International Science Index

2967
10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
131
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2966
10007832
Impact of Different Fuel Inlet Diameters onto the NOx Emissions in a Hydrogen Combustor
Abstract:

The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) is creating awareness for the overall reduction of NOx emissions by 80% in its vision 2020. Hence this promotes the researchers to work on novel technologies, one such technology is the use of alternative fuels. Among these fuels hydrogen is of interest due to its one and only significant pollutant NOx. The influence of NOx formation due to hydrogen combustion depends on various parameters such as air pressure, inlet air temperature, air to fuel jet momentum ratio etc. Appropriately, this research is motivated to investigate the impact of the air to fuel jet momentum ratio onto the NOx formation in a hydrogen combustion chamber for aircraft engines. The air to jet fuel momentum is defined as the ratio of impulse/momentum of air with respect to the momentum of fuel. The experiments were performed in an existing combustion chamber that has been previously tested for methane. Premix of the reactants has not been considered due to the high reactivity of the hydrogen and high risk of a flashback. In order to create a less rich zone of reaction at the burner and to decrease the emissions, a forced internal recirculation flow has been achieved by integrating a plate similar to honeycomb structure, suitable to the geometry of the liner. The liner has been provided with an external cooling system to avoid the increase of local temperatures and in turn the reaction rate of the NOx formation. The injected air has been preheated to aim at so called flameless combustion. The air to fuel jet momentum ratio has been inspected by changing the area of fuel inlets and keeping the number of fuel inlets constant in order to alter the fuel jet momentum, thus maintaining the homogeneity of the flow. Within this analysis, promising results for a flameless combustion have been achieved. For a constant number of fuel inlets, it was seen that the reduction of the fuel inlet diameter resulted in decrease of air to fuel jet momentum ratio in turn lowering the NOx emissions.

Paper Detail
2
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2965
10007837
Feasibility Studies through Quantitative Methods: The Revamping of a Tourist Railway Line in Italy
Abstract:

Recently, the Italian government has approved a new law for public contracts and has been laying the groundwork for restarting a planning phase. The government has adopted the indications given by the European Commission regarding the estimation of the external costs within the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and has been approved the ‘Guidelines for assessment of Investment Projects’. In compliance with the new Italian law, the aim of this research was to perform a feasibility study applying quantitative methods regarding the revamping of an Italian tourist railway line. A Cost-Benefit Analysis was performed starting from the quantification of the passengers’ demand potentially interested in using the revamped rail services. The benefits due to the external costs reduction were also estimated (quantified) in terms of variations (with respect to the not project scenario): climate change, air pollution, noises, congestion, and accidents. Estimations results have been proposed in terms of the Measure of Effectiveness underlying a positive Net Present Value equal to about 27 million of Euros, an Internal Rate of Return much greater the discount rate, a benefit/cost ratio equal to 2 and a PayBack Period of 15 years.

Paper Detail
5
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2964
10007564
Influence of Build Orientation on Machinability of Selective Laser Melted Titanium Alloy-Ti-6Al-4V
Abstract:
Selective laser melting (SLM), a promising additive manufacturing (AM) technology, has a huge potential in the fabrication of Ti-6Al-4V near-net shape components. However, poor surface finish of the components fabricated from this technology requires secondary machining to achieve the desired accuracy and tolerance. Therefore, a systematic understanding of the machinability of SLM fabricated Ti-6Al-4V components is paramount to improve the productivity and product quality. Considering the significance of machining in SLM fabricated Ti-6Al-4V components, this research aim is to study the influence of build orientation on machinability characteristics by performing low speed orthogonal cutting tests. In addition, the machinability of SLM fabricated Ti-6Al-4V is compared with conventionally produced wrought Ti-6Al-4V to understand the influence of SLM technology on machining. This paper is an attempt to provide evidence to the hypothesis associated that build orientation influences cutting forces, chip formation and surface integrity during orthogonal cutting of SLM Ti-6Al-4V samples. Results obtained from the low speed orthogonal cutting tests highlight the practical importance of microstructure and build orientation on machinability of SLM Ti-6Al-4V.
Paper Detail
54
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2963
10007607
K-Means Based Matching Algorithm for Multi-Resolution Feature Descriptors
Abstract:

Matching high dimensional features between images is computationally expensive for exhaustive search approaches in computer vision. Although the dimension of the feature can be degraded by simplifying the prior knowledge of homography, matching accuracy may degrade as a tradeoff. In this paper, we present a feature matching method based on k-means algorithm that reduces the matching cost and matches the features between images instead of using a simplified geometric assumption. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the previous linear exhaustive search approaches in terms of the inlier ratio of matched pairs.

