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.
This paper investigates the effects of different treatment methods of rubber aggregates for self-compacting concrete (SCC) on compressive strength and modulus of elasticity. SCC mixtures with 10% replacement of fine aggregate with crumb rubber by total aggregate volume and with different aggregate treatment methods were investigated. The rubber aggregate was treated in three different methods: dry process, water-soaking, and NaOH treatment plus water soaking. Properties of SCC in a fresh and hardened state were tested and evaluated. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of three different SCC patches were made and discussed. It was observed that applying the proposed NaOH plus water soaking method resulted in the improvement of fresh and hardened concrete properties. It resulted in a more uniform distribution of rubber particles in the cement matrix, a better bond between rubber particles and the cement matrix, and higher compressive strength of SCC rubberized concrete.
Background: Testicular rotation can occur at any age. The possibility to save the testicle is the fastest possible surgical intervention which is indicated by the presence of acute pain even at rest. The time element is more important to diagnose and proceed further with surgical intervention. Testicular damage is a consequence which mainly depends on the moment of onset of symptoms, at the time when the symptoms are diagnosed, the earliest action to be performed is surgical intervention. Sometimes medical tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis, or to help identify another cause for symptoms; for example, the urine test, that is used to check for infection, associated with the scrotal ultrasound test. Control of blood flow to the longitudinal supply vessels of the testicles is indicated. The sign that indicates testicular rotation is a reduction in blood flow. This is the element which is distinguished from ultrasound examination. Surgery may be needed to determine if the patient’s symptoms are caused by the rotation of the testis or any other condition. Discussion: As a surgical intervention of the emergency, the torsion of the test depends very much on the duration of the torsion, as the success in the life of the testicle depends on the fastest surgical intervention. From the previous clinic, it is noted that in any case presented to the pediatric patient diagnosed with testicular rotation, there is always a link with personal history that the patient refers to the presence of a previous episode of testicular trauma. Literature supports this fact very logically. Conclusions: Salvation without testicular atrophy depends closely on establishing the diagnosis of testicular rotation as soon as possible. Following the logic above, it can be said that the diagnosis for rotation should be performed as soon as possible, to avoid consequences that will not be favorable for the patient.
Road safety performance index is a composite index which combines various indicators of road safety into single number. Development of a road safety performance index using appropriate safety performance indicators is essential to enhance road safety. However, a road safety performance index in developing countries has not been given as much priority as needed. The primary objective of this research is to develop a general Road Safety Performance Index (RSPI) for developing countries based on the facility as well as behavior of road user. The secondary objectives include finding the critical inputs in the RSPI and finding the better method of making the index. In this study, the RSPI is developed by selecting four main safety performance indicators i.e., protective system (seat belt, helmet etc.), road (road width, signalized intersections, number of lanes, speed limit), number of pedestrians, and number of vehicles. Data on these four safety performance indicators were collected using observation survey on a 20 km road section of the National Highway N-125 road Taxila, Pakistan. For the development of this composite index, two methods are used: a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and b) Equal Weighting (EW) method. PCA is used for extraction, weighting, and linear aggregation of indicators to obtain a single value. An individual index score was calculated for each road section by multiplication of weights and standardized values of each safety performance indicator. However, Simple Average technique was used for weighting and linear aggregation of indicators to develop a RSPI. The road sections are ranked according to RSPI scores using both methods. The two weighting methods are compared, and the PCA method is found to be much more reliable than the Simple Average Technique.
Meeting project deadlines is a major challenge for most construction projects. In this study, perceptions of contractors, clients, and consultants are compared relative to a list of factors derived from the review of the extant literature on project delay. 59 causes (categorized into 8 groups) of project delays were identified from the literature. A survey was devised to get insights and ranking of these factors from clients, consultants & contractors in the Australian construction industry. Findings showed that project delays in the Australian construction industry are mainly the result of skill shortages, interference in execution, and poor coordination and communication between the project stakeholders.
