A total of 43 students from the College of Computing and Information Sciences yesterday attained first class degrees during Makerere University's 63rd graduation ceremony held at the university's Freedom Square. Of these, 35 were from the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (CIT) while the eight were from the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS).
Deborah Bongiri with a CGPA of 4.80 was the overall best student from the college. She attained a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology (BIT). The pioneer students of the Bachelor in Information Systems (BIS) and the Bachelor of Records and Archives Management (BRAM) also received their degrees.
In addition, Alison Annet Kinengyere was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Information Science, Ahmad Nazir Suhail a PhD in Information Technology while Peter Waiswa Wakabi and Washington Okori got PhDs in Computer Science.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu asked the graduands to shun corruption adding that wealth gained through corruption would vanish at some point.
Two students from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) have emerged victorious in the recently concluded Huawei Android Application Challenge (HAAC). Michael Kakande (BCS) and Moses Ocela (BSSE) won the latest Android DI phones and sh500,000 and sh750,000 respectively after emerging 4th and 3rd runners-up in the interuniversity Challenge that drew participants from Makerere University and Kampala International University.
Basing on the theme Ã¢‚¬ËœEnriching life through communicationÃ¢‚¬„¢ Kakande developed an app called Tour Uganda while Ocela developed My-hosplink that helps users identify hospitals within their areas and the services they offer.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Hon. Nyombi Thembo, the Minister of State for ICT, urged the youth to use ICTs to empower themselves. He thanked Huawei Technologies for linking up with education institutions to nurture and support local talent among the youth. Ã¢‚¬Å“We are grateful to Huawei for spearheading productivity enhancement in the way youth use ICTs,Ã¢‚¬ he noted.
The Challenge winners were a team of five students from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) who developed Ã¢‚¬ Destination East Africa, an app aimed at attracting tourists to the region and informing them about the different available attractions and services in the country. They won sh1,500,000 and a Huawei tablet.
Mr. Drake Patrick Mirembe has been elected to Chair the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Centre for Excellence (CoE) Network in Africa for the next two years. Drake was chosen during the recently concluded 5th Steering Committee Meeting held in Kampala, Uganda.
Drake joins the prestigious network at an opportune time when he will be able to influence the development of the new strategy that will run all ITU human capacity initiatives for the next five years under the ITU CoE academy. He will implement node competence schemes and streamline professional accreditation of ITU training programmes. Ã¢‚¬Å“During the implementation, it is expected that spin-off projects like satellite and cyber security anchor nodes will be setup by ITU and her partners,Ã¢‚¬ said Drake. Ã¢‚¬Å“Besides, Makerere will be able to supply experts to deliver some of the training in other countries. This will provide a channel for a number of academic staff to enter the ITU expertÃ¢‚¬„¢s database, a privilege only a few can attain,Ã¢‚¬ he added.
Drake heads the Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD) at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University. In 2010, the College was selected to host an ITU Academy based on her strong record on human capital development through the department of professional skills development then, now the CiPSD. To date, the ITU CoE at Makerere has trained over 400 people from 15 different countries in the last 2 year alone, making it one of the most successful ITU CoE nodes in Africa.
The history of ITU CoEs spans back to 1988, when the ITU started a human capital building programme targeting developing countries in order to address the ICT skill shortages and bridge the digital divide. Thus, ITU established ITU Centres of Excellence network among institutions sharing expertise, resources, capacity-building know-how in telecommunications and ICTs training/education, distributed around the world. Designed to offer continuous education to ICT managers in the public and private spheres through face-to-face or distance learning programmes, the Centres serve as regional focal points for professional development, research, and knowledge sharing, as well as providing specialist training services to external clients.
These Centres were established with support from multilateral and regional organizations like ITSO, ICTP, educational institutes and government donors. CoE networks have been established in Africa, the Americas, Arab States, Asia- Pacific, Caribbean, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe. Under the umbrella of the ITU Academy, these regional networks have now been joined together into a single global network sharing training curricula, resources and expertise over the ITU Academy Portal.
In Africa, the ITU Academy CoE represents a sustainable network of selected training and educational institutions (hereafter Ã¢‚¬Å“nodesÃ¢‚¬) that provide training opportunities in topics related to telecommunications and/or ICTs. The overall purpose is to promote human capacity building of governmental authorities, regulators, and senior managers of operators and service providers. To date, the CoE network in Africa has undergone two development phases, one spanning from 1994 to 1997 and the second ongoing phase from 1998 to 2012.
Starting in 2013 a new innovative model for delivering training through the CoE Network in Africa is foreseen, modelled along an operating framework for the CiPSD. The CiPSDÃ¢‚¬„¢s strong performance has propelled Drake Mirembe to this most recent achievement. During his tenure, Drake will also oversee the operations of seven nodes including CFL South Africa, AFRILT Kenya, KIST Rwanda, Nettel Tanzania, CMTL Togo, ESMT Senegal, CoCIS, Makerere University.
For three youngsters, designing an application named Winsenga that performs ultrasounds on pregnant women and detect problems such as ectopic pregnancies or abnormal fetal heart beats has earned them great local and international recognition. The trio of Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello and Josiah Kavuma (Team Cipher256) have won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant of $50,000 (about sh125m). According to Microsoft, this grant will help the students transform their projects into social enterprises or nonprofits that will address a specific social issue.
Imagine Cup and the grants are part of Microsoft's YouthSpark program, which is the company's commitment to reach 300 million youths in the next three years through technology, training, and experiences that empower them to imagine and realize their full potential. Among the applicants for this grant, 13 teams were initially selected as finalists having received the highest marks based on a combination of criteria: impact & viability, team quality & motivation, solution design & motivation and problem definition.
