Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Eleni Katsouli

30 Preliminary Knowledge Extraction from Beethoven’s Sonatas: from Musical Referential Patterns to Emotional Normative Ratings

Authors: Christina Volioti, Sotiris Manitsaris, Eleni Katsouli, Vasiliki Tsekouropoulou, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Abstract:

The piano sonatas of Beethoven represent part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The aims of this research were to further explore this intangibility by placing emphasis on defining emotional normative ratings for the “Waldstein” (Op. 53) and “Tempest” (Op. 31) Sonatas of Beethoven. To this end, a musicological analysis was conducted on these particular sonatas and referential patterns in these works of Beethoven were defined. Appropriate interactive questionnaires were designed in order to create a statistical normative rating that describes the emotional status when an individual listens to these musical excerpts. Based on these ratings, it is possible for emotional annotations for these same referential patterns to be created and integrated into the music score.

Keywords: emotional annotations, intangible cultural heritage, musicological analysis, normative ratings

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29 Punishment In Athenian Forensic Oratory

Authors: Eleni Volonaki

Abstract:

In Athenian forensic speeches, the argumentation on punishment of the wrongdoers constitutes a fundamental ideal of exacting justice in court. The present paper explores the variation of approaches to punishment as a means of reformation, revenge, correction, education, example, chance to restoration of justice. As it will be shown, all these approaches reflect the social and political ideology of Athenian justice in the classical period and enhances the role of the courts and the importance of rhetoric in the process of decision-making. Punishment entails a wide range of penalties but also of ideological principles related to the Athenian constitution of democracy.

Keywords: punishment, athenian forensic speeches, justice, athenian democracy

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28 Justitium: Endangered Species and Humanitarian Interventions in the Anthropocene Era

Authors: Eleni Panagiotarakou

Abstract:

This paper argues that humans have a collective moral responsibility to help wild animals during the Anthropocene era. Seen from the perspective of deontic logic, this moral responsibility did not exist in the Holocene era (ca. 11,700 BC-1945 AD) on account of humanity’s limited impact on the natural environment. By contrast in the Anthropocene, human activities are causing significant disturbances to planetary ecosystems and by inference to wildlife communities. Under these circumstances controversial and deeply regrettable interventional methods such as Managed Relocations (MR) and synthetic biology should be expanded and become policy measures despite their known and unknown risks. The main rationale for the above stems from the fact that traditional management strategies are simply insufficient in the Anthropocene. If the same anthropogenic activities continue unabated they risk triggering a sixth mass species extinction.

Keywords: anthropocene, humanitarian interventions, managed relocations, species extinctions, synthetic biology

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27 Lightweight High-Pressure Ratio Centrifugal Compressor for Vehicles-Investigation of Pipe Diffuser Designs by Means of CFD

Authors: Eleni Ioannou, Pascal Nucara, Keith Pullen

Abstract:

The subject of this paper is the investigation of the best efficiency design of a compressor diffuser applied in new lightweight, ultra efficient micro-gas turbine engines for vehicles. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) results are obtained utilizing steady state simulations for a wedge and an ”oval” type pipe diffuser in an effort to identify the beneficial effects of the pipe diffuser design. The basic flow features are presented with particular focus on the optimization of the pipe diffuser leading to higher efficiencies for the compressor stage. The optimised pipe diffuser is designed to exploit the 3D freedom enabled by Selective Laser Melting, hence purposely involves an investigation of geometric characteristics that do not follow the traditional diffuser concept.

Keywords: CFD, centrifugal compressor, micro-gas turbine, pipe diffuser, SLM, wedge diffuser

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26 An Evaluation of People’s Susceptibility to Phishing Attacks in Nepal and Effectiveness of the Applied Countermeasures

Authors: Sunil Chaudhary, Rajendra Bahadur Thapa, Eleni Berki, Marko Helenius

Abstract:

The increasing number of Internet and mobile phone users, and essentially those, who use these electronic media to perform online transactions makes Nepal lucrative for phishing attacks. It is one of the reasons behind escalating phishing attacks in the country. Therefore, in this paper we examine various phishing attempts and real scenarios in Nepal to determine the seriousness of the problem. We also want to find out how prepared are the Internet and mobile phone users and how well-equipped are the private sector and government authorities responsible to handle cybercrime in the country. We considered five areas of research study, i.e., legal measures, technical and procedural measures, organizational structure, capacity building and international cooperation. These constitute important factors in cyber security and are recommended by the Global Cyber security Agenda (GCA). On the basis of our findings, we provide essential suggestions to make anti-phishing measures more appropriate to Nepalese State and society.

Keywords: internet banking, mobile banking, e-commerce, phishing, anti-phishing, Nepal

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25 Digital Transformation in Developing Countries, A Study into Building Information Modelling Adoption in Thai Design and Engineering Small- and Medium-Sizes Enterprises

Authors: Prompt Udomdech, Eleni Papadonikolaki, Andrew Davies

Abstract:

Building information modelling (BIM) is the major technological trend amongst built environment organisations. Digitalising businesses and operations, BIM brings forth a digital transformation in any built environment industry. The adoption of BIM presents challenges for organisations, especially small- and medium-sizes enterprises (SMEs). The main problem for built-environment SMEs is the lack of project actors with adequate BIM competences. The research highlights learning in projects as the key and explores into the learning of BIM in projects of designers and engineers within Thai design and engineering SMEs. The study uncovers three impeding attributes, which are: a) lack of English proficiency; b) unfamiliarity with digital technologies; and c) absence of public standards. This research expands on the literature on BIM competences and adoption.

Keywords: BIM competences and adoption, digital transformation, learning in projects, SMEs, and developing built environment industry

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24 Tapered Double Cantilever Beam: Evaluation of the Test Set-up for Self-Healing Polymers

Authors: Eleni Tsangouri, Xander Hillewaere, David Garoz Gómez, Dimitrios Aggelis, Filip Du Prez, Danny Van Hemelrijck

Abstract:

Tapered Double Cantilever Beam (TDCB) is the most commonly used test set-up to evaluate the self-healing feature of thermoset polymers autonomously activated in the presence of crack. TDCB is a modification of the established fracture mechanics set-up of Double Cantilever Beam and is designed to provide constant strain energy release rate with crack length under stable load evolution (mode-I). In this study, the damage of virgin and autonomously healed TDCB polymer samples is evaluated considering the load-crack opening diagram, the strain maps provided by Digital Image Correlation technique and the fractography maps given by optical microscopy. It is shown that the pre-crack introduced prior to testing (razor blade tapping), the loading rate and the length of the side groove are the features that dominate the crack propagation and lead to inconstant fracture energy release rate.

