Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 33

Search results for: Laura Scesi

33 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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32 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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31 Freshwater Lens Observation: Case Study of Laura Island, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Authors: Kazuhisa Koda, Tsutomu Kobayashi, Rebecca Lorennji, Alington Robert, Halston DeBrum, Julious Lucky, Paul Paul

Abstract:

Atolls are low-lying small islands with highly permeable ground that does not allow rivers and lakes to develop. As the water resources on these atolls basically rely on precipitation, groundwater becomes a very important water resource during droughts. Freshwater lenses develop as groundwater on relatively large atoll islands and play a key role in the stable water supply. Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean sometimes suffer from drought due to El Nino. The global warming effects are noticeable, particularly on atoll islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands in Oceania is burdened with the problems common to atoll islands. About half of its population lives in the capital, Majuro, and securing water resources for these people is a crucial issue. There is a freshwater lens on the largest, Laura Island, which serves as a water source for the downtown area. A serious drought that occurred in 1998 resulted in excessive water intake from the freshwater lens on Laura Island causing up-coning. Up-coning mixes saltwater into groundwater pumped from water-intake wells. Because up-coning makes the freshwater lens unusable, there was a need to investigate the freshwater lens on Laura Island. In this study, we observed the electrical conductivities of the groundwater at different depths in existing monitoring wells to determine the total storage volume of the freshwater lens on Laura Island from 2010 to 2013. Our results indicated that most of the groundwater that seeped into the freshwater lens had flowed out into the sea.

Keywords: Atoll islands, drought, El-Nino, freshwater lens, groundwater observation.

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30 Sustainable Use of Laura Lens during Drought

Authors: Kazuhisa Koda, Tsutomu Kobayashi

Abstract:

Laura Island, which is located about 50 km away from downtown, is a source of water supply in Majuro atoll, which is the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Low and flat Majuro atoll has neither river nor lake. It is very important for Majuro atoll to ensure the conservation of its water resources. However, upconing, which is the process of partial rising of the freshwater-saltwater boundary near the water-supply well, was caused by the excess pumping from it during the severe drought in 1998. Upconing will make the water usage of the freshwater lens difficult. Thus, appropriate water usage is required to prevent up coning in the freshwater lens because there is no other water source during drought. Numerical simulation of water usage applying SEAWAT model was conducted at the central part of Laura Island, including the water supply well, which was affected by upconing. The freshwater lens was created as a result of infiltration of consistent average rainfall. The lens shape was almost the same as the one in 1985. 0 of monthly rainfall and variable daily pump discharge were used to calculate the sustainable pump discharge from the water supply well. Consequently, the total amount of pump discharge was increased as the daily pump discharge was increased, indicating that it needs more time to recover from upconing. Thus, a pump standard to reduce the pump intensity is being proposed, which is based on numerical simulation concerning the occurrence of the up-coning phenomenon in Laura Island during the drought.

Keywords: Freshwater lens, islands, numerical simulation, sustainable water use.

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29 Survey of Potato Viral Infection Using Das-Elisa Method in Georgia

Authors: Maia Kukhaleishvili, Ekaterine Bulauri, Iveta Megrelishvili, Tamar Shamatava, Tamar Chipashvili

Abstract:

Plant viruses can cause loss of yield and quality in a lot of important crops. Symptoms of pathogens are variable depending on the cultivars and virus strain. Selection of resistant potato varieties would reduce the risk of virus transmission and significant economic impact. Other way to avoid reduced harvest yields is regular potato seed production sampling and testing for viral infection. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and distribution of viral diseases according potato cultivars for further selection of virus-free material in Georgia. During the summer 2015- 2016, 5 potato cultivars (Sante, Laura, Jelly, Red Sonia, Anushka) at 5 different farms located in Akhalkalaki were tested for 6 different potato viruses: Potato virus A (PVA), Potato virus M (PVM), Potato virus S (PVS), Potato virus X (PVX), Potato virus Y (PVY) and potato leaf roll virus (PLRV). A serological method, Double Antibody Sandwich-Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (DASELISA) was used at the laboratory to analyze the results. The result showed that PVY (21.4%) and PLRV (19.7%) virus presence in collected samples was relatively high compared to others. Researched potato cultivars except Jelly and Laura were infected by PVY with different concentrations. PLRV was found only in three potato cultivars (Sante, Jelly, Red Sonia) and PVM virus (3.12%) was characterized with low prevalence. PVX, PVA and PVS virus infection was not reported. It would be noted that 7.9% of samples were containing PVY/PLRV mix infection. Based on the results it can be concluded that PVY and PLRV infections are dominant in all research cultivars. Therefore significant yield losses are expected. Systematic, long-term control of potato viral infection, especially seed-potatoes, must be regarded as the most important factor to increase seed productivity.

