Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Jenny Paola Forero Pachón

27 Virtual Conciliation in Colombia: Evaluation of Maturity Level within the Framework of E-Government

Authors: Jenny Paola Forero Pachón, Sonia Cristina Gamboa Sarmiento, Luis Carlos Gómez Flórez

Abstract:

The Colombian government has defined an e-government strategy to take advantage of Information Technologies (IT) in order to contribute to the building of a more efficient, transparent and participative State that provides better services to citizens and businesses. In this regard, the Justice sector is one of the government sectors where IT has generated more expectation considering that the country has a judicial processes backlog. This situation has led to the search for alternative forms of access to justice that speed up the process while providing a low cost for citizens. To this end, the Colombian government has authorized the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (ADR), a remedy where disputes can be resolved more quickly compared to judicial processes while facilitating greater communication between the parties, without recourse to judicial authority. One of these methods is conciliation, which includes a special modality that takes advantage of IT for the development of itself known as virtual conciliation. With this option the conciliation is supported by information systems, applications or platforms and communications are provided through it. This paper evaluates the level of maturity in how the service of virtual conciliation is under the framework of this strategy. This evaluation is carried out considering Shahkooh's 5-phase model for e-government. As a result, it is evident that in the context of conciliation, maturity does not reach the necessary level in the model so that it can be considered as virtual conciliation; therefore, it is necessary to define strategies to maximize the potential of IT in this context.

Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, e-government, evaluation of maturity, Shahkooh model, virtual conciliation.

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26 Information Security Risk Management in IT-Based Process Virtualization: A Methodological Design Based on Action Research

Authors: Jefferson Camacho Mejía, Jenny Paola Forero Pachón, Luis Carlos Gómez Flórez

Abstract:

Action research is a qualitative research methodology, which leads the researcher to delve into the problems of a community in order to understand its needs in depth and finally, to propose actions that lead to a change of social paradigm. Although this methodology had its beginnings in the human sciences, it has attracted increasing interest and acceptance in the field of information systems research since the 1990s. The countless possibilities offered nowadays by the use of Information Technologies (IT) in the development of different socio-economic activities have meant a change of social paradigm and the emergence of the so-called information and knowledge society. According to this, governments, large corporations, small entrepreneurs and in general, organizations of all kinds are using IT to virtualize their processes, taking them from the physical environment to the digital environment. However, there is a potential risk for organizations related with exposing valuable information without an appropriate framework for protecting it. This paper shows progress in the development of a methodological design to manage the information security risks associated with the IT-based processes virtualization, by applying the principles of the action research methodology and it is the result of a systematic review of the scientific literature. This design consists of seven fundamental stages. These are distributed in the three stages described in the action research methodology: 1) Observe, 2) Analyze and 3) Take actions. Finally, this paper aims to offer an alternative tool to traditional information security management methodologies with a view to being applied specifically in the planning stage of IT-based process virtualization in order to foresee risks and to establish security controls before formulating IT solutions in any type of organization.

Keywords: Action research, information security, information technology, methodological design, process virtualization, risk management.

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25 On the Numbers of Various Young Tableaux

Authors: Hsuan-Chu Li

Abstract:

We demonstrate a way to count the number of Young tableau u of shape λ = (k, k,L, k) with | λ |= lk by expanding Schur function. This result gives an answer to the question that was put out by Jenny Buontempo and Brian Hopkins.

Keywords: Young tableau, Schur function.

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24 Idealization of Licca-chan and Barbie: Comparison of Two Dolls across the Pacific

Authors: Miho Tsukamoto

Abstract:

