Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 406

Search results for: Thinking blocks

406 Using Thinking Blocks to Encourage the Use of Higher Order Thinking Skills among Students When Solving Problems on Fractions

Authors: Abdul Halim Abdullah, Nur Liyana Zainal Abidin, Mahani Mokhtar

Abstract:

Problem-solving is an activity which can encourage students to use Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Learning fractions can be challenging for students since empirical evidence shows that students experience difficulties in solving the fraction problems. However, visual methods can help students to overcome the difficulties since the methods help students to make meaningful visual representations and link abstract concepts in Mathematics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether there were any changes in students’ HOTS at the four highest levels when learning the fractions by using Thinking Blocks. 54 students participated in a quasi-experiment using pre-tests and post-tests. Students were divided into two groups. The experimental group (n=32) received a treatment to improve the students’ HOTS and the other group acted as the control group (n=22) which used a traditional method. Data were analysed by using Mann-Whitney test. The results indicated that during post-test, students who used Thinking Blocks showed significant improvement in their HOTS level (p=0.000). In addition, the results of post-test also showed that the students’ performance improved significantly at the four highest levels of HOTS; namely, application (p=0.001), analyse (p=0.000), evaluate (p=0.000), and create (p=0.000). Therefore, it can be concluded that Thinking Blocks can effectively encourage students to use the four highest levels of HOTS which consequently enable them to solve fractions problems successfully.

Keywords: Thinking blocks, higher order thinking skills, fractions, problem solving.

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405 Effect of the Portland-Limestone Cement Grades on the Compressive Strength of Hollow Sandcrete Blocks

Authors: Kazeem K. Adewole, Gbenga. M. Ayininula, Wasiu O. Ajagbe, Olabisi Akinade

Abstract:

The commercial sandcrete block makers in Nigeria use the same cement-sand mix ratio for sandcrete blocks production irrespective of the cement grade. Investigation revealed that the compressive strengths of hollow sandcrete blocks produced with Portland-limestone cement grade 42.5 are higher than the sandcrete blocks produced with cement grade 32.5. The use of stronger sandcrete blocks produced with cement grade 42.5 will ensure the construction of stronger buildings and other sandcrete blocks-based infrastructures and reduce the incessant failure of building and other sandcrete blocks-based infrastructures in Nigeria at no additional cost as both cement grades cost the same amount in Nigeria. It is recommended that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria should create grassroots awareness on the different cement grades in Nigeria and specify that Portland-limestone cement grade 42.5 be used for sandcrete blocks production.

 

Keywords: Cement grades, Compressive strength, Sandcrete blocks, Portland-limestone cement, Nigerian cement market.

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404 Quality Assessment of Hollow Sandcrete Blocks in Minna, Nigeria

Authors: M. Abdullahi, S. Sadiku, Bashar S. Mohammed, J. I. Aguwa

Abstract:

The properties of hollow sandcrete blocks produced in Minna, Nigeria are presented. Sandcrete block is made of cement, water and sand binded together in certain mix proportions. For the purpose of this work, fifty (50) commercial sandcrete block industries were visited in Minna, Nigeria to obtain block samples and aggregates used for the manufacture, and to take inventory of the mix composition and the production process. Sieve analysis tests were conduction on the soil sample from various block industries to ascertain their quality to be used for block making. The mix ratios were also investigated. Five (5) nine inches (9’’ or 225mm) blocks were obtained from each block industry and tested for dimensional compliance and compressive strength. The results of the soil test shows that the grading fall within the limit for natural aggregate and can easily are used to obtain workable mix. Physical examinations of the block sizes show slight deviation from the standard requirement in NIS 87:2000. Compressive strength of hollow sandcrete blocks in range of 0.12 N/mm2 to 0.54 N/mm2 was obtained which is below the recommendable value of 3.45 N/mm2 for load bearing hollow sandcrete blocks. This indicates that these blocks are below the standard for load-bearing sandcrete blocks and cannot be used as load bearing walling units. The mix composition also indicated low cement content resulting in low compressive strength. Most of the commercial block industries visited does not take curing very serious. Water were only sprinkled ones or twice before the blocks were stacked and made readily available for sale. It is recommended that a mix ratio of 1:4 to 1:6 should be used for the production of sandcrete blocks and proper curing practice should be adhered. Blocks should also be cured for 14 days before making them available for consumers.

