Change the world

Computing Sciences

At the national Vodacom Symposium for Mobile Applications in Gauteng, our department won Best Department, Best postgraduate app - Cainos Mukandatsama (Honours), with his application that reminds the elderly of their chronic medication and second place for their undergraduate app – Martin Stolk (1st year) and Cornelius Greyling (2013 1st year), with their app "Mall Crawl". Very impressive!

At the DASIK workshop hosted by our department there were representatives from 3 universities (NMMU, Oldenburg and Dar es Salaam) and 10 companies (SAP SA, IBM, Volkswagen, SYSPRO, Ovations, IBM, Microsoft, ECCO, IMBC, Brad Systems and SEDA NMB ICT Incubator).

Dr Lester Cowley and Prof Janet Wesson attended the Department of Trade and Industry Technology Awards 2012 in Kimberley. The following COE project was national runner-up: “Intelligent tools and techniques to support service oriented architectures.”.

Prof Jean Greyling did a live interview on Radio Sonder Grense (in Afrikaans) on the topic "How can Industry help University to help Industry".

Prof Janet Wesson, representing our Centre of Excellence, has been invited to exhibit at the annual Department of Trade and Industry awards function in Kimberley on 14-15 November. The previous COE project (Intelligent Tools and Techniques to Support SOAs) was selected as 1 of 3 finalists for the awards.

Prof Andre Calitz was appointed as the chairman of a national committee investigating a structure for the future accreditation of computing programs at SA Universities.

Mildred Zomba is part of an NMMU group who participated in a Cultural Week Festival taking place at Kenyatta University in Kenya.

Great collaboration between the department and this group from University of Oldenburg in Germany.

Anthea Connolley (Masters) attended a presentation by the father of Enterprise Architectures, John Zachman, in Pretoria.

From the left: Anthea Connolley and John Zachman

Congratualtions to Prof Andre Calitz who has been rated as a NRF Researcher.

Congratulations to Patrick Tchankue who's  paper won best paper in the HCI category at SAICSIT - co-authors Janet Wesson and Dieter Vogts.

Congratulations to Prof Jean Greyling who was elected as Vice President for SAICSIT.

Congratulations to MC du Plessis whose PhD has been confirmed at the University of Pretoria. He is accompanied by Prof Andre Calitz from the department.

From the left: Prof Andre Calitz and Dr MC du Plessis

Our Mxit Mobile App for Maths made us heroes of the day in the Herald today.

On the photo from the left: Melisa Koorsse (post-doc and main developer), Marlon Parker (Head of Mxit Reach) and Prof Werner Olivier from the Govan Mbeki Maths Development Unit.

Congratulations to the developers of Pocket Basket (Xola Dlambewu and Richard Amanzi) and Social Media Portal (Emmanuel Jaftha). Each app won R3500 in a mobile app competition sponsored by the local ICT Incubator!

The department had a very productive and encouraging Industry Advisory Board meeting with representatives from ASPEN, BCX, Open Box, Korbitek, Multichoice, ACI (previously S1), Nedbank, Telkom, Internet Solutions and Syspro.

Congratulations to Christiaan Pretorius, MC du Plessis and Charmain Cilliers, whose paper titled "A Neural Network Ultrasonic Sensor Simulator for Evolutionary Robotics" was accepted for INFOCOMP 2012 from 21-26 October 2012 in Venice, Italy.

Congratulations to Amanda Esterhuyse and Mandy Brophy, whose paper titled “Education beyond the Lecture Room: An Academic and Outreach Partnership to develop Soft Skills in Higher Education” was accepted for HELTASA 2012.

Congratulations to Clint Lee, whose system came 3rd in a national Microsoft Hackathon in Gauteng.

Congratulations to Henrick Tissink who received the award for the Best 2011 First Year.

Marco Pretorius, a PhD student, presented his paper "The South African User Experience Maturity Status for Website Design in Provincial Governments" at the European Conference on e-Government in Barcelona, Spain.

Congratulations to Simone Beets and Janet Wesson whose paper on “Using Information Visualization to Support Visual Web Service Discovery” was accepted for the British HCI Conference in Birmingham, in September 2012.

Alumni events
23/05/2012

Prof Andre Calitz (Cape Town) and Proffs Janet Wesson and Charmain Cilliers (Gauteng) attended differenet alumni events.

Lukonga Lindunda (ex student) from Zambia presented a workshop, giving an overview on the use of social media and mobile devices in Africa.

Industry Symposium
18/05/2012

The department’s 3rd industry symposium was attended by over 70 delegates from university and industry.

Vodacom workshop
17/05/2012

A team from Vodacom presented an Android Workshop and launched a new Student Chapter here at NMMU.

André Vermeulen, Managing Executive from Business Connexion, spoke on trends in mobility and the move from Telco’s to AppCo’s and VAS providers.

Students were informed on services presented by the incubator starting your own business. A new bursary sponsored by the incubator was also announced.

