FACULTY OF APPLIED AND COMPUTER SCIENCES
ICT DEPARTMENT’S BEYOND THE CLASSROOM INITIATIVES
Welcome to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department’s hub of innovation and community engagement! Beyond our academic pursuits, we are committed to enriching students experience by offering a wide array of activities that foster personal growth, community service, and intellectual stimulation. In this introductory page, we take you on a journey through some of the exciting activities we organize to expand your horizons.
- Community Service:
At the ICT Department, we believe in giving back to our local and global communities. Our community service initiatives range from volunteering at local schools to hosting technology workshops for underprivileged youth. Through these projects, we aim to not only apply our technical skills for social good but also develop a strong sense of social responsibility among our students.
- Student Competitions:
The ICT Department is a hotbed of talent, and we provide numerous opportunities for our students to showcase their skills. We regularly organize and participate in coding competitions, hackathons, and datathons challenges that allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world problems. These events not only promote healthy competition but also encourage creativity and innovation. So we encourage students to join ICT student club.
- Inviting Guest Lecturers:
Learning extends far beyond textbooks, and that is why we bring the world to our campus through our guest lecture series. We invite leading experts, industry veterans, and renowned academics to share their insights and experiences with our students. These sessions are not only intellectually stimulating but also offer valuable networking opportunities.
- Innovation and Research:
As a VUT student, If you are passionate about pushing the boundaries of technology, our research opportunities and innovation labs are perfect for you. Work on cutting-edge projects, collaborate with faculty on research papers, and contribute to the advancement of the field.
At the ICT Department, we are more than just academics; we are a vibrant community of learners, thinkers, and doers. Join us in exploring these enriching activities that complement your educational journey, foster personal and professional growth, and connect you with a diverse and dynamic network of individuals. We invite you to dive in, participate actively, and make the most of your time with us. Together, we will shape a brighter future, one innovative step at a time.
The Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is having ICT student club whose sole mandate is to enable students to acquire skills through participating in national and international competitions. The following events are scheduled for the year 2023. Our students will be taking part in the national Datathon challenge and International BRICS Future skills challenge competitions.
1. DATATHON CHALLENGE (4-8 December 2023)
The student Datathon is a competition that is organized by Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) to showcase how open research data can be used to come up with creative and innovative solutions to some of South Africa’s problems. Six (6) ICT students will be involved in the competition which will be held at CSIR ICC from the 4 December 2023 to 8 December 2023.
2. INTERNATIONAL BRICS FUTURE SKILLS CHALLENGE (12-15 SEPTEMBER 2023)
The youth of the BRICS nations will be participating in BRICS Future Skills challenge to show how future skills will solve our most critical challenges. This competition will take place from 12-15 September 2023. The event will be attended by industry experts, multinational company representatives, and global public and government representatives. Eight (8) students from the ICT department will be taking part in the challenge in Digital Twin and Agriculture Internet of Things (IoTs) research areas.
Ms I Sibaya (Responsible Lecturer)
By: Puleng Maphisa
Two outstanding students, Lehlogonolo Chuka and Jim Mafalo, pursuing Diploma in Information Technology at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), have achieved an impressive feat by clinching the 3rd position in the prestigious BRICS Future Skills Challenge 2023. This international competition, held in South Africa from September 12-15, 2023, brought together 100 young talents from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, who presented innovative solutions to critical global challenges.
The BRICS Future Skills Challenge, often referred to as the “Lions Den” of competition, required participants to pitch their solutions to a panel of expert judges. Attendees included industry professionals, representatives from multinational companies, and global public and government figures.
In this edition of the competition, students focused on the Agriculture Internet of Things (IoT) challenge, a field they had no prior experience in. Their task was to develop groundbreaking solutions that harnessed IoT technologies to address various agricultural sector challenges. The overarching goal was to create practical and scalable Agri IoT solutions that could enhance productivity, efficiency, sustainability, or any other facet of agriculture.
The motivation behind VUT’s participation in the BRICS competition was to provide its students with a global platform to showcase their talents. International competitions offer students invaluable opportunities and experiences that contribute significantly to their personal and professional development. The initiative to participate was spearheaded by the ICT department staff members, Professor T. Zuva and Ms. Immaculate Sibaya, who learned about the BRICS competition from the CSIR and recognized its potential for VUT students.
The projects presented by the VUT students included an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Greenhouse Management System and an IoT Soil Health Monitoring System. The former enables farmers to receive real-time data about greenhouse conditions, while the latter provides information on soil health. These innovations have the potential to revolutionize agriculture by enabling precise management and resource conservation.
To overcome their lack of prior experience in agriculture and IoT devices, the students conducted extensive research on relevant technologies and tools. They also had access to VUT’s state-of-the-art lab dedicated to such activities, receiving guidance from department staff members every Monday.
The student’s preparation extended beyond the university campus. The BRICS Future Skills Challenge organizers provided expert mentors for each skills area, ensuring students had access to assistance when needed. Additionally, the students participated in Zoom training meetings every Saturday from August 26 to September 9, 2023.
During the competition, which spanned from September 12 to 14, participants had to submit tasks related to their respective modules. Experts used a scorecard to assess the quality of work submitted each day.
Participating in the BRICS Future Skills Challenge has not only exposed VUT students to IoT technology, data analysis, and project management but has also facilitated collaboration with experts in the agriculture and automation sectors. The students developed innovative methods to measure parameters such as soil moisture, pH levels, and nutrient content in real time. These measurements enable precise irrigation, fertilization, and crop management, ultimately increasing yields and conserving resources.
The success at the BRICS competition has sparked newfound interest among VUT students in joining the ICT club within the department and has initiated communication with other universities, both locally and internationally. With the competition being an annual event, VUT is eagerly anticipating future editions and is already preparing for the upcoming Datathon competition hosted by CSIR in November 2023. This marks just the beginning of VUT’s active participation in locally and internationally organized competitions, showcasing their dedication to fostering innovation and excellence among their students.
The exciting development in the Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is that we are inviting experts in ICT (Researchers and/or Industry persons) as speakers and collaborating with institutions in offering lectures to staff members and students. The events are announced on this page regularly.
1. Coding Summer School (29 Jan – 9 Feb 2024)
Our department is part of the 14th CHPC Coding Summer School and 6th NITheCS Summer School on the Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science that will be held this year 2023. The primary aim of the school is to provide training to our students on the fundamentals of programming, data science, high-performance computing (HPC), and computational sciences.
The schedule for the CHPC and NITheCS Summer School is as follows:
Week 1 (29 January 2024 to 02 February 2024)
During this week, participants learn the fundamentals of Python and data science, enabling them to analyze and manipulate various datasets. They are also introduced to Linux and Bash to acquire HPC skills.
- Python Basics
- Data Visualization
- Data Analysis
- Data Management
- Bash Basics
Week 2 (05 February 2024 – 09 February 2024)
In the second week, participants will delve into advanced Python applications, covering machine learning, computational sciences, and domain-specific topics.
- Machine Learning
- Probability Theory and Statistics
- Numerical Computations: Numpy Introduction
- Biomedical / Bioinformatics Sciences (TBC)
- Computational Chemistry / Material Science
- Common Astronomy Software Applications: CASA Introduction
- Other: Sympy, ODEs, Monte Carlo Simulation
At the end of Week 2, participants will be issued with certificates to acknowledge their successful completion of the program.
For interested candidates, kindly follow the registration link.
If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us