Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Christina Reuter

21 Optimization Model for Identification of Assembly Alternatives of Large-Scale, Make-to-Order Products

Authors: Henrik Prinzhorn, Peter Nyhuis, Johannes Wagner, Peter Burggräf, Torben Schmitz, Christina Reuter

Abstract:

Assembling large-scale products, such as airplanes, locomotives, or wind turbines, involves frequent process interruptions induced by e.g. delayed material deliveries or missing availability of resources. This leads to a negative impact on the logistical performance of a producer of xxl-products. In industrial practice, in case of interruptions, the identification, evaluation and eventually the selection of an alternative order of assembly activities (‘assembly alternative’) leads to an enormous challenge, especially if an optimized logistical decision should be reached. Therefore, in this paper, an innovative, optimization model for the identification of assembly alternatives that addresses the given problem is presented. It describes make-to-order, large-scale product assembly processes as a resource constrained project scheduling (RCPS) problem which follows given restrictions in practice. For the evaluation of the assembly alternative, a cost-based definition of the logistical objectives (delivery reliability, inventory, make-span and workload) is presented.

Keywords: Assembly scheduling, large-scale products, make-to-order, rescheduling, optimization.

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20 Transient Population Dynamics of Phase Singularities in 2D Beeler-Reuter Model

Authors: Hidetoshi Konno, Akio Suzuki

Abstract:

The paper presented a transient population dynamics of phase singularities in 2D Beeler-Reuter model. Two stochastic modelings are examined: (i) the Master equation approach with the transition rate (i.e., λ(n, t) = λ(t)n and μ(n, t) = μ(t)n) and (ii) the nonlinear Langevin equation approach with a multiplicative noise. The exact general solution of the Master equation with arbitrary time-dependent transition rate is given. Then, the exact solution of the mean field equation for the nonlinear Langevin equation is also given. It is demonstrated that transient population dynamics is successfully identified by the generalized Logistic equation with fractional higher order nonlinear term. It is also demonstrated the necessity of introducing time-dependent transition rate in the master equation approach to incorporate the effect of nonlinearity.

Keywords: Transient population dynamics, Phase singularity, Birth-death process, Non-stationary Master equation, nonlinear Langevin equation, generalized Logistic equation.

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19 EU Socioeconomic Indicators and Car Market

Authors: Christina Babatsou, Efthimios Zervas

Abstract:

Since 2008 a new economic crisis is present is the entire planet. This crisis affects several domains of the economic but also of the social life. Consumption decreases due to the lack of necessary resources of households to increase their expenditures. The car manufacturing is one of the main industrial activities in European Union (EU) and the present crisis particularly affects it. The present study examines the correlations between several socio-economic indicators and car market in European Union. The target is to find out the impact of the present economic crisis on the car market in EU.

Keywords: European Union, Passenger cars, Social indicators, Correlations

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18 A Tree Based Association Rule Approach for XML Data with Semantic Integration

Authors: D. Sasikala, K. Premalatha

Abstract:

The use of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) in web, business and scientific databases lead to the development of methods, techniques and systems to manage and analyze XML data. Semi-structured documents suffer due to its heterogeneity and dimensionality. XML structure and content mining represent convergence for research in semi-structured data and text mining. As the information available on the internet grows drastically, extracting knowledge from XML documents becomes a harder task. Certainly, documents are often so large that the data set returned as answer to a query may also be very big to convey the required information. To improve the query answering, a Semantic Tree Based Association Rule (STAR) mining method is proposed. This method provides intentional information by considering the structure, content and the semantics of the content. The method is applied on Reuter’s dataset and the results show that the proposed method outperforms well.

Keywords: Semi--structured Document, Tree based Association Rule (TAR), Semantic Association Rule Mining.

