News and events

News and events

News and Events at Computing

2018 News and Events

19 - 20 April 2018 2018 Department of Computing Professional Development Courses

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.

21.03.2018 Short Term Computing Program at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China

Spend your winter break to study COMP344 in summer with some cultural exploration, try your hand at Chinese and get a head start on COMP344 (E-Commerce Technology).

What is it exactly?

This is an about-three-week program in one of top-ten universities in China, including the study of 1st half unit of COMP344 together with local students, Chinese language lessons for absolute beginners, and cultural exchange activities.

Planned Dates:

Depart Sydney Friday 5th July.  Return home on Thursday 26th July.


Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) is one of top ten universities in China. HIT was ranked no. 27 in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2017. Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang province and its culture has been strongly influenced by Russia since it became a city in about 1898. Harbin was also an important city in Manchuria.

What will it cost me?
  • Return airfare: approx. $2,000 Visa: $110
  • Learning Program: Pay normal tuition fee for the enrollment in COMP344 at Macquarie University
  • Accommodation and meals: To be covered by HIT
  • Other costs: approx. $200

Total cost excl. tuition fee (subject to final airfare confirmation) will be approximately $2,310. Other costs include local transport, entrance fees for specified cultural activities.

Grants of $3,000 per Australian student are available from the New Colombo Plan (NCP) initiative run by the Commonwealth Government. Macquarie has 10 of these grants to provide to participating students.

Grants of $2,500 per international student are provided by Macquarie University for 5 students.

  • Enrolled in any degree offered by Department of Computing
  • COMP344 takes ISYS224, COMP249 and ISYS358 as prerequisites.
  • Basically ISYS358 can be waived directly.
  • Students currently enrolled in COMP249 can request for exemption of COMP249 for enrolment in COMP344.
  • Applications for exemption of units can lodged via
  • Suggestions will be provided to students who have expressed interest.
How to register:

Express your interest by Tuesday 3 April 2018. Student selection and notification by the end of April. Submit visa application by 1st June, 2018.

Further Information:

A full itinerary will be made available to students who register an expression of interest.


A/Professor Yan Wang (, unit convenor of COMP344 for more information.

Register at:

Follow the link to Register your interest NOW!

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!

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.

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

Archived News and Events

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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