Research

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  • Argumentation Maps - GIS-based Discussion Support for Online Planning
    Argumentation Maps - GIS-based Discussion Support for Online Planning
    Information technology plays a growing role in planning procedures. A procedure step which has not been supported by specific computer tools up to now, is asynchronous discussions. Such discussions can occur in public participation as well as between planners during plan design. In this paper I introduce argumentation models as a way of structuring debates, and review existing tools for recording argumentation. A limited number of tools support design-related or map-related discussions. Their short-comings for analyzing geographically referenced arguments are discussed. Finally, the concept of `argumentation maps' is described, which combine the strengths of rigorous argumentation modeling and detailed geographic location to support map-based discussions in on-line planning.
    Artificial Neural Network Modeling of High Arctic Phytomass Using Synthetic Aperture Radar and Multispectral Data
    Artificial Neural Network Modeling of High Arctic Phytomass Using Synthetic Aperture Radar and Multispectral Data
    Vegetation in the Arctic is often sparse, spatially heterogeneous, and difficult to model. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has shown some promise in above-ground phytomass estimation at sub-arctic latitudes, but the utility of this type of data is not known in the context of the unique environments of the Canadian High Arctic. In this paper, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) were created to model the relationship between variables derived from high resolution multi-incidence angle RADARSAT-2 SAR data and optically-derived (GeoEye-1) Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) values. The modeled SAVI values (i.e., from SAR variables) were then used to create maps of above-ground phytomass across the study area. SAVI model results for individual ecological classes of polar semi-desert, mesic heath, wet sedge, and felsenmeer were reasonable, with r2 values of 0.43, 0.43, 0.30, and 0.59, respectively. When the outputs of these models were combined to analyze the relationship between the model output and SAVI as a group, the r2 value was 0.60, with an 8% normalized root mean square error (% of the total range of phytomass values), a positive indicator of a relationship. The above-ground phytomass model also resulted in a very strong relationship (r2 = 0.87) between SAR-modeled and field-measured phytomass. A positive relationship was also found between optically derived SAVI values and field measured phytomass (r2 = 0.79). These relationships demonstrate the utility of SAR data, compared to using optical data alone, for modeling above-ground phytomass in a high arctic environment possessing relatively low levels of vegetation., Collingwood, A., Treitz, P., Charbonneau, F., & Atkinson, D. M. (2014). Artificial neural network modeling of high arctic phytomass using synthetic aperture radar and multispectral data. Remote Sensing, 6(3), 2134-2153. doi:10.3390/rs6032134
    Assessing Mathematical Models of Influenza Infections Using Features of the Immune Response
    Assessing Mathematical Models of Influenza Infections Using Features of the Immune Response
    Citation: Dobrovolny HM, Reddy MB, Kamal MA, Rayner CR, Beauchemin CAA (2013) Assessing Mathematical Models of Influenza Infections Using Features of the Immune Response. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57088. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057088 Copyright: © 2013 Dobrovolny et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    Assessing depression symptoms in those with insomnia: An examination of the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II)
    Assessing depression symptoms in those with insomnia: An examination of the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II)
    Background Due to concerns about overlapping symptomatology between medical conditions and depression, the validity of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) has been assessed in various medical populations. Although Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Primary Insomnia (PI) share some daytime symptoms, the BDI-II has not been evaluated for use with insomnia patients. Method Participants (N = 140) were screened for the presence of insomnia using the Duke Structured Clinical Interview for Sleep Disorders (DSISD), and evaluated for diagnosis of MDD using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID). Participants’ mean BDI-II item responses were compared across two groups [insomnia with or without MDD) using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the accuracy rates of suggested clinical cutoffs for the BDI-II were evaluated using a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Results The insomnia with depression group had significantly higher scores on several items; however, the groups did not differ on insomnia, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability, libido, increased appetite, and thoughts relating to suicide, self-criticism and punishment items. The ROC curve analysis revealed moderate accuracy for the BDI-II’s identification of depression in those with insomnia. The suggested BDI cutoff of ≥ 17 had 81% sensitivity and 79% specificity. Use of the mild cutoff for depression (≥14) had high sensitivity (91%) but poor specificity (66%). Conclusion Several items on the BDI-II might reflect sleep disturbance symptoms rather than depression per se. The recommended BDI-II cutoffs in this population have some support but a lower cutoff could result in an overclassification of depression in insomnia patients, a documented problem in the clinical literature. Understanding which items discriminate insomnia patients without depression may help address this nosological issue., J Psychiatr Res. 2009 February; 43(5): 576–582. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.09.002.
    Assessing semester-long student team design reports in large classes to provide individual student grades.
    Assessing semester-long student team design reports in large classes to provide individual student grades.
