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Cork Open Research Archive (CORA) is UCC’s Open Access institutional repository which enables UCC researchers to make their research outputs freely available and accessible.


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The information needs of prospective postgraduate students: a data placemats approach
(University College Cork, 2023) Patton, Aaron; Sammon, David; Nagle, Tadhg
This is an exploratory study into the information needs of final year students when considering a postgraduate offering. There is little academic evidence on such information needs in the Higher Education Institution (HEI) context, yet the challenges that HEIs face to design effective data-driven recruitment and marketing strategies, and the variability in information currently provided to prospective postgraduate students presents a real opportunity for further investigation. For the purposes of this research, we are focusing on final year business school students only (Cork University Business School) and their interest in postgraduate programmes within the business school and beyond. This allows the research to focus on the information needs for recruitment but also retention. Hearing the final year student voice in this research but also comparing it to the HEI recruitment personnel voice will highlight the alignment of the respective positions on information needs. It is expected that this research will lend itself to the prescription of design guidelines for information needs. These design guidelines would be of practical value to HEIs.
Monstrous mothers and founding fathers: Kristevan maternality in Cynthia Voigt’s Tillerman cycle
(University College Cork, 2023) Dennehy, Thomas; O'Connor, Maureen; O Gallchoir, Cliona
The role of the mother, her potential failure to be good enough, the structure and performance of family, neglect, and family value and performance have become critical issues in social research and adult fiction in the middle of the twentieth century. These adult preoccupations are to be found in literature specially written for children and young adults and Cynthia Voigt’s Tillerman cycle published between 1981 and 1987 is an extended study of the existential and urgent issues of maternal abandonment and the issues it presents for her child protagonists. This thesis is a study of the maternal issues that this sudden act of abandonment creates across the span of the seven novels. The initial focus of the series and this research is the plight of four children who are abandoned by their mentally ill mother and who struggle to process their plight and create a new family and a home. A post Freudian psychoanalytic approach is adopted in this research and this approach is concerned with the earliest maternal issues explored in Klein, Winnicott and Kristeva. The maternal search is accomplished in the opening book — they find a home with an initially unwelcoming grandmother — but the effects of the family dysfunction which initiates the series extend across the remaining six novel of the cycle and are questioned and evaluated in this research. The research will question the function and place of the mother and of family itself and asks if a more elastic idea like Kristevan “maternality” is an issue which the narratives explore. The dysfunctional effects are visible in the life choices and decisions of Dicey Tillerman, the eldest child and the protagonist of the series The research will explore the claim that the Tillerman series demonstrates that family, as a nourishing , sustaining social possibility can be created in liminal and unexpected places and should not be exclusively identified with the patriarchal family. The research will stress a number of critical theoretical movements that underpin the development of the protagonists across the series: the developmental move from Melanie Klein’s first developmental position, the paranoid schizoid to Klein’s second position, the depressive and the move from an old and archaic, closed judgmental, bipolar order, described in the research as a “covenant” to a new order, a new “covenant” marked by respect and the practice of open and lateral communication. In the final book Voigt offer a resolution, seen in the sudden decision of Dicey Tillerman to drive to her boyfriend’s house and rekindle their apparently foundering relationship but one which, in its result contradicts the radical questioning of family which the narrative of the series was consistently preoccupied by. This decision will be interrogated as will the implications of a sudden and abrupt return to the hegemonic family authored and validated by patriarchy.
Rate-induced tipping to metastable Zombie fires
(University College Cork, 2023) O'Sullivan, Eoin; Mulchrone, Kieran F.; Wieczorek, Sebastian; ATSR Ltd.
Surface wildfires are generally believed to be the cause of so-called Zombie fires observed in peatlands, that disappear from the surface, smoulder underground during the winter, and ''come back to life" in the spring. Here, we propose rate-induced tipping (R-tipping) to a subsurface hot metastable state in bioactive peat soils as a main cause of Zombie fires. Our hypothesis is based on a conceptual soil-carbon model subjected to realistic changes in weather and climate patterns, including global warming scenarios and summer heatwaves. Mathematically speaking, R-tipping to the hot metastable state is a nonautonomous instability, due to crossing an elusive quasithreshold, in a multiple-timescale dynamical system. The instability is {\em reversible}, in the sense that the system eventually returns to its base state. To explain this instability, we provide a framework that combines a special compactification technique with concepts from geometric singular perturbation theory. This framework allows us to reduce a reversible R-tipping problem due to crossing a quasithreshold to a heteroclinic orbit problem in a singular limit. Thus, we identify generic cases of such R-tipping via: (i) unfolding of a codimension-two heteroclinic folded saddle-node type-I singularity for global warming, and (ii) analysis of a codimension-one saddle-to-saddle hetroclinic orbit for summer heatwaves, which in turn reveal new types of excitability quasithresholds.
Implementation of an AI-assisted sonification algorithm on an edge device
(University College Cork, 2023) O'Sullivan, Feargal; Popovici, Emanuel; Temko, Andriy; Qualcomm
Oxygen deprivation at birth leads to brain injury, which can have serious consequences. It is the dominant cause of seizures. Quickly and accurately detecting seizures is a challenging problem for neonates. A severe shortage of medical professionals with the necessary expertise for Electroencephalogram (EEG) analysis leads to significant delays in decision-making and hence treatment. These problems are made worse in disadvantaged communities. Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have been proposed to automate the process and compensate for the lack of available expertise. However, these models are ’black boxes', and their lack of explainability dampens the wide adoption by medical professionals. AI-assisted sonification adds explainability to any such automated methodology, empowering medical professionals to make accurate decisions regardless of their level of expertise in EEG analysis. The feasibility of an implementation of an AI-assisted sonification algorithm on an edge device is presented and analyzed. A lightweight derived algorithm for resource-constrained implementation scenarios is also evaluated and presented, suggesting suitability for further ultra-low power, mobile and wearables implementations. Furthermore, a neural network is analysed for the potential of low-precision implementation, enabling inference on specialised hardware.
How reliable is assessment of children’s sentence comprehension using a self-directed app? A comparison of supported versus independent use
(Cambridge University Press, 2023-08-14) Frizelle, Pauline; Buckley, Ana; Biancone, Tricia; Ceroni, Anna; Dahly, Darren L.; Fletcher, Paul; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.; McKean, Cristina; Health Research Board
This study reports on the feasibility of using the Test of Complex Syntax- Electronic (TECS-E), as a self-directed app, to measure sentence comprehension in children aged 4 to 5 ½ years old; how testing apps might be adapted for effective independent use; and agreement levels between face-to-face supported computerized and independent computerized testing with this cohort. A pilot phase was completed with 4 to 4;06-year-old children, to determine the appropriate functional app features required to facilitate independent test completion. Following the integration of identified features, children completed the app independently or with adult support (4–4;05 (n = 22) 4;06–4;11 months (n = 55) and 5 to 5;05 (n = 113)) and test re-test reliability was examined. Independent test completion posed problems for children under 5 years but for those over 5, TECS-E is a reliable method to assess children’s understanding of complex sentences, when used independently