The Social Semantic Web

The Social Semantic Web-image

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

- A new book about online information - The solution to problems associated with social websites, such as information integration, dissemination and searchability are the subject of a new book by NUI Galway internet experts. The Social Semantic Web investigates how emerging Semantic Web technology has produced a variety of approaches to overcome existing information boundaries. The book is authored by John Breslin, School of Engineering and Informatics, and Alexandre Passant and Stefan Decker of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. The content is intended for computer science professionals, researchers, and graduates interested in understanding the technologies and research issues involved in applying Semantic Web technologies to social software. Breslin et al. describe some popular social media and social networking applications, list their strengths and limitations, and describe some applications of semantic web technology to address their current shortcomings by enhancing them with semantics. Across these social websites, they demonstrate a twofold approach for interconnecting the islands that are social websites with semantic technologies, and for powering semantic applications with rich community-created content. Practitioners and developers interested in applications such as blogs, social networks or wikis will also learn about methods for increasing the levels of automation in these forms of web communication. Co-author John Breslin, who founded boards.ie, one of the most popular internet forums in Ireland: “The ‘Social Semantic Web’, also called ‘Web 3.0’ is all about forming a network of interlinked and semantically-rich content and knowledge. This leads to a web of data that can be used by computers to help people with their daily tasks, and is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on the diverse data available from Web 2.0”. The success of much of the work described in the book has been demonstrated in its adoption by various groups and companies. The SIOC system, described in the book and developed by researchers in DERI, has been used by Yahoo! in its SearchMonkey application. It has also recently been integrated into the Drupal content management system that is used by thousands of organisations. The Social Semantic Web, is published by Springer; for more information see www.socialsemanticweb.net. -Ends-

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Professor Stefan Decker Presented with ITAG Award

Professor Stefan Decker Presented with ITAG Award-image

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, was announced the award winner for ‘Academic Contribution to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector’ at the recent Information Technology Association Galway (ITAG) Industry Awards. DERI is an internationally recognised institute in semantic web research, education and technology transfer. DERI brings together academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, which directly contributes to the Irish government s plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. On receiving the award, Professor Decker said: “I am delighted to be presented with this award for the continued growth and excellence of our research at DERI. This recognition from ITAG is hugely important and I welcome the endorsement from such and established group on our work. ICT in Galway is crucial to its development and we look forward to continued relationships in the future with local industry”. DERI was established in 2003 by Science Foundation Ireland as a Centre for Science and Engineering Technology (CSET) and has become the largest research institute in the world dedicated to the development of advanced web technologies. DERI is also actively engaged in technology spin-outs and licensing of its leading edge technologies. Since its establishment DERI has grown to over 120 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships. Its core industry partners include CISCO, Nortel, Ericsson, Storm, Celtrak, Openlink, and Cyntelix. The ITAG was established in September 2000 by a group of IT professionals representing both multinational and indigenous IT companies. Through ITAG, the IT sector in Galway has played its role in shaping the future development of the region, both economically and socially. Each year, ITAG rewards the achievements and encourages further success of its outstanding members through the ITAG Industry Awards. -Ends-

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Criminal Justice System is Failing Rape Victims According to Report

Criminal Justice System is Failing Rape Victims According to Report-image

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland has published ground breaking research into rape and its treatment within the criminal justice system. The research, which was carried out by NUI Galway s School of Law, had the participation of 100 survivors of recent adult rape, examined almost 600 DPP files and further examined over 170 Central Criminal Court trials and the transcripts of appealed cases. The research was prompted by Ireland s increasing levels of reporting of rape and decreasing convictions. The four-year study, entitled "Rape and Justice in Ireland", looks at different key stages of our criminal justice system, and reveals insights that have not previously been documented in Ireland before. Fiona Neary, Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said: "We know from victims that the Criminal Justice System is failing in rape cases. Ireland s conviction rate from reported incidents to conviction is amongst the lowest in Europe. Survivors in Rape Crisis Centres tell us of their fears about reporting. They talk of the lack of dignity and respect in how they are treated; how they feel it is they who are on trial, and how their voice is ignored by the system. For those who have a positive experience of reporting, they also feel isolated and lost, are not kept informed, and have been unable to move on with their lives because of the years waiting for their case to come to court". This research, which was headed by NUI Galway s Conor Hanley, had the full, unreserved, and by and large, unprecedented cooperation of key agencies, from the Rape Crisis sector to the DPP and the Court Services. Never before has such extensive and reliable data on our legal system been documented. Given the breath of the research, the findings have application beyond rape cases. For example, there is a thorough examination of whether or not complainants use Victim Impact Statements to seek vengeance and thus abuse the system. This report looks at the journey from incident to conviction and how cases fail to engage with, simply fall out or are dropped out of the Criminal Justice System along the way. Hanley and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations for reform in the legal system and in society. For a copy of the report visit visit www.rcni.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Scoop West's Top Marketing Prize

