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Departmental News

22 May 2017

Department of Mathematics research symposium

Dr Leo Creedon (Lecturer, IT Sligo) gave a talk on his research here in CIT Monday, 22nd May. Dr Clodagh Carroll, Justin McGuinness,  Marie Nicholson and Dr Noreen Quinn also gave talks on the day. 


Symposium Chair: Dr Declan O'Connor, Department of Mathematics, CIT


10:00 - 10:10 Áine Ní Shé, HOD Mathematics, CIT Welcome
10:10-10:30 Jusin McGuinness, CIT Hydrodynamic Behaviour of an Array of Wave-Power Devices
10:30-10:50 Marie Nicholson, CIT Compressibility and Kolmogorov Complexity
10:50-11:10 Dr Clodagh Carroll, CIT Interleaving & Spacing Mathematics Problems – Rearranging Existing Worksheets
Tea/ Coffee    
11:40 - 12:00 Dr Noreen Quinn My research journey from cows to stools
12:00-12:45 Dr Leo Creedon, IT Sligo My Research
Q & A    




  • Justin McGuinness Hydrodynamic Behaviour of an Array of Wave-Power Devices

Ocean wave energy is a relatively untapped resource and has the potential to significantly increase our renewable energy portfolio.  Offshore wave-power devices are usually envisaged as being either a single large device or an array of smaller devices. The benefit of an array, compared to a single device, is that the individual components are relatively inexpensive to repair and replace; however issues arise due to interaction between the array members, which can lead to constructive or destructive interference of the wave field, thus increasing or decreasing the power that can be absorbed. This talk will outline the basics of ocean wave-power absorption and introduce the optimisation problem associated with the formation and design of these arrays of wave-power devices from a hydrodynamic perspective.

  • Marie NicholsonCompressibility and Kolmogorov Complexity

One of the fundamental objects of study in Information and Computability Theory is the set of all infinite binary sequences.  In this talk, I will introduce a way of comparing infinite binary sequences, that captures an intuitive notion of information density rather than computational strength.  The fundamental definition is based on the Kolmogorov complexity of finite strings, which I will also introduce.

  • Dr Clodagh CarrollInterleaving & Spacing Mathematics Problems – Rearranging Existing Worksheets

One of the most important goals in the classroom is promoting deep, long-term learning in our students. In this talk, we investigate if rearranging tutorial sheets from standard blocked practice to interleaved, spaced practice can have a positive impact on students’ retention of material.

  • Dr Noreen QuinnMy research journey from cows to stools

My presentation will be on how my research has evolved over the last number of years.  Presently, I collaborate with the Department of Biological Sciences on a number of studies and as a result I have co-authored a few papers. This work, I believe, has stemmed from the fact that I teach on a number of their courses.

  •  Guest speaker: Dr Leo Creedon My Research

Leo Creedon will describe his mathematical research on group algebras and their application to coding theory. He will also outline his collaborative work in applied mathematics, including bovine fertility, bone fracture, acoustic emission, PLA processing and modelling credit ratings using transition matrices. He will also give his thoughts on doing mathematical research in the Institute of Technology sector.


9 January 2017

Workshop: Mathematical Transitions from Second to Third Level

The Department of Mathematics is pleased to invite you to a workshop on Mathematical Transitions from Second to Third Level on Wednesday 18th January from 10 am to 1 pm in C214, funded by the Teaching and Learning Unit. The workshop aims to discuss the change in the mathematical ability and profile of our incoming students as a result of the roll out of the new Project Maths curriculum in second level and to highlight the importance of keeping abreast of these changes in the modules delivered in third level programmes.


The workshop will consist of presentations by Tom O’Connor, Chief Examiner for Leaving Certificate Mathematics, Michelle Sliney, Principal and Mathematics Teacher in Coláiste Choilm and Seán Lacey, Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics in CIT.


10:00 - 10:40 Tom O'Connor, Chief Examiner Leaving Cert Maths An Overview of Leaving Certificate Mathematics – An Assessment Perspective
11:20 - 11:40 Michelle Sliney, Principal Colaiste Choilm Leaving Certificate Mathematics - A Teacher’s Perspective
12:00 - 12:40 Seán Lacey, CIT From Marking Leaving Certificate scripts to Teaching Teachers
Lunch in Bistro    


14 December 2016

Congratulations to Dr Dennis Bergmann

Dennis Bergmann, PhD student of the Department of Biological Sciences, successfully defended his doctoral thesis on Tuesday 29th November last.


Dennis was co-supervised by Dr Declan O’Connor (Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, CIT) and by Prof. Dr. Andreas Thümmel (Hochschule Darmstadt). The external examiner was Dr Ziping Wu (Principal Agricultural Economist, Agri-food and Bioscience Institute, Queen’s University Belfast) and the internal examiner was Dr Noreen Quinn (Lecturer, Department of Mathematics).