Keywords: polymers, autonomous healing, fracture, tapered double cantilever beam

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23 Integrating Non-Psychoactive Phytocannabinoids and Their Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complexes into the Treatment of Glioblastoma

Authors: Kyriaki Hatziagapiou, Konstantinos Bethanis, Olti Nikola, Elias Christoforides, Eleni Koniari, Eleni Kakouri, George Lambrou, Christina Kanaka-Gantenbein

Abstract:

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains a serious health challenge, as current therapeutic modalities continue to yield unsatisfactory results, with the average survival rarely exceeding 1-2 years. Natural compounds still provide some of the most promising approaches for discovering new drugs. The non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD) deriving from Cannabis sativa L. provides such promise. CBD is endowed with anticancer, antioxidant, and genoprotective properties as established in vitro and in in vivo experiments. CBD’s selectivity towards cancer cells and its safe profile suggest its usage in cancer therapies. However, the bioavailability of oral CBD is low due to poor aqueous solubility, erratic gastrointestinal absorption, and significant first-pass metabolism, hampering its therapeutic potential and resulting in a variable pharmacokinetic profile. In this context, CBD can take great advantage of nanomedicine-based formulation strategies. Cyclodextrins (CDs) are cyclic oligosaccharides used in the pharmaceutical industry to incorporate apolar molecules inside their hydrophobic cavity, increasing their stability, water solubility, and bioavailability or decreasing their side effects. CBD-inclusion complexes with CDs could be a good strategy to improve its properties, like solubility and stability to harness its full therapeutic potential. The current research aims to study the potential cytotoxic effect of CBD and CBD-CDs complexes CBD-RMβCD (randomly methylated β-cyclodextrin) and CBD-HPβCD (hydroxypropyl-b-CD) on the A172 glioblastoma cell line. CBD is diluted in 10% DMSO, and CBD/CDs solutions are prepared by mixing solid CBD, solid CDs, and dH2O. For the biological assays, A172 cells are incubated at a range of concentrations of CBD, CBD-RMβCD and CBD-HPβCD, RMβCD, and HPβCD (0,03125-4 mg/ml) at 24, 48, and 72 hours. Analysis of cell viability after incubation with the compounds is performed with Alamar Blue viability assay. CBD’s dilution to DMSO 10% was inadequate, as crystals are observed; thus cytotoxicity experiments are not assessed. CBD’s solubility is enhanced in the presence of both CDs. CBD/CDs exert significant cytotoxicity in a dose and time-dependent manner (p < 0.005 for exposed cells to any concentration at 48, 72, and 96 hours versus cells not exposed); as their concentration and time of exposure increases, the reduction of resazurin to resofurin decreases, indicating a reduction in cell viability. The cytotoxic effect is more pronounced in cells exposed to CBD-HPβCD for all concentrations and time-points. RMβCD and HPβCD at the highest concentration of 4 mg/ml also exerted antitumor action per se since manifesting cell growth inhibition. The results of our study could afford the basis of research regarding the use of natural products and their inclusion complexes as anticancer agents and the shift to targeted therapy with higher efficacy and limited toxicity. Acknowledgments: The research is partly funded by ΙΚΥ (State Scholarships Foundation) – Post-doc Scholarships-Partnership Agreement 2014-2020.

Keywords: cannabidiol, cyclodextrins, glioblastoma, hydroxypropyl-b-Cyclodextrin, randomly-methylated-β-cyclodextrin

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22 An Investigation on Climate Responsive Design Strategies of Apartment Buildings in Athens of the Period 1920-1960s

Authors: Angeliki Chronopoulou, Eleni Alexandrou

Abstract:

This paper thoroughly investigates residential buildings of the period 1920 – 1960 in Athens and evaluates their bioclimatic response and energy performance. A methodology adapted to the specific context of the city is proposed and applied in order to assess and extract results related to the climate analysis of the city of Athens, the general/architectural design and construction characteristics of the apartment buildings constructed during the period 1920 – 1960, the bioclimatic strategies applied on them, and the achieved thermal comfort based on questionnaires answered by their users. The results of the current study indicate that the residential architecture of that period in the city of Athens is adapted to an extent to the local climate with various climate-responsive strategies. As an outcome of the analysis, the most frequently applied depending on the period of construction are presented. For this reason, the examined period is divided into three sub-periods: 1st period the 1920s – 1930s (late neoclassicism & eclecticism), 2nd period, 1930s – 1940s (modernism), 3rd period, 1940s – 1960s (postwar modernism).

Keywords: Athens, climatic design strategies, residential buildings, middle war and post war architecture, thermal comfort

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21 The Global-Local Dimension in Cognitive Control after Left Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Damage: Evidence from the Non-Verbal Domain

Authors: Eleni Peristeri, Georgia Fotiadou, Ianthi-Maria Tsimpli

Abstract:

The local-global dimension has been studied extensively in healthy controls and preference for globally processed stimuli has been validated in both the visual and auditory modalities. Critically, the local-global dimension has an inherent interference resolution component, a type of cognitive control, and left-prefrontal-cortex-damaged (LPFC) individuals have exhibited inability to override habitual response behaviors in item recognition tasks that involve representational interference. Eight patients with damage in the left PFC (age range: 32;5 to 69;0. Mean age: 54;6 yrs) and twenty age- and education-matched language-unimpaired adults (mean age: 56;7yrs) have participated in the study. Distinct performance patterns were found between the language-unimpaired and the LPFC-damaged group which have mainly stemmed from the latter’s difficulty with inhibiting global stimuli in incongruent trials. Overall, the local-global attentional dimension affects LPFC-damaged individuals with non-fluent aphasia in non-language domains implicating distinct types of inhibitory processes depending on the level of processing.

