Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 121

The Study of Formal and Semantic Errors of Lexis by Persian EFL Learners

Producing a text in a language which is not one’s mother tongue can be a demanding task for language learners. Examining lexical errors committed by EFL learners is a challenging area of investigation which can shed light on the process of second language acquisition. Despite the considerable number of investigations into grammatical errors, few studies have tackled formal and semantic errors of lexis committed by EFL learners. The current study aimed at examining Persian learners’ formal and semantic errors of lexis in English. To this end, 60 students at three different proficiency levels were asked to write on 10 different topics in 10 separate sessions. Finally, 600 essays written by Persian EFL learners were collected, acting as the corpus of the study. An error taxonomy comprising formal and semantic errors was selected to analyze the corpus. The formal category covered misselection and misformation errors, while the semantic errors were classified into lexical, collocational and lexicogrammatical categories. Each category was further classified into subcategories depending on the identified errors. The results showed that there were 2583 errors in the corpus of 9600 words, among which, 2030 formal errors and 553 semantic errors were identified. The most frequent errors in the corpus included formal error commitment (78.6%), which were more prevalent at the advanced level (42.4%). The semantic errors (21.4%) were more frequent at the low intermediate level (40.5%). Among formal errors of lexis, the highest number of errors was devoted to misformation errors (98%), while misselection errors constituted 2% of the errors. Additionally, no significant differences were observed among the three semantic error subcategories, namely collocational, lexical choice and lexicogrammatical. The results of the study can shed light on the challenges faced by EFL learners in the second language acquisition process.

Cloning, Expression and Protein Purification of AV1 Gene of Okra Leaf Curl Virus Egyptian Isolate and Genetic Diversity between Whitefly and Different Plant Hosts

Begomoviruses are economically important plant viruses that infect dicotyledonous plants and exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, replicative form was isolated from Okra, Cotton, Tomato plants and whitefly infected with Begomoviruses. Using coat protein specific primers (AV1), the viral infection was verified with amplicon at 450 bp. The sequence of OLCuV-AV1 gene was recorded and received an accession number (FJ441605) from Genebank. The phylogenetic tree of OLCuV was closely related to Okra leaf curl virus previously isolated from Cameroon and USA with nucleotide sequence identity of 92%. The protein purification was carried out using His-Tag methodology by using Affinity Chromatography. The purified protein was separated on SDS-PAGE analysis and an enriched expected size of band at 30 kDa was observed. Furthermore, RAPD and SDS-PAGE were used to detect genetic variability between different hosts of okra leaf curl virus (OLCuV), cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCuV) and the whitefly vector. Finally, the present study would help to understand the relationship between the whitefly and different economical crops in Egypt.

Simplified Equations for Rigidity and Lateral Deflection for Reinforced Concrete Cantilever Shear Walls
Reinforced concrete shear walls are the most frequently used forms of lateral resisting structural elements. These walls may take many forms due to their functions and locations in the building. In Palestine, the most lateral resisting forces construction forms is the cantilever shear walls system. It is thus of prime importance to study the rigidity of these walls. The virtual work theorem is used to derive the total lateral deflection of cantilever shear walls due to flexural and shear deformation. The case of neglecting the shear deformation in the walls is also studied, and it is found that the wall height to length aspect ratio (H/B) plays a major role in calculating the lateral deflection and the rigidity of such walls. When the H/B is more than or equal to 3.7, the shear deformation may be neglected from the calculation of the lateral deflection. Moreover, the walls with the same material properties, same lateral load value, and same aspect ratio, shall have the same of both the lateral deflection and the rigidity. Finally, an equation to calculate the total rigidity and total deflection of such walls is derived by using the virtual work theorem for a cantilever beam.
Structural Properties of Polar Liquids in Binary Mixture Using Microwave Technique

The study of static dielectric properties in a binary mixture of 1,2 dichloroethane (DE) and n,n dimethylformamide (DMF) polar liquids has been carried out in the frequency range of 10 MHz to 30 GHz for 11 different concentration using time domain reflectometry technique at 10ºC temperature. The dielectric relaxation study of solute-solvent mixture at microwave frequencies gives information regarding the creation of monomers and multimers as well as interaction between the molecules of the binary mixture. The least squares fit method is used to determine the values of dielectric parameters such as static dielectric constant (ε0), dielectric constant at high frequency (ε∞) and relaxation time (τ).

