Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Carol Murphy

14 The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Carol Murphy, Nigel Calder, Nasser Mansour

Abstract:

This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

Keywords: Digital technology, inquiry-based learning, mathematics and science education, professional development.

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13 Self-efficacy, Self-reliance, and Motivation inan Asynchronous Learning Environment

Authors: Linda H. Meyer, Carol S. Sternberger

Abstract:

Self-efficacy, self-reliance, and motivation were examined in a quasi-experimental study with 178 sophomore university students. Participants used an interactive cardiovascular anatomy and physiology CD-ROM, and completed a 15-item questionnaire. Reliability of the questionnaire was established using Cronbach-s alpha. Post-tests and course grades were examined using a t-test, demonstrating no significance. Results of an item-to-item analysis of the questionnaire showed overall satisfaction with the teaching methodology and varied results for self-efficacy, selfreliance, and motivation. Kendall-s Tau was calculated for all items in the questionnaire.

Keywords: Asynchronous learning environments, motivation, self-efficacy, self-reliance.

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12 Identification of an Unstable Nonlinear System: Quadrotor

Authors: Mauricio Pe˜na, Adriana Luna, Carol Rodr´ıguez

Abstract:

In the following article we begin from a multi-parameter unstable nonlinear model of a Quadrotor. We design a control to stabilize and assure the attitude of the device, starting off a linearized system at the equilibrium point of the null angles of Euler (hover), which provides us a control with limited capacities at small angles of rotation of the vehicle in three dimensions. In order to clear this obstacle, we propose the identification of models in different angles by means of simulations and the design of a controller specifically implemented for the identification task, that in future works will allow the development of controllers according to fast and agile angles of Euler for Quadrotor.

Keywords: Quadrotor, model, control, identification.

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11 Bridging the Communication Gap at NASA - A Case Study in Communities of Practice

Authors: Daria Topousis, Keri Murphy, Jeanne Holm

Abstract:

Following the loss of NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003, it was determined that problems in the agency's organization created an environment that led to the accident. One component of the proposed solution resulted in the formation of the NASA Engineering Network (NEN), a suite of information retrieval and knowledge-sharing tools. This paper describes the implementation of communities of practice, which are formed along engineering disciplines. Communities of practice enable engineers to leverage their knowledge and best practices to collaborate and take information learning back to their jobs and embed it into the procedures of the agency. This case study offers insight into using traditional engineering disciplines for virtual collaboration, including lessons learned during the creation and establishment of NASA-s communities.

Keywords: Collaboration, communities of practice, knowledge management, virtual teams.

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10 Increasing the Efficacy of Educators Teaching Online

Authors: Carol Shepherd, Madelon Alpert, Marilyn Koeller

Abstract:

In order to provide and maintain effective pedagogy for the burgeoning virtual reality community, it is vital to have trained faculty in the institutions of higher education who will teach these courses and be able to make full use of their academic knowledge and expertise. As the number of online courses continues to grow, there is a need for these institutions to establish mentoring programs that will support the novice online instructor. The environment in which this takes place and the factors that ensure its success are critical to the adoption of the new instructional delivery format taught by both seasoned educators and adjunct instructors. Effective one-on-one mentoring promotes a professional, compassionate and collegial faculty who will provide a consistent and rigorous academic program for students online.

Keywords: Mentoring seasoned faculty, staff development, online pedagogy, online andragogy.

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9 Numerical Simulation of Lightning Strike Direct Effects on Aircraft Skin Composite Laminate

Authors: Muhammad Khalil, Nader Abuelfoutouh, Gasser Abdelal, Adrian Murphy

Abstract:

Nowadays, the direct effects of lightning to aircrafts are of great importance because of the massive use of composite materials. In comparison with metallic materials, composites present several weaknesses for lightning strike direct effects. Especially, their low electrical and thermal conductivities lead to severe lightning strike damage. The lightning strike direct effects are burning, heating, magnetic force, sparking and arcing. As the problem is complex, we investigated it gradually. A magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model is developed to simulate the lightning strikes in order to estimate the damages on the composite materials. Then, a coupled thermal-electrical finite element analysis is used to study the interaction between the lightning arc and the composite laminate and to investigate the material degradation.

Keywords: Composite structures, lightning multiphysics, magnetohydrodynamics, coupled thermal-electrical analysis, thermal plasmas.

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8 Effects of Stiffness on Endothelial Cells Behavior

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

Abstract:

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: Bovine aortic endothelial cells, extra cellular matrix, proliferation, stiffness.

