March 2009

Scientific Conference to Feature NUI Galway's Atmospheric Research

Scientific Conference to Feature NUI Galway's Atmospheric Research-image

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Aerosol Society, a UK-based scientific organisation that promotes the science of airborne particles, is to hold its annual conference at NUI Galway from 6-7 April. This is the first time this major event has been held outside of the UK, and the latest data from NUI Galway's Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station will feature. Mace Head, which is located near Carna, Co. Galway, is one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern Hemisphere. Operated by staff from the School of Physics at NUI Galway, Mace Head is the main location of experimental research carried out by the University s Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies - a centre within NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute. Delegates at the Aerosol Society conference will learn about the latest findings from this scientific group at NUI Galway which concentrates on the physical and chemical properties of aerosols, clouds, and gaseous species in the marine environment and their ultimate role in global climate change. Professor Gerard Jennings of NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute and School of Physics is used to the international interest Mace Head attracts: "Mace Head is a world class research facility which is available to support Irish research in high profile international research projects. The facility is central to the atmosphere-marine environment research undertaken by NUI Galway, and has been the perfect setting for a series of scientific projects over the years in studying the impacts of aerosols and climate change". In addition to a focus on atmospheric aerosol studies, the high-level conference will also address the impacts of air pollution on public health. Professor Luke Clancy, Director General of the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society, which is based in Dublin, will discuss the correlations between air pollution and reduced death. According to Professor Clancy: "While it is intuitive to believe that the health of workers would be improved by the Workplace Ban on Smoking, as we saw in the ban on the burning of coal in the '90s, as scientists we need to demonstrate these beneficial effects. Many of the benefits such as a reduction in lung cancer in non-smokers will take a number of years to become measurable. Other conditions such as respiratory health occur much more quickly and have indeed done so". Some 70 academics, scientists and industry experts are expected to attend the two-day conference which is locally organised by Dr Miriam Byrne, School of Physics, NUI Galway. -ends-

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Over 600 NUI Galway Students Commended for Volunteering

