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MAK scientists urged to communicate

Monday, 07 September 2015 13:04

 

MEDIA WORKSHOP TRAINING IN PROGRESS

 

By: Geoffrey Nyerere & Jacky Achan

Ugandan Scientists have been urged to develop effective communication skills, if they are to ably share their innovations with communities that stand to benefit from their works.

 

PATRICK LUGANDA

Patrick Luganda a Global Media Trainer and Communications Advisor on the Geneva based Commission for Climatology in the World Metrology Organization says scientists need to benefit society with their knowledge and encourage informed decision making.

 

“Communication is the epitome of science or any other discipline. What is communicated is what is believed,” he said.

Luganda remarked during media training for Makerere University Researchers and PHD students held Thursday at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS).

He assured the Researchers working on the NORAD project on improving Weather Information Management in East Africa for effective service provision through the application of sustainable ICTs (WIMEA-ICT) that the existing communication gap can be bridged.

“Journalists can be paired with scientists to work together over a period of time to build their capacity to clearly report on new innovations in the science sector,” he advised. [Listen in]

He also added: “The communication component needs to be built within all science projects to enable scientists share their innovation with society who mostly benefit from their innovations.”  [Listen in]

 

PROF. GREGG PASCAL ZACHARY

Prof. Gregg Pascal Zachary of Arizona State University USA, at the same media training said with complexity of science, valuing communication and taking risks is key to efficiency and making known new innovations to society by scientists.

 

Dr. Juliane Sansa-Otim is the Principle Investigator of the NORAD WIMEA_ICT project, a partnership led by Makerere University, together with the University of Bergen Geophysical Institute in Norway, Dar es salaam Institute of Technology and the University of Juba.

The project seeks to advance all aspects of meteorology in East Africa from increasing the density of weather stations, trainings in weather prediction and analysis, to innovative ways of disseminating forecasts.

“This project will provide real answers in forecasting and disseminating properly package weather information to the grassroots people who mostly engage in agriculture,” Otim says. [Listen in]


Dr. Otim also added that the project will enable the rollout of 30 weather stations in Uganda, another 30 in Tanzania and 10 in Juba at its conclusion by 2018. [Listen in]

Uganda has some infrastructure in place, but its weather services still uses analogue weather stations which are manually monitored.

 

DR. JULIANNE SANSA-OTIM

One of the goals of the project is to develop and deploy small autonomous weather stations powered by wind turbines or solar cells and increase station density by 70 to 100 stations across the three countries.

 

This part of the project will receive input from the University of Stockholm with its expertise in electronics and electrical engineering.

The weather stations will cost about $2,000 per unit, compared to the official weather station of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) at $50,000 per unit.
The project also hopes to link these national networks of weather stations in order to further increase the accuracy of forecasts.

Though the national meteorological services control all national weather data and have monopoly on giving forecasts, Dr. Otim says they are working closely on this new project and the authority could allow free access to data and welcome innovative approaches to publishing forecasts.

Makerere University will hold a humanitarian innovation event Friday June 19, 2015 at Makerere University Main Hall, an ongoing drive by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

According to selected guidelines of the Forum on Humanitarian innovation in East Africa, 12.05.2015, young innovators from the College of Computing and Information Sciences and the School of Public Health –Makerere will showcase innovation products and processes that can innovate areas of access to safe water, access to health care and reestablishing family links.

The innovation initiative was set up in Jan 2015 to bring about change and innovation through fast-track ideas in needs based areas.

In the ICRC Innovation Brochure for the 21st Century, October 2014, the innovation initiative rotates around pillars of Catalysis and Aspiration, Exploring, Testing, Validation and Replication, Open Innovation, and Identifying the right model for innovation which enable innovation to continuously take place.

 

MOU SIGNING AT NEW VISION

By ProssyTulinomubezi

 

Twenty six students of Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences have been selected to participate in Vision Group content digitalization projects starting Thursday June 11, 2015.

While addressing internees who are to take part at the College of Computing and Information Sciences, Mr.Linus Wamanya said Vision Group needs a jobs auto for online positing of jobs and recruitment of workers, an online system for booking and monitoring of advertisements and an online farmers system.

“We need to establish a jobs auto, an online system for easy booking and monitoring of advertisements. Given the fact that our target audiences have different tastes and preferences, we need different platforms so that they are in position to selectively access information,” said Wamanya.
He adds that, in case a client needs their advertisements to be run on different outlets of vision group, with an online system, there will be no need call the media outlets to find out in advertisements were run.

Hugh Cameron a visiting professor and head Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development at the College unfolded the college’s target projects in his remarks to the internees.

“We can create a website for information and articles online for production and access to more content. This will stimulate public commentaries and reduce the costs of printing,” Cameron said.