There has been a recent rise in ‘audience-centric’ and immersive storytelling. This indicates audiences are gaining interest in experiencing real adventure with everything that encompasses the struggle, the new friendships, skill development, and growth. This paper examines two themed alternate reality games created by a group of students at the University of Southern California as an experiment in how to design an adventure and to evaluate its impact on participants. The experiences combined immersive improvisational theatre and live-action roleplaying to create socially aware experiences within the timespan of four hours, using Harry Potter and mythology as themes. In each experiment, over 500 players simultaneously embarked on quests -a series of challenges including puzzle-solving, scavenger-hunting, and character interactions- to join a narrative faction. While playing, the participants were asked to choose faction alignments based on the characters they interacted with, as well as their own backgrounds and moral values. During the narrative finale, the impact of their individual choices on the larger story and game were revealed. After the conclusion of each experience, participants filled out questionnaires and were interviewed. Through this, it was discovered that participants developed transferable problem-solving, team-work, and persuasion skills. They also learned about the theme of the experience and reflected on their own moral values and judgment-making abilities after they realized the consequences of their actions in the game-world, inspiring some participants to make changes outside of it. This reveals that alternative reality games can lead to socialization, educational development, and real-world change in a variety of contexts when implemented correctly. This experiment has begun to discover the value of alternate reality games in a real-world context and to develop a reproducible format to continue to create such an impact.
Effective heat treatment conditions to obtain maximum aluminium swarf recycling are investigated in this work. Aluminium swarf briquettes underwent treatments at different temperatures and cooling times to investigate the improvements obtained in the recovery of aluminium metal. The main issue for the recovery of the metal from swarfs is to overcome the constraints due to the oxide layers present in high concentration in the swarfs since they have a high surface area. Briquettes supplied by Renishaw were heat treated at 650, 700, 750, 800 and 850 ℃ for 1-hour and then cooled at 2.3, 3.5 and 5 ℃/min. The resulting material was analysed using SEM EDX to observe the oxygen diffusion and aluminium coalescence at the boundary between adjacent swarfs. Preliminary results show that, swarf needs to be heat treated at a temperature of 850 ℃ and cooled down slowly at 2.3 ℃/min to have thin and discontinuous alumina layers between the adjacent swarf and consequently allowing aluminium coalescence. This has the potential to save energy and provide maximum financial profit in preparation of swarf briquettes for recycling.
Pesticides have been used widely over the world in agriculture to protect from pests and reduce crop losses. However, it affects the environment with toxic chemicals. Exceed of toxic constituents in the ecosystem will result in bad side effects. The hydrological cycle is related to the existence of pesticides and heavy metal which it can penetrate through varieties of sources into the soil or water bodies, especially runoff. Therefore, proper mechanisms of pesticide and heavy metal removal should be studied to improve the quality of ecosystem free or reduce from unwanted substances. This paper reviews the use of treatment train and its mechanisms to minimize pesticides and heavy metal from agricultural runoff. Organochlorine (OCL) is a common pesticide that was found in the agricultural runoff. OCL is one of the toxic chemicals that can disturb the ecosystem such as inhibiting plants' growth and harm human health by having symptoms as asthma, active cancer cell, vomit, diarrhea, etc. Thus, this unwanted contaminant gives disadvantages to the environment and needs treatment system. Hence, treatment train by bioretention system is suitable because removal efficiency achieves until 90% of pesticide removal with selected vegetated plant and additive.
In this work, silk yarns were treated using ß-cyclodextrin (ß-CD) and cross-linked with citric acid (CA) via pad-dry-cure method. Elemental and FESEM analyses confirmed the presence of ß-CD on the treated silk samples even after five washing cycles. Then, the treated samples were dyed using natural dyes (carrot, orange and tomato). Results showed that the color strength (K/S) of the treated samples had been markedly enhanced compared with the control sample (after treatment with metal mordant). Finally, the color strength (K/S value) and color fastness (fading, staining and light fastness) of the treated samples with ß-CD were investigated and compared.
The growing usage of smart speakers raises many privacy and trust concerns compared to other technologies such as smart phones and computers. In this study, a proxy measure of trust is used to gauge users’ opinions on three different technologies based on an empirical study, and to understand which technology most people are most likely to trust. The collected data were analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test to determine the statistical differences between the users’ trust level of the three technologies: smart speaker, computer and smart phone. The findings of the study revealed that despite the wide acceptance, ease of use and reputation of smart speakers, people find it difficult to trust smart speakers with their sensitive information via the Direct Voice Input (DVI) and would prefer to use a keyboard or touchscreen offered by computers and smart phones. Findings from this study can inform future work on users’ trust in technology based on perceived ease of use, reputation, perceived credibility and risk of using technologies via DVI.
