Research

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  • Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development
    Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development
    This paper will explore the realm of virtual identity within the context of the online virtual world, Second Life. The creation of virtual identities involves the complex process of constructing an online self-presentation. With the prevalence of online forums and virtual reality, ordinary people are crafting identities online and digressing from their actual identities in real life. In order to explain this phenomenon, I draw on narrative theory’s conceptualization of character in order to understand how people craft online identities., Yumansky, S. (2008, Spring). Virtual identity: applying narrative theory to online character development. Stream: Culture/Politics/Technology, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journals.sfu.ca/stream/index.php/stream/article/view/4/4
    Visualising early engineering design information with diagrams
    Visualising early engineering design information with diagrams
    The authors report on their development of computer-based diagramming tools to support the early stages of engineering design and to improve the capacity to innovate. We believe that the human brain is currently the best available device to perform early designing. Thus, good tools will facilitate designers' abilities to “see” information patterns, reflect on them, and achieve insights they may not have achieved otherwise. Our work suggests that diagram layout and style are at least as important as the textual content for their rapid comprehension. These features can be easier to manage in software than in textual descriptions, leading to tools that are more robust and usable. We are working along several lines of inquiry intended to explore particular aspects of the matter, including using existent tools such as concept maps, and developing alternative tools to test ideas about supporting early design by diagramming. While we have not formally evaluated much of our work, anecdotal evidence is encouraging.
    Visualization of Apoptotic Cells using Scanning Acoustic Microscopy and High Frequency Ultrasound
    Visualization of Apoptotic Cells using Scanning Acoustic Microscopy and High Frequency Ultrasound
    Online version of a conference paper originally published as: Visualization of Apoptotic Cells using Scanning Acoustic Microscopy and high frequency ultrasound, S. Brand*, G. J. Czarnota, E. C. Weiss, R. Lemor and M.C.Kolios, In Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, Volume 2, Page(s):882 - 885 Publisher URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1602991
    Visualization of Lake Mead Surface Area Changes from 1972 to 2009
    Visualization of Lake Mead Surface Area Changes from 1972 to 2009
    For most of the last decade, the south-western portion of the United States has experienced a severe and enduring drought. This has caused serious concerns about water supply and management in the region. In this research, 30 orthorectified Landsat satellite images from the United States Geological Service (USGS) Earth Explorer archive were analyzed for the 1972 to 2009 period. The images encompassed Lake Mead (a major reservoir in this region) and were examined for changes in water surface area. Decadal lake area minimums/maximums were achieved in 1972/1979, 1981/1988, 1991/1998, and 2009/2000. The minimum lake area extent occurred in 2009 (356.4 km2), while the maximum occurred in 1998 (590.6 km2). Variable trends in water level and lake area were observed throughout the analysis period, however progressively lower values were observed since 2000. The Landsat derived lake areas show a very strong relationship with actual measured water levels at the Hoover Dam. Yearly water level variations at the dam vary minimally from the satellite derived estimates. A complete (yearly) record of satellite images may have helped to reduce the slight deviations in the time series., Forsythe, K. W., Schatz, B., Swales, S. J., Ferrato, L., & Atkinson, D. M. (2012). Visualization of lake mead surface area changes from 1972 to 2009. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 1(3), 108-119. doi:10.3390/ijgi1020108
    Visualizing Information in the Early Stages of Engineering Design
    Visualizing Information in the Early Stages of Engineering Design
    The early stages of engineering design are the most crucial for successful product development, yet they are not well supported with computer tools compared to other, downstream stages. This paper will discuss recent efforts by the authors to create visual representations of, and tools for, the non geometric, qualitative information typical in the early stages of engineering design. It appears evident that there is tremendous opportunity to improve the capacity of designers to think both critically and creatively through diagramming in early design, but the field is still embryonic and much work remains to be done., Salustri, F. A., Eng, N. L., & Weerasinghe, J. S. (2008). Visualizing Information in the Early Stages of Engineering Design. Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 5((1-4)), 1-18. doi:10.3722/cadaps.2008.xxx-yyy
    Wait times for publicly funded addiction and problem gambling treatment agencies in Ontario, Canada
    Wait times for publicly funded addiction and problem gambling treatment agencies in Ontario, Canada
    Background This study describes the definitions of wait times and intake processes used by drug and problem gambling treatment agencies in Ontario, Canada, as well as the various strategies employed to ameliorate client backlog. Methods An online survey was developed and distributed to 203 publicly-funded, provincial substance use and problem gambling treatment agencies from June to August, 2011. All aspects of the intake process were covered in the survey. Results Based on 139 responses, six different wait time periods were identified. Additional analyses were completed by type of service offered. Suggestions for effective interventions to shorten wait times and recommendations for future research are provided. Conclusion The results of this study highlight a need for standardized definitions of wait times across substance use and problem gambling treatment services., Pascoe, R. V., Rush, B., & Rotondi, N. K. (2013). Wait times for publicly funded addiction and problem gambling treatment agencies in ontario, canada. BMC Health Services Research, 13, 483. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-483
    Want to understand local news? Make a map
    Want to understand local news? Make a map
    Critics have suggested that scholars seeking to advance journalism studies must adopt a more multidisciplinary approach to research, one that looks beyond the strict confines of sociology, history, language studies, political science, or cultural analysis. This paper argues that the geography of news coverage is a valuable starting point for scholars who wish to understand what local news gets reported, why and how it gets reported, and the potential consequences of such news coverage. The work of the Local News Research Project at Ryerson University is introduced to illustrate how maps that reveal the geospatial aspects of local news can foster multidisciplinary investigations that push researchers beyond the traditional silos of journalism scholarship., Lindgren, April and Christina Wong. 2012. Want to understand local news?Make a map. Proceedings of the 2012 annual conference of the Canadian Communication Association. Available via: <http://cca.kingsjournalism.com/?p=169>.
