Minister for Research and Innovation Delivers Keynote Speech at DERI Open Day

Minister for Research and Innovation Delivers Keynote Speech at DERI Open Day-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'Research between commercial and academia sectors a winning formula for our economic recovery' - Minister Sherlock "The 'clustering' model of scientific research, comprising an unprecedented degree of co-operation and collaboration between commercial and academic personnel, has been a winning formula here," Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock T.D. said today (Wednesday) 6 April, 2011. Minister Sherlock was addressing the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Open Day at NUI Galway earlier today. DERI, a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), supported by Government through Science-Foundation Ireland-funding, was established in 2003, and has become an internationally-renowned web science research centre, providing the technology which underpins intelligent services on the Internet. Current research results include semantic search engines, novel collaboration and social media as well as sensor network technologies. Over 250 academics and industrialists attended the DERI Open Day and were briefed by presentations and demonstrations on DERI's research, applied research and commercialisation activities. Also presenting were DERI's key industrial partners and funders. Minister Sherlock told the assembled group, "There is a story here to be told. It is a story of resilience, skill, steely determination and achievement. You are the characters who make the story and should be the tellers of that story." The Minister added, "You have both a national and an international audience that I believe are eager to listen once their attention has been captured. Today's showcase demonstrates clearly the high quality research underway here at DERI, and at NUI Galway." He added that DERI's impressive track record provided the Government with "considerable hope and indeed some expectation that science will be pivotal to our economic recovery". The Minister referred to the Government's pledge in the Programme for Government to promote and support investment in technology research, development and commercialisation in line with an overall Digital Ireland strategy. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: "Our research showcases the innovation potential in the Irish ICT sector. Realising this innovation potential by contributing to a national and holistic Digital Ireland strategy is firmly on our agenda." Michael Turley, CEO of DERI noted: "Today was an extremely important day for DERI. It enabled us to showcase what we have achieved to date, but also to demonstrate the possibilities for the future with the research we are doing, and also with the collaborations we have through our partners. All of our efforts are geared to assisting in achieving the goals of the Smart Economy." Throughout his day long visit to NUI Galway Minister Sherlock met with a range of key research and industry personnel connected to the University covering the biomedical, ICT and energy sectors. -Ends-

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Launch of New Adult and Community Education Resource DVD

Launch of New Adult and Community Education Resource DVD-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Michael D. Higgins will officially launch a new documentary film, Bridging the Gap, in which leading academics in Irish higher education discuss contemporary social and economic issues in an engaging and accessible way. Two of the NUI Galway contributors to the film, Dr Su-Ming Khoo, School of Political Science and Sociology, and Dr Vinodh Jaichand, Irish Centre for Human Rights, will also speak at the launch and the event will include screening of excerpts from the film. The launch, hosted by Galway City VEC, Campus Engage and NUI Galway, will take place on Wednesday, 13 April at 11am at the Galway City Museum. The aim of the film is to 'bridge the gap' between higher education and adult and community education, by making available the knowledge, expertise and perspectives of academics to students learning in community-based settings. The film consists of two DVDs which contain a number of short programmes on topics such as human rights, globalisation, education, democracy, gender and racism. Ann Lyons, Project Manager at the Community Knowledge Initiative, said: "The experience of adult and community education has demonstrated that students learn best when a variety of teaching methods and media are used. The DVDs will provide a visual and audio tool which will be a user-friendly resource for teachers, tutors, and educational facilitators in the field of adult and community education and beyond. The producers of the film hope that the various programmes will stimulate discussion and be a catalyst for social action. While the primary objective of the film is to be a resource for adult and community education it will also be of interest to individuals, other organisations and learners in general." The production of Bridging the Gap is a partnership between County Wexford VEC, Roots Reel Films and the Equality Studies Centre at UCD and supported by funding from Campus Engage. The film has won an Aontas Star Award as an outstanding learner centred adult and community education project and represents a very productive collaboration between institutions of higher education and community-based education. It will make a valuable contribution to the adult and community education sector and be a useful resource for teachers and learners alike. For further information on Bridging the Gap contact Ann Lyons, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway at 091 492228/087 7677080 or email -Ends-

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Duais €1,000 buaite ag Cumann Sóisialta an Acadaimh