Keywords: Diseases, infection, potato, virus.

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28 Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction

Authors: Laura Álvarez Antón, Joaquín Díaz

Abstract:

The construction industry is turning towards sustainability. It is a well-known fact that sustainability is based on a balance between environmental, social and economic aspects. In order to achieve sustainability efficiently, these three criteria should be taken into account in the initial project phases, since that is when a project can be influenced most effectively. Thus the aim must be to integrate important tools like BIM and LCA at an early stage in order to make full use of their potential. With the synergies resulting from the integration of BIM and LCA, a wider approach to sustainability becomes possible, covering the three pillars of sustainability.

Keywords: Building Information Modeling (BIM), Construction Industry, Design Phase, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Sustainability.

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27 The Genesis of the Anomalous Sernio Fan, Valtellina, Northern Italy

Authors: E. De Finis, P. Gattinoni, L. Scesi

Abstract:

Massive rock avalanches formed some of the largest landslide deposits on Earth and they represent one of the major geohazards in high-relief mountains. This paper interprets a very large sedimentary fan (the Sernio fan, Valtellina, Northern Italy), located 20 Km SW from Val Pola Rock avalanche (1987), as the deposit of a partial collapse of a Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation (DSGSD), afterwards eroded and buried by debris flows. The proposed emplacement sequence has been reconstructed based on geomorphological, structural and mechanical evidences. The Sernio fan is actually considered anomalous with reference to the very high ratio between the fan area (≈ 4.5km2) and the basin area (≈ 3km2). The morphology of the fan area is characterised by steep slopes (dip ≈ 20%) and the fan apex is extended for 1.8 km inside the small catchment basin. This sedimentary fan was originated by a landslide that interested a part of a large deep-seated gravitational slope deformation, involving a wide area of about 55 km². The main controlling factor is tectonic and it is related to the proximity to regional fault systems and the consequent occurrence of fault weak rocks (GSI locally lower than 10 with compressive stress lower than 20MPa). Moreover, the fan deposit shows sedimentary evidences of recent debris flow events. The best current explanation of the Sernio fan involves an initial failure of some hundreds of Mm3. The run-out was quite limited because of the morphology of Valtellina’s valley floor, and the deposit filled the main valley forming a landslide dam, as confirmed by the lacustrine deposits detected upstream the fan. Nowadays the debris flow events represent the main hazard in the study area.

Keywords: Anomalous sedimentary fans, debris flow, deep seated gravitational slope deformation, Italy, rock avalanche.

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26 Risk Monitoring through Traceability Information Model

Authors: Juan P. Zamora, Wilson Adarme, Laura Palacios

Abstract:

This paper shows a traceability framework for supply risk monitoring, beginning with the identification, analysis, and evaluation of the supply chain risk and focusing on the supply operations of the Health Care Institutions with oncology services in Bogota, Colombia. It includes a brief presentation of the state of the art of the Supply Chain Risk Management and traceability systems in logistics operations, and it concludes with the methodology to integrate the SCRM model with the traceability system.

Keywords: Supply risk, risk monitoring, supply chain risk management, cancer drugs, traceability systems.

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25 Nutritional Value of Rabbit Meat after Contamination with 1,1-Dimethylhydrazine

Authors: Balgabay Sadepovich Maikanov, Laura Tyulegenovna Auteleyeva, Seidenova Simbat Polatbekovna

Abstract:

In this article reduced nutritional value of the rabbits’ meat at 1, 1 dimethylhydrazine experimental toxicosis is shown. The assay was performed on liquid chromatograph SHIMADZU LC-20 Prominence (Japan) with fluorometric and spectrophotometric detector. This research has revealed that samples of rabbit meat of the experimental group had significant differences from the control group:in amino acids concentration from 1.2% to 9.1%; vitamin concentration from 11.2% to 60.5%, macro – minerals concentration from 17.4% to 78.1% and saturated fatty acids concentration from 17,1% to 34.5%, respectively. The decrease in the chemical composition of rabbits’ meat at 1,1 dimethylhydrazine toxicosis may be due to changes in the internal processes associated with impaired metabolic homeostasis of animals.

Keywords: 1, 1-dimethylhydrazine, metabolic homeostasis, nutritional value, rabbit meat.

