Department of Computer Science
Gibbons Memorial Lecture Series
In 2008 the Department of Computer Science initiated an annual series of lectures intended to describe ongoing research in Computer Science to a wider public. The lectures are named the "Gibbons Lectures" in memory of Associate Professor Peter Gibbons.
The Gibbons Lectures
The Gibbons Lectures is an annual series of talks given in the Department of Computer Science in association with the Institute of IT Professionals NZ (formerly the New Zealand Computer Society). The goal of each lecture is to describe detailed developments in a particular research area to a general but technical audience - from Computer Science students at all levels, to IT practitioners in other departments and outside the University.
The lecture series is managed by a subcommittee of the Computer Science Department, chaired by the head of department or nominee. As well as organizing the speakers and the event itself the committee will ensure that the lectures in the series are archived and made available on this website.
Gibbons Lecture Fund
The prestige of these lectures and their permanence depends on establishing a permanent source of funding. To that end the department has established a fund that will be built up to provide support. We welcome contributions to the fund. If you would like to contribute you can make a gift online at www.givingtoauckland.org.nz/ and choose Peter Gibbons Lectures Fund.
2017 Gibbons Lectures:
Steps Towards the Singularity
Artificial Intelligence & Its Impact
Machines that mimic cognitive functions which humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem solving, are said to be exhibiting Artificial Intelligence or AI. This is a topic that has been much in the news in recent times. We have now grown accustomed to computers reading text, to our consulting virtual personal assistants such as Siri and GPS route finders, to controlling by voice, to robotic assembly lines. But now we are assailed with news of coming developments such as driverless cars, facial recognition, and robot physicians. This plethora of very smart technology leads some to believe that we are rapidly approaching The Singularity where the invention of artificial super-intelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization!
Be that as it may, there is a continuous stream of research into advancing AI and corresponding concern about its impact. In this series of lectures we will explore what is happening locally. Setting the scene, our lead speaker for 2017, Professor Nikola Kasabov, from Auckland University of Technology, will discuss the progress of AI from its deepest roots to current research frontiers, applying AI to the Big Data of medicine. Of personal interest to many of us, Professor Hans Guesgen, from Massey University, will be talking about the use of AI to improve the lot of elderly citizens. Associate Professor Marcus Frean, from Victoria University of Wellington, will take a more-critical look at the current hot topic of deep learning. Ending the lecture series, with a discussion of the questionable impacts of AI, will be Associate Professor Ian Watson from the University of Auckland.
Professor Nikola Kasabov
Director of the Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute
Auckland University of Technology
11 May. Home Smart Home
Professor Hans Guesgen
Chair in Computer Science School of Engineering & Advanced Technology
Associate Professor Marcus Frean
School of Engineering & Computer Science
Victoria University of Wellington
Associate Professor Ian Watson
Department of Computer Science
The University of Auckland
Drinks and nibbles will be provided prior to each lecture from 6pm at Level 1 of the Owen G Glenn Building. Lectures will commence at 6.30pm, and take place in OGGB3 on Level 0 of the Owen G Glenn Building.
The recording of lectures can be found at:
2016: Medical Applications of Information Technology
- May 5: Computational Physiology Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter.
- May 12: Finding your place in the genome: assembly, annotation, association Professor Thomas Lumley.
- May 19: A case study of IT in Medical Imaging: The evolution of Computed Tomograph Professor Anthony Butler.
- May 26: Using IT to improve health delivery for management of chronic illness Professor Jim Warren.
2015: Man Meets Machine: Human-Computer Interaction
- April 30: From the Mouse to the Smartphone and Beyond: tracing the development of human-computer interaction, Professor Mark Apperley
- May 7: Beyond Touch: using everyday tools as input devices, Dr Beryl Plimmer
- May 14: Innovation in Airline Human Computer Interaction: from ALC to IoT, Paul McGlashan
- May 21: From Interaction to Understanding, Professor Mark Billinghurst
2014: Keeping Secrets: Privacy and Security in the Information Age
- May 1: What does Privacy Mean to New Zealanders in the Internet Age? - Prof Miriam Lips
- May 8: Security in Mobile Devices - Dr Giovanni Russello
- May 15: Public Key Cryptography: Computation, Cash and John Nash - Prof Steven Galbraith
- May 22: The Psychology of Computer Insecurity - Dr Peter Gutmann
2013: Picture This! Computer Graphics in New Zealand
- May 2: A Better Paintbush? - Prof Geoff Wyvill
- May 9: Why Academic Research Matters in Visual Effects - John Lewis
- May 16: Computer Games: Friend or Foe? Opportunities and Research Challenges in Game Technology - Dr Burkhard Wuensche
- May 23: Engineering Computer Graphics - Prof Gordon Mallinson
2012: The Turing Legacy
- Apr 26: Alan Turing and the Unsolvable Problem: To Halt or Not to Halt - That is the Question - Prof Cristian S. Calude
- May 3: Alan Turing and the Secret Cyphers: Breaking the German Codes at Bletchley Park - Prof Jack Copeland
- May 10: Alan Turing and the Computing Engine: Turing's achievements in practical computing - Professor Brian Carpenter & Professor Bob Doran
- May 17: Alan Turing and the Artificial Brain: The Development of Artificial Intelligence - Assoc Prof Ian Watson
2011: Applying Computer Power
- Apr 27: Computing outside the box - Prof Ian Foster
- May 3: eResearch in New Zealand - Prof Mark Gahegan
- May 11: Co-operating computers - problems and prospects - Prof James Goodman
- May 18: Attached processors for real-time applications - Assoc Prof John Morris
2010: Facing the Data Mountain
- May 5: How the dragons work - Prof Ian Witten
- May 12: Theres gold in them thar mountains - Prof Gillian Dobbie
- May 19: The Health Care Revolution - Alec Holt
- May 26: Internet Challenges - Dr Nevil Brownlee
2009: Computing: From Theory to Practice
- May 13: The Combinatorics at the Heart of the Problem: - Charles Colbourn
- May 20: Making Software Testing Easier: - Myra B. Cohen
- May 27: Developing Darwin's Computer: - Alexei Drummond (Co-sponsored by IEEE Computer Society)
- June 3: Technologies for Deep Learning: - John Hamer, Andrew Luxton-Reilly, Beryl Plimmer
Peter's academic career began at Massey University where he completed a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics with 1st class Honours in 1970. This was followed in 1972 by an MSc in Computer Science with Distinction - the first degree in Computer Science awarded in New Zealand. He completed his PhD in Toronto then returned to New Zealand to lecture at Massey, moving to Auckland in 1980 to the newly established Department of Computer Science. He was with our department through to his retirement in 2004, including a 3-year period as Head of Department from 1997. After retirement he continued his association under an Honorary appointment. Peter's research area was on the boundary between Mathematics and Computer Science in the field of Combinatorics. Peter's particular interests included block designs (especially Steiner systems), Latin squares, graph domination questions, and the development and implementation of computer algorithms for combinatorial search and enumeration. Peter taught his research specialization both at graduate and undergraduate level. He also taught introductory programming to first-year students and at a more advanced level. He got involved with new areas, such as Multimedia and BioInformatics, where his knowledge and expertise could be applied. Peter inspired many others into research, often drawn from the thousands of students whom he taught. These colleagues can be found throughout New Zealand and the world.