Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 43

Publications

43 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Health, Microbial, Consumer, Dairy, by-products

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42 Exploring Students’ Self-Evaluation on Their Learning Outcomes through an Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average Reporting Mechanism

Authors: Suriyani Ariffin, Nor Aziah Alias, Khairil Iskandar Othman, Haslinda Yusoff

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An Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA) is a mechanism and strategy to ensure the curriculum of an academic programme is constructively aligned to the expected learning outcomes and student performance based on the attainment of those learning outcomes that is reported objectively in a spider web. Much effort and time has been spent to develop a viable mechanism and trains academics to utilize the platform for reporting. The question is: How well do learners conceive the idea of their achievement via iCGPA and whether quality learner attributes have been nurtured through the iCGPA mechanism? This paper presents the architecture of an integrated CGPA mechanism purported to address a holistic evaluation from the evaluation of courses learning outcomes to aligned programme learning outcomes attainment. The paper then discusses the students’ understanding of the mechanism and evaluation of their achievement from the generated spider web. A set of questionnaires were distributed to a group of students with iCGPA reporting and frequency analysis was used to compare the perspectives of students on their performance. In addition, the questionnaire also explored how they conceive the idea of an integrated, holistic reporting and how it generates their motivation to improve. The iCGPA group was found to be receptive to what they have achieved throughout their study period. They agreed that the achievement level generated from their spider web allows them to develop intervention and enhance the programme learning outcomes before they graduate.

Keywords: learning outcomes attainment, iCGPA, programme learning outcomes, spider web, iCGPA reporting skills

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41 Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic

Authors: Marija Zulić, Vanda Hájková, Nina Brkić-Jovanović, Linda Rathousová, Sanja Tomić

Abstract:

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

Keywords: Cerebral Palsy, Czech Republic, social participation, school function assessment

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40 Melodic and Temporal Structure of Indonesian Sentences of Sitcom "International Class" Actors: Prosodic Study with Experimental Phonetics Approach

Authors: Tri Sulistyaningtyas, Yani Suryani, Dana Waskita, Linda Handayani Sukaemi, Ferry Fauzi Hermawan

Abstract:

The enthusiasm of foreigners studying the Indonesian language by Foreign Speakers (BIPA) was documented in a sitcom "International Class". Tone and stress when they speak the Indonesian language is unique and different from Indonesian pronunciation. By using the Praat program, this research aims to describe prosodic Indonesian language which is spoken by ‘International Class” actors consisting of Abbas from Nigeria, Lee from Korea, and Kotaro from Japan. Data for the research are taken from the video sitcom "International Class" that aired on Indonesian television. The results of this study revealed that pitch movement that arises when pronouncing Indonesian sentences was up and down gradually, there is also a rise and fall sharply. In terms of stress, respondents tend to contain a lot of stress when pronouncing Indonesian sentences. Meanwhile, in terms of temporal structure, the duration pronouncing Indonesian sentences tends to be longer than that of Indonesian speakers.

Keywords: prosody, melodic structure, temporal structure, experimental phonetics, international class

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39 Study of Pre-Handwriting Factors Necessary for Successful Handwriting in Children

Authors: Lalitchandra J. Shah, Katarzyna Bialek, Melinda L. Clarke, Jessica L. Jansson

Abstract:

Handwriting is essential to academic success; however, the current literature is limited in the identification of pre-handwriting skills. The purpose of this study was to identify the pre-handwriting skills, which occupational therapy practitioners deem important to handwriting success, as well as those which aid in intervention planning. The online survey instrument consisted of 33 questions that assessed various skills related to the development of handwriting, as well as captured demographic information. Both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants were included in the survey study. The survey found that the respondents were in agreement that purposeful scribbling, the ability of a child to copy (vertical/horizontal lines, circle, squares, and triangles), imitating an oblique cross, cognitive skills (attention, praxis, self-regulation, sequencing), grasp patterns, hand dominance, in hand manipulation skills (shift, translation, rotation), bilateral integration, stabilization of paper, crossing midline, and visual perception were important indicators of handwriting readiness. The results of the survey support existing research regarding the skills necessary for the successful development of handwriting in children.

