Abstract: The objective of this research is to identify the architecture and construction management students’ learning challenges of the building measurement. This research used the survey data obtained collected from the students who completed the building measurement unit. NVivo qualitative data analysis software was used to identify relevant themes. The analysis of the qualitative data revealed the major learning difficulties such as inadequacy of practice questions for the examination, inability to work as a team, lack of detailed understanding of the prerequisite units, insufficiency of the time allocated for tutorials and incompatibility of lecture and tutorial schedules. The output of this research can be used as a basis for improving the teaching and learning activities in construction measurement units.
Abstract: The purpose of this quantitative study is to identify the impact of the destination attributes of Negombo on the coastal tourists’ visitor experience. As an island nation, Sri Lanka is identified and well renowned for its gold sandy beaches and natural scenic beauty. Among many tourist attractions, Negombo is identified as a developed beach centric tourist destination in the country. Yet, it is identified that there are low positive reviews on the internet for Negombo compared to other beach centric tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Therefore, this study would help the policymakers and tourism service providers to identify the impact of destination attributes on international visitor satisfaction and to understand the visitors comprehensively so as to develop Negombo as a stable tourist destination while offering a memorable and satisfying experience for its visitors. In support, a self-administered questionnaire survey study was performed with 150 respondents (international tourists) in Negombo. The questions were designed based on the selected dimensions of destination attributes such as tourism service quality, infrastructure and superstructure developments, tourist information facilities and destination aesthetics and developments. The results showed that the overall satisfaction level of the international tourists who visit Sri Lanka is significantly affected by the destination attributes of Negombo. Yet, the dimensions of destination aesthetics and developments and tourist information facilities indicated a low level of mean satisfaction, paving the critique that Negombo as a beach centric tourist attraction is not serving well with its natural beauty and its destination management. Further, it is advocated that the policymakers and tourism service providers have a significant role in leading the way to attract more potential visitors to enhance their destination satisfaction and to encourage them to revisit Sri Lanka while recommending it to others. The survey was done during the off-peak season of the industry and it is suggested that the survey would have been conducted throughout a complete year.
Abstract: This article mainly aims to detect and understand how money laundering activities are executed by transport of cash, identifying the underlying factors and separating legitimate from illegitimate usage of cash and how it is being used. This research provides academics with additional literature and provides bank supervisors and practitioners with a better understanding of sources and uses of cash in criminal activities and how cash is used in the laundering mechanism. Data are gathered through survey in the Middle East and North Africa region and review of the available research. The results of the analysis will help distinguish the factors affecting preference for cash rather other payment instruments in the region, identify what causes the tendency to launder illegal proceeds through cash transportation and how illegal cash is being laundered and moved. On the other hand, this paper sheds the light on major cash generating criminal activities, its sources and main destinations.
Abstract: Since China has entered an era of mass tourism, there has been a fundamental change in the way Chinese people approach and perceive the image of other countries. With the advent of the new media era, social networking sites such as Sina Weibo have become a tool for many foreign governmental organizations to spread and promote their national image. Among them, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) was one of the first foreign official tourism agencies to register with Sina Weibo and actively implement communication activities. Due to historical and political reasons, cognition of Japan's national image by the Chinese has always been complicated and contradictory. However, since 2015, China has become the largest source of tourists visiting Japan. This clearly indicates that the broadening of Japan's national image in China has been effective and has value worthy of reference in promoting a positive Chinese perception of Japan and encouraging Japanese tourism. Within this context and using the method of content analysis in media studies through content mining software, this study analyzed how JNTO’s Sina Weibo accounts have constructed and spread Japan's national image. This study also summarized the characteristics of its content and form, and finally revealed the strategy of JNTO in building its international image. The findings of this study not only add a tourism-based perspective to traditional national image communications research, but also provide some reference for the effective international dissemination of national image in the future.
