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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Applied Maths Teachers' Conference at NUI Galway
Monday, 8 November 2010
NUI Galway will host the 2010 Applied Maths Teachers' Association (IAMTA) Conference and Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 13 November. The conference is particularly timely considering the significant changes underway in school mathematics due to the introduction of the new project Maths curriculum. The conference will consist of a series of panel discussions and keynote addresses, giving teachers of applied maths the opportunity to explore current issues and future directions of the subject in schools. Bill Lynch, the Director of the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment, who has overseen the introduction of Project Maths will be on a panel, together with P J Rudden, a highly distinguished engineer with a very real stake and insight into how maths is used by people who want to improve Irish society. Other panellists include Dean of Science, Professor Tom Sherry, an applied mathematician in NUI Galway, Piaras ó hEachteirn, the head of Civil Engineering in NUI Galway and Peter Doyle from Actuaries Ireland. "Applied mathematics, the school subject, is not so well understood by the general public. Although only 1500 students take the exam in applied maths, there is no subject on the current Irish curriculum which better equips students to think like mathematical problem solvers. Students who have taken applied maths have a head start adapting to third level", says Dr Kevin Jennings, mathematician and Co-Director of BA in Mathematics and Education at NUI Galway. The new maths curriculum will bring challenges to applied maths teachers, who will have to adapt their teaching to the students' new skillsets. However, the maths reform will hopefully encourage more and more students to take this fascinating subject. Many students study the subject outside of regular class time; in Galway City only St Patrick's Patrician School (the Bish) offers the subject within regular class hours. Mr Brendan Doheny from the Bish was awarded the Victor Graham trophy in 2009 for excellence in teaching applied maths. The conference will give teachers the space and time to reflect on applied maths and the concerns and challenges surrounding teaching it as well as the opportunities for the development of the subject into the future. Dr Jennings adds: "This conference is very important to promote applied mathematics and to plan for its future. Teachers from all over Ireland will be on campus that weekend to work on this. For us in the University it's a wonderful opportunity to work with our colleagues in the schools and to advise them of the diverse and interesting third and fourth level options available to their applied maths students." -Ends-
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First Ever NUI Galway Community and Family Studies Degree Students Graduate
Thursday, 4 November 2010
A new degree programme in Community and Family Studies at NUI Galway is the first of its kind in Ireland where adult learners are given the opportunity to study community and family work policy and practice through the medium of distance learning. The first cycle of the four-year, part-time degree programme were recently awarded their Bachelor of Arts degrees during the Adult Education Graduation ceremony held at the University. The attainment of the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies marks a significant milestone for the NUI Galway Community Education Centre, who is a core component of Adult and Continuing Education in the University. Furthermore, the award of this degree is testament to the effort and commitment of the 45 students who recently graduated. Helen Casey and Deirdre Hardiman, Community Education Officers and programme managers of the BA in Community and Family studies highlighted the ever increasing significance of education in light of the fundamental challenges now facing both our economy and society, and more particularly the role of educational institutions in assisting communities to respond to these challenges. Helen Casey said: "Over the past 10 years or so, the NUI Galway Community Education Centre has actively supported community development and family support best practice. This BA programme was therefore designed to meet identified needs in the community, and build on Adult Education's track record of community engagement and the promotion of life-long learning. Undoubtedly, the first graduates of this noteworthy programme will be the true agents of change in Irish society and beyond." Deirdre Hardiman added that: "The Community Education Centre are currently undertaking a four year impact assessment study of the first cycle of the degree programme which will be reviewing the impact of the programme to date from the student, community and programme management perspective. The findings of this study will indicate the impact that the BA in Community and Family Studies has produced in areas such as improving educational opportunities for these adult learners and fine tuning their employment skills which has caused a positive ripple effect in many communities over the last four years." Focussing on key areas such as community development, family support, youth work, childcare, health and general political and socio-economic studies, the BA in Community and Family Studies seeks to respond to the requirements of our ever changing society, and also to the requirements of a broad spectrum of adult learners seeking recognised qualifications in formal education. Further information on this innovative, adult friendly programme is available from the Community Education Centre at 091 495241 or http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/adult-and-continuing-education-courses/community-family-studies.html. -Ends-
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Starbucks in the City
