|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 2663|
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.
In this paper we present a contribution for the modelling and control of the inverter voltage of a permanent magnet linear generator with multi air-gap structure. The time domain control method is based on instant comparison of reference signals, in the form of current or voltage, with actual or measured signals. The reference current or voltage must be kept close to the actual signal with a reasonable tolerance. In this work, the time domain control method is used to control tracking signals. The performance evaluation concerns the continuation of reference signal. Simulations validate very well the tracking of reference variables (current, voltage) by measured or actual signals. All is simulated and presented under PSIM Software to show the performance and robustness of the proposed controller.
Passive resonant vibration absorbers are among the most widely used dynamic control systems in civil engineering. They typically consist in a single-degree-of-freedom mechanical appendage of the main structure, tuned to one structural target mode through frequency and damping optimization. One classical scheme is the pendulum absorber, whose mass is constrained to move along a curved trajectory and is damped by viscous dashpots. Even though the principle is well known, the search for improved arrangements is still under way. In recent years this investigation inspired a type of bidirectional pendulum absorber (BPA), consisting of a mass constrained to move along an optimal three-dimensional (3D) concave surface. For such a BPA, the surface principal curvatures are designed to ensure a bidirectional tuning of the absorber to both principal modes of the main structure, while damping is produced either by horizontal viscous dashpots or by vertical friction dashpots, connecting the BPA to the main structure. In this paper, a variant of BPA is proposed, where damping originates from the variable tangential friction force which develops between the pendulum mass and the 3D surface as a result of a spatially-varying friction coefficient pattern. Namely, a friction coefficient is proposed that varies along the pendulum surface in proportion to the modulus of the 3D surface gradient. With such an assumption, the dissipative model of the absorber can be proven to be nonlinear homogeneous in the small displacement domain. The resulting homogeneous BPA (HBPA) has a fundamental advantage over conventional friction-type absorbers, because its equivalent damping ratio results independent on the amplitude of oscillations, and therefore its optimal performance does not depend on the excitation level. On the other hand, the HBPA is more compact than viscously damped BPAs because it does not need the installation of dampers. This paper presents the analytical model of the HBPA and an optimal methodology for its design. Numerical simulations of single- and multi-story building structures under wind and earthquake loads are presented to compare the HBPA with classical viscously damped BPAs. It is shown that the HBPA is a promising alternative to existing BPA types and that homogeneous tangential friction is an effective means to realize systems provided with amplitude-independent damping.
Elastomeric bearings (EB) are used in many applications, such as base isolation of bridges, seismic protection and vibration control of other structures and machinery. Their versatility is due to their particular behavior since they have different stiffness in the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing to sustain vertical loads and at the same time horizontal displacements. Therefore, vertical, horizontal and bending stiffnesses are important parameters to take into account in the design of EB. In order to acquire a proper design methodology of EB all three, theoretical, finite element analysis and experimental, approaches should be taken into account to assess stability due to different loading states, predict their behavior and consequently their effects on the dynamic response of structures, and understand complex behavior and properties of rubber-like materials respectively. In particular, the recent large-displacement theory on the stability of EB formulated by Forcellini and Kelly is validated with both numerical simulations using the finite element method, and experimental results set at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. In this regard, this study reproduces the behavior of EB under compression loads and investigates the stability behavior with the three mentioned points of view.
The bearing capacity of closely spaced shallow footings alters with their spacing and the shape of footing. In this study, the bearing capacity and settlement of two adjacent footings constructed on a sand layer are investigated. The effect of different footing shapes including square, circular, ring and strip on sandy soil is captured in the calculations. The investigations are carried out numerically using PLAXIS-3D software and analytically employing conventional settlement equations. For this purpose, foundations are modelled in the program with practical dimensions and various spacing ratios ranging from 1 to 5. The spacing ratio is defined as the centre-to-centre distance to the width of foundations (S/B). Overall, 24 models are analyzed; and the results are compared and discussed in detail. It can be concluded that the presence of adjacent foundation leads to the reduction in bearing capacity for round shape footings while it can increase the bearing capacity of rectangular footings in some specific distances.
