Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 72

Search results for: Bernard Chern

72 Chern-Simons Equation in Financial Theory and Time-Series Analysis

Authors: Ognjen Vukovic


Chern-Simons equation represents the cornerstone of quantum physics. The question that is often asked is if the aforementioned equation can be successfully applied to the interaction in international financial markets. By analysing the time series in financial theory, it is proved that Chern-Simons equation can be successfully applied to financial time-series. The aforementioned statement is based on one important premise and that is that the financial time series follow the fractional Brownian motion. All variants of Chern-Simons equation and theory are applied and analysed. Financial theory time series movement is, firstly, topologically analysed. The main idea is that exchange rate represents two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional Brownian motion movement. Main principles of knot theory and topology are applied to financial time series and setting is created so the Chern-Simons equation can be applied. As Chern-Simons equation is based on small particles, it is multiplied by the magnifying factor to mimic the real world movement. Afterwards, the following equation is optimised using Solver. The equation is applied to n financial time series in order to see if it can capture the interaction between financial time series and consequently explain it. The aforementioned equation represents a novel approach to financial time series analysis and hopefully it will direct further research.

Keywords: Brownian motion, Chern-Simons theory, financial time series, econophysics

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71 Association of Maternal Age, Ethnicity and BMI with Gestational Diabetes Prevalence in Multi-Racial Singapore

Authors: Nur Atiqah Adam, Mor Jack Ng, Bernard Chern, Kok Hian Tan


Introduction: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication with short and long-term health consequences for both mother and fetus. Factors such as family history of diabetes mellitus, maternal obesity, maternal age, ethnicity and parity have been reported to influence the risk of GDM. In a multi-racial country like Singapore, it is worthwhile to study the GDM prevalences of different ethnicities. We aim to investigate the influence of ethnicity on the racial prevalences of GDM in Singapore. This is important as it may help us to improve guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to significant risk factors unique to Singapore. Materials and Methods: Obstetric cohort data of 926 singleton deliveries in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) from 2011 to 2013 was obtained. Only patients aged 18 and above and without complicated pregnancies or chronic illnesses were targeted. Factors such as ethnicity, maternal age, parity and maternal body mass index (BMI) at booking visit were studied. A multivariable logistic regression model, adjusted for confounders, was used to determine which of these factors are significantly associated with an increased risk of GDM. Results: The overall GDM prevalence rate based on WHO 1999 criteria & at risk screening (race alone not a risk factor) was 8.86%. GDM rates were higher among women above 35 years old (15.96%), obese (15.15%) and multiparous women (10.12%). Indians had a higher GDM rate (13.0 %) compared to the Chinese (9.57%) and Malays (5.20%). However, using multiple logistic regression model, variables that are significantly related to GDM rates were maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal BMI at booking visit (p = 0.006). Conclusion: Maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal booking BMI (p = 0.006) are the strongest risk factors for GDM. Ethnicity per se does not seem to have a significant influence on the prevalence of GDM in Singapore (p = 0.064). Hence we should tailor guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to maternal age and booking BMI rather than ethnicity.

Keywords: ethnicity, gestational diabetes, healthcare, pregnancy

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70 Notes on Matter: Ibn Arabi, Bernard Silvestris, and Other Ghosts

Authors: Brad Fox


Between something and nothing, a bit of both, neither/nor, a figment of the imagination, the womb of the universe - questions of what matter is, where it exists and what it means continue to surge up from the bottom of our concepts and theories. This paper looks at divergences and convergences, intimations and mistranslations, in a lineage of thought that begins with Plato’s Timaeus, travels through Arabic Spain and Syria, finally to end up in the language of science. Up to the 13th century, philosophers in Christian France based such inquiries on a questionable and fragmented translation of the Timaeus by Calcidius, with a commentary that conflated the Platonic concept of khora (‘space’ or ‘void’) with Aristotle’s hyle (‘primal matter’ as derived from ‘wood’ as a building material). Both terms were translated by Calcidius as silva. For 700 years, this was the only source for philosophers of matter in the Latin-speaking world. Bernard Silvestris, in his Cosmographia, exemplifies the concepts developed before new translations from Arabic began to pour into the Latin world from such centers as the court of Toledo. Unlike their counterparts across the Pyrenees, 13th century philosophers in Muslim Spain had access to a broad vocabulary for notions of primal matter. The prolific and visionary theologian, philosopher, and poet Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi could draw on the Ikhwan Al-Safa’s 10th Century renderings of Aristotle, which translated the Greek hyle as the everyday Arabic word maddah, still used for building materials today. He also often used the simple transliteration of hyle as hayula, probably taken from Ibn Sina. The prophet’s son-in-law Ali talked of dust in the air, invisible until it is struck by sunlight. Ibn Arabi adopted this dust - haba - as an expression for an original metaphysical substance, nonexistent but susceptible to manifesting forms. Ibn Arabi compares the dust to a phoenix, because we have heard about it and can conceive of it, but it has no existence unto itself and can be described only in similes. Elsewhere he refers to it as quwwa wa salahiyya - pure potentiality and readiness. The final portion of the paper will compare Bernard and Ibn Arabi’s notions of matter to the recent ontology developed by theoretical physicist and philosopher Karen Barad. Looking at Barad’s work with the work of Nils Bohr, it will argue that there is a rich resonance between Ibn Arabi’s paradoxical conceptions of matter and the quantum vacuum fluctuations verified by recent lab experiments. The inseparability of matter and meaning in Barad recall Ibn Arabi’s original response to Ibn Rushd’s question: Does revelation offer the same knowledge as rationality? ‘Yes and No,’ Ibn Arabi said, ‘and between the yes and no spirit is divided from matter and heads are separated from bodies.’ Ibn Arabi’s double affirmation continues to offer insight into our relationship to momentary experience at its most fundamental level.

