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.
With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.
The hi-tech industries in the Science Park at southern Taiwan were heavily damaged by a strong earthquake early 2016. The financial loss in this event was attributed primarily to the automated stocker system handling fully processed products, and recovery of the automated stocker system from the aftermath proved to contribute major lead time. Therefore, development of effective means for protection of stockers against earthquakes has become the highest priority for risk minimization and business continuity. This study proposes to mitigate the seismic response of the stockers by introducing viscous fluid dampers in between the ceiling and the top of the stockers. The stocker is expected to vibrate less violently with a passive control force on top. Linear damper is considered in this application with an optimal damping coefficient determined from a preliminary parametric study. The damper is small in size in comparison with those adopted for building or bridge applications. Component test of the dampers has been carried out to make sure they meet the design requirement. Shake table tests have been further conducted to verify the proposed scheme under realistic earthquake conditions. Encouraging results have been achieved by effectively reducing the seismic responses of up to 60% and preventing the FOUPs from falling off the shelves that would otherwise be the case if left unprotected. Effectiveness of adopting a viscous fluid damper for seismic control of the stocker on top against the ceiling has been confirmed. This technique has been adopted by Macronix International Co., LTD for seismic retrofit of existing stockers. Demonstrative projects on the application of the proposed technique are planned underway for other companies in the display industry as well.
This paper studies a case where the targeted surface roughness of fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing process is improved. The process is designing to reduce or eliminate the defects and improve the process capability index Cp and Cpk for an FDM additive manufacturing process. The baseline Cp is 0.274 and Cpk is 0.654. This research utilizes the Taguchi methodology, to eliminate defects and improve the process. The Taguchi method is used to optimize the additive manufacturing process and printing parameters that affect the targeted surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing. The Taguchi L9 orthogonal array is used to organize the parameters' (four controllable parameters and one non-controllable parameter) effectiveness on the FDM additive manufacturing process. The four controllable parameters are nozzle temperature [°C], layer thickness [mm], nozzle speed [mm/s], and extruder speed [%]. The non-controllable parameter is the environmental temperature [°C]. After the optimization of the parameters, a confirmation print was printed to prove that the results can reduce the amount of defects and improve the process capability index Cp from 0.274 to 1.605 and the Cpk from 0.654 to 1.233 for the FDM additive manufacturing process. The final results confirmed that the Taguchi methodology is sufficient to improve the surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing process.
From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.
Bioassay is the measurement of the potency of a chemical substance by its effect on a living animal or plant tissue. Bioassay data and chemical structures from pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism screening are mined from and housed in multiple databases. Bioassay prediction is calculated accordingly to determine further advancement. This paper proposes a four-step preprocessing of datasets for improving the bioassay predictions. The first step is instance selection in which dataset is categorized into training, testing, and validation sets. The second step is discretization that partitions the data in consideration of accuracy vs. precision. The third step is normalization where data are normalized between 0 and 1 for subsequent machine learning processing. The fourth step is feature selection where key chemical properties and attributes are generated. The streamlined results are then analyzed for the prediction of effectiveness by various machine learning algorithms including Pipeline Pilot, R, Weka, and Excel. Experiments and evaluations reveal the effectiveness of various combination of preprocessing steps and machine learning algorithms in more consistent and accurate prediction.
This paper concerns with the modeling, simulation, and emulation of a wind turbine emulator for standalone wind energy conversion systems. By using emulation system, we aim to reproduce the dynamic behavior of the wind turbine torque on the generator shaft: it provides the testing facilities to optimize generator control strategies in a controlled environment, without reliance on natural resources. The aerodynamic, mechanical, electrical models have been detailed as well as the control of pitch angle using Fuzzy Logic for horizontal axis wind turbines. The wind turbine emulator consists mainly of an induction motor with AC power drive with torque control. The control of the induction motor and the mathematical models of the wind turbine are designed with MATLAB/Simulink environment. The simulation results confirm the effectiveness of the induction motor control system and the functionality of the wind turbine emulator for providing all necessary parameters of the wind turbine system such as wind speed, output torque, power coefficient and tip speed ratio. The findings are of direct practical relevance.
