Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 38

Search results for: Kylie Leonard

38 Artificial Intelligence Ethics: What Business Leaders Need to Consider for the Future

Authors: Kylie Leonard

Abstract:

Investment in artificial intelligence (AI) can be an attractive opportunity for business leaders as there are many easy-to-see benefits. These benefits include task completion rates, overall cost, and better forecasting. Business leaders are often unaware of the challenges that can accompany AI, such as data center costs, access to data, employee acceptance, and privacy concerns. In addition to the benefits and challenges of AI, it is important to practice AI ethics to ensure the safe creation of AI. AI ethics include aspects of algorithm bias, limits in transparency, and surveillance. To be a good business leader, it is critical to address all the considerations involving the challenges of AI and AI ethics.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence ethics, business leaders, business concerns

Procedia PDF Downloads 32
37 I Feel Pretty: Using Discretization to Unpack Gender Disparity in Musical Theatre - A Study of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story

Authors: Erin McKellar, Narelle Yeo

Abstract:

Gender disparity can be found in the representation of the female characters in Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story. As a postmodern composer, Bernstein was open about his social activism, yet did not consider his compositional portrayal of female characters as part of that activism. Using discretization as an analysis tool, this thesis explores the melodic contours of male and female songs in West Side Story to show differences in complexity between male and female characterisation. The analysis explores the intervallic relationship between the vocal line and melodic color in relation to the accompaniment harmony, taking into consideration the use of consonance and dissonance. West Side Story is commonly known for its distinct use of the tritone motif and its inherent dissonance. It is evident when reviewing the findings of this study that there is a distinct disparity between male-led and female-led music. The male-led numbers consistently adhere to a dissonant aesthetic with the tritone motif implemented in all of the extracted songs. By contrast, the female songs remain consonant with simple intervallic movements. By examining the results of this study through the lens of Equality Feminism, this thesis finds that Bernstein has simplified the characterisations of the female leads. The thesis further proposes that without cognisant consideration of the compositional portrayal of women, the musical theatre will continue to reinforce gender stereotypes, as evident through this study of Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Keywords: music theatre, gender bias, composition, Leonard Bernstein

Procedia PDF Downloads 67
36 Trions in Semiconductor Quantum Dot System

Authors: Jayden Leonard, Nguyen Que Huong

Abstract:

In this work, we study the Trion state in a spherical quantum dot of a direct band gap semiconductor with a shell of organic material. The electronic structure of the Trion due to degenerate valence band will be considered. The coupling between the wannier exciton inside the dot and the Frenkel exciton in the shell will make the Trion state become hybrid. The competition between “semiconductor” and “organic” phases of the Trion and the transitions between them depend on Parameters of the system such as the materials, the size of the dot and the thickness of the shell, etc… and could be manipulated using those parameters.

Keywords: trion, exciton, quantum dot, heterostructure

Procedia PDF Downloads 93
35 Collation between the Architecture of the Churches and Housing from Antiquity to the Present Day

Authors: Shaloom Mbambu Kabeya, Léonard Kabeya Mukeba

Abstract:

Churches, cathedrals and castles beaten from antiquity to modern times were relevant from that time to the present day, and preserved as cultural heritage. Our predecessors as François 1er1, Michelangelo2, and Giotto3 left us traces. Gustave Eiffel4, Hector Guimard5 did not decrease their time to show modernization (evolution) in architecture. Plagiarism is a brake on architectural development, construction works of spirits is necessary architecture. This work explains the relationship between ancient and modern architecture. It also shows the power of mathematics in modern architecture.

Keywords: architectural modernization, heritage, mathematical architecture, materials

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34 The Association Between Hormonal Contraception and Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis: A Review and Analysis

Authors: Kylie Wilson, Virginia Wotring

Abstract:

Although rare, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a potential risk of spaceflight, especially when combined with other prothrombotic drugs like oral contraceptive pills (OCP). The development of CVST would be especially problematic in space, where access to medical therapy is extremely limited. Many female astronauts utilize hormonal contraception, including a variety of OCPs and intrauterine devices, for induction of amenorrhea. Previous reviews have estimated up to a seven-fold increased risk of CVST with generalized OCP use. Unfortunately, these previous studies did not stratify based upon more specific factors, such as type of progestin and dosing. In this new analysis of multiple databases, ten studies were selected for review. We found a pooled odds ratio among the included studies of 8.11 for CVST development in women taking oral contraceptives (OR = 8.11, 95% CI 5.59-11.78). However, little data were available regarding specific OCP use. Future studies on CVST should also include data regarding active hormones, doses, and any temporal relationships in women who develop CVST so that risk of CVST and other thrombotic events may be associated with possible causes.

