Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Sophie Sakka

4 A Robotic “Puppet Master” Application to ASD Therapeutic Support

Authors: Sophie Sakka, Rénald Gaboriau

Abstract:

This paper describes a preliminary work aimed at setting a therapeutic support for autistic teenagers using three humanoid robots NAO shared by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) subjects. The studied population had attended successfully a first year program, and were observed with a second year program using the robots. This paper focuses on the content and the effects of the second year program. The approach is based on a master puppet concept: the subjects program the robots, and use them as an extension for communication. Twenty sessions were organized, alternating ten preparatory sessions and ten robotics programming sessions. During the preparatory sessions, the subjects write a story to be played by the robots. During the robot programming sessions, the subjects program the motions to be realized to make the robot tell the story. The program was concluded by a public performance. The experiment involves five ASD teenagers aged 12-15, who had all attended the first year robotics training. As a result, a progress in voluntary and organized communication skills of the five subjects was observed, leading to improvements in social organization, focus, voluntary communication, programming, reading and writing abilities. The changes observed in the subjects general behavior took place in a short time, and could be observed from one robotics session to the next one. The approach allowed the subjects to draw the limits of their body with respect to the environment, and therefore helped them confronting the world with less anxiety.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, robot, therapeutic support, rob’autism.

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3 Structural Reliability of Existing Structures: A Case Study

Authors: Z. Sakka, I. Assakkaf, T. Al-Yaqoub, J. Parol

Abstract:

reliability-based methodology for the assessment and evaluation of reinforced concrete (R/C) structural elements of concrete structures is presented herein. The results of the reliability analysis and assessment for R/C structural elements were verified by the results obtained through deterministic methods. The outcomes of the reliability-based analysis were compared against currently adopted safety limits that are incorporated in the reliability indices β’s, according to international standards and codes. The methodology is based on probabilistic analysis using reliability concepts and statistics of the main random variables that are relevant to the subject matter, and for which they are to be used in the performance-function equation(s) associated with the structural elements under study. These methodology techniques can result in reliability index β, which is commonly known as the reliability index or reliability measure value that can be utilized to assess and evaluate the safety, human risk, and functionality of the structural component. Also, these methods can result in revised partial safety factor values for certain target reliability indices that can be used for the purpose of redesigning the R/C elements of the building and in which they could assist in considering some other remedial actions to improve the safety and functionality of the member.

Keywords: Concrete Structures, FORM, Monte Carlo Simulation, Structural Reliability.

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2 Mega Projects and Governmentality

Authors: Sophie Sturup

Abstract:

Mega urban transport projects (MUTPs) are increasingly being used in urban environments to ameliorate the problem of congestion. However, a number of problems with regard to mega projects have been identified. In particular the seemingly institutionalised over estimation of economic benefits and persistent cost over runs, could mean that the wrong projects are selected, and that the projects that are selected cost more than they should. Studies to date have produced a number of solutions to these problems, perhaps most notably, the various methods for the inclusion of the private sector in project provision. However the problems have shown significant intractability in the face of these solutions. This paper provides a detailed examination of some of the problems facing mega projects and then examines Foucault-s theory of 'governmentality' as a possible frame of analysis which might shed light on the intractability of the problems that have been identified, through an identification of the art of government in which MUTPs occur.

Keywords: Michel Foucault, Governmentality, Mega projects, Transport.

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1 Integration of Best Practices and Requirements for Preliminary E-Learning Courses

Authors: Sophie Huck, Knut Linke

Abstract:

This study will examine how IT practitioners can be motivated for IT studies and which kind of support they need during their occupational studies. Within this research project, the challenge of supporting students being engaged in business for several years arose. Here, it is especially important to successfully guide them through their studies. The problem of this group is that they finished their school education years ago. In order to gather first experiences, preliminary e-learning courses were introduced and tested with a group of users studying General Management. They had to work with these courses and have been questioned later on about their approach to the different methods. Moreover, a second group of potential students was interviewed with the help of online questionnaires to give information about their expectations regarding extra occupational studies. We also want to present best practices and cases in e-education in the subarea of mathematics and distance learning. Within these cases and practices, we use state of the art systems and technologies in e-education to find a way to increase teaching quality and the success of students. Our research indicated that the first group of enrolled students appreciated the new preliminary e-learning courses. The second group of potential students was convinced of this way of learning as a significant component of extra occupational studies. It can be concluded that this part of the project clarified the acceptance of the e-learning strategy by both groups and led to satisfactory results with the enrolled students.

Keywords: E-learning evaluation, self-learning, virtual classroom, virtual learning environments.

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