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Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Multi-media, cyber security and espionage were some of the exciting topics on offer at this year’s Computer Science and IT Summer School, which took place on June 20th, 2017. Over 40 secondary school students attended the one day event, providing them with an opportunity to engage in fun, interactive and informative workshops. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about game development and took part in an informative Q and A about the CAO and getting in to university. The Computer Science and IT summer school is designed for senior cycle students to engage their creative skills and imagination into what is possible through technology. It assists students in deciding whether a degree programme in computing at NUI, Galway meets their expectations of an exciting, dynamic career in the industry. Results from a survey carried out on the day showed that the summer school gave them a better understanding of GY350 and the reality of undertaking a computer course at university level.
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Discovery Across Boundaries, a collaborative event bringing together some of NUI, Galway’s top researchers, took place in the IT building on Tuesday, June 6th as part of the Atlantec Festival 2017. Speakers from across the University presented short talks on their latest discoveries - from suicide prevention to sustainable cities, smart meters to stress responses in cancer cells. The series of four minute ‘lightening talks’ looked at the overall theme of new approaches to tomorrow’s challenges. This in-house event was organised by Dr Jim Duggan, Vice-Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Engineering and Informatics. As he explains: “Through its research institutes and schools, NUI Galway places great value on interdisciplinary research, and on the importance of creating collaborative opportunities for staff to work together on major societal challenges. “This event presented nine short talks highlighting how our researchers address 21st century challenges - by bringing together diverse areas such as Computer Science, Structural Engineering, Social Marketing, Psychology, Marine Science, Biochemistry and Literature.” Speakers included Dr. Jane Walsh, Psychology, on the topic of an mHealth Intervention to Increase Walking Behavior in Young Adults; Dr. Barry Hayes, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, on the topic of Smart Meters and Home Energy Data Analytics; Dr. Patricia McHugh, Marketing & Ryan Institute, on the topic of Seas of Change: Adding up and Interacting Out; Dr. Ruth Melia, HSE, on mHealth and Suicide Prevention: an interdisciplinary approach; Dr. Susan Logue, Biochemistry, on Mapping Stress Responses in Cancer Cells; Dr. John McCrae, Insight, who looked at Connecting Data for Natural Language Processing and Linguistics; Dr. Annette Harte, Civil Engineering, on the topic of Building Modern Sustainable Cities with Wood and Dr. Justin Tonra, English & Moore Institute, on the topic of Digital Humanities and Literature.
Friday, 23 June 2017
We recently partnered with Mediaplanet UK on the 2017 National Women in STEM Campaign in The Irish Independent newspaper and online at Mediaplanet #WomeninSTEMie Read motivating insight from key industry thought leaders on how we can educate, encourage and empower Ireland’s next generation of Women in STEM.
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
Ellen Roche and Laoise McNamara have been captured in a recent Silicon Republic listing of the top 25 women in engineering in Ireland 2017. Check the full list on siliconreplublic
Thursday, 27 October 2016
Dr Manus Biggs, Lecturerer in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway was one of three Irish researchers to receive a newly launched BBSRC - Science Foundation Ireland joint research grant, with research funding of over 1 Million Euros awarded between NUI Galway and the University of Glasgow. The BBSRC and Science Foundation Ireland have entered an agreement to welcome, encourage and support research applications that cut across national boundaries involving collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and Ireland. Dr Biggs will co-lead a research programme in conjunction with Prof. Matthew Dalby, which will focus on the development of nanobiomimetic electrically active scaffolds for bone regeneration, with an aim of producing rapid, large area bone grafts in vitro. Bone tissue regeneration remains an important challenge in the field of tissue engineering and sees a transplantation frequency second only to that of blood. Bone grafting is the current standard treatment; however, given the inherent limitations of this approach, bone tissue engineering and advanced biomaterials that mimic the structure and function of native tissues hold potential as alternative strategies to regeneration. Current studies in regenerative bone scaffolds suggest that further biomimicry is required before a complete solution to bone regeneration can be delivered. Furthermore, evidence is gathering apace on the importance of minute electrical and mechanical cues on cell differentiation and function, thus, new research must focus on understanding the cellular response to subtle electrical and mechanical cues and how these influence cell function and tissue regeneration. This Joint programme will focus on combining piezoelectric regenerative scaffolds with nano mechanical stimulation to promote osteospecific stem cell differentiation. Importantly, this project will further current understanding of the joint role or electromechanical stimulation on stem cell function.