Keywords: contraception, hormone, thrombosis, women's health

Procedia PDF Downloads 108
33 A Positive Neuroscience Perspective for Child Development and Special Education

Authors: Amedeo D'Angiulli, Kylie Schibli

Abstract:

Traditionally, children’s brain development research has emphasized the limitative aspects of disability and impairment, electing as an explanatory model the classical clinical notions of brain lesion or functional deficit. In contrast, Positive Educational Neuroscience (PEN) is a new approach that emphasizes strengths and human flourishing related to the brain by exploring how learning practices have the potential to enhance neurocognitive flexibility through neuroplastic overcompensation. This mini-review provides an overview of PEN and shows how it links to the concept of neurocognitive flexibility. We provide examples of how the present concept of neurocognitive flexibility can be applied to special education by exploring examples of neuroplasticity in the learning domain, including: (1) learning to draw in congenitally totally blind children, and (2) music training in children from disadvantaged neighborhoods. PEN encourages educators to focus on children’s strengths by recognizing the brain’s capacity for positive change and to incorporate activities that support children’s individual development.

Keywords: neurocognitive development, positive educational neuroscience, sociocultural approach, special education

Procedia PDF Downloads 174
32 Top-K Shortest Distance as a Similarity Measure

Authors: Andrey Lebedev, Ilya Dmitrenok, JooYoung Lee, Leonard Johard

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Top-k shortest path routing problem is an extension of finding the shortest path in a given network. Shortest path is one of the most essential measures as it reveals the relations between two nodes in a network. However, in many real world networks, whose diameters are small, top-k shortest path is more interesting as it contains more information about the network topology. Many variations to compute top-k shortest paths have been studied. In this paper, we apply an efficient top-k shortest distance routing algorithm to the link prediction problem and test its efficacy. We compare the results with other base line and state-of-the-art methods as well as with the shortest path. Then, we also propose a top-k distance based graph matching algorithm.

Keywords: graph matching, link prediction, shortest path, similarity

Procedia PDF Downloads 276
31 Modeling of Landslide-Generated Tsunamis in Georgia Strait, Southern British Columbia

Authors: Fatemeh Nemati, Lucinda Leonard, Gwyn Lintern, Richard Thomson

Abstract:

In this study, we will use modern numerical modeling approaches to estimate tsunami risks to the southern coast of British Columbia from landslides. Wave generation is to be simulated using the NHWAVE model, which solves the Navier-Stokes equations due to the more complex behavior of flow near the landslide source; far-field wave propagation will be simulated using the simpler model FUNWAVE_TVD with high-order Boussinesq-type wave equations, with a focus on the accurate simulation of wave propagation and regional- or coastal-scale inundation predictions.

Keywords: FUNWAVE-TVD, landslide-generated tsunami, NHWAVE, tsunami risk

Procedia PDF Downloads 64
30 Thermosalient Effect of an Organic Aminonitrile and its Derivatives

Authors: Lukman O. Alimi, Vincent J. Smith, Leonard J. Barbour

Abstract:

The thermosalient effect is an extremely rare propensity of certain crystalline solids for self-actuation by elastic deformation or a ballistic event1. Thermosalient compounds, colloquially known as ‘jumping crystals’ are promising materials for fabrication of actuators that are also being considered as materials for clean energy conversion because of their capabilities to convert thermal energy into mechanical motion directly. Herein, an organic aminonitrile and its derivatives have been probed by a combination of structural, microscopic and thermoanalytical techniques. Crystals of these compounds were analysed by means of single crystal XRD and hotstage microscopy in the temperature range of 100 to 298 K and found to exhibit the thermosalient effect. We also carried out differential scanning calorimetric analysis at the temperature corresponding to that at which the crystal jumps as observed under a hotstage microscope.

Keywords: aminonitrile, jumping crystal, self actuation, thermosalient effect

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29 Oil Reservoirs Bifurcation Analysis in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Fractal Characterization Approach of Makelekese MS-25 Field

Authors: Leonard Mike McNelly Longwa, Divine Kusosa Musiku, D. Nahum Kabeya

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In this paper the bifurcation analysis of oilfield in Democratic Republic of Congo is presented in order to enhance petroleum production in an intense tectonic evolution characterized by distinct compressive and extensive phases and the digenetic transformation in the reservoirs during burial geological configuration. The use of porous media in Makelekese MS-25 field has been established to simulate the boundaries within 3 sedimentary basins open to exploration including the coastal basin with an area of 5992 km2, a central basin with an area of 800,000 km2, the western branch of the East African Rift in which there are 50,000 km2. The fractal characterization of complex hydro-dynamic fractures in oilfield is developed to facilitate oil production process based on reservoirs bifurcation model.