Keywords: Development, Occupational therapy, handwriting, visual perceptual skills

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38 Long-Term Effect of Breastfeeding in Preschooler’s Psychomotor Development

Authors: Aurela Saliaj, Majlinda Zahaj, Bruna Pura

Abstract:

Background: Breast milk may impact early brain development, with potentially important biological, medical and social implications. There is an important discussion on which is the adequate breastfeeding extension to the development consolidation and how the children breastfeeding affects their psychomotor development, in the first year of life, and in following periods as well. Some special fats (LC PUFA) contained in breast milk play a key role in the brain’s maturation and cognitive development or social skills. These capacities created during breastfeeding time would be unfolded throughout all lifespan. Aim of the study: In our research, we have studied the effect of breastfeeding in preschooler's psychomotor assessment. Method: This study was conducted in a sample of 158 preschool children in Vlorë, Albania. We have measured the psychometric parameters of preschoolers with ASQ-3 (Age&Stage Questionnaires- 3). The studied sample was divided in three groups according to their breastfeeding duration (3, 6 and 12 months). Results: Children breastfed for only 3 months have definitely lower psychometric scores compared to the ones with 6 or more months of breastfeeding (respectively 217 to 239 ASQ-3 scores). Six and twelvemonth breastfed children have progressively more odds to have high levels of psychomotor development comparing to those with only 3 months of breastfeeding. The most affected psychometric domains by shortness of breastfeeding are Communication and Global motor. Conclusion: This leads to conclusion that to ensure high psychomotor parameters during childhood is necessary breastfeeding for at least 6 months.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, preschoolers, psycho-motor development, psycho-motor domains

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37 Public Private Partnership for Infrastructure Projects: Mapping the Key Risks

Authors: Julinda Keçi

Abstract:

In many countries, governments have been promoting the involvement of private sector entities to enter into long-term agreements for the development and delivery of large infrastructure projects, with a focus on overcoming the limitations upon public fund of the traditional approach. The involvement of private sector through public private partnerships (PPP) brings in new capital investments, value for money and additional risks to handle. Worldwide research studies have shown that an objective, systematic, reliable and useroriented risk assessment process and an optimal allocation mechanism among different stakeholders is crucial to the successful completion. In this framework, this paper, which is the first stage of a research study, aims to identify the main risks for the delivery of PPP projects. A review of cross-countries research projects and case studies was performed to map the key risks affecting PPP infrastructure delivery. The matrix of mapping offers a summary of the frequency of factors, clustered in eleven categories: construction, design, economic, legal, market, natural, operation, political, project finance, project selection and relationship. Results will highlight the most critical risk factors, and will hopefully assist the project managers in directing the managerial attention in the further stages of risk allocation.

Keywords: Construction, Infrastructure, risks, public private partnerships

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36 Oat Grain Functional Ingredient Characterization

Authors: Vita Sterna, Sanita Zute, Inga Jansone, Linda Brunava, Inara Kantane

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Grains, including oats (Avena sativa L.), have been recognized functional foods, because provide beneficial effect on the health of the consumer and decrease the risk of various diseases. Oats are good source of soluble fibre, essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Oat breeders have developed oat varieties and improved yielding ability potential of oat varieties. Therefore, the aim of investigation was to analyze the composition of perspective oat varieties and breeding lines grains grown in different conditions and evaluate functional properties. In the studied samples content of protein, starch, β-glucans, total dietetic fibre, composition of amino acids and vitamin E were determined. The results of analysis showed that protein content depending of varieties ranged 9.70% to 17.30% total dietary fibre 13.66 g100g-1 to 30.17 g100g-1, content of β-glucans 2.7 g100g-1 to 3.5 g100g-1, amount of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) determined from 4 mgkg-1 to 9.9 mgkg-1. The sums of essential amino acids in oat grain samples were determined from 31.63 gkg-1 to 54.90 gkg-1. It is concluded that amino acids composition of husked and naked oats grown in organic or conventional conditions is close to optimal for human health.