Over 600 NUI Galway Students Commended for Volunteering-image

Monday, 30 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Over six hundred students at NUI Galway were awarded the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering during a special ceremony on campus today (Monday, 30 March, 2009). The certificate recognises students' volunteering efforts during the academic year, and aims to reinforce the spirit of civic engagement among NUI Galway students. Over 2,300 students have received the certificate since its inception six years ago, with many ALIVE alumni moving into professional positions in major non-governmental organisations, at home and abroad. The ALIVE Programme - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience - was established in 2003 by NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that its students make by volunteering. It is the first ever student volunteer programme to be embedded within an institution of higher education in Ireland and serves as a national model which other institutions look to for advice and support. The ALIVE programme draws on a strong tradition of student engagement both on and off campus and assists students who wish to actively volunteer while developing tangible and transferable skills alongside practical volunteering experiences. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, says: "Our University has always been close to community. We are in the middle of a city and we're in the middle of a very rich environment, both culturally and socially. That is something our students can benefit greatly from. It's a two-way street, the students give back to community but they get back much, much more in terms of learning from the experience and in terms of their own personal development". During his visit to NUI Galway earlier this year, the Noble Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was enthused by the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, describing the ALIVE programme as 'fantastic'. Throughout the year NUI Galway students have given thousands of volunteer hours to community, from working with children in homework clubs, to building homes in Honduras, to working at the annual Teddy Bear Hospital. Among the 120 non-governmental organisations supporting the ALIVE programme are Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Galway Hospice, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland. -ends- (View in English) Bronnadh Teastas ALIVE as Obair Dheonach ar bhreis agus sé chéad mac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta ar an gcampas inniu (Dé Luain, 30 Márta 2009). Tugann an teastas aitheantas d'iarrachtaí na mac léinn agus iad ag gabháil d'obair dheonach i rith na bliana acadúla, agus tá sé mar aidhm aige spiorad an chomhpháirteachais phoiblí a athneartú i measc mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an teastas faighte ag 2,300 mac léinn ó bunaíodh an scéim sé bliana ó shin, agus tá go leor alumni de chuid ALIVE tar éis poist ghairmiúla a fháil in eagraíochtaí móra neamhrialtasacha sa bhaile agus thar lear. Bhunaigh OÉ Gaillimh Clár ALIVE – Tionscnamh Foghlama agus Taithí ar Obair Dheonach – in 2003 chun úsáid níos fearr a bhaint as an obair dheonach atá ar bun ag mic léinn, agus chun aitheantas agus tacaíocht a thabhairt don obair sin. Is é an chéad chlár deonach mac léinn é atá lonnaithe in institiúid ardoideachais in Éirinn agus is samhail náisiúnta é a mbíonn institiúidí eile ag tarraingt air le comhairle agus tacaíocht a fháil. Tá clár ALIVE bunaithe ar an traidisiún láidir comhpháirteachais i measc mac léinn ar an gcampas agus taobh amuigh de agus cabhraíonn sé le mic léinn ar mian leo obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus scileanna inláimhsithe agus so-aistrithe a fhoghlaim agus tugann sé taithí phraiticiúil dóibh ar obair dheonach. Dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Bhí gaol gairid i gcónaí idir an Ollscoil agus an pobal. Táimid i lár cathrach agus táimid i lár ceantair atá an-saibhir, go cultúrtha agus go sóisialta. Baineann ár gcuid mac léinn an-tairbhe as sin. Bíonn tairbhe le baint ag an dá thaobh as. Cuidíonn na mic léinn leis an bpobal ach faigheann siad a dheich n-oiread ar ais ó thaobh taithí de agus ón bhforbairt a dhéanann siad go pearsanta." Le linn a chuairte ar OÉ Gaillimh níos túisce i mbliana, bhí buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel, an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu, an-tógtha leis an mbéim atá ar obair dheonach in OÉ Gaillimh agus dúirt sé go raibh clár ALIVE 'sármhaith'. Tá na mílte uaireanta deonacha tugtha ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh don phobal le bliain anuas; d'oibrigh siad le páistí i gclubanna obair bhaile, thóg siad tithe i Hondúras agus d'eagraigh siad Otharlann na mBéiríní a reáchtáiltear gach bliain. I measc an 120 eagraíocht neamhrialtais a thacaíonn le clár ALIVE tá Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Ospís na Gaillimhe, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland agus Cluichí Oilimpeacha Speisialta na hÉireann. -críoch-

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Meeting at NUI Galway to Discuss EU Airships Project

Meeting at NUI Galway to Discuss EU Airships Project-image

Monday, 30 March 2009

Airships, reminiscent of zeppelin planes, which operate at an altitude of 20km will be discussed at a meeting NUI Galway is hosting today (Monday, 30 March). The stratospheric airships are being used for communication infrastructure, remote sensing and other applications. The two-day technical meeting will bring together over 50 experts in the fields of radio communication, optical communication and aircraft design. The meeting is part of an EU project called HAPCOS, which is focussed on the development of high altitude platforms. Today's HAPCOS meeting is being hosted by the Applied Optics Group from NUI Galway, whose research is integral to the transmission of optical data through the atmosphere from high altitudes to the ground. According to Ruth Mackey, a researcher with the Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway: "Some of the main applications envisaged for this type of communications platform are for the deployment of immediate response communication networks in disaster recovery situations and to provide communications services to remote locations. These platforms are also being designed for remote sensing applications, for example for crop monitoring, traffic surveillance, or for security in areas such as monitoring the oceans for drug smuggling activity". The Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway is involved with the optical communication aspect of HAPCOS. Ruth Mackey explains: "Optical wireless communication is particularly useful for transmitting large quantities of data to and from remote locations, where it is not possible (or too expensive) to lay optical fibre. However, one of the obstacles to the successful use of this technology, are the adverse effects caused by propagation through the atmosphere, such as beam wander and beam spreading, that reduce signal quality". In its research, the Applied Optics Group use results from a 3km terrestrial optical link, which has been established across Galway City. The link allows researchers to measure the effects of atmospheric turbulence on optical wave propagation and to investigate methods to compensate the atmospheric disturbance of the signal in real time, using adaptive optics. Originally, adaptive optics was a technique developed for Astronomy, to correct the atmospherically degraded images from large Earth based telescopes. NUI Galway is heavily involved in finding use in medical and industrial applications for adaptive optics, in particular for in vivo imaging of the eye and for laser beam shaping. -ends-