Keywords: reservoir bifurcation, fractal characterisation, permeability, conductivity, skin effect

Procedia PDF Downloads 28
28 Oil Reservoirs Bifurcation Analysis in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Fractal Characterization Approach of Makelekese MS-25 Field

Authors: Leonard Mike McNelly Longwa, Divine Kusosa Musiku, Dieudonne Nahum Kabeya

Abstract:

In this paper, the bifurcation analysis of oilfields in the Democratic Republic of Congo is presented in order to enhance petroleum production in an intense tectonic evolution characterized by distinct compressive and extensive phases and the digenetic transformation in the reservoirs during burial geological configuration. The use of porous media in the Makelekese MS-25 field has been established to simulate the boundaries within 3 sedimentary basins open to exploration including the coastal basin with an area of 5992 km², a central basin with an area of 800,000 km², the western branch of the East African Rift in which there are 50,000 km². The fractal characterization of complex hydro-dynamic fractures in oilfields is developed to facilitate the oil production process based on the reservoirs bifurcation model.

Keywords: reservoir bifurcation, fractal characterization, permeability, conductivity, skin effect

Procedia PDF Downloads 48
27 Implementation and Performance Analysis of Data Encryption Standard and RSA Algorithm with Image Steganography and Audio Steganography

Authors: S. C. Sharma, Ankit Gambhir, Rajeev Arya

Abstract:

In today’s era data security is an important concern and most demanding issues because it is essential for people using online banking, e-shopping, reservations etc. The two major techniques that are used for secure communication are Cryptography and Steganography. Cryptographic algorithms scramble the data so that intruder will not able to retrieve it; however steganography covers that data in some cover file so that presence of communication is hidden. This paper presents the implementation of Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman (RSA) Algorithm with Image and Audio Steganography and Data Encryption Standard (DES) Algorithm with Image and Audio Steganography. The coding for both the algorithms have been done using MATLAB and its observed that these techniques performed better than individual techniques. The risk of unauthorized access is alleviated up to a certain extent by using these techniques. These techniques could be used in Banks, RAW agencies etc, where highly confidential data is transferred. Finally, the comparisons of such two techniques are also given in tabular forms.

Keywords: audio steganography, data security, DES, image steganography, intruder, RSA, steganography

Procedia PDF Downloads 211
26 Mental Health and Technology: Evidence Review

Authors: Kylie Henderson

Abstract:

Adapting mental health interventions is important when providing support to those experiencing difficulties. This analysis aimed to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of various forms of mental health interventions. Literature that has analysed face-to-face (F2F), phone (Telehealth), mobile (mHealth) and online (e-interventions) interferences found all interventions were effective in reducing and treating symptoms of mental health disorders. F2F and Telehealth interventions facilitated greater engagement and client satisfaction. Due to accessibility and privacy, mHealth and e-interventions were the preferred methods of engagement with health services for youth and young adults. Regardless, these interventions still identified several barriers of high dropout, low adherence, and lack of awareness. Additionally, a large proportion of interventions lacked evidence-based foundations. Exploration of interventions that utilise a variety of interfaces, as well as incorporated evidence-based literature and clinician experience, show that they benefit those experiencing mental health difficulties. Applications like YourHealth+ provide a combination of interventions (F2F, mHealth, and e-interventions) to improve the wellbeing of job seekers and employment consults. Individuals that have used the application in conjunction with therapy have reported feeling more empowered and demonstrated improved wellbeing. Practitioners have also described improved confidence in their ability to provide support to clients. Therefore, it can be proposed that utilising a variety of interventions as well as incorporating literature and experience is beneficial to those experiencing mental health difficulties and to health practitioners.

Keywords: face-to-face, e-interventions, mHealth, YourHealth+

Procedia PDF Downloads 61
25 Preliminary Seismic Hazard Mapping of Papua New Guinea

Authors: Hadi Ghasemi, Mark Leonard, Spiliopoulos Spiro, Phil Cummins, Mathew Moihoi, Felix Taranu, Eric Buri, Chris Mckee

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In this study the level of seismic hazard in terms of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) was calculated for return period of 475 years, using modeled seismic sources and assigned ground-motion equations. The calculations were performed for bedrock site conditions (Vs30=760 m/s). From the results it is evident that the seismic hazard reaches its maximum level (i.e. PGA≈1g for 475 yr return period) at the Huon Peninsula and southern New Britain regions. Disaggregation analysis revealed that moderate to large earthquakes occurring along the New Britain Trench mainly control the level of hazard at these locations. The open-source computer program OpenQuake developed by Global Earthquake Model foundation was used for the seismic hazard computations. It should be emphasized that the presented results are still preliminary and should not be interpreted as our final assessment of seismic hazard in PNG.