Keywords: Karen Barad, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, primal matter, Bernard Silvestris

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69 The Gasification of Acetone via Partial Oxidation in Supercritical Water

Authors: Shyh-Ming Chern, Kai-Ting Hsieh


Organic solvents find various applications in many industrial sectors and laboratories as dilution solvents, dispersion solvents, cleaners and even lubricants. Millions of tons of Spent Organic Solvents (SOS) are generated each year worldwide, prompting the need for more efficient, cleaner and safer methods for the treatment and resource recovery of SOS. As a result, acetone, selected as a model compound for SOS, was gasified in supercritical water to assess the feasibility of resource recovery of SOS by means of supercritical water processes. Experiments were conducted with an autoclave reactor. Gaseous product is mainly consists of H2, CO, CO2 and CH4. The effects of three major operating parameters, the reaction temperature, from 673 to 773K, the dosage of oxidizing agent, from 0.3 to 0.5 stoichiometric oxygen, and the concentration of acetone in the feed, 0.1 and 0.2M, on the product gas composition, yield and heating value were evaluated with the water density fixed at about 0.188g/ml.

Keywords: acetone, gasification, SCW, supercritical water

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68 The Gasification of Fructose in Supercritical Water

Authors: Shyh-Ming Chern, H. Y. Cheng


Biomass is renewable and sustainable. As an energy source, it will not release extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Hence, tremendous efforts have been made to develop technologies capable of transforming biomass into suitable forms of bio-fuel. One of the viable technologies is gasifying biomass in supercritical water (SCW), a green medium for reactions. While previous studies overwhelmingly selected glucose as a model compound for biomass, the present study adopted fructose for the sake of comparison. The gasification of fructose in SCW was investigated experimentally to evaluate the applicability of supercritical water processes to biomass gasification. Experiments were conducted with an autoclave reactor. Gaseous product mainly consists of H2, CO, CO2, CH4 and C2H6. The effect of two major operating parameters, the reaction temperature (673-873 K) and the dosage of oxidizing agent (0-0.5 stoichiometric oxygen), on the product gas composition, yield and heating value was also examined, with the reaction pressure fixed at 25 MPa.

Keywords: biomass, fructose, gasification, supercritical water

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67 Tuning Cubic Equations of State for Supercritical Water Applications

Authors: Shyh Ming Chern


Cubic equations of state (EoS), popular due to their simple mathematical form, ease of use, semi-theoretical nature and, reasonable accuracy are normally fitted to vapor-liquid equilibrium P-v-T data. As a result, They often show poor accuracy in the region near and above the critical point. In this study, the performance of the renowned Peng-Robinson (PR) and Patel-Teja (PT) EoS’s around the critical area has been examined against the P-v-T data of water. Both of them display large deviations at critical point. For instance, PR-EoS exhibits discrepancies as high as 47% for the specific volume, 28% for the enthalpy departure and 43% for the entropy departure at critical point. It is shown that incorporating P-v-T data of the supercritical region into the retuning of a cubic EoS can improve its performance above the critical point dramatically. Adopting a retuned acentric factor of 0.5491 instead of its genuine value of 0.344 for water in PR-EoS and a new F of 0.8854 instead of its original value of 0.6898 for water in PT-EoS reduces the discrepancies to about one third or less.

