24 May 2012 to 24 September 2012
By new professors at The University of Auckland.
• 24 May - Professor Anthony Endres, Business: The international financial system in the age of complexity. 6pm OGGB5, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road.
• 6 June - Professor Georgy Gimel’farb, Department of Computer Science: Magic and the challenge of computer vision. 5.30pm Conference Centre, 22 Symonds Street.
Visual perception exploits up to 50% of the human brain for extracting about 80% of the information about the real world from a sequence of images captured by the eyes. Although the basics of human vision are already known, the whole process of perceiving and understanding the images still eludes formal explanation. This is why computer vision, which intends to mimic in part this remarkable process, is an extremely fascinating and challenging research area. Intricate relationships between images and scene descriptions are difficult for accurate modelling. Because just the same images may depict different scenes, most of the problems are inherently ill posed and should be properly regularised to move toward a goal solution. Algorithms for the exact solutions are typically NP-hard, so that provably good, but computationally feasible approximations need to be found. Some ways to overcome these difficulties will be exemplified in this talk by computational stereovision and medical image analysis problems.
• 6 July - Professor Kendall Clements, School of Biological Sciences: From Makara to microbiomes: the dogma and science of herbivory under the sea. 3-4pm Lecture Theatre BLT100, 5 Symonds St.
As consumers of plant material, herbivorous animals sit at the base of food webs in ecosystems. This is the case under the sea, as well as on land.
The main group of marine vertebrate herbivores are fishes, which are highly diverse and differ in many ways from their terrestrial herbivorous counterparts such as reptiles, birds and mammals. Furthermore, the main foods of marine herbivorous fishes are algae, which are very different to terrestrial plants. The challenge of understanding herbivory in marine fishes therefore involves elaborating the highly distinct and diverse ways in which algae are ingested and digested, both in temperate settings such as New Zealand and on coral reefs. This has involved a wide range of approaches from diet studies through digestive physiology, to examining the evolution of the fishes and their microbial symbionts, including the discovery of the largest bacteria known. The work has been conducted in many parts of the world under various field conditions, and suggests that extrapolations from terrestrial systems are fraught: herbivory in marine fishes breaks many of the “rules” that are thought to apply on land.
• 22 August - Professor Elizabeth McKinley, Education: Equity and excellence in Mäori educational research. 6pm drinks, 7pm lecture. J1 Lecture Theatre, Epsom Campus, Gate 3, 74 Epsom Ave, Epsom, Auckland. (Parking: Gate 2, 76 Epsom Ave. Epsom).
The most persistent and enduring problem of our educational times is that of equity - a feature of education that has received ongoing attention in New Zealand. It has been noted repeatedly in international reports that New Zealand’s compulsory education system has high overall quality but low equity. Mäori in particular are impacted by low equity in education. The educational research community has argued that lack of equity in education shows itself not only in differences in achievement rates and the level of school qualifications, but also in school coursework; university entry, retention and pass rates; and in life-long earning power between students from wealthy and poor families, and between various ethnic groups. Equity, excellence, and the importance of identity are principles that have guided my research in Mäori education. In this inaugural presentation I will debate whether the New Zealand education system is currently capable of meeting the complex challenges of transforming the educational outcomes for Mäori.
All welcome to this public lecture. Please RSVP by Friday 17 August to Maureen, email@example.com or phone 09 623 8899 ext 48689
• 31 August - Professor Bernd Krauskopf, Mathematics: Geometry of chaos. 3pm Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre, 23 Symonds Street.
Dynamical systems are all around us, from the solar system, the weather and ecosystems, all the way to our own bodies and man-made machines. Depending on the circumstances, the observed behaviour of one and the same system may be quite simple or rather complicated, and even chaotic. This talk will discuss some new mathematical ideas that allow one to gain a geometric understanding of how chaotic dynamics may arise and how it can be characterised. Some examples will be given to show that chaotic dynamics has its uses and can even inspire art. All are welcome.
• 17 September - Professor Alan France, Sociology: Topic tba, Venue tba.
• 18 September - Professor James Bade, European Languages and Literatures: ‘The Magic Lake’: Fontane’s last novel The Stechlin (1899) and its message for the twentieth century and beyond. Lecture Theatre B10, General Library Building.
The Stechlin, by the German novelist Theodor Fontane, is widely considered one of the finest novels in nineteenth century German literature. In this major political novel, dubbed ‘The Magic Lake’ by scholars in analogy to Thomas Mann’s political novel The Magic Mountain, Fontane sets out what he sees as the main problems facing Germany and Prussia at the threshold of the twentieth century. In this novel the northern Brandenburg lake Stechlin becomes a major protagonist, but all landscapes in the novel contribute to Fontane’s strong message of the necessity for and acceptance of change. The Stechlin provides a fascinating panorama of German thought and politics at the close of the nineteenth century, but its themes of openness, tolerance and liberalism have just as much relevance to the present day.
• 20 September - Professor Jean-Jacque Courtine, French: Topic tba, Venue tba.
• 24 September - Professor Katherine Sender, Film, TV and Media Studies: Topic tba, Venue tba.