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17 Extraction of Squalene from Lebanese Olive Oil

Authors: Henri El Zakhem, Christina Romanos, Charlie Bakhos, Hassan Chahal, Jessica Koura

Abstract:

Squalene is a valuable component of the oil composed of 30 carbon atoms and is mainly used for cosmetic materials. The main concern of this article is to study the Squalene composition in the Lebanese olive oil and to compare it with foreign oil results. To our knowledge, extraction of Squalene from the Lebanese olive oil has not been conducted before. Three different techniques were studied and experiments were performed on three brands of olive oil, Al Wadi Al Akhdar, Virgo Bio and Boulos. The techniques performed are the Fractional Crystallization, the Soxhlet and the Esterification. By comparing the results, it is found that the Lebanese oil contains squalene and Soxhlet method is the most effective between the three methods extracting about 6.5E-04 grams of Squalene per grams of olive oil.

Keywords: Squalene, extraction, crystallization, Soxhlet.‎

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16 Aquatic Modeling: An Interplay between Scales

Authors: Christina G. Siontorou

Abstract:

This paper presents an integrated knowledge-based approach to multi-scale modeling of aquatic systems, with a view to enhancing predictive power and aiding environmental management and policy-making. The basic phases of this approach have been exemplified in the case of a bay in Saronicos Gulf (Attiki, Greece). The results showed a significant problem with rising phytoplankton blooms linked to excessive microbial growth, arisen mostly due to increased nitrogen inflows; therefore, the nitrification/denitrification processes of the benthic and water column sub-systems have provided the quality variables to be monitored for assessing environmental status. It is thereby demonstrated that the proposed approach facilitates modeling choices and implementation option decisions, while it provides substantial support for knowledge and experience capitalization in long-term water management.

Keywords: Aquatic ecosystem, integrated modeling, multi-scale modeling, ontological platform.

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15 Fuzzy Relatives of the CLARANS Algorithm With Application to Text Clustering

Authors: Mohamed A. Mahfouz, M. A. Ismail

Abstract:

This paper introduces new algorithms (Fuzzy relative of the CLARANS algorithm FCLARANS and Fuzzy c Medoids based on randomized search FCMRANS) for fuzzy clustering of relational data. Unlike existing fuzzy c-medoids algorithm (FCMdd) in which the within cluster dissimilarity of each cluster is minimized in each iteration by recomputing new medoids given current memberships, FCLARANS minimizes the same objective function minimized by FCMdd by changing current medoids in such away that that the sum of the within cluster dissimilarities is minimized. Computing new medoids may be effected by noise because outliers may join the computation of medoids while the choice of medoids in FCLARANS is dictated by the location of a predominant fraction of points inside a cluster and, therefore, it is less sensitive to the presence of outliers. In FCMRANS the step of computing new medoids in FCMdd is modified to be based on randomized search. Furthermore, a new initialization procedure is developed that add randomness to the initialization procedure used with FCMdd. Both FCLARANS and FCMRANS are compared with the robust and linearized version of fuzzy c-medoids (RFCMdd). Experimental results with different samples of the Reuter-21578, Newsgroups (20NG) and generated datasets with noise show that FCLARANS is more robust than both RFCMdd and FCMRANS. Finally, both FCMRANS and FCLARANS are more efficient and their outputs are almost the same as that of RFCMdd in terms of classification rate.

Keywords: Data Mining, Fuzzy Clustering, Relational Clustering, Medoid-Based Clustering, Cluster Analysis, Unsupervised Learning.

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14 Preliminary Knowledge Extraction from Beethoven’s Sonatas: from Musical Referential Patterns to Emotional Normative Ratings

Authors: Christina Volioti, Sotiris Manitsaris, Eleni Katsouli, Vasiliki Tsekouropoulou, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Abstract:

The piano sonatas of Beethoven represent part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The aims of this research were to further explore this intangibility by placing emphasis on defining emotional normative ratings for the “Waldstein” (Op. 53) and “Tempest” (Op. 31) Sonatas of Beethoven. To this end, a musicological analysis was conducted on these particular sonatas and referential patterns in these works of Beethoven were defined. Appropriate interactive questionnaires were designed in order to create a statistical normative rating that describes the emotional status when an individual listens to these musical excerpts. Based on these ratings, it is possible for emotional annotations for these same referential patterns to be created and integrated into the music score.

Keywords: Emotional annotations, intangible cultural heritage, musicological analysis, normative ratings.