FNB Talk
03/05/2012

The story behind the FNB App, presented by two members from the FNB Connect team.

Prof Andre Calitz presented a talk on “New Computing technologies that will change business practices”.

Prof Jean Greyling as well as Ruhan Fourie and Stefan van Staden (both two first years) talked on RSG on Social Media Campaigns.

Prof Jean Greyling <Listen>

Ruhan Fourie <Listen>

Stefan van Staden <Listen>

We are proud of the following PhD graduates: Drs Melisa Koorsse, Leda vd Post, Bradley v Tonder, Brenda Scholtz, Akash Singh. In the photo they are with HOD, Prof Jean Greyling.

Prof Andre Calitz talked on RSG on IT Entrepreneurship. <Listen>

Congratulations to Prof Janet Wesson and Bradley van Tonder whose paper on “Improving the Controllability of Tilt Interaction for Mobile Map-Based Applications” has been accepted in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

Welcoming function
27/01/2012

Over 80 first year students and parents are welcome into the Department in lab 4 at our welcoming function. 

Congratulations to MC du Plessis whose paper on "Differential Evolution for Dynamic Environments with Unknown Numbers of Optima" was accepted in the Journal of Global Optimization.

Brenda Scholtz attended a SAP TERP 10 classroom training certification course in Cape Town.

Prof Jean Greyling and Prof Andre Calitz were interviewed on SAFM on the ICT Skill Shortage.

The Department held a welcoming function with the focus on "ICT Skill Shortage". Just under 80 first years and parents attended.

The Department held a welcoming function for the first yeas BSc Computer Science students.

Version 2 of our MXit App for CAT learners has had just under 200 000 requests since its launch. 

Prof Jean Greyling had a constructive session with 55 Eastern Cape headmasters on the effective use of social media such as MXit, Facebook, YouTube, etc. in schools.

Prof Jean Greyling was interviewed on RSG about "Constructive use of social media".

Prof Jean Greyling talked about "ICT Skill Shortage" on Kingfisher FM.

Prof Charmain Cilliers accompanied the top 4 undergraduates from 2011 (Vincent Nyanga, Mando Kapeso, Michael Grossman and Timothy Potgieter) to Cape Town to visit S1, Korbitec and Open Box.

Prof Janet Wesson was in Singapore from 25 February to 1 March to present a paper at the HCI Symposium on 27 February and attended the IFIP TC13 business meeting from 28 to 29 February, representing South Africa.

20 Life Orientation teachers and career councellors attended a breakfast organised by the department. We spoke to them about the great career opportunities in the ICT sector. 

Prof Jean Greyling visited the City of Knowledge in Panama City as the guest of the Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubation Hub.

Melisa Koorsse attended a fund raising event in East London for businesses in that area who want to contribute to education in our province. She represented our work that we are doing on MXit and introduced the new project regarding Math content via MXit, which we are doing in collaboration with Prof Werner Olivier's Maths Research Chair.

Marinthea Snyman represented the Department at the Working World Extravaganza.

Meet&Greet event
08/03/2012

Over 200 learners and parents attended our Meet&Greet event. Three speakers from IT companies in Cape Town and Johannesburg talked at this event.

11 companies exhibited at the first ICT career fair at NMMU.

David Brown form Amazon talked to over 80 staff and students about "Programming in the real world".

Staff and students made up a team at the annual CANSA relay and raise sponsorship for CANSA of over R3 000.

The Computing Science Department promoted computing studies and career opportunities at the Career Fair at Victoria Park on 14 March as well as at Alexander Road for the Grade 11 and 12 learners on 13 March.

Theo Snyman, who is functionally blind, talked about software for the visually impaired.

Dave Russell, who is a Technical Developer Evangelist for Microsoft South Africa, presented "An Introduction To Windows Phone" workshop.

Congratulations to David Gate whose essay about normalization came third in a national essay competition. David, who is currently doing his Honours in Economics, completed his BCom Computer Science and Information Systems degree in 2011. 

Nine of the Top 20 BSc first year students are Computer Science students.

Ricky Burrell from Korbitec in Cape Town presented a guest lecture on how to program effectively and efficiently in industry. Prof Charmain Cilliers hosted this.

19 Staff and students attended the Masters and Doctorate Research Rumble in Grahamstown with Rhodes, Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu Universities.

Congratulations to the following students were the winners in the Korbitec Programming Competition: Malusi Gcakasi, Clint Lee, Matimu Chauke, Nicholas Bergesen, Herman Langer, Alex McKenzi and Timothy Potgieter.

Congratulations to the following Masters and Doctorate students whose degrees were confirmed

Masters: Ivan Sams, Simone Beets (Cum) and JP Joubert

Doctorates: Leda van der Post, Melisa Koorsse, Brenda Scholtz, Bradley van Tonder and Akash Singh

This will be, by far, the best Masters and Doctorate ceremony in the history of the department.

Congratulations to Prof Charmain Cilliers who was elected as the chairperson of the NMMU Ethics Committee for the next 5 years.