Since the initial creation of the Barbie doll in 1959, it became a symbol of US society. Likewise, the Licca-chan, a Japanese doll created in 1967, also became a Japanese symbolic doll of Japanese society. Prior to the introduction of Licca-chan, Barbie was already marketed in Japan but their sales were dismal. Licca-chan (an actual name: Kayama Licca) is a plastic doll with a variety of sizes ranging from 21.0 cm to 29.0 cm which many Japanese girls dream of having. For over 35 years, the manufacturer, Takara Co., Ltd. has sold over 48 million dolls and has produced doll houses, accessories, clothes, and Licca-chan video games for the Nintendo DS. Many First-generation Licca-chan consumers still are enamored with Licca-chan, and go to Licca-chan House, in an amusement park with their daughters. These people are called Licca-chan maniacs, as they enjoy touring the Licca-chan’s factory in Tohoku or purchase various Licca-chan accessories. After the successful launch of Licca-chan into the Japanese market, a mixed-like doll from the US and Japan, a doll, JeNny, was later sold in the same Japanese market by Takara Co., Ltd. in 1982. Comparison of these cultural iconic dolls, Barbie and Licca-chan, are analyzed in this paper. In fact, these dolls have concepts of girls’ dreams. By using concepts of mythology of Jean Baudrillard, these dolls can be represented idealized images of figures in the products for consumers, but at the same time, consumers can see products with different perspectives, which can cause controversy.

Keywords: Barbie, Dolls, JeNny, Idealization, Licca-chan.

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23 Qualification and Provisioning of xDSL Broadband Lines using a GIS Approach

Authors: Mavroidis Athanasios, Karamitsos Ioannis, Saletti Paola

Abstract:

In this paper is presented a Geographic Information System (GIS) approach in order to qualify and monitor the broadband lines in efficient way. The methodology used for interpolation is the Delaunay Triangular Irregular Network (TIN). This method is applied for a case study in ISP Greece monitoring 120,000 broadband lines.

Keywords: GIS loop qualification, GIS xDSL, LLU TIN.

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22 Development and Control of Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation: The Case of Colzate-Vertova Landslide, Bergamo, Northern Italy

Authors: Paola Comella, Vincenzo Francani, Paola Gattinoni

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This paper presents the Colzate-Vertova landslide, a Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation (DSGSD) located in the Seriana Valley, Northern Italy. The paper aims at describing the development as well as evaluating the factors that influence the evolution of the landslide. After defining the conceptual model of the landslide, numerical simulations were developed using a finite element numerical model, first with a two-dimensional domain, and later with a three-dimensional one. The results of the 2-D model showed a displacement field typical of a sackung, as a consequence of the erosion along the Seriana Valley. The analysis also showed that the groundwater flow could locally affect the slope stability, bringing about a reduction in the safety factor, but without reaching failure conditions. The sensitivity analysis carried out on the strength parameters pointed out that slope failures could be reached only for relevant reduction of the geotechnical characteristics. Such a result does not fit the real conditions observed on site, where a number of small failures often develop all along the hillslope. The 3-D model gave a more comprehensive analysis of the evolution of the DSGSD, also considering the border effects. The results showed that the convex profile of the slope favors the development of displacements along the lateral valley, with a relevant reduction in the safety factor, justifying the existing landslides.

Keywords: Deep seated gravitational slope deformation, Italy, landslide, numerical modeling.

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21 Is E-learning Based On Learning Theories? A Literature Review

Authors: Apostolia Pange, Jenny Pange

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E-learning aims to build knowledge and skills in order to enhance the quality of learning. Research has shown that the majority of the e-learning solutions lack in pedagogical background and present some serious deficiencies regarding teaching strategies and content delivery, time and pace management, interface design and preservation of learners- focus. The aim of this review is to approach the design of e-learning solutions with a pedagogical perspective and to present some good practices of e-learning design grounded on the core principles of Learning Theories (LTs).

Keywords: design principles, e-learning, Learning Theories

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20 Transmission Performance Analysis for Live Broadcasting over IPTV Service in Telemedicine Applications

Authors: Jenny K. Ubaque, Edward P. Guillen, Juan S. Solórzano, Leonardo J. Ramírez

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The health care must be a right for people around the world, but in order to guarantee the access to all, it is necessary to overcome geographical barriers. Telemedicine take advantage of Information Communication Technologies to deploy health care services around the world. To achieve those goals, it is necessary to use existing last mile solution to create access for home users, which is why is necessary to establish the channel characteristics for those kinds of services. This paper presents an analysis of network performance of last mile solution for the use of IPTV broadcasting with the application of streaming for telemedicine apps.