Sump can be defined as a reservoir which contains slurry; a mixture of solid and liquid or water, in it. Sump system is an unsteady process owing to the level response. Sump level shall be monitored carefully by using a good controller to avoid overflow. The current conventional controllers would not be able to solve problems with large time delay and nonlinearities, Fuzzy Logic controller is tested to prove its ability in solving the listed problems of slurry sump. Therefore, in order to justify the effectiveness and reliability of these controllers, simulation of the sump system was created by using MATLAB and the results were compared. According to the result obtained, instead of Proportional-Integral (PI) and Proportional-Integral and Derivative (PID), Fuzzy Logic controller showed the best result by offering quick response of 0.32 s for step input and 5 s for pulse generator, by producing small Integral Absolute Error (IAE) values that are 0.66 and 0.36 respectively.
The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.
Architectural design is a complex process especially when the issue of user’s comfort, building sustainability and energy efficiency needs to be addressed. The current energy challenge and the seek for an environment where users will have a more physiological and psychological comfort in this part of the world have led various researchers to constantly explore the concept of passive design techniques. Passive techniques are design strategies used in regulating building indoor climates and improving users comfort without the use of energy driven devices. This paper describes and analyses the significance of passive techniques on indoor climates and their impact on thermal comfort of building users using LAUTECH College of health sciences Ogbomoso as a case study. The study aims at assessing the appropriateness of the passive strategies used in achieving comfort in their buildings with a view to evaluate their adequacy and effectiveness and suggesting how comfortable their building users are. This assessment was carried out through field survey and questionnaires and findings revealed that strategies such as Orientation, Spacing, Courtyards, window positioning and choice of landscape adopted are inadequate while only fins and roof overhangs are adequate. The finding also revealed that 72% of building occupants feel hot discomfort in their various spaces and hence have the urge to get fresh air from outside during work hours. The Mahoney table was used to provide appropriate architectural design recommendations to guide future designers in the study area.
Medical images are important to help identifying different diseases, for example, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to investigate the brain, spinal cord, bones, joints, breasts, blood vessels, and heart. Image segmentation, in medical image analysis, is usually the first step to find out some characteristics with similar color, intensity or texture so that the diagnosis could be further carried out based on these features. This paper introduces an improved C-means model to segment the MRI images. The model is based on information entropy to evaluate the segmentation results by achieving global optimization. Several contributions are significant. Firstly, Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used for achieving global optimization in this model where fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm (FCMA) is not capable of doing that. Secondly, the information entropy after segmentation is used for measuring the effectiveness of MRI image processing. Experimental results show the outperformance of the proposed model by comparing with traditional approaches.
Non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) is a common condition with no exact diagnosis and mechanism for its occurrence. Recently, different therapeutic exercises have taken into account to manage NSCLBP. So, the aim of this study has mainly been placed on comparing the effects of Pilates and Mackenzie exercises on quality of life (QOL) lumbar spine position sense (LSPS) in patients with NSCLBP. In this randomized clinical trial, 47 patients with NSCLBP were voluntarily divided into three groups of Pilates (n=16) (with mean age 37.1 ± 9.5 years, height 168.9 ± 7.4 cm, body mass 76.1 ± 5.9 k), McKenzie (n=15) (with mean age 42.7 ± 8.1 years, height 165.7 ± 6.8, body mass 74.1 ± 4.8 kg) and control (n=16) (with mean age 39.3 ± 9.8 years, height 168.1 ± 8.1 cm, body mass 74.2 ± 5.8 kg). Primary outcome included QOL and secondary was LSPS. Both variables were assessed by the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires and electrogoniameter, respectively. The measurements were performed at baseline, following a 6-week intervention, and after a 4-week follow-up. The ANCOVA test at P < 0.05 was administrated to analyze the collected data using SPSS software. There was a statistically significant difference between experimental groups and the control group to improve QOL. But, no difference was seen regarding the effects of two exercises on LSPS (p < 0.05). Both Pilates and Mackenzie exercises demonstrated improvement in QOL after 6-week intervention and a 4-week follow-up while none of them considerably affected LSPS. Further studies are required to establish a supporting evidence for the effectiveness of two exercises on NSCLBP.
Different transportation modes have key operational advantages and disadvantages, providing a variety of different transport options to users and passengers. This paper reviews key variables for the competition between air transport and other transport modes. The aim of this paper is to review the competition between air transport and other transport modes, providing results in terms of perceived cost for the users, for destinations high competitiveness for all transport modes. The competitor analysis variables include the cost and time outputs for each transport option, highlighting the level of competitiveness on high demanded Origin-Destination corridors. The case study presents the output of a such analysis for the OD corridor in Greece that connects the Capital city (Athens) with the second largest city (Thessaloniki) and the different transport modes have been considered (air, train, road). Conventional wisdom is to present an easy to handle tool for planners, managers and decision makers towards pricing policy effectiveness and demand attractiveness, appropriate to use for other similar cases.
