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Computing Sciences

Watch water flowing intelligently down a computer generated terrain in this exciting video at https://youtu.be/anwZO1Vg0L8.

Project by BSc Honours student Douglas Bentley for his Graphics module.

NMMU Computing Sciences students were challenged to thank people who made it possible for them to study. This is part of the department’s drive to emphasize the importance of soft skills. On the page NMMU says Thank You you can post your own gratitude comment.

Watch our "Thank You" video at https://youtu.be/Hc-Ck6MsqXo

We are extremely proud of the students in our third year ERP systems class (WRER301) who successfully worked towards and have now obtained their SYSPRO 7 End User Foundation Certifications.

Well done! This is a great achievement. Their certificates were handed out at our CS Project Exhibition.

We pledged over 100 Santa Shoeboxes collected in the School of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics. Thanks to our department's staff and students who took the lead in this, inspired by Hayley Irvine.

Dr Tony Simpson and Prof Andre Calitz had a paper accepted in the Accredited Journal:SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION, "Adapted SERVQUAL for Evaluating the Provision of Information as an Agricultural Extension Service in South Africa".

IDEA Conference
08/11/2015

Maxine Esterhuyse, Alyssa Whale, Martin Smuts and Brenda Scholtz attending the IDEA conference in Zanzibar.

Congratulations to Dr Brenda Scholtz who was awarded the Eastern Cape Woman in ICT award in East London.

From left: Prof Jean Greyling, Dr Brenda Scholtz and Prof Andile Ngcaba.

Middle: Jean Greyling with our NMMU Alumni Achievers award winners: Left: Nick Graham (Global Director Digital Marketing, Huawei Technologies) and Right: Ruan Viljoen (Vice President of Engineering at ACI Worldwide).

This year's CS Project Exhibition Day was a major success, with a total of 6 sponsorships, leading to the Industry Awards for best project display on the day.

 

Congratulations to Masters students Grant Woodford (co-author and supervisor, MC du Plessis and Christiaan Pretorius) whose paper "Concurrent Controller and Simulator Neural Network Development for a Differentially-Steered Robot in Evolutionary Robotics" was accepted for the Reputable Elsevier Publication "Robotics and Autonomous Systems".

Congratulations to Kevin Naudé!

His paper  “When Similarity Measures Lie” with co-authors Dieter Vogts and Jean Greyling was named as one of five best papers at "Similarity Search and Applications" (SISAP 2015) in Glasgow.
 

An extended version with at least 50% new content is to be prepared for a special issue of Information Systems journal, which is an accredited journal.

Prof M Cullen and Prof A Calitz have published for the first time a chapter in a German Entrepreneurship Book. The book is the initiative of Prof Halberstadt from LEUPHANA University Luneburg. 

"Muslimische Frauen in un ihre (Fuhrungs-)rolle in Familienunternehmen"

Cullen, M.D.D., Calitz, A.P. & Salie, N.

Congratulations to Prof Janet Wesson who received this award from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Innovation Office.

Congratulations to Dr Brenda Scholtz (co-authors Tracy van Turha (UCT) and Kevin Johnston (UCT)) whose paper "Internet Visibility and Cyberbullying: A Survey of Cape Town High School Students" has been accepted for accredited journal "The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC).

Congratulations to Masters student Grant Woodford (co-authors MC du Plessis and Christiaan Pretorius) whose paper "Evolving Snake Robot Controllers Using Artificial Neural Networks as an Alternative to a Physics-Based Simulator" was accepted for the 2015 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, December 8th to 10th, 2015 in Cape Town.

Congratulations to the authors of the following papers that were accepted for publication at the 9th International Informatics Development Association (IDIA) conference to be held in Zanzibar 07th-10th November 2015.

Smuts, M., Scholtz B. and Calitz A.P. Usability Guidelines for Designing Information Visualisation Tools for Novice Users. 

Whale, A., Scholtz, B. and Calitz, A.P. Components of e-Learning for Enterprise Systems’ Education in Developing Countries.

Esterhuyse, E. and Scholtz, B. Barriers to e-Learning in a Developing Country: An Explorative Study.