Keywords: Telemedicine, IPTV, GPON, ADSL2+, COAXIAL, Jumbogram.

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19 Web Information System for e-Learning

Authors: Anna Angelini, Enrica Gentile, Paola Plantamura, Vito Leonardo Plantamura

Abstract:

A suitable e-learning system management needs to carry out a web-information system in order to allow integrated fruition of data and metadata concerning the activities typical of elearning environment. The definition of a “web information system" for e-learning takes advantage of the potentialities of Web technologies both as for the access to metadata present on the several platforms, and as for the implementation of courseware which make up the relative didactic environment. What information systems have in common is the technological environment on which they are generally implemented and the use of metadata in order to structure information at all cognitive and organization levels. In this work we are going to define a methodology for the implementation of a specific web information system for an e-learning environment.

Keywords: e-learning, information systems, coursemanagement, web-based system.

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18 Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity Assesment of Nigella Sativa Essential Oils

Authors: Entela Haloci, Stefano Manfredini, Vilma Toska, Silvia Vertuani, Paola Ziosi, Irma Topi, Henri Kolani

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Antifungal activities of ether and methanolic extracts of volatiles oils of Nigella Sativa seeds were tested against pathogenic bacterias and fungies strains.The volatile oil were found to have significant antifungal and antibacterial activities compare to tetracycline, cefuroxime and ciprofloxacin positive controls.The ether and methanolic esxtracts were compared to each other for antifungal and antibacterial activities and ether extracts showed stonger activity than methanolic one.

Keywords: Antifungal, antibacterial, essential oils, extraction, Nigella Sativa.

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17 Hydrogeological Aspects of Washing Waste Reuse in Quarry Lakes Rehabilitation

Authors: Paola Gattinoni, Laura Scesi

Abstract:

According to the European laws, there is the possibility of reusing the washing wastes for the environmental requalification of quarry lakes. The paper deals with the hydrogeological aspects involved in this possibility, as the introduction of finest wastes in the quarry lakes can generate alterations of the hydrogeological setting of the area, and problems for the future accessibility of the zone. To evaluate the hydrogeological compatibility of the washing wastes reuse in quarry lakes a groundwater numerical model was carried out, pointing out both the hydrogeological feasibility of this intervention and some guide lines for its optimization, in terms of inflow point with regard the groundwater flow direction and loss of volume in the quarry lake.

Keywords: Groundwater numerical modeling, hydrogeologicalalteration, quarry lake, silty-clay wastes.

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16 Describing Learning Features of Reusable Resources: A Proposal

Authors: Serena Alvino, Paola Forcheri, Maria Grazia Ierardi, Luigi Sarti

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One of the main advantages of the LO paradigm is to allow the availability of good quality, shareable learning material through the Web. The effectiveness of the retrieval process requires a formal description of the resources (metadata) that closely fits the user-s search criteria; in spite of the huge international efforts in this field, educational metadata schemata often fail to fulfil this requirement. This work aims to improve the situation, by the definition of a metadata model capturing specific didactic features of shareable learning resources. It classifies LOs into “teacher-oriented" and “student-oriented" categories, in order to describe the role a LO is to play when it is integrated into the educational process. This article describes the model and a first experimental validation process that has been carried out in a controlled environment.

Keywords: Learning object, pedagogical metadata, experimental validation.

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15 Effects of Mach Number and Angle of Attack on Mass Flow Rates and Entropy Gain in a Supersonic Inlet

Authors: Taher Fodeibou, Ziaul Huque, Jenny Galvis

Abstract:

A parametric study of a mixed-compression supersonic inlet is performed and reported. The effects of inlet Mach Numbers, varying from 4 to 10, and angle of attack, varying from 0 to 10, are reported for a constant inlet dynamic pressure. The paper looked at the variations of mass flow rates through the inlet, gain in entropy through the inlet, and the angles of the external oblique shocks. The mass flow rates were found to decrease monotonically with Mach numbers and increase with angle of attacks. On the other hand the entropy gain through the inlet increased with increasing Mach number and angle of attack. The variation in static pressure was found to be identical from the inlet throat to the exit for Mach number values higher than 6.