Keywords: Amino Acids, dietetic fibre, β-glucans, nutrition value

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35 Numerical Solutions of Boundary Layer Flow over an Exponentially Stretching/Shrinking Sheet with Generalized Slip Velocity

Authors: Ezad Hafidz Hafidzuddin, Roslinda Nazar, Norihan M. Arifin, Ioan Pop

Abstract:

In this paper, the problem of steady laminar boundary layer flow and heat transfer over a permeable exponentially stretching/shrinking sheet with generalized slip velocity is considered. The similarity transformations are used to transform the governing nonlinear partial differential equations to a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. The transformed equations are then solved numerically using the bvp4c function in MATLAB. Dual solutions are found for a certain range of the suction and stretching/shrinking parameters. The effects of the suction parameter, stretching/shrinking parameter, velocity slip parameter, critical shear rate and Prandtl number on the skin friction and heat transfer coefficients as well as the velocity and temperature profiles are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Heat Transfer, Numerical Solutions, boundary layer, generalized slip, Exponentially Stretching/Shrinking Sheet

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34 Land Suitability Analysis for Maize Production in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State Using GIS Techniques

Authors: Abegunde Linda, Adedeji Oluwatola, Tope-Ajayi Opeyemi

Abstract:

Maize constitutes a major agrarian production for use by the vast population but despite its economic importance; it has not been produced to meet the economic needs of the country. Achieving optimum yield in maize can meaningfully be supported by land suitability analysis in order to guarantee self-sufficiency for future production optimization. This study examines land suitability for maize production through the analysis of the physicochemical variations in soil properties and other land attributes over space using a Geographic Information System (GIS) framework. Physicochemical parameters of importance selected include slope, landuse, physical and chemical properties of the soil, and climatic variables. Landsat imagery was used to categorize the landuse, Shuttle Radar Topographic Mapping (SRTM) generated the slope and soil samples were analyzed for its physical and chemical components. Suitability was categorized into highly, moderately and marginally suitable based on Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) classification, using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique of GIS. This result can be used by small scale farmers for efficient decision making in the allocation of land for maize production.

Keywords: GIS, suitability, AHP, Zea mays, MCE

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33 Impact of Landuse Change on Surface Temperature in Ibadan, Nigeria

Authors: Abegunde Linda, Adedeji Oluwatola

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It has become an increasing evident that large development influences the climate. There are concerns that rising temperature over developed areas could have negative impact and increase living discomfort within city boundaries. Temperature trends in Ibadan city have received little attention, yet the area has experienced heavy urban expansion between 1972 and 2014. This research aims at examining the impact of landuse change on surface temperature knowing that the built-up environment absorb and store solar energy, resulting into the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The Landsat imagery was used to examine the landuse change for a period of 42 years (1972-2014). Land Surface Temperature (LST) was obtained by converting the thermal band to a surface temperature map and zonal statistic analyses was used to examine the relationship between landuse and temperature emission. The results showed that the settlement area increased to a large extent while the area covered by vegetation reduced during the study period. The spatial and temporal trends of surface temperature are related to the gradual change in urban landuse/landcover and the settlement area has the highest emission. This research provides useful insight into the temporal behavior of the Ibadan city.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, LST, landuse, UHI

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32 Effectiveness of Software Quality Assurance in Offshore Development Enterprises in Sri Lanka

Authors: Malinda G. Sirisena

Abstract:

The aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of software quality assurance approaches of Sri Lankan offshore software development organizations, and to propose a framework which could be used across all offshore software development organizations.

An empirical study was conducted using derived framework from popular software quality evaluation models. The research instrument employed was a questionnaire survey among thirty seven Sri Lankan registered offshore software development organizations.

The findings demonstrate a positive view of Effectiveness of Software Quality Assurance – the stronger predictors of Stability, Installability, Correctness, Testability and Changeability. The present study’s recommendations indicate a need for much emphasis on software quality assurance for the Sri Lankan offshore software development organizations.

Keywords: software quality assurance (SQA), offshore software development, quality assurance evaluation models, effectiveness of quality assurance

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31 Stability Analysis of Three-Dimensional Flow and Heat Transfer over a Permeable Shrinking Surface in a Cu-Water Nanofluid

Authors: Roslinda Nazar, Amin Noor, Khamisah Jafar, Ioan Pop

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In this paper, the steady laminar three-dimensional boundary layer flow and heat transfer of a copper (Cu)-water nanofluid in the vicinity of a permeable shrinking flat surface in an otherwise quiescent fluid is studied. The nanofluid mathematical model in which the effect of the nanoparticle volume fraction is taken into account is considered. The governing nonlinear partial differential equations are transformed into a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations using a similarity transformation which is then solved numerically using the function bvp4c from Matlab. Dual solutions (upper and lower branch solutions) are found for the similarity boundary layer equations for a certain range of the suction parameter. A stability analysis has been performed to show which branch solutions are stable and physically realizable. The numerical results for the skin friction coefficient and the local Nusselt number as well as the velocity and temperature profiles are obtained, presented and discussed in detail for a range of various governing parameters.