The trio (all students at the College of Computing and Information Sciences) were mentored by Joseph Kaizzi, Davis Musinguzi and supported by the Microsoft Innovation Centre-Uganda. They received the award during the Social Innovation Summit held on December 4th in Silicon Valley, USA. Apart from the cash prize, they will also receive software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, NGO partners and business partners and will work with the grant recipients to tailor individual support as needed depending on the progress each team has made so far with its project.
Ã¢‚¬Å“We are grateful to Microsoft for giving these youth an opportunity to innovate and help the mothers around the world. This grant shows that the youth have the power to change our lives and we shall continue to partner with organizations that are willing to explore their potential,Ã¢‚¬ said Maria Muzaaki, the College communication officer.
During this yearÃ¢‚¬„¢s Imagine Cup final held in Australia, only two teams from Africa made it to the top 20 competitors. Team Cipher256 became the first team from East and Southern Africa (excluding South Africa) to make it to the second round at the Worldwide Finals becoming the only Sub-Saharan African team to make it to that round in the history of the Imagine Cup. In the end, Winsenga was ranked in the top 10 overall.
Basing on their innovativeness and will to help solve one of the worldÃ¢‚¬„¢s biggest problems (maternal health), the team was selected to showcase their innovation at the ITU Telecom World 2012 in Dubai, courtesy of Uganda Communication Commission (UCC). The event was held in Dubai from October 14-18th, 2012. It brought together major stakeholders in the worldÃ¢‚¬„¢s ICT sector to connect and exchange knowledge, showcase technology, talent and investment opportunities.
Agnes Nakakawa, an Information Systems professional and a Statistician has successfully defended her PhD thesis titled A collaboration Process for Enterprise Architecture CreationÃ¢‚¬„¢atRadboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Agnes is an Assistant lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at CIT.Ã‚ Her PhD studies were sponsored by the Nuffic project-Strengthening ICT Training and Research Capacity in the Four Public Universities in Uganda.
List of Publications from the research
On 30th November, 2012 Johnson Mwebaze successfully defended his PhD thesis titled Ã¢‚¬ËœExtreme data lineage in ad-hoc astronomical data processingÃ¢‚¬„¢ at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. See http://www.rug.nl/news-and-events/promotion-inauguration/2012/40_mwebaze?lang=en
Johnson is a Network Administrator in the Department ICT Support Services (DISS) at the College of Computing and Information Sciences. His studies were sponsored by the Nuffic project-Strengthening ICT Training and Research Capacity in the four Public Universities in Uganda. Associated publications
The College of Computing and Information Sciences yesterday hosted a delegation from the Vaal University of Technology (South Africa). The delegation which consisted of Prof. Peter Omara-Ojungu (Principal, Ekurhuleni Campus) and Prof. Gordon Zide (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Governance and Operations) paid a courtesy call on the CoCIS Principal, Prof. J.R Ikoja Odongo in his office.
They discussed matters pertaining to areas of possible strategic collaborations between the two institutions especially in areas of software engineering, applied computer science, governance and other operations within the wider university structure.
Prof. Ikoja noted that the relationship between Makerere University and universities in South Africa has evolved over several years, with several Makerere staff members having trained from universities in South Africa. He pledged the collegeÃ¢‚¬„¢s commitment to sharing its best practices with Vaal University.
The purpose of their visit according to Prof. Omara-Ojungu was to also Ã¢‚¬Å“pick some aspects from what Makerere is doing right and replicate these practices in Vaal University.Ã¢‚¬
The duo also made presentations to university staff members on the following topics:
As part of the initiatives to promote the use of grid computing within Makerere University, the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) recently organized a one-day workshop aimed at sensitizing the University community on the usage of this infrastructure.
This training, which was attended by 20 participants, is part of the activities run under the UNESCO-HP Brain Initiative project which brings together higher education institutions and research centres from the African and Arab States region countries. Ã¢‚¬Å“The project is aimed at building on recent advances in distributed computing technology and developing an e- infrastructure that is available to faculty, researchers and students,Ã¢‚¬ said Johnson Mwebaze, the projectÃ¢‚¬„¢s Principal Investigator.
Makerere University is part of a continental-wide e-Infrastructure, called AfricaGrid, which provides computing and data infrastructure services to researchers in Africa. An easy-to- use interface to the grid is being developed, for commonly-used applications, via the science gateway paradigm. Widely-used general-purpose applications such as Ã¢‚¬Å“RÃ¢‚¬ and Ã¢‚¬Å“OctaveÃ¢‚¬ have already been integrated into these portals, which can be easily accessed.
The training covered issues on Grid Computing, applications of Grid Computing, benefits accrued from Grid Computing Infrastructure and others. It was facilitated by Johnson Mwebaze, Fred Noah Kiwanuka, Denis Nsimenta and Amos Baryashaba.
For the second year running, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) has rewarded the best Computer Science student - David Semakula, with a Dell laptop and a one year internship opportunity at the company. CWG is one of the leading Systems Integration companies, providing hardware and infrastructure solutions, to communications and networking solutions and software applications and deployment to public and private enterprises.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on Wednesday, the CWG general manager Mr. Michael Manzi, pledged the companyÃ¢‚¬„¢s commitment to continue rewarding excellence in education and offering training opportunities for students to get essential hands-on skills needed in the job market. He added that in the future, the company hopes to increase the number of students rewarded for good performance.
The Deputy Principal, Dr. John Ngubiri thanked CWG for investing part of their profits in education and for partnering with the College to train their students through internship.
In addition, CWG also rewarded the best Computer Science lecturers as chosen by the students. These included Mr. Joseph Semwogerere, Mr. Moses Ntanda, Mr. Ronald Azairwe and Mrs. Doreen Tuheirwe-Mukasa.