Keywords: Angle of attack, entropy gain, mass flow rates, supersonic inlets.

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14 Heart Rate-Determined Physical Activity In New Zealand School Children: A Cross- Sectional Study

Authors: Michael J. Hamlin, Mick Grimley, Vicki Cowley, Chris D. Price, Jill M. Hargreaves, Jenny J. Ross

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The aim of this study was to examine current levels of physical activity determined via heart rate monitoring. A total of 176 children (85 boys, 91 girls) aged 5-13 years wore sealed Polar heart rate monitors for at least 10 hours per day on at least 3 days. Mean daily minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity was 65 ± 43 (mean ± SD) for boys and 54 ± 37 for girls. Daily minutes of vigorous-intensity activity was 31 ± 24 and 24 ± 21 for boys and girls respectively. Significant differences in physical activity levels were observed between school day and weekends, boys and girls, and among age and geographical groups. Only 36% of boys and 22% of girls met the New Zealand physical activity guideline. This research indicates that a large proportion of New Zealand children are not meeting physical activity recommendations.

Keywords: activity guidelines, moderate activity, sedentary, vigorous activity

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13 A Tool for Modeling Slope Instability Triggered by Piping

Authors: Paola Gattinoni, Vincenzo Francani

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The paper deals with the analysis of triggering conditions and evolution processes of piping phenomena, in relation to both mechanical and hydraulic aspects. In particular, the aim of the study is to predict slope instabilities triggered by piping, analysing the conditions necessary for a flow failure to occur. Really, the mechanical effect involved in the loads redistribution around the pipe is coupled to the drainage process arising from higher permeability of the pipe. If after the pipe formation, the drainage goes prevented for pipe clogging, the porewater pressure increase can lead to the failure or even the liquefaction, with a subsequent flow slide. To simulate the piping evolution and to verify relevant stability conditions, a iterative coupled modelling approach has been pointed out. As example, the proposed tool has been applied to the Stava Valley disaster (July, 1985), demonstrating that piping might be one of triggering phenomena of the tailings dams collapse.

Keywords: Flow failure, liquefaction, modeling, piping, porewater pressure.

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12 Heart Rate Variability in Responders and Non- Responders to Live-Moderate, Train-Low Altitude Training

Authors: Michael J. Hamlin, Apiwan Manimmanakorn, Gavin R. Sandercock, Jenny J. Ross, Robert H. Creasy, John Hellemans

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to compare the effects of an altitude training camp on heart rate variability and performance in elite triathletes. Ten athletes completed 20 days of live-high, train-low training at 1650m. Athletes underwent pre and post 800-m swim time trials at sea-level, and two heart rate variability tests at 1650m on the first and last day of the training camp. Based on their time trial results, athletes were divided into responders and non-responders. Relative to the non-responders, the responders sympathetic-toparasympathetic ratio decreased substantially after 20 days of altitude training (-0.68 ± 1.08 and -1.2 ± 0.96, mean ± 90% confidence interval for supine and standing respectively). In addition, sympathetic activity while standing was also substantially lower post-altitude in the responders compared to the non-responders (-1869 ± 4764 ms2). Results indicate that responders demonstrated a change to more vagal predominance compared to non-responders.

Keywords: parasympathetic predominance, poor performance, triathlon, 800-m swim

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11 An Introduction to the Concept of University – Community Business Continuity Management for Disaster Resilient City

Authors: Siyanee Hirunsalee, Paola Rizziand Hidehiko Kanegae

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The fundamental objective of the university is to genuinely provide a higher education to mankind and society. Higher education institutions earn billions of dollars in research funds, granted by national government or related institutions, which literally came from taxpayers. Everyday universities consume those grants; in return, provide society with a human resource and research developments. However, not all taxpayers have their major concerns on those researches, other than that they are more curiously to see the project being build tangibly and evidently to certify what they pay for. This paper introduces the concept of University – Community Business Continuity Management for Disaster – Resilient City, which modified the concept of Business Continuity Management (BCM) toward university community to create advancing collaboration leading to the disaster – resilient community and city. This paper focuses on describing in details the backgrounds and principles of the concept and discussing the advantages and limitations of the concept.

