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Abertay Light Show

Posted onNovember 9, 2012

Abertay Light Show

abertay light show

Computer programmers, a sound designer and solar physics scientists turned the outside of the University of Abertay Dundee into an LED light display. 100,000 Lux is a fusion of science, visual art and sound design. Dundee Channel interviewed one of the programmers Erin Michno and after the interview you can watch the 9 minute light show.

This video is held in our archives. Please contact us for access to the video.

How to build a well-behaved robot

Posted onAugust 7, 2012

How to build a well-behaved robot

How to build a well-behaved robot

A free and interactive whistle-stop tour of robots will be given tonight in Dundee.

Taking place amongst Dundee Science Centre’s summer exhibition, ‘Robot: The Fantasy and the Reality’, the Café Science Event will hear from Dr Karen Petrie and Chris Martin from the School of Computing at the University of Dundee.

Together, they will explain how robots are no longer stuck in the fantasy worlds of science-fiction – they are here amongst us. The rise of robots often goes un-noticed as they perform everyday tasks using intelligence in the background of our workplaces or homes.

This talk will ask what a robot is and, as robots make ever more complicated decisions, how we ensure that robots are safe and stick to human rules.

The Café Science event will be held within Infusion Coffee Shop, Dundee Science Centre at 7pm on Wednesday 8 August 2012 (doors open 6.30pm). There is no need to book in advance.

‘Robot: The Fantasy and the Reality’, which runs until Sunday 30 September, is sponsored by the University of Dundee, Subsea 7 and University of Abertay Dundee.

For more information, visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk or cafesciencedundee.co.uk.

Abertay helping to improve access to higher education

Posted onJuly 25, 2012

Abertay helping to improve access to higher education

Abertay helping to improve access to higher education

The University of Abertay Dundee has re-launched its popular AHEAD programme, aimed at providing access to a University education for individuals who do not hold the traditional entry qualifications.

Would-be undergraduates who have been out of education for three or more years can attend twice weekly evening classes, which run for a year, and teach key study skills and other transferable skills such as communication, IT and numeracy.  Individuals chose a specialist subject that they are interested in from Science, Social Science, Computing, Business, Health or Sports Science.

AHEAD coordinator Dr Jason Annetts said: “There are many people who would like to improve their current employment opportunities by gaining a degree but when you have been out of the ‘learning loop’ for a long time, the thought of starting education again can be intimidating.  AHEAD builds up study skills, information literacy, IT & numeracy skills and knowledge learning methods and importantly, installs confidence in returning learners.”

“The evening classes mean that individuals can usually continue with their current job whilst getting a taste for higher education.  The AHEAD qualification itself is attractive to employers and should enhance the employability of those who take part.  It has been an extremely successful programme in the past and we are delighted to be offering it again.”

AHEAD starts in September this year and applications are now open.  Please contact Abertay’s Student Recruitment Office on (01382) 308000 or e-mail sro@abertay.ac.uk to find out more.

NASA helps Space School lift off at Abertay University

Posted onJuly 5, 2012

NASA helps Space School lift off at Abertay University

NASA helps Space School lift off at Abertay UniversityLucky Dundee school children are spending their first week of the school holidays in outer space at the annual Tayside Space School at the University of Abertay Dundee and Perth College.
NASA Astronaut Colonel (Ret.) Alvin Drew from the Johnson Space Centre in Houston and former NASA Director of Education Patricia Tribe will lead the children in a series of workshops including ‘Introduction to Mars’ and ‘Living in Space’. The children will participate in numerous activities including designing their own space suits, rocket construction and launching, and a ‘Life on Mars’ survival challenge.
This is the sixth year of the Space School which sees approximately 100 primary pupils from across Tayside attend week-long Space Schools at Abertay University and Perth College.
This year, thanks to funding from the Institute of Physics, the Space School has been able to reach an additional 800 pupils through the running of ‘Physics Fun in Space’ school road shows across Dundee and Angus.
Patricia Tribe, former NASA Director of Education, said: “The value of the Tayside Space School is in captivating the imaginations of children through science and maths, and helping them stay focused on how exciting these subjects are.
“It’s very inspiring to see these children enjoy science and exploration, and these steps will hopefully take them into careers in space science, as well as other exciting opportunities in technology, engineering and maths careers.
“Initiatives like the Tayside Space School are very forward-thinking in their commitment to local children and the future of Scotland. We need young people to stay in science education and I’m confident many of these young people here today will.”
Dr Alan Bruce from Abertay University said: “The Space School represents the culmination of months of activities for those primary pupils lucky enough to have been selected by their respective school, while the Physics Fun in Space events have enabled even more pupils to enjoy a related experience.
“Such activities are so very important in stimulating young minds towards careers in science.”

