School News

02/2014 Editorial appointment for IT lecturer
02/2014 IT security a rewarding career choice
12/2013 Alice helps girls get with the program
09/2013 Festival a window into indie game scene

News archive

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.

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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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Alice helps girls get with the program

 The Programming Challenge 4 Girls (PC4G) event came to Deakin University for the first time at the beginning of November. Designed to introduce computer programming to Year 9 and 10 secondary school girls, the event was hosted by Deakin’s School of Information Technology at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

PC4G began in New Zealand and is now an annual international event. Associate Professor Jo Coldwell-Neilson from the School of IT organised the Deakin event.

‘The aim is to introduce girls to computer programming in a fun and creative way,’ she says.

Girls from Sacred Heart College, Belmont High School and Geelong Grammar participated in the Deakin event, competing in five teams of two girls each. Following a morning tutorial session on ‘Alice’ - an innovative 3D programming environment - the girls put the knowledge they gained into action during the afternoon challenge. The team from Sacred Heart won gold on the day with teams from Belmont High taking silver and bronze.

Associate Professor Coldwell-Neilson says there were also activities for the accompanying teachers and she hopes participating in the event lays the groundwork for students and teachers to further discuss IT as a viable and creative career choice when they are back in the classroom.

Associate Professor Coldwell-Neilson also acknowledged the support the Deakin event received.

‘I’d like to thank BCC Computers in Geelong for their support of the PC4G Deakin event by donating prizes for the winners and runners up. Thank you to Jason Wells for running the Alice tutorial and competition. Also many thanks to Gail Casey for assisting with the pre-event organisation and entertaining the teachers on the day and to Jaimie McGlashan and Natalie Jablonsky for invaluable assistance on the day. The feedback from the teachers was very positive and the event will be held again in 2014.’

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Festival a window into indie game scene

 It was game on for a group of Deakin IT students at this year's Freeplay Independent Games Festival in Melbourne.

Freeplay is described as Australia's longest-running and largest independent games festival. Deakin's School of Information Technology was a Freeplay sponsor and was provided an exclusive opportunity for 10 students to attend the festival. As Sophie McKenzie, School of IT lecturer, explains, the students contributed their time.

'The students were asked to volunteer 10 hours of their time over the two day conference,' Ms McKenzie says.

'During their volunteering, our students experienced many different activities and got to shadow the conference organisers in their activities. When they were not volunteering, students attended the conference talks and also attended all the social and networking events.'

Adam Thompson is in his second year of a Bachelor of Information Technology (Games Design and Development). He was one of the participating Deakin students and says the experience was inspiring.

'Freeplay was a blast. It was really inspiring to get to chat with people who are making incredible games,' Adam says. 'It was also really cool to be able to work with [organisers] Harry, Katie and Ben. To be able to spend time with such talented and professional people was a real privilege. I managed to sit in of a number of the conference talks and panels which were all really interesting and informative. It was great to see how many passionate and dedicated people are in the local indie game scene.

'Something I hadn't expected was the new friendships formed with other Deakin students who volunteered. I now know a few more first and third year students that I might not have met otherwise.'

Ms McKenzie agrees that the festival is a chance for students to network with their peers.

'Freeplay provides an opportunity for students in IT (Game Design and Development) to network with their peers and share ideas and experiences on developing games and entering the demanding games design and development profession,' Ms McKenzie says.

As for Adam, the festival looks set to become a regular event on his calendar.

'Overall it was an amazingly beneficial experience... I feel like game development is actually possible now. I think it's something all game students should try and get along to, volunteering or not. I intend to go next year either way.'

Find out more about Freeplay on the festival website



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