Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 66

  1. How might the development of data mining and log analysis systems for the Moodle virtual learning environment improve computer science students’ course engagement and encourage course designers’ future engagement with data analysis methods for the evaluation of course resources?

    Smith, Stephen Mark
    Virtual learning environments (VLEs) form part of modern pedagogy in education, they contain student usage data that has potential to inform and improve this pedagogy. The question this thesis explores is how might the development of data mining and log analysis systems for the Moodle virtual learning environment, improve computer science students’ course engagement and encourage course designers’ future engagement with data analysis methods for the evaluation of course resources? The thesis proposes that a student will complete missed work sooner if their utilisation of the VLE is automatically tracked and electronic prompts are sent when VLE activities are missed....

  2. Investigation into balancing of high-speed flexible shafts by compensating balancing sleeves

    Knowles, James Grahame
    Engineers have been designing machines with long, flexible shafts and dealing with consequential vibration problems, caused by shaft imbalance since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800’s. Modern machines still employ balancing techniques based on the Influence Coefficient or Modal Balancing methodologies, that were introduced in the 1930’s and 1950’s, respectively. The research presented in this thesis explores fundamental deficiencies of current trim balancing techniques and investigates novel methods of flexible attachment to provide a component of lateral compliance. Further, a new balancing methodology is established which utilizes trim balance induced bending moments to reduce shaft deflection by...

  3. Passive control of the lateral critical speeds of a rotating shaft using eccentric sleeves

    Kirk, Antony John
    Classical techniques for mitigating vibration in rotating structures are divided into three main categories viz. careful design and manufacture, correct installation and effective control strategies. The balancing sleeves analysed in this thesis were developed as a ‘semi active’ method of vibration control to improve the state of balance of dynamically unstable coupling shafts. However, the addition of the balancing sleeves affects the natural dynamics of the shaft, and requires a detailed understanding of their characteristics and the impact on the overall shaft dynamics in order to be useful in practice. As a first approximation, the sleeves are initially modelled as...

  4. Genetic reconstruction of parentage and kinship in semi-feral domestic dogs, and analysis of effects of dog breeding patterns on an immune system gene MARCH7

    Karp-Tatham, Eleanor
    Whilst there has been considerable research focusing on the kinship of wolves, data on free-ranging dogs was sparse and there has been a long standing controversial debate over their ability to form packs. One of the aims of this project was to reconstruct kinship relationships in a population of free-ranging dogs, assessing the genetic variability and inbreeding level. For this purpose, I studied a population inhabiting a nature reserve at the outskirts of Rome in Italy. Analysis of twelve microsatellite loci revealed low number of alleles per locus, low levels of heterozygosity and difficulties in assigning parentage, possibly resulting from...

  5. Lifelong information-driven exploration for mobile robots to complete and Refi�ne spatio-temporal maps in changing environments

    Machado dos Santos, Joao Pedro
    Recent improvements in the ability of mobile robots to operate safely in human populated environments have allowed their deployment in households, o�ces and public buildings, such as museums and hospitals. However, the structure of these environments is typically not known a priori, which requires the robots to build their own models of their operational environments. This process is commonly known as \exploration" in mobile robotics. Moreover, real-world environments tend to change over time, which means that to achieve long-term autonomous operation, robots must also update their environment models as a part of their daily routine. The assumption of a perpetually-changing world adds a temporal dimension to the exploration...

  6. Lifelong information-driven exploration for mobile robots to complete and Refine spatio-temporal maps in changing environments

    Machado dos Santos, Joao Pedro
    Recent improvements in the ability of mobile robots to operate safely in human populated environments have allowed their deployment in households, offices and public buildings, such as museums and hospitals. However, the structure of these environments is typically not known a priori, which requires the robots to build their own models of their operational environments. This process is commonly known as "exploration" in mobile robotics. Moreover, real-world environments tend to change over time, which means that to achieve long-term autonomous operation, robots must also update their environment models as a part of their daily routine. The assumption of a perpetually-changing world adds a temporal dimension to the exploration...

  7. Prevalence of plasmid genetic elements among ESBL-producing E. coli isolated from a UK river and the effects of waste water effluent release

    Dinatale, Adam
    The global antibiotic resistance crisis is a growing issue which poses a significant threat to human and animal health, and will limit the effectiveness of infection treatment in clinical settings. Traditionally research efforts have concentrated on discovering novel antibiotics, however an alternative approach is being utilised which focuses on the control and removal of antibiotic resistance from the environment. A major source of environmental antibiotic resistance originates from the release of treated waste water effluent (WWE) from local waste water treatment plants (WWTP) into natural aquatic environments, such as canals and rivers. Study has shown released WWE contains high numbers...

