Creative minds wanted for Hackathon

Students working on laptop

Griffith University is hosting its second Hackathon event on the weekend 4 – 5 August 2018 at the Gold Coast Campus Library.

The Hackathon is a free event and open to all Griffith students. During this 30-hour long event, Griffith students have the opportunity to design, develop and showcase a mobile application that would greatly improve their student life with the chance to win some great prize money:

  • $2,000 – Winning Team
  • $1,000 – Runner-Up Team
  • $500 –  Best User Interface Design

At the Hackathon, students will transform an idea into a real product, giving them the opportunity to showcase their existing skills and acquire new practical skills.

We are encouraging all students thriving on creativity and collaboration to register for this event.

While we are definitely looking for students with coding skills, teams will also require, for example, expertise in marketing, graphic design, project management.

Do you know students who could be interested in this event? Please feel free to spread the word and direct them to the Hackathon website.

Registrations will be open until 5pm Friday 20 July 2018.

ResBaz2018: attend a bazaar of workshops to help improve your digital literacy & research skills

Calling all researchers! Do you want to improve your digital literacy and research skills? Then you’ll certainly want to attend ResBaz2018.

Research Bazaar (ResBaz for short) is a worldwide festival promoting the digital literacy emerging at the centre of modern research. It aims to empower researchers from all career stages and disciplines with the digital skills and tools required to do their research easier, faster and smarter.

Events are held annually and this year Griffith University is organising and hosting Brisbane’s ResBaz.

It will be a three-day event comprising of a plethora of workshops, which will be beneficial to your research, including:

There’ll also be classes in genomics, humanities, ecology and more, information stalls, local groups and innovative and inspiring speakers. Once you’ve registered, you’re welcome to attend as many events as you like!  

  • When: 6 – 8 June, 2018
  • Where: Griffith University, South Bank
  • Cost: $33 to attend as many events as you please, with catered morning tea and lunch daily.

For further information and to register your attendance visit the ResBaz website.

A quick Q&A with Dr Hamid Shobeiri Nejad

Dr Hamid Shobeiri Nejad

Doctor Hamid Shobeiri Nejad, mathematics and statistics lecturer, discusses his career, research tips and the beauty of statistics.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a politician, in particular, a planning minister. I agree, it does sound a little strange. When I was at university, I studied in two places at the same time, mechanical engineering at one university and economics at another. During those years, I had the chance to do many things such as working for small to large-scale companies. Then for my Masters, I was able to continue both engineering and finance in a single subject, which was in some ways, a mix of industrial engineering and management. When doing my PhD, I became a specialist in risk assessment. 

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
I have had much experience in doing a variety of things. These range from drawing cartoons for a school magazine to working in the large-scale industry. One of the jobs I had during my university years was in the oil industry as a junior in the project management and planning section. I had to provide reports on progress of the project. This was the first job in my life that really taught me teamwork. The reports that I had to provide were the result of the work of so many people. I think that it was taking my job seriously and working keenly, that I learnt the meaning of responsibility.

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
Gmail, BBC News, SUDOKU.

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
I would invite the following great people to my dinner party. I know it is impossible, but it would be by far my best dinner party:

  • Francis Ford Coppola (American film director)
  • David Christian (Australian historian and scholar, president of the International Big History Association)
  • Bernie Sanders (American politician, US Senator)
  • Hossein Nasr (philosopher, professor emeritus, George Washington University)
  • Pelé (Brazilian retired professional footballer)

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
Homer Simpson. He is so real.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
I can name two things:

  • Teaching. I love teaching and enjoy every single minute of it when explaining a mathematics or statistics problem to students.
  • Working with great people at Griffith University.

7. What sparked your interest in statistics and mathematics?
It gives you the power to explain problems in the world through the language of mathematics and statistics. You can justify the reason behind any phenomenon. When chaotic situations are simulated by mathematics, when loss and recovery and even social behaviour due to natural or human-made means can be assessed by probability theory and… you cannot help yourself but to simply love mathematics and statistics.

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 In 5 years time, I still see myself enjoying teaching at Griffith. Until then, I also aim to have translated a few books.

9. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I feel that working and communicating with different individuals from different backgrounds and cultures, whether it be students or fellow colleagues, has definitely been the highlight. Being able to teach in a way that everyone enjoys, and to get good feedback, is very rewarding.

10. Tell us about a project/research you are working on at the moment.
I recently consulted an industrial project in data analysis. At the moment, besides teaching, I am helping a medical research student in data gathering process and statistical analysis. I am also reading and translating a philosophy/history book.

11. What wise advice do you have for new researchers or young academics?
Be prepared for your research and expect that it will be very challenging. You will definitely experience ups and downs; days that are promising and some that are not. Sometimes, you cannot find any solution and find yourself returning to the starting point after a few months of hard work. But, it is most important that you do not give up. Know that it will soon be over and you will see the result. Do not forget this.

12. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
I believe the online access to journals is the best resource. However, the Griffith library itself is also very unique. It has friendly staff and a great collection of hard copy books. I have borrowed and used many books myself; even the books that I thought I would not easily find anywhere.

13. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?

  • When reading a journal paper, write a note for yourself, cite with EndNote and store in OneNote.
  • Learn at least one statistical software. I recommend R.
  • Never miss the opportunity to present your research. Do not be afraid of these two things, 1. I have not done enough and 2. I will be criticised.

Lecture capture is now available as an app!

You’d know that your lectures are recorded using Echo360 Lecture Capture technology and made available under your course’s Learning@Griffith site for your students to listen to at their viewing pleasure.

Maybe you even go in and check the amount of students who have listened to your lectures (I used to have a lecturer who would do this, to disappointing results, then scold us–the 1/6 of the cohort that did attend lectures–for these disappointing results. Please don’t do that.)

However, your students now have even less of an excuse not to be logging on and watching your lectures. Your lectures are now available to be viewed on smartphones or tablets with the brand-spankin’-new Echo360 app!

To access lecture capture recordings on their smartphone or tablet, your students will need to follow the below steps:

  • Download the app from iTunes for Apple, Google Play for Android or the Microsoft Store for Windows.
  • When logging in, instead of using their regular student email address (e.g., students will need to use their sNumber at (e.g. This is actually an alias to their regular email address and linked to their usual email address in Learning@Griffith.
  • Note that students will need to click through each Echo360 link from each Learning@Griffith course they’re enrolled in at least once. This single passthrough into the Echo360 session establishes the connection between them and the course. Once they’ve done this, the course will appear in the Echo360 app.

The Echo360 app has most of the functionalities of the web version, with the exclusion of being able to take notes alongside the video recordings. Students can:

  • access recordings anywhere and anytime
  • download content for offline viewing
  • bookmark important sections.

For more information about Lecture Capture, visit the Lecture Capture webpage. Or if you need IT support, contact the IT Service Centre.

Your students can get free personalised tutoring and feedback on drafts

Do you have any students who are struggling academically? Or maybe you’d simply like to keep your students updated on services Griffith University provides to help them with their studies and writing?

Then you should definitely tell them about Smarthinking. Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Griffith students via Learning@Griffith.

It provides personalised tutoring and feedback on drafts, 24/7, from expert online tutors.

Students can submit their writing for detailed review, request an appointment or submit questions offline at any time of the day or night, and a tutor will respond within 24 hours.

The tutors can review students’ assessment pieces and provide them with comments and suggestions for their writing including:

  • paragraph, standard essay or long essay review
  • grammar and documentation review.

Don’t worry though, the tutors are just that–tutors. They’re not going to edit, proofread or fix your students’ work (those are essential academic skills your students are going to have to develop themselves!). They’re simply there to help keep students on track and enable them to improve their study skills and writing.

Students can also request tutoring on demand or schedule a time with a tutor for subject specific help.

Instructions on how to access Smarthinking are available on the Smarthinking webpage.

In addition to the Smarthinking service, the library also has a range of online self-help resources available for students, such as:

  • The Study Smart tutorial, which gives students an introduction and overview of essential study and academic skills such as researching, referencing, writing, note-taking and exam preparation.  
  • The Academic integrity tutorial, which provides students an overview of the importance of referencing and a better understanding of when to attribute information to sources.
  • The Academic Skills Workbook, designed to help students develop and apply academic, information and digital literacy skills.

A quick Q&A with Dr Sam Canning

Queensland College of Art’s Doctor Sam Canning (who notably designed the 3D printed dress in our current Remarkable advertising campaign) discusses his career, research tips and preserving Australian rock art.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Most definitely an Astronaut!  In 1976 at age 8 I lived in Moscow and went to an American School.  Tom Stafford and Vance Brand came into my classroom after the Apollo-Soyuz test project. They were on a publicity tour of the USSR. I remember them in their tan coloured flight-suits, friendly and exuding some kind of infallible confidence.  I was completely blown away. I later found out Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan had descended to 14.4km above the lunar surface well before Armstrong and Aldrin. I think about that experience now and it still fills me with awe. These guys were like gods to me and still are.

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
I served a 4 year apprenticeship as a Hand French Polisher with a company called Restall Brown and Clennell who had furniture workshops in Hackney and Lewes.  This firm is over 110 years old now and maintains traditional craft practices which date back well into the 19th century, to the time of William Morris.  Most of my work colleagues were second world war veterans with a wealth of life experience.  I learnt a lot there not just about French Polishing.

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
BBC News, BBC Iplayer Radio, Gmail (of course)

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
My Dad (who died 9 years ago), my Mum, my Wife, my Son and my Brother.  These guys are celebrities to me. What was it Kris Kristofferson said, “I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday”.  I know it’s a bit sentimental but I think its quite beautiful and sums it up.

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
It has to be Judge Dredd. Brooding, Ruthless, Relentless.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
It’s diversity. I can be teaching one day , dealing with industry professionals the next or overseas promoting AEL to potential students.  It is an amazing position, sometimes I have trouble believing it is real. In fact, it is not like work at all.

