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Computing & IS

CoCIS Researchers to Automate the Process of Monitoring Bees & Fruit flies

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Researchers from Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in collaboration with other universities and institutions are going to develop technology that can automate the process of monitoring bees and fruit flies for purposes of controlling their population on farms and in the wild.

The project dubbed, “Adaptive Environment Monitoring Network AfricA (AdEMNEA)” that will deploy applications for bee protection and fruit fly control in East Africa was launched on Friday 25th February 2022 by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University represented by his Deputy in Charge of Finance and Administration Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor during the project launch.
Prof. Henry Alinaitwe speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor during the project launch.

At Makerere University the project is being led by Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim with staff from the College of Engineering Design and Art (CEDAT) and the college of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB). Other partnering institutions are Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (Tanzania), University of Juba (South Sudan) and the University of Bergen (Norway), the Uganda Meteorological Authority, NaCCRI and NARO. Other partners are the Ministry of Agriculture (MAAIF), The Uganda National Apiary Development Organisation (TUNADO, Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU) and Fruit / Bee farmers: (Nwoya fruit growers cooperative society and Green Zabu Farm).

The Project is funded by NORAD under the NORHED II programme supported for five years with main emphasis on Southern partners. It builds on positive experience and results from the WIMEA project funded under the NORHED I framework with several other projects currently funded with NTNU and Makerere as partners.

Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim making her remarks during the project launch.
Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim making her remarks during the project launch.

While officially launching the project at the CoCIS premises, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe thanked the project team and the college for the initiative.

“We thank the Norwegian government for providing the funding and the Norwegian universities plus the partnering institutions for providing support.

We would like to thank Dr. Julianne Sansa and the team for putting the proposal together and winning this grant and for bring many partners together who stand to benefit from this project”, Prof. Alinaitwe appreciated.

Prof. Tony Oyana making his remarks.
Prof. Tony Oyana making his remarks.

The Principal Commended Dr. Sansa for representing the university effectively.

“When we go back to the project WIMEA, it has a rich deep history with the department and the college and you did a wonderful job when you walked five years and finished the project, the credit does not only go to you but also to the university and country and you can see some of the outcomes are being displayed here.

She has walked a fine journey and she did not exhaust herself, that is why she has brought another project. So, we want to thank you for your contribution to the university and country and our college in terms of training and research that has churned out a lot of products such as publications and applications that are working effectively in the field”, Prof. Oyana appreciated.

Prof. Stephen Wolthusen
Prof. Stephen Wolthusen

“The application domain is to support entomologists studying ways to enhance protection of pollinators (bees) and control of pests (fruit flies) in a changing environment based on timely data and with machine learning (AI) support”. Prof. Wolthusen said.

He said the project seeks to support interdisciplinary research and capacity-building for research and supervision through funding and co-supervision of M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects, mobility and fieldwork support.

This he said, will help in educating new academics and to support the international recognition and progression of co-investigators.

The Principal Investigator Makerere University Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim said, bees are endangered yet they are the most important pollinator responsible for most of the fruits and vegetables. Bees according to Dr. Nsansa contribute towards biodiversity as other creatures rely on them for existence (e.g. beetles, burgers and also provide products e.g honey, propolis, wax are important in medicine, food preparation, skin care and hair care).

She reported that monitoring insects has traditionally been via manual observation and count by specialists such as entomologists and extension workers yet there are few specialists in Uganda and Africa that makes this method ineffective.

“Recent technologies (audio-visual sensors, resilient networks & artificial intelligence) can be applied to automate the monitoring towards bee protection and fruit fly control.

This project is going to develop technology that can automate the process of monitoring bees and fruit flies for purposes of controlling their population on farms and in the wild”. Dr. Nsasa said.

She said fruit flies are known to be the biggest pests affecting mangoes leading to losses and likewise the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry and Fisheries that is responsible for monitoring and controlling pests is limited by the number of specialists.

Dr. Deborah Ruth Amulen speaking during the launch.
Dr. Deborah Ruth Amulen speaking during the launch.

Dr. Deborah Ruth Amulen from CoVAB said although bees constitute 70% of the worlds crop pollination, their population has declined due to pesticide application, climate change, land use change and diseases.

Amulen said there is need for an automated bee data because normal bee keeper inspection is time consuming, requires skills and knowledge, disrupts inside hive micro climate and risk of distributing bee diseases while useful variables such as temperature, humidity, gases cannot be ascertained.

“ Sensors should enable identify potential problems in colonies bee keepers can correct”

Dr. Amulen also said regular inspection of fruit fly traps is inconvenient, misses out on critical data points e.g., phenotype, density, diversity and relationships between variables such as population and weather toward prediction of infestation.

Dr. Rose Nakibule speaking during the launch.
Dr. Rose Nakibule speaking during the launch.