Keywords: Compressive strength, dimensions, mix proportions, sandcrete blocks.

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403 An Empirical Study of the Effect of Robot Programming Education on the Computational Thinking of Young Children: The Role of Flowcharts

Authors: Wei Sun, Yan Dong

Abstract:

There is an increasing interest in introducing computational thinking at an early age. Computational thinking, like mathematical thinking, engineering thinking, and scientific thinking, is a kind of analytical thinking. Learning computational thinking skills is not only to improve technological literacy, but also allows learners to equip with practicable skills such as problem-solving skills. As people realize the importance of computational thinking, the field of educational technology faces a problem: how to choose appropriate tools and activities to help students develop computational thinking skills. Robots are gradually becoming a popular teaching tool, as robots provide a tangible way for young children to access to technology, and controlling a robot through programming offers them opportunities to engage in developing computational thinking. This study explores whether the introduction of flowcharts into the robotics programming courses can help children convert natural language into a programming language more easily, and then to better cultivate their computational thinking skills. An experimental study was adopted with a sample of children ages six to seven (N = 16) participated, and a one-meter-tall humanoid robot was used as the teaching tool. Results show that children can master basic programming concepts through robotic courses. Children's computational thinking has been significantly improved. Besides, results suggest that flowcharts do have an impact on young children’s computational thinking skills development, but it only has a significant effect on the "sequencing" and "correspondence" skills. Overall, the study demonstrates that the humanoid robot and flowcharts have qualities that foster young children to learn programming and develop computational thinking skills.

Keywords: Robotics, computational thinking, programming, young children, flowcharts.

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402 Using Critical Systems Thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

Authors: Albertus G. Joubert, Roelien Goede

Abstract:

This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This paper uses Critical Systems Thinking (CST) which describes systems in terms of contradictions and conflict. It demonstrates how CST can be used in an Action Research (AR) project to improve the performance of students. Intervention in terms of student assessment is discussed and the impact of the intervention is discussed.

Keywords: Action research, computer networks, critical systems thinking, higher education.

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401 Join and Meet Block Based Default Definite Decision Rule Mining from IDT and an Incremental Algorithm

Authors: Chen Wu, Jingyu Yang

Abstract:

Using maximal consistent blocks of tolerance relation on the universe in incomplete decision table, the concepts of join block and meet block are introduced and studied. Including tolerance class, other blocks such as tolerant kernel and compatible kernel of an object are also discussed at the same time. Upper and lower approximations based on those blocks are also defined. Default definite decision rules acquired from incomplete decision table are proposed in the paper. An incremental algorithm to update default definite decision rules is suggested for effective mining tasks from incomplete decision table into which data is appended. Through an example, we demonstrate how default definite decision rules based on maximal consistent blocks, join blocks and meet blocks are acquired and how optimization is done in support of discernibility matrix and discernibility function in the incomplete decision table.

Keywords: rough set, incomplete decision table, maximalconsistent block, default definite decision rule, join and meet block.

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400 Using Weblog to Promote Critical Thinking – An Exploratory Study

Authors: Huay Lit Woo, Qiyun Wang

Abstract:

Weblog is an Internet tool that is believed to possess great potential to facilitate learning in education. This study wants to know if weblog can be used to promote students- critical thinking. It used a group of secondary two students from a Singapore school to write weblogs as a means of substitution for their traditional handwritten assignments. The topics for the weblogging are taken from History syllabus but modified to suit the purpose of this study. Weblogs from the students were collected and analysed using a known coding system for measuring critical thinking. Results show that the topic for blogging is crucial in determining the types of critical thinking employed by the students. Students are seen to display critical thinking traits in the areas of information sourcing, linking information to arguments and viewpoints justification. Students- criticalness is more profound when the information for writing a topic is readily available. Otherwise, they tend to be less critical and subjective. The study also found that students lack the ability to source for external information suggesting that students may need to be taught information literacy in order to widen their use of critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Affordance, blog, critical thinking, perception, weblog.