Keywords: Heat Transfer, Nanofluid, Stability Analysis, shrinking surface, three-dimensional flow

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30 Comparative Study - Three Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Rain Domain in Precipitation Forecast

Authors: Nabilah Filzah Mohd Radzuan, Andi Putra, Zalinda Othman, Azuraliza Abu Bakar, Abdul Razak Hamdan

Abstract:

Precipitation forecast is important in avoid incident of natural disaster which can cause loss in involved area. This review paper involves three techniques from artificial intelligence namely logistic regression, decisions tree, and random forest which used in making precipitation forecast. These combination techniques through VAR model in finding advantages and strength for every technique in forecast process. Data contains variables from rain domain. Adaptation of artificial intelligence techniques involved on rain domain enables the process to be easier and systematic for precipitation forecast.

Keywords: Logistic Regression, decisions tree, random forest, VAR model

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29 Effects of Stiffness on Endothelial Cells Behavior

Authors: Forough Ataollahi, Belinda Pingguan-Murphy, Wan Abu Bakar Wan Abas, Noor Azuan Abu Osman

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Endothelium proliferation is an important process in cardiovascular homeostasis and can be regulated by extracellular environment, as cells can actively sense mechanical environment. In this study, we evaluated endothelial cell proliferation on PDMS/alumina (Al2O3) composites and pure PDMS. The substrates were prepared from pure PDMS and its composites with 5% and 10% Al2O3 at curing temperature 50˚C for 4h and then characterized by mechanical, structural and morphological analyses. Higher stiffness was found in the composites compared to the pure PDMS substrate. Cell proliferation of the cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells on substrate materials were evaluated via Resazurin assay and 1, 1’-Dioctadecyl-1, 3, 3, 3’, 3’-Tetramethylindocarbocyanine Perchlorate-Acetylated LDL (Dil-Ac-LDL) cell staining, respectively. The results revealed that stiffer substrates promote more endothelial cells proliferation to the less stiff substrates. Therefore, this study firmly hypothesizes that the stiffness elevates endothelial cells proliferation.

Keywords: Stiffness, proliferation, bovine aortic endothelial cells, extra cellular matrix

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28 Representing Data without Lost Compression Properties in Time Series: A Review

Authors: Nabilah Filzah Mohd Radzuan, Zalinda Othman, Azuraliza Abu Bakar, Abdul Razak Hamdan

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Uncertain data is believed to be an important issue in building up a prediction model. The main objective in the time series uncertainty analysis is to formulate uncertain data in order to gain knowledge and fit low dimensional model prior to a prediction task. This paper discusses the performance of a number of techniques in dealing with uncertain data specifically those which solve uncertain data condition by minimizing the loss of compression properties.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Weather Prediction, compression properties, uncertain time series, mining technique

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27 The Effect of Micro Tools Fabricated Dent on Alumina/Alumina Oxide Interface

Authors: Taposh Roy, Dipankar Choudhury, Belinda Pingguan-Murphy

Abstract:

The tribological outcomes of micro dent are found to be outstanding in many engineering and natural surfaces. Ceramic (Al2O3) is considered one of the most potential material to bearing surfaces particularly, artificial hip or knee implant. A well-defined micro dent on alumina oxide interface could further decrease friction and wear rate, thus increase their stability and durability. In this study we fabricated circular micro dent surface profiles (Dia: 400µm, Depth 20µm, P: 1.5mm; Dia: 400µm, Depth 20µm, P: 2mm) on pure Al2O3 (99.6%) substrate by using a micro tool machines. A preliminary tribological experiment was carried out to compare friction coefficient of these fabricated dent surfaces with that of non-textured surfaces. The experiment was carried on well know pin-on-disk specimens while other experimental parameters such as hertz pressure, speed, lubrication, and temperature were maintained to standard of simulated hip joints condition. The experiment results revealed that micro dent surface texture reduced 15%, 8% and 4% friction coefficient under 0.132,0.162, 0.187 GPa contact pressure respectively. Since this is a preliminary tribological study, we will pursue further experiments considering higher ranges of dent profiles and longer run experiments. However, the preliminary results confirmed the suitability of fabricating dent profile to ceramic surfaces by using micro tooling, and also their improved tribological performance in simulated hip joints.

