many thanks for all 17 participating PhD students.

Congratulations to the Computing 3MT 2018 winners:

  • 3MT Winner: Peiyao Li (Jian Yang’s student)
  • 1st Runner-Up: Zizhu Zhang (Jian Yang’s student)
  • 2nd Runner-up: Thi Vanh Khuyen Nguyen (Michael Sheng’s student)
  • People’s Choice: Peiyao Li (Jian Yang’s student)

Peiyao and Zizhu will participate at the Faculty 3MT competition on 27th August 2018

3.08.2018 Congratulations to student prize winners at 2018 Faculty of Science and Engineering Awards Ceremony!

The ceremony night was held on 2nd August 2018 to celebrate the successes of a few distinguished students who were hardworking and committed to their studies in 2017.

Congratulations to our Computing students who received the following awards:


  • Andrea Jaelyn Jia En Ho for proficiency in the unit ISYS254 Applications Modelling and Development.
  • Erin Kummerow for proficiency in the unit ISYS114, Introduction to Database Design & Management.


  • Jay Elliot for proficiency in the unit COMP115 Introduction to Computer Science.


  • Erin Kummerow for proficiency in the unit COMP125 Fundamentals of Computer Science.
  • Joel Morrissey forproficiency in the unit COMP125 Fundamentals of Computer Science.
  • Katie Wang for proficiency in the Unit COMP229 Object-Oriented Programming Practices.
  • Brayden Vigerzi for proficiency in the Unit COMP332 Programming Languages.


  • Caitlynn Zuzatee for proficiency in the unit ISYS224 Database Systems.


  • Zachery Robison for overall best proficiency at 700 level in the Computing MRes Program.

News and Events for July 2018

27.07.2018 Congratulations to Professor Deborah Richards on the successful NSW Health Translational Research Grants Scheme (TRGS).

Professor Deborah Richards along with Associate Professor Patrina Caldwell from Sydney Children's Hospital Network will receive $493,706 over 2 years for the project  "eADVICE - Advice while you wait: Empowering families, improving health, reducing waiting times".

Well done Deborah!

12 - 13.07.2018 2018 Department of Computing Professional Development Courses

The 2018 Department of Computing Professional Development Courses offered 2 consecutive one-day courses (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) aimed at primary school and/or non-IT trained teachers and High School TAS/Computing teachers. Teachers who participated in the two day workshops received 11 hours of Professional Development.

The courses were held at Department of Computing (09 Wally's Walk, Macquarie University) in the lecture theatres and computer laboratories.

Our professional learning courses are free and registered with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Materials created for this course were funded by the Google Computer Science Educator Grant.

Click here for 2018 resources used in the workshops.

11.07.2018 A/Prof Abhaya Nayak and Jandson Santos Ribeiro Successful KR 2018 paper

Congratulations to A/Prof Abhaya Nayak and his student, PhD Candidate and Coutelle Student Mr Jandson Santos Ribeiro, for their success of the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning 2018 paper.

Jandson S Ribeiro, Abhaya C Nayak and Renata Wassermann. “Towards Belief Contraction without Compactness”. 16th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Tempe, Arizona (USA) October 30-November 2, 2018.

The “Knowledge Representation and Reasoning” is an elite conference in Artificial Intelligence A*. This year, the overall acceptance rate (including both full papers and short papers) was 26.7%.

4-6.07.2018 Big Data Society and Computing Hackathon Draws Crowds

Over 100 people participated in the Department of Computing's first hackathon, held earlier this month. Run by the Big Data Society and Data Analytics Research Group, the three day event attracted staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Macquarie, and students from UNSW, UTS and USyd.

Participants were challenged to find ways to analyse the big data generated on social networks to save lives, including proactively detecting patterns of suicidal thoughts of cyberbully. Participants also got to attend talk and workshops given by academic and industry leaders, looking at the topics covered in the challenges.

