Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: Vasiliki Vlachou

10 Leveraging Hyperledger Iroha for the Issuance and Verification of Higher-Education Certificates

Authors: Vasiliki Vlachou, Christos Kontzinos, Ourania Markaki, Panagiotis Kokkinakos, Vagelis Karakolis, John Psarras

Abstract:

Higher Education is resisting the pull of technology, especially as this concerns the issuance and verification of degrees and certificates. It is widely known that education certificates are largely produced in paper form making them vulnerable to damage while holders of such certificates are dependent on the universities and other issuing organisations. QualiChain is an EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) research project aiming to transform and revolutionise the domain of public education and its ties with the job market by leveraging blockchain, analytics and decision support to develop a platform for the verification and sharing of education certificates. Blockchain plays an integral part in the QualiChain solution in providing a trustworthy environment to store, share and manage such accreditations. Under the context of this paper, three prominent blockchain platforms (Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha) were considered as a means of experimentation for creating a system with the basic functionalities that will be needed for trustworthy degree verification. The methodology and respective system developed and presented in this paper used Hyperledger Iroha and proved that this specific platform can be used to easily develop decentralize applications. Future papers will attempt to further experiment with other blockchain platforms and assess which has the best potential.

Keywords: blockchain, degree verification, higher education certificates, Hyperledger Iroha

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9 Financial Literacy in Greek High-School Students

Authors: Vasiliki A. Tzora, Nikolaos D. Philippas

Abstract:

The paper measures the financial literacy of youth in Greece derived from the examined aspects of financial knowledge, behaviours, and attitudes that high school students performed. The findings reveal that less than half of participant high school students have an acceptable level of financial literacy. Also, students who are in the top of their class cohort exhibit higher levels of financial literacy. We also find that the father’s education level has a significant effect on financial literacy. Students who keep records of their income and expenses are likely to show better levels of financial literacy than students who do not. Students’ perception/estimation of their parents’ income changes is also related to their levels of financial literacy. We conclude that financial education initiatives should be embedded in schools in order to embrace the young generation.

Keywords: financial literacy, financial knowledge, financial behaviour, financial attitude, financial wellbeing, 15-year-old students

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8 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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7 Developing Emission Factors of Fugitive Particulate Matter Emissions for Construction Sites in the Middle East Area

Authors: Hala A. Hassan, Vasiliki K. Tsiouri, Konstantinos E. Konstantinos

Abstract:

Fugitive particulate matter (PM) is a major source of airborne pollution in the Middle East countries. The meteorological conditions and topography of the area make it highly susceptible to wind-blown particles which raise many air quality concerns. Air quality tools such as field monitoring, emission factors, and dispersion modeling have been used in previous research studies to analyze the release and impacts of fugitive PM in the region. However, these tools have been originally developed based on experiments made for European and North American regions. In this work, an experimental campaign was conducted on April-May 2014 in a construction site in Doha city, Qatar. The ultimate goal is to evaluate the applicability of the existing emission factors for construction sites in dry and arid areas like the Middle East. This publication was made possible by a NPRP award [NPRP 7-649-2-241] from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of The Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Keywords: particulate matter, emissions, fugitive, construction, air pollution

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6 Improving Young Learners' Vocabulary Acquisition: A Pilot Program in a Game-Based Environment

Authors: Vasiliki Stratidou

Abstract:

Modern simulation mobile games have the potential to enhance students’ interest, motivation and creativity. Research conducted on the effectiveness of digital games for educational purposes has shown that such games are also ideal at providing an appropriate environment for language learning. The paper examines the issue of simulation mobile games in regard to the potential positive impacts on L2 vocabulary learning. Sixteen intermediate level students, aged 10-14, participated in the experimental study for four weeks. The participants were divided into experimental (8 participants) and control group (8 participants). The experimental group was planned to learn some new vocabulary words via digital games while the control group used a reading passage to learn the same vocabulary words. The study investigated the effect of mobile games as well as the traditional learning methods on Greek EFL learners’ vocabulary learning in a pre-test, an immediate post-test, and a two-week delayed retention test. A teacher’s diary and learners’ interviews were also used as tools to estimate the effectiveness of the implementation. The findings indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group in acquiring new words through mobile games. Therefore, digital games proved to be an effective tool in learning English vocabulary.