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Coffee lovers will be delighted with the addition of global coffee house Starbucks which has recently opened its first Galway café on campus in NUI Galway. The introduction of Starbucks on campus is part of an investment of circa €3.5 million by ARAMARK Ireland's food services division, Campbell Catering and NUI Galway in the University's redesign of its 800 seat restaurant, An Bhialann. An Bhialann now boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen with the latest technologies in cooking servicing an elaborate food court with an excellent range of fresh nutritious food and a large, modern and bright seating area. For over 18 years, Campbell Catering has been a valued partner in delivering catering services at NUI Galway and on an average term day will serve approximately 2,000 cups of tea and coffee. Over the course of a year An Bhialann serves approximately 750,000 customers. Popular sandwich chain Subway is also located in An Bhialann and the addition of these high street brands have been welcomed by staff and students alike. Conference/ Catering Manager at NUI Galway, Ann Duggan said, "NUI Galway prides itself on providing a quality service to all its staff and students, the campus now boasts 14 restaurants which provide healthy eating options for a community of over 17,500 staff and students with prices starting from €3.50 for a hot main course ensuring that both body and mind are nurtured." -Ends-
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NUI Galway Biochemistry Student hopes to Beam Science to the Classroom
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a laboratory really looks like? Maybe you pictured it as a bustling place full of explosions and multi-coloured concoctions getting mixed by people in white lab coats? Of course researchers in NUI Galway are more than happy to discuss their work with anyone willing to listen, but it is simply not feasible to have an open door policy to laboratories. So, how can researchers show the inner workings of a scientific environment to those that are curious? Modern video conferencing technology is making this a real possibility. NUI Galway's partners at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta have pioneered a research-led teaching programme where high definition cameras are placed in labs to enable researchers to interact with primary and secondary students in real-time. In this way the magic of science can be beamed directly to classrooms and incorporated into science curriculums providing an insiders view of the world of research. Georgia Tech have dubbed this teaching technique 'Direct to Discovery' or D2D. The benefits to education via D2D are many. Students see how the textbook concepts they are studying get applied to real research questions by actual research scientists. In one example already developed by GTRI, students learning physics and chemistry are able to control the gas levels used to produce carbon nano-tubes in a nano-materials lab. In another example students were instructed to gather fossils which they then sent into the microscopy lab for analysis. In this way budding young researchers can be involved in the real world of science and technology they would otherwise never see. A link was recently made between Georgia Tech Ireland and Killina Presentation Secondary School, Co Offaly as part of the 100mbps Post Primary Schools Project. This will allow the Killina students to join the D2D network that already links schools in America, Canada and Australia and will soon involve schools in Chile and Kenya. Over the past few months the Biochemistry Department at NUI Galway have been working with GTRI on the feasibility of launching Direct to Discovery in Galway. Oisín Keely, a Biochemistry masters student working on multi-media teaching technology, recently went to Georgia Tech Research Institute on a ten day study visit to investigate D2D first hand. Oisín also attended the FutureMedia Fest 2010 in Atlanta, a conference focused on the latest trends in media creation, distribution and use of media content. Large corporations, including Cisco, HP, and CNN sponsor the event which enables the leading people in the field of media to come together and discuss strategies for progress. At the conference Oisín and GTRI co-presented a poster on the D2D system and how the project is progressing in Ireland. In the words of Karin Markey, a teacher in Kingsley Charter School in Georgia that is using Direct to Discovery, this scheme gives all students the "opportunity to picture themselves in a college community". The teachers involved in D2D at Kingsley School found that students who were not normally passionate about these subjects were often inspired to progress into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the future. Oisín Keely added, "It's a great idea. It really has the potential to inspire students and honestly I wish it was available when I was in school." So now, with the magical world of science being beamed out of laboratories, don't you wish you were back in school? For further information please contact Oisín Keely at email@example.com -Ends-
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Flirt FM launches Alumni Hour
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
NUI Galway's student radio station, Flirt FM 101.3, is launching a new programme in which well-known alumni will tell stories of their student days in Galway. The programme, Alumni Hour, promises to be a big hit with fellow alumni and Galwegians who will recognise the times, places, people and sounds of their own college days. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, will be the first guest in conversation with the show's host, Alumni Association Board Vice-Chairperson, Sandra Butler. As well as sharing stories of his school and college days in the 60s and 70s, listeners will enjoy a musical selection of Dr Browne's favourite tracks from those times. The line-up for the coming series of Alumni Hour includes some familiar names like Michael D. Higgins TD; Will Leahy, 2FM; Lt Commanders Roberta O'Brien and Orlaith Gallagher, Ireland's first female naval vessel captains; Guggi from the Róisín Dubh; Padraic Breathnach, Arts Festival and Macnas co-founder; Padraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann; Eamon Gilmore TD; Olie Jennings, Arts Festival co-founder and Saw Doctors manager; and Sean O'Rourke, RTÉ. Alumni Hour is co-produced by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and Flirt FM and will be aired on Flirt FM 101.3 on Thursdays at 2pm starting on 4 November. A streaming online audio will be available online (from 4 November, 2pm) at www.mixcloud.com/flirtfm//. The first show with Dr James J. Browne will be aired on Thursday, 4 November at 2pm. Flirt FM schedule is available at www.flirtfm.ie/schedule/show/240/. -Ends-
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Topical Lectures to be held at NUI Galway for Science & Technology Festival
