March 2011

NUI Galway Campus Company and Technology Publisher to Set Up Second Office

NUI Galway Campus Company and Technology Publisher to Set Up Second Office -image

Thursday, 31 March 2011

After a year in operation on the NUI Galway campus, the New Tech Post – a daily publisher of articles on innovative and emerging technologies – has announced that it will open a second office in Silicon Valley in partnership with the Irish Innovation Center in San Jose. New Tech Post aims to create a 'news bridge' between its headquarters in Galway and its new office in the US. New Tech Post s coverage of innovative and emerging technologies is reflected in its five main newsfeeds: Video; Mobile; Business; Technology; and Social Media. According to founder John Breslin, who is a lecturer in electronic engineering at NUI Galway: "The main aim of the New Tech Post is to cover emergent technologies and share new, innovative ideas with an audience interested in learning what future trends to think about and how they might be affected by them. We're very excited to work with the Irish Innovation Center in San Jose since they are ideally placed in Silicon Valley and are extremely well connected to the heart of the tech universe." New Tech Post writer Tom Murphy says: "Technologies that are sometimes obscure and difficult to decipher are explained in such a manner that an average reader can explain the essential ideas with ease to a third party not familiar with the area: to their boss, co-worker, friend, and so on. Natural areas of activity are innovations and ideas emerging from large companies such as Cisco and HP, as well as the bubbling undercurrents of start-ups and early-stage ventures." John Hartnett, the founder of the Irish Innovation Center (IIC) and also of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), says: "We are delighted that the New Tech Post will launch its US base in the IIC on 5 April at our yearly ITLG/Irish Times Silicon Valley Awards. We have been working with the New Tech Post in the run up to the awards on the Irish America 'Silicon Valley 50' magazine, recognising the top Irish American tech executives in the Valley and also profiling various Irish technology companies of note." With its origins in Ireland, one goal of New Tech Post is to promote Irish technology wherever possible, in the belief that Irish companies and entrepreneurs are on the same footing as other international contributors when it comes to technology, business and innovation. Some of the tech leaders interviewed on New Tech Post during its first six months include: Carlos Dominguez (Cisco); Dylan Collins (Jolt Online); Andrew Parish (Wavebob); Nova Spivack (Live Matrix); Bernardo Huberman (HP Labs); and Iain MacDonald (SkillPages). A varied set of topics are covered on New Tech Post, including: pervasive computing and mobile networking; how to measure influence on Twitter; similarities between neurons and social networks; robots learning from their environments; and solar technologies for harvesting light. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Showcases Web Science from DERI

NUI Galway Showcases Web Science from DERI-image

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

One of the world's leading international web science research institutes will showcase its research at NUI Galway on 6 April. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at the University, is a key player in the Irish government's plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. Minister for Research & Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock T.D., will give the keynote address at the event. The day-long event will reflect the work undertaken by DERI's 120 researchers who, with key partners from Multinational companies and Small and Medium Enterprises are shaping the next generation of the web know as the Semantic Web and developing new products and technologies in this area. In the past seven years DERI has developed into an internationally leading research centre, as documented by its large number of high-quality publications in core conferences, outnumbering any other research organisation world-wide in its field of research. The Institute's focus is on education and technology transfer, which directly contributes to the Irish government's plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. Professor Stefan Decker of DERI: "The discovery, integration, and exploitation of the humongous amount of the web's information have become important challenges. DERI is taking on these challenges by defining and executing a research agenda and outreach activities targeted at enabling and supporting people, organisations, and systems to collaborate and interoperate on a global scale using semantic web technologies." A selection of DERI technologies will be presented through a series of lecture sessions and participants can engage with researchers through demonstration and posters sessions. Industry partners including Cisco, Storm, Alcatel-Lucent, Celtrak and Avaya will also participate on the day. Michael Turley, CEO of DERI added: "By helping to create critical new jobs, products, services and commercial opportunities, our centre is an integral part of the national strategy of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. Our event on 6 April gives us a chance to network with existing partners and open up our research to potential new collaborations and influences." DERI is a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) established in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland. As a CSET, DERI brings together academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, with its research focused on the Semantic Web. DERI has leveraged its SFI CSET funding to add significant additional research funding from the European Union, Enterprise Ireland, and industry sources giving it a total funding to date of over €62 million. The DERI Open day takes place from 10:30am to 5.30pm on Wednesday 6 April. For registration and a full programme visit -ends-