Non-Linear Load-Deflection Response of Shape Memory Alloys-Reinforced Composite Cylindrical Shells under Uniform Radial Load

Shape memory alloys (SMA) are often implemented in smart structures as the active components. Their ability to recover large displacements has been used in many applications, including structural stability/response enhancement and active structural acoustic control. SMA wires or fibers can be embedded with composite cylinders to increase their critical buckling load, improve their load-deflection behavior, and reduce the radial deflections under various thermo-mechanical loadings. This paper presents a semi-analytical investigation on the non-linear load-deflection response of SMA-reinforced composite circular cylindrical shells. The cylinder shells are under uniform external pressure load. Based on first-order shear deformation shell theory (FSDT), the equilibrium equations of the structure are derived. One-dimensional simplified Brinson’s model is used for determining the SMA recovery force due to its simplicity and accuracy. Airy stress function and Galerkin technique are used to obtain non-linear load-deflection curves. The results are verified by comparing them with those in the literature. Several parametric studies are conducted in order to investigate the effect of SMA volume fraction, SMA pre-strain value, and SMA activation temperature on the response of the structure. It is shown that suitable usage of SMA wires results in a considerable enhancement in the load-deflection response of the shell due to the generation of the SMA tensile recovery force.

Reading and Teaching Poetry as Communicative Discourse: A Pragma-Linguistic Approach

Language is communication on several discourse levels. The target of teaching a language and the literature of a foreign language is to communicate a message. Reading, appreciating, analysing, and interpreting poetry as a sophisticated rhetorical expression of human thoughts, emotions, and philosophical messages is more feasible through the use of linguistic pragmatic tools from a communicative discourse perspective. The poet's intention, speech act, illocutionary act, and perlocutionary goal can be better understood when communicative situational context as well as linguistic discourse structure theories are employed. The use of linguistic theories in the teaching of poetry is, therefore, intrinsic to students' comprehension, interpretation, and appreciation of poetry of the different ages. It is the purpose of this study to show how both teachers as well as students can apply these linguistic theories and tools to dramatic poetic texts for an engaging, enlightening, and effective interpretation and appreciation of the language. Theories drawn from areas of pragmatics, discourse analysis, embedded discourse level, communicative situational context, and other linguistic approaches were applied to selected poetry texts from the different centuries. Further, in a simple statistical count of the number of poems with dialogic dramatic discourse with embedded two or three levels of discourse in different anthologies outweighs the number of descriptive poems with a one level of discourse, between the poet and the reader. Poetry is thus discourse on one, two, or three levels. It is, therefore, recommended that teachers and students in the area of ESL/EFL use the linguistics theories for a better understanding of poetry as communicative discourse. The practice of applying these linguistic theories in classrooms and in research will allow them to perceive the language and its linguistic, social, and cultural aspect. Texts will become live illocutionary acts with a perlocutionary acts goal rather than mere literary texts in anthologies.

Teaching Turn-Taking Rules and Pragmatic Principles to Empower EFL Students and Enhance Their Learning in Speaking Modules

Teaching and learning EFL speaking modules is one of the most challenging productive modules for both instructors and learners. In a student-centered interactive communicative language teaching approach, learners and instructors should be aware of the fact that the target language must be taught as/for communication. The student must be empowered by tools that will work on more than one level of their communicative competence. Communicative learning will need a teaching and learning methodology that will address the goal. Teaching turn-taking rules, pragmatic principles and speech acts will enhance students' sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence together with discourse competence. Sociolinguistic competence entails the mastering of speech act conventions and illocutionary acts of refusing, agreeing/disagreeing; emotive acts like, thanking, apologizing, inviting, offering; directives like, ordering, requesting, advising, and hinting, among others. Strategic competence includes enlightening students’ consciousness of the various particular turn-taking systemic rules of organizing techniques of opening and closing conversation, adjacency pairs, interrupting, back-channeling, asking for/giving opinion, agreeing/disagreeing, using natural fillers for pauses, gaps, speaker select, self-select, and silence among others. Students will have the tools to manage a conversation. Students are engaged in opportunities of experiencing the natural language not as a mere extra student talking time but rather an empowerment of knowing and using the strategies. They will have the component items they need to use as well as the opportunity to communicate in the target language using topics of their interest and choice. This enhances students' communicative abilities. Available websites and textbooks now use one or more of these tools of turn-taking or pragmatics. These will be students' support in self-study in their independent learning study hours. This will be their reinforcement practice on e-Learning interactive activities. The students' target is to be able to communicate the intended meaning to an addressee that is in turn able to infer that intended meaning. The combination of these tools will be assertive and encouraging to the student to beat the struggle with what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Teaching the rules, principles and techniques is an act of awareness raising method engaging students in activities that will lead to their pragmatic discourse competence. The aim of the paper is to show how the suggested pragmatic model will empower students with tools and systems that would support their learning. Supporting students with turn taking rules, speech act theory, applying both to texts and practical analysis and using it in speaking classes empowers students’ pragmatic discourse competence and assists them to understand language and its context. They become more spontaneous and ready to learn the discourse pragmatic dimension of the speaking techniques and suitable content. Students showed a better performance and a good motivation to learn. The model is therefore suggested for speaking modules in EFL classes.

