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Selfie time at NUI Galway’s Computer Summer School
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.
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Congratulations to Lourdes Beloqui Yuste
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 .
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IT Research Seminar: GRC Presentations of Research Students
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.
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Congratulations to Pádraig Ó Flaithearta
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 http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/information-technology/research/
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NUI Galway Wins Information Technology Postgraduate Course of the Year
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
The Discipline of Information Technology was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2015 which took place in Dublin on 30th April, 2015. This year, the prize was awarded for the NUI Galway’s Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream). Judges commented on the strong links the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) has with leading ICT companies who are partners on the programme. These partners are actively involved in the recruitment, course design and delivery which makes this programme unique among other equivalent programmes. Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley, said: “Over 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) secure immediate employment as a result of being on the programme. We have experienced huge demand among applicants and employers to participate with the programme, and this has helped attract the highest calibre students from third level institutions all over the country. NUI Galway is now seen as a leading partner for ICT companies who wish to develop links with our training and research activities.” Some of the industry partners involved with the Higher Diploma in Software Design & Development (Industry Stream) include: Cisco, IBM, Avaya, Insight, SAP, Storm Technologies, Fidelity Investments, Schneider Electric, Aspect Software, Sogeti, Ericsson, Netfort and Arc Energy. Companies or potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the programme can contact Dr Enda Howley at email@example.com for more details. Pictured receiving the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2015 were (l-r): Gavin O’Brien, gradireland; Dr Michael Madden, Head of Information Technology, NUI Galway; Dr Enda Howley, Programme Director, Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) at NUI Galway; Tina Earls, Information Technology, NUI Galway; and Joan Mulvihill CEO of the Irish Internet Association.
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5th Annual Postgraduate Research Day
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
The 5th Annual Postgraduate Research Day was held on April 21st 2015 in the National University of Ireland Galway, as part of the strategic alliance with the University of Limerick. Over 175 posters were presented, and students delivered talks in plenary and parallel sessions across science, engineering and informatics. https://nuigulresearchday2015.wordpress.com Two students from Information Technology were amongst the award winners. Best paper went to Patrick Mannion for his talk “Learning Traffic Signal Control with Advice” Traffic congestion a complex and challenging problem currently faced by modern cities, which may be alleviated using intelligent switching strategies. This research uses Reinforcement Learning agents provided with heuristic advice to learn adaptive traffic signal control policies. Our work found that providing agents with advice increased learning speed, and improved the overall quality of the control policy learned compared to agents learning without advice. Best thesis in 3 talk (Interdisciplinary) went to Martina Curran, for her talk “An R-Based Framework for Implementing Large-Scale Spatial Models of Infectious Diseases”. The presentation was about the large-scale, spatial model for measuring the spread of influenza in a variable number of populations, using shape files to easily visualize the spread of infection using maps in the R programming language.
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The Teen Tech Event
Monday, 27 April 2015
A big shout out to our IT Student Ambassadors - Felix de Leon Delos Santos III, Catherine Aherne, OluwaTobi Awoponle and Andrew McBreen. The Teen Tech event (designed to get teenagers interested in technology) held recently in the Bailey Allen was a roaring success. The lego and Connect 4 robots were a big hit! Sinéad Conneely and Aoife Ryan seeing if they can beat the computer at Connect 4. Eoin O'Domhnaill, Diarmaid Ó Maolrua, Hayden Ní Rímheá, Ava Ní Chonalláin, Oisín Turley, all from Coláiste na Coiribe - checking out our lego robots.
