Sunday, 28 August 2016

Dr. Michael Madden was interviewed on Newstalk’s science show, Futureproof, about the new Horizon 2020 project ROCSAFE. The ROCSAFE project is developing new robotic and artificial intelligence systems to assess the scene of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident, and to gather forensic evidence from it. Dr. Madden's interview begins at about 34 minutes. Many thanks to Flirt FM for use of their studio, and Feithín for the great work in setting up the link to Newstalk, testing it in advance, and doing the technical work so that it went smoothly.

Monday, 4 July 2016

A big thank you to the 40 students who attend our Computer Science Summer School on 29th June 2016. Students came from counties Galway, Mayo, Longford, Limerick, Cork, Laoise, Westmeath and Dublin. The idea behind the Summer School is that students get an opportunity to see what an IT professional does and an insight into the range of topics that form part of the highly successful . Some of the activities included interactive sessions with IT lecturers, multimedia lab sessions, Cryptography, Secrecy and Espionage and an online treasure hunt.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway has received Horizon 2020 EU funding for ‘ROCSAFE’ ICT and Security software that will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident A team led by NUI Galway has been awarded €4.8 Million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for their project ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment & Forensic Examination), which will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. Led by Dr Michael Madden from the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, the ROCSAFE project will focus on developing ICT and Security software to gather forensic intelligence in the event of a terrorist attack. ROCSAFE’s overall goal is to fundamentally change how CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense events) are assessed, and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators, by reducing the need for them to enter dangerous scenes to gather evidence. The overall project budget is €4.8 million, of which almost €1 million has been awarded to NUI Galway. The project includes five other Irish entities and additional funding will be awarded to Tyndall, the Defence Forces (specifically ordinance disposal), the Inter-Agency Emergency Management Office, and two Irish companies, Reamda and SBN. There are 13 partners in total involved in the ROCSAFE project across Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a wider set of advisory board members. CBRNe accidents or terrorist attacks are a low probability but of high consequence. In the aftermath of a CBRNe event, the principles that govern the response mission are: Protection of Life Elimination/Reduction of Threat Protection of Property Preservation of Evidence Restoration of Normal Activities Speaking about the project, Dr Michael Madden at NUI Galway, said: “ROCSAFE focuses specifically on three of these principles: the protection of life, the elimination/reduction of the threat, and the preservation of evidence. By building a mobile remotely operated system, ROCSAFE can protect personnel by removing the need for them to go on-scene to identify threats, detect the presence of forensic material, and collect forensic material.” In order to safely respond to a threat, it must first be identified. To do this, the scientific team will adapt robotic air and ground vehicles to carry cameras and innovative sensors for the identification of CBRNe materials. To preserve evidence, they will equip the vehicles with tools to enable the careful and methodical collection of forensic materials and will develop procedures that are appropriate to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to preserve the integrity of the evidence chain. Using robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) that will be remotely managed and semi-autonomous, ROCSAFE will quickly gain a visual overview of the scene and identify hotspots. This will enable responders to quickly set up a perimeter to protect bystanders and start managing the scene. The RAVs will be equipped with cameras (operating in the visible and infra-red ranges) and sensors for detection of radiation/nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Data from these will be relayed to a Central Decision Management unit in real-time. The Central Decision Management will provide data analytics and decision support software to ensure all available data is presented in the Command Centre, which will be located in a safe zone near the periphery of the incident, to the on-scene commanders in an intuitive and easy to assimilate manner. The Central Decision Management will include an innovative approach, which will be able to adapt to the evolving situation over time as information arrives from sensors and cameras, and the people on the scene provide inputs. ROCSAFE will use state-of-the-art ground vehicles that are specifically designed for hazardous scenes, and will include the development of tools and procedures for gathering forensic material and evidence. The challenges in forensic evidence collection are to remove the possibility of cross-contamination and to ensure the integrity of the evidence chain. This process will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence and material is collected in a manner that stands up in court, and all without sending personnel into zones of high risk. The ROCSAFE project is the most recent in a series of security-related research successes by the Research Office. NUI Galway has recently established a National Centre for Security Research to draw together the multiple strands of security-related research in the University, and to facilitate growth of this activity into the future. For further information about ROCSAFE visit: ENDS