Abstract: This paper reports the findings of the perception and attitude towards Sustainable Development among Malaysian undergraduates. The study was carried out involving 86 engineering undergraduates from three universities in Malaysia. This research was conducted based on a survey whereby the respondents were given a questionnaire to gauge their attitude towards sustainable development. The output of the analyses showed that the respondents have an appropriate attitude towards the sustainability issues expect for economic and social equality aspects. These findings suggest that the engineering educators involved in sustainable development education need to educate undergraduate students on this important issue. This investigation serves as a cornerstone to which the current paradigm of sustainable development education can be examined for further improvement by related stakeholders.
Abstract: In today's world, everyone has become so busy in their to-do tasks and daily routine that they tend to ignore some of the basal components of our life, including exercise and diet. This comparative study analyzes the pathways of the relationship between exercise and brain plasticity and also includes another variable diet to study the effects of diet on learning by answering questions including which diet is known to be the best learning supporter and what are the recommended quantities of the same. Further, this study looks into inter-relation between diet and exercise, and also some other approach of the relation between diet and exercise on learning apart from through Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
Abstract: We present methods for developing wireless and
traceable sensors for photobioreactors or photoreactors in general.
The main focus of application are reactors which are wirelessly
powered. Due to the promising properties of the propagation of
magnetic fields under water we implemented an inductive link with
an on/off switched hartley-oscillator as transmitter and an LC-tank
as receiver. For this inductive link we used a carrier frequency
of 298 kHz. With this system we performed measurements to
demonstrate the independence of the magnetic field from water
or salty water. In contrast we showed the strongly reduced range
of RF-transmitter-receiver systems at higher frequencies (433 MHz
and 2.4 GHz) in water and in salty water. For implementing the
traceability of the sensors, we performed measurements to show
the well defined orientation of the magnetic field of a coil. This
information will be used in future work for implementing an inductive
link based traceability system for our sensors.
Abstract: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy that originated in the medical field and has also been used extensively in other knowledge disciplines with recognized advantages and limitations. PBL has been used in various undergraduate engineering programs with mixed outcomes. The current fourth industrial revolution (digital era or Industry 4.0) has made it essential for many science and engineering students to receive effective training in advanced courses such as industrial automation and robotics. This paper presents a case study at Assumption University of Thailand, where a PBL-like approach was used to teach some aspects of automation and robotics to selected groups of undergraduate engineering students. These students were given some basic level training in automation prior to participating in a subsequent training session in order to solve technical problems with increased complexity. The participating students’ evaluation of the training sessions in terms of learning effectiveness, skills enhancement, and incremental knowledge following the problem-solving session was captured through a follow-up survey consisting of 14 questions and a 5-point scoring system. From the most recent training event, an overall 70% of the respondents indicated that their skill levels were enhanced to a much greater level than they had had before the training, whereas 60.4% of the respondents from the same event indicated that their incremental knowledge following the session was much greater than what they had prior to the training. The instructor-facilitator involved in the training events suggested that this method of learning was more suitable for senior/advanced level students than those at the freshmen level as certain skills to effectively participate in such problem-solving sessions are acquired over a period of time, and not instantly.
Abstract: A compact design of multi-sector patch antenna array for 60 GHz applications is presented and discussed in details. The proposed design combines five 1×8 linear patch antenna arrays, referred to as sectors, in a multi-sector configuration. The coaxial-fed radiation elements of the multi-sector array are designed on 0.2 mm Rogers RT5880 dielectrics. The array operates in the frequency range of 58-62 GHz and provides switchable directional/omnidirectional radiation beams with high gain and high directivity characteristics. The designed multi-sector array exhibits good performances and could be used in the fifth generation (5G) cellular networks.
Abstract: The present study aimed to evaluate the understanding of the students in Tehran universities (Iran) about the numerical representation of the average rate of change based on the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO). In the present descriptive-survey research, the statistical population included undergraduate students (basic sciences and engineering) in the universities of Tehran. The samples were 604 students selected by random multi-stage clustering. The measurement tool was a task whose face and content validity was confirmed by math and mathematics education professors. Using Cronbach's Alpha criterion, the reliability coefficient of the task was obtained 0.95, which verified its reliability. The collected data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (chi-squared and independent t-tests) under SPSS-24 software. According to the SOLO model in the prestructural, unistructural, and multistructural levels, basic science students had a higher percentage of understanding than that of engineering students, although the outcome was inverse at the relational level. However, there was no significant difference in the average understanding of both groups. The results indicated that students failed to have a proper understanding of the numerical representation of the average rate of change, in addition to missconceptions when using physics formulas in solving the problem. In addition, multiple solutions were derived along with their dominant methods during the qualitative analysis. The current research proposed to focus on the context problems with approximate calculations and numerical representation, using software and connection common relations between math and physics in the teaching process of teachers and professors.