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13 Accelerating the Uptake of Smart City Applications through Cloud Computing

Authors: Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos, Nicos Komninos, Christina Kakderi

Abstract:

Smart cities are high on the political agenda around the globe. However, planning smart cities and deploying applications dealing with the complex problems of the urban environment is a very challenging task that is difficult to be undertaken solely by the cities. We argue that the uptake of smart city strategies is facilitated, first, through the development of smart city application repositories allowing re-use of already developed and tested software, and, second, through cloud computing which disengages city authorities from any resource constraints, technical or financial, and has a higher impact and greater effect at the city level The combination of these two solutions allows city governments and municipalities to select and deploy a large number of applications dedicated to different city functions, which collectively could create a multiplier effect with a greater impact on the urban environment.

Keywords: Smart cities, applications, cloud computing, migration to the cloud, application repositories.

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12 Speech Encryption and Decryption Using Linear Feedback Shift Register (LFSR)

Authors: Tin Lai Win, Nant Christina Kyaw

Abstract:

This paper is taken into consideration the problem of cryptanalysis of stream ciphers. There is some attempts need to improve the existing attacks on stream cipher and to make an attempt to distinguish the portions of cipher text obtained by the encryption of plain text in which some parts of the text are random and the rest are non-random. This paper presents a tutorial introduction to symmetric cryptography. The basic information theoretic and computational properties of classic and modern cryptographic systems are presented, followed by an examination of the application of cryptography to the security of VoIP system in computer networks using LFSR algorithm. The implementation program will be developed Java 2. LFSR algorithm is appropriate for the encryption and decryption of online streaming data, e.g. VoIP (voice chatting over IP). This paper is implemented the encryption module of speech signals to cipher text and decryption module of cipher text to speech signals.

Keywords: Linear Feedback Shift Register.

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11 Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

Authors: Nardine El Bardisy, Wolf Reuter, Ayat Ismail

Abstract:

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Keywords: New urban communities, modern planning, social Interaction, Social life.

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10 Barriers and Drivers towards the Use of Childhood Vaccination Services by Undocumented Migrant Caregivers in Sabah, Malaysia: A Qualitative Analysis

Authors: Michal Christina Steven, Mohd. Yusof Hj Ibrahim, Haryati Abdul Karim, Prabakaran Dhanaraj, Kelly Alexius Mansin

Abstract:

After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. These undocumented migrants present a significant challenge in achieving the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). Due to the recent polio outbreak among the undocumented migrant children in Sabah, an in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.

Keywords: Malaysia, polio, Sabah, undocumented migrants.

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9 Developing a Coronavirus Academic Paper Sorting Application

Authors: Christina A. van Hal, Xiaoqian Jiang, Luyao Chen, Yan Chu, Robert D. Jolly, Yaobin Lin, Jitian Zhao, Kang Lin Hsieh

Abstract:

The COVID-19 Literature Summary App, now live on the university website, was created for the primary purpose of enabling academicians and clinicians to quickly sort through the vast array of recent coronavirus publications by topics of interest. Multiple methods of summarizing and sorting the manuscripts were created. A summary page introduces the application function and capabilities, while an interactive map provides daily updates on infection, death, and recovery rates. A page with a pivot table allows publication sorting by topic, with an interactive data table that allows sorting topics by columns, as wells as the capability to view abstracts. Additionally, publications may be sorted by the medical topics they cover. We used the CORD-19 database to compile lists of publications. The data table can sort binary variables, allowing the user to pick desired publication topics, such as papers that describe COVID-19 symptoms. The application is primarily designed for use by researchers but can be used by anybody who wants a faster and more efficient means of locating papers of interest. 