Congratulations to Masters student Michael Louwrens (co-authors MC du Plessis and Jean Greyling). His paper "Using standard components in evolutionary robotics to produce an inexpensive robot arm" was accepted for the 7th World Congress on Nature and Biologically Inspired Computing (NaBIC2015) Conference to be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa during 01st - 03rd Decemeber 2015.

Congratulations to Andre Calitz, Marco Pretorius and Kayode Ayankoya who are co-authors of these papers.

Moving the Focus to the User: Personas for Rural Area Users of Digital Services. 

Marco Pretorius (Department of Computing Sciences)  and Irani Sangham (Graduate School of Business).

Resident’s Support for Business Events in a City – An Exploratory Study. 

M.D.M. Cullen; A.P. Calitz and D. Hastie

A Framework for the use of Social Media for Political Marketing: An Exploratory Study. 

Kayode Ayankoya, A.P. Calitz and M.D.M. Cullen.

Social Team Building for MBA Study Group Cohesion. 

M.D.M. Cullen and A.P. Calitz                              

Project Management for Strategic Management Implementation in the Energy Sector.

M.D.M. Cullen, A. P. Calitz and M.Nel.

SNII Mobile App
12/08/2015

Congratulations to the SNII mobile app finalists, and the winners Pierre Hulsman and Nicholas Barfknecht. Their app simulates the typical shoe box of till slips.

 

Right: Nicholas Barfknecht and lower right: Pierre Hulsman the SNII winners.

Congratulations to the authors of the following papers which were accepted for SAICSIT:

"The Usability of Business Intelligence Tools for Novice Users". Smuts, M., Scholtz, B. and Calitz, A.P.

"Using Business Intelligence to Support Effective Sustainability Information Management in Higher Education". R. Haupt, B.M. Scholtz, A.P. Calitz

"Classification of Heuristics for e-Learning Environments". A.M. Whale, B.M. Scholtz, A.P. Calitz

PhD Alumnu Marco Pretorius is an Associate Researcher in the department, and his paper was also accepted:

"The User Experience Landscape of South Africa" M. Pretorius, J. Hobbs, T. Fenn 

The Department of Computing Sciences launched a programming competition for the department’s students and IT learners on Tuesday, August 04, 2015. The competition was held at the Department of Computing Sciences at Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. 

The competition was open to pre-college students, age 19 and under, who are attending schools in the Eastern Cape and/or taught in the Eastern Cape regarding computers and information technology (IT). The competition was also attended by various Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University students. Teams of three competed against each other to solve the most programming problems within three hours.

The competition was supported by various sponsors, which made it possible for students to attain its possible goals to reach the next level of computer programming. Sponsors include Comair, BBD, IBM, Cortex Hub, Amazon, SEDA and ELCB.

With the 13 schools registered in the Eastern Cape, the programming competition was supported by two satellite venues which contained 18 teams and 54 learners. From East London- Stirling High School- 5 teams, Clarendon High School for Girls- 4 teams, Hudson Park High School- 1 team, Selborne College- 2 teams. From George- Outeniqua High School- 3 teams, Glenwood House School- 2 and York High School- 1 team.

In Port Elizabeth a total of 5 schools with 24 teams and 72 learners took part in the programming competition where NMMU had 21 teams and 60 learners. A grand total of 13 schools, 63 teams and 186 learners took part in the annual programming competition on the day.

The overall winners was from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Second Student Team winners was a first year group from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Third Place were third year students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the winners of the School’s Competition category were Grey High School and Top Grade 11 Team are from Pearson High School. 

Congratulations to Maxine Esterhuyse who (with Prof Kevin Johnston and Muzaffar Loot from UCT) co-authored the paper "The Business Value of Cloud Computing in South Africa" which was accepted for "The African Journal of Information Systems". This is an accredited journal.

Congratulations to Brenda Scholtz, Andre Calitz and Thabo Tlebere whose paper "Evaluating Students' Social Media Use for Extra- Curricular Education" was accepted for the "Journal of Applied Research in Highe Education"- special issue Reviewing the Performance and Impact of Social Media Tools in Higher Education.