Keywords: equation of state, EoS, supercritical water, SCW

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66 Endometriosis: The Optimal Treatment of Recurrent Endometrioma in Infertile Patients

Authors: Smita Lakhotia, C. Kew, S. H. M. Siraj, B. Chern


Up to 50% of those with endometriosis may suffer from infertility due to either distorted pelvic anatomy/impaired oocyte release or inhibit ovum pickup and transport, altered peritoneal function, endocrine and anovulatory disorders, including LUF, impaired implantation, progesterone resistance or decreased levels of cellular immunity. The dilemma continues as to whether the surgery or IVF is the optimal management for such recurrent endometriomas. The core question is whether surgery adds anything of value for infertile women with recurrent endometriosis or not. Complete and detailed information on risks and benefits of treatment alternatives must be offered to patients, giving a realistic estimate of chances of success of repetitive surgery and of multiple IVF cycles in order to allow unbiased choices between different possible optionsAn individualized treatment plan should be developed taking into account patient age, duration of infertility, previous pregnancies and specific clinical conditions and wish.

Keywords: recurrent endometriosis, infertility, oocyte release, pregnancy

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65 The Thermochemical Conversion of Lactic Acid in Subcritical and Supercritical Water

Authors: Shyh-Ming Chern, Hung-Chi Tu


One way to utilize biomass is to thermochemically convert it into gases and chemicals. For conversion of biomass, glucose is a particularly popular model compound for cellulose, or more generally for biomass. The present study takes a different approach by employing lactic acid as the model compound for cellulose. Since lactic acid and glucose have identical elemental composition, they are expected to produce similar results as they go through the conversion process. In the current study, lactic acid was thermochemically converted to assess its reactivity and reaction mechanism in subcritical and supercritical water, by using a 16-ml autoclave reactor. The major operating parameters investigated include: The reaction temperature, from 673 to 873 K, the reaction pressure, 10 and 25 MPa, the dosage of oxidizing agent, 0 and 0.5 chemical oxygen demand, and the concentration of lactic acid in the feed, 0.5 and 1.0 M. Gaseous products from the conversion were generally found to be comparable to those derived from the conversion of glucose.

Keywords: lactic acid, subcritical water, supercritical water, thermochemical conversion

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64 A Comparative Study of Cognitive Factors Affecting Social Distancing among Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Filipinos

Authors: Emmanuel Carlo Belara, Albert John Dela Merced, Mark Anthony Dominguez, Diomari Erasga, Jerome Ferrer, Bernard Ombrog


Social distancing errors are a common prevalence between vaccinated and unvaccinated in the Filipino community. This study aims to identify and relate the factors on how they affect our daily lives. Observed factors include memory, attention, anxiety, decision-making, and stress. Upon applying the ergonomic tools and statistical treatment such as t-test and multiple linear regression, stress and attention turned out to have the most impact to the errors of social distancing.

Keywords: vaccinated, unvaccinated, socoal distancing, filipinos

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63 Major Incident Tier System in the Emergency Department: An Approach

Authors: Catherine Bernard, Paul Ransom


Recent events have prompted emergency planners to re-evaluate their emergency response to major incidents and mass casualties. At the Royal Sussex County Hospital, we have adopted a tiered system comprised of three levels, anticipating an increasing P1, P2 or P3 load. This will aid planning in the golden period between Major Incident ‘Standby,’ and ‘Declared’. Each tier offers step-by-step instructions on appropriate patient movement within and out of the department, as well as suggestions for overflow areas and additional staffing levels. This system can be adapted to individual hospitals and provides concise instructions to be followed in a potentially overwhelming situation.

Keywords: disaster planning, emergency preparedness, major incident planning, mass casualty event

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62 Data Analytics of Electronic Medical Records Shows an Age-Related Differences in Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

Authors: Maryam Panahiazar, Andrew M. Bishara, Yorick Chern, Roohallah Alizadehsani, Dexter Hadleye, Ramin E. Beygui


Early detection plays a crucial role in enhancing the outcome for a patient with coronary artery disease (CAD). We utilized a big data analytics platform on ~23,000 patients with CAD from a total of 960,129 UCSF patients in 8 years. We traced the patients from their first encounter with a physician to diagnose and treat CAD. Characteristics such as demographic information, comorbidities, vital, lab tests, medications, and procedures are included. There are statistically significant gender-based differences in patients younger than 60 years old from the time of the first physician encounter to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with a p-value=0.03. There are no significant differences between the patients between 60 and 80 years old (p-value=0.8) and older than 80 (p-value=0.4) with a 95% confidence interval. This recognition would affect significant changes in the guideline for referral of the patients for diagnostic tests expeditiously to improve the outcome by avoiding the delay in treatment.