Cameron also adds that a combined web portal for Vision Group publications is also part of the college’s projects. This will enable users to search for content online by use of keyword, author’s name, dates of publication, and media outlet among others.

In a separate interview with some of the students, they expect to implement and learn more skills since Vision Group has given them a golden opportunity to put their acquired skills in practice.

“This practice will increase on my experience, interpersonal, communication skills and will get access to new technologies. I will also contribute to the institution since I have experience in website applications development and well conversant with the technologies I use,” said Jackson Sinamanye, a finalist of software engineering.
Namuddu Gloria a records and archives management student was also excited about reading and learning more about software designing and management.

This practice will generally enable students become useful in the real world since it’s a learning process that can make permanent changes in individual lives.

 

SUMMER SCHOOL TRAINEES

By: Jacky Achan

 

Makerere University continues to play a crucial role in boosting tech innovation as 30 students from four different universities Monday kicked off a Mendix software development challenge at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS).

Guy Acellam a Senior Developer at Flock of Birds a social enterprise firm undertaking the training at the college says both flexibility and creativity will be on test as the students from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara and Kampala International Universities enter the incubation lab for a duration of ten weeks.

“When building new product agility and having the interest of the customer at heart is most important,” he says.
Acellam adds: “we don’t have to stick to principles. Functionality of a new product is achieved though back and forth consultation, creation and testing with the input of the customer to build the best product.”

Mendix is a rapid tool for software development that does not use a lot of codes. $10m has been set aside by its parent company Mendix USA and Mansystems Netherlands to improve its applicability on PCs, mobile and tablets.

Derrick Kwagala another a Senior Developer at Flock of Birds says the summer school challenge at Makerere will empower the young people technology wise to acquire skills applicable in real employment and promote talent in Africa at large.

 

DR. MERCY AMIYO

“Talent is there but it’s the exposure lacking, so we are here to groom and build by providing technical, communication, client engagement, leadership and entrepreneurial skills to ensure the trainees are employable and curb the high rates of joblessness,” he says.

 

Dr. Mercy Amiyo the Internship Coordinator CoCIS states the summer school at the college is not ordinary but rather a mix that involves equipping the trainee students with both soft and technical skills to build their practical expertise.

Eugene Miheso Swinnerstone a Business Consultant and Developer at Flock of Birds says upon completion of the training the participants will be in a position to integrate well with the practical world and real clients.

 

Eugene Miheso Swinnerstone

EUGENE MIHESO SWINNERSTONE

The 30 trainees that include 3 girls presented projects and where selected to take part in the training and incubation lab after a rigorous vetting process.
The training is being supported by Mansystems, Mendix, Smile communications and Makerere University through CoCIS

 

 

Dr. Evelyn Kigozi Kahiigi

DR. EVELYN KIGOZI KAHIIGI

Dr. Evelyn Kigozi Kahiigi who represented the Principal and Dean CoCIS presided over the launch of the summer school. She said the training and collaboration with Flock of Birds remains crucial in building the skills of its students to develop and integrate theories into applicable programs. 
Last year over sh50m was injected in the summer school training which is in its second year running.

 

 

Listen to Dr. Kahiigi's encouraging remarks to the summer school trainees.

 

 

SUMMER TRAINING

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 08:41

Starting 8th June – 12th August 2015     |     At Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)     

Application Procedure.

  1. Write a motivational Letter (Half Page (A4))
  2. Highlight your individual Technical Skills  (Half Page(A4))
  3. At least two references.
  4. Send this to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  before the 30th of April 2015

Agile Software Development

Description.

“Agile Development” is an umbrella term for several iterative and incremental software development methodologies. The most popular agile methodologies include Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Lean Development, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD).  Agile Software DevelopmentIn line with our Summer Trainee-ship Programme we will implement Scrum Methodology through the Mendix App Platform. While each of the agile methods is unique in its specific approach, they all share a common vision and core values.

They all fundamentally incorporate iteration and the continuous feedback that it provides to successively refine and deliver a software system. They all involve continuous planning, continuous testing, continuous integration, and other forms of continuous evolution of both the project and the software. They are all lightweight (especially compared to traditional waterfall-style processes), and inherently adaptable. As important, they all focus on empowering people tocollaborate and make decisions together quickly and effectively.

 Breakdown.

During the Summer Traineeship Program, Agile Development will be core but the other factors that make it a success will also be studied and internalized.

Aim.

Produce all round individuals who can initiate talks with clients, do the development and offer consultation.

 Areas of Training.

  • Technical Skills Development
  • Communication Skills
  • Client Engagement
  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Teamwork

Rewards

  • Winning Team – Tablet Each
  • Runner’s up Team – Phone Each
  • Certificates to each Trainee
  • Employment Opportunity for 2 persons

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