Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Barbara Pisker

24 Regional Role of Higher Education Institutions in Croatia

Authors: Mirjana Jeleč Raguž, Barbara Pisker

Abstract:

Development of knowledge based society carries multiple challenges to the higher education system. Some of the challenges laid before the higher education sector of countries which aspire to become knowledge based societies are: the entrepreneurial leadership of the higher education institutions, finding new sources of financing in order to minimize dependence on public resources, creating connections with the labor market, commercial utilization of R&D results, promotion of innovations as well as the overall promotion of science excellence relevant to the economic sector. Within a framework of this paper and its main subject of research, the challenge which is being put before the higher education institutions is an effort of establishing regional mission of higher education through the open collaboration with regional key factors, both private and public. Development of the mentioned collaboration and its contribution to the overall regional development in Croatia is the main subject of empirical research in this paper.

Keywords: Croatia, Higher Education Institutions, Regional Role, Science-Industry Interaction

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23 Balance of Rural and Urban Structures

Authors: Ehrenstorfer Barbara, Peherstorfer Tanja, Nový Jan

Abstract:

Urbanization and regionalization are two different approaches when it comes to economical structures and development, infrastructure and mobility, quality of life and living, education, social cohesion and many other topics. At first glance, the structures associated with urbanization and regionalization seems to be contradicting. This paper discusses possibilities of transfer and cooperation between rural and urban structures. An empirical investigation contributed to reveal scenarios of supposable forms of exchange and cooperation of remote rural areas and big cities.

Keywords: Learning Regions, Quality of Life and Living, Regional and Rural Development, Social Innovation.

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22 Linguistic Phenomena in Men and Women - TOT, FOK, Verbal Fluency

Authors: Ewa Szepietowska, Barbara Gawda, Agnieszka Gawda

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to describe the differences between women and men in the phenomena of feeling of knowing/know (FOK), tip of the tongue (TOT), and verbal fluency. Two studies are presented. The first included a group of 60 participants and focused on the analysis of FOK and TOT in men and women. The second study described the performance of 302 participants in verbal fluency tasks. Both studies showed that sex is not a significant predictor of linguistic abilities. Rather, the main factors influencing one’s linguistic ability were Vocabulary and education. This study enriches the knowledge on mechanisms of memory and verbal production.

Keywords: Feeling of knowing, Tip of the tongue, Verbal fluency, Sex differences.

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21 Professional Identity Construction in Higher Education: A Conceptual Framework of the Influencing Factors and Research Agenda

Authors: Alba Barbarà Molinero, Rosalía Cascón Pereira

Abstract:

We assert here that there might be some factors that influence professional identity construction at the university/higher education stage. In accord, we propose a conceptual framework of intervening factors in professional identity construction at university from a literature review and preliminary data from a qualitative pilot study using focus groups. This model identifies several factors that might influence university students- professional identity construction and group them into categories. In turn, we describe how these factors might contribute in strengthening or weakening their professional identity. Finally, we discuss the implications of strengthening students- PI for the university, individuals and organizations and we provide a roadmap for future empirical work in this area.

Keywords: Professional Identity, Higher education, influencing factors.

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20 The Emotional Language and Temperamental Traits

Authors: Barbara Gawda, Ewa Szepietowska, Agnieszka Gawda

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to describe the associations between the temperamental traits and the narrative emotional expression. The Temperament Questionnaire was used: The FCB-TI of Zawadzki & Strelau. A sample of 85 persons described three emotional situations: love. hate, and anxiety. This study analyzes the verbal form of expression by means of a written account of emotions. The relationship between the narratives of love, hate and anxiety and temperament characteristics were studied. Results indicate that vigorousness (VI), perseverance (PE), sensory sensitivity (SS), emotional reactivity (ER), endurance (EN) and activeness (AC) have a significant impact on the emotional expression in narratives. The temperamental traits are linked to the form of emotional language. It means that temperament has an impact on cognitive representations of emotions.

Keywords: Emotional narratives, Cognitive representation, Love, Hate, Anxiety, Temperament.

