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How we evolved a winning strategy for the RoboCup competition by imitating nature

“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.” This observation by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre has been cited in multiple contexts, ranging from tactical planning in team sports, to game-theoretic modelling of microeconomics, to full-blown robotic warfare.


Originally published in The Conversation.

It's all in the rotation: exploring planets orbiting distant stars

An artist’s impression of the polar orbit of WASP-79b. ESO/B Addison, CC BY-NC

The first of a two part series that looks at what astronomers can find out about the planets that are discovered orbiting other stars in our galaxy.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Just for you: how to create sounds that only you can hear in a venue

It's possible to create sound in a part of a room that only you can hear, but others elsewhere cannot. Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Picture your typical busy cafe or restaurant that’s full of people.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Root of census failures say "badly done" IBM and ABS. Still down for some.

Failed to open page Author

Despite being told that the site is now operational, the ABS census site is still not accessible for many.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Did the Census really suffer a denial-of-service 'attack'?

What really caused the Census servers to crash? Shutterstock

Last night, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) closed the 2016 Census website.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Drowning by averages: did the ABS miscalculate the Census load?

If you only consider average depth, you could drown at the deepest point. Shutterstock

There’s an old parable used in introductory statistics classes to illustrate how an average can be misleading when maximum values are of interest. The parable is of a person who drowns while walking across a river.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Census website cracks after 'malicious' attack by hackers

This is the screen that greeted many Australians on Census night, 9 August 2016. ABS

Many Australians were unable to complete the Census on August 9 due to the Census website failing.


Originally published in The Conversation.

ABS's night of disaster as servers crash and millions fail to complete the census

ABS Census home page ABS

The Australian census has proved a disaster tonight as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) threw up its hands and declared that its online service would


Originally published in The Conversation.

#CensusFail: the ABS hasn't convinced the public their privacy is protected

The ABS promises it has the best of intentions, but many don't trust it. Shutterstock

The Australian Census, which takes a snapshot of the demographics of the Australian population, is embroiled in a last minute furore around the manda


Originally published in The Conversation.