NUI Galway Scoop West's Top Marketing Prize-image

Friday, 4 December 2009

NUI Galway has been named the Overall Winner in the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region's Annual Awards. Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Chairperson of the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Emma Dillon-Leetch congratulated NUI Galway on their very talented team efforts in outstanding marketing development. "The Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Awards is the premier independent awards programme for companies and businesses in the West of Ireland today. NUI Galway has demonstrated an innovative approach to marketing within business and is a worthy winner of the overall top prize", she said. In 2009 the University's Marketing Team led a major brand development project with the aim of repositioning the University and creating a strong visual identity to differentiate NUI Galway from its competitors. Significant measurable successes as a result of the University's outstanding marketing activity saw NUI Galway show a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preference applications- a growth of more than double that of the University Sector and the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. The University was also named University of the Year 2009 by The Sunday Times. On accepting the award, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to accept these prestigious awards from the Marketing Institute. Winning the overall award on top of the 'Marketing Team of the Year' category was simply overwhelming. It really has been a fantastic year for NUI Galway. We have enjoyed success on many fronts in 2009 and the Marketing Institute Awards are a fitting recognition of the University's achievements over the last year". Now in their eighth year the MII West Region Marketing Awards are the premier independent awards programme available to marketers in the West of Ireland and attracted an initial entry of over 80 from businesses and companies operating in Galway Mayo and Roscommon. This year several new awards categories were added creating eleven categories that companies, teams or individuals could enter. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Nanoscience Experts Participate in Nanoweek

NUI Galway Nanoscience Experts Participate in Nanoweek-image

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Newly appointed SFI Stokes Professor of Biophotonics at NUI Galway, Malini Olivo, is one of the University's nanoscience experts participating in Nanoweek, which was opened in Cork this week by Mr Batt O'Keefe, Minister for Science and Education. Organised by the Nanoscience Network, Nanoweek, will run until 4 December and will include a wide range of events designed to raise awareness of the contribution that nanoscience makes to the Irish economy and to society. Nanoweek will also highlight the central role nanoscience can play in driving the Smart Economy. Professor Malini Olivo has pioneered the area of clinical application of Photodynamic Diagnosis and Treatment in Cancer in Singapore. She has spearheaded several collaborative projects with Singapore linked government research agencies and universities in biophotonics and nanophotonics for in-vivo optical bio-imaging applications in cancer and metabolic medicine. Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet from NUI Galway's School of Physics will also participate in Nanoweek, events at the University Research to Economic Value workshop to be held in Dublin on 3 December. This workshop focuses on the development of economic value from university research, including discussions on intellectual property and case studies on developing nanotechnology companies. Members of the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) at NUI Galway will also be visiting local secondary schools in Galway during Nanoweek. The visits will introduce nanoscience and photonics to secondary-school students and include lesson plans/worksheets linked to the school curriculum. The NCLA recently launched a new Clean Room Ultrafast Laser Laboratory. The laser facility combines state-of-the-art laser research technology with advanced spectral and imaging diagnostics. The facility includes nano-second, pico-second, and femto-second laser systems integrated with advanced motion systems and precision spectral and imaging diagnostics. The development is part of the National Integrated Nanoscience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE) supported under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4). Dr Gerard O'Connor, who leads the INSPIRE project at NUI Galway, said: "Nanoweek, has two aims. Firstly, it seeks to bring the remarkable transformation that is occurring in nanoscience to the attention of the young people in schools so that they may make more informed decisions regarding their future careers. Secondly Nanoweek showcases the excellent research activities and facilities, such as the new laser laboratory at NUI Galway that are available to industry and academic partners for collaboration". -Ends-

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Growing Brands Through a Recession