Ammonia in mining wastewater is a significant problem, and treatment can be especially difficult in cold climates where biological treatment is not feasible. An adsorption process is one of the alternative processes that can be used to reduce ammonia concentrations to acceptable limits, and therefore a LEWATIT resin strongly acidic H+ form ion exchange resin and a Bowie Chabazite Na form AZLB-Na zeolite were tested to assess their effectiveness. For these adsorption tests, two packed bed columns (a mini-column constructed from a 32-cm long x 1-cm diameter piece of glass tubing, and a 60-cm long x 2.5-cm diameter Ace Glass chromatography column) were used containing varying quantities of the adsorbents. A mining wastewater with ammonia concentrations of 22.7 mg/L was fed through the columns at controlled flowrates. In the experimental work, maximum capacities of the LEWATIT ion exchange resin were 0.438, 0.448, and 1.472 mg/g for 3, 6, and 9 g respectively in a mini column and 1.739 mg/g for 141.5 g in a larger Ace column while the capacities for the AZLB-Na zeolite were 0.424, and 0.784 mg/g for 3, and 6 g respectively in the mini column and 1.1636 mg/g for 38.5 g in the Ace column. In the theoretical work, Thomas, Adams-Bohart, and Yoon-Nelson models were constructed to describe a breakthrough curve of the adsorption process and find the constants of the above-mentioned models. In the regeneration tests, 5% hydrochloric acid, HCl (v/v) and 10% sodium hydroxide, NaOH (w/v) were used to regenerate the LEWATIT resin and AZLB-Na zeolite with 44 and 63.8% recovery, respectively. In conclusion, continuous flow adsorption using a LEWATIT ion exchange resin and an AZLB-Na zeolite is efficient when using a co-flow technique for removal of the ammonia from wastewater. Thomas, Adams-Bohart, and Yoon-Nelson models satisfactorily fit the data with R2 closer to 1 in all cases.
Mathematical model describing energetic efficiency (defined as a ratio of energy obtained in the form of biofuel to the sum of energy inputs necessary to facilitate production) of agricultural subsystem as a function of technological parameters was developed. Production technology is characterized by parameters of machinery, topological characteristics of the plantation as well as transportation routes inside and outside of plantation. The relationship between the energetic efficiency of agricultural and industrial subsystems is also derived. Due to the assumed large area of the individual field, the operations last for several days increasing inter-fields routes because of several returns. The total distance driven outside of the fields is, however, small as compared to the distance driven inside of the fields. This results in small energy consumption during inter-fields transport that, however, causes a substantial decrease of the energetic effectiveness of the whole system.
Rating prediction is an important problem for recommender systems. The task is to predict the rating for an item that a user would give. Most of the existing algorithms for the task ignore the effect of negative ratings rated by users on items, but the negative ratings have a significant impact on users’ purchasing decisions in practice. In this paper, we present a rating prediction algorithm based on factorization machines that consider the effect of negative ratings inspired by Loss Aversion theory. The aim of this paper is to develop a concave and a convex negative disgust function to evaluate the negative ratings respectively. Experiments are conducted on MovieLens dataset. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods by comparing with other four the state-of-the-art approaches. The negative ratings showed much importance in the accuracy of ratings predictions.
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.
This paper presents a numerical study for investigating the effectiveness of geocell reinforcement in reducing pressure and settlement over EPS geofoam blocks in road embankments. A 3-D FEM model of soil and geofoam was created in ABAQUS, and geocell was also modeled realistically using membrane elements. The accuracy of the model was tested by comparing its results with previous works. Sensitivity analyses showed that reinforcing the soil cover with geocell has a significant influence on the reduction of imposed stresses over geofoam and consequently decreasing its deformation.
There is a necessity among rail transportation authorities for a superior understanding of the rail track degradation overtime and the factors influencing rail degradation. They need an accurate technique to identify the time when rail tracks fail or need maintenance. In turn, this will help to increase the level of safety and comfort of the passengers and the vehicles as well as improve the cost effectiveness of maintenance activities. An accurate model can play a key role in prediction of the long-term behaviour of railroad tracks. An accurate model can decrease the cost of maintenance. In this research, the rail track degradation is predicted using an autoregressive moving average with exogenous input (ARMAX). An ARMAX has been implemented on Melbourne tram data to estimate the values for the tram track degradation. Gauge values and rail usage in Million Gross Tone (MGT) are the main parameters used in the model. The developed model can accurately predict the future status of the tram tracks.