Keywords: Business Continuity Management, Disaster ResilientCity, Disaster Management, University – Community Collaboration.

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10 Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Chinese Family Businesses: Proposal for a Model of Work-Life Synergy

Authors: Jenny Oliveros Lao Phillips, Arturo E. Osorio, José Alves

Abstract:

Family business are the dominant form of business in the world, and Chinese family business (CFB) is a unique type of family business that relies on collective action to survive. This paper argues that in CFBs, entrepreneurial actions are transgenerational collective endeavors, and successors are groomed as stewards of the family legacy. Work-life relationship in CFBs is about synergy and not balance because the family identity is the business identity, and vice-versa. Using five in-depth case studies, this research introduces an alternative understanding of CFBs and proposes a model of work-life synergy in transgenerational entrepreneurship based on discussion of five theory-based propositions. This model explains that through emphasizing on the business family’s shared value and entrepreneurial legacy, elements of trust, shared identity and stewardship of family members are enhanced which leads to collective action and goal of the business family, resulting in transgenerational entrepreneurship. Limitations and future research are presented.

Keywords: Chinese family business, family legacy, stewardship, transgenerational entrepreneurship, work-life synergy.

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9 Investigations on the Seismic Performance of Hot-Finished Hollow Steel Sections

Authors: Paola Pannuzzo, Tak-Ming Chan

Abstract:

In seismic applications, hollow steel sections show, beyond undeniable esthetical appeal, promising structural advantages since, unlike open section counterparts, they are not susceptible to weak-axis and lateral-torsional buckling. In particular, hot-finished hollow steel sections have homogeneous material properties and favorable ductility but have been underutilized for cyclic bending. The main reason is that the parameters affecting their hysteretic behaviors are not yet well understood and, consequently, are not well exploited in existing codes of practice. Therefore, experimental investigations have been conducted on a wide range of hot-finished rectangular hollow section beams with the aim to providing basic knowledge for evaluating their seismic performance. The section geometry (width-to-thickness and depth-to-thickness ratios) and the type of loading (monotonic and cyclic) have been chosen as the key parameters to investigate the cyclic effect on the rotational capacity and to highlight the differences between monotonic and cyclic load conditions. The test results provide information on the parameters that affect the cyclic performance of hot-finished hollow steel beams and can be used to assess the design provisions stipulated in the current seismic codes of practice.

Keywords: Hot-finished steel, hollow sections, cyclic tests, bending.

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8 Modeling and Simulating Reaction-Diffusion Systems with State-Dependent Diffusion Coefficients

Authors: Paola Lecca, Lorenzo Dematte, Corrado Priami

Abstract:

The present models and simulation algorithms of intracellular stochastic kinetics are usually based on the premise that diffusion is so fast that the concentrations of all the involved species are homogeneous in space. However, recents experimental measurements of intracellular diffusion constants indicate that the assumption of a homogeneous well-stirred cytosol is not necessarily valid even for small prokaryotic cells. In this work a mathematical treatment of diffusion that can be incorporated in a stochastic algorithm simulating the dynamics of a reaction-diffusion system is presented. The movement of a molecule A from a region i to a region j of the space is represented as a first order reaction Ai k- ! Aj , where the rate constant k depends on the diffusion coefficient. The diffusion coefficients are modeled as function of the local concentration of the solutes, their intrinsic viscosities, their frictional coefficients and the temperature of the system. The stochastic time evolution of the system is given by the occurrence of diffusion events and chemical reaction events. At each time step an event (reaction or diffusion) is selected from a probability distribution of waiting times determined by the intrinsic reaction kinetics and diffusion dynamics. To demonstrate the method the simulation results of the reaction-diffusion system of chaperoneassisted protein folding in cytoplasm are shown.

Keywords: Reaction-diffusion systems, diffusion coefficient, stochastic simulation algorithm.