Derivco Hackathon
24/07/2015

The weekend’s Hackathon (79 students registered) was a great success. Students enjoyed the technical challenge and were impressed by the high level of technical support they received from the Derivco people throughout the period. A big thank you to Lester for months of negotiations and huge marketing drive made this happen and the technical team JR (Friday 17:00 – Saturday 04:00) and Charl (Saturday 04:00 – 14:00) for invaluable technical support.

 

 

Have you signed up for the Derivco Slice of Source,

18 hour hackathon at your campus?

Don’t miss the chance to win great prizes from Github, Derivco and Microsoft

as well as a great opportunity to write code and make awesome games

with the ultimate code ninja’s of Derivco!

Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch will be served to all attendees.

Redbull and plenty of caffeine will be on offer to keep your creative juices pumping!

Sign up here: http://bit.ly/1L4EenT

Congratulations to the following authors whose papers were accepted for the SATNAC 2015 (Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference) taking place in Hermanus, Western Cape on the 6th - 9th September 2015.

A Smart Home Environment to Support Health Care for the Elderly
Chiridza, T., Wesson, J.L., Vogts, D. 

An Investigation into Intelligent Management of Energy Usage in a Home Environment in South Africa
Mukandatsana, C., Wesson, J.L., Scholtz, B.

Optimisation Techniques for Field Service Automation using an Internet of Things
Kapeso, M., Scholts, B.

An Environment to Support Gesture-Based Information Sharing Among Co-Located Mobile Devices
Lee Son, T., Wesson, J.L., Vogts, D.

Using an Ambient Intelligent System to Assist the Disabled in a Home Environment
Kyazze, M., Wesson, J.L., Naudé, K.

Congratulations to Brenda Scholtz, Irene Snyman and Andre Calitz whose paper "Synchronous Gesture Manipulation for Collaboration and Coordination of Co-located, Business Process Modelling" was accepted for the South African Computer Journal (SACJ).

SACJ is an accredited journal. 

We will be supporting Mandela Day with the following activities this week under the umbrella #Project2767:

  •  20 CAT learners from mainly township schools will be in the department the whole of next week, being introduced to programming concepts by Ron Beyers (from YESA) and myself. This workshop is sponsored by the ICT for Rural Development e-Skills CoLab.
  • 22 Maths and Science learners from Solomon Mahlangu High School in Kwa Nobuhle will attend an introductory end user course on Thursday and Friday, presented by Dudu Fani.
  • At the International ITEE 2015 Conference Gala Dinner we raised R5000 for the Ikhanyesi Computer Centre in Walmer Township, as another Mandela Day project.
  • I want to challenge our Alumni and Industry Partners to support Prof Derrick Swartz’s Mount Fuji project in which he will be raising funds towards an NMMU Bursary scheme. (http://trust.nmmu.ac.za/VC-s-Climb-Campaign

Have a look at this short video as a contribution to Mandela Day 2015 in tribute of Mandela's 27 years in prison:

https://youtu.be/lQAH2HYea-M

Congratulations to Kevin Naude (co-authors Dieter Vogts and Jean Greyling) whose paper "When Similarity Measures Lie" has been accepted for the 8th International Conference on Similairty and Applications (SISAP)

SISAP 2015 will be from 12-14 October 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alumnus Blessing Jonamu created the Web App that helps SA scholars find bursaries for their tertiary studies.

The app allows students to create a profile that includes their age and the qualification they are studying; the app will sift through a database with more than 7 000 bursary entries worth over R1 billion. It will return with results that are only applicable and unique to that scholar. 

Read the article at:

http://www.news24.com/Live/SouthAfrica/News/This-web-app-helps-SA-scholars-find-bursaries-for-their-tertiary-studies-20150701

Congratulations to PhD Alumni Felix Ntawanga (co-authors Lynette Barnard and Andre Calitz) whose paper A Context-Aware Model to Improve Usability of Information Display on Smartphone Apps for Emerging Users was accepted for The African Hournal of Information Systems.

