Research

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  • Assessing Canada’s Support of International Students A Comprehensive Review of Canada’s Retention and Settlement of its “Model Immigrants”
    Assessing Canada’s Support of International Students A Comprehensive Review of Canada’s Retention and Settlement of its “Model Immigrants”
    The aim of this research paper is to present the findings of an extensive literature review related to barriers international students experience transitioning to employment and permanent residency in Canada. International students who wish to work in Canada temporarily have difficulty receiving employment because of limited co-operative education opportunities and a lack of professional networks. The lack of settlement services, the numerous complexities of immigration policies, and the minimal awareness among students hinder the process for these individuals to immigrate to Canada permanently. These realities hold significant policy implications for the federal and provincial levels of government because Canada continues to admit educated and skilled labour in order to address national priorities such as long-term labour shortage and population decline. International students, especially those who hope to secure employment and permanency in Canada, are an attractive population, given the Canadian education and social capital they have received upon completion of their studies. This report will also provide a comprehensive review of several best practices and policy suggestions in addressing the challenges described above. Additionally, I will offer some practical recommendations for those involved in this transition process. In section I, a brief overview of policies related to the retention of international students is presented, and in Section II, I provide the findings of more than twenty fundamental research studies representing a diverse group of students from all levels of study, nationalities and gender studying in different regions of Canada. Section III reviews policy suggestions in research literature related to settlement support for international students. Finally, I provide practical recommendations informed by research and based on evidence-based results.
    Assessing Canada’s Support of International Students [Working Paper]:  A Comprehensive Review of Canada’s Retention and Settlement of its “Model Immigrants”
    Assessing Canada’s Support of International Students [Working Paper]: A Comprehensive Review of Canada’s Retention and Settlement of its “Model Immigrants”
    Abstract The aim of this research paper is to present the findings of an extensive literature review related to barriers international students experience transitioning to employment and permanent residency in Canada. International students who wish to work in Canada temporarily have difficulty receiving employment because of limited co-operative education opportunities and a lack of professional networks. The lack of settlement services, the numerous complexities of immigration policies, and the minimal awareness among students hinder the process for these individuals to immigrate to Canada permanently. These realities hold significant policy implications for the federal and provincial levels of government because Canada continues to admit educated and skilled labour in order to address national priorities such as long-term labour shortage and population decline. International students, especially those who hope to secure employment and permanency in Canada, are an attractive population, given the Canadian education and social capital they have received upon completion of their studies. This report will also provide a comprehensive review of several best practices and policy suggestions in addressing the challenges described above. Additionally, I will offer some practical recommendations for those involved in this transition process., Dauwer, Z. D. (2018). Assessing Canada’s Support of International Students [Working Paper]: A Comprehensive Review of Canada’s Retention and Settlement of its “Model Immigrants”. Toronto: Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement.
    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. 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)
    J Psychiatr Res. 2009 February; 43(5): 576–582., 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.
    Assessing relative contributions of PAHs to soot mass by reversible heterogeneous nucleation and condensation
    Assessing relative contributions of PAHs to soot mass by reversible heterogeneous nucleation and condensation
    Given the recent EURO 6 regulations, which include limits on particle number density (and hence size) for soot emissions from land vehicles, soot models must be capable of accurately predicting soot particle sizes. Previous modeling work has demonstrated the importance of the relative strengths of nucleation and condensation in predicting soot primary particle size. Due to this importance, a fundamental reversible model for nucleation and condensation, called the reversible PAH clustering (RPC) model, was developed in previous work through the use of statistical mechanics and the results from several recent works. In the present work, the RPC model is enhanced to include multiple nucleation (or dimerization) events from 6 different PAH size groups, resulting in 21 unique dimer pairs. In addition, a soot PAH tracking model is developed to track the amount of each PAH size group within soot particles. The addition of this model resulted in reduced computation times and the ability to investigate PAH-PAH reactions within soot particles. The results of the enhanced RPC model demonstrate that smaller PAHs are most important for the nucleation process, while small and large PAHs are important for the condensation process. These results are shown to be due to the relatively lower reversibility of condensation versus the nucleation process. These findings are discussed in light of recent experimental results in the literature and are shown to be well supported. Keywords: reversibility, PAH nucleation, PAH condensation, laminar diffusion flame, soot model, Eaves, N. A., Dworkin, S. B. and Thomson, M. J. (2017). Assessing relative contributions of PAHs to soot mass by reversible heterogeneous nucleation and condensation. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36 (1), 935-945. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2016.06.051