Keywords: electronic medical records, coronary artery disease, data analytics, young women

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61 The Maldistribution of Doctors and the Responsibility of Medical Education: A Literature Review

Authors: Catherine Bernard


The maldistribution of clinicians within countries is well documented. It is a common theme throughout the world that rural areas often struggle to recruit and retain health workers resulting in inadequate healthcare for many. This paper will concentrate on the responsibilities that medical schools may have in addressing this shortage of rural health workers. Recommendations are made with regards to targeted rural student admissions, rurally-based medical schools, rural clinical rotations and a curriculum orientated towards rural health issues. The evidence gathered suggests that individual factors are positive in encouraging health workers to practice in rural locations. However, there is strength in numbers, and combining all the recommendations will likely result in a synergistic effect, thereby increasing numbers of rural health workers and achieving accessible healthcare for those living in rural populations.

Keywords: medical education, medical education design, public health, rural health

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60 A Quantitative Structure-Adsorption Study on Novel and Emerging Adsorbent Materials

Authors: Marc Sader, Michiel Stock, Bernard De Baets


Considering a large amount of adsorption data of adsorbate gases on adsorbent materials in literature, it is interesting to predict such adsorption data without experimentation. A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) is developed to correlate molecular characteristics of gases and existing knowledge of materials with their respective adsorption properties. The application of Random Forest, a machine learning method, on a set of adsorption isotherms at a wide range of partial pressures and concentrations is studied. The predicted adsorption isotherms are fitted to several adsorption equations to estimate the adsorption properties. To impute the adsorption properties of desired gases on desired materials, leave-one-out cross-validation is employed. Extensive experimental results for a range of settings are reported.

Keywords: adsorption, predictive modeling, QSAR, random forest

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59 Gasification of Trans-4-Hydroxycinnamic Acid with Ethanol at Elevated Temperatures

Authors: Shyh-Ming Chern, Wei-Ling Lin


Lignin is a major constituent of woody biomass, and exists abundantly in nature. It is the major byproducts from the paper industry and bioethanol production processes. The byproducts are mainly used for low-valued applications. Instead, lignin can be converted into higher-valued gaseous fuel, thereby helping to curtail the ever-growing price of oil and to slow down the trend of global warming. Although biochemical treatment is capable of converting cellulose into liquid ethanol fuel, it cannot be applied to the conversion of lignin. Alternatively, it is possible to convert lignin into gaseous fuel thermochemically. In the present work, trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid, a model compound for lignin, which closely resembles the basic building blocks of lignin, is gasified in an autoclave with ethanol at elevated temperatures and pressures, that are above the critical point of ethanol. Ethanol, instead of water, is chosen, because ethanol dissolves trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid easily and helps to convert it into lighter gaseous species relatively well. The major operating parameters for the gasification reaction include temperature (673-873 K), reaction pressure (5-25 MPa) and feed concentration (0.05-0.3 M). Generally, more than 80% of the reactant, including trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid and ethanol, were converted into gaseous products at an operating condition of 873 K and 5 MPa.

Keywords: ethanol, gasification, lignin, supercritical

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58 A Modular Framework for Enabling Analysis for Educators with Different Levels of Data Mining Skills

Authors: Kyle De Freitas, Margaret Bernard


Enabling data mining analysis among a wider audience of educators is an active area of research within the educational data mining (EDM) community. The paper proposes a framework for developing an environment that caters for educators who have little technical data mining skills as well as for more advanced users with some data mining expertise. This framework architecture was developed through the review of the strengths and weaknesses of existing models in the literature. The proposed framework provides a modular architecture for future researchers to focus on the development of specific areas within the EDM process. Finally, the paper also highlights a strategy of enabling analysis through either the use of predefined questions or a guided data mining process and highlights how the developed questions and analysis conducted can be reused and extended over time.

Keywords: educational data mining, learning management system, learning analytics, EDM framework

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57 A GIS Based Composite Land Degradation Assessment and Mapping of Tarkwa Mining Area

Authors: Bernard Kumi-Boateng, Kofi Bonsu


The clearing of vegetation in the Tarkwa Mining Area (TMA) for the purposes of mining, lumbering and development of settlement for the increasing population has caused a large scale denudation of the forest cover and erosion of the top soil thereby degrading the agriculture land. It is, therefore, essential to know the current status of land degradation in TMA so as to facilitate land conservation policy-making. The types of degradation, the extents of the degradations and their various degrees were combined to develop a composite land degradation index to assess the current status of land degradation in TMA using GIS based techniques. The assessment revealed that the most significant types of degradation in TMA were open pit and quarry mining; urbanisation and other construction projects; and surface scraping during land clearing. It was found that 21.62 % of the total area of TMA (353.07 km2) had high degradation index rating. It is recommended that decision makers use this assessment as a reference point for future initiatives that will be taken in order to develop land conservation policy.

