Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 46

# Search results for: Cristina Simona Alecu

##### 46 Enhancing the Quality of Learning by Using an Innovative Approach for Teaching Energy in Secondary Schools

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of the authors in designing, experimenting, assessing and transferring an innovative approach to energy education in secondary schools, aimed to enhance the quality of learning in terms of didactic curricula and pedagogic methods. The training is online delivered to youngsters via e-Books and portals specially designed for this purpose or by learning by doing via interactive games. An online educational methodology is available teachers.

##### 45 The Effects of a Thin Liquid Layer on the Hydrodynamic Machine Rotor

Abstract:

A mathematical model of the additional effects of the liquid in the hydrodynamic gap is presented in the paper. An incompressible viscous fluid is considered. Based on computational modeling are determined the matrices of mass, stiffness and damping. The mathematical model is experimentally verified. Downloads 1440
##### 44 Nonlinear Mathematical Model of the Rotor Motion in a Thin Hydrodynamic Gap

Abstract:

The article presents two mathematical models of the interaction between a rotating shaft and an incompressible fluid. The mathematical model includes both the journal bearings and the axially traversed hydrodynamic sealing gaps of hydraulic machines. A method is shown for the identification of additional effects of the fluid acting on the rotor of the machine, both for a linear and a nonlinear model. The interaction is expressed by matrices of mass, stiffness and damping. Downloads 1581
##### 43 System of Programs for Rapid Development and Execution of Palm OS Applications

Abstract:

We present the development of a system of programs designed for the compilation and execution of applications for handheld computers. In introduction we describe the purpose of the project and its components. The next two paragraphs present the first two components of the project (the scanner and parser generators). Then we describe the Object Pascal compiler and the virtual machines for Windows and Palm OS. In conclusion we emphasize the ways in which the project can be extended.

##### 42 An Automated Approach for Assembling Modular Fixtures Using SolidWorks

Abstract:

Modular fixtures (MFs) are very important tools in manufacturing processes in terms of reduction the cost and the production time. This paper introduces an automated approach for assembling MFs elements by employing SolidWorks as a powerful 3D CAD software. Visual Basic (VB) programming language was applied integrating with SolidWorks API (Application programming interface) functions. This integration allowed creating plug-in file and generating new menus in the SolidWorks environment. The menus allow the user to select, insert, and assemble MFs elements. Downloads 2361
##### 41 Ecosystem Model for Environmental Applications

Abstract:

This paper aims to build a system based on fuzzy models that can be implemented in the assessment of ecological systems, to determine appropriate methods of action for reducing adverse effects on environmental and implicit the population. The model proposed provides new perspective for environmental assessment, and it can be used as a practical instrument for decision –making.

##### 40 The Impact of Corporate Governance on Risk Taking in European Insurance Industry

Authors: Francesco Venuti, Simona Alfiero

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to develop an empirical research on the nature and consequences of corporate governance on Eurozone Insurance Industry risk taking attitude. More particularly, we analyzed the effect of public ownership on risk taking with respect to privately held Insurance Companies. We also analyzed the effects on risk taking attitude of different degrees of ownership concentration, directors compensation, and the dimension/diversity of the Board of Directors. Our results provide quite strong evidence that, coherently with the Agency Theory, publicly traded insurance companies with more concentrated ownership are less risky than the corresponding privately held. Downloads 2597
##### 39 Generalized Rough Sets Applied to Graphs Related to Urban Problems

Authors: Mihai Rebenciuc, Simona Mihaela Bibic

Abstract:

Branch of modern mathematics, graphs represent instruments for optimization and solving practical applications in various fields such as economic networks, engineering, network optimization, the geometry of social action, generally, complex systems including contemporary urban problems (path or transport efficiencies, biourbanism, & c.). In this paper is studied the interconnection of some urban network, which can lead to a simulation problem of a digraph through another digraph. The simulation is made univoc or more general multivoc. The concepts of fragment and atom are very useful in the study of connectivity in the digraph that is simulation - including an alternative evaluation of k- connectivity. Rough set approach in (bi)digraph which is proposed in premier in this paper contribute to improved significantly the evaluation of k-connectivity. This rough set approach is based on generalized rough sets - basic facts are presented in this paper. Downloads 850
##### 38 A Multimodal Approach for Biometric Authentication with Multiple Classifiers

Abstract:

The paper presents a multimodal approach for biometric authentication, based on multiple classifiers. The proposed solution uses a post-classification biometric fusion method in which the biometric data classifiers outputs are combined in order to improve the overall biometric system performance by decreasing the classification error rates. The paper shows also the biometric recognition task improvement by means of a carefully feature selection, as much as not all of the feature vectors components support the accuracy improvement.

