Tech Exhibitions Give a Glimpse of the Future

From an app that helps plant enthusiasts keep track of their plant collections to a website that revolutionises the way vehicle information is stored, organised and accessed – the student projects showcased at Whitecliffe’s mid-year tech exhibitions were as diverse as they were disruptive.

Held last week across Whitecliffe campuses in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, the exhibitions showcased the remarkable technological advancements and innovative projects developed by Whitecliffe’s talented student community. Head of School, Information Technology, Muhammad Azam says the quarterly exhibitions are always highly anticipated by students, staff and industry alike.

“These events are a calendar highlight because not only do they serve as a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas, but they also create valuable networking opportunities,” Muhammad explains.

At the Christchurch event, held on July 5, 15 trailblazing projects were exhibited by students from Level 5 – 8, many catching the eye of industry guests like Louisa Taylor (General Manager Canterbury Tech), Jakub Holinga (Network Engineer, Jade Software Corporation) and Helen Clark (Jade Software Corporation’s Frontline Support & Compliance Manager).

Adds Muhammad, “Our Tech Exhibitions provide an excellent platform for students to get noticed. Jade Software for example have already employed a few of our graduates and they are always keen to see Whitecliffe’s up and coming IT talent.”

Among the many highlights of this year’s mid-year exhibitions were the research projects tackled by Whitecliffe’s first batch of Postgraduate Diploma of Information Technology students. In Auckland, PGDip student Simran Kohli impressed fellow students, staff and industry guests with her study on customer churn prediction for the telco sector.

“One of the biggest issues the telco industry faces in New Zealand is customer churn – the amount of paying customers that fail to become repeat customers,” explains Simran, whose research used hybrid neural network and SMOTE (Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique) to better predict churn.

“In order to provide a reliable approach that enables the telco industry to assess the perceived quality of service delivery using churn prediction, this study looks at a hybrid machine learning model which combines the neural network with Random Forest (a widely used machine learning algorithm) to increase the precision of customer churn prediction.”

As technology lecturer Pinal Shah points out, the research projects undertaken by Simran and fellow PGDip students “provides an exciting opportunity to explore the rapidly growing fields of machine learning and cyber security”.

When it comes to training New Zealand’s future IT superstars, Whitecliffe’s School of Information Technology is blazing a trail – and events such as these quarterly tech exhibitions play in crucial role in preparing students for successful careers in the IT sector, both here and overseas.

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