  8. The application of dried blood spots in toxicokinetic and pharmacokinetic studies

    Barfield, Matt
    Dried Blood Spot (DBS) sampling is a microsampling technique used throughout the World for neonatal screening. The work set out in this thesis shows the development and implementation of DBS in the area of preclinical and clinical pharmaceutical drug development, specifically in support of Toxicokinetics and Pharmacokinetics. The advantages of the technique are explored along with the issues faced. The papers discussed in this commentary, include in papers 1 and 2, the concept of supporting both Toxicokinetics and Pharmacokinetics studies and the validation of bioanalytical assays utilising DBS. Commentary paper 3 further explores the practicalities of DBS in the Clinical environment and commentary paper 4 the transferability of...

  9. Protein-nanoparticles interaction and assembly

    Ma, Wenwei
    Nanoparticles are increasingly important in biotechnology as they are extensively used as drug delivery carriers and in biosensors. In both these two contexts, protein-nanoparticle interactions are often involved. Proteins that are present in body fluids inevitably interact with nanoparticle based drug carriers and typically surround them forming the so called “protein corona”. Biosensors that are based on nanoparticles often have proteins deliberately attached to their surface, for example antibodies that bind specific analytes. The understanding of the assembly mechanisms at the protein-nanoparticle interface and the ability to engineer proteins that interact with nanoparticles in the desired way, are therefore two essential requisites for the future development of nano-medicines...

  10. Supervised learning-based multimodal MRI brain image analysis

    Soltaninejad, Mohammadreza
    Medical imaging plays an important role in clinical procedures related to cancer, such as diagnosis, treatment selection, and therapy response evaluation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most popular acquisition modalities which is widely used in brain tumour analysis and can be acquired with different acquisition protocols, e.g. conventional and advanced. Automated segmentation of brain tumours in MR images is a difficult task due to their high variation in size, shape and appearance. Although many studies have been conducted, it still remains a challenging task and improving accuracy of tumour segmentation is an ongoing field. The aim of...

  11. Shaping social movements: international actors in Kosovo and Afghanistan

    Kirkpatrick, Jane
    New protectorates, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and Kosovo, have experienced a medium to long term international presence, which has sought to ensure security and implement liberal democracy. Given that social movement activity has been linked to democratic development, the presence and development of social movements in new protectorates presents a novel and interesting context in which to study social movements. Using a political opportunity framework as a guide, this research examines the extent to which international actors in new protectorate contexts influence the strategy of social movements. A case analysis of two entities, Vetëvendosje, a social movement and...

  12. Intended actions, unintended consequences: towards a processual understanding of exercise referral schemes

    Henderson, Hannah Erica
    Whilst the benefits of physical activity have been well documented, many in the UK population remain insufficiently active to substantively benefit their health, placing individuals at greater risk of developing a range of non-communicable diseases and conditions. As a large percentage of the population accesses primary care, at least on an annual basis, the use of this health care sector to advocate increased physical activity has become widespread. Exercise referral schemes (ERSs) have enabled primary care professionals to refer their patients, typically to a local leisure facility, for supervised exercise. ERSs have seen prolific growth across the UK since their...

  13. The issues of implementing inclusion for students with Learning Difficulties in mainstream primary schools in Saudi Arabia

    Alhammad, Mohammed
    Saudi Arabia is one of earliest Arab countries to have implemented the integration of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) (Almosa, 2008, 2010). Recently, the Ministry of Education (MoE), through the King Abdullah Public Education Development Programme, began preparing to introduce inclusion for students with SEN in practice. Thus, the current study explores potential barriers that could challenge the implementation of inclusion for male students with Learning Difficulties (LD) in mainstream primary schools. This research is timely as the issues involved with implementing inclusion remain unclear in Saudi Arabia. The issues were investigated by examining the understanding of teachers regarding...

  14. Simulation of the formation and propagation of the thermal bar on Lake Ontario

    de Alwis Pitts, Dilkushi
    Computer-based, mathematical models that simulate spatially distributed and time dependent environmental processes are increasingly recognized to provide diagnostic and productive outputs for the assessments of environmental factors. Mathematical models have been utilized since 60's to study the water quality, the circulation structure and the seasonal changes of large water bodies such as the Great Lakes. Analysis of changes in water quality related to seasonal cycles such as the formation and the propagation of the thermal bar requires spatial and temporal models, with high resolution. The overall objective of this study was to integrate geo-referenced site-specific spatial data to a 3D hydrodynamic model (ALGE)...

  15. Haptic role allocation and intention negotiation in human-robot collaboration

    Kucukyilmaz, Ayse
    This dissertation aims to present a perspective to build more natural shared control systems for physical human-robot cooperation. As the tasks become more complex and more dynamic, many shared control schemes fail to meet the expectation of an effortless interaction that resembles human-human sensory communication. Since such systems are mainly built to improve task performance, the richness of sensory communication is of secondary concern. We suggest that effective cooperation can be achieved when the human’s and the robot’s roles within the task are dynamically updated during the execution of the task. These roles define states for the system, in which...

  16. Accepting the ‘Big C’: Exploring the acceptance – quality of Life relationship in a cancer population

    Brabbins, Lucinda J.
    There is a high prevalence of distress amongst cancer patients, with up to 40% reporting clinically-significant levels of distress, such as depression, anxiety, and death anxiety. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has a growing evidence base in health populations, such as in diabetes and chronic pain, counteracting the avoidant behaviours which are negatively implicated in outcomes. ACT claims that experiential acceptance is key to shifting the avoidant responses people exhibit towards their inner experiences and psychological pain. Thus far, there is limited research exploring ACT processes within a cancer population. Traditional existentially-informed theory has claimed that accepting death anxiety would...

  17. Net neutrality: a lack of association between pornography exposure and sexual functioning and well-being

    Charig, Ruth
    Introduction: Since the advent of the internet, individuals have unprecedented access to accessible, anonymous and affordable online sexual content (Cooper, 1998). The literature has highlighted strongly held assumptions about the harmful influence of online sexually explicit material (oSEM) on a number of variables important for psychological health and functioning. These include: sexual behaviour, body image, non-egalitarian gender roles and relationship satisfaction. The veracity of these conclusions is limited by the methodological shortcomings and ideological perspectives inherent in the study designs. Despite this growing body of research, there is still little known about the processes that underlie the relationships between oSEM-use...

  18. ACTing on perfectionism: a single case experimental design examining the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on multidimensional perfectionism

    Hunt, Jenna
    Perfectionism is a personality construct argued to be widespread with the potential for incapacitation (Pacht, 1984). It has been linked with a host of psychological difficulties impacting on social and occupational problems as well as physical and mental health. Interest in multi-dimensional perfectionism is growing and the search to uncover the domains within perfectionism which are adaptive, and should be nurtured, or maladaptive, and requiring intervention, remains ongoing. Perfectionism is considered transdiagnostic and targeting this construct may lead to symptom reduction across a range of other difficulties (Howell, et al., 2016). Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) are the current focus of interventions for perfectionism. Research has indicated some success in...

  19. Staff and service users’ evaluations of therapeutic principles at a High Secure Learning Disability Therapeutic Community (LDTC)

    Capone, Georgina
    Background: Growing evidence has been provided on the efficacy of Democratic Therapeutic Community (DTC) treatment in forensic LD populations (known as learning disability therapeutic communities, LDTC) in the form of reduced violence, personality pathology and interpersonal difficulties. Recently, the LDTC model has been introduced within a high secure setting at one of three high secure hospitals in the U.K., for males with a dual diagnosis of mild LD and PD, and produced equally successful results. While a number of outcome studies exist, on-going difficulties have remained in regard to applying a post-positivist approach to research design of Therapeutic Communities (TCs) as the approach fails to capture its matrix of interrelated...

  20. Responding to tobacco cravings using acceptance and/or reappraisal: results from an experimental study employing an online craving induction lab

    Stephanopoulos, Evangelos
    Despite recent advances in smoking cessation outcomes, a significant number of people in the UK continue to smoke. Currently available psychological treatments for tobacco addiction include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), with research evidence suggesting that both approaches may be effective treatments for tobacco addiction. Nevertheless, relapse rates remain high and there is scope for further improvements in clinical outcomes. The present study examined the effectiveness of two psychological strategies (acceptance and reappraisal) primarily with regard to the regulation of tobacco cravings and secondarily with regard to increasing adult smokers’ self-efficacy in abstaining from smoking. Reappraisal...

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