Congratulations to Cameron Pappas, Michael Lay, Daniel Sutantyo, Joseph Hardman, Katie Wang, Seyed Mohssen Ghafari, Shahpar Yakhchi and Desnica Kumar who won the challenges.

Our thanks to the event sponsors: SAS (Platinum Sponsor), Yellowfin (Gold Sponsor), Microsoft (Sliver Sponsor) and Engenesis (Bronze Sponsor). Find out more about the event and pictures:

After the success of this event the Big Data Society is already planning their next hackathon, to be held in September.

News and Events for June 2018

23.06.2018 International Software Verification Competition

Congratulations to A/Prof Anthony Sloane and A/Prof Franck Cassez for their participation at the Competition on Software Verification (SV-COMP). The competition includes tools developed by Universities around the world; a suite of 1000s of benchmark programs is used to compare tools on their ability to show the existence of bugs or to prove that bugs do not exist.

The Skink tool developed in the Department of Computing and led by Tony and Franck has competed in the competition for three years. Skink is catching up fast to well-established tools with much bigger development teams.

We look forward on seeing this project progress.

15.06.18 Congratulations to Professor Dali Kaafar and Dr. Hassan Asghar on securing $163k in funds

Congrats to Prof. Dali Kaafar and Dr. Hassan Asghar for the successful 12 month project application "The Data Ring: Privacy-Preserving Distributed Data Analytics", securing $163K in funds awarded as a part of the NSW Cyber Security Network with Data Republic and Optus. The project brings together researchers from the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub and UTS to address challenges of Privacy-Preserving Distributed Analytics.

Well done Dali and team on this fantastic achievement!

7.06.18 ISYS355/8 & COMP355/6 Student Project PACE Presentations

The PACE unit offered by the Department of Computing is a unique and exciting offering which moves the student work experience model beyond the traditional internship. MQ students participated in multidisciplinary IT consultancy teams with mixed IT skills including software development and business information systems. Students used the agile methodology to gain first-hand experience and important employability skills including communication and teamwork skills.  They will present their prototypes and proof of concept IT solutions to their partner sponsors on June 7th 2018. Pepper Finance, EY, Fire and Rescue NSW and Manly Environment Centre are among the 14 partner organisations to offer projects this session.  Students can now use the prototypes they have created for their career portfolio.  This highly regarded and innovative PACE unit has prepared students for a successful career in the IT industry.

6.06.18 SAS Australia to sponsor Big Data Society Hack-a-thon

Congratulations to Dr Amin Beheshti and his team, the Big Data Society on having SAS Australia to sponsor their upcoming July Hackathon.

SAS Australa will be a Platinum Sponsor for this event, providing: $2K, free SAS technology for the event, free access to eLearning/tutorials to enable the participant, giveaway items and promotional materials!

The challenges in this hack-a-thon will focus on techniques to analyse the Big Data generated on Social Networks to Save Lives: proactive detection to understand patterns of suicidal thoughts, online bullying and criminal behaviour. Please follow this link for more information.

News and Events for May 2018

23.05.18 Congratulations to Professor Deborah Richards for the success of winning the Google Educator Grant

As part of Google’s growing efforts to support Computer Science (CS) Education, Google has awarded the Department of Computing $12,000, CS Educator PD Grant.

This fund will be used to support our upcoming Teachers' Professional Development Workshop to be held 12th – 13th July 2018.

Congratulations Deborah!