Keywords: degradation, GIS, land, mining

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56 Spatial Correlation of Channel State Information in Real Long Range Measurement

Authors: Ahmed Abdelghany, Bernard Uguen, Christophe Moy, Dominique Lemur


The Internet of Things (IoT) is developed to ensure monitoring and connectivity within different applications. Thus, it is critical to study the channel propagation characteristics in Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), especially Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN). In this paper, an in-depth investigation of the reciprocity between the uplink and downlink Channel State Information (CSI) is done by performing an outdoor measurement campaign in the area of Campus Beaulieu in Rennes. At each different location, the CSI reciprocity is quantified using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) which shows a very high linear correlation between the uplink and downlink CSI. This reciprocity feature could be utilized for the physical layer security between the node and the gateway. On the other hand, most of the CSI shapes from different locations are highly uncorrelated from each other. Hence, it can be anticipated that this could achieve significant localization gain by utilizing the frequency hopping in the LoRa systems by getting access to a wider band.

Keywords: IoT, LPWAN, LoRa, effective signal power, onsite measurement

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55 H-Infinity and RST Position Controllers of Rotary Traveling Wave Ultrasonic Motor

Authors: M. Brahim, I. Bahri, Y. Bernard


Traveling Wave Ultrasonic Motor (TWUM) is a compact, precise, and silent actuator generating high torque at low speed without gears. Moreover, the TWUM has a high holding torque without supply, which makes this motor as an attractive solution for holding position of robotic arms. However, their nonlinear dynamics, and the presence of load-dependent dead zones often limit their use. Those issues can be overcome in closed loop with effective and precise controllers. In this paper, robust H-infinity (H∞) and discrete time RST position controllers are presented. The H∞ controller is designed in continuous time with additional weighting filters to ensure the robustness in the case of uncertain motor model and external disturbances. Robust RST controller based on the pole placement method is also designed and compared to the H∞. Simulink model of TWUM is used to validate the stability and the robustness of the two proposed controllers.

Keywords: piezoelectric motors, position control, H∞, RST, stability criteria, robustness

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54 The Breast Surgery Movement: A 50 Year Development of the Surgical Specialty

Authors: Lauren Zammerilla Westcott, Ronald C. Jones, James W. Fleshman


The surgical treatment of breast cancer has rapidly evolved over the past 50 years, progressing from Halsted’s radical mastectomy to a public campaign of surgical options, aesthetic reconstruction, and patient empowerment. This article examines the happenings that led to the transition of breast surgery as a subset of general surgery to its own specialized field. Sparked by the research of Dr. Bernard Fisher and the first National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trial in 1971, the field of breast surgery underwent significant growth over the next several decades, enabling general surgeons to limit their practices to the breast. High surgical volumes eventually led to the development of the first formal breast surgical oncology fellowship in a large community-based hospital at Baylor University Medical Center in 1982. The establishment of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, as well several landmark clinical trials and public campaign efforts, further contributed to the advancement of breast surgery, making it the specialized field of the current era.

Keywords: breast cancer, breast fellowship, breast surgery, surgical history

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53 The Challenges of Scaling Agile to Large-Scale Distributed Development: An Overview of the Agile Factory Model

Authors: Bernard Doherty, Andrew Jelfs, Aveek Dasgupta, Patrick Holden


Many companies have moved to agile and hybrid agile methodologies where portions of the Software Design Life-cycle (SDLC) and Software Test Life-cycle (STLC) can be time boxed in order to enhance delivery speed, quality and to increase flexibility to changes in software requirements. Despite widespread proliferation of agile practices, implementation often fails due to lack of adequate project management support, decreased motivation or fear of increased interaction. Consequently, few organizations effectively adopt agile processes with tailoring often required to integrate agile methodology in large scale environments. This paper provides an overview of the challenges in implementing an innovative large-scale tailored realization of the agile methodology termed the Agile Factory Model (AFM), with the aim of comparing and contrasting issues of specific importance to organizations undertaking large scale agile development. The conclusions demonstrate that agile practices can be effectively translated to a globally distributed development environment.

