The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) department of Information Technology (IT) within the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics is breaking new boundaries with its impressive research output.
According to the Department of IT’s Associate Director, Dr Delene Heukelman the research within the department falls within DUT’s Research Focus Area of ICT and Society (ICTAS). This Research Focus Area was established in 2016 and it has steadfastly grown over the last two years, hosting two international conferences.
Dr Heukelman added that the ICTAS team is also planning on submitting more joint proposals with other institutions to collaborate on different research projects within the ICT sector.
She said the department is currently engaged in multi-disciplinary research projects including Image Processing for medical interventions, Real-time Intelligent Tracking, E-Voting, E-learning, Big Data Mining, Maternal Mortality, Asset Management.
“The Department of Information Technology has focussed on Big Data aspects with an extensive number of publications. Prof Richard Millham has spearheaded the research within this focus area with publications in Nature Scientific Reports (ISI-indexed), Symmetry Journal, Journal of Mathematical Problems in Engineering (ISI-indexed) and Soft Computing Journal (ISI-indexed). Further publications by Prof Millham included focussing on Bluetooth low energy applications, with publications in ICCS, Lecture Notes,” said Dr Heukelman.
“Prof Oludayo Olugbara has increased the number of publications relating to Image processing in various applications ranging from health care (Segmentation of Melanoma Skin Lesions, Automatic Skin Lesion Diagnosis), automated stress level detection using facial recognition and physiological measurements and Product image classification, based on developing improved machine learning algorithms. The third area of research focus is e-learning, with several projects led by myself. The evaluation of the success and impact of e-learning implementations have formed the basis of the publications in this regard,” she added. Dr Jeanette Wing and Dr Alveen Singh are co-organisers of ICTAS conferences and papers by their post-graduate students have also been accepted after peer review.
Dr Heukelman also highlighted some of the key departmental milestones which will aid the department to enhance its research output. “Prof Millham was successful in obtaining an NRF Grant for Infrastructure Funding Instruments (NEP) 2018/2019 for R1,539,583, which will allow purchasing of much needed equipment to further the research agenda. A high-tech post-graduate lab has been equipped with state-of-the-art ICT equipment to provide post-graduate students access to technology required to develop cutting edge applications based on sound research. Dr Progress Mtshali, who brings with his appointment as HOD of IT, vast experience in using technology to facilitate processes, will spearhead research in development of new applications,” she said proudly.
Pictured: Prof Richard Millham and Dr Delene Heukelman.