Paper Detail
41
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2962
10007625
Developing Well-Being Indicators and Measurement Methods as Illustrated by Projects Aimed at Preventing Obesity in Children
Abstract:

Consumption of vegetables by school children and adolescents is essential for their normal growth, development and health, but a significant minority of the world's population consumes the right amount of these products. The aim of the study was to evaluate the preferences and frequency of consumption of vegetables by school children and adolescents. It has been assumed that effectively implemented nutrition education programs should have an impact on increasing the frequency of vegetable consumption among the recipients. The study covered 514 students of five schools in the Opole Voivodeship aged 9 years to 22 years. The research tool was an author's questionnaire, which consisted of closed questions on the frequency of vegetable consumption and the use of 10 ways to treat them. Preferences and frequencies are shown in percentages, while correlations were estimated on the basis of Cramer`s V and gamma coefficients. In each of the examined age groups, the relationship between sex and vegetable consumption (the Cramer`s V coefficient value was 0.06 to 0.38) was determined and the various methods of culinary processing were used (V Craméra was 0.08 to 0.34). For both sexes, the relationship between age and frequency of vegetable consumption was shown (gamma values ranged from ~ 0.00 to 0.39) and different cooking methods (gamma values were 0.01 to 0.22). The most important determinant of nutritional choices is the taste and availability of products. The fact that they have a positive effect on their health is only in third position. As has been shown, obesity prevention programs can not only address nutrition education but also teach about new flavors and increase the availability of healthy foods. In addition, the frequency of vegetable consumption can be a good indicator reflecting the healthy behaviors of children and adolescents.

Paper Detail
44
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2961
10007675
Criminal Protection Objectivity of the Child's Right to Life and Physical and Psychological Safety
Abstract:

Nowadays, child affairs is a matter of both national and international interests. This issue is regarded a vital topic for various scientific fields across ages, and for all the communities without exception. However, the nature of child caring may vary due to the verities in science perspectives. So, considering child's affairs from different perspectives is helpful to have a complementary image about this matter. The purpose behind selecting this topic is to keep a balance between the victim on the one hand, and the guardian and the offender on the other hand, (i.e.) to avoid any kind of excessiveness either in the protection of the child and its rights not in the punishment of the offender. This is achieved through considering various legal materials in the Iraqi legislation and in the comparative legislations that are concerned with the child's issue and the extent to which the child makes use of these rights. The scope of this study involves the crimes that are considered as aggressions against the child's right to life, and the crimes that are dangerous to their physical and psychological safety. So, this study comprehensively considers the intentional murder of child, child murder to avoid disgrace, child kidnapping, child abandonment, physical abuse for the sake of punishment or not, child circumcision, verbal violence, and abstaining from leaving a child with a person who has the right of custody. This study ends with the most significant concluding points that have been derived throughout this study, which are: Unlike the Iraqi legislation, the Egyptian legislation defines the child in the Article 2 of the Child Law No. 12 of 1996 amended by the Law No. 126 of 2008 that the child is a person who does not exceed 18 years of age. Some legislation does not provide special criminal protection for child intentional murder, as in the Iraqi and the Egyptian legislation. However, some others have provided special criminal protection for a child, as in French and Syrian legislations. Child kidnapping is regarded as one of the most dangerous crimes that affects the child and the family as well, as it may expose the child's life to danger or to death. The most significant recommendations from the researcher are: The Iraqi legislation is recommended to take the necessary measures to establish a particular legislation for the child by including all the legal provisions that are associated with this weak creature, and make use of the Egyptian legislator’s experience as a pioneer in this respect. Both the Iraqi legislation and the Egyptian legislation are recommended to enact special laws to protect a child from the crimes of intentional murder, as the crime of child murder is currently subjected to the same provisions consider for adult murder.