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NUI Galway Professor Elected Science Secretary of the Royal Irish Academy
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Professor Peter McHugh was elected Science Secretary of the Royal Irish Academy at the Stated General Meeting of the RIA recently. The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. Founded in 1785 The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann is a publicly funded institution established for the promotion of Irish academic research. Professor Peter McHugh holds a BE in Mechanical Engineering from UCG (1987), and an MSc (1990) and PhD (1992) in Mechanics of Solids from Brown University, Providence, USA. He joined NUI Galway in 1991, where he is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Head of Discipline of Biomedical Engineering, within the College of Engineering and Informatics. His research is focused on fundamental developments and applications of computational and experimental methods in biomechanics, tissue mechanics and medical implants and devices. He has taken a leadership role in the development of biomedical engineering in Ireland through high quality and prolific research and publication output, and undergraduate and graduate education programme generation. He has received numerous awards, including membership of the Royal Irish Academy (2011), the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Section of Bioengineering) in 2011, the Presidential Nominee Fellowship of Engineers Ireland in (2009), and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1995).
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IT Research Seminar – Guerrilla Analytics
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
The Discipline of Information Technology is very pleased to announce that Dr. Enda Ridge is delivering their next IT Research Seminar Talk on Monday 23rd February 2015. This talk will take place in AC003, D’Arcy Thompson Lecture from 3pm -4pm. Dr. Enda Ridge is an alumni of NUIG (Mechanical Engineering & Information Technology) and has recently published a book entitled “Guerrilla Analytics”. Doing data science is difficult. Projects are typically very dynamic with requirements that change as data understanding grows. The data itself arrives piecemeal, is added to, replaced, contains undiscovered flaws and comes from a variety of sources. Teams have mixed skill sets and tooling is often limited. Despite these disruptions, a data science team must get off the ground fast and begin demonstrating value with traceable, explainable, tested work products. This is when you need Guerrilla Analytics. In this talk, you will learn about: The Guerrilla Analytics Principles: simple rules of thumb for maintaining data provenance across the entire analytics life cycle from data extraction, through analysis to reporting. Reproducible, traceable analytics: how to design and implement work products that are reproducible, testable and stand up to external scrutiny. War stories: practice tips on actual project challenges encountered in consulting, pre-sales and research. Preparing for battle: how to set up your team's analytics environment in terms of tooling, skill sets, workflows and conventions. Speaker biography Enda Ridge, PhD, is an accomplished data scientist whose experience spans consulting, pre-sales of analytics software and academic research. Enda has consulted to clients in the public and private sectors including financial services, insurance, audit and IT security. He is an expert in agile analytics for real world projects where data and requirements change often, and results must be traceable and auditable for high profile stakeholders including governments and regulators.Enda's PhD used Design of Experiments techniques to methodically evaluate algorithm performance with data analytics. He has authored or co-authored peer-reviewed research papers, is an invited contributor to edited books and has spoken at several analytics practitionerconferences in Europe and the United States. Enda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s in Applied Computing from the NUI Galway and was awarded the National University of Ireland’s Travelling Studentship in Engineering. His PhD was awarded by the University of York, UK.
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Huge Interest in IT’s Oculus Rift at Galway Minecraft Fan Convention
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Dr Michael Madden of the Discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway, along with volunteers from CoderDojo in Athenry, demonstrated the Oculus Rift at the recent MineVention event in the Radisson Hotel Galway on 25 January. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that combines a 3D head-mounted display with sensors to detect the wearer’s movements, so that what they see in the display changes as they look around. Over the course of the 6-hour event, about 200 people (children and parents) tried out the Oculus Rift, which was running with a modified version of Minecraft that supports it. Those who tried it were very positive about experiencing being “inside” Minecraft rather than just viewing it on a flat screen. NUI Galway’s Oculus Rift demo also drew attention from the YouTubers present, including Netty Plays, Mousie Mouse, Tomo Hawk, and Snake Doctor, all of whom tried it out before the official start of the convention.