4.05.2018 Congratulations to our Department researchers for 4 accepted papers at IJCAI 2018​

Well done to our Department researchers, Dr Jia Wu, A/Prof Yan Wang, Prof Mehmet Orgun and Dr Guanfeng Liu and to PhD Candidate, Mr Feng Zhu for papers accepted at IJCAI-18. A special congratulations to Dr Jia Wu for 4 accepted papers! ​

  1. Feng Zhu, Yan Wang, Chcoachao Chen, Guanfeng LiuMehmet A. Orgun and Jia Wu, A Deep Framework for Cross-Domain and Cross-System Recommendations.​
  2. Li Gao, Hong Yang, Jia Wu, Chuan Zhou, Yue Hu, Weixue Lu. Recommendation with Multi-Source Heterogeneous Information. ​​
  3. Li Gao, Hong Yang, Chuan Zhou, Jia Wu, Shirui Pan, Yue Hu. Active Discriminative Network Representation Learning.
  4. Sihan Ma, Lefei Zhang, Wwenbin Hu, Yipeng Zhang, Jia Wu, Xuelong Li. Self-Representative Manifold Concept Factorization with Adaptive Neighbors for Clustering. ​

IJCAI 2018 is the 27th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) and will be held in Stockholm, Sweden July 13-19, 2018. IJCAI is the premier international gathering of researchers in AI. This year, IJCAI accepted 710 out of 3470 submissions, with an acceptance rate of 20.5%. This is a truly fantastic achievement.

3.05.2018 Congratulations to our Department researchers for securing 3 papers at the super competitive ACL 2018.

Congratulations to Prof Mark Johnson (ACL Fellow) on 3 accepted papers at the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) conference along with A/Prof Mark Dras on 1 paper. Also, congratulations to PhD Candidate, Mr Jonas Groschwitz and Dr. Peter Anderson, Research Fellow, for being a part of the below accepted papers!  ​

AMR dependency parsing with a typed semantic algebraJonas Groschwitz Matthias Lindemann, Meaghan Fowlie, Mark Johnson and Alexander Koller. (Jonas Groschwitz is cotutelle student between Saarbrucken and MQ).

Predicting accuracy on large datasets from smaller pilot dataMark JohnsonPeter Anderson, Mark Dras and Mark Steedman. ​

Active learning for deep semantic parsing. Long Duong, Hadi Afshar, Dominique Estival, Glen Pink, Philip Cohen and Mark Johnson. (Long Duong, Hadi Afshar, Dominique Estival and Glen Pink are all Voicebox Australia employees & also visiting researchers at MQ). ​

This year, ACL accepted 258 out of 1018 submitted long papers and 126 out of 526 short papers, with an overall acceptance rate of 24.9%. This is a truly fantastic achievement. 

The Association of Computational Linguistics meeting will be held in Melbourne, Australia in July 2018.

1.05.2018 Prof Dom Verity to mentor and prepare the prestigious 2018 M.I.T Talbot Workshop

Prof Verity has been invited to prepare and mentor the prestigious 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Talbot Workshop". The topic of the workshop this year is the "Model-independent theory of infinity-categories", a field he has pioneered over the past 4 years in collaboration with A/Prof. Emily Riehl (Johns Hopkins University).

The Talbot workshop is an annual mathematical retreat. It brings together a group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with a faculty mentor, and the participants engage in a week-long, intensive exploration of a single topic of contemporary research interest.

The workshop will take place May 27th to June 2nd 2018. Follow this link for more information.

News and Events for April 2018

18 - 28.04.2018 Training and Team Selection of Informatics Olympiad (IOI) 2017

About 20 students, among the finest programmers in Australia, are flying from all over the country to get training at Macquarie University for a period of 10 days starting on the 18th April 2018 to 28th April 2018 in preparation for the actual programming competition. They will be undergoing training and team selection in preparation of the 2018 Informatics Olympiad which will take place in Japan later this year. For more information follow the link.

17.04.2018 The Launch of The Big Data Society

The Big Data Society (BigDataSoc) at Macquarie University is a student society. They are Australia’s FIRST Student Big Data Society! BigDataSoc aims to provide all students, researchers and academics, an inspiring, cohesive and creative environment, where we all can learn more about the big data problem and its real world applications. This will make university experience even more fun and fulfilling, whilst maximising students employment opportunities.