Dr. Rose Nakibule said the project plan is to have an integrated device, with multiple sensors for collecting insect specific, environmental and weather data.

“The concern is to help speed up the process of collecting and monitoring bees using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning”, she said.

Computing & IS

Cisco NetAcad Olympics 2024

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Block A of the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University, with foliage in the foreground, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Centre for Innovations & Professional Skills Development, College of Computing & IS at Makerere University is announcing the Middle East & Africa NetAcad Olympics 2024 FREE Training Clinic. The opportunity is here to raise the next generation of Network Professionals. All youth are invited to be part of this competition and experience a change in their lives. Participants will be exposed to either Network foundations CCNA 1 (Introduction to Networks), Cybersecurity Ops (How you can protect networks and yourself online today), and/or Network Security (protect and secure of the underlying networking infrastructure).

Dates: 1st – 31st March 2024

Opportunity begins here.

Cisco NetAcad is offering the following trainings :

  1. Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) 1 
  2. Network Security
  3. CyberOps (Cyber Security) Associate

REGISTER using the link below:
https://forms.gle/SVTZBhHJz75t7ZUbA

ADDITIONAL info. available via WhatsApp link below:
https://chat.whatsapp.com/EijTAyNcUZs5HbwITLTT7W

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Computing & IS

CoCIS CIPSD Call For Applications: March, May, July & September 2024 Short Courses Intakes

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The Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana (Right) joined by the Head CIPSD-Ms. Barbara Nalubega (Left) presents a certificate to one of the over 300 graduands who pursued education under the auspices of the Makerere-Amity and e-VBAB Project during the award ceremony held on 14th April 2023 at CoCIS, Makerere University.

Makerere University College of Computing & Information Sciences ‘Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CIPSD) is a highly regarded unit in Makerere University and plays a significant role in providing individuals with practical computer knowledge and skills to support a 21st century knowledge-based economy. The centre strategically offers training that is responsive to the needs of the society which is achieved through tailoring courses towards what the industry demands. The Centre has been at the forefront to assist government and other organizations to build human capacity with various ICT skills. The Centre has the capacity to enroll 5,000 students per annum because it has large-sized computer laboratories with a 500-seater capacity.

CIPSD’s mission is two-fold:1) to offer ICT professional skills development and incubation of new ideas, as well as, nurture new technology-based businesses; and 2) to augment theoretical computing knowledge among individuals and ground them with relevant professional ICT skills for industries.

Courses Offered

  1. Certificate in Computer Applications (CCA) @ UGX 200,000 for 5 weeks
    This is an introductory course that teaches one how to use a computer and the basic applications used in an office, business, or computing environment.
    New intake commenced on 5th Feb 2024. Time: 9:00am to 11:00 am daily for 5 weeks
  2. Cisco Certified Networking Associate CCNA) @ UGX 700,000 for 6 months
    Designed for people who have no previous computer networking experience, schoolleavers, graduates and mature entrants retraining for a second career. The course provides knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, LAN switching technologies etc.
  3. PC Repair & Software Maintenance@ UGX 700,000 for 8 weeks
    This course provides an excellent introduction to IT and an interactive exposure to personal computers, hardware& operating systems as well as advanced concepts
  4. Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) @ UGX 1,000,000 for 6 months
    The current CCNP curriculum is divided into two skill sets :
    Advanced routing & Core networking
    This course is the advanced level required of Network Engineers
  5. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate /Microsoft Azure (Fundamentals and Administration) @ UGX 700,000 for 2 months per module
    This course is for professionals who examine and investigate company needs and then plan, design, install, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Microsoft Windows Server solutions, SQL Database server systems etc. (Consists of 5 modules)
  6. ORACLE Database 19C @ UGX 800,000 for 3 months
    Administration Workshop Course Overview
    In this oracle certification you will learn about Oracle database administrator practical experience in administering, monitoring, tuning and troubleshooting an Oracle database.
    Through a blend of hands-on labs and interactive lectures you will learn how to create database storage structures appropriate for the business applications supported by your database.
  7. Certificate in Graphics & Image Editing @ UGX 600,000 for 2 months
    Learn the design software programs that every pro needs to know: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Discover techniques for creating digital images, illustrations, and layouts, addressing fundamental concepts in color, typography, and composition.
  8. Dynamic Website Development @ UGX 600,000 for 2 months
    Get the skills and hands-on practice you need to succeed in the complex and challenging world of web development.
  9. Cyber Security Ops Associate @ UGX 700,000 for 2 months
    Students learn about the protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.
  10. Certificate in Video Editing & Motion Graphics @ UGX 500,000 for 2 months
    In this certificate you will learn how to edit and tell a story using Adobe Premiere Pro, use After Effects to create motion graphics and titles and use Adobe’s Dynamic Linking to make the most efficient workflow possible.
  11. IC3 Digital literacy/ICDL @ UGX 1,400,000 UGX for 2 months
    (Internet Core Competency Certification) Digital Literacy certification is a global benchmark for basic computer literacy, operating systems, hardware, software, and networks.
  12. Ethical Hacking @ UGX 700,000 for 6 weeks
    Many depend on ethical hackers to identify weaknesses in their networks, endpoints, devices, or applications. The hacker informs their client as to when they will be attacking the system, as well as the scope of the attack. An ethical hacker operates within the confines of their agreement with their client.
    Who is best suited for a career in Ethical Hacking? Ethical hackers are generally experts in programming, cybersecurity, security analysis, and networking infrastructure. Ethical hackers tend to be out-of-the-box thinkers
  13. Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning & Deep learning) with PYTHON@ UGX 700,000 for 6 weeks
    This is a hands-on coding course that focuses on Labs and projects& It entails:
    • Implementing a linear regression model using Python and NumPy.
    • Building a decision tree classifier for a given dataset using scikit-learn.
    • Developing a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to classify images using TensorFlow or Keras.
    • Training a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) on a given text dataset to generate new text.
    • Implementing a reinforcement learning algorithm to train an agent to play a game. Etc
  14. Programming/Coding in PYTHON @ UGX 600,000 for 2 months
    This course will provide an introduction to programming using Python for highly motivated students with little or no prior experience in programming automated devices. The course will focus on planning and organizing programs, as well as the grammar of the Python programming language
  15. Data Analysis & Visualization Using PYTHON @ UGX 700,000 for 4 Weeks
    Python is a great language for doing data analysis, primarily because of the fantastic ecosystem of data-centric Python packages. Pandas is one of those packages, and makes importing and analyzing data much easier.
    The course delves into: Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA)
  16. 3D Computer Animation
    3D Computer Animation is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of digital 3D animation in film, television, games and interactive applications.
    For the Beginners’ Stage UGX 500,000, For the Intermediate Stage UGX 650,000 & For The Advanced Stage UGX 650,000 (7 Months Total Duration & 1 Month Of Internship At Crossroads Multimedia Ltd)
  17. Computer Skills Bootcamps and Master Classes.
    We also organise special bootcamps and master classes in January, March, June, August, October, and December. These hands-on practial sessions are meant to help participants brush up their Computer skills.