    Water-in-water droplets by passive microfluidic flow focusing
    Water-in-water droplets by passive microfluidic flow focusing
    We present a simple microfluidic system that generates water-in-water, aqueous two phase system (ATPS) droplets, by passive flow focusing. ATPS droplet formation is achieved by applying weak hydrostatic pressures, with liquid-filled pipette tips as fluid columns at the inlets, to introduce low speed flows to the flow focusing junction. To control the size of the droplets, we systematically vary the interfacial tension and viscosity of the ATPS fluids, and adjust the fluid column height at the fluid inlets. The size of the droplets scales with a power-law of the ratio of viscous stresses in the two ATPS phases. Overall, we find a drop size coefficient of variation (CV; i.e. polydispersity) of about 10 %. We also find that when drops form very close to the flow focusing junction, the drops have CV of less than 1 %. Our droplet generation method is easily scalable: we demonstrate a parallel system that generates droplets simultaneously, and improves the droplet production rate by up to one order-of-magnitude. Finally, we show the potential application of our system for encapsulating cells in water-in-water emulsions, by encapsulating microparticles and cells. To the best of our knowledge, our microfluidic technique is the first that forms low interfacial tension ATPS droplets without applying external perturbations. We anticipate that this simple approach will find utility in drug and cell delivery applications because of the all-biocompatible nature of the water-in-water ATPS environment., Moon, B., Abbasi, N., Jones, S. G., Hwang, D. K., & Tsai, S. S. (n.d.). Water-in-water droplets by passive microfluidic flow focusing (pp. 1-25, Publication). Toronto, Ontario: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University., E-mail: dkhwang@ryerson.ca; scott.tsai@ryerson.ca
    Wavelength-Switchable Dissipative Soliton Fiber Laser With a Chirped Fiber Grating Stop-Band Filter
    Wavelength-Switchable Dissipative Soliton Fiber Laser With a Chirped Fiber Grating Stop-Band Filter
    We report a wavelength-switchable single-polarization dissipative soliton (DS) mode-locked fiber laser using a chirped fiber Bragg grating (FBG) for spectral filtering. The chirped FBG, when inserted into the ring cavity, provides a stopband from 1045 nm to 1057 nm, which is used for spectral filtering in this all-normal-dispersion mode-locked Yb-doped fiber laser. The combination of the chirped FBG and the Yb gain profile help the formation of the DS. The laser delivers wavelength-switchable and polarized (28 dB) DS of 6.1 nJ and 29 ps at 1032 nm, and 4.3 nJ and 24 ps at 1068 nm, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the direct proof that a bandpass filter is not indispensible to achieve stable DS in ps fiber lasers., Zhang, L., Feng, Y., & Gu, X. (2013). Wavelength-switchable dissipative soliton fiber laser with a chirped fiber grating stop-band filter. IEEE Photonics Journal, 5(2), 1500506-1500506. doi:10.1109/JPHOT.2013.2252608
    Wealth effects in a cash-in-advance economy
    Wealth effects in a cash-in-advance economy
    This paper examines the monetary growth implications of combining Stockman's cash-in-advance constraint on consumption and capital goods and an endogenous rate of time preference that is an increasing function of real wealth. The cash-in-advance constraint imposes an investment tax that reduces steady state consumption and capital. However, endogenous time preference wealth effects link the real and monetary sectors to yield a Mundell-Tobin effect. Cash-in-advance constraint effects dominate endogenous time preference wealth effects so that monetary growth reduces steady state capital and consumption., Also available for download here: http://ideas.repec.org/a/ebl/ecbull/v5y2003i2p1-7.html
    Web-Enabled Spatial Decision Analysis Using Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA)
    Web-Enabled Spatial Decision Analysis Using Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA)
    This paper presents a spatial decision support tool that implements the Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) method. OWA is a family of multicriteria evaluation operators characterised by two sets of weights: criterion importance weights and order weights. We propose a highly interactive way of choosing, modifying, and fine-tuning the decision strategy defined by the order weights. This exploratory approach to OWA is supported by a graphical representation of the operator’s behaviour in terms of decision risk and tradeoff/dispersion between criteria. Our prototype implementation is based on the CommonGIS software, and thus, Webenabled and working with vector data. We successfully demonstrate online, exploratory support of spatial decision strategies using a data set of skiing resorts in Wallis, Switzerland.
    Web-based Spatial Decision Support: Status and Research Directions
    Web-based Spatial Decision Support: Status and Research Directions
    This paper summarizes research on Web-based spatial decision support systems (WebSDSS). The review distinguishes early server-side from more recent client-side applications. A third category of WebSDSS focusing on spatial decision support in public participation is typically implemented as a mixed client/server-based system. Conclusions drawn from previous work include the need for systematic user studies of WebSDSS, and the adoption of interoperable architectures for distributed spatial decision support. Furthermore, a conceptual framework is proposed to facilitate further studies of WebSDSS methods.