At the Cape Town Alumni event we acknowledged the following industry partners with our department's Industry Ambassador Awards: Ruan Viljoen (ACI - Vice President Engineering, also an Alumnus), Mark Fairweather (Open Box - CEO) and Peter Raine (Korbitec - General Manager: Software Development and Operations). Thanks for partnering with us over many years!

Photo: Prof Jean Greyling with Ruan Viljoen (Vice President Engineering, ACI).

Photo: Prof Jean Greyling with Mark Fairweather (CEO- Open Box).

Photo: Prof Jean Greyling with Peter Raine (General Manager- Korbitec).

LEAP Certificate
29/05/2015

Congratulations to Dr Lester Cowley for receiving his LEAP certificate. One of 18 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. LEAP is the NMMU Leadership Effectiveness Advancement Programme. This was the first LEAP programme and it lasted for one year.

Congratulations to Andre Calitz (and his DBA supervisors/co-authours, Margie Cullen and Jean Greyling) whose paper "South African Graduate Perceptions of the ICT Industry Skills Requirements" was accepted for SACLA 2015.

Congratulations to Andre Calitz, Margie Cullen and Kayode Ayankoya whose paper "A framework for the use of social media for political marketing: an exploratory study" was accepted for the Internan Business Conference (IBC).

Over 70 people which 40 are from our department (staff, award winners, alumni and partners) attended the alumni event in Cape Town on Wednesday evening, 27th May 2015. Ruan Viljoen (ACI), Peter Raine (Korbitec) and Mark Fairweather (Open Box) received our Industry Ambassador Awards on Wednesday evening.

First year students going out of their comfort zone to reach out to the homeless. 

Watch their video at: https://youtu.be/EXQXT9ERqsY

BCOM RATIONUM will be known as BCOM IN ACCOUNTING SCIENCE, starting in the 2016 academic year.

 

Congratulations to PhD student Cainos Mukandatsama who received a full scholarship to participate in the Summer School and Workshop “How Efficient is Electro Mobility?” to be held at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, Germany, from 01st June 2015 to 5th June 2015.

Congratulations to Michael McQuirk, Simon Urban, Genisha Sadanand and James de Klerk who are through to the finals of the Standard Bank IT Challenge on 24 August 2015. They were one of only 19 teams out of 87 in the country to get three questions right.

The CS Department exhibit at the Social Media Hub at the PE Business Leadership (PEBLS) Expo at King's Court on Tuesday, 19th May 2015 and 20th May 2015.

Photo: Masters student Michael Louwrens's 3D printer was a great hit at the PE Business Leaders Expo.

Raising Hope
15/05/2015

Simon Cox, member of one of our first year social awareness groups, writes: "We went to Altona Primary School and fixed their server room that's been out of order since last year October. We cleaned it and fixed the server and we are teaching students today. Furthermore we will be training teachers."

Photos: Group of first year students social awareness project.

Great excitement this afternoon at the regional MinQuiz Competition hosted by our CS department. 24 schools entered and registered to take part on the day. 

A big thank you to Bianca Deyzel and her team of 20 staff and postgrads for a very successful MinQuiz.

CIO Africa Summit
13/05/2015

PhD student Kayode Ayankoya attending the CIO Africa Summit in Pretoria.

Photo: In the photo he is with Meryl Malcomess, Marketing Director at SYSPRO Africa.

Open Day 2015
08/05/2015

The annual NMMU Open Day was a great success this year. 

 

Our "Random Acts of Kindness" team being interviewed by SABC. Should be on various radio and TV news bulletins soon.

Look at the SABC news bulletin at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCYW16_eYF0&app=desktop.

Masters student Mando Kapeso is part of an international training delegation hosted by IBA Global in Germany. This is because of his involvement with NMMU's e-mobility team. He visited the Porche factory and got to drive Elon Musk's Tesla Model S.

       

Anti Xenophobia march on campus today attended by a group of computing science staff and 100's of staff and students at NMMU.

Photo: A group of computing science staff and staff from the science faculty attended the silent march against Xenopobia on campus.

Congratulations to our 79 students graduating this year- the biggest group of graduates from our department ever. Simone Beets, Patrick Tchankue and Tony Simpson will be awarded their doctorates on Friday, 17 April 2015.