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Congratulations to Jack O’Meara who has just been announced as the Irish Regional Winner in The Undergraduate Awards 2016. The award was based on the work Jack carried out as part of his 4th year project in 2014/2015 and ranked him as the best Irish student in the category of Engineering and the Built Environment. The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest academic awards programme, identifying leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework across all disciplines. Jack’s 4th year project developed both functionalised and non-functionalised poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) scaffolds for the purpose of tendon repair. The project was supervised by Dr. Dimitrios Zeugolis. Jack will receive his award at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit 2016, which takes place in Dublin in November.
Sunday, 28 August 2016
Dr. Michael Madden was interviewed on Newstalk’s science show, Futureproof, about the new Horizon 2020 project ROCSAFE. The ROCSAFE project is developing new robotic and artificial intelligence systems to assess the scene of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident, and to gather forensic evidence from it. Dr. Madden's interview begins at about 34 minutes. Many thanks to Flirt FM for use of their studio, and Feithín for the great work in setting up the link to Newstalk, testing it in advance, and doing the technical work so that it went smoothly.
Monday, 4 July 2016
A big thank you to the 40 students who attend our Computer Science Summer School on 29th June 2016. Students came from counties Galway, Mayo, Longford, Limerick, Cork, Laoise, Westmeath and Dublin. The idea behind the Summer School is that students get an opportunity to see what an IT professional does and an insight into the range of topics that form part of the highly successful . Some of the activities included interactive sessions with IT lecturers, multimedia lab sessions, Cryptography, Secrecy and Espionage and an online treasure hunt.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
NUI Galway has received Horizon 2020 EU funding for ‘ROCSAFE’ ICT and Security software that will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident A team led by NUI Galway has been awarded €4.8 Million in Horizon 2020 EU funding for their project ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment & Forensic Examination), which will use robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. Led by Dr Michael Madden from the College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, the ROCSAFE project will focus on developing ICT and Security software to gather forensic intelligence in the event of a terrorist attack. ROCSAFE’s overall goal is to fundamentally change how CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense events) are assessed, and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators, by reducing the need for them to enter dangerous scenes to gather evidence. The overall project budget is €4.8 million, of which almost €1 million has been awarded to NUI Galway. The project includes five other Irish entities and additional funding will be awarded to Tyndall, the Defence Forces (specifically ordinance disposal), the Inter-Agency Emergency Management Office, and two Irish companies, Reamda and SBN. There are 13 partners in total involved in the ROCSAFE project across Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a wider set of advisory board members. CBRNe accidents or terrorist attacks are a low probability but of high consequence. In the aftermath of a CBRNe event, the principles that govern the response mission are: Protection of Life Elimination/Reduction of Threat Protection of Property Preservation of Evidence Restoration of Normal Activities Speaking about the project, Dr Michael Madden at NUI Galway, said: “ROCSAFE focuses specifically on three of these principles: the protection of life, the elimination/reduction of the threat, and the preservation of evidence. By building a mobile remotely operated system, ROCSAFE can protect personnel by removing the need for them to go on-scene to identify threats, detect the presence of forensic material, and collect forensic material.” In order to safely respond to a threat, it must first be identified. To do this, the scientific team will adapt robotic air and ground vehicles to carry cameras and innovative sensors for the identification of CBRNe materials. To preserve evidence, they will equip the vehicles with tools to enable the careful and methodical collection of forensic materials and will develop procedures that are appropriate to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to preserve the integrity of the evidence chain. Using robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) that will be remotely managed and semi-autonomous, ROCSAFE will quickly gain a visual overview of the scene and identify hotspots. This will enable responders to quickly set up a perimeter to protect bystanders and start managing the scene. The RAVs will be equipped with cameras (operating in the visible and infra-red ranges) and sensors for detection of radiation/nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Data from these will be relayed to a Central Decision Management unit in real-time. The Central Decision Management will provide data analytics and decision support software to ensure all available data is presented in the Command Centre, which will be located