Duais €1,000 buaite ag Cumann Sóisialta an Acadaimh-image

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tá duais náisiúnta €1,000 buaite ag an gCumann Sóisialta in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua. Tháinig an Cumann sa tríú háit i gcomórtas Ghlór na nGael do Chumainn Ghaelacha i gColáistí tríú leibhéal na hÉireann. Fógraíodh na torthaí beo ar chlár Rónán Mhic Aodh Bhuí, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Dé Céadaoin, 5 Aibreáin 2011. Bronntar na duaiseanna seo ar choistí mac léinn i gColáistí tríú leibhéal, a bhfuil forbairt agus caomhnú teanga agus cultúr na Gaeilge mar spriocanna lárnacha acu. Bhí 14 Cumann Gaelach ar an ngearrliosta agus ba mhór an t-éacht do mhic léinn an Acadaimh an gradam seo a ghnóthú i bhfianaise nach bhfuil ach 120 mac léinn lánaimseartha ar an gcampas. Is iad an dá champas is mó sa tír, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus Coláiste na Tríonóide a tháinig sa chéad agus sa dara háit. Tá Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dhaibhéid, ag obair san Acadamh mar chuid den bhliain taithí oibre agus is í a dhéanann comhordú ar imeachtaí na mac léinn. Cé gur pobal beag mac léinn atá ar an gcampas, tá An Cumann Sóisialta thar a bheith gníomhach agus tá a gcuid féin déanta ag na mic léinn de shaol na Gaeltachta. Tá gné láidir charthanachta ag baint le hobair an Chumainn agus tá breis is €25,000 bronnta acu ar charthanachtaí áitiúla le cúig bliana anuas. "Tá obair thar na bearta déanta ag An gCumann Sóisialta faoi stiúir Louise Ní Dhaibhéid agus is iontach an méid atá bainte amach acu. Tá mic léinn anseo ó chuile chearn den tír agus is cuid an-tábhachtach d'eispéireas an choláiste an ghné sheach-churaclaim", a dúirt Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bronnfar na duaiseanna ag ceiliúradh mór Ghlór na nGael in Óstán Carton House, Maigh Nuad Dé Sathairn, 16 Aibreán 2011. -Ends-

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President Commended by Review Team for Driving Forward Quality in NUI Galway

President Commended by Review Team for Driving Forward Quality in NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) is delighted to publish the third review report from its Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) process, this time focusing on NUI Galway. Dr Padraig Walsh, IUQB Chief Executive stated, "This evidence-based review provides independent confirmation of NUI Galway's commitment to quality in line with national and European standards." The Review Team was composed of national and international experts. They identified areas of good practice and areas for further development to assist NUI Galway in assuring the quality of the student experience.  IUQB is particularly pleased that the review team commended NUI Galway's approach for unifying strategic planning, institutional research and quality assurance. The review report commends 'the strong leadership of the President and the University Management Team and the overall institutional structure and processes for quality.' Dr Walsh added: "The Review Team was impressed by the visibility of strong leadership and the track record of President Browne in driving forward the quality vision for NUI Galway, together with the strategic thinking and effective restructuring necessary to achieve this vision." NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne has welcomed the report and its findings and stated: "We welcome the report's recommendations - in particular, the suggestions for increasing student feedback and pursuing further an internationalisation agenda and we will ensure that these will be addressed." The Review Team found there was 'abundant evidence that the University pays attention to the findings and recommendations of internal and external reviews of its teaching, research and support systems and that, where it is reasonable, affordable and practicable to implement the recommendations, it does so.' The Report encourages the University to continue to ensure that its governance structures are strategically focused and include a wide spectrum of external stakeholders. It is also encouraged to pursue an assertive internationalisation agenda to achieve a more open and outward-looking approach, and to review its current policy on student feedback. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Bring Maths to Life

NUI Galway Students Bring Maths to Life-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

NUI Galway's Figure Fun are hosting Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer, a summer enrichment programme with maths in mind, from 7 to 10 June, in the Education building, NUI Galway. This course is aimed at first year secondary school students who wish to improve on their maths skills in a fun environment. The area of mathematics is currently undergoing many changes in secondary schools and as a result Figure Fun has decided to provide a summer camp for students who have just completed first year and wish to strengthen knowledge gained. The camp will cover the areas of number systems, geometry and probability, building strong foundations in these key areas required for further study of mathematics. Students will learn that there is a fun element to maths and heightening their interest in the subject. Students will discover the beauty and necessity of mathematics in our every day lives. Upon completing the course, participants have an excellent grasp of basic topics needed for the junior cycle. Dr Catherine Paolucci, a programme director of the BA in Mathematics and Education, is a lecturer with the School of Education, NUI Galway: "This is an exciting programme offering students an opportunity to reinforce their classroom learning in an alternative setting with a focus on real-life applications. The unique projects and activities that Figure Fun have planned will ensure that students enjoy the week, make new friends, and learn a lot in the process." Speaking about the course, Nichola Leonard, a member of the Figure Fun production team has said "through fun and games students will develop an appreciation and greater understanding of maths". Figure Fun is a group of seven, third year Maths and Education students dedicated to the promotion of secondary school mathematics and providing a fun environment to facilitate this. They are committed to providing a professionally run summer camp and ensure students satisfaction and safety at all times. Rachel Lynch, Administrator of Figure Fun says: "The members of the Figure Fun team look forward to hosting this event, which is the first of its kind for NUI Galway. The whole team are excited about sharing their enthusiasm for maths and hope to convey the relevance and value of the subject for secondary school and beyond." The course is priced at €10 per student. You can register online by visiting the website www.conference.ieand following the link for Making Awesome Things Happen in Summer. Places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis, so apply early to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Conor Diskin on 087 7535006 or -Ends-