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7 Hydrogeological Risk and Mining Tunnels: the Fontane-Rodoretto Mine Turin (Italy)

Authors: Paola Gattinoni, Laura Scesi, Elena Cerino Adbin, Daniele Cremonesi

Abstract:

The interaction of tunneling or mining with groundwater has become a very relevant problem not only due to the need to guarantee the safety of workers and to assure the efficiency of the tunnel drainage systems, but also to safeguard water resources from impoverishment and pollution risk. Therefore it is very important to forecast the drainage processes (i.e., the evaluation of drained discharge and drawdown caused by the excavation). The aim of this study was to know better the system and to quantify the flow drained from the Fontane mines, located in Val Germanasca (Turin, Italy). This allowed to understand the hydrogeological local changes in time. The work has therefore been structured as follows: the reconstruction of the conceptual model with the geological, hydrogeological and geological-structural study; the calculation of the tunnel inflows (through the use of structural methods) and the comparison with the measured flow rates; the water balance at the basin scale. In this way it was possible to understand what are the relationships between rainfall, groundwater level variations and the effect of the presence of tunnels as a means of draining water. Subsequently, it the effects produced by the excavation of the mining tunnels was quantified, through numerical modeling. In particular, the modeling made it possible to observe the drawdown variation as a function of number, excavation depth and different mines linings.

Keywords: Groundwater, Italy, numerical model, tunneling.

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6 Managerial Leadership Styles of Deans in Indonesian Universities

Authors: Jenny Ngo, Harry De Boer, Jürgen Enders

Abstract:

Indonesian higher education has experienced significant changes over the last decade. In 1999, the government published an overall strategy for decentralisation and enhancement of local autonomy in many sectors, including (higher) education. Indonesian higher education reforms have forced universities to restructure their internal university governance to become more entrepreneurial. These new types of internal university governance are likely to affect the institutions’ leadership and management. This paper discusses the approach and findings of a study on the managerial leadership styles of deans in Indonesian universities. The study aims to get a better understanding of styles exhibited by deans manifested in their behaviours. Using the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour, in combination with the competing values framework, a large-scale survey was conducted to gather information on the deans’ behaviours, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control. Based on the responses of a sample of 218 deans, the study identifies a number of leadership styles: the Master, the Competitive Consultant, the Consensual Goal-Setter, the Focused Team Captain, and the Informed Trust-Builder style. The study demonstrates that attitudes are the primary determinant of the styles that were found. Perceived behavioural control is a factor that explains some managerial leadership styles. By understanding the attitudes of deans in Indonesian universities, and their leadership styles, universities can strengthen their management and governance, and thus improve their effectiveness.

Keywords: Deans, Indonesian higher education, leadership and management, style.

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5 On the Mathematical Structure and Algorithmic Implementation of Biochemical Network Models

Authors: Paola Lecca

Abstract:

Modeling and simulation of biochemical reactions is of great interest in the context of system biology. The central dogma of this re-emerging area states that it is system dynamics and organizing principles of complex biological phenomena that give rise to functioning and function of cells. Cell functions, such as growth, division, differentiation and apoptosis are temporal processes, that can be understood if they are treated as dynamic systems. System biology focuses on an understanding of functional activity from a system-wide perspective and, consequently, it is defined by two hey questions: (i) how do the components within a cell interact, so as to bring about its structure and functioning? (ii) How do cells interact, so as to develop and maintain higher levels of organization and functions? In recent years, wet-lab biologists embraced mathematical modeling and simulation as two essential means toward answering the above questions. The credo of dynamics system theory is that the behavior of a biological system is given by the temporal evolution of its state. Our understanding of the time behavior of a biological system can be measured by the extent to which a simulation mimics the real behavior of that system. Deviations of a simulation indicate either limitations or errors in our knowledge. The aim of this paper is to summarize and review the main conceptual frameworks in which models of biochemical networks can be developed. In particular, we review the stochastic molecular modelling approaches, by reporting the principal conceptualizations suggested by A. A. Markov, P. Langevin, A. Fokker, M. Planck, D. T. Gillespie, N. G. van Kampfen, and recently by D. Wilkinson, O. Wolkenhauer, P. S. Jöberg and by the author.