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399 Numerical Investigation into Mixing Performance of Electrokinetically-Driven Power-Law Fluids in Microchannel with Patterned Trapezoid Blocks

Authors: Cha’o-Kuang Chen, Ching-Chang Cho

Abstract:

The study investigates the mixing performance of electrokinetically-driven power-law fluids in a microchannel containing patterned trapezoid blocks. The effects of the geometry parameters of the patterned trapezoid blocks and the flow behavior index in the power-law model on the mixing efficiency within the microchannel are explored. The results show that the mixing efficiency can be improved by increasing the width of the blocks and extending the length of upper surface of the blocks. In addition, the results show that the mixing efficiency increases with an increasing flow behavior index. Furthermore, it is shown that a heterogeneous patterning of the zeta potential on the upper surfaces of the trapezoid blocks prompts the formation of local flow recirculations, and therefore improves the mixing efficiency. Consequently, it is shown that the mixing performance improves with an increasing magnitude of the heterogeneous surface zeta potential.

Keywords: Non-Newtonian fluid, Power-law fluid, Electroosmotic flow, Passive mixer, Mixing, Micromixer.

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398 Video Shot Detection and Key Frame Extraction Using Faber Shauder DWT and SVD

Authors: Assma Azeroual, Karim Afdel, Mohamed El Hajji, Hassan Douzi

Abstract:

Key frame extraction methods select the most representative frames of a video, which can be used in different areas of video processing such as video retrieval, video summary, and video indexing. In this paper we present a novel approach for extracting key frames from video sequences. The frame is characterized uniquely by his contours which are represented by the dominant blocks. These dominant blocks are located on the contours and its near textures. When the video frames have a noticeable changement, its dominant blocks changed, then we can extracte a key frame. The dominant blocks of every frame is computed, and then feature vectors are extracted from the dominant blocks image of each frame and arranged in a feature matrix. Singular Value Decomposition is used to calculate sliding windows ranks of those matrices. Finally the computed ranks are traced and then we are able to extract key frames of a video. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is robust against a large range of digital effects used during shot transition.

Keywords: Key Frame Extraction, Shot detection, FSDWT, Singular Value Decomposition.

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397 High Volume Fly Ash Concrete for Paver Blocks

Authors: Som Nath Sachdeva, Vanita Aggarwal, S. M. Gupta

Abstract:

Use of concrete paver blocks is becoming increasingly popular. They are used for paving of approaches, paths and parking areas including their application in pre-engineered buildings and pavements. This paper discusses the results of an experimental study conducted on Fly Ash Concrete with the aim to report its suitability for concrete paver blocks. In this study, the effect of varying proportions of fly ash, 20% to 40%, on compressive strength and flexural strength of concrete has been evaluated. The mix designs studied are M-30, M-35, M-40 and M-50. It is observed that all the fly ash based mixes are able to achieve the required compressive and flexural strengths. In comparison to control mixes, the compressive and flexural strengths of the fly ash based mixes are found to be slightly less at 7-days and 28 days and a little more at 90 days.

Keywords: Compressive strength, flexural strength, high volume fly ash concrete, paver blocks.

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396 Reflections of Prospective Teachers Toward a Critical Thinking-Based Pedagogical Course: A Case Study

Authors: Ahmet Ok, Banu Yücel Toy

Abstract:

Promoting critical thinking (CT) in an educational setting has been appraised in order to enhance learning and intellectual skills. In this study, a pedagogical course in a vocational teacher education program in Turkey was designed by integrating CT skill-based strategies/activities into the course content and CT skills were means leading to intended course objectives. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the importance of the course objectives, the attainment of the objectives, and the effectiveness of teachinglearning strategies/activities from prospective teachers- points of view. The results revealed that although the students mostly considered the course objectives important, they did not feel competent in the attainment of all objectives especially in those related to the main topic of Learning and those requiring higher order thinking skills. On the other hand, the students considered the course activities effective for learning and for the development of thinking skills, especially, in interpreting, comparing, questioning, contrasting, and forming relationships.

