Summer brings ship rats and Twitter for Waikato students

24 September 2010

For students, summer is usually a time spent going to the beach, hanging out with friends at a barbeque, or partying. But how would you like to spend your summer discovering interactions between ship rats and house mice?

For some Waikato University students this will be a reality, but it’s all part of the Summer Research Scholarship programme initiated by the University of Waikato.

Every year the University of Waikato offers students the chance to perform research from different disciplines, such as science, management, and computing.

Students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate, a final-year honours or a first-year masters degree at a New Zealand or Australian university can apply. Students will have the opportunity to work with an established academic to experience the challenges and rewards of research.

The programme involves a 10-week period of full-time research during the summer study break from November to February. A scholarship payment of $5,000 will be given, plus contribution towards approved travel costs for students outside the Hamilton area.

A variety of projects are listed, including ‘The Great Victorian Garden of Death: The Design and History of the Hamilton East Cemetery’, and ‘Harvesting electrical power without any moving parts’.

‘Mining Twitter Data’ is another project which is being offered by the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Associate Professor, Bernhard Pfahringer, says that it’s good research experience which can lead to new discoveries.

“We might learn about unexpected possibilities of using Twitter information in new and exciting ways. If successful, it could lead to some internationally recognised publication.”

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