Contact us

Whatsapp or Call : +256-752-779964
Url: www.cis.mak.ac.ug/cipsd

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Computing & IS

Over 600 graduate from CoCIS during the Mak 74th Graduation ceremony

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) confers the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science upon Ms. Ilako Caroline (Left) on Day 3 of the 74th Graduation. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

661 graduands from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) were on 31st January awarded degrees and diplomas in the different disciplines during the 3rd session of Mak 74th Graduation ceremony.

Of that total, 626 graduates walked away with undergraduate (Bachelors degrees), 32 with  Masters Degrees, 2 with PhDs while 1 got a Post Graduate Diploma.

The Principal – CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana presenting the graduands from the College of Computing and Information Sciences. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Principal – CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana presenting the graduands from the College of Computing and Information Sciences. 

The five-day long graduation ceremony kicked off  on  the 29th of January 2024 – 2nd February 2024. During the course of the 74th graduation ceremony   a total of 12,913 graduands  received degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, a total of 132 graduands  graduated with PhDs, 1585 with Masters degrees, 11,016 with Bachelor’s degrees, 156 with postgraduate diplomas, and 24 with undergraduate diplomas.

53% of the graduands were female and 47% were male. In the category of PhD graduands, 46 were female and 86 were male. In the category of students graduating with Master’s degrees, 699 were female and 886 were male.

Students in jovial mode celebrate upon graduation. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Students in jovial mode celebrate upon graduation.

The graduation ceremony was presided over by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.  Nawangwe  executed the role of Chancellor as provided for in the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act following the expiry of the tenure of Prof. Ezra Suruma as Chancellor.  The University Council commenced the search for his successor that was on-going.

CoCIS Commended for Noble Research in Artificial Intelligence to Solve Africa’s Problems

Reflecting on the May 2019 UNESCO conference on Artificial Intelligence and education in Beijing, China, the Vice Chancellor asserted the university’s potential and commitment to utilization of  AI to make a difference for Africa.

Prof. Nawangwe  reported that the  University through the College of Computing and Information Sciences in collaboration with the School of Public Health received a grant funding worth US$1,500,000 (5.5bn/=) from Google to support its Ocular project that is undertaking research on usage of Artificial Intelligence to enhance the diagnosis process of Malaria, Tuberculosis and Cervical Cancer in Uganda.

Launched on 13th September 2023, the project team led by Dr. Rose Nakasi benched on the rampant challenges faced by the laboratory experts while undertaking diagnosis procedures. Health centres in Uganda are not only strained with the escalating number of patients seeking for laboratory screening tests – the country has few trained laboratory technicians to support the diagnosis process using the microscope.