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7 Integrating Visual Modeling throughout the Computer Science Curriculum

Authors: Carol B.Collins, M. H. N Tabrizi

Abstract:

The purposes of this paper are to (1) promote excellence in computer science by suggesting a cohesive innovative approach to fill well documented deficiencies in current computer science education, (2) justify (using the authors- and others anecdotal evidence from both the classroom and the real world) why this approach holds great potential to successfully eliminate the deficiencies, (3) invite other professionals to join the authors in proof of concept research. The authors- experiences, though anecdotal, strongly suggest that a new approach involving visual modeling technologies should allow computer science programs to retain a greater percentage of prospective and declared majors as students become more engaged learners, more successful problem-solvers, and better prepared as programmers. In addition, the graduates of such computer science programs will make greater contributions to the profession as skilled problem-solvers. Instead of wearily rememorizing code as they move to the next course, students will have the problem-solving skills to think and work in more sophisticated and creative ways.

Keywords: Algorithms, CASE, Problem-solving, UML.

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6 Using Visual Technologies to Promote Excellence in Computer Science Education

Authors: Carol B. Collins, M. H. N Tabrizi

Abstract:

The purposes of this paper are to (1) promote excellence in computer science by suggesting a cohesive innovative approach to fill well documented deficiencies in current computer science education, (2) justify (using the authors' and others anecdotal evidence from both the classroom and the real world) why this approach holds great potential to successfully eliminate the deficiencies, (3) invite other professionals to join the authors in proof of concept research. The authors' experiences, though anecdotal, strongly suggest that a new approach involving visual modeling technologies should allow computer science programs to retain a greater percentage of prospective and declared majors as students become more engaged learners, more successful problem-solvers, and better prepared as programmers. In addition, the graduates of such computer science programs will make greater contributions to the profession as skilled problem-solvers. Instead of wearily rememorizing code as they move to the next course, students will have the problem-solving skills to think and work in more sophisticated and creative ways.

Keywords: Algorithms, CASE, UML, Problem-solving.

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5 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: Micro dent, tribology, ceramic on ceramic hipjoints.

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4 Comparison of Adsorbents for Ammonia Removal from Mining Wastewater

Authors: Farooq A. Al-Sheikh, Carol Moralejo, Mark Pritzker, William A. Anderson, Ali Elkamel

Abstract:

Ammonia in mining wastewater is a significant problem, and treatment can be especially difficult in cold climates where biological treatment is not feasible. An adsorption process is one of the alternative processes that can be used to reduce ammonia concentrations to acceptable limits, and therefore a LEWATIT resin strongly acidic H+ form ion exchange resin and a Bowie Chabazite Na form AZLB-Na zeolite were tested to assess their effectiveness. For these adsorption tests, two packed bed columns (a mini-column constructed from a 32-cm long x 1-cm diameter piece of glass tubing, and a 60-cm long x 2.5-cm diameter Ace Glass chromatography column) were used containing varying quantities of the adsorbents. A mining wastewater with ammonia concentrations of 22.7 mg/L was fed through the columns at controlled flowrates. In the experimental work, maximum capacities of the LEWATIT ion exchange resin were 0.438, 0.448, and 1.472 mg/g for 3, 6, and 9 g respectively in a mini column and 1.739 mg/g for 141.5 g in a larger Ace column while the capacities for the AZLB-Na zeolite were 0.424, and 0.784 mg/g for 3, and 6 g respectively in the mini column and 1.1636 mg/g for 38.5 g in the Ace column. In the theoretical work, Thomas, Adams-Bohart, and Yoon-Nelson models were constructed to describe a breakthrough curve of the adsorption process and find the constants of the above-mentioned models. In the regeneration tests, 5% hydrochloric acid, HCl (v/v) and 10% sodium hydroxide, NaOH (w/v) were used to regenerate the LEWATIT resin and AZLB-Na zeolite with 44 and 63.8% recovery, respectively. In conclusion, continuous flow adsorption using a LEWATIT ion exchange resin and an AZLB-Na zeolite is efficient when using a co-flow technique for removal of the ammonia from wastewater. Thomas, Adams-Bohart, and Yoon-Nelson models satisfactorily fit the data with R2 closer to 1 in all cases.

Keywords: AZLB-Na zeolite, continuous adsorption, LEWATIT resin, models, regeneration.

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3 An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia

Authors: Carol Anne Hargreaves

Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Keywords: Machine learning, stock market trading, logistic principal component analysis, automated stock investment system.