Keywords: biometric fusion, multiple classifiers

##### 37 Molecular Docking on Recomposed versus Crystallographic Structures of Zn-Dependent Enzymes and their Natural Inhibitors

Abstract:

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are a class of structural and functional related enzymes involved in altering the natural elements of the extracellular matrix. Most of the MMP structures are cristalographycally determined and published in WorldWide ProteinDataBank, isolated, in full structure or bound to natural or synthetic inhibitors. This study proposes an algorithm to replace missing crystallographic structures in PDB database. We have compared the results of a chosen docking algorithm with a known crystallographic structure in order to validate enzyme sites reconstruction there where crystallographic data are missing. Downloads 1491
##### 36 Radio-Frequency Plasma Discharge Equipment for Conservation Treatments of Paper Supports

Abstract:

The application of cold Radio-Frequency (RF) plasma in the conservation of cultural heritage became important in the last decades due to the positive results obtained in decontamination treatments. This paper presents an equipment especially designed for cold RF plasma application on paper documents, developed within a research project. The equipment consists in two modules: the first one is designed for decontamination and cleaning treatments of any type of paper supports, while the second one can be used for coating friable papers with adequate polymers, for protection purposes. All these operations are carried out in cold radio-frequency plasma, working in gaseous nitrogen, at low pressure. In order to optimize the equipment parameters ancient paper samples infested with microorganisms have been treated in nitrogen plasma and the decontamination effects, as well as changes in surface properties (color, pH) were assessed. The microbiological analysis revealed complete decontamination at 6 minutes treatment duration; only minor modifications of the surface pH were found and the colorimetric analysis showed a slight yellowing of the support. Downloads 2308
##### 35 3D Dynamic Representation System for the Human Head

Abstract:

The human head representations usually are based on the morphological – structural components of a real model. Over the time became more and more necessary to achieve full virtual models that comply very rigorous with the specifications of the human anatomy. Still, making and using a model perfectly fitted with the real anatomy is a difficult task, because it requires large hardware resources and significant times for processing. That is why it is necessary to choose the best compromise solution, which keeps the right balance between the details perfection and the resources consumption, in order to obtain facial animations with real-time rendering. We will present here the way in which we achieved such a 3D system that we intend to use as a base point in order to create facial animations with real-time rendering, used in medicine to find and to identify different types of pathologies.

Keywords: 3D models, virtual reality.

##### 34 Fractional Order Controller Design for Vibration Attenuation in an Airplane Wing

Abstract:

The wing is one of the most important parts of an airplane because it ensures stability, sustenance and maneuverability of the airplane. Because of its shape, the airplane wing can be simplified to a smart beam. Active vibration suppression is realized using piezoelectric actuators that are mounted on the surface of the beam. This work presents a tuning procedure of fractional order controllers based on a graphical approach of the frequency domain representation. The efficacy of the method is proven by practically testing the controller on a laboratory scale experimental stand.

##### 33 Gold-Mediated Modification of Apoferritin Surface with Targeting Antibodies

Abstract:

To ensure targeting of apoferritin nanocarrier with encapsulated doxorubicin drug, we used a peptide linker based on a protein G with N-terminus affinity towards Fc region of antibodies. To connect the peptide to the surface of apoferritin, the C-terminus of peptide was made of cysteine with affinity to gold. The surface of apoferritin with encapsulated doxorubicin (APODOX) was coated either with gold nanoparticles (APODOX-Nano) or gold(III) chloride hydrate reduced with sodium borohydride (APODOX-HAu). The reduction with sodium borohydride caused a loss of doxorubicin fluorescent properties and probably accompanied with the loss of its biological activity. Fluorescent properties of APODOX-Nano were similar to the unmodified APODOX; therefore it was more suited for the intended use. To evaluate the specificity of apoferritin modified with antibodies, ELISA-like method was used with the surface of microtitration plate wells coated by the antigen (goat anti-human IgG antibodies). To these wells, the nanocarrier was applied. APODOX without the modification showed 5× lower affinity to the antigen than APODOX-Nano modified gold and targeting antibodies (human IgG antibodies). Downloads 1952
##### 32 Contribution for Rural Development through Training in Organic Farming