in a safe zone near the periphery of the incident, to the on-scene commanders in an intuitive and easy to assimilate manner. The Central Decision Management will include an innovative approach, which will be able to adapt to the evolving situation over time as information arrives from sensors and cameras, and the people on the scene provide inputs. ROCSAFE will use state-of-the-art ground vehicles that are specifically designed for hazardous scenes, and will include the development of tools and procedures for gathering forensic material and evidence. The challenges in forensic evidence collection are to remove the possibility of cross-contamination and to ensure the integrity of the evidence chain. This process will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence and material is collected in a manner that stands up in court, and all without sending personnel into zones of high risk. The ROCSAFE project is the most recent in a series of security-related research successes by the Research Office. NUI Galway has recently established a National Centre for Security Research to draw together the multiple strands of security-related research in the University, and to facilitate growth of this activity into the future. For further information about ROCSAFE visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/remoteforensics/ ENDS
Thursday, 12 May 2016
As part of Alantec’ 16 Festival which is showcasing Galway’s diverse technology culture 8 Principal Investigators from the College of Engineering and Informatics will be presenting rapid-fire presentations on their research. The presentations will provide attendees with an overview of research activity in the College, and also indicate the potential for future collaborations through joint-funding initiatives. The event is taking place in Room GO17 of the Engineering Building on Tuesday 17th May 2016 from 6pm – 7pm.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
BSc in Computer Science & Information Technology Cisco sponsored prize of €1,200 Recipients: Kevin Nicholson and Aaron Barry (Joint Winners with a prize of €600 each) Kevin Nicholson completed a project related to the development of a mobile application for diabetes self-management. The goal of this project was to design an mHealth application that could improve patient outcomes in terms of self-management of diabetes. The mobile application is designed for ease-of-use, and allows the user to self-monitor the vital signs for diabetes. The application also features an activity tracker, a module which allows a user to monitor their exercise levels. The app was developed in Java and mysql, and deployed on an Android platform. Aaron Barry completed a project related to the study of graphs and their properties which is a challenging and topical area in computing. The goal of the project was to adopt a number of AI approaches to evolve complex graph structures that exhibit sets of desirable features and used these approaches to solve a number of problems. The work has been accepted for publication in an international conference on evolutionary computation. Supervisors: Dr. Jim Duggan and Dr. Colm O’RiordanPresented By: Peter Doran, Cisco 2014-2015 WestBIC Sponsored Award Best Final Year BSc Computer Science & Information Technology Group Entrepreneurship Proposal Recipients: Cian O’Halloran, Jason McLynn, David Madugu and Tatiana Vasilevska OxySense is an innovative piece of hardware and software –combining sensors and RFID technology that detects deterioration in window insulation, along with associated backend Cloud Service. Coordinator: Dr. Hugh MelvinPresented by: Kerry Quinlan, WestBIC 2014 - 2015 Fidelity Investments Best Student Award BSc Computer Science & Information Technology Fidelity Investments sponsored prize of €500 Recipient: Cian O’Halloran Cian achieved outstanding academic results throughout the degree programme and got the highest marks overall in the graduating class this year. Cian is currently working as a software engineer at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence in Dublin, where he primarily works on financial crime detection software. Cian was a very talented and hardworking student, he consistently achieved outstanding grades and completed projects and assignments of the highest quality. Presented by: Kevin Barron, Fidelity Investments 2014-2015 Best Group Project in the H Dip in Software Design and Development Cisco sponsored prize of €600 Recipients: Ciaran Severn, Catherine Gaughan-Smith and Sean Lydon The group project involved the design and development of a database to support the storage and querying of performance data related to constructed wetlands. Constructed wetlands are a common means of treatment of waste water in communities and their performance is monitored on a regular basis but to date no centralised data storage of this performance data exists. This project was supervised by Ms Josephine Griffith with input from Dr. Mark Healy, Civil Engineering. Supervisor: Ms. Josephine Griffith with input from Dr. Mark Healy, Civil EngineeringPresented By: Peter Doran, Cisco College of Arts, Social Science & Celtic Studies Dean’s Award Best Final Year Project BA IT College of Arts sponsored prize of €400 Recipient: Dara Mac Michael Dara's project developed a mobile device application for the Galway Museum and the Ryan Institute at NUI, Galway on an educational exhibition aimed at children known as Sea Science. Supervisor: Karen YoungPresented By: Dr. Edward Herring