Abstract: This study investigated factors that influence mathematics achievement based on a sample of ninth-grade students (N = 21,444) from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09). Key aspects studied included efficacy in mathematics, interest and enjoyment of mathematics, identity with mathematics and future utility beliefs and how these influence mathematics achievement. The predictability of mathematics achievement based on these factors was assessed using correlation coefficients and multiple linear regression. Spearman rank correlations and multiple regression analyses indicated positive and statistically significant relationships between the explanatory variables: mathematics efficacy, identity with mathematics, interest in and future utility beliefs with the response variable, achievement in mathematics.
Abstract: With the birth of Islam, the definitions of paradise in Quran have spread across three continents since 7th century, showing itself in the palace gardens as a reflection of Islamic Culture. The design characteristics of Islamic gardens come forth with the influence of religious beliefs, as well as taking its form as per the cultural, climatic and soil characteristics of its geography, and showing its difference. It is possible to see these differences from the garden examples that survived to present time from the civilizations in the lands of Islamic proliferation. The main material of this research is the Islamic gardens in Iran and Spain. Field study was carried out in Alhambra Palace in Spain, Granada and Shah Goli garden in Iran, Tabriz. In this study, the birth of Islamic gardens, spatial perception of paradise, design principles, spatial structure, along with the structural/plantation materials used are examined. Also the characteristics and differentiation of the gardens examined in different cultures and geographies have been revealed. In the conclusion section, Iran and Spain Islamic garden samples were evaluated and their properties were determined.
Abstract: Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) structure is an periodically modulated optical fiber. It acts as a selective filter of wavelength whose reflected peak is called Bragg wavelength and it depends on the period of the fiber and the refractive index. The simulation of FBG is based on solving the Coupled Mode Theory equation by using the Transfer Matrix Method which is carried out using MATLAB. It is found that spectral reflectivity is shifted when the change of temperature and strain is uniform. Under non-uniform temperature or strain perturbation, the spectrum is both shifted and destroyed. In case of transverse loading, reflectivity spectrum is split into two peaks, the first is specific to X axis, and the second belongs to Y axis. FBGs are used in civil engineering to detect perturbations applied to buildings.
Abstract: Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.
Abstract: The color theory of good and evil is the association of colors to the omnipresent concept of good and evil, where human behavior and perception can be highly influenced by seeing black and white, making these connotations almost dangerously distinctive where they can be very hard to distinguish. This theory is a human construct that dates back to ancient Egypt and has been used since then in almost all forms of communication and expression, such as art, fashion, literature, and religious manuscripts, helping the implantation of preconceived ideas that influence behavior and society. This is a mixed-methods research that uses both surveys to collect quantitative data related to the theory and a vignette to collect qualitative data by using a scenario where participants aged between 18-25 will style two characters of good and bad characteristics with color contrasting clothes, both yielding results about the nature of the preconceived perceptions associated with ‘black and white’ and ‘good and evil’, illustrating the important role of media and communications in human behavior and subconscious, and also uncover how far this theory goes in the age of social media enlightenment.
Abstract: Laboratory trial results of mixing crumb rubber produced from discarded tires with 60/70 pen grade Kuwaiti bitumen are presented on this paper. PG grading and multiple stress creep recovery tests were conducted on Kuwaiti bitumen blended with 15% and 18% crumb rubber at temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 °C. The results from elastic recovery and non-recoverable creep presented optimum performance at 18% rubber content. The optimum rubberized-bitumen mix was next transformed into a pelletized form (PelletPave®), and was used as a partial replacement to the conventional bitumen in the manufacture of continuously graded hot mix asphalts at a number of binder contents. The trialed PelletPave® contents were at 2.5%, 3.0%, and 3.5% by mass of asphalt mix. In this investigation, it was not possible to utilize the results of standard Marshall method of mix design (i.e. volumetric, stability and flow tests) and subsequently additional assessment of mix compactability was carried out using gyratory compactor in order to determine the optimum PelletPave® and total binder contents.