The research team according to the Nawangwe took advantage of the existing technologies such as the smartphone and the availability of at least a microscope in every health centre across the country to develop a 3D printable adaptor that was attached to an eye piece of the microscope. The 3D adapter was also slotted in the smartphone to capture images.

Some of the PhD Graduands on Day 3 of the 74th Graduation Ceremony. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the PhD Graduands on Day 3 of the 74th Graduation Ceremony.

With the capabilities of Artificial intelligence through computer vision, images can be processed and this directs the experts where the pathogens are. This technology shortens the diagnosis process making it more accurate, quicker and easier to diagnose health conditions and potentially reducing screening time by over 80%.

The Vice Chancellor also reported that in addition, researchers led by a second-year PhD student Paddy Junior Asiimwe designed a device to monitor elderly people with dementia and cognitive impairment in rural Uganda. The device, wearable by the elderly will monitor the patients’ movement and location and then signal the caretaker and the hospital in case of emergencies.

The technology funded by Government of Uganda through Mak-RIF was disclosed on 13th October, 2023. It monitors elderly people remotely using GPS technology which defines a safe zone around a user and a PDR system to monitor the position of the user within the safe zone.  This technology is cheap, and better than the systems existing on market, and is best recommended for more resource constrained environments. The system operates independent of the user mostly in rural areas who cannot read and write. It does not require electricity and runs on batteries, charged once a week and can run for 30 days.

Ms. Ilako Caroline who graduated with a PhD in Information Science smiles for the camera. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Ilako Caroline who graduated with a PhD in Information Science smiles for the camera.

Prof. Nawangwe also highlighted how university researchers lead by Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha has invented devices geared towards monitoring and  managing air quality across cities on the continent.

 “The AirQo Project, in collaboration with various partners launched the CLEAN-Air Africa Network on 5th April 2023 bringing together communities of practice from over fifteen cities in Africa, with a focus on utilising low-cost sensors for air quality management in Africa.

Prof. Tonny Onyana (Right), Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha (Centre), and Dr. Swaib K. Kyanda (Left) sharing a light moment prior to the graduation ceremony. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Tonny Onyana (Right), Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha (Centre), and Dr. Swaib K. Kyanda (Left) sharing a light moment prior to the graduation ceremony.

Held under the theme: Championing Liveable Urban Environments through African Networks for Air, the workshop served as a Launchpad for Africa-led collaborations and multi-regional partnerships for sustained interventions to achieve cleaner air across the Continent”, Nawangwe appreciated.

Five get the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards 2023

During this third session ,  the Vice Chancellor recognized the best researchers listed and  published in the Graduation Booklet and the Mak News Magazine. The awards were based on Scopus database. The researchers were honored  by the  Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of Makerere University during the convocation luncheon held at  Makerere University Convocation House.

CoCIS  best researchers included.

  • Prof. Bainomugisha Engineer
  • Prof. Nabukenya Josephine
  • Nabende Peter
  • Professor Baguma Rehema
  • Odongo Eyobu Steven

Prof. Nawangwe urged all staff to continue conducting research on national development priorities as well as matters of global interest and publishing their work in high-impact journals so as contribute to our drive to become a research-led university. He also advised on the need for the research to lead to patents, copyrights and trademarks, and tangible innovations in the form of products, policy briefs, manuals and others.

Some of the graduands from the College of Computing and Information Sciences. 74th Graduation Ceremony, Day 3, 31st January 2024, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the graduands from the College of Computing and Information Sciences.

The Vice Chancellor highlighted a number of achievements recorded in the last two years including the timely issuance of the academic transcripts at the time of graduation.

In his key message to the graduands, Prof. Nawangwe described graduation as the most important and most memorable day in the life of any scholar on grounds that it is a licence to succeed in life, and a privilege to serve humanity.

“You have worked hard to get a degree or diploma from one of the best universities in the World. This is a license for you to succeed in whatever you choose to do in your life career. But always remember that success will only come with discipline and hard work, while honoring your parents and fearing God.

Shortly you will become an alumnus of this great institution. Cherish the knowledge and experiences you have collected while here, but remember that learning never ends. Our gates remain open for you if you wish to pursue higher degrees”, The professor advised.

With a degree from one of the best universities in the World, Prof. Nawangwe stressed, that graduates have no reason not to succeed in life.

“Indeed, the World is yours to conquer. If jobs are not forthcoming, create them, for we have empowered you not only to be employable, but also to be entrepreneurs. Be the light that others will follow. We are proud that we have been a part of your life, that we have given you the knowledge and courage to face life in this ever-changing World.  Go out to the World and make it a better place”. He emphasized.

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Please find these and more in the Vice Chancellors speech attached.

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