Paper Detail
30
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2960
10007680
Sickle Cell Disease: Review of Managements in Pregnancy and the Outcome in Ampang Hospital, Selangor
Abstract:
The aim of this study is the review of the management practices of sickle cell disease patients during pregnancy, as well as the maternal and neonatal outcome at Ampang Hospital, Selangor. The study consisted of a review of pregnant patients with sickle cell disease under follow up at the Hematology Clinic, Ampang Hospital over the last seven years to assess their management and maternal-fetal outcome. The results of the review show that Ampang Hospital is considered the public hematology centre for sickle cell disease and had successfully managed three pregnancies throughout the last seven years. Patients’ presentations, managements and maternal-fetal outcome were compared and reviewed for academic improvements. All three patients were seen very early in their pregnancy and had been given a regime of folic acid, antibiotics and thrombo-prophylactic drugs. Close monitoring of maternal and fetal well being was done by the hematologists and obstetricians. Among the patients, there were multiple admissions during the pregnancy for either a painful sickle cell bone crisis, haemolysis following an infection and anemia requiring phenotype- matched blood and exchange transfusions. Broad spectrum antibiotics coverage during and infection, hydration, pain management and venous-thrombolism prophylaxis were mandatory. The pregnancies managed to reach near term in the third trimester but all required emergency caesarean section for obstetric indications. All pregnancies resulted in live births with good fetal outcome. During post partum all were nursed closely in the high dependency units for further complications and were discharged well. Post partum follow up and contraception counseling was comprehensively given for future pregnancies. Sickle cell disease is uncommonly seen in the East, especially in the South East Asian region, yet more cases are seen in the current decade due to improved medical expertise and advance medical laboratory technologies. Pregnancy itself is a risk factor for sickle cell patients as increased thrombosis event and risk of infections can lead to multiple crisis, haemolysis, anemia and vaso-occlusive complications including eclampsia, cerebrovasular accidents and acute bone pain. Patients mostly require multiple blood product transfusions thus phenotype-matched blood is required to reduce the risk of alloimmunozation. Emphasizing the risks and complications in preconception counseling and establishing an ultimate pregnancy plan would probably reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality to the mother and unborn child. Early management for risk of infection, thromboembolic events and adequate hydration is mandatory. A holistic approach involving multidisciplinary team care between the hematologist, obstetricians, anesthetist, neonatologist and close nursing care for both mother and baby would ensure the best outcome. In conclusion, sickle cell disease by itself is a high risk medical condition and pregnancy would further amplify the risk. Thus, close monitoring with combine multidisciplinary care, counseling and educating the patients are crucial in achieving the safe outcome.
Paper Detail
40
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2959
10007708
Consumer Choice Determinants in Context of Functional Food
Abstract:
The aim of this study was to analyze and evaluate the consumption of functional food by consumers by: age, sex, formal education level, place of residence and diagnosed diseases. The study employed an ad hoc questionnaire in a group of 300 inhabitants of Upper Silesia voivodship. Knowledge of functional food among the group covered in the study was far from satisfactory. The choice of functional food was of intuitive character. In addition, the group covered was more likely to choose pharmacotherapy instead of diet-related prevention then, which can be associated with presumption of too distant effects and a long period of treatment.
Paper Detail
41
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2958
10007730
Parametric Analysis of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Using Lattice Boltzmann Method
Abstract:

The present paper deals with a numerical simulation of temperature field inside a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) components. The temperature distribution is investigated using a co-flow planar SOFC comprising the air and fuel channel and two-ceramic electrodes, anode and cathode, separated by a dense ceramic electrolyte. The Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is used for the numerical simulation of the physical problem. The effects of inlet temperature, anode thermal conductivity and current density on temperature distribution are discussed. It was found that temperature distribution is very sensitive to the inlet temperature and the current density.

Paper Detail
35
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2957
10007742
Lack of BIM Training: Investigating Practical Solutions for the State of Kuwait
Abstract:

Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.

Paper Detail
45
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2956
10007334
Innovative Waste Management Practices in Remote Areas
Abstract:

Municipal waste consist of a variety of items that are everyday discarded by the population. They are usually collected by municipalities and include waste generated by households, commercial activities (local shops) and public buildings. The composition of municipal waste varies greatly from place to place, being mostly related to levels and patterns of consumption, rates of urbanization, lifestyles, and local or national waste management practices. Each year, a huge amount of resources is consumed in the EU, and according to that, also a huge amount of waste is produced. The environmental problems derived from the management and processing of these waste streams are well known, and include impacts on land, water and air. The situation in remote areas is even worst. Difficult access when climatic conditions are adverse, remoteness of centralized municipal treatment systems or dispersion of the population, are all factors that make remote areas a real municipal waste treatment challenge. Furthermore, the scope of the problem increases significantly because the total lack of awareness of the existing risks in this area together with the poor implementation of advanced culture on waste minimization and recycling responsibly. The aim of this work is to analyze the existing situation in remote areas in reference to the production of municipal waste and evaluate the efficiency of different management alternatives. Ideas for improving waste management in remote areas include, for example: the implementation of self-management systems for the organic fraction; establish door-to-door collection models; promote small-scale treatment facilities or adjust the rates of waste generation thereof.