Founder and Academic Sponsor:Dr. Amin Beheshti
President:Fred Amouzgar, MRes Candidate, Computing
Vice President (Undergraduate)Nicholas Nouri
Vice President (Postgraduate)Geraldine Sullivan (Geri)
Vice Present (HDR)Samira Ghodratnama, PhD Candidate, Computing
TreasurerZi Feng Zheng
Secretary:Alaina Mena
Female Ambassador:Shahpar Yakhchi, PhD Candidate, Computing
Events Director:Maryam Shahpasand, PhD Candidate, Computing
Events Coordination Team:Hahoang Nong, Jordan Bertasso, WAN-NI(Joyce) Lee, Anjanjot Kaur
IT Director:Matthew Seery
IT Coordination Team:Catrina Ly, Satwik Chodisetti, Chun hei Lee
Web and Social Media DirectorMohssen Ghafari, PhD Candidate, Computing

13.04.2018 Congratulations to our department researchers on being a part of two successful DIN Pilot Projects.

Title:Self-Governance in Trusted Autonomous Systems
MQ Members:Prof. Mehmet Orgun and A/Prof. Abhaya Nayak (Project joint with UoW)
Funding:Granted up to 87% of requested $105K
Title:Classification of Sonar Snapshot Images for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle On-board Processing
MQ Members:Dr. Len Hamey, A/Prof Mark Dras & Prof. Mehmet Orgun (Project joint with UoW and WSU)
Funding:Granted up to 87% of requested $142K

13.04.2018 $200 Million Funding Success for Digital Health CRC

Congratulations to Professor Michael Sheng and the team in the Computing Department, Macquarie University as they are a part of the new Digital Health CRC that will invest over $200 million to transform health delivery to Australians. Senator Zed Seselja, announced that the government will invest $55 million over the next seven years, plus more than $100 million cash investments from partners through its CRC program to further develop Australia’s growing Digital Health technology and services industry.

Macquarie University is a founding member of this newly-announced CRC. Macquarie University is expect to receive at least $7 million in funding support over seven years. Professor Michael Sheng will co-lead Research Program 1: Enabling Information Discovery and Application.

This funding success is a testament on the strong leadership and capacity in computing of Macquarie University.

Please follow the link for the media release and for more information about the CRC follow this link

11.04.2018 25 Years of Service for A/Prof Steve Cassidy

A huge congratulations to Macquarie University Staff who have been recognised for 25+ years of service at the Staff Anniversary Awards including Computing’s Associate Professor Steve Cassidy.

News and Events for March 2018

29.03.2018 Professor Dali Kaafar speaks on ABC News 24 about the recent the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fallout

Professor Dali Kaafar, Scientific Director of the Optus-Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, was on ABC News 24, 28th March 2018, to talk about the recent the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fallout and speak about the security and privacy of our data. Since the #DeleteFacebook movement was trending across a few social media sites, Dali explained the challenges faced by organisations in managing and securing data and possible solutions in the form of privacy preserving technologies. He also encouraged organisations to do more to protect data, in particular leveraging the existing capabilities that we have in Australia in that space. Also, CSIRO featured an interview from Dali on Facebook. See

29.03.2018 Professor Mark Johnson among the 2018 Top Scientists in Computer Science and Electronics

Congratulations to Professor Mark Johnson, the only Fellow of ACL(Association of Computational Linguistics) in Australia, who made the 2018 ranking of Top Scientists in the arena of Computer Science and Electronics. The ranking is based on the H-Index metric provided by Google Scholar and DBLP.

  • Google Scholar H-index: 56
  • Number of Google Scholar Citations: 10,812
  • Guide2Research World Ranking: 1,059th
  • Guide2Research National Ranking (Australia): 19th
  • Number of Articles on DBLP: 221

The list can be viewed at

Congratulations, Mark!