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Musical Note for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture

Musical Note for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The 2011 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled Your Inner Muse: Heart, Ears, Mind, and Chipsets, will be delivered by concert pianist and MuseAmi CEO, Robert Taub. Taking place at NUI Galway on Monday, 11 April at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, the lecture will address the relationship between music and technology, and will place leading-edge technological innovation within the context of musical innovation over the ages. Robert Taub has been acclaimed internationally as a concert pianist and recording artist. Having achieved many goals in the arena of the performing arts, Robert altered his focus and founded MuseAmi in 2007. With advanced machine learning capabilities, MuseAmi software breaks down both written and acoustic music into its most basic elements in real-time. This results in a total deconstruction of the sound or notated page, enabling end users to put the metadata back together in any way imaginable. In effect, the technology enables every musician to sound great while interacting and engaging in fun ways with the music they love, and to more easily facilitate people's innate creativity. A distinguished American concert pianist, Robert Taub is familiar to Galway audiences as his performances have featured frequently in Music for Galway s concert programmes. Music for Galway celebrates its 30th Anniversary Season this year. Robert Taub is perhaps best known to Galway concert audiences for his performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas. According to NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne: "The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day. In many ways, Roberts Taub's work is a perfect reflection of De Brún s interests, at the nexus of music, mathematics, technology and culture." As part of the presentation on 11 April, Robert Taub will perform one of the most revolutionary piano works, the Waldstein Sonata Op. 53, in which Beethoven transcended expectations of musical creativity and musical perception, and thereby forged new demands on pianos, the pianists, and audiences. According to Robert Taub: "Music is all around us; music knows no linguistic or geopolitical boundaries; music moves us all. Yet music has always been married to technology, and thus has often been the driving force for new innovation." The public lecture takes place at 7.30pm on Monday, 11 April in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway and is organised by the President's Office, NUI Galway. Admission is free. For further information contact 091 492110. Robert Taub will also give a Seminar to the College of Engineering and Informatics on Tuesday, 12 April at 11.30am in the Information Technology Building. For further information please contact 091 493413. -Ends-

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Distinguished Historian of Women's History to Speak at NUI Galway

Distinguished Historian of Women's History to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Global Women's Studies Programme, in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, will be hosting a public lecture on Friday, 15 April, as part of the 2010-2011 public lecture series. Professor Clare Midgley, distinguished women's historian, will deliver the lecture entitled, 'Imperial feminist or transnational social reformer? Mary Carpenter and India'. During the lecture, Professor Midgley will explore concepts of gender, imperialism and religion with reference to Mary Carpenter, an archetypal imperial feminist. Mary Clancy, Historian and Lecturer in Global Women's Studies, says, "We are especially pleased to welcome Professor Midgley to NUI Galway and to be able to participate in discussions about women's history, imperialism and public commemoration with a leading international researcher and practitioner in the field." Professor Midgley is Research Professor in History at Sheffield Hallam University and President of the International Federation for Research in Women's History. The lecture will be held in the Alexander Anderson boardroom, in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway at 1pm. All are welcome to this public event and light refreshments will be served. For further information contact Gillian Browne, School of Political Science and Sociology, at -Ends-

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Young Scientists Debate Contemporary Science Issues