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2 Reduction of Plutonium Production in Heavy Water Research Reactor: A Feasibility Study through Neutronic Analysis Using MCNPX2.6 and CINDER90 Codes

Authors: H. Shamoradifar, B. Teimuri, P. Parvaresh, S. Mohammadi

Abstract:

One of the main characteristics of Heavy Water Moderated Reactors is their high production of plutonium. This article demonstrates the possibility of reduction of plutonium and other actinides in Heavy Water Research Reactor. Among the many ways for reducing plutonium production in a heavy water reactor, in this research, changing the fuel from natural Uranium fuel to Thorium-Uranium mixed fuel was focused. The main fissile nucleus in Thorium-Uranium fuels is U-233 which would be produced after neutron absorption by Th-232, so the Thorium-Uranium fuels have some known advantages compared to the Uranium fuels. Due to this fact, four Thorium-Uranium fuels with different compositions ratios were chosen in our simulations; a) 10% UO2-90% THO2 (enriched= 20%); b) 15% UO2-85% THO2 (enriched= 10%); c) 30% UO2-70% THO2 (enriched= 5%); d) 35% UO2-65% THO2 (enriched= 3.7%). The natural Uranium Oxide (UO2) is considered as the reference fuel, in other words all of the calculated data are compared with the related data from Uranium fuel. Neutronic parameters were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. All calculations were performed by Monte Carol (MCNPX2.6) steady state reaction rate calculation linked to a deterministic depletion calculation (CINDER90). The obtained computational data showed that Thorium-Uranium fuels with four different fissile compositions ratios can satisfy the safety and operating requirements for Heavy Water Research Reactor. Furthermore, Thorium-Uranium fuels have a very good proliferation resistance and consume less fissile material than uranium fuels at the same reactor operation time. Using mixed Thorium-Uranium fuels reduced the long-lived α emitter, high radiotoxic wastes and the radio toxicity level of spent fuel.

Keywords: Burn-up, heavy water reactor, minor actinides, Monte Carlo, proliferation resistance.

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1 (Anti)Depressant Effects of Non-Steroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs in Mice

Authors: Horia Păunescu

Abstract:

Purpose: The study aimed to assess the depressant or antidepressant effects of several Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in mice: the selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor meloxicam, and the non-selective COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors lornoxicam, sodium metamizole, and ketorolac. The current literature data regarding such effects of these agents are scarce. Materials and methods: The study was carried out on NMRI mice weighing 20-35 g, kept in a standard laboratory environment. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy „Carol Davila”, Bucharest. The study agents were injected intraperitoneally, 10 mL/kg body weight (bw) 1 hour before the assessment of the locomotor activity by cage testing (n=10 mice/ group) and 2 hours before the forced swimming tests (n=15). The study agents were dissolved in normal saline (meloxicam, sodium metamizole), ethanol 11.8% v/v in normal saline (ketorolac), or water (lornoxicam), respectively. Negative and positive control agents were also given (amitryptilline in the forced swimming test). The cage floor used in the locomotor activity assessment was divided into 20 equal 10 cm squares. The forced swimming test involved partial immersion of the mice in cylinders (15/9cm height/diameter) filled with water (10 cm depth at 28C), where they were left for 6 minutes. The cage endpoint used in the locomotor activity assessment was the number of treaded squares. Four endpoints were used in the forced swimming test (immobility latency for the entire 6 minutes, and immobility, swimming, and climbing scores for the final 4 minutes of the swimming session), recorded by an observer that was „blinded” to the experimental design. The statistical analysis used the Levene test for variance homogeneity, ANOVA and post-hoc analysis as appropriate, Tukey or Tamhane tests. Results: No statistically significant increase or decrease in the number of treaded squares was seen in the locomotor activity assessment of any mice group. In the forced swimming test, amitryptilline showed an antidepressant effect in each experiment, at the 10 mg/kg bw dosage. Sodium metamizole was depressant at 100 mg/kg bw (increased the immobility score, p=0.049, Tamhane test), but not in lower dosages as well (25 and 50 mg/kg bw). Ketorolac showed an antidepressant effect at the intermediate dosage of 5 mg/kg bw, but not so in the dosages of 2.5 and 10 mg/kg bw, respectively (increased the swimming score, p=0.012, Tamhane test). Meloxicam and lornoxicam did not alter the forced swimming endpoints at any dosage level. Discussion: 1) Certain NSAIDs caused changes in the forced swimming patterns without interfering with locomotion. 2) Sodium metamizole showed a depressant effect, whereas ketorolac proved antidepressant. Conclusion: NSAID-induced mood changes are not class effects of these agents and apparently are independent of the type of inhibited cyclooxygenase (COX-1 or COX-2). Disclosure: This paper was co-financed from the European Social Fund, through the Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013, project number POSDRU /159 /1.5 /S /138907 "Excellence in scientific interdisciplinary research, doctoral and postdoctoral, in the economic, social and medical fields -EXCELIS", coordinator The Bucharest University of Economic Studies.

Keywords: Antidepressant, depressant, forced swim, NSAIDs.

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