27.03.2018 Remarkable Performance of Our Students at the 2018 ASEAN - Australia Codeaathon

Our students, Cameron Rose, Jacinda Erkelens, Georgia Turnham participated in the ASEAN-Australia Code-a-thon that was held on 14-15 March 2018. The 32 hour event was part of the lead-up to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit and was attended by over 100 participants.

Six challenges were presented, our students managed to receive the first place in their selected category: "Applying block chain technologies to improve financial services, AML compliance or secure intelligence sharing".

Most impressively, they were adwarded the Codeathon Challenge Runner-Up, placing the second overall in the competition.

Congratulations on the amazing achievement!

20 - 21.03.2018 Department of Computing participates at the 2018 BiG Day In

For the first time, the Department of Computing had a stall at the BiG Day In. The BiG Day In is an IT careers conference designed for both high school (Years 9-12) and University students interested in careers in technology. The event was held over two days 20 - 21 March 2018 and over 850 students visited the ICT Careers fair (hosted by UTS, Sydney) and visited our booth at the fair.

12 - 13 July 2018 Department of Computing Professional Development Courses 2018

Registration is currently open for the 2018 Department of Computing Professional Development Courses. It offers 2 consecutive one-day courses (9:00 am – 4:30 pm) aimed at primary school and/or non-IT trained teachers (including pre-service teachers) as well as High School TAS/Computing teachers.

The courses will be held the Department of Computing (9 Wally's Walk, Macquarie University) in the lecture theatres and computer laboratories.

Our professional learning courses are free and registered with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

For more information and registration details please click here.

8.03.2018 Congratulations to Natasha Fernandes on being awarded a University Medal for Computing

Natasha Fernandes has been awarded the highly esteemed University Medal for Computing for her outstanding academic performance in Master of Research. She will receive the medal at University Graduation Ceremony in April.

Completed a Bachelor of Science (major in Computer Science) at University of Sydney, from which she was placed on the Dean's Honour List, Natasha continued her extremely strong performance at the Department of Computing, Macquarie University, achieving an overall mark of 93.7/100.

Natasha is now a PhD candidate at the Department of Computing.

Congratulations to Natasha and her supervisor Professor Annabelle McIver!

7.03.2018 Computing Students to develop cutting-edge technology in PACE program with Lexxe

Lexxe has just kicked off its PACE program with Macquarie University's Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) on 7th March 2018. 9 Computing and Information Systems students have joined Lexxe for their PACE participation for the next 13 weeks. They will work on an intelligent news push notification system for a smartphone app called News&Moods.

News and Events for February 2018

20.2.2018 Macquarie’s AR App Helps the Real Estate Market

A/Prof Manolya Kavakli, Director of MQ University's Virtual Reality (VR) Lab was interviewed by “Commercial Real Estate” on an app developed in collaboration with the VR Lab. The app uses augmented reality (AR) to make property data accessible for those looking for offices to lease or buy. The app shows key information, including amenities, tenant industries and vacancies, about the commercial properties physically surrounding the user. In the interview with Commercial Real Estate, Manyolya mentioned, “Everybody is seeing that AR will be four times bigger than virtual reality; the market share of that will be much bigger.” “We are just crawling in terms of AR and its potential; there are lots of challenges with AR but the future potential is huge.”

For more information, please see here.

6.02.2018 Success in Collaborative Research Projects

Department researchers have secured several collaborative research projects with Data61. Professor Dali Kaafar and the team secured $960k, for security and privacy research, while Professor Jian Yang secured $144k for research on social networks.

Congratulations to those involved, Dali Kaafar, Jian Yang, Annabelle McIver, and Mark Dras.

News and Events for January 2018

2.01.2018 Congratulations to A/Prof Steve Cassidy on Nectar/ANDS/RDS Grant

The project will bring together fragmented data, tools, and services into a shared work-space. The grant includes $625K from the funding body and $475K in kind from partners (total investment of $1.1 million).

The grant runs for one year, MQ will sub-contract to eResearch SA and receive $95K.

