Emeritus Prof Witten reviews first Massive Open Online Course in New Zealand

16 January 2015

UOW crest

Will Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) change the face of tertiary education in the future and what can Digital Cities - locally focussed online networks - mean for the local economy? These are two of the subjects to be discussed later this month as part of the University of Waikato's Treasuring the Bay symposium in Tauranga on Friday 23 January.

Emeritus Professor Ian Witten of the University's Department of Computer Science will review New Zealand's first MOOC launched by Waikato. With this MOOC, the University is making the expert knowledge of researchers and teaching staff available in a structured online environment. Professor Witten will describe the MOOC from conception to implementation, including the rewards for the University.

Digital Cities for the local economy

International guest speaker Barry Lerner is the Chief Information Officer of Huawei Technologies, South Pacific. He will discuss the importance of Digital Cities for the local economy. Mr Lerner is a recognised world expert in Digital Cities and has more than 30 years' experience in the telecommunications industry.

Natural science

Other presenters at the symposium will include Professor Chad Hewitt who is the Head of the School of Science in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. His research portfolio revolves around the role humans play in changing the natural world, particularly in marine systems, and how natural science can influence management and policy. He is recognised as a global expert on marine biological invasions and biosecurity governance at national and international levels.

Marine pharmaceutical research

Professor Chris Battershill will discuss the opportunity for marine pharmaceutical research in the Bay of Plenty. There will also be short updates on subjects that were presented at the 2014 symposium such as coastal research, mobilising youth volunteers and sustainable backyards.

Organiser Dr Nigel Calder, Partnership and Liaison Manager at the University in Tauranga, says the Treasuring the Bay symposium is an opportunity for the community to engage with experts about coastal research and economic developments taking place in the Bay of Plenty as well as looking at the issues we face.

The symposium is free and the public is welcome to attend. It runs from 9am-3pm, Friday 23 January at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Registration is essential for seating and catering purposes at the following: [email protected]

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