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Galway Graduates Celebrate Golden Anniversary

Galway Graduates Celebrate Golden Anniversary-image

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

This year marks the 50th anniversary since graduation for all who were conferred with degrees in 1961 from NUI Galway, or University College Galway (UCG) as it was known then. As well as the Class of 1961, all those who graduated prior to 1961 will be welcomed back to their alma mater on Friday, 15 April, to celebrate this special milestone. The reunion programme includes a bus tour of a vastly changed campus, a presentation of Cumann Caoga Bliain (50 Year Club) commemorative certificates by University President, Dr James J. Browne, and a reunion dinner in the Meyrick Hotel. J.B. Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, encourages graduates to come along "Reunion is a perfect opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, renew old acquaintances and see how the University has developed over the years. Over 60 guests have signed up so far. I encourage all of the classmates to get out their address books and call around. Reunion attendees never regret making the effort." For a detailed schedule of events or to book tickets please contact Colm O'Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 00 353 (0)91 493750 or email alumni -Ends-

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NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to Over 270 Junior Certificate Students

NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to Over 270 Junior Certificate Students -image

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Second-level students from across Connaught who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the NUI Galway J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents on Wednesday, 23 March. This is the first year NUI Galway has presented these awards. Over 270 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Dr Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said: "NUI Galway's international success is built on a strong and enduring relationship with its hinterland, and a commitment to working with all stakeholders in the community. We are continuously updating our suite of business programmes to ensure we stay ahead of market changes and industry demands. I congratulate all the students on their achievement and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential." Mary O'Sullivan, President, BSTAI said "The BSTAI are delighted to partner with NUI Galway to host this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age. I have no doubt that many of today's award recipients will embark on successful careers in the business world." -Ends-

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New study by Researcher Finds Clues to the Nature of Human Intelligence

New study by Researcher Finds Clues to the Nature of Human Intelligence-image

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Research suggests that intelligence in humans is controlled by the part of the brain known as the 'cortex', and most theories of age-related cognitive decline focus on cortical dysfunction. However, a new study carried out by NUI Galway's Dr Michael Hogan from the School of Psychology which involved older Scottish adults suggests that grey matter volume in the 'cerebellum' at the back of the brain predicts cognitive ability, and keeping those cerebellar networks active may be the key to keeping cognitive decline at bay. The study looked at 228 older adults living independently in the Aberdeen area, who had been part of the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947. This survey had tested Scottish children born in 1936 and at school on 4 June 1947 using the Moray House intelligence test. The cognitive abilities of the participants were tested again, now at age 63 to 65 years, and their brains were also scanned, using a neuroimaging technique called voxel-based morphometry (VBM), to determine the volumes of grey and white matter in frontal areas and the cerebellum. The most interesting finding from this study is that grey matter volume in the cerebellum predicts general intelligence. However, results differ for men and women, with men showing a stronger relationship between brain volume in the cerebellum and general intelligence. It has long been recognised that the cerebellum is involved in sensory-motor functions, including balance and timing of movements, but it is now believed that the cerebellum also plays an important role in higher-level cognitive abilities. Dr Michael Hogan says: "General intelligence is correlated with many basic aspects of information processing efficiency which I believe depend upon the functioning of the cerebellum, including the speed and consistency of our perceptions and decisions, and the speed with which we learn new skills. This is exciting research, as it suggests that there may be a backdoor route into maintaining higher cortical functions in old age, that is, through the sustained activation of cerebellar networks via novel sensory-motor and cognitive activities, all of which I believe the cerebellum seeks to regulate and automate, working in concert with the cortex." -ends-

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Students Compete with Texans in Virtual Business World