Congratulations Steve and the team! For more information, please see here

2017 News and Events

30.11.2017 Computing Industry Networking Event

The Computing Student-Industry-Staff Networking event was held on the 30th November 2017. It was a show-case of the research by staff and HDR students, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework student projects (most of which are conducted with industry partners). There were presentations by staff representing the main research themes of the Department and posters from HDR students display. Selected student groups presented prepared short talks summarizing their projects.

24.11.2017 Congratulations to Charanya Ramakrishnan for receiving the Faculty Excellence Award for Sessional Teaching

The Faculty of Science and Engineering greatly values the contributions that staff make to the learning and teaching activities performed within our departments. Nominations are assessed by a panel, and winners were  announced at the End of Year Function. Congratulations Charanya!

24.11.2017 Congratulations to Mark Dras on the Winner of the 2017 Faculty HDR Supervision Award​​

A/Prof Mark Dras is among the highly commended applicants to this year's Excellence in HDR Supervision Award at Macquarie University. He is also the winner of this award at Faculty of Science and Engineering.​

This is a timely recognition to Mark's high quality HDR supervision, testified not only by the number of students supervised by him, but also the real-world impact on their research studies and careers (Mark's recent graduate Shervin Malmasi is now a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School).

Congratulations Mark!

21.11.2017 Congratulations to Dr. Malcom Ryan on the 2018 Macquarie University Research Seeding Grants

There is a growing interest in video games for ethics education as they can provide a safe yet meaningful space for players to practice moral choice. A well-designed game can immerse a player in a world and challenge them with difficult moral choices, but poor design can negate this challenge by making in-game morality merely a strategic choice made to win, instead of for its own sake. To establish which design factors are most important in maintaining moral engagement, we will implement a variety of games based around a common set of moral narratives and test them with human subjects, recording their choices. The outcome will be a set of validated design principles for the creation of games for ethics education.

20.11.2017 Sydney Area Programming Language Interest Group (SAPLING) Meeting 2017

SAPLING aims to promote and develop research in the Programming Languages field within Sydney and surrounding areas, particularly including nearby regional centres such as Canberra, Newcastle and Wollongong, but not excluding places further afield.

The 2017 SAPLING meeting was held at Macquarie University in Sydney on 20 Nov 2017. Details here.

10.11.2017 ARC LIEF Successes $348K

A Large-scale Distributed Experimental Facility for the Internet of Things $348,026.00
Professor Michael Sheng; Professor Athman Bouguettaya; Professor Seng Loke; Professor Xue Li; Professor Weifa Liang; Professor Boualem Benatallah; Professor Muhammad Ali-Babar; Professor Jian Yang; Professor Albert Zomaya; Associate Professor Yan Wang; Professor Wanlei Zhou; Dr Lina Yao; Dr Kerry Taylor; Professor Neil Bergmann

Led by Department of Computing, Macquarie University, this LIEF project will build a nation-wide test bed for research and development of the Internet of Things (IoT), involving seven Australian Universities across five major cities.

Details here.

10.11.2017 ARC DP Successes $804K

Reputation-based Trust Management in Crowdsourcing Environments $421,104. 

Associate Professor Yang Wang; Professor Michael Sheng, Professor Mehmet Orgun.

Details here.

Privacy-Preserving Online User Matching $383,826.  

Professor Xun Yi; Associate Professor Ibrahim Khalil; Associate Professor Christophe Doche; Professor Elisa Bertino

Details here.

1.11.2017 Congratulations to Matthew Mansour on the winner of the 2017 Student Led Award

The University held the inaugural Academic Staff Awards Ceremony on 1st November 2017, to celebrate University's highly esteemed staff across learning and teaching, research and supervision.

The award is nominated by the students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, which is the best endorsement to the excellent teaching performance of Matthew.