From left: Dean Gifford, Vincent Reid, Salomon Koen and Matthew Sainsbury.

 

 

Photo: PhD Graduate Tony Simpson with his proud mother and sons.

 

 

Congratulations to staff member Hayley Irvine on obtaining her BCom Information Systems degree this morning. 

 

The WRA101 students started a project called Random Acts of Kindness. It forms part of their social awareness project to teach them soft skills in team work. Our students' "Random Acts of Kindness" video made a blog and Random Acts of Kindness video has made it to the website of national radio station "Radio Sonder Grense". 

Watch their inspirational video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruDlOPx9OzY&feature=youtu.be

From left: Grant Marshbank – Chief Operating Officer, VSC Solutions, Port Elizabeth. Lisl Blundell – Bid Manager, Africa Region, ACI, Cape Town. Brad Scheepers – “Available for tech jobs in Hong Kong” – on a kind of “Job Sabbatical”, after being a Database Architect at McGraw Hill Financial in London. David Briers – Systems Analyst, Aculocity, Cincinnati, USA. David Brown – Director Software Development, Amazon, Seattle, USA. Mary-Jane Mol - SR Principal Product Manager, ACI, Omaha, USA. Mark Groch - Head: Operations and Product at Lightstone Consumer, Port Elizabeth. Jonathan Elliot – CEO, Sonop Software Corporation, Tampa, USA. Nick Prince - Software Developer at XpressDox, Worcester

Undergraduate Nqobizwe Ngubane received the Mabinya Scholarship, privately sponsored by Alumnus Baxolile Mabinya and his wife Elize. Baxolile completed  his Masters in 2007 and is currently Group Strategy Executive for Dimension Data Middle East and Africa.

From left: Nqobizwe Ngubane and Baxolile Mabinya at the Dimension Data Leadership Forum.

Congratulations to NMMU School of ICT students who won first place in the Game Development category of the national leg of Microsoft’s Imaginecup competition. 

From left: Prof Johan van Niekerk, Ben Joubert, Nick Jordaan and Jason Cross.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, opened our Broadband Communication and Computational Intelligence Laboratory on Thursday 26 March 2015.

Congratulations to all the authors who have papers accepted at ITEE 2015.

A Framework for Environmental Management Information Systems in Higher Education

Brenda Scholtz, Andre Calitz and Blessing Jonamu

An Analysis of the Perceived Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud ERP Systems: A South African Study

Brenda Scholtz and Denis Atukwase

Sustainability Reporting by South African Higher Education Institutions

Samuel Bosire, Andre Calitz and Margaret Cullen

Using Social Media to Improve Environmental Awareness in Higher Education Institutions

Brenda Scholtz, Andre Calitz and Thabo Tlebere

The Faculty of Science and Department of Computing Sciences had the honour to host a Public Lecture by Prof Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa on Tuesday, 10th March 2015 at the Conference Centre on North Campus, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Over 100 people attended Prof Andile Ngcaba's public lecture on Tuesday evening.

Some of the important guests at Prof Andile Ngcaba's public lecture.

From left:  Local Businesman, Khusta Jack, Corporate Affairs Executive at Dimension Data, Darryl Dennis , NMMU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz and Convener of the Annual Eastern Cape ICT Summit, Motse Xhamela Mfuleni.

We also had the honour of having Siya Xusa in the audience on Tuesday evening at the Andile Ngcaba lecture. 

Read more about the inspiring young man at: http://www.leadershiponline.co.za/articles/siyabulela-xusa-10414.html

Prof. Jean Greyling accompanied Justin Kelly, Jacques Potgieter and Salomon Koen on a sponsored trip to Cape Town. A big thank you to Korbitec, Open Box and ACI for sponsoring the trip.

Students having a meal and interesting discussion with Alumnus Benny Ou (from Alan Gray).

From left: Benny Ou (Alan Gray), Justin Kelly, Jacques Potgieter and Salomon Koen.

The students and Prof Greyling attending a scrum meeting at Alan Gray.

Enjoying the view on top of the Alan Gray building next to the Waterfront in Cape Town.