Paper Detail
82
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2955
10007520
Analyzing the Perception of Social Networking Sites as a Learning Tool among University Students: Case Study of a Business School in India
Authors:
Abstract:

Universities and higher education institutes are finding it increasingly difficult to engage students fruitfully through traditional pedagogic tools. Web 2.0 technologies comprising social networking sites (SNSs) offer a platform for students to collaborate and share information, thereby enhancing their learning experience. Despite the potential and reach of SNSs, its use has been limited in academic settings promoting higher education. The purpose of this paper is to assess the perception of social networking sites among business school students in India and analyze its role in enhancing quality of student experiences in a business school leading to the proposal of an agenda for future research. In this study, more than 300 students of a reputed business school were involved in a survey of their preferences of different social networking sites and their perceptions and attitudes towards these sites. A questionnaire with three major sections was designed, validated and distributed among  a sample of students, the research method being descriptive in nature. Crucial questions were addressed to the students concerning time commitment, reasons for usage, nature of interaction on these sites, and the propensity to share information leading to direct and indirect modes of learning. It was further supplemented with focus group discussion to analyze the findings. The paper notes the resistance in the adoption of new technology by a section of business school faculty, who are staunch supporters of the classical “face-to-face” instruction. In conclusion, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide new avenues for students to express themselves and to interact with one another. Universities could take advantage of the new ways  in which students are communicating with one another. Although interactive educational options such as Moodle exist, social networking sites are rarely used for academic purposes. Using this medium opens new ways of academically-oriented interactions where faculty could discover more about students' interests, and students, in turn, might express and develop more intellectual facets of their lives. hitherto unknown intellectual facets.  This study also throws up the enormous potential of mobile phones as a tool for “blended learning” in business schools going forward.

Paper Detail
35
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2954
10007340
Cyber Security Situational Awareness among Students: A Case Study in Malaysia
Abstract:

This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.

Paper Detail
95
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2953
10007346
An Innovative Green Cooling Approach Using Peltier Chip in Milling Operation for Surface Roughness Improvement
Abstract:

Surface roughness is one of the key quality parameters of the finished product. During any machining operation, high temperatures are generated at the tool-chip interface impairing surface quality and dimensional accuracy of products. Cutting fluids are generally applied during machining to reduce temperature at the tool-chip interface. However, usages of cutting fluids give rise to problems such as waste disposal, pollution, high cost, and human health hazard. Researchers, now-a-days, are opting towards dry machining and other cooling techniques to minimize use of coolants during machining while keeping surface roughness of products within desirable limits. In this paper, a concept of using peltier cooling effects during aluminium milling operation has been presented and adopted with an aim to improve surface roughness of the machined surface. Experimental evidence shows that peltier cooling effect provides better surface roughness of the machined surface compared to dry machining.

Paper Detail
55
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2952
10007347
Investigation of Possible Behavioural and Molecular Effects of Mobile Phone Exposure on Rats
Abstract:

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.

Paper Detail
58
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2951
10007372
Designing for Experience-Based Tourism: A Virtual Tour in Tehran
Abstract:

As one of the most significant phenomena of industrialized societies, tourism plays a key role in encouraging regional developments and enhancing higher standards of living for local communities in particular. Traveling is a formative experience endowed with lessons on various aspects of life. It allows us learning how to enhance the social position as well as the social relationships. However, people forget the need to travel and gain first-hand experiences as they have to cope with the ever-increasing rate of stress created by the disorders and routines of the urban dwelling style. In this paper, various spaces of such experiences were explored through a virtual tour with two underlying aims: 1) encouraging, informing, and educating the community in terms of tourism development, and 2) introducing a temporary release from the routines. This study enjoyed a practical-qualitative research methodology, and the required data were collected through observation and using a multiple-response questionnaire. The participants (19-48 years old) included 41 citizens of both genders (63.4% male and 36.6% female) from two regions in Tehran, selected by cluster-probability sampling. The results led to development of a spatial design for a virtual tour experience in Tehran where different areas are explored to both raise people’s awareness and educate them on their cultural heritage.

