TedxUoA 2020: Distortion Speakers

Frances Cook

Journalist, podcaster, author and self-proclaimed financial mess, Frances has made it her mission to ‘meet people where they are’ in teaching the public about finance.

After obtaining her Masters in Media Studies, Frances holds an extensive career as a journalist working for RadioLIVE, Newstalk ZB and the New Zealand Herald, before gaining her current position as the podcast host of ‘Cooking the Books’ and ‘The Front Page’.

Yet, understanding that our current generation communicates a little bit differently, Frances has extended beyond traditional media, maintaining an active presence on social media and even authoring her own book titled ‘tales from a financial hot mess’. With experience in so many fields, Frances has a lot to offer in her speech for the TEDxUoA community, titled ‘Building a new generation of financial freedom speakers’.

Frances Cook
Eva Hakansson

Mechanical engineer, lecturer and world-record holder, Eva has shown the world just what electric vehicles can accomplish. Her father being a champion motorcycle rider/builder in the 60s, Eva was raised in a household destined for the racetrack.

Starting with the first registered e-bike in Sweden, the ‘Electrocat’, Eva soon developed the ‘KillaJoule’ electric motorcycle in her garage and consequently broke records in land speed racing. Killajoule eventually went on to become the fastest female-driven electric motorcycle, clocking in at 434 km/hr. But determined to go even further, Eva’s latest project, the electric motorcycle ‘Green Envy’, seeks to become the fastest motorcycle in the world, with aims of reaching 650km/h.

Outside of her racing career, however, Eva is also a distinguished academic, with Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Environmental Sciences, a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver.

Eva Hakansson
Helen Petousis Harris

Helen Petousis-Harris is a vaccinologist, associate professor in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care at the University of Auckland, and the Director of the Vaccine Datalink and Research group.

She has worked in the Immunisation Advisory Centre from 1998 to 2018, where her main research areas are vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety. She is also the chair of the World Health Organization Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS).

Besides teaching and research, Helen blogs about vaccine myths and matters of current interest in vaccinology, which can be found here. Her recent blogs reflect her dedication in vaccine development and educating people about what exactly is needed to combat worldwide diseases such as COVID-19. She can often be seen on the media, giving advice based on her expertise and debunking vaccine misconceptions. During her TED talk, Helen will be taking us through the history of vaccines, how it plays a role in the modern world and vital steps needed to effectively develop vaccines.

Helen Petousis Harris
Myra Ma

Myra Ma is passionate about supporting businesses to achieve results with cutting edge modern data analytics and artificial intelligence in her role at Microsoft as a Cloud Solution Architect.

After moving to New Zealand from China, and graduating from the University of Auckland, she truly understands the difficulty of building her brand in the competitive IT industry whilst continuing to strive for excellence in an ever-changing world. Myra is an active speaker in the Business Intelligence community, where she is determined to support her fellow IT professionals and immigrants to achieve more in their fields.

Myra Ma
Professor Tony Lambert

Tony Lambert is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Tony has published widely in the field of cognitive neuroscience, including work on visual perception, attention, and memory. His current work makes use of EEG, eye tracking and behavioural methods, in order to study the neural mechanisms that enable us to shift attention rapidly and efficiently from one object to anotehr in a complex visual world.

Tony Lambert
Professor Mark Billinghurst

Director of Empathic Computing Lab, Co-founder of ARToolWorks and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Professor Billinghurst has won numerous national and international awards recognising his global leadership in the research and commercialisation of Augmented Reality.

Holding more publications than any other AR researcher in the world, Mark has developed several world firsts, such as the first AR teleconferencing application. Hist current work involves leading a research team at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, researching Empathic Computing.

Mark Billinghurst