Great presentations was given on the different types of careers at Open Box, and met up with some Alumni.

A very informative discussion at ACI with some of our Alumni.

In the photo:Pieter Mouton, Ryan Gow, Eugene Coetzee and Cornel Ferreira

On Table Mountain – great place to end the trip!

Janet was officially awarded the IFIP TC13 Outstanding Service Award by the chairman of TC13, Jan Gulliksen, at the business meeting held today in Tampere, Finland. Congratulations Janet!

Prof Janet Wesson and Jan Gulliksen

The careers fair covered topics such as the different Computing Science and Information Technology streams available, Information Technology as a career, the future of the industry, the difference between our Computing Science and IT qualifications and the others available and how we intend to prepare learners to become an CS professional.

Photo: Prof Jean Greyling speaking about careers in computing

and upcoming events and competitions in the CS Department.

Photo: Group of CS staff and students at the CS & IS Career Fair.

 

Congratulations to Dr Brenda Scholtz, Clayton Burger and Masive Zita whose paper “The Use of Social Media as an Enabler for Creating Environmental Awareness in Higher Education” was accepted for a special Springer issue “Enviro 2014” as a book chapter.

The Department is proud to have the following top achievers in our first year programming class this year: Nathan Watt (1st IT, Victoria Park), James Roberts (1st IT, Queen's), Ruan Olivier (1st Grade 12, Despatch), James Westraadt (2nd IT & 2nd Grade 12, Alexander Road), Antin Phillips (1st IT, Grey & 1st Eastern Cape, Computer Olympiad), Carl Meyer (1st IT, Outeniqua) and Kevin May (1st IT, Stirling).

From left: Nathan Watt, James Roberts, Ruan Olivier,

James Westraadt, Antin Phillips, Carl Meyer and Kevin May.

We are honoured to announce Prof Andile Ngcaba as our department's first ever Adjunct Professor. Prof Ngcaba serves as executive chairman of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa and Convergence Partners Investments. 

Read more at: http://mype.co.za/new/top-ict-leader-prof-andile-ngcaba-for-nmmu/45583/2015/02#ixzz3QqNHMTrH

At a recent visit to the Ubomi Ubutsha Ministry Centre, NMMU Alumni Bursary Fund bags which our staff bought in support of the fund, was handed out to learners attending a weekly workshop at the Centre in Kwazakhele. 

Find out more about the centre at:http://ccmphome.blogspot.com/ or follow their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/UbomiObutsha

Congratulations to Clayton Burger on his new position. He will be joining the Cascade Use research group at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, as a researcher. The focus of the research group is to investigate material efficiency (gathering, recycling and reuse), lifecycle assessment and CO2 emission reductions.

Congratulations to Andre Calitz, Candice Evert, and Margaret Cullen whose paper "Promoting ICT Careers Using a South African ICT Career Portal" has been accepted into "The African Journal of Information Systems".

Published in Die Burger on January 17, 2015

Prof. Jean Greyling, Ntembeko Jafta and Dumisani Ngumbeka visited the matriculants of Solomon Mahlangu High School to encourage them to work harder in order to reach new heights in their upcoming studies. Our staff supported the NMMU Alumni Study Fund with R3500 by purchasing these bags of which a total of 95 bags were donated to the matric class. Prof. Greyling's message to the matriculates was “Every time you see this bag this year, be reminded that Solomon Mahlangu died at the gallows for you to have today's freedom to engage in a functional school.”

Prof Jean Greyling talking to the matrics at Solomon Mahlangu High School in Kwanobuhle.

From left: Ntembeko Jafta, Siphosethu Dyantylsl, matriculant, Prof Jean Greyling, Nomakhosazana Daku, matriculant, Dumisani Nyumbeka and Mtobell Bokwe, teacher.

Published in Die Burger on January 07, 2015

Ruan Olivier from Despatch High School excelled at the matric final exam November last year.Ruan has been a dedicated student since his primary school days, and ended as top matriculant at his school. Ruan is a driven young man and wants to obtain a degree in BSc Computer Science at NMMU, starting this year.