Thursday, 11 April 2024

The Transition Year Computer Science Taster Days event took place this week on April 10th and 11th. Enda Barrett, our Director of Student Recruitment and Public Engagement, took the lead in organising it with excellent support provided by Thérèse McIntyre. In a break with previous taster day events which generally consisted of short lectures, this year we held five interactive lab sessions in IT106 with more than 200 TY students participating across both days. Students who participated all received branded pens, refill pads, highlighters and Haribo sweets. 10 TY students who produced excellent work also took home prizes of Xiaomi Ear Buds and Harvey Norman Vouchers. The individual sessions were Visual Design (Attracta Brennan), 3D modelling (Frank Glavin), AI and Music (James McDermott), Games Programming (Sam Redfern), and Cybersecurity in Online Gaming (Mamoona Asghar). The engagement was excellent from the participants, and it was a very welcome return to on-campus activities from our more recent virtual experience days.  We are very grateful to Enda, Attracta, James, Frank, Sam, Mamoona and Thérèse for their excellent work in making this event a success.   

Friday, 22 March 2024

We are delighted to congratulate Mark Campbell on successfully defending his PhD thesis recently. Mark’s PhD topic was “Cardiac rehabilitation: patient experience design – addressing challenges, opportunities, and digital interventions in the patient journey”. In his extremely interesting work, he created a the cardiac rehabilitation patient journey map, identified how risk is currently communicated to patients, identified factors that inhibit this communication, and created a new mobile app  with 3D graphics for communicating cardiac interventions for patients. His work was supervised by Dr Sam Redfern here in the School of Computer Science.  Grateful thanks to the external examiner, Prof. Raymond Bond (Professor of Human Computer Systems, Ulster University), and to the internal examiner, Prof. Tony Hall (School of Education, University of Galway). Head of the School of Computer Science, Pro. Michael Madden chaired the viva. 

Monday, 26 February 2024

Dr Malika Bendechache Secures a Horizon Europe MSCA-2024 Award as a PI PI on a Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowship, with a budget of €269.418€ over 30 months (24 months research and 6 months placement). This will fund a postdoctoral researcher to work under Malika’s mentorship, on a project entitled “Deep Learning Based Interpretable Paediatric Brain Tumours Segmentation and Classification”. The project aims to address the significant impact of paediatric brain tumours (PBTs) as the leading cause of cancer death in children and adolescents. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are increasingly being explored to assist doctors in detecting and diagnosing through clinical decision support systems (CDSS). However, They face the challenges in successfully segmenting PBTs due to the scarcity of available medical image datasets. Additionally, the lack of transparency in black-box AI models has raised concerns among doctors, hindering the adoption of AI in CDSS. To tackle these challenges, the project will develop a state-of-the-art interpretable AI-based framework to classify PBTs including tumour segmentation. DL-I-PBraTSC will identify the location of PBTs, classify of PBT types, and enable quantitative analysis of sub-region of PBT parameters helping clinicians in diagnosis, treatment planning, monitoring disease progression, and predicting patient outcomes. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2024

The School of Computer Science is delighted to announce that 'Horizon EU' project 'AI4Debunk' has commenced. Dr. Jamal Nasir, a lecturer in the School of Computer Science, is P.I. for University of Galway. The enthusiastic participation from the University of Galway is truly exciting. Over the next four years, 13 partners and 1 affiliated entity from 8 countries, including media professionals, software developers and AI experts, will leverage Human-AI collaboration to foster a more informed and resilient society and safeguard democratic values.  The title of the project is ‘Participative Assistive AI-powered Tools for Supporting Trustworthy Online Activity of Citizens and Debunking Disinformation’.   