Lyon Street Community Garden prepares for second funding stage

Posted onJune 5, 2012

Lyon Street Community Garden prepares for second funding stage

 

Lyon Street Community Garden prepares for second funding stageThere was a call to the neighbours of the Lyon Street Community Garden to have their say in how the garden space is developed with the help of future lottery funding. We spoke to Alistair MacLeod of Solar Cities Scotland who helped see the project through its first stage of funding. The space became available last year when the University of Abertay Dundee gave the space for community use the adjacent tenement blocks in Lyon Street are now used as student accomodation.

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Students ‘pitch’ their business ideas at live Abertay event

Posted onApril 3, 2012

Students ‘pitch’ their business ideas at live Abertay event

Students ‘pitch’ their business ideas at live Abertay event
Over 100 students today pitched their ideas for solving business solutions to a panel of local business experts at the University of Abertay Dundee.
Abertay’s Dundee Business School has teams of students from Management, Business and Marketing, Web Design & Development, and Creative Sound Production working on an internet marketing campaign for Radio Tay.
This ‘live’ assessment for the Customer Profiling & Relationship Building module involves building an interactive map, web design, market analysis, customer profiling and relationship building.
Students will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including Gary Robinson (Station Director, Radio Tay), Adam Findlay (Managing Director, Wave 102), Andrew Mackenzie (Project Manager, Dundee College), Richard Gourlay (Dundee Science Centre) and Lynda Forrest (In Motion).
Jason Turner, Marketing Lecturer at Abertay, said: “The opportunity for students to work on real business problems and pitch their solutions to real businesses is a win-win scenario for the students and the organisations involved.
“Working like this lets students improve their employability skills, while the companies we work with can tap into the latest business practices and marketing techniques. We approached Radio Tay because of their forward-thinking and creative approach to marketing and the prominent role they play in Dundee’s business community.” 
Gary Robinson, Station Director of Radio Tay, added: “I’ve had the privilege of working with Abertay University students on a number of occasions and I’m never disappointed.
“Abertay are producing some of the brightest business talent on our doorstep and I will always encourage my peers to use these young, innovative business brains because they really do get results.
“These students look at problems, issues and business development from refreshingly different angles. We should make every effort to develop and retain these students not only for Tayside but for the future of Scottish commerce.” 
The purpose of the assessment is to allow students to experience a real-life situation: dealing directly with the client; working as a project team to deadline within given parameters; pitching their ideas; and preparing a report which provides a detailed evaluation of their creative solutions.

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New start-up funding – Abertay Prototype Fund

Posted onMarch 12, 2012

New start-up funding – Abertay Prototype Fund

Entrepreneurs looking to launch a new digital company or develop a new game or software product can now apply for up to £25,000 from the University of Abertay Dundee’s Prototype Fund.

Applications to this fourth funding round should be made at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

The Prototype Fund model has already proved a success, with one initial £25,000 investment attracting an extra £800,000 of private funding to bring a game to market.

A small initial investment bridges the extremely difficult financial gap that stops great teams with great ideas: without funding to develop a working prototype it can be impossible to attract further investment to build a sustainable business.

Tom Naylor, Director of Two Monocle Games, said: “The Prototype Fund has given me the resources and help I need to make ‘Cult Leader’ a reality. It provided me with talented students, enough funds to support my team during production, and software, hardware and office space that would otherwise be a massive drain on company resources.

“The Prototype Fund can provide a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to start out on their own. If you dream of independence or the chance to make your idea a reality then you should definitely apply. This is the chance to take the best game concept you ever had and start building it.”

Facebook game ‘Cult Leader’ is due for release soon, and is a satirical social game in which you build a cult from your online friends. Like the company’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TwoMonocleGames to hear when the game is released.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “The Abertay University Prototype Fund has received over 150 applications to date, showing that the UK is struggling to finance creative start-up companies.

“This market failure has real implications for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, but initiatives like the Prototype Fund are helping to unlock this trapped value in the economy.”

