Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Annual Meeting at NUI Galway

Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Annual Meeting at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The annual meeting of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI), Section of Biomedical Sciences, will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 June. This annual meeting is the premier Biomedical Science meeting in Ireland and provides a platform to showcase novel biomedical research. The meeting will feature a high calibre scientific programme covering biomedical research currently ongoing around Ireland. Submissions in any area of Biomedical Sciences are welcome and the meeting represents a particularly good forum for PhD students, undergraduate students and early career post-doctorate researchers to present their work in oral or poster form. Authors will have the option of having their abstracts published in the Irish Journal of Medical Sciences, and there will be a number of prize presentations throughout the meeting. First time presenters are eligible to apply for The Donegan Medal Competition, while the Barcroft Medal competition is open to presentations from early post-doctoral researchers.  The annual Conway Review Lecture will be delivered by Dr John O’Connor, Conway Institute at UCD, who will present a lecture entitled ‘Targeting TNF in hypoxia and synaptic signalling’. During the meeting Dr O’Connor will also be presented with the annual Conway medal. Founded in 1882, the Section of Biomedical Science of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland presents the Conway medal in commemoration of Edward J. Conway, F.R.S., one time Professor of Biochemistry in University College Dublin. The medal is awarded annually to an outstanding scholar in the biomedical sciences and the recipient is given the opportunity to present a lecture on their research. The conference is being organised by NUI Galway academics and researchers including: Dr Michelle Roche, Physiology and NCBES Centre of Pain Research; Dr Jill McMahon, NCBES; and Dr David Finn, Pharmacology and NCBES Centre of Pain Research. Speaking about the upcoming meeting, Dr Michelle Roche said: “We expect this to be one of the best attended and most vibrant RAMI Biomedical Sciences Section conferences in recent years. The conference will bring together researchers from across the full spectrum of the biomedical sciences and provide a forum for the sharing of ideas and knowledge. It is appropriate that the conference is being held at NUI Galway at this time, where biomedical sciences has been identified as a major priority area of research for the University.” For full details, registration and abstract submission visit http://www.eventelephant.com/RAMI_BMS_2012 . -ENDS- 

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Italian Ambassador Launches First Online Diploma in Italian in Ireland

Italian Ambassador Launches First Online Diploma in Italian in Ireland-image

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

His Excellency, the Ambassador of Italy, Dr Maurizio Zanini, recently launched a new online Diploma in Italian at NUI Galway, first university in Ireland to launch such a programme. Run by the Discipline of Italian Studies at the University, the new course will commence in September and is open to students all over the world. Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Zanini, highlighted the importance of thinking of Europe as the coming together of multiple cultures and languages, “Studying Italian will enhance the knowledge and understanding of Europe as a whole, and will make individuals more competent European citizens.” The course concentrates on all four main language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing, and provides a gradual introduction to the structures and functions of the language. In addition, a module on oral and intercultural skills will introduce various aspects of Italian life from an intercultural perspective. Unlike many distance learning programmes designed for independent learning, this new course is based on a collaborative, communicative approach and students are encouraged to participate in virtual class activities with their peers and e-tutors. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The online Diploma in Italian is a groundbreaking experience employing the latest skills in e-learning and will enable learners to study Italian in their own time, wherever they are, and as part of a community of e-learners.” The online course has been designed and developed by Dr Laura McLoughlin and recently graduated PhD student Dr Silvia Bernabei. Dr McLoughlin is the winner of prestigious European Awards for innovation in the teaching of languages, and has a particular expertise in the area of technology enhanced pedagogical approaches. The new course has been tailored to suit the requirements of students who need flexibility in their time and mode of study, and/ or who do not live in Galway. The Diploma in Italian is open to everybody and is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. In order to facilitate interaction and create a supportive learning environment, face-to-face on campus sessions will take place as part of the course. A practical introductory session in the use of computers will also be given at the beginning of the course to ensure that all students have basic computer skills. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “Learning a new language will provide invaluable skills. There is no doubt that the profile of the professional of the future will be that of a person who can adapt quickly and effectively to new situations and environments, who speaks more than one language, and who is at home in more than one country. Language students will be mobile, cosmopolitan, and ready and happy to embrace and negotiate different cultures and traditions.” Closing date for applications is Friday, 13 July and full details of the online Diploma in Italian are available on www.nuigalway.ie/italian/onlinediploma.html. For further information or queries contact the Course Director, Dr Laura McLoughlin, at 091 492240 or laura.mcloughlin@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Brings World's Top Social Media Researchers to Ireland