Friday, 2 February 2024

Congratulations to Jair Andrade who successfully defended his PhD  thesis today. Jair, whose PhD was supervised by Prof. Jim Duggan, did his PhD on the topic of “Advances in the estimation of the reproduction number from compartmental models using contemporary Monte Carlo methods”. Whether we liked it or not, we all became familiar with R-numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Jair’s thesis makes important contributions in that field. We are very grateful to the external examiner, Prof. Ben Bolker (Departments of Mathematics and Statistics and Biology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario), and to Dr. James Mc Dermott (Lecturer in Computer Science). The Head of the School of Computer Science, Professor Michael Madden chaired the viva. The examiners were very impressed with the quality of Jair’s work, so Jair is to be commended for that, as is Jim as his supervisor. This was a hybrid viva, with the external examiner attending remotely. Congratulations, Jair!  

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

The dark side of memes Talk presented by Muzhaffar Hazman on TEDxGalway While seemingly just funny pictures, memes are a significant indicator of the transformational change that has occurred in the way we communicate as humans. Equally symbols of culture but also vehicles for hate. Muz believes AI is the solution. By incorporating user perspectives and sociolinguistics, AI can be better developed to filter harmful memes. Muz is an AI and Social Media researcher from the University of Galway and the Science Foundation of Ireland's research centre for Digitally Enhanced Reality ( They spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter, Reddit and YouTube in pursuit of their PhD on Internet Memes (or so they claim). Their work focusses on incorporating user perspectives and sociolinguistics into how AI interprets multimodal memes. Muz has had a longstanding fascination with the novel ideas -- from running a matchmaking service for religious conservatives to being an ergonomics engineer at a particle accelerator laboratory and using credit data as teaching tools for financial literacy. See the full talk: The dark side of memes | Muzhaffar Hazman | TEDxGalway - YouTube

Tuesday, 14 November 2023

The annual ITAG awards were held in Galway last Friday evening (10th November 2023) and it was great to see the quality of School of Computer Science recognised through nominations for: Cyber Student project of the Year Award: Durre Zehra Syeda (TU Shannon) and Shein Dipex (CS University of Galway), both supervised by Dr. Mamoona Asghar.  Cyber Student project of the Year Award: Daniel Kelly, supervised by Dr. Frank Glavin and Dr. Enda Barrett.  Digital Project & Innovation Awards, led by Dr. Ihsan Ullah, involving a partnership between  Gensys and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.  We are delighted to let you know that Daniel Kelly received the Cyber Student Project of the Year Award, many congrats to Daniel, and his supervisory team of Frank and Enda. There was further excellent news for the School as Prof Mike Madden received the Outstanding Contribution to the ICT Sector Recognition Award, which recognised his  tireless work to further the region’s technology sector, and his contribution as a very active member of ITAG’s AI Forum. Congrats Mike on this outstanding achievement!  More details on the awards 

Wednesday, 9 August 2023

We are pleased to congratulate Dr Attracta Brennan in our School on a new funding award as a co-PI with collaborators including Maire Connolly, Mary Dempsey, Lan Yang, Tingyan Wang (Oxford), Bryan Whelan (Manorhamilton hospital), Miriam O’Sullivan (Sligo hospital) and Carmel Silke (Manorhamilton hospital). Attracta’s contribution is in data analysis, scoring tool development, and dissemination.    Project title: Big Data Driven, Patient-Centric, Outcomes Scoring Tool Linking Multimorbidity, Fracture, Hosptialisation and Death for Patients with Osteoporosis  This project aims to develop a personalised patient-centered/informed outcomes scoring tool for the Irish population underpinned by multimorbidity indices and big-data analytics for predicting risk of fracture, hospitalisation, and death in osteoporosis patients with multimorbidity.  Multimorbidity (i.e. the co-occurrence of two or more chronic diseases within an individual) is common in people with osteoporosis, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, Covid-19, and dementia. These diseases share similar risk factors5. Multimorbidity profoundly negatively impacts risk, treatment, quality of life, and patient outcomes, and associated with higher all-cause mortality6. Studies exploring multimorbidity at a population-level demonstrate its importance, but the risk of fracture and adverse outcomes for individual patients with osteoporosis has not well addressed, or included in tools which include BMD. A patient-centred prediction approach, rather than ‘one size fits all’ approach for outcomes prediction in osteoporosis patients with multimorbidity, is particularly attractive for personalised health care and clinical management.    Fund: HRB SDAP 2023 - 250k - 2 year project