Abstract: A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.
Abstract: The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.
Abstract: Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is widely used and an accepted measure of energy expenditure. Its principal determinant is body mass. However, this parameter is also correlated with a variety of other factors. The objective of this study is to measure BMR and compare it with the values obtained from predictive equations in adults classified according to their body mass index (BMI) values. 276 adults were included into the scope of this study. Their age, height and weight values were recorded. Five groups were designed based on their BMI values. First group (n = 85) was composed of individuals with BMI values varying between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. Those with BMI values varying from 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 constituted Group 2 (n = 90). Individuals with 30.0-34.9 kg/m2, 35.0-39.9 kg/m2, > 40.0 kg/m2 were included in Group 3 (n = 53), 4 (n = 28) and 5 (n = 20), respectively. The most commonly used equations to be compared with the measured BMR values were selected. For this purpose, the values were calculated by the use of four equations to predict BMR values, by name, introduced by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations University (UNU), Harris and Benedict, Owen and Mifflin. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, post-Hoc Tukey and Pearson’s correlation tests were performed by a statistical program designed for Windows (SPSS, version 16.0). p values smaller than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Mean ± SD of groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for measured BMR in kcal were 1440.3 ± 210.0, 1618.8 ± 268.6, 1741.1 ± 345.2, 1853.1 ± 351.2 and 2028.0 ± 412.1, respectively. Upon evaluation of the comparison of means among groups, differences were highly significant between Group 1 and each of the remaining four groups. The values were increasing from Group 2 to Group 5. However, differences between Group 2 and Group 3, Group 3 and Group 4, Group 4 and Group 5 were not statistically significant. These insignificances were lost in predictive equations proposed by Harris and Benedict, FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen. For Mifflin, the insignificance was limited only to Group 4 and Group 5. Upon evaluation of the correlations of measured BMR and the estimated values computed from prediction equations, the lowest correlations between measured BMR and estimated BMR values were observed among the individuals within normal BMI range. The highest correlations were detected in individuals with BMI values varying between 30.0 and 34.9 kg/m2. Correlations between measured BMR values and BMR values calculated by FAO/WHO/UNU as well as Owen were the same and the highest. In all groups, the highest correlations were observed between BMR values calculated from Mifflin and Harris and Benedict equations using age as an additional parameter. In conclusion, the unique resemblance of the FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen equations were pointed out. However, mean values obtained from FAO/WHO/UNU were much closer to the measured BMR values. Besides, the highest correlations were found between BMR calculated from FAO/WHO/UNU and measured BMR. These findings suggested that FAO/WHO/UNU was the most reliable equation, which may be used in conditions when the measured BMR values are not available.
Abstract: Fake news and false information are big challenges of all types of media, especially social media. There is a lot of false information, fake likes, views and duplicated accounts as big social networks such as Facebook and Twitter admitted. Most information appearing on social media is doubtful and in some cases misleading. They need to be detected as soon as possible to avoid a negative impact on society. The dimensions of the fake news datasets are growing rapidly, so to obtain a better result of detecting false information with less computation time and complexity, the dimensions need to be reduced. One of the best techniques of reducing data size is using feature selection method. The aim of this technique is to choose a feature subset from the original set to improve the classification performance. In this paper, a feature selection method is proposed with the integration of K-means clustering and Support Vector Machine (SVM) approaches which work in four steps. First, the similarities between all features are calculated. Then, features are divided into several clusters. Next, the final feature set is selected from all clusters, and finally, fake news is classified based on the final feature subset using the SVM method. The proposed method was evaluated by comparing its performance with other state-of-the-art methods on several specific benchmark datasets and the outcome showed a better classification of false information for our work. The detection performance was improved in two aspects. On the one hand, the detection runtime process decreased, and on the other hand, the classification accuracy increased because of the elimination of redundant features and the reduction of datasets dimensions.