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Have you ever wondered what happens when a star dies? Or how basic science can improve our health? Then don't miss the series of public lectures being held at NUI Galway from 8 to 21 November as part of this year's Galway Science and Technology Festival. Topical lectures including 'Detecting and Predicting Volcanic Ash Cloud Dispersion' along with the 'Molecules of Murder' will be held in lecture theatres throughout the university during the festival. On Tuesday, 9 November, Professor Michael J. Hynes from NUI Galway School of Chemistry will look at the use of chemical substances by some infamous murderers in their attempts to murder famous victims. The crimes are analysed from both the viewpoint of the properties of the poison itself and the manner in which the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice through the use of forensic science. The lecture will be held in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre at 6pm. Former Chairman of Intel Corporation Dr Craig Barrett will also give a special talk on Education for Innovation in Áras Moyola on Tuesday 16 November. The Festival, which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people will culminate with the Festival Exhibition in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway on 21 November where over 20,000 young people are expected to attend. This year's Exhibition will be formerly opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Both NUI Galway and GMIT open their doors throughout the two week festival to all primary and second level students in the city and county. At NUI Galway, there are a number of shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop'. Guided tours of NUI Galway's Research Institutes are also held. A full list of the public lectures at NUI Galway can be viewed at www.galwayscience.ie/ . -Ends-
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Former Guantanamo Prisoner to Speak at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the NUI Galway Muslim Youth Society are jointly hosting a public lecture by Moazzam Begg. Entitled Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar, the lecture will take place at 6pm on Monday, 8 November, in the Martin Ryan Annex in NUI Galway. Moazzam Begg was seized in January 2002 by Pakistani police and CIA officers, held at Bagram airbase for nearly a year and then transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was one of nine British citizens held at Camp X-Ray. In all, he spent three years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, and was subjected to over three hundred interrogations, as well as death threats and torture, witnessing the killings of two detainees. Begg was labelled an 'enemy combatant' by the US government. He was released on 25 January, 2005 along with Feroz Abbasi, Martin Mubanga and Richard Belmar. President Bush released Moazzam Begg over the objections of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the FBI, who warned that Mr. Begg could still be a dangerous terrorist. At the lecture Begg, who is the co-author of a book about his Guantánamo experiences also entitled Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar, will speak about his experiences in custody and detention under the US authorities. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Chair of the lecture, said: "In the aftermath of September 11, a 'war on terror' was declared by the US and other allies. A language was developed to explain the extraordinary measures which were meant to address the emergency, including the need for 'rights free zones', such as Guantanamo Bay. Whilst the Obama administration has promised to close Guantanamo; this has yet to be realised. What has also been insufficiently addressed is the impact of detention for prolongued periods without trail. Moazzam Begg gives a face and a story to those who were (and continue to be) detained and beyond the reach and protection of law." Admission is free and open to the public. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Public Lecture: 'Making Peace in Secret'
Monday, 1 November 2010
NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public lecture to be delivered by Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh entitled: 'Making Peace in Secret: Evidence from the Brendan Duddy Papers at NUI Galway', which focuses on the role Brendan Duddy played as a secret key intermediary between the British Government and the IRA during the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 10 November, at 8 pm in the Charles McMunn Lecture Theatre at the University and is free of charge. This public lecture draws on the personal papers of Brendan Duddy, which were deposited at NUI Galway in 2009 as a result of a relationship between Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and Brendan Duddy himself. They include notes, documents and previously unseen diaries of negotiation. The papers are a large personal archive of great historical significance to all on the island of Ireland and beyond. For twenty years a secret channel of communication linked the British Government to the Army Council of the IRA. It was through this channel that both parties held intensive peace talks in the mid 1970s and attempted to reach a negotiated settlement of the hunger strike of 1981. It was through the same channel that they returned to dialogue again in the early 1990s in the approach to the IRA ceasefire of 1994 and the Good Friday Agreement. At the heart of this dialogue and negotiation was Brendan Duddy. Codenamed Contact , his identity was a closely guarded secret for three decades. This channel provided a direct link between the Army Council of the Provisional IRA and successive British Prime Ministers from Harold Wilson through Margaret Thatcher to John Major and was so closely guarded that it was kept secret from other members of the British cabinet. Dr Ó Dochartaigh stresses the importance of the Duddy Papers in this period as "the negotiating relationship and the struggles for advantage and information that took place at this intersection are vital to understanding the process by which peace was finally made in Ireland". The Brendan Duddy Papers therefore provide the perspective of the individual who operated secretly at that intersection during some of the most crucial stages of the conflict in Northern Ireland. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Award Winners Create Technologies of the Future
Monday, 1 November 2010