Keywords: control group, digital games, experimental group, second language vocabulary learning, simulation games

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5 The Effect of Body Positioning on Upper-Limb Arterial Occlusion Pressure and the Reliability of the Method during Blood Flow Restriction Training

Authors: Stefanos Karanasios, Charkleia Koutri, Maria Moutzouri, Sofia A. Xergia, Vasiliki Sakellari, George Gioftsos

Abstract:

The precise calculation of arterial occlusive pressure (AOP) is a critical step to accurately prescribe individualized pressures during blood flow restriction training (BFRT). AOP is usually measured in a supine position before training; however, previous reports suggested a significant influence in lower limb AOP across different body positions. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of three different body positions on upper limb AOP and the reliability of the method for its standardization in clinical practice. Forty-two healthy participants (Mean age: 28.1, SD: ±7.7) underwent measurements of upper limb AOP in supine, seated, and standing positions by three blinded raters. A cuff with a manual pump and a pocket doppler ultrasound were used. A significantly higher upper limb AOP was found in seated compared with supine position (p < 0.031) and in supine compared with standing position (p < 0.031) by all raters. An excellent intraclass correlation coefficient (0.858- 0.984, p < 0.001) was found in all positions. Upper limb AOP is strongly dependent on body position changes. The appropriate measurement position should be selected to accurately calculate AOP before BFRT. The excellent inter-rater reliability and repeatability of the method suggest reliable and consistent results across repeated measurements.

Keywords: Kaatsu training, blood flow restriction training, arterial occlusion, reliability

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4 Anisotropic Behavior of Sand Stabilized with Colloidal Silica

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

Abstract:

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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3 A Modelling Study of the Photochemical and Particulate Pollution Characteristics above a Typical Southeast Mediterranean Urban Area

Authors: Fameli Kyriaki-Maria, Assimakopoulos D. Vasiliki, Kotroni Vassiliki

Abstract:

The Greater Athens Area (GAA) faces photochemical and particulate pollution episodes as a result of the combined effects of local pollutant emissions, regional pollution transport, synoptic circulation and topographic characteristics. The area has undergone significant changes since the Athens 2004 Olympic Games because of large scale infrastructure works that lead to the shift of population to areas previously characterized as rural, the increase of the traffic fleet and the operation of highways. However, no recent modelling studies have been performed due to the lack of an accurate, updated emission inventory. The photochemical modelling system MM5/CAMx was applied in order to study the photochemical and particulate pollution characteristics above the GAA for two distinct ten-day periods in the summer of 2006 and 2010, where air pollution episodes occurred. A new updated emission inventory was used based on official data. Comparison of modeled results with measurements revealed the importance and accuracy of the new Athens emission inventory as compared to previous modeling studies. The model managed to reproduce the local meteorological conditions, the daily ozone and particulates fluctuations at different locations across the GAA. Higher ozone levels were found at suburban and rural areas as well as over the sea at the south of the basin. Concerning PM10, high concentrations were computed at the city centre and the southeastern suburbs in agreement with measured data. Source apportionment analysis showed that different sources contribute to the ozone levels, the local sources (traffic, port activities) affecting its formation.

Keywords: photochemical modelling, urban pollution, greater Athens area, MM5/CAMx

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2 Conservation Agriculture under Mediterranean Climate: Effects on below and Above-Ground Processes during Wheat Cultivation

Authors: Vasiliki Kolake, Christos Kavalaris, Sofia Megoudi, Maria Maxouri, Panagiotis A. Karas, Aris Kyparissis, Efi Levizou

Abstract:

Conservation agriculture (CA), is a production system approach that can tackle the challenges of climate change mainly through facilitating carbon storage into the soil and increasing crop resilience. This is extremely important for the vulnerable Mediterranean agroecosystems, which already face adverse environmental conditions. The agronomic practices used in CA, i.e. permanent soil cover and no-tillage, result in reduced soil erosion and increased soil organic matter, preservation of water and improvement of quality and fertility of the soil in the long-term. Thus the functional characteristics and processes of the soil are considerably affected by the implementation of CA. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of CA on soil nitrification potential and mycorrhizal colonization about the above-ground production in a wheat field. Two adjacent but independent field sites of 1.5ha each were used (Thessaly plain, Central Greece), comprising the no-till and conventional tillage treatments. The no-tillage site was covered by residues of the previous crop (cotton). Potential nitrification and the nitrate and ammonium content of the soil were measured at two different soil depths (3 and 15cm) at 20-days intervals throughout the growth period. Additionally, the leaf area index (LAI) was monitored at the same time-course. The mycorrhizal colonization was measured at the commencement and end of the experiment. At the final harvest, total yield and plant biomass were also recorded. The results indicate that wheat yield was considerably favored by CA practices, exhibiting a 42% increase compared to the conventional tillage treatment. The superior performance of the CA crop was also depicted in the above-ground plant biomass, where a 26% increase was recorded. LAI, which is considered a reliable growth index, did not show statistically significant differences between treatments throughout the growth period. On the contrary, significant differences were recorded in endomycorrhizal colonization one day before the final harvest, with CA plants exhibiting 20% colonization, while the conventional tillage plants hardly reached 1%. The on-going analyses of potential nitrification measurements, as well as nitrate and ammonium determination, will shed light on the effects of CA on key processes in the soil. These results will integrate the assessment of CA impact on certain below and above-ground processes during wheat cultivation under the Mediterranean climate.

Keywords: conservation agriculture, LAI, mycorrhizal colonization, potential nitrification, wheat, yield

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1 A Therapeutic Approach for Bromhidrosis with Glycopyrrolate 2% Cream: Clinical Study of 20 Patients

Authors: Vasiliki Markantoni, Eftychia Platsidaki, Georgios Chaidemenos, Georgios Kontochristopoulos

Abstract:

Introduction: Bromhidrosis, also known as osmidrosis, is a common distressing condition with a significant negative effect on patient’s quality of life. Its etiology is multifactorial. It usually affects axilla, genital skin, breasts and soles, areas where apocrine glands are mostly distributed. Therapeutic treatments include topical antibacterial agents, antiperspirants and neuromuscular blocker agents-toxins. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy and possible complications of topical glycopyrrolate, an anticholinergic agent, for treatment of bromhidrosis. Glycopyrrolate, applied topically as a cream, solution or spray at concentrations between 0,5% and 4%, has been successfully used to treat different forms of focal hyperhidrosis. Materials and Methods: Twenty patients, six males and fourteen females, meeting the criteria for bromhidrosis were treated with topical glycopyrrolate for two months. The average age was 36. Eleven patients had bromhidrosis located to the axillae, four to the soles, four to both axillae and soles and one to the genital folds. Glycopyrrolate was applied topically as a cream at concentration 2%, formulated in Fitalite. During the first month, patients were using the cream every night and thereafter twice daily. The degree of malodor was assessed subjectively by patients and scaled averagely as ‘none’, ‘mild’, ‘moderate’, and ‘severe’ with corresponding scores of 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The modified Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) was used to assess the quality of life. The clinical efficacy was graded by the patient scale of excellent, good, fair and poor. In the end, patients were given the power to evaluate whether they were totally satisfied with, partially satisfied or unsatisfied and possible side effects during the treatment were recorded. Results: All patients were satisfied at the end of the treatment. No patient defined the response as no improvement. The subjectively assessed score level of bromhidrosis was remarkably improved after the first month of treatment and improved slightly more after the second month. DLQI score was also improved to all patients. Adverse effects were reported in 2 patients. In the first case, topical irritation was reported. This was classed as mild (erythema and desquamation), appeared during the second month of treatment and was treated with low-potency topical corticosteroids. In the second case, mydriasis was reported, that recovered without specific treatment, as soon as we insisted to the importance of careful hygiene after cream application so as not to contaminate the periocular skin or ocular surface. Conclusions: Dermatologists often encounter patients with bromhidrosis, therefore should be aware of treatment options. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the use of topical glycopyrrolate as a therapeutic approach for bromhidrosis. Our findings suggest that topical glycopyrrolate has an excellent safety profile and demonstrate encouraging results for the management of this distressful condition.

Keywords: Bromhidrosis, glycopyrrolate, topical treatment, osmidrosis

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