Abstract:

The aim of this work was to characterize a potential target group of people interested in participating into a training program in organic farming in the context of mobile-learning. The information sought addressed in particular, but not exclusively, possible contents, formats and forms of evaluation that will contribute to define the course objectives and curriculum, as well as to ensure that the course meets the needs of the learners and their preferences. The sample was selected among different European countries. The questionnaires were delivered electronically for answering on-line and in the end 135 consented valid questionnaires were obtained. The results allowed characterizing the target group and identifying their training needs and preferences towards m-learning formats, giving valuable tools to design the training offer. Downloads 1908
##### 31 In vitro Effects of Viscum album on the Functionality of Rabbit Spermatozoa

Abstract:

This study aimed to assess the in vitro effects of different concentrations of the Viscum album extract on the motility, viability, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by rabbit spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, and 8h). Spermatozoa motility was assessed by using the CASA (Computer aided sperm analysis) system. Cell viability was evaluated by using the metabolic activity MTT assay, and the luminol-based luminometry was applied to quantify the ROS formation. The CASA analysis revealed that low Viscum concentrations were able to prevent a rapid decline of spermatozoa motility, especially in the case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 5 µg/mL (P<0.05 with respect to time 8h). At the same time, concentrations ranging between 1 and 100 µg/mL of the extract led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P<0.05 in case of 5, 50 and 100 µg/mL; P<0.01 with respect to 1 and 10 µg/mL, time 8h). 1 and 5 µg/mL of the extract exhibited antioxidant characteristics, translated into a significant reduction of the ROS production, particularly notable at time 8h (P<0.01). The results indicate that the Viscum extract is capable of delaying the damage inflicted to the spermatozoon by the in vitro environment. Downloads 1058
##### 30 Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Abstract:

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

##### 29 Model Discovery and Validation for the Qsar Problem using Association Rule Mining

Abstract:

There are several approaches in trying to solve the Quantitative 1Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) problem. These approaches are based either on statistical methods or on predictive data mining. Among the statistical methods, one should consider regression analysis, pattern recognition (such as cluster analysis, factor analysis and principal components analysis) or partial least squares. Predictive data mining techniques use either neural networks, or genetic programming, or neuro-fuzzy knowledge. These approaches have a low explanatory capability or non at all. This paper attempts to establish a new approach in solving QSAR problems using descriptive data mining. This way, the relationship between the chemical properties and the activity of a substance would be comprehensibly modeled. Downloads 1671
##### 28 Phage Capsid for Efficient Delivery of Cytotoxic Drugs

Abstract:

Various nanomaterials can be used as a drug delivery vehicles in nanomedicine, called nanocarriers. They can either be organic or inorganic, synthetic or natural-based. Although synthetic nanocarriers are easier to produce, they can often be toxic for the organism and thus not suitable for use in treatment. From naturalbased nanocarriers, the most commonly used are protein cages or viral capsids. In this work, virus bacteriophage λ was used for delivery of different cytotoxic drugs (cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin and doxorubicin). Large quantities of phage λ were obtained from phage λ-producing strain of E. coli cultivated in medium with 0.2% maltose. After killing of E. coli with chloroform and its removal by centrifugation, the phage was concentrated by ultracentrifugation at 130 000×g and 4°C for 3 h. The encapsulation of the drugs was performed by infusion method and four different concentrations of the drugs were encapsulated (200; 100; 50; 25 μg·mL-1). Free drug molecules were removed by filtration. The encapsulation was verified using the absorbance for doxorubicin and atomic absorption spectrometry for platinum cytostatics. The amount of encapsulated drug linearly increased with the increasing concentration of applied drug with the determination coefficient R2=0.989 for doxorubicin; R2=0.967 for cisplatin; R2=0.989 for carboplatin and R2=0.996 for oxaliplatin. The overall encapsulation efficiency was calculated as 50% for doxorubicin; 8% for cisplatin; 6% for carboplatin and 10% for oxaliplatin. Downloads 1491
##### 27 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Rapeseed Oil and Biodiesel from Winter Rape Produced in Romania

