13 October, 2010

NCV Oct Formal Dinner

 On the 13th October the NCV community gathered for the final Formal Dinner for 2010.  So far in 2010 we had heard from former UNSW Deputy Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor Dr Jessica Milner-Davis and prominent Australian businessman and actuary Dr Ian Pollard.  This time it was the scientists’ and engineers’ turn to have the spotlight.

On 13th October the NCV community welcomed eminent physicist Prof. Michelle Simmons from UNSW’s School of Physics. Prof. Simmons is currently the Director of the Centre for Quantum Computing Technology and the Director of UNSW’s Atomic Fabrication Facility. Her research involves the development of novel electronic devices at the atomic scale.  Michelle spoke of her research group’s investigations into the development of quantum computing technology, with its promise of providing an exponential increase in processor speeds. The mixed audience of scientists and non-scientists could clearly appreciate the significance of Michelle’s research and its implications in a wide variety of fields which depend on ever-faster computers. Libin George, PhD student in the School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications moved an excellent vote of thanks expressing the community’s appreciation for having heard from such a distinguished scientist.

During the evening the NCV community was also fortunate to hear two pieces performed by resident Elina Yasumoto.  Elina is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Music, and is currently completing her Juris Doctor degree in UNSW’s Faculty of Law.  Elina played two pieces at the dinner, Franz Liszt’s “Gondoliera” and Australian composer Miriam Hyde’s “Study in Blue, White and Gold”.  They were fabulous performances.

12 October, 2010

NCV Cultural Night

The NCV community is highly culturally diverse, with 50 different nationalities represented.  At present there are residents from every continent, as well as from a number of island nations such as Mauritius, American Samoa and Fiji. With such a diverse community, living at NCV provides a unique opportunity to meet people from many other places and learn about cultures which are quite distinct from one’s own.

As part of our “O’Weekend” for semester 2, NCV hosted its inaugural Cultural Night.  This evening provided an opportunity to taste food from a number of different countries, as well as hear music from all over the world. Countries represented included India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Chile, Korea and Japan. A wide variety of food was available for tasting, including savory snacks, main courses and sweets.  For the new and returning residents who attended the evening, Cultural Night 2010 provided a unique glimpse into life in distant places.  Of course, students also had the chance to try some local Australian favorites such as pavlova  and lamingtons.  There was even an opportunity to taste the popular Australian spread “Vegemite”, something only a few residents were courageous enough to try!

A particular highlight was provided by Senior Resident Karthigan Balasubramaniam, who, with the help of some Sri Lankan friends, performed some traditional drumming. There was also an opportunity to be dressed in a sari for a portrait. The night was thoroughly enjoyed by all.