Young Scientists Debate Contemporary Science Issues-image

Monday, 4 April 2011

The 2011 Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals will be held Thursday, 14 April, at the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin. The Finals, co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, will see four teams of secondary school students representing the provinces of Connacht, Ulster, Leinster and Munster. The schools in the Finals are: St. Joseph's College, Garbally, Co. Galway; St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal; St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth and Coláiste an Phairsaigh, Glanmire, Co. Cork. The Connacht winning team from St. Joseph's College is comprised of speakers Matthew McMorrow, Eoin Moran and several researchers working behind the scenes. Their transition year English teacher and team mentor, Fr Iomar Daniels, comments: "As the competition has progressed, the students have enjoyed the challenge of researching and preparing for the contemporary, engaging topics set by the organiser. Their interest in science issues has been greatly enhanced." Magh Ene College from Bundoran, Co. Donegal, was the Runner-Up team from the West. Teammates Eoin Dillon and Kitty Pang gave a strong performance throughout the debate series. Fifty-six schools are involved in the 2011 Debating Science Issues competition, which encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. The competition, which is coordinated by eight research, medical and science centres throughout the island of Ireland, addresses contemporary scientific issues such as stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, vaccinations and health and self-testing. This national schools' biomedical science debate competition, sponsored by a Wellcome Trust People Award, is run in collaboration with the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, CLARITY, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN, Tyndall National Institute, the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, and W5. Provincial trophies and prizes are sponsored by the College of Science at NUI Galway and Boston Scientific. Competition organiser and Outreach Officer at REMEDI, Danielle Nicholson remarked, "The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. This debate series reflects the interest and insight among 15 to 18 year olds in the field of biomedicine." For further information on the Debating Science Issues competition visit -Ends-

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Trailblazing Mathematician Visits NUI Galway

Trailblazing Mathematician Visits NUI Galway-image

Monday, 4 April 2011

One of the world's outstanding mathematicians comes to NUI Galway next week. Professor Cheryl Praeger, from the University of Western Australia, is in the top one per cent of highly cited mathematicians in the world. She has made revolutionary contributions in several disparate pure and applied areas, including Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, and Statistics (Data Analysis). According to Dr Dane Flannery, of the de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra at NUI Galway: "We are very fortunate to be hosting Professor Praeger. We look forward to hearing about her latest research, as well as her insights about Mathematics in the wider contexts of modern science and society. Her visit here is also an important advertisement for the many successes of women in Mathematics." Professor Praeger visits Galway for the 5th de Brún Workshop from 11 to 16 April, where she will deliver a lecture course on the state-of-the-art in her specialities. The Workshop brings together international experts to discuss computational aspects that have recently emerged in Algebra and Discrete Mathematics. These areas are part of a current strategic focus of Mathematics at NUI Galway, which is supported by the de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra, funded by Science Foundation Ireland under its Mathematics Initiative 2007. Professor Praeger has strived to encourage involvement by talented students in mathematics from an early age; as she says, "We need to ensure a strong mathematical education for our young people to underpin their other skills, whether in science, medicine, engineering or technology. This requires a new educational focus on nurturing mathematically talented young people to ensure they realise their potential." Professor Praeger's forebears originally lived in Germany, but moved to Dublin for a time, before settling in Australia. In 1983, Praeger was appointed to her current position as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a former President of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-1994), and a member of the Order of Australia (since 1999). Her many other prestigious awards include honorary Doctorates of Science from the Prince of Songkla University in 1993, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2005. Professor Praeger works tirelessly for the mathematical community worldwide. As just one example of this, she is a serving member of the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union which comprises 10 leading mathematicians who administer the Union. In particular, this committee oversees selection of the Fields Medallists, known as the 'Nobel Prize in Mathematics'. -Ends-

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NUI Galway wins HSA Third Level 'Safety in Design' National Competition

NUI Galway wins HSA Third Level 'Safety in Design' National Competition-image

Monday, 4 April 2011

A team of students from NUI Galway have won a Health and Safety Authority run competition aimed at undergraduate teams from construction related degree programmes in third level institutions. At the final held recently in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin, six short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize of €3,000 with Sligo Institute of Technology awarded the runner-up prize of €1,000. Other teams which made the final included students from UCC, GMIT and Carlow IT. The NUI Galway winning team was made up by Kevin Carney from Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon, Grant Deeney from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, and Shane McHale from Ballina, Co. Mayo. The students from different disciplines worked together to take on the role of giving expert advice on remedial repairs, traffic management and long-term maintenance of a bridge that suffered structural damage as result of a bridge strike. Various challenges had to be addressed including examining the impact of design on after-care maintenance, site-specific risk assessments and preparing traffic management plans. Dr Jamie Goggins, Chartered Engineer and Programme Director for BSc in Project and Construction Management at NUI Galway, said: "We would like to congratulate Kevin, Grant and Shane on winning this competition organised by the Third Level Initiative Group of the Health and Safety Authority. The aim of the competition fits very well with the ethos of our undergraduate degree programmes in construction related programmes – to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of various aspects of engineering and construction. Furthermore, this competition provides a platform for students to work in multidisciplinary groups, which is an experience that we value and promote in our undergraduate degree programmes." Chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority's Third Level Initiative Group (TLIG), Dr Anne Drummond, said, "In the world of work, collaboration and working with colleagues from other disciplines is essential to problem solving as well as being the safest approach. This competition has clearly illustrated to both students and judges that engagement and teamwork with their colleagues is a rewarding experience for students, and one that can deliver a safe and effective product." -Ends-

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