Students Compete with Texans in Virtual Business World-image

Monday, 28 March 2011

An online business simulation tool is allowing NUI Galway students compete against students in University of Texas to learn about the trials and tribulations of running a business. As part of the Bachelor of Commerce with Accounting degree programme at NUI Galway, an interactive game called Globalsym is being used in the classroom. This game involves students managing a company by producing and selling products, and competing against other virtual companies in a virtual business world. Thorough collaboration with University of Texas, the third-year students at NUI Galway have extended the competition beyond their classmates to compete with their US peers. While the students in University of Texas are postgraduate business students, the undergraduates in NUI Galway are undaunted by the competition. On a recent visit to NUI Galway, Professor Stephen Salter from University of Texas commented on the high performance of a number of NUI Galway teams who are giving the Texans a run for their money. Just as in the real world, students face decisions on how to handle the problems, opportunities, and challenges facing the modern company. They are involved in developing a strategy for their company each week in response to economic and political information and aligning marketing, finance, production, and sales decisions with their choosen strategy. "Students appreciate the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned across their subjects in managing a company and the competitive element with University of Texas has been very enjoyable for students", commented Dr Breda Sweeney, Head of Accountancy and Finance Discipline at NUI Galway. The Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) course combines a broad-based business education with an accounting specialism providing a gateway to careers in accounting, taxation, corporate finance and related professions. As with the general Commerce degree, the subjects cover a balance of theoretical and practical learning experiences in accounting, business and related areas. Graduates benefit from considerable exemptions from examinations of professional accounting bodies, such as Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. -Ends-

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Student Wins Entrepreneurial Challenge

Student Wins Entrepreneurial Challenge-image

Monday, 28 March 2011

Students from all disciplines in NUI Galway were recently given the challenge of taking €10 and using their wits to make as much money as possible over three days. The SEEN €10 competition's aim was to show that any student could create an enterprise from a small initial investment, in this case just €10. SEEN is the Student Enterprise Exchange Network which is NUI Galway's student run and focused enterprise support service. The competition was won by Philip Ryan, a Commerce student from Donnybrook, Co Dublin, who made a profit of €202 after three days by selling confectionary and soft drinks door to door in the NUI Galway student villages. Philip explains how the competition has awoken his entrepreneurial spirit: "The €10 challenge allowed me to take what I knew in the lecture theatre out into the real world. The competition showed me just how easy it is to start up a business. It is due to the €10 challenge that I plan to start up my own business in the near future." Other awards included the most innovative product award which was won by Saffron Brady from Galway City for her Tayto sandwiches idea. The dell boy award for best sales person went to Kevin Donoghue, from Doocastle, Co Mayo, a third-year arts student, for his salesmanship in selling fruit cups on campus. Paddy Melia, from the SEEN team adds: "A competition such as the €10 challenge highlights the fact that emigration after college is not the only option open to students. With a small investment and a little support students can create their own employment and decide their own future." Competitors had to have receipts for their purchases but had to also gain a contact detail from their customers in order to back up their sales figures. Anyone who wishes to get involved in future events should email them at or find them on Facebook at -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host 8th Annual Psychology Conference

NUI Galway Host 8th Annual Psychology Conference -image

Monday, 28 March 2011

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway has announced details of the 8th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, which will take place in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway on Monday, 4 April. The aim of the conference is to promote high quality research at the interface of psychology, health and medicine, as well as to facilitate social and professional networks among people working in this area. The conference will be of interest to a variety of health professionals, as well as to health psychologists. This year the conference will feature presentations on all aspects of health psychology, from laboratory studies of cardiovascular health to cognitive behavioural interventions to improve health outcomes in clinical settings. Keynote speakers will include: Professor Derek Johnston, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, who will deliver a talk on stress in health professions; Dr Catherine Woods, Dublin City University will address the field of physical activity and health; and Dr Val Morrison, Bangor University, Wales, who will discuss chronic disease and psycho-oncology. Conference co-chair, Dr Jane Walsh from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted and honoured to be hosting this year's Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference here in NUI Galway. The conference has grown from strength to strength over the past eight years and has become a truly international and multidisciplinary event. This year we are expecting over 100 delegates from a variety of backgrounds such as nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, psychology and health promotion." The conference is hosted by the Division of Health Psychology of the Psychological Society of Ireland in association with the Division of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society, Northern Ireland Branch. Dr Molly Byrne, School of Psychology at NUI Galway and conference co-chair, said: "Year on year Psychology proves to be one of the most popular courses at NUI Galway. Psychology is of interest as it touches on so many aspects of our lives, from health to child development to the clinical psychology." For further information, or to register for the conference, visit -Ends-

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NUI Galway Announce Winners of 2011 Sports Awards