    This paper presents a method and tool to achieve a trade-off between workload on assessors of semester-long team-based design projects in large classes, with the need for fair and comprehensive assessments of each student individually. Students “book time” throughout the semester, recording their level of input into each project element. They each provide totals for time spent on each element of their final reports. The instructor assesses each design report as if one person wrote it. These data are combined into a single rubric/spreadsheet. The rubric scales report assessments to accommodate differences in team size, and generates a unique grade for each student in a team. Examples are given in the paper, as are details from the implementation of the method in a Fall 2015 introductory design course. There is anecdotal evidence that the method works, but there is always room for improvement. Several ideas for future modifications to method are discussed. All spreadsheets, documentation, and examples are freely available via the Web. Links are provided. Keywords: engineering design, teamwork, project, assessment, individual grading., Salustri, F. A., & Neumann, W. P. (2016). Assessing semester-long student team design reports in large classes to provide individual student grades. In Proceedings 2016 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA16) Conference (Paper 042). Dalhousie University. June 19-22, 2016
    Assessment of Opto-mechanical Behavior of Biological Samples by Interferometry
    Assessment of Opto-mechanical Behavior of Biological Samples by Interferometry
    Optoacoustic imaging is a relatively novel biomedical imaging modality that relies on the absorption of light to create pressure transients that can be detected ultrasonically. In most scientific communications, the source of tissue contrast has been described as primarily optical. However, the thermomecahnical properties of tissue, as expressed through the Gruneisen coefficient, also affect the optoacoustic signal. To investigate the effect of thermomechanical tissue properties short pulses (~ 6.5 ns) from an optical parametric oscillator at 750 nm were used to irradiate coagulated and uncoagulated tissue-mimicking albumen phantoms, to emulate normal tissue and tissue that has been heated. The phantoms respond to the laser-induced stress by thermoelastic expansion. This thermomechanical behavior of the samples was assessed using an interferometric system capable of measuring transient displacements with a temporal resolution of less than 10 ns and a spatial resolution of < 10 nm. The experimental measurement allowed determination of the Gruneisen coefficient which is an important thermo-mechanical sample property that can affect generation of optoacoustic signals. An increase in the value of Gruneisen coefficient of 65% was measured when phantoms were coagulated compared to uncoagulated phantoms, consistent with the stiffening of the tissue mimicking material. This suggests that for thermal therapy the changes in the Gruneisen coefficient are also an important source of optoacoustic contrast., Online version of a Conference paper originally published as: Assessment of opto-mechanical behavior of biological samples by interferometry, Behrouz Soroushian, William M. Whelan, Michael C. Kolios (2009) In Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2009, edited by Alexander A. Oraevsky, Lihong V. Wang, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7177, 71771X Publisher URL: http://spie.org/x648.html?product_id=809094
    Assessment of Socio-culturally Diverse Students: Problems in Special Educational Theory and Implications for Practice
    Assessment of Socio-culturally Diverse Students: Problems in Special Educational Theory and Implications for Practice
    Online version of an article originally published as: Bernhard, J. K. (1990). Assessment of socio-culturally diverse students: Problems in special educational theory: Implications for practice. International Journal of Dynamic Assessment and Instruction, 1(2): 86-104.
    Asymptotic Theory Of Stochastic Choice Functionals For Prospects With Embedded Comotonic Probability Measures
    Asymptotic Theory Of Stochastic Choice Functionals For Prospects With Embedded Comotonic Probability Measures
    We introduce a monotone class theory of Prospect Theory's value functions, which shows that they can be replaced almost surely by a topological lifting comprised of a class of compact isomorphic maps that embed weakly co-monotonic probability measures, attached to state space, in outcome space. Thus, agents solve a signal extraction problem to obtain estimates of empirical probability weights for prospects under risk and uncertainty. By virtue of the topological lifting, we prove an almost sure isomorphism theorem between compact stochastic choice operators, and well defined outcomes which, under Brouwer-Schauder theory, guarantees fixed point convergence in convex choice sets. Along the way we introduce a risk operator in the Hoffman-Jorgensen class of lifting operators, and value function [averaging] operators with respect to Radon measure. In that set up, suitable binary operations on gain-loss space show that our risk operator is isometric for gains and skewed for losses. The point spectrum from this operator constitutes the range of admissible observations for loss aversion index in a well designed experiment.
    Asynchronous Computer Conferencing in the MBA Classroom
    Asynchronous Computer Conferencing in the MBA Classroom
    Two asynchronous conferencing systems were used in subsequent years in a management skills course. These systems had comparable technological features but were not equally effective in supporting the course. This paper examines differences in the systems and their deployment that led to the success of one and the failure of the other. Data from student surveys show differences in user behaviors and attitudes toward the two systems. Qualitative data help to reveal the importance of pedagogy, technology, systems implementation and user behavior as determinants of successful technological innovation. A model for technological innovation in the classroom is proposed., Middleton, C. A. (1999). Asynchronous computer conferencing in the MBA classroom. Paper presented at the , Track1 10 pp. doi:10.1109/HICSS.1999.772696
    Author Rights: Maintaining Control over your Publications
    Author Rights: Maintaining Control over your Publications
    Many authors have little understanding of publishers' standard copyright transfer agreements and end up signing such agreements without concern for how they may wish to use the publication in future. Since most agreements require authors to surrender all rights to the publisher, they may be unable to re-publish parts of the work, email it to students and colleagues, post it to a course management tool, and even place it in an institutional repository or on their personal web page. An author addendum is one way to manage control over publications, but equally importantly, authors should be aware of open access publishing and Creative Commons licensing options. This session will examine copyright transfer agreements, author addenda, and discuss open access publishing and Creative Commons licenses.
    Autoethnography & Goffman`s Asylums: Re-Storying Mental Illness
    Autoethnography & Goffman`s Asylums: Re-Storying Mental Illness
    Mental illness narratives occupy a small, unstable place within critical discourse. Within both research and social practices, mental illness is often seen as a limitation instead of an alternative way of knowing, and thus, personal accounts are swept aside in favor of more “objective” research. In 1961, famed sociologist Erving Goffman published Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates after observing the daily life of a mental institution. While the book breathed life into the deinstitutionalization movement, it also undermined the narrative autonomy of the patients that it spoke for. In this paper, autoethnography is used to complement and challenge Goffman’s research, while arguing that there is a better way of positioning the patient narrative within mental health research. It is a way of reconciling my identities as a person with mental illness and an academic, and bringing lived experience to the forefront of mental health discourse, where it belongs.