Modeling and Experimental Studies on Solar Crop Dryer Coupled with Reversed Absorber Type Solar Air Heater

The experiment was carried out to study the performance of solar crop dryer coupled with reversed absorber type solar air heater (SD2). Excel software is used to analyse the raw data obtained from the drying experiment to develop a model. An attempt is made in this paper to correlate the collector efficiency, dryer efficiency and pick-up efficiency. All these efficiencies are dependent on the parameters such as solar flux, ambient temperature, collector outlet temperature and moisture content. The simulation equation was developed to predict the values of collector efficiency. The parameters a, n and drying constant k were determined from a plot of curve using a drying models. Experimental data of drying red chili in conventional solar dryer and solar dryer coupled with reversed absorber solar air heater was compared by fitting with three drying models. The moisture content will be rapidly reduced in solar dryer with reversed absorber due to higher drying temperatures. The best fit model was selected to describe the drying behavior of red chili. For SD2 the values of the coefficient of determination (R2=0.997), mean bias error (MBE=0.00026) and root mean square error (RMSE=0.016) were used to determine the goodness or the quality of the fit. Pages model showed a better fit to drying red chili among Newton model and Henderson & Pabis model.

Mathematical Modeling and Analysis of Forced Vibrations in Micro-Scale Microstretch Thermoelastic Simply Supported Beam
The present paper deals with the flexural vibrations of homogeneous, isotropic, generalized micropolar microstretch thermoelastic thin Euler-Bernoulli beam resonators, due to Exponential time varying load. Both the axial ends of the beam are assumed to be at simply supported conditions. The governing equations have been solved analytically by using Laplace transforms technique twice with respect to time and space variables respectively. The inversion of Laplace transform in time domain has been performed by using the calculus of residues to obtain deflection.The analytical results have been numerically analyzed with the help of MATLAB software for magnesium like material. The graphical representations and interpretations have been discussed for Deflection of beam under Simply Supported boundary condition and for distinct considered values of time and space as well. The obtained results are easy to implement for engineering analysis and designs of resonators (sensors), modulators, actuators.
A Study on Application of Elastic Theory for Computing Flexural Stresses in Preflex Beam

This paper presents the step-by-step procedure for using Elastic Theory to calculate the internal stresses in composite bridge girders prestressed by the Preflexing Technology, called Prebeam in Japan and Preflex beam worldwide. Elastic Theory approaches preflex beams the same way as it does the conventional composite girders. Since preflex beam undergoes different stages of construction, calculations are made using different sectional and material properties. Stresses are calculated in every stage using the properties of the specific section. Stress accumulation gives the available stress in a section of interest. Concrete presence in the section implies prestress loss due to creep and shrinkage, however; more work is required to be done in this field. In addition to the graphical presentation of this application, this paper further discusses important notes of graphical comparison between the results of an experimental-only research carried out on a preflex beam, with the results of simulation based on the elastic theory approach, for an identical beam using Finite Element Modeling (FEM) by the author.

Comparison of Physical and Chemical Properties of Micro-Silica and Locally Produced Metakaolin and Effect on the Properties of Concrete

The properties of locally produced metakaolin (MK) as cement replacing material and the comparison of reactivity with commercially available micro-silica have been investigated. Compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, and load-deflection behaviour under bending are the properties that have been studied. The amorphous phase of MK with micro-silica was compared through X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern. Further, interfacial transition zone of concrete with micro-silica and MK was observed through Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). Three mixes of concrete were prepared. One of the mix is without cement replacement as control mix, and the remaining two mixes are 10% cement replacement with micro-silica and MK. It has been found that MK, due to its irregular structure and amorphous phase, has high reactivity with portlandite in concrete. The compressive strength at early age is higher with MK as compared to micro-silica. MK concrete showed higher splitting tensile strength and higher load carrying capacity as compared to control and micro-silica concrete at all ages respectively.