Growing Brands Through a Recession-image

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A one-day Branding Masterclass for Business Leaders The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway is to host a one-day Masterclass for business leaders entitled ?Growing Brands through a Recession?. The event will be co-hosted by marketing guru Professor Leslie de Chernatony, Professor of Brand Marketing at Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland and Aston Business School, UK, and Dr Elaine Wallace, Lecturer in Marketing and Associate Head of Development and Promotion at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Wallace says: ?During recessionary times, many companies are tempted to cut prices in order to offer value to customers. However, focusing on price can negatively affect brand equity, leading to a weaker brand image and a loss of market share. The recession represents an opportunity to reconsider how brands can offer more relevant value. This Masterclass will show how a budget can be better used to deliver a ?wow factor? by offering more appropriate value to customers?. Designed with business professionals in mind, the event will highlight factors leading to brand success and, using examples, will show how leading brands get through tough times. Billed as a ?hands on? event, delegates will get practical tools for brand building. Frameworks will be presented, and delegates will work in syndicate groups to apply those frameworks to their own businesses. During plenary sessions, ideas for growing brand value will be shared, and discussions will help to shape brand-building activities. Dr Wallace added: ?The event, in particular Professor de Chernatony?s insights, will be invaluable for large and small businesses in product and service sectors?. The Chartered Institute of Marketing cite Professor Leslie de Chernatony as one of the 50 gurus who have shaped the future of marketing due to his pioneering work on brand management. His cutting edge work on strategically building brands has helped many organisations develop more effective brand strategies. A firm advocate of the need for managers to benefit from his work on brand marketing, he has run many highly acclaimed management development workshops throughout Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and his advice has been sought by numerous organisations throughout the world on developing more effective brand strategies. The Masterclass will take place on Thursday, 21 January, 2010 and the cost of a full day is ?195. To register for this event please visit www.conference.ie. For further information please contact Angela Sice, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, at 091 492817 or Dr Elaine Wallace, Marketing, J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway at 091 492603. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Irish Social Science Platform Conference

NUI Galway Hosts Irish Social Science Platform Conference-image

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- How social science and business research can better inform policy making - NUI Galway will today (Tuesday, 1 December) open the Irish Social Science Platform Annual Conference. The two-day event will focus on how and why social science and business research can better inform policy makers and the policy process. Conference keynotes and round table discussions will examine topics such as 'How should the Social Sciences relate to Public Policy?' and 'Social Science, Policy, and Partnership in Crisis'. Keynote speakers include Professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, California, on A Cabinet-Level Office of Social Science Advisors: Mr Cowen and President Obama, Are you Listening? Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council of Ireland (NESC) will speak about Social Science, Policy and Partnership in Crisis and Professor Paul Wyckoff of Hamilton College, New York will address Social Science and Public Policy: Bridging the 'Great Disconnect'. Commenting on the need to better link academic research and public policy, Professor Wyckoff of Hamilton College, notes: "Precious little of our hard-earned social science knowledge is used in actual policy debates. Instead, intuition, ideology and simplistic reasoning often drive decision-making". Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, said: "Too often there is a gulf between the body of knowledge and information produced by social science researchers and the assumptions that motivate policy makers and public policy. One aim of the conference is to figure out ways to close this gap and improve public policy". In addition to invited international speakers and national policymakers, the event brings together faculty and Ph.D. students from various disciplines in eight third-level institutions. Most of the research presented will reflect the Irish Social Science Platform (ISSP) focus by investigating three broad themes of national importance – creating balanced development, sustaining communities, and building the knowledge economy. The ISSP programme is unique in that it integrates social science, business research and graduate training across multiple academic disciplines with the purpose of stimulating innovative social, cultural and economic transformations that will shape Ireland in the 21st century. The ISSP programme at NUI Galway, for example, brings together academics and Ph.D. students from The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, the Centre for Child and Family Support, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Research on Occupation and Life Stress, and the Irish Centre for Rural Transformation and Sustainability. For additional information and the conference programme please visit: www.conference.ieor contact Dr James Cunningham, at 091 493472 or email james.cunningham@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship for NUI Galway

Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship for NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- Irish Cancer Society commits €1 million to supporting career development for the next generation of cancer researchers in Ireland - Dr Eva Szegezdi of Biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway was one of three researchers to receive an Irish Cancer Society fellowship at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where President of Ireland, Mary McAleese presented six of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards & Research Fellowship Awards. This new Scholarship award scheme is part of the Society's commitment to funding cancer research in Ireland, to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers and rewarding exceptional people with outstanding research ideas in the area of cancer research. Dr Eva Szegezdi is studying a new anti-cancer therapy, called TRAIL, which is currently in phase II clinical trials. "TRAIL is effective at treating 50% of cancers, but does not work in the other 50%. My research is trying to find ways to make TRAIL more effective in these resistant cancers" explained Dr Szegezdi. Professor Afshin Samali, Head of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, said: "This is a major achievement for Dr Szegezdi and Biochemistry. Dr Szegezdi has achieved the highest level of scientific excellence and earlier this year was also awarded a Starter Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) for cancer research from Science Foundation Ireland". In 2008, the Irish Cancer Society established the Research Fellowship programme to assist cancer researchers to develop their research ideas and offer them the support they need to direct their own research teams. Following on from the success of this initiative, this year the Society established the Research Scholarship programme to fund young post graduate students starting out on a career in cancer research. The Scholarship programme aims to encourage the brightest and the best students in Ireland to complete PhDs in cancer research. Commenting on the Fellowship and Scholarship scheme, Professor Cliona O'Farrelly, Chairperson, Cancer Research Committee, Irish Cancer Society said, "We are delighted with this new scheme which has attracted huge numbers of applicants from dedicated and enthusiastic researchers who are keen to dedicate themselves to cancer research." "It was particularly challenging to select just six candidates to receive the awards, but we are optimistic that with additional funding we may be able to expand this scheme," continued Professor O'Farrelly. The Fellowship and Scholarship scheme is open to all scientific, medical and paramedical disciplines that are committed to cancer research. Each Fellowship award is up to the value of €75,000 per annum for up to three years and each Scholarship award is up to the value of€40,000 per annum for up to three years. The Irish Cancer Society is the single largest voluntary supporter of cancer research in Ireland and is responsible for evaluating grant applications from scientists and doctors conducting this research. This research focuses on identifying risk factors for various cancers so that the disease may be prevented, identifying the cellular mechanisms of cancer in order to unravel the mystery of why some cells behave normally and some become cancerous and identifying the most effective combination of therapies in treating cancer. The Health Research Board (HRB) through the Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG) and the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) are acknowledged for their support in co-funding some of these research projects. The Irish Cancer Society is now inviting applications for the 2010 Fellowship and Scholarship Awards Scheme. Closing date for entries is Wednesday, 10 February, 2010. Applications must be submitted online at www.cri.cancer.ie. -Ends-

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Giant Telescopes Focus of NUI Galway Lecture

Giant Telescopes Focus of NUI Galway Lecture-image

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The next in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway s Centre of Astronomy will explore the topic of Giant Telescopes. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 9 December, in the McMunn Lecture Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, presented by NUI Galway?s Dr Alexander Goncharov, will focus on telescopes such as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Currently under construction, the E-ELT will provide European astronomers with the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world. With a mirror diameter of 42 meters, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Ireland has a strong tradition in astronomy with one of the largest telescopes in the world being built in Co. Offaly in 1845. Known as ?The Leviathan of Parsonstown?, it was the largest telescope of its time and was built by the third Earl of Rosse, William Parsons. Speaking about the lecture, Dr Goncharov said: ?The high interest of astronomers in further development of new, powerful telescopes is shared by a large part of the general public. The lecture will give special emphasis to astronomical imaging with adaptive optics, a new technique that helps to overcome the limiting effects of the earth s turbulent atmosphere. Future giant telescopes will initiate and support a new era in observational astronomy?. The lecture will also cover observing the night sky with a naked eye, amateur telescopes and professional optical telescopes. Essential scientific challenges including the search for earth-like planets will also be discussed. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

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January 2008

Launch of the Collingwood Cup 2008

Launch of the Collingwood Cup 2008-image

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pictured at the launch of the Collingwood Cup 2008, sponsored by www.future.ie, which will be hosted this year by NUI Galway were, Front: NUI Galway Soccer Club players Eoin McCorman, Ballina, Co. Mayo and Seamus Connelly, Rosmuc, Co. Galway. Behind them are NUI Galway Vice President for External Affairs, Ger Hurley; James O'Toole, Sports Med West; and CEO of tournament sponsor (www.future.ie), Mickey McLoughlin. The Collingwood will run from Monday February 25th-28th 2008 with most of the games to be played at Dangan Sports grounds. The NUI Galway Soccer Club hopes to secure Terryland Park for the Cup Final, in what promised to be a major event not only for varsity soccer, but for the city of Galway and indeed for sport in Ireland. Twelve universities from north and south of the border will take part in this unique All Ireland competition which is now run on a knockout basis over four days. The first cup was played in 1914.

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