NUI Galway Brings World's Top Social Media Researchers to Ireland-image

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM) comes to Ireland for the first time, bringing with it keynote speakers from Google, Twitter, the University of Oxford and other top research groups from around the globe. 300 of the world's top social media researchers will descend on Dublin from 4-7 June to attend a series of workshops, tutorials, invited talks and top accepted research papers from an interdisciplinary mix of computer science and social science research. The event is being organised by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), which is based at NUI Galway. Andrew Tomkins, Engineering Director at Google, will speak about the first year of Google's social networking and identity service Google+. Robin Dunbar, Head of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, will present one of the keynote addresses in a talk titled 'Why Facebook Won't Get You Any More Friends'. Professor Dunbar is the originator of Dunbar's number, a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. Lada Adamic, University of Michigan and award-winning researcher, will present on 'The Information Life of Social'. As part of the conference, ICWSM will host an industry and commercialisation event designed to bring delegates from local and international industry and academia together. The event will consist of two focused discussion panels interleaved with a coffee and stands session where industrial delegates can present their business or service, seek business and recruitment opportunities and exchange ideas with a national and international audience. The first panel on business networking and enterprise collaboration will be entitled 'I Want to (Net)work with You, But I Don't Know What/Where/Who You Are'. Speakers include Connor Murphy, CEO and co-founder of Datahug, Stuart McRae, Executive Collaboration and Social Business Evangelist with IBM, and Keith Griffin, Principal Engineer in Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group. The second panel on news and social media will focus on 'News Generation and Consumption through Social Media'. Speakers include: Howard Mortman, Communications Director and member of the executive leadership team at C-SPAN; Gavin Sheridan, Innovation Director with Storyful; Paul Quigley, founder of NewsWhip; Hugh Linehan, Online Editor of The Irish Times; and Hannah Waldram, Community Coordinator with The Guardian. This year's conference papers cover both old and new ground, from the advancement of techniques to extract, summarize, and detect information from social streams, to understanding phenomena in society by how they are reflected in and shaped by social media. Some of the social media research work that will be presented at ICWSM include: An analysis of the YouTube social network will show how it differs from traditional social networking sites but bears some resemblance to Twitter in terms of its network properties. In a very large study of browsing behaviours, web histories for a quarter of a million anonymised individuals are paired with user-level demographics to examine behaviour change over time online, to revisit notions of the digital divide, and to show that user attributes may be inferred from browsing histories and potentially used for ad targeting. A method that can identify experts in social question-and-answer sites through evolutionary pattern detection will be presented. A framework that accurately identifies sick individuals from the content of online communication will be presented and evaluated based on a large Twitter dataset. Research on the World of Warcraft multiplayer system will describe how destructive group dynamics can be predicted with medium-to-high accuracy. A model for studying the structure and composition of a city, based on the social media its residents generate, will be described and tested using 18 million check-ins collected from a location-based online social network.         Tutorial sessions at ICWSM will cover how to analyze a massive social network; how to map networks found on social media sites and in email collections; how to design an online community using evidence-based social design principles; and how to carry out sentiment mining and extract relevant information from user-generated content. Workshops are in the areas of social media visualisation, the news media industry, real-time mining of social streams, and when the city meets the citizen. According to the General Chair, Dr John Breslin who is a social media expert and researcher with DERI at NUI Galway: “Whatever the future may hold for online social media, there are sure to be hints embedded in this year's topically-diverse set of research papers. We're truly honoured to have such a high-calibre set of speakers, from research and academia but also from industry and media companies.” ICWSM is sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, Google, Bing / Microsoft Research, Fáilte Ireland / Meet in Ireland, Tawlk, Knoesis at Wright State University, Yahoo! Research, IBM, and Church & Duncan Group. The local organisers are John Breslin, NUI Galway, Conor Hayes, DERI at NUI Galway, and Derek Greene, UCD.  ICWSM will be held in Dublin at the Trinity Bio Sciences Institute from 4-7 June 2012, for further information visit www.icwsm.org. Ends

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Professor of Midwifery to Deliver NUI Galway Inaugural Midwifery Lecture