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Minister English Highlights Success of Action Plan for Jobs during Visit to NUI Galway
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English T.D., recently visited NUI Galway’s students, academic staff and industry partners involved in the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream). The visit coincided with the Government’s launch of Action Plan for Jobs 2015. The Minister welcomed the opportunity to meet with students and graduates of the programme who are experiencing the benefit of the Government’s SpringBoard ICT Skills investment. He also met with a number of local industry partners who have partnered with NUI Galway on this innovative programme such as Avaya, Storm Technologies and INSIGHT. Speaking during the visit, Minister English said: “Earlier today we launched the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and a key element of that is a National Talent Drive which involves a 60% increase in the number of ICT graduates from higher education by 2018. The importance of these objectives were never so obvious than here today after meeting with such talented and enthusiastic graduates who are benefitting from those efforts.” Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley advocated the return on investment of ICT conversion programmes for the economy: “We are now seeing our graduates successfully win lucrative salaries that are resulting in the initial investment being reimbursed more than four times in the first 12 months of graduation through direct and indirect taxation. No other investment could offer such a fast and significant return for the government. We are very fortunate to have experienced such a positive engagement from industry by providing paid internships for our students prior to enrolment in the programme. This unique arrangement allows us to reskill each student specifically for each company’s technology requirements, in return for the promise of a paid internship at the end of the programme. This is the ultimate win-win for all involved, and we look forward to continuing this engagement over the coming years. 90% of our programme graduates are now in long-term employment in software companies.” The ICT Skills scheme was devised by the Higher Education Authority in 2012 to fund the University fees of suitable graduates from areas such as engineering and science for reskilling to meet the skills shortage in the software development industry. NUI Galway has developed the Higher Diploma programme with a view to selecting highly performing level 8 graduates and pairing them for re-training and internships with our participating industry partners. Applications for the 2015-16 academic year will open in May, and potential applicants or partner companies are encouraged to contact the Programme Director Dr Enda Howley for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ends-
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Free Introduction to Computer Classes at NUI Galway
Monday, 19 January 2015
NUI Galway’s free Click and Connect introduction to computer classes will resume again on the week beginning 26 January. The classes run for two-hours once a week, over a four week period, providing eight hours of training in total. The classes are aimed at those with little or no computer experience and cover topics such as introduction to the internet, online shopping and booking tickets, setting up and managing email, and using the computer in conjunction with a digital camera. In addition to the Click and Connect programme there will be a slightly more advanced Second Steps programme available to new and past learners. This programme is aimed at those whom have some computer experience or previously completed the Click and Connect programme and are seeking more computer knowledge. Second Steps is a follow up to Click and Connect providing more training to broaden learners understanding on topics such as internet, file management, and using tablets as an alternative to computers. As many of the participants have little to no computer experience the classes are run in a relaxed fun environment, which gives confidence to the new learners. Student volunteers will be on hand to provide one-to-one support to the learners in the classes. Each class is small with a maximum of twelve people and each learner is given a supporting booklet with instructions so that they can continue to develop their skills at home. All who complete receive a certificate of attendance. These free computer classes have provided training to over 600 people since the classes began. The manager of Click and Connect is Pat Byrne, a lecturer in the discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway. She is delighted with the feedback received from those who have completed the programme. “Our Click and Connect classes have been very successful to date, with many of our learners being older people who have not had the opportunity to use computers at school or in the workplace. They now find that a new world is opened up to them when they are shown how to use the internet. They are able to compare prices and shop online, follow their hobbies and access government services. They are also enabled to have better communication with family and friends using email and Skype. Whether they are looking for a job or searching for a new recipe, access to the internet makes their life so much easier. Everyone can pick up these basic skills and our classes provide a supportive environment in which to do so.” The classes are funded by a small grant from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and are offered free to participants. For further information or to book a place on one of the classes, call 087 0571967, 087 3823370 or 091 493332. -Ends-
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Horizon 2020 funding
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Well done, Owen! Dr. Owen Molloy, who is a partner and Work Package Leader in a Horizon 2020 proposal that has been approved for funding and is now at grant agreement preparation stage. Impressively, the proposal scored 15/15. The proposal is called “Respon-SEA-ble” and was submitted last June under the Call H2020-BG-2014-1 “Blue Growth: Unlocking the Potential of Seas and Oceans”. There are 18 partners and a total budget of €3.89m including €309k for Owen’s group in NUI Galway. An overview is attached. Respon-SEA-ble overview
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Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Success
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Hugh Melvin and Dr. Michael Schukat who have been successful in two Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund proposals in which they are collaborating: FarmEye: Hugh and Michael are working with Dr Chaosheng Zhang of Geography, NUI Galway, on a web-based, real-time digital nutrient management system based on agronomy modelling, precision location and GIS for land management practitioners. The budget for Discipline of Information Technology is €120,000 over 18 months. SCAMPS: This is a collaborative project between the Nimbus Research Centre @ Cork Institute of Technology and our Cyber Security Research Group here at NUI Galway. It aims to develop a Cloud / IoT-based infrastructure that allow operators of multiple energy generation and similar assets to centrally control, monitor performance and manage repairs/maintenance cost effectively. The total budget for the Discipline of Information Technology is €70,000 over 12 months.