Keywords: probabilistic seismic hazard assessment, Papua New Guinea, building code, OpenQuake

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24 Implementation of Elliptic Curve Cryptography Encryption Engine on a FPGA

Authors: Mohamad Khairi Ishak

Abstract:

Conventional public key crypto systems such as RSA (Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman), DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm), and Elgamal are no longer efficient to be implemented in the small, memory constrained devices. Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), which allows smaller key length as compared to conventional public key crypto systems, has thus become a very attractive choice for many applications. This paper describes implementation of an elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) encryption engine on a FPGA. The system has been implemented in 2 different key sizes, which are 131 bits and 163 bits. Area and timing analysis are provided for both key sizes for comparison. The crypto system, which has been implemented on Altera’s EPF10K200SBC600-1, has a hardware size of 5945/9984 and 6913/9984 of logic cells for 131 bits implementation and 163 bits implementation respectively. The crypto system operates up to 43 MHz, and performs point multiplication operation in 11.3 ms for 131 bits implementation and 14.9 ms for 163 bits implementation. In terms of speed, our crypto system is about 8 times faster than the software implementation of the same system.

Keywords: elliptic curve cryptography, FPGA, key sizes, memory

Procedia PDF Downloads 222
23 Optimization of Process Parameters for Peroxidase Production by Ensifer Species

Authors: Ayodeji O. Falade, Leonard V. Mabinya, Uchechukwu U. Nwodo, Anthony I. Okoh

Abstract:

Given the high utility of peroxidase in several industrial processes, the search for novel microorganisms with enhanced peroxidase production capacity is of keen interest. This study investigated the process conditions for optimum peroxidase production by Ensifer sp, new ligninolytic proteobacteria with peroxidase production potential. Also, some agricultural residues were valorized for peroxidase production under solid state fermentation. Peroxidase production was optimum at an initial medium pH 7, incubation temperature of 30 °C and agitation speed of 100 rpm using alkali lignin fermentation medium supplemented with guaiacol as the most effective inducer and ammonium sulphate as the best inorganic nitrogen. Optimum peroxidase production by Ensifer sp. was attained at 48 h with specific productivity of 12.76 ± 1.09 U mg⁻¹. Interestingly, probable laccase production was observed with optimum specific productivity of 12.76 ± 0.45 U mg⁻¹ at 72 h. The highest peroxidase yield was observed with sawdust as solid substrate under solid state fermentation. In conclusion, Ensifer sp. possesses the capacity for enhanced peroxidase production that can be exploited for various biotechnological applications.

Keywords: catalase-peroxidase, enzyme production, peroxidase, polymerase chain reaction, proteobacteria

Procedia PDF Downloads 178
22 Challenges in Experimental Testing of a Stiff, Overconsolidated Clay

Authors: Maria Konstadinou, Etienne Alderlieste, Anderson Peccin da Silva, Ben Arntz, Leonard van der Bijl, Wouter Verschueren

Abstract:

The shear strength and compression properties of stiff Boom clay from Belgium at the depth of about 30 m has been investigated by means of cone penetration and laboratory testing. The latter consisted of index classification, constant rate of strain, direct, simple shear, and unconfined compression tests. The Boom clay samples exhibited strong swelling tendencies. The suction pressure was measured via different procedures and has been compared to the expected in-situ stress. The undrained shear strength and OCR profile determined from CPTs is not compatible with the experimental measurements, which gave significantly lower values. The observed response can be attributed to the presence of pre-existing discontinuities, as shown in microscale CT scans of the samples. The results of this study demonstrate that the microstructure of the clay prior to testing has an impact on the mechanical behaviour and can cause inconsistencies in the comparison of the laboratory test results with in-situ data.

Keywords: boom clay, laboratory testing, overconsolidation ratio, stress-strain response, swelling, undrained shear strength

Procedia PDF Downloads 62
21 Integrating Computational Thinking into Classroom Practice – A Case Study

Authors: Diane Vassallo., Leonard Busuttil

Abstract:

Recent educational developments have seen increasing attention attributed to Computational Thinking (CT) and its integration into primary and secondary school curricula. CT is more than simply being able to use technology but encompasses fundamental Computer Science concepts which are deemed to be very important in developing the correct mindset for our future digital citizens. The case study presented in this article explores the journey of a Maltese secondary school teacher in his efforts to plan, develop and integrate CT within the context of a local classroom. The teacher participant was recruited from the Malta EU Code week summer school, a pilot initiative that stemmed from the EU Code week Team’s Train the Trainer program. The qualitative methodology involved interviews with the participant teacher as well as an analysis of the artefacts created by the students during the lessons. The results shed light on the numerous challenges and obstacles that the teacher encountered in his integration of CT, as well as portray some brilliant examples of good practices which can substantially inform further research and practice around the integration of CT in classroom practice.