Studying the Structural Behaviour of RC Beams with Circular Openings of Different Sizes and Locations Using FE Method

This paper aims to investigate the structural behaviour of RC beams with circular openings of different sizes and locations modelled using ABAQUS FEM software. Seven RC beams with the dimensions of 1200 mm×150 mm×150 mm were tested under three-point loading. Group A consists of three RC beams incorporating circular openings with diameters of 40 mm, 55 mm and 65 mm in the shear zone. However, Group B consists of three RC beams incorporating circular openings with diameters of 40 mm, 55 mm and 65 mm in the flexural zone. The final RC beam did not have any openings, to provide a control beam for comparison. The results show that increasing the diameter of the openings increases the maximum deflection and the ultimate failure load decreases relative to the control beam. In the shear zone, the presence of the openings caused an increase in the maximum deflection ranging between 4% and 22% and a decrease in the ultimate failure load of between 26% and 36% compared to the control beam. However, the presence of the openings in the flexural zone caused an increase in the maximum deflection of between 1.5% and 19.7% and a decrease in the ultimate failure load of between 6% and 13% relative to the control beam. In this study, the optimum location for placing circular openings was found to be in the flexural zone of the beam with a diameter of less than 30% of the depth of the beam.

Optimal Placement and Sizing of Energy Storage System in Distribution Network with Photovoltaic Based Distributed Generation Using Improved Firefly Algorithms

The installation of photovoltaic based distributed generation (PVDG) in active distribution system can lead to voltage fluctuation due to the intermittent and unpredictable PVDG output power. This paper presented a method in mitigating the voltage rise by optimally locating and sizing the battery energy storage system (BESS) in PVDG integrated distribution network. The improved firefly algorithm is used to perform optimal placement and sizing. Three objective functions are presented considering the voltage deviation and BESS off-time with state of charge as the constraint. The performance of the proposed method is compared with another optimization method such as the original firefly algorithm and gravitational search algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed optimum BESS location and size improve the voltage stability.

Improvement of Load Carrying Capacity of an RCC T-Beam Bridge Longitudinal Girder by Replacing Steel Bars with SMA Bars

An innovative three dimensional finite element model has beed developed and tested under two point loading system to examine the structural behavior of the longitudinal reinforced concrete Tee-beam bridge girder, reinforcing with steel and shape memory alloy bars respectively. 25% of steel bars are replaced with superelastic Shape Memory Alloy bars in this study. Finite element analysis is performed using ANSYS 11.0 program. Experimentally a model of steel reinforced girder has been casted and its load deflection responses are checked with ANSYS analysis. A comparison of load carrying capacity for the model between steel RC girder and the girder combined reinforcement with SMA and steel are also performed.

Teaching Linguistic Humour Research Theories: Egyptian Higher Education EFL Literature Classes

“Humour studies” is an interdisciplinary research area that is relatively recent. It interests researchers from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, medicine, nursing, in the work place, gender studies, among others, and certainly teaching, language learning, linguistics, and literature. Linguistic theories of humour research are numerous; some of which are of interest to the present study. In spite of the fact that humour courses are now taught in universities around the world in the Egyptian context it is not included. The purpose of the present study is two-fold: to review the state of arts and to show how linguistic theories of humour can be possibly used as an art and craft of teaching and of learning in EFL literature classes. In the present study linguistic theories of humour were applied to selected literary texts to interpret humour as an intrinsic artistic communicative competence challenge. Humour in the area of linguistics was seen as a fifth component of communicative competence of the second language leaner. In literature it was studied as satire, irony, wit, or comedy. Linguistic theories of humour now describe its linguistic structure, mechanism, function, and linguistic deviance. Semantic Script Theory of Verbal Humor (SSTH), General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH), Audience Based Theory of Humor (ABTH), and their extensions and subcategories as well as the pragmatic perspective were employed in the analyses. This research analysed the linguistic semantic structure of humour, its mechanism, and how the audience reader (teacher or learner) becomes an interactive interpreter of the humour. This promotes humour competence together with the linguistic, social, cultural, and discourse communicative competence. Studying humour as part of the literary texts and the perception of its function in the work also brings its positive association in class for educational purposes. Humour is by default a provoking/laughter-generated device. Incongruity recognition, perception and resolving it, is a cognitive mastery. This cognitive process involves a humour experience that lightens up the classroom and the mind. It establishes connections necessary for the learning process. In this context the study examined selected narratives to exemplify the application of the theories. It is, therefore, recommended that the theories would be taught and applied to literary texts for a better understanding of the language. Students will then develop their language competence. Teachers in EFL/ESL classes will teach the theories, assist students apply them and interpret text and in the process will also use humour. This is thus easing students' acquisition of the second language, making the classroom an enjoyable, cheerful, self-assuring, and self-illuminating experience for both themselves and their students. It is further recommended that courses of humour research studies should become an integral part of higher education curricula in Egypt.

The Escalation of Incivility in the Light of Social Constructions that Conceal Inequalities

The purpose of this article is to understand the dynamics of the increase in incivility through social relations (gender, race, class, sexual orientation, etc.), which hide inequalities in the form of treatment and opportunities within the organizational sphere. For this, we will examine works that address incivility at work, as well as studies that deviate from the mainstream, bringing more obscure organizational facets to light in connection with a critical approach to this issue. Next, some results of a bibliometric study shall be exposed, to analyze contributions connected to the theme and demonstrate gaps for future research. Then, models that facilitate reflection on the dynamics of violence shall be discussed. Finally, a broader concept of incivility in interpersonal relationships in the workplace shall be exposed considering the multiple approaches discussed.