Thursday, 12 May 2016

As part of Alantec’ 16 Festival which is showcasing Galway’s diverse technology culture 8 Principal Investigators from the College of Engineering and Informatics will be presenting rapid-fire presentations on their research. The presentations will provide attendees with an overview of research activity in the College, and also indicate the potential for future collaborations through joint-funding initiatives. The event is taking place in Room GO17 of the Engineering Building on Tuesday 17th May 2016 from 6pm – 7pm.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

BSc in Computer Science & Information Technology Cisco sponsored prize of €1,200 Recipients: Kevin Nicholson and Aaron Barry (Joint Winners with a prize of €600 each) Kevin Nicholson completed a project related to the development of a mobile application for diabetes self-management. The goal of this project was to design an mHealth application that could improve patient outcomes in terms of self-management of diabetes. The mobile application is designed for ease-of-use, and allows the user to self-monitor the vital signs for diabetes. The application also features an activity tracker, a module which allows a user to monitor their exercise levels. The app was developed in Java and mysql, and deployed on an Android platform. Aaron Barry completed a project related to the study of graphs and their properties which is a challenging and topical area in computing. The goal of the project was to adopt a number of AI approaches to evolve complex graph structures that exhibit sets of desirable features and used these approaches to solve a number of problems. The work has been accepted for publication in an international conference on evolutionary computation. Supervisors: Dr. Jim Duggan and Dr. Colm O’RiordanPresented By: Peter Doran, Cisco 2014-2015 WestBIC Sponsored Award Best Final Year BSc Computer Science & Information Technology Group Entrepreneurship Proposal Recipients: Cian O’Halloran, Jason McLynn, David Madugu and Tatiana Vasilevska OxySense is an innovative piece of hardware and software –combining sensors and RFID technology that detects deterioration in window insulation, along with associated backend Cloud Service. Coordinator: Dr. Hugh MelvinPresented by: Kerry Quinlan, WestBIC 2014 - 2015 Fidelity Investments Best Student Award BSc Computer Science & Information Technology Fidelity Investments sponsored prize of €500 Recipient: Cian O’Halloran Cian achieved outstanding academic results throughout the degree programme and got the highest marks overall in the graduating class this year. Cian is currently working as a software engineer at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence in Dublin, where he primarily works on financial crime detection software. Cian was a very talented and hardworking student, he consistently achieved outstanding grades and completed projects and assignments of the highest quality. Presented by: Kevin Barron, Fidelity Investments 2014-2015 Best Group Project in the H Dip in Software Design and Development Cisco sponsored prize of €600   Recipients: Ciaran Severn, Catherine Gaughan-Smith and Sean Lydon The group project involved the design and development of a database to support the storage and querying of performance data related to constructed wetlands. Constructed wetlands are a common means of treatment of waste water in communities and their performance is monitored on a regular basis but to date no centralised data storage of this performance data exists. This project was supervised by Ms Josephine Griffith with input from Dr. Mark Healy, Civil Engineering. Supervisor: Ms. Josephine Griffith with input from Dr. Mark Healy, Civil EngineeringPresented By: Peter Doran, Cisco College of Arts, Social Science & Celtic Studies Dean’s Award Best Final Year Project BA IT College of Arts sponsored prize of €400 Recipient: Dara Mac Michael Dara's project developed a mobile device application for the Galway Museum and the Ryan Institute at NUI, Galway on an educational exhibition aimed at children known as Sea Science. Supervisor: Karen YoungPresented By: Dr. Edward Herring