Keywords: computational thinking, digital citizens, digital literacy, technology integration

Procedia PDF Downloads 82
20 E-Consumers’ Attribute Non-Attendance Switching Behavior: Effect of Providing Information on Attributes

Authors: Leonard Maaya, Michel Meulders, Martina Vandebroek

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Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE) are used to investigate how product attributes affect decision-makers’ choices. In DCEs, choice situations consisting of several alternatives are presented from which choice-makers select the preferred alternative. Standard multinomial logit models based on random utility theory can be used to estimate the utilities for the attributes. The overarching principle in these models is that respondents understand and use all the attributes when making choices. However, studies suggest that respondents sometimes ignore some attributes (commonly referred to as Attribute Non-Attendance/ANA). The choice modeling literature presents ANA as a static process, i.e., respondents’ ANA behavior does not change throughout the experiment. However, respondents may ignore attributes due to changing factors like availability of information on attributes, learning/fatigue in experiments, etc. We develop a dynamic mixture latent Markov model to model changes in ANA when information on attributes is provided. The model is illustrated on e-consumers’ webshop choices. The results indicate that the dynamic ANA model describes the behavioral changes better than modeling the impact of information using changes in parameters. Further, we find that providing information on attributes leads to an increase in the attendance probabilities for the investigated attributes.

Keywords: choice models, discrete choice experiments, dynamic models, e-commerce, statistical modeling

Procedia PDF Downloads 49
19 Entrepreneurship as a Strategy for National Development and Attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Authors: Udokporo Emeka Leonard

Abstract:

The thrust of this paper is to examine how entrepreneurship can assist in the attainment of the first goal among the MDGs – eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in Nigeria. The paper discusses how national development can be driven through employment creation and wealth generation that can lead to reduction in widespread poverty so as to attain one crucial target, in fewer years. The task before Nigeria is certainly a herculean one; it is, in fact a race against time. However, in view of the clear and present danger that the increasing rate of poverty portends for our democracy and our nation, is a race we must; for it is a time bomb on our hands. The paper has been structured into sections; with the introduction as section one. Section two discusses the concept of entrepreneurship; Section three examines the link between entrepreneurship and economic development, while section four examines the challenges facing entrepreneurship in Nigeria. In section five, measures and recommendations to boost entrepreneurship that can drive economic development that translates into poverty reduction and employment creation in Nigeria are suggested. This work is a literature review with some understanding of current trends and situations. It outlines some of the difficulties facing entrepreneurship in Nigeria as the operating environment, inadequate understanding and skewed incentive. It also makes recommendations on possible ways to significantly reduce poverty in 2015.

Keywords: development, entrepreneur, Nigeria, poverty

Procedia PDF Downloads 216
18 Enhanced Peroxidase Production by Raoultella Species

Authors: Ayodeji O. Falade, Leonard V. Mabinya, Uchechukwu U. Nwodo, Anthony I. Okoh

Abstract:

Given the high-utility of peroxidase, its production in large amount is of utmost importance. Over the years, actinomycetes have been the major peroxidase-producing bacteria. Consequently, other classes of bacteria with peroxidase production potentials are underexplored. This study, therefore, sought to enhance peroxidase production by a Raoultella species, a new ligninolytic proteobacteria strain, by determining the optimum culture conditions (initial pH, incubation temperature and agitation speed) for peroxidase production under submerged fermentation using the classical process of one variable at a time and supplementing the fermentation medium with some lignin model and inorganic nitrogen compounds. Subsequently, the time-course assay was carried out under optimized conditions. Then, some agricultural residues were valorized for peroxidase production under solid state fermentation. Peroxidase production was optimal at initial pH 5, incubation temperature of 35 °C and agitation speed of 150 rpm with guaiacol and ammonium chloride as the best inducer and nitrogen supplement respectively. Peroxidase production by the Raoultella species was optimal at 72 h with specific productivity of 16.48 ± 0.89 U mg⁻¹. A simultaneous production of a non-peroxide dependent extracellular enzyme which suggests probable laccase production was observed with specific productivity of 13.63 ± 0.45 U mg⁻¹ while sawdust gave the best peroxidase yield under solid state fermentation. In conclusion, peroxidase production by the Raoultella species was increased by 3.40-fold.