Enhancing Critical Reflective Practice in Fieldwork Education: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Social Work Agencies in the Welfare Context of Hong Kong

In recent decades, it is observed that social work agencies have participated actively, and thus, have gradually been more influential in social work education in Hong Kong. The neo-liberal welfare ideologies and changing funding mode have transformed the landscape in social work practice and have also had a major influence on the fieldwork environment in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to explore the educational role of social work agencies and examine in particular whether they are able to enhance or hinder critical reflective learning in fieldwork. In-depth interviews with 15 frontline social workers and managers in different social work agencies were conducted to collect their views and experience in helping social work students in fieldwork. The overall findings revealed that under the current social welfare context most social workers consider that the most important role of social work agencies in fieldwork is to help students prepare to fit-in the practice requirements and work within agencies’ boundary. The fit-for-purpose and down-to-earth view of fieldwork practice is seen as prevalent among most social workers. This narrow perception of agency’s role seems to be more favourable to competence-based approaches. In contrast, though critical reflection has been seen as important in addressing the changing needs of service users, the role of enhancing critical reflective learning has not been clearly expected or understood by most agency workers. The notion of critical reflection, if considered, has been narrowly perceived in fieldwork learning. The findings suggest that the importance of critical reflection is found to be subordinate to that of practice competence. The lack of critical reflection in the field is somehow embedded in the competence-based social work practice. In general, social work students’ critical reflection has not been adequately supported or enhanced in fieldwork agencies, nor critical reflective practice has been encouraged in fieldwork process. To address this situation, the role of social work agencies in fieldwork should be re-examined. To maximise critical reflective learning in the field, critical reflection as an avowed objective in fieldwork learning should be clearly stated. Concrete suggestions are made to help fieldwork agencies become more prepared to critical reflective learning. It is expected that the research can help social work communities to reflect upon the current realities of fieldwork context and to identify ways to strengthen agencies’ capacities to enhance critical reflective learning and practice of social work students.

Current Deflecting Wall: A Promising Structure for Minimising Siltation in Semi-Enclosed Docks
Many estuarine harbours in the world are facing the problem of siltation in docks, channel entrances, etc. The harbours in India are not an exception and require maintenance dredging to achieve navigable depths for keeping them operable. Hence, dredging is inevitable and is a costly affair. The heavy siltation in docks in well mixed tide dominated estuaries is mainly due to settlement of cohesive sediments in suspension. As such there is a need to have a permanent solution for minimising the siltation in such docks to alter the hydrodynamic flow field responsible for siltation by constructing structures outside the dock. One of such docks on the west coast of India, wherein siltation of about 2.5-3 m/annum prevails, was considered to understand the hydrodynamic flow field responsible for siltation. The dock is situated in such a region where macro type of semi-diurnal tide (range of about 5m) prevails. In order to change the flow field responsible for siltation inside the dock, suitability of Current Deflecting Wall (CDW) outside the dock was studied, which will minimise the sediment exchange rate and siltation in the dock. The well calibrated physical tidal model was used to understand the flow field during various phases of tide for the existing dock in Mumbai harbour. At the harbour entrance where the tidal flux exchanges in/out of the dock, measurements on water level and current were made to estimate the sediment transport capacity. The distorted scaled model (1:400 (H) & 1:80 (V)) of Mumbai area was used to study the tidal flow phenomenon, wherein tides are generated by automatic tide generator. Hydraulic model studies carried out under the existing condition (without CDW) reveal that, during initial hours of flood tide, flow hugs the docks breakwater and part of flow which enters the dock forms number of eddies of varying sizes inside the basin, while remaining part of flow bypasses the entrance of dock. During ebb, flow direction reverses, and part of the flow re-enters the dock from outside and creates eddies at its entrance. These eddies do not allow water/sediment-mass to come out and result in settlement of sediments in dock both due to eddies and more retention of sediment. At latter hours, current strength outside the dock entrance reduces and allows the water-mass of dock to come out. In order to improve flow field inside the dockyard, two CDWs of length 300 m and 40 m were proposed outside the dock breakwater and inline to Pier-wall at dock entrance. Model studies reveal that, during flood, major flow gets deflected away from the entrance and no eddies are formed inside the dock, while during ebb flow does not re-enter the dock, and sediment flux immediately starts emptying it during initial hours of ebb. This reduces not only the entry of sediment in dock by about 40% but also the deposition by about 42% due to less retention. Thus, CDW is a promising solution to significantly reduce siltation in dock.
Mapping of Alteration Zones in Mineral Rich Belt of South-East Rajasthan Using Remote Sensing Techniques