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24 Perspectives on Neuropsychological Testimony

Authors: Valene J. Gresham, MA, Laura A. Brodie

Abstract:

For the last decade, statistics show traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a growing concern in our legal system. In an effort to obtain data regarding the influence of neuropsychological expert witness testimony in a criminal case, this study tested three hypotheses. H1: The majority of jurors will vote not guilty, due to mild head injury. H2: The jurors will give more credence to the testimony of the neuropsychologist rather than the psychiatrist. H3: The jurors will be more lenient in their sentencing, given the testimony of the neuropsychologist-s testimony. The criterion for inclusion in the study as a participant is identical to those used for inclusion in the eligibility for jury duty in the United States. A chisquared test was performed to analyze the data for the three hypotheses. The results supported all of the hypotheses; however statistical significance was seen in H1 and H2 only.

Keywords: Expert witness, jury decision, neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury.

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23 Dynamic Interaction Network to Model the Interactive Patterns of International Stock Markets

Authors: Laura Lukmanto, Harya Widiputra, Lukas

Abstract:

Studies in economics domain tried to reveal the correlation between stock markets. Since the globalization era, interdependence between stock markets becomes more obvious. The Dynamic Interaction Network (DIN) algorithm, which was inspired by a Gene Regulatory Network (GRN) extraction method in the bioinformatics field, is applied to reveal important and complex dynamic relationship between stock markets. We use the data of the stock market indices from eight countries around the world in this study. Our results conclude that DIN is able to reveal and model patterns of dynamic interaction from the observed variables (i.e. stock market indices). Furthermore, it is also found that the extracted network models can be utilized to predict movement of the stock market indices with a considerably good accuracy.

Keywords: complex dynamic relationship, dynamic interaction network, interactive stock markets, stock market interdependence.

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22 Managing a Manufacturing System with Integration of Walking Worker and Lean Thinking

Authors: Said Rabah Azzam, Laura Carolina Arias, Shikun Zhou

Abstract:

A product goes through various processes in a production flow which is also known as assembly line in manufacturing process management. Toyota created a new concept which is known as lean concept in manufacturing industry. Today it is the leading model in manufacturing plants through the globe. The linear walking worker assembly line is a flexible assembly system where each worker travels down the line carrying out each assembly task at each station; and each worker accomplishes the assembly of a unit from start to finish. This paper attempts to combine the flexibility of the walking worker and lean in order to quantify the benefits from applying the shop floor principles of lean management.

Keywords: Toyota Production System, TPS, LeanManufacturing, Walking Worker, Lean Management, Management, Linear Assembly Lines, U-shaped Assembly Lines, Shop FloorManagement

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21 Hexavalent Chromium Pollution Abatement by use of Scrap Iron

Authors: Marius Gheju, Laura Cocheci

Abstract:

In this study, the reduction of Cr(VI) by use of scrap iron, a cheap and locally available industrial waste, was investigated in continuous system. The greater scrap iron efficiency observed for the first two sections of the column filling indicate that most of the reduction process was carried out in the bottom half of the column filling. This was ascribed to a constant decrease of Cr(VI) concentration inside the filling, as the water front passes from the bottom to the top end of the column. While the bottom section of the column filling was heavily passivated with secondary mineral phases, the top section was less affected by the passivation process; therefore the column filling would likely ensure the reduction of Cr(VI) for time periods longer than 216 hours. The experimental results indicate that fixed beds columns packed with scrap iron could be successfully used for the first step of Cr(VI) polluted wastewater treatment. However, the mass of scrap iron filling should be carefully estimated since it significantly affects the Cr(VI) reduction efficiency.

Keywords: hexavalent chromium, heavy metals, scrap iron, reduction capacity, wastewater treatment

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20 Toward an Open Network Business Approach

Authors: Valentina Ndou, Laura Schina, Giuseppina Passiante, Pasquale Del Vecchio, Marco De Maggio

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to propose a dynamic integrated approach, based on modularity concept and on the business ecosystem approach, that exploit different eBusiness services for SMEs under an open business network platform. The adoption of this approach enables firms to collaborate locally for delivering the best product/service to the customers as well as globally by accessing international markets, interrelate directly with the customers, create relationships and collaborate with worldwide actors. The paper will be structured as following: We will start by offering an overview of the state of the art of eBusiness platforms among SME of food and tourism firms and then we discuss the main drawbacks that characterize them. The digital business ecosystem approach and the modularity concept will be described as the theoretical ground in which our proposed integrated model is rooted. Finally, the proposed model along with a discussion of the main value creation potentialities it might create for SMEs will be presented.