Keywords: enzyme production, ligninolytic bacteria, peroxidase, proteobacteria

Procedia PDF Downloads 192
17 An Empirical Study of Critical Success Factors for the Adoption of M-Government Services in Tanzania

Authors: Fredrick Ishengoma, Leonard Mselle, Hector Mongi

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The growing number of mobile phone subscribers in Tanzania offers the government a new channel for the delivery of information and government services to citizens, thus mobile Government (m-Government). In Tanzania, m-Government services usage is in the early stages, and factors that influence its adoption are yet to be known. This study seeks to identify and understand the critical success factors (CSFs) that influence citizens’ behavioural intention (BI) to adopt m-Government services in Tanzania. The study employed the mobile services acceptance model (MSAM) and extends it with external factors relevant in the Tanzanian context. A survey questionnaire was used to collect primary data from users of m-Government services in Dar es salaam and Dodoma cities, and 253 responses were received. Data were analyzed by IBM-SPSS AMOS 23.0 software using structural equation modeling (SEM). The findings of the study indicate that perceived usefulness, trust, perceived mobility, power distance, quality of service, awareness, perceived cost, personal initiatives, and characteristics significantly influence the BI to adopt m-Government services. However, perceived ease of use was found statistically insignificant to predict BI. Furthermore, the interplay between CSFs, discussion on theoretical and practical implications that follow from the results are presented.

Keywords: adoption, critical success factors, structural equation modeling, m-Government, MSAM, Tanzania

Procedia PDF Downloads 56
16 COVID-19 Pandemic and Disruptions in Nigeria’s Domestic Economic Activities: A Pre-post Empirical Investigation

Authors: Amaefule, Leonard Ifeanyi

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The study evaluated the disruptions in Nigeria’s domestic economic activities occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic: a pre and post-pandemic investigation approach. Domestic economic activities were measured with composite manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) and composite non-manufacturing PMI. Production and employment levels indices were proxies for composite manufacturing PMI, while business activities and employment level indices were proxies for non-manufacturing PMI. Data for these indices were sourced from monthly and quarterly publications of the Central Bank of Nigeria for periods covering fifteen (15) months before and 15 months after the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria. Test of equality of means was employed in establishing the significance of the difference of means between the pre and post-pandemic domestic economic activities. Results from the analysis indicated that a significant negative difference exists in each of the measures of domestic economic activities between the pre and post-pandemic periods. These findings, therefore, offer empirical evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted domestic economic activities in Nigeria; thus, it exerts a negative influence on the measures of the nation’s domestic economic activities. The study thus recommended (among other things) that the Nigerian government should focus on policies that would enhance domestic production, employment and enhance business activities.

Keywords: COVID-19, domestic economic activities, composite manufacturing indices, composite non-manufacturing indices

Procedia PDF Downloads 90
15 New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success

Authors: Hang T. T. Truong, Ronald S. Laura, Kylie Shaw

Abstract:

Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the national and global business objectives of their potential employers. The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses the opinions of representative employers from major companies across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our research findings also reveal that the integration into business school curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of paramount importance to advance the national and global economic interests of Vietnam.

Keywords: business curriculum, business graduates, employers’ perception, soft skills

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14 When Sex Matters: A Comparative Generalized Structural Equation Model (GSEM) for the Determinants of Stunting Amongst Under-fives in Uganda

Authors: Vallence Ngabo M., Leonard Atuhaire, Peter Clever Rutayisire

Abstract:

The main aim of this study was to establish the differences in both the determinants of stunting and the causal mechanism through which the identified determinants influence stunting amongst male and female under-fives in Uganda. Literature shows that male children below the age of five years are at a higher risk of being stunted than their female counterparts. Specifically, studies in Uganda indicate that being a male child is positively associated with stunting, while being a female is negatively associated with stunting. Data for 904 males and 829 females under-fives was extracted form UDHS-2016 survey dataset. Key variables for this study were identified and used in generating relevant models and paths. Structural equation modeling techniques were used in their generalized form (GSEM). The generalized nature necessitated specifying both the family and link functions for each response variable in the system of the model. The sex of the child (b4) was used as a grouping factor and the height for age (HAZ) scores were used to construct the status for stunting of under-fives. The estimated models and path clearly indicated that the set of underlying factors that influence male and female under-fives respectively was different and the path through which they influence stunting was different. However, some of the determinants that influenced stunting amongst male under-fives also influenced stunting amongst the female under-fives. To reduce the stunting problem to the desirable state, it is important to consider the multifaceted and complex nature of the risk factors that influence stunting amongst the under-fives but, more importantly, consider the different sex-specific factors and their causal mechanism or paths through which they influence stunting.