Keywords: left lateral prefrontal cortex damage (LPFC), local-global non-language attention, representational interference, non-fluent aphasia

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20 Inhibitory Effects of Crocin from Crocus sativus L. on Cell Proliferation of a Medulloblastoma Human Cell Line

Authors: Kyriaki Hatziagapiou, Eleni Kakouri, Konstantinos Bethanis, Alexandra Nikola, Eleni Koniari, Charalabos Kanakis, Elias Christoforides, George Lambrou, Petros Tarantilis

Abstract:

Medulloblastoma is a highly invasive tumour, as it tends to disseminate throughout the central nervous system early in its course. Despite the high 5-year-survival rate, a significant number of patients demonstrate serious long- or short-term sequelae (e.g., myelosuppression, endocrine dysfunction, cardiotoxicity, neurological deficits and cognitive impairment) and higher mortality rates, unrelated to the initial malignancy itself but rather to the aggressive treatment. A strong rationale exists for the use of Crocus sativus L (saffron) and its bioactive constituents (crocin, crocetin, safranal) as pharmaceutical agents, as they exert significant health-promoting properties. Crocins are water soluble carotenoids. Unlike other carotenoids, crocins are highly water-soluble compounds, with relatively low toxicity as they are not stored in adipose and liver tissues. Crocins have attracted wide attention as promising anti-cancer agents, due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects, interference with transduction pathways implicated in tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, and metastasis (disruption of mitotic spindle assembly, inhibition of DNA topoisomerases, cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis or cell differentiation) and sensitization of cancer cells to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The current research aimed to study the potential cytotoxic effect of crocins on TE671 medulloblastoma cell line, which may be useful in the optimization of existing and development of new therapeutic strategies. Crocins were extracted from stigmas of saffron in ultrasonic bath, using petroleum-ether, diethylether and methanol 70%v/v as solvents and the final extract was lyophilized. Identification of crocins according to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was determined comparing the UV-vis spectra and the retention time (tR) of the peaks with literature data. For the biological assays crocin was diluted to nuclease and protease free water. TE671 cells were incubated with a range of concentrations of crocins (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.25 mg/ml) for 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours. Analysis of cell viability after incubation with crocins was performed with Alamar Blue viability assay. The active ingredient of Alamar Blue, resazurin, is a blue, nontoxic, cell permeable compound virtually nonfluorescent. Upon entering cells, resazurin is reduced to a pink and fluorescent molecule, resorufin. Viable cells continuously convert resazurin to resorufin, generating a quantitative measure of viability. The colour of resorufin was quantified by measuring the absorbance of the solution at 600 nm with a spectrophotometer. HPLC analysis indicated that the most abundant crocins in our extract were trans-crocin-4 and trans-crocin-3. Crocins exerted significant cytotoxicity in a dose and time-dependent manner (p < 0.005 for exposed cells to any concentration at 48, 72 and 96 hours versus cells not exposed); as their concentration and time of exposure increased, the reduction of resazurin to resofurin decreased, indicating reduction in cell viability. IC50 values for each time point were calculated ~3.738, 1.725, 0.878 and 0.7566 mg/ml at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours, respectively. The results of our study could afford the basis of research regarding the use of natural carotenoids as anticancer agents and the shift to targeted therapy with higher efficacy and limited toxicity. Acknowledgements: The research was funded by Fellowships of Excellence for Postgraduate Studies IKY-Siemens Programme.

Keywords: crocetin, crocin, medulloblastoma, saffron

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19 The Attentional Focus Impact on the Decision Making in Three-Game Situations in Tennis

Authors: Marina Tsetseli, Eleni Zetou, Maria Michalopoulou, Nikos Vernadakis

Abstract:

Game performance, besides the accuracy and the quality skills execution, depends heavily on where the athletes will focus their attention while performing a skill. The purpose of the present study was to examine and compare the effect of internal and external focus of attention instructions on the decision making in tennis at players 8-9 years old (M=8.4, SD=0.49). The participants (N=40) were divided into two groups and followed an intervention training program that lasted 4 weeks; first group (N=20) under internal focus of attention instructions and the second group (N=20) under external focus of attention instructions. Three measurements took place (pre-test, post-test, and retention test) in which the participants were video recorded while playing matches in real scoring conditions. GPAI (Game Performance Assessment Instrument) was used to evaluate decision making in three game situations; service, return of the service, baseline game. ANOVA repeated measures (2 groups x 3 measurements) revealed a significant interaction between groups and measurements. Specifically, the data analysis showed superiority of the group that was instructed to focus externally. The high scores of the external attention group were maintained at the same level at the third measurement as well, which indicates that the impact was concerning not only performance but also learning. Thus, cues that lead to an external focus of attention enhance the decision-making skill and therefore the game performance of the young tennis players.

Keywords: decision making, evaluation, focus of attention, game performance, tennis

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18 Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-lying areas: Coastal Evolution and Impact of Future Sea Level Rise Scenarios in Mirabello Gulf - NE Crete

Authors: Maria Kazantzaki, Evangelos Tsakalos, Eleni Filippaki, Yannis Bassiakos

Abstract:

Mediterranean areas are characterized by intense seismic and volcanic activity as well as eustatic changes, the result of which is the creation of particularly vulnerable coastal zones. The most vulnerable are low-lying coastal areas, the geomorphological evolution of which are highly affected by natural processes and anthropogenic interventions. Therefore, assessing changes that take place along coastal zones is of great importance in order to enable the development of integrated coastal management plans. A characteristic case is the gulf of Mirabello in N.E Crete, where intense coastal erosion, in combination with the tectonic subsidence of the area, threatens a large part of the coastal zone, resulting in direct socio-economic impacts. The present study assesses the temporal geomorphological changes that have taken place in the coastal zone of Mirabello gulf to provide a clear frame of the coastal zone evolution over time and performs a vulnerability assessment based on the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) methodology by Thieler and Hammar-Klose, considering geological features, coastal slope, relative sea-level change, shoreline erosion/accretion rates and mean significant wave height as well as mean tide range in the area. In light of this, an impact assessment, based on three different sea level rise scenarios, is also performed and presented.

Keywords: coastal vulnerability index, coastal erosion, GIS, sea level rise

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17 Vitrification and Devitrification of Chromium Containing Tannery Ash

Authors: Savvas Varitis, Panagiotis Kavouras, George Kaimakamis, Eleni Pavlidou, George Vourlias, Konstantinos Chrysafis, Philomela Komninou, Theodoros Karakostas

Abstract:

Tannery industry produces high quantities of chromium containing waste which also have high organic content. Processing of this waste is important since the organic content is above the disposal limits and the containing trivalent chromium could be potentially oxidized to hexavalent in the environment. This work aims to fabricate new vitreous and glass ceramic materials which could incorporate the tannery waste in stabilized form either for safe disposal or for the production of useful materials. Tannery waste was incinerated at 500oC in anoxic conditions so most of the organic content would be removed and the chromium remained trivalent. Glass forming agents SiO2, Na2O and CaO were mixed with the resulting ash in different proportions with decreasing ash content. Considering the low solubility of Cr in silicate melts, the mixtures were melted at 1400oC and/or 1500oC for 2h and then casted on a refractory steel plate. The resulting vitreous products were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA), Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (SEM and TEM). XRD reveals the existence of Cr2O3 (eskolaite) crystallites embedded in a glassy amorphous matrix. Such crystallites are not formed under a certain proportion of the waste in the ash-vitrified material. Reduction of the ash proportion increases chromium content in the silicate matrix. From these glassy products, glass-ceramics were produced via different regimes of thermal treatment.