Keywords: component, Complexity; Digital Business Ecosystem, e Business Platforms, Modularity, Networks.

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19 Magnetic Properties and Cytotoxicity of Ga-Mn Magnetic Ferrites Synthesized by the Citrate Sol-Gel Method

Authors: Javier Sánchez, Laura Elena De León Prado, Dora Alicia Cortés Hernández

Abstract:

Magnetic spinel ferrites are materials that possess size, magnetic properties and heating ability adequate for their potential use in biomedical applications. The Mn0.5Ga0.5Fe2O4 magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized by sol-gel method using citric acid as chelating agent of metallic precursors. The synthesized samples were identified by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) as an inverse spinel structure with no secondary phases. Saturation magnetization (Ms) of crystalline powders was 45.9 emu/g, which was higher than those corresponding to GaFe2O4 (14.2 emu/g) and MnFe2O4 (40.2 emu/g) synthesized under similar conditions, while the coercivity field (Hc) was 27.9 Oe. The average particle size was 18 ± 7 nm. The heating ability of the MNPs was enough to increase the surrounding temperature up to 43.5 °C in 7 min when a quantity of 4.5 mg of MNPs per mL of liquid medium was tested. Cytotoxic effect (hemolysis assay) of MNPs was determined and the results showed hemolytic values below 1% in all tested cases. According to the results obtained, these synthesized nanoparticles can be potentially used as thermoseeds for hyperthermia therapy.

Keywords: Cytotoxicity, heating ability, manganese-gallium ferrite, magnetic hyperthermia.

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18 The Measurement of Latvian and Russian Ethnic Attitudes, Using Evaluative Priming Task and Self-Report Methods

Authors: Maria Bambulyaka, Irina Plotka, Nina Blumenau, Dmitry Igonin, Elena Ozola, Laura Shimane

Abstract:

The purposes of researches - to estimate implicit ethnic attitudes by direct and indirect methods, to determine the accordance of two types measuring, to investigate influence of task type used in an experiment, on the results of measuring, as well as to determine a presence or communication between recent episodic events and chronologic correlations of ethnic attitudes. Method of the implicit measuring - an evaluative priming (EPT) carried out with the use of different SOA intervals, explicit methods of research are G.Soldatova-s types of ethnic identity, G.Soldatova-s index of tolerance, E.Bogardus scale of social distance. During five stages of researches received results open some aspects of implicit measuring, its correlation with the results of self-reports on different SOA intervals, connection of implicit measuring with emotional valence of episodic events of participants and other indexes, presenting a contribution to the decision of implicit measuring application problem for study of different social constructs

Keywords: Ethnic attitudes, explicit method, implicit method, priming.

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17 Migration and Accumulation of Artificial Radionuclides in the System Water-Soil-Plants Depending on Polymers Applying

Authors: Anna H. Tadevosyan, Stepan K. Mayrapetyan, Michael P. Schellenberg, Laura M. Ghalachyan, Albert H. Hovsepyan, Khachatur S. Mayrapetyan

Abstract:

The possibility of radionuclides-related contamination of lands at agricultural holdings defines the necessity to apply special protective measures in plant growing. The aim of researches is to elucidate the influence of polymers applying on biological migration of man-made anthropogenic radionuclides 90Sr and 137Cs in the system water - soil – plant. The tests are being carried out under field conditions with and without application of polymers in root-inhabited media in more radioecological tension zone (with the radius of 7 km from the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant). The polymers on the base of K+, Caµ, KµCaµ ions were tested. Productivity of pepper depending on the presence and type of polymer material, content of artificial radionuclides in waters, soil and plant material has been determined. The character of different polymers influence on the artificial radionuclides migration and accumulation in the system water-soil-plant and accumulation in the plants has been cleared up.

Keywords: accumulation of artificial radionuclides, pepper, polymer, water-soil-plant system

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16 The Links between Cardiovascular Risk and Psychological Wellbeing in Elderly

Authors: Laura Sapranaviciute-Zabazlajeva, Abdonas Tamosiunas, Dalia Luksiene, Dalia Virviciute

Abstract:

The cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the EU, especially in the middle aged and elderly population. Psychological wellbeing (PWB) has been linked with better cardiovascular health and survival in the elderly. The aim of the study is to evaluate associations between CVD risk and PWB in middle-aged and elderly population. 10,940 middle aged and older Lithuanians of age 45-74 years, were invited to participate in the study. A study sample was a random and stratified by gender and age. In 2006-2008 7,087 responders participated in the survey, so the response rate was 64.8%. A follow-up study was conducted from 2006 till 2015. New CVD cases and deaths from CVD were evaluated using the Kaunas population-based CVD register and death register of Kaunas. Study results revealed that good PWB predicts longer life in female participants (Log Rank = 13.7, p < 0.001). In the fully adjusted model for socio-demographic, social and CVD risk factors, hazard ratio for CVD mortality risk was lower amongst women with good PWB (HR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.11-0.72), but not significantly for men. Our study concludes, that lower CVD mortality rates is being associated with better PWB in female aged 45-74 years.