7. Where do you see the future of 3D printing?
I see the future of 3D printing as one of increasing presence in the direct manufacture of products of pretty much all types.  I believe developments in the areas of part quality and material selection will improve and expand the potential of 3D printing. Also speed and machine build size are important factors that will improve gradually. However most of all, design for 3D printing I believe is the most important factor influencing the uptake of 3D printing as a legitimate manufacturing option.  The education of these skills is something we specialise in at QCA, in the Product/3D major of the design program and the Industrial Design program. This is something we have developed a specialisation in over the last 8 years. 3D printing is not just another manufacturing process that existing design rules can be applied to, it is a complete revolution, a new age in the production of artefacts of all kinds.  This is the threshold of the dissemination of 3D printing, and when it is largely crossed nothing will look or function the same again. We (or at least our children) will look back at the current period as we look back at the age of steam with a mixture or wonder and amusement.

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Working with 3D printing/advanced manufacturing in some capacity.  Griffith has made a commitment to research and industry engagement in this field and design for 3D printing will be a part of that, and I would very much like to contribute to this.  I work for QCA and it is an amazing place to work.

9. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
This is a difficult one as there have been so many defining moments.  I think I would have to say walking over the Green bridge between Dutton Park and St Lucia on the phone and accepting a sessional job at QCA.  This was over 10 years ago and was the start of this amazing journey that has changed my life completely.

10. Tell us about a project/research you are working on at the moment.
Most of my research projects have either industry links or links with research partners within Griffith.  I think at the moment it is a training device for surgeons to use that has the potential to reduce the risk to patients undergoing complex and risky medical procedures.

11. What wise advice do you have for new researchers or young academics?
Stick to publishing within your field of expertise and avoid what my old lecturer described as the drunken sniper approach.  If you stick to this, your profile (and credibility) will steadily develop. 

12. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
Echo Objects by Barbara Stafford. This book, although a complex read, proved an important resource for my PhD.

13. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?
1. Collaborate. There is so much to be learned by involving others, and Griffith is a great place to do this.  We have a healthy culture of collaboration which makes for good partnerships. Also industry linkages are really important in my research.

2. This is an obvious one but I was once told when beginning my PhD, stick to your passion, your life’s work, something you would be doing anyway, job PhD or not.  Maintaining your passion is vital.

3. Be relentless (like Judge Dredd).

Health resources roundup!

Are you a medical, public health, psychology or social work researcher? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve got a range of great new resources for you in the below areas:

BMJ Best Practice

BMJ Best Practice has updated their platform with a range of swish new features. These include:

  • An updated, easy-to-use user interface and navigation.
  • Enhanced differential diagnosis and treatment algorithms.
  • Videos covering the most common clinical procedures.
  • Improved page designs, including quick links to increase speed to answer.
  • More than 250 integrated medical calculators.
  • Patient discussions and nearly 400 patient leaflets.
  • The latest evidence and Cochrane Clinical Answers.
  • A new award-winning app that you can use offline!

Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) collections in Health

Within the below OSO collections, we’ve got a range of new eBooks. We’ve even listed some great new textbooks that you may find of interest for your teaching.

Public Health & Epidemiology 2017-2018 titles

  • Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, published in 2017 is the 4th edition and serves as a reference work for both students and professionals working to understand the causes and prevention.
  • Textbook of Global Health – this textbook (4th edition) equips students, advocates and health professionals with the foundation for an understanding of global health issues.
  • Occupational and Environmental Health – this updated 7th edition is a comprehensive and practical textbook providing the information to recognize and prevent work-related and environmental induced diseases and injuries.

Psychology 2017-2018 titles

  • Gender, Sex and Sexualities: Psychological Perspectives – this January 2018 publication is a compendium of conceptual frameworks and associated research approaches used for inquiry into gender, sex and sexualities.  It is suitable to use as an advanced textbook.

Social Work 2017-2018 titles

  • Evidence Based Treatment and Practice with Older Adults:  Theory, Practice and Research – this 2017 publication provides a detailed examination of five research-supported psychosocial interventions for use with older adults.

Counseling & Therapy in Video (Volumes III to V)

We have acquired three volumes of the Counseling and Therapy in Video in order to complete the Alexander Street collection:

  • Volume III expands on the previous collections with a focus on new and emerging areas (such as cyberbullying, mindfulness, social media, and neuroscience) as well as work with specific populations such as veterans, teens, and older populations.
  • Volume IV is a multimedia collection that addresses the current best practices for counseling and therapy. It includes transcripts of real therapy sessions, video presentations by practicing therapists as well as presentations and publications by renowned academic therapists.The collection discusses a wide range of contemporary issues including DSM-5 and ICD-10, working with LGBTQ clients to helping clients suffering from PTSD.
  • Volume V provides an extensive collection of over 400 mental health videos to help your students better recognise mental health disorders and provide accurate diagnosis. This vast collection of DSM-5® and ICD-10 videos, from 2012 on, ranges from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, and can be integrated into training courses, lectures, etc.