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19 Diagnosis of Hate Schemas in Prisoners with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)

Authors: Barbara Gawda

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to show innovative techniques that describe the effectiveness of individuals diagnosed with antisocial personality disorders (ASPD). The author presents information about hate schemas regarding persons with ASPD and their understanding of the role of hate. The data of 60 prisoners with ASPD, 40 prisoners without ASPD, and 60 men without antisocial tendencies, has been analyzed. The participants were asked to describe their hate inspired by a photograph. The narrative discourse was analyzed, the three groups were compared. The results show the differences between the inmates with ASPD, those without ASPD, and the controls. The antisocial individuals describe hate as an ambivalent feeling with low emotional intensity, i.e., actors (in stories) are presented more as positives than as partners. They use different mechanisms to keep them from understanding the meaning of the emotional situation. The schema's characteristics were expressed in narratives attributed to high Psychopathy.

Keywords: Antisocial personality disorder, Emotional narratives, Hate schemas, Psychopathy

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18 Riding the Crest of the Wave: Inclusive Education in New Zealand

Authors: Barbara A. Perry

Abstract:

In 1996, the New Zealand government and the Ministry of Education announced that they were setting up a "world class system of inclusive education". As a parent of a son with high and complex needs, a teacher, school Principal and Disability studies Lecturer, this author will track the changes in the journey towards inclusive education over the last 20 years. Strategies for partnering with families to ensure educational success along with insights from one of those on the crest of the wave will be presented. Using a narrative methodology the author will illuminate how far New Zealand has come towards this world class system of inclusion promised and share from personal experience some of the highlights and risks in the system. This author has challenged the old structures and been part of the setting up of new structures particularly for providing parent voice and insight; this paper provides a unique view from an insider’s voice as well as a professional in the system.

Keywords: Disability studies, inclusive education, special education, working with families with children with disability.

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17 Strategies of Entrepreneurs to Collaborate with Alliances for Commercializing Technology and New Product Innovation: A Practical Learning in Thailand

Authors: Kusumaphorn Sompong, Helen Lawton Smith, Barbara Igel

Abstract:

This paper provides a key driver-based conceptual framework that can be used to improve a firm-s success in commercializing technology and in new product innovation resulting from collaboration with other organizations through strategic alliances. Based on a qualitative study using an interview approach, strategic alliances of entrepreneurs in the food processing industry in Thailand are explored. This paper describes factors affecting decisions to collaborate through alliances. It identifies four issues: maintaining the efficiency of the value chain for production capability, adapting to present and future competition, careful assessment of value of outcomes, and management of innovation. We consider five driving factors: resource orientation, assessment of risk, business opportunity, sharing of benefits and confidence in alliance partners. These factors will be of interest to entrepreneurs and policy makers with regard to further understanding of the direction of business strategies.

Keywords: Managing collaboration, strategic alliance, technology commercialization, innovation.

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16 Graded Orientation of the Linear Polymers

Authors: Levan Nadareishvili, Roland Bakuradze, Barbara Kilosanidze, Nona Topuridze, Liana Sharashidze, Ineza Pavlenishvili

Abstract:

Some regularities of formation of a new structural state of the thermoplastic polymers - gradually oriented (stretched) state (GOS) are discussed. Transition into GOS is realized by the graded oriented stretching - by action of inhomogeneous mechanical field on the isotropic linear polymers or by zone stretching that is implemented on a standard tensile-testing machine with using a specially designed zone stretching device (ZSD). Both technical approaches (especially zone stretching method) allows to manage the such quantitative parameters of gradually oriented polymers as a range of change in relative elongation/orientation degree, length of this change and profile (linear, hyperbolic, parabolic, logarithmic, etc.). The possibility of obtaining functionally graded materials (FGMs) by graded orientation method is briefly discussed. Uniaxial graded stretching method should be considered as an effective technological solution to create polymer materials with a predetermined gradient of physical properties.

Keywords: Controlled graded stretching, gradually oriented state, linear polymers, zone stretching device.

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15 Alignment of MG-63 Osteoblasts on Fibronectin-Coated Phosphorous Doping Lattices in Silicon

Authors: Andreas Körtge, Susanne Stählke, Regina Lange, Mario Birkholz, Mirko Fraschke, Katrin Schulz, Barbara Nebe, Patrick Elter

Abstract:

A major challenge in biomaterials research is the regulation of protein adsorption which is a key factor for controlling the subsequent cell adhesion at implant surfaces. The aim of the present study was to control the adsorption of fibronectin (FN) and the attachment of MG-63 osteoblasts with an electronic nanostructure. Shallow doping line lattices with a period of 260 nm were produced for this purpose by implantation of phosphorous in silicon wafers. Protein coverage was determined after incubating the substrate with FN by means of an immunostaining procedure and the measurement of the fluorescence intensity with a TECAN analyzer. We observed an increased amount of adsorbed FN on the nanostructure compared to control substrates. MG-63 osteoblasts were cultivated for 24h on FN-incubated substrates and their morphology was assessed by SEM. Preferred orientation and elongation of the cells in direction of the doping lattice lines was observed on FN-coated nanostructures.

