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University of Waikato academic recognised for shaping computing at Waikato

5 December 2023

Bill Rogers
William Rogers and Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley at the University's event to celebrate 50 years of computing.

A University of Waikato academic who helped shape the field of computing at Waikato has been recognised with the prestigious University of Waikato Medal.

William (Bill) Rogers was awarded the University of Waikato Medal by University Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley at a special event to celebrate 50 years of computing at the University on Friday 1 December.

“Throughout his 45-year career, Bill has positively impacted the lives of countless students and colleagues, starting his academic journey at the University in 1978 and retiring in 2020,” said Professor Quigley.

During his time, computing at the University established New Zealand’s first internet connection in 1989 with help from NASA via an undersea cable to Hawaii. The school also developed some of the world’s most popular open-source tools for machine learning and open-source digital library systems, WEKA, MOA and Greenstone.

It has also played a pivotal role in developing the country’s first Cyber Security Lab and Master of Cyber Security qualification.

In awarding the medal Professor Quigley said Bill had made an indelible mark on computing at Waikato and on the wider community.

“Bill was well known for his outreach efforts and high school programmes, including workshops and events introducing students to computing. His research-led teaching has also left an indelible mark on computing, including his establishment of the University of Waikato Computer Science Undergraduate Scholarship programme,” said Professor Quigley.

Beyond his teaching and extracurricular activities, his extensive research contributions in areas like computer systems, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics have not only advanced the field but also provided captivating material, said Professor Quigley.

“Bill has, without a doubt, made substantial and exemplary contributions to the University of Waikato through his commitment to the development of students and the enhancement of the field of Computer Science. It is my great pleasure to present him with the University of Waikato Medal,” said Professor Quigley.


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