NUI Galway Announce Winners of 2011 Sports Awards-image

Friday, 25 March 2011

The NUI Galway 2011 Sports Awards were announced and presented at a special ceremony in the Ardilaun Hotel last night. The Awards highlighted the broad diversity of success both on and off the field of play that is the strength of sport at NUI Galway. The award winners were nominated by the members of the 46 clubs in the University and reward the outstanding individual and team performances and those who contribute to the development of clubs and the participation of all. During a successful year for sport at NUI Galway, the University's Men's Basketball team won the Intervarsity title after 25 years while the rowers won their second Men's 8 title in a row at the National Rowing Championships. Other team highlights included the Collingwood Soccer team reaching a remarkable third final in a row to lose out in extra time, the Gaelic Football team taking the scalps of Galway and Sligo county teams on the way to the Final of the FBD league and the Camogie team winning the Ashbourne Shield competition. Students such as Diarmuid Nash in Handball, Ciaran McDonald in Gaelic Football, Evan Preston Kelly and Nuala Marshall in Soccer and Michaela Morkan from Camogie were among those that continued their successful year with an individual sports award. Gary Ryan Development Officer for Elite Sports remarked that "We have a remarkably high calibre of student athlete at NUI Galway who are successfully combining their performances in sport with earning an excellent education. We have seen an ever increasing number of students gain International recognition and at the same time contribute to their NUI Galway club." The awards have been extended to recognise the huge contribution students make to the running and development of their clubs and the opportunities for participation they give to others. Amongst the winners were Dee O'Dwyer, who was an outstanding club captain for the Athletics Club and epitomises what students can contribute to University life. Also Nithin Bindal for his massive contribution to the NUI Galway Cricket Club over a number of years. He was recognised with a Special Achievement Award. The Women's Rugby Club were awarded the most improved club award. The Boxing Club beat off the stiff competition of 17 other clubs to win the Alumni Leadership Sports Connect Award. Kathy Hynes the Development Officer for Clubs and Participation commented that "This has been an extremely successful programme that has seen the clubs develop excellent plans and programmes for their future development and we must thank the fantastic support of their Mentors and the Alumni Office in this." The awards which have been in existence since 1983 and have proven to be hugely significant to the student body and have in the past included such leading names as Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane (Athletics) Eadoin Ní Challarain (kayaking) Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall (rowing) and former Irish Rugby captain Ciaran Fitzgerald. This year's Sports Awards recipients are: Archery: Aisling Finn, Ballimacourty, Clarinbridge, Co Galway Boxing: John Ridge, Rusheenamanagh, Carna, Co Galway Darts: Stiofán De Lundres Ó Dálaigh, Dangerville, Tuam, Co Galway Ladies Gaelic Football: Eilish Ward, Ballybrillaghan, Mountcharles, Co Donegal Men's Gaelic Football: Ciaran McDonald, Newtown, Aherlow, Co Tipperary Camogie: Michaela Morkan, Shinrone, Birr, Co Offally Handball: Diarmaid Nash, Tobarnagoth, Scarrif, Co Clare Hockey: Aoife Smyth, Upper Salthill, Galway Judo: Fiona Keating, Lower Salthill, Galway Mountaineering: Joan Mulloy, The Quay, Westport, Co Mayo Women's Rugby: Heather Cary, Toronto, Canada Ladies Soccer: Nuala Marshall, London, Ontario, Canada Men's Soccer: Evan Preston Kelly, Dr. Mannix Road, Galway Team Award: Men's Basketball: Men's Senior Basketball Team 2010 – 2011 Team Award: Rowing: Men's Senior Rowing 2010 – 2011 Most Improved Club: Ladies Rugby: Women's Rugby 2010 -2011 Club Captains Award: Athletics Club: Dee O'Dwyer Special Achievement Award: Cricket Club: Nithin Bindal Participation Award: Athletics Club: Fun Run Committee Recreational Award: Futsal: Men on Bikes Alumni Leadership Award: Boxing Club -Ends-

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PhD Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway

PhD Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Over 70 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 24 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne. All Colleges of the University were represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Dr. James J. Browne said: "I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their PhD degree. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in producing the graduates and the leaders who will create the future. We have more than doubled our PhD output in recent years to almost 150 in the calendar year 2010. Today we are conferring the largest number of PhD's ever in a single University conferring in Galway." Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway Pat Morgan says: "We are delighted to have a special PhD conferring which highlights our growth in numbers but more importantly celebrates the parallel increase in research publications and recognises the participation of academic staff that mentored and supported these graduates in their significant research achievements." Over 91,000 graduates have benefited from higher education at NUI Galway since it opened its doors in 1849. The next conferrings to take place at NUI Galway will be the summer conferring on Thursday, 23 June and the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 24 June. -Ends-

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