Keywords: Cell adhesion, electronic nanostructures, doping lattice, fibronectin, MG-63 osteoblasts, protein adsorption.

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14 Relationships between the Components of Love by Stenberg and Personality Disorder Traits

Authors: Barbara Gawda

Abstract:

The study attempts to show the relationship between the structure of love by Sternberg and personality disorder traits. People with personality disorders experience dysfunctional emotionality. They manifest difficulties in experiencing love and closeness. Their relationships are marked by ambivalence and conflicts, e.g., as in borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. Considering love as a crucial human feeling, the study was planned to describe the associations between intimacy, passion, commitment, and personality disorder traits in a community sample. A sample of 194 participants was investigated (men and women in similar age and education levels). The following techniques were used: the SCID-II to assess personality disorders’ traits and the Triangular Love Scale by Sternberg to assess the components of love. Results show there are significant negative correlations between intimacy, commitment and personality disorders traits. Many personality disorders are associated with decreasing of intimacy and commitment, whereas passion was not associated with personality disorders’ traits. Results confirm that emotional impairments in personality disorders elicit conflicts and problems in relationships based on love and closeness.

Keywords: Intimacy, commitment, love, passion, personality disorders.

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13 Performance Improvement in the Bivariate Models by using Modified Marginal Variance of Noisy Observations for Image-Denoising Applications

Authors: R. Senthilkumar

Abstract:

Most simple nonlinear thresholding rules for wavelet- based denoising assume that the wavelet coefficients are independent. However, wavelet coefficients of natural images have significant dependencies. This paper attempts to give a recipe for selecting one of the popular image-denoising algorithms based on VisuShrink, SureShrink, OracleShrink, BayesShrink and BiShrink and also this paper compares different Bivariate models used for image denoising applications. The first part of the paper compares different Shrinkage functions used for image-denoising. The second part of the paper compares different bivariate models and the third part of this paper uses the Bivariate model with modified marginal variance which is based on Laplacian assumption. This paper gives an experimental comparison on six 512x512 commonly used images, Lenna, Barbara, Goldhill, Clown, Boat and Stonehenge. The following noise powers 25dB,26dB, 27dB, 28dB and 29dB are added to the six standard images and the corresponding Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR) values are calculated for each noise level.

Keywords: BiShrink, Image-Denoising, PSNR, Shrinkage function

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12 The Impact of Modeling Method of Moisture Emission from the Swimming Pool on the Accuracy of Numerical Calculations of Air Parameters in Ventilated Natatorium

Authors: Piotr Ciuman, Barbara Lipska

Abstract:

The aim of presented research was to improve numerical predictions of air parameters distribution in the actual natatorium by the selection of calculation formula of mass flux of moisture emitted from the pool. Selected correlation should ensure the best compliance of numerical results with the measurements' results of these parameters in the facility. The numerical model of the natatorium was developed, for which boundary conditions were prepared on the basis of measurements' results carried out in the actual facility. Numerical calculations were carried out with the use of ANSYS CFX software, with six formulas being implemented, which in various ways made the moisture emission dependent on water surface temperature and air parameters in the natatorium. The results of calculations with the use of these formulas were compared for air parameters' distributions: Specific humidity, velocity and temperature in the facility. For the selection of the best formula, numerical results of these parameters in occupied zone were validated by comparison with the measurements' results carried out at selected points of this zone.

Keywords: Experimental validation, indoor swimming pool, moisture emission, natatorium, numerical calculations, CFD, thermal and humidity conditions, ventilation.

