Science.gov

Sample records for achieve improved understanding

  1. Understanding the Change Styles of Teachers to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigby, Arlene May Green

    2009-01-01

    The topic of this dissertation is the understanding of teacher change styles to improve student achievement. Teachers from public schools in a state located in the northern plains were surveyed regarding their Change Styles (preferred approaches to change) and flexibility scores. The results were statistically analyzed to determine if there were…

  2. Conceptual Alignment: How Brains Achieve Mutual Understanding.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Arjen; Verhagen, Lennart; Toni, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    We share our thoughts with other minds, but we do not understand how. Having a common language certainly helps, but infants' and tourists' communicative success clearly illustrates that sharing thoughts does not require signals with a pre-assigned meaning. In fact, human communicators jointly build a fleeting conceptual space in which signals are a means to seek and provide evidence for mutual understanding. Recent work has started to capture the neural mechanisms supporting those fleeting conceptual alignments. The evidence suggests that communicators and addressees achieve mutual understanding by using the same computational procedures, implemented in the same neuronal substrate, and operating over temporal scales independent from the signals' occurrences. PMID:26792458

  3. Can Judges Improve Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Jay P.; Trivitt, Julie R.

    2008-01-01

    Over the last 3 decades student achievement has remained essentially unchanged in the United States, but not for a lack of spending. Over the same period a myriad of education reforms have been suggested and per-pupil spending has more than doubled. Since the 1990s the education reform attempts have frequently included judicial decisions to revise…

  4. Improving Achievement in Gaelic. Improving Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the development of provision for Gaelic education in Scottish schools, 11 years on from the Inspectorate's last major review of the area. The report sets out to provide an update showing what progress has been achieved since that time, with a specific focus on pre-school, primary and secondary…

  5. Improving Student Achievement through Character Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finck, Chip; Hansen, Cynthia; Jensen, Jane

    This report describes a program for improving moral character to increase academic achievement. Targeted population consisted of middle school students in a growing middle class community in a northern suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The problem, an absence of proper moral character, was documented through data collected from discipline referrals to…

  6. Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cawelti, Gordon, Ed.

    This handbook is designed to identify classroom practices that research has shown to result in higher student achievement. The fundamental idea behind this book is that in order to succeed, efforts to improve instruction must foucs on the existing knowledge base about effective teaching and learning. The chapters are: (1) "Introduction" (Gordon…

  7. Improving Student Achievement Using Expert Learning Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Ronny; Smith, Bob; Leech, Don

    2004-01-01

    Both educators and the public are demanding improvements in student achievement and school performance. However, students meeting the highest college admission standards are increasingly selecting fields of study other than teaching. How can we increase teacher competence when many of our brightest teacher prospects are going into other fields?…

  8. Improving Student Achievement through Alternative Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durning, Jermaine; Matyasec, Maryann

    An attempt was made to improve students' academic grades and students' opinions of themselves as learners through the use of alternative assessments. The format of mastery learning using the direct instruction practice model was combined with performance-based assessment to increase achievement, self-esteem, and higher level thinking skills.…

  9. Improving Student Conceptual Understanding of Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Frank; Townsend, Greg

    1997-05-01

    A widely accepted measure of student understanding of Newton's Laws is the Hestenes Force Concept Inventory. In the past several years we have made several modifications in both lecture methods, labs and requirements on homework in an attempt to get a larger fraction of the students to assimilate a Newtonian model of the universe. Although FCI scores of 70% are achieved in most classes now, for those questions involving the second law, scores are closer to the 50% range, a substantial improvement over traditional instruction for these large lecture groups but still quite disappointing. A description of recent modifications in the lecture and homework will be presented along with plans for future changes.

  10. Systems Thinking: A Skill to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Bill; Peltier, Gary; Perreault, George

    2004-01-01

    This article examines how schools can avoid barriers to systems thinking in relation to improving student achievement. It then illustrates common errors associated with non-systems thinking and recommends solutions. Educators who understand that schools are complex interdependent social systems can move their organizations forward. Unfortunately,…

  11. Pancreatic cancer-improved care achievable

    PubMed Central

    Buanes, Trond A

    2014-01-01

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most aggressive cancers, and the decline in mortality observed in most other cancer diseases, has so far not taken place in pancreatic cancer. Complete tumor resection is a requirement for potential cure, and the reorganization of care in the direction of high patient-volume centers, offering multimodal treatment, has improved survival and Quality of Life. Also the rates and severity grade of complications are improving in high-volume pancreatic centers. One of the major problems worldwide is underutilization of surgery in resectable pancreatic cancer. Suboptimal investigation, follow up and oncological treatment outside specialized centers are additional key problems. New chemotherapeutic regimens like FOLFIRINOX have improved survival in patients with metastatic disease, and different adjuvant treatment options result in well documented survival benefit. Neoadjuvant treatment is highly relevant, but needs further evaluation. Also adjuvant immunotherapy, in the form of vaccination with synthetic K-Ras-peptides, has been shown to produce long term immunological memory in cytotoxic T-cells in long term survivors. Improvement in clinical outcome is already achievable and further progress is expected in the near future for patients treated with curative as well as palliative intention. PMID:25132756

  12. Understanding Fire Through Improved Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Aztec(TradeMark) is the commercial name for Southwest Sciences laser. The laser has coarse tuning ranges of 10 nanometers (nm) to 30 nm at wavelengths ranging from 630 nm to 2,300 nm, making it the only commercially available external cavity diode laser with wavelengths beyond 1,650 nm. The laser's high-speed tuning in both coarse and fine wavelength regimes allows for increased trace gas detection. With the automated coarse tuning option, the Aztec sweeps through its wavelength range in less than 1 millisecond. While some diode lasers can only detect one type, or species, of a trace gas, the Aztec's broad wavelength tuning provides access to multiple trace gas species. The Aztec has a wide range of applications for both NASA and commercial users, from protecting astronauts in space to improving combustion processes on Earth. It may serve as a new tool for planetary exploration, as it can detect a wide range of multiple gas species in planetary atmospheres. The laser could optically detect gaseous indicators of incipient fires on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle, as well as detect low concentrations of potentially toxic gases in spacecraft crew habitats. The laser could also provide more accurate fire detection in aircraft cargo compartments. Since the Aztec can detect several gases that only evolve during an actual fire, its implementation could reduce the large number of commercial aircraft landings that currently occur due to false alarms. Other applications include environmental and industrial process monitoring.

  13. Understanding Possibilities and Limitations of Abstract Chemical Representations for Achieving Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corradi, David M. J.; Elen, Jan; Schraepen, Beno; Clarebout, Geraldine

    2014-01-01

    When learning with abstract and scientific multiple external representations (MERs), low prior knowledge learners are said to have difficulties in using these MERs to achieve conceptual understanding. Yet little is known about what these limitations precisely entail. In order to understand this, we presented 101 learners with low prior knowledge…

  14. Improving Student Achievement in Math and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, Nancy G.; Hamsa, Irene Schulz; Heath, Panagiota; Perry, Robert; White, Stacy J.

    1998-01-01

    As the new millennium approaches, a long anticipated reckoning for the education system of the United States is forthcoming, Years of school reform initiatives have not yielded the anticipated results. A particularly perplexing problem involves the lack of significant improvement of student achievement in math and science. Three "Partnership" projects represent collaborative efforts between Xavier University (XU) of Louisiana, Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO), Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Stennis Space Center (SSC), to enhance student achievement in math and science. These "Partnerships" are focused on students and teachers in federally designated rural and urban empowerment zones and enterprise communities. The major goals of the "Partnerships" include: (1) The identification and dissemination of key indices of success that account for high performance in math and science; (2) The education of pre-service and in-service secondary teachers in knowledge, skills, and competencies that enhance the instruction of high school math and science; (3) The development of faculty to enhance the quality of math and science courses in institutions of higher education; and (4) The incorporation of technology-based instruction in institutions of higher education. These goals will be achieved by the accomplishment of the following objectives: (1) Delineate significant ?best practices? that are responsible for enhancing student outcomes in math and science; (2) Recruit and retain pre-service teachers with undergraduate degrees in Biology, Math, Chemistry, or Physics in a graduate program, culminating with a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction; (3) Provide faculty workshops and opportunities for travel to professional meetings for dissemination of NASA resources information; (4) Implement methodologies and assessment procedures utilizing performance-based applications of higher order

  15. Can Emphasising Cognitive Development Improve Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pasnak, Robert; Kidd, Julie K.; Gadzichowski, Marinka K.; Gallington, Deborah A.; Saracina, Robin P.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Children ordinarily begin their formal education at the age when the great majority of them are capable of understanding the role of addition and subtraction in changing number. In determining critical differences they can apply the oddity principle--the first "pure" abstraction that children ever develop--understanding that when all…

  16. Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Karen; Posternak, Michael; Jonathan, E. Alpert

    2008-01-01

    The safety and tolerability of antidepressants have improved considerably over the past two decades, Nevertheless, antidepressant side effects are still common and problematic. The majority of patients treated with contemporary agents experience one or more bothersome side effects. These side effects often create barriers to achieving depressive remission, as well as to preventing relapse and recurrence. Clinicians tend to underestimate the prevalence of side effects, and as many as one quarter of patients discontinue their antidepressants because of difficult-to-tolerate side effects; others may continue on antidepressant therapy but experience diminished quality of life related to troublesome side effects. This article reviews the prevalence of side effects, the impact of side effects on treatment adherence, and methodological issues including the challenge of distinguishing side effects from residual depressive symptoms, discontinuation effects, and general medical problems. In addition, we address the most common side effects such as sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbance, apathy, and fatigue, and offer strategies for management that may help patients achieve optimal response to pharmacotherapy. PMID:19170398

  17. Do Charter Schools Improve Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Melissa A.; Gleason, Philip M.; Tuttle, Christina Clark; Silverberg, Marsha K.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents findings from a lottery-based study of the impacts of a broad set of 33 charter middle schools across 13 states on student achievement. To estimate charter school impacts, we compare test score outcomes of students admitted to these schools through the randomized admissions lotteries with outcomes of applicants who were not…

  18. Proven Strategies for Improving Learning & Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Duane

    The purpose of this book is to give student support personnel tools that: (1) will be recognized by educators as directly related to enhancing academic performance; (2) can be used with confidence that they will have the desired impact on achievement; and (3) are culturally sensitive. Chapters contain detailed presentation of the technology as…

  19. Reshaping Personnel Policies to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koppich, Julia E.; Gerstein, Amy

    2007-01-01

    The "Getting Down to Facts" (GDTF) studies released in March 2007 offered a clear diagnosis of the issues facing California's education system. Now, as California moves beyond the facts and begins the search for ways to improve the performance of California schools and students, the state faces a critical policy dilemma. On the one hand, the…

  20. Strategic School Funding for Improved Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay G.; Brown, James R.; Levin, Jesse; Jubb, Steve; Harper, Dorothy; Tolleson, Ray; Manship, Karen

    2010-01-01

    This article features Strategic School Funding for Results (SSFR) project, a new joint initiative of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Pivot Learning Partners (PLP) aimed at improving school finance, human resources, and management systems in large urban school districts. The goal of the project is to develop and implement more…

  1. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-10-24

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  2. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

    This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…

  3. Understanding the Gap in Mathematics Achievement of Malaysian Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Noor Azina

    2009-01-01

    Of 46 countries that participated in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study in 2003 (I. V. S. Mullis, M. O. Martin, E. J. Gonzalez, & S. J. Chrostowski, 2004), Malaysia was ranked 10th in international scores of mathematics achievement for 8th-grade students. The present author aimed to examine the importance of students' home…

  4. Science Achievement for All: Improving Science Performance and Closing Achievement Gaps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Julie K.; Ash, Gwynne

    2012-01-01

    This article addresses the serious and growing need to improve science instruction and science achievement for all students. We will describe the results of a 3-year study that transformed science instruction and student achievement at two high-poverty ethnically diverse public elementary schools in Texas. The school-wide intervention included…

  5. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guangtian

    2011-12-01

    Learning physics is challenging at all levels. Students' difficulties in the introductory level physics courses have been widely studied and many instructional strategies have been developed to help students learn introductory physics. However, research shows that there is a large diversity in students' preparation and skills in the upper-level physics courses and it is necessary to provide scaffolding support to help students learn advanced physics. This thesis explores issues related to students' common difficulties in learning upper-level undergraduate quantum mechanics and how these difficulties can be reduced by research-based learning tutorials and peer instruction tools. We investigated students' difficulties in learning quantum mechanics by administering written tests and surveys to many classes and conducting individual interviews with a subset of students. Based on these investigations, we developed Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) and peer instruction tools to help students build a hierarchical knowledge structure of quantum mechanics through a guided approach. Preliminary assessments indicate that students' understanding of quantum mechanics is improved after using the research-based learning tools in the junior-senior level quantum mechanics courses. We also designed a standardized conceptual survey that can help instructors better probe students' understanding of quantum mechanics concepts in one spatial dimension. The validity and reliability of this quantum mechanics survey is discussed.

  6. Science Achievement for All: Improving Science Performance and Closing Achievement Gaps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Julie K.; Ash, Gwynne

    2012-11-01

    This article addresses the serious and growing need to improve science instruction and science achievement for all students. We will describe the results of a 3-year study that transformed science instruction and student achievement at two high-poverty ethnically diverse public elementary schools in Texas. The school-wide intervention included purposeful planning, inquiry science instruction, and contextually rich academic science vocabulary development. In combination, these instructional practices rapidly improved student-science learning outcomes and narrowed achievement gaps across diverse student populations.

  7. Finishing the Job: Improving the Achievement of Vocational Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bottoms, Gene; Presson, Alice

    The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)-State Vocational Education Consortium's commitment to higher standards for and greater achievement of vocational students has brought substantial gains in student performance. SREB's High Schools That Work (HSTW), a school improvement initiative, documents achievement gains by vocational students. Data…

  8. How Much Can Spatial Training Improve STEM Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stieff, Mike; Uttal, David

    2015-01-01

    Spatial training has been indicated as a possible solution for improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) achievement and degree attainment. Advocates for this approach have noted that the correlation between spatial ability and several measures of STEM achievement suggests that spatial training should focus on improving…

  9. Improvements in Interval Time Tracking and Effects on Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.; Keith, Timothy Z.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effect of improvements in timing/rhythmicity on students' reading achievement. 86 participants completed pre- and post-test measures of reading achievement (i.e., Woodcock-Johnson III, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Test of Word Reading Efficiency, and Test of Silent Word Reading Fluency). Students in the…

  10. Does Children's Academic Achievement Improve when Single Mothers Marry?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagmiller, Robert L., Jr.; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Veliz, Philip; Clements, Margaret

    2010-01-01

    Promoting marriage, especially among low-income single mothers with children, is increasingly viewed as a promising public policy strategy for improving developmental outcomes for disadvantaged children. Previous research suggests, however, that children's academic achievement either does not improve or declines when single mothers marry. In this…

  11. An Action Plan for Improving Mediocre or Stagnant Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redmond, Kimberley B.

    2013-01-01

    Although all of the schools in the target school system adhere to a school improvement process, achievement scores remain mediocre or stagnant within the overseas school in Italy that serves children of United States armed service members. To address this problem, this study explored the target school's improvement process to discover how…

  12. Professional Learning Communities That Initiate Improvement in Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royer, Suzanne M.

    2012-01-01

    Quality teaching requires a strong practice of collaboration, an essential building block for educators to improve student achievement. Researchers have theorized that the implementation of a professional learning community (PLC) with resultant collaborative practices among teachers sustains academic improvement. The problem addressed specifically…

  13. Understanding Conscientiousness and Its Role in Improved Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Best, Jane; Dunlap, Allison

    2014-01-01

    In today's rapidly changing global economy, "21st century skills" means much more than proficiency in basic academic subjects. One of the most important noncognitive competencies for student success is conscientiousness, which encompasses traits such as perseverance, self-regulation, resilience, and responsibility. Researchers have found…

  14. Continuous Improvement in Schools: Understanding the Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stephen; Kumari, Roshni

    2009-01-01

    This article investigates conceptually and practically what it means for schools to engage in the practice of continuous improvement. The analysis draws upon prior research and discussion to predict core elements of the practice of continuous improvement in schools. The predictions are then applied to a case study of continuous improvement efforts…

  15. Healthcare systems engineering: an interdisciplinary approach to achieving continuous improvement.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bin; Klein, Cerry; Stone, Tamara T

    2006-01-01

    This paper argues that a systems approach can significantly enhance healthcare improvement efforts in patient safety, service quality and healthcare cost containment. The application of systems thinking to healthcare improvement encompasses three key principles: the systems perspective of healthcare processes, structured problem solving and the closed loop of continuous system improvement. These are encapsulated in a conceptual framework of continuous system improvement, which includes a reference architecture model and an analysis and design process model. Combined into a closed-loop, this framework allows users to understand and appropriately apply relevant functions, issues and analytical techniques. Practical applications of the framework are presented. PMID:18048245

  16. Improving the Teaching of Economics: Achievements and Aspirations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bach, G. L.; Kelley, Allen C.

    Achievements and possible future projects of the American Economic Association's Committee on Economic Education (CEE), whose goal is to improve teaching in college and university economics, are discussed. The Teacher Training Program (TTP) was established by the CEE in the 1970's to develop programs to train economic educators. To date the…

  17. Using Students' Cultural Heritage to Improve Academic Achievement in Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mendez, Gilbert

    2006-01-01

    This article discusses an approach to teaching used at Calexico Unified School District, a California-Mexican border high school, by a group of teachers working to make teaching and learning more relevant to Chicano and Mexican students' lives and to improve their academic achievement in writing. An off-shoot of a training program for English…

  18. Improving Students' Social Skills and Achievement through Cooperative Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caparos, Jennifer; Cetera, Colleen; Ogden, Lynn; Rossett, Kathryn

    This action research project evaluated a program designed to increase the use of appropriate social skills and improve academic achievement. The targeted population was comprised of first through third graders in four separate communities located in northeast Illinois. Evidence of the problem included teacher observational checklists denoting…

  19. Using Site-Based Budgeting To Improve Student Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warden, Christina

    2002-01-01

    Advances the use of school-based budgeting to improve student achievement. Describes four steps to implementing school-based budgeting: Access the current situation, set priorities and make decisions, plan action steps and benchmarks, and analyze choices and build the budget. Includes case study of the implementation of school-based budgeting at…

  20. New Directions in Social Psychological Interventions to Improve Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Timothy D.; Buttrick, Nicholas R.

    2016-01-01

    Attempts to improve student achievement typically focus on changing the educational environment (e.g., better schools, better teachers) or on personal characteristics of students (e.g., intelligence, self-control). The 6 articles in this special issue showcase an additional approach, emanating from social psychology, which focuses on students'…

  1. Improving Student Achievement through the Use of Music Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brogla-Krupke, Cheryl

    This report describes a program to improve student achievement through the use of music strategies. The targeted population was fifth-grade students in a small Iowa community. The absence of music integration into the social studies area was observed through data that displayed the lack of motivation and in-depth learning by the students. Analysis…

  2. Toward an improved understanding of MCS propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Processes that drive the propagation of elevated mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) have been the topic of a growing body of recent research. Elevated MCSs are responsible for a large percentage of warm season rainfall in the continental United States, and produce flash floods more frequently than other modes of convection. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of MCS propagation is important, since propagation sometimes opposes other environmental forces that influence MCS motion. This leads to nearly stationary MCSs that produce prolific local rainfall totals. The ingredients-based Propagation index (IPI) is introduced in this research. IPI is defined as the normalized product of horizontal warm thermal advection (a proxy for lifting), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and relative humidity. Horizontal plots of IPI are useful in identifying regions of probable convective initiation, including the intersections between potentially unstable flow and outflow boundaries, regions of mesoscale lift along the nose of the low-level jet, convectively induced gravity waves, and frontogenesis. Effective inflow-layer shear vectors are also introduced, and found to be useful for scenarios where IPI does yield predictive insight, such as the traditional "RKW" scenario where the forward propagation of an MCS is driven by thunderstorm outflow. It is argued that horizontal maps of IPI and EILS vectors will contribute significantly to short-term (e.g. 1-2 hr) predictions of the movement of MCSs, and to the subsequent assessment of their potential for flash flood production.

  3. Understanding Mathematics Achievement: An Analysis of the Effects of Student and Family Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goforth, Kate; Noltemeyer, Amity; Patton, Jon; Bush, Kevin R.; Bergen, Doris

    2014-01-01

    Educators are increasingly recognising the importance of improving students' mathematics achievement. Much of the current research focuses on the impact of instructional variables on mathematics achievement. The goal of this study was to examine the influence of less researched variables--family and student factors. Participants were 747…

  4. Improving Graphing Interpretation Skills and Understanding of Motion Using Microcomputer Based Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svec, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Examines the relative effectiveness of the traditional lab method and the microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) for improving student understanding. Examines three areas of achievement: graphing interpretation skills, and interpreting motion graphs and understanding of motion. Results indicate that MBL laboratories are more effective than…

  5. Cultural Connections: Promoting Self-Esteem, Achievement, and Multicultural Understanding through Distance Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cifuentes, Lauren; Murphy, Karen; Davis, Trina

    This case study focused on the effects of collaborative activities between two teachers and their students. The authors explored the effectiveness of distance learning for adolescents in promoting self-esteem, achievement, and multicultural understanding. In Cultural Connections, diverse students across Texas collaborated on multicultural…

  6. Writing for Understanding: The Effect of Using Informational Writing on Student Science Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parson, Atiya

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate whether or not informational writing in the science curriculum would impact fifth grade students' science achievement and conceptual understanding. The population of this study came from a metropolitan school district in the state of Georgia for school year 2012-2013. The quantitative data…

  7. Providing Early Childhood Teachers with Opportunities to Understand Diversity and the Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meece, Darrell; Wingate, Kimberly O'Kelley

    2010-01-01

    High quality teaching--providing children with support, feedback, and positive communication--is associated with closing the achievement gap between minority and majority children. It is important for students in teacher preparation programs to understand changes in curricular approaches to diversity--from the color-blind approach, to…

  8. College Students' Achievement and Understanding of Experimental and Theoretical Probability: The Role of Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papaieronymou, Irini

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the role of particular tasks implemented through two instructional methods on college students' "achievement" and understanding of probability. A mixed methods design that utilized a pre-test and post-test was used. This included treatment and control groups, each comprised of students in three sections of an…

  9. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Electricity and magnetism are important topics in physics. Research shows that students have many common difficulties in understanding concepts related to electricity and magnetism. However, research to improve students' understanding of electricity and magnetism is limited compared to introductory mechanics. This thesis explores issues…

  10. Statistics in Public Understanding of Science review: How to achieve high statistical standards?

    PubMed

    Crettaz von Roten, Fabienne

    2016-02-01

    This article proposes a checklist to improve statistical reporting in the manuscripts submitted to Public Understanding of Science. Generally, these guidelines will allow the reviewers (and readers) to judge whether the evidence provided in the manuscript is relevant. The article ends with other suggestions for a better statistical quality of the journal. PMID:26195660

  11. Evidence that Smaller Schools Do Not Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wainer, Howard; Zwerling, Harris L.

    2006-01-01

    If more small schools than "expected" are among the high achievers, then creating more small schools would raise achievement across the board, many proponents of small schools have argued. In this article, the authors challenge the faulty logic of such inferences. Many claims have been made about the advantages of smaller schools. One is that,…

  12. Using LGI experiments to achieve better understanding of pedestal-edge coupling in NSTX-U

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Zhehui

    2015-02-23

    PowerPoint presentation. Latest advances in granule or dust injection technologies, fast and high-resolution imaging, together with micro-/nano-structured material fabrication, provide new opportunities to examine plasma-material interaction (PMI) in magnetic fusion environment. Some of our previous work in these areas is summarized. The upcoming LGI experiments in NSTX-U will shed new light on granular matter transport in the pedestal-edge region. In addition to particle control, these results can also be used for code validation and achieving better understanding of pedestal-edge coupling in fusion plasmas in both NSTX-U and others.

  13. Multiple intelligences and alternative teaching strategies: The effects on student academic achievement, conceptual understanding, and attitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baragona, Michelle

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the interactions between multiple intelligence strengths and alternative teaching methods on student academic achievement, conceptual understanding and attitudes. The design was a quasi-experimental study, in which students enrolled in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, a developmental biology course, received lecture only, problem-based learning with lecture, or peer teaching with lecture. These students completed the Multiple Intelligence Inventory to determine their intelligence strengths, the Students' Motivation Toward Science Learning questionnaire to determine student attitudes towards learning in science, multiple choice tests to determine academic achievement, and open-ended questions to determine conceptual understanding. Effects of intelligence types and teaching methods on academic achievement and conceptual understanding were determined statistically by repeated measures ANOVAs. No significance occurred in academic achievement scores due to lab group or due to teaching method used; however, significant interactions between group and teaching method did occur in students with strengths in logical-mathematical, interpersonal, kinesthetic, and intrapersonal intelligences. Post-hoc analysis using Tukey HSD tests revealed students with strengths in logical-mathematical intelligence and enrolled in Group Three scored significantly higher when taught by problem-based learning (PBL) as compared to peer teaching (PT). No significance occurred in conceptual understanding scores due to lab group or due to teaching method used; however, significant interactions between group and teaching method did occur in students with strengths in musical, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and spatial intelligences. Post-hoc analysis using Tukey HSD tests revealed students with strengths in logical-mathematical intelligence and enrolled in Group Three scored significantly higher when taught by lecture as compared to PBL. Students with

  14. From Headline to Hard Grind: The Importance of Understanding Public Administration in Achieving Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    O’Flynn, Janine

    2016-01-01

    Many public policy programs fail to translate ambitious headlines to on-the-ground action. The reasons for this are many and varied, but for public administration and management scholars a large part of the gap between ambition and achievement is the challenge associated with the operation of the machinery of government itself, and how it relates to the other parties that it relies on to fulfill these outcomes. In their article, Carey and Friel set out key reasons why public health scholars should seek to better understand important ideas in public administration. In commenting on their contribution, I draw out two critical questions that are raised by this discussion: (i) what are boundaries and what forms do they take? and (ii) why work across boundaries? Expanding on these key questions extends the points made by Carey and Friel on the importance of understanding public administration and will better place public health scholars and practitioners to realise health outcomes.

  15. Using Science Notebooks to Improve Writing Skills and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Malcolm B.; Nesbit, Catherine

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide teachers with strategies for improving students' writing and deepening their conceptual understanding through the use of science notebooks. The strategies include using various resources and providing a variety of feedback opportunities for students. A sample science investigation and an accompanying…

  16. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Siegler, Robert; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole…

  17. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Siegler, Robert; Gersten, Russell; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole interpretation…

  18. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents a partnership effort among managers, trainers, and employees to spring to life performance improvement using the performance templates (P-T) approach. P-T represents a process model as well as a method of training leading to performance improvement. Not only does it add to our repertoire of training and performance management…

  19. Capacity Building for a School Improvement Program, Achievement Directed Leadership.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graeber, Anna O.; And Others

    This report describes and evaluates efforts to enhance school districts' capacity to implement and institutionalize the monitoring and management system for an instructional leadership program called Achievement Directed Leadership (ADL). Chapter one introduces the report's methodology, limitations, and structure. Chapter two first states the…

  20. Improving Secondary School Students' Achievement using Intrinsic Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albrecht, Erik; Haapanen, Rebecca; Hall, Erin; Mantonya, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    This report describes a program for increasing students' intrinsic motivation in an effort to increase academic achievement. The targeted population consisted of secondary level students in a middle to upper-middle class suburban area. The students of the targeted secondary level classes appeared to be disengaged from learning due to a lack of…

  1. Does Video-Autotutorial Instruction Improve College Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, K. M.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    Compares student achievement in an upper-division college introductory course taught by the video-autotutorial method with that in two comparable courses taught by the lecture-discussion method. Pre-post tests of 623 students reveal that video-autotutorial students outperform lecture/discussion participants at all ability levels and that in…

  2. Middle School Practices Improve Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertens, Steven B.; Flowers, Nancy

    2003-01-01

    Examined how interdisciplinary team practices and classroom instructional practices affected student achievement in high poverty middle schools in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Found that when the combined effects of family poverty level, teaming and common planning time, and duration of teaming were considered, there was a relationship…

  3. Helping Students Improve Academic Achievement and School Success Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brigman, Greg; Campbell, Chari

    2003-01-01

    This article describes a study evaluating the impact of school-counselor-led interventions on student academic achievement and school success behavior. A group counseling and classroom guidance model called student success skills (SSS) was the primary intervention. The focus of the SSS model was on three sets of skills identified in several…

  4. Instruction and Achievement in Chicago Elementary Schools. Improving Chicago's Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Julia B.; Lee, Valerie E.; Newmann, Fred M.

    This study focused on the link between different forms of instruction and learning in Chicago, Illinois, elementary schools. It used teachers' survey reports about their instruction in the 1997-1997 school year and linked these reports with achievement gains. The study tested the common assumption that the nature of standardized assessments…

  5. An Effective Way to Improve Mathematics Achievement in Urban Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Taik

    2010-01-01

    The local Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) partnership serves 11 K-8 schools with the lowest achievement scores and the highest poverty rates in a large Midwestern urban district. Recently, GEARUP launched a specially designed teaching program, Mathematics Enhancement Group (MEG), for underachievers in…

  6. Improving Practice through Scholarship: An Uncommon Record of Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bers, Trudy

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the author writes from the perspective of a community college research practitioner, an institutional researcher whose daily work is intended primarily to affect policies, procedures and understanding of student learning and institutional effectiveness. The audience for this work is composed of faculty, administrators, staff,…

  7. Improving student understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    The lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. We find that students tend to struggle with its basic operating principles, leading to a variety of difficulties. To improve their understanding, we have developed a research-based tutorial that makes use of a computer simulated lock-in amplifier. The tutorial allows students to realize their conceptual difficulties by comparing their predictions with the outcome of the simulations, hopefully leading them to a better understanding of the process of lock-in amplification.

  8. Organizational management practices for achieving software process improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kandt, Ronald Kirk

    2004-01-01

    The crisis in developing software has been known for over thirty years. Problems that existed in developing software in the early days of computing still exist today. These problems include the delivery of low-quality products, actual development costs that exceed expected development costs, and actual development time that exceeds expected development time. Several solutions have been offered to overcome out inability to deliver high-quality software, on-time and within budget. One of these solutions involves software process improvement. However, such efforts often fail because of organizational management issues. This paper discusses business practices that organizations should follow to improve their chances of initiating and sustaining successful software process improvement efforts.

  9. Achieving process control through improved grinding techniques for ferrite materials

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce, J.

    1995-09-01

    In manufacturing soft ferrite materials the particle size of the raw material has a significant impact on the reactivity of calcination. The control of particle size distribution and final formulation at wet milling after calcining impacts the reactivity during sintering and the magnetic properties of the final product. This paper will deal with steps taken to improve process control during the grinding operations of raw material and calcine in soft ferrite production. Equipment modifications as well as changes to the grinding and material handling techniques will be included. All examples of process control and improvements will be supported by data.

  10. Achieving improved cycle efficiency via pressure gain combustors

    SciTech Connect

    Gemmen, R.S.; Janus, M.C.; Richards, G.A.; Norton, T.S.; Rogers, W.A.

    1995-04-01

    As part of the Department of Energy`s Advanced Gas Turbine Systems Program, an investigation is being performed to evaluate ``pressure gain`` combustion systems for gas turbine applications. This paper presents experimental pressure gain and pollutant emission data from such combustion systems. Numerical predictions for certain combustor geometries are also presented. It is reported that for suitable aerovalved pulse combustor geometries studied experimentally, an overall combustor pressure gain of nearly 1 percent can be achieved. It is also shown that for one combustion system operating under typical gas turbine conditions, NO{sub x} and CO emmissions, are about 30 ppmv and 8 ppmv, respectively.

  11. Feedback to achieve improved sign-out technique.

    PubMed

    Doers, Matthew E; Beniwal-Patel, Poonam; Kuester, Jessica; Fletcher, Kathlyn E

    2015-01-01

    To maximize the quality of sign-out documents within the internal medicine residency, a quality improvement intervention was developed and implemented. Written sign-outs were collected from general medicine ward teams and graded using an 11-point checklist; in-person feedback was then given directly to the ward teams. Documentation of many of the 11 elements improved: mental status (22% to 66%, P < .0001), decisionality (40% to 66%, P < .0001), lab/test results (63% to 69%, P < .0001), level of acuity (34% to 50%, P < .0001), anticipatory guidance (69% to 82%, P < .0001), and future plans (35% to 38%, P < .0005). The use of vague language declined (41% to 26%, P < .0001). The mean total scores improved from 7.0 to 8.2 out of a possible 11 (P < .0001). As new house staff rotated onto the services, improvement over time was sustained with 1 feedback session per team, per month. Similar interventions could be made in other programs and other institutions. PMID:24878514

  12. ACHIEVING IRRIGATION RETURN FLOW QUALITY CONTROL THROUGH IMPROVED LEGAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The key to irrigated agricultural return flow quality control is proper utilization and management of the resource itself, and an accepted tool in out society is the law. This project is designed to develop legal alternatives that will facilitate the implementation of improved wa...

  13. Community Schools Seek to Improve High School Achievement, College Readiness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilroy, Marilyn

    2011-01-01

    The Coalition for Community Schools, an alliance of more than 150 national, state, and local organizations, is bringing public schools in partnership with community resources to improve student success. While that might seem like an abstract idea, it has very concrete goals, such as boosting high school graduation rates and college readiness.…

  14. Achieving Continuous Improvement: Theories that Support a System Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armel, Donald

    Focusing on improvement is different than focusing on quality, quantity, customer satisfaction, and productivity. This paper discusses Open System Theory, and suggests ways to change large systems. Changing a system (meaning the way all the parts are connected) requires a considerable amount of data gathering and analysis. Choosing the proper…

  15. Using Curriculum-Based Measurement to Improve Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    Response to intervention (RTI) is on the radar screen of most principals these days--finding out what it is, how it can improve teaching and learning, and what needs to be done to implement it effectively. One critical component of RTI that will require particular attention from principals is student progress monitoring, which is required in every…

  16. Improving Student Achievement in Solving Mathematical Word Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roti, Joan; Trahey, Carol; Zerafa, Susan

    This report describes a program for improving students' comprehension of the language of mathematical problems. The targeted population consists of 5th and 6th grade multi-age students and multi-age learners with special needs at a middle school located outside a major city in a Midwestern community. Evidence for the existence of this problem…

  17. Improving International Research with Clinical Specimens: 5 Achievable Objectives

    PubMed Central

    LaBaer, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    Our increased interest in translational research has created a large demand for blood, tissue and other clinical samples, which find use in a broad variety of research including genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested internationally on the collection, storage and distribution of samples. Nevertheless, many researchers complain in frustration about their inability to obtain relevant and/or useful samples for their research. Lack of access to samples, poor condition of samples, and unavailability of appropriate control samples have slowed our progress in the study of diseases and biomarkers. In this editorial, I focus on five major challenges that thwart clinical sample use for translational research and propose near term objectives to address them. They include: (1) defining our biobanking needs; (2) increasing the use of and access to standard operating procedures; (3) mapping inter-observer differences for use in normalizing diagnoses; (4) identifying natural internal protein controls; and (5) redefining the clinical sample paradigm by building partnerships with the public. In each case, I believe that we have the tools at hand required to achieve the objective within 5 years. Potential paths to achieve these objectives are explored. However we solve these problems, the future of proteomics depends on access to high quality clinical samples, collected under standardized conditions, accurately annotated and shared under conditions that promote the research we need to do. PMID:22998582

  18. Achieving Millennium Development Goals for Health: Building Understanding, Trust and Capacity to Respond

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Heidi J.

    2007-01-01

    Biomedical interventions promise achievement of health-related Millennium Development Goals provided social-, capacity- and knowledge-based constraints to scaling up and reaching marginalized people at risk, are addressed, and balance between prevention and treatment is struck. We argue for a new approach: multi-stakeholder capacity building and learning for empowerment: MuSCLE. MuSCLE is used as a way to frame three systemic weaknesses in traditional health science and policy approaches: 1) a lack of engagement with people at risk to build a collective understanding of the contexts of health problems; 2) a lack of multi-criteria evaluation of alternative interventions; and 3) a lack of attention paid to integrated capacity building. The MuSCLE framework responds in three ways: 1) Participatory assessment of the ecological, socio-cultural, economic and political contexts of health, identifying priorities using risk and vulnerability science, and modeling drivers; 2) Selection among intervention alternatives that makes ecological, socio-cultural, economic and political tradeoffs transparent; and 3) Integrated capacity building for sustainable and adaptive interventions. Literature and field lessons support the argument, and guidelines are set down. A MuSCLE approach argues for a transformation in health science and policy in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals for health. PMID:17399849

  19. New Simulation Methods to Facilitate Achieving a Mechanistic Understanding of Basic Pharmacology Principles in the Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grover, Anita; Lam, Tai Ning; Hunt, C. Anthony

    2008-08-01

    We present a simulation tool to aid the study of basic pharmacology principles. By taking advantage of the properties of agent-based modeling, the tool facilitates taking a mechanistic approach to learning basic concepts, in contrast to the traditional empirical methods. Pharmacodynamics is a particular aspect of pharmacology that can benefit from use of such a tool: students are often taught a list of concepts and a separate list of parameters for mathematical equations. The link between the two can be elusive. While wet-lab experimentation is the proven approach to developing this link, in silico simulation can provide a means of acquiring important insight and understanding within a time frame and at a cost that cannot be achieved otherwise. We suggest that simulations and their representation of laboratory experiments in the classroom can become a key component in student achievement by helping to develop a student's positive attitude towards science and his or her creativity in scientific inquiry. We present results of two simulation experiments that validate against data taken from current literature. We follow with a classroom example demonstrating how this tool can be seamlessly integrated within the traditional pharmacology learning experience.

  20. Student Achievement Goal Setting: Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stronge, James H.; Grant, Leslie W.

    2009-01-01

    The first book in the James H. Stronge Research-to-Practice series focuses on improving student achievement through academic goal setting. It offers the tools and plan of action to use performance data to improve instructional practice and increase student achievement. The book is divided into three parts: (1) How Student Achievement Data Can Be…

  1. Understanding and improving inpatient mortality in academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Behal, Raj; Finn, Jeannine

    2009-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe factors contributing to potentially preventable mortality in academic medical centers and the organizational characteristics associated with success in reducing mortality. Sixteen U.S. academic medical centers that wished to improve risk-adjusted inpatient mortality rates requested a consultation that included interviews with physicians, nurses, and hospital leaders; review of medical records; and evaluation of systems and processes of care. The assessments took place on-site; they identified key factors contributing to preventable mortality, and each hospital received specific recommendations. Changes in observed mortality and in the ratio of observed to expected mortality were measured from 2002 to final follow-up in 2007. Evaluations determined each hospital's success factors and key barriers to improvement. The key factors contributing to preventable mortality were delays in responding to deteriorating patients, suboptimal critical care, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative complications, medical errors, and community issues such as the availability of hospice care. Of the 16 hospitals, 12 were able to reduce their mortality index. The five hospitals that had the greatest improvement in mortality were the only hospitals with a broad level of engagement among hospital and physician leaders, including the department chairs. In the hospitals whose performance did not improve, the department chairs were not engaged in the process. The academic medical centers that focused on mortality reduction and had engagement of physicians, especially department chairs, were able to achieve meaningful reductions in hospital mortality. The necessary ingredients for achieving meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes included good data, a sound method for change, and physician leadership. PMID:19940569

  2. Understanding and improving the Fermilab booster high field orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    This note is an account of the authors' effort in both understanding the Booster high field orbit and controlling it through displacements of the main combined function magnets. We were able to achieve the second goal with considerable accuracy while having limited success with the first, due to insufficient knowledge of the Booster dynamics. This work was initiated in Spring 1987 with the orbit control via magnet moves the chief purpose. A series of magnet moves in 1987 and 1988 resulting from this study testified to its reliability. The understanding of the Booster orbit in general remains an ongoing process in which we keep modifying our model with the hope of eventually having a quantitative grasp of the closed orbit and being able to manipulate it with more flexibility and accuracy. In this paper we give a brief description of the Booster environment in which the magnet moves are carried out, together with background information concerning the magnet moves. The method we use is discussed. The result of the moves is documented, and our effort to understand the Booster high field orbit is given a detailed account. 12 figs., 5 tabs.

  3. A University Engagement Model for Achieving Technology Adoption and Performance Improvement Impacts in Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Government

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKinnis, David R.; Sloan, Mary Anne; Snow, L. David; Garimella, Suresh V.

    2014-01-01

    The Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers a model of university engagement and service that is achieving technology adoption and performance improvement impacts in healthcare, manufacturing, government, and other sectors. The TAP model focuses on understanding and meeting the changing and challenging needs of those served, always…

  4. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation. Herein we report on themes to integrate the diversity of NACP science and fill significant gaps for understanding and managing the North American carbon cycle: integration among disciplines involving land, atmosphere, and ocean research; strengthening data management infrastructure to support modeling and analysis; identification of study regions that are critical for reducing uncertainties in the North American carbon balance; and integrating biophysical science with the human dimensions of carbon management and decision support.

  5. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert B; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly E.; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    U.S. North American Carbon Program Investigators Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 22-25 January 2007. The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation.

  6. GLAMOR – OR HOW WE ACHIEVED A COMMON UNDERSTANDING ON THE DECREASE OF GLASS DISSOLUTION KINETICS

    SciTech Connect

    Van Iseghem, Pierre; Aerstens, Marc; Gin, Stephane; Deneele, Dimitri; Grambow, Bernd; Strachan, Denis M.; McGrail, B. Peter; Wicks, George G.

    2009-10-01

    The objective of the EC funded GLAMOR project was to achieve a common understanding of the processes that control the decrease of the dissolution rate of high-level waste glass in water when silica becomes saturated. Is the affinity controlled concept, or the protective layer concept dominating? The following steps were taken: (1) review of the literature, (2) selection of an experimental dataset, and selection of the models r(t) and GM2003, and (3) application by the GLAMOR partners of the models to the datasets. The main focus has been on dissolution tests in pure water at different values of surface to volume and pH. Some of the main conclusions were: (1) both affinity and protective layer concepts must be considered in the interpretation of the rate decreasing stage, (2) the residual dissolution rate observed beyond the silica saturation stage is far more important in view of the long-term performance of the glass, and deserves more attention in future R&D. GLAMOR also discussed in detail the modelling parameters such as the silica saturation concentration, the silica diffusion coefficient, the silica retention factor in the reaction layer, and the water diffusion coefficient.

  7. Improving Patient Understanding of Prescription Drug Label Instructions

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Terry C.; Federman, Alex D.; Bass, Pat F.; Jackson, Robert H.; Middlebrooks, Mark; Parker, Ruth M.

    2008-01-01

    Background Patient misunderstanding of instructions on prescription drug labels is common and a likely cause of medication error and less effective treatment. Objective To test whether the use of more explicit language to describe dose and frequency of use for prescribed drugs could improve comprehension, especially among patients with limited literacy. Design Cross-sectional study using in-person, structured interviews. Patients Three hundred and fifty-nine adults waiting for an appointment in two hospital-based primary care clinics and one federally qualified health center in Shreveport, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; and New York, New York, respectively. Measurement Correct understanding of each of ten label instructions as determined by a blinded panel review of patients’ verbatim responses. Results Patient understanding of prescription label instructions ranged from 53% for the least understood to 89% for the most commonly understood label. Patients were significantly more likely to understand instructions with explicit times periods (i.e., morning) or precise times of day compared to instructions stating times per day (i.e., twice) or hourly intervals (89%, 77%, 61%, and 53%, respectively,  < 0.001). In multivariate analyses, dosage instructions with specific times or time periods were significantly more likely to be understood compared to instructions stating times per day (time periods — adjusted relative risk ratio (ARR) 0.42, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.34–0.52; specific times — ARR 0.60, 95% CI 0.49–0.74). Low and marginal literacy remained statistically significant independent predictors of misinterpreting instructions (low - ARR 2.70, 95% CI 1.81–4.03; marginal -ARR 1.66, 95% CI 1.18–2.32). Conclusions Use of precise wording on prescription drug label instructions can improve patient comprehension. However, patients with limited literacy were more likely to misinterpret instructions despite use of more explicit language. PMID

  8. Supporting Lower-Achieving Seven- and Eight-Year-Old Children with Place Value Understandings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Judy

    2015-01-01

    Children can sometimes appear to understand a concept such as place value without really having a deep understanding. Judy Bailey stresses the importance of listening carefully to children to identify their current understandings and then building on them systematically, using a range of materials, to promote a deep conceptual understanding. This…

  9. Understanding catchment behavior through stepwise model concept improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, Fabrizio; Savenije, Hubert H. G.; Matgen, Patrick; Pfister, Laurent

    2008-01-01

    Lack of data is one of the main limitations for hydrological modeling. However, it is often used as a justification for over simplifying, poorly performing models. If we want to enhance our understanding of hydrological systems, it is important to fully exploit the information contained in the available data, and to learn from model deficiencies. In this paper, we propose a methodology where we systematically update the model structure, progressively incorporating new hypotheses of catchment behavior. We apply this methodology to the Alzette river basin in Luxembourg, showing how stepwise model improvement helps to identify the behavior of this catchment. We show that the most significant improvement of the evolving model structure is associated to the characterization of antecedent wetness. This is improved accounting for interception, which affects vertical storage distribution, and accounting for rainfall spatial heterogeneity, which influences storage variations in the horizontal dimension. Overall, our results suggested that, due to the damping effect of the basin, the description of fast catchment response benefits more from spatially distributed information than that of slow catchment response.

  10. Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis to Understand Executive Control in Preschool Children: Sources of Variation in Emergent Mathematic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bull, Rebecca; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Sheffield, Tiffany D.; Nelson, Jennifer Mize

    2011-01-01

    Latent variable modeling methods have demonstrated utility for understanding the structure of executive control (EC) across development. These methods are utilized to better characterize the relation between EC and mathematics achievement in the preschool period, and to understand contributing sources of individual variation. Using the sample and…

  11. Effects of Improvements in Interval Timing on the Mathematics Achievement of Elementary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.; Keith, Timothy Z.

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the effect of improvements in timing/rhythmicity on mathematics achievement. A total of 86 participants attending 1st through 4th grades completed pre- and posttest measures of mathematics achievement from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Students in the experimental group participated in a 4-week intervention…

  12. Improving Students' Understanding of Lock-In Amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Chandralekha, Singh

    2014-03-01

    A lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. However, many students struggle with the basic operating principles of a lock-in amplifier which can lead to a variety of difficulties. To improve students' understanding, we have been developing and evaluating a research-based tutorial which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of simulated experiments involving a lock-in amplifier and check their predictions using the simulated lock-in amplifier. Then, the tutorial guides and helps students develop a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial development involved interviews with physics faculty members and graduate students and iteration of many versions of the tutorial with professors and graduate students. The student difficulties and the development and assessment of the research-based tutorial are discussed. We thank National Science Foundation for award NSF-1124131.

  13. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2006-02-01

    We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

  14. Understanding and improving longevity in RF MEMS capacitive switches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Chuck; Forehand, David; Scarbrough, Derek; Peng, Zheng; Palego, Cris; Hwang, James; Clevenger, Jason

    2008-02-01

    This paper discusses issues relating to the reliability and methods for employing high-cycle life testing in capacitive RF MEMS switches. In order to investigate dielectric charging, transient current spectroscopy is used to characterize and model the ingress and egress of charges within the switch insulating layer providing an efficient, powerful tool to investigate various insulating materials without constructing actual MEMS switches. Additionally, an in-situ monitoring scheme has been developed to observe the dynamic evolution of switch characteristics during life testing. As an alternative to high-cycle life testing, which may require days or weeks of testing, a method for performing accelerated life tests is presented. Various methods for mitigating dielectric charging are presented including: reduced operating voltage, reduced dielectric area, and improved control waveforms. Charging models, accelerated life test results, and high-cycle life test results for state-of-the-art capacitive RF MEMS switches aid in the better understanding of MEMS switch reliability providing direction for improving materials and mechanical designs to increase the operation lifetime of MEMS capacitive switches.

  15. Student Achievement in Identified Workforce Clusters: Understanding Factors that Influence Student Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Amico, Mark M.; Morgan, Grant B.; Robertson, Thashundray C.

    2011-01-01

    This study blends elements from two South Carolina Technical College System initiatives--Achieving the Dream and a workforce cluster strategy. Achieving the Dream is a national non-profit organization created to help technical and community college students succeed, particularly low-income students and students of color. This initiative, combined…

  16. Long-Term Follow Up of CSRP: Understanding Students' Academic Achievement Post-Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lennon, Jaclyn M.; Li-Grining, Christine; Raver, C. Cybele; Pess, Rachel A.

    2011-01-01

    In this poster presentation, the authors examine the impact of Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) on students' academic achievement in elementary school. First, they provide upper- and lower-bound estimates of the impact of CSRP on students' academic achievement, taking into account their subsequent nonrandom selection into higher versus…

  17. Understanding Science Achievement Gaps by Race/Ethnicity and Gender in Kindergarten and First Grade

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curran, F. Chris; Kellogg, Ann T.

    2016-01-01

    Disparities in science achievement across race and gender have been well documented in secondary and postsecondary school; however, the science achievement gap in the early years of elementary school remains understudied. We present findings from the recently released Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011 that…

  18. How Do Relationships Influence Student Achievement? Understanding Student Performance from a General, Social Psychological Standpoint

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aspelin, Jonas

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the influence of relationships on student achievement by examining empirical evidence and by adopting a social psychological theory. Initially, the issue is addressed from a national, Swedish context. Thereafter, two general questions are raised: (1) What is the influence of relationships on student achievement, according to…

  19. Understanding and Achieving Quality in Sure Start Children's Centres: Practitioners' Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cottle, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    This article focuses on some of the issues that shape understandings of professional practice in the rapidly expanding context of children's centres in England. Drawing on data from an ESRC-funded project exploring practitioners' understandings of quality and success, the perspectives of 115 practitioners working in 11 Sure Start Children's…

  20. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education.

    PubMed

    Adams, Robert John

    2010-01-01

    A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual's competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly, better means of evaluating the impact of programs on public health is needed. The Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework has been

  1. Understanding the Elements of Operational Reliability: A Key for Achieving High Reliability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safie, Fayssal M.

    2010-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews operational reliability and its role in achieving high reliability through design and process reliability. The topics include: 1) Reliability Engineering Major Areas and interfaces; 2) Design Reliability; 3) Process Reliability; and 4) Reliability Applications.

  2. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies. PMID:27010639

  3. Improving illiterate patients understanding and adherence to discharge medications

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Matthew; Syed, Faizan; Rashid, Amjid; Fayyaz, Umer

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Adherence to a hospital discharge medication regime is crucial for successful treatment and to avoid increasing rates of drug resistance. A patient's success in adhering to their medication regime is dependent on many social, cultural, economic, illness and therapy-related factors, and these are often more pronounced in the developing world. Anecdotal evidence in Services Hospital, Lahore (Pakistan) suggested that the relatively high levels of illiteracy in the patient population was a major factor in poor adherence. Baseline measurement revealed that 48% of all the hospital's patients were illiterate with just 5%–12% of illiterate patients being able to interpret their handwritten discharge prescription after leaving hospital. Unsurprisingly follow-up clinics reported very poor adherence. This quality improvement project intervened by designing a new discharge prescription proforma which used pictures and symbols rather than words to convey the necessary information. Repeated surveys demonstrated large relative increases in comprehension of the new proformas amongst illiterate patients with between 23%–35% of illiterate patients understanding the new proformas. PMID:26734151

  4. Improved Understanding of ice and dust processes using Data Assimilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    We use the DART Data Assimilation (DA) framework to ingest radiance observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) into the PlanetWRF Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) and measure the skill of the model in reproducing the observations, and hence to test and improve understanding of the aerosol processes at the heart of Martian climate. The DA framework is used to constrain the surface ice properties in the model using the TES radiance observations and lander pressure measurements as independent constraints on the ice properties. We compare the skill of two ice models in reproducing the TES radiance observations while simultaneously matching lander pressure observations. In one model the effect of subsurface ice is contained within the surface albedo and emissivity parameterization, in the second model subsurface ice is parameterized based on Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) data. Both models reproduce the pressure cycle observed by the Viking Lander instruments, but the model with subsurface ice performs significantly better at reproducing the TES radiance observations over the ice-covered poles. We also use the DA framework to investigate the model skill using the Conrath vertical dust profile (with a near surface maximum dust abundance) and a modified dust profile with high altitude maximum that has been inferred from limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The GCM using the modified dust profile produces an atmosphere with thermal lapse rate closer to that measured using nadir observations from TES.

  5. Toward an Improved Understanding of the Global Fresh Water Budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Peter H.

    2005-01-01

    priorities for future improvements in global fresh water budget monitoring. The priorities are based on the potential of new approaches to provide improved measurement and modeling systems, and on the need to measure and understand the potential for a speed-up of the global water cycle under the effects of climate change.

  6. Understanding motivational structures that differentially predict engagement and achievement in middle school science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Christine S.; Hayes, Kathryn N.; Seitz, Jeffery; DiStefano, Rachelle; O'Connor, Dawn

    2016-01-01

    Middle school has been documented as the period in which a drop in students' science interest and achievement occurs. This trend indicates a lack of motivation for learning science; however, little is known about how different aspects of motivation interact with student engagement and science learning outcomes. This study examines the relationships among motivational factors, engagement, and achievement in middle school science (grades 6-8). Data were obtained from middle school students in the United States (N = 2094). The theoretical relationships among motivational constructs, including self-efficacy, and three types of goal orientations (mastery, performance approach, and performance avoid) were tested. The results showed that motivation is best modeled as distinct intrinsic and extrinsic factors; lending evidence that external, performance based goal orientations factor separately from self-efficacy and an internal, mastery based goal orientation. Second, a model was tested to examine how engagement mediated the relationships between intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors and science achievement. Engagement mediated the relationship between intrinsic motivation and science achievement, whereas extrinsic motivation had no relationship with engagement and science achievement. Implications for how classroom practice and educational policy emphasize different student motivations, and in turn, can support or hinder students' science learning are discussed.

  7. Understanding and Improving High Voltage Vacuum Insulators for Microsecond Pulses

    SciTech Connect

    Javedani, J B; Goerz, D A; Houck, T L; Lauer, E J; Speer, R D; Tully, L K; Vogtlin, G E; White, A D

    2007-03-05

    High voltage insulation is one of the main areas of pulsed power research and development, and dielectric breakdown is usually the limiting factor in attaining the highest possible performance in pulsed power devices. For many applications the delivery of pulsed power into a vacuum region is the most critical aspect of operation. The surface of an insulator exposed to vacuum can fail electrically at an applied field more than an order or magnitude below the bulk dielectric strength of the insulator. This mode of breakdown, called surface flashover, imposes serious limitations on the power flow into a vacuum region. This is especially troublesome for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and for applications where relatively long pulses, on the order of several microseconds, are required. The goal of this project is to establish a sound fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that lead to surface flashover, and then evaluate the most promising techniques to improve vacuum insulators and enable high voltage operation at stress levels near the intrinsic bulk breakdown limits of the material. The approach we proposed and followed was to develop this understanding through a combination of theoretical and computation methods coupled with experiments to validate and quantify expected behaviors. In this report we summarize our modeling and simulation efforts, theoretical studies, and experimental investigations. The computational work began by exploring the limits of commercially available codes and demonstrating methods to examine field enhancements and defect mechanisms at microscopic levels. Plasma simulations with particle codes used in conjunction with circuit models of the experimental apparatus enabled comparisons with experimental measurements. The large scale plasma (LSP) particle-in-cell (PIC) code was run on multiprocessor platforms and used to simulate expanding plasma conditions in vacuum gap regions

  8. Improving Reliability and Validity of "Achievement via Conformance" Through Computer Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riggs, Donald E.

    This paper describes an experiment conducted in order to improve the reliability and validity of the Achievement via Conformance (AC) scale of the California Psychological Inventory (CPI). The primary goal of AC is to identify those factors of interest and motivation which facilitate achievement in any setting where conformance is positive…

  9. Effective Strategies Urban Superintendents Utilize That Improve the Academic Achievement for African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prioleau, Lushandra

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effective strategies, resources, and programs urban superintendents utilize to improve the academic achievement for African-American males. This study employed a mixed-methods approach to answer the following research questions regarding urban superintendents and the academic achievement for African-American males: What…

  10. Improving Education Achievement and Attainment in Luxembourg. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 508

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David; Ernst, Ekkehard

    2006-01-01

    Improving education achievement in Luxembourg is a priority for strengthening productivity growth and enhancing residents' employment prospects in the private sector, where employers mainly hire cross-border workers. Student achievement in Luxembourg is below the OECD average according to the 2003 OECD PISA study, with the performance gap between…

  11. Improving Student Motivation and Achievement in Mathematics through Teaching to the Multiple Intelligences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bednar, Janet; Coughlin, Jane; Evans, Elizabeth; Sievers, Theresa

    This action research project described strategies for improving student motivation and achievement in mathematics through multiple intelligences. The targeted population consisted of kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth grade students located in two major Midwestern cities. Documentation proving low student motivation and achievement in…

  12. Prenatal Training Improves New Mothers’ Understanding of Jaundice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Hu, Peng; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Qing Ling; Hu, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Background Mothers’ knowledge of neonatal jaundice (NNJ) is grossly deficient or inaccurate, which may adversely affect the actions of mothers in the recognition of NNJ and cause a delay in seeking medical attention. Material/Methods A total of 1036 primiparas were separated randomly into the intervention group and the control group, with 518 primiparas in each group. Results All (100%) mothers in the intervention group understood that NNJ is a yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera; 94.19% of them considered that NNJ is a common problem in newborns; 82.80% and 95.27% replied that jaundice appearing within the first 36 hours and lasting more than 2 weeks usually indicates pathological NNJ; 96.34%, 80.86%, and 90.32% realized that premature newborns, low birth weight, and perinatal asphyxia, respectively, are more likely to be accompanied by NNJ; 97.41%, 78.71%, and 64.95% knew that maternal-fetal blood group incompatibility, infection, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, respectively, are the common inducements to NNJ; 94.84% could associate NNJ with brain damage; 92.26%, 93.12%, and 74.62% agreed that phototherapy, strengthen feeding, and exchange blood transfusion, respectively, can greatly relieve NNJ. However, some respondents in the control group responded in other ways, such as stopping breastfeeding (9.19%), placing newborns in sunlight (10.24%) and traditional Chinese medicine (10.24%), which was significantly higher than that of the intervention group. There was also a significant delay for respondents in the control group in consulting a pediatrician, and 6.30% of them did not seek medical help until after the interview. Conclusions Prenatal training could significantly improve new mothers’ understanding of NNJ. PMID:26056164

  13. Breaking through barriers: using technology to address executive function weaknesses and improve student achievement.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, David M

    2014-01-01

    Assistive technologies provide significant capabilities for improving student achievement. Improved accessibility, cost, and diversity of applications make integration of technology a powerful tool to compensate for executive function weaknesses and deficits and their impact on student performance, learning, and achievement. These tools can be used to compensate for decreased working memory, poor time management, poor planning and organization, poor initiation, and decreased memory. Assistive technology provides mechanisms to assist students with diverse strengths and weaknesses in mastering core curricular concepts. PMID:25010083

  14. Teachers' Perception of Their Principal's Leadership Style and the Effects on Student Achievement in Improving and Non-Improving Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardman, Brenda Kay

    2011-01-01

    Teachers' perceptions of their school leaders influence student achievement in their schools. The extent of this influence is examined in this study. This quantitative study examined teachers' perceptions of the leadership style of their principals as transformational, transactional or passive-avoidant in improving and non-improving schools in…

  15. Understanding Community College Students' Learning Styles and the Link to Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

    Learning styles have been an area of interest in educational psychology for many decades. However, community college students have been overlooked in learning styles research. To enhance teacher efficacy and student success, it is important to continue to evaluate the relationship between learning styles and academic achievement. The purpose of…

  16. Understanding and Addressing the Achievement Gap through Individualized Instruction and Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2010-01-01

    This article synthesizes findings regarding the development of competence and learned helplessness and factors influencing persistence and intrinsic motivation, suggests the process through which small differences in early achievement are magnified by the current structure of schools, and reviews evidence suggesting that the characteristics of a…

  17. Understanding Achievement Differences between Schools in Ireland--Can Existing Data-Sets Help?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilleece, Lorraine

    2014-01-01

    Recent years have seen an increased focus on school accountability in Ireland and calls for greater use to be made of student achievement data for monitoring student outcomes. In this paper, it is argued that existing data-sets in Ireland offer limited potential for the value-added modelling approaches used for accountability purposes in many…

  18. Enhancing Inquiry, Understanding, and Achievement in an Astronomy Multimedia Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Zuiker, Steven J.; Anderson, Kate T.; Hickey, Daniel T.

    2006-01-01

    As an example of design-based research, this study refined an assessment strategy for simultaneously enhancing inquiry-based learning and supporting achievement on conventional assessment measures. "Astronomy Village[R]: Investigating the Universe[TM]" is a software program designed to engage secondary science students in authentic and…

  19. Understanding Student Goal Orientation Tendencies to Predict Student Performance: A 2x2 Achievement Goal Orientation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Mark Alan

    2013-01-01

    The study tested the 2X2 model of the Achievement Goal Orientation (AGO) theory in a military technical training environment while using the Air Force Officers Qualifying Test's academic aptitude score to control for the differences in the students' academic aptitude. The study method was quantitative and the design was correlational.…

  20. Understanding Motivational Structures That Differentially Predict Engagement and Achievement in Middle School Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Christine S.; Hayes, Kathryn N.; Seitz, Jeffery; DiStefano, Rachelle; O'Connor, Dawn

    2016-01-01

    Middle school has been documented as the period in which a drop in students' science interest and achievement occurs. This trend indicates a lack of motivation for learning science; however, little is known about how different aspects of motivation interact with student engagement and science learning outcomes. This study examines the…

  1. Understanding the Low Mathematics Achievement of Chilean Students: A Cross-National Analysis Using TIMSS Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramirez, Maria Jose

    2004-01-01

    The low performance of Chile in the TIMSS 1999 international study of mathematics and science achievement was a great disappointment. To investigate the likely causes for low performance in mathematics, this study 1) compared Chile to three countries and one large school system that had comparable economic conditions but superior mathematics…

  2. Gender and Achievement--Understanding Gender Differences and Similarities in Mathematics Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Liru; Manon, Jon

    The primary objective of this study was to investigate overall patterns of gender differences and similarities of test performance in mathematics. To achieve that objective, observed test scores on the Delaware standards-based assessment were analyzed to examine: (1) gender differences and similarities across grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 over 2 years;…

  3. Teacher Perceptions about Diversity and the Achievement Gap: Understanding the Discursive Construction of Whiteness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padilla Vigil, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Teacher perceptions about diversity and the achievement gap were examined. Participants were alternative teacher licensure candidates at the student teaching phase of their preparation program. Two-hour individual, in-depth, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the participants. Additionally, the participants participated in…

  4. Understanding the Low Mathematics Achievement of Chilean Students: A Cross-National Analysis Using TIMSS Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramirez, Maria-Jose

    2006-01-01

    The low performance of Chile in the TIMSS 1998/99 international study of mathematics and science achievement was a great disappointment for that country. To investigate the likely causes for low performance in mathematics, this study (1) compared Chile to three countries and one large school system that had similar economic conditions but superior…

  5. Understanding the Relationship between Perfectionism and Achievement Motivation in Gifted College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speirs-Neumeister, Kristie L.

    2004-01-01

    This study is a slice of an overarching research investigation of perfectionism in gifted college students. Utilizing a qualitative interview design, this study examined how gifted college students scoring high on 1 of 2 different dimensions of-perfectionism (socially prescribed or self-oriented) perceived their achievement motivation. Findings…

  6. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-01-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. PMID:26178332

  7. Exploring and Understanding the Benefits of Tutoring Software on Urban Students' Science Achievement: What Are Baltimore City Practitioners' Perspectives?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinder, Patrice Juliet

    2008-01-01

    Historically, very little research that meets the scientifically based standards as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act has been conducted on the effectiveness of educational technology on student achievement. The purpose of this study was to explore and seek to understand urban city teachers' perspectives on the benefits or effects of…

  8. Influence of Students' Understanding and Goal Commitment on Academic Achievement in Introductory Technology in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akpan, Godwin A.; Mbaba, Uduak G.; Udofia, Aniefiok E.

    2012-01-01

    The study examined the influence of students' understanding and goal commitment on their academic achievement in Introductory Technology in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. An ex-post facto survey design was used and a random sample of 2,500 junior secondary three (13-14 years old) students from a population of 48,302 JSS three…

  9. A Study of Achievement, Understanding of Science, and Teacher Role Perception in Various Groups of the Nebraska Physical Science Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Douglas J.

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of various teaching practices and classroom organizational patterns upon achievement and understanding of science of students studying materials of the Nebraska Physical Science Project (NPSP), an integrated chemistry-physics course, and to investigate these practices and patterns and the role…

  10. Bridging the Gap: Fraction Understanding Is Central to Mathematics Achievement in Students from Three Different Continents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torbeyns, Joke; Schneider, Michael; Xin, Ziqiang; Siegler, Robert S.

    2015-01-01

    Numerical understanding and arithmetic skills are easier to acquire for whole numbers than fractions. The "integrated theory of numerical development" posits that, in addition to these differences, whole numbers and fractions also have important commonalities. In both, students need to learn how to interpret number symbols in terms of…

  11. Student Achievement Effects of Technology-Supported Remediation of Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, John A.; Bruce, Catherine D.

    2009-01-01

    Students have difficulty learning fractions, and problems in understanding fractions persist into adulthood, with moderate to severe consequences for everyday and occupational decision-making. Remediation of student misconceptions is hampered by deficiencies in teachers' knowledge of the discipline and pedagogical content knowledge. We theorized…

  12. Teacher Efficacy Beliefs: Understanding the Relationship between Efficacy and Achievement in Urban Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Margaret

    2010-01-01

    Within the last three decades there has been a surge of interest in how teacher beliefs affect the teaching and learning process. A major focus of the research in teacher beliefs has been in understanding the nature of teacher self-efficacy beliefs and how it affects the choices, decisions, and effectiveness of teachers. Bandura's work (1982,…

  13. Models and Moves: Focusing on Dimensions of Causal Complexity To Achieve Deeper Scientific Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perkins, David N.; Grotzer, Tina A.

    This paper presents the results of a research project based on the Understandings of Consequence Project. This study motivated students to engage in inquiry in science classrooms. The complexity of the models is divided into four categories--underlying causality, relational causality, probabilistic causality, and emergent causality--and provides…

  14. Communicating with Parents: Understanding the Process, Improving Your Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Federation of Teachers (NJ), 2007

    2007-01-01

    Communication is the exchange of information, ideas and/or feelings from one person to another. The goal of communication is understanding. Without understanding, there is no communication. The communication process consists of verbal and nonverbal communication and listening. The spoken word is self-explanatory. Communication problems between…

  15. Social jetlag, academic achievement and cognitive performance: Understanding gender/sex differences.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Morales, Juan F; Escribano, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents in high school suffer from circadian misalignment, undersleeping on weekdays and oversleeping on weekends. Since high schools usually impose early schedules, adolescents suffer from permanent social jetlag (SJL) and thus are a suitable population to study the effects of SJL on both academic and cognitive performance. In this study, 796 adolescents aged 12-16 years reported information about their sleep habits, morningness-eveningness (M-E), cognitive abilities and grade point average (GPA). Time in bed on both weekdays and weekends was not related to cognitive abilities, and only time in bed on weekdays was related to academic achievement. SJL was negatively related to academic achievement, cognitive abilities (except for vocabulary and verbal fluency abilities) and general cognitive ability (g), whereas M-E was slightly positively related to academic achievement and marginally negatively related to inductive reasoning. Results separated by sex/gender indicated that SJL may be more detrimental to girls' performance, as it was negatively related to a greater number of cognitive abilities and GPA. PMID:26061587

  16. School Improvement Plans and Student Achievement: Preliminary Evidence from the Quality and Merit Project in Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caputo, Andrea; Rastelli, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    This study provides preliminary evidence from an Italian in-service training program addressed to lower secondary school teachers which supports school improvement plans (SIPs). It aims at exploring the association between characteristics/contents of SIPs and student improvement in math achievement. Pre-post standardized tests and text analysis of…

  17. Training Theory of Mind and Executive Control: A Tool for Improving School Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2008-01-01

    In the preschool years, there are marked improvements in theory of mind (ToM) and executive functions. And, children's competence in these two core cognitive domains is associated with their academic achievement. Therefore, training ToM and executive control could be a valuable tool for improving children's success in school. This article reviews…

  18. Scientific Achievements May Not Reach Everyone: Understanding Disparities in Acute Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Patel, Manali I

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decade, scientific advancements have resulted in improved survival from acute leukemia. Continued advancements are expected given the attention to precision medicine and the resulting growth in development and adoption of risk-stratified, personalized therapies. While precision medicine has great potential to improve acute leukemia outcomes, there remain significant barriers to ensuring equitable access to these technologies and receipt of these prescribed targeted, personalized therapies. Over the past 3 years, studies report persistent outcome disparities among patients from specific racial and ethnic backgrounds, insurance and socioeconomic status, and other socio-demographic factors after a diagnosis of acute leukemia. A few recent studies examine etiologies for acute leukemia disparities and highlight the importance of ensuring access and equitable delivery of scientific advancements. In the context of continued scientific progress, future strategies require thoughtfully considered improvements in the delivery of care that can overcome the current challenges our patients face. PMID:27209407

  19. Understanding the Positive Role of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Advantage in Achievement: The Contribution of the Home, Child Care and School Environments

    PubMed Central

    Dupéré, Véronique; Leventhal, Tama; Crosnoe, Robert; Dion, Éric

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the mechanisms underlying associations between neighborhood socioeconomic advantage and children’s achievement trajectories between 54 months and 15 years old. Results of hierarchical linear growth models based on a diverse sample of 1,364 children indicate that neighborhood socioeconomic advantage was non-linearly associated with youths’ initial vocabulary and reading scores, such that the presence of educated, affluent professionals in the neighborhood had a favorable association with children’s achievement among those in less advantaged neighborhoods until it leveled off at moderate levels of advantage. A similar tendency was observed for math achievement. The quality of the home and child care environments as well as school advantage partially explained these associations. The findings suggest that multiple environments need to be considered simultaneously for understanding neighborhood-achievement links. PMID:20822235

  20. Improved single-cell culture achieved using micromolding in capillaries technology coupled with poly (HEMA)

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Fang; Jiang, Jin; Chang, Honglong; Xie, Li; Deng, Jinjun; Ma, Zhibo; Yuan, Weizheng

    2015-01-01

    Cell studies at the single-cell level are becoming more and more critical for understanding the complex biological processes. Here, we present an optimization study investigating the positioning of single cells using micromolding in capillaries technology coupled with the cytophobic biomaterial poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (poly (HEMA)). As a cytophobic biomaterial, poly (HEMA) was used to inhibit cells, whereas the glass was used as the substrate to provide a cell adhesive background. The poly (HEMA) chemical barrier was obtained using micromolding in capillaries, and the microchannel networks used for capillarity were easily achieved by reversibly bonding the polydimethylsiloxane mold and the glass. Finally, discrete cell adhesion regions were presented on the glass surface. This method is facile and low cost, and the reagents are commercially available. We validated the cytophobic abilities of the poly (HEMA), optimized the channel parameters for higher quality and more stable poly (HEMA) patterns by investigating the effects of changing the aspect ratio and the width of the microchannel on the poly (HEMA) grid pattern, and improved the single-cell occupancy by optimizing the dimensions of the cell adhesion regions. PMID:26339307

  1. Understanding Synthesis Across Disciplines to Improve Nursing Education.

    PubMed

    Blondy, Laurie C; Blakeslee, Ann M; Scheffer, Barbara K; Rubenfeld, M Gaie; Cronin, Brenda M; Luster-Turner, Rose

    2016-06-01

    Nursing students must learn higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis to manage complex data for decision making in healthcare. Teaching synthesis, however, is challenging and elusive due to lack of understanding of the concept and an explicit pedagogy for teaching it. A qualitative, multi-phased research project was designed to gain understanding of what synthesis is, how professionals acquire synthesis skills, and how to best teach synthesis. The first phase explored interdisciplinary descriptions of synthesis. Three focus groups were conducted, and interdisciplinary participants responded to several questions. Several themes emerged suggesting that synthesis depends on cognitive skills and competencies, situational and contextual factors, preparation and knowledge acquisition skills, interpersonal and interaction skills, and personal qualities. Participants also supported use of multi-modal teaching strategies to reinforce students' use of synthesis in learning. This project provided a beginning understanding of the synthesis process, revealing striking similarities in synthesis across professional disciplines. PMID:26689219

  2. Understanding and Addressing the California Latino Achievement Gap in Early Elementary School. Working Paper 2004-01

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rumberger, Russell W.; Anguiano, Brenda Arellano

    2004-01-01

    One of the most pressing problems in California is improving student academic performance, especially the state's burgeoning Latino student population. This study examined the extent of the achievement gap between Latino and White students over the first two years of elementary school and the characteristics of students and schools that contribute…

  3. Lectures and Simulation Laboratories to Improve Learners' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Sean P.; Magana, Alejandra J.; Strachan, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    We studied the use of online molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to enhance student abilities to understand the atomic processes governing plastic deformation in materials. The target population included a second-year undergraduate engineering course in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. The objectives of the study were to…

  4. Improving Reading Strategies through an Understanding of Culture and Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Xiaohong

    This paper contends that many of the difficulties students of Chinese have in reading comprehension are directly related to their level of understanding of Chinese language and culture, and that these difficulties could be alleviated by providing students with knowledge about the value system, social customs, formation of Chinese characters and…

  5. Understanding and Reducing Faculty Reluctance to Improve Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCrickerd, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Many believe college instructors resist new teaching practices. In this article, the author develops a hypothesis to understand resistant faculty members, focusing on their likely educational experiences and on insights from psychology. Using Dweck's conception of self-theories and Fischer's conception of dynamic skill-theory, she defends the…

  6. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the "innovation engine." A related concern is how to encourage young people--particularly girls and under-represented minorities--to consider engineering as a career option.…

  7. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

    2013-01-01

    To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

  8. Stories of Success: Understanding Academic Achievement of Hispanic Students in Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Amanda

    A review of the literature shows that there is much evidence to suggest the challenges facing Hispanic students in American public schools. Hispanic enrollment in K--12 public schools has increased from 6 to 19% in the last thirty years, yet schools have not made adequate adjustments to accommodate this changing population. Issues such as remedial tracking and cultural differences have led to low high school graduate rates for Hispanic students and inequities in schooling experiences (Gay, 2000). Particularly in the area of science, Hispanic students struggle with academic success (Cole & Espinoza, 2008). Despite these obstacles, some Hispanic students are academically successful (Rochin & Mello, 2007; Merisotis & Kee, 2006). This dissertation tells the stories of these Hispanic students who have been successful in science in secondary public schools. This study followed a grounded theory methodology and utilized individual interviews to collect data about Hispanics who have demonstrated achievement in the area of science. Through the analysis of these interviews, factors were identified which may have contributed to the success of these Hispanics in the field of science. Implications for future practice in public schools are also discussed.

  9. Effects of simulated interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequalities in educational achievement.

    PubMed

    Chittleborough, Catherine R; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lawlor, Debbie A; Lynch, John W

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764, imputed), simulated effects of plausible interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequality in educational achievement at age 16 were examined. Progressive universal interventions (i.e., more intense intervention for those with greater need) to improve school entry academic skills could raise population levels of educational achievement by 5% and reduce absolute socioeconomic inequality in poor educational achievement by 15%. PMID:25327718

  10. Effects of Simulated Interventions to Improve School Entry Academic Skills on Socioeconomic Inequalities in Educational Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Chittleborough, Catherine R; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lawlor, Debbie A; Lynch, John W

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764, imputed), simulated effects of plausible interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequality in educational achievement at age 16 were examined. Progressive universal interventions (i.e., more intense intervention for those with greater need) to improve school entry academic skills could raise population levels of educational achievement by 5% and reduce absolute socioeconomic inequality in poor educational achievement by 15%. PMID:25327718

  11. The Consequences of "School Improvement": Examining the Association between Two Standardized Assessments Measuring School Improvement and Student Science Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maltese, Adam V.; Hochbein, Craig D.

    2012-01-01

    For more than half a century concerns about the ability of American students to compete in a global workplace focused policymakers' attention on improving school performance generally, and student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) specifically. In its most recent form--No Child Left Behind--there is evidence…

  12. Recent developments in the understanding and use of anthrax vaccine adsorbed: achieving more with less.

    PubMed

    Schiffer, Jarad M; McNeil, Michael M; Quinn, Conrad P

    2016-09-01

    Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax™) is the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine for the prevention of anthrax in humans. Recent improvements in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use of AVA include intramuscular (IM) administration and simplification of the priming series to three doses over 6 months. Administration IM markedly reduced the frequency, severity and duration of injection site reactions. Refinement of animal models for inhalation anthrax, identification of immune correlates of protection and cross-species modeling have created opportunities for reductions in the PrEP booster schedule and were pivotal in FDA approval of a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) indication. Clinical and nonclinical studies of accelerated PEP schedules and divided doses may provide prospects for shortening the PEP antimicrobial treatment period. These data may assist in determining feasibility of expanded coverage in a large-scale emergency when vaccine demand may exceed availability. Enhancements to the AVA formulation may broaden the vaccine's PEP application. PMID:26942655

  13. Improving Access to and Understanding of Regulations through Taxonomies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Chin Pang; Lau. Gloria T.; Law, Kincho H.; Pan, Jiayi; Jones, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Industrial taxonomies have the potential to automate information retrieval, facilitate interoperability and, most importantly, improve decision making - decisions that must comply with existing government regulations and codes of practice. However, it is difficult to find those regulations and codes most relevant to a particular decision, even…

  14. Social Judgment Analysis: Methodology for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohrbaugh, John; Harmon, Joel

    Research has found the Social Judgment Analysis (SJA) approach, with its focus on judgment policy and cognitive feedback, to be a significant factor in developing group member agreement and improving member performance. A controlled experiment was designed to assess the relative quality of the judgment making process provided by SJA.…

  15. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This research article is based on the Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence's conceptualization of improvement as a dual cycle/three element initiative of examining and bettering inputs, processes, and outputs as driven by measurement, analysis and knowledge management work. This study isolates a…

  16. Audit-based education: a potentially effective program for improving guideline achievement in CKD patients.

    PubMed

    de Goeij, Moniek C M; Rotmans, Joris I

    2013-09-01

    The achievement of treatment guidelines in patients with chronic kidney disease is poor, and more efforts are needed to improve this. Audit-based education is a program that may contribute to this improvement. de Lusignana et al. investigated whether audit-based education is effective in lowering systolic blood pressure in a primary-care setting. Although the program is inventive and promising, several adjustments are needed before it can be applied as an effective strategy. PMID:23989357

  17. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Akinola, Richard O.; Mazandu, Gaston K.; Rapanoel, Holifidy

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks. PMID:25379138

  18. Improving Mathematics Achievement for All California Students: The Report of the California Mathematics Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.

    This document is the result of the California Mathematics Task Force assigned to address the need to improve the mathematics achievement of California's students. Five recommendations are made and discussed: (1) The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) must establish clear and specific content and performance standards for mathematics…

  19. Supporting Instructional Improvement in Low-Performing Schools to Increase Students' Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bellei, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    This is an impact evaluation of the Technical Support to Failing Schools Program, a Chilean compensatory program that provided 4-year in-school technical assistance to low-performing schools to improve students' academic achievement. The author implemented a quasi-experimental design by using difference-in-differences estimation combined with…

  20. Dynamic Geometry Software Improves Mathematical Achievement: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Kan Kan; Leung, Siu Wai

    2014-01-01

    Dynamic geometry software (DGS) aims to enhance mathematics education. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the quasi-experimental studies on the effectiveness of DGS-based instruction in improving students' mathematical achievement. Research articles published between 1990 and 2013 were identified from major databases according to a…

  1. What Matters for Elementary Literacy Coaching? Guiding Principles for Instructional Improvement and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    L'Allier, Susan; Elish-Piper, Laurie; Bean, Rita M.

    2010-01-01

    Literacy coaches provide job-embedded professional development for teachers, and the number of literacy coaches in elementary schools is increasing. Although literacy coaching offers promise in terms of improving teacher practice and student achievement, guidance is needed regarding the qualifications, activities, and roles of literacy coaches.…

  2. Instructional Leadership Influence on Collective Teacher Efficacy to Improve School Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fancera, Samuel F.; Bliss, James R.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether instructional leadership functions, as defined in Hallinger's Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale, positively influence collective teacher efficacy to improve school achievement. Teachers from sample schools provided data for measures of collective teacher efficacy and instructional…

  3. Investing in Educator Data Literacy Improves Student Achievement. Evidence of Impact: The Oregon Data Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    Since 2007 the Oregon DATA Project has been investing resources to provide educators on-the-job training around effective data use to improve student achievement. New evidence shows that their efforts are paying off. A 2011 Oregon DATA Project report detailed the impact of their investment in the state's educators, finding the following: (1)…

  4. Improving Student Interest and Achievement in Social Studies Using a Multiple Intelligence Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanley, Chris; Hermiz, Carmen; Lagioia-Peddy, Jennifer; Levine-Albuck, Valerie

    This action research paper describes a program initiated by teacher researchers to improve academic achievement and interest in social studies. The targeted group consisted of fifth graders in a lower middle class community in the Midwest. Analysis of the problem-causes data show three main factors: curriculum, attitude, and effect. In regard to…

  5. Staff Development Designed To Improve the Achievement of Students with Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrnes, MaryAnn; Majors, Martha

    This paper describes how the University of Massachusetts (Boston) developed partnership programs to improve achievement of students with significant disabilities just beginning to participate in a standards-based general curriculum. Fundamental to the effort was development of a 12-credit graduate certificate program focused on adapting the…

  6. Improving Teaching Capacity to Increase Student Achievement: The Key Role of Data Interpretation by School Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, David; Smith, Richard; Provost, Steven; Madden, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This paper argues that in a well-organised school with strong leadership and vision coupled with a concerted effort to improve the teaching performance of each teacher, student achievement can be enhanced. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that while macro-effect sizes such as "whole of school" metrics are useful for…

  7. Improving High School Students' Mathematics Achievement through the Use of Motivational Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portal, Jamie; Sampson, Lisa

    This report describes a program for motivating students in mathematics in order to improve achievement at the high school level. The targeted population consisted of high school students in a middle class community located in a suburb of a large metropolitan area. The problems of underachievement were documented through data collected from surveys…

  8. Improving Achievement in Low-Performing Schools: Key Results for School Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward, Randolph E.; Burke, Mary Ann

    2004-01-01

    As accountability in schools becomes more crucial, educators are looking for comprehensive and innovative management practices that respond to challenges and realities of student academic achievement. In order to improve academic performance and the quality of instruction, the entire school community needs to be involved. This book provides six…

  9. Analyzing Academic Achievement of Junior High School Students by an Improved Rough Set Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pai, Ping-Feng; Lyu, Yi-Jia; Wang, Yu-Min

    2010-01-01

    Rough set theory (RST) is an emerging technique used to deal with problems in data mining and knowledge acquisition. However, the RST approach has not been widely explored in the field of academic achievement. This investigation developed an improved RST (IMRST) model, which employs linear discriminant analysis to determine a reduct of RST, and…

  10. Does Children’s Academic Achievement Improve when Single Mothers Marry?

    PubMed Central

    Wagmiller, Robert L.; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Veliz, Philip; Clements, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    Promoting marriage, especially among low-income single mothers with children, is increasingly viewed as a promising public policy strategy for improving developmental outcomes for disadvantaged children. Previous research suggests, however, that children’s academic achievement either does not improve or declines when single mothers marry. In this paper, we argue that previous research may understate the benefits of mothers’ marriages to children from single-parent families because (1) the short-term and long-term developmental consequences of marriage are not adequately distinguished and (2) child and family contexts in which marriage is likely to confer developmental advantages are not differentiated from those that do not. Using multiple waves of data from the ECLS-K, we find that single mothers’ marriages are associated with modest but statistically significant improvements in their children’s academic achievement trajectories. However, only children from more advantaged single-parent families benefit from their mothers’ marriage. PMID:21611134

  11. A Cognitive Framework for Understanding and Improving Interference Resolution in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Jyoti; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Ziegler, David A.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2014-01-01

    All of us are familiar with the negative impact of interference on achieving our task goals. We are referring to interference by information, which either impinges on our senses from an external environmental source or is internally generated by our thoughts. Informed by more than a decade of research on the cognitive and neural processing of interference, we have developed a framework for understanding how interference impacts our neural systems and especially how it is regulated and suppressed during efficient on-task performance. Importantly, externally and internally generated interferences have distinct neural signatures, and further, distinct neural processing emerges depending on whether individuals must ignore and suppress the interference, as for distractions, or engage with them in a secondary task, as during multitasking. Here, we elaborate on this cognitive framework and how it changes throughout the human lifespan, focusing mostly on research evidence from younger adults and comparing these findings to data from older adults, children, and cognitively impaired populations. With insights gleaned from our growing understanding, we then describe three novel translational efforts in our lab directed at improving distinct aspects of interference resolution using cognitive training. Critically, these training approaches were specifically developed to target improved interference resolution based on neuroplasticity principles and have shown much success in randomized controlled first version evaluations in healthy aging. Our results show not only on-task training improvements but also robust generalization of benefit to other cognitive control abilities. This research showcases how an in-depth understanding of neural mechanisms can then inform the development of effective deficit-targeted interventions, which can in turn benefit both healthy and cognitively impaired populations. PMID:24309262

  12. Concepts first, jargon second improves student articulation of understanding.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, Lisa; Barker, Megan K; Wieman, Carl

    2016-01-01

    In this experiment, students in a large undergraduate biology course were first exposed to the concepts without new technical vocabulary ("jargon") in a pre-class reading assignment. Their learning of the concepts and jargon was compared with that of an equivalent group of students in another section of the same course, whose pre-class reading presented both the jargon and concepts together in the traditional manner. Both groups had the same active-learning classes with the same instructor, and then completed the same post-test. Although the two groups performed the same on the multiple choice questions of the post-test, the group exposed to concepts first and jargon second included 1.5 times and 2.5 times more correct arguments on two free-response questions about the concepts. The correct use of jargon between the two groups was similar, with the exception of one jargon term that the control group used more often. These results suggest that modest instructional changes whereby new concepts are introduced in a concepts-first, jargon-second manner can increase student learning, as demonstrated by their ability to articulate their understanding of new concepts. PMID:26537537

  13. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design. PMID:26845694

  14. UNDERSTANDING OR NURSES' REACTIONS TO ERRORS AND USING THIS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY.

    PubMed

    Taifoori, Ladan; Valiee, Sina

    2015-09-01

    The operating room can be home to many different types of nursing errors due to the invasiveness of OR procedures. The nurses' reactions towards errors can be a key factor in patient safety. This article is based on a study, with the aim of investigating nurses' reactions toward nursing errors and the various contributing and resulting factors, conducted at Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in Sanandaj, Iran in 2014. The goal of the study was to determine how OR nurses' reacted to nursing errors with the goal of having this information used to improve patient safety. Research was conducted as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The participants were all nurses employed in the operating rooms of the teaching hospitals of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, which was selected by a consensus method (170 persons). The information was gathered through questionnaires that focused on demographic information, error definition, reasons for error occurrence, and emotional reactions for error occurrence, and emotional reactions toward the errors. 153 questionnaires were completed and analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. "Not following sterile technique" (82.4 percent) was the most reported nursing error, "tiredness" (92.8 percent) was the most reported reason for the error occurrence, "being upset at having harmed the patient" (85.6 percent) was the most reported emotional reaction after error occurrence", with "decision making for a better approach to tasks the next time" (97.7 percent) as the most common goal and "paying more attention to details" (98 percent) was the most reported planned strategy for future improved outcomes. While healthcare facilities are focused on planning for the prevention and elimination of errors it was shown that nurses can also benefit from support after error occurrence. Their reactions, and coping strategies, need guidance and, with both individual and organizational support, can be a factor in improving patient safety. PMID

  15. Resource Allocation Practices in Three Charter Middle Schools in Relation to Student Achievement Improvement Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campo-Contreras, Susana

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to develop a better understanding of the allocation of resources used to improve student learning outcomes in three middle schools within a Charter Management Organization (CMO). The three middle schools that participated in the study have similar demographics and serve students in low socio-economic areas of Los…

  16. New Views of the Moon: Improved Understanding Through Data Integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Gaddis, L. R.; Ryder, G.; Neal, C. R.; Shearer, C. K.; Elphic, R. C.; Johnson, J. R.; Keller, L. P.; Korotev, R. L.; Lawrence, D. J.

    2000-01-01

    Understanding the Moon is crucial to future exploration of the solar system.The Moon preserves a record of the first billion years of the Earth-Moon system's history, including evidence of the Moon's origin as accumulated debris from a giant impact into early Earth. Lunar rocks provide evidence of early differentiation and extraction of a crust. Lacking an atmospheric shield, the Moon's regolith retains a record of the activity of solar wind over the past 4 billion years. It also holds a complete record of impact cratering, and analysis of samples has allowed calibration of ages, and thus dating of other planetary surfaces. And because of its proximity to Earth, it's low gravity well, and stable surface, the Moon's resources will be useful both in establishing lunar habitations and as fuel for exploration beyond the Moon. Lunar science has advanced tremendously in the 30 years since the Apollo and Luna missions. We know that the Moon is strongly differentiated, and recent tungsten isotope studies indicate that this differentiation occurred soon after solar system formation. The Moon probably accreted rapidly from debris that formed as a large planetesimal struck the early Earth. Ancient highland rocks provide evidence of early lunar differentiation, and basalts formed by later melting within the mantle reveal it cumulus nature. However, the timing, extent, and depth of differentiation, variations within the mantle, and lateral and vertical variations within the crust can only be surmised from the limited sample suites,gravity studies,and surface geophysics of the Apollo era. Data from the recent Lunar Prospector and Clementine missions permit reassessment of the global characteristics of the Moon and a reexamination of the distribution of elemental components, rock and soil types, and resources, as well as remanent magnetism, gravity field, and global topography New research provides some answers, but also leads to new questions.

  17. Characterizing emergency departments to improve understanding of emergency care systems

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    International emergency medicine aims to understand different systems of emergency care across the globe. To date, however, international emergency medicine lacks common descriptors that can encompass the wide variety of emergency care systems in different countries. The frequent use of general, system-wide indicators (e.g. the status of emergency medicine as a medical specialty or the presence of emergency medicine training programs) does not account for the diverse methods that contribute to the delivery of emergency care both within and between countries. Such indicators suggest that a uniform approach to the development and structure of emergency care is both feasible and desirable. One solution to this complex problem is to shift the focus of international studies away from system-wide characteristics of emergency care. We propose such an alternative methodology, in which studies would examine emergency department-specific characteristics to inventory the various methods by which emergency care is delivered. Such characteristics include: emergency department location, layout, time period open to patients, and patient type served. There are many more ways to describe emergency departments, but these characteristics are particularly suited to describe with common terms a wide range of sites. When combined, these four characteristics give a concise but detailed picture of how emergency care is delivered at a specific emergency department. This approach embraces the diversity of emergency care as well as the variety of individual emergency departments that deliver it, while still allowing for the aggregation of broad similarities that might help characterize a system of emergency care. PMID:21756328

  18. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  19. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  20. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina.

    PubMed

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  1. A systems approach to understanding and improving health systems.

    PubMed

    Erazo, Álvaro

    2015-09-01

    Health systems face the challenge of helping to improve health conditions. They occupy a priority place in middle- and lower-income countries, since the absence or fragility of health systems adversely impacts expected health outcomes. Thus, due to the direct relationship between programs and systems, the absence or weakness of either will result in a consequent deficiency in public health and the very execution of the programs. In the same vein, weakened health systems are one of the main bottlenecks to attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Systems thinking is one of the "four revolutions in progress" that are helping to transform health and health care systems. Within that framework, this article identifies conceptual and operational elements of systems applicable to health systems that contribute to overcoming the obstacles and inertia that hinder health activities and outcomes. It discusses relevant concepts characteristic of systems thinking, such as structural variables and dynamic complexity, the relationship between programs and health systems, and the monitoring and evaluation function, together with the role of innovation and systems integration as high-priority elements. This will aid in the development of designs that also stress the context of the components that guide management, identifying processes and outcomes in a health management continuum. PMID:26758004

  2. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  3. Instructional Strategies Drive Student Achievement: Methods to Improve Student Understanding of Topics in Earth Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Carolyn H.; Weston, Matthew Stephen

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to share strategies and techniques used by highly qualified educators and experts in the field of education and instruction. Differentiated instruction is one of the most common terms used in education. It is also the key to teaching students with multiple or a wide range of disabilities. Quality classroom…

  4. Recipe for Success: An Updated Parents' Guide to Improving Colorado Schools and Student Achievement. Second Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taher, Bonnie; Durr, Pamela

    This guide describes ways that parents can help improve student achievement and school quality. It answers such questions as how to choose the right early-education opportunity for a preschooler, how to make sure a 5-year-old is ready for school, how to help a daughter do well in school, how to work with a daughter's or son's teachers, how to help…

  5. Passive Fit in Screw Retained Multi-unit Implant Prosthesis Understanding and Achieving: A Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Buzayan, Muaiyed Mahmoud; Yunus, Norsiah Binti

    2014-03-01

    One of the considerable challenges for screw-retained multi-unit implant prosthesis is achieving a passive fit of the prosthesis' superstructure to the implants. This passive fit is supposed to be one of the most vital requirements for the maintenance of the osseointegration. On the other hand, the misfit of the implant supported superstructure may lead to unfavourable complications, which can be mechanical or biological in nature. The manifestations of these complications may range from fracture of various components in the implant system, pain, marginal bone loss, and even loss of osseointegration. Thus, minimizing the misfit and optimizing the passive fit should be a prerequisite for implant survival and success. The purpose of this article is to present and summarize some aspects of the passive fit achieving and improving methods. The literature review was performed through Science Direct, Pubmed, and Google database. They were searched in English using the following combinations of keywords: passive fit, implant misfit and framework misfit. Articles were selected on the basis of whether they had sufficient information related to framework misfit's related factors, passive fit and its achievement techniques, marginal bone changes relation with the misfit, implant impression techniques and splinting concept. The related references were selected in order to emphasize the importance of the passive fit achievement and the misfit minimizing. Despite the fact that the literature presents considerable information regarding the framework's misfit, there was not consistency in literature on a specified number or even a range to be the acceptable level of misfit. On the other hand, a review of the literature revealed that the complete passive fit still remains a tricky goal to be achieved by the prosthodontist. PMID:24604993

  6. How to Implement the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning as an Ethical Decision-Making Process to Improve Academic Achievement--Ten Recommendations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skinner, Desiree A.; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    "Values, purposes, and understandings are fragile achievements and give way all too readily to attitudes of futility, frustration, and doubt" (Kritsonis, 2007, pg. 7). Ethical decision-making is one way for school leaders to contribute to improving education. Effecting change is the duty of school principals; this may often come in making…

  7. Engaging Students Through Classroom Connection Webinars to Improve Their Understanding of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, Paige V.; Achilles, Cherie

    2013-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions to other worlds, like Mars, can generate a lot of excitement and wonder for the public. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission is one of the latest planetary missions that has intrigued the public perhaps more than most. How can scientists and educational specialists capitalize on the allure of this mission and involve students and teachers in a way that not only shares the story of the mission, but actively engages classrooms with scientists and improves their understanding of the science? The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program [1], facilitated by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate Education Program at the NASA Johnson Space Center achieves this by facilitating MSL mission focused classroom connection webinars. Five MSL-focused webinars facilitated through EEAB during the 2012 fall semester engaged almost 3000 students and teachers. Involved STEM experts/role models helped translate the science behind the Mars Science Laboratory mission in a comprehensive, exciting, and engaging manner. These virtual events captured participants attention while increasing their science awareness and understanding of the MSL mission.

  8. Achieving Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Understanding Shared Concerns of Environmental Planners, Public Health Professionals, and Educators

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment—both, school siting and school facility planning policies—are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work towards a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work. PMID:20359991

  9. Estimates of achievable potential for electricity efficiency improvements in U.S. residences

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Richard

    1993-05-01

    This paper investigates the potential for public policies to achieve electricity efficiency improvements in US residences. This estimate of achievable potential builds upon a database of energy-efficient technologies developed for a previous study estimating the technical potential for electricity savings. The savings potential and cost for each efficiency measure in the database is modified to reflect the expected results of policies implemented between 1990 and 2010. Factors included in these modifications are: the market penetration of efficiency measures, the costs of administering policies, and adjustments to the technical potential measures to reflect the actual energy savings and cost experienced in the past. When all adjustment factors are considered, this study estimates that policies can achieve approximately 45% of the technical potential savings during the period from 1990 to 2010. Thus, policies can potentially avoid 18% of the annual frozen-efficiency baseline electricity consumption forecast for the year 2010. This study also investigates the uncertainty in best estimate of achievable potential by estimating two alternative scenarios -- a

  10. Bovine brucellosis in wildlife: using adaptive management to improve understanding, technology and suppression.

    PubMed

    White, P J; Treanor, J J; Geremia, C; Wallen, R L; Blanton, D W; Hallac, D E

    2013-04-01

    Eradication of brucellosis from bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area is not possible with current technology. There are considerable uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of management techniques and unintended effects on wildlife behaviour and demography. However, adaptive management provides a framework for learning about the disease, improving suppression techniques, and lowering brucellosis transmission among wildlife and to cattle. Since it takes approximately three years after birth for female bison to become reproductively active and contribute to brucellosis transmission, there is an opportunity to implement actions such as vaccination and the selective removal of infectious bison based on age and assay results to reduce the potential for transmission. Older adult bison that have been exposed to the bacteria, but recovered from acute infection, could be retained in the population to provide some immunity (resistance) against future transmission. Through careful predictions, research, and monitoring, our understanding and technology will be improved and management actions can be adjusted to better achieve desired outcomes. PMID:23837383

  11. How to achieve synergy between medical education and cognitive neuroscience? An exercise on prior knowledge in understanding.

    PubMed

    Ruiter, Dirk J; van Kesteren, Marlieke T R; Fernandez, Guillen

    2012-05-01

    A major challenge in contemporary research is how to connect medical education and cognitive neuroscience and achieve synergy between these domains. Based on this starting point we discuss how this may result in a common language about learning, more educationally focused scientific inquiry, and multidisciplinary research projects. As the topic of prior knowledge in understanding plays a strategic role in both medical education and cognitive neuroscience it is used as a central element in our discussion. A critical condition for the acquisition of new knowledge is the existence of prior knowledge, which can be built in a mental model or schema. Formation of schemas is a central event in student-centered active learning, by which mental models are constructed and reconstructed. These theoretical considerations from cognitive psychology foster scientific discussions that may lead to salient issues and questions for research with cognitive neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience attempts to understand how knowledge, insight and experience are established in the brain and to clarify their neural correlates. Recently, evidence has been obtained that new information processed by the hippocampus can be consolidated into a stable, neocortical network more rapidly if this new information fits readily into a schema. Opportunities for medical education and medical education research can be created in a fruitful dialogue within an educational multidisciplinary platform. In this synergetic setting many questions can be raised by educational scholars interested in evidence-based education that may be highly relevant for integrative research and the further development of medical education. PMID:20809351

  12. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success.

    PubMed

    Øvretveit, John

    2011-04-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are 'conditions for improvement', which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that 'practical improvers' can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own 'assumption-theories' about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  13. Modified surface loading process for achieving improved performance of the quantum dot-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Feng; Jin, Zhongxiu; Zhu, Jun; Xu, Yafeng; Zhou, Li; Dai, Songyuan

    2016-06-01

    Achieving high surface coverage of the colloidal quantum dots (QDs) on TiO2 films has been challenging for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Herein, a general surface engineering approach was proposed to increase the loading of these QDs. It was found that S2- treatment/QD re-uptake process can significantly improve the attachment of the QDs on TiO2 films. Surface concentration of the QDs was improved by ∼60%, which in turn greatly enhances light absorption and decreases carrier recombination in QDSCs. Ensuing QDSCs with optimized QD loading exhibit a power conversion efficiency of 3.66%, 83% higher than those fabricated with standard procedures.

  14. US objectives generally achieved at broadcasting satellite international conference. Improvements can help in future conferences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-08-01

    The implementation of broadcasting satellite service for the Western Hemisphere was planned. Broadcasting satellites transmit television programs and other information services from Earth orbit to home or office antennas. At the request of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary, GAO reviewed conference results as compared to established conference objectives and examined the interagency coordination of U.S. participation in this international conference. The United States basically achieved its two most important conference objectives: adopting a technically and procedurally flexible plan for broadcasting satellite service and obtaining a sufficient allocation of satellite orbit slots and frequencies to meet domestic needs. The U.S. was unable, however, to obtain agreement on adopting a maximum signal power level for satellites. The Department of State could improve its preparation, internal coordination, and administrative support for future international conferences and recommends actions to the Secretary of State to improve its international telecommunications activities.

  15. Leveraging Improvements in Precipitation Measuring from GPM Mission to Achieve Prediction Improvements in Climate, Weather and Hydrometeorology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2002-01-01

    The main scientific goal of the GPM mission, currently planned for start in the 2007 time frame, is to investigate important scientific problems arising within the context of global and regional water cycles. These problems cut across a hierarchy of scales and include climate-water cycle interactions, techniques for improving weather and climate predictions, and better methods for combining observed precipitation with hydrometeorological prediction models for applications to hazardous flood-producing storms, seasonal flood/draught conditions, and fresh water resource assessments. The GPM mission will expand the scope of precipitation measurement through the use of a constellation of some 9 satellites, one of which will be an advanced TRMM-like "core" satellite carrying a dual-frequency Ku-Ka band precipitation radar and an advanced, multifrequency passive microwave radiometer with vertical-horizontal polarization discrimination. The other constellation members will include new dedicated satellites and co-existing Operational/research satellites carrying similar (but not identical) passive microwave radiometers. The goal of the constellation is to achieve approximately 3-hour sampling at any spot on the globe. The constellation's orbit architecture will consist of a mix of sun-synchronous and non-sun-synchronous satellites with the core satellite providing measurements of cloud-precipitation microphysical processes plus calibration-quality rainrate retrievals to be used with the other retrieval information to ensure bias-free constellation coverage. GPM is organized internationally, currently involving a partnership between NASA in the US and the National Space Development Agency in Japan. Additionally, the program is actively pursuing agreements with other international partners and domestic scientific agencies and institutions, as well as participation by individual scientists from academia, government, and the private sector to fulfill mission goals and to pave

  16. A physical education trial improves adolescents' cognitive performance and academic achievement: the EDUFIT study.

    PubMed

    Ardoy, D N; Fernández-Rodríguez, J M; Jiménez-Pavón, D; Castillo, R; Ruiz, J R; Ortega, F B

    2014-02-01

    To analyze the effects of an intervention focused on increasing the time and intensity of Physical Education (PE), on adolescents' cognitive performance and academic achievement. A 4-month group-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 67 adolescents from South-East Spain, 2007. Three classes were randomly allocated into control group (CG), experimental group 1 (EG1) and experimental group 2 (EG2). CG received usual PE (two sessions/week), EG1 received four PE sessions/week and EG2 received four PE sessions/week of high intensity. Cognitive performance (non-verbal and verbal ability, abstract reasoning, spatial ability, verbal reasoning and numerical ability) was assessed by the Spanish Overall and Factorial Intelligence Test, and academic achievement by school grades. All the cognitive performance variables, except verbal reasoning, increased more in EG2 than in CG (all P < 0.05). Average school grades (e.g., mathematics) increased more in EG2 than in CG. Overall, EG2 improved more than EG1, without differences between EG1 and CG. Increased PE can benefit cognitive performance and academic achievement. This study contributes to the current knowledge by suggesting that the intensity of PE sessions might play a role in the positive effect of physical activity on cognition and academic success. Future studies involving larger sample sizes should confirm or contrast these preliminary findings. PMID:23826633

  17. Employee Perceptions of Progress with Implementing a Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement: An Achieving the Dream Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheek, Annesa LeShawn

    2011-01-01

    Achieving the Dream is a national initiative focused on helping more community college students succeed, particularly students of color and low-income students. Achieving the Dream's student-centered model of institutional improvement focuses on eliminating gaps and raising student achievement by helping institutions build a culture of evidence…

  18. Improving quality and reducing inequities: a challenge in achieving best care

    PubMed Central

    Nicewander, David A.; Qin, Huanying; Ballard, David J.

    2006-01-01

    The health care quality chasm is better described as a gulf for certain segments of the population, such as racial and ethnic minority groups, given the gap between actual care received and ideal or best care quality. The landmark Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century challenges all health care organizations to pursue six major aims of health care improvement: safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient-centeredness. “Equity” aims to ensure that quality care is available to all and that the quality of care provided does not differ by race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics unrelated to a patient's reason for seeking care. Baylor Health Care System is in the unique position of being able to examine the current state of equity in a typical health care delivery system and to lead the way in health equity research. Its organizational vision, “culture of quality,” and involved leadership bode well for achieving equitable best care. However, inequities in access, use, and outcomes of health care must be scrutinized; the moral, ethical, and economic issues they raise and the critical injustice they create must be remedied if this goal is to be achieved. Eliminating any observed inequities in health care must be synergistically integrated with quality improvement. Quality performance indicators currently collected and evaluated indicate that Baylor Health Care System often performs better than the national average. However, there are significant variations in care by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status that indicate the many remaining challenges in achieving “best care” for all. PMID:16609733

  19. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are ‘conditions for improvement’, which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that ‘practical improvers’ can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own ‘assumption-theories’ about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  20. From Guide to Practice: Improving Your After School Science Program to Increase Student Academic Achievement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, J.

    2013-12-01

    Numerous science organizations, such as NASA, offer educational outreach activities geared towards after school. For some programs, the primary goal is to grow students' love of science. For others, the programs are also intended to increase academic achievement. For those programs looking to support student learning in out-of-school time environments, aligning the program with learning during the classroom day can be a challenge. The Institute for Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse, put together a 'Practice Guide' for maximizing learning time beyond the regular school day. These practice guides provide concrete recommendations for educators supported by research. While this guide is not specific to any content or subject-area, the recommendations provided align very well with science education. After school science is often viewed as a fun, dynamic environment for students. Indeed, one of the recommendations to ensure time is structured according to students' needs is to provide relevant and interesting experiences. Given that our after school programs provide such creative environments for students, what other components are needed to promote increased academic achievement? The recommendations provided to academic achievement, include: 1. Align Instruction, 2. Maximize Attendance and Participation, 3. Adapt Instruction, 4. Provide Engaging Experiences, and 5. Evaluate Program. In this session we will examine these five recommendations presented in the Practice Guide, discuss how these strategies align with science programs, and examine what questions each program should address in order to provide experiences that lend themselves to maximizing instruction. Roadblocks and solutions for overcoming challenges in each of the five areas will be presented. Jessica Taylor will present this research based on her role as an author on the Practice Guide, 'Improving Academic Achievement in Out-of-School Time' and her experience working in various informal science

  1. Pre-operative Thresholds for Achieving Meaningful Clinical Improvement after Arthroscopic Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement

    PubMed Central

    Nwachukwu, Benedict U.; Fields, Kara G.; Nawabi, Danyal H.; Kelly, Bryan T.; Ranawat, Anil S.

    2016-01-01

    sagittal CEA was the only variable maintaining significance (p = 0.032). Conclusion: We used a large prospective hip arthroscopy database to identify pre-operative patient outcome score thresholds predictive of meaningful post-operative outcome improvement after arthroscopic FAI treatment. This is the largest reported hip arthroscopy cohort to define MCID and the first to do so for iHOT-33. The HOS-ADL may have the best predictive ability for achieving MCID after hip arthroscopy. Patients with relatively high pre-operative ADL, quality of life and functional status appear to have a high chance for achieveing MCID up to our defined thresholds. Hip dysplasia is an important outcome modifier. The findings of this study may be useful for managing preoperative expectation for patients undergoing arthroscopic FAI surgery.

  2. Techniques for mass resolution improvement achieved by typical plasma mass analyzers: Modeling and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaou, Georgios; Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Wieser, Martin; Barabash, Stas; Fedorov, Andrei

    2016-04-01

    Mass separation and particularly distinction between atomic ions and molecular ions are essential in understanding a wide range of plasma environments, with each consisted of different species with various properties. In this study we present the optimization results of light-weight (about 2 kg) magnetic mass analyzers with high g-factor for Rosetta (Ion Composition Analyser: ICA) and for Mars Express and Venus Express (Ion Mass Analyser: IMA). For the instrument's optimization we use SIMION, a 3D ion tracing software in which we can trace particle beams of several energies and directions, passing through the instrument's units. We first reproduced ICA and IMA results, which turned out to be different from simple models for low energy (< 100 eV). We then change the mechanical structure of several units of the instrument and we quantify the new mass resolution achieved with each change. Our goal is to find the optimal instrument's structure, which will allow us to achieve a proper mass resolution to distinguish atomic nitrogen from atomic oxygen for the purposes of a future magnetospheric mission.

  3. Understanding Student and Faculty Life. Using Campus Surveys to Improve Academic Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baird, Leonard L.; And Others

    A comprehensive guide to the use of environmental assessments for understanding and improving student and faculty life is presented. Environmental assessments are examined as tools for academic decision-makers in understanding the extent and quality of the communication among its members, their sense of community, their emphasis on academic rigor,…

  4. Achieving health, safety, and performance improvements through enhanced cost visibility and workplace partnerships.

    PubMed

    Grant, Katharyn A; Garland, John G; Joachim, Todd C; Wallen, Andrew; Vital, Twyla

    2003-01-01

    Reduction in the environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) component of operational costs requires not only a better understanding of ESOH costs and requirements, but also the formation of effective partnerships between ESOH professionals, financial analysts, and shop workers to identify viable improvements to current practices. This article presents two case studies of efforts to enhance productivity and ESOH in corrosion control facilities at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Robins AFB, Ga. At each site, activity-based cost models were created to increase the visibility of ESOH-related costs and target improvement opportunities. Analysis of the strip-and-paint processes for the T-38 aircraft at Randolph and the F-15 radome and C-141 aft cowl at Robins revealed that a large proportion of operating costs were tied to ESOH requirements and practices (22 and 39%, respectively). In each case ESOH professionals teamed with shop personnel to identify potential improvements in personal protective equipment use, waste disposal, tool selection, and work methods. This approach yielded alternatives projected to reduce total shop costs by 5 to 7%. This case study demonstrates how workplaces can identify cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing practices by partnering with ESOH professionals in planning and decision-making activities. PMID:14521429

  5. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

  6. The Effectiveness of Predict-Observe-Explain Tasks in Diagnosing Students' Understanding of Science and in Identifying Their Levels of Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liew, Chong-Wah; Treagust, David F.

    This study involves action research to explore the effectiveness of the Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) technique in diagnosing students' understanding of science and identifying their levels of achievement. A multidimensional interpretive framework is used to interpret students' understanding of science. The research methodology incorporated…

  7. Clinical decision support systems for improving diagnostic accuracy and achieving precision medicine.

    PubMed

    Castaneda, Christian; Nalley, Kip; Mannion, Ciaran; Bhattacharyya, Pritish; Blake, Patrick; Pecora, Andrew; Goy, Andre; Suh, K Stephen

    2015-01-01

    As research laboratories and clinics collaborate to achieve precision medicine, both communities are required to understand mandated electronic health/medical record (EHR/EMR) initiatives that will be fully implemented in all clinics in the United States by 2015. Stakeholders will need to evaluate current record keeping practices and optimize and standardize methodologies to capture nearly all information in digital format. Collaborative efforts from academic and industry sectors are crucial to achieving higher efficacy in patient care while minimizing costs. Currently existing digitized data and information are present in multiple formats and are largely unstructured. In the absence of a universally accepted management system, departments and institutions continue to generate silos of information. As a result, invaluable and newly discovered knowledge is difficult to access. To accelerate biomedical research and reduce healthcare costs, clinical and bioinformatics systems must employ common data elements to create structured annotation forms enabling laboratories and clinics to capture sharable data in real time. Conversion of these datasets to knowable information should be a routine institutionalized process. New scientific knowledge and clinical discoveries can be shared via integrated knowledge environments defined by flexible data models and extensive use of standards, ontologies, vocabularies, and thesauri. In the clinical setting, aggregated knowledge must be displayed in user-friendly formats so that physicians, non-technical laboratory personnel, nurses, data/research coordinators, and end-users can enter data, access information, and understand the output. The effort to connect astronomical numbers of data points, including '-omics'-based molecular data, individual genome sequences, experimental data, patient clinical phenotypes, and follow-up data is a monumental task. Roadblocks to this vision of integration and interoperability include ethical, legal

  8. Achievement for All: improving psychosocial outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, Neil; Lendrum, Ann; Barlow, Alexandra; Wigelsworth, Michael; Squires, Garry

    2013-04-01

    Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing poor psychosocial outcomes. Developing effective interventions that address the cause of these outcomes has therefore become a major policy priority in recent years. We report on a national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA) programme that was designed to improve outcomes for students with SEND through: (1) academic assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) structured conversations with parents, and (3) developing provision to improve wider outcomes (e.g. positive relationships). Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test-post-test control group design, we assessed the impact of AfA on teacher ratings of the behaviour problems, positive relationships and bullying of students with SEND over an 18-month period. Participants were 4758 students with SEND drawn from 323 schools across England. Our main impact analysis demonstrated that AfA had a significant impact on all three response variables when compared to usual practice. Hierarchical linear modelling of data from the intervention group highlighted a range of school-level contextual factors and implementation activities and student-level individual differences that moderated the impact of AfA on our study outcomes. The implications of our findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations are noted. PMID:23380579

  9. The Stories Clinicians Tell: Achieving High Reliability and Improving Patient Safety

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Daniel L; Stewart, Kevin O

    2016-01-01

    The patient safety movement has been deeply affected by the stories patients have shared that have identified numerous opportunities for improvements in safety. These stories have identified system and/or human inefficiencies or dysfunctions, possibly even failures, often resulting in patient harm. Although patients’ stories tell us much, less commonly heard are the stories of clinicians and how their personal observations regarding the environments they work in and the circumstances and pressures under which they work may degrade patient safety and lead to harm. If the health care industry is to function like a high-reliability industry, to improve its processes and achieve the outcomes that patients rightly deserve, then leaders and managers must seek and value input from those on the front lines—both clinicians and patients. Stories from clinicians provided in this article address themes that include incident identification, disclosure and transparency, just culture, the impact of clinical workload pressures, human factors liabilities, clinicians as secondary victims, the impact of disruptive and punitive behaviors, factors affecting professional morale, and personal failings. PMID:26580146

  10. Achieving crop stress tolerance and improvement--an overview of genomic techniques.

    PubMed

    Rasool, Saiema; Ahmad, Parvaiz; Rehman, Muneeb U; Arif, Ahmad; Anjum, Naser A

    2015-12-01

    The inexorable exposure of plants to the combinations of abiotic stresses has affected the worldwide food supply. The crop improvement against these abiotic stresses has been captivating approach to increase the yield and enhance the stress tolerance. By using traditional and modern breeding methods, the characters that confer tolerance to these stresses were accomplished. No doubt genetic engineering and molecular breeding have helped in comprehending the intricate nature of stress response. Understanding of abiotic stress-involved cellular pathways provides vital information on such responses. On the other hand, genomic research for crop improvement has raised new assessments in breeding new varieties against abiotic stresses. Interpretation of responses of the crop plants under stress is of great significance by studying the main role of crops in food and biofuel production. This review presents genomic-based approaches revealing the complex networks controlling the mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance, and the possible modes of assimilating information attained by genomic-based approaches due to the advancement in isolation and functional analysis of genes controlling the yield and abiotic stress tolerance are discussed. PMID:26440315

  11. Structuring Out-of-School Time to Improve Academic Achievement. IES Practice Guide. NCEE 2009-012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beckett, Megan; Borman, Geoffrey; Capizzano, Jeffrey; Parsley, Danette; Ross, Steven; Schirm, Allen; Taylor, Jessica

    2009-01-01

    Out-of-school time programs can enhance academic achievement by helping students learn outside the classroom. The purpose of this practice guide is to provide recommendations for organizing and delivering school-based out-of-school time (OST) programs to improve the academic achievement of student participants. The five recommendations in this…

  12. Improving Science Achievement and Attitudes of Students With and Without Learning Disabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanders-White, Pamela

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of structured note-taking compared to traditional note-taking on the acquisition of scientific knowledge for students with and without learning disabilities (LD) and students with reading difficulties (RD). An additional purpose was to examine whether the two note-taking methods affected students' attitudes toward science. The sample population consisted of 203 fifth grade students across four public schools in the southern area of the United States. A standardized instrument aligned to Florida's science standards was used to measure the acquisition of scientific knowledge and the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) was used to measure seven distinct science-related attitudes. For meaningful analyses, students with LD and students with RD were collapsed to form a single group due to the small numbers of participants in each of the subgroups; the collapsed group was referred to as "low achievers." A three-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine the effects of the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment by group, type of student, and gender. The pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment scores were the within-group factor, while group, type of student, and gender were the between-groups factors. Results revealed that there was a significant interaction between the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment and group, F(1, 191) = 9.320, p = .003, indicating that scientific knowledge scores increased for the experimental group, but decreased for the control group. Results also indicated that there was a significant three-way interaction between the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment, group, and gender, F(1, 191) = 5.197, p = .024, showing that all participants in the experimental group improved their scores; while in the control group, female scores decreased and male scores increased. Participants in the experimental and control groups did not show improved attitudes

  13. Understanding Effective Program Improvement Schools through a Distributed Leadership Task Context Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipson, Frances Marie

    2012-01-01

    Federal, state, and local agencies face challenges organizing resources that create the conditions necessary to create, sustain, and replicate effective high performing schools. Knowing that leadership does impact achievement outcomes and that school districts tackle growing numbers of sanctioned Program Improvement schools, a distributed…

  14. Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katehi, Linda, Ed.; Pearson, Greg, Ed.; Feder, Michael, Ed.

    2009-01-01

    Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other STEM subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work…

  15. Using Digital Multimedia to Improve Parents’ and Children’s Understanding of Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Tait, Alan R.; Voepel-Lewis, Terri; Levine, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Objective Data show that many research subjects have difficulty understanding study information using traditional paper consent documents. This study, therefore, was designed to evaluate the effect of an interactive multimedia program on improving parents’ and children’s understanding of clinical trial concepts and participation. Methods Parents (n = 148) and children (n = 135) were each randomized to receive information regarding clinical trials using either a traditional paper format (TF) or an interactive iPad program (IP) with in-line exercises. Participants’ understanding of the information was assessed using semi-structured interviews prior to (pre-test) and after (post-test) receiving the information. Participants also completed a short survey to assess their perceptions of the information delivery and satisfaction with the process. Results Regardless of the mode of information delivery, all participants demonstrated improved pre- to post-test understanding. While there were no statistical differences in parents’ post-test understanding between the TF and IP groups, children in the IP group had significantly greater post-test understanding compared with children in the TF group (11.65(4.1) vs 8.85(4.1) [2.8, 1.4,4.2] 0–18 scale where 18 = complete understanding). Furthermore, the IP was found to be significantly “easier to follow” and “more effective” in presenting information compared with the TF. Conclusions Results demonstrated the importance of providing information regarding clinical trial concepts to parents and children. Importantly, the ability of interactive multimedia to improve understanding of clinical trial concepts and satisfaction with information delivery, particularly among children, supports this approach as a novel and effective vehicle for enhancing the informed consent process. PMID:25829422

  16. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25... that needed records can be found rapidly to conduct agency business, to ensure that records...

  17. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... of temporary records. Retention and disposal of records is governed by NARA regulations in 36...

  18. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... of temporary records. Retention and disposal of records is governed by NARA regulations in 36...

  19. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... of temporary records. Retention and disposal of records is governed by NARA regulations in 36...

  20. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... of temporary records. Retention and disposal of records is governed by NARA regulations in 36...

  1. Using Technology To Improve Academic Achievement in Out-of-School-Time Programs in Washington, D.C.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Meredith; Russell, Victoria; Chaplin, Duncan; Raphael, Jacqueline; Fu, Helen; Anthony, Emily

    This paper describes implementation of the federal government's DC 21st Century Community Learning Center (DC 21st CCLC) program during the summer of 2001, focusing on the use of computer technology to improve academic achievement. The DC 21st CCLC program provides funding to schools in the District of Columbia to improve their out-of-school-time…

  2. Improving the Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics Subject Matter with Hypertext Media Learning and Formal Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manurung, Sondang R.; Mihardi, Satria

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of hypertext media based kinematic learning and formal thinking ability to improve the conceptual understanding of physic prospective students. The research design used is the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design is carried out in the research by taking 36 students on from…

  3. A Hands-On Exercise Improves Understanding of the Standard Error of the Mean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Robert S.

    2006-01-01

    One of the most difficult concepts for statistics students is the standard error of the mean. To improve understanding of this concept, 1 group of students used a hands-on procedure to sample from small populations representing either a true or false null hypothesis. The distribution of 120 sample means (n = 3) from each population had standard…

  4. Improving the Quality and Scientific Understanding of Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This short 1000 word report presents a series of research needs for improving the measurement and understanding of trophic magnification factors (TMFs). TMFs are useful measures of trophic magnification and represent the diet-weighted average biomagnification factor (BMF) of che...

  5. A Review of Some Promising Approaches To Understanding and Improving Thinking Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newsome, George L., III

    2000-01-01

    Examines the thinking and reasoning skills today's students need, reviewing promising approaches to understanding and improving these skills offered by cognitive psychologists and philosophers, evaluating the contributions of each approach, and suggesting how explanations offered by cognitive psychologists and criteria for evaluating students'…

  6. Scaffolded Instruction Improves Student Understanding of the Scientific Method & Experimental Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Costa, Allison R.; Schlueter, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of a guided-inquiry lab in introductory biology classes, along with scaffolded instruction, improved students' understanding of the scientific method, their ability to design an experiment, and their identification of experimental variables. Pre- and postassessments from experimental versus control sections over three semesters…

  7. Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis Jean Guard, Veterinary Medical Officer U. S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, GA USA (jean.guard@ars.usda.gov) The curious case of egg contamination by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis S. ...

  8. Inventory of Federal Programs Involving Educational Activities Concerned with Improving International Understanding and Cooperation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Janice M.; Hohman, David E.

    This inventory contains the results of a survey of all Federal programs for fiscal years 1966, 1967, and 1968 that included educational activities aimed at improving international understanding and cooperation. A total of 159 such programs were reported by 31 responding Federal agencies. This inventory contains the following information for each…

  9. Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding: Support Document

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Robyn; Horne, Jackie

    2005-01-01

    This document was produced by the authors based on their research for the report, "Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding," and is an added resource for further information. The original document is a feasibility study which explores the frameworks and methodologies available for determining and…

  10. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  11. Understanding the Evolving Roles of Improvement-Oriented High School Teachers in Gilgit-Baltistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Takbir

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the author presents a framework for understanding how improvement-oriented high school teachers' accounts of change experiences portray their evolving roles as change agents in school reform. The data on which this paper is based come from a one-year long in-depth study (doctoral thesis research project) in which the author set out…

  12. Water Literacy in College Freshmen: Could a Cognitive Imagery Strategy Improve Understanding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ewing, Margaret S.; Mills, Terence J.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a study designed to determine whether levels of water literacy differed between (n=83) college freshman nonscience majors having one versus two years of high school science coursework, visual imagery exercises could improve understanding of the water cycle, and patterns exist in the concept of the water cycle. (Contains 23 references.)…

  13. What Effective Principals Do to Improve Instruction and Increase Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Elizabeth Anne

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this mixed method study were to (a) Examine the relationships among principal effectiveness, principal instructional leadership, and student achievement; (b) examine the differences among principal effectiveness, principal instructional leadership and student achievement; and (c) investigate what effective principals do to improve…

  14. How Urban School Superintendents Effectively Use Data Driven Decision Making to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Root, Lonny Gene

    2010-01-01

    With the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002, schools, districts, and therefore, superintendents have been held increasingly accountable for the achievement of the students. The states and federal governments have used student achievement data to measure the progress and success of schools and districts and have held districts…

  15. Pieces of the Puzzle: Factors in Improving Achievement of Urban School Districts. Education Outlook. No. 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casserly, Michael

    2012-01-01

    In one of the first large-scale analyses of urban trends on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Council of the Great City Schools and the American Institutes for Research identified urban school systems that demonstrated high achievement or significant achievement gains on the NAEP, and examined possible factors behind…

  16. Improving Student Achievement: Can 9th Grade Academies Make a Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Styron, Ronald Anthony; Peasant, Eddie J.

    2010-01-01

    This study focused on student achievement in ninth grade schools or academies compared to ninth grade students enrolled in traditional high schools. Student achievement was measured by standardized test scores. Other variables tested were gender and ethnicity. All students used in this study were enrolled in the ninth grade during the 2005-2006…

  17. Developing and Improving Modified Achievement Level Descriptors: Rationale, Procedures, and Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quenemoen, Rachel; Albus, Debra; Rogers, Chris; Lazarus, Sheryl

    2010-01-01

    Some states are developing alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) to measure the academic achievement of some students with disabilities (Albus, Lazarus, Thurlow, & Cormier, 2009; Lazarus, Thurlow, Christensen, & Cormier, 2007). These assessments measure the same content as the general assessment for a given…

  18. Improving Upper Grade Math Achievement via the Integration of a Culturally Responsive Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pajkos, Diane; Klein-Collins, John

    This report describes an intervention program for increasing mathematical achievement of African American students. Within the targeted population, it was evident that the disparity in math achievement between African American and White students was increasing each year. The targeted population consisted of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade…

  19. Foundations for Success: Case Studies of How Urban School Systems Improve Student Achievement [and] Abstract.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snipes, Jason; Doolittle, Fred; Herlihy, Corinne

    This report examines the experiences of three large urban school districts (and part of a fourth) that raised academic performance for their districts as a whole, while also reducing racial differences in achievement. Educational challenges included low achievement, political conflict, inexperienced teachers, low expectations, and lack of…

  20. The effects of automatic spelling correction software on understanding and comprehension in compensated dyslexia: improved recall following dictation.

    PubMed

    Hiscox, Lucy; Leonavičiūtė, Erika; Humby, Trevor

    2014-08-01

    Dyslexia is associated with difficulties in language-specific skills such as spelling, writing and reading; the difficulty in acquiring literacy skills is not a result of low intelligence or the absence of learning opportunity, but these issues will persist throughout life and could affect long-term education. Writing is a complex process involving many different functions, integrated by the working memory system; people with dyslexia have a working memory deficit, which means that concentration on writing quality may be detrimental to understanding. We confirm impaired working memory in a sample of university students with (compensated) dyslexia, and using a within-subject design with three test conditions, we show that these participants demonstrated better understanding of a piece of text if they had used automatic spelling correction software during a dictation/transcription task. We hypothesize that the use of the autocorrecting software reduced demand on working memory, by allowing word writing to be more automatic, thus enabling better processing and understanding of the content of the transcriptions and improved recall. Long-term and regular use of autocorrecting assistive software should be beneficial for people with and without dyslexia and may improve confidence, written work, academic achievement and self-esteem, which are all affected in dyslexia. PMID:24976387

  1. Retrospective Understandings: Individual-Collective Influences on High Achieving Black Students at a Predominantly White Institution of Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Candice Elaine

    2012-01-01

    This article discusses the findings of an exploratory qualitative study that examined the influences of individual and collective sociocultural identities on the community involvements and high academic achievement of 10 Black alumni who attended a predominantly White institution between 1985 and 2008. Syntagmatic narrative analysis and…

  2. Using the Expectancy Value Model of Motivation to Understand the Relationship between Student Attitudes and Achievement in Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hood, Michelle; Creed, Peter A.; Neumann, David L.

    2012-01-01

    We tested a model of the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and achievement based on Eccles' Expectancy Value Model (1983). Participants (n = 149; 83% female) were second-year Australian university students in a psychology statistics course (mean age = 23.36 years, SD = 7.94 years). We obtained demographic details, past performance,…

  3. Understanding the Positive Role of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Advantage in Achievement: The Contribution of the Home, Child Care, and School Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dupere, Veronique; Leventhal, Tama; Crosnoe, Robert; Dion, Eric

    2010-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the mechanisms underlying associations between neighborhood socioeconomic advantage and children's achievement trajectories between ages 54 months and 15 years. Results of hierarchical linear growth models based on a diverse sample of 1,364 children indicate that neighborhood socioeconomic advantage was…

  4. Understanding the Self-Directed Online Learning Preferences, Goals, Achievements, and Challenges of MIT OpenCourseWare Subscribers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonk, Curtis J.; Lee, Mimi Miyoung; Kou, Xiaojing; Xu, Shuya; Sheu, Feng-Ru

    2015-01-01

    This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners who subscribed to the monthly OpenCourseWare (OCW) e-newsletter from MIT. Data collection included a 25-item survey of 1,429 newsletter subscribers; 613 of whom also completed an…

  5. How to Achieve Synergy between Medical Education and Cognitive Neuroscience? An Exercise on Prior Knowledge in Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiter, Dirk J.; van Kesteren, Marlieke T. R.; Fernandez, Guillen

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge in contemporary research is how to connect medical education and cognitive neuroscience and achieve synergy between these domains. Based on this starting point we discuss how this may result in a common language about learning, more educationally focused scientific inquiry, and multidisciplinary research projects. As the topic of…

  6. Surmounting the Challenges of Improving Academic Performance: Closing the Achievement Gap through Social-Emotional and Character Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elias, Maurice J.; White, Gwyne; Stepney, Cesalie

    2014-01-01

    While educators and policy makers have an intuitive understanding of the influence of socioeconomic factors and race on student achievement, these factors make the current emphasis on standardized test scores as a primary criterion for evaluating schools and teachers indefensible and ineffective. The research presented illustrates the limits of…

  7. Tablets in trauma: using mobile computing platforms to improve patient understanding and experience.

    PubMed

    Furness, Nicholas D; Bradford, Oliver J; Paterson, Maurice P

    2013-03-01

    Tablets are becoming commonplace in the health care setting. Patients often request to view their radiographs after sustaining trauma. This can be challenging, especially if patients are immobile. The authors performed a prospective, questionnaire-based study to assess inpatient desire to view radiographs on tablets and whether viewing images affected patient-rated outcomes of understanding and satisfaction. Enabling trauma patients to view their images on a tablet is a worthwhile practice because it improves patient involvement in decision making, satisfaction, perceived understanding, and overall experience. PMID:23464939

  8. Postindustrial Capitalism and the Problems with Bourdieu's Social and Cultural Capital in Understanding the Black/White Achievement Gap in the United States and United Kingdom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mocombe, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    This hermeneutical essay demonstrates why and how Pierre Bourdieu's social reproduction theory is neither an adequate explanation for understanding praxis nor the Black/White academic achievement gap in contemporary postindustrial economies like that of the United States and the United Kingdom. The underlining hypothesis of the work is that the…

  9. Independent Study of Collegiate Biological Science as a General Education Course: Involving Achievement and Understanding the Processes of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stavick, Lloyd Clair

    The "Test on Understanding Science, Form W" and the "Nelson Biology Test, Form E", were administered before and after a college general biology course to a random selection of students who had chosen to take an individualized study program and to a random group of students who had chosen to follow the lecture-laboratory alternative. There were no…

  10. An Interactive Geometry Program and Its Effect on Elementary Students' Achievement and Understanding of Geometry: A Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeMarinis, Matthew David

    2011-01-01

    While many studies examining the effectiveness of using dynamic geometry software exist, few studies exist at the elementary school level. An extensive data analysis of student performance on New York State Math Assessments revealed that students in the fifth grade may not have had a clear understanding of interior angles sums of polygons, more…

  11. Understanding and improving the high field orbit in the Fermilab Booster

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    With the implementation of the BPM system in the Fermilab Booster, complete survey data of the main magnets have been employed to determine magnet moving schemes to correct the high field orbit at 8 GeV kinetic energy and to understand the global pattern of the high field orbit in both planes. Considerable success has been achieved in the former task. We also obtained reasonable understanding in the later effort, given the multitude of factors that have to be dealt with. In this paper an account is given of the survey record, the orbit correction exercise, and the effort to reconstruct the high field orbit based on the survey records. 2 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Big Data and the Atmospheric Science Data Center: Improving Access and Understanding of Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, T. J.; Little, M. M.; Huffer, E.

    2013-12-01

    Working from an Enterprise Architecture, the ASDC has implemented a suite of new tools to provide improved access and understanding of data products related to the Earth's radiation budget, clouds, aerosols and tropospheric chemistry. This poster describes the overall architecture and the capabilities that have been implemented within the past twelve months. Further insight is offered into the issues and constraints of those tools, as well as lessons learned in their implementation.

  13. Color-coding Improves Parental Understanding of Body Mass Index Charting

    PubMed Central

    Oettinger, Matthew D.; Finkle, Joanne P.; Esserman, Denise; Whitehead, Lisa; Spain, Thomas K.; Pattishall, Steven R.; Rothman, Russell; Perrin, Eliana M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives To assess parental understanding of body mass index (BMI) and BMI percentiles using standard versus color-coded charts and investigate how parental literacy and/or numeracy (quantitative skills) impacts that understanding. Methods A convenience sample of 163 parents of children aged 2–8 years at two academic pediatric centers completed a demographics questionnaire, the mathematics portion of the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-3R), the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), and an “Understanding BMI” questionnaire, which included parallel BMI charting questions to compare understanding of standard versus color-coded BMI charting. Outcomes included parental-reported versus actual understanding of BMI, the odds (obtained by generalized estimating equations) of answering parallel questions correctly using standard versus color-coded charting, and odds of answering questions correctly based on numeracy and literacy. Results Many parents (60%) reported knowing what BMI was, but only 30% could define it even roughly correctly. Parents using color-coded charts had greater odds of answering parallel BMI charting questions correctly than parents using standard charts (mean 88% vs. 65% correct; pooled AOR=4.32, 95% CI: 3.14–5.95; p<.01). Additionally, parents with lower numeracy (K-5 level) benefited more from color-coded charts (increased from 51% to 81% correct) than did higher numeracy parents (≥ high school level), who performed well using both charts (89% vs. 99% correct). Conclusions Parents consistently performed better using color-coded than standard BMI charts. Color-coding was particularly helpful for lower numeracy parents. Future studies should investigate whether these results translate into offices and whether understanding motivates parents toward important lifestyle change. PMID:19679524

  14. What Do We Need To Do To Improve Our Understanding of How Volcanoes Affect Stratospheric Ozone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, S.

    2015-12-01

    This talk will briefly survey what is known and what is not known about stratospheric ozone depletion and volcanic events, and will describe some ways to improve our understanding. Observations of total ozone following the eruption of El Chichon in the 1980s provided some of the earliest and clearest indications of the importance of volcanic aerosol on ozone depletion. In subsequent decades, improved laboratory information, modeling studies, and observations showed how heterogeneous chemical processing on and in volcanic aerosols could enhance chlorine-catalyzed ozone loss in the lower stratosphere, while decreasing nitrogen-catalyzed ozone loss in the upper stratosphere. Recent satellite observations shed important light on this chemistry but major gaps in understanding remain, including for example a lack of knowledge of whether hydrochloric acid can be efficiently taken up in stratospheric particles under cold conditions, interactions and competition between volcanic aerosols and ice clouds, and the effects of volcanic aerosols on chemistry in the tropopause region. Effects of volcanic aerosols on Arctic and Antarctic ozone depletion are also subject to many certainties, owing in large part to observational deficiencies. Implications for gaining an improved understanding through both laboratory studies and new observations will be briefly described.

  15. Quality improvement initiatives in neonatal intensive care unit networks: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Shah, Vibhuti; Warre, Ruth; Lee, Shoo K

    2013-01-01

    Neonatal intensive care unit networks that encompass regions, states, and even entire countries offer the perfect platform for implementing continuous quality improvement initiatives to advance the health care provided to vulnerable neonates. Through cycles of identification and implementation of best available evidence, benchmarking, and feedback of outcomes, combined with mutual collaborative learning through a network of providers, the performance of health care systems and neonatal outcomes can be improved. We use examples of successful neonatal networks from across North America to explore continuous quality improvement in the neonatal intensive care unit, including the rationale for the formation of neonatal networks, the role of networks in continuous quality improvement, quality improvement methods and outcomes, and barriers to and facilitators of quality improvement. PMID:24268090

  16. Does Spending More on Education Improve Academic Achievement? Backgrounder. No. 2179

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lips, Dan; Watkins, Shanea J.; Fleming, John

    2008-01-01

    Debates about how to improve public education in America often focus on whether government should spend more on education. Federal and state policymakers proposing new education programs often base their arguments on the need to provide more resources to schools to improve opportunities for students. Many Americans seem to share this view. While…

  17. Improving Service Quality: Achieving High Performance in the Public and Private Sectors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milakovich, Michael E.

    Quality-improvement principles are a sound means to respond to customer needs. However, when various quality and productivity theories and methods are applied, it is very difficult to consistently deliver quality results, especially in quasi-monopolistic, non-competitive, and regulated environments. This book focuses on quality-improvement methods…

  18. Using Weblog in Cooperative Learning to Improve the Achievement of History Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leng, Lim Hooi; Leng, Chin Hai; Abedalaziz, Nabeel

    2013-01-01

    This research investigates the use of Weblog in Cooperative Learning to enhance students' learning of History. The main issues of this study were the lack of interest and low achievement scores in History learning. The objectives of this study are to explore the incorporation of Weblog in Cooperative Learning within the teaching and learning…

  19. The Role of School Culture in Improving Student Achievement in POS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sundell, Kirsten; Castellano, Marisa; Overman, Laura T.; Aliaga, Oscar A.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past five years, the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) has sponsored five research studies of Programs of Study (POS)--including three ongoing longitudinal projects--with the goal of informing the field about how and under what conditions POS impact student engagement, achievement, and transition to…

  20. Improving Low Achievers' Academic Performance at University by Changing the Social Value of Mastery Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dompnier, Benoît; Darnon, Céline; Meier, Emanuele; Brandner, Catherine; Smeding, Annique; Butera, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has shown that, in a university context, mastery goals are highly valued and that students may endorse these goals either because they believe in their utility (i.e., social utility), in which case mastery goals are positively linked to achievement, or to create a positive image of themselves (i.e., social desirability), in which…

  1. Can College Actions Improve the Academic Achievement of At-Risk Minority Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clagett, Craig A.

    This study examined factors affecting academic achievement of at-risk minority students to evaluate intervention strategies designed to assist such students. Data were obtained on 2,386 first-time college students entering Prince George's Community College (Maryland) in fall 1990. Factor analysis identified 10 variables that explained a…

  2. Using Culturally Competent Responsive Services to Improve Student Achievement and Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schellenberg, Rita; Grothaus, Tim

    2011-01-01

    This article illustrates standards blending, the integration of core academic and school counseling standards, as a culturally alert responsive services strategy to assist in closing the achievement gap while also enhancing employability skills and culturally salient career competencies. The responsive services intervention described in this…

  3. Teacher Leaders at Work: Analyzing Standardized Achievement Data to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henning, John E.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to describe how 24 elementary and middle school teacher leaders analyzed standardized achievement test scores, utilizing four different approaches: comparing to the norm, analyzing trends, correlating data, and disaggregating data. The analyses were conducted in order to effect positive change in student learning and…

  4. Teaching Test-Taking Strategies to Improve the Academic Achievement of Students with Mild Mental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kretlow, Allison G.; Lo, Ya-yu; White, Richard B.; Jordan, LuAnn

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the effects of teaching a test-taking strategy to 4 fourth- and fifth-grade students with mild mental disabilities on reading and math achievement. The intervention consisted of a direct and explicit instructional method using a mnemonic strategy. The participants' acquisition and application of the test-taking strategy on…

  5. Improving Student Achievement in Language Arts through Implementation of Multiple Intelligences Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geimer, Mandy; Getz, Jennifer; Pochert, Terry; Pullam, Karen

    Student achievement has been low in language arts in Suburban Chicago, Illinois school districts. This action research project was designed to determine the effect of incorporating multiple intelligence strategies into the language arts curriculum. The targeted students were in the second, third, and fifth grades, in a western suburb of Chicago,…

  6. Leveraging Quality Improvement to Achieve Student Learning Assessment Success in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, Nancy Gentry

    2009-01-01

    Mounting pressure for transformational change in higher education driven by technology, globalization, competition, funding shortages, and increased emphasis on accountability necessitates that universities implement reforms to demonstrate responsiveness to all stakeholders and to provide evidence of student achievement. In the face of the demand…

  7. Achievement for All: Improving Psychosocial Outcomes for Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humphrey, Neil; Lendrum, Ann; Barlow, Alexandra; Wigelsworth, Michael; Squires, Garry

    2013-01-01

    Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing poor psychosocial outcomes. Developing effective interventions that address the cause of these outcomes has therefore become a major policy priority in recent years. We report on a national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA)…

  8. Major Field Achievement Test in Business: Guidelines for Improved Outcome Scores--Part I

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, J. Patrick; White, Jason T.

    2007-01-01

    Outcomes measurements have always been an important part of proving to outside constituencies how you "measure up" to other schools with your business programs. A common nationally-normed exam that is used is the Major Field Achievement Test in Business from Educational Testing Services. Our paper discusses some guidelines that we are "pilot…

  9. Concept Mapping Strategy: An Effective Tool for Improving Students' Academic Achievement in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sakiyo, John; Waziri, Kawu

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the use of concept mapping teaching method on secondary school students' academic achievement in biology. Two hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. The design of the study was quasi-experimental design with 122 Senior Secondary students selected purposively from two senior secondary schools in…

  10. Teacher Professional Development to Improve Science and Literacy Achievement of English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Okhee; Buxton, Cory A.

    2013-01-01

    The school-aged population in the United States is becoming more culturally and linguistically diverse, while achievement gaps across content areas persist. At the same time, more rigorous academic demands are being placed on all students, including English language learners (ELLs). Teachers of ELLs face the double challenge of promoting English…

  11. The Single-Gender Classroom: Improving Middle School Students' Achievement in Math

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whalen, William V., III.

    2012-01-01

    At Joseph Case Junior High School, a school located in Swansea, Massachusetts for students in grades six through eight; there was a problematic trend in regard to student achievement in mathematics. Upon completion of an analysis of student cohort results in mathematics on the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System), there was an…

  12. Does NCLB Improve the Achievement of Students with Disabilities? A Regression Discontinuity Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Xin

    2012-01-01

    The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) holds public schools accountable for the academic achievement of student subgroups that are larger than the state minimum-subgroup-size threshold. In 2004, California added students with disabilities to the NCLB subgroup categories. Using a regression discontinuity design, this study compared the academic…

  13. Using Self-Correction to Improve the Spelling Performance of Low-Achieving Third Graders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wirtz, Connie L.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Comparison of two spelling strategies (traditional versus self-correction) on spelling performance of six low-achieving third-grade students found the self-correction procedure more effective than the traditional condition and also helped students maintain their ability to correctly spell previously learned words. (Author/DB)

  14. Traditional Teaching Strategies versus Cooperative Teaching Strategies: Which Can Improve Achievement Scores in Chinese Middle Schools?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messier, William P.

    2005-01-01

    This study examines two teaching styles in Chinese middle schools, traditional lecture-based and cooperative learning. The study uses simple descriptive statistics to analyze economic status and achievement scores for both strategies in four Chinese middle schools. There were 145 randomly selected middle school students involved in the study. The…

  15. Comparing District Achievement to Improve Decision Making in Clark County, Nevada. Vignette

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Institutes for Research, 2012

    2012-01-01

    In response to changing demographics, a tightening budget, and drastic achievement gaps (white students outperform Latino students on standardized tests) the Clark County School District in Nevada (the fifth largest district in the country) commissioned, in 2011, an educational and operational efficiency review. The district commissioned the…

  16. Closing the Achievement Gap: Principles for Improving the Educational Success of All Students. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Wendy

    This digest reviews educational policies and practices that have been proven effective in closing the achievement gap, offering a list of resources with detailed information about them. The digest focuses on state and district roles (e.g., developing and implementing educational goals, rigorous standards, and accountability standards and providing…

  17. Improving Parental Involvement and Reading Achievement of Caribbean Immigrant Adolescents through Differentiated Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robert, Joshua

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this applied dissertation study was to determine the relative impact of parental involvement, parental school perception, student generation status, and Caribbean adolescents' own attitudes and behavior towards academic achievement and reading comprehension skills. For this study, 45 Caribbean parents from Grenadian, Guyanese,…

  18. Effectiveness of a Metacognitive Reading Strategies Program for Improving Low Achieving EFL Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Nasrah Mahmoud; Tawalbeh, Tha'er Issa

    2015-01-01

    As the training of language learners was a main concern of EFL teachers, this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of metacognitive reading strategies instruction (MRSI) on Taif University EFL students who achieved low results in reading. The final sample of this study was (21) female university students. The sample was divided into two groups;…

  19. Is There a Relationship between the Play Attention Program and Improved Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webber, Jenny Ann

    2011-01-01

    Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on student academic achievement have been researched for many years. There have been many interventions that have been used in treating ADHD that have been found successful when implemented consistently. Some of the interventions that have been researched in the past are behavior…

  20. Improving Elementary American Indian Students' Math Achievement with Inquiry-Based Mathematics and Games

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Jamalee; Hamann, Edmund

    2012-01-01

    Project Inquiry-Based Mathematics was a National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership implemented in a Great Plains city school district with a significant K-12 Native American population. One goal of the project was to reduce the achievement gap between Native American and non-Native students enrolled in district. This gap reduction was to…

  1. Improving Astronomy Achievement and Attitude through Astronomy Summer Project: A Design, Implementation and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Türk, Cumhur; Kalkan, Hüseyin; Iskeleli', Nazan Ocak; Kiroglu, Kasim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of an astronomy summer project implemented in different learning activities on elementary school students, pre-service elementary teachers and in-service teachers' astronomy achievement and their attitudes to astronomy field. This study is the result of a five-day, three-stage, science school,…

  2. The Effect of Using Activities Improving Scientific Literacy on Students' Achievement in Science and Technology Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gucluer, Efe; Kesercioglu, Teoman

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study is examining the effect of the using scientific literacy development activities on students' achievement. The study was carried out in a primary school in Buca Izmir for 2010-2011 academic years. System of our body was chosen as a study topic in our search which took 6 weeks. Pre-post test semi experimental control model was…

  3. Turnaround Schools: Practices Used by Nationally Recognized Principals to Improve Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Angela Antuanette

    2012-01-01

    The specific purpose of this study was to identify the practices used by leaders of National Blue Ribbon Awarded Schools to successfully turnaround a school or to maintain proficient achievement scores within the school. The school principals answered a four part questionnaire for this study. Part 1 of the questionnaire asked about the extent to…

  4. A Mobile Gamification Learning System for Improving the Learning Motivation and Achievements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Su, C-H.; Cheng, C-H.

    2015-01-01

    This paper aims to investigate how a gamified learning approach influences science learning, achievement and motivation, through a context-aware mobile learning environment, and explains the effects on motivation and student learning. A series of gamified learning activities, based on MGLS (Mobile Gamification Learning System), was developed and…

  5. 78 FR 69336 - Title I-Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-19

    ... FR 52467) a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding modified academic achievement standards and... period for seven days. DATES: For the proposed rule published on August 23, 2013 (78 FR 52467), written... August 23, 2013, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (78 FR...

  6. Programming in Pairs with Alice to Improve Confidence, Enjoyment, and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop-Clark, Cathy; Courte, Jill; Howard, Elizabeth V.

    2006-01-01

    Students in an introductory computing class participated in a study investigating the impact of using a graphics programming environment (Alice) and pair-programming on confidence, enjoyment and achievement. Sixty-four participants completed a short questionnaire and a content pre-test about computer programming concepts. Students were then…

  7. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    SciTech Connect

    Mousseau, Jeffrey, D.; Jansen, John, R.; Janke, David, H.; Plowman, Catherine, M.

    2003-02-26

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results.

  8. A Review of Literature to Understand the Complexity of Equity, Ethics and Management for Achieving Public Health Goals in India

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Pankaj; Nagpal, Jitender

    2014-01-01

    In the context of inadequate public spending on health care in India (0.9% of the GDP); government liberalized its policies in the form of subsidized lands and tax incentives, resulting in the mushrooming of private hospitals and clinics in India. Paradoxically, a robust framework was not developed for the regulation of these health care providers, resulting in disorganized health sector, inadequate financing models, and lack of prioritization of services, as well as a sub-optimal achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We systematically reviewed the evidence base regarding regulation of private hospitals, applicability of private-public mix, state of health insurance and effective policy development for India, while seeking lessons on regulation of private health systems, from South African (a developing country) and Australian (a developed country) health care systems. PMID:24701465

  9. A review of literature to understand the complexity of equity, ethics and management for achieving public health goals in India.

    PubMed

    Garg, Pankaj; Nagpal, Jitender

    2014-02-01

    In the context of inadequate public spending on health care in India (0.9% of the GDP); government liberalized its policies in the form of subsidized lands and tax incentives, resulting in the mushrooming of private hospitals and clinics in India. Paradoxically, a robust framework was not developed for the regulation of these health care providers, resulting in disorganized health sector, inadequate financing models, and lack of prioritization of services, as well as a sub-optimal achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We systematically reviewed the evidence base regarding regulation of private hospitals, applicability of private-public mix, state of health insurance and effective policy development for India, while seeking lessons on regulation of private health systems, from South African (a developing country) and Australian (a developed country) health care systems. PMID:24701465

  10. Reading in Upward Bound: An Evaluation of a Reading Improvement Course and an Analysis of Some Correlates of Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gwaltney, Wayne Keith

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate a seven-week reading improvement course for Upward Bound students and to analyze select correlates of reading achievement. Sixty Upward Bound students attending a summer session at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, served as the sample. The subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental…

  11. Improving Learning Achievements, Motivations and Problem-Solving Skills through a Peer Assessment-Based Game Development Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Hung, Chun-Ming; Chen, Nian-Shing

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a peer assessment-based game development approach is proposed for improving students' learning achievements, motivations and problem-solving skills. An experiment has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in a science course at an elementary school. A total of 167 sixth graders participated in…

  12. Improving Science, Technology and Mathematics Students' Achievement: Imperatives for Teacher Preparation in the Caribbean Colleges and Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogunkola, Babalola J.

    2012-01-01

    The concerns of this article are the unacceptable status of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) Education in the Caribbean and how to improve the students' achievement in the subjects involved through the instrumentality of better preparation of teachers by the Colleges and University faculties training teachers in the region. The index for…

  13. An Investigation of World Language Teachers' Use of Student Performance Data to Inform Teaching and to Help Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koffi, Bruno N.

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative study investigated the types of content-based student performance data World Language teachers used to improve instruction and student academic achievement, the purposes for which they used data, the issues they encountered, and the suggestions they made for more effective use of data. The Standards for Foreign Language Learning…

  14. Experimental Evaluations of Two Strategies to Improve Reading Achievement in Kenya: Enhanced Literacy Instruction and Treatment of Malaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jukes, Matthew; Dubeck, Margaret; Brooker, Simon; Wolf, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    There is less quality evidence on how malaria may affect cognitive abilities and educational achievement or on how schools can tackle the problem of malaria among school children. A randomised trial among Sri Lankan children showed that weekly malaria chemoprophylaxis with chloroquine can improve school examination scores. The Health and Literacy…

  15. GUIDELINES FOR INDUSTRIAL BOILER PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT. (BOILER ADJUSTMENT PROCEDURES TO MINIMIZE AIR POLLUTION AND TO ACHIEVE EFFICIENT USE OF FUEL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recommended procedures for improving industrial boiler performance to minimize air pollution and to achieve efficient use of fuel are given. It is intended for use by industrial boiler operators to perform an efficiency and emissions tune-up on boilers firing gas, oil, or coal. P...

  16. Improving Achievement in Secondary Schools: Impact of a Literacy Project on Reading Comprehension and Secondary School Qualifications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Mei Kuin; Wilson, Aaron; McNaughton, Stuart; Hsiao, Selena

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines whether a literacy intervention involving generic and content area literacy components can improve both achievement on a standardized reading test and the attainment of secondary school qualifications, and whether the intervention can be implemented by teachers in their regular classroom settings. We report on a design-based…

  17. Top 10 Ways to Improve Science Achievement: Actions for School Principals, Assistant Principals, Department Chairs and School Improvement Consultants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), 2007

    2007-01-01

    High Schools That Work (HSTW) Assessment data show the need to improve science education in both the middle grades and high school. Science education increases students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This publication is designed to help principals, other school leaders and teachers identify rigorous instruction and successfully…

  18. Emerging Evidence on Improving High School Student Achievement and Graduation Rates: The Effects of Four Popular Improvement Programs. Issue Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herlihy, Corinne M.; Quint, Janet

    2006-01-01

    The National High School Center released methods for improving low-performing high schools based on some of the most rigorous research currently available in the school reform arena. This research brief identifies lessons learned as well as key practices used to strengthen high schools and is based on evaluations of four widely used high school…

  19. Using Animation to Improve the Students' Academic Achievement on Bipolar Junction Transistor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zoabi, W.; Sabag, N.; Gero, A.

    2012-01-01

    Teaching abstract subjects to students studying towards a degree in electronics practical engineering (a degree between a technician and an engineer) requires didactic tools that enable understanding of issues without using advanced mathematics and physics. One basic issue is the BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor) that requires preliminary…

  20. Ranking Multiple Dialogue States by Corpus Statistics to Improve Discourse Understanding in Spoken Dialogue Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashinaka, Ryuichiro; Nakano, Mikio

    This paper discusses the discourse understanding process in spoken dialogue systems. This process enables a system to understand user utterances from the context of a dialogue. Ambiguity in user utterances caused by multiple speech recognition hypotheses and parsing results sometimes makes it difficult for a system to decide on a single interpretation of a user intention. As a solution, the idea of retaining possible interpretations as multiple dialogue states and resolving the ambiguity using succeeding user utterances has been proposed. Although this approach has proven to improve discourse understanding accuracy, carefully created hand-crafted rules are necessary in order to accurately rank the dialogue states. This paper proposes automatically ranking multiple dialogue states using statistical information obtained from dialogue corpora. The experimental results in the train ticket reservation and weather information service domains show that the statistical information can significantly improve the ranking accuracy of dialogue states as well as the slot accuracy and the concept error rate of the top-ranked dialogue states.

  1. Machine learning-based augmented reality for improved surgical scene understanding.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Olivier; Diotte, Benoit; Fallavollita, Pascal; Weidert, Simon; Euler, Ekkehard; Navab, Nassir

    2015-04-01

    In orthopedic and trauma surgery, AR technology can support surgeons in the challenging task of understanding the spatial relationships between the anatomy, the implants and their tools. In this context, we propose a novel augmented visualization of the surgical scene that mixes intelligently the different sources of information provided by a mobile C-arm combined with a Kinect RGB-Depth sensor. Therefore, we introduce a learning-based paradigm that aims at (1) identifying the relevant objects or anatomy in both Kinect and X-ray data, and (2) creating an object-specific pixel-wise alpha map that permits relevance-based fusion of the video and the X-ray images within one single view. In 12 simulated surgeries, we show very promising results aiming at providing for surgeons a better surgical scene understanding as well as an improved depth perception. PMID:24998759

  2. Understanding latent tuberculosis: the key to improved diagnostic and novel treatment strategies

    PubMed Central

    Esmail, Hanif; Barry, Clifton E; Wilkinson, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Treatment of latent tuberculosis (LTBI) is a vital component of tuberculosis elimination but is not efficiently implemented with available diagnostics and therapeutics. The tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assays can inform that infection has occurred but do not prove that it persists. Treatment of LTBI with isoniazid targets actively replicating bacilli but not non-replicating populations, prolonging treatment duration. Developing more predictive diagnostic tests and treatments of shorter duration requires a greater understanding of the biology of latent tuberculosis, from both host and bacillary perspectives. In this article we discuss the basis of current diagnosis and treatment of LTBI and review recent developments in understanding the biology of latency that may enable future improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. PMID:22198298

  3. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Key Ideas in Quantum Mechanics throughout Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emigh, Paul Jeffrey

    This dissertation describes research on student understanding of quantum mechanics across multiple levels of instruction. The primary focus has been to identify patterns in student reasoning related to key concepts in quantum mechanics. The specific topics include quantum measurements, time dependence, vector spaces, and angular momentum. The research has spanned a variety of different quantum courses intended for introductory physics students, upper-division physics majors, and graduate students in physics. The results of this research have been used to develop a set of curriculum, Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics, for addressing the most persistent student difficulties. We document both the development of this curriculum and how it has impacted and improved student understanding of quantum mechanics.

  4. Understanding the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition to improve ultrasound training for obstetrics and gynaecology trainees

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    There have been significant problems in ultrasound training since the introduction of the new postgraduate curriculum for obstetrics and gynaecology. It is therefore important to understand how the skill of ultrasound is acquired in order to be able to improve the training program. Here, the potential application of the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition has been analysed to map the progression from novice to master and the progressions between each stage analysed. Although the Dreyfus model is not a perfect match for ultrasound scanning, it provides us with a theoretical framework on which to underpin educational practice in this field.

  5. Evaluation and capacity building to improve precollege science and mathematics achievement in the US: 10 CFR, Part 605

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The National Center for Improving Science Education has undertaken activities to achieve evaluation goals for DOE's Precollege programs: develop means to determine program quality; develop means for determining the contribution of DOE precollege programs to both teacher enhancement and student achievement; provide evaluation designs and instruments and reports of program quality and impact; and strengthen both DOE's and the Labs' capacity to do both short- and long-term planning as well as deliver effective programs and evaluation. Appendices include evaluation/technical assistance report, profiling teacher research participation and teacher development programs, teacher surveys, impact assessment design, and teacher research participation programs anecdotes for 8 labs.

  6. Creating a Longitudinal Data System: Using Data To Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achieve, Inc., 2006

    2006-01-01

    Policymakers and educators need longitudinal data systems capable of providing timely, valid and relevant data. Access to these data gives teachers the information they need to tailor instruction to help each student improve, gives administrators the resources and information to effectively and efficiently manage, and enables policymakers to…

  7. An Individualized Approach To Improve Reading Achievement Levels and Behavior of Learning Disabled Pupils.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hebron, Preston T., Jr.

    In this practicum, 15 learning-disabled pupils in grades two and three participated in an individualized program featuring mastery learning, a personalized system of instruction, attention to learning style and modality, and behavior modification, in order to improve reading levels and poor behavior. Program components included learning stations,…

  8. What Is the Best Way to Achieve Broader Reach of Improved Practices in Higher Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kezar, Adrianna

    2011-01-01

    This article examines a common problem in higher education--how to create more widespread use of improved practices, often commonly referred to as innovations. I argue that policy models of scale-up are often advocated in higher education but that they have a dubious history in community development and K-12 education and that higher education…

  9. Creating Birds of Similar Feathers: Leveraging Similarity to Improve Teacher-Student Relationships and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehlbach, Hunter; Brinkworth, Maureen E.; King, Aaron M.; Hsu, Laura M.; McIntyre, Joseph; Rogers, Todd

    2016-01-01

    When people perceive themselves as similar to others, greater liking and closer relationships typically result. In the first randomized field experiment that leverages actual similarities to improve real-world relationships, we examined the affiliations between 315 9th grade students and their 25 teachers. Students in the treatment condition…

  10. Achieving World-Class Schools: Mastering School Improvement Using a Genetic Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kimmelman, Paul L.; Kroeze, David J.

    In providing its program for education reform, this book uses, as an analogy, the genetic model taken from the Human Genome project. In the first part, "Theoretical Underpinnings," the book explains why a genetic model can be used to improve school systems; describes the critical components of a world-class school system; and details the genetic…

  11. Effects of Simulated Interventions to Improve School Entry Academic Skills on Socioeconomic Inequalities in Educational Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chittleborough, Catherine R.; Mittinty, Murthy N.; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Lynch, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764,…

  12. Improving Student Achievement in Introductory Computer Science Courses Using Peer-Led Team Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennis, Sonya Maria

    2013-01-01

    There has been a steady decline of majors in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM majors"). In an effort to improve recruitment and retention in "STEM" majors, an active-learning methodology--"peer-led team learning" ("PLTL")--was implemented by the participating…

  13. Increasing Student Achievement and Improving Self-Esteem through a Community Building Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupo, Concetta M.

    2012-01-01

    This study focused on improving students' self-esteem through community building at an elementary school in a low socioeconomic community where over 55% of the students live below the poverty line. Orefield and Yun state in their 1999 article, "Resegregation of America's schools," "school level poverty is related to many…

  14. Evaluating and Improving Student Achievement in Business Programs: The Effective Use of Standardized Assessment Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, H. Tyrone; Duhon, David L.

    2003-01-01

    Having made "continuous improvement" the theme of its accreditation process a decade ago, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is poised to make "assurance of learning" the current focus of the faculty/student exchange. In this article, the authors discuss how to use standardized assessment tests appropriately and…

  15. Combined Fluency and Cognitive Strategies Instruction Improves Mathematics Achievement in Early Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Martha; Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Stroud, Rena; Royer, James M.

    2011-01-01

    One hundred and seventy-eight second grade students from two states (Georgia and Massachusetts) participated in an experiment in which they were randomly assigned to either (1) a computer program designed to increase fluency in addition and subtraction, (2) a program designed to improve cognitive strategy use for addition and subtraction, (3) a…

  16. Improving Student Achievement in Alaska. Alaska Goals 2000 Annual Report, 1997-98.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alaska State Dept. of Education, Juneau.

    Alaska Goals 2000 is part of a coordinated, statewide effort to improve public education for all students in Alaska. In 1997-1998, 90% of Alaska's federal funding was used to fund grants to local school districts, and 10% was used to fund state-level activities through the Alaska Department of Education. During 1997-1998, curriculum frameworks and…

  17. School Stability: Improving Academic Achievement for NJ Foster Children. Policy Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernard-Rance, Kourtney; Parello, Nancy

    2014-01-01

    Children in New Jersey's foster care system are more likely to remain in their home school when they enter foster care, thanks to a law passed in 2010, giving these fragile children improved educational stability. The law allows children to remain in their "school of origin" when they are placed in foster care, even if the foster…

  18. What We Know about Student Achievement and School Improvement in Kansas. Focus On...

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tallman, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Educational improvement can be measured over time and against benchmarks in four key areas: (1) mastery of basic reading and math skills; (2) high school completion; (3) preparation for postsecondary education; and (4) adult educational attainment. The first three reflect how the school system prepares students for postsecondary education. The…

  19. Teachers Unions and Management Partnerships: How Working Together Improves Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubinstein, Saul A.; McCarthy, John E.

    2014-01-01

    For more than a decade, the debate over public school reform has created friction between teachers unions, administrators, school boards, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders in public education and has fueled disagreements over how to improve the quality of teaching and learning for children. While many factors make consensus elusive…

  20. Using Motivational Strategies To Improve Academic Achievement of Middle School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeKeyrel, Angela; Dernovish, Julie; Epperly, Annette; McKay, Victoria

    This action research project sought to improve student motivation in order to increase academic performance among eighth graders in an urban community. Evidence of academic underachievement and lack of student participation was documented by means of teacher observations, incomplete and missing assignments, and student questionnaires. Student,…

  1. Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DuFour, Richard; Marzano, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    In their first coauthored book, Dr. DuFour and Dr. Marzano have combined their passions to articulate how effective leaders foster continuous improvement at the district, school, and classroom levels. The book focuses on district leadership, principal leadership, and team leadership and addresses how individual teachers can be most effective in…

  2. Effective Strategies That Urban Superintendents Use That Improve the Academic Achievement for African-American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shackelford, Cardenas

    2013-01-01

    The roles of urban superintendents are crucial to improving the educational outlook for the neediest students, specifically the African-American males. The roles and responsibilities of the urban school superintendent today are more numerous, complex, and demanding than in the past. The expectations of today's urban superintendents are to be…

  3. Improving Reading Achievement of First Grade Students by Integrating Phonics Skills into a Whole Language Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batjes, Kathy; Brown, Theresa

    An action research study implemented a program for improving the reading ability of first-grade students who enter school with low reading readiness skills. The targeted population came from a mid-size, middle-class town in northern Illinois that has experienced recent growth and socioeconomic changes. The problem was evidenced by teacher…

  4. Teacher Self-Evaluation of Renewal Efforts of Their Teaching Practices To Improve Student Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fountain, Cheryl; Drummond, Robert J.; Senterfitt, Heather D.

    This study evaluated how teachers perceived their efforts to improve their teaching practices by participating in the Jacksonville Urban Educational Partnership (JUEP), a Professional Development School (PDS). The JUEP was designed to create sustained, high quality, professional development systems for inservice educators in three PDSs. The study…

  5. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Predictions of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Christopher; Roberts, Nigel; Stephenson, David; Jones, Richard; Sessford, Pat

    2013-04-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across the rest of Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations. Particularly during the summer a large proportion of the precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. Given the deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall by climate models, even in the current generation of high-resolution RCMs, the CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed that brings together observations, basic understanding and models. This should go hand in hand with a change from a focus on traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes of model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales. It is particularly true for localised intense summer convection. CONVEX therefore aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. This includes the running of new RCM simulations undertaken by the UK Meteorological Office at 50km and 12km resolutions (parameterised convection) and

  6. Understanding the factors that influence high science achievers' academic choices and intent to pursue or opt out of the hard sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quihuis, Gisell

    Drawing on Eccles and her colleagues' Expectancy-Value model of academic behavior and choice, this dissertation study set out to serve three purposes: (1) to understand how high achieving high school students who aspire to science college degrees compare, in terms of motivational beliefs and social experiences, with other high achievers who do not aspire to science college degrees; (2) to understand why some high school students who excel in the hard sciences are unsure about pursuing a science degree in college; and (3) to examine whether gender differences in motivational beliefs and social experiences found in previous research on math (see Eccles 1984) exist for science among high achieving high school students. Survey and interview data showed that gender differences previously found in Eccles' research on math exist for science among a select group of high achieving high school students. Yet, these gender differences did not explain students' aspirations for science. Motivation, classroom perceptions, science engagement, as well as other science-related experiences at home and school, including parent and teacher influences, were also important factors associated with students' aspirations for science. Results and implications for this study are encouraging because they suggest that both parents and educators can help more high achievers become interested in science. Parents can expose their children, male and female alike, to science at home early on in their childhood and teachers can help students sustain and further develop an interest in science at school. In this manner, both parents and teachers can work together as a team to encourage more high achievers to aspire to science degrees in their future. Lastly, it is important to note that this study found Eccles' model of motivation and choice helpful in understanding not only gender differences in math and the hard sciences, but also aspiration differences that cut across gender among students

  7. Sectionalizing interconnected transmission network to improve system performance and achieve fault current reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, B.

    1998-12-31

    An analysis was recently undertaken at Northern States Power Company (NSP) in an attempt to identify the advantages and disadvantages of sectionalizing Twin Cities metropolitan area transmission system. Five specific sectionalization schemes were developed to evaluate the transmission system performance associated with each scenario. These schemes were judged against the following performance characteristics: fault current level, severity of voltage depression during faults, NSP system losses, system through flow and contingency operation. Study results indicated that by careful application of the splitting scheme, sectionalization can provide significant performance improvements and still have economic feasibility. A comparison between sectionalization costs (increased system losses) and its benefits (improved performance) would help determine to what degree sectionalization is economically feasible and make the final decision. Of the five schemes tested, the contour that appeared the best in terms of reliability, performance and economics was chosen for implementation in NSP system during 1997 summer.

  8. Improving University Ranking to Achieve University Competitiveness by Management Information System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dachyar, M.; Dewi, F.

    2015-05-01

    One way to increase university competitiveness is through information system management. A literature review was done to find information system factors that affect university performance in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Ranking: Asia evaluation. Information system factors were then eliminated using Delphi method through consensus of 7 experts. Result from Delphi method was used as measured variables in PLS-SEM. Estimation with PLS-SEM method through 72 respondents shows that the latent variable academic reputation and citation per paper have significant correlation to university competitiveness. In University of Indonesia (UI) the priority to increase university competitiveness as follow: (i) network building in international conference, (ii) availability of research data to public, (iii) international conference information, (iv) information on achievements and accreditations of each major, (v) ease of employment for alumni.

  9. Identification of Energy Efficiency Opportunities through Building Data Analysis and Achieving Energy Savings through Improved Controls

    SciTech Connect

    Katipamula, Srinivas; Taasevigen, Danny J.; Koran, Bill

    2014-09-04

    This chapter will highlight analysis techniques to identify energy efficiency opportunities to improve operations and controls. A free tool, Energy Charting and Metrics (ECAM), will be used to assist in the analysis of whole-building, sub-metered, and/or data from the building automation system (BAS). Appendix A describes the features of ECAM in more depth, and also provide instructions for downloading ECAM and all resources pertaining to using ECAM.

  10. Improvements in Students' Understanding from Increased Implementation of Active Learning Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes-Gehrke, Melissa N.; Prather, E. E.; Rudolph, A. L.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars CATS

    2011-01-01

    Many instructors are hesitant to implement active learning strategies in their introductory astronomy classrooms because they are not sure which techniques they should use, how to implement those techniques, and question whether the investment in changing their course will really bring the advertised learning gains. We present an example illustrating how thoughtful and systematic implementation of active learning strategies into a traditionally taught Astro 101 class can translate into significant increases in students' understanding. We detail the journey of one instructor, over several years, as she changes the instruction and design of her course from one that focuses almost exclusively on lecture to a course that provides an integrated use of several active learning techniques such as Lecture-Tutorials and Think-Pair-Share questions. The students in the initial lecture-only course achieved a low normalized gain score of only 0.2 on the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI), while the students in the re-designed learner-centered course achieved a significantly better normalized gain of 0.43. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS), and Grant No. 0847170, a PAARE Grant for the Calfornia-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  11. Live births achieved via IVF are increased by improvements in air quality and laboratory environment

    PubMed Central

    Heitmann, Ryan J; Hill, Micah J; James, Aidita N; Schimmel, Tim; Segars, James H; Csokmay, John M; Cohen, Jacques; Payson, Mark D

    2016-01-01

    Infertility is a common disease, which causes many couples to seek treatment with assisted reproduction techniques. Many factors contribute to successful assisted reproduction technique outcomes. One important factor is laboratory environment and air quality. Our facility had the unique opportunity to compare consecutively used, but separate assisted reproduction technique laboratories, as a result of a required move. Environmental conditions were improved by strategic engineering designs. All other aspects of the IVF laboratory, including equipment, physicians, embryologists, nursing staff and protocols, were kept constant between facilities. Air quality testing showed improved air quality at the new IVF site. Embryo implantation (32.4% versus 24.3%; P < 0.01) and live birth (39.3% versus 31.8%, P < 0.05) were significantly increased in the new facility compared with the old facility. More patients met clinical criteria and underwent mandatory single embryo transfer on day 5 leading to both a reduction in multiple gestation pregnancies and increased numbers of vitrified embryos per patient with supernumerary embryos available. Improvements in IVF laboratory conditions and air quality had profound positive effects on laboratory measures and patient outcomes. This study further strengthens the importance of the laboratory environment and air quality in the success of an IVF programme. PMID:26194882

  12. Current status and epidemiological research needs for achieving a better understanding of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.

    PubMed

    Cardis, Elisabeth

    2007-11-01

    Twenty years after the Chernobyl accident, there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the incidence of cancers in the most affected populations that can be attributed to radiation from the accident, except for the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer incidence among those exposed in childhood and adolescence. Increases in the incidence of cancers and other diseases have been reported in Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, but much of the increase appears to be due to other factors, including improvements in diagnosis, reporting, and registration. Recent findings indicate a possible doubling of leukemia risk among Chernobyl liquidators and a small increase in the incidence of premenopausal breast cancer in the very most contaminated districts. Increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and cataracts have also been reported. These findings, however, need confirmation in well-designed analytical epidemiological studies with careful individual dose reconstruction. The absence of demonstrated increases in cancer risk--apart from thyroid cancer--is not the proof that no increase has in fact occurred. Based on the experience of atomic bomb survivors, and assuming that there is a linear, no-threshold dose-response relationship between exposure to ionizing radiation and the development of cancer in humans, a small increase in the relative risk of cancer is expected, even at the low to moderate doses received. Given the large number of individuals exposed, the absolute number of cancer cases caused could be substantial, particularly in the future. It is therefore essential to continue to use population registries to monitor trends in disease morbidity and mortality in the most contaminated areas, as well as among liquidators, in order to assess the public health impact of the accident. Studies of selected populations and diseases are also essential in order to study the real effect of the accident and compare it to predictions. Careful studies may in particular

  13. Improving risk understanding across ability levels: Encouraging active processing with dynamic icon arrays.

    PubMed

    Okan, Yasmina; Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T; Maldonado, Antonio

    2015-06-01

    Icon arrays have been found to improve risk understanding and reduce judgment biases across a wide range of studies. Unfortunately, individuals with low graph literacy experience only limited benefits from such displays. To enhance the efficacy and reach of these decision aids, the authors developed and tested 3 types of dynamic design features--that is, computerized display features that unfold over time. Specifically, the authors manipulated the sequential presentation of the different elements of icon arrays, the presence of explanatory labels indicating what was depicted in the different regions of the arrays, and the use of a reflective question followed by accuracy feedback. The first 2 features were designed to promote specific cognitive processes involved in graph comprehension, whereas the 3rd feature was designed to promote a more active, elaborative processing of risk information. Explanatory labels were effective in improving risk understanding among less graph-literate participants, whereas reflective questions resulted in large and robust performance benefits among participants with both low and high graph literacy. Theoretical and prescriptive implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25938975

  14. Learning from Our Evolving Understanding of Biophysical Interactions to Improve River Restoration Practice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sear, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    Restoration of riverine habitats has largely proceeded on the assumption that by improving physical habitat, and more latterly processes, biophysical interactions will reassemble to a state similar to that prior to the disturbance event. Whilst there had been little monitoring to support this view, there is increasing evidence that the complexity of ecological systems demands a greater understanding of these biophysical interactions before we can state that a restoration has succeeded. In this paper I will draw on two examples to demonstrate the importance of understanding the spatial as well as the temporal scale of biophysical interactions. In the first example, field and modelling was used to demonstrate how different location of large wood and forest restoration can result in different hydrological outcomes. Similarly, as the forest matures it is possible to see change in restoration outcomes, extending beyond the lifetime of the project. In the second example I demonstrate how climate and land use drive the biophysical interactions within spawning salmonid habitats, research that questions accepted models used in the restoration of salmonid spawning habitat. Finally the paper reflects on the problems of restoring complex ecosystems; and points towards the need for improvements in how we research and communicate with stakeholders who ultimately live by the streams we restore.

  15. Anticipated Improvements in Precipitation Physics and Understanding of Water Cycle from GPM Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2003-01-01

    The GPM mission is currently planned for start in the late-2007 to early-2008 time frame. Its main scientific goal is to help answer pressing scientific problems arising within the context of global and regional water cycles. These problems cut across a hierarchy of scales and include climate-water cycle interactions, techniques for improving weather and climate predictions, and better methods for combining observed precipitation with hydrometeorological prediction models for applications to hazardous flood-producing storms, seasonal flood/draught conditions, and fresh water resource assessments. The GPM mission will expand the scope of precipitation measurement through the use of a constellation of some 9 satellites, one of which will be an advanced TRMM-like core satellite carrying a dual-frequency Ku-Ka band precipitation radar and an advanced, multifrequency passive microwave radiometer with vertical-horizontal polarization discrimination. The other constellation members will include new dedicated satellites and co-existing operational/research satellites carrying similar (but not identical) passive microwave radiometers. The goal of the constellation is to achieve approximately 3-hour sampling at any spot on the globe -- continuously. The constellation s orbit architecture will consist of a mix of sun-synchronous and non-sun-synchronous satellites with the core satellite providing measurements of cloud-precipitation microphysical processes plus calibration-quality rainrate retrievals to be used with the other retrieval information to ensure bias-free constellation coverage. GPM is organized internationally, involving existing, pending, projected, and under-study partnerships which will link NASA and NOAA in the US, NASDA in Japan, ESA in Europe, ISRO in India, CNES in France, and possibly AS1 in Italy, KARI in South Korea, CSA in Canada, and AEB in Brazil. Additionally, the program is actively pursuing agreements with other international collaborators and

  16. Achieving Exceptional Grain Refinement through Severe Plastic Deformation: New Approaches for Improving the Processing Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valiev, Ruslan Z.; Langdon, Terence G.

    2011-10-01

    The processes of equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) and high-pressure torsion (HPT) are now established for the fabrication of ultrafine-grained metals having superior properties by comparison with their coarse-grained counterparts. This article examines the recent developments designed to improve the processing technology of ECAP and HPT and to establish these techniques as viable procedures for use in industrial applications. Based on these developments, it is reasonable to anticipate these processing procedures will experience increasing use in the fabrication of commercial products.

  17. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  18. Strategies To Boost Maternal Immunization To Achieve Further Gains In Improved Maternal And Newborn Health.

    PubMed

    Steedman, Mark R; Kampmann, Beate; Schillings, Egbert; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Darzi, Ara

    2016-02-01

    Despite the indisputable successes of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include goals on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, millions of mothers and newborns still die tragically and unnecessarily each year. Many of these deaths result from vaccine-preventable diseases, since obstacles such as cost and accessibility have hampered efforts to deliver efficacious vaccines to those most in need. Additionally, many vaccines given to mothers and children under age five are not suitable for newborns, since their maturing immune systems do not respond optimally during the first few months of life. Maternal immunization-the process by which a pregnant woman's immune system is fortified against a particular disease and the protection is then transferred to her unborn child-has emerged as a strategy to prevent many unnecessary maternal and newborn deaths. We review vaccines that are already used for maternal immunization, analyze vaccines under development that could be used for maternal immunization strategies in the future, and recommend that policy makers use maternal immunization for improved maternal and newborn health. PMID:26858385

  19. Can developing countries achieve adequate improvements in child health outcomes without engaging the private sector?

    PubMed Central

    Bustreo, Flavia; Harding, April; Axelsson, Henrik

    2003-01-01

    The private sector exerts a significant and critical influence on child health outcomes in developing countries, including the health of poor children. This article reviews the available evidence on private sector utilization and quality of care. It provides a framework for analysing the private sector's influence on child health outcomes. This influence goes beyond service provision by private providers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Pharmacies, drug sellers, private suppliers, and food producers also have an impact on the health of children. Many governments are experimenting with strategies to engage the private sector to improve child health. The article analyses some of the most promising strategies, and suggests that a number of constraints make it hard for policy-makers to emulate these approaches. Few experiences are clearly described, monitored, and evaluated. The article suggests that improving the impact of child health programmes in developing countries requires a more systematic analysis of how to engage the private sector most effectively. The starting point should include the evaluation of the presence and potential of the private sector, including actors such as professional associations, producer organizations, community groups, and patients' organizations. PMID:14997241

  20. Anti-idiotypic antibodies as cancer vaccines: achievements and future improvements

    PubMed Central

    Ladjemi, Maha Z.

    2012-01-01

    Since the discovery of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), researchers have tried to develop immune-based anti-cancer therapies. Thanks to their specificity, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) offer the major advantage to induce fewer side effects than those caused by non-specific conventional treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy). Passive immunotherapy by means of mAbs or cytokines has proved efficacy in oncology and validated the use of immune-based agents as part of anti-cancer treatment options. The next step was to try to induce an active immune protection aiming to boost own’s host immune defense against TAAs. Cancer vaccines are thus developed to specifically induce active immune protection targeting only tumor cells while preserving normal tissues from a non-specific toxicity. But, as most of TAAs are self antigens, an immune tolerance against them exists representing a barrier to effective vaccination against these oncoproteins. One promising approach to break this immune tolerance consists in the use of anti-idiotypic (anti-Id) mAbs, so called Ab2, as antigen surrogates. This vaccination strategy allows also immunization against non-proteic antigens (such as carbohydrates). In some clinical studies, anti-Id cancer vaccines indeed induced efficient humoral and/or cellular immune responses associated with clinical benefit. This review article will focus on recent achievements of anti-Id mAbs use as cancer vaccines in solid tumors. PMID:23133825

  1. Understanding and Improving CRM and GCM Simulations of Cloud Systems with ARM Observations

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Xiaoqing

    2014-02-25

    The works supported by this ASR project lay the solid foundation for improving the parameterization of convection and clouds in the NCAR CCSM and the climate simulations. We have made a significant use of CRM simulations and ARM observations to produce thermodynamically and dynamically consistent multi-year cloud and radiative properties; improve the GCM simulations of convection, clouds and radiative heating rate and fluxes using the ARM observations and CRM simulations; and understand the seasonal and annual variation of cloud systems and their impacts on climate mean state and variability. We conducted multi-year simulations over the ARM SGP site using the CRM with multi-year ARM forcing data. The statistics of cloud and radiative properties from the long-term CRM simulations were compared and validated with the ARM measurements and value added products (VAP). We evaluated the multi-year climate simulations produced by the GCM with the modified convection scheme. We used multi-year ARM observations and CRM simulations to validate and further improve the trigger condition and revised closure assumption in NCAR GCM simulations that demonstrate the improvement of climate mean state and variability. We combined the improved convection scheme with the mosaic treatment of subgrid cloud distributions in the radiation scheme of the GCM. The mosaic treatment of cloud distributions has been implemented in the GCM with the original convection scheme and enables the use of more realistic cloud amounts as well as cloud water contents in producing net radiative fluxes closer to observations. A physics-based latent heat (LH) retrieval algorithm was developed by parameterizing the physical linkages of observed hydrometeor profiles of cloud and precipitation to the major processes related to the phase change of atmospheric water.

  2. Public goods and private interests: The role of voluntary green power demand in achieving environmental improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiser, Ryan Hayes

    This dissertation explores the role of consumer purchasing behavior in providing public, environmental goods. It does so by empirically evaluating one market---voluntary demand for renewable energy. The dissertation addresses the following five research questions: (1) What does early experience with green power marketing tell us about the prospects for this market to deliver environmental benefits? (2) What product design and marketing approaches might be used to increase voluntary demand? (3) What motivates non-residential customers to voluntarily purchase green power? (4) What role might public policy play in the creation of the green power market? (5) What preferences do individuals hold on the most appropriate forms of support for renewable energy? By helping to answer these questions, this dissertation seeks to better understand the gap between widespread positive attitudes for the environment and an often-anemic response to green product offerings. It contributes to not only the public goods and environmental marketing literatures, but also to contingent valuation methodology and to an emerging literature on the motivations of firms to contribute to environmental causes. The analysis performed is diverse, and includes: a literature review, a mail survey of green power marketers, a mail survey of non-residential green power customers, and contingent valuation and opinion surveys of U.S. residents. Detailed statistical analysis is performed on the data collected from the residential and non-residential surveys. The analysis reveals that customer participation in green power programs to date has been weak. The possibility that the traditional economic concept of "free riding" may explain this low response is raised, and the dissertation identifies a number of marketing approaches that might be used to partially combat this problem. Analysis of survey data shows that non-residential green power purchases have been motivated principally by altruistic concerns

  3. Understanding and Improving the Quality of Inter-Layer Interfaces in FDM 3-D Printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duranty, Edward; Spradlin, Brandon; Stark, Madeline; Dadmun, Mark

    We have studied the effect of thermal history and material diffusion on inter-filament bonding in FDM 3D printed parts and developed methods to improve interlayer adhesion in 3D printed samples. The available thermal energy during the FDM print environment was determined quantitatively by tracking the temperature of the bottom most printed layer using a thermocouple attached to the print bed. The role of the thermal history of the filaments during the deposition process on the quality of inter-layer bonding in an FDM ABS part was monitored using a T-peel test and an innovative sample design. Additionally, the interfacial adhesion between 3D printed layers was improved by the addition of a chemical cross-linking agent 4,4 '-diaminodiphenylmethane (DADPM). These studies have increased our understanding of the importance of the complex thermal history of a filament in the 3D printing process and its impact on the interfaces that form during the fused deposition modeling print process. Furthermore, the chemical crosslinking process demonstrates a potential method to covalently link layers in FDM printed parts, improving the bulk strength of the part. The insight provided in this work may aid in the development of techniques that can produce FDM parts that could be used as replacement parts in structural applications, or as completely standalone products.

  4. Understanding side reactions in K-O2 batteries for improved cycle life.

    PubMed

    Ren, Xiaodi; Lau, Kah Chun; Yu, Mingzhe; Bi, Xuanxuan; Kreidler, Eric; Curtiss, Larry A; Wu, Yiying

    2014-11-12

    Superoxide based metal-air (or metal-oxygen) batteries, including potassium and sodium-oxygen batteries, have emerged as promising alternative chemistries in the metal-air battery family because of much improved round-trip efficiencies (>90%). In order to improve the cycle life of these batteries, it is crucial to understand and control the side reactions between the electrodes and the electrolyte. For potassium-oxygen batteries using ether-based electrolytes, the side reactions on the potassium anode have been identified as the main cause of battery failure. The composition of the side products formed on the anode, including some reaction intermediates, have been identified and quantified. Combined experimental studies and density functional theory (DFT) calculations show the side reactions are likely driven by the interaction of potassium with ether molecules and the crossover of oxygen from the cathode. To inhibit these side reactions, the incorporation of a polymeric potassium ion selective membrane (Nafion-K(+)) as a battery separator is demonstrated that significantly improves the battery cycle life. The K-O2 battery with the Nafion-K(+) separator can be discharged and charged for more than 40 cycles without increases in charging overpotential. PMID:25295518

  5. Exemplary Care and Learning Sites: A Model for Achieving Continual Improvement in Care and Learning in the Clinical Setting

    PubMed Central

    Ogrinc, Greg; Hoffman, Kimberly G.; Stevenson, Katherine M.; Shalaby, Marc; Beard, Albertine S.; Thörne, Karin E.; Coleman, Mary T.; Baum, Karyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Problem Current models of health care quality improvement do not explicitly describe the role of health professions education. The authors propose the Exemplary Care and Learning Site (ECLS) model as an approach to achieving continual improvement in care and learning in the clinical setting. Approach From 2008–2012, an iterative, interactive process was used to develop the ECLS model and its core elements—patients and families informing process changes; trainees engaging both in care and the improvement of care; leaders knowing, valuing, and practicing improvement; data transforming into useful information; and health professionals competently engaging both in care improvement and teaching about care improvement. In 2012–2013, a three-part feasibility test of the model, including a site self-assessment, an independent review of each site’s ratings, and implementation case stories, was conducted at six clinical teaching sites (in the United States and Sweden). Outcomes Site leaders reported the ECLS model provided a systematic approach toward improving patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. Most sites found it challenging to incorporate the patients and families element. The trainee element was strong at four sites. The leadership and data elements were self-assessed as the most fully developed. The health professionals element exhibited the greatest variability across sites. Next Steps The next test of the model should be prospective, linked to clinical and educa tional outcomes, to evaluate whether it helps care delivery teams, educators, and patients and families take action to achieve better patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. PMID:26760058

  6. How PEPFAR's public-private partnerships achieved ambitious goals, from improving labs to strengthening supply chains.

    PubMed

    Sturchio, Jeffrey L; Cohen, Gary M

    2012-07-01

    The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), established in 2003, is widely recognized as one of the most ambitious and successful bilateral programs ever implemented to address a single disease. Part of the program's success is attributable to the participation of the private sector, working in partnership with the US and local governments and implementing organizations to maximize the reach and effectiveness of every dollar spent. We examined key public-private partnerships that grew out of PEPFAR to identify features that have made them effective. For example, PEPFAR's Supply Chain Management System took advantage of private industry's best practices in logistics, and a partnership with the medical technology company BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) improved laboratory systems throughout sub-Saharan Africa. We found that setting ambitious goals, enlisting both global and local partners, cultivating a culture of collaboration, careful planning, continuous monitoring and evaluation, and measuring outcomes systematically led to the most effective programs. The Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator and PEPFAR should continue to strengthen their capacity for private-sector partnerships, learning from a decade of experience and identifying new ways to make smart investments that will make the most efficient use of taxpayer resources, expand proven interventions more rapidly, and help ensure the sustainability of key programs. PMID:22778334

  7. Mismatched partners that achieve postpairing behavioral similarity improve their reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Laubu, Chloé; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Motreuil, Sébastien; Schweitzer, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral similarity between partners is likely to promote within-pair compatibility and to result in better reproductive success. Therefore, individuals are expected to choose a partner that is alike in behavioral type. However, mate searching is very costly and does not guarantee finding a matching partner. If mismatched individuals pair, they may benefit from increasing their similarity after pairing. We show in a monogamous fish species—the convict cichlid—that the behavioral similarity between mismatched partners can increase after pairing. This increase resulted from asymmetrical adjustment because only the reactive individual became more alike its proactive partner, whereas the latter did not change its behavior. The mismatched pairs that increased their similarity not only improved their reproductive success but also raised it up to the level of matched pairs. While most studies assume that assortative mating results from mate choice, our study suggests that postpairing adjustment could be an alternative explanation for the high behavioral similarity between partners observed in the field. It also explains why interindividual behavioral differences can be maintained within a given population. PMID:26973869

  8. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Projections of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blenkinsop, Stephen; Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Chris; Roberts, Nigel; Sessford, Pat

    2014-05-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations and do not capture the properties of sub-daily events that may lead to flooding in urban areas. In the UK and Europe, particularly during the summer, a large proportion of precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. The CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed to provide improvements in estimates of change in extreme rainfall, particularly for summer convective events. As usable predictions require the synthesis of observations, understanding of atmospheric processes and models, a change in focus from traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes for model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales is needed. By adopting this new focus CONVEX aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change on timescales from days to decades. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. Under the project the UK Meteorological Office has run new RCM simulations

  9. Understanding and Improving High-Temperature Structural Properties of Metal-Silicide Intermetallics

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

    The objective of this project was to understand and improve high-temperature structural properties of metal-silicide intermetallic alloys. Through research collaboration between the research team at West Virginia University (WVU) and Dr. J.H. Schneibel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), molybdenum silicide alloys were developed at ORNL and evaluated at WVU through atomistic modeling analyses, thermo-mechanical tests, and metallurgical studies. In this study, molybdenum-based alloys were ductilized by dispersing MgAl2O4 or MgO spinel particles. The addition of spinel particles is hypothesized to getter impurities such as oxygen and nitrogen from the alloy matrix with the result of ductility improvement. The introduction of fine dispersions has also been postulated to improve ductility by acting as a dislocation source or reducing dislocation pile-ups at grain boundaries. The spinel particles, on the other hand, can also act as local notches or crack initiation sites, which is detrimental to the alloy mechanical properties. Optimization of material processing condition is important to develop the desirable molybdenum alloys with sufficient room-temperature ductility. Atomistic analyses were conducted to further understand the mechanism of ductility improvement of the molybdenum alloys and the results showed that trace amount of residual oxygen may be responsible for the brittle behavior of the as-cast Mo alloys. For the alloys studied, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted at different loading rates, and at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal cycling effect on the mechanical properties was also studied. Tensile tests for specimens subjected to either ten or twenty thermal cycles were conducted. For each test, a follow-up detailed fractography and microstructural analysis were carried out. The test results were correlated to the size, density, distribution of the spinel particles and processing time. Thermal expansion tests were carried out using thermo

  10. Animal virus discovery: improving animal health, understanding zoonoses, and opportunities for vaccine development

    PubMed Central

    Delwart, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The characterization of viral genomes has accelerated due to improvement in DNA sequencing technology. Sources of animal samples and molecular methods for the identification of novel viral pathogens and steps to determine their pathogenicity are listed. The difficulties for predicting future cross-species transmissions are highlighted by the wide diversity of known viral zoonoses. Recent surveys of viruses in wild and domesticated animals have characterized numerous viruses including some closely related to those infecting humans. The detection of multiple genetic lineages within viral families infecting a single host species, phylogenetically interspersed with viruses found in other host species, reflects frequent past cross-species transmissions. Numerous opportunities for the generation of novel vaccines will arise from a better understanding of animal viromes. PMID:22463981

  11. Improved understanding of geologic CO{sub 2} storage processes requires risk-driven field experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Oldenburg, C.M.

    2011-06-01

    The need for risk-driven field experiments for CO{sub 2} geologic storage processes to complement ongoing pilot-scale demonstrations is discussed. These risk-driven field experiments would be aimed at understanding the circumstances under which things can go wrong with a CO{sub 2} capture and storage (CCS) project and cause it to fail, as distinguished from accomplishing this end using demonstration and industrial scale sites. Such risk-driven tests would complement risk-assessment efforts that have already been carried out by providing opportunities to validate risk models. In addition to experimenting with high-risk scenarios, these controlled field experiments could help validate monitoring approaches to improve performance assessment and guide development of mitigation strategies.

  12. Exciton Diffusion in Conjugated Polymers: From Fundamental Understanding to Improvement in Photovoltaic Conversion Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Tamai, Yasunari; Ohkita, Hideo; Benten, Hiroaki; Ito, Shinzaburo

    2015-09-01

    Singlet exciton diffusion plays a central role in the photovoltaic conversion in organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Upon light absorption, singlet excitons are promptly generated in organic materials instead of charge carriers because the dielectric constant (εr) is small (∼3-4), which is in sharp contrast to inorganic and perovskite solar cells. In order to convert to charge carriers, excitons need to diffuse into an interface between electron donor and acceptor materials before deactivating to the ground state. Therefore, fundamental understanding of exciton diffusion dynamics is one of the most important issues to further improve OPVs. We highlight recent leading studies in this field and describe several approaches for efficient exciton harvesting at the interface in OPVs. PMID:26269208

  13. Understanding the influence of educational attainment on kidney health and opportunities for improved care.

    PubMed

    Green, Jamie A; Cavanaugh, Kerri L

    2015-01-01

    Educational attainment is an important but often overlooked contributor to health outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Those with lower levels of education have an increased risk of ESRD, complications of peritoneal dialysis, worse transplant outcomes, and mortality. Mediators of these associations are poorly understood but involve a complex interplay between health knowledge, behaviors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors. Interventions targeting these aspects of care have the potential to reduce disparities related to educational attainment; however, few programs have been described that specifically address this issue. Future research efforts should not only systematically assess level of educational attainment but also report the differential impact of interventions across educational strata. In addition, routine measurement of health literacy may be useful to identify high-risk patients independent of years of schooling. A better understanding of the influence of educational attainment on kidney health provides an opportunity to improve the care and outcomes of vulnerable patients with kidney disease. PMID:25573509

  14. Improving understanding of chromatin regulatory proteins and potential implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Rafehi, Haloom; Khan, Abdul Waheed; El-Osta, Assam

    2016-04-01

    Many epigenetic-based therapeutics, including drugs such as histone deacetylase inhibitors, are now used in the clinic or are undergoing advanced clinical trials. The study of chromatin-modifying proteins has benefited from the rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing methods, the organized efforts of major consortiums and by individual groups to profile human epigenomes in diverse tissues and cell types. However, while such initiatives have carefully characterized healthy human tissue, disease epigenomes and drug-epigenome interactions remain very poorly understood. Reviewed here is how high-throughput sequencing improves our understanding of chromatin regulator proteins and the potential implications for the study of human disease and drug development and discovery. PMID:26923902

  15. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  16. Designing Cancer-Killing Artificial Viruses to Improve Student Understanding of Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Kuniyuki, Andy; Sharp, Gwen

    2011-01-01

    Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a “learning by designing” group project used in a lower-division Microbiology course. Students used knowledge gained from the course to design an artificial virus that would kill cancer cells. The assignment required groups to integrate the individual course topics into a unified, complex understanding of the field of microbiology. Throughout the course, students and the instructor collaborated in creating a rubric to evaluate the groups’ final presentations. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the project by comparing the instructor’s and the students’ scores for the presentations. Students’ and the instructor’s scores were correlated; the Pearson coefficient of 0.52 was statistically significant. The results indicate that students gained sufficient knowledge to accurately evaluate proposed designs. Additionally, the overall course grade distribution improved compared to the semester before the project was introduced. Finally, in order to engage students in thinking about their own learning process, they completed a reflection assignment that required them to discuss the changes in their understanding of microbiology over the course of the semester. Our assessment indicates that a design project can serve as an effective and useful learning technique in undergraduate Microbiology courses, though modifications are suggested. PMID:23653757

  17. How does sport psychology actually improve athletic performance? A framework to facilitate athletes' and coaches' understanding.

    PubMed

    Gee, Chris J

    2010-09-01

    The popularity of sport psychology, both as an academic discipline and an applied practice, has grown substantially over the past two decades. Few within the realm of competitive athletics would argue with the importance of being mentally prepared prior to an athletic competition as well as the need to maintain that particular mindset during a competitive contest. Nevertheless, recent research has shown that many athletes, coaches, and sporting administrators are still quite reluctant to seek out the services of a qualified sport psychologist, even if they believe it could help. One of the primary reasons for this hesitation appears to be a lack of understanding about the process and the mechanisms by which these mental skills affect performance. Unlike the "harder sciences" of sport physiology and biochemistry where athletes can see the tangible results in themselves or other athletes (e.g., he or she lifted weights, developed larger muscles, and is now stronger/faster as a result), the unfamiliar and often esoteric nature of sport psychology appears to be impeding a large number of athletes from soliciting these important services. As such, the purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a simple framework depicting how mental skills training translates into improved within-competition performance. This framework is intended to help bridge the general "understanding gap" that is currently being reported by a large number of athletes and coaches, while also helping sport psychology practitioners sell their valuable services to individual athletes and teams. PMID:20935240

  18. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    SciTech Connect

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Helja -Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J.; Phillips, Richard P.; Pregitzer, Kurt S.; Pritchard, Seth G.; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  19. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Helja -Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; et al

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, finemore » roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less

  20. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; et al

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. Inmore » these frameworks, fine roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less

  1. Towards an Improved Understanding of Shock Effects in Recovered Samples: Application to Shocked Clay Minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaulding, Dylan; Stewart, Sarah; Hankin, Markos; Wizda, Lee

    2015-06-01

    Samples recovered from shock-compression experiments offer a unique opportunity to understand the response of materials to extreme conditions. Correct interpretation of such experiments requires understanding the independent roles of pressure and temperature upon both compression and release. Previous shock-recovery experiments have largely ignored the thermal history of the sample or have underestimated peak pressures due to strong impedance mismatch between the sample and its surroundings. Here, we present current efforts towards increasingly controlled shock recovery schemes for the study of devolatilization in phyllosilicate clays. Shock effects may influence how volatiles within such clays are preferentially incorporated or lost during planetary accretion as well as spectral observations and interpretations of the aqueous history of planetary surfaces. We present both equation-of-state, post-shock temperature and devolatilization data for Kaolinite and Montmorillonite (up to 21 and 23 GPa, respectively) as well as post-mortem sample analysis using a variety of methods. Performance of sample recovery designs are simulated using a 3D Eulerian hydrodynamic code (CTH) and compared to experiments in order to optimize and improve sample geometries.

  2. On-Ramp: Improving students' understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Singh, Chandralekha; Levy, Jeremy

    2013-03-01

    A lock-in amplifier is a powerful and versatile instrument which is used frequently in condensed matter physics research. However, many students struggle with the basics of a lock-in amplifier and they have difficulty in interpreting the data obtained with this device in diverse applications. To improve students' understanding, we are developing an ``On-Ramp'' tutorial based on physics education research which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. During the development of the tutorial we interviewed several faculty members and graduate students. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of experiments that use a lock-in amplifier; students can check their predictions using simulations. The tutorial then guides students toward a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. This poster will discuss the development and assessment process. This work is supported by NSF NEB (DMR-1124131) and NSF (PHY-1202909).

  3. Active learning to understand infectious disease models and improve policy making.

    PubMed

    Willem, Lander; Stijven, Sean; Vladislavleva, Ekaterina; Broeckhove, Jan; Beutels, Philippe; Hens, Niel

    2014-04-01

    Modeling plays a major role in policy making, especially for infectious disease interventions but such models can be complex and computationally intensive. A more systematic exploration is needed to gain a thorough systems understanding. We present an active learning approach based on machine learning techniques as iterative surrogate modeling and model-guided experimentation to systematically analyze both common and edge manifestations of complex model runs. Symbolic regression is used for nonlinear response surface modeling with automatic feature selection. First, we illustrate our approach using an individual-based model for influenza vaccination. After optimizing the parameter space, we observe an inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and cumulative attack rate reinforced by herd immunity. Second, we demonstrate the use of surrogate modeling techniques on input-response data from a deterministic dynamic model, which was designed to explore the cost-effectiveness of varicella-zoster virus vaccination. We use symbolic regression to handle high dimensionality and correlated inputs and to identify the most influential variables. Provided insight is used to focus research, reduce dimensionality and decrease decision uncertainty. We conclude that active learning is needed to fully understand complex systems behavior. Surrogate models can be readily explored at no computational expense, and can also be used as emulator to improve rapid policy making in various settings. PMID:24743387

  4. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere. PMID:25756288

  5. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik; O’Leary, John; Mengelt, Claudia; West, Jordan M.; Julius, Susan; Green, Nancy; Magness, Dawn; Petes, Laura E.; Stein, Bruce A.; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Hellmann, Jessica J; Robertson, Amanda L; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Babij, Eleanora; Brennan, Jean; Schuurman, Gregor W; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.

  6. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: Functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement

    PubMed Central

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-01-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  7. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    PubMed

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  8. Understanding consumer preference and willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Julia; Derby, Elisa; Dutta, Karabi

    2015-01-01

    The USAID/WASHplus project conducted a comprehensive assessment to understand consumer needs and preferences as they relate to increasing the uptake and consistent, exclusive, and correct use of improved cookstoves (ICSs) in Bangladesh. The assessment included household ICS trials, fuel and stove use monitoring, and consumers' perceived value of and willingness to pay for ICSs. Results showed that cooks appreciated and liked the ICS, but that no models met consumer needs sufficiently to replace traditional stoves. Initially, many preferred ICSs over traditional stoves, but this preference decreased over the 3-week trial period. Complaints and suggestions for improvement fell into two general categories: those that can be addressed through fairly simple modifications to the stove design, and those more appropriately addressed through point-of-purchase consumer education and follow-up from service agents or health outreach workers. Most households using the ICS realized fuel use reductions, although these were lower than expected, partly because of continued parallel traditional stove use. When given the option to purchase the stoves at market value, only one of 105 households did so; however, a separate assessment showed that 80% of participants (12 of 15 households) preferred to keep the stove rather than receive a cash buyout at market value. This indicates that users value the ICS when acquisition barriers are removed and highlights the need for better financing options. PMID:25839200

  9. Understanding the origin of the solar cyclic activity for an improved earth climate prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turck-Chièze, Sylvaine; Lambert, Pascal

    This review is dedicated to the processes which could explain the origin of the great extrema of the solar activity. We would like to reach a more suitable estimate and prediction of the temporal solar variability and its real impact on the Earth climatic models. The development of this new field is stimulated by the SoHO helioseismic measurements and by some recent solar modelling improvement which aims to describe the dynamical processes from the core to the surface. We first recall assumptions on the potential different solar variabilities. Then, we introduce stellar seismology and summarize the main SOHO results which are relevant for this field. Finally we mention the dynamical processes which are presently introduced in new solar models. We believe that the knowledge of two important elements: (1) the magnetic field interplay between the radiative zone and the convective zone and (2) the role of the gravity waves, would allow to understand the origin of the grand minima and maxima observed during the last millennium. Complementary observables like acoustic and gravity modes, radius and spectral irradiance from far UV to visible in parallel to the development of 1D-2D-3D simulations will improve this field. PICARD, SDO, DynaMICCS are key projects for a prediction of the next century variability. Some helioseismic indicators constitute the first necessary information to properly describe the Sun-Earth climatic connection.

  10. Fundamentals of Melt-Water Interfacial Transport Phenomena: Improved Understanding for Innovative Safety Technologies in ALWRs

    SciTech Connect

    M. Anderson; M. Corradini; K.Y. Bank; R. Bonazza; D. Cho

    2005-04-26

    The interaction and mixing of high-temperature melt and water is the important technical issue in the safety assessment of water-cooled reactors to achieve ultimate core coolability. For specific advanced light water reactor (ALWR) designs, deliberate mixing of the core-melt and water is being considered as a mitigative measure, to assure ex-vessel core coolability. The goal of this work is to provide the fundamental understanding needed for melt-water interfacial transport phenomena, thus enabling the development of innovative safety technologies for advanced LWRs that will assure ex-vessel core coolability. The work considers the ex-vessel coolability phenomena in two stages. The first stage is the melt quenching process and is being addressed by Argonne National Lab and University of Wisconsin in modified test facilities. Given a quenched melt in the form of solidified debris, the second stage is to characterize the long-term debris cooling process and is being addressed by Korean Maritime University in via test and analyses. We then address the appropriate scaling and design methodologies for reactor applications.

  11. Improved understanding of aftershock triggering by waveform detection of aftershocks with GPU computing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Z.; Meng, X.; Hong, B.; Yu, X.

    2012-12-01

    Large shallow earthquakes are generally followed by increased seismic activities around the mainshock rupture zone, known as "aftershocks". Whether static or dynamic triggering is responsible for triggering aftershocks is still in debate. However, aftershocks listed in standard earthquake catalogs are generally incomplete immediately after the mainshock, which may result in inaccurate estimation of seismic rate changes. Recent studies have used waveforms of existing earthquakes as templates to scan through continuous waveforms to detect potential missing aftershocks, which is termed 'matched filter technique'. However, this kind of data mining is computationally intensive, which raises new challenges when applying to large data sets with tens of thousands of templates, hundreds of seismic stations and years of continuous waveforms. The waveform matched filter technique exhibits parallelism at multiple levels, which allows us to use GPU-based computation to achieve significant acceleration. By dividing the procedure into several routines and processing them in parallel, we have achieved ~40 times speedup for one Nvidia GPU card compared to sequential CPU code, and further scaled the code to multiple GPUs. We apply this paralleled code to detect potential missing aftershocks around the 2003 Mw 6.5 San Simeon and 2004 Mw6.0 Parkfield earthquakes in Central California, and around the 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in southern California. In all these cases, we can detect several tens of times more earthquakes immediately after the mainshocks as compared with those listed in the catalogs. These newly identified earthquakes are revealing new information about the physical mechanisms responsible for triggering aftershocks in the near field. We plan to improve our code so that it can be executed in large-scale GPU clusters. Our work has the long-term goal of developing scalable methods for seismic data analysis in the context of "Big Data" challenges.

  12. Exercise Improves Executive Function and Achievement and Alters Brain Activation in Overweight Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Catherine L.; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; McDowell, Jennifer E.; Austin, Benjamin P.; Miller, Patricia H.; Yanasak, Nathan E.; Allison, Jerry D.; Naglieri, Jack A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective This experiment tested the hypothesis that exercise would improve executive function. Design Sedentary, overweight 7- to 11-year-old children (N = 171, 56% female, 61% Black, M ± SD age 9.3 ± 1.0 yrs, body mass index (BMI) 26 ± 4.6 kg/m2, BMI z-score 2.1 ± 0.4) were randomized to 13 ± 1.6 weeks of an exercise program (20 or 40 minutes/day), or a control condition. Main outcome measures Blinded, standardized psychological evaluations (Cognitive Assessment System and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III) assessed cognition and academic achievement. Functional magnetic resonance imaging measured brain activity during executive function tasks. Results Intent to treat analysis revealed dose response benefits of exercise on executive function and mathematics achievement. Preliminary evidence of increased bilateral prefrontal cortex activity and reduced bilateral posterior parietal cortex activity due to exercise was also observed. Conclusion Consistent with results obtained in older adults, a specific improvement on executive function and brain activation changes due to exercise were observed. The cognitive and achievement results add evidence of dose response, and extend experimental evidence into childhood. This study provides information on an educational outcome. Besides its importance for maintaining weight and reducing health risks during a childhood obesity epidemic, physical activity may prove to be a simple, important method of enhancing aspects of children’s mental functioning that are central to cognitive development. This information may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity. PMID:21299297

  13. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: First 5-Tower Data and Improved Understanding of Ionization Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Catherine N.

    2010-01-01

    The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) with cryogenic particle detectors. These detectors have the ability to discriminate between nuclear recoil candidate and electron recoil background events by collecting both phonon and ionization energy from recoils in the detector crystals. The CDMS-II experiment has completed analysis of the first data runs with 30 semiconductor detectors at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, resulting in a world leading WIMP-nucleon spin-independent cross section limit for WIMP masses above 44 GeV/c2. As CDMS aims to achieve greater WIMP sensitivity, it is necessary to increase the detector mass and discrimination between signal and background events. Incomplete ionization collection results in the largest background in the CDMS detectors as this causes electron recoil background interactions to appear as false candidate events. Two primary causes of incomplete ionization collection are surface and bulk trapping. Recent work has been focused on reducing surface trapping through the modification of fabrication methods for future detectors. Analyzing data taken with test devices has shown that hydrogen passivation of the amorphous silicon blocking layer worsens surface trapping. Additional data has shown that the iron-ion implantation used to lower the critical temperature of the tungsten transition-edge sensors causes a degradation of the ionization collection. Using selective implantation on future detectors may improve ionization collection for events near the phonon side detector surface. Bulk trapping is minimized by neutralizing ionized lattice impurities. Detector investigations at testing facilities and in situ at the experimental site have provided methods to optimize the neutralization process and monitor running conditions to maintain full ionization collection. This work details my contribution to the 5-tower data taking, monitoring, and analysis effort as

  14. Can spectroscopic analysis improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes in agricultural streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

    In agricultural catchments diffuse fluxes of nutrients, mainly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from arable land and livestock are responsible for pollution of receiving waters and their eutrophication. Organic matter (OM) can play an important role in mediating a range of biogeochemical processes controlling diffuse pollution in streams and at their interface with surrounding land in the riparian and hyporheic zones. Thus, a holistic and simultaneous monitoring of N, P and OM fractions can help to improve our understanding of biogeochemical functioning of agricultural streams. In this study we build on intensive in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution in a small agricultural groundwater-fed stream in NW England carried out since 2009. The in situ monitoring unit captures high-frequency (15 minutes to hourly) responses of water quality parameters including total phosphorus, total reactive phosphorus and nitrate-nitrogen to changing flow conditions. For two consecutive hydrological years we have carried out additional spectroscopic water analyses to characterise organic matter components and their interactions with nutrient fractions. Automated and grab water samples have been analysed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance and excitation-emission (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, a tryptophan sensor was trialled to capture in situ fluorescence dynamics. Our paper evaluates patterns in nutrient and OM responses to baseflow and storm flow conditions and provides an assessment of storage-related changes of automated samples and temperature and turbidity effects on in situ tryptophan measurements. The paper shows the value of spectroscopic measurements to understand biogeochemical and hydrological nutrient dynamics and quantifies analytical uncertainty associated with both laboratory-based and in situ spectroscopic measurements.

  15. Improving our understanding of flood forecasting using earlier hydro-meteorological intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Dong-Sin; Chen, Cheng-Hsin; Yeh, Gour-Tsyh

    2014-05-01

    In recent decades, Taiwan has suffered from severe bouts of torrential rain, and typhoon induced floods have become the major natural threat to Taiwan. In order to warn the public of potential risks, authorities are considering establishing an early warning system derived from an integrated hydro-meteorological estimation process. This study aims at the development and accuracy of such a warning system. So it is first necessary to understand the distinctive features of flood forecasting in integrated rainfall-runoff simulations. Additionally the adequacies of a warning system that is based on extracting useful intelligence from earlier, possibly faulty numerical simulation results are discussed. In order to precisely model flooding, hydrological simulations based upon spot measured rainfall data have been utilized in prior studies to calibrate model parameters. Here, precipitation inputs from an ensemble of almost 20 different realizations of rainfall fields have been used to derive flood forecasts. The flood warning system therefore integrates rainfall-runoff calculations, field observations and data assimilations. Simulation results indicate that the ensemble precipitation estimates generated by a Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model produce divergent estimates. Considerable flooding is often shown in the simulated hydrographs, but the results as to the peak time and peak stage are not always in agreement with the observations. In brief, such forecasts can be good for warning against potential damaging floods in the near future, but the meteorological inputs are not good enough to forecast the time and magnitude of the peaks. The key for such warning system is not to expect highly accurate rainfall predictions, but to improve our understanding from individual ensemble flood forecasts.

  16. Evaluating, understanding and improving the quality of clinical placements for undergraduate nurses: A practice development approach.

    PubMed

    Courtney-Pratt, Helen; Ford, Karen; Marlow, Annette

    2015-11-01

    Supervision and support is central to sustainability of clinical placement experiences of undergraduate nurses, but open to influences that impact nurses' capacity to undertake the role. Whilst supervision of learners is integral to the role of health care professionals, the primary responsibility is to deliver safe and effective care. Supervision of learners in practice is impacted by low levels of organisational support, variable individual preparedness, and lack of feedback and recognition for the role from education and industry partners. Over a period of five years the Quality Clinical Placement Evaluation research team, consisting of a partnership between health care and tertiary sectors have developed, and utilised a practice development approach to understand and support the quality of clinical placement for undergraduates and supervising ward nurses involved in Tasmanian clinical placement programs. Importantly, the approach evolved over time to be a flexible three step program supporting the translation of findings to practice, comprised of an education session related to supervision support; survey distribution to undergraduates and supervising ward nurses following clinical placement; and workshops where stakeholders come together to consider findings of the survey, their experience and the local context, with resultant actions for change. This paper reports on findings from the program after successful implementation in urban tertiary hospitals as it was implemented in non-traditional clinical placement settings, including community, aged care and rural settings. Feedback from clinicians identifies the utility of the three step program across these settings. The unique partnerships and approach to evaluating, understanding and improving quality of clinical placements has potential for transferability to other areas, with the value of findings established for all stakeholders. PMID:26256817

  17. ACCURATE ACCUMULATION OF DOSE FOR IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING OF RADIATION EFFECTS IN NORMAL TISSUE

    PubMed Central

    Jaffray, David A.; Lindsay, Patricia E.; Brock, Kristy K.; Deasy, Joseph O.; Tomé, W. A.

    2013-01-01

    The actual distribution of radiation dose accumulated in normal tissues over the complete course of radiation therapy is, in general, poorly quantified. Differences in the patient anatomy between planning and treatment can occur gradually (e.g., tumor regression, resolution of edema) or relatively rapidly (e.g., bladder filling, breathing motion) and these undermine the accuracy of the planned dose distribution. Current efforts to maximize the therapeutic ratio require models that relate the true accumulated dose to clinical outcome. The needed accuracy can only be achieved through the development of robust methods that track the accumulation of dose within the various tissues in the body. Specific needs include the development of segmentation methods, tissue-mapping algorithms, uncertainty estimation, optimal schedules for image-based monitoring, and the development of informatics tools to support subsequent analysis. These developments will not only improve radiation outcomes modeling but will address the technical demands of the adaptive radiotherapy paradigm. The next 5 years need to see academia and industry bring these tools into the hands of the clinician and the clinical scientist. PMID:20171508

  18. Accurate Accumulation of Dose for Improved Understanding of Radiation Effects in Normal Tissue

    SciTech Connect

    Jaffray, David A.; Lindsay, Patricia E.; Brock, Kristy K.; Deasy, Joseph O.; Tome, W.A.

    2010-03-01

    The actual distribution of radiation dose accumulated in normal tissues over the complete course of radiation therapy is, in general, poorly quantified. Differences in the patient anatomy between planning and treatment can occur gradually (e.g., tumor regression, resolution of edema) or relatively rapidly (e.g., bladder filling, breathing motion) and these undermine the accuracy of the planned dose distribution. Current efforts to maximize the therapeutic ratio require models that relate the true accumulated dose to clinical outcome. The needed accuracy can only be achieved through the development of robust methods that track the accumulation of dose within the various tissues in the body. Specific needs include the development of segmentation methods, tissue-mapping algorithms, uncertainty estimation, optimal schedules for image-based monitoring, and the development of informatics tools to support subsequent analysis. These developments will not only improve radiation outcomes modeling but will address the technical demands of the adaptive radiotherapy paradigm. The next 5 years need to see academia and industry bring these tools into the hands of the clinician and the clinical scientist.

  19. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the total water balance across any ecosystem. In subalpine mixed-conifer ecosystems, transpiration (T) often dominates the total water flux and therefore improved understanding of T is critical for accurate assessment of catchment water balance and for understanding of the processes that governs the complex dynamics across critical zone (CZ). The interaction between T and plant vegetation not only modulates soil water balance but also influences water transit time and hydrochemical flux - key factors in our understanding of how the CZ evolves and responds. Unlike an eddy covariance system which provides only an integrated ET flux from an ecosystem, a sap flow system can provide an estimate of the T flux from the ecosystem. By isolating T, the ecohydrological drivers of this major water loss from the CZ can be identified. Still, the species composition of mixed-conifer ecosystems vary and the drivers of T associated with each species are expected to be different. Therefore, accurate quantification of T from a mixed-conifer requires knowledge of the unique transpiration dynamics of each of the tree species. Here, we installed a sap flow system within two mixed-conifer study sites of the Jemez River Basin - Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (JRB - SCM CZO). At both sites, we identified the dominant tree species and installed sap flow sensors on healthy representatives for each of those species. At the JRB CZO site, sap sensors were installed in fir (4) and spruce (4) trees; at the SCM CZO site, sap sensors were installed at white fir (4) and maple (4) and one dead tree. Meteorological data as well as soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (θ) at multiple depths were also collected from each of the two sites. Preliminary analysis of two years of sap flux rate at JRB - SCM CZO shows that the environmental drivers of fir, spruce, and maple are different and also vary throughout the year. For JRB fir

  20. Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, K. S.; Stockdon, H. F.; Long, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards combines measurements of beach morphology with storm hydrodynamics to produce forecasts of coastal change during storms for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. Wave-induced water levels are estimated using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon et al. (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. Seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of a meter in wave runup elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. Spatial variation in beach slope is accounted for through alongshore averaging, but temporal variability in beach slope is not included in the final computation of the likelihood of coastal change. Additionally, input morphology may be years old and potentially very different than the conditions present during forecast storm. In order to improve our forecasts of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards, the temporal variability of beach slope must be included in the final uncertainty of modeled wave-induced water levels. Frequently collected field measurements of lidar-based beach morphology are examined for study sites in Duck, North Carolina, Treasure Island, Florida, Assateague Island, Virginia, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with some records extending over a period of 15 years. Understanding the variability of slopes at these sites will help provide estimates of associated water level uncertainty which can then be applied to other areas where lidar observations are infrequent, and improve the overall skill of future forecasts of storm-induced coastal change. Stockdon, H. F., Holman, R. A., Howd, P. A., and Sallenger Jr, A. H. (2006). Empirical parameterization of setup

  1. Does using active learning in thermodynamics lectures improve students’ conceptual understanding and learning experiences?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgiou, H.; Sharma, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    Encouraging ‘active learning’ in the large lecture theatre emerges as a credible recommendation for improving university courses, with reports often showing significant improvements in learning outcomes. However, the recommendations are based predominantly on studies undertaken in mechanics. We set out to examine those claims in the thermodynamics module of a large first year physics course with an established technique, called interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs). The study took place at The University of Sydney, where four parallel streams of the thermodynamics module were divided into two streams that experienced the ILDs and two streams that did not. The programme was first implemented in 2011 to gain experience and refine logistical matters and repeated in 2012 with approximately 500 students. A validated survey, the thermal concepts survey, was used as pre-test and post-test to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided insights into what the ‘active learning’ meant from student experiences. We analysed lecture recordings to capture the time devoted to different activities in a lecture, including interactivity. The learning gains were in the ‘high gain’ range for the ILD streams and ‘medium gain’ for the other streams. The analysis of the lecture recordings showed that the ILD streams devoted significantly more time to interactivity while surveys and interviews showed that students in the ILD streams were thinking in deep ways. Our study shows that ILDs can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding as well as their experiences, demonstrating the potential value-add that can be provided by investing in active learning to enhance lectures.

  2. Toward Better Understanding and Improved Performance of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, T. H.; Page, M. R.; Iwaniczko, E.; Levi, D. H.; Yan, Y.; Branz, H. M.; Yelundur, V.; Rohatgi, A.; Bunea, G.; Terao, A.; Wang, Q.

    2004-08-01

    The double-sided silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cell is more appropriate for n-type crystal silicon (c-Si) wafers than for p-type c-Si wafers because there is a larger band offset to the valence band edge of hydrogenated amorphous silicon than to the conduction band edge. Thin intrinsic and doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a Si:H) double layers by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) are investigated as passivation layers, emitters, and back-surface-field (BSF) contacts to both p- and n-type wafers. Passivation quality is studied by characterizing the SHJ solar cells and by photoconductive decay (PCD) minority-carrier lifetime measurements. The crystal-amorphous heterointerface is studied with real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry (RTSE) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to detect phase change and material evolution, with a focus on better understanding the factors determining passivation effectiveness. A common feature in effective passivation, emitter, and BSF layers is immediate a-Si:H deposition and an abrupt and flat interface to the c-Si substrate. In this case, good wafer passivation or an excellent heterojunction is obtained, with a low interface recombination velocity (S) or a high open-circuit voltage (Voc). Voc greater than 640 mV, S less than 15 cm/sec, and efficiency of 14.8% have been achieved on polished p type Czochralski-grown (CZ) Si wafers. Collaboration between NREL and Georgia Tech resulted in a 15.7%-efficient HWCVD-deposited SHJ cell on non-textured FZ-Si with a screen-printed Al back surface field (BSF), the highest reported HWCVD SHJ cell. Collaboration between NREL and SunPower demonstrated that HWCVD a-Si:H passivation can be better than the conventional oxides, with a low surface recombination velocity of 42 cm/sec on textured n-type FZ-Si.

  3. Integration of Measurements and Models Across Spatial Scales for Improved Process Understanding in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Collier, N.; Kumar, J.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Characterizing the spatial variability of properties and processes in Arctic and boreal landscapes is critical for gaining an understanding of ecosystem functioning and for parameterizing process-rich models that simulate feedbacks to a changing climate. However, large-scale models are often poorly informed by process studies and new approaches are needed if we are to better link field and laboratory investigations to climate models. A fundamental goal of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is to accelerate improvements in climate prediction through close integration of field, laboratory, and modeling activities. Geomorphological units, including thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground provide the organizing framework for our integrated framework for the coastal plains of the North Slope of Alaska. Process studies and observations of hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, vegetation patterns, and energy exchange and their couplings are being conducted across nested scales to populate a modeling framework and to achieve a broader goal of optimally informing process representations in global-scale models. We investigate the soil thermal regimes and their control on local scale hydrology for sites near Barrow, Alaska, through simulations at sub-meter scale resolution for low-centered, high-centered and transition polygons. We use high-resolution LiDAR and high-fidelity simulations using several models to couple surface-subsurface processes. A central focus of this challenge is to advance process understanding and predicting the evolution of permafrost thaw, degradation (i.e., thermokarst), and disturbance, and their impact on topography in a warming world and how these changes control the availability of water for biogeochemical, ecological, and physical feedbacks to the climate system.

  4. Advanced MRI techniques to improve our understanding of experience-induced neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Tardif, Christine Lucas; Gauthier, Claudine Joëlle; Steele, Christopher John; Bazin, Pierre-Louis; Schäfer, Andreas; Schaefer, Alexander; Turner, Robert; Villringer, Arno

    2016-05-01

    Over the last two decades, numerous human MRI studies of neuroplasticity have shown compelling evidence for extensive and rapid experience-induced brain plasticity in vivo. To date, most of these studies have consisted of simply detecting a difference in structural or functional images with little concern for their lack of biological specificity. Recent reviews and public debates have stressed the need for advanced imaging techniques to gain a better understanding of the nature of these differences - characterizing their extent in time and space, their underlying biological and network dynamics. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of advanced imaging techniques for an audience of cognitive neuroscientists that can assist them in the design and interpretation of future MRI studies of neuroplasticity. The review encompasses MRI methods that probe the morphology, microstructure, function, and connectivity of the brain with improved specificity. We underline the possible physiological underpinnings of these techniques and their recent applications within the framework of learning- and experience-induced plasticity in healthy adults. Finally, we discuss the advantages of a multi-modal approach to gain a more nuanced and comprehensive description of the process of learning. PMID:26318050

  5. Long-range correlations improve understanding of the influence of network structure on contact dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peyrard, N; Dieckmann, U; Franc, A

    2008-05-01

    Models of infectious diseases are characterized by a phase transition between extinction and persistence. A challenge in contemporary epidemiology is to understand how the geometry of a host's interaction network influences disease dynamics close to the critical point of such a transition. Here we address this challenge with the help of moment closures. Traditional moment closures, however, do not provide satisfactory predictions close to such critical points. We therefore introduce a new method for incorporating longer-range correlations into existing closures. Our method is technically simple, remains computationally tractable and significantly improves the approximation's performance. Our extended closures thus provide an innovative tool for quantifying the influence of interaction networks on spatially or socially structured disease dynamics. In particular, we examine the effects of a network's clustering coefficient, as well as of new geometrical measures, such as a network's square clustering coefficients. We compare the relative performance of different closures from the literature, with or without our long-range extension. In this way, we demonstrate that the normalized version of the Bethe approximation-extended to incorporate long-range correlations according to our method-is an especially good candidate for studying influences of network structure. Our numerical results highlight the importance of the clustering coefficient and the square clustering coefficient for predicting disease dynamics at low and intermediate values of transmission rate, and demonstrate the significance of path redundancy for disease persistence. PMID:18262579

  6. Knowledge of the crime context: improving the understanding of why the cognitive interview works.

    PubMed

    Campos, L; Alonso-Quecuty, M L

    1998-01-01

    Since the Cognitive Interview (CI) was devised under laboratory conditions (Geiselman, Fisher, MacKinnon, & Holland, 1985), researchers have performed many experiments where a variety of variables and conditions have been reported. Nevertheless, few studies have attempted to delve into the theoretical aspects on which the CI is based. A variable that might help us to improve our understanding of why the CI works is prior knowledge of the crime context. Some studies have included familiar contexts and others unfamiliar ones, but no study has been performed to test the effect of the familiarity of the crime context as an independent variable. The aim of this research is to study the effect of prior knowledge on subjects' memory when they are interviewed by means of the CI in contrast to a Spanish Standard Interview (SSI). A significant effect of prior knowledge that subjects had of the context where the crime took place was expected, especially for those subjects who were interviewed by means of the CI. Results confirmed this hypothesis. PMID:9640435

  7. Improving our understanding of clouds in the Earth's climate using polarimetry (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knobelspiesse, K. D.; Dunagan, S.; van Diedenhoven, B.; Marshak, A.; Holben, B. N.

    2013-12-01

    Water and ice clouds play a fundamental role in the radiative balance (and therefore climate) of the Earth, so understanding their distribution and optical properties is crucial. Recently, new data products from the ground-based NASA Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) have been created. These products expand the scope of AERONET to provide data about clouds in addition to atmospheric aerosols for which the network was originally designed. The main AERONET cloud data product is the Cloud Optical Depth (COD), which describes the amount of light extinction due to clouds in a vertical atmospheric column. AERONET measurements of COD must rely, however, on assumptions about the cloud thermodynamic phase. If the thermodynamic phase can be identified, AERONET COD errors can be significantly reduced. AERONET sun photometers determine aerosol and cloud optical properties by observing both the direct solar beam and sky scattered radiation at a variety of wavelengths. Newer instruments are also sensitive to light polarization, which we show can be used to determine cloud thermodynamic phase and therefore improve AERONET cloud data products. This work has two components. First, we performed atmospheric radiative transfer simulations to verify that polarization does contain information about cloud phase, and how to best exploit this in an algorithm. Observations were then compared to theoretical simulations. The second component of this research is to build our own polarization sensitive radiometer that is optimized for cloud observations. Initial results from both of these efforts will be presented.

  8. Polymer Solar Cells: Understanding Solvent Interactions and Morphology, and Strategies for Efficiency Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Lilian

    Organic solar cells have the potential to be unrivaled in terms of processing cost, speed, and simplicity. The simplest of such devices consists of a single bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) active layer, in which the electron donor (conjugated polymer) and electron acceptor (fullerene) are deposited from a common solvent. The performance of BHJ solar cells is strongly correlated with the nanoscale structure of the active layer. Various processing techniques have been explored to improve the nanoscale morphology of the BHJ layer, e.g. by varying the casting solvent, thermal annealing, solvent annealing, and solvent additives. An understanding of the role of residual solvent in the BHJ layer is imperative in order to develop strategies for morphology stabilization and preserve the longevity of the device. This work highlights the effect of residual solvents on acceptor, (6,6)-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) diffusion and ultimately the stability of the morphology. We first show that solvent is retained within the BHJ film despite prolonged heat treatment, leading to extensive phase separation between poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and PCBM. We then show that the addition of a small volume fraction of nitrobenzene to the casting solution inhibits the diffusion of PCBM in the film and improves the fill factor of the BHJ device without further tempering. Other commonly used additives for morphology improvement were also investigated, i.e. 1,8-diiodooctane and 1-chloronaphthalene. We show that the choice of solvent additives has direct implications on morphological evolution, i.e. P3HT:PCBM BHJ films processed with a small amount of 1,8-diiodooctane or 1-chloronaphthalene have more crystalline PCBM domains compared to crystalline P3HT domains, while the opposite is true for films cast with nitrobenzene additive and films cast purely from chlorobenzene. The BHJ film cross-links when annealed at 300°C in the presence of 1,8-diiodooctane. Cross-linking is found to

  9. What Do Children Learn about Biology from Factual Information? A Comparison of Interventions to Improve Understanding of Contagious Illnesses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myant, Katherine A.; Williams, Joanne M.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Children have been shown to hold misconceptions about illness, and previous work has indicated that their knowledge can be improved through the use of interventions. Aims: This study aims to evaluate interventions based on the provision of factual information for improving understanding of contagious illness. Sample: The participants…

  10. Understanding Teacher Effectiveness: Significant State Data Capacity Is Required to Measure and Improve Teacher Effectiveness. Data for Action 2012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    States are increasingly focused on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness. There are several funding opportunities that incentivize states to use data to inform measurements of teacher effectiveness. Local, state, and federal efforts support using data to improve teacher preparation programs. Preparation programs seek "access to data…

  11. Heliophysics 2009 Roadmap and Global Change: Possibilities for Improved Understanding of the Connection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spann, Jim

    2010-01-01

    Heliophysics is the science that includes all aspects of the research needed to understand the Sun and its effects on the Earth and the solar system. Six science targets: 1. Origins of Near-Earth Plasma - to understand the origin and transport of terrestrial plasma from its source to the magnetosphere and solar wind. 2. Solar Energetic Particle Acceleration and Transport - to understand how and where solar eruptions accelerate energetic particles that reach Earth. 3. Ion-Neutral Coupling in the Atmosphere - to understand how neutral winds control ionospheric variability. 4. Climate Impacts of Space Radiation - to understand our atmosphere s response to auroral, radiation belt, and solar energetic particles, and the associated effects on nitric oxide (NO) and ozone. 5. Dynamic Geospace Coupling - to understand how magnetospheric dynamics provides energy into the coupled ionosphere-magnetosphere system. 6. Heliospheric Magnetics - to understand the flow and dynamics of transient magnetic structures form the solar interior to Earth.

  12. Understanding and improving the mechanical stability of semiconducting polymers for flexible and stretchable electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Printz, Adam David

    Polymeric semiconductors offer the promise of low-cost, printable, and mechanically robust electronic devices for use in outdoor, portable, and wearable applications such as organic photovoltaics, biosensors, and electronic skins. However, many organic semiconductors are unable to accommodate the mechanical stresses these applications require, and it is therefore important to understand the factors and parameters that govern the mechanical stability of these materials. Chapter 1 provides a gentle introduction to the electronic and mechanical properties relevant to flexible and stretchable organic semiconductor devices. The idea of inherent competition between electronic performance and mechanical robustness is explored. Chapter 2 investigates the inherent competition between good electronic performance and mechanical robustness in poly(3-alkylthiophene)s. A key finding is a critical alkyl side-chain length that allows for good electronic performance and mechanical compliance. Chapter 3 and Appendix A are further studies on the properties of poly(3-alkylthiophene)s with side-chains close to the critical length to gain better understanding of the transition from good electronic properties and poor mechanical properties to poor electronic properties and good mechanical properties. Chapter 4 and Appendix B detail the effects on mechanical and electronic properties of statistical incorporation of unlike monomer into a low-bandgap polymer backbone in an effort to disrupt aggregation and improve mechanical compliance. Chapter 5 explores how the extent of molecular mixing of polythiophenes and fullerenes---materials common in organic photovoltaics---affects their mechanical properties. Chapter 6 describes the invention of a new technique to determine the yield point of thin films. A dependence on the alkyl-side chain length is observed, as well as a critical film thickness below which the yield point increases substantially. In Chapter 7, the weakly interacting H

  13. Periglacial process research for improved understanding of climate change in periglacial environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hvidtfeldt Christiansen, Hanne

    2010-05-01

    Periglacial landscapes extend widely outside the glaciated areas and the areas underlain by permafrost and with seasonal frost. Yet recently significant attention has in cryosphere research, related to periglacial geomorphology, been given to a direct climate permafrost relationship. The focus is on the permafrost thermal state including the thickness of the active layer, and often simplifying how these two key conditions are directly climatically controlled. There has been less focus on the understanding and quantification of the different periglacial processes, which largely control the consequences of changing climatic conditions on the permafrost and on seasonal frost all over the periglacial environments. It is the complex relationship between climate, micro-climate and local geomorphological, geological and ecological conditions, which controls periglacial processes. In several cases local erosion or deposition will affect the rates of landform change significantly more than any climate change. Thus detailed periglacial process studies will sophisticate the predictions of how periglacial landscapes can be expected to respond to climatic changes, and be built into Earth System Modelling. Particularly combining direct field observations and measurements with remote sensing and geochronological studies of periglacial landforms, enables a significantly improved understanding of periglacial process rates. An overview of the state of research in key periglacial processes are given focusing on ice-wedges and solifluction landforms, and seasonal ground thermal dynamics, all with examples from the high Arctic in Svalbard. Thermal contraction cracking and its seasonal meteorological control is presented, and potential thermal erosion of ice-wedges leading to development of thermokarst is discussed. Local and meteorological controls on solifluction rates are presented and their climatic control indicated. Seasonal ground thermal processes and their dependence on local

  14. Integrated stratigraphy of the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary interval: improving understanding of Oceanic Anoxic Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvis, Ian

    2014-05-01

    The Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (CTB) interval ~ 94 Ma represented a period of major global palaeoenvironmental change. Increasingly detailed multidisciplinary studies integrating sedimentological, palaeontological and geochemical data from multiple basins, are enabling the development of refined but complex models that aid understanding of the mechanisms driving changes in ocean productivity and climate. This paper reviews some of the exciting new developments in this field. Facies change characterizes the CTB interval in most areas. In the Chalk seas of northern Europe, a widespead hiatus was followed by the deposition of clay-rich organic-lean beds of the Plenus Marl and its equivalents, and then nodular chalks. In the North Sea basin and its onshore extension in eastern England and northern Germany, black shales of the Black Band (Blodøks Formation, Hasseltal Formation) occur. Similarly, in northern Tethys, a brief interval of black shale accumulation within a predominantly carbonate succession, is exemplified by the Niveau Thomel in the Vocontian Basin (SE France), and the Livello Bonarelli in Italy. Widespread deposition of organic-rich marine sediments during CTB times led to 12C depletion in surface carbon reservoirs (oceans, atmosphere, biosphere), and a large positive global δ13C excursion preserved in marine carbonates and both marine and terrestrial organic matter (Oceanic Anoxic Event 2). Significant biotic turnover characterises the boundary interval, and inter-regional correlation may be achieved at high resolution using integrated biostratigraphy employing macrofossils (ammonites, inoceramid bivalves), microfossils (planktonic foraminifera, dinoflagellate cysts) and calcareous nannofossils. Correlations can be tested against those based on comparison of δ13C profiles - carbon isotope chemostratigraphy, supplemented by oxygen isotope and elemental data. Interpretation of paired carbonate - organic matter δ13C data from multiple CTB sections

  15. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant–Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    PubMed Central

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant–microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant–microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  16. Learning from model improvement: On the contribution of complementary data to process understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, Fabrizio; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Savenije, Hubert H. G.

    2008-06-01

    A priori determined model structures are common in catchment rainfall-runoff modeling. While this has resulted in many ready-to-use modeling tools, there are several shortcomings of a one-size-fits-all model structure. The uniqueness of catchments with respect to their hydrological behavior and the need to adapt model complexity to data availability challenge this status quo. We present a flexible approach to model development where the model structure is adapted progressively based on catchment characteristics and the data described by the experimentalist. We demonstrate this approach with the Maimai catchment in New Zealand, a location with a large availability of data, including stream discharge, groundwater levels, and stream isotope measurements. Different types of data are introduced progressively, and the architecture of the model is adjusted in a stepwise fashion to better describe the processes suggested by the new data sources. The revised models are developed in a way to strike a balance between model complexity and data availability, by keeping models as simple as possible, but complex enough to explain the dynamics of the data. Our work suggests that (1) discharge data provides information on the dynamics of storage (represented by the "free" water in the reservoirs) subject to pressure wave propagation generated by rainfall into the catchment, (2) groundwater data provides information on thresholds and on the contribution of different portions of the catchment to stream discharge, and (3) isotope data provides information on particle transport and mixing of the rainfall with the storage present in the catchment. Moreover, while groundwater data appear to be correlated with discharge data, and only a marginal improvement could be obtained adding this information to the model development process, isotope data appear to provide an orthogonal view on catchment behavior. This result contributes to understanding the value of data for modeling, which may

  17. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  18. Use of NOMADSS Observations to Improve Our Understanding of the Land and Ocean Fluxes of Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, S.; Selin, N. E.; Jaffe, D. A.; Jaegle, L.; Gratz, L.; Ambrose, J. L., II; Shah, V.; Giang, A.

    2014-12-01

    We use measurements during the 2013 Nitrogen Oxidants Mercury and Aerosol Distributions Sources and Sinks (NOMADSS) campaign to constrain the land and ocean emissions of mercury, using a combination of forward and inverse modeling. Mercury emissions from land and ocean drive the global cycling of mercury. A recent bottom-up assessment of global mercury emissions estimated that the land and ocean sources release about 1500 and 2700 Mg yr-1 of mercury into the atmosphere, respectively. Thus, the average emission per unit area from the land is thought to exceed the ocean (Pirrone et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 5951-5964, 2010). Considering that there are additional mercury sources from the land (e.g., anthropogenic emission and biomass burning), this emission difference should lead to higher observed mercury levels over the land compared to over the ocean. However, several very recent measurement and modeling studies challenge such understanding. The NOMADSS campaign provided a first opportunity to measure speciated mercury concentrations over both land and ocean surfaces. As shown in Table 1, the median Total Mercury (TM) concentration in 0-1 km (within the planetary boundary layer) for over-ocean flights is 0.11 ng m-3 higher (p < 0.05) than for over-land flights, whereas the over-ocean flights have lower TM concentrations in > 1 km than the over-land flights. We combine analysis of NOMADDS mercury measurements with the GEOS-Chem model, to better constrain land and ocean mercury sources. The standard GEOS-Chem model cannot reproduce the mercury concentration differences between over the land and the ocean. We improve the GEOS-Chem model's ability to reproduce these observations by implementing updated air-sea and air-land exchange mechanisms. We find that increased ocean emissions are necessary to explain this discrepancy. These results are consistent with the inverse analysis of global GEM concentrations.

  19. Out-of-School-Time Academic Programs to Improve School Achievement: A Community Guide Health Equity Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Knopf, John A.; Hahn, Robert A.; Proia, Krista K.; Truman, Benedict I.; Johnson, Robert L.; Muntaner, Carles; Fielding, Jonathan E.; Jones, Camara Phyllis; Fullilove, Mindy T.; Hunt, Pete C.; Qu, Shuli; Chattopadhyay, Sajal K.; Milstein, Bobby

    2015-01-01

    Context Low-income and minority status in the United States are associated with poor educational outcomes, which, in turn, reduce the long-term health benefits of education. Objective This systematic review assessed the extent to which out-of-school-time academic (OSTA) programs for at-risk students, most of whom are from low-income and racial/ethnic minority families, can improve academic achievement. Because most OSTA programs serve low-income and ethnic/racial minority students, programs may improve health equity. Design Methods of the Guide to Community Preventive Services were used. An existing systematic review assessing the effects of OSTA programs on academic outcomes (Lauer et al 2006; search period 1985–2003) was supplemented with a Community Guide update (search period 2003–2011). Main Outcome Measure Standardized mean difference. Results Thirty-two studies from the existing review and 25 studies from the update were combined and stratified by program focus (ie, reading-focused, math-focused, general academic programs, and programs with minimal academic focus). Focused programs were more effective than general or minimal academic programs. Reading-focused programs were effective only for students in grades K-3. There was insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness on behavioral outcomes and longer-term academic outcomes. Conclusions OSTA programs, particularly focused programs, are effective in increasing academic achievement for at-risk students. Ongoing school and social environments that support learning and development may be essential to ensure the longer-term benefits of OSTA programs. PMID:26062096

  20. A Versatile Module to Improve Understanding of Scientific Literature through Peer Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacques-Fricke, Bridget T.; Hubert, Amy; Miller, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    Using primary literature in undergraduate science classes helps teach students both scientific information and process. However, students' lack of understanding of scientific techniques can hinder their understanding of the papers. This article describes a "technique module" that uses peer teaching and active learning to facilitate integration of…

  1. Improving Students' Understanding of, and Ability to Identify Independent and Dependent Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldrich, Rosalie S.

    2015-01-01

    Students need to have a basic understanding of research methods before obtaining a communication degree in order to become an intelligent consumer of research--someone who is able to read, understand, explain, and critically evaluate communication and other research reported in scholarly journals as well as in the popular press. These skills are…

  2. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-01-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between…

  3. Toward a Research Agenda for Understanding and Improving the Use of Research Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Steven R.; Leffler, James C.; Hansen, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    Many researchers and research funders want their work to be influential in educational policy and practice, but there is little systematic understanding of how policymakers and practitioners use research evidence, much less how they acquire or interpret it. By understanding what does shape policymakers' and practitioners' decision making and the…

  4. Improving Social Understanding of Preschool Children: Evaluation of a Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esteban, Moises; Sidera, Francesc; Serrano, Jessica; Amado, Anna; Rostan, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This study tested the effects of a training program intending to foster social understanding or the capacity which enables them to understand themselves and others in terms of intentions, beliefs, desires, and emotions in children at preschool age. A number of studies have shown that in the context of shared narratives, children are…

  5. Cardiorespiratory Improvements Achieved by American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise Prescription Implemented on a Mobile App

    PubMed Central

    Rospo, Gianluca; Valsecchi, Viola; Bonomi, Alberto G; Thomassen, Inge WJ; van Dantzig, Saskia; La Torre, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background Strong evidence shows that an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) reduces cardiovascular disease risk. Objective To test whether a scientifically endorsed program to increase CRF and PA, implemented on an easy-to-use, always-accessible mobile app would be effective in improving CRF. Methods Of 63 healthy volunteers participating, 18 tested the user interface of the Cardio-Fitness App (CF-App); and 45 underwent a 2-week intervention period, of whom 33 eventually concluded it. These were assigned into three groups. The Step-based App (Step-App) group (n=8), followed 10,000 steps/day prescription, the CF-App group (n=13), and the Supervised Cardio-Fitness (Super-CF) group (n=12), both followed a heart rate (HR)-based program according to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, but either implemented on the app, or at the gym, respectively. Participants were tested for CRF, PA, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP, DBP), resting, exercise, and recovery HR. Results CRF increased in all groups (+4.9%; P<.001). SBP decreased in all groups (-2.6 mm Hg; P=.03). DBP decrease was higher in the Super-CF group (-3.5 mm Hg) than in the Step-App group (-2.1 mm Hg; P<.001). Posttest exercise HR decreased in all groups (-3.4 bpm; P=.02). Posttest recovery HR was lower in the Super-CF group (-10.1 bpm) than in the other two groups (CF-App: -4.9 bpm, Step-App: -3.3 bpm; P<.001). The CF-App group, however, achieved these improvements with more training heart beats (P<.01). Conclusions A 10,000 steps/day target-based app improved CRF similar to an ACSM guideline-based program whether it was implemented on a mobile app or in supervised gym sessions. PMID:27339153

  6. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Hubbard, S. S.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. These are sensitive systems, yet the mechanisms responsible for those sensitivities are not well understood and many remain uncertain in terms of their representation in Earth System models. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world will require a coordinated set of investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. Initial research focuses on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. Activities in the early stage of the project are focused on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), where a multi-disciplinary team of scientists will study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation, and the many processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Our scaling approach builds on the hypothesis that the transfer of information across spatial scales can be organized around these discrete geomorphological units for which processes are represented explicitly at finer scales, with information passed to coarser scales through sub-grid parameterization of Earth System models. By extending an already well-established framework for fractional sub-grid area representations to allow dynamic sub-grid areas and hydrological and geophysical connections among sub-grid units, we expect to be able to characterize

  7. Harnessing quantitative genetics and genomics for understanding and improving complex traits in crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical quantitative genetics aids crop improvement by providing the means to estimate heritability, genetic correlations, and predicted responses to various selection schemes. Genomics has the potential to aid quantitative genetics and applied crop improvement programs via large-scale, high-thro...

  8. Understanding Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education: The Case of Student Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCormick, Alexander C.; Kinzie, Jillian; Korkmaz, Ali

    2011-01-01

    This paper uses time series data from a widely used assessment to identify colleges and universities that demonstrate positive trends on a range of educational effectiveness measures, describe observed patterns of improvement, and examine informants' accounts of factors that contributed to the improvements. This study informs broad questions about…

  9. Towards Improving Public Understanding of Judgement Practice in Standards-Referenced Assessment: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klenowski, Val

    2013-01-01

    Curriculum and standards-referenced assessment reform in accountability contexts are increasingly dominated by the use of testing, evidence, comparative analyses of achievement data and policy as numbers all of which have given rise to a set of related developments. Internationally these developments towards the use of standards for assessment and…

  10. Research Plans for Improving Understanding of Effects of Very Low-Frequency Noise of Heavy Lift Rotorcraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fidell, Sanford; Horonieff, Richard D.; Schmitz, Fredric H.

    2010-01-01

    This report reviews the English-language technical literature on infrasonic and low-frequency noise effects; identifies the most salient effects of noise produced by a future large civil tiltrotor aircraft on crew, passengers, and communities near landing areas; and recommends research needed to improve understanding of the effects of such noise on passengers, crew, and residents of areas near landing pads.

  11. Improving Individualized Educational Program (IEP) Mathematics Learning Goals for Conceptual Understanding of Order and Equivalence of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlon, Regina M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this Executive Position Paper project was to develop resources for improving Individual Educational Program (IEP) mathematics learning goals for conceptual understanding of fractions for middle school special education students. The investigation surveyed how IEP mathematics learning goals are currently determined and proposed a new…

  12. WWC Review of the Report "Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2013

    2013-01-01

    The study examined the effects of "Fraction Challenge," a supplemental small-group tutoring math program that focuses on improving student understanding of fractions. Study authors randomly assigned fourth grade "at-risk" students in 53 classrooms in 13 schools to either an intervention group that received "Fraction Challenge" or to a comparison…

  13. Improving New Family Child Care Providers' Understanding of Standard Business Practices through the Development of a Resource Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Joanne Labish

    New family child care (FCC) providers often have little understanding of standard business practices, including zoning, contracts and policies, insurance, and record keeping for tax purposes. This lack of knowledge contributes to low income, high turnover, and other problems. A practicum project set out to improve entry-level FCC providers'…

  14. An information theory application to improve understanding of subsurface flow and transport conditions at the BARC OPE3 site

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving understanding of subsurface conditions includes comparison and discrimination of concurrent models. Additional observations can be useful for that purpose. The objective of this work was to implement and test a novel method for optimization of selecting locations for additional observation...

  15. Using Targeted Active-Learning Exercises and Diagnostic Question Clusters to Improve Students' Understanding of Carbon Cycling in Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and…

  16. Ofqual's Reliability Programme: A Case Study Exploring the Potential to Improve Public Understanding and Confidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Paul E.

    2013-01-01

    In May 2008, Ofqual established a two-year programme of research to investigate the nature and extent of (un)reliability within the qualifications, examinations and assessments that it regulated. It was particularly concerned to improve understanding of, and confidence in, this technically complex and politically sensitive phenomenon. The…

  17. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-04-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks1,2used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between displacement-time graphs and displacement-position graphs. Many students wonder why these two graphs have the same sinusoidal shape. Having the students use multimedia simulations allows them to see, in a hands-on fashion, the relationship between the two graphs.

  18. Improved yields of full-length functional human FGF1 can be achieved using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Fantoni, Adele; Bill, Roslyn M; Gustafsson, Lena; Hedfalk, Kristina

    2007-03-01

    We have produced human fibroblast growth factor 1 (hFGF1) in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris in order to obtain the large amounts of active protein required for subsequent functional and structural characterization. Four constructs were made to examine both intracellular and secreted expression, with variations in the location of the His6 tag at either end of the peptide. hFGF1 could be produced from all four constructs in shake flasks, but production was optimized by growing only the highest-yielding of these strains, which produced hFGF1 intracellularly, under tightly controlled conditions in a 3 L fermentor. One hundred and eight milligrams of pure protein was achieved per liter culture (corresponding to 0.68 mg of protein per gram of wet cells), the function of which was verified using NIH 3T3 cell cultures. This is a 30-fold improvement over previously reported yields of full-length hFGF1. PMID:17134911

  19. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home

    PubMed Central

    Gabbay, Robert A.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Miller-Day, Michelle; Cronholm, Peter F.; Adelman, Alan; Schneider, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving the care models of practices showing the greatest and least improvement in diabetes care in a sample of 25 primary care practices in southeast Pennsylvania. METHODS We ranked practices into improvement quintiles on the basis of the average absolute percentage point improvement from baseline to 18 months in 3 registry-based measures of performance related to diabetes care: glycated hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. We then conducted surveys and key informant interviews with leaders and staff in the 5 most and least improved practices, and compared their responses. RESULTS The most improved/higher-performing practices tended to have greater structural capabilities (eg, electronic health records) than the least improved/lower-performing practices at baseline. Interviews revealed striking differences between the groups in terms of leadership styles and shared vision; sense, use, and development of teams; processes for monitoring progress and obtaining feedback; and presence of technologic and financial distractions. CONCLUSIONS Positive deviance analysis suggests that primary care practices’ baseline structural capabilities and abilities to buffer the stresses of change may be key facilitators of performance improvement in medical home transformations. Attention to the practices’ structural capabilities and factors shaping successful change, especially early in the process, will be necessary to improve the likelihood of successful medical home transformation and better care. PMID:23690393

  20. Interferometric Measurement for Improved Understanding of Boundary Effects in Micromachined Beams

    SciTech Connect

    Bitsie, Fernando; Jensen, Brian D.; de Boer, Maarten

    1999-07-15

    Micromachined beams are commonly used to measure material properties in MEMS. Such measurements are complicated by the fact that boundary effects at the ends of the beams have a significant effect on the properties being measured. In an effort to improve the accuracy and resolution of such measurements, we are conducting a study of support post compliance in cantilever and fixed-fixed beams. Three different support post designs have been analyzed by finite element modeling. The results are then compared to measurements made on actual devices using interferometry. Using this technique, the accuracy of measurements of Young's modulus has been improved. Continuing work will also improve the measurement of residual stress.

  1. Drafting Exercises to Improve Understanding. Industrial Arts Series No. 10,007.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinrichs, Roy S., Comp.

    These materials, which can be used to supplement a drafting program, are designed to assist the instructor in helping students develop a better understanding of certain areas of drafting. The materials are divided into exercises that allow the student to devote full attention to one aspect of drafting at a time, and tests, which can be used either…

  2. Teachers and Game-Based Learning: Improving Understanding of How to Increase Efficacy of Adoption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Schifter, Catherine C.

    2011-01-01

    Interest in game-based learning for K-12 is growing. Thus, helping teachers understand how to use these new pedagogies is important. This paper presents a cross-case study of the development of teacher professional development for the River City project, a games-based multi-user virtual environment science curriculum project for middle school…

  3. Improving Students' Understanding and Explanation Skills through the Use of a Knowledge Building Forum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamel, Christine; Turcotte, Sandrine; Laferriere, Therese; Bisson, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Education research has shown the importance of helping students develop comprehension skills. Explanation-seeking rather than fact-seeking pedagogies have been shown to warrant deeper student understanding. This study investigates the use of Knowledge Forum (KF) in K-6 classrooms (n = 251) to develop students' explanation skills. To this end, we…

  4. Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-based…

  5. Understanding Change for Effective School Improvement Initiatives: Critical Elements of School Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnautz, Dee Ann Piercy

    2012-01-01

    With the historical political and social changes, which ultimately affect education, it is easy to see why teachers sometimes balk at new initiatives and perceived new best practices. For change to occur it is important to understand how perception of critical elements of change impact student academic growth. It is also important to have a…

  6. Blending Physical and Virtual Manipulatives: An Effort to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding through Science Laboratory Experimentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharia, Zacharias C.

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM), virtual manipulatives (VM), and a blended combination of PM and VM on undergraduate students' understanding of concepts in the domain of "Light and Color." A pre-post comparison study design was used for the purposes of this study that involved 70…

  7. Using biotechnology to improve resistance to environmental stress in fruit crops: The importance of understanding physiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental stress can significantly impact the yield, fruit quality, and longevity of fruit trees. In particular, freeze injury can result in the loss of an entire crop or even an entire orchard. Over the past two decades, significant advances have been made in understanding the genetic regulat...

  8. Improved understanding and testing for salinity tolerance in cool-season turfgrasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Utah State University and the USDA-ARS in Logan, Utah, were funded to conduct research towards understanding how cool season turf specied tolerate salt stress. Salt tolerant and salt susceptible varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and the check alkaligrass were planted in a replica...

  9. An Integrated Academic Literacy Approach to Improving Students' Understanding of Plagiarism in an Accounting Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Lisa; Singh, Nishani

    2016-01-01

    Plagiarism in higher education is a widespread and complex issue. Students' understanding of plagiarism differs as a result of combining their prior learning about referencing with their current experience of institutional policies and generic resources. Plagiarism was identified as a major learning issue in a core second-year undergraduate…

  10. Effective Use of Discovery Learning to Improve Understanding of Factors That Affect Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukherjee, Arup

    2015-01-01

    Undergraduate business majors are required to take a course in operations management. In this course, a great deal of emphasis is put on developing a good understanding of quality because this is likely to be the only required course that covers this important topic. Quality of output exhibits a great deal of variation. To produce high quality on…

  11. Improving Children's Well-Being: Understanding, Nurturing Fatherhood. Research on Today's Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Population Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, DC.

    This brief focuses on the role of fathers in contributing to children's well-being. The brief notes that collecting better data on fathers is vital to federal and state efforts to reform the welfare and child support systems and that understanding fathers' roles in their children's lives could help parents and social service providers better…

  12. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visualizations have the potential to make abstract scientific phenomena more accessible and visible to students, but they can also be confusing and difficult to comprehend. This research investigates how dynamic visualizations, compared to static illustrations, can support middle school students in developing an integrated understanding of…

  13. Improving High School Students' Understanding of Potential Difference in Simple Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liegeois, Laurent; Chasseigne, G'erard; Papin, Sophie; Mullet, Etienne

    2003-01-01

    This paper reports two studies into the understanding of the concept of potential difference in the current-potential difference-resistance context among 8th-12th graders (Study 1), and the efficiency of a learning device derived from Social Judgment Theory (Study 2). These two studies showed that: (a) when asked to infer potential difference from…

  14. Improving efficacy of landscape interventions in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands by improved understanding of runoff processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebebu, Tigist; Steenhuis, Tammo; Dagnew, Dessalegn; Guzman, Christian; Bayabil, Haimanote; Zegeye, Assefa; Collick, Amy; Langan, Simon; MacAlister, Charlotte; Langendoen, Eddy; Yitaferu, Birru; Tilahun, Seifu

    2015-09-01

    Despite millions of dollars invested in soil and water conservation practices in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands and billions of hours of food-for-work farm labor, sediment concentration in rivers is increasing. This paper reports on the research to reverse the current trend. Based on the understanding of the hydrology of highlands, we provide evidence on sources of surface runoff and sediment and on mechanisms that govern the erosion processes and approaches and how they affect soil and water conservation practices. We suggest that priority in landscape interventions should be given to re-vegetation of the degraded areas so as to reduce the sediment concentration contributions originating from these areas. Additionally, efforts should be directed to gully rehabilitation in the saturated bottom landscape that may consist of vegetating shallow gullies and stabilizing head cuts of deeper gullies Finally, rehabilitation efforts should be directed to increase the rain water infiltration in the upland areas through the hard pan layer by connecting the land surface to the original deep flow paths that exist below about 60 cm. It will reduce the direct runoff during the rainy season and increase baseflow during the dry season.

