Media Advisory May 2

History and meaning of Matariki
The University of Waikato and Waikato Museum have teamed up to create a long-running exhibition on modern Māori astronomy and promote a better understanding of the history and meaning of Matariki. Te Whānau Mārama: The Heavenly Bodies will open at Waikato Museum on May 28 this year and run until July 13 2018. The exhibition examines the traditional Māori societal view of the night sky and how it is being revitalised in the modern world. University staff Associate Professor Rangi Matamua, Dr Hēmi Whaanga, Dr Ann Hardy and PhD candidate Hohepa Tuahine are the exhibition curators. They’ve worked with the museum, The Royal Society of New Zealand, the community and used their own research to put the exhibition together. To acknowledge the rising of Matariki on June 28 2016, a series of events will be held in the Te Whānau Mārama gallery at Waikato Museum. For more information, visit
Contact: Associate Professor Rangi Matamua, 07 838 4466 ext 6312, or, or Dr Ann Hardy, 837 9178, or

Holding a tune, and finding it laterImagine if Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony wasn’t ever recorded because a young Ludwig forgot to jot down the famous notes “Da-da-da duuumm”. Thanks to advances in Music Information Retrieval (MIR) technology, musicians won’t have to worry about forgetting or misplacing that next big hit. Professor of Computer Science David Bainbridge from the University of Waikato is creating tools that will make composing, storing, retrieving and performing music much easier and more intuitive. Professor Bainbridge will talk about his research at his Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘Mozart’s Laptop’ on Tuesday May 17 at 5.15pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of introducing its latest professors to the community and are free and open to the public.
Contact: Mike Watson, 07 838 4235, or

5000 years of Chinese art online
New Zealand’s largest collection of Chinese artefacts is now available for the public to view in its entirety for the first time. A website was launched last week, documenting and describing the 1,378 objects in the Rewi Alley Collection at Canterbury Museum. The website was developed by researchers from Waikato and Canterbury universities in the first stage of a three-year Marsden-funded project. Associate Professor James Beattie (Waikato) and Dr Richard Bullen (Canterbury) are investigating the scope of the Alley Collection, why and how it developed and whether the gifting and display of artefacts encouraged favourable perceptions of a ‘New China’ in New Zealand during the Cold War. Highlights of the collection include neolithic objects discovered on the Shandan Bailie School farm where Alley was headmaster in the 1940s, Han Dynasty ceramics from the Gobi Desert, a collection of jade, belt buckles, snuff bottles and paintings by important 20th century Chinese artists.
Contact: Associate Professor James Beattie, 021 0231 5892, or

App a new addition to Waikato University Open DayBuilding your own schedule, navigating around campus and connecting with others on social media are just some of the features of the new Waikato University Open Day app being introduced for this year's event on Friday May 13. The annual event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to showcase the qualifications, academic excellence, student support, facilities and lifestyle the university offers students. The app has been designed to make all of this more accessible and ensure everyone's day goes as smoothly as possible. Open Day is also a chance for prospective students and the community to explore our brand new Law Building opened in April this year. Throughout the day, prospective students will be able to try their hand at science experiments, take part in tours around the halls and campus, and talk to staff and students about study options. For more information about Open Day visit
Contact: Anna Nielsen, 07 858 5656, or

The language of numbers
University of Waikato linguist Dr Andreea Calude says it’s not surprising linguists study numerals with great enthusiasm because words that encode numbers sit at the boundary between grammar and lexis [vocabulary] and languages around the world display variation in how these words are used. Dr Calude has worked with Dr Annemarie Verkerk from Reading University in the UK on a study of higher numerals (numbers beyond 10) in 81 Indo-European languages and their work has just been released in the online Journal of Language Evolution, published by Oxford University Press. Their work looks at the at the development and evolution of number words and how they are expressed. Dr Calude says knowing these different formations may prove useful in other disciplines, such as computer science where the current number line is no longer sufficient, and the language ill-equipped to describe big, big numbers.
Contact: Dr Andreea Calude, 07 838 4466 ext 9339, or

Alumna’s project aims to help athletes achieve their dreams
Hayley Gilchrist knows how difficult it can be to achieve sporting success when you don’t have the funding and resources to support you. The sport and leisure studies graduate, who competed nationally in hurdling and athletics, saw a need for a professional profiling service for athletes that is affordable and accessible to non-funded athletes. She’s set up a Pledge Me page to raise funds for a start-up project to provide testing for athletes to develop a performance profile that can be used to compare performances between the athlete and the national and international standards of their chosen sport. Called ProPerformance, the project’s mission is to provide athlete performance profiling services to talented athletes who might not have had access or opportunity otherwise in order to advance in their chosen sport. Open-access athlete profiling is a service currently not available in the Waikato, and funds raised will go towards purchasing testing equipment and to cover initial marketing and administration costs.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

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