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11 Biodegradability Evaluation of Polylactic Acid Composite with Natural Fiber (Sisal)

Authors: A. Bárbara Cattozatto Fortunato, D. de Lucca Soave, E. Pinheiro de Mello, M. Piasentini Oliva, V. Tavares de Moraes, G. Wolf Lebrão, D. Fernandes Parra, S. Marraccini Giampietri Lebrão

Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental pressure for biodegradable products, especially in polymeric materials, in order to meet the demands of the biological cycles of the circular economy, new materials have been developed as a sustainability strategy. This study proposes a composite material developed from the biodegradable polymer PLA Ecovio® (polylactic acid - PLA) with natural sisal fibers, where the soybean ester was used as a plasticizer, which can aid in adhesion between the materials and fibers, making the most attractive final composite from an environmental point of view. The composites were obtained by extrusion. The materials tests were produced and submitted to biodegradation tests. Through the biodegradation tests, it can be seen that the biodegradable polymer composition with 5% sisal fiber presented about 12.4% more biodegradability compared to the polymer without fiber addition. It has also been found that the plasticizer was not a compatible with fibers and the polymer. Finally, fibers help to anticipate the decomposition process of the material when subjected to conditions of a landfill. Therefore, its intrinsic properties are not affected during its use, only the biodegradation process begins after its exposure to landfill conditions.

Keywords: Biocomposites, sisal, polylactic acid, PLA.

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10 Development of Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) for the Selective Removal of Carbamazepine from Aqueous Solution

Authors: Bianca Schweiger, Lucile Bahnweg, Barbara Palm, Ute Steinfeld

Abstract:

The occurrence and removal of trace organic contaminants in the aquatic environment has become a focus of environmental concern. For the selective removal of carbamazepine from loaded waters molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) were synthesized with carbamazepine as template. Parameters varied were the type of monomer, crosslinker, and porogen, the ratio of starting materials, and the synthesis temperature. Best results were obtained with a template to crosslinker ratio of 1:20, toluene as porogen, and methacrylic acid (MAA) as monomer. MIPs were then capable to recover carbamazepine by 93% from a 10-5 M landfill leachate solution containing also caffeine and salicylic acid. By comparison, carbamazepine recoveries of 75% were achieved using a nonimprinted polymer (NIP) synthesized under the same conditions, but without template. In landfill leachate containing solutions carbamazepine was adsorbed by 93-96% compared with an uptake of 73% by activated carbon. The best solvent for desorption was acetonitrile, with which the amount of solvent necessary and dilution with water was tested. Selected MIPs were tested for their reusability and showed good results for at least five cycles. Adsorption isotherms were prepared with carbamazepine solutions in the concentration range of 0.01 M to 5*10-6 M. The heterogeneity index showed a more homogenous binding site distribution.

Keywords: Carbamazepine, landfill leachate, removal, reuse

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9 New Method for Determining the Distribution of Birefringence and Linear Dichroism in Polymer Materials Based On Polarization-Holographic Grating

Authors: Barbara Kilosanidze, George Kakauridze, Levan Nadareishvili, Yuri Mshvenieradze

Abstract:

A new method for determining the distribution of birefringence and linear dichroism in optical polymer materials is presented. The method is based on the use of polarizationholographic diffraction grating that forms an orthogonal circular basis in the process of diffraction of probing laser beam on the grating. The intensities ratio of the orders of diffraction on this grating enables the value of birefringence and linear dichroism in the sample to be determined. The distribution of birefringence in the sample is determined by scanning with a circularly polarized beam with a wavelength far from the absorption band of the material. If the scanning is carried out by probing beam with the wavelength near to a maximum of the absorption band of the chromophore then the distribution of linear dichroism can be determined. An appropriate theoretical model of this method is presented. A laboratory setup was created for the proposed method. An optical scheme of the laboratory setup is presented. The results of measurement in polymer films with two-dimensional gradient distribution of birefringence and linear dichroism are discussed.

Keywords: Birefringence, graded oriented polymers, linear dichroism, optical polymers, optical anisotropy, polarization-holographic grating,

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8 Analyses of Socio-Cognitive Identity Styles by Slovak Adolescents

Authors: Blandína Šramová, Gabriel Bianchi, Barbara Lášticová, Katarína Fichnová, Anežka Hamranová

Abstract:

The contribution deals with analysis of identity style at adolescents (N=463) at the age from 16 to 19 (the average age is 17,7 years). We used the Identity Style Inventory by Berzonsky, distinguishing three basic, measured identity styles: informational, normative, diffuse-avoidant identity style and also commitment. The informational identity style influencing on personal adaptability, coping strategies, quality of life and the normative identity style, it means the style in which an individual takes on models of authorities at self-defining were found to have the highest representation in the studied group of adolescents by higher scores at girls in comparison with boys. The normative identity style positively correlates with the informational identity style. The diffuse-avoidant identity style was found to be positively associated with maladaptive decisional strategies, neuroticism and depressive reactions. There is the style, in which the individual shifts aside defining his personality. In our research sample the lowest score represents it and negatively correlates with commitment, it means with coping strategies, thrust in oneself and the surrounding world. The age of adolescents did not significantly differentiate representation of identity style. We were finding the model, in which informational and normative identity style had positive relationship and the informational and diffuseavoidant style had negative relationship, which were determinated with commitment. In the same time the commitment is influenced with other outside factors.

