Top ranked Computer Science Department in New Zealand (based on the national research assessment project). 20-25 faculty (depending on how you count them). Purdue is well regarded.
Steve Jones is doing research on mobile devices, specifically including Android phones. Was interested in our work at integrating them into our curriculum. Also used Karel the Robot.
Richard Nelson and Tony McGregor are 2/3rds of the network research group. Would be interested in hosting Purdue graduate students for summer (e.g.) research. They have large datasets of anonymized real-world data garnered from ISPs, with whom they have confidentiality agreements. They recently joined PlanetLab.
Like most universities in New Zealand and Australia, the primary undergraduate program is three years. Honors students and a few disciplines (e.g., engineering) take a fourth year. They are now offering a combined five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree.
Students take 3-4 courses (“papers”) per semester. Semesters are about two weeks shorter than in the US.
Mohamad Kamal, from international programs, would strongly prefer that Purdue establish a Study Abroad partnership before an Exchange agreement. Purdue students pay reduced (but still high) tuition of $10,200 NZD ($7200) per semester for tuition and fees. Living expenses are approximately $4000 NZD per semester. They have 60 exchange institutions currently, with about 40 UW students abroad at any one time.
Bernhard Pfaringer teaches the programming languages course. Fairly general, touching on internals, interpreters, garbage collection; no formal semantics, very little theory. First programming assignment is students choice of language; most of the rest are in Clojure. They don’t have a compiler course. Students do a large project in their software engineering course.
Tim Elphick gave me a tour of their six computing laboratories. Standard, although they don’t have projection equipment. Two run Windows and are used for C#. Lower division courses are managed by “tutors”, who handle labs and recitations (with some student help). The first year for CS majors includes a two-semester C# sequence.
Met with department head Mary Jo Cunningham. She’s from Louisiana (LSU grad). Enthusiastic about Waikato and New Zealand. Recommends it for backpacking—cheap way for our students to travel NZ after the semester is over (e.g., in December).
Courses are not offered both semesters, so need to make sure what students are looking for is offered during the semester they plan to be here.
High school Rotary exchanges are popular in New Zealand. Could be a good recruiting tool for us since the students often go to “Nowhere, Nebraska”, but come back having had a good, “authentic American” experience. Purdue would reach a similar group of interested students.
From a follow-message from Simon Laing (email@example.com)… Pictures and information about a video wall they built in their student activity center.