1.11.2017 Congratulations to Deborah Richards and her team for success at the 2017 Academic Staff Awards

Professor Deborah Richards and her team Amara Atif, Danny Liu, and Chris Froissard received the award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for their work on MEAP. The award was for developing and leading an innovative learning analytics solution that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and the student experience

9.10.2017 Congratulations to Computing Staff for Successful Learning and Teaching Strategic Projects

Computing staff members performed well in the recently announced MQ Learning and Teaching Strategic Priority 2017 Round 2 project grant application:

Dr Matthew Roberts and team for Electronic exams NOW! App to enable secure coding exams in computing labs

Dr Malcolm Ryan for Assessment and video development for Computer Games (COMP111)

Serene Lin-Stephens (FSE Careers) and team (Dr Stephen Smith, Dr Rolf Schwitter from Computing) for SHINE - a digital mobile pocket portfolio app linking LMSs to evidence employability (Phase III)

28 - 29.9.2017 Professional Development for Computing/TAS Teachers

This is a two-day course (free registration), providing 10 hours of NESA approved professional development, for high school TAS/Computing teachers that covers the syllabus topics of Databases, Artificial Intelligence, Software Development and Digital Media. Materials created for this course were funded by the Google CS4HS 2017 Award.

12.9.2017 Congratulations to Prof Deborah Richards' team on receiving the Quality and Innovation Award

Prof Deborah Richards’ team at Macquarie and A/Prof Patrina Caldwell’s team at Children’s Hospital Westmead had received the Quality and Innovation Award. This award aims to recognise the innovative and effective use of digital technologies and built environments in ways that are transforming healthcare delivery in NSW.

29.8.2017 Congratulations to 2017 Three Minutes Thesis Competition Winners

Department of Computing 3MT Competition was held successfully on 29 August 2017. Congratulations to the following winners:

Winner selected by the panel: David Walker; 1st Runner-up: Jonas Groschwitz; 2nd Runner-up: Zizhu Zhang. Winner of People’s Choice: David Walker

5.09.2017 Knowledge Representation Conventicle 2017

"Knowledge representation and reasoning is a core research area in artificial intelligence. This research has provided deep insight into computational aspects of knowledge and formal aspects of commonsense reasoning. Besides its impact on artificial intelligence, knowledge representation has also contributed to the wider field of computer science. While the central issues have changed over the years, new open problems arise to challenge the best minds."  Norman Foo, KR Conventicle 2002

The aim of the Australian Knowledge Representation Conventicle is to:

  • Examine the state-of-the-art in knowledge representation and reasoning
  • Identify the focal issues at hand
  • Set new directions for future research.

16.08.2017 A great story from our graduate student - Joe Chan, co-founder of Tenderfield in 2014

Inspired by the “Business-of-One” model introduced in COMP344 (E-Commerce Technology), Mr Joe Chan, a Macquarie computing graduate, co-founded Tenderfield in 2014. Tenderfield offers a cloud-based, end-to-end integrated platform that enables project stakeholders to collaborate on all aspects of the project management process, including tendering, document management and overall project management in one seamless, simple and secure platform.
With just three years, Tenderfield has quickly grown into a major service provider for the construction industry and is among the winners of "The 200 Businesses of Tomorrow" in 2017, sponsored by Westpac Group.

28.06.2017 Congratulations to A/Prof Yan Wang on receiving the IEEE TCSVC 2017 Outstanding Service Award

A/Prof Yan Wang received the award while he is attending ICWS 2017 Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. This award is given to Yan for his long-time leadership and dedicated service to the Web service community. The award is endorsed by  IEEE Technical Committee on Services Computing (TC-SVC),

IEEE TC-SVC is a main body advancing research and education of services computing.

