Associate Professor James Curran


James Curran is an associate professor at the University of Sydney. His research is in computational linguistics — the field of Artificial Intelligence involved in building computer systems that understand natural languages, like English and Chinese. James has a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh. He is currently researching statistical approaches to natural language processing ranging from theoretical and low-level component development through to high-level systems development in Question Answering and Information Extraction.

James has been a Director of NCSS since 2001 and was recently included as one of Sydney's one hundred most influential people, published in the Sydney Morning Herald's 'the (sydney) magazine'.

James enjoys Braeburn apples and bike riding.



Associate Professor Tara Murphy


Tara Murphy is an associate professor and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Sydney and an Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics CAASTRO, researching "The Dynamic Universe". She has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh. She has a joint appointment with the School of Physics and the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney.

Tara has been a Director of NCSS since 2001.

When Tara is not doing astronomy and computer science, she loves riding her awesome yellow bike.



Dr. Abelardo Pardo

Abelardo Pardo is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.  Dr Pardo holds a PhD in Computer Science by the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.  He is the director of the Learning and Affect Technologies Engineering research laboratory. Over the last 15 years he has worked in Educational Technology in the areas of intelligent tutoring systems, software for collaborative platforms, and more recently in the area of Learning Analytics. Dr Pardo is also the director of the Engineering and Technology program of the STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy at The University of Sydney.

During 2015 Dr Pardo has led the project Madmaker: Embedded System Design Challenged funded by the Australian Math and Science Partnership Program. In its first year of deployment the program has reached more than 300 teachers, 130 high schools and more than 3,000 students providing professional development and an online platform for integrated STEM activities. The project successfully designed an experience that keeps students engaged, changes their perception of STEM careers, it has a pedagogical framework flexible for teachers to include as part of the curriculum, and has been adopted by teachers from all STEM disciplines. The excellent results of the first edition have prompted additional support from the Faculty of Engineering and IT, The STEM Teacher Training Academy, and Microsoft Inc.




Dr. Tim Dawborn


Tim completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Sydney in 2015, and is a co-founder of Grok Learning. Tim has taught programming for over a decade to high school students through his position as a lecturer at the National Computer Science School, and to university students at the University of Sydney.

Tim enjoys programming, learning languages and listening to a vast variety of musical genres, ranging form Euro death metal to classical. He also enjoys keeping fit.



Dr. Nicky Ringland


Nicky completed her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Sydney in 2015, and is a co-founder of Grok Learning. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Languages), including a year of exchange to the University of Potsdam, Germany, before finding her way to computer science and computational linguistics, and has never looked back. Nicky has been working with NCSS since 2009 where she is a senior tutor and responsible for pastoral care. She also helps run the Girls' Programming Network - an outreach program teaching girls in high school to program. Through GPN and NCSS, Nicky hopes to encourage, guide and inspire young people interested in IT. She also loves the fact GPN gives her an excuse to investigate new things every week.

Nicky loves travelling and learning languages, and is always happy to add a few more words in any language to her repertoire!



NCSS Tutors

NCSS tutors are current university students or industry professionals. Many of the university students are NCSS alumni. Similarly many of the industry professionals tutoring during NCSS are NCSS alumni and/or University of Sydney graduates. We aim to provide a student to tutor ratio of 1:4.

Do you have IT expertise and a passion for teaching? Contact us if you are interested in spending some of your summer at NCSS!