Keywords: agile, agile factory model, globally distributed development, large-scale agile

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52 Power, Values, Rules and Leader Decision Making: A Discourse Perspective

Authors: Cathryn Robinson, Bernard McKenna, David Rooney


This paper argues that the application of values-based leadership increasingly challenges leaders in rules-based organisations, particularly in bureaucratic organisations such as the military, public service, police, and emergency services. Leaders are grappling to reconcile how to enact values-based leadership and decision-making when they are bound by rules, policies, and procedures. This interpretive study used a multi-faceted vignette (critical incident) as the basis of an interview with air force officers at three levels: executive, senior, and junior. In this way, practice is forced to intersect with discourse. The findings revealed a shared set of discourse themes (legal; rules; safety and risk; operational practice/theatre discourses), but also clear dialectical tensions. These tensions were evident in executive officers and senior leaders emphasizing rules and information themes, whereas junior officers emphasized decision making, collateral, and situation. These findings reveal discourse and practice incommensurability that could have grave implications in the conduct of war.

Keywords: critical incident, discourse analysis, rules-based, values-based

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51 The Shape Memory Recovery Properties under Load of a Polymer Composite

Authors: Abdul Basit, Gildas Lhostis, Bernard Durand


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are replacing shape memory alloys (SMAs) in many applications as SMPs have certain superior properties than SMAs. However, SMAs possess some properties like recovery under stress that SMPs lack. SMPs cannot give complete recovery even under a small load. SMPs are initially heated close to their transition temperature (glass transition temperature or the melting temperature). Then force is applied to deform the heated SMP to a specific position. Subsequently, SMP is allowed to cool keeping it deformed. After cooling, SMP gets the temporary shape. This temporary shape can be recovered by heating it again at the same temperature that was given it while heating it initially. As a result, it will recover its original position. SMP can perform unconstrained recovery and constrained recovery, however; under the load, it only recovers partially. In this work, the recovery under the load of an asymmetrical shape memory composite called as CBCM-SMPC has been investigated. It is found that it has the ability to recover under different loads. Under different loads, it shows powerful complete recovery in reference to initial position. This property can be utilized in many applications.

Keywords: shape memory, polymer composite, thermo-mechanical testing, recovery under load

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50 Association of Genetic Variants of Apolipoprotein A5 Gene with the Metabolic Syndrome in the Pakistani Population

Authors: Muhammad Fiaz, Muhammad Saqlain, Bernard M. Y. Cheung, S. M. Saqlan Naqvi, Ghazala Kaukab Raja


Background: Association of C allele of rs662799 SNP of APOA5 gene with metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been reported in different populations around the world. A case control study was conducted to explore the relationship of rs662799 variants (T/C) with the MetS and the associated risk phenotypes in a population of Pakistani origin. Methods: MetS was defined according to the IDF criteria. Blood samples were collected from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan for biochemical profiling and DNA extraction. Genotyping of rs662799 was performed using mass ARRAY, iPEX Gold technology. A total of 712 unrelated case and control subjects were genotyped. Data were analyzed using Plink software and SPSS 16.0. Results: The risk allele C of rs662799 showed highly significant association with MetS (OR=1.5, Ρ=0.002). Among risk phenotypes, dyslipidemia, and obesity showed strong association with SNP (OR=1.49, p=0.03; OR =1.46, p=0.01) respectively in models adjusted for age and gender. Conclusion: The rs662799C allele is a significant risk marker for MetS in the local Pakistani population studied. The effect of the SNP is more on dyslipidemia than the other components of the MetS.

Keywords: metabolic syndrome, APOA5, rs662799, dyslipidemia, obesity

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49 A Survey and Theory of the Effects of Various Hamlet Videos on Viewers’ Brains

Authors: Mark Pizzato


How do ideas, images, and emotions in stage-plays and videos affect us? Do they evoke a greater awareness (or cognitive reappraisal of emotions) through possible shifts between left-cortical, right-cortical, and subcortical networks? To address these questions, this presentation summarizes the research of various neuroscientists, especially Bernard Baars and others involved in Global Workspace Theory, Matthew Lieberman in social neuroscience, Iain McGilchrist on left and right cortical functions, and Jaak Panksepp on the subcortical circuits of primal emotions. Through such research, this presentation offers an ‘inner theatre’ model of the brain, regarding major hubs of neural networks and our animal ancestry. It also considers recent experiments, by Mario Beauregard, on the cognitive reappraisal of sad, erotic, and aversive film clips. Finally, it applies the inner-theatre model and related research to survey results of theatre students who read and then watched the ‘To be or not to be’ speech in 8 different video versions (from stage and screen productions) of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Findings show that students become aware of left-cortical, right-cortical, and subcortical brain functions—and shifts between them—through staging and movie-making choices in each of the different videos.