1.06.2017  Congratulations to A/Prof Manolya Kavakli-Thorne on the ARC linkage project.

This ARC project is about developing a lifeguard training simulation at the VR Lab. It aims to improve the timely identification of swimmers at risk of drowning by drawing on a range of theoretical, empirical, and methodological approaches from the disciplines of organisational psychology, human factors, cognitive science and computer science.Lifeguards are vital for maintaining public safety at aquatic venues, however despite their presence, fatal and non-fatal drownings occur every year with little known about the factors that affect vigilance, scanning and sustained attention in such a complex, dynamic environment. Expected outcomes of the project include evidence-based solutions for selecting, training and maintaining the performance of lifeguards that account for both organisational and individual factors. These will improve Australia’s ability to build social capital in both urban and rural centres by providing the safest possible community swimming pools.

Find out more about this news, please click here.

12-13.05.2017  Macquarie Data Science Student Challenge

Macquarie Data Science Student Challenge is part of a global series of Hackathons, and will take place on May 12-13 (Friday-Saturday of week 9) at the Atrium. These events are designed to ignite a passion for the amazing things made possible by Data Science and to help students develop the skills necessary to harness the power of analytics.This event is sponsored by Microsoft with prizes, and Department of Computing will contribute one judge and assistance during development.

Find out more about this event and registration details here.

11.05.2017 Macquarie Research Appears at Prestigious Communications of the ACM

Prof. Michael Sheng and A/Prof. Yan Wang, along with other 22 researchers around the world, published a review article in the April Issue of Communications of the ACM ( The article, entitled "A Service Computing Manifesto: The Next 10 Years" (, defines a 10-year roadmap, which outlines the challenges and strategies for the widespread adoption of service computing.

Established in 1957 and read by over 85,000 computing researchers and practitioners worldwide, communications of the ACM is the premier chronicler of computing technologies, covering the latest discoveries, innovations, and research that inspire and influence the field.

11.05.2017 Congratulations to Computing Students for Winning the 2016 Judyth Sachs PACE prize in Faculty of Science and Engineering

Congratulations to the group of ISYS358/ISYS355/COMP355 students from 2016 for being jointly awarded the 2016 Judyth Sachs PACE prize in Faculty of Science and Engineering, under the 'long' category (pertaining to number of activity hours). The students in the group are as follows:  Tim Bishop, Daniel Barnes, Leon Mercanti, Zackery Robison, Chris Masi, and Zesheng Peng.

The students were tasked with converting a paper-based data collection system to one that was digitised and supported by a back-end database, for Surf Life Saving Australia. In particular, this led the group to develop the Surf Hazard Rating Digitisation System (SHRDS). This system has significant value for Surf Life Saving Australia in its day-to-day work, as well as the resources, time, and money it saves the charity-based organisation. Further,  the broader community will benefit tremendously from automated, efficient, and accurate data that informs hazard decision-making.

Recognition is due also to the supervisors, Professor Deborah Richards and Dr. Stephen Smith, for convening of these units and the wonderful outcomes made possible as a result!

14 - 19.05.2017 Congratulations to Dr Jia Wu on receiving the IEEE Best Paper Award 2017

Dr Jia Wu and his students received the best paper award at the 30th IEEE International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN17, the top conference in Neural Networks), held in Alaska, USA.

He also was invited to join the Senior PC of SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM18, a leading international conference in data mining).

Well done and congratulations!!

09.05.2017 Congratulations to Deborah and Len for the Google CS4HS 2017 Award

As part of Google's growing efforts to support Computer Science education, they have offered Professor Deborah Richards and Dr. Len Hamey the Google CS4HS 2017 Award. Congratulations!

Find out more about this grant here.

16-26.04.2017 Training and Team Selection of Informatics Olympiad (IOI) 2017

About 20 students, among the finest programmers in Australia, are flying from all over the country to get training at Macquarie University for a period of 10 days starting on Easter Sunday in preparation for the actual programming competition. Professor Michael Johnson at Department of Computing has been looking after the training and team selection in preparation of the Informatics Olympiad in the past and again in 2017.

This is announced on this website

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