It is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 40,000 students (as of 2012).
Curtin was conferred University status after the legislation was passed by the State Government of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the University has been actively expanding its global presence and currently has campuses in Sydney, Singapore, and Sarawak. Being a leading global institution, it has forged close ties with 90 exchange universities in more than 20 countries. The University comprises 5 main faculties with over 95 specialists centres.
Curtin is one of only two Western Australian universities to rank in the prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong Annual Ranking of World Universities (2011). It is also one of the two Western Australian universities to rank in the Times Higher Education’s 2011-2012 world university rankings. Curtin is ranked within the top 300 universities by QS World University Rankings 2011/12. The University is also ranked in The Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2010 (ARWU) as one of the top 500 world universities.
Curtin University research articles from Innovation Toronto
The use of algorithms to filter and present information online is increasingly shaping our everyday experience of the real world, a study published by Information, Communication & Society argues.
Associate Professor Michele Willson of Curtin University, Perth, Australia looked at particular examples of computer algorithms and the questions they raise about personal agency, changing world views and our complex relationship with technologies.
Algorithms are central to how information and communication are located, retrieved and presented online, for example in Twitter follow recommendations, Facebook newsfeeds and suggested Google map directions. However, they are not objective instructions but assume certain parameters and values, and are in constant flux, with changes made by both humans and machines.
Embedded in complex amalgams of political, technical, cultural and social interactions, algorithms bring about particular ways of seeing the world, reproduce stereotypes, strengthen world views, restrict choices or open previously unidentified possibilities.
A combination of pop songs, talkback radio and cutting-edge science has enabled Australian astronomers to identify a way to prevent catastrophic, multi-billion dollar space junk collisions, a new study has revealed.
The inaugural research project spearheaded by Curtin University in Western Australia, will use the newly operational Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), one of three precursor telescopes for the $2billion Square Kilometre Array project, to detect radio waves reflecting off thousands of objects orbiting the earth.
The study has already tracked radio waves from FM transmitters located near Perth and Geraldton bouncing off the International Space Station as it passed over WA, approximately 500 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
Team leader Professor Steven Tingay, Director of the MWA at Curtin University and Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) said the MWA will be able to detect the space junk by listening in to the radio signals generated by stations including popular youth network Triple J.
“We have shown that we are able to detect approximately 10 pieces of space junk simultaneously. Over time this means we are in a position to monitor a significant fraction of the space junk that is in Earth orbits,” Professor Tingay explained.
The importance of this is that space debris is unpredictable and poses a significant collision risk to expensive space infrastructure, such as communication satellites, according to Professor Tingay.
“An early warning system has the potential to protect the billions of dollars’ worth of vital infrastructure orbiting the earth but also prevent collisions that will result in even more space debris being generated, such as what happened in the case of the Iridium 33 satellite in 2009*,” he said.
Being one of the first completed studies undertaken using the $51 million MWA, the results are important as they confirm the revolutionary astronomy tool is functioning in line with expectations.
“The MWA was designed to be the most powerful low frequency radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and this was our chance to test its capabilities,” Professor Tingay said.
“Prior to undertaking the study we had calculated how strong we expected the signals to be using simulations and theory.
“The measurements we took as part of the study were spot on in agreement with our calculations.
“This is an excellent result and bodes well for the other MWA science projects that are currently underway – including the most detailed study to date of the Epoch of Reionisation, the first billion years after the Big Bang.”
The idea to use the MWA for tracking space debris came from an earlier study by Ben McKinley, a CAASTRO PhD student at The Australian National University, who was able to image the Moon using reflected FM signals and calculate the likelihood that alien civilisations were listening in on us.
“CAASTRO’s emphasis on all-sky astronomy naturally leads to this new capability with the MWA, showing that astrophysics research can cross over into having significant benefits for people in everyday life,” Professor Tingay concluded.