Paper Detail
87
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2950
10007404
Relationship between Functionality and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adult Women from the Southeast of Mexico
Abstract:

This study explores the relationship between the level of functionality and cognitive impairment in older adult women from the south-east of Mexico. It is a descriptive, cross-sectional study; performed with 172 participants in total who attended a health institute and live in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. After a non-probabilistic sampling, Barthel and Pfeiffer scales were applied. The results show statistically significant correlation between the cognitive impairment (Pfeiffer) and the levels of independence and function (Barthel) (r =0.489; p =0.001). Both determine a dependence level so they need either a little or a lot of help. Society needs that the older woman be healthy and that the professionals of mental health develop activities to prevent and rehabilitate because cognitive impairment and function are directly related with the quality of life.

Paper Detail
31
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2949
10007427
Proposed Program for Developing Some Concepts for Nursery School Children in Egypt Using Artistic Activities
Authors:
Abstract:

The study presents a proposed program for nursery school children in Egypt. The program consists of a collection of artistic activities and aims to develop the language, mathematical, and artistic skills of preschool children. Furthermore, the researcher has presented a questionnaire to experts about the link between the target group and the content. Finally, the proposed program was applied to group of 30 children. In addition, the researcher has prepared another questionnaire for measuring the effect of the program. This questionnaire was used as a pre-test and post-test, and at the end of the study, a significant difference was determined in favour of the post-test results.

Paper Detail
45
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2948
10007463
A Robotic Cube to Preschool Children for Acquiring the Mathematical and Colours Concepts
Abstract:

This work presents a robot called Conceptual Robotic Cube, CR-Cube. The robot can be used as an educational tool for children from the age of three. It has a cube shape attached with a camera colours sensor. In addition, it contains four wheels to move smoothly. The researchers prepared a questionnaire to measure the efficiency of the robot. The design and the questionnaire was presented to 11 experts who agreed that the robot is appropriate for learning numbering and colours for preschool children.

Paper Detail
65
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2947
10007464
Interruption Overload in an Office Environment: Hungarian Survey Focusing on the Factors that Affect Job Satisfaction and Work Efficiency
Abstract:

On the one hand, new technologies and communication tools improve employee productivity and accelerate information and knowledge transfer, while on the other hand, information overload and continuous interruptions make it even harder to concentrate at work. It is a great challenge for companies to find the right balance, while there is also an ongoing demand to recruit and retain the talented employees who are able to adopt the modern work style and effectively use modern communication tools. For this reason, this research does not focus on the objective measures of office interruptions, but aims to find those disruption factors which influence the comfort and job satisfaction of employees, and the way how they feel generally at work. The focus of this research is on how employees feel about the different types of interruptions, which are those they themselves identify as hindering factors, and those they feel as stress factors. By identifying and then reducing these destructive factors, job satisfaction can reach a higher level and employee turnover can be reduced. During the research, we collected information from depth interviews and questionnaires asking about work environment, communication channels used in the workplace, individual communication preferences, factors considered as disruptions, and individual steps taken to avoid interruptions. The questionnaire was completed by 141 office workers from several types of workplaces based in Hungary. Even though 66 respondents are working at Hungarian offices of multinational companies, the research is about the characteristics of the Hungarian labor force. The most important result of the research shows that while more than one third of the respondents consider office noise as a disturbing factor, personal inquiries are welcome and considered useful, even if in such cases the work environment will not be convenient to solve tasks requiring concentration. Analyzing the sizes of the offices, in an open-space environment, the rate of those who consider office noise as a disturbing factor is surprisingly lower than in smaller office rooms. Opinions are more diverse regarding information communication technologies. In addition to the interruption factors affecting the employees' job satisfaction, the research also focuses on the role of the offices in the 21st century.

Paper Detail
68
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2946
10007466
Structure-Activity Relationship of Gold Catalysts on Alumina Supported Cu-Ce Oxides for CO and Volatile Organic Compound Oxidation
Abstract:

The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.