Keywords: cognitive reappraisal, Hamlet, neuroscience, Shakespeare, theatre

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48 Subcritical and Supercritical Water Gasification of Xylose

Authors: Shyh-Ming Chern, Te-Hsiu Tang


Hemicellulose is one of the major constituents of all plant cell walls, making up 15-25% of dry wood. It is a biopolymer from many different sugar monomers, including pentoses, like xylose, and hexoses, like mannose. In an effort to gasify real biomass in subcritical and supercritical water in a single process, it is necessary to understand the gasification of hemicellulose, in addition to cellulose and lignin, in subcritical and supercritical water. In the present study, xylose is chosen as the model compound for hemicellulose, since it has the largest amount in most hardwoods. Xylose is gasified in subcritical and supercritical water for the production of higher-valued gaseous products. Experiments were conducted with a 16-ml autoclave batch-type reactor. Hydrogen peroxide is adopted as the oxidant in an attempt to promote the gasification yield. The major operating parameters for the gasification include reaction temperature (400 - 600°C), reaction pressure (5 - 25 MPa), the concentration of xylose (0.05 and 0.30 M), and level of oxidant added (0 and 0.25 chemical oxygen demand). 102 experimental runs were completed out of 46 different set of experimental conditions. Product gases were analyzed with a GC-TCD and determined to be mainly composed of H₂ (10 – 74 mol. %), CO (1 – 56 mol. %), CH₄ (1 – 27 mol. %), CO₂ (10 – 50 mol. %), and C₂H₆ (0 – 8 mol. %). It has been found that the gas yield (amount of gas produced per gram of xylose gasified), higher heating value (HHV) of the dry product gas, and energy yield (energy stored in the product gas divided by the energy stored in xylose) all increase significantly with rising temperature and moderately with reducing pressure. The overall best operating condition occurred at 873 K and 10 MPa, with a gas yield of 54 mmol/g of xylose, a gas HHV of 440 kJ/mol, and an energy yield of 1.3. A seemingly unreasonably energy yield of greater than unity resulted from the external heating employed in the experiments to drive the gasification process. It is concluded that xylose can be completely gasified in subcritical and supercritical water under proper operating conditions. The addition of oxidant does not promote the gasification of xylose.

Keywords: gasification, subcritical water, supercritical water, xylose

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47 Academic Influence of Social Network Sites on the Collegiate Performance of Technical College Students

Authors: Jameson McFarlane, Thorne J. McFarlane, Leon Bernard


Social network sites (SNS) is an emerging phenomenon that is here to stay. The popularity and the ubiquity of the SNS technology are undeniable. Because most SNS are free and easy to use people from all walks of life and from almost any age are attracted to that technology. College age students are by far the largest segment of the population using SNS. Since most SNS have been adapted for mobile devices, not only do you find students using this technology in their study, while working on labs or on projects, a substantial number of students have been found to use SNS even while listening to lectures. This study found that SNS use has a significant negative impact on the grade point average of college students particularly in the first semester. However, this negative impact is greatly diminished by the end of the third semester partly because the students have adjusted satisfactorily to the challenges of college or because they have learned how to adequately manage their time. It was established that the kinds of activities the students are engaged in during the SNS use are the leading factor affecting academic performance. Of those activities, using SNS during a lecture or while studying is the foremost contributing factor to lower academic performance. This is due to “cognitive” or “information” bottleneck, a condition in which the students find it very difficult to multitask or to switch between resources leading to inefficiency in information retention and thus, educational performance.

Keywords: social network sites, social network analysis, regression coefficient, psychological engagement

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46 Resistance to Chloride Penetration of High Strength Self-Compacting Concretes: Pumice and Zeolite Effect

Authors: Kianoosh Samimi, Siham Kamali-Bernard, Ali Akbar Maghsoudi


This paper aims to contribute to the characterization and the understanding of fresh state, compressive strength and chloride penetration tendency of high strength self-compacting concretes (HSSCCs) where Portland cement type II is partially substituted by 10% and 15% of natural pumice and zeolite. First, five concrete mixtures with a control mixture without any pozzolan are prepared and tested in both fresh and hardened states. Then, resistance to chloride penetration for all formulation is investigated in non-steady state and steady state by measurement of chloride penetration and diffusion coefficient. In non-steady state, the correlation between initial current and chloride penetration with diffusion coefficient is studied. Moreover, the relationship between diffusion coefficient in non-steady state and electrical resistivity is determined. The concentration of free chloride ions is also measured in steady state. Finally, chloride penetration for all formulation is studied in immersion and tidal condition. The result shows that, the resistance to chloride penetration for HSSCC in immersion and tidal condition increases by incorporating pumice and zeolite. However, concrete with zeolite displays a better resistance. This paper shows that the HSSCC with 15% pumice and 10% zeolite is suitable in fresh, hardened, and durability characteristics.

