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ICARA 2006

ICAEA 2006

The 3rd International Conference on Autonomous Robots and Agents.

December 12-14, 2006, Palmerston North, New Zealand

ICARA 2006 was intended to provide a common forum for researchers, scientists, engineers and practitioners throughout the world to present their latest research findings, ideas, developments and applications in the area of autonomous robotics and agents. ICARA 2006 included keynote addresses by eminent scientists as well as special, regular and poster sessions.

The IEEE NZ Central Subsection was a co-sponsor of this conference.

Subsection AGM — 14 November 2006

Presenter: Dr Ned Horvath
Title: Use Case Driven Development with Scrum
Date: Tuesday 14 November 2006
Time: 5:45pm
Venues: Massy University in both Wellington and Palmerston North with a video link between the two venues.
Attendence: 10 people atended the seminar and 7 stayed for  the AGM
Presentation Abstract:
In recent years there has been increasing interest in "agile" software development methodologies (such as Scrum) that embrace change rather than treating change as a risk to be managed. One cornerstone of agile methodologies is close communication between the development team and the customers who will use the system. This talk will describe a combination of formal use case methodologies with Scrum to provide an effective agile process. Two case studies will also be briefly presented.
Biography of the presenter:
Dr Ned Horvath is a Senior Industrial Fellow in Software Engineering at Massey University's Wellington campus. Prior to coming to New Zealand in July, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M International University, and prior to that he had over 25 years developing software for Bell Laboratories, Sun Microsystems, and several startup and emerging growth companies. Dr Horvath studied computer science at MIT and Princeton, receiving the Ph.D. from the latter. He has also served on the faculties of The Pennsylvania State University, The Cooper Union, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Nova Southeastern University. His research interests are in development methodologies and distributed systems.

Developments in 4G — 12 Ocotober 2006

Seminar Supported by IEEE and IET.
Presenter: Dr. Jung Uck Seo, LFIEEE, FIEE, ChEng
Distinguished Visiting Fellow of Massey University Foundation
Chairman of Korea Foundation for International Cooperation of Science & Technology 
Title: Collaboration and Cooperation under the Flag of 4G
Date: Thursday 12th October 2006
Time: 12:00 - 2:00pm (Lunchtime meeting)
Venue: Ground Floor Theatrette
20 Customhouse Quay, Wellington
(Corner Customhouse Quay and Johnston or Waring Taylor St) 
Abstract: The challenges facing telco's are becoming harder and harder as a result of the incredible technological complexity and diversity, difficulties in financing and marketing, cost overruns and schedule slippages in R&D, bleeding from competition at home and abroad, and the "wait and see" attitude of 4G dreamers.

There is a three-way race among the US, Europe and Asia in 4G. In Asia, China, Japan and Korea are competing for the 4G World-Cup.  Whoever is in front in any one area could end up as the regional power of technologies that will guarantee the world champion of 4G. In short, 4G is wireless, broadband,
mobile and ubiquitous. It aims truly to be the "next generation network" and the "universal access and application" making use of most of the core technologies that are proven and available  The talk will be about the current status of 4G development in Korea.
Dr. Seo has a BS (Seoul National University), a PhD (Texas A&M University) and an Honorary Doctor of Economics (Pukyong National University). Currently he is a Chair Professor of Sunchon National University, and Chairman of the Korea Foundation for International Cooperation of Science & Technology and the e-Trade Facilitation Committee of Korea International Trade Association. He is a life Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the IET, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, the International Board of the Texas A&M University and the Research Advisory Board of the University of Texas at Dallas.

Past positions held:
Minister and Vice-Minister of the Republic of Korea Ministry of Science and Technology, President of the Agency for Defence Development, the Korea Institute of Science & Technology and the Institute of Electronics Engineering of Korea. Senior Executive Vice-President of the Korea Telecom. President and Vice-Chairman of SK Telecom, Chairman of the Commission for Radio Communications Development, the Commission for IMT-2000 Development and the Korea Accreditation Board. Member of the IEEE Board of Directors (Region 10 Director for 2003-2004), Professor at the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy, Seoul National University, Korea University and Chungang University.

Antennas in Space — 5 September 2006 

Presenter: Professor Pawel Kabacik
Title: Microstrip Antennas for Space Applications.
Earth & Moon Orbiters Development by Students
of 35 European and Canadian Universities.
Date: 5 September 2006
Time: 5 pm
Attendance: 12 people attended this seminar.
Venue: Massey University, Wellington – Block 4, Level
B, Room 6 (4B06 4B06) - Entrance B, Wallace St
A PDF flier with location map and more information is avalible here.