Keywords: chromium containing tannery ash, glass ceramic materials, thermal processing, vitrification

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16 Atmospheric CO2 Capture via Temperature/Vacuum Swing Adsorption in SIFSIX-3-Ni

Authors: Eleni Tsalaporta, Sebastien Vaesen, James M. D. MacElroy, Wolfgang Schmitt

Abstract:

Carbon dioxide capture has attracted the attention of many governments, industries and scientists over the last few decades, due to the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 composition, with several studies being conducted in this area over the last few years. In many of these studies, CO2 capture in complex Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) cycles has been associated with high energy consumption despite the promising capture performance of such processes. The purpose of this study is the economic capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide for its transformation into a clean type of energy. A single column Temperature /Vacuum Swing Adsorption (TSA/VSA) process is proposed as an alternative option to multi column Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) processes. The proposed adsorbent is SIFSIX-3-Ni, a newly developed MOF (Metal Organic Framework), with extended CO2 selectivity and capacity. There are three stages involved in this paper: (i) SIFSIX-3-Ni is synthesized and pelletized and its physical and chemical properties are examined before and after the pelletization process, (ii) experiments are designed and undertaken for the estimation of the diffusion and adsorption parameters and limitations for CO2 undergoing capture from the air; and (iii) the CO2 adsorption capacity and dynamical characteristics of SIFSIX-3-Ni are investigated both experimentally and mathematically by employing a single column TSA/VSA, for the capture of atmospheric CO2. This work is further supported by a technical-economical study for the estimation of the investment cost and the energy consumption of the single column TSA/VSA process. The simulations are performed using gProms.

Keywords: carbon dioxide capture, temperature/vacuum swing adsorption, metal organic frameworks, SIFSIX-3-Ni

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15 Anisotropic Behavior of Sand Stabilized with Colloidal Silica

Authors: Eleni Maria Pavlopoulou, Vasiliki N. Georgiannou, Filippos C. Chortis

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The response of M31 sand stabilized with colloidal silica (CS) aqueous gel is investigated in the laboratory. CS is introduced in the water regime, forming a hydrosol. The low viscosity hydrosol thickens in a controllable manner to form a stable, non-toxic gel; the gel fills the pore space, retains the pore water, and supports the grain structure. The role of colloidal silica on subsequent sand behavior is examined with the aid of direct shear, triaxial, and normal compression tests. Under the examined loading modes, while the strength of the treated sand is enhanced, its stiffness may reduce, and its compressibility increase. However, in most geotechnical problems, the loading conditions are complex, involving changes in both stress magnitude and direction. Rotation of principal stresses (σ1, σ2, σ3) in varying amounts expressed as angle α, (from α=0° to 90°) in concurrence with increasing shear stress loading is commonly encountered in soil structures such as foundations, embankments, underwater slopes. To assess the influence of anisotropy on the response of sands before and after their stabilization, hollow cylinder tests were performed. The behavior of stabilized sand is compared with the characteristic sand behavior, i.e., a reduction in peak stress ratio associated with a softer stress-strain response with the increasing angle a. The influence of the magnitude of the intermediate principal stress (σ2) on the mechanical response of treated and untreated sand is also examined.

Keywords: anisotropy, colloidal silica, laboratory tests, sands, soil stabilization

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14 Lifelong Distance Learning and Skills Development: A Case Study Analysis in Greece

Authors: Eleni Giouli

Abstract:

Distance learning provides a flexible approach to education, enabling busy learners to complete their coursework at their own pace, on their own schedule, and from a convenient location. This flexibility combined with a series of other issues; make the benefits of lifelong distance learning numerous. The purpose of the paper is to investigate whether distance education can contribute to the improvement of adult skills in Greece, highlighting in this way the necessity of the lifelong distance learning. To investigate this goal, a questionnaire is constructed and analyzed based on responses from 3,016 attendees of lifelong distance learning programs in the e-learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. In order to do so, a series of relationships is examined including the effects of a) the gender, b) the previous educational level, c) the current employment status, and d) the method used in the distance learning program, on the development of new general, technical, administrative, social, cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills. The basic conclusions that emerge after using a binary logistic framework are that the following factors are critical in order to develop new skills: the gender, the education level and the educational method used in the lifelong distance learning program. The skills more significantly affected by those factors are the acquiring new skills in general, as well as acquiring general, language and cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills, while for technical and social skills only gender and educational method play a crucial role. Moreover, routine skills and social skills are not affected by the four factors included in the analysis.

Keywords: adult skills, distance learning, education, lifelong learning

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13 Forecasting Impacts on Vulnerable Shorelines: Vulnerability Assessment Along the Coastal Zone of Messologi Area - Western Greece

Authors: Evangelos Tsakalos, Maria Kazantzaki, Eleni Filippaki, Yannis Bassiakos

Abstract:

The coastal areas of the Mediterranean have been extensively affected by the transgressive event that followed the Last Glacial Maximum, with many studies conducted regarding the stratigraphic configuration of coastal sediments around the Mediterranean. The coastal zone of the Messologi area, western Greece, consists of low relief beaches containing low cliffs and eroded dunes, a fact which, in combination with the rising sea level and tectonic subsidence of the area, has led to substantial coastal. Coastal vulnerability assessment is a useful means of identifying areas of coastline that are vulnerable to impacts of climate change and coastal processes, highlighting potential problem areas. Commonly, coastal vulnerability assessment takes the form of an ‘index’ that quantifies the relative vulnerability along a coastline. Here we make use of the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) methodology by Thieler and Hammar-Klose, by considering geological features, coastal slope, relative sea-level change, shoreline erosion/accretion rates, and mean significant wave height as well as mean tide range to assess the present-day vulnerability of the coastal zone of Messologi area. In light of this, an impact assessment is performed under three different sea level rise scenarios, and adaptation measures to control climate change events are proposed. This study contributes toward coastal zone management practices in low-lying areas that have little data information, assisting decision-makers in adopting best adaptations options to overcome sea level rise impact on vulnerable areas similar to the coastal zone of Messologi.