Paper Detail
54
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2945
10007480
A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra
Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Paper Detail
32
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2944
10007482
Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation
Abstract:

Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

Paper Detail
52
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2943
10007485
Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic
Abstract:

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

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10007486
Existence of Nano-Organic Carbon Particles below the Size Range of 10 nm in the Indoor Air Environment
Abstract:

Indoor air environment is a big concern in the last few decades in the developing countries, with increased focus on monitoring the air quality. In this work, an experimental study has been conducted to establish the existence of carbon nanoparticles below the size range of 10 nm in the non-sooting zone of a LPG/air partially premixed flame. Mainly, four optical techniques, UV absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering and TEM have been used to characterize and measure the size of carbon nanoparticles in the sampled materials collected from the inner surface of the flame front. The existence of the carbon nanoparticles in the sampled material has been confirmed with the typical nature of the absorption and fluorescence spectra already reported in the literature. The band gap energy shows that the particles are made up of three to six aromatic rings. The size measurement by DLS technique also shows that the particles below the size range of 10 nm. The results of DLS are also corroborated by the TEM image of the same material. 

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10007509
Electric Vehicle Market Penetration Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Policy-Making: A Case Study of United Arab Emirates
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Abstract:

The United Arab Emirates is clearly facing a multitude of challenges in curbing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its pre-allotted framework of Kyoto protocol and COP21 targets due to its hunger for modernization, industrialization, infrastructure growth, soaring population and oil and gas activity. In this work, we focus on the bonafide zero emission electric vehicles market penetration in the country’s transport industry for emission reduction. We study the global electric vehicle market trends, the complementary battery technologies and the trends by manufacturers, emission standards across borders and prioritized advancements which will ultimately dictate the terms of future conditions for the United Arab Emirate transport industry. Based on our findings and analysis at every stage of current viability and state-of-transport-affairs, we postulate policy recommendations to local governmental entities from a supply and demand perspective covering aspects of technology, infrastructure requirements, change in power dynamics, end user incentives program, market regulators behavior and communications amongst key stakeholders. 

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10007511
Application of Particle Image Velocimetry in the Analysis of Scale Effects in Granular Soil
Abstract:

The available studies in the literature which dealt with the scale effects of strip footings on different sand packing systematically still remain scarce. In this research, the variation of ultimate bearing capacity and deformation pattern of soil beneath strip footings of different widths under plane-strain condition on the surface of loose, medium-dense and dense sand have been systematically studied using experimental and noninvasive methods for measuring microscopic deformations. The presented analyses are based on model scale compression test analysed using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Upper bound analysis of the current study shows that the maximum vertical displacement of the sand under the ultimate load increases for an increase in the width of footing, but at a decreasing rate with relative density of sand, whereas the relative vertical displacement in the sand decreases for an increase in the width of the footing. A well agreement is observed between experimental results for different footing widths and relative densities. The experimental analyses have shown that there exists pronounced scale effect for strip surface footing. The bearing capacity factors Nγ rapidly decrease up to footing widths B=0.25 m, 0.35 m, and 0.65 m for loose, medium-dense and dense sand respectively, after that there is no significant decrease in Nγ. The deformation modes of the soil as well as the ultimate bearing capacity values have been affected by the footing widths. The obtained results could be used to improve settlement calculation of the foundation interacting with granular soil.

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10007526
Revised Technology Acceptance Model Framework for M-Commerce Adoption
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Abstract:

Following the E-Commerce era, M-Commerce is the next big phase in the technology involvement and advancement. This paper intends to explore how Indian consumers are influenced to adopt the M-commerce. In this paper, the revised Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been presented on the basis of the most dominant factors that affect the adoption of M-Commerce in Indian scenario. Furthermore, an analytical questionnaire approach was carried out to collect data from Indian consumers. These collected data were further used for the validation of the presented model. Findings indicate that customization, convenience, instant connectivity, compatibility, security, download speed in M-Commerce affect the adoption behavior. Furthermore, the findings suggest that perceived usefulness and attitude towards M-Commerce are positively influenced by number of M-Commerce drivers (i.e. download speed, compatibility, convenience, security, customization, connectivity, and input mechanism).

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10007550
User Survey on Food and Drinks in Japanese Public Libraries
Abstract:

Several decades ago, food and drinks were disallowed in most Japanese libraries. However, as discussions of “Library as a Place” have increased in recent years, the number of public and university libraries that have relaxed their policies to allow food and drinks have been increasing. This study focused on the opinions of library users on allowing food and drinks in public libraries and conducted a questionnaire survey among users of nine Japanese libraries. The results indicated that many users favored allowing food and drinks in libraries. Furthermore, it was found that users tend to frequently visit and stay longer in libraries where food and drinks are allowed.

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