Remote sensing techniques have emerged as an asset for various geological studies. Satellite images obtained by different sensors contain plenty of information related to the terrain. Digital image processing further helps in customized ways for the prospecting of minerals. In this study, an attempt has been made to map the hydrothermally altered zones using multispectral and hyperspectral datasets of South East Rajasthan. Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Hyperion (Level1R) dataset have been processed to generate different Band Ratio Composites (BRCs). For this study, ASTER derived BRCs were generated to delineate the alteration zones, gossans, abundant clays and host rocks. ASTER and Hyperion images were further processed to extract mineral end members and classified mineral maps have been produced using Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) method. Results were validated with the geological map of the area which shows positive agreement with the image processing outputs. Thus, this study concludes that the band ratios and image processing in combination play significant role in demarcation of alteration zones which may provide pathfinders for mineral prospecting studies.

Modeling, Analysis and Control of a Smart Composite Structure

In modern engineering, weight optimization has a priority during the design of structures. However, optimizing the weight can result in lower stiffness and less internal damping, causing the structure to become excessively prone to vibration. To overcome this problem, active or smart materials are implemented. The coupled electromechanical properties of smart materials, used in the form of piezoelectric ceramics in this work, make these materials well-suited for being implemented as distributed sensors and actuators to control the structural response. The smart structure proposed in this paper is composed of a cantilevered steel beam, an adhesive or bonding layer, and a piezoelectric actuator. The static deflection of the structure is derived as function of the piezoelectric voltage, and the outcome is compared to theoretical and experimental results from literature. The relation between the voltage and the piezoelectric moment at both ends of the actuator is also investigated and a reduced finite element model of the smart structure is created and verified. Finally, a linear controller is implemented and its ability to attenuate the vibration due to the first natural frequency is demonstrated.

Comparison of Central Light Reflex Width-to-Retinal Vessel Diameter Ratio between Glaucoma and Normal Eyes by Using Edge Detection Technique

Glaucoma is a disease that causes visual loss in adults. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and its overall pathophysiology is still not fully understood. Vasculopathy may be one of the possible causes of nerve damage. Photographic imaging of retinal vessels by fundus camera during eye examination may complement clinical management. This paper presents an innovation for measuring central light reflex width-to-retinal vessel diameter ratio (CRR) from digital retinal photographs. Using our edge detection technique, CRRs from glaucoma and normal eyes were compared to examine differences and associations. CRRs were evaluated on fundus photographs of participants from Mettapracharak (Wat Raikhing) Hospital in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Fifty-five photographs from normal eyes and twenty-one photographs from glaucoma eyes were included. Participants with hypertension were excluded. In each photograph, CRRs from four retinal vessels, including arteries and veins in the inferotemporal and superotemporal regions, were quantified using edge detection technique. From our finding, mean CRRs of all four retinal arteries and veins were significantly higher in persons with glaucoma than in those without glaucoma (0.34 vs. 0.32, p < 0.05 for inferotemporal vein, 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.01 for inferotemporal artery, 0.34 vs. 0.31, p < 0.01 for superotemporal vein, and 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.05 for superotemporal artery). From these results, an increase in CRRs of retinal vessels, as quantitatively measured from fundus photographs, could be associated with glaucoma.

Improved Multi–Objective Firefly Algorithms to Find Optimal Golomb Ruler Sequences for Optimal Golomb Ruler Channel Allocation
Recently nature–inspired algorithms have widespread use throughout the tough and time consuming multi–objective scientific and engineering design optimization problems. In this paper, we present extended forms of firefly algorithm to find optimal Golomb ruler (OGR) sequences. The OGRs have their one of the major application as unequally spaced channel–allocation algorithm in optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems in order to minimize the adverse four–wave mixing (FWM) crosstalk effect. The simulation results conclude that the proposed optimization algorithm has superior performance compared to the existing conventional computing and nature–inspired optimization algorithms to find OGRs in terms of ruler length, total optical channel bandwidth and computation time.
Structural Behavior of Precast Foamed Concrete Sandwich Panel Subjected to Vertical In-Plane Shear Loading
Experimental and analytical studies were accomplished to examine the structural behavior of precast foamed concrete sandwich panel (PFCSP) under vertical in-plane shear load. PFCSP full-scale specimens with total number of six were developed with varying heights to study an important parameter slenderness ratio (H/t). The production technique of PFCSP and the procedure of test setup were described. The results obtained from the experimental tests were analysed in the context of in-plane shear strength capacity, load-deflection profile, load-strain relationship, slenderness ratio, shear cracking patterns and mode of failure. Analytical study of finite element analysis was implemented and the theoretical calculations of the ultimate in-plane shear strengths using the adopted ACI318 equation for reinforced concrete wall were determined aimed at predicting the in-plane shear strength of PFCSP. The decrease in slenderness ratio from 24 to 14 showed an increase of 26.51% and 21.91% on the ultimate in-plane shear strength capacity as obtained experimentally and in FEA models, respectively. The experimental test results, FEA models data and theoretical calculation values were compared and provided a significant agreement with high degree of accuracy. Therefore, on the basis of the results obtained, PFCSP wall has the potential use as an alternative to the conventional load-bearing wall system.
Equivalent Circuit Modelling of Active Reflectarray Antenna