In his thesis, Dennis presents four empirical studies which share a common theme in that they investigate the changed dynamics of EU dairy prices. In the first study, univariate time series methods are used to analyse farm gate milk price dynamics. Results of this analysis show that the dynamics of the EU, German and Irish series converged following the Luxembourg 2003 agreement. In addition a three year cycle is underlying the European milk prices which is comparable with the cycle length of the US milk price. This cyclical component also accounts for most of the observed price variation in recent times.


In the second study, price and volatility transmission effects between EU and World butter prices along with palm oil and crude oil prices are examined. Vector autoregression (VAR) models were applied to capture price transmission effects between these markets. These are then combined with a multivariate GARCH model to account for potential volatility transmission. Results indicate strong price and volatility transmission effects between EU and World butter prices. EU butter shocks further spillover to palm oil volatility. In addition there is evidence that crude oil prices spillover to World butter prices and World butter volatility.


In the third study, price and volatility transmission effects between EU and World skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices, as well as those between both SMP series, soybeans and crude oil prices are analysed. For the transmission analysis a Vector-Error-Correction-Model (VECM) combined with a multivariate GARCH model is applied. Results indicate that there are significant transmission effects between EU and World SMP prices, but no significant transmission effects from soybeans or crude oil to either of the SMP prices.


The final study evaluates the forecasting performance of a number of time series models as applied to selected EU farm gate milk prices and thoroughly evaluates these using various score measures and tests. The forecasts provided are based on time series methods and information from the recently introduced EU dairy derivative markets. In addition to point forecasts the study also provides density forecasts. These are forecasts of the whole price distribution and thus give hints of the uncertainty of the point forecasts. Results indicate that the forecasts provided in this study can outperform a naïve no-change benchmark. Additionally, it is found that combining forecasts from individual models or sources significantly improves forecasting performance.


In summary, Dennis’ thesis shows that the use of time series methods helps in the understanding of dairy price dynamics, price drivers and consequently price volatility. This is of great practical importance as it forms a basis for farmers, processors, policy makers and consumers to base their decisions on.


“Well done” to Dennis on his wonderful achievement, one made all the more noteworthy when one considers the fact that he held down a full-time position in industry throughout his PhD study. Dennis, we wish you all the very best in your future career.


8 December 2016

Faculty of Engineering & Science Annual Awards Ceremony

There are three awards made by this department. The winners for 2016 are:

·         Best HDip Student (overall)                          Sponsor: De Puy Synthes                    Alice Harte

·         Best HDip Student (project)                         Sponsor: Xanadu Consultancy           Alice Harte

·         Best MATH6000 student                               Sponsor: Trend Micro                         Rachel O’Mahony


23 November 2016

Introductory Interdisciplinary Problem Session

Over the years, lecturers of the Department of Mathematics have collaborated with lecturers and researchers in both faculties of the Institute. The Department also provides some Maths/Stats support for final year and research projects in the Faculty of Engineering & Science. Furthermore, and in conjunction with the School of Graduate Studies, we have developed the module STAT8009 Statistics for Research. This module is offered to Structured PhD students in both the Faculty of Engineering & Science and Faculty of Business & Humanities, but it is also availed of by some lecturers for CPD purposes and/or to support them in their own doctoral studies.


If you feel that you would like to add a Mathematical/Statistical edge to your research, then we invite you to join us at an introductory interdisciplinary problem session at 11am on Thursday 15th December in A217A.  
We will open the event with a short presentation, so as to give you an overview of our current areas of expertise. After that, attendees will be asked to make a short pitch to us, so that we can tease out the issues involved in each research problem. Overall, the aim is to ascertain if there is potential for further development and collaboration. Hopefully, such collaboration would be to the mutual benefit of all concerned, and to CIT.

18 October 2016

TEAME Numbas presentation and launch

During 2015 and 2016, CIT and UCC have been running a project centred around the introduction of e-assessment in a range of large first year service Mathematics modules.



The goals of the project, which is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, are to improve student engagement and outcomes, and to make more efficient use of lecturers' time by reducing the amount of repetitive marking of assignments and tests. We chose Numbas as the platform to implement e-assessment. Numbas was conceived and created at Newcastle University and is actively maintained there by a team currently led by Chris Graham and Christian Perfect.


At CIT, this has centred on modules MATH6051 Essential Maths and Statistics for Business, STAT6011 Statistics and Financial Mathematics for Business, and STAT6012 Mathematics and Statistics for Marketing. In each of these modules, 20% of the final module mark is reserved for a series of low stakes e-assessments for learning over the semester, with c.a. 550 first year students being involved. We are currently developing a suite of e-assessments for the two first year Engineering Maths modules on the accredited Level 8 Engineering programmes, and we plan to roll the first one out in the Semester 2 Calculus module MATH6006.