Keywords: COVID-19, literature summary, information retrieval, snorkel

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8 Dialogue Meetings as an Arena for Collaboration and Reflection among Researchers and Practitioners

Authors: Kerstin Grunden, Ann Svensson, Berit Forsman, Christina Karlsson, Ayman Obeid

Abstract:

The research question of the article is to explore whether the dialogue meetings method could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in municipalities, or not. A testbed was planned to be implemented in a retirement home in a Swedish municipality, and the practitioners worked with a pre-study of that testbed. In the article, the dialogue between the researchers and the practitioners in the dialogue meetings is described and analyzed. The potential of dialogue meetings as an arena for learning and reflection among researchers and practitioners is discussed. The research methodology approach is participatory action research with mixed methods (dialogue meetings, focus groups, participant observations). The main findings from the dialogue meetings were that the researchers learned more about the use of traditional research methods, and the practitioners learned more about how they could improve their use of the methods to facilitate change processes in their organization. These findings have the potential both for the researchers and the practitioners to result in more relevant use of research methods in change processes in organizations. It is concluded that dialogue meetings could be relevant for reflective learning among researchers and practitioners when welfare technology should be implemented in a health care organization.

Keywords: Dialogue meetings, implementation, reflection, test bed, welfare technology, participatory action research.

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7 The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Bilateral Trade in Goods

Authors: Christina Tay

Abstract:

This paper investigates the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on bilateral trade in goods. Empirical analysis is performed on the United States and 34 partnering countries from 2000 to 2013. Our econometric model fits the data well, explaining 52% of the variation in trade flows for goods trade, 53.2% of the variation in trade flows for goods export and 48% of the variation in trade flows for goods import. For every 10% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people increases, goods trade by 7.9% and for every 5% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people, goods export increases by 11%. For every 1% increase in fixed telephone line penetration per 100 people, goods trade increases by 26.3%, goods export increases by 24.4% and goods import increases by 24.8%. For every 1% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods trade decreases by 29.6% and goods export decreases by 27.1%, whilst for every 0.01% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods import decreases by 34.3%. For every 1% increase in the percentage of population who used the Internet from any location in the last 12 months Internet, goods trade increases by 32.5%, goods export increases by 38.9%, goods import increases by 33%. All our trade determinants as well as our ICT variables have significances on goods exports for the US. We can also draw from our study that the US relies more rather heavily on ICT for its goods export compared to goods import.

Keywords: Bilateral trade, goods trade, information and communication technologies, Internet.

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6 Concept for Determining the Focus of Technology Monitoring Activities

Authors: Guenther Schuh, Christina Koenig, Nico Schoen, Markus Wellensiek

Abstract:

Identification and selection of appropriate product and manufacturing technologies are key factors for competitiveness and market success of technology-based companies. Therefore, many companies perform technology intelligence (TI) activities to ensure the identification of evolving technologies at the right time. Technology monitoring is one of the three base activities of TI, besides scanning and scouting. As the technological progress is accelerating, more and more technologies are being developed. Against the background of limited resources it is therefore necessary to focus TI activities. In this paper we propose a concept for defining appropriate search fields for technology monitoring. This limitation of search space leads to more concentrated monitoring activities. The concept will be introduced and demonstrated through an anonymized case study conducted within an industry project at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT. The described concept provides a customized monitoring approach, which is suitable for use in technology-oriented companies. It is shown in this paper that the definition of search fields and search tasks are suitable methods to define topics of interest and thus to align monitoring activities. Current as well as planned product, production and material technologies and existing skills, capabilities and resources form the basis for derivation of relevant search areas. To further improve the concept of technology monitoring the proposed concept should be extended during future research e.g. by the definition of relevant monitoring parameters.

Keywords: Monitoring radar, search field, technology intelligence, technology monitoring.

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5 Identifying Neighborhoods at Potential Risk of Food Insecurity in Rural British Columbia

Authors: Amirmohsen Behjat, Aleck Ostry, Christina Miewald, Bernie Pauly

Abstract:

Substantial research has indicated that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics’ of neighborhoods are strong determinants of food security. The aim of this study was to develop a Food Insecurity Neighborhood Index (FINI) based on the associated socioeconomic and demographic variables to identify the areas at potential risk of food insecurity in rural British Columbia (BC). Principle Component Analysis (PCA) technique was used to calculate the FINI for each rural Dissemination Area (DA) using the food security determinant variables from Canadian Census data. Using ArcGIS, the neighborhoods with the top quartile FINI values were classified as food insecure. The results of this study indicated that the most food insecure neighborhood with the highest FINI value of 99.1 was in the Bulkley-Nechako (central BC) area whereas the lowest FINI with the value of 2.97 was for a rural neighborhood in the Cowichan Valley area. In total, 98.049 (19%) of the rural population of British Columbians reside in high food insecure areas. Moreover, the distribution of food insecure neighborhoods was found to be strongly dependent on the degree of rurality in BC. In conclusion, the cluster of food insecure neighbourhoods was more pronounced in Central Coast, Mount Wadington, Peace River, Kootenay Boundary, and the Alberni-Clayoqout Regional Districts.

Keywords: Neighbourhood food insecurity index, socioeconomic and demographic determinants, principal component analysis, Canada Census, ArcGIS.

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4 Management Prospects of Winery By-Products Based on Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Grape Skins: The Case of Greek Ionian Islands

Authors: Marinos Xagoraris, Iliada K. Lappa, Charalambos Kanakis, Dimitra Daferera, Christina Papadopoulou, Georgios Sourounis, Charilaos Giotis, Pavlos Bouchagier, Christos S. Pappas, Petros A. Tarantilis, Efstathia Skotti

Abstract:

The aim of this work was to recover phenolic compounds from grape skins produced in Greek varieties of the Ionian Islands in order to form the basis of calculations for their further utilization in the context of the circular economy. Isolation and further utilization of phenolic compounds is an important issue in winery by-products. For this purpose, 37 samples were collected, extracted, and analyzed in an attempt to provide the appropriate basis for their sustainable exploitation. Extraction of the bioactive compounds was held using an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and highly effective water-glycerol solvent system. Then, extracts were analyzed using UV-Vis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. Also, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were measured. LC-MS chromatography showed qualitative differences between different varieties. Peaks were attributed to monomeric 3-flavanols as well as monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric proanthocyanidins. The FT-IR and Raman spectra agreed with the chromatographic data and contributed to identifying phenolic compounds. Grape skins exhibited high total phenolic content (TPC), and it was proved that during vinification, a large number of polyphenols remained in the pomace. This study confirmed that grape skins from Ionian Islands are a promising source of bioactive compounds, suggesting their utilization under a bio-economic and environmental strategic framework.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity, grape skin, phenolic compounds, waste recovery.

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3 Designing for Inclusion within the Learning Management System: Social Justice, Identities, and Online Design for Digital Spaces in Higher Education

Authors: Christina Van Wingerden

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to propose pedagogical design for learning management systems (LMS) that offers greater inclusion for students based on a number of theoretical perspectives and delineated through an example. Considering the impact of COVID-19, including on student mental health, the research suggesting the importance of student sense of belonging on retention, success, and student well-being, the author describes intentional LMS design incorporating theoretically based practices informed by critical theory, feminist theory, indigenous theory and practices, and new materiality. This article considers important aspects of these theories and practices which attend to inclusion, identities, and socially just learning environments. Additionally, increasing student sense of belonging and mental health through LMS design influenced by adult learning theory and the community of inquiry model are described.  The process of thinking through LMS pedagogical design with inclusion intentionally in mind affords the opportunity to allow LMS to go beyond course use as a repository of documents, to an intentional community of practice that facilitates belonging and connection, something much needed in our times. In virtual learning environments it has been harder to discern how students are doing, especially in feeling connected to their courses, their faculty, and their student peers. Increasingly at the forefront of public universities is addressing the needs of students with multiple and intersecting identities and the multiplicity of needs and accommodations. Education in 2020, and moving forward, calls for embedding critical theories and inclusive ideals and pedagogies to the ways instructors design and teach in online platforms. Through utilization of critical theoretical frameworks and instructional practices, students may experience the LMS as a welcoming place with intentional plans for welcoming diversity in identities.

Keywords: Belonging, critical pedagogy, instructional design, Learning Management System, LMS.