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M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála seolta in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh

M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála seolta in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh-image

Monday, 30 March 2009

(View in English) Rinne Seán Ó Neachtain, Feisire Eorpach, an cúrsa nua M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) – an chéad chúrsa dá chineál in Éirinn nó san Eoraip – a sheoladh go hoifigiúil Dé hAoine seo caite. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an Feisire Ó Neachtain: "Tá géarghá anois le daoine a bhfuil cáilíochtaí gairmiúla acu san ateangaireacht chomhdhála. Daoine óga as Éirinn a bhainfeas cáilíocht ateangaireachta sa nGaeilge agus sa mBéarla, beidh dhá oiread na seansanna fostaíochta acu agus iad ag iarraidh post a fháil san Aontas Eorpach. Níl mórán deiseanna chomh maith leis sin ann ar an aimsir seo." Mhínigh Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Ceannasaí an Aonaid Aistriúcháin agus Ateangaireachta, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh: "In 2007, ní raibh aon saor-ateangaire cáilithe le Gaeilge ar fáil le tabhairt faoi na dualgais nua ateangaireachta a bhain leis an teanga in institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh. Ar feadh dhá bhliain, mic léinn a bhí ag iarraidh an oiliúint chuí ateangaireachta a fháil, b'éigean dóibh dul chomh fada le hOllscoil sa mBreatain Mhór – Ollscoil Westminster i Londain. Sa dá bhliain sin, níor cháiligh ach cúigear mar ateangairí agus tá siad sin ag obair anois mar shaor-ateangairí. Ach tá i bhfad níos mó ateangairí cáilithe ag teastáil sa margadh fostaíochta." Ó tharla bearna mhór a bheith sa margadh fostaíochta, is tráthúil anois go bhfuil an cúrsa nua M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála á chur ar fáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá siollabas an chláir bunaithe ar an gCéim Mháistreachta Eorpach in Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála (EMCI) agus de thoradh an cúrsa seo a bheith ar siúl anois ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, ní gá do mhic léinn dul thar sáile chun cáilíocht aitheanta san ateangaireacht a bhaint amach. Dúblófar, in imeacht bliain amháin den chúrsa nua seo, an líon ateangairí cáilithe le Gaeilge a bheidh ar fáil d'institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh. Tríd an gclár máistreachta seo, tugtar an deis do na mic léinn súil ghéar a choinneáil ar chúrsaí reatha agus ar chúrsaí na hEorpa go háirithe. Tá tacaíocht láidir faighte ag an gcúrsa ó thosaigh sé ó institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh; ina measc sin tá an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta sa Choimisiún Eorpach – an tseirbhís ateangaireachta is mó ar domhan. Ní chuireann an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht féin cúrsaí oiliúna ar fáil, ach bíonn comhoibriú dlúth ar siúl idir í agus líon beag ollscoileanna lena chinntiú go gcuirtear oiliúint ghairmiúil den chaighdeán is airde ar mhic léinn ateangaireachta. Tá aíonna mór le rá ó Institiúidí an AE tar éis léachtaí a thabhairt ar an gcúrsa i mbliana; orthu sin tá Brian Fox, Ceannasaí na nAteangairí; agus David Smith, Ceannasaí Rannóg Ateangaireachta an Bhéarla agus na Gaeilge – an bheirt acu ó Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh. Pléitear le hábhair éagsúla sa chúrsa lánaimseartha bliana M.A. seo; orthu sin, tá cleachtaí cuimhne, scileanna um breacadh nótaí, comhdhálacha bréige, gluaiseanna le haghaidh cruinnithe teicniúla, glóroiliúint, agus béasaíocht sa bhoth ateangaireachta. Bíonn seans ag na mic léinn freisin cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí an AE le go bhfeicfidh siad féin ateangairí idirnáisiúnta i mbun a gcuid oibre. Dúirt Brian Fox, Ceannasaí na nAteangairí sa Choimisiún Eorpach: "Tá na deacrachtaí a bhí an AE go dtí seo ateangairí oilte le Gaeilge a earcú pléite go minic sna meáin chumarsáide sa tír seo. Le roinnt seachtainí anuas pléadh freisin sna meáin naisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta na deacrachtaí atá ann ateangairí le Béarla a earcú. Beidh deis faoi leith ag na mic léinn a thabharfas faoin M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh – beidh an dá riachtanas teanga sin á gcomhlíonadh acu ach an cháilíocht a bhaint amach ón gcúrsa." Reáchtálann an tAonad Aistriúcháin agus Ateangaireachta in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge cláir léinn ag leibhéal Dioplóma, Bunchéime agus Iarchéime; tá éirithe thar cionn leis an M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) sa chéad bhliain den chúrsa agus is beart suntasach eile é seo san fhorbairt atá an tAonad a dhéanamh ar a chuid cláir léinn. Glactar le líon teoranta iarratas don chúrsa seo; daoine ar mian leor cur isteach ar áit ar an gcúrsa, ba choir dóibh teagmháil a dhéanamh le Susan Folan ag 091 869102 nó susan.folan@oegaillimh.ie le tuilleadh eolais a fháil. -críoch- (Leagan Gaeilge) Seán Ó Neachtain, MEP has officially launched NUI Galway's new Masters in Conference Interpreting (M.A. Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) – the first if its kind in Ireland and in Europe. Speaking at the launch, Seán Ó Neachtain, said: "A demand now exists for professionals with recognised qualifications in conference interpreting. A qualification in interpretation including both the Irish and English language will double employment opportunities for young Irish people wishing to pursue a career in the European Union. Such opportunities are rare in the current climate". Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Head of the Translation and Interpreting Unit, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, explained: "In 2007 there was not one single accredited freelance interpreter with Irish, which caused considerable recruitment difficulties for those seeking high level skilled interpreters. For the following two years prospective students with Irish had to travel to the University of Westminster in the UK to train in the hope of obtaining a qualification in the field of conference interpreting. In those two years, only five successfully qualified and are working as freelance interpreters, meaning the gap in the market is still sizeable". This gap in the market coincides with the introduction of the new M.A. in Conference Interpreting offered by NUI Galway's Irish language institute, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. This unique programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and Europe and means that students no longer need to travel to obtain a qualification recognised by the EU. The M.A. is based on the internationally recognised European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI), a curriculum of the highest standard, the same as is followed in the University of Westminster. This year alone, it will match the number of interpreters that have emerged in the years since Irish became a recognised working language of the EU. The M.A. programme gives students the opportunity to follow current and European Affairs quite closely and there has been close cooperation between European Institutions and NUI Galway, including the European Commission's interpreting service Directorate General for Interpretation (DG Interpretation), the largest interpreting service in the world. The Directorate does not itself offer training courses, but cooperates closely with a small number of international Universities to ensure professionally focused training of the highest quality. Many esteemed visitors from European Institutions have lectured on the course throughout the year, among them Mr Brian Fox, Director of Interpreters, DG Interpretation and David Smith, Head of English and Irish Interpreting Unit, DG Interpretation. This full-time one-year M.A. programme covers various subjects including memory exercises, sight translation, note-taking skills, mock conferences, glossaries for technical meetings, voice coaching, and booth etiquette. Students also have the opportunity to visit EU institutions to see at first hand the work of international interpreters. Brian Fox, Director of Interpreters in the European Commission, said: "The Irish media has long since spoken of the difficulties the EU has experienced when seeking to recruit qualified interpreters with Irish. In recent weeks, the national and international media has also spoken of the difficulties being experienced when attempting to recruit English language interpreters. Students of NUI Galway's M.A. Conference Interpreting will have a unique employment opportunity in this case because they will fill both demands successfully by obtaining a qualification in the area". Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge s Translation and Interpreting Unit runs academic programmes at Diploma, Primary Degree and Postgraduate Degree levels; the success of the new M.A. in Conference Interpreting in its first year marks another milestone in the Unit s programme development. A limited number of applicants are accepted on the programme, and students wishing to apply should contact Susan Folan at 091 869102 or susan.folan@oegaillimh.ie for further information. -ends-