    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
    Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators
    Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators
    Societies are committing themselves to sustainable development by attempting to improve environmental quality, social equity, and economic welfare. As such, there continues a plea for holistic development assessment across scales; however there remains no ideal technique for achieving sustainability on neither regional nor local scale. This paper approaches this problem by constructing a multi-metric assessment system for evaluating development patterns across the Republic of Moldova. The objectives of this study were: (1) to produce a local multi-metric index that captures the three major dimensions of sustainable development for Moldova; (2) to quantitatively evaluate the interrelatedness of sub-metrics used for creating the local composite index of sustainable development; and (3) to visualize and interpret spatial patterns of sustainable development across Moldova. A local sustainable development index (LSDI) was produced using household and property composition indicators from a 2005 demographic and health survey for the Republic of Moldova. Total sample size and aggregated spatial reference was 11,066 households and 399 geographic locations, respectively. The LSDI used a 15 submetric optimum, equal weighting, 1e5 ordinal scale standardization, and additive construction. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient analysis was used to evaluate sub-metric quantitative relationships, and local Moran's I-test to interpret geographic patterns of sustainable development. Results revealed that a wealth sub-index had greatest collinearity with other sub-metrics. Geographically, Moldova's improved sustainability levels were found in large urban areas, suggesting needed prioritization of development resources to the hinterland. For regional sustainable development assessments, this approach provides the transferability to other locally referenced datasets throughout the world., Shaker, R. R., & Sirodoev, I. G. (2016). Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators. Habitat International, 55, 192-204. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2016.03.005
    Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators
    Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators
    Societies are committing themselves to sustainable development by attempting to improve environmental quality, social equity, and economic welfare. As such, there continues a plea for holistic development assessment across scales; however there remains no ideal technique for achieving sustainability on neither regional nor local scale. This paper approaches this problem by constructing a multi-metric assessment system for evaluating development patterns across the Republic of Moldova. The objectives of this study were: (1) to produce a local multi-metric index that captures the three major dimensions of sustainable development for Moldova; (2) to quantitatively evaluate the interrelatedness of sub-metrics used for creating the local composite index of sustainable development; and (3) to visualize and interpret spatial patterns of sustainable development across Moldova. A local sustainable development index (LSDI) was produced using household and property composition indicators from a 2005 demographic and health survey for the Republic of Moldova. Total sample size and aggregated spatial reference was 11,066 households and 399 geographic locations, respectively. The LSDI used a 15 submetric optimum, equal weighting, 1e5 ordinal scale standardization, and additive construction. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient analysis was used to evaluate sub-metric quantitative relationships, and local Moran's I-test to interpret geographic patterns of sustainable development. Results revealed that a wealth sub-index had greatest collinearity with other sub-metrics. Geographically, Moldova's improved sustainability levels were found in large urban areas, suggesting needed prioritization of development resources to the hinterland. For regional sustainable development assessments, this approach provides the transferability to other locally referenced datasets throughout the world., Shaker, R. R., & Sirodoev, I. G. (2016). Assessing sustainable development across Moldova using household and property composition indicators. Habitat International, 55, 192-204. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2016.03.005
    Assessing the effects of hybridization and precipitation on invasive weed demography using strength of selection on vital rates
    Assessing the effects of hybridization and precipitation on invasive weed demography using strength of selection on vital rates
    Background As global climate change transforms average temperature and rainfall, species distributions may meet, increasing the potential for hybridization and altering individual fitness and population growth. Altered rainfall specifically may shift the strength and direction of selection, also manipulating population trajectories. Here, we investigated the role of interspecific hybridization and selection imposed by rainfall on the evolution of weedy life-history in non-hybrid (Raphanus raphanistrum) and hybrid (R. raphanistrum x R. sativus) populations using a life table response experiment., Teitel, Z., Klimowski, A., & Campbell, L. G. (2016). Assessing the effects of hybridization and precipitation on invasive weed demography using strength of selection on vital rates. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16(1), 266. doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0833-7
    Assessment of Opto-mechanical Behavior of Biological Samples by Interferometry
    Assessment of Opto-mechanical Behavior of Biological Samples by Interferometry
    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.