Broadband Explained — 26 July 2006 

Seminar organized by IET Wellington Branch
Presenter: Dr Murray Milner
Title: Myths and Facts Around Broadband
Date: 26 July 2006
Time: 12.30pm (light refreshments from 12.00)
Venue: Transpower Seminar Room
Ground Floor
Transpower House
96 The Terrace
Dr Murray Milner is well known member of many professional institutions and is now an independent telecommunications consultant. A synopsis of the talk is available here.

Power Distribution & Control Issues — 20 June 2006

Seminar Supported by Electricity Engineers’ Association of NZ (EEA)

Presenter: William J Ackerman
Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE (PES) USA
Title: Power Distribution & Control Issues
Date: Tuesday, 20 June 2006
Time: 1pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Seminar Room
Ground Floor
Transpower House,
96 The Terrace
Attendance:     18 people attended this seminar.
Further Information: See: North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
This lecture was also given in Auckland on 14 June and Christchurch 19 June.
For an overview of the lecture, presenter details, and details of other venues
please download this PDF.

Radio Systems: Efficiency, Interference and Radiation — 7 June 2006

Seminar Supported by
Massey University, Institute of Information Sciences & Technology,
IEEE MTT-S and IEEE NZ Central Subsection

Presenter: Prof. Jacob Gavan
Holon Institute of Technology
Title: Radio Systems Techniques for Enhancing
Energy Efficiency, Reducing Interference and
Parasitic Radiation
Date: Wednesday, 7 June 2006
Time: 1pm - 2pm
Venue: Ecology Building seminar room C
Massy University
Palmerston North
Attendance: 15 people attended this seminar.
Abstract, Speakers Biography and Seminar Poster are available for download.

Image Processing - The Scanning of Pollen — 11 May 2006

Speaker - Prof. Bob Hodgson and Gary Allen
Title - The automatic scanning and recognition of pollen from slides - a project in image processing systems engineering.
The seminar included a demonstration.

This seminar was a progress report on a continuing project aimed at the realization of low-cost, automatic systems for the recognition and counting of both ancient and live pollen.  Applications of the technology include climate change research and allergenic pollen monitoring. A previous seminar  has reported on the classification of optical microscope images of pollen grains using Gabor transforms and shape described by moment invariants. This work has since been extended by the introduction of a range of additional texture measures including grey-level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM), Laws features and a wavelet decomposition. The additional texture measures have improved the pollen recognition rate of the system.
This seminar primarily reports on the development and  initial evaluation of automatic: focus, slide scanning, pollen location, image capture and segmentation schemes. Further system developments in progress will be briefly reported.

20 people attended this lecture at Massy University in Palmerston North. 

Further Information
Y. Zhang, D. W. Fountain, R. M. Hodgson, J. R. Flenley, S. Gunetileke Towards automation of palynology 3: pollen pattern recognition using Gabor transforms and digital moments  Journal of Quaternary Science 19:763-768
Robert M. Hodgson, Craig J. Holdaway, Yongping Zhang, David W.Fountain and John R.Flenley. Progress towards a System for the Automatic Recognition of Pollen using Light Microscope Images. Proc 4th Int.Symp. on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis, Zagreb Croatia,Sept 15-17 2005. ISBN 953-184-089-X pp 76-81.

Power System Stability — 4 April 2006

A lecture by Professor Charles Hanville,  renowned expert in power system stability.  His lecture was entitled "Real Consequences Follow Imaginary Power Disturbances". This talk was on voltage stability and voltage collapse exacerbating various recent power system disturbances. It was of special interest to electric power systems engineers and students and researchers in power systems.  The venue was the Wellington Campus of Massey University.

46 people attended this lecture in Wellington. 

Further Information
The slides and paper that this lecture was based on are available on request.

TENCON 05 — 21 - 23 November 2005

Tencon is the IEEE International Region 10 Conference. Region 10 covers Pakistan to New Zealand and Australia to China and Korea. Tencon is also broad conference in the sense that it is not focused on one or other technological area. Papers have been accepted on a range of topics. The theme for 2005 was "A Meeting Place for Converging Technologies and People" reflects this diversity of peoples and technology. 


Committee member Richard Harris was the Technical Program Chair. He has prepared a brief report on the conference from his perspective. It is available for download as a PDF document.

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