Professor of Midwifery to Deliver NUI Galway Inaugural Midwifery Lecture -image

Friday, 25 May 2012

NUI Galway’s Professor of Midwifery, Declan Devane, will deliver his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Friday, 8 June at 6pm in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Hosted by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, Professor Devane’s lecture entitled Evidence Based Midwifery: Its Heritage, Our Future, will focus on the contribution of evidence, and in particular research based evidence, to the provision of high quality maternity care. By considering the historical context of maternity care and by examining key pieces of research and aspects of clincial practice, Professor Devane will examine how the application of what we know can prevent and minimise some of the widespread problems we face in maternity care. The opening address will be delivered by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. The guest lecture, Implications of the Birthplace in England Research Programme: Adding to the Evidence Jigsaw about High Quality and Safe Maternity Care, will be presented by Professor Jane Sandall, Professor of Women’s Health and Programme Director at Kings College, London. Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Devane said: “Evidence based practice involves the explicit use of best evidence, clinical expertise and the preferences and perspectives of those accessing our health services. Over the past 20 years, research has moved from being marginal to practice to transforming the care women and their infants receive by providing high quality evidence to inform healthcare decisions. The implementation of evidence based practice is not, however, without its challenges. If practice is to be based on high quality evidence then not only is research evidence needed but it needs to be disseminated and implemented. To RSVP for the lecture please contact Mari Moran, School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, at 091 493740 or mari.moran@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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Minister Sherlock Announces New Course for Teachers of Maths

Minister Sherlock Announces New Course for Teachers of Maths-image

Friday, 25 May 2012

Programme is part of the Government’s strategy to improve the teaching and learning of maths  The Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today officially launched the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching, which is aimed at ‘out-of-field’ teachers of maths. The programme is aimed at improving the skills of maths teachers at post- primary level. It covers mathematical content and knowledge, and teaching and learning strategies/approaches relevant to the Project Maths syllabi, which are being rolled out in schools.    Under the NUI Galway-UL Strategic Alliance, a team from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics and School of Education, NUI Galway has worked closely with the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL, UL) to develop the new professional mathematics education programme. Speaking of the announcement, Dr Tony Hall, NUI Galway, said: “This new programme constitutes a significant and historic development in the enhancement of post-primary mathematics in Irish education. The principal focus of this unique new course is to enhance teachers’ mathematical content knowledge and their understanding of the subject of mathematics.” Dr Hall added:  “Now, this unique, specialist professional mathematics education programme at graduate level will facilitate upskilling of the mathematical subject knowledge of teachers in schools, helping to support the wider national reforms currently taking place in mathematics education in Ireland.” Jointly accredited and designed by NUI Galway and UL, the programme will be delivered nationwide, free of charge through a national consortium of higher education institutions and the Association of Teacher Education Centres in Ireland. The course will be a blended learning programme based on a part-time (2 year) university accredited professional diploma, delivered locally and through online modules. Google will support the flexible online delivery of the programme as the chief technology partner in the NUI Galway-UL, Alliance-led consortium. The new programme is aligned with the national curriculum reform, Project Maths (2008-2015); the requirements of the Teaching Council as the statutory body for teaching in Ireland; and latest developments in innovative educational technology and mathematics education research. There will be specific provision for teachers in Irish-medium schools through a Dioplóma Gairmiúil sa Mhatamaitic don Mhúinteoireacht, supported by NUI Galway and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Gaillimh. The BA Mathematics and Education was introduced by the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics and School of Education, NUI Galway in 2008 specifically to address the demonstrated need for excellent mathematics teaching in Irish schools. It was at the time the first, and only specialist teaching programme of its kind in the Irish State, focusing to honours university level on the mathematical sciences, within a full, concurrent, four-year initial teacher education degree. The BA Mathematics and Education will graduate its first cohort of specialist mathematics and applied mathematics teachers in autumn 2012. Commenting on the launch, Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D.,  said: “The provision of this course provides further evidence of my personal commitment, and that of my Government colleagues, to supporting maths teaching in post primary schools. We are providing over €2million to fund this course, and are making it available at locations across the country and free of change, to maximise accessibility and participation.” Minister Sherlock said “The teaching community has shown significant interest in this course since my announcement last September. I am pleased that the course will facilitate teachers who are working during the day, with convenient local and online access.” John Herlihy, VP and Head of Google in Ireland said; “Government, industry and academia all agree on the need for more students to study Maths, Science and Engineering subjects at third level and on the need to produce graduates with strong analytical and problem solving skills. The introduction of a Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching is an important step in augmenting how we teach maths in our secondary schools. I believe that providing ‘out of field’ teachers with the specialised skills to teach maths in an enthusiastic and knowledgeable way will be a catalyst for more students pursuing maths based subjects at third level.” ENDS

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