Keywords: Psychological wellbeing, cardiovascular disease, elderly.

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15 Microbiological Contamination of Outdoor Air in Marine Durres's Harbour, Albania

Authors: Laura Gjyli, Pirro Prifti, Lindita Mukli, Silvana Gjyli, Irida Ikonomi, Jerina Kolitari

Abstract:

Microbial air contamination of the outdoor air in Marine Durres-s Harbour (Durres, Albania) was estimated by sedimentation technique in August-October 2008. The sampling areas were: Ferry Terminal (FT), Fishery Harbor (FH), East Zone (EZ), Fuel Quay (FQ) and Apollonian Beach (AB). The aim of this study was to measure the number of aerobic plate count (mesophilic aerobic bacteria) and fungi (yeasts and molds) in the outdoor air in these areas. The number of colonies that were formed determines the number of cells at the moment in the outdoor air; respectively the number of mesophilic aerobic bacteria and yeasts and molds. The measure of bacteria and fungi used is CFU (Colony Forming Units) per Petri dish. It is said that marine harbours are very polluted areas. The aim of study was the definition of mesophilic aerobic bacteria and yeasts and molds number, and the comparison of microorganisms number in air sampling areas.

Keywords: Air microbiology, colony forming units, Marine Durres's Harbour, mesophilic aerobic bacteria, outdoor air, yeasts and molds.

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14 Affective (and Effective) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Getting Social Again

Authors: Laura Zizka, Gaby Probst

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have given their courses. From emergency remote where all students and faculty were immediately confined to home teaching and learning, the continuing evolving sanitary situation obliged HEIs to adopt other methods of teaching and learning from blended courses that included both synchronous and asynchronous courses and activities to HyFlex models where some students were on campus while others followed the course simultaneously online. Each semester brought new challenges for HEIs and, subsequently, additional emotional reactions. This paper investigates the affective side of teaching and learning in various online modalities and its toll on students and faculty members over the past three semesters. The findings confirm that students and faculty who have more self-efficacy, flexibility, and resilience reported positive emotions and embraced the opportunities that these past semesters have offered. While HEIs have begun a new semester in an attempt to return to ‘normal’ face-to-face courses, this paper posits that there are lessons to be learned from these past three semesters. The opportunities that arose from the challenge of the pandemic should be considered when moving forward by focusing on a greater emphasis on the affective aspect of teaching and learning in HEIs worldwide. 

Keywords: affective teaching and learning, engagement, interaction, motivation, social presence

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13 Integrating Microcontroller-Based Projects in a Human-Computer Interaction Course

Authors: Miguel Angel Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Cesar Santana-Mancilla, Laura Sanely Gaytan-Lugo

Abstract:

This paper describes the design and application of a short in-class project conducted in Algoma University’s Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) course taught at the Bachelor of Computer Science. The project was based on the Maker Movement (people using and reusing electronic components and everyday materials to tinker with technology and make interactive applications), where students applied low-cost and easy-to-use electronic components, the Arduino Uno microcontroller board, software tools, and everyday objects. Students collaborated in small teams by completing hands-on activities with them, making an interactive walking cane for blind people. At the end of the course, students filled out a Technology Acceptance Model version 2 (TAM2) questionnaire where they evaluated microcontroller boards’ applications in HCI classes. We also asked them about applying the Maker Movement in HCI classes. Results showed overall students’ positive opinions and response about using microcontroller boards in HCI classes. We strongly suggest that every HCI course should include practical activities related to tinkering with technology such as applying microcontroller boards, where students actively and constructively participate in teams for achieving learning objectives.

Keywords: Maker movement, microcontrollers, learning, projects, course, technology acceptance.

