NUI Galway to Host Workshops for Project Maths

NUI Galway to Host Workshops for Project Maths-image

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The School of Education at NUI Galway will host a series of workshops as part of the University's new Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme for teachers. The workshops will focus on statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra. The events will take place on 1, 8 and 15 March in the Education Building in the University from 6 to 8.30 each evening. The three sessions will cover statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra, a free software tool developed for enhancing mathematics learning and teaching. GeoGebra is a principal technology of Project Maths. Project Maths involves the introduction of revised syllabuses for both Junior and Leaving Certificate Mathematics, introduced gradually on a strand basis with complete roll out expected by 2015. It involves changes to what students learn in mathematics, how they learn it and how they will be assessed. It aims to provide for an enhanced student learning experience and greater levels of achievement for all. Much greater emphasis will be placed on student understanding of mathematical concepts, with increased use of contexts and applications that will enable students to relate mathematics to everyday experience. The initiative will also focus on developing students' problem-solving skills. Assessment will reflect the different emphasis on understanding and skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The first two strands of project Maths were introduced for first and fifth year students in 2010. Dr Tony Hall, Assistant Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway says, "We hope these workshops, delivered as specialist input to NUI Galway's new flexible CPD framework for teachers, will support a community of practice in school mathematics, incorporating the new Project Maths syllabi and technologies, and involving our partner schools, teachers, the mathematics subject associations, the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick, and the Project Maths Development Team. NUI Galway is delighted to play an important part in the process of promoting mathematics and applied mathematics education, in collaboration with our partners in education, regionally and nationally." Welcoming these workshops, NUI Galway President, Dr James Browne said: "Maths education is central to the development of Ireland s Knowledge economy. These vital skills must be at the core of our education system at all levels from primary to fourth-level. This initiative by the School of Education at NUI Galway, in partnership with Project Maths, will further enhance teachers skills and develop new strategies for the teaching of mathematics, which will ultimately benefit the Irish economy." NUI Galway's contribution to Project Maths highlights the University's commitment to changing the perception of Mathematics. In 2008, a new specialist BA in Mathematics and Education was introduced, which sees students pursuing a comprehensive degree programme offering two valuable qualifications including an honours degree in Mathematics and a post-primary teaching qualification. Graduates of the programme, which is offered jointly by the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, and the School of Education will be specialist educators in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, trained to research-level standard in the mathematical sciences, and recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland as qualified post-primary teachers of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics to honours Leaving Certificate level. Ends

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Book on Monika Maron Launched at NUI Galway

Book on Monika Maron Launched at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A book written by Dr Deirdre Byrnes, who teaches German in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, was launched in the Moore Institute on Thursday, 10 February. Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context was launched by Professor Hugh Ridley, Emeritus Professor of German, University College Dublin. Monika Maron's biography charts a complex relationship with the German Democratic Republic, from initial ideological identification with the state to sustained, radical rejection. In her book, Dr Byrnes charts the development of a number of seminal themes in Maron's work: the search for an authentic form of expression; the writing and the rewriting of history; memory transmission and generational forgetting; the rupture and the ultimate refashioning of biographies in a post-GDR age. According to Dr. Byrnes: "Monika Maron's writing articulates salient aspects of her generation's social and historical experience, in particular the caesura caused by the collapse of the GDR in 1989. In my book, I set out to demonstrate the significance of her contribution to contemporary German literature." Launching the book, Professor Hugh Ridley highlighted Monika Maron's "representative function for a whole generation" and described her work as being "focused on pain, the sense of loss, the need to face up to the world". Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context is published by Peter Lang in the series British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature. It can be ordered at www.peterlang.com. Further information is available from Dr. Deirdre Byrnes at 091 492014 or deirdre.byrnes@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Editors Publish Book on Crisis in Poetry

NUI Galway Editors Publish Book on Crisis in Poetry-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A new collection of essays, Crisis and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Anne Karhio, Seán Crosson and Charles I. Armstrong has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. This collection addresses poetic and critical responses to the various crises encountered by contemporary writers and our society. The essays included discuss a range of issues from the Holocaust, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their aftermath and the war on terror to the ecological crisis, poetry's relationship to place and questions of cultural and national identity. The essays also ask the questions: "What are the means available to poetry to address the various crises it faces, and how can both poets and critics meet the challenges posed by society and the literary community?" "How can poetry justify its own role as a meaningful form of cultural and artistic practice?" The volume focuses on poetry from Britain, Ireland and the US, and many of the poets discussed in this volume are among the most acclaimed contemporary writers, including for example Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Louise Glück and Alice Oswald. Crisis and Contemporary Poetry will be launched by Professor Sean Ryder in the Moore Institute Seminar Room at NUI, Galway at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 1 March, 2011. More information on the collection is available at http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=399783. -Ends-