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Approximately 8,000 prospective students, their parents and Guidance Counsellors attended NUI Galway’s Undergraduate Open Days on October 2nd and October 3rd 2015. As part of the event the academic staff and Student Ambassadors of the Discipline of Information Technology chatted with the students and answered questions about what it is like studying Computer Science & Information Technology. Staff also provided Introductory Talks throughout the day on the GY350 programme, BSc (Honours) in Computer Science & Information, which helped provide an insight into careers and job prospects for IT graduates. Large numbers also attended the IT Interactive Zone where they were challenged to a Connect 4 game with a robot, had an opportunity to experience and step inside a virtual world using an Oculus Rift headset and also a chance to see a variety of drone demos. The next Open Day will talk place on Saturday April 22nd 2016 and we take this opportunity to invite you to come along and meet and chat to us about Computer Science and Information Technology and visit our IT Interactive Zone.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Sinéad O’Halloran was awarded the 2015 Maurice Godet Award at the 42nd Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology last week for her paper titled "Modelling of fretting in the pressure armour layer of flexible marine risers". The award is for the best paper by a young scientist. Leeds-Lyon Symposium website Sinéad is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and is undertaking research on Fretting Fatigue in Flexible Marine Risers. She is supervised by Prof. Sean Leen and co-supervised by Dr. Annette Harte and is funded by the Irish Research Council and Wood Group Kenny under the Enterprise Partnership Scheme. As part of the proposed research project, Sinéad will visit University of Nottingham to collaborate on fretting wear testing of representative marine riser geometries and materials under non-lubricated and lubricated conditions, to establish, for the first time, the fretting wear performance of these critical components in sub-sea oil and gas riser systems. Sinéad is a first class Honours graduate from Civil Engineering in NUI Galway.
Monday, 6 July 2015
Pictured are Transition Year students taking a group selfie at NUI Galway’s recent Computer Science Summer School. Over 50 Transition Year students attended the School which was hosted by Discipline of Information Technology. Students got an opportunity to get a taste of life as an IT professional and an insight into the range of topics that form part of the highly successful BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology. The camp students participated in a number of activities including interactive sessions with IT lecturers, learning about cryptography and code, building and programming autonomous robots, making 3D computer models and experiencing walking in a virtual world.
Monday, 6 July 2015
Congratulations to Lourdes Beloqui Yuste, who has successfully defended her PhD thesis. Her thesis is entitled “Next Generation HbbTV Services & Applications through Multimedia Synchronisation” and was supervised by Dr Hugh Melvin. Both the external examiner, Prof Christian Timmerer from Alpen-Adria-University, Klagenfurt University, and the internal examiner, Prof. Gerry Lyons, were impressed at her technical contribution to a challenging and topical area. For more on opportunities for research within the Discipline of Information Technology and current funding opportunities please .
Friday, 5 June 2015
On Wednesday, 10th June and Thursday, 11th June 2015, the PhD and Research Master students in the IT Discipline will give their public GRC talks, as part of the IT Research Seminar series. With these talks, our research students present their recent research achievements and their plans for future research. This two-day event provides not only an opportunity for our research students to present their work and to get feedback, but it is also an excellent way for other researchers, students and academics to obtain an overview of ongoing research in the IT Discipline. The talks will cover a wide spectrum of research areas, including Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining, Information Retrieval, Health Informatics, System Simulation, and Social Media.
Monday, 11 May 2015
Congratulations to Pádraig Ó Flaithearta, who successfully defended his PhD thesis. His thesis is entitled “Optimizing the QoS of VoIP Applications over WiFi through use of Synchronized Time”. Both the external examiner, Dr. Lea Skorin-Kapov from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the internal examiner, Prof. Gerry Lyons, were very impressed at his summary presentation, his responses to questions, and the overall contribution of his PhD. This thesis demonstrated how synchronized time can help optimize the quality (QoS) of multiple concurrent Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls when sharing a wireless medium such as WiFi. The approach aligns well with the emerging paradigm of Software Defined Networks, whereby networks are centrally coordinated to optimize performance. For more on opportunities for research within the Discipline of Information Technology and current funding opportunities, follow the link http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/information-technology/research/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. -Ends-
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-