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12 Weighted-Distance Sliding Windows and Cooccurrence Graphs for Supporting Entity-Relationship Discovery in Unstructured Text

Authors: Paolo Fantozzi, Luigi Laura, Umberto Nanni

Abstract:

The problem of Entity relation discovery in structured data, a well covered topic in literature, consists in searching within unstructured sources (typically, text) in order to find connections among entities. These can be a whole dictionary, or a specific collection of named items. In many cases machine learning and/or text mining techniques are used for this goal. These approaches might be unfeasible in computationally challenging problems, such as processing massive data streams. A faster approach consists in collecting the cooccurrences of any two words (entities) in order to create a graph of relations - a cooccurrence graph. Indeed each cooccurrence highlights some grade of semantic correlation between the words because it is more common to have related words close each other than having them in the opposite sides of the text. Some authors have used sliding windows for such problem: they count all the occurrences within a sliding windows running over the whole text. In this paper we generalise such technique, coming up to a Weighted-Distance Sliding Window, where each occurrence of two named items within the window is accounted with a weight depending on the distance between items: a closer distance implies a stronger evidence of a relationship. We develop an experiment in order to support this intuition, by applying this technique to a data set consisting in the text of the Bible, split into verses.

Keywords: Cooccurrence graph, entity relation graph, unstructured text, weighted distance.

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11 Hybrid Collaborative-Context Based Recommendations for Civil Affairs Operations

Authors: Patrick Cummings, Laura Cassani, Deirdre Kelliher

Abstract:

In this paper we present findings from a research effort to apply a hybrid collaborative-context approach for a system focused on Marine Corps civil affairs data collection, aggregation, and analysis called the Marine Civil Information Management System (MARCIMS). The goal of this effort is to provide operators with information to make sense of the interconnectedness of entities and relationships in their area of operation and discover existing data to support civil military operations. Our approach to build a recommendation engine was designed to overcome several technical challenges, including 1) ensuring models were robust to the relatively small amount of data collected by the Marine Corps civil affairs community; 2) finding methods to recommend novel data for which there are no interactions captured; and 3) overcoming confirmation bias by ensuring content was recommended that was relevant for the mission despite being obscure or less well known. We solve this by implementing a combination of collective matrix factorization (CMF) and graph-based random walks to provide recommendations to civil military operations users. We also present a method to resolve the challenge of computation complexity inherent from highly connected nodes through a precomputed process.

Keywords: Recommendation engine, collaborative filtering, context based recommendation, graph analysis, coverage, civil affairs operations, Marine Corps.

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10 PM10 Chemical Characteristics in a Background Site at the Universidad Libre Bogotá

Authors: Laura X. Martinez, Andrés F. Rodríguez, Ruth A. Catacoli

Abstract:

One of the most important factors for air pollution is that the concentrations of PM10 maintain a constant trend, with the exception of some places where that frequently surpasses the allowed ranges established by Colombian legislation. The community that surrounds the Universidad Libre Bogotá is inhabited by a considerable number of students and workers, all of whom are possibly being exposed to PM10 for long periods of time while on campus. Thus, the chemical characterization of PM10 found in the ambient air at the Universidad Libre Bogotá was identified as a problem. A Hi-Vol sampler and EPA Test Method 5 were used to determine if the quality of air is adequate for the human respiratory system. Additionally, quartz fiber filters were utilized during sampling. Samples were taken three days a week during a dry period throughout the months of November and December 2015. The gravimetric analysis method was used to determine PM10 concentrations. The chemical characterization includes non-conventional carcinogenic pollutants. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) was used for the determination of metals and VOCs were analyzed using the FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) method. In this way, concentrations of PM10, ranging from values of 13 µg/m3 to 66 µg/m3, were obtained; these values were below standard conditions. This evidence concludes that the PM10 concentrations during an exposure period of 24 hours are lower than the values established by Colombian law, Resolution 610 of 2010; however, when comparing these with the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), these concentrations could possibly exceed permissible levels.

Keywords: Air quality, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, particulate matter.

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9 Extracting Terrain Points from Airborne Laser Scanning Data in Densely Forested Areas

Authors: Ziad Abdeldayem, Jakub Markiewicz, Kunal Kansara, Laura Edwards

Abstract:

Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) is one of the main technologies for generating high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs). DTMs are crucial to several applications, such as topographic mapping, flood zone delineation, geographic information systems (GIS), hydrological modelling, spatial analysis, etc. Laser scanning system generates irregularly spaced three-dimensional cloud of points. Raw ALS data are mainly ground points (that represent the bare earth) and non-ground points (that represent buildings, trees, cars, etc.). Removing all the non-ground points from the raw data is referred to as filtering. Filtering heavily forested areas is considered a difficult and challenging task as the canopy stops laser pulses from reaching the terrain surface. This research presents an approach for removing non-ground points from raw ALS data in densely forested areas. Smoothing splines are exploited to interpolate and fit the noisy ALS data. The presented filter utilizes a weight function to allocate weights for each point of the data. Furthermore, unlike most of the methods, the presented filtering algorithm is designed to be automatic. Three different forested areas in the United Kingdom are used to assess the performance of the algorithm. The results show that the generated DTMs from the filtered data are accurate (when compared against reference terrain data) and the performance of the method is stable for all the heavily forested data samples. The average root mean square error (RMSE) value is 0.35 m.

