Station R is the latest building project for Auckland development firm Ockham Residential and the platform from which two new Ockham Foundation Postgraduate Scholarships in Statistics at the University of Auckland were launched.
On 9 June a crowd of about 70 gathered in the residential lounge to celebrate Station R’s official opening - with a small team from the Faculty of Science including the inaugural scholarship recipients. Guests heard from Ockham Founders and childhood friends Ben Preston and Mark Todd (both of whom are science alumni from the University), as well as the lead architect, Martin King, and one of the developers of the R programming language, Ross Ihaka.
The R programming language, developed by Associate Professor Ross Ihaka and former Lecturer Robert Gentleman from the University’s Department of Statistics, is now not only the most widely used statistical programming software around the world, but also the inspiration behind the naming of Station R – a new apartment building in Mt Eden.
Ockham Founders Ben and Mark spoke of their dedication to “urban regeneration” and making Auckland's urban landscape just as beautiful as its natural landscape. Station R is a building that Mark is especially proud of in that regard, as it brings a sense of regeneration and vibrancy to a once industrial and uninspiring location in Mt Eden.
As well as regenerating the cityscape, Ben and Mark are also very passionate about critical thought and discourse, which is reflected in the naming of all their development projects. Station R joins a list of apartment buildings around the inner city that have been named after both the people and products of scientific enquiry - in the case of Station R, it has been named to "celebrate the little known international success story of Robert and Ross' intellectual creativity that is still unfolding".
Alongside Ockham Residential, Ben and Mark also established Ockham Foundation in 2009 – an education-based charity that encourages critical thought, independent thinking and fostering a sense of social justice. Through the foundation, they have been able to support a range of projects – both big and small – and also fund a number of scholarships.
Among them are two Ockham Foundation Postgraduate Scholarships in Statistics. These scholarships have been set up in conjunction with the development of Station R, to both honour the work that Ross and Robert have done in statistics and to provide financial support to two students studying statistics at postgraduate level at the University of Auckland.
The inaugural recipients of the award, Ashley Hinton and Chris Park, were both incredibly honoured and thankful for the support that Ockham Foundation has provided. We add our thanks too, for this visionary support.
Pictured: from left to right Chris Park, Ben Preston, Mark Todd, Ashley Hinton, Ross Ihaka.