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Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-nóis ceaptha ag OÉ Gaillimh

Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-nóis ceaptha ag OÉ Gaillimh-image

Thursday, 26 March 2009

(English Version)Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Seosamh Ó Neachtain ón Spidéal ceaptha mar an chéad Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-Nóis riamh san Ollscoil. Léiríonn a cheapachán an bheocht atá sa damhsa ar an sean-nós i gConamara faoi láthair agus an cumas iontach atá ag Ó Neachtain mar dhuine de na damhsóirí is fearr dá bhfuil ann. Chuir an Dr Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, fáilte roimh an gceapachán mar chuid de thiomantas na hOllscoile do na taibh-ealaíona, agus go háirithe do phobal ealaín thraidisiúnta Chonamara: "Is iontach an rud an borradh atá tagtha faoin damhsa sean-nóis le deich mbliana anuas, agus tá sé aitheanta anois ar an léiriú is cinnte agus is fearr de chultúr na hÉireann, anseo agus thar lear". Fuair Seosamh Ó Neachtain céim as OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ar dhuine de na rinceoirí is mó cáil atá tar éis damhsa ar an sean-nós a chur ar an ardán náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Sa bhliain 2000 fuair sé sparánacht ón gComhairle Ealaíon le staidéar a dhéanamh ar rince tap i Nua-Eabhrac. 'A wonderful improvisation of down-to-earth Irish tapping that showed the direct link between Irish roots dancing and American rhythm tap', a thug Ballet.Magazine ar an damhsa a tháinig as an staidéar sin. Fuair an rince a rinne sé leis an damhsóir Tamango ón Afraic moladh chomh hard céanna ó léirmheastóir an Irish Times a dúirt go raibh cosa Uí Neachtain 'like playful birds at the floor. He almost hovers, and you almost wonder if he might be able to dance across water'. Tá stáitsí ar fud an domhain roinnte ag Seosamh Ó Neachtain le cuid de na ceoltóirí traidisúnta is fearr dá bhfuil in Éirinn faoi láthair, Altan, De Danann, Máirtín O'Connor, Harry Bradley, Jesse Smith, Johnny Connolly agus Róisín Elsafty ina measc. Chomh maith leis sin, tá an clár a rinne sé sa tsraith Ceolchuairt do TG4 i ndiaidh gradam ag an bhFéile Scannán Ceilteach 2009 a bhaint amach. Tá sé ag gabháil do chéim MA le Ceol agus na Meáin Chruthaitheacha in Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Dhún Dealgan faoi láthair. Mar chuid den obair a bheidh ar siúl aige i gcaitheamh na bliana, múinfidh Seosamh Ó Neachtain sraith ceardlann damhsa ar an sean-nós in Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann, OÉ Gaillimh. Tosóidh na ceardlanna ar 7.00in agus beidh an chéad cheann ar siúl Dé Máirt, an 7 Aibreán. The Dancer-in–Residence programme is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -críoch- NUI Galway Appoints Sean-Nós Dancer-in-Residence The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Seosamh Ó Neachtain, from An Spidéal, as its first ever Sean-Nós Dancer in Residence. His appointment acknowledges the current vibrancy of sean-nós dancing in the Connemara Gaeltacht and Ó Neachtain's outstanding abilities as one of the most celebrated practitioners of his particular art form. Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, welcomed the appointment as part of the University's commitment to the performing arts in general, and to the traditional community arts of the Connemara Gaeltacht in particular. 'The revival of sean-nós dancing over the past ten years has been quite extraordinary, to the point where it is now identified as one of the definitive and most popular expressions of Irish culture, at home and abroad.' A graduate of NUI Galway, Seosamh Ó Neachtain is one of a handful of performers who have rejuvenated the Gaeltacht tradition of sean-nós dancing, introducing the athleticism and sophistication of a dynamic but neglected art form to national and international audiences. He has performed on concert stages throughout the world with some of the finest exponents of traditional music, including Altan, De Danann, Máirtín O'Connor, Harry Bradley, Jesse Smith, Johnny Connolly, and Róisín Elsafty. In 2000, Seosamh was awarded a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to study aspects of tap dance in New York City. The resulting performance was described by Ballet Magazine as 'a wonderful improvisation of down-to-earth Irish tapping that showed the direct link between Irish roots dancing and American rhythm tap. In his collaboration with African dancer Tamango 'a dialogue expressed not in words but in physical exhilaration', Ó Neachtain's feet, according to the Irish Times, were 'like playful birds at the floor. He almost hovers, and you almost wonder if he might be able to dance across water …' His contribution to the TG4 series Ceolchuairt explored the influence of Irish dance on American tap dancing and has just won the entertainment category in the Celtic Film Festival 2009. Seosamh is also one the founding members of the traditional dance show Barr go Sáil/Heel to Toe which has performed at festivals such as Tonder Festival, Denmark, Celtic Connections, Glasgow and the International Dance Festival of Ireland. He is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Music and Creative Media at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Seosamh Ó Neachtain will conduct a series of dance workshops at NUI Galway beginning on Tuesday 7 April. The workshops, which are free of charge and open to the public, will take place in the Bank of Ireland Theatre, commencing at 7.00pm. The Dancer-in–Residence programme is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -ends-