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New Research by NUI Galway and TCD shows Chronic Pain Costs Up to 2.5% of GDP

New Research by NUI Galway and TCD shows Chronic Pain Costs Up to 2.5% of GDP-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway's School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research have joined forces with health economists at Trinity College Dublin to establish the economic costs of chronic pain in Ireland. As part of the HRB and HSE funded PRIME Study (Prevalence, Impact and Cost of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Ireland), the researchers carried out in-depth interviews with 140 chronic pain patients to find out about direct costs such as medical treatments and indirect costs such as lost work productivity. Research Psychologist at NUI Galway, Miriam Raftery, said "we found that the average cost per chronic pain patient was €5,665 per year across all grades of pain severity". However, the annual costs increased according to the severity of pain, rising to €10,454 per patient for those with the highest level of pain and disability. A relatively small proportion of patients with the most severe level of pain accounted for a disproportionately large portion of the costs. Inpatient hospital treatment accounted for the highest proportion of overall costs. Professor of Health Policy and Management, Charles Normand and Research Assistant, Padhraig Ryan of the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College explained that "based on a 36% prevalence of chronic pain in Ireland, the total cost of chronic pain for all individuals aged 20 and above was estimated at €4.76 billion per year, or 2.55% of Irish GDP in 2008". The chief investigator of the PRIME study at NUI Galway, Dr. Brian McGuire suggested that "improved services for people in the early stages of chronic pain could reduce the long-term use of health services and increase the likelihood of getting back to paid work". He suggests this could reduce the sizeable economic burden of chronic pain in Ireland. The Irish research is consistent with data from other countries showing that chronic pain ranks as one of the most costly health conditions. -Ends-

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Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal

Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, Professor Francis Giles has been awarded the Annual Saint Luke's Silver Award by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. This is the highest honour bestowed by the Academy and Professor Giles is the first NUI Galway recipient. Professor Giles also delivered the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer, in Dublin this week. The Saint Luke's Lecture is sponsored by the Academy and Saint Luke's Hospital. This lecture is in the field of oncology. The lecturer is selected by an Academy/Saint Luke's committee and receives the silver medal and an honorarium. The Annual Saint Luke s Lecture has attracted a distinguished list of speakers over the years and its prestige is recognised by the award of the highest medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Recipients must also submit a paper to the Irish Journal of Medical Science. Congratulating Professor Giles, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This accolade is a wonderful tribute to Frank s work as a leading international researcher and clinician. It highlights the calibre of work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research, as part of our strong translational focus in the area of biomedical engineering science." At the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture in Dublin, Professor Giles delivered his vision for stimulating Irish anti-cancer research. His lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer defined a path based on the US National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center template. He highlighted recent relevant US activity including the creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) that will focus on early phase drug development. His key recommendations include increased emphasis on collaboration with other European early phase research sites through organisations like the Developmental Therapeutics Consortium. He summarised the high standard and broad scope of research being conducted by Irish investigators around the world. With the HRB Clinical Research Facilities in Cork, Dublin, and Galway as interdigitated hubs, he emphasised Ireland's strong position as a contributor to the global efforts to relieve the suffering associated with cancer and to cure those afflicted by it. Frank Giles is a Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. He was appointed Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway in September 2010. He also was appointed Consultant Haematologist at St James's Hospital, Dublin and Galway University Hospital. Professor Giles continues to be a Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio. An award-winning Professor, he has won the BioLink USA-Ireland Lifescience Award for 2007 and the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Health Care and Medical Science, 2007. Also at this year's Saint Luke's Lecture, NUI Galway graduate Dr Patricia McGowan was awarded the Saint Luke's Young Investigator Award. This is the eighth year of the award, which is sponsored on an annual basis by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and Saint Luke's Hospital. Applicants are normally in their early years of oncology research and would in normal circumstances be no more than five years post MD/PhD or equivalent level. Dr McGowan of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science was awarded the Academy Bronze medal. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards

NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway Postgraduate Biomedical Engineering Students collectively won four research awards at the recent annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conference which was held in Galway showcasing the state-of-the-art research developments in biomedical engineering in Ireland. At the conference there were 120 presentations from researchers North and South of the border including postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers and researchers from industry. Consistent with its research-focus in the area, NUI Galway enjoyed tremendous success in terms of presentation awards at the conference. All awards won by NUI Galway were by PhD students of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering within the College of Engineering and Informatics. James Grogan from Renmore, Galway, won the prestigious Bronze Medal of the Section of Bioengineering, presented by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI). The award was given for best overall paper at the conference. James is supervised by Professor Peter McHugh and Professor Sean Leen. His presentation was entitled Computational and Experimental Characterisation of Bioabsorbable Metallic Stent Performance. Caoimhe Sweeney from Barna, Galway, also supervised by the same researchers as James, won best First Year Postgraduate Student, followed closely by Fiona Weafer from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, who took second prize in the same category. Fiona was supervised by Dr Mark Bruzzi. Finally third place in the Senior Postgraduate Student category was awarded to William Ronan from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, supervised by Dr. Pat McGarry. According to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics; "We are very proud of the performance of our students at this conference. The number and range of awards won is clear evidence of the strength and quality of biomedical engineering teaching and research at NUI Galway, and this has very positive direct impacts for the international standing of NUI Galway and on the continued growth and development of the medical technology industry locally and nationally." ENDS

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NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters

NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway has recently launched an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, one of the first of its kind in the world. The area of Disability Law Reform and Policy is experiencing significant growth, with the introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which in turn has resulted in the development of disability strategies at international, regional and national level. The LL.M. will be provided in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, a research centre of excellence in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The Centre is dedicated to producing research that informs the debate on national and international disability law reform and is committed to producing high quality research to contribute to that process. The Centre already has a lively cohort of PhD students who will mix and interact and enhance the learning experience of future LL.M. students. The LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy aims to have small classes to enrich the staff/ student experience. This builds on a long tradition of an open door policy to students developed and encouraged in the School of Law. Other positive aspects of the programme include the opportunity to participate in community-based learning with disability organisations at a local, national and international level, many of which have enjoyed a long relationship with the Centre. Professor Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway School of Law, says: "We are very keen to encourage clinical legal education, so that the students gain practical and hands on experience, and disability organisations gain good legal knowledge. Our ethos is change. This new programme aims to equip students not just with knowledge and insights but also with the skills and motivation to help transform the lives of the 650 million persons with disabilities in the world." Programme Director of the LL.M, Shivaun Quinlivan says: "What we offer potential students is top-class teaching in an exciting learning environment and excellent research resources. Our lecturers are leading experts in their fields, and aim to provide an innovative and exciting programme dealing with the process of law reform in the field of disability. The programme also places an emphasis on developing students personal research, practical and professional skills for an increasingly competitive environment." The LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy is a one year programme, which runs from September to August. People can apply through www.pac.iePAC Code: GYL11 -Ends-

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Former NUI Galway Dance Group in Semi-Finals of Sky One's Got to Dance

Former NUI Galway Dance Group in Semi-Finals of Sky One's Got to Dance -image

Monday, 14 February 2011

Galway based Irish dance troupe Mystic Force, which began as part of the Dance Society (Dansoc) in NUI Galway, have claimed their place among the 28 semi-finalists in the live shows of Sky One's Got to Dance. Mystic Force manager Mark McCole was part of the NUI Galway Dance Society from 2004 to 2006 along with other current members of the troupe including Sarah Clogher; David Healy; Josephine Chrystal; Sarah Jayne Mac Laverty; Katie Mac Laverty; Eanna Ryan; Aideen Ryan and Riona Durkan. What started out as a group of friends getting together as part of NUI Galway Dansoc has developed into a polished Irish dance troupe that hope to be crowned Britain and Ireland's next top dance act. Mystic Force have made it to the semi-finals and will represent the best of Irish Dancing on an international platform. Mystic Force will appear on a live show of Got to Dance on Sky One on Sunday, 20 February, where they will battle against stiff competition for their place in the live final the following week. Mystic Force has pledged to donate £50,000 sterling to cancer research in Ireland if they are crowned champions. Got to Dance Presenter Davina McCall and judges Kimberly Wyatt; Ashley Banjo and Adam Garcia, recently travelled throughout Ireland and Britain to deliver the fate of each of the acts. Worldwide sensation Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls delivered the good news in person to Mystic Force, in Aras na nGael, in Galway City, while the troupe were rehearsing for upcoming performances. Mystic Force manager Mark McCole said: "The whole experience is absolutely mind-blowing and it is an absolute privilege to be invited to be part of the Got to Dance live semi-finals in London. It is the biggest and best thing that has ever happened to Mystic Force and we are working harder than ever to deliver what has to be the performance of our lives on February 20. We just hope that Galway and the West get behind us for our semi-final and help get us through to the final of Got to Dance 2011". Follow Mystic Force on their journey through Got to Dance on the group's official website www.danceforlife.ie. -Ends-