Keywords: Chloride penetration, immersion, pumice, HSSCC, tidal, zeolite

Procedia PDF Downloads 135
45 Evaluating Viability of Solar Tubewell Irrigation Technology

Authors: Junaid N. Chauhdary, Bernard A. Engel, Allah Bakhsh


Solar powered tubewells can be a reliable and affordable source of supplying irrigation water compared with electric or diesel operated tubewells due to frequent load shedding and soaring energy prices. A study was conducted on a solar tubewell installed at the Water Management Research Center (WMRC), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad to investigate the viability of a solar powered tubewell in terms of discharge and benefit cost ratio. The tubewell discharge was 50 m3hr-1 with a total dynamic head of 30 m. The depth of bore was 31 m (14 m blind + 17 m screen) with a casing diameter of 15.2 cm (6 inches). A 3-stage submersible pump of 10.2 cm (4 inch) diameter was lowered in the casing to a depth of 22 m. The pump was powered from 21 solar panels of 200 W capacity each. The tubewell peak discharge was observed as 6 and 7 hr day-1 in winter and summer, respectively. The breakeven analysis of the solar tubewell showed that the payback period of the solar tubewell was 1.5 years of its 10 year usable life with an IRR (internal rate of return) of 69 %. The BCR (benefit cost ratio) of the solar tubewell at 2, 4, 6, and 8 percent discount rate were 3.75, 3.45, 3.19 and 2.96, respectively. The NPV (net present value) of the solar tubewell at 2, 4, 6, and 8 % discount rates were 1.89, 1.65, 1.45 and 1.27 million rupees, respectively. These results indicated that the solar powered tubewells are a viable option as well as environmentally friendly and can be adopted by the farmers due to their affordable payback period.

Keywords: benefit cost ratio, internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), solar tubewell

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44 Implications of Fuel Reloading in Heterogeneous Thorium-Based Fuel Designs for Improved Fuel Cycle Characteristics

Authors: Hendrik Bernard Van Der Walt, Frik Van Niekerk


Fuel models render a reduction in BOL when thorium is added to a reactor core. Thorium emulates the role of a fertile poison, and is beneficial for reducing beginning of cycle (BOC) excess reactivity. In spite of the build-up of 233U over the duration of a fuel cycle, the effects of fuel reloading have a significant impact on fuel viability, especially in the case of heterogeneous thorium-based fuels. The most common practice of compensating for the reduction of BOC reactivity is the addition of fissile isotopes (uranium fuel with increased enrichment or plutonium). This study introduces a heterogeneous thorium-based fuel with minimal fissile isotope additions. A pseudo reloading scheme was developed for numerical simulations of an infinite reactor based on the North-Anna 1 reactor operating in Virginia, USA. Use of this reloading pattern allows new thorium-based fuel to be loaded into the reactor model as part of a phasing in strategy at the end of any conventional reactor cycle. Results demonstrate the effects of thorium-based fuel on fuel cycle characteristics such as fuel cycle length, neutron economy and material matrix. Application of the above mentioned approach delivered promising results and presents a heterogeneous thorium-based fuel which could replace conventional fuel of typical, currently operating (or future) reactors without the need for expensive reactor redesign or fuel recycling strategies.

Keywords: nuclear fuel, nuclear characteristics, nuclear fuel cycle, thorium-based fuel, heterogeneous design, fuel reloading

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43 Nuclear Characteristics of a Heterogeneous Thorium-Based Fuel Design Aimed at Increasing Fuel Cycle Length of a Typical PWR

Authors: Hendrik Bernard Van Der Walt, Frik Van Niekerk


Heterogeneous thorium-based fuels have been proposed as an alternative for conventional reactor fuels and many studies have shown promising results. Fuel cycle characteristics still have to be explored in detail. This study investigates the use of a novel thorium-based fuel design aimed at increasing fuel cycle length of a typical PWR with an explicit focus on thorium- uranium content, neutron spectrum, flux considerations and neutron economy.As nuclear reactions are highly dependent on reactor flux and material matrix, analytical and numerical calculations have been completed to predict the behaviour of the proposed nuclear fuel. The proposed design utilizes various ratios of thorium oxide and uranium oxide pellets within fuel pins, divided into heterogeneous sections of specified length. This design renders multiple regions with unique characteristics. The goal of this study is to determine and optimally utilize these characteristics. Proliferation considerations result in the need for denaturing of heterogeneous regions, which renders more unique characteristics, these aspects were examined in this study. Finally, the use of fertile thorium to emulate a burnable poison for managing excess BOL reactivity has been investigated, as well as an option for flux shaping in a typical PWR.

Keywords: nuclear fuel, nuclear characteristics, nuclear fuel cycle, thorium-based fuel, heterogeneous design

Procedia PDF Downloads 63