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UCC students are the bees’ knees!

Photo L-R Liam O’Leary and Killian Troy Image: Provision

Photo L-R Liam O’Leary and Killian Troy Image: Provision

  • 01 Dec 2014

A project using smart technology to help the plight of the humble honey bee has won a global competition for UCC students against challengers from MIT/Boston University (2nd) and TU Delft (3rd). The students used a Boolean themed project which was also inspired by Shakespeare, entitled: (2B) OR!(2B): From the beehive to the cloud and back.

In their creative video entry that won them the competition (, the students highlighted that the EU, UN and other bodies have predicted growing constraints on global food supplies and prices, as honey bee colonies, identified as the most important pollinator insect for food production, suffer a dramatic decline.To describe the problem logically, the students presented the problem as a Boolean equation that also paid homage to Shakespeare’s timeless contemplation on life (To be, or not to be…?)

“Population Increase” OR “Climate Change” = “Less Food”

 “Less Food” AND “Less Bees” = (2B)OR!(2B)?

 The enterprising UCC students have proven that question to be always 'True' according to the theory of George Boole - and outlined a potential solution to saving the honey bee, so vital to human, animal and plant life, and a key species in many ecological systems. The students have designed a path to a potential solution that will use bee data on a unique scale and in an unobtrusive manner using mobile and cloud technology to monitor the honey bees.

 Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC said: “At UCC we are hugely proud of our first Professor of Mathematics, George Boole, whose bicentenary we are celebrating this year.  Boole’s theories of logic and probabilities are as powerful today as they were back in the 1800s.  I am delighted that his work has inspired our current students to create novel solutions to an urgent global problem and helped them win an international competition in the process.” To read more on this fantastic project follow this link

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