Keywords: Airborne laser scanning, digital terrain models, filtering, forested areas.

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8 Use of Corn Stover for the Production of 2G Bioethanol, Enzymes and Xylitol under a Biorefinery Concept

Authors: Astorga-Trejo Rebeca, Fonseca-Peralta Héctor Manuel, Beltrán-Arredondo Laura Ivonne, Castro-Martínez Claudia

Abstract:

The use of biomass as feedstock for the production of fuels and other chemicals of interest is an ever growing accepted option in the way to the development of biorefinery complexes. In the Mexican state of Sinaloa, a significant amount of residues from corn crops are produced every year, most of which can be converted to bioethanol and other products through biotechnological conversion using yeast and other microorganisms. Therefore, the objective of this work was to take advantage of corn stover and evaluate its potential as a substrate for the production of second generation bioethanol (2G), enzymes and xylitol. To produce bioethanol 2G, an acid-alkaline pretreatment was carried out prior to saccharification and fermentation. The microorganisms used for the production of enzymes, as well as for the production of xylitol, were isolated and characterized in our work group. Statistical analysis was performed using Design Expert version 11.0. The results showed that it is possible to obtain 2G bioethanol employing corn stover as a carbon source and Saccharomyces cerevisiae ItVer01 and Candida intermedia CBE002 with yields of 0.42 g and 0.31 g, respectively. It was also shown that C. intermedia has the ability to produce xylitol with a good yield (0.46 g/g). On the other hand, qualitative and quantitative studies showed that the native strains of Fusarium equiseti (0.4 IU/mL - xylanase), Bacillus velezensis (1.2 IU/mL – xylanase and 0.4 UI/mL - amylase) and Penicillium funiculosum (1.5 IU/mL - cellulases) have the capacity to produce xylanases, amylases or cellulases using corn stover as raw material. This study allowed us to demonstrate that it is possible to use corn stover as a carbon source, a low-cost raw material with high availability in our country, to obtain bioproducts of industrial interest, using processes that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is necessary to continue the optimization of each bioprocess.

Keywords: Biomass, corn stover, biorefinery, bioethanol 2G, enzymes, xylitol.

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7 Computational Feasibility Study of a Torsional Wave Transducer for Tissue Stiffness Monitoring

Authors: Rafael Muñoz, Juan Melchor, Alicia Valera, Laura Peralta, Guillermo Rus

Abstract:

A torsional piezoelectric ultrasonic transducer design is proposed to measure shear moduli in soft tissue with direct access availability, using shear wave elastography technique. The measurement of shear moduli of tissues is a challenging problem, mainly derived from a) the difficulty of isolating a pure shear wave, given the interference of multiple waves of different types (P, S, even guided) emitted by the transducers and reflected in geometric boundaries, and b) the highly attenuating nature of soft tissular materials. An immediate application, overcoming these drawbacks, is the measurement of changes in cervix stiffness to estimate the gestational age at delivery. The design has been optimized using a finite element model (FEM) and a semi-analytical estimator of the probability of detection (POD) to determine a suitable geometry, materials and generated waves. The technique is based on the time of flight measurement between emitter and receiver, to infer shear wave velocity. Current research is centered in prototype testing and validation. The geometric optimization of the transducer was able to annihilate the compressional wave emission, generating a quite pure shear torsional wave. Currently, mechanical and electromagnetic coupling between emitter and receiver signals are being the research focus. Conclusions: the design overcomes the main described problems. The almost pure shear torsional wave along with the short time of flight avoids the possibility of multiple wave interference. This short propagation distance reduce the effect of attenuation, and allow the emission of very low energies assuring a good biological security for human use.

Keywords: Cervix ripening, preterm birth, shear modulus, shear wave elastography, soft tissue, torsional wave.

