Gibbons Memorial Lecture Series

In 2008, the School of Computer Science began an annual lecture series to present Computer Science research to the wider public. The lectures are named the "Gibbons Lectures" in memory of Associate Professor Peter Gibbons.

Associate Professor Peter Gibbons (1949-2008)
Associate Professor Peter Gibbons (1949-2008)

About Associate Professor Peter Gibbons

Peter Gibbons was a member of the University of Auckland's Department of Computer Science from its earliest days in 1980 until his retirement in 2004.

His began his academic career at Massey University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics with First-class Honours in 1970. This was followed in 1972 by a Master of Science in Computer Science with Distinction – the first degree in Computer Science awarded in New Zealand. He completed his PhD in Toronto then returned to New Zealand to lecture at Massey, before moving to the University of Auckland. His tenure included a three year stint as Head of Department. After retirement, Peter continued his association with the University under an honorary appointment.

The Gibbons Lectures fund

The prestige of these lectures and their permanence depends on funding. Click the link below to support the Gibbons Memorial Lecture series by gifting a one off or regular contribution.

2022 series

Above and beyond cloud computing

Cloud computing provides a sustainable solution that enables flexibility and cost savings. However with cloud computing there are also questions around accessibility, data governance and Māori data sovereignty.

With corporate sustainability efforts increasing and forecasts indicating that continued cloud adoption could reduce CO2 emissions substantially in the near future, industry and the public sector are adopting cloud solutions to offset the rate of power consumption while providing "safe" solutions. Safe solutions include hybrid clouds, offering the flexibility to distribute workloads over public servers, while keeping sensitive data on private servers.

This year, the Gibbons Lecture Series focuses on how cloud computing will evolve to meet the increasing demands of industry and the public sector. What can we expect next, beyond the cloud? How can cloud computing and beyond give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi? How can cloud accessibilty be improved for all? What is industry in Aotearoa New Zealand predicting? What are the new technologies on the horizon?

Cloud Computing: Everything as a Service

Associate Professor David Eyers

Department of Computer Science, University of Otago

Cloud computing aims to transform information technology, moving away from the need to purchase hardware goods toward paid services that are provided on demand. This business model means IT  can be rapidly and comprehensively scaled up and down as needed, both for commercial and consumer cloud users. Public cloud providers which host the services’ underlying hardware benefit from extreme economies of scale. Technical innovations continue to power ever-greater reach and diversity of cloud services, typically at ever-decreasing prices.

In this talk, David will describe the key technical advances that have effected the spectacular rise of cloud computing, and how cloud technology looks set to evolve. Challenges that increasingly face cloud computing - such as data sovereignty, extreme resource consumption, and concentration of market share within the top few public cloud providers - appear to be accelerating the transition toward decentralised technologies.

Event date: Wednesday 18 May 2022

Livestream link:

Māori Data Sovereignty – Ka mua, ka muri

Panel facilitated by Dr Daniel Wilson

School of Computer Science, University of Auckland

Panelists include:  Assoc. Prof. Māui Hudson, University of Waikato; Dr  Lara Greaves, University of Auckland; Kiri West, University of Auckland.

Increasing interest in Māori data sovereignty has resulted in numerous innovations for data management practices in Aotearoa. Māori Data Sovereignty refers to the inherent rights and interests that Māori have in relation to the collection, ownership, and application of Māori data.

In this panel discussion, Māori data sovereignty experts will reflect on the current state of Māori data sovereignty activities and on future possibilities. Some topics to discuss include: What does Māori knowledge management look like in practice? How does Māori data sovereignty
relate to cloud computing solutions? What are the impacts related to cybersecurity? What are some of the tensions between current data practices in Government agencies and Māori data sovereignty? 

Our expert panellists are educators, researchers and thought leaders in Māori data sovereignty.

Event Date: Wednesday 25 May 2022

Livestream link:

Hey! You! Get onto my cloud! Going from the bottom of the sea to outer space for cloud coverage

Dr Ulrich Speidel

School of Computer Science, University of Auckland

For most of us, the Internet and cloud connectivity is a cheap commodity. But for billions of people, it isn’t. Geographic isolation, poverty and sometimes politics get in the way, including in our own neighbourhood; the Pacific Islands. Whether by cable or via satellite, connecting such remote locations is also logistically challenging. How do we overcome these challenges and make best use of the opportunities we have for everyone's benefit?

While many major islands in the Pacific now have cable connectivity, it often lacks resilient backups, as recently demonstrated by the volcanic eruption in Tonga. Many smaller islands in the Pacific still rely on inadequate satellite connections. But Internet in the Pacific is a happening space, and there are exciting developments both in the submarine world, and up in the sky.

Event Date: Wednesday 1 June 2022

Livestream link:

What is the future of cloud computing in Aotearoa NZ?

Panel facilitated by Dr Danielle Lottridge

School of Computer Science, University of Auckland

Panelists include: Matt Bostwick, Partner Director, Microsoft; Theresa Corballis, Head of Financial Services, Google Cloud NZ; Tony Buswell, Chief Technology Officer, NZ IBM; Gareth Cronin, Executive General Manager, Xero.

Modern businesses are awash in an ocean of routinely collected data. Cloud Computing is the go-to solution for managing this data, and claims to save on costs and time while providing omnipresence, reliability, flexibility, and better performance. This talk explores how these claims have panned out, especially for early Cloud adopters, and asks: How is Cloud Computing changing small, medium, and large businesses, and what are the projections for 5 years from now?

Cloud Computing has already changed foundational architecture and reconceptualised applications, which are deployed as microservices. Years ago, companies might aim to ‘scale’. Now companies are choosing to ‘hyperscale’ with options including hybrid cloud (i.e., mixing on-premises, private and public cloud) or moving to the ‘edge’ (i.e., bringing computing nearer to the source of the data). What are the trends for these choices, and what are implications of them for business and consumers?

This panel brings together representation from the world’s biggest cloud providers to discuss the present and future of Cloud Computing.

Event date: Wednesday 8 June 2022

Livestream link: