Abstract: The large pose discrepancy is one of the critical
challenges in face recognition during video surveillance. Due to
the entanglement of pose attributes with identity information, the
conventional approaches for pose-independent representation lack
in providing quality results in recognizing largely posed faces. In
this paper, we propose a practical approach to disentangle the pose
attribute from the identity information followed by synthesis of a face
using a classifier network in latent space. The proposed approach
employs a modified generative adversarial network framework
consisting of an encoder-decoder structure embedded with a classifier
in manifold space for carrying out factorization on the latent
encoding. It can be further generalized to other face and non-face
attributes for real-life video frames containing faces with significant
attribute variations. Experimental results and comparison with state
of the art in the field prove that the learned representation of the
proposed approach synthesizes more compelling perceptual images
through a combination of adversarial and classification losses.
Abstract: The mineral in human bone is not pure stoichiometric calcium phosphate (Ca/P) as it is partially substituted by in organic elements. In this study, the copper ions (Cu2+) substituted hydroxyapatite (CuHA) powder has been synthesized by the co-precipitation method. The CuHA powder has been used to fabricate CuHA fiber scaffolds by sol-gel process and the following sinter process. The resulted CuHA fibers have slightly different microstructure (i.e. porosity) compared to HA fiber scaffold, which is denser. The mechanical properties test was used to evaluate CuHA, and the results showed decreases in both compression strength and hardness tests. Moreover, the in vitro used endothelial cells to evaluate the angiogenesis of CuHA. The result illustrated that the viability of endothelial cell on CuHA fiber scaffold surfaces tends to antigenic behavior. The results obtained with CuHA scaffold give this material benefit in biological applications such as antimicrobial, antitumor, antigens, compacts, filling cavities of the tooth and for the deposition of metal implants anti-tumor, anti-cancer, bone filler, and scaffold.
Abstract: This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.
Abstract: The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.
Abstract: Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 mg.kg-1 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 mg.kg-1 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.
Abstract: Concrete Damaged Plasticity Model (CDPM) is capable of modeling the stress-strain behavior of confined concrete. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the model largely depends on its parameters. To date, most research works mainly focus on the identification and modification of the parameters for fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete prior to damage. And, it has been established that the FRP-strengthened concrete behaves differently to FRP-repaired concrete. This paper presents a modified plastic damage model within the context of the CDPM in ABAQUS for modelling of a uniformly FRP-confined repaired concrete under monotonic loading. The proposed model includes infliction damage, elastic stiffness, yield criterion and strain hardening rule. The distinct feature of damaged concrete is elastic stiffness reduction; this is included in the model. Meanwhile, the test results were obtained from a physical testing of repaired concrete. The dilation model is expressed as a function of the lateral stiffness of the FRP-jacket. The finite element predictions are shown to be in close agreement with the obtained test results of the repaired concrete. It was observed from the study that with necessary modifications, finite element method is capable of modeling FRP-repaired concrete structures.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosure by public Spanish universities on their websites. To this end, a content analysis was used to analyze the websites of 50 public Spanish universities i 2016. The results of this study show that human capital was the most disclosed category with relational capital being the least frequently disclosed in Spain. However, the quality of structural capital disclosures was higher than relational and human capital. Finally, most IC disclosures were narrative in nature.
Abstract: In the higher education setting, there is a current trend in society toward greater openness and transparency. The economic, social and political changes that have occurred in recent years in public sector universities (particularly the New Public Management, the Bologna Process and the emergence of the “third mission”) call for a wider disclosure of value created by universities to support fundraising activities, to ensure accountability in the use of public funds and the outcomes of research and teaching, as well as close relationships with industries and territories. The paper has two purposes: 1) to explore the intellectual capital (IC) disclosure in Spanish universities through their websites, and 2) to identify university profiles. This study applies a content analysis to analyze the institutional websites of Spanish public universities and a cluster analysis. The analysis reveals that Spanish universities’ website content usually relates to human capital, while structural and relational capitals are less widely disclosed. Our research identifies three behavioral profiles of Spanish universities with regard to the online disclosure of IC (universities more proactive, universities less proactive and universities adopt a middle position in this regard. The results can serve as encouragement to university managers to enhance online IC disclosure to meet the information needs of university stakeholders.
Abstract: Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.
Abstract: Introduction: This research describes the existing medical school program which supports a multicultural setting and bilingualism. The rise of Spanish speakers in the United States has led to the recruitment of bilingual medical students who can serve the evolving demographics. This paper includes anecdotal evidence, narratives and the latest research on the outcomes of supporting a multilingual academic experience in medical school and beyond. People in the United States will continue to need health care from physicians who have experience with multicultural competence. Physicians who are bilingual and possess effective communication skills will be in high demand. Methodologies: This research is descriptive. Through this descriptive research, the researcher will describe the qualities and characteristics of the existing medical school programs, curriculum, and student services. Additionally, the researcher will shed light on the existing curriculum in the medical school and also describe specific programs which help to serve as safety nets to support diverse populations. The method included observations of the existing program and the implementation of the medical school program, specifically the Accelerated Review Program, the Language Education and Professional Communication Program, student organizations and the Global Health Institute. Concluding Statement: This research identified and described characteristics of the medical school’s program. The research explained and described the current and present phenomenon of this medical program, which has focused on increasing the graduation of bilingual and minority physicians. The findings are based on observations of the curriculum, programs and student organizations which evolves and remains innovative to stay current with student enrollment.
Abstract: In Morocco, the building sector is largely responsible for the evolution of energy consumption. The control of energy in this sector remains a major issue despite the rise of renewable energies. The design of an environmentally friendly building requires mastery and knowledge of energy and bioclimatic aspects. This implies taking into consideration of all the elements making up the building and the way in which energy exchanges take place between these elements. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this work is to provide some solutions to reduce energy consumption while maintaining thermal comfort in the building. The objective of our work is to present an experimental study on the characterization of local materials used in the thermal insulation of buildings. These are paper recycling stabilized with cement and clay. The thermal conductivity of these materials, which were constituted based on sand, clay, cement; water, as well as treated paper, was determined by the guarded-hot-plate method. It involves the design of two materials that will subsequently be subjected to thermal and mechanical tests to determine their thermophysical properties. The results show that the thermal conductivity decreases as well in the case of the paper-cement mixture as that of the paper-clay and seems to stabilize around 40%. Measurements of mechanical properties such as flexural strength have shown that the enrichment of the studied material with paper makes it possible to reduce the flexural strength by 20% while optimizing the conductivity.
Abstract: The road network in the north of Lebanon is a prime example of the lack of pavement design and execution in Lebanon. These roads show major distresses and hence, should be tested and evaluated. The aim of this research is to investigate and determine the deficiencies in road surface design in Lebanon, and to propose an environmentally friendly asphalt mix design. This paper consists of several parts: (i) evaluating pavement performance and structural behavior, (ii) identifying the distresses using visual examination followed by laboratory tests, (iii) deciding the optimal solution where rehabilitation or reconstruction is required and finally, (iv) identifying a sustainable method, which uses recycled material in the proposed mix. The asphalt formula contains Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in the base course layer and in the asphalt layer. Visual inspection of the roads in Tripoli shows that these roads face a high level of distress severity. Consequently, the pavement should be reconstructed rather than simply rehabilitated. Coring was done to determine the pavement layer thickness. The results were compared to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design methodology and showed that the existing asphalt thickness is lower than the required asphalt thickness. Prior to the pavement reconstruction, the road materials were tested according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification to identify whether the materials are suitable. Accordingly, the ASTM tests that were performed on the base course are Sieve analysis, Atterberg limits, modified proctor, Los Angeles, and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) tests. Results show a CBR value higher than 70%. Hence, these aggregates could be used as a base course layer. The asphalt layer was also tested and the results of the Marshall flow and stability tests meet the ASTM specifications. In the last section, an environmentally friendly mix was proposed. An optimal RAP percentage of 30%, which produced a well graded base course and asphalt mix, was determined through a series of trials.
Abstract: The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.
Abstract: Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.
Abstract: This paper presents a quantitative analysis on the need for automotive calibration methods for digital tachographs. Digital tachographs are mandatory for vehicles used in people and goods transport and they are an important aspect for road safety and inspection. Digital tachographs need to be calibrated for workshops in order for the digital tachograph to display and record speed and odometer values correctly. Calibration of digital tachographs can be performed either manual or automatic. It is shown in this paper that manual calibration of digital tachographs is prone to errors and there can be differences between manual and automatic calibration parameters. Therefore automatic calibration methods are imperative for digital tachograph calibration. The presented experimental results and error analysis clearly support the claims of the paper by evaluating and statistically comparing manual and automatic calibration methods.
Abstract: Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.
Abstract: Bioactive glasses (BGs) are a group of surface-reactive biomaterials used in clinical applications as implants or filler materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Sol-gel technique was employed to prepare a SiO2-CaO-P2O5 glass with nominal composition of 58S BG with the addition of Sr and Li modifiers which imparts special properties to the BG. The effect of simultaneous addition of Sr and Li on bioactivity and biocompatibility, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and antibacterial property against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria were examined. BGs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy before and after soaking the samples in the simulated body fluid (SBF) for different time intervals to characterize the formation of hydroxyapatite (HA) formed on the surface of BGs. Structural characterization indicated that the simultaneous presence of 5% Sr and 5% Li in 58S-BG composition not only did not retard HA formation because of opposite effect of Sr and Li of the dissolution of BG in the SBF but also, stimulated the differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1s. Moreover, the presence of Sr and Li on dissolution of the ions resulted in an increase in the mean number of DAPI-labeled nuclei which was in good agreement with live/dead assay. The result of antibacterial tests revealed that Sr and Li-substituted 58S BG exhibited a potential antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria. Because of optimal proliferation and ALP activity of MC3T3-E1cells, proper bioactivity and high antibacterial potential against MRSA, BG-5/5 is suggested as a multifunctional candidate for bone tissue engineering.
Abstract: The major aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CaO content on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation, MC3T3 cells cytotoxicity and proliferation as well as antibacterial efficiency of sol-gel derived SiO2–CaO–P2O5 ternary system. For this purpose, first two grades of bioactive glass (BG); BG-58s (mol%: 60%SiO2–36%CaO–4%P2O5) and BG-68s (mol%: 70%SiO2–26%CaO–4%P2O5)) were synthesized by sol-gel method. Second, the effect of CaO content in their composition on in vitro bioactivity was investigated by soaking the BG-58s and BG-68s powders in simulated body fluid (SBF) for time periods up to 14 days and followed by characterization inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Additionally, live/dead staining, 3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays were conducted respectively, as qualitatively and quantitatively assess for cell viability, proliferation and differentiations of MC3T3 cells in presence of 58s and 68s BGs. Results showed that BG-58s with higher CaO content showed higher in vitro bioactivity with respect to BG-68s. Moreover, the dissolution rate was inversely proportional to oxygen density of the BG. Live/dead assay revealed that both 58s and 68s increased the mean number live cells which were in good accordance with MTT assay. Furthermore, BG-58s showed more potential antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Taken together, BG-58s with enhanced MC3T3 cells proliferation and ALP activity, acceptable bioactivity and significant high antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria is suggested as a suitable candidate in order to further functionalizing for delivery of therapeutic ions and growth factors in bone tissue engineering.
Abstract: Turkey, due to its geographic location, finds itself the world’s largest host to refugees worldwide, and this nation has done much to educate their refugee population. Turkey’s considerable experience can inform other nations educating refugee children. This systematic review of the literature examined the context, barriers, and responses to successfully educating refugee children in Turkey. Additionally, because some refugee children may have an identified or unidentified disability, the educational experiences of refugee children with disabilities in Turkey were an ancillary focus. Results indicated that while some educational challenges have been successfully met within Turkey, others remain. Additionally, the education of children with disabilities in Turkey is largely unexamined.
Abstract: This study had two main aims: firstly, to determine how the individual substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO can affect the in vitro bioactivity of sol-gel derived substituted 58S bioactive glass (BG) and secondly to introduce a composition in the 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)SrO quaternary systems (where x= 0, 5, 10 mol.%) with enhanced biocompatibility, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and more efficient antibacterial activity against MRSA bacteria. Results showed that both magnesium-substituted bioactive glasses (M-BGs) and strontium- substituted bioactive glasses (S-BGs) retarded the Hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. Meanwhile, magnesium had more pronounced effect. The 3-(4, 5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP assays revealed that the presence of moderate amount (5 mol%) of Mg and Sr had a stimulating effect on increasing of both proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Live dead and Dapi/actin staining revealed both substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO resulted in more biocompatibility and stimulation potential of the MC3T3 cells compared with control. Taken together, among all of the synthesized magnesium substituted (MBGs) and strontium substituted (SBGs), the sample 58- BG with 5 mol% CaO/MgO substitution (BG-5M) was considered as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone tissue regeneration field with enhanced biocompatibility, ALP activity as well as the highest antibacterial efficiency against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.