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6 Evaluation of the Heating Capability and in vitro Hemolysis of Nanosized MgxMn1-xFe2O4 (x = 0.3 and 0.4) Ferrites Prepared by Sol-gel Method

Authors: Laura Elena De León Prado, Dora Alicia Cortés Hernández, Javier Sánchez

Abstract:

Among the different cancer treatments that are currently used, hyperthermia has a promising potential due to the multiple benefits that are obtained by this technique. In general terms, hyperthermia is a method that takes advantage of the sensitivity of cancer cells to heat, in order to damage or destroy them. Within the different ways of supplying heat to cancer cells and achieve their destruction or damage, the use of magnetic nanoparticles has attracted attention due to the capability of these particles to generate heat under the influence of an external magnetic field. In addition, these nanoparticles have a high surface area and sizes similar or even lower than biological entities, which allow their approaching and interaction with a specific region of interest. The most used magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia treatment are those based on iron oxides, mainly magnetite and maghemite, due to their biocompatibility, good magnetic properties and chemical stability. However, in order to fulfill more efficiently the requirements that demand the treatment of magnetic hyperthermia, there have been investigations using ferrites that incorporate different metallic ions, such as Mg, Mn, Co, Ca, Ni, Cu, Li, Gd, etc., in their structure. This paper reports the synthesis of nanosized MgxMn1-xFe2O4 (x = 0.3 and 0.4) ferrites by sol-gel method and their evaluation in terms of heating capability and in vitro hemolysis to determine the potential use of these nanoparticles as thermoseeds for the treatment of cancer by magnetic hyperthermia. It was possible to obtain ferrites with nanometric sizes, a single crystalline phase with an inverse spinel structure and a behavior near to that of superparamagnetic materials. Additionally, at concentrations of 10 mg of magnetic material per mL of water, it was possible to reach a temperature of approximately 45°C, which is within the range of temperatures used for the treatment of hyperthermia. The results of the in vitro hemolysis assay showed that, at the concentrations tested, these nanoparticles are non-hemolytic, as their percentage of hemolysis is close to zero. Therefore, these materials can be used as thermoseeds for the treatment of cancer by magnetic hyperthermia.

Keywords: Ferrites, heating capability, hemolysis, nanoparticles, sol-gel.

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5 New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success

Authors: Hang T. T. Truong, Ronald S. Laura, Kylie Shaw

Abstract:

Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the national and global business objectives of their potential employers. The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses the opinions of representative employers from major companies across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our research findings also reveal that the integration into business school curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of paramount importance to advance the national and global economic interests of Vietnam.

Keywords: Business curriculum, business graduates, employers’ perception, soft skills.

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4 Work-Related Shoulder Lesions and Labor Lawsuits in Brazil: Cross-Sectional Study on Worker Health Actions Developed by Employers

Authors: Reinaldo Biscaro, Luciano R. Ferreira, Leonardo C. Biscaro, Raphael C. Biscaro, Isabela S. Vasconcelos, Laura C. R. Ferreira, Cristiano M. Galhardi, Erica P. Baciuk

Abstract:

Introduction: The present study had the objective to present the profile of workers with shoulder disorders related to labor lawsuits in Brazil. The study analyzed the association between the worker’s health and the actions performed by the companies related to injured professional. The research method performed a retrospective, cross-sectional and quantitative database analysis. The documents of labor lawsuits with shoulder injury registered at the Regional Labor Court in the 15th region (Campinas - São Paulo) were submitted to the medical examination and evaluated during the period from 2012 until 2015. The data collected were age, gender, onset of symptoms, length of service, current occupation, type of shoulder injury, referred complaints, type of acromion, associated or related diseases, company actions as CAT (workplace accident communication), compliance of NR7 by the organization (Environmental Risk Prevention Program - PPRA and Medical Coordination Program in Occupational Health - PCMSO). Results: From the 93 workers evaluated, there was a prevalence of men (58.1%), with a mean age of 42.6 y-o, and 54.8% were included in the age group 35-49 years. Regarding the length of work time in the company, 66.7% have worked for more than 5 years. There was an association between gender and current occupational status (p < 0.005), with predominance of women in household occupation (13 vs. 2) and predominance of unemployed men in job search situation (24 vs. 10) and reintegrated to work by judicial decision (8 vs. 2). There was also a correlation between pain and functional limitation (p < 0.01). There was a positive association of PPRA with the complaint of functional limitation and negative association with pain (p < 0.04). There was also a correlation between the sedentary lifestyle and the presence of PCMSO and PPRA (p < 0.04), and the absence of CAT in the companies (p < 0.001). It was concluded that the appearance or aggravation of osseous and articular shoulder pathologies in workers who have undertaken labor law suits seem to be associated with individual habits or inadequate labor practices. These data can help preventing the occurrence of these lesions by implementing local health promotion policies at work.

Keywords: Work-related accidents, cross-sectional study, shoulder lesions, labor lawsuits.

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