All 2011

NUI Galway to Host Workshops for Project Maths

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The School of Education at NUI Galway will host a series of workshops as part of the University's new Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme for teachers. The workshops will focus on statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra. The events will take place on 1, 8 and 15 March in the Education Building in the University from 6 to 8.30 each evening. The three sessions will cover statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra, a free software tool developed for enhancing mathematics learning and teaching. GeoGebra is a principal technology of Project Maths. Project Maths involves the introduction of revised syllabuses for both Junior and Leaving Certificate Mathematics, introduced gradually on a strand basis with complete roll out expected by 2015. It involves changes to what students learn in mathematics, how they learn it and how they will be assessed. It aims to provide for an enhanced student learning experience and greater levels of achievement for all. Much greater emphasis will be placed on student understanding of mathematical concepts, with increased use of contexts and applications that will enable students to relate mathematics to everyday experience. The initiative will also focus on developing students' problem-solving skills. Assessment will reflect the different emphasis on understanding and skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The first two strands of project Maths were introduced for first and fifth year students in 2010. Dr Tony Hall, Assistant Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway says, "We hope these workshops, delivered as specialist input to NUI Galway's new flexible CPD framework for teachers, will support a community of practice in school mathematics, incorporating the new Project Maths syllabi and technologies, and involving our partner schools, teachers, the mathematics subject associations, the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick, and the Project Maths Development Team. NUI Galway is delighted to play an important part in the process of promoting mathematics and applied mathematics education, in collaboration with our partners in education, regionally and nationally." Welcoming these workshops, NUI Galway President, Dr James Browne said: "Maths education is central to the development of Ireland s Knowledge economy. These vital skills must be at the core of our education system at all levels from primary to fourth-level. This initiative by the School of Education at NUI Galway, in partnership with Project Maths, will further enhance teachers skills and develop new strategies for the teaching of mathematics, which will ultimately benefit the Irish economy." NUI Galway's contribution to Project Maths highlights the University's commitment to changing the perception of Mathematics. In 2008, a new specialist BA in Mathematics and Education was introduced, which sees students pursuing a comprehensive degree programme offering two valuable qualifications including an honours degree in Mathematics and a post-primary teaching qualification. Graduates of the programme, which is offered jointly by the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, and the School of Education will be specialist educators in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, trained to research-level standard in the mathematical sciences, and recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland as qualified post-primary teachers of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics to honours Leaving Certificate level. Ends

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Book on Monika Maron Launched at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A book written by Dr Deirdre Byrnes, who teaches German in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, was launched in the Moore Institute on Thursday, 10 February. Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context was launched by Professor Hugh Ridley, Emeritus Professor of German, University College Dublin. Monika Maron's biography charts a complex relationship with the German Democratic Republic, from initial ideological identification with the state to sustained, radical rejection. In her book, Dr Byrnes charts the development of a number of seminal themes in Maron's work: the search for an authentic form of expression; the writing and the rewriting of history; memory transmission and generational forgetting; the rupture and the ultimate refashioning of biographies in a post-GDR age. According to Dr. Byrnes: "Monika Maron's writing articulates salient aspects of her generation's social and historical experience, in particular the caesura caused by the collapse of the GDR in 1989. In my book, I set out to demonstrate the significance of her contribution to contemporary German literature." Launching the book, Professor Hugh Ridley highlighted Monika Maron's "representative function for a whole generation" and described her work as being "focused on pain, the sense of loss, the need to face up to the world". Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context is published by Peter Lang in the series British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature. It can be ordered at Further information is available from Dr. Deirdre Byrnes at 091 492014 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Editors Publish Book on Crisis in Poetry

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A new collection of essays, Crisis and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Anne Karhio, Seán Crosson and Charles I. Armstrong has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. This collection addresses poetic and critical responses to the various crises encountered by contemporary writers and our society. The essays included discuss a range of issues from the Holocaust, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their aftermath and the war on terror to the ecological crisis, poetry's relationship to place and questions of cultural and national identity. The essays also ask the questions: "What are the means available to poetry to address the various crises it faces, and how can both poets and critics meet the challenges posed by society and the literary community?" "How can poetry justify its own role as a meaningful form of cultural and artistic practice?" The volume focuses on poetry from Britain, Ireland and the US, and many of the poets discussed in this volume are among the most acclaimed contemporary writers, including for example Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Louise Glück and Alice Oswald. Crisis and Contemporary Poetry will be launched by Professor Sean Ryder in the Moore Institute Seminar Room at NUI, Galway at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 1 March, 2011. More information on the collection is available at -Ends-