Abstract:

The environmental performance of rapeseed oil (RO) and rapeseed methyl ester(RME) from winter rape as fuels produced in Romanian agroclimate is analyzed in this paper. The proposed methodology is life cycle assessment (LCA) and takes into consideration the influence of grain production and agroclimatic conditions. This study shows favorable results first for RO and then for RME. When compared to diesel fuel, both studied biofuels show better results in the following impact categories: Abiotic depletion potential (ADP), Ozone layer depletion (ODP) and Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP).Furthermore, the environmental performance of the two biofuels studied can be improved by changing the type of fertilizer used and also by using biofuels instead of diesel in the field works.

Keywords: Biodiesel, life cycle assessment, rapeseed oil.

##### 26 Ageing Assessment of Insulation Systems by Absorption/Resorption Currents

Abstract:

Degradation of polymeric insulation systems of electrical equipments increases the space charge density and the concentration of electrical dipoles. By consequence, the maximum values and the slopes of absorption/resorption (A/R) currents can change with insulation systems ageing. In this paper, an analysis of the nature of the A/R currents and the importance of their components, especially the polarization current and the current given by the space charge, is presented. The experimental study concerns the A/R currents measurements of plane samples (made from CALMICAGLAS tapes), virgin and thermally accelerated aged. The obtained results show that the ageing process produces an increase of the values and a decrease of shapes of the A/R currents. Finally, the possibility of estimating insulations ageing state and lifetime from A/R currents measurements is discussed. Downloads 1867
##### 25 Therapeutic Product Preparation Bioprocess Modeling

Abstract:

An immunomodulator bioproduct is prepared in a batch bioprocess with a modified bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The bioprocess is performed in 100 L Bioengineering bioreactor with 42 L cultivation medium made of peptone, meat extract and sodium chloride. The optimal bioprocess parameters were determined: temperature – 37 0C, agitation speed - 300 rpm, aeration rate – 40 L/min, pressure – 0.5 bar, Dow Corning Antifoam M-max. 4 % of the medium volume, duration - 6 hours. This kind of bioprocesses are appreciated as difficult to control because their dynamic behavior is highly nonlinear and time varying. The aim of the paper is to present (by comparison) different models based on experimental data. The analysis criteria were modeling error and convergence rate. The estimated values and the modeling analysis were done by using the Table Curve 2D. The preliminary conclusions indicate Andrews-s model with a maximum specific growth rate of the bacterium in the range of 0.8 h-1. Downloads 1596
##### 24 Tax Morale Dimensions Analysis in Portugal and Spain

Authors: Cristina Sá, Carlos Gomes, António Martins

Abstract:

The reasons that explain different behaviors towards tax obligations in similar countries are not completely understood yet. The main purpose of this paper is to identify and compare the factors that influence tax morale levels in Portugal and Spain. We use data from European Values Study (EVS). Using a sample of 2,652 individuals, a factor analysis was used to extract the underlying dimensions of tax morale of Portuguese and Spanish taxpayers. Based on a factor analysis, the results of this paper show that sociological and behavioral factors, psychological factors and political factors are important for a good understanding of taxpayers’ behavior in Iberian Peninsula. This paper added value relies on the analyses of a wide range of variables and on the comparison between Portugal and Spain. Our conclusions provided insights that tax authorities and politicians can use to better focus their strategies and actions in order to increase compliance, reduce tax evasion, fight underground economy and increase country´s competitiveness.

Keywords: Compliance, tax morale, Portugal, Spain.