Keywords: Tribology, Micro dent, ceramic on ceramic hipjoints

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26 Synthesis and Electrochemical Characterization of Iron Oxide / Activated Carbon Composite Electrode for Symmetrical Supercapacitor

Authors: PoiSim Khiew, MuiYen Ho, ThianKhoonTan, WeeSiong Chiu, Roslinda Shamsudin, Muhammad Azmi Abd-Hamid, ChinHua Chia

Abstract:

In the present work, we have developed a symmetric electrochemical capacitor based on the nanostructured iron oxide (Fe3O4)-activated carbon (AC) nanocomposite materials. The physical properties of the nanocomposites were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. The electrochemical performances of the composite electrode in 1.0 M Na2SO3 and 1.0 M Na2SO4 aqueous solutions were evaluated using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The composite electrode with 4 wt% of iron oxide nanomaterials exhibits the highest capacitance of 86 F/g. The experimental results clearly indicate that the incorporation of iron oxide nanomaterials at low concentration to the composite can improve the capacitive performance, mainly attributed to the contribution of the pseudocapacitance charge storage mechanism and the enhancement on the effective surface area of the electrode. Nevertheless, there is an optimum threshold on the amount of iron oxide that needs to be incorporated into the composite system. When this optimum threshold is exceeded, the capacitive performance of the electrode starts to deteriorate, as a result of the undesired particle aggregation, which is clearly indicated in the SEM analysis. The electrochemical performance of the composite electrode is found to be superior when Na2SO3 is used as the electrolyte, if compared to the Na2SO4 solution. It is believed that Fe3O4 nanoparticles can provide favourable surface adsorption sites for sulphite (SO3 2-) anions which act as catalysts for subsequent redox and intercalation reactions.

Keywords: Electrochemical Capacitor, Metal oxide nanomaterials, Double Layer Capacitance, Pseduocapacitance

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25 Effects of Irradiation to Morphological, Physicochemical and Biocompatibility Properties of Carrageenan

Authors: Jhalique Jane R. Fojas, Rizalinda L. De Leon, Lucille V. Abad

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The characterization of κ-carrageenan could provide a better understanding of its functions in biological, medical and industrial applications. Chemical and physical analyses of carrageenan from seaweeds, Euchema cottonii L., were done to offer information on its properties and the effects of Co-60 γ-irradiation on its thermochemical characteristics. The structural and morphological characteristics of κ-carrageenan were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) while the composition, molecular weight and thermal properties were determined using attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Further chemical analysis was done using hydrogen-1 nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and functional characteristics in terms of biocompatibility were evaluated using cytotoxicity test.

Keywords: Biocompatibility, NMR, SEM, FTIR, physicochemical, GPC, irradiation, TGA, DSC, carrageenan

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24 An Empirical Study of the Expectation- Perception Gap of I.S. Development

Authors: Linda, Sau-ling Lai

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This paper adopts a notion of expectation-perception gap of systems users as information systems (IS) failure. Problems leading to the expectation-perception gap are identified and modelled as five interrelated discrepancies or gaps throughout the process of information systems development (ISD). It describes an empirical study on how systems developers and users perceive the size of each gap and the extent to which each problematic issue contributes to the gap. The key to achieving success in ISD is to keep the expectationperception gap closed by closing all 5 pertaining gaps. The gap model suggests that most factors in IS failure are related to organizational, cognitive and social aspects of information systems design. Organization requirement analysis, being the weakest link of IS development, is particularly worthy of investigation.

Keywords: gap analysis, Information Systems Development, Expectation- Perception Gap, Organization Analysis

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23 Managing User Expectations in Information Systems Development

Authors: Linda, Sau-ling Lai

Abstract:

This paper provides new ways to explore the old problem of failure of information systems development in an organisation. Based on the theory of cognitive dissonance, information systems (IS) failure is defined as a gap between what the users expect from an information system and how well these expectations are met by the perceived performance of the delivered system. Bridging the expectation-perception gap requires that IS professionals make a radical change from being the proprietor of information systems and products to being service providers. In order to deliver systems and services that IS users perceive as valuable, IS people must become expert in determining and assessing users- expectations and perceptions. It is also suggested that the IS community, in general, has given relatively little attention to the front-end process of requirements specification for IS development. There is a simplistic belief that requirements are obtainable from users, they are then translatable into a formal specification. The process of information needs analysis is problematic and worthy of investigation.