Furthermore, we have used Numbas as a tool for assessment of learning, with support packages now developed for modules such as MATH6000 Essential Maths Skills, MATH6001 Automotive Maths, and MATH7011 Discrete Time Maths.  


As part of the work of the project, we have set up a website with many useful resources These include an Implementation Guide that is designed as a step-by-step guide to assist others to integrate Numbas in their courses should they so wish. With the aim of disseminating the project work more widely within CITand UCC, we plan a Numbas Presentation and Implementation Guide Launch, to which you are all invited.


The Numbas Project TEAME (Tom Carroll, Deirdre Casey, Julie Crowley, Kieran Mulchrone, Áine Ní Shé, Vivienne Terhorst).  


5 May 2016

Maths spring seminar series

Following a very successful opening seminar in January, the second in the series of Mathematics seminars, will take place on Tuesday, May 17th.
The seminar will consist of three Mathematics talks followed by a presentation on the software package Maple. For those who would like a more in-depth look at Maple and some of its more advanced features, an extra workshop will be run after lunch. Please feel free to sign up for one or both sessions.
Further details can be found in the schedule below.

Time Speaker Title
10:00 - 11:30 Mr Adrian O'Connor, CIT Annuities in Excel
  Dr Robert Heffernan, CIT Lines: The Only Things We Really Understand
  Dr Ann O'Shea, NUI Maynooth Designing Mathematical Tasks for First Year Calculus
11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Coffee
11:45 - 12:45 Josh Bullen, Maplesoft Europe Maple Workshop
12:45 - 13:45 Lunch Lunch
13:45 - 15:00 Josh Bullen, Maplesoft Europe Maple Workshop



11 June 2015

CSO Statistician/Data Analyst Recruitment Campaign 2015

The Central Statistics Office (CSO), with offices in Cork and Dublin, generates statistical information which is vital for the formulation, implementation and monitoring of policy and programmes at national, regional and local levels are currently recruiting for Statisticians/Data Analysts. For more information and an application form please click here.


22 April 2015

Last Saturday saw over 120 primary and secondary students from all over Munster descend on CIT for the Munster provincial final of the MATHletes Challenge.


At the Mathletes Munster Provincial Playoff at CIT were over 120 MATHletes, Seán O'Sullivan of SOSVentures and Dragons' Den; Mr Bob Savage, Chair of CIT Governing Body; Dr Brendan J. Murphy, the President of CIT;  Dr Áine Ní Shé, Head, Dept. of Mathematics; Dr Guillaume Huyet, Head, CAPPA.


The MATHletes Challenge is a pioneering Mathematics tournament for Ireland based on the Khan Academy approach to learning and teaching Mathematics. It is spearheaded by Sean O'Sullivan of  SOSVentures and Dragons’ Den fame. The Munster final saw the highest achievers from 4thclass to 5th year come together to take part in a series of problem solving challenges. The challenge included individual tests and a team based event.

There were two individual tests involved: (i) a speed challenge based on the Khan Academy platform, in which students had 30 minutes to solve as many problems as possible, and (ii) a mathematical problem solving exam. The team based event saw the students compete together to build the best performing model truck, testing their teamwork skills.

During their lunch break, the competitors all gathered for a photograph with the Chair of CIT Governing Body, Mr Bob Savage, the President of CIT, Dr Brendan J. Murphy, and Mr Seán O’Sullivan. At the subsequent prizegiving ceremony, Seán lauded the students for their efforts and encouraged them to keep up their efforts in Mathematics.

Within CIT, the event was co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics (Head, Dr Áine Ní Shé), CAPPA (Centre for Applied Photonics and Process Analysis, Head: Dr Guillaume Huyet), and the School of Science & Informatics (Head: Dr Hugh McGlynn), with support from our external partners Tyndall National Institute, and IPIC.   

Check out for further information re prizewinners. CIT wishes those who have reached the national finals the best of luck for the All-Ireland final on Saturday 2nd May.

Click here to view a slideshow of images from the day in CIT, and here to test yourself against our young Mathematicians!


6 February 2015

On Monday 26th January, 2015, a major new report was launched by CIT and Cork County Council , authored by Dr Declan O’Connor (CIT Department of Mathematics) and Dr Michael Keane.

Read more here.

At the launch of the report on the Future Expansion of the Dairy Industy in Cork at the County Hall were (left to right): Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council, Cllr. Alan Coleman, Mayor of the County of Cork, Dr Declan O'Connor, co-author; Dr Áine Ní Shé, Head, Dept. of Mathematics, CIT;  Dr Michael Keane, co-author; James Fogarty, Divisional Manager, Cork County Council; and Tom Stritch, Divisional Manager, Cork County Council. Image credit: Martin Walsh.