Keywords: Critical thinking, critical thinking-based instruction, higher order thinking skills, teacher education

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395 The HDH Model for the Development of Creative Structural Thinking and Its Applications to Other Systems

Authors: Mosseri Avraham

Abstract:

Teaching structures and structural design in architectural studies is considered a difficult mission due to complex reasons and circumstances. This article proposes a new conceptual model (HDH) for teaching structures and structural design in architectural studies. Because of its systems-thinking orientation it is also relevant and applicable to other fields and systems. The HDH model was developed in order to encourage the integration of science and art, especially in relation to structures, in architectural studies.

Keywords: Structural Thinking, Conceptual Design, Teaching Structures, Systems Thinking.

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394 Study and Analysis of Permeable Articulated Concrete Blocks Pavement: With Reference to Indian Context

Authors: Shrikant Charhate, Gayatri Deshpande

Abstract:

Permeable pavements have significant benefits like managing runoff, infiltration, and carrying traffic over conventional pavements in terms of sustainability and environmental impact. Some of the countries are using this technique, especially at locations where durability and other parameters are of importance in nature; however, sparse work has been done on this concept. In India, this is yet to be adopted. In this work, the progress in the characterization and development of Permeable Articulated Concrete Blocks (PACB) pavement design is described and discussed with reference to Indian conditions. The experimentation and in-depth analysis was carried out considering conditions like soil erosion, water logging, and dust which are significant challenges caused due to impermeability of pavement. Concrete blocks with size 16.5’’x 6.5’’x 7’’ consisting of arch shape (4’’) at beneath and ½” PVC holes for articulation were casted. These blocks were tested for flexural strength. The articulation process was done with nylon ropes forming series of concrete block system. The total spacing between the blocks was kept about 8 to 10% of total area. The hydraulic testing was carried out by placing the articulated blocks with the combination of layers of soil, geotextile, clean angular aggregate. This was done to see the percentage of seepage through the entire system. The experimental results showed that with the shape of concrete block the flexural strength achieved was beyond the permissible limit. Such blocks with the combination could be very useful innovation in Indian conditions and useful at various locations compared to the traditional blocks as an alternative for long term sustainability.

Keywords: Connections, geotextile, permeable ACB, pavements, stone base.

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393 Seismic Behaviour of Romanian Ortodox Churches, Modeling of Failure Modes by Rigid Blocks

Authors: Marius Mosoarca, Victor Gioncu, Ovidiu Cosma

Abstract:

Historic religious buildings located in seismic areas have developed different failure mechanisms. Simulation of failure modes is done with computer programs through a nonlinear dynamic analysis or simplified using the method of failure blocks. Currently there are simulation methodologies of failure modes based on the failure rigid blocks method only for Roman Catholic churches type. Due to differences of shape in plan, elevation and construction systems between Orthodox churches and Catholic churches, for the first time there were initiated researches in the development of this simulation methodology for Orthodox churches. In this article are presented the first results from the researches. The theoretical results were compared with real failure modes recorded at an Orthodox church from Banat region, severely damaged by earthquakes in 1991. Simulated seismic response, using a computer program based on finite element method was confirmed by cracks after earthquakes. The consolidation of the church was made according to these theoretical results, realizing a rigid floor connecting all the failure blocks.

Keywords: Dinamic analysis, failure mechanism, rigid blocks seismic simulation.