Keywords: Requirements Analysis, Information Systems Development, Cognitive Dissonance, Expectation-Perception Gap

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22 Does Training in the Use of a Magnifier Improve Efficiency?

Authors: Norliza Mohamad Fadzil, Kerry Fitzmaurice, Linda Malesic

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Provision of optical devices without proper instruction and training may cause frustration resulting in rejection or incorrect use of the magnifiers. However training in the use of magnifiers increases the cost of providing these devices. This study compared the efficacy of providing instruction alone and instruction plus training in the use of magnifiers. 24 participants randomly assigned to two groups. 15 received instruction and training and 9 received instruction only. Repeated measures of print size and reading speed were performed at pre, post training and follow up. Print size decreased in both groups between pre and post training maintained at follow up. Reading speed increased in both groups over time with the training group demonstrating more rapid improvement. Whilst overall outcomes were similar, training decreased the time required to increase reading speed supporting the use of training for increased efficiency. A cost effective form of training is suggested.

Keywords: training, Reading, Low Vision, magnification

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21 The Household-Based Socio-Economic Index for Every District in Peninsular Malaysia

Authors: Nuzlinda Abdul Rahman, Syerrina Zakaria

Abstract:

Deprivation indices are widely used in public health study. These indices are also referred as the index of inequalities or disadvantage. Even though, there are many indices that have been built before, it is believed to be less appropriate to use the existing indices to be applied in other countries or areas which had different socio-economic conditions and different geographical characteristics. The objective of this study is to construct the index based on the geographical and socio-economic factors in Peninsular Malaysia which is defined as the weighted household-based deprivation index. This study has employed the variables based on household items, household facilities, school attendance and education level obtained from Malaysia 2000 census report. The factor analysis is used to extract the latent variables from indicators, or reducing the observable variable into smaller amount of components or factor. Based on the factor analysis, two extracted factors were selected, known as Basic Household Amenities and Middle-Class Household Item factor. It is observed that the district with a lower index values are located in the less developed states like Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. Meanwhile, the areas with high index values are located in developed states such as Pulau Pinang, W.P. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Keywords: Factor Analysis, Basic Household Amenities, Middle-Class Household Item, Socio-economic Index

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20 Role of Direct and Secondary Traumatic Experience on Later Functioning

Authors: Pamela L. Knox, Linda R. Guthrie

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Trauma in early life is widely regarded as a cause for adult mental health problems. This study explores the role of secondary trauma on later functioning in a sample of 359 university students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes in the United States. Participants were initially divided into four groups based on 1) having directly experienced trauma (assaultive violence), 2) having directly experienced trauma and secondary traumatization through the unanticipated death of a close friend or family member or witnessing of an injury or shocking even), 3) having no experience of direct trauma but having experienced indirect trauma (secondary trauma), or 4) reporting no exposure. Participants completed a battery of measures on concepts associated with psychological functioning which included measures of psychological well-being, problem solving, coping and resiliency. Findings discuss differences in psychological functioning and resilience based on participants who experienced secondary traumatization and assaultive violence versus secondary traumatization alone.

Keywords: Trauma, Resiliency, Psychological Functioning, abuse

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19 Digital Sites- Performative Views

Authors: Gavin Perin, Linda Matthews

Abstract:

Webcam systems now function as the new privileged vantage points from which to view the city. This transformation of CCTV technology from surveillance to promotional tool is significant because its'scopic regime' presents, back to the public, a new virtual 'site' that sits alongside its real-time counterpart. Significantly, thisraw 'image' data can, in fact,be co-optedand processed so as to disrupt their original purpose. This paper will demonstrate this disruptive capacity through an architectural project. It will reveal how the adaption the webcam image offers a technical springboard by which to initiate alternate urban form making decisions and subvert the disciplinary reliance on the 'flat' orthographic plan. In so doing, the paper will show how this 'digital material' exceeds the imagistic function of the image; shiftingit from being a vehicle of signification to a site of affect.