The deformation and the crystallization in a 7075-T651 friction stir weld, in particular for regions directly in contact with the mechanical action of the rotating probe, have been investigated by means of optical microscopy. The investigation enabled to identify regions of the weld differently affected by the deformation caused by the welding process. The highly deformed grains in the horizontal direction close to the plate margin were indicative of shear movements along the horizontal plane, while highly deformed grains along the plate margin in the vertical direction were indicative of vertical shear movements of opposite directions, which superimposed the shear movement along the horizontal plane. The vertical shear movements were not homogeneous through the plate thickness. The microstructure indicated that after the probe passes, the grain growth may take place under static conditions. The small grains microstructure of the nugget region, formed after the main dynamic recrystallization process, develops to an equiaxed microstructure. A material transport influenced by the rotating shoulder was also observed from the trailing to the advancing side of the weld.
In several earthquakes, numerous reinforced concrete (RC) frames subjected to seismic excitation demonstrated a collapse pattern characterized by column hinges, though designed according to the Strong-Column-Weak-Beam (S-C-W-B) criteria. The effect of biaxial seismic excitation on the disparity between design and actual performance is carefully investigated in this article. First, a modified load contour method is proposed to derive a closed-form equation of biaxial bending moment strength, which is verified by numerical and experimental tests. Afterwards, a group of time history analyses of a simple frame modeled by fiber beam-column elements subjected to biaxial seismic excitation are conducted to verify that the current S-C-W-B criteria are not adequate to prevent the occurrence of column hinges. A biaxial over-strength factor is developed based on the proposed equation, and the reinforcement of columns is appropriately amplified with this factor to prevent the occurrence of column hinges under biaxial excitation, which is proved to be effective by another group of time history analyses.
Old age retirement pensions are an important concern among the Swiss but estimating one’s income after retirement is difficult due to the Swiss insurance system’s complexity. This project’s aim is to prepare for developing a digital platform that will allow individuals to plan for retirement in a simplified manner. The main objective of the platform will be to give individuals the tools to check that their savings and retirement benefits will allow them to continue the lifestyle to which they are accustomed once they are retired. The research results from qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (survey) methodologies, recommend the scope and functionalities for a digital platform to be developed. A main outcome is the need to limit the platform’s scope to old-age pension only (excluding survivors’ or disability pensions, for instance). Furthermore, an outcome regarding the functionalities is the proposition of scenarios such as early retirement, changes to income, or modifications to personal status. The development of the digital platform will be a subsequent project.
If a person can monitor his/her oxygen saturation level intermittently then he/she can identify his/her condition early and thus he/she can seek a doctor’s help. This paper reports the design, simulation, and implementation of a low-cost pulse oxygen saturation measurement device based on a reflective photoplethysmography (PPG) system using an integrated circuit sensor as the fundamental component of this health status checking device. The measurement of the physiological parameter is the blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in the peripheral capillary. This work has been implemented using an Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller along with this sensor integrated circuit (IC). The system is designed in the Proteus environment and then simulated to check its performance. After that, the hardware implementation is performed. We used a clipping type optical sensor to sense the arterial oxygen saturation level of blood signal from the fingertips of an individual and then transformed it into the digital data in the microcontroller through its programming its instruction. The designed system was tested by measuring the SpO2 level for several people of different ages, from 12 to 57 years of age. Besides, the same people were tested using a standard machine purchased from the market. Test results were found very satisfactory as the average percentage of error was very low, 1.59% only.
The temperature effect on asphalt pavement structure is a crucial factor at the design stage. In this paper, by applying the German guidelines for temperature along the asphalt depth is estimated. The aim is to consider temperature profiles in different seasons in numerical modelling. The model is built with an elastic and isotropic solid element with 19 subdivisions of asphalt layers to reflect the temperature variation. Comparison with the simple three-layer pavement system (asphalt layers, base, and subgrade layers) will be followed to see the difference in result without temperature variation along with the depth. Finally, the fatigue life calculation was checked to prove the validity of the methodology of considering the temperature in the numerical modelling.