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Defence Forces Chief of Staff to be Honoured at NUI Galway Alumni Event

Defence Forces Chief of Staff to be Honoured at NUI Galway Alumni Event-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway Graduate Lieutenant General Seán McCann will be honoured at a Dinner to celebrate his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. The event will take place in the Officers Mess in McKee Barracks, Dublin 7 on 24 February 2011 at 7.30pm. The occasion will also celebrate more than 40 years of partnership between NUI Galway and the Defence Forces through the University Student Administrative Compliment (USAC), which has seen many officers pursue a large variety of qualifications at the University. Lieutenant General McCann holds a Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway which was conferred upon him in 1974. Mr J.B. Terrins, NUI Galway's Director of Alumni Relations says, "This will be a very special occasion, celebrating a relationship going back to 1969 when the first Defence Forces cadets and officers came through the gates of NUI Galway. The University is proud to count many distinguished Defence Forces officers amongst the ranks of its alumni – some still serving and others in key positions in business or other areas throughout the world. This dinner will see many of them reunited to honor Lieutenant General McCann, the first NUI Galway graduate to hold the position of Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. In his appointment to the most senior position in the Defence Forces, Lt General McCann now leads the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. Lt General McCann, who is 60 years of age, enlisted in the Defence Forces as an Officer Cadet in 1970. Following commissioning as an Officer in 1972, he served in various Cavalry units in Plunkett Barracks. He instructed in the Military College in both the Infantry School and the Command and Staff School. In more recent years he was Chief Instructor in the United Nations Training School in the Military College. Formerly Director of Cavalry and Commandant of the Combat Support College, he has also seen service in Defence Forces Headquarters as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff and as a Staff Officer in Operations Section. He was Director of Operations at Defence Forces Headquarters in 2007, and subsequently held the appointment of General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) from 2008 to 2009. He has been The Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations since 2009, with responsibility for all operational activities of the Defence Forces. Lt General McCann has extensive overseas experience. He served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1981 and 1987. He was Senior Operations Officer with the United Nations Iraq Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) in 1991. He served in Sarajevo with the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in 2000; and in 2002 he was Chief of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), part of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). In 2003 he was appointed Chief Operations Officer with UNTSO. The event will be attended by President of NUI Galway Dr James J Browne, and is open to all graduates of NUI Galway, to join in a reception and dinner, to celebrate the Chief of Staff's appointment. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference

NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference-image

Friday, 11 February 2011

A panel of experts from NUI Galway's Centre for Pain Research will participate in a conference entitled Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011. Senator and Human Rights Activist David Norris, will also join the panel on Thursday, 17 February in The Salthill Hotel, Galway at 7.30pm. The event, which is being organised by Chronic Pain Ireland, will focus on managing chronic pain and is open to members of Chronic Pain Ireland, students, Chronic Pain sufferers and their families as well as healthcare professionals and members of the general public. A host of presentations will be followed by an open-forum question and answer session. Topics will include, understanding the causes of chronic pain, perceptions and misconceptions of the condition, the role of the General Practitioner, coping with chronic pain, and the experiences of those living with chronic pain Speakers at Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011 will include David Norris, Gina Plunkett, Chairperson, Chronic Pain Ireland, Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, Dr David O'Gorman, Consultant Pain Specialist, University College Hospital. Dr Ray Doyle, General Practitioner in Galway will also make a presentation. The event will be opened by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Michael Crowe. Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, say "Chronic pain is a major healthcare problem in Ireland today, a disease in its own right. The overarching aim of this event, which is being organised in conjunction with Chronic Pain Ireland, is to increase awareness and understanding of chronic pain amongst patients and the general public. Attendees will learn about recent advances in the understanding and management of chronic pain from pain experts working at NUI Galway, Galway University Hospital and in General Practice. It is a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise in an important area of medicine and research, and we are delighted to be a part of it." Ongoing research in the Centre for Pain Research is supported by a variety of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, the Higher Education Authority, the Industrial Development Agency and the International Association for the Study of Pain. -Ends-

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