Keywords: coastal vulnerability index, coastal erosion, sea level rise, GIS

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12 The Effect of Iconic and Beat Gestures on Memory Recall in Greek’s First and Second Language

Authors: Eleni Ioanna Levantinou

Abstract:

Gestures play a major role in comprehension and memory recall due to the fact that aid the efficient channel of the meaning and support listeners’ comprehension and memory. In the present study, the assistance of two kinds of gestures (iconic and beat gestures) is tested in regards to memory and recall. The hypothesis investigated here is whether or not iconic and beat gestures provide assistance in memory and recall in Greek and in Greek speakers’ second language. Two groups of participants were formed, one comprising Greeks that reside in Athens and one with Greeks that reside in Copenhagen. Three kinds of stimuli were used: A video with words accompanied with iconic gestures, a video with words accompanied with beat gestures and a video with words alone. The languages used are Greek and English. The words in the English videos were spoken by a native English speaker and by a Greek speaker talking English. The reason for this is that when it comes to beat gestures that serve a meta-cognitive function and are generated according to the intonation of a language, prosody plays a major role. Thus, participants that have different influences in prosody may generate different results from rhythmic gestures. Memory recall was assessed by asking the participants to try to remember as many words as they could after viewing each video. Results show that iconic gestures provide significant assistance in memory and recall in Greek and in English whether they are produced by a native or a second language speaker. In the case of beat gestures though, the findings indicate that beat gestures may not play such a significant role in Greek language. As far as intonation is concerned, a significant difference was not found in the case of beat gestures produced by a native English speaker and by a Greek speaker talking English.

Keywords: first language, gestures, memory, second language acquisition

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11 Monitoring of the Chillon Viaducts after Rehabilitation with Ultra High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cement-Based Composite

Authors: Henar Martín-Sanz García, Eleni Chatzi, Eugen Brühwiler

Abstract:

Located on the shore of Geneva Lake, in Switzerland, the Chillon Viaducts are two parallel structures consisted of post-tensioned concrete box girders, with a total length of 2 kilometers and 100m spans. Built in 1969, the bridges currently accommodate a traffic load of 50.000 vehicles per day, thereby holding a key role both in terms of historic value as well as socio-economic significance. Although several improvements have been carried out in the past two decades, recent inspections demonstrate an Alkali-Aggregate reaction in the concrete deck and piers reducing the concrete strength. In order to prevent further expansion of this issue, a layer of 40 mm of Ultra High Performance Fiber Reinforced cement-based Composite (UHPFRC) (incorporating rebars) was casted over the slabs, acting as a waterproof membrane and providing significant increase in resistance of the bridge structure by composite UHPFRC – RC composite action in particular of the deck slab. After completing the rehabilitation works, a Structural Monitoring campaign was installed on the deck slab in one representative span, based on accelerometers, strain gauges, thermal and humidity sensors. This campaign seeks to reveal information on the behavior of UHPFRC-concrete composite systems, such as increase in stiffness, fatigue strength, durability and long-term performance. Consequently, the structural monitoring is expected to last for at least three years. A first insight of the analyzed results from the initial months of measurements is presented herein, along with future improvements or necessary changes on the deployment.

Keywords: composite materials, rehabilitation, structural health monitoring, UHPFRC

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10 Production of Composite Materials by Mixing Chromium-Rich Ash and Soda-Lime Glass Powder: Mechanical Properties and Microstructure

Authors: Savvas Varitis, Panagiotis Kavouras, George Vourlias, Eleni Pavlidou, Theodoros Karakostas, Philomela Komninou

Abstract:

A chromium-loaded ash originating from incineration of tannery sludge under anoxic conditions was mixed with low grade soda-lime glass powder coming from commercial glass bottles. The relative weight proportions of ash over glass powder tested were 30/70, 40/60 and 50/50. The solid mixtures, formed in green state compacts, were sintered at the temperature range of 800oC up to 1200oC. The resulting products were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDXS) and micro-indentation. The above methods were employed to characterize the various phases, microstructure and hardness of the produced materials. Thermal treatment at 800oC and 1000oC produced opaque ceramic products composed of a variety of chromium-containing and chromium-free crystalline phases. Thermal treatment at 1200oC gave rise to composite products, where only chromium-containing crystalline phases were detected. Hardness results suggest that specific products are serious candidates for structural applications. Acknowledgement: This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund – ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) – Research Funding Program: THALES “WasteVal”: Reinforcement of the interdisciplinary and/or inter-institutional research and innovation.

Keywords: chromium-rich tannery residues, glass-ceramic materials, mechanical properties, microstructure

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9 A Mixed Methods Research Design for the Development of the Xenia Higher Education Institutions' Inclusiveness Index

Authors: Achilles Kameas, Eleni Georgakakou, Anna Lisa Amodeo, Aideen Quilty, Aisling Malone, Roberta Albertazzi, Moises Carmona, Concetta Esposito, Ruben David Fernandez Carrasco, Carmela Ferrara, Francesco Garzillo, Mojca Pusnik, Maria Cristina Scarano

Abstract:

While researchers, especially in academia, study and research the phenomena of inclusion of sexual minority and gender marginalized groups, seldom the European Higher Education Institutions (HEI) act on lowering the cultural and educational barriers to their proactive inclusion. The challenge in European HEIs is that gender, and sexual orientation discrimination remains an issue not adequately addressed. Following a mixed methods research design of quantitative and qualitative research techniques and tools, which is applied in five (5) European countries (Italy, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia, and Spain) and that combines desk research, evaluation, and weighting processes for a Matrix-based on Objective indicators and Survey for students and staff of the HEI to gauge the perception of inclusiveness in the HEI context, XENIA HEI Inclusiveness Index is an instrument that will allow universities to gauge and assess their inclusiveness in the domain of discrimination and exclusion based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The index will allow capturing the depth and reach of policies, programmes, and initiatives of HEIs in tackling the phenomena and dynamics of exclusion of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other marginalized groups on the basis of gender and sexual identity) and cisgender women exposed to the risk of discrimination.

Keywords: gender identity, higher education, LGBT+ rights, XENIA inclusiveness index

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8 The Coverage of Women's Sport of Greek Sports Websites

Authors: Eleni Tsalkatidou

Abstract:

Despite the fact that women's sport has flourished in recent years, its media coverage remains low, as it is observed that every day men’s sports stories dominate the most popular sports websites and the same doesn’t apply to women. Many studies in the past have demonstrated that the participation of women in sport is greatly underrepresented in the media and even when it does get covered, the focus is often on femininity and attractiveness, not athleticism. This means that female athletes are often portrayed in a sexist manner and, in general, they are more deserving of media coverage as celebrities rather than because of their sporting achievements. Scholars have argued that sport is a place where sexism is cultivated, as gender roles are constructed and disputed based on social context. Although images and information about women athletes are now more than ever, thanks to Social Media where they also act as 'producers', sport is still considered as «masculine». There are many reasons why this happens, the most important of which are: a. It is considered that females don’t have the physical and athletic qualifications such as men and b. Women's sport is less commercial than men’s, so the interest is lower. Moreover, scholars have pointed out that men journalists/reporters don’t cover the women’s sport: it is more common for a woman to write about a women's sport or a female athlete. This has its roots in the conception that sport is synonymous with masculinity - which is defined as the opposite of femininity – and so if men deal with women’s sport, this will probably menace their association with masculinity. Given the above, this paper seeks to examine the amount of women’s sport coverage of five Greek popular sports websites (metrosport.gr, gazzeta.gr, sport24.gr, sdna.gr, sport-fm.gr). The posted articles from these Greek websites from January to June 2020 were selected for my content analysis, which will be used to categorize the themes in order that the following research questions could be answered: 1) Are there any articles that cover women's sports or that refer to female athletes?, 2) And if so, are they articles/reports or is it a reproduction of the press release?, 3) What kind of sports do they refer to (individual-team sport)?, 4) Are the articles signed? And if so, are they written by men or women?, 5) What textual practices are used to cover women's sport/female athletes?, 6) Based on the findings, could we argue that we have entered a new age of media coverage of women’s sport in Greece with a shift towards greater gender equality or not?

Keywords: Coverage, Greek websites, Sport, Women

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7 Population Pharmacokinetics of Levofloxacin and Moxifloxacin, and the Probability of Target Attainment in Ethiopian Patients with Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

Authors: Temesgen Sidamo, Prakruti S. Rao, Eleni Akllilu, Workineh Shibeshi, Yumi Park, Yong-Soon Cho, Jae-Gook Shin, Scott K. Heysell, Stellah G. Mpagama, Ephrem Engidawork

Abstract:

The fluoroquinolones (FQs) are used off-label for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and for evaluation in shortening the duration of drug-susceptible TB in recently prioritized regimens. Within the class, levofloxacin (LFX) and moxifloxacin (MXF) play a substantial role in ensuring success in treatment outcomes. However, sub-therapeutic plasma concentrations of either LFX or MXF may drive unfavorable treatment outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, the pharmacokinetics of LFX and MXF in Ethiopian patients with MDR-TB have not yet been investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a population pharmacokinetic (PopPK) model of levofloxacin (LFX) and moxifloxacin (MXF) and assess the percent probability of target attainment (PTA) as defined by the ratio of the area under the plasma concentration-time curve over 24-h (AUC0-24) and the in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) (AUC0-24/MIC) in Ethiopian MDR-TB patients. Steady-state plasma was collected from 39 MDR-TB patients enrolled in the programmatic treatment course and the drug concentrations were determined using optimized liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, the in vitro MIC of the patients' pretreatment clinical isolates was determined. PopPK and simulations were run at various doses, and PK parameters were estimated. The effect of covariates on the PK parameters and the PTA for maximum mycobacterial kill and resistance prevention was also investigated. LFX and MXF both fit in a one-compartment model with adjustments. The apparent volume of distribution (V) and clearance (CL) of LFX were influenced by serum creatinine (Scr), whereas the absorption constant (Ka) and V of MXF were influenced by Scr and BMI, respectively. The PTA for LFX maximal mycobacterial kill at the critical MIC of 0.5 mg/L was 29%, 62%, and 95% with the simulated 750 mg, 1000 mg, and 1500 mg doses, respectively, whereas the PTA for resistance prevention at 1500 mg was only 4.8%, with none of the lower doses achieving this target. At the critical MIC of 0.25 mg/L, there was no difference in the PTA (94.4%) for maximum bacterial kill among the simulated doses of MXF (600 mg, 800 mg, and 1000 mg), but the PTA for resistance prevention improved proportionately with dose. Standard LFX and MXF doses may not provide adequate drug exposure. LFX PopPK is more predictable for maximum mycobacterial kill, whereas MXF's resistance prevention target increases with dose. Scr and BMI are likely to be important covariates in dose optimization or therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) studies in Ethiopian patients.

Keywords: population PK, PTA, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, MDR-TB patients, ethiopia

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6 Coastal Water Characteristics along the Saudi Arabian Coastline

Authors: Yasser O. Abualnaja1, Alexandra Pavlidou2, Taha Boksmati3, Ahmad Alharbi3, Hammad Alsulmi3, Saleh Omar Maghrabi3, Hassan Mowalad3, Rayan Mutwalli3, James H. Churchill4, Afroditi Androni2, Dionysios Ballas2, Ioannis Hatzianestis2, Harilaos Kontoyiannis2, Angeliki Konstantinopoulou2, Georgios Krokkos1, 5, Georgios Pappas2, Vassilis P. Papadopoulos2, Konstantinos Parinos2, Elvira Plakidi2, Eleni Rousselaki2, Dimitris Velaoras2, Panagiota Zachioti2, Theodore Zoulias2, Ibrahim Hoteit5.

Abstract:

The coastal areas along the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on both the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf have been witnessing in the past decades an unprecedented economic growth and a rapid increase in anthropogenic activities. Therefore, the Saudi Arabian government has decided to frame a strategy for sustainable development of the coastal and marine environments, which comes in the context of the Vision 2030, aimed at providing the first comprehensive ‘Status Quo Assessment’ of the Kingdom’s coastal and marine environments. This strategy will serve as a baseline assessment for future monitoring activities; this baseline is relied on scientific evidence of the drivers, pressures, and their impact on the environments of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. A key element of the assessment was the cumulative pressures of the hotspots analysis, which was developed following the principles of the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework and using the cumulative pressure and impact assessment methodology. Ten hotspot sites were identified, eight in the Red Sea and two in the Arabian Gulf. Thus, multidisciplinary research cruises were conducted throughout the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf coastal and marine environments in June/July 2021 and September 2021, respectively, in order to understand the relative impact of hydrography and the various pressures on the quality of seawater and sediments. The main objective was to record the physical and biogeochemical parameters along the coastal waters of the Kingdom, tracing the dispersion of contaminants related to specific pressures. The assessment revealed the effect of hydrography on the trophic status of the southern marine coastal areas of the Red Sea. Jeddah Lagoon system seems to face significant eutrophication and pollution challenges, whereas sediments are enriched in some heavy metals in many areas of the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. This multidisciplinary research in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf coastal waters will pave the way for future detailed environmental monitoring strategies for the Saudi Arabian marine environment.

