School News

08/2014 Results are in! 26th Annual Maths Contest
08/2014 Go Girl, Go For IT!
07/2014 Locking out illegal downloads
06/2014 Fostering altruism - a new approach to gaming
04/2014 Medals awarded for outstanding research
02/2014 Editorial appointment for IT lecturer
02/2014 IT security a rewarding career choice

News archive

Results are in! 26th Annual Maths Contest

The School of Information Technology recently hosted the 26th Annual Maths Contest, in which 190 Year 10 students from 23 secondary schools across Geelong and Western Victoria demonstrated a high level of mathematical expertise.

Held on Friday, 29 August 2014, the event was an exciting day of challenging competition for individuals and teams, which tested their mathematical skills and knowledge in novel ways. It was also a great opportunity for members of different schools to exchange ideas on learning and teaching mathematics.

 Current IT students, Jacquie Denning, Jaimie McGlashan and Natalie Jablonsky (pictured right) assisted with preparation and provided excellent results analysis on the day. "It was awesome to see so many students getting excited about maths. The day was fast-paced and action-packed with problem solving, teamwork and extreme fun!" says Jaimie.

This annual event continues to be a great success, which can be attributed to the outstanding efforts of School of Information Technology staff members and event organisers, Mr John Cameron and Ms Michelle Cyganowski (pictured left). Both have worked tirelessly over the years to build the reputation of the Maths Contest, ensuring Year 10 students with a passion for maths have an opportunity to test their skills and knowledge through participating in a fun and challenging contest.



  • Overall - Teams - Congratulations to Ballarat and Clarendon College Team 2.
  • Overall - Individual Students - Congratulations to Jacob Micevski from Bacchus Marsh Grammar Team 2.
  • Round Table – Each team works collectively on 10 challenging problems.
  • Snap Quiz – Teams compete in pairs for four rounds of 20 verbal questions. Points are awarded to individuals as well as the teams.
  • Solo Time – 10 questions are tackled individually with a set time for each question.
  • Maths Relay – Divided into two pairs and a runner, each team tries to crack 20 questions in 50 minutes with consecutive questions going to alternate pairs.


Go Girl, Go For IT!

 Pink was the colour of the day at Deakin's Melbourne Burwood Campus on 12 August when over 1100 girls from secondary schools around Victoria visited the campus for the 2014 Go Girl, Go for IT event.

Go Girl, Go for IT is a free IT career showcase run by the Victorian ICT for Women network to enable secondary school girls to experience the range of vocational avenues that are available in IT. Deakin has hosted the event a number of times and Associate Professor Jo Coldwell-Neilson from Deakin's School of Information Technology and Associate Professor Annemieke Craig from Deakin's School of Information and Business Analytics were members of this year's organising committee.

"It was a chaotic, hectic and noisy day but everyone had fun," says Associate Professor Coldwell-Neilson. (pictured right)

Karen Stocks, Twitter Australia managing director and patron of this year's event, gave the keynote speech before participants split up into five streams, with presentations and discussions from a range of ICT industry speakers and role models. The day was punctuated with a lunchtime tradeshow and DJ.

"The presenters during the day were well received and I was impressed with the insightful questions girls were asking," says Associate Professor Coldwell-Neilson. Deakin's stand was very popular all through lunch. The attractions at the stand were Pixel, one of the School of IT's Nao robots, Oculus 3D imagery technology, and a home grown computer game.

"Girls also had the chance to find (and capture) their super power at the Tech Girls are Superheroes stand, Coles brought their "little red car", and there were pink show bags stuffed with goodies from sponsors."

As well as social media, the event received coverage on online news services, including articles on iTWire and Women's Agenda.

Associate Professor Coldwell-Neilson would like to thank everyone at Deakin who supported the event, both during the lead-up and on the day.


Locking out illegal downloads

 School of Information Technology Associate Professor Yong Xiang, together with researchers from Japan's Aizu University, have helped to find the keys to lock out digital music pirates through developing a watermarking method that leaves a trail of who has illegally distributed a file. Without compromising the quality of the file and the original audio, this new method is the most robust to date, with almost a 100 per cent detection rate under most common attacks.