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International Dance Festival in Aid of Special Olympics

International Dance Festival in Aid of Special Olympics-image

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Galway's first International Dance Festival will be held at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway, on Thursday, 16 April. The event is a fundraiser for the Galway division of the Special Olympics and the money raised will be used to fund 22 clubs throughout the county of Galway. Dancing from countries including Mexico, Malaysia, Slovakia, Peru, Cuba, Argentina, South Africa, Guatemala, India and Ireland will be featured. The International Dance Festival promises to be a lively event, according to chief organiser, Gloria Avalos, who works at the School of Medicine and Health Science at NUI Galway: "People from different countries will be performing their traditional dances in traditional costumes. It's a unique opportunity to see a variety of cultures in the one place". The event will begin with a parade led by the athletes and members of the Garda Síochána who will be carrying the Special Olympics torch. This will be followed by various dance exhibitions, from a Mexican 'Dance of the Deer' to an Argentinean Tango. The dancing exhibitions will be followed by live music from Galway's well known salsa band, Cuba Libre, and finishing off with a D.J. playing world music. Gloria Avalos is organising the event along with other colleagues from NUI Galway and the Sisters of La Retraite, Galway. The Festival was launched on Monday by NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne. Tickets are available in advance from the Socs Box, in Áras na Mac Léinn at NUI Galway, and at the Radisson SAS Hotel on the night, where doors open at 7.30pm. All proceeds from the event will go to the Special Olympics clubs in Galway. -ends-

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Virtual Stock Market at NUI Galway to Understand 'Boom and Bust' Cycles