Keywords: arabian gulf, contaminants, hotspot, red sea

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5 Identification of Suitable Regions for Intentional Recharge of Aquifers through Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis and Stakeholders’ Involvement

Authors: Constantinos F. Panagiotou, Anis Chekirbane, Catalin Stefan, Eleni Loulli

Abstract:

The Mediterranean basin is considered to be one of the most vulnerable region in terms of climate changes, being subjected to severe summer droughts, intense agriculture, and the high frequency of intense seasonal rainfall events. Achieving water security in the Mediterranean region is undoubtedly a major challenge, requiring an open social debate and the establishment of new water governance to balance a demand that is currently unsustainable. Within the framework of the AGREEMAR project (www.agreemar.inowas.com), an adaptive framework will be proposed for the identification of suitable regions within the Mediterranean basin for implementing Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) through the strong involvement of stakeholders’ across multiple sectors. Suitability maps will be compiled by considering biophysical, technolo- gical, social, economic, environmental, hydrological, institutional and financial indicators through multi-criteria decision analysis. The relative importance of these indicators will be determined through the continuous interaction with key stakeholders, leading to a comprehensi- ve multi-sectoral matrix of indicators aligned to Integrated Water Resources Management pillars (IWRM). This matrix will be used as input to construct feasibility maps by combining the intrinsic suitability, re- charge water availability and water demand for selected pilot regions. The validity and societal acceptance of the suitability and feasibility maps will be ensured through the strong stakeholders’ involvement across multiple sectors, thus preventing conflict between water users, while supporting a safeguarding sustainable use of water resources. The applicability of the AGREEMAR approach will be demonstrated at selected case study areas of different scale, complexity, subsurface, and climatic conditions to a) ensure social equity by harmonizing the interests and avoiding conflicts between water users, b)guarantee economic efficiency by the integration of social-economic components in technical MAR planning and c) support environmental sustainability by safeguarding sustainable use of water resources and the associated positive impacts on the other aquifer-dependent services. The developed solutions are expected to close the gaps in the hydrological cycle and fulfill optimal water provisions for food security, dome- stic services, and preservation of natural ecosystems in the Mediterra- nean region.

Keywords: AGREEMAR, feasibility mapping, groundwater, managed aquifer recharge, multi-sectoral approach

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4 Prospective Museum Visitor Management Based on Prospect Theory: A Pragmatic Approach

Authors: Athina Thanou, Eirini Eleni Tsiropoulou, Symeon Papavassiliou

Abstract:

The problem of museum visitor experience and congestion management – in various forms - has come increasingly under the spotlight over the last few years, since overcrowding can significantly decrease the quality of visitors’ experience. Evidence suggests that on busy days the amount of time a visitor spends inside a crowded house museum can fall by up to 60% compared to a quiet mid-week day. In this paper we consider the aforementioned problem, by treating museums as evolving social systems that induce constraints. However, in a cultural heritage space, as opposed to the majority of social environments, the momentum of the experience is primarily controlled by the visitor himself. Visitors typically behave selfishly regarding the maximization of their own Quality of Experience (QoE) - commonly expressed through a utility function that takes several parameters into consideration, with crowd density and waiting/visiting time being among the key ones. In such a setting, congestion occurs when either the utility of one visitor decreases due to the behavior of other persons, or when costs of undertaking an activity rise due to the presence of other persons. We initially investigate how visitors’ behavioral risk attitudes, as captured and represented by prospect theory, affect their decisions in resource sharing settings, where visitors’ decisions and experiences are strongly interdependent. Different from the majority of existing studies and literature, we highlight that visitors are not risk neutral utility maximizers, but they demonstrate risk-aware behavior according to their personal risk characteristics. In our work, exhibits are organized into two groups: a) “safe exhibits” that correspond to less congested ones, where the visitors receive guaranteed satisfaction in accordance with the visiting time invested, and b) common pool of resources (CPR) exhibits, which are the most popular exhibits with possibly increased congestion and uncertain outcome in terms of visitor satisfaction. A key difference is that the visitor satisfaction due to CPR strongly depends not only on the invested time decision of a specific visitor, but also on that of the rest of the visitors. In the latter case, the over-investment in time, or equivalently the increased congestion potentially leads to “exhibit failure”, interpreted as the visitors gain no satisfaction from their observation of this exhibit due to high congestion. We present a framework where each visitor in a distributed manner determines his time investment in safe or CPR exhibits to optimize his QoE. Based on this framework, we analyze and evaluate how visitors, acting as prospect-theoretic decision-makers, respond and react to the various pricing policies imposed by the museum curators. Based on detailed evaluation results and experiments, we present interesting observations, regarding the impact of several parameters and characteristics such as visitor heterogeneity and use of alternative pricing policies, on scalability, user satisfaction, museum capacity, resource fragility, and operation point stability. Furthermore, we study and present the effectiveness of alternative pricing mechanisms, when used as implicit tools, to deal with the congestion management problem in the museums, and potentially decrease the exhibit failure probability (fragility), while considering the visitor risk preferences.

Keywords: museum resource and visitor management, congestion management, propsect theory, cyber physical social systems

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3 Improving the Accuracy of Stress Intensity Factors Obtained by Scaled Boundary Finite Element Method on Hybrid Quadtree Meshes

Authors: Adrian W. Egger, Savvas P. Triantafyllou, Eleni N. Chatzi

Abstract:

The scaled boundary finite element method (SBFEM) is a semi-analytical numerical method, which introduces a scaling center in each element’s domain, thus transitioning from a Cartesian reference frame to one resembling polar coordinates. Consequently, an analytical solution is achieved in radial direction, implying that only the boundary need be discretized. The only limitation imposed on the resulting polygonal elements is that they remain star-convex. Further arbitrary p- or h-refinement may be applied locally in a mesh. The polygonal nature of SBFEM elements has been exploited in quadtree meshes to alleviate all issues conventionally associated with hanging nodes. Furthermore, since in 2D this results in only 16 possible cell configurations, these are precomputed in order to accelerate the forward analysis significantly. Any cells, which are clipped to accommodate the domain geometry, must be computed conventionally. However, since SBFEM permits polygonal elements, significantly coarser meshes at comparable accuracy levels are obtained when compared with conventional quadtree analysis, further increasing the computational efficiency of this scheme. The generalized stress intensity factors (gSIFs) are computed by exploiting the semi-analytical solution in radial direction. This is initiated by placing the scaling center of the element containing the crack at the crack tip. Taking an analytical limit of this element’s stress field as it approaches the crack tip, delivers an expression for the singular stress field. By applying the problem specific boundary conditions, the geometry correction factor is obtained, and the gSIFs are then evaluated based on their formal definition. Since the SBFEM solution is constructed as a power series, not unlike mode superposition in FEM, the two modes contributing to the singular response of the element can be easily identified in post-processing. Compared to the extended finite element method (XFEM) this approach is highly convenient, since neither enrichment terms nor a priori knowledge of the singularity is required. Computation of the gSIFs by SBFEM permits exceptional accuracy, however, when combined with hybrid quadtrees employing linear elements, this does not always hold. Nevertheless, it has been shown that crack propagation schemes are highly effective even given very coarse discretization since they only rely on the ratio of mode one to mode two gSIFs. The absolute values of the gSIFs may still be subject to large errors. Hence, we propose a post-processing scheme, which minimizes the error resulting from the approximation space of the cracked element, thus limiting the error in the gSIFs to the discretization error of the quadtree mesh. This is achieved by h- and/or p-refinement of the cracked element, which elevates the amount of modes present in the solution. The resulting numerical description of the element is highly accurate, with the main error source now stemming from its boundary displacement solution. Numerical examples show that this post-processing procedure can significantly improve the accuracy of the computed gSIFs with negligible computational cost even on coarse meshes resulting from hybrid quadtrees.