Keywords: Identity Style Inventory, Informational IdentityStyle, Normative Identity Style, Diffuse-Avoidant Style, IdentityCommitment.

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7 Structure and Magnetic Properties of Nanocomposite Fe2O3/TiO2 Catalysts Fabricated by Heterogeneous Precipitation

Authors: Jana P. Vejpravova, Daniel Niznansky, Vaclav Vales, Barbara Bittova, Vaclav Tyrpekl, Stanislav Danis, Vaclav Holy, Stephen Doyle

Abstract:

The aim of our work is to study phase composition, particle size and magnetic response of Fe2O3/TiO2 nanocomposites with respect to the final annealing temperature. Those nanomaterials are considered as smart catalysts, separable from a liquid/gaseous phase by applied magnetic field. The starting product was obtained by an ecologically acceptable route, based on heterogeneous precipitation of the TiO2 on modified g-Fe2O3 nanocrystals dispersed in water. The precursor was subsequently annealed on air at temperatures ranging from 200 oC to 900 oC. The samples were investigated by synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (S-PXRD), magnetic measurements and Mössbauer spectroscopy. As evidenced by S-PXRD and Mössbauer spectroscopy, increasing the annealing temperature causes evolution of the phase composition from anatase/maghemite to rutile/hematite, finally above 700 oC the pseudobrookite (Fe2TiO5) also forms. The apparent particle size of the various Fe2O3/TiO2 phases has been determined from the highquality S-PXRD data by using two different approaches: the Rietveld refinement and the Debye method. Magnetic response of the samples is discussed in considering the phase composition and the particle size.

Keywords: X-ray diffraction, profile analysis, Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetic properties, TiO2, Fe2O3, Fe2TiO5

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6 The Problem of Reconciling the Principle of Confidentiality in Foreign Investment Arbitration with the Public Interest

Authors: Bárbara Magalhães Bravo, Cláudia Figueiras

Abstract:

The economical globalization through the liberalization of the markets and capitals boosted the economical development of the nations and the needs for sorting out the disputes arising from the foreign investment. The arbitration, for all the inherent advantages, such as swiftness, arbitrators’ specialise skills and impartiality sets a pacifier tool for the interest in account. Safeguarded the public interest, we face the problem of the confidentiality in the arbitration. The urgent development of impelling mechanisms concerning transparency, guaranty and protection of the interest in account, reveals itself urgent. Through a bibliography review, we will dense the state of art, by going through the several solutions concerning, and pointing out the most suitable. Through the jurisprudential analysis we will point out the solution for the conflict confidentiality/public interest. The transparency, inextricable from the public interest, imposes the arbitration process can be open to all citizens. Transparency rules have been considered at the UNCITRAL in attempting to conciliate the necessity of publicity and the public interest, however still insufficient. The arbitration of foreign investment carries consequences to the citizens of the State. Articulating mechanisms between the arbitral procedures secrecy and the public interest should be adopted. The arbitration of foreign investment, being a tertius genius between the international arbitration and the administrative arbitration would claim its own regulation in each and every States where the confidentiality rules and its exceptions could be identified. One should enquiry where the limit of the citizens’ individual rights protection and the public interest should give way to the principle of transparency

Keywords: Arbitration, foreign investment, transparency, confidentiality, international centre for settlement of investment disputes UNCITRAL.