This paper presents equivalent circuit modeling of active planar reflectors which can be used for the detailed analysis and characterization of reflector performance in terms of lumped components. Equivalent circuit representation has been proposed for PIN diodes and liquid crystal based active planar reflectors designed within X-band frequency range. A very close agreement has been demonstrated between equivalent circuit results, 3D EM simulated results as well as measured scattering parameter results. In the case of measured results, a maximum discrepancy of 1.05dB was observed in the reflection loss performance, which can be attributed to the losses occurred during measurement process.

Serviceability of Fabric-Formed Concrete Structures

Fabric form-work is a technique to cast concrete structures with a great advantage of saving concrete material of up to 40%. This technique is particularly associated with the optimized concrete structures that usually have smaller cross-section dimensions than equivalent prismatic members. However, this can make the structural system produced from these members prone to smaller serviceability safety margins. Therefore, it is very important to understand the serviceability issue of non-prismatic concrete structures. In this paper, an analytical computer-based model to optimize concrete beams and to predict load-deflection behaviour of both prismatic and non-prismatic concrete beams is presented. The model was developed based on the method of sectional analysis and integration of curvatures. Results from the analytical model were compared to load-deflection behaviour of a number of beams with different geometric and material properties from other researchers. The results of the comparison show that the analytical program can accurately predict the load-deflection response of concrete beams with medium reinforcement ratios. However, it over-estimates deflection values for lightly reinforced specimens. Finally, the analytical program acceptably predicted load-deflection behaviour of on-prismatic concrete beams.

Pefloxacin as a Surrogate Marker for Ciprofloxacin Resistance in Salmonella: Study from North India

Fluoroquinolones form the mainstay of therapy for the treatment of infections due to Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica. There is a complex interplay between several resistance mechanisms for quinolones and various fluoroquinolones discs, giving varying results, making detection and interpretation of fluoroquinolone resistance difficult. For detection of fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella ssp., we compared the use of pefloxacin and nalidixic acid discs as surrogate marker. Using MIC for ciprofloxacin as the gold standard, 43.5% of strains showed MIC as ≥1 μg/ml and were thus resistant to fluoroquinoloes. Based on the performance of nalidixic acid and pefloxacin discs as surrogate marker for ciprofloxacin resistance, both the discs could correctly detect all the resistant phenotypes; however, use of nalidixic acid disc showed false resistance in the majority of the sensitive phenotypes. We have also tested newer antimicrobial agents like cefixime, imipenem, tigecycline and azithromycin against Salmonella spp. Moreover, there was a comeback of susceptibility to older antimicrobials like ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and cotrimoxazole. We can also use cefixime, imipenem, tigecycline and azithromycin in the treatment of multidrug resistant S. typhi due to their high susceptibility.

Investigation into Black Oxide Coating of 410 Grade Surgical Stainless Steel Using Alkaline Bath Treatment
High reflectance of surgical instruments under bright light hinders the visual clarity during laparoscopic surgical procedures leading to loss of precision and device control and creates strain and undesired difficulties to surgeons. Majority of the surgical instruments are made of surgical grade steel. Instruments with a non reflective surface can enhance the visual clarity during precision surgeries. A conversion coating of black oxide has been successfully developed 410 grade surgical stainless steel .The characteristics of the developed coating suggests the application of this technique for developing 410 grade surgical instruments with minimal reflectance.
Performance Analysis of New Types of Reference Targets Based on Spaceborne and Airborne SAR Data

