The purpose of the Computer Science Association of NZ (CSANZ) is:
- to coordinate interdepartmental activities in CS research and teaching, and
- to represent and promote CS in New Zealand.
A low-key coordination body, that can also represent CS nationally.
Membership is open to any organizations or departments whose primary purpose is research and teaching in Computer Science. Academic staff, technical staff, and graduate students of participating departments will be named as members of the Association. It will also be possible for individuals to join.
The initial target membership includes the Computer Science and Information Science departments at Otago, the Centre for Computing and Biometrics at Lincoln, and the Computer Science departments at Canterbury, Victoria, Massey, Waikato and Auckland.
It is planned to keep the Association low key; consequently the activities essentially comprise coordination and involve little expense. Major expenses such as the Visiting Lecturer programme and the Research Students' Conference would be funded as at present, essentially by agreement of Department Chairs. Expenses involved in representing the Association (e.g. occasional trips to Wellington) would be an individual, not an Association, responsibility.
The annual fee is initially set to $10 per member and will include Royal Society membership for the Association.
The Heads or Chairpersons of participating departments constitute an organizing committee. Meetings take place by email.
The main mechanism for acquiring human resources to get things done is for Chairs to provide volunteers.
Here are activities that might come under the umbrella of CSANZ. These are already successful operations and there is certainly no intention to interfere with them. The Association will merely provide a little more structure to their organization, which is presently ad hoc and could easily degenerate or evaporate.
- The OGCN newsletter (Opportunities for Grad Study in CS at NZ Universities)
- The visiting lecturer programmme
- The NZCS Research Students' Conference
- The PhD register currently being compiled
- Supporting computer science education in schools
- Ad hoc initiatives such as the recent Marsden survey
Here are some new activities that the Association might undertake.
- A broadsheet (thrice-yearly) containing such information as:
The broadsheet would comprise a couple of sides of factual information that is informative, easy to collect, and requires no editorial work or judgement. The information could presumably be supplied by Department secretaries.
- news of appointments, upcoming visitors
- news of upcoming conferences, meetings
- news of grants, new projects
- graduate theses completed
- research report titles, recent publications
- (annual) list of members
- Representation on bodies such the Royal Society, FRST, MRST, Marsden Fund (we presently lack a voice that speaks for "academic" CS in this country)
- Website for:
- PhD register
- Link to OGCN
- Pointers to all Departments
- Facilitating the sharing of overseas visitors
- Any necessary coordination of research group meetings (such as the functional programming meetings)
Possible further activities
Here are some examples of further activities that might be considered. All these proposals are tentative and should be discussed, though not right now.
- A biennial academic conference in the years between the Research Students' conferences
- Occasional meetings of Profs and Department Chairs (to replace the old triennial meetings)
- Distinguished PhD Award (as is done by Australia CS depts)
- CS undergraduate award (like the Computing Research Association's)
- Facilitating inter-departmental exchanges of staff (and possibly students)
- Campaigns to raise the level, or alter the nature, of CS taught in schools
- Developing information to allow transferring students to be handled more easily, including better cross-crediting
- Possible affiliation with ACM, or the Australian CSA