Keywords: linear elastic fracture mechanics, generalized stress intensity factors, scaled finite element method, hybrid quadtrees

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2 Preliminary Results on Marine Debris Classification in The Island of Mykonos (Greece) via Coastal and Underwater Clean up over 2016-20: A Successful Case of Recycling Plastics into Useful Daily Items

Authors: Eleni Akritopoulou, Katerina Topouzoglou

Abstract:

The last 20 years marine debris has been identified as one of the main marine pollution sources caused by anthropogenic activities. Plastics has reached the farthest marine areas of the planet affecting all marine trophic levels including the, recently discovered, amphipoda Eurythenes plasticus inhabiting Mariana Trench to large cetaceans, marine reptiles and sea birds causing immunodeficiency disorders, deteriorating health and death overtime. For the time period 2016-20, in the framework of the national initiative ‘Keep Aegean Blue”, All for Blue team has been collecting marine debris (coastline and underwater) following a modified in situ MEDSEALITTER monitoring protocol from eight Greek islands. After collection, marine debris was weighted, sorted and categorised according to material; plastic (PL), glass (G), metal (M), wood (W), rubber (R), cloth (CL), paper (P), mixed (MX). The goal of the project included the documentation of marine debris sources, human trends, waste management and public marine environmental awareness. Waste management was focused on plastics recycling and utilisation into daily useful products. This research is focused on the island of Mykonos due to its continuous touristic activity and lack of scientific information. In overall, a field work area of 1.832.856 m2 was cleaned up yielding 5092 kg of marine debris. The preliminary results indicated PL as main source of marine debris (62,8%) followed by M (15,5%), GL (13,2%) and MX (2,8%). Main items found were fishing tools (lines, nets), disposable cutlery, cups and straws, cigarette butts, flip flops and other items like plastic boat compartments. In collaboration with a local company for plastic management and the Circular Economy and Eco Innovation Institute (Sweden), all plastic debris was recycled. Granulation process was applied transforming plastic into building materials used for refugees’ houses, litter bins bought by municipalities and schools and, other items like shower components. In terms of volunteering and attendance in public awareness seminars, there was a raise of interest by 63% from different age ranges and professions. Regardless, the research being fairly new for Mykonos island and logistics issues potentially affected systemic sampling, it appeared that plastic debris is the main littering source attributed, possibly to the intense touristic activity of the island all year around. However, marine environmental awareness activities were pointed out to be an effective tool in forming public perception against marine debris and, alter the daily habits of local society. Since the beginning of this project, three new local environmental teams were formed against marine pollution supported by the local authorities and stakeholders. The continuous need and request for the production of items made by recycled marine debris appeared to be beneficial socio-economically to the local community and actions are taken to expand the project nationally. Finally, as an ongoing project and whilst, new scientific information is collected, further funding and research is needed.

Keywords: Greece, marine debris, marine environmental awareness, Mykonos island, plastics debris, plastic granulation, recycled plastic, tourism, waste management

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1 Creating a Critical Digital Pedagogy Context: Challenges and Potential of Designing and Implementing a Blended Learning Intervention for Adult Refugees in Greece

Authors: Roula Kitsiou, Sofia Tsioli, Eleni Gana

Abstract:

The current sociopolitical realities (displacement, encampment, and resettlement) refugees experience in Greece are a quite complex issue. Their educational and social ‘integration’ is characterized by transition, insecurity, and constantly changing needs. Based on the current research data, technology and more specifically mobile phones are one of the most important resources for refugees, regardless of their levels of conventional literacy. The proposed paper discusses the challenges encountered during the design and implementation of the educational Action 16 ‘Language Education for Adult Refugees’. Action 16 is one of the 24 Actions of the Project PRESS (Provision of Refugee Education and Support Scheme), funded by the Hellenic Open University (2016-2017). Project PRESS had two main objectives: a) to address the educational and integration needs of refugees in transit, who currently reside in Greece, and b) implement research-based educational interventions in online and offline sites. In the present paper, the focus is on reflection and discussion about the challenges and the potential of integrating technology in language learning for a target-group with many specific needs, which have been recorded in field notes among other research tools (ethnographic data) used in the context of PRESS. Action 16, explores if and how technology enhanced language activities in real-time and place mediated through teachers, as well as an autonomous computer-mediated learning space (moodle platform and application) builds on and expands the linguistic, cultural and digital resources and repertoires of the students by creating collaborative face-to-face and digital learning spaces. A broader view on language as a dynamic puzzle of semiotic resources and processes based on the concept of translanguaging is adopted. Specifically, designing the blended learning environment we draw on the construct of translanguaging a) as a symbolic means to valorize students’ repertoires and practices, b) as a method to reach to specific applications of a target-language that the context brings forward (Greek useful to them), and c) as a means to expand refugees’ repertoires. This has led to the creation of a learning space where students' linguistic and cultural resources can find paths to expression. In this context, communication and learning are realized by mutually investing multiple aspects of the team members' identities as educational material designers, teachers, and students on the teaching and learning processes. Therefore, creativity, humour, code-switching, translation, transference etc. are all possible means that can be employed in order to promote multilingual communication and language learning towards raising intercultural awareness in a critical digital pedagogy context. The qualitative analysis includes critical reflection on the developed educational material, team-based reflexive discussions, teachers’ reports data, and photographs from the interventions. The endeavor to involve women and men with a refugee background into a blended learning experience was quite innovative especially for the Greek context. It reflects a pragmatist ethos of the choices made in order to respond to the here-and-now needs of the refugees, and finally it was a very challenging task that has led all actors involved into Action 16 to (re)negotiations of subjectivities and products in a creative and hopeful way.

Keywords: blended learning, integration, language education, refugees

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