Virtual Stock Market at NUI Galway to Understand 'Boom and Bust' Cycles-image

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

An effort to understand the 'boom and bust' cycles of financial markets has seen the launch of a Virtual Stock Market experiment at NUI Galway. The Virtual Stock Market will provide a platform to conduct a series of experiments with both automated computer agents and humans. The aim is to understand the factors that underpin 'boom and bust' cycles, as well as human and software agents' interactions. The Virtual Stock Market is the result of a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Research Unit (CIMRU) at NUI Galway. The Virtual Stock Market lists ten companies and has four types of computer agents trading in the market. NUI Galway students are invited to trade on the stock market and each participant will be given an initial endowment of 10,000 Airgead (virtual currency) and an equivalent amount of shares. Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, an Economics lecturer at NUI Galway, Dr Laurentiu Vasiliu, a group leader in DERI/CIMRU, and PhD student Daniel Paraschiv in CIMRU/DERI are behind the experiment. Dr Raghavendra comments: "The main objective of our research is to understand the generating processes that underlie the empirical facts of the real world financial markets. We approach this problem from an experimental economics point of view as we believe that experiments with human agents could provide us with insights or testable hypotheses to further our understanding of the dynamics of financial markets". Human traders on the virtual stock market are welcome to try out their own investment strategies, technical trading strategies or other hybrid strategies. The high-frequency data (real time data) of the virtual market can be directly downloaded to a spreadsheet, which will allow participants to try out various technical trading rules. Dr Laurentiu comments: "It is envisioned by the DERI commercialisation team to move the concept forward towards a potential future professional stock exchange testing environment, where novel strategies and financial products can be tested by interested financial houses. This would ensure a basis for evaluating new financial approaches as well as IT technologies that are currently developed by NUI Galway and other Irish universities. At the same time it can be shown how a very close cooperation between IT and Economics researchers provides a safe and needed financial testing ground, particularly in the current economic climate". There is also a teaching benefit to be had from NUI Galway's new stock exchange. According to Dr Raghavendra: "As a teaching tool, the Virtual Stock Market provides an excellent opportunity for students, at all levels, to understand the basic functioning of a stock market. For advanced students, it provides a platform to test their own investment strategies. For students of computer science and IT, this platform provides a unique opportunity to understand the interface between human agents and computer agents (algorithms), and its implications for the dynamics of financial markets". The scope of the Virtual Stock Market can be extended to Futures Trading and Monetary Policy experiments. Dr Raghavendra adds: "Even the anticipation of a monetary policy swings the markets, let alone the post announcement effect. The experiments in this area would be useful to study the dynamic between monetary policy rules and instruments, and human agents' expectation formation, which is one of the fundamental issues in understanding the stability of markets". The results of the experiment with the virtual stock market will be presented in July to the Society for Computational Economics at the 15th International Conference on Computing in Economics and Finance in Sydney, Australia. -ends-

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Equality and Inclusion Week at NUI Galway

Equality and Inclusion Week at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Topics including multiculturalism, racism, social inclusion and family rights will be discussed by a range of experts during Equality and Inclusion Week at NUI Galway. Organised by the University's Law Society, Equality and Inclusion Week runs from 23-26 March and will feature a series of free public lectures. On Tuesday, 24 March, Fr Peter McVerry will share his thoughts on social inclusion, drawing on his 30 years of experience of working with young homeless people in Dublin. During this time he has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of these young people and in 1983 he set up the Peter McVerry Trust which provides a wide range of services catering for the diverse needs of young homeless people through supported accommodation, drug detox, education and training. The talk will take place at 8pm in the IT Building, Room IT250. On Wednesday, 25 March, there will be a discussion on the need for the law to recognise the diversity of Irish family life and to ensure that all family types in Ireland have equal opportunities. Panellists will include: Geoffrey Shannon, family lawyer and children's rights expert; Margaret Dromey, CEO of the unmarried parents group Treoir; Brian Sheehan, Managing Director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network; and Dr Anne Egan, lecturer in Family Law at NUI Galway. The discussion will take place at 8pm in the Cairnes Theatre. On Thursday, 26 March, a multiculturalism and anti-racism evening will feature Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority, Chinedu Onyejelem, Editor and Publisher of the multicultural newspaper, Metro Éireann, and Robin Hannan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, as guest speakers. The discussion will take place at 8pm in the Cairnes Theatre. The public lectures will take place at 8pm each evening in the Cairnes Theatre, in the Arts and Science Building at NUI Galway. Several other societies and a number of charity organisations will also organise equality and inclusion themed events during the week. Highlights will include a multicultural fair, an art exhibition and a film night. Commenting on the week student Karla Sheerin-Griffin, who is director of Equality Week for the NUI Galway Law Society, said: "The purpose of Equality Week is to promote awareness and positive change. We want to encourage people to embrace and support diversity. With all the attention focused on surviving the recession and saving the economy, we seem to be ignoring what really matters, which is people. We need to recognise the inequalities in Irish society and take positive action to remove them. I really hope students take part and help us send the message across that students care and want to help Irish society to change for the better". All events will be run on a first come first served basis and will not be ticketed so arrive early to avoid disappointment. For further information on any of the week's events contact Karla Sheerin-Griffin on 0864051400, or email nuiglawsociety@gmail.com -ends-

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National Finals of 2009 Debating Science Issues Announced

