Changes in teaching to address gender gap in computing

Early teaching of mathematics and technology subjects needs to be reviewed if the gender gap in technology is to be addressed. This was stated by Professor Mike Hinchey, director of Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre at the publication of the organisation’s annual report.

“There is no reason why women cannot be as successful as men in computing but evidence suggests that many girls are turned off at an early age by its geeky, anti-social, overly masculine, nerdy image.”

UL and IRFU release second year of findings from IRIS research project

Launching the report are Dr Rod McLoughlin, IRFU Medical Director, Caithriona Yeomans, IRIS UL PhD researcher for club rugby, Therese Leahy, IRIS UL PhD researcher for schools rugby and Dr Ian Kenny, Senior Lecturer Biomechanics UL and IRIS Co-Principal Investigator

The Irish Rugby Football Union and University of Limerick have released the second year of findings from the Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance (IRIS) research project, which looks at injury incidence in the Men’s and Women’s All-Ireland League and schools rugby during the 2018/19 season.

New University of Limerick-led PhD in Foundations of Data Science launched

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, seated, with Dr Ruth Freeman, SFI, Prof James Gleeson, UL and Director of CRT Foundations of Data Science, CEO Skillnet Paul Healy, Assoc Prof Claire Gormley, UCD, Co-Director of CRT, and Prof Ken Duffy, Maynooth University, Co-Director of CRT Picture: Andres Poveda

A new doctoral training programme in data science led by University of Limerick and a number of key industry partners has been launched.

Record turnout for 6th Annual AICUR (All Ireland Conference for Undergraduate Research)

This year’s All Ireland Conference for Undergraduate Research (AICUR) had its highest numbers of undergraduate research participants to date, and took place in the Kemmy Business School, UL on 28th March, 2019.

The keynote speech for the 6th annual event was delivered by Seamus Hickey. Seamus was part of the 2018 Limerick All-Ireland winning senior hurling team, is Chair of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), and is a UL alumnus. Seamus successfully defended his PhD thesis from UL in 2018 and works as the Research Projects Coordinator for Johnson & Johnson.

Classic arcade game Pac-Man provides insights into human behaviour: UL study

Dr Jason Power

A UNIQUE study by a lecturer at the University of Limerick has revealed that classic arcade game Pac-Man can provide insights into human behaviour and psychology.

The research by Dr Jason Power, a lecturer at UL’s School of Education, examined the impact of a person’s belief about their own capabilities and how this influences their performance by using the classic 1980s video game to look at daily behaviour.

Dr Power explains: “Pac-Man’s difficulty slowly ramps up to allow even the most casual players to experience success. This builds a person’s belief that they can succeed and encourages them to try again.”

New research collaboration between UL and Department of Children and Youth Affairs to design better ways of dealing with ‘Wicked Problems’

Conor Rowley & Prof Sean Redmond

Wicked problems are problems which are resistant to change, which morph over time and turn would-be ideal solutions into worse problems that persist; examples are no-go zones in urban areas, serious drug related activity and lack of pro-social leadership in communities devastated by routine criminal activity. Large scale evidence based programmes tip away at the edge of wicked problems, which severely expose the state, they do not fit into the administrative remit of one state agency or the other. Most significant of all wicked problems tend to be context specific.

Acne stigma linked to lower overall quality of life, UL study finds

Many people with acne are negatively impacted by perceived social stigma around the skin condition, a new study from UL has found.

A survey of 271 acne sufferers has revealed that their own negative perceptions of how society views their appearance is associated with higher psychological distress levels and further physical symptoms such as sleep disturbance, headaches and gastrointestinal problems.

Females in the study reported greater impairment of life quality and more symptoms than males. Acne severity was significantly correlated with health-related quality of life and psychological distress.

New guidelines for bowel cancer screening

Everyone with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (abnormal tissue growths) should be screened for the disease, an international study involving researchers at nine institutions in the United States and Canada, co-led by University of Limerick (UL) has strongly recommended.

The research, available online and due to be published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association and the highest impact journal in its field, makes a total of 19 evidence-based recommendations which will guide the choice of screening test and frequency of use among those who have close relatives with colon cancer or pre cancerous growths.

Lero, IT Tralee and Bon Secours announce research programme to enhance hip replacement surgery

Dr. Daniel Riordan, Lero researcher IT Tralee and Mr John Rice, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Bon Secours Hospital

Lero, the SFI Irish Software Research Centre and IT Tralee have announced a €223,500 programme with Bon Secours Hospital Tralee (BSHT) which could advance the future use of robotics to perform hip replacement operations.

The initial goal of the initiative, which is backed by Science Foundation Ireland, will be to develop a more accurate way for surgeons to place a hip joint so as to minimise a patient’s hospital stay and avoid re-admittance due to issues arising from the operation. IT Tralee is looking to hire a PhD student to join the five-person research team.

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