He added: “We’re looking for talented teams with commercially strong ideas. Successful applicants to date have developed prototypes of social and mobile games, and software products for analytics and project management.

“And all successful applicants have the opportunity to work within Abertay University, right at the heart of the growing Dundee computer games cluster, with access to some of the most talented games graduates anywhere in the world.”

The Prototype Fund is backed by investment from Abertay University, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Scottish Government through the European Regional Development Fund.

Applications to the fourth funding round close at 12pm on Friday 13 April.

For full details, and to apply, please visit http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

You need to be a healthy to be a heart-throb

Posted onFebruary 23, 2012

You need to be a healthy to be a heart-throb

You need to be a healthy to be a heart-throb

Men with strong immune systems are most attractive to members of the opposite sex according to a new study from the University of Abertay Dundee and partners.

The research, which identifies a link between testosterone, facial attractiveness, and the stress hormone cortisol is reported in this week’s Nature Communications journal.

The findings suggest that women might be more attracted to men with high levels of the sex hormone testosterone because they have a healthier immune system.

Sexual characteristics in male faces are testosterone-dependent, but how the sex hormone affects immune function is unclear. Dr Fhionna Moore from Abertay’s School of Social and Health Sciences, and collaborators, measured the immune responses of 74 Latvian men in their early twenties to a hepatitis vaccine, and determined the blood concentrations of testosterone and cortisol. They then asked Latvian women of a similar age to rank the participants by facial attractiveness on a 10 point scale.

The team found that men with a strong immune response had high levels of testosterone and were perceived as more attractive. Men with low levels of testosterone tended to have higher concentrations of cortisol, suggesting that their immune responses might have been inhibited by the stress hormone.

While previous research has discussed the relationship between testosterone and the immune system, this study is the first to directly link women’s opinions of a man’s attractiveness with the strength of his immune system.

The authors suggest that this behaviour, previously observed in birds, could be explained through the fact that women seek for their offspring to inherit the healthiest immune systems.

Dr Moore and the rest of the team, who come from the University of Turku in Finland and the University of Daugavpilsin Latvia, now hope to assess whether the results hold across cultures and across different age ranges.

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What characteristics will attract you to your Valentine ?

Posted onFebruary 13, 2012

What characteristics will attract you to your Valentine ?

attractiveness study

An expert in facial attractiveness and sexual signalling from the University of Abertay Dundee is looking for volunteers to take part in a brand new study aimed at determining the factors behind mate choice.

Dr Fhionna Moore has studied human behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology for several years and works with experts from around the world.

Dr Moore said: “Research into human attraction has yielded a fascinating insight into the ways in which men and women around the world choose their partners.

“On one hand are rich cultural differences in the characteristics that are attractive in the opposite sex – in a study of ethnographic data, for example, I found reference to attractive traits as diverse as black teeth and strong legs – and on the other are consistent differences in the preferences of men and women.

“A general pattern across societies, for example, is that men tend to focus on physical appearance, whereas women weight cues to a partner’s status more highly. While this large body of work has been useful in identifying key patterns across societies, a major criticism is that it has been limited by only looking at the characteristics that the researcher considers to be important in order to test a particular theory. This means that we may not get an accurate picture of real preferences – it might be the case that the characteristics we have focussed on are relatively unimportant in reality.

Dr Moore is now looking to further existing research by removing what could be leading factors – i.e starting with a blank canvas by removing the characteristics that are commonly believed to be important.

“To identify the characteristics that are really driving partner choice in the real world, I am collecting data online in which I am asking participants to tell me about the characteristics they consider to be important in a partner – rather than the other way round. I am looking for male and female participants who are over the age of 18 to contribute their views to the study by filling in a short questionnaire.” Dr Moore said.

To take part in the study please log on to: http://psych.abertay.ac.uk/tradeoffs/study1/pis.html

Abertay Staff and Students oppose merger

Posted onSeptember 24, 2011

Abertay Staff and Students oppose merger

Abertay Staff and Students oppose merger

The union which represents academic staff at the University of Abertay Dundee said it would oppose any move to merge Abertay with Dundee University. The possible merger has been raised in the wake of the Scottish Funding Council asking Abertay to suspend its search for a new principal. The Scottish Government has announced it will seek powers to force through mergers if it believes they would make financial and educational sense. As one of the smallest universities Abertay is seen as a potential target.

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