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New Research by NUI Galway and TCD shows Chronic Pain Costs Up to 2.5% of GDP

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway's School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research have joined forces with health economists at Trinity College Dublin to establish the economic costs of chronic pain in Ireland. As part of the HRB and HSE funded PRIME Study (Prevalence, Impact and Cost of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Ireland), the researchers carried out in-depth interviews with 140 chronic pain patients to find out about direct costs such as medical treatments and indirect costs such as lost work productivity. Research Psychologist at NUI Galway, Miriam Raftery, said "we found that the average cost per chronic pain patient was €5,665 per year across all grades of pain severity". However, the annual costs increased according to the severity of pain, rising to €10,454 per patient for those with the highest level of pain and disability. A relatively small proportion of patients with the most severe level of pain accounted for a disproportionately large portion of the costs. Inpatient hospital treatment accounted for the highest proportion of overall costs. Professor of Health Policy and Management, Charles Normand and Research Assistant, Padhraig Ryan of the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College explained that "based on a 36% prevalence of chronic pain in Ireland, the total cost of chronic pain for all individuals aged 20 and above was estimated at €4.76 billion per year, or 2.55% of Irish GDP in 2008". The chief investigator of the PRIME study at NUI Galway, Dr. Brian McGuire suggested that "improved services for people in the early stages of chronic pain could reduce the long-term use of health services and increase the likelihood of getting back to paid work". He suggests this could reduce the sizeable economic burden of chronic pain in Ireland. The Irish research is consistent with data from other countries showing that chronic pain ranks as one of the most costly health conditions. -Ends-

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Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, Professor Francis Giles has been awarded the Annual Saint Luke's Silver Award by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. This is the highest honour bestowed by the Academy and Professor Giles is the first NUI Galway recipient. Professor Giles also delivered the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer, in Dublin this week. The Saint Luke's Lecture is sponsored by the Academy and Saint Luke's Hospital. This lecture is in the field of oncology. The lecturer is selected by an Academy/Saint Luke's committee and receives the silver medal and an honorarium. The Annual Saint Luke s Lecture has attracted a distinguished list of speakers over the years and its prestige is recognised by the award of the highest medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Recipients must also submit a paper to the Irish Journal of Medical Science. Congratulating Professor Giles, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This accolade is a wonderful tribute to Frank s work as a leading international researcher and clinician. It highlights the calibre of work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research, as part of our strong translational focus in the area of biomedical engineering science." At the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture in Dublin, Professor Giles delivered his vision for stimulating Irish anti-cancer research. His lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer defined a path based on the US National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center template. He highlighted recent relevant US activity including the creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) that will focus on early phase drug development. His key recommendations include increased emphasis on collaboration with other European early phase research sites through organisations like the Developmental Therapeutics Consortium. He summarised the high standard and broad scope of research being conducted by Irish investigators around the world. With the HRB Clinical Research Facilities in Cork, Dublin, and Galway as interdigitated hubs, he emphasised Ireland's strong position as a contributor to the global efforts to relieve the suffering associated with cancer and to cure those afflicted by it. Frank Giles is a Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. He was appointed Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway in September 2010. He also was appointed Consultant Haematologist at St James's Hospital, Dublin and Galway University Hospital. Professor Giles continues to be a Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio. An award-winning Professor, he has won the BioLink USA-Ireland Lifescience Award for 2007 and the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Health Care and Medical Science, 2007. Also at this year's Saint Luke's Lecture, NUI Galway graduate Dr Patricia McGowan was awarded the Saint Luke's Young Investigator Award. This is the eighth year of the award, which is sponsored on an annual basis by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and Saint Luke's Hospital. Applicants are normally in their early years of oncology research and would in normal circumstances be no more than five years post MD/PhD or equivalent level. Dr McGowan of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science was awarded the Academy Bronze medal. -Ends-

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