  15. How can we improve our understanding of cardiovascular safety liabilities to develop safer medicines?

    PubMed Central

    Laverty, HG; Benson, C; Cartwright, EJ; Cross, MJ; Garland, C; Hammond, T; Holloway, C; McMahon, N; Milligan, J; Park, BK; Pirmohamed, M; Pollard, C; Radford, J; Roome, N; Sager, P; Singh, S; Suter, T; Suter, W; Trafford, A; Volders, PGA; Wallis, R; Weaver, R; York, M; Valentin, JP

    2011-01-01

    Given that cardiovascular safety liabilities remain a major cause of drug attrition during preclinical and clinical development, adverse drug reactions, and post-approval withdrawal of medicines, the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science hosted a workshop to discuss current challenges in determining, understanding and addressing ‘Cardiovascular Toxicity of Medicines’. This article summarizes the key discussions from the workshop that aimed to address three major questions: (i) what are the key cardiovascular safety liabilities in drug discovery, drug development and clinical practice? (ii) how good are preclinical and clinical strategies for detecting cardiovascular liabilities? and (iii) do we have a mechanistic understanding of these liabilities? It was concluded that in order to understand, address and ultimately reduce cardiovascular safety liabilities of new therapeutic agents there is an urgent need to: Fully characterize the incidence, prevalence and impact of drug-induced cardiovascular issues at all stages of the drug development process. Ascertain the predictive value of existing non-clinical models and assays towards the clinical outcome. Understand the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular liabilities; by addressing areas where it is currently not possible to predict clinical outcome based on preclinical safety data. Provide scientists in all disciplines with additional skills to enable them to better integrate preclinical and clinical data and to better understand the biological and clinical significance of observed changes. Develop more appropriate, highly relevant and predictive tools and assays to identify and wherever feasible to eliminate cardiovascular safety liabilities from molecules and wherever appropriate to develop clinically relevant and reliable safety biomarkers. PMID:21306581

  16. Improving post-intensive care unit neuropsychiatric outcomes: understanding cognitive effects of physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Ramona O; Suchyta, Mary R; Farrer, Thomas J; Needham, Dale

    2012-12-15

    Critical illness and its treatment often result in long-term neuropsychiatric morbidities. Consequently, there is a need to focus on means to prevent or ameliorate these morbidities. Animal models provide important data regarding the neurobiological effects of physical activity, including angiogenesis, neurogenesis, and release of neurotrophic factors that enhance plasticity. Studies in noncritically ill patients demonstrate that exercise is associated with increased cerebral blood flow, neurogenesis, and brain volume, which are associated with improved cognition. Clinically, research in both healthy and diseased human subjects suggests that exercise improves neuropsychiatric outcomes. In the critical care setting, early physical rehabilitation and mobilization are safe and feasible, with demonstrated improvements in physical functional outcomes. Such activity may also reduce the duration of delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) and improve neuropsychiatric outcomes, although data are limited. Barriers exist regarding implementing ICU rehabilitation in routine care, including use of sedatives and lack of awareness of post-ICU cognitive impairments. Further research is necessary to determine whether prior animal and human research, in conjunction with preliminary results from existing ICU studies, can translate into improvements for neuropsychiatric outcomes in critically ill patients. Studies are needed to evaluate biological mechanisms, risk factors, the role of pre-ICU functional level, and the timing, duration, and type of physical activity for optimal patient outcomes. PMID:23065013

  17. Museum Monsters and Victorious Viruses: Improving Public Understanding of Emerging Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Judy; Jee, Benjamin; Matuk, Camilla; McQuillan, Julia; Spiegel, Amy N.; Uttal, David

    2015-01-01

    Although microbes directly impact everyone's health, most people have limited knowledge about them. In this article, we describe a museum and media public education campaign aimed at helping diverse audiences better understand emerging knowledge about microbes and infectious disease. Funded primarily by the Science Education Partnership (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health, this campaign involved crosscutting programs designed to extend impacts throughout a broad public audience. PMID:26392634

  18. The solar activity measurements experiments (SAMEX) for improved scientific understanding of solar activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The Solar Activity Measurements Experiments (SAMEX) mission is described. It is designed to provide a look at the interactions of magnetic fields and plasmas that create flares and other explosive events on the sun in an effort to understand solar activity and the nature of the solar magnetic field. The need for this mission, the instruments to be used, and the expected benefits of SAMEX are discussed.

  19. Data-model fusion to better understand emerging pathogens and improve infectious disease forecasting.

    PubMed

    LaDeau, Shannon L; Glass, Gregory E; Hobbs, N Thompson; Latimer, Andrew; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2011-07-01

    Ecologists worldwide are challenged to contribute solutions to urgent and pressing environmental problems by forecasting how populations, communities, and ecosystems will respond to global change. Rising to this challenge requires organizing ecological information derived from diverse sources and formally assimilating data with models of ecological processes. The study of infectious disease has depended on strategies for integrating patterns of observed disease incidence with mechanistic process models since John Snow first mapped cholera cases around a London water pump in 1854. Still, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases increasingly affect human populations, and methods used to successfully characterize directly transmitted diseases are often insufficient. We use four case studies to demonstrate that advances in disease forecasting require better understanding of zoonotic host and vector populations, as well of the dynamics that facilitate pathogen amplification and disease spillover into humans. In each case study, this goal is complicated by limited data, spatiotemporal variability in pathogen transmission and impact, and often, insufficient biological understanding. We present a conceptual framework for data-model fusion in infectious disease research that addresses these fundamental challenges using a hierarchical state-space structure to (1) integrate multiple data sources and spatial scales to inform latent parameters, (2) partition uncertainty in process and observation models, and (3) explicitly build upon existing ecological and epidemiological understanding. Given the constraints inherent in the study of infectious disease and the urgent need for progress, fusion of data and expertise via this type of conceptual framework should prove an indispensable tool. PMID:21830694

  20. Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientific Literacy and Improved Conceptual Understanding of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinzino, Dean William

    This thesis investigates the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in the high school science classroom as an introduction to argumentation and socioscientific reasoning, with the goal of improving students' scientific literacy (SL). Current research is reviewed that supports the likelihood of students developing a greater conceptual understanding of scientific theories as well as a deeper understanding of the nature of science (NOS), through participation in informal and formal forms of argumentation in the context of SSI. Significant gains in such understanding may improve a student's ability to recognize the rigor, legitimacy, and veracity of scientific claims and better discern science from pseudoscience. Furthermore, students that participate in significant SSI instruction by negotiating a range of science-related social issues can make significant gains in content knowledge and develop the life-long skills of argumentation and evidence-based reasoning, goals not possible in traditional lecture-based science instruction. SSI-based instruction may therefore help students become responsible citizens. This synthesis also suggests that that the improvements in science literacy and NOS understanding that develop from sustained engagement in SSI-based instruction will better prepare students to examine and scrutinize socially controversial scientific theories (i.e., evolution, global warming, and the Big Bang).

  1. Performance Engineering: Understanding and Improving thePerformance of Large-Scale Codes

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, David H.; Lucas, Robert; Hovland, Paul; Norris, Boyana; Yelick, Kathy; Gunter, Dan; de Supinski, Bronis; Quinlan, Dan; Worley,Pat; Vetter, Jeff; Roth, Phil; Mellor-Crummey, John; Snavely, Allan; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Reed, Dan; Fowler, Rob; Zhang, Ying; Hall, Mary; Chame, Jacque; Dongarra, Jack; Moore, Shirley

    2007-10-01

    Achieving good performance on high-end computing systems is growing ever more challenging due to enormous scale, increasing architectural complexity, and increasing application complexity. To address these challenges in DOE's SciDAC-2 program, the Performance Engineering Research Institute (PERI) has embarked on an ambitious research plan encompassing performance modeling and prediction, automatic performance optimization and performance engineering of high profile applications. The principal new component is a research activity in automatic tuning software, which is spurred by the strong user preference for automatic tools.

  2. Differential Improvement in Student Understanding of Mathematical Principles following Formative Assessment Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Julia; Choi, Kilchan; Vendlinski, Terry; Baker, Eva; Herman, Joan

    2011-01-01

    The authors describe results from a study of a middle school mathematics formative assessment strategy. They employed a randomized, controlled design to address the following question: Does using our strategy improve student performance on assessments of key mathematical ideas relative to a comparison group? Eighty-five teachers and 4,091 students…

  3. Understanding and Improving the Use of Writing Portfolios in One French Immersion Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Christine L.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the use of writing portfolios in improving the accuracy of French immersion students' written French. It emerged from regularly observed notable and repeated errors in many of the author's students' writing (entitled fossilized errors due their resistance to correction). This study reaffirms that students of French…

  4. Using Sap Flow Monitoring for Improved Process-based Ecohydrologic Understanding 2022

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sap flow measurements can be an important tool for unraveling the complex web of ecosystem fluxes, especially when it is combined with other measurements like eddy covariance, isotopes, remote sensing, etc. In this talk, we will demonstrate how sap flow measurements have improved our process-level u...

  5. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement. II. Development of Research-Based Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2012-01-01

    We describe the development and implementation of research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials and peer-instruction tools to reduce students' common difficulties with issues related to measurement in quantum mechanics. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students'…

  6. Using Technology and Inquiry to Improve Student Understanding of Watershed Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Julie M.; Edwards, Patrick M.; Raschke, Jason

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the design, implementation and assessment of the Columbia River Basin Environmental Research Project (CERP) curriculum. CERP is an online inquiry-based, regional geographic curriculum designed to improve technology skills and content knowledge about water quality and watershed-level processes. Student attitudes and knowledge…

  7. Improving Textbooks as a Way to Foster Civic Understanding and Engagement. CIRCLE Working Paper 54

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambliss, Marilyn; Richardson, Wendy; Torney-Purta, Judith; Wilkenfeld, Britt

    2007-01-01

    Efforts to improve civic education face a conundrum. On the one hand, students report that they are more likely to learn about democracy and citizenship through reading textbooks than through any other activity and according to the National Education Association, reading is the gateway to learning in all content areas. However, reviews of textbook…

  8. Understanding the "How" of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Devaney, Elizabeth; Smith, Charles; Wong, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, afterschool and youth development programming has moved from providing childcare for working parents to being an integral component of the learning day, supporting the academic, social, and emotional development of young people. An important part of that transition has been a growing emphasis on improving program quality.…

  9. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Specific Content Learning: A Designed Teaching Sequence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahmad, N. J.; Lah, Y. Che

    2012-01-01

    The efficacy of a teaching sequence designed for a specific content of learning of electrochemistry is described in this paper. The design of the teaching draws upon theoretical insights into perspectives on learning and empirical studies to improve the teaching of this topic. A case study involving two classes, the experimental and baseline…

  10. Understanding the Components of Quality Improvement Collaboratives: A Systematic Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Nadeem, Erum; Olin, S Serene; Hill, Laura Campbell; Hoagwood, Kimberly Eaton; Horwitz, Sarah McCue

    2013-01-01

    Context In response to national efforts to improve quality of care, policymakers and health care leaders have increasingly turned to quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) as an efficient approach to improving provider practices and patient outcomes through the dissemination of evidence-based practices. This article presents findings from a systematic review of the literature on QICs, focusing on the identification of common components of QICs in health care and exploring, when possible, relations between QIC components and outcomes at the patient or provider level. Methods A systematic search of five major health care databases generated 294 unique articles, twenty-four of which met our criteria for inclusion in our final analysis. These articles pertained to either randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies with comparison groups, and they reported the findings from twenty different studies of QICs in health care. We coded the articles to identify the components reported for each collaborative. Findings We found fourteen crosscutting components as common ingredients in health care QICs (e.g., in-person learning sessions, phone meetings, data reporting, leadership involvement, and training in QI methods). The collaboratives reported included, on average, six to seven of these components. The most common were in-person learning sessions, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles, multidisciplinary QI teams, and data collection for QI. The outcomes data from these studies indicate the greatest impact of QICs at the provider level; patient-level findings were less robust. Conclusions Reporting on specific components of the collaborative was imprecise across articles, rendering it impossible to identify active QIC ingredients linked to improved care. Although QICs appear to have some promise in improving the process of care, there is great need for further controlled research examining the core components of these collaboratives related to patient- and

  11. Improving Student Understanding of Magmatic Differentiation Using an M&M Magma Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, K. R.

    2003-12-01

    Many students, especially those in introductory geology courses, have difficulty developing a deep understanding of the processes of magmatic differentiation. In particular, students often struggle to understand Bowen's reaction series and fractional crystallization. The process of fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is represented by a different color M&M; other kinds of differently colored or shaped pieces could also be used. Appropriate numbers of each color M&M are combined to approximate the cation proportions of a basaltic magma. Students then fractionate the magma by moving M&M's to the bottom of the magma chamber forming a series of cumulus layers; the M&M's are removed in the stoichiometric proportions of cations in the crystallizing minerals (e.g., olivine, pyroxene, feldspars, quartz, magnetite, ilmenite). Students observe the changing cation composition (proportions of colors of M&M's) in the cumulus layers and in the magma chamber and graph the results using spreadsheet software. More advanced students (e.g., petrology course) can classify the cumulates and resulting liquid after each crystallization step, and they can compare the model system with natural magmatic systems (e.g., absence of important fractionating phases, volatiles). Students who have completed this exercise generally indicate a positive experience and demonstrate increased understanding of Bowen's reaction series and fractionation processes. They also exhibit greater familiarity with mineral stoichiometry, classification, solid-solution in minerals, element behavior (e.g., incompatibility), and chemical variation diagrams. Other models (e.g., paths of equilibrium and fractional crystallization on phase diagrams) can also be used to illustrate differentiation processes in upper level courses (e.g., mineralogy and petrology).

  12. Using Scientific Argumentation in a Science Methods Course to Improve Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, J. L.; Bleicher, R. E.; Soden, B. J.

    2014-12-01

    Given that K-12 students have numerous alternative conceptions, it is critical that teachers have an understanding of the fundamental science underlying climate change (Feldman et al., 2010). Many teachers, however, do not demonstrate adequate understanding of these concepts (Daskolia et al., 2006). Argumentation has been identified as a mechanism for conceptual change (Mercer et al., 2004). Even with several educational initiatives promoting and supporting the use of argumentation as an instructional practice, teachers often struggle to implement argumentation in the classroom (Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). To remedy both issues above, we have designed an innovative methods course to provide background in climate change knowledge and argumentation instruction. In our methods course, we utilize Climate Science Investigations (CSI), an online, interactive series of modules and teaching resources funded by a NASA grant to support teachers learning about the basic science concepts underlying climate change. A key assignment is to develop and present an evidence-based scientific argument. The teachers were assigned a typical question and claim of climate skeptics and asked to conduct research on the scientific findings to prepare a counter-argument (rebuttal). This study examined changes in 60 preservice teachers' knowledge and perceptions about climate change after participation in the course. The teachers' understanding of fundamental concepts increased significantly. Their perceptions about climate change became more aligned to those of climate scientists. Findings suggest that scientific argumentation can play an effective role in the preparation of science educators. In addition to reporting findings in more detail, methods course activities, particularly in argumentation, will be shared in our presentation.

  13. General chemistry courses that can affect achievement: An action research study in developing a plan to improve undergraduate chemistry courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shweikeh, Eman

    Over the past 50 years, considerable research has been dedicated to chemistry education. In evaluating principal chemistry courses in higher education, educators have noted the learning process for first-year general chemistry courses may be challenging. The current study investigated perceptions of faculty, students and administrators on chemistry education at three institutions in Southern California. Via action research, the study sought to develop a plan to improve student engagement in general chemistry courses. A mixed method was utilized to analyze different perceptions on key factors determining the level of commitment and engagement in general chemistry education. The approach to chemistry learning from both a faculty and student perspective was examined including good practices, experiences and extent of active participation. The research study considered well-known measures of effective education with an emphasis on two key components: educational practices and student behavior. Institutional culture was inclusively assessed where cognitive expectations of chemistry teaching and learning were communicated. First, the extent in which faculty members are utilizing the "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" in their instruction was explored. Second, student attitudes and approaches toward chemistry learning were examined. The focus was on investigating student understanding of the learning process and the structure of chemistry knowledge. The seven categories used to measure students' expectations for learning chemistry were: effort, concepts, math link, reality link, outcome, laboratory, and visualization. This analysis represents the views of 16 faculty and 140 students. The results validated the assertion that students need some competencies and skills to tackle the challenges of the chemistry learning process to deeply engage in learning. A mismatch exists between the expectations of students and those of the faculty

  14. Anatomy of Teaching Anatomy: Do Prosected Cross Sections Improve Students Understanding of Spatial and Radiological Anatomy?

    PubMed Central

    Vithoosan, S.; Kokulan, S.; Dissanayake, M. M.; Dissanayake, Vajira; Jayasekara, Rohan

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Cadaveric dissections and prosections have traditionally been part of undergraduate medical teaching. Materials and Methods. Hundred and fifty-nine first-year students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, were invited to participate in the above study. Students were randomly allocated to two age and gender matched groups. Both groups were exposed to identical series of lectures regarding anatomy of the abdomen and conventional cadaveric prosections of the abdomen. The test group (n = 77, 48.4%) was also exposed to cadaveric cross-sectional slices of the abdomen to which the control group (n = 82, 51.6%) was blinded. At the end of the teaching session both groups were assessed by using their performance in a timed multiple choice question paper as well as ability to identify structures in abdominal CT films. Results. Scores for spatial and radiological anatomy were significantly higher among the test group when compared with the control group (P < 0.05, CI 95%). Majority of the students in both control and test groups agreed that cadaveric cross section may be useful for them to understand spatial and radiological anatomy. Conclusion. Introduction of cadaveric cross-sectional prosections may help students to understand spatial and radiological anatomy better. PMID:27579181

  15. Health professionals' knowledge and understanding about Listeria monocytogenes indicates a need for improved professional training.

    PubMed

    Buffer, Janet L; Medeiros, Lydia C; Kendall, Patricia; Schroeder, Mary; Sofos, John

    2012-07-01

    Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease in immunocompromised persons, with a public health burden of approximately $2 billion annually. Those consumers most at risk are the highly susceptible populations otherwise known as the immunocompromised. Health professionals have a considerable amount of interaction with the immunocompromised and are therefore a valuable resource for providing appropriate safe food handling information. To determine how knowledgeable health professionals are about Listeria monocytogenes, a nationwide Web-based survey was distributed targeting registered nurses (RNs) and registered dietitians (RDs) who work with highly susceptible populations. Responses were received from 499 health professionals. Knowledge and understanding of Listeria monocytogenes was assessed descriptively. Parametric and nonparametric analyses were used to detect differences between RNs and RDs. The major finding is that there are gaps in knowledge and a self-declared lack of understanding by both groups, but especially RNs, about Listeria monocytogenes. RDs were more likely than RNs to provide information about specific foods and food storage behaviors to prevent a Listeria infection. Notably, neither group of health professionals consistently provided Listeria prevention messages to their immunocompromised patients. Pathogens will continue to emerge as food production, climate, water, and waste management systems change. Health professionals, represented by RNs and RDs, need resources and training to ensure that they are providing the most progressive information about various harmful pathogens; in this instance, Listeria monocytogenes. PMID:22980015

  16. Using Authentic Oceanographic, Climatic, and Polar Data with Students: Improving Student Understanding of Environmental Phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mckay, M.; Albrecht, M.

    2011-12-01

    Background: Information on climatic change, ocean acidification, and the melting of polar ice sheets fill today's headlines. Students typically lack experience in finding, collecting, or interpreting real oceanographic or climatic data. They are usually provided with data-sets that are not current or representative of actual environmental conditions, or of interest to current scientific investigations. As a result, most students do not have an appreciation of the scope or impact of environmental changes occurring both in the past and in the present day. The focus of this study included climate change, ocean drilling core data from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), phytoplankton/zooplankton studies, and satellite studies of the Monterey Bay, the Arctic, and areas of Paleoclimate interest. Methods: Researchers compared student understanding of paleoclimatic concepts, along with present day oceanographic, climatic, and polar phenomena, when taught using authentic data and data analysis with non-inquiry based instruction. Techniques used in the study by students included the visualization of ocean cores and analysis of cataloged ocean core data. Techniques also included the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing techniques to analyze present day oceanographic, climatic, and polar phenomena. Results: Study results indicate that students gained a greater understanding of paleoclimate and contemporary environmental phenomena when using authentic data-sets when compared with non-current data-sets. Students also performed better in designing investigations and interpreting results.

  17. POST-TRAUMATIC OSTEOARTHRITIS: IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR EARLY INTERVENTION†

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald D.; Chubinskaya, Susan; Guilak, Farshid; Martin, James A.; Oegema, Theodore R.; Olson, Steven A.; Buckwalter, Joseph A.

    2011-01-01

    Even with current treatments of acute joint injuries, more than 40% of people who suffer significant ligament or meniscus tears, or articular surface injuries, will develop osteoarthritis. Correspondingly, 12% or more of all patients with lower extremity osteoarthritis have a history of joint injury. Recent research suggests that acute joint damage that occurs at the time of an injury initiates a sequence of events that can lead to progressive articular surface damage. New molecular interventions, combined with evolving surgical methods, aim to minimize or prevent progressive tissue damage triggered by joint injury. Seizing the potential for progress in the treatment of joint injuries to forestall OA will depend on advances in: (1) quantitative methods of assessing the injury severity, including both structural damage and biologic responses, (2) understanding of the pathogenesis of post-traumatic OA, taking into account potential interactions among the different tissues and the role of post-traumatic incongruity and instability, and (3) application of engineering and molecular research to develop new methods of treating injured joints. This paper highlights recent advances in understanding of the structural damage and the acute biological response following joint injury, and it identifies important directions for future research. PMID:21520254

  18. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-01-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies. PMID:25567971

  19. Understanding and Improving Cardiovascular Health: An Update on the American Heart Association's Concept of Cardiovascular Health.

    PubMed

    Shay, Christina M; Gooding, Holly S; Murillo, Rosenda; Foraker, Randi

    2015-01-01

    The American Heart Association's 2020 Strategic Impact Goal is "By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%." To monitor progress towards this goal, a new construct "ideal cardiovascular health" (iCVH) was defined that includes the simultaneous presence of optimal levels of seven health behaviors (physical activity, smoking, dietary intake, and body mass index) and factors (total cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose). In this review, we present a summary of major concepts related to the concept of iCVH and an update of the literature in this area since publication of the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal, including trends in iCVH prevalence, new determinants and outcomes related to iCVH, strategies for maintaining or improving iCVH, policy implications of the iCVH model, and the remaining challenges to reaching the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal. PMID:25958016

  20. Understanding How the "Open" of Open Source Software (OSS) Will Improve Global Health Security.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Erin; Blazes, David; Lewis, Sheri

    2016-01-01

    Improving global health security will require bold action in all corners of the world, particularly in developing settings, where poverty often contributes to an increase in emerging infectious diseases. In order to mitigate the impact of emerging pandemic threats, enhanced disease surveillance is needed to improve early detection and rapid response to outbreaks. However, the technology to facilitate this surveillance is often unattainable because of high costs, software and hardware maintenance needs, limited technical competence among public health officials, and internet connectivity challenges experienced in the field. One potential solution is to leverage open source software, a concept that is unfortunately often misunderstood. This article describes the principles and characteristics of open source software and how it may be applied to solve global health security challenges. PMID:26889576

  1. a Radiocarbon Database for Improved Understanding of Global Soil Carbon Dynamics: Part II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trumbore, S.; Torn, M. S.; Sierra, C. A.; Smith, L. J.; Nave, L. E.; Workshop Paritipants, R.

    2011-12-01

    We report results of a workshop to initiate a global database of radiocarbon measurements in soil and other ecosystem compartments. Radiocarbon provides critical information for understanding the rate of exchange of soil carbon with the atmosphere and hydrosphere. For example, radiocarbon has been used to demonstrate the importance of short range order minerals in stabilizing organic carbon on millennial timescales in some soils. On decadal to centennial timescales, the infiltration of 'bomb' radiocarbon provides a measure of the amount and nature of soil carbon that responds on the timescale of most human impacts. The radiocarbon sigature of chemically or physically fractionated soil, or even in specific organic compounds, can yield clues as to controls on organic matter cycling on a range of timescales. Radiocarbon in microbial biomass or respiration can be a sensitive indicator of shifts in substrate use with vegetation, nutrient availability or temperature change. Taken toghether, such measurements can provide critical tests for models of soil carbon dynamics, while patterns in soil C dynamics with edaphic factors can be used to help parameterize models at spatial scales ranging from profile to landscape to global. The advent and proliferation of accelerator mass spectrometry since the early 1990s has vastly increased the number of radiocarbon analyses carried out in soils. However, these studies have usually been carried out by individual investigators within specific sites or regions, and to date the results have not been assembled, interpreted or compared at larger spatial scales. Given the expense of radiocarbon measurements, and the need for global synthesis products to evaluate and/or develop models of soil carbon response to climate and land use changes across a range of spatial scales, our goals are to: (1) bring together in one place existing radiocarbon measurements and provide a continuing common repository for new analyses; (2) supply ancillary

  2. Linking Student Achievement and Teacher Science Content Knowledge about Climate Change: Ensuring the Nations 3 Million Teachers Understand the Science through an Electronic Professional Development System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niepold, F.; Byers, A.

    2009-12-01

    The scientific complexities of global climate change, with wide-ranging economic and social significance, create an intellectual challenge that mandates greater public understanding of climate change research and the concurrent ability to make informed decisions. The critical need for an engaged, science literate public has been repeatedly emphasized by multi-disciplinary entities like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Academies (Rising Above the Gathering Storm report), and the interagency group responsible for the recently updated Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. There is a clear need for an American public that is climate literate and for K-12 teachers confident in teaching relevant science content. A key goal in the creation of a climate literate society is to enhance teachers’ knowledge of global climate change through a national, scalable, and sustainable professional development system, using compelling climate science data and resources to stimulate inquiry-based student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This session will explore innovative e-learning technologies to address the limitations of one-time, face-to-face workshops, thereby adding significant sustainability and scalability. The resources developed will help teachers sift through the vast volume of global climate change information and provide research-based, high-quality science content and pedagogical information to help teachers effectively teach their students about the complex issues surrounding global climate change. The Learning Center is NSTA's e-professional development portal to help the nations teachers and informal educators learn about the scientific complexities of global climate change through research-based techniques and is proven to significantly improve teacher science content knowledge.

  3. Improved understanding of factors driving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus epidemic waves

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Som S; Otto, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains one of the most important causes of nosocomial infections worldwide. Since the global spread of MRSA in the 1960s, MRSA strains have evolved with increased pathogenic potential. Notably, some strains are now capable of causing persistent infections not only in hospitalized patients but also in healthy individuals in the community. Furthermore, MRSA is increasingly associated with infections among livestock-associated workers, primarily because of transmission from animals to humans. Moreover, many MRSA strains have gained resistance to most available antibiotics. In this review, we will present current knowledge on MRSA epidemiology and discuss new endeavors being undertaken to understand better the molecular and epidemiological underpinnings of MRSA outbreaks. PMID:23861600

  4. Exploiting new electrochemical understanding of niobium electropolishing for improved performance of SRF cavities for CEBAF

    SciTech Connect

    Reece, Charles E.; Tian, Hui

    2010-09-01

    Recent incorporation of analytic electrochemistry into the development of protocols for electropolishing niobium SRF cavities has yielded new insights for optimizing this process for consistent, high-performance results. Use of reference electrodes in the electrolyte, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), rotating disk electrodes (RDE), and controlled sample temperatures has greatly clarified the process dynamics over the empirical understanding developed via years of practice. Minimizing RF losses at high operational gradients is very valuable for CW linacs. Jefferson Lab is applying these new insights to the low-loss 7-cell cavity design developed for the CEBAF 12 GeV Upgrade. Together with controlled cleaning and assembly techniques to guard against field-emission-causing particulates, the resulting process is yielding consistent cavity performance that exceeds project requirements. Cavity tests show BCS-limited Q well above 30 MV/m. Detailed process data, interpretation, and resulting rf performance data will be presented.

  5. MoFlow: visualizing conformational changes in molecules as molecular flow improves understanding

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Current visualizations of molecular motion use a Timeline-analogous representation that conveys "first the molecule was shaped like this, then like this...". This scheme is orthogonal to the Pathline-like human understanding of motion "this part of the molecule moved from here to here along this path". We present MoFlow, a system for visualizing molecular motion using a Pathline-analogous representation. Results The MoFlow system produces high-quality renderings of molecular motion as atom pathlines, as well as interactive WebGL visualizations, and 3D printable models. In a preliminary user study, MoFlow representations are shown to be superior to canonical representations for conveying molecular motion. Conclusions Pathline-based representations of molecular motion are more easily understood than timeline representations. Pathline representations provide other advantages because they represent motion directly, rather than representing structure with inferred motion. PMID:26361501

  6. RNA-Seq: Improving Our Understanding of Retinal Biology and Disease.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Michael H; Au, Elizabeth D; Sousa, Maria E; Pierce, Eric A

    2015-01-01

    Over the past several years, rapid technological advances have allowed for a dramatic increase in our knowledge and understanding of the transcriptional landscape, because of the ability to study gene expression in greater depth and with more detail than previously possible. To this end, RNA-Seq has quickly become one of the most widely used methods for studying transcriptomes of tissues and individual cells. Unlike previously favored analysis methods, RNA-Seq is extremely high-throughput, and is not dependent on an annotated transcriptome, laying the foundation for novel genetic discovery. Additionally, RNA-Seq derived transcriptomes provide a basis for widening the scope of research to identify potential targets in the treatment of retinal disease. PMID:25722474

  7. On the Concept of Force: How Understanding its History can Improve Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, Ricardo Lopes

    2010-01-01

    Some physicists have pointed out that we do not know what force is. The most common definition of force in textbooks has been criticized for more than two centuries. Many studies have shown that the concept of force is a problem for teaching. How to conceive force on the basis of the concepts and criticism of force in the works of Newton, Euler, d’Alembert, Lagrange, Lazare Carnot, Saint-Venant, Reech, Kirchhoff, Mach, Hertz and Poincaré is the question of the present article. This part of the article is followed by an overview of definitions of force in contemporary textbooks. In the next part, an answer to the question is given: how to understand force within the framework of the laws of motion and in applications. Finally, some educational implications are considered.

  8. Integrating flux, satellite, and proximal optical data for an improved understanding of ecosystem carbon uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamon, J. A.; Huemmrich, K. F.; Garrity, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    The different scales and methods of satellite observations and flux measurements present challenges for data integration that can be partly addressed by the addition of scale-appropriate optical sampling. Proximal optical measurement facilitates experimental approaches that can inform upscaling, satellite validation, and lead to better understanding of controls on carbon fluxes and other ecosystem processes. Using the framework of the light-use efficiency model, this presentation will review efforts to explore the controls on ecosystem-atmosphere carbon fluxes using a variety of novel optical sensors and platforms. Topics of appropriate sampling methodology, scaling and data aggregation will also be considered, with examples of how information content and interpretation of optical data can be scale-dependent. Key challenges include informatics solutions that handle large, multi-dimensional data volumes and contextual information, including information about sampling protocols and scale. Key opportunities include the assessment of vegetation functional diversity with optical sensors.

  9. Interactive tutorial to improve student understanding of single photon experiments involving a Mach-Zehnder interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-03-01

    We have developed and evaluated a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with single photons to expose upper-level students in quantum mechanics courses to contemporary quantum optics applications. The QuILT strives to help students develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to physical situations in quantum optics and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas. The QuILT adapts visualization tools to help students build physical intuition about counter-intuitive quantum optics phenomena with single photons including a quantum eraser setup and focuses on helping them integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding. We discuss findings from in-class evaluations.

  10. How online learning modules can improve the representational fluency and conceptual understanding of university physics students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, M.; Sharma, M. D.; Johnston, H.

    2015-07-01

    The use of online learning resources as core components of university science courses is increasing. Learning resources range from summaries, videos, and simulations, to question banks. Our study set out to develop, implement, and evaluate research-based online learning resources in the form of pre-lecture online learning modules (OLMs). The aim of this paper is to share our experiences with those using, or considering implementing, online learning resources. Our first task was to identify student learning issues in physics to base the learning resources on. One issue with substantial research is conceptual understanding, the other with comparatively less research is scientific representations (graphs, words, equations, and diagrams). We developed learning resources on both these issues and measured their impact. We created weekly OLMs which were delivered to first year physics students at The University of Sydney prior to their first lecture of the week. Students were randomly allocated to either a concepts stream or a representations stream of online modules. The programme was first implemented in 2013 to trial module content, gain experience and process logistical matters and repeated in 2014 with approximately 400 students. Two validated surveys, the Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE) and the Representational Fluency Survey (RFS) were used as pre-tests and post-tests to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided further insights. While both streams of OLMs produced similar positive learning gains on the FMCE, the representations-focussed OLMs produced higher gains on the RFS. Conclusions were triangulated with student responses which indicated that they have recognized the benefit of the OLMs for their learning of physics. Our study shows that carefully designed online resources used as pre-instruction can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding and representational fluency in physics, as well as make them more aware

  11. Understanding the systemic nature of cities to improve health and climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Ralph; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Capon, Anthony

    2016-09-01

    Understanding cities comprehensively as systems is a costly challenge and is typically not feasible for policy makers. Nevertheless, focusing on some key systemic characteristics of cities can give useful insights for policy to advance health and well-being outcomes. Moreover, if we take a coevolutionary systems view of cities, some conventional assumptions about the nature of urban development (e.g. the growth in private vehicle use with income) may not stand up. We illustrate this by examining the coevolution of urban transport and land use systems, and institutional change, giving examples of policy implications. At a high level, our concern derives from the need to better understand the dynamics of urban change, and its implications for health and well-being. At a practical level, we see opportunities to use stylised findings about urban systems to underpin policy experiments. While it is now not uncommon to view cities as systems, policy makers appear to have made little use so far of a systems approach to inform choice of policies with consequences for health and well-being. System insights can be applied to intelligently anticipate change - for example, as cities are subjected to increasing natural system reactions to climate change, they must find ways to mitigate and adapt to it. Secondly, systems insights around policy cobenefits are vital for better informing horizontal policy integration. Lastly, an implication of system complexity is that rather than seeking detailed, 'full' knowledge about urban issues and policies, cities would be well advised to engage in policy experimentation to address increasingly urgent health and climate change issues. PMID:27126780

  12. Using multispecies occupancy models to improve the characterization and understanding of metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    Mihaljevic, Joseph R; Joseph, Maxwell B; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-07-01

    Two of the most prominent frameworks to develop in ecology over the past decade are metacommunity ecology, which seeks to characterize multispecies distributions across space, and occupancy modeling, which corrects for imperfect detection in an effort to better understand species occurrence patterns. Although their goals are complementary, metacommunity theory and statistical occupancy modeling methods have developed independently. For instance, the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) framework uses species occurrence data to classify metacommunity structure and link it to underlying environmental gradients. While the efficacy of this approach relies on the quality of the data, few studies have considered how imperfect detection, which is widespread in ecological surveys and the major focus of occupancy modeling, affects the outcome. We introduce a framework that integrates multispecies occupancy models with the current EMS framework, detection error-corrected EMS (DECEMS). This method offers two distinct advantages. First, DECEMS reduces bias in characterizing metacommunity structure by using repeated surveys and occupancy models to disentangle species-specific occupancy and detection probabilities, ultimately bringing metacommunity structure classification into a more probabilistic framework. Second, occupancy modeling allows estimation of species-specific responses to environmental covariates, which will increase our ability to link species-level effects to metacommunity-wide patterns. After reviewing the EMS framework, we introduce a simple multispecies occupancy model and show how DECEMS can work in practice, highlighting that detection error often causes EMS to assign incorrect structures. To emphasize the broader applicability of this approach, we further illustrate that DECEMS can reduce the rate of structure misclassification by more than 20