Keywords: Virtual, Surveillance, additive, scopic

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18 Facebook Lessons for E-Business Startups

Authors: Linda, Sau-ling LAI

Abstract:

This paper addresses the fundamental requirements for starting an online business. It covers the process of ideation, conceptualization, formulation, and implementation of new venture ideas on the Web. Using Facebook as an illustrative example, we learn how to turn an idea into a successful electronic business and to execute a business plan with IT skills, management expertise, a good entrepreneurial attitude, and an understanding of Internet culture. The personality traits and characteristics of a successful e-commerce entrepreneur are discussed with reference to Facebook-s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is a social and e-commerce success. It provides a trusted environment of which participants can conduct business with social experience. People are able to discuss products before, during the after the sale within the Facebook environment. The paper also highlights the challenges and opportunities for e-commerce entrepreneurial startups to go public and of entering the China market.

Keywords: E-Commerce, entrepreneur, startup, F-Commerce

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17 In Search of Excellence – Google vs Baidu

Authors: Linda, Sau-ling LAI

Abstract:

This paper compares the search engine marketing strategies adopted in China and the Western countries through two illustrative cases, namely, Google and Baidu. Marketers in the West use search engine optimization (SEO) to rank their sites higher for queries in Google. Baidu, however, offers paid search placement, or the selling of engine results for particular keywords to the higher bidders. Whereas Google has been providing innovative services ranging from Google Map to Google Blog, Baidu remains focused on search services – the one that it does best. The challenges and opportunities of the Chinese Internet market offered to global entrepreneurs are also discussed in the paper

Keywords: Web Analytics, search engine, Google, Baidu

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16 New Scheme in Determining nth Order Diagrams for Cross Multiplication Method via Combinatorial Approach

Authors: Sharmila Karim, Haslinda Ibrahim, Zurni Omar

Abstract:

In this paper, a new recursive strategy is proposed for determining $\frac{(n-1)!}{2}$ of $n$th order diagrams. The generalization of $n$th diagram for cross multiplication method were proposed by Pavlovic and Bankier but the specific rule of determining $\frac{(n-1)!}{2}$ of the $n$th order diagrams for square matrix is yet to be discovered. Thus using combinatorial approach, $\frac{(n-1)!}{2}$ of the $n$th order diagrams will be presented as $\frac{(n-1)!}{2}$ starter sets. These starter sets will be generated based on exchanging one element. The advantages of this new strategy are the discarding process was eliminated and the sign of starter set is alternated to each others.

Keywords: Determinant, permutation, starter sets, exchanging one element

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15 The Engineering Eportfolio: Enhancing Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Teamwork Skills?

Authors: Linda Mei Sui Khoo, Dorit Maor, Renato Schibeci

Abstract:

Graduate attributes have received increasing attention over recent years as universities incorporate these attributes into the curriculum. Graduates who have adequate technical knowledge only are not sufficiently equipped to compete effectively in the work place; they also need non disciplinary skills ie, graduate attributes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of an eportfolio in a technical communication course to enhance engineering students- graduate attributes: namely, learning of communication, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork skills. Two questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students: one on their preferred and the other on the actual learning process. In addition, student perceptions of the use of eportfolio as a learning tool were investigated. Preliminary findings showed that most of the students- expectations have been met with their actual learning. This indicated that eportfolio has the potential as a tool to enhance students- graduate attributes.

Keywords: Communication Skills, Eportfolio, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills and Teamwork Skills

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14 Social Commerce – E-Commerce in Social Media Context

Authors: Linda Sau-ling LAI

Abstract:

This paper aims to address the new trend of social commerce as electronic commerce leverages Web 2.0 technologies and online social media. The infusions of new technologies on the World Wide Web connect users in their homes and workplaces, thus transforming social formations and business transactions. An in-depth study of the growth and success of a social commerce site, Facebook was conducted. The investigation is finalized with a triad relational model which reflects socioeconomic life in the Internet today. The following three concepts work jointly to form a global community that has already started to take the place of traditional commerce and socialization: Web 2.0 technology, E-commerce, and online social media. A discussion of the research findings indicates that social commerce networks are sustainable because of the various incentives given to users as they collaborate with others regardless of their identity and location. The focus of this article is to increase understanding on quickly developing Web 2.0 based social media and their subsequent effects on the emerging social commerce.

Keywords: Social Media, social commerce, web 2.0, ElectronicCommerce

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