The music industry is expected to jump on to this major technological breakthrough which could wipe out piracy, estimated to cost billions a year in lost revenue.


Fostering altruism - a new approach to gaming

With today's children spending hours on computer games, Deakin researchers are currently working on a project that aims to harness some of that screen time by concurrently instilling some values.

 Led by Senior Information Technology lecturer Dr Michael Hobbs (pictured left with IT student Luis Van Slageren), IT students are working with Melbourne-based community organisation Creating a Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE) to develop a game that rewards altruistic 'upstanding' behaviour. The game will combine the fundamentals of computer game design and structure with insights into bullying identification and intervention, conflict resolution skills and caring for vulnerable members of the community.

CASSE is a non-profit organisation that uses a psychoanalytic approach to creating safer, more peaceful communities. Its "Peaceful Schools Program" (PSP) focuses on facilitating and empowering students to create their own solutions to addressing schoolyard bullying, conflict and mean behaviour. The program has been very successful - reducing bullying and increasing inclusion in all 12 Victorian schools that participated in its pilot program - and a second cohort of schools has joined the program this year.


Medals awarded for outstanding researchAlfred Deakin

Congratulations to School of Information Technology PhD graduates, Dr Nicholoas Patterson and Dr Yongli Ren, who have both been awarded an Alfred Deakin Medal for Best Doctoral Thesis in recognition of their outstanding research.

 Dr Patterson's research involved combating a highly profitable form of cybercrime, called Virtual Property Theft, that occurs in online social environments (Virtual Worlds). For his PhD, Dr Patterson designed a theft detection algorithm that has an 80 per cent accuracy rate for detecting this type of online theft. Companies that operate these virtual worlds can adopt the technology to detect and monitor any new threats/frauds discovered in the future.

 Dr Ren undertook research on information retrieval for his PhD, with a focus on optimising filtering and ranking systems. The aim of this research has been to improve on-line searching, taking into account the user's specific geographical location and surrounding environments. This research has the potential to enhance peoples' ability to locate nearby services, retail outlets or other facilities in the future.

Four medals were awarded this year, with recipients assessed across a range of criteria, such as international recognition, impact (in terms of actual and potential adoption), and acknowledgement from the profession.


Editorial appointment for IT lecturer

 Dr Shui Yu, a senior lecturer in Deakin's School of Information Technology, has been invited to serve as an editor for IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials (CST). CST is an online journal published by the IEEE Communications Society for tutorials and surveys covering all aspects of the computer science and communications fields.

'Published articles appear in the IEEE Xplore Electronic Library and the IEEE ComSoc Digital Library,' explains Dr Yu.

CST is a top journal in computer science in terms of impact factor. The impact factor of the journal is 4.8 while the majority of the IEEE journals are around 2.

'The review process of the journal is unique: every submitted paper is reviewed by two editorial board members as expert reviews and one editorial board member as a general review. Each member of the editorial board is requested to review at least three papers per month, and each paper may be around thirty papers long due to their survey or tutorial nature.'

Dr Yu is one of only two members from Australian universities currently serving the CST editorial board.


IT security a rewarding career choice

The achievements of Deakin School of Information Technology PhD student Veelasha Moonsamy have been highlighted in an article published on specialty IT news site CSO Online.

Originally from Mauritius, Veelasha did her Bachelor of Information Technology (IT Security) at Deakin and then an honours thesis on malicious software. Her PhD thesis is exploring the privacy and security of users' personal information on smartphones.

The article highlighted Veelasha's success in being awarded two (ISC)2 Foundation scholarships: in 2012 an (ISC)2 Foundation Graduate Research Project scholarship and in 2013 an (ISC)2 Foundation Women's Scholarship, one of only three awarded worldwide. The (ISC)2 Foundation is part of (ISC)2, a global organisation which describes itself as the 'largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals'.

Read the full article about Veelasha by David Braue on the CSO website.

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