Allowable-bearing capacity is the competency of soil to safely carries the pressure from the superstructure without experiencing a shear failure with accompanying excessive settlements. Ensuring a safe bearing pressure with respect to failure does not tolerate settlement of the foundation will be within acceptable limits. Therefore, settlement analysis should always be performed since most structures are settlement sensitive. When visualising the movement of a soil wedge in the bearing capacity criterion, both vertically and horizontally, it becomes clear that by confining the soil surrounding the foundation, both the bearing capacity and settlement values improve. In this study, two sizes of spread foundation were considered; (2×4) m and (3×5) m. These represent two real problem case studies of an existing building. The foundations were analysed in terms of dimension as well as position with respect to a confining wall (i.e., sheet piles on both sides). Assuming B is the least foundation dimension, the study comprised the analyses of three distances; (0.1 B), (0.5 B), and (0.75 B) between the sheet piles and foundations alongside three depths of confinement (0.5 B), (1 B), and (1.5 B). Nonlinear three-dimensional finite element analysis (ANSYS) was adopted to perform an analytical investigation on the behaviour of the two foundations contained by the case study. Results showed that confinement of foundations reduced the overall stresses near the foundation by 65% and reduced the vertical displacement by 90%. Moreover, the most effective distance between the confinement wall and the foundation was found to be 0.5 B.
Over the last few years, the amount of data available on the globe has been increased rapidly. This came up with the emergence of recent concepts, such as the big data and the Internet of Things, which have furnished a suitable solution for the availability of data all over the world. However, managing this massive amount of data remains a challenge due to their large verity of types and distribution. Therefore, locating the required file particularly from the first trial turned to be a not easy task, due to the large similarities of names for different files distributed on the web. Consequently, the accuracy and speed of search have been negatively affected. This work presents a method using Electroencephalography signals to locate the files based on their contents. Giving the concept of natural mind waves processing, this work analyses the mind wave signals of different people, analyzing them and extracting their most appropriate features using multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm, and then classifying them using artificial neural network to distinguish among files with similar names. The aim of this work is to provide the ability to find the files based on their contents using human thoughts only. Implementing this approach and testing it on real people proved its ability to find the desired files accurately within noticeably shorter time and retrieve them as a first choice for the user.
Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.
The paper presents design and production of thin-walled U-profile footbridge made of UHPFRC. The main structure of the bridge is one prefabricated shell structure made of UHPFRC with dispersed steel fibers without any conventional reinforcement. The span of the bridge structure is 10 m and the clear width of 1.5 m. The thickness of the UHPFRC shell structure oscillated in an interval of 30-45 mm. Several calculations were made during the bridge design and compared with the experiments. For the purpose of verifying the calculations, a segment of 1.5 m was first produced, followed by the whole footbridge for testing. After the load tests were done, the design was optimized to cast the final footbridge.
The probability distributions are the best method for forecasting of extreme hydrologic phenomena such as rainfall and flood flows. In this research, in order to determine suitable probability distribution for estimating of annual extreme rainfall and flood flows (discharge) series with different return periods, precipitation with 40 and discharge with 58 years time period had been collected from Karkheh River at Iran. After homogeneity and adequacy tests, data have been analyzed by Stormwater Management and Design Aid (SMADA) software and residual sum of squares (R.S.S). The best probability distribution was Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S value (145.91) and value (13.67) for peak discharge and Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S values (141.08) and (8.95) for maximum discharge in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations, respectively. The best distribution for maximum precipitation in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations was Log Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.74&1.90) and then Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.53&1.69). Overall, the Log Pearson Type III distributions are acceptable distribution types for representing statistics of extreme hydrologic phenomena in Karkheh River at Iran with the Pearson Type III distribution as a potential alternative.
Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.
Group task is one method to create the conducive environment for the active teaching-learning process. Performing group task with active involvement of students will benefit the students in many ways. However, in most cases all students do not participate actively in the group task, and hence the intended benefits are not acquired. This paper presents the improvements of students’ participation in the group task and learning from the group task by introducing different techniques to enhance students’ participation. For the purpose of this research Carpentry and Joinery II (WT-392) course from Wood Technology Department at Adama Science and Technology University was selected, and five groups were formed. Ten group tasks were prepared and the first five group tasks were distributed to the five groups in the first day without introducing the techniques that are used to enhance participation of students in the group task. On another day, the other five group tasks were distributed to the same groups and various techniques were introduced to enhance students’ participation in the group task. The improvements of students’ learning from the group task after the implementation of the techniques. After implementing the techniques the evaluation showed that significant improvements were obtained in the students’ participation and learning from the group task.