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392 Research into Concrete Blocks with Waste Glass

Authors: P. Turgut, E. S. Yahlizade

Abstract:

In this paper, a parametric experimental study for producing paving blocks using fine and coarse waste glass is presented. Some of the physical and mechanical properties of paving blocks having various levels of fine glass (FG) and coarse glass (CG) replacements with fine aggregate (FA) are investigated. The test results show that the replacement of FG by FA at level of 20% by weight has a significant effect on the compressive strength, flexural strength, splitting tensile strength and abrasion resistance of the paving blocks as compared with the control sample because of puzzolanic nature of FG. The compressive strength, flexural strength, splitting tensile strength and abrasion resistance of the paving block samples in the FG replacement level of 20% are 69%, 90%, 47% and 15 % higher as compared with the control sample respectively. It is reported in the earlier works the replacement of FG by FA at level of 20% by weight suppress the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in the concrete. The test results show that the FG at level of 20% has a potential to be used in the production of paving blocks. The beneficial effect on these properties of CG replacement with FA is little as compared with FG.

Keywords: Concrete paving , Properties, Waste glass.

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391 Enhancement of Higher Order Thinking Skills among Teacher Trainers by Fun Game Learning Approach

Authors: Malathi Balakrishnan, Gananathan M. Nadarajah, Saraswathy Vellasamy, Evelyn Gnanam William George

Abstract:

The purpose of the study is to explore how the fun game-learning approach enhances teacher trainers’ higher order thinking skills. Two-day fun filled fun game learning-approach was introduced to teacher trainers as a Continuous Professional Development Program (CPD). 26 teacher trainers participated in this Transformation of Teaching and Learning Fun Way Program, organized by Institute of Teacher Education Malaysia. Qualitative research technique was adopted as the researchers observed the participants’ higher order thinking skills developed during the program. Data were collected from observational checklist; interview transcriptions of four participants and participants’ reflection notes. All the data were later analyzed with NVivo data analysis process. The finding of this study presented five main themes, which are critical thinking, hands on activities, creating, application and use of technology. The studies showed that the teacher trainers’ higher order thinking skills were enhanced after the two-day CPD program. Therefore, Institute of Teacher Education will have more success using the fun way game-learning approach to develop higher order thinking skills among its teacher trainers who can implement these skills to their trainee teachers in future. This study also added knowledge to Constructivism learning theory, which will further highlight the prominence of the fun way learning approach to enhance higher order thinking skills.

Keywords: Constructivism, game-learning approach, higher order thinking skill, teacher trainer.

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390 A New Image Encryption Approach using Combinational Permutation Techniques

Authors: A. Mitra, Y. V. Subba Rao, S. R. M. Prasanna

Abstract:

This paper proposes a new approach for image encryption using a combination of different permutation techniques. The main idea behind the present work is that an image can be viewed as an arrangement of bits, pixels and blocks. The intelligible information present in an image is due to the correlations among the bits, pixels and blocks in a given arrangement. This perceivable information can be reduced by decreasing the correlation among the bits, pixels and blocks using certain permutation techniques. This paper presents an approach for a random combination of the aforementioned permutations for image encryption. From the results, it is observed that the permutation of bits is effective in significantly reducing the correlation thereby decreasing the perceptual information, whereas the permutation of pixels and blocks are good at producing higher level security compared to bit permutation. A random combination method employing all the three techniques thus is observed to be useful for tactical security applications, where protection is needed only against a casual observer.

Keywords: Encryption, Permutation, Good key, Combinationalpermutation, Pseudo random index generator.

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389 The Opinions of Nursing Students Regarding Humanized Care through Volunteer Activities at Boromrajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi

Authors: P. Phenpun, S. Wareewan

Abstract:

This qualitative study aimed to describe the opinions in relation to humanized care emerging from the volunteer activities of nursing students at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi, Thailand. One hundred and twenty-seven second-year nursing students participated in this study. The volunteer activity model was composed of preparation, implementation, and evaluation through a learning log, in which students were encouraged to write their daily activities after completing practical training at the healthcare center. The preparation content included three main categories: service minded, analytical thinking, and client participation. The preparation process took over three days that accumulates up to 20 hours only. The implementation process was held over 10 days, but with a total of 70 hours only, with participants taking part in volunteer work activities at a healthcare center. A learning log was used for evaluation and data were analyzed using content analysis. The findings were as follows. With service minded, there were two subcategories that emerged from volunteer activities, which were service minded towards patients and within themselves. There were three categories under service minded towards patients, which were rapport, compassion, and empathy service behaviors, and there were four categories under service minded within themselves, which were self-esteem, self-value, management potential, and preparedness in providing good healthcare services. In line with analytical thinking, there were two components of analytical thinking, which were analytical skill for their works and analytical thinking for themselves. There were four subcategories under analytical thinking for their works, which were evidence based thinking, real situational thinking, cause analysis thinking, and systematic thinking, respectively. There were four subcategories under analytical thinking for themselves, which were comparative between themselves, towards their clients that leads to the changing of their service behaviors, open-minded thinking, modernized thinking, and verifying both verbal and non-verbal cues. Lastly, there were three categories under participation, which were mutual rapport relationship; reconsidering client’s needs services and providing useful health care information.