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5 Stabilization of Transition Metal Chromite Nanoparticles in Silica Matrix

Authors: Jiri Plocek, Petr Holec, Simona Kubickova, Barbara Pacakova, Irena Matulkova, Alice Mantlikova, Ivan Nemec, Daniel Niznansky, Jana Vejpravova

Abstract:

This article presents summary on preparation and characterization of zinc, copper, cadmium and cobalt chromite nanocrystals, embedded in an amorphous silica matrix. The ZnCr2O4/SiO2, CuCr2O4/SiO2, CdCr2O4/SiO2 and CoCr2O4/SiO2 nanocomposites were prepared by a conventional sol-gel method under acid catalysis. Final heat treatment of the samples was carried out at temperatures in the range of 900−1200 ◦C to adjust the phase composition and the crystallite size, respectively. The resulting samples were characterized by Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Raman/FTIR spectroscopy and magnetic measurements. Formation of the spinel phase was confirmed in all samples. The average size of the nanocrystals was determined from the PXRD data and by direct particle size observation on HRTEM; both results were correlated. The mean particle size (reviewed by HRTEM) was in the range from ∼4 to 46 nm. The results showed that the sol-gel method can be effectively used for preparation of the spinel chromite nanoparticles embedded in the silica matrix and the particle size is driven by the type of the cation A2+ in the spinel structure and the temperature of the final heat treatment. Magnetic properties of the nanocrystals were found to be just moderately modified in comparison to the bulk phases.

Keywords: Chromite, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, agnetic properties, nanocomposites, Raman spectroscopy, Rietveld refinement, sol-gel method, spinel.

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4 Perceptual and Ultrasound Articulatory Training Effects on English L2 Vowels Production by Italian Learners

Authors: I. Sonia d’Apolito, Bianca Sisinni, Mirko Grimaldi, Barbara Gili Fivela

Abstract:

The American English contrast /ɑ-ʌ/ (cop-cup) is difficult to be produced by Italian learners since they realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively, due to differences in phonetic-phonological systems and also in grapheme-to-phoneme conversion rules. In this paper, we try to answer the following research questions: Can a short training improve the production of English /ɑ-ʌ/ by Italian learners? Is a perceptual training better than an articulatory (ultrasound - US) training? Thus, we compare a perceptual training with an US articulatory one to observe: 1) the effects of short trainings on L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ productions; 2) if the US articulatory training improves the pronunciation better than the perceptual training. In this pilot study, 9 Salento-Italian monolingual adults participated: 3 subjects performed a 1-hour perceptual training (ES-P); 3 subjects performed a 1-hour US training (ES-US); and 3 control subjects did not receive any training (CS). Verbal instructions about the phonetic properties of L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ and L1-/ɔ-a/ and their differences (representation on F1-F2 plane) were provided during both trainings. After these instructions, the ES-P group performed an identification training based on the High Variability Phonetic Training procedure, while the ES-US group performed the articulatory training, by means of US video of tongue gestures in L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ production and dynamic view of their own tongue movements and position using a probe under their chin. The acoustic data were analyzed and the first three formants were calculated. Independent t-tests were run to compare: 1) /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- vs. post-test respectively; /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- and post-test vs. L1-/a-ɔ/ respectively. Results show that in the pre-test all speakers realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively. Contrary to CS and ES-P groups, the ES-US group in the post-test differentiates the L2 vowels from those produced in the pre-test as well as from the L1 vowels, although only one ES-US subject produces both L2 vowels accurately. The articulatory training seems more effective than the perceptual one since it favors the production of vowels in the correct direction of L2 vowels and differently from the similar L1 vowels.

Keywords: L2 vowel production, perceptual training, articulatory training, ultrasound.

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3 Optimal Image Compression Based on Sign and Magnitude Coding of Wavelet Coefficients

Authors: Mbainaibeye Jérôme, Noureddine Ellouze

Abstract:

Wavelet transforms is a very powerful tools for image compression. One of its advantage is the provision of both spatial and frequency localization of image energy. However, wavelet transform coefficients are defined by both a magnitude and sign. While algorithms exist for efficiently coding the magnitude of the transform coefficients, they are not efficient for the coding of their sign. It is generally assumed that there is no compression gain to be obtained from the coding of the sign. Only recently have some authors begun to investigate the sign of wavelet coefficients in image coding. Some authors have assumed that the sign information bit of wavelet coefficients may be encoded with the estimated probability of 0.5; the same assumption concerns the refinement information bit. In this paper, we propose a new method for Separate Sign Coding (SSC) of wavelet image coefficients. The sign and the magnitude of wavelet image coefficients are examined to obtain their online probabilities. We use the scalar quantization in which the information of the wavelet coefficient to belong to the lower or to the upper sub-interval in the uncertainly interval is also examined. We show that the sign information and the refinement information may be encoded by the probability of approximately 0.5 only after about five bit planes. Two maps are separately entropy encoded: the sign map and the magnitude map. The refinement information of the wavelet coefficient to belong to the lower or to the upper sub-interval in the uncertainly interval is also entropy encoded. An algorithm is developed and simulations are performed on three standard images in grey scale: Lena, Barbara and Cameraman. Five scales are performed using the biorthogonal wavelet transform 9/7 filter bank. The obtained results are compared to JPEG2000 standard in terms of peak signal to noise ration (PSNR) for the three images and in terms of subjective quality (visual quality). It is shown that the proposed method outperforms the JPEG2000. The proposed method is also compared to other codec in the literature. It is shown that the proposed method is very successful and shows its performance in term of PSNR.