Keywords: Mathematical structure, algorithmic implementation, biochemical network models.

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4 Enzyme Involvement in the Biosynthesis of Selenium Nanoparticles by Geobacillus wiegelii Strain GWE1 Isolated from a Drying Oven

Authors: Daniela N. Correa-Llantén, Sebastián A. Muñoz-Ibacache, Mathilde Maire, Jenny M. Blamey

Abstract:

The biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms, on the contrary to chemical synthesis, is an environmentally-friendly process which has low energy requirements. In this investigation, we used the microorganism Geobacillus wiegelii, strain GWE1, an aerobic thermophile belonging to genus Geobacillus, isolated from a drying oven. This microorganism has the ability to reduce selenite evidenced by the change of color from colorless to red in the culture. Elemental analysis and composition of the particles were verified using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The nanoparticles have a defined spherical shape and a selenium elemental state. Previous experiments showed that the presence of the whole microorganism for the reduction of selenite was not necessary. The results strongly suggested that an intracellular NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase mediates selenium nanoparticles synthesis under aerobic conditions. The enzyme was purified and identified by mass spectroscopy MALDI-TOF TOF technique. The enzyme is a 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase. Histograms of nanoparticles sizes were obtained. Size distribution ranged from 40-160 nm, where 70% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the nanoparticles are composed of elemental selenium. To analyse the effect of pH in size and morphology of nanoparticles, the synthesis of them was carried out at different pHs (4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0). For thermostability studies samples were incubated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 ºC) for 1 h and 3 h. The size of all nanoparticles was less than 100 nm at pH 4.0; over 50% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm at pH 5.0; at pH 6.0 and 8.0 over 90% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. At neutral pH (7.0) nanoparticles reach a size around 120 nm and only 20% of them were less than 100 nm. When looking at temperature effect, nanoparticles did not show a significant difference in size when they were incubated between 0 and 3 h at 60 ºC. Meanwhile at 80 °C the nanoparticles suspension lost its homogeneity. A change in size was observed from 0 h of incubation at 80ºC, observing a size range between 40-160 nm, with 20% of them over 100 nm. Meanwhile after 3 h of incubation at size range changed to 60-180 nm with 50% of them over 100 nm. At 100 °C the nanoparticles aggregate forming nanorod structures. In conclusion, these results indicate that is possible to modulate size and shape of biologically synthesized nanoparticles by modulating pH and temperature.

Keywords: Genus Geobacillus, NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase, Selenium nanoparticles.

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3 Enhancing Learning for Research Higher Degree Students

Authors: Jenny Hall, Alison Jaquet

Abstract:

Universities’ push toward the production of high quality research is not limited to academic staff and experienced researchers. In this environment of research rich agendas, Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are increasingly expected to engage in the publishing of good quality papers in high impact journals. IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) is a credit bearing mandatory coursework requirement for Queensland University of Technology (QUT) doctorates. Since its inception in 1989, this unique blended learning program has provided the foundations for new researchers to produce original and innovative research. AIRS was redeveloped in 2012, and has now been evaluated with reference to the university’s strategic research priorities. Our research is the first comprehensive evaluation of the program from the learner perspective. We measured whether the program develops essential transferrable skills and graduate capabilities to ensure best practice in the areas of publishing and data management. In particular, we explored whether AIRS prepares students to be agile researchers with the skills to adapt to different research contexts both within and outside academia. The target group for our study consisted of HDR students and supervisors at QUT. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection. Gathering data was by survey and focus groups with qualitative responses analyzed using NVivo. The results of the survey show that 82% of students surveyed believe that AIRS assisted their research process and helped them learn skills they need as a researcher. The 18% of respondents who expressed reservation about the benefits of AIRS were also examined to determine the key areas of concern. These included trends related to the timing of the program early in the candidature and a belief among some students that their previous research experience was sufficient for postgraduate study. New insights have been gained into how to better support HDR learners in partnership with supervisors and how to enhance learning experiences of specific cohorts, including international students and mature learners.

Keywords: Data management, enhancing learning experience, publishing, research higher degree students.