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2 Large-Scale Production of High-Performance Fiber-Metal-Laminates by Prepreg-Press-Technology

Authors: Christian Lauter, Corin Reuter, Shuang Wu, Thomas Troester

Abstract:

Lightweight construction became more and more important over the last decades in several applications, e.g. in the automotive or aircraft sector. This is the result of economic and ecological constraints on the one hand and increasing safety and comfort requirements on the other hand. In the field of lightweight design, different approaches are used due to specific requirements towards the technical systems. The use of endless carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) offers the largest weight saving potential of sometimes more than 50% compared to conventional metal-constructions. However, there are very limited industrial applications because of the cost-intensive manufacturing of the fibers and production technologies. Other disadvantages of pure CFRP-structures affect the quality control or the damage resistance. One approach to meet these challenges is hybrid materials. This means CFRP and sheet metal are combined on a material level. Therefore, new opportunities for innovative process routes are realizable. Hybrid lightweight design results in lower costs due to an optimized material utilization and the possibility to integrate the structures in already existing production processes of automobile manufacturers. In recent and current research, the advantages of two-layered hybrid materials have been pointed out, i.e. the possibility to realize structures with tailored mechanical properties or to divide the curing cycle of the epoxy resin into two steps. Current research work at the Chair for Automotive Lightweight Design (LiA) at the Paderborn University focusses on production processes for fiber-metal-laminates. The aim of this work is the development and qualification of a large-scale production process for high-performance fiber-metal-laminates (FML) for industrial applications in the automotive or aircraft sector. Therefore, the prepreg-press-technology is used, in which pre-impregnated carbon fibers and sheet metals are formed and cured in a closed, heated mold. The investigations focus e.g. on the realization of short process chains and cycle times, on the reduction of time-consuming manual process steps, and the reduction of material costs. This paper gives an overview over the considerable steps of the production process in the beginning. Afterwards experimental results are discussed. This part concentrates on the influence of different process parameters on the mechanical properties, the laminate quality and the identification of process limits. Concluding the advantages of this technology compared to conventional FML-production-processes and other lightweight design approaches are carried out.

Keywords: Composite material, Fiber metal laminate, Lightweight construction, Prepreg press technology, Large-series production.

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1 Reimagining the Learning Management System as a “Third” Space

Authors: Christina Van Wingerden

Abstract:

This paper focuses on a sense of belonging, isolation, and the use of a learning management system as a “third space” for connection and community. Given student use of learning management systems (LMS) for courses on campuses, moderate to high use of social media and hand-held devices, the author explores the possibilities of LMS as a third space. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated student experiences of isolation, and research indicates that students who experience a sense of belonging have a greater likelihood for academic retention and success. The impacts on students of an LMS designed for student employee orientation and training were examined through a mixed methods approach, including a survey, individual interviews, and focus groups. The sample involved 250-450 undergraduate student employees at a US northwestern university. The goal of the study was to find out the efficiency and effectiveness of the orientation information for a wide range of student employees from multiple student affairs departments. And unexpected finding emerged within the study in 2015 and was noted again as a finding in the 2017 study. Students reported feeling like they individually connected to the department, and further to the university because of the LMS orientation. They stated they could see themselves as part of the university community and like they belonged. The orientation, through the LMS, was designed for and occurred online (asynchronous), prior to students traveling and beginning university life for the academic year. The students indicated connection and belonging resulting from some of the design features. With the onset of COVID-19 and prolonged sheltering in place in North America, as well as other parts of the world, students have been precluded from physically gathering to educate and learn. COVID-19 essentially paused face-to-face education in 2020. Media, governments, and higher education outlets have been reporting on widespread college student stress, isolation, loneliness, and sadness. In this context, the author conducted a current mixed methods study (online survey, online interviews) of students in advanced degree programs, like Ph.D. and Ed.D. specifically investigating isolation and sense of belonging. As a part of the study a prototype of a Canvas site was experienced by student interviewees for their reaction of this Canvas site prototype as a “third” space. Some preliminary findings of this study are presented. Doctoral students in the study affirmed the potential of LMS as a third space for community and social academic connection.

Keywords: COVID-19, learning management systems, sense of belonging, third space.

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