National Finals of 2009 Debating Science Issues Announced -image

Monday, 23 March 2009

(Sligo School to Represent Connaught) The national finals of the 2009 Debating Science Issues competition, which is co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, takes place on Thursday, 2 April, in the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. Four teams of secondary school students will represent the provinces of Connaught, Ulster, Leinster and Munster in the debating competition final. The public are invited to attend. This year, there were almost 40 entries in the Debating Science Issues competition, which encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Participating students took part in a series of three-hour workshops designed to facilitate discussion and learning about biomedical science - from stem cell research to nanotechnology - in an informal round table forum. Competition organiser Danielle Nicholson, from the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, comments: "The debating science competition concept was initially run on a regional basis and due to its success went national last year. Workshops provide an open and impartial environment, and challenge students to think about the ethical and societal impact of biomedical research and stimulate them to learn more about this important area of research. The debates themselves reflect the level of insight and interest among 15-18 year olds in the field of biomedicine". Kathleen Kelly is a teacher at Ballincollig Community School, Co. Cork, which won the national final of Debating Science Issues 2008. Ms Kelly commented: "The competition has opened students' eyes to scientific issues in newspapers, for example, that may not have been explored without Debating Science Issues". Funded by the Wellcome Trust, Debating Science Issues is co-ordinated by REMEDI at NUI Galway in conjunction with fellow Science Foundation Ireland Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology: UCC's Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre and DCU's Biomedical Diagnostics Institute. The event is also supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, along with W5 Science Centre in Belfast and Tyndall National Institute at UCC. -ends-

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Author of The Pleasures of Counting to deliver Public Lecture on Mathemat

Author of <i>The Pleasures of Counting</i> to deliver Public Lecture on Mathemat-image

Monday, 23 March 2009

The distinguished Cambridge University mathematician Professor Tom Körner, author of The Pleasures of Counting, will deliver a free public lecture at NUI Galway on Monday, 6 April, at 6pm in the Kirwan Lecture Theatre. Professor Tom Körner in his lectures, books and publications uses Mathematics to help people understand the world around them, and his lecture is designed to engage the general public with the subject. In The Pleasures of Counting, Professor Körner uses examples as diverse as the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho and the Battle of the Atlantic, to show some of the real-life problems with which mathematicians engage. Entitled 'Mathematics and Smallpox', his hour-long lecture at NUI Galway will explain in simple terms how Mathematics is used to understand disease epidemics. In the 18th century a new technique of inoculation was introduced for smallpox. The idea was controversial since, in effect, the process deliberately gave an uninfected person a form of the disease. Professor Körner will explain how in 1776, Daniel Bernoulli tried to use early statistical ideas to see whether the case for inoculation was valid. Many of his Bernoulli's ideas still resonate today. The lecture coincides with NUI Galway hosting the 61st British Mathematical Colloquium, from 6-9 April, which is being held outside of the UK for the first time. The Colloquium is a joint meeting with the Irish Mathematical Society and is expected to attract some 250 mathematicians. Plenary speakers will include: Professor David Eisenbud, University of Berkeley, California; Professor Ben Green, University of Cambridge; Professor Ron Graham, San Diego University, California; Professor Rostislav Grigorchuk, Texas A&M University; and Professor Frances Kirwan, University of Oxford. Professor Ted Hurley of the Mathematics Department at NUI Galway believes the world of Mathematics is more engaging and applicable than most people realise: "The upcoming Colloquium is a very prestigious event in the Mathematics calendar and while there will be lots of 'deep end' Mathematics discussed, the public lecture will be very accessible to anyone with a basic interest. Tom Körner is a storyteller of the Mathematics world. He demonstrates that every part of the world around us can be understood through the lens of mathematics. Mathematics is all about questioning, investigating and fulfilling curiosity". Professor Hurley added: "Mathematics develops keen thinking and problem solving skills and whatever the economic climate, those qualified in the field will be in demand, not only in obvious fields such as finance, science and computer science -particularly information theory, communications and security - but in new areas from computer game generation, through medical imaging to climate change analysis, all of which require highly numerate graduates who can understand and work with the sophisticated mathematical systems now in use in these areas". Admission to the free public lecture by Professor Tom Körner is by ticket only. For further details or to book a ticket, e-mail Mary.Kelly@nuigalway.ie or telephone (091) 492332. -ends-

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