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2 Stochastic Simulation of Reaction-Diffusion Systems

Authors: Paola Lecca, Lorenzo Dematte

Abstract:

Reactiondiffusion systems are mathematical models that describe how the concentration of one or more substances distributed in space changes under the influence of local chemical reactions in which the substances are converted into each other, and diffusion which causes the substances to spread out in space. The classical representation of a reaction-diffusion system is given by semi-linear parabolic partial differential equations, whose general form is ÔêétX(x, t) = DΔX(x, t), where X(x, t) is the state vector, D is the matrix of the diffusion coefficients and Δ is the Laplace operator. If the solute move in an homogeneous system in thermal equilibrium, the diffusion coefficients are constants that do not depend on the local concentration of solvent and of solutes and on local temperature of the medium. In this paper a new stochastic reaction-diffusion model in which the diffusion coefficients are function of the local concentration, viscosity and frictional forces of solvent and solute is presented. Such a model provides a more realistic description of the molecular kinetics in non-homogenoeus and highly structured media as the intra- and inter-cellular spaces. The movement of a molecule A from a region i to a region j of the space is described as a first order reaction Ai k- → Aj , where the rate constant k depends on the diffusion coefficient. Representing the diffusional motion as a chemical reaction allows to assimilate a reaction-diffusion system to a pure reaction system and to simulate it with Gillespie-inspired stochastic simulation algorithms. The stochastic time evolution of the system is given by the occurrence of diffusion events and chemical reaction events. At each time step an event (reaction or diffusion) is selected from a probability distribution of waiting times determined by the specific speed of reaction and diffusion events. Redi is the software tool, developed to implement the model of reaction-diffusion kinetics and dynamics. It is a free software, that can be downloaded from http://www.cosbi.eu. To demonstrate the validity of the new reaction-diffusion model, the simulation results of the chaperone-assisted protein folding in cytoplasm obtained with Redi are reported. This case study is redrawing the attention of the scientific community due to current interests on protein aggregation as a potential cause for neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Reaction-diffusion systems, Fick's law, stochastic simulation algorithm.

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1 Designing a Pre-Assessment Tool to Support the Achievement of Green Building Certifications

Authors: Jisun Mo, Paola Boarin

Abstract:

The impact of common buildings on climate and environment has prompted people to get involved in the green building standards aimed at implementing rating tools or certifications. Thus, green building rating systems were introduced to the construction industry, and the demand for certified green buildings has increased gradually and succeeded considerably in enhancing people’s environmental awareness. However, the existing certification process has been unsatisfactory in attracting stakeholders and/or professionals who are actively engaged in adopting a rating system. It is because they have faced recurring barriers regarding limited information in understanding the rating process, time-consuming procedures and higher costs, which have a direct influence on pursuing green building rating systems. To promote the achievement of green building certifications within the building industry more successfully, this paper aims at designing a Pre-Assessment Tool (PAT) framework that can help stakeholders and/or professionals engaged in the construction industry to clarify their basic knowledge, timeframe and extra costs needed to activate a green building certification. First, taking the first steps towards the rating tool seems to be complicated because of upfront commitment to understanding the overall rating procedure is required. This conceptual PAT framework can increase basic knowledge of the rating tool and the certification process, mainly in terms of all resources or information of each credit requirements. Second, the assessment process of rating tools is generally known as a “lengthy and time-consuming system”, contributing to unenthusiastic reactions concerning green building projects. The proposed framework can predict the timeframe needed to identify how long it will take for a green project to process each credit requirement and the documentation required from the beginning of the certification process to final approval. Finally, most people often have the initial perception that pursuing green building certification costs more than constructing a non-green building, which makes it more difficult to execute rating tools. To overcome this issue, this PAT will help users to estimate the extra expenses such as certification fees and third-party contributions based on the track of the amount of time it takes to implement the rating tool throughout all the related stages. Also, it can prevent unexpected or hidden costs occurring in the process of assessment. Therefore, this proposed PAT framework can be recommended as an effective method to support the decision-making of inexperienced users and play an important role in promoting green building certification.

Keywords: Barriers, certification process, green building rating systems, pre-assessment tool.

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