Friday, 26 May 2023

The School of Computer Science are very pleased to congratulate Chinmay Choudhary on his successful PhD viva yesterday (Thursday 25th May). Chinmay’s work was supervised by Dr Colm O’Riordan. Well done to you, also, Colm! Chinmay’s thesis is entitled “Cross-lingual Natural Language Processing with Linguistic Typology Knowledge”. In it, he has proposed a range of techniques to address the important problem of developing natural language processing technologies for low-resource languages, for which relatively small amounts of training data are available. The external examiner was Dr Edoardo M. Ponti, a lecturer in Natural Language Processing at the University of Edinburgh. The internal examiner was Dr Bharathi Raja Asoka Chakravarthi, a lecturer here in the School of Computer Science, University of Galway. Head of the School of Computer Science, Professor Michael Madden, chaired the viva. We are grateful to Edoardo and Bharathi for their thorough examination of the work. This was a hybrid viva, with the external examiner attending remotely. Congratulations again, Chinmay!  

Friday, 19 May 2023

The School of Computer Science' Research Students will be presenting publicly in connection with this year's Graduate Research Committee (GRC) process, on Monday 22nd May and Tuesday 23rd May 2023 in IT125G, Ground Floor, Computer Science Building.  The GRC presentation is a great opportunity for Research students to present their work to peers, gain experience of public speaking and offers the opportunity for all to understand the research that is being undertaken in the School.  The schedule for both days can be found at this link: GRC 2023

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

The School of Computer Science is delighted to congratulate Nicola McDonnell on successfully defending her PhD thesis yesterday afternoon.  Nicola was supervised by Prof. Jim Duggan and Dr Enda Howley. Her thesis is entitled “Leveraging Nature-inspired Techniques to Semi-automate the Design of Multi-agent Systems”, and proposed a range of evolutionary computing and reinforcement learning algorithms for developing communications protocols for multi-agent systems, with applications in the highly topical area of optimising resource usage in cloud computing centres. We are very grateful to the external examiner, Prof. Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, Full Professor in the University of Geneva (201-250 World Rankings) and Director of U. Geneva’s Interfaculty Research Centre in Informatics, whose expertise is in self-organising and emergent systems, and founder of the journal ACM Transactions on Autonomous Adaptive Systems. We are also grateful to the internal examiner, Dr Enda Barrett of the School of Computer Science here in University of Galway. Head of School, Prof. Michael Madden chaired the viva.  Of course, well done also to Jim and Enda as the supervisors. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

The AtlanTec Festival, Ireland’s annual tech community festival, opens on 8 May, 2023. The two-week festival is supported by University of Galway and orchestrated by the non-profit association itag (Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway).  Now in its ninth year, this year’s theme is ‘Connected Future – Unlocking the Potential of a Digitally Connected World’.   A packed programme of events is planned, including group meet-ups, talks, sporting events and an ‘unconference’ looking equity of opportunity.  Key highlights of the festival will also include the AI Summit, Cloud Native Summit and Tech Leaders’ Summit, which will be co-hosted by University of Galway on the 17 and 18 of May.  Most of the events are free and registration is via

Wednesday, 26 April 2023

A grant has been awarded to Dr Attracta Brennan to support the Happy Maths project. Dr Attracta Brennan is the Co-Investigator with Dr Pierpaolo Dondio from TU Dublin on an SFI Discover programme project: “Happy Maths: Reducing Maths Anxiety with Game-based Learning”. It has budget of €201,800 over 24 months. Attracta’s contribution will fund a research assistant under her mentorship, and Attracta is also involved in programme delivery and evaluation in Galway. Other Co-PIs include Aoibhinn ni Shuilleabhain (UCD) and Denis O'Hora (School of Psychology, University of Galway).  Happy Maths is a programme for primary schools students, teachers and parents to raise awareness about Maths Anxiety and how game-based learning can mitigate its negative effect.Maths Anxiety is “a debilitating negative emotional reaction towards mathematics” affecting 1 in 6 students. It is more severe in girls than boys, thereby worsening the existing problem of gender inequality in STEM education.

