Dr. Paul Crane

Talented software engineer likes solving hard problems, delivering results, and pushing technical boundaries.


PhD - Computer Science An Indoor Localisation System Based on Ubiquitous Technology August 2012 - February 2017 (Defended June 2017; Graduated December 2017) University of Otago

Indoor localisation systems are concerned with locating people or devices indoors without the support of GPS. A key challenge is to derive accurate location estimates. The thesis explores, and improves upon, the accuracy of two different signal strength based approaches. The final contribution is to reduce the effort needed to deploy an indoor localisation system via crowd sourcing.

MSc - Information Science Beacon - A Rapidly Deployable Cellphone Network July 2010 - December 2011 University of Otago

Postgraduate Diploma in Science - Telecommunications The Future of Telephony March 2010 - December 2010 University of Otago


CRAFT: Reducing the effort for Indoor Localisation with Zhiyi Huang, Haibo Zhang, IEEE 28th Annual International Symposium on Person, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), pp. 1-6, 2017 Montreal, Canada. paper citation

Emender: Signal filter for Trilateration Based Indoor Localisation with Zhiyi Huang, Haibo Zhang, IEEE 27th Annual International Symposium on Person, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), pp. 1-6, 2016 Valencia, Spain. paper citation

SIB: Noise Reduction in Fingerprint-based Indoor Localisation using Multiple Transmission Powers with Zhiyi Huang, Haibo Zhang, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, pp. 208-211, 2014 Melbourne, Australia. paper citation

Lecturing Experience

I have been working as a full-time lecturer in the Computer Science Department at Otago University. This involves, researching and devloping teaching materials (lectures, labs, assignments, etc.), delivering lectures, marking and providing feedback to students.

Paper Offering Title Topics
COSC430 S1 2018 Advanced Databases Relational, Non-relational, recent research developments in databases.
COSC326 S1 and S2 2018 Effective Programming Students work on various problems, assistance is given via Socratic method.
COSC346 S2 2018 Object Oriented Programming and User Interfaces Swift 4

Demonstrating Experience

I have been employed demonstrating labs for numerous undergraduate courses concurrent with postgraduate studies. Lab demonstrators have similar responsibilities to a teaching-assistant. The main role is to assist students with the practical lab work and help them to understand concepts taught in lectures.

Paper Title Skillset Years
COMP160 Computer Programming Java [2005, 2007]
COSC241 Programming and Problem Solving Java [2009, 2010, 2012, 2017]
COSC242 Algorithms and Data Structures C [2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017]
COSC243 Computer Architecture and Operating Systems theory [2007, 2012, 2013]
COSC244 Data Communications, Networks, and the Internet theory, Java [2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013]
COSC301 Network Management Linux, Ubuntu [2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017]

Student Feedback

Formal teaching evaluations were 'pretty outstanding [...] with a very good response rate'. All core teaching questions scored median values between 1 and 2 (lowest is 5, highest is 1).

  • I really enjoyed how open Paul was to answering questions. He was also very knowledgeable about the subject which is always helpful.
  • Really good communicator, going to Paul's lectures always feels valuable and his verbal explanations help a lot with unpacking and understanding the concepts, really appreciate his depth of explanation in lectures and his patience and thoroughness when helping us in labs
  • Paul has a great attitude about the topic and is obviously very passionate about it. I enjoy his teaching style and the way that he interacts with the students. He is also very helpful after class if you have any questions. He is very receptive to students who show enthusiasm on the topics and he meets them with a similar attitude. Having a teacher who is also engaged in the student’s learning is rare and makes for a better learning environment.

Nominated for an OUSA teaching award 2017. The students were invited by the Otago University Student Association to nominate Teachers/Tutors who made big impact and went above and beyond.

The following anonymous feedback was obtained by end-of-semester student evaluation questionnaires:

  • Paul was very helpful and cleared up any misunderstandings.
  • Paul performed his herculean task with grace, empathy, and deep understanding of the material.
  • The lab demonstrator is very helpful.


Each of the projects listed below were completed concurrent with PhD as paid work. All the projects involved aspects of requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and performance tuning. These projects were all conducted as sole software developer. See the projects page for more detail.

Real-time Neuro-feedback Research Assistant, Phoebe Neo, Department of Psychology, University of Otago
March 2017 - present

This research project in the Psychology department aims to discover ways to reduce depressivity. I implemented a real-time neuro-feedback task according to an experimental protocol, and developed programs to analyse the data collected.

Information Display Software Engineer, Joe Connolly, ITS, Downer Group
July 2017 - December 2017

At Downer I was tasked with displaying road safety information around Downer's offices, Downer's client's offices, and public information booths across the country. Because the information is being displayed in their client's premises and in public areas, the priority of requirements were thus: reliability, functionality, then cost. Using a RaspberryPI, a small battery powered UPS (UPS PIco), and monitoring of the system (including CPU, RAM, hard disk) allowed us to keep tabs on the performance of the devices in the field. The RaspberryPI was connected to a wall-mounted TV in the offices to display the content. Controlling the devices was done through the use of message queues and a web-based administration interface.

Network Management Course Content Refresh Technical Writer, Zhiyi Huang, Department of Computer Science, University of Otago
October 2017 - December 2017

Since the course was last updated in 2010 there have been a large number of changes to the commands, tools, and general practises around Linux administration. Beyond the content of the refresh, the course web page was updated to use modern (responsive) web design practises, and the lab manual build process was updated to use modern continuous integration techniques to automate as much as possible (where the previous build system used docbook and makefiles to generate the lab manual).

Supporting Energy Monitoring At University of Otago Designer & Software Developer, Hans Pietsch and David Eyers, Property Services Division and Department of Computer Science, University of Otago
July 2016 - December 2016

In this project I worked with a multi-disciplinary team at the University of Otago to collect and collate a variety of energy related measurements from a disparate set of systems (e.g. building management systems, lighting systems, ad hoc sensors) at a high level of geographic (e.g. room, floor, building, and campus levels of detail) and temporal precision (most commercial systems only persist aggregate data). The prototype system was presented at the Otago Energy Research Centre's Symposium in 2016, and awarded Best Student Presentation.

Accelerometer Gloves Research Assistant, Liz Franz, Department of Psychology, University of Otago
2013 - 2014

In this project I designed, developed, and prototyped a set of accelerometer gloves to replace and improve upon a set of gloves that had gone out of production. The design of the new gloves achieved a sample rate of 125Hz (matching the existing pair), while improving upon the comfort level across a variety of different hand sizes and shapes.

Technical Knowledge

Daily Java Python C
Familiar LaTeX R MatLab HTML/CSS/Javascript
Novice Go C++ C#
Version Control git subversion
Databases SQL NoSQL Timeseries
Systems Linux (debian flavours) IoT


COSC301 Administration

Given the structure of the paper (50% internal assessment) and as sole demonstrator I was responsible for recording student marks, granting extensions, administering practical tests to classes of around 50 students each year.

West Coast Swing Dance Community

Planning classes, teaching, and supporting a local dance community for weekly lessons. Along with promoting national events and organising for overseas teachers to teach workshops over weekends.


Routinely teach Ceroc partner dancing classes.

I played Saxophone (jazz band and symphonic) for numerous years in local amateur groups.