##### 23 Observations about the Principal Components Analysis and Data Clustering Techniques in the Study of Medical Data

Abstract:

The medical data statistical analysis often requires the using of some special techniques, because of the particularities of these data. The principal components analysis and the data clustering are two statistical methods for data mining very useful in the medical field, the first one as a method to decrease the number of studied parameters, and the second one as a method to analyze the connections between diagnosis and the data about the patient-s condition. In this paper we investigate the implications obtained from a specific data analysis technique: the data clustering preceded by a selection of the most relevant parameters, made using the principal components analysis. Our assumption was that, using the principal components analysis before data clustering - in order to select and to classify only the most relevant parameters – the accuracy of clustering is improved, but the practical results showed the opposite fact: the clustering accuracy decreases, with a percentage approximately equal with the percentage of information loss reported by the principal components analysis. Downloads 1370
##### 22 Deposit Guarantee Fund: One Perspective

Abstract:

The Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) and its communication with the Society, in general, and with the deposit client of Financial Institutions, in particular, is discussed through the challenges of the accounting and financial report. The Bank of Portugal promotes the Portuguese Deposit Guarantee Fund (PDGF) as a financial institution that enhanced the market confidence and stability on the deposit-insurance system. Due to the nature of their functions, it must be subject to regulation and supervision that provides a first line of defense against adversely affect confidence on the Portuguese financial market. First, this research provides evidence of the effectiveness of the protection mechanisms on the deposit insurance system, which provides high and equal protection to all stakeholders. Second, it emphasizes the need of requirements of rigorous accounting process and effective financial report to reduce the moral hazard implications. Third, this research focuses on the need of total disclosure of the financial information which gives higher transparency and protection to deposit client of financial institutions.

##### 21 Use and Relationship of Shell Nouns as Cohesive Devices in the Quality of Second Language Writing

Abstract:

The current study is a comparative analysis of the use of shell nouns as a cohesive device (CD) in an English for Second Language (ESL) setting in order to identify their use and relationship in the quality of second language (L2) writing. As these nouns were established to anticipate the meaning within, across or outside the text, their use has fascinated writing researchers. The corpus of the study included published articles from reputable journals and graduate students’ papers in order to analyze the frequency of shell nouns using “highly prevalent” nouns in the academic community, to identify the different lexicogrammatical patterns where these nouns occur and to the functions connected with these patterns. The result of the study implies that published authors used more shell nouns in their paper than graduate students. However, the functions of the different lexicogrammatical patterns for the frequently occurring shell nouns are somewhat similar. These results could help students in enhancing the cohesion of their text and in comprehending it.

##### 20 Jointly Learning Python Programming and Analytic Geometry

Authors: Cristina-Maria Păcurar

Abstract:

The paper presents an original Python-based application that outlines the advantages of combining some elementary notions of mathematics with the study of a programming language. The application support refers to some of the first lessons of analytic geometry, meaning conics and quadrics and their reduction to a standard form, as well as some related notions. The chosen programming language is Python, not only for its closer to an everyday language syntax – and therefore, enhanced readability – but also for its highly reusable code, which is of utmost importance for a mathematician that is accustomed to exploit already known and used problems to solve new ones. The purpose of this paper is, on one hand, to support the idea that one of the most appropriate means to initiate one into programming is throughout mathematics, and reciprocal, one of the most facile and handy ways to assimilate some basic knowledge in the study of mathematics is to apply them in a personal project. On the other hand, besides being a mean of learning both programming and analytic geometry, the application subject to this paper is itself a useful tool for it can be seen as an independent original Python package for analytic geometry. Downloads 1381
##### 19 Momentum Accounting in Public Management: A Case Study in a Brazilian Navy-s Services Provider Military Organization

Abstract:

This study examines the possibility to apply the theory of multidimensional accounting (momentum accounting) in a Brazilian Navy-s Services Provider Military Organization (Organização Militar Prestadora de Serviços - OMPS). In general, the core of the said theory is the fact that Accounting does not recognize the inertia of transactions occurring in an entity, and that occur repeatedly in some cases, regardless of the implementation of new actions by its managers. The study evaluates the possibility of greater use of information recorded in the financial statements of the unit of analysis, within the strategic decisions of the organization. As a research strategy, we adopted the case study. The results infer that it is possible to use the theory in the context of a multidimensional OMPS, promoting useful information for decision-making and thereby contributing to the strengthening of the necessary alignment of its administration with the current desires of the Brazilian society.