University unveils computer science facility

The University of Auckland has opened a new seven-storey computer science facility on its city campus.

The University of Auckland has opened a new seven-storey computer science facility on its city campus.

The facility contains three labs for 120 students, and three tutorial rooms seating up to 55. Offices, study areas, a high-speed network, server and 500 PCs complete the fit-out.

Computer science department head professor John Hosking says the PCs will run Windows and some will dual-boot Linux. “Quite a variety of our courses use Linux, or Windows and Linux,” he says.

The department has grown in recent years, including a 50% increase in student numbers since Hosking was appointed in 2000. His predecessor also presided over a 50% increase in three years, Hosking says.

With over 1300 full-time equivalent students, the department is the largest at the university and possibly in the country, says Hosking. He says there are jobs in the local software industry for graduates.

“There’s been a downturn over the last couple of years with the dot-com crash, but the message I’m getting from employers is that it’s picking up.”

Generally, NZ software companies survive because they make “good solid software,” Hosking says.

“The sorts of employers I talk to are quite bullish about employment.”

More space will be created through the refurbishment of existing buildings, he says.

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