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in tertiary institutions by lecturers and students has become a necessity for the enhancement of quality teaching and learning. This study examined availability, accessibility and utilization of ICT in Teaching-Learning Islamic Studies in Colleges of Education, North-East, Nigeria. The study adopted multi-stage sampling technique, in which, five out of the eleven Colleges of Education (both Federal and State owned) were purposively selected for the study. Primary data was drawn from the respondents by the use of questionnaire, interviews and observations. The results of the study, generally, indicate that the availability and accessibility to ICT facilities in Colleges of Education in North-East, Nigeria, especially in teaching/learning delivery of Islamic studies were relatively inadequate and rare to lecturers and students. The study further reveals that the respondents’ level of utilization of ICT is low and only few computer packages and internet services were involved in the ICT utilization, which is yet to reach the real expected situation of the globalization and advancement in the application of ICT if compared to other parts of the world, as far as the teaching and learning of Islamic studies is concerned. Observations and conclusion were drawn from the findings and finally, recommendations on how to improve on ICT availability, accessibility and utilization in teaching/ learning were suggested.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.
This paper describes the design and application of a short in-class project conducted in Algoma University’s Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) course taught at the Bachelor of Computer Science. The project was based on the Maker Movement (people using and reusing electronic components and everyday materials to tinker with technology and make interactive applications), where students applied low-cost and easy-to-use electronic components, the Arduino Uno microcontroller board, software tools, and everyday objects. Students collaborated in small teams by completing hands-on activities with them, making an interactive walking cane for blind people. At the end of the course, students filled out a Technology Acceptance Model version 2 (TAM2) questionnaire where they evaluated microcontroller boards’ applications in HCI classes. We also asked them about applying the Maker Movement in HCI classes. Results showed overall students’ positive opinions and response about using microcontroller boards in HCI classes. We strongly suggest that every HCI course should include practical activities related to tinkering with technology such as applying microcontroller boards, where students actively and constructively participate in teams for achieving learning objectives.
This study aims to investigate the acquisition process of intonation. It examines the intonation structure of Tokyo Japanese and its realization by Iranian learners of Japanese. Seven Iranian learners of Japanese, differing in fluency, and two Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. Two sentences were used to test the phonological and phonetic characteristics of lexical pitch-accent as well as the intonation patterns produced by the speakers. Both sentences consisted of similar words with the same number of syllables and lexical pitch-accents but different syntactic structure. Speakers were asked to read each sentence three times at normal speed, and the data were analyzed by Praat. The results show that lexical pitch-accent, Accentual Phrase (AP) and AP boundary tone realization vary depending on sentence type. For sentences of type XdeYwo, the lexical pitch-accent is realized properly. However, there is a rise in AP boundary tone regardless of speakers’ level of fluency. In contrast, in sentences of type XnoYwo, the lexical pitch-accent and AP boundary tone vary depending on the speakers’ fluency level. Advanced speakers are better at grouping words into phrases and produce more native-like intonation patterns, though they are not able to realize downstep properly. The non-native speakers tried to realize proper intonation patterns by making changes in lexical accent and boundary tone.
The constant monitoring of blood glucose level is necessary for maintaining health of patients and to alert medical specialists to take preemptive measures before the onset of any complication as a result of diabetes. The current clinical monitoring of blood glucose uses invasive methods repeatedly which are uncomfortable and may result in infections in diabetic patients. Several attempts have been made to develop non-invasive techniques for blood glucose measurement. In this regard, the existing methods are not reliable and are less accurate. Other approaches claiming high accuracy have not been tested on extended dataset, and thus, results are not statistically significant. It is a well-known fact that acetone concentration in breath has a direct relation with blood glucose level. In this paper, we have developed the first of its kind, reliable and high accuracy breath analyzer for non-invasive blood glucose measurement. The acetone concentration in breath was measured using MQ 138 sensor in the samples collected from local hospitals in Pakistan involving one hundred patients. The blood glucose levels of these patients are determined using conventional invasive clinical method. We propose a linear regression classifier that is trained to map breath acetone level to the collected blood glucose level achieving high accuracy.
This study investigates the perceptual features of Japanese obstruent geminates among Chinese learners of Japanese, focusing on the dialectal effect of the checked-tone, a syllable that ends in a stop consonant or a glottal stop, which is similar to Japanese obstruent geminates phonetically. In this study, 41 native speakers of Cantonese are divided into two groups based on their proficiency as well as learning period of Japanese. All stimuli employed in this study are made into C[p,k,s]+V[a,e,i] structure such as /apa/, /eke/, /isi/. Both original sounds and synthesized sounds are used in three different parts of this study. The results of the present study show that the checked-tone does have the positive effect on the perception of Japanese gemination. Furthermore, the proportion of closure duration in the entire word would be a more reliable and appropriate criterion in testing this kind of task.