Directions at your fingertips and genetic algorithms-generated Sudoku puzzles are just some of the exciting new technologies that graduates of the Information Technology discipline at NUI Galway have won awards for recently. Prizes were awarded to students who excelled in their projects, which span a wide range of fascinating topics, reflecting the diversity of research and career opportunities for graduates of Information Technology. Stephen Lenihan from Cong, Co Mayo, a graduate of the B.Sc. in Information Technology developed a software system that uses genetic algorithms to generate Sudoku puzzles. The algorithms were used both to generate the puzzles and to create varying difficulties by reducing the number of initial numbers given. Stephen was awarded the Best Project in the B.Sc. in Information Technology, sponsored by Cisco System. On a more practical application, Steven Connolly from Achill, Co Mayo, Thomas Mitchell and Andrew Sweeney both from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, all students in the M.Sc. in Software Design and Development, used web and smart phone technologies to develop an innovative mobile application that allows users to get map based directions for specific locations on campus, find friends and timetabled events, and receive point of interest alerts as they walk around the campus. All three were awarded the Best Project in the H.Dip / M.Sc. in Software Design & Development, sponsored by Cisco Systems. For those with an interest in creating music, James Tomkins from Galway City and Jonathan Lynch from Tullamore, Co Offaly, both graduates of the B.A. in Information Technology created a MIDI based music tutor. This novel software application generates sheet music, which is played by the user using a MIDI instrument and the programme then provides feedback on the user's performance. Information Technology is central to the development of the Smart Economy in Ireland. It is a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and attracts the kind of creative people who want to invent and promote technology based products and services. At NUI Galway, students of the B.Sc. in Information Technology study Professional Skills and Business Planning as part of their core academic work. Each year a special Entrepreneurship Prize is awarded for the students who produce the best business plan. These plans are evaluated by external business experts from WestBIC. This year the prize was awarded to Sean Herald from Belfast, for his "Heat Tech" idea – a Carbon Monoxide monitoring device with Bluetooth/SMS interface to alert a home user if their central heating boiler is operating inefficiently or dangerously. Professor Gerry Lyons, Professor of Information Technology and Dean of the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway also welcomed Cisco Systems as the new corporate sponsor for Best Projects in the Information Technology degree programmes. "We believe this is a strong endorsement of the commercial relevance of our degree programmes, and underlines our commitment to innovation, professionalism and research at NUI Galway. We place a huge emphasis on Final Year Project work," he said. He added: "These projects are a proving-ground for research and commercial business opportunities. Partnering with a blue-chip global company like Cisco gives students the added motivation and ambition to deliver excellent work." For further information, please contact: Dr Des Chambers, B.Sc. (Computer Science & IT) Programme Director, email@example.com, 091 493311; or Ms Tina Earls, Executive Assistant in Information Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 091 493143. -Ends-
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International Speakers to Mark 10 Years of Irish Centre for Human Rights
Monday, 1 November 2010
World-renowned human rights experts will feature as guest speakers at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 19 to 20 November. Speakers at the two-day event will include Andrew Clapham, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights; David Scheffer, American lawyer and diplomat who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University School of Law. A special Gala Banquet will take place on Friday, 19 November hosted by Senator David Norris. Guests on the night will include Michael D. Higgins TD, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs; Don Ferencz, son of Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz, and Professor Doug Cassel, Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School. A special video message by former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson will also be relayed on the night. Events to mark the tenth anniversary include a photography exhibition entitled 'Human Rights through the Lens', a discussion about the 'Right to Peace' chaired by International Criminal Court Judge Daniel Nsereko, plus many more which will ignite debates surrounding global human rights issues from an innovative standpoint of new and forgotten rights. These events are designed to celebrate the Irish Centre for Human Rights' ten years of contribution to human rights around the world. The Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights since opening its doors in 2000. A book launch on Saturday, 20 November by Dr Edel Hughes entitled 'Turkey's Accession to the EU: The Politics of Exclusion' will take place in the lobby of the IT Building at 6pm. Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, Professor William A. Schabas says, "The tenth anniversary weekend offers an opportunity to celebrate a decade of distinction. The Irish Centre for Human Rights now offers academic qualifications at Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral level. Our research and advocacy activities have traversed issues as diverse as the death penalty, the right to food, and environmental law, and spanned most regions of the world." NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, "Over the past ten years, NUI Galway has become a global leader in human rights education through the work of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Since September 2000, when the Centre welcomed its first LLM students, our academic programmes have produced many of the world's leading human rights researchers, advocates and policymakers. I pay tribute to my colleagues in the Centre, led by Professor Schabas, for their commitment to the highest quality teaching, research and outreach in global human rights." For more information please contact: Yvonne McDermott at email@example.com. -Ends-
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