Keywords: stunting, underfives, sex of the child, GSEM, causal mechanism

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13 Determination of Heavy Metal Levels in Carissa spinarum and Toddalia asiatica Used as Herbal Medicines in Kisii and Nyamira Counties Region, Kenya

Authors: Moses A. Guto Maobe, Leonard Gitu, Erastus Gatebe

Abstract:

The plants Carissa spinarum and Toddalia asiatica have historically been used as herbal medicines in Kisii and Nyamira Counties region, Kenya. But, there is limited study about heavy metal contents in their different plant parts. Such information is necessary for proper use of the two plant species as herbal medicines. So, precise determination of heavy metal contents in different part of these herbs is required for quality, efficacy and safety use in the treatment of ailments. The main aim of this study was to standardize the two herbs of interest. The objective of this study was to evaluate the levels of heavy metal contents in the root of Carissa spinarum and Toddalia asiatica. A wet digestion method with concentrated nitric-hydrochloric acid was used for the dissolution of each herb part prior to elemental analysis. Standard solutions of various concentrations of each pure metal of analytical grade arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) were prepared and used. The analysis of As, Cd and Hg in each of two herbs was conducted by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) Shimadzu model No. 6200. Data obtained from root of Carissa spinarum indicated concentration (mgkg⁻¹) of Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg) were 0.87 x 10⁻³, 7.02 x 10⁻⁶ and 0.66 x 10⁻³ respectively. Results obtained from root of Toddalia asiatica showed concentration (mgkg⁻¹) of Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg) were 1.33 x 10⁻³, 7.32 x 10⁻⁶ and 1.13 x 10⁻³, respectively. The permissible limits set by WHO for As, Cd and Hg in herbs are (mgkg⁻¹) < 1 - 5, < 0.3 – 1 and < 0.1- 0.5 respectively. The concentrations of As, Cd, and Hg determined were relatively higher in the root of Toddalia asiatica than the root of Carissa spinarum. It was concluded that levels of heavy metal contents of As, Cd, and Hg in the root of Carissa spinarum and Toddalia asiatica were within permissible limits set by WHO/FAO.

Keywords: heavy metals, Carissa spinarum, Toddalia asiatica, wet digestion, pollutants, AAS

Procedia PDF Downloads 49
12 Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Mediated by Plant by-Product Extracts

Authors: Cristian Moisa, Andreea Lupitu, Adriana Csakvari, Dana G. Radu, Leonard Marian Olariu, Georgeta Pop, Dorina Chambre, Lucian Copolovici, Dana Copolovici

Abstract:

Green synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) represents a promising, accessible, eco-friendly, and safe process with significant applications in biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, and farming. The aim of our study was to obtain silver nanoparticles, using plant wastes extracts resulted in the essential oils extraction process: Thymus vulgaris L., Origanum vulgare L., Lavandula angustifolia L., and in hemp processing for seed and fibre, Cannabis sativa. Firstly, we obtained aqueous extracts of thyme, oregano, lavender, and hemp (two monoicous and one dioicous varieties), all harvested in western part of Romania. Then, we determined the chemical composition of the extracts by liquid-chromatography coupled with diode array and mass spectrometer detectors. The compounds identified in the extracts were in agreement with earlier published data, and the determination of the antioxidant activity of the obtained extracts by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) assays confirmed their antioxidant activity due to their total polyphenolic content evaluated by Folin-Ciocalteu assay. Then, the silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were successfully biosynthesised, as was demonstrated by UV-VIS, FT-IR spectroscopies, and SEM, by reacting AgNO₃ solution and plant extracts. AgNPs were spherical in shape, with less than 30 nm in diameter, and had a good bactericidal activity against Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas fluorescens).

Keywords: plant wastes extracts, chemical composition, high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer, HPLC-MS, scanning electron microscopy, SEM, silver nanoparticles

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11 Cytolethal Distending Toxins in Intestinal and Extraintestinal E. coli

Authors: Katarína Čurová, Leonard Siegfried, Radka Vargová, Marta Kmeťová, Vladimír Hrabovský

Abstract:

Introduction: Cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs) represent intracellular acting proteins which interfere with cell cycle of eukaryotic cells. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with afinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various diseases. CDTs induce DNA damage probably through DNAse activity, which causes cell cycle arrest and leads to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Five subtypes of CDT (I to V) were reported in E. coli. Methods: We examined 252 E. coli strains belonging to four different groups. Of these strains, 57 were isolated from patients with diarrhea, 65 from patients with urinary tract infections (UTI), 65 from patients with sepsis and 65 from patients with other extraintestinal infections (mostly surgical wounds, decubitus ulcers and respiratory tract infections). Identification of these strains was performed by MALDI-TOF analysis and detection of genes encoding CDTs and determination of the phylogenetic group was performed by PCR. Results: In this study, we detected presence of cdt genes in 11 of 252 E. coli strains tested (4,4 %). Four cdt positive E. coli strains were confirmed in group of UTI (6,15 %), three cdt positive E. coli strains in groups of diarrhea (5,3 %) and other extraintestinal infections (4,6 %). The lowest incidence, one cdt positive E. coli strain, was observed in group of sepsis (1,5 %). All cdt positive E. coli strains belonged to phylogenetic group B2. Conclusion: CDT-producing E. coli are isolated in a low percentage from patients with intestinal and extraintestinal infections, including sepsis and our results correspond with these studies. A weak prevalence of cdt genes suggests that CDTs are not major virulence factors but in combination with other virulence factors may increase virulence potential of E. coli. We suppose that all 11 cdt positive E. coli strains represent real pathogens because they belong to the phylogenetic group B2 which is pathogenic lineage for bacteria E. coli.