Thursday, 6 April 2023

With recent developments in large language models, particularly GPT-4 and ChatGPT, the School of Computer Science has been working actively to explore their impacts and implications. In an article on 21 March 2023 in the Journal, Dr James McDermott (Computer Science), Professor Michael Madden (Computer Science) and Dr Iain MacLabhrainn (CELT) explore how ChatGPT is sweeping academia and ask what should be done. On 22 March, the School of Computer Science and itag organised an industry-academic AI Forum meetup entitled “ChatGPT – Opportunity or Threat?”. Dr McDermott gave a thought-provoking presentation about ChatGPT, and then there was a discussion panel moderated by Gerry Carty of HPE, with panel members Prof Michael Madden (University of Galway), Ms Fiona Veazey (Fidelity Investments) Dr Natalia Resende (University of Galway) and Dr Maciej Dabrowski (Genesys). This was a well-attended event with a great amount of questions from the audience. On 27 March, Prof. Michael Madden published an article for The Conversation about how ChatGPT struggles at Wordle, and what that reveals about how large language models work internally: This was picked up by a wide number of news websites, including the New York Post on 29 March. On 29 March, Prof. Madden was interviewed in an Irish Times article about ChatGPT and how it may impact university teaching and learning. On 31 March, Prof. Madden was interviewed by John Moore of “Moore in the Morning”, Toronto’s most-listened to morning radio show on Newstalk 1010. ‌‌

Thursday, 6 April 2023

The School of Computer Science are very pleased to congratulate Abdul Tipu on defending his PhD thesis yesterday afternoon which was held over Zoom. Abdul’s thesis is entitled “HPC IO and Seismic Data Performance Optimization using ANNs Prediction based Auto-tuning” and explored an interesting area of optimising aspects of high performance computing data input/output, relating to his work in ICHEC. His supervisor is Dr Enda Howley in the School of Computer Science.   The external examiner for this thesis was Prof. Suren Byna, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State University, and formerly a Senior Computer Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The internal examiner was our colleague Dr Michael Schukat of the School of CS.  Well done, Abdul!

Thursday, 6 April 2023

The School of Computer Science are delighted to congratulate Kevin McDonnell on successfully defending his PhD thesis yesterday afternoon. This was a hybrid viva, with the external examiner attending remotely and everybody else present in person.  Kevin’s thesis Kevin’s thesis is entitled “Machine Learning for De Novo Peptide Identification”. His research work is highly multidisciplinary in nature, supervised by Dr Enda Howley of the School of Computer Science and Dr Florence Abram of the School of Biological & Chemical Sciences, and the work developed novel deep learning approaches for proteomics. The external examiner for this thesis was Prof. Bernhard Renard, the Professor and Chair for Data Analytics and Computational Statistics in the Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany, and the Professor and Dean of Studies in the Department of Digital Engineering, University of Potsdam. The internal examiner was Dr Enda Barrett, a lecturer here in the School of Computer Science.    Congratulations, Kevin, and well done also Enda and Florence!

Saturday, 1 April 2023

Applications are invited for research bursaries for undergraduate students wishing to pursue a 6 week summer research project in the School of Computer Science, starting on the 5th June 2023. Two scholarships are available, each with a bursary of 2,000 euro.  Application Deadline: Sunday, 30th April 2023 at midnight These internship bursaries are available to all undergraduate students in University of Galway and other Irish HEI’s who have a significant computing aspect to their degree. Students who are already undertaking a funded placement/internship are ineligible to apply. Final year students are eligible to apply. Eligible supervisors are listed below under the Possible Project Descriptions section. Candidates should make contact directly with a prospective supervisor to discuss a project and to arrange for the submission of the required recommendation by the prospective supervisor.  The academic Co-ordinator is Dr Karl Mason.