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Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey
Monday, 15 December 2014
flusurvey.ie will track the spread of flu across Ireland and provide useful real-time data Irish people are being asked to volunteer information about their health this winter at flusurvey.ie. Now in its second year, the website is a collaboration between NUI Galway and the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Volunteers are asked to register with the site, and log any flu symptoms if and when they develop. The website asks participants about their overall health and possible influenza symptoms – headaches, fever, sore throats – and maps this information in real-time. This provides valuable real-time information for healthcare professionals on the demographic and geographic profile of people suffering from flu. The system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks. Project Leader Dr Jim Duggan, of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, says: “Last winter we tracked data from hundreds of volunteers, with the majority coming from Dublin, Cork and Galway. Amongst our participants, we saw particular spikes in illness in mid-to-late February, and also observed the highest percentage of self-reported flu levels from our survey in the under-18 year age group.” Flusurvey.ie has demonstrated the potential for self-reporting systems, and the team behind it is building on last year’s success to recruit more participants throughout the country. “Our web system is designed to handle a sizeable nationwide survey, and increasing the numbers who volunteer their health symptoms will enhance the overall information we can share with the HSE-HPSC”, adds Dr Duggan. Dr Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE-HPSC welcomed the re-launch and said that flusurvey.ie is a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance. Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May. Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The system is secure, and all patient information is analysed at an aggregate and anonymous level. Participants can also view their individual symptom history, and interactive health maps at local and national levels. Flusurvey is accessible for registration at https://flusurvey.ie
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Congratulations to all recently conferred Postgraduate students
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
There was a great involvement by Discipline of Information Technology in the postgraduate conferrals yesterday. Of the 146 who graduated from the College of Engineering and Informatics, 121 were from the Information Technology postgraduate programmes: PhD MSc Research Master of Information Technology HDip Software Design & Development (ICT Skills/Industry Stream) MSc Software Design & Development Diploma Software Engineering MSc Software engineering and Database Technology Congratulations to all graduates.
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H.Dip Students Interviews on TG4
Thursday, 20 November 2014
A group of students from the H.Dip Industry programme were leading the way at the Galway Startup Weekend held in NUI Galway on Saturday. Morgan Commins was interviewed on TG4 and was also assisted by David Pope and Ronan O'Keefe who are both currently in the 1SD3 class.
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New Doctorate in Discipline of Information Technology
Friday, 31 October 2014
Congratulations to Menglin Li who successfully defended his PhD thesis. His PhD is entitled “Graph Topology and the Emergence of Cooperation” and was supervised by Dr Colm O’Riordan. The external examiner, Professor Franziska Klugl of Orebro University, Sweden and internal examiner, Dr James Cruickshank of the School of Maths, were very complementary about the depth and scope of his implementation and analysis. Follow the link below to learn more about the areas for research within the Discipline of Information Technology and current funding opportunities. http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/information-technology/research/
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