Keywords: cytolethal distending toxin, E. coli, phylogenetic group, extraintestinal infection, diarrhea

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10 The Effects of Some Organic Amendments on Sediment Yield, Splash Loss, and Runoff of Soils of Selected Parent Materials in Southeastern Nigeria

Authors: Leonard Chimaobi Agim, Charles Arinzechukwu Igwe, Emmanuel Uzoma Onweremadu, Gabreil Osuji

Abstract:

Soil erosion has been linked to stream sedimentation, ecosystem degradation, and loss of soil nutrients. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of some organic amendment on sediment yield, splash loss, and runoff of soils of selected parent materials in southeastern Nigeria. A total of 20 locations, five from each of four parent materials namely: Asu River Group (ARG), Bende Ameki Group (BAG), Coastal Plain Sand (CPS) and Falsebedded Sandstone (FBS) were used for the study. Collected soil samples were analyzed with standard methods for the initial soil properties. Rainfall simulation at an intensity of 190 mm hr-1was conducted for 30 minutes on the soil samples at both the initial stage and after amendment to obtain erosion parameters. The influence of parent material on sediment yield, splash loss and runoff based on rainfall simulation was tested for using one way analyses of variance, while the influence of organic material and their combinations were a factorially fitted in a randomized complete block design. The organic amendments include; goat dropping (GD), poultry dropping (PD), municipal solid waste (MSW) and their combinations (COA) applied at four rates of 0, 10, 20 and 30 t ha-1 respectively. Data were analyzed using analyses of variance suitable for a factorial experiment. Significant means were separated using LSD at 5 % probability levels. Result showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) lower values of sediment yield, splash loss and runoff following amendment. For instance, organic amendment reduced sediment yield under wet and dry runs by 12.91 % and 26.16% in Ishiagu, 40.76% and 45.67%, in Bende, 16.17% and 50% in Obinze and 22.80% and 42.35% in Umulolo respectively. Goat dropping and combination of amendment gave the best results in reducing sediment yield.

Keywords: organic amendment, parent material, rainfall simulation, soil erosion

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9 Perceived Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Ordinary Level Students at Gatsi Secondary School

Authors: Chimeri Muzano Leonard

Abstract:

The study was carried out to investigate the perceptions of male and female Ordinary Level students on the effects of alcohol abuse at Gatsi Secondary School. The study showed that alcohol abuse has academic, social, psychological and health effects on Ordinary Level students. The negative effects comprises of death, dropping out, poor grades, poor concentration, risky behaviors, impairment of the brain and central nervous system , risky behaviors and Impairment of reproductive functioning Only students who enrolled for Ordinary Level in the 2014 academic year participated in this study. Fifty students (25 males and 25 females) were randomly selected to participate in the study. A formal survey questionnaire was used to collect data. The respondents were asked to use a scale of 0 (totally disagree) to 10 (completely agree) to indicate the extent to which they agreed with each perception. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19.0 was used for data analysis. The Mann Whitney U test was used to test for the significance of differences in the perceptions of male and female students. No statistically significant differences were detected between males and females in most of their perceptions regarding the effects of alcohol abuse on Ordinary Level students. However, there were three perceptions found to be significantly different between male and female. They comprises of “Peers influence one to drink alcohol”, “Alcohol abuse is a major problem among male students compared to their female peers” and “ Female students should not drink beer”.It was evident from this study that Gatsi Secondary School needs to implement more effective interventions that combat alcohol abuse. A deeper analysis of the issues that predispose Ordinary Level students to alcohol abuse should inform the interventions. Consequently, unravelling the problem of negative effects of alcohol abuse was desirable because of its potential usefulness in developing strategies that might help curb the problem and presumably improve the performance of Ordinary Level students and above all the quality of education at Gatsi Secondary School.

Keywords: perceived effects, alcohol, Gatsi Secondary School, alcohol abuse

Procedia PDF Downloads 171