Triangular trihedral corner reflector (CR) has been widely used as point target for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) calibration and image quality assessment. The additional “tip” of the triangular plate does not contribute to the reflector’s theoretical RCS and if it interacts with a perfectly reflecting ground plane, it will yield an increase of RCS at the radar bore-sight and decrease the accuracy of SAR calibration and image quality assessment. Regarding this problem, two types of CRs were manufactured. One was the hexagonal trihedral CR. It is a self-illuminating CR with relatively small plate edge length, while large edge length usually introduces unexpected edge diffraction error. The other was the triangular trihedral CR with extended bottom plate which considers the effect of ‘tip’ into the total RCS. In order to assess the performance of the two types of new CRs, flight campaign over the National Calibration and Validation Site for High Resolution Remote Sensors was carried out. Six hexagonal trihedral CRs and two bottom-extended trihedral CRs, as well as several traditional triangular trihedral CRs, were deployed. KOMPSAT-5 X-band SAR image was acquired for the performance analysis of the hexagonal trihedral CRs. C-band airborne SAR images were acquired for the performance analysis of the bottom-extended trihedral CRs. The analysis results showed that the impulse response function of both the hexagonal trihedral CRs and bottom-extended trihedral CRs were much closer to the ideal sinc-function than the traditional triangular trihedral CRs. The flight campaign results validated the advantages of new types of CRs and they might be useful in the future SAR calibration mission.

Using Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Comprehension by EFL Students

Metacognitive strategies consistently play important roles in reading comprehension. The metacognitive strategies involve the active monitoring and consequent regulation and orchestration of the cognitive processes in relation to the cognitive objects or data on which they bear. In this paper, the effect of instruction in using metacognitive strategies on reading academic materials, type of metacognitive strategies were mostly used by college university students before and after the instruction and the level they use those strategies before and after the instruction were studied. For these aims, 50 female college students were chosen. Then, they were divided randomly into two groups, experimental and control groups. At first session, students in both groups took the standard TOFEL exam. After the pre-test had been administered, the instruction began. After treatment, a post-test was taken. It is useful to state that after pre-test and post-test the same questionnaire was handed to the students of experimental group. The results of this research show that the instruction of metacognitive strategies has positive effect on the students' scores in reading comprehension tests. Furthermore, it showed that before and after the instruction, the students' usage of metacognitive strategies changed. Also, it demonstrated that the instruction affected the students' level of metacognitive strategies' usage.

Wetting Characterization of High Aspect Ratio Nanostructures by Gigahertz Acoustic Reflectometry

Wetting efficiency of microstructures or nanostructures patterned on Si wafers is a real challenge in integrated circuits manufacturing. In fact, bad or non-uniform wetting during wet processes limits chemical reactions and can lead to non-complete etching or cleaning inside the patterns and device defectivity. This issue is more and more important with the transistors size shrinkage and concerns mainly high aspect ratio structures. Deep Trench Isolation (DTI) structures enabling pixels’ isolation in imaging devices are subject to this phenomenon. While low-frequency acoustic reflectometry principle is a well-known method for Non Destructive Test applications, we have recently shown that it is also well suited for nanostructures wetting characterization in a higher frequency range. In this paper, we present a high-frequency acoustic reflectometry characterization of DTI wetting through a confrontation of both experimental and modeling results. The acoustic method proposed is based on the evaluation of the reflection of a longitudinal acoustic wave generated by a 100 µm diameter ZnO piezoelectric transducer sputtered on the silicon wafer backside using MEMS technologies. The transducers have been fabricated to work at 5 GHz corresponding to a wavelength of 1.7 µm in silicon. The DTI studied structures, manufactured on the wafer frontside, are crossing trenches of 200 nm wide and 4 µm deep (aspect ratio of 20) etched into a Si wafer frontside. In that case, the acoustic signal reflection occurs at the bottom and at the top of the DTI enabling its characterization by monitoring the electrical reflection coefficient of the transducer. A Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) model has been developed to predict the behavior of the emitted wave. The model shows that the separation of the reflected echoes (top and bottom of the DTI) from different acoustic modes is possible at 5 Ghz. A good correspondence between experimental and theoretical signals is observed. The model enables the identification of the different acoustic modes. The evaluation of DTI wetting is then performed by focusing on the first reflected echo obtained through the reflection at Si bottom interface, where wetting efficiency is crucial. The reflection coefficient is measured with different water / ethanol mixtures (tunable surface tension) deposited on the wafer frontside. Two cases are studied: with and without PFTS hydrophobic treatment. In the untreated surface case, acoustic reflection coefficient values with water show that liquid imbibition is partial. In the treated surface case, the acoustic reflection is total with water (no liquid in DTI). The impalement of the liquid occurs for a specific surface tension but it is still partial for pure ethanol. DTI bottom shape and local pattern collapse of the trenches can explain these incomplete wetting phenomena. This high-frequency acoustic method sensitivity coupled with a FDTD propagative model thus enables the local determination of the wetting state of a liquid on real structures. Partial wetting states for non-hydrophobic surfaces or low surface tension liquids are then detectable with this method.

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