Keywords: Image compression, wavelet transform, sign coding, magnitude coding.

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2 Demonstration of Land Use Changes Simulation Using Urban Climate Model

Authors: Barbara Vojvodikova, Katerina Jupova, Iva Ticha

Abstract:

Cities in their historical evolution have always adapted their internal structure to the needs of society (for example protective city walls during classicism era lost their defense function, became unnecessary, were demolished and gave space for new features such as roads, museums or parks). Today it is necessary to modify the internal structure of the city in order to minimize the impact of climate changes on the environment of the population. This article discusses the results of the Urban Climate model owned by VITO, which was carried out as part of a project from the European Union's Horizon grant agreement No 730004 Pan-European Urban Climate Services Climate-Fit city. The use of the model was aimed at changes in land use and land cover in cities related to urban heat islands (UHI). The task of the application was to evaluate possible land use change scenarios in connection with city requirements and ideas. Two pilot areas in the Czech Republic were selected. One is Ostrava and the other Hodonín. The paper provides a demonstration of the application of the model for various possible future development scenarios. It contains an assessment of the suitability or inappropriateness of scenarios of future development depending on the temperature increase. Cities that are preparing to reconstruct the public space are interested in eliminating proposals that would lead to an increase in temperature stress as early as in the assignment phase. If they have evaluation on the unsuitability of some type of design, they can limit it into the proposal phases. Therefore, especially in the application of models on Local level - in 1 m spatial resolution, it was necessary to show which type of proposals would create a significant temperature island in its implementation. Such a type of proposal is considered unsuitable. The model shows that the building itself can create a shady place and thus contribute to the reduction of the UHI. If it sensitively approaches the protection of existing greenery, this new construction may not pose a significant problem. More massive interventions leading to the reduction of existing greenery create a new heat island space.

Keywords: Heat islands, land use, urban climate model.

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1 Is HR in a State of Transition? An International Comparative Study on the Development of HR Competencies

Authors: Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Sabine Groblschegg, Bernhard Klaus, Julia Domnanovich

Abstract:

Research Objectives: The roles and activities of Human Resource Management (HRM) have changed a lot in the past years. Driven by a changing environment and therefore new business requirements, the scope of human resource (HR) activities has widened. The extent to which these activities should focus on strategic issues to support the long term success of a company has been discussed in science for many years. As many economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) experienced a phase of transition after the socialist era and are now recovering from the 2008 global crisis it is needed to examine the current state of HR positioning. Furthermore a trend in HR work developing from rather administrative units to being strategic partners of management can be noticed. This leads to the question of better understanding the underlying competencies which are necessary to support organisations. This topic was addressed by the international study “HR Competencies in international comparison”. The quantitative survey was conducted by the Institute for Human Resources & Organisation of FHWien University of Applied Science of WKW (A) in cooperation with partner universities in the countries Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Methodology: Using the questionnaire developed by Dave Ulrich we tested whether the HR Competency model can be used for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. After performing confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis for the whole data set containing all five countries we could clearly distinguish between four competencies. In a further step our analysis focused on median and average comparisons between the HR competency dimensions. Conclusion: Our literature review, in alignment with other studies, shows a relatively rapid pace of development of HR Roles and HR Competencies in BCSS in the past decades. Comparing data from BCSS and Austria we still can notice that regards strategic orientation there is a lack in BCSS countries, thus competencies are not as developed as in Austria. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that HR has undergone a rapid change but is still in a State of Transition from being a rather administrative unit to performing the role of a strategic partner.

Keywords: Comparative study, HR competencies, HRM, HR Roles.

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