Religion and divinity have always held important meaning to humans, and therefore it affects different aspects of life including art and architecture. Numerous works of art are related to religion whether supporting or denying it. Religion and religious scholars have influenced and changed art throughout history. This paper focuses on Islam and Christianity because these two religions have been the most discussed and most popular of all time, starting from the birth of Jesus to the arrival of Mohammad. Based on this popularity, these religions have influenced the arts and especially architecture. Islam on one hand changed Iranian and Arabian architecture and they applied it in different places around the world. From the appearance of Islam at 622 AD to this day, Islamic architecture has been evolving; however, one of the most important periods for this style was between 1501 AD and 1736 AD in Iran. Christianity, on the other hand, changed European architecture especially between 1150 AD and 1450 AD or the so-called "Gothic" era, which begins at medieval time and reaches its peak at International Gothic ages. At both of these periods, designing buildings based on spiritual concepts and divine statements reached its peak, and architects were considering God and religion as their center of attention. This article studies the focus on the religions of Islam and Christianity in terms of architecture and presents a general philosophy of both styles to comprehend the idea behind each one, followed by an analysis of their geometry and architectural aspects derived from the best examples, all to understand the purpose of each style and to realize, which one was more successful in reaching their purpose. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of each building is provided including 3D visualizations to help achieve the goal of the article. These studies can support diverse inquiries about both Islamic and Gothic architecture and can be used as a resource to support studies and research towards designing based on religion or for divine purposes.
Emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has adversely affected the environment. One of the major sources of CO2 emission is transportation. In the last few decades, the increase in mobility of people using vehicles has enormously increased the emission of CO2 in the environment. To reduce CO2 emission, sustainable transportation system is required in which smart parking is one of the important measures that need to be established. To contribute to the issue of reducing the amount of CO2 emission, this research proposes a smart parking system. A cloud-based solution is provided to the drivers which automatically searches and recommends the most preferred parking slots. To determine preferences of the parking areas, this methodology exploits a number of unique parking features which ultimately results in the selection of a parking that leads to minimum level of CO2 emission from the current position of the vehicle. To realize the methodology, a scenario-based implementation is considered. During the implementation, a mobile application with GPS signals, vehicles with a number of vehicle features and a list of parking areas with parking features are used by sorting, multi-level filtering, exploratory data analysis (EDA, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)) and weighted sum model (WSM) to rank the parking areas and recommend the drivers with top-k most preferred parking areas. In the EDA process, “2020testcar-2020-03-03”, a freely available dataset is used to estimate CO2 emission of a particular vehicle. To evaluate the system, results of the proposed system are compared with the conventional approach, which reveal that the proposed methodology supersedes the conventional one in reducing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The rapidly expanding urban areas of the world constitute a challenge of how we need to make the transition to "the next urbanization", which will be defined by new analytical tools and new sources of data. This paper is about the production of a spatial application, the ‘FUMapp’, where space and its initiative will be available literally, in meters, but also abstractly, at a sensed level. While existing spatial applications typically focus on illustrations of the urban infrastructure, the suggested application goes beyond the existing: It investigates how our environment's perception adapts to the alterations of the built environment through a dataset construction of biophysical measurements (eye-tracking, heart beating), and physical metrics (spatial characteristics, size of stimuli, rhythm of mobility). It explores the intersections between architecture, cognition, and computing where future design can be improved and identifies the flexibility and livability of the ‘available space’ of specific examined urban paths.
Adapting to the flexibility of war, a large number of guided weapons launch from aircraft. Therefore, the inertial navigation system loaded in the weapon needs to undergo an alignment process in the air. This article proposes the following methods to the problem of inaccurate modeling of the system under large misalignment angles, the accuracy reduction of filtering caused by outliers, and the noise changes in GPS signals: first, considering the large misalignment errors of Strapdown Inertial Navigation System (SINS)/GPS, a more accurate model is made rather than to make a small-angle approximation, and the Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) algorithms are used to estimate the state; then, taking into account the impact of GPS noise changes on the fine alignment algorithm, the innovation adaptive filtering algorithm is introduced to estimate the GPS’s noise in real-time; at the same time, in order to improve the anti-interference ability of the air fine alignment algorithm, a robust filtering algorithm based on outlier detection is combined with the air fine alignment algorithm to improve the robustness of the algorithm. The algorithm can improve the alignment accuracy and robustness under interference conditions, which is verified by simulation.
Additive manufacturing processes have changed significantly in a wide range of industries and their application progressed from rapid prototyping to production of end-use products. However, their environmental impact is still a rather open question. In order to support the growth of this technology in the industrial sector, environmental aspects should be considered and predictive models may help monitor and reduce the environmental footprint of the processes. This work presents predictive models based on a previously developed methodology for the environmental impact evaluation combined with a technical and economical assessment. Here we applied the methodology to the Fused Deposition Modeling process. First, we present the predictive models relative to different types of machines. Then, we present a decision-making tool designed to identify the optimum manufacturing strategy regarding technical, economic, and environmental criteria.