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

As part of the recent Undergraduate NUI Galway Open Days the Discipline of Information Technology hosted a very successful interactive IT Interactive Zone. Visitors were challenged to a game of Connect 4 where their opponent was an AI controlled robot. There were large queues throughout the day for the opportunity to experience stepping inside a virtual world wearing an Oculus Rift headset. Visitors experienced an immersive 3D environment that removes the boundaries of traditional screens. Kevin Jennings, a 6th year student from Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway who was a participant at the IT Interactive Zone is pictured here with Dr. Michael Madden, Head of Information Technology(right) and Dr. Des Chambers, Programme Director Programme Director of B.Sc. Computer Science & Information Technology (GY350)(left). Kevin was the winner of the IT Prize Draw for an Asus Zen tablet.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Approximately 8,000 prospective students, their parents and Guidance Counsellors attended NUI Galway’s Undergraduate Open Days on October 2nd and October 3rd 2015. As part of the event the academic staff and Student Ambassadors of the Discipline of Information Technology chatted with the students and answered questions about what it is like studying Computer Science & Information Technology.  Staff also provided Introductory Talks throughout the day on the GY350 programme, BSc (Honours) in Computer Science & Information, which helped provide an insight into careers and job prospects for IT graduates. Large numbers also attended the IT Interactive Zone where they were challenged to a Connect 4 game with a robot, had an opportunity to experience and step inside a virtual world using an Oculus Rift headset and also a chance to see a variety of drone demos. The next Open Day will talk place on Saturday April 22nd 2016 and we take this opportunity to invite you to come along and meet and chat to us about Computer Science and Information Technology and visit our IT Interactive Zone.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Pictured are Transition Year students taking a group selfie at NUI Galway’s recent Computer Science Summer School. Over 50 Transition Year students attended the School which was hosted by Discipline of Information Technology.  Students got an opportunity to get a taste of life as an IT professional and an insight into the range of topics that form part of the highly successful BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology. The camp students participated in a number of activities including interactive sessions with IT lecturers, learning about cryptography and code, building and programming autonomous robots, making 3D computer models and experiencing walking in a virtual world.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Congratulations to Lourdes Beloqui Yuste, who has successfully defended her PhD thesis. Her thesis is entitled “Next Generation HbbTV Services & Applications through Multimedia Synchronisation” and was supervised by Dr Hugh Melvin. Both the external examiner, Prof Christian Timmerer from Alpen-Adria-University, Klagenfurt University, and the internal examiner, Prof. Gerry Lyons, were impressed at her technical contribution to a challenging and topical area. For more on opportunities for research within the Discipline of Information Technology and current funding opportunities please .

Friday, 5 June 2015

On Wednesday, 10th June and Thursday, 11th June 2015, the PhD and Research Master students in the IT Discipline will give their public GRC talks, as part of the IT Research Seminar series. With these talks, our research students present their recent research achievements and their plans for future research. This two-day event provides not only an opportunity for our research students to present their work and to get feedback, but it is also an excellent way for other researchers, students and academics to obtain an overview of ongoing research in the IT Discipline. The talks will cover a wide spectrum of research areas, including Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining, Information Retrieval, Health Informatics, System Simulation, and Social Media.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Congratulations to Pádraig Ó Flaithearta, who successfully defended his PhD thesis. His thesis is entitled “Optimizing the QoS of VoIP Applications over WiFi through use of Synchronized Time”. Both the external examiner, Dr. Lea Skorin-Kapov from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the internal examiner, Prof. Gerry Lyons, were very impressed at his summary presentation, his responses to questions, and the overall contribution of his PhD. This thesis demonstrated how synchronized time can help optimize the quality (QoS) of multiple concurrent Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls when sharing a wireless medium such as WiFi. The approach aligns well with the emerging paradigm of Software Defined Networks, whereby networks are centrally coordinated to optimize performance. For more on opportunities for research within the Discipline of Information Technology and current funding opportunities, follow the link