Keywords: Humanized care service, volunteer activity, nursing student, and learning log.

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388 Miller’s Model for Developing Critical Thinking Skill of Pre-Service Teachers at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Authors: Suttipong Boonphadung, Thassanant Unnanantn

Abstract:

This research focused on comparing the critical thinking of the teacher students before and after using Miller’s Model learning activities and investigating their opinions. The sampling groups were (1) fourth year 33 student teachers majoring in Early Childhood Education and enrolling in semester 1 of academic year 2013 (2) third year 28 student teachers majoring in English and enrolling in semester 2 of academic year 2013 and (3) third year 22 student teachers majoring in Thai and enrolling in semester 2 of academic year 2013. The research instruments were (1) lesson plans where the learning activities were settled based on Miller’s Model (2) critical thinking assessment criteria and (3) a questionnaire on opinions towards Miller’s Model based learning activities. The statistical treatment was mean, deviation, different scores and T-test. The result unfolded that (1) the critical thinking of the students after the assigned activities was better than before and (2) the students’ opinions towards the critical thinking improvement activities based on Miller’s Model ranged from the level of high to highest.

Keywords: Critical thinking, Miller’s model, Opinions.

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387 Play in College: Shifting Perspectives and Creative Problem-Based Play

Authors: Agni Stylianou-Georgiou, Eliza Pitri

Abstract:

This study is a design narrative that discusses researchers’ new learning based on changes made in pedagogies and learning opportunities in the context of a Cognitive Psychology and an Art History undergraduate course. The purpose of this study was to investigate how to encourage creative problem-based play in tertiary education engaging instructors and student-teachers in designing educational games. Course instructors modified content to encourage flexible thinking during game design problem-solving. Qualitative analyses of data sources indicated that Thinking Birds’ questions could encourage flexible thinking as instructors engaged in creative problem-based play. However, student-teachers demonstrated weakness in adopting flexible thinking during game design problem solving. Further studies of student-teachers’ shifting perspectives during different instructional design tasks would provide insights for developing the Thinking Birds’ questions as tools for creative problem solving.

Keywords: Creative problem-based play, educational games, flexible thinking, tertiary education.

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386 A Normalization-based Robust Image Watermarking Scheme Using SVD and DCT

Authors: Say Wei Foo, Qi Dong

Abstract:

Digital watermarking is one of the techniques for copyright protection. In this paper, a normalization-based robust image watermarking scheme which encompasses singular value decomposition (SVD) and discrete cosine transform (DCT) techniques is proposed. For the proposed scheme, the host image is first normalized to a standard form and divided into non-overlapping image blocks. SVD is applied to each block. By concatenating the first singular values (SV) of adjacent blocks of the normalized image, a SV block is obtained. DCT is then carried out on the SV blocks to produce SVD-DCT blocks. A watermark bit is embedded in the highfrequency band of a SVD-DCT block by imposing a particular relationship between two pseudo-randomly selected DCT coefficients. An adaptive frequency mask is used to adjust local watermark embedding strength. Watermark extraction involves mainly the inverse process. The watermark extracting method is blind and efficient. Experimental results show that the quality degradation of watermarked image caused by the embedded watermark is visually transparent. Results also show that the proposed scheme is robust against various image processing operations and geometric attacks.

Keywords: Image watermarking, Image normalization, Singularvalue decomposition, Discrete cosine transform, Robustness.

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385 Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology

Authors: Matthew J. Zagumny

Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Keywords: Guided-inquiry learning, intellectual curiosity, psychometric assessment, scientific thinking.

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384 A High Level Implementation of a High Performance Data Transfer Interface for NoC

Authors: Mansi Jhamb, R. K. Sharma, A. K. Gupta

Abstract:

The distribution of a single global clock across a chip has become the major design bottleneck for high performance VLSI systems owing to the power dissipation, process variability and multicycle cross-chip signaling. A Network-on-Chip (NoC) architecture partitioned into several synchronous blocks has become a promising approach for attaining fine-grain power management at the system level. In a NoC architecture the communication between the blocks is handled asynchronously. To interface these blocks on a chip operating at different frequencies, an asynchronous FIFO interface is inevitable. However, these asynchronous FIFOs are not required if adjacent blocks belong to the same clock domain. In this paper, we have designed and analyzed a 16-bit asynchronous micropipelined FIFO of depth four, with the awareness of place and route on an FPGA device. We have used a commercially available Spartan 3 device and designed a high speed implementation of the asynchronous 4-phase micropipeline. The asynchronous FIFO implemented on the FPGA device shows 76 Mb/s throughput and a handshake cycle of 109 ns for write and 101.3 ns for read at the simulation under the worst case operating conditions (voltage = 0.95V) on a working chip at the room temperature.

Keywords: Asynchronous, FIFO, FPGA, GALS, Network-on- Chip (NoC), VHDL.

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383 An Optimized Multi-block Method for Turbulent Flows

Authors: M. Goodarzi, P. Lashgari

Abstract:

A major part of the flow field involves no complicated turbulent behavior in many turbulent flows. In this research work, in order to reduce required memory and CPU time, the flow field was decomposed into several blocks, each block including its special turbulence. A two dimensional backward facing step was considered here. Four combinations of the Prandtl mixing length and standard k- E models were implemented as well. Computer memory and CPU time consumption in addition to numerical convergence and accuracy of the obtained results were mainly investigated. Observations showed that, a suitable combination of turbulence models in different blocks led to the results with the same accuracy as the high order turbulence model for all of the blocks, in addition to the reductions in memory and CPU time consumption.

Keywords: Computer memory, CPU time, Multi-block method, Turbulence modeling.

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382 The Islamic Element of Al-‘Adl in Critical Thinking: the Perception of Muslim Engineering Undergraduates in Malaysia

Authors: Mohd Nuri Al-Amin Endut, Wan Suhaimi Wan Abdullah, Zulqarnain Abu Bakar

Abstract:

The element of justice or al-‘adl in the context of Islamic critical thinking deals with the notion of justice in a thinking process which critically rationalizes the truth in a fair and objective manner with no irrelevant interference that can jeopardize a sound judgment. This Islamic axiological element is vital in technological decision making as it addresses the issues of religious values and ethics that are primarily set to fulfill the purpose of human life on earth. The main objective of this study was to examine and analyze the perception of Muslim engineering students in Malaysian higher education institutions towards the concept of al-‘adl as an essential element of Islamic critical thinking. The study employed mixed methods approach that comprises data collection from the questionnaire survey and the interview responses. A total of 557 Muslim engineering undergraduates from six Malaysian universities participated in the study. The study generally indicated that Muslim engineering undergraduates in the higher institutions have rather good comprehension and consciousness for al-‘adl with a slight awareness on the importance of objective thinking. Nonetheless there were a few items on the concept that have implied a comparatively low perception on the rational justice in Islam as the means to grasp the ultimate truth.

Keywords: Engineering education, Islamic critical thinking, rational justice, perception, tertiary education.

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381 The Role of Creative Thinking in Science Education

Authors: Jindriska Svobodova, Jan Novotny

Abstract:

A teacher’s attitude to creativity plays an essential role in the thinking development of his/her students. The purpose of this study is to understand if a science teacher's personal creativity can modify his/her ability to produce various kinds of questions. This research used an education activity based on cosmic sketches and pictures by K.E. Tsiolkovsky, the founder of astronautics, to explore if any relationship between individual creativity and the asking questions skill exists. As a screening instrument, which allows an assessment of the respondent's creative potential, a common test of creative thinking was used. The results of the creativity test and the diversity of the questions are mentioned.

Keywords: Science education, active learning, physics teaching, creativity.

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380 Fast Cosine Transform to Increase Speed-up and Efficiency of Karhunen-Loève Transform for Lossy Image Compression

Authors: Mario Mastriani, Juliana Gambini

Abstract:

In this work, we present a comparison between two techniques of image compression. In the first case, the image is divided in blocks which are collected according to zig-zag scan. In the second one, we apply the Fast Cosine Transform to the image, and then the transformed image is divided in blocks which are collected according to zig-zag scan too. Later, in both cases, the Karhunen-Loève transform is applied to mentioned blocks. On the other hand, we present three new metrics based on eigenvalues for a better comparative evaluation of the techniques. Simulations show that the combined version is the best, with minor Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Mean Squared Error (MSE), higher Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR) and better image quality. Finally, new technique was far superior to JPEG and JPEG2000.

Keywords: Fast Cosine Transform, image compression, JPEG, JPEG2000, Karhunen-Loève Transform, zig-zag scan.

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379 An Overview on the Effectiveness of Critical Thinking on Knowledge

Authors: Solehah Yaacob

Abstract:

The study focuses on revisiting the effectiveness of Critical Thinking in human mind capability as a major faculty in human life. The tool used as a measurement of this knowledge ability consists of several processes including experience and education background. To emphasize the `Overview` concept, the researcher highlights two major aspects of philosophical approach, they are; Divine Revelation Concept and Modern Scientific Theory. The research compares between the both parties to introduce the Divine Revelation into Modern Scientific theory. An analytical and critical study of the both concepts become the methodology of the discussion.

Keywords: Critical thinking, knowledge, intellectual, language.

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378 A Complexity-Based Approach in Image Compression using Neural Networks

Authors: Hadi Veisi, Mansour Jamzad

Abstract:

In this paper we present an adaptive method for image compression that is based on complexity level of the image. The basic compressor/de-compressor structure of this method is a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network. In adaptive approach different Back-Propagation artificial neural networks are used as compressor and de-compressor and this is done by dividing the image into blocks, computing the complexity of each block and then selecting one network for each block according to its complexity value. Three complexity measure methods, called Entropy, Activity and Pattern-based are used to determine the level of complexity in image blocks and their ability in complexity estimation are evaluated and compared. In training and evaluation, each image block is assigned to a network based on its complexity value. Best-SNR is another alternative in selecting compressor network for image blocks in evolution phase which chooses one of the trained networks such that results best SNR in compressing the input image block. In our evaluations, best results are obtained when overlapping the blocks is allowed and choosing the networks in compressor is based on the Best-SNR. In this case, the results demonstrate superiority of this method comparing with previous similar works and JPEG standard coding.

Keywords: Adaptive image compression, Image complexity, Multi-layer perceptron neural network, JPEG Standard, PSNR.

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377 Creative Thinking Skill Approach Through Problem-Based Learning: Pedagogy and Practice in the Engineering Classroom

Authors: Halizah Awang, Ishak Ramly

Abstract:

Problem-based learning (PBL) is one of the student centered approaches and has been considered by a number of higher educational institutions in many parts of the world as a method of delivery. This paper presents a creative thinking approach for implementing Problem-based Learning in Mechanics of Structure within a Malaysian Polytechnics environment. In the learning process, students learn how to analyze the problem given among the students and sharing classroom knowledge into practice. Further, through this course-s emphasis on problem-based learning, students acquire creative thinking skills and professional skills as they tackle complex, interdisciplinary and real-situation problems. Once the creative ideas are generated, there are useful additional techniques for tender ideas that will grow into a productive concept or solution. The combination of creative skills and technical abilities will enable the students to be ready to “hit-the-ground-running" and produce in industry when they graduate.

Keywords: Creative Thinking Skills, Problem-based Learning, Problem Solving.

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