Basser Seminar Series

National Computer Science School

Dr James R.Curran and Michael Cahill
School of IT, The University of Sydney

Thursday 19 July 2007, 2-3 pm ** NOTE different day and time

School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre 123, Level 1


NCSS is an intensive week of computer programming and web development, structured around developing a website and search engine for a major national charity client. It is hosted by the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney and has been offered in various formats since 1996. In that time, NCSS has taught over 1000 students and over 100 teachers. The students who attendare usually entering their final year of high school (Year 12), but particularly talented or experienced younger students are also encouraged to apply. NCSS has an impressive record of engaging a range of students from around Australia. NCSS's industry partners include Microsoft, IBM, Google, NICTA and Atlassian.

NCSS is run by Dr. James Curran and Dr. Tara Murphy, who are research fellows in the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, and Michael Cahill, who is an experienced software engineer currently completing a PhD in the School of IT. They are responsible for developing, organising and delivering NCSS and other high school outreach activities, and have been heavily involved in NCSS over the past 10 years.

The talk will give a comprehensive introduction to NCSS and the future plans.

Speaker's biography

Dr James R. Curran is a Research Fellow in the School of IT at the University of Sydney in the field of computational linguistics, specifically statistical approaches to NLP ranging from theoretical and low-level component development through to high-level systems development in Question Answering and Information Extraction. James has pioneered the teaching of Python as a first programming language both at high school and undergraduate level. James received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2004.

Michael Cahill is a PhD candidate in the School of IT at the University of Sydney working in the field of high performance transactional data management, specifically helping database users get very high transaction throughput without sacrificing data consistency. Michael also works as a Software Engineer for Oracle Corporation on the open source Berkeley DB family of data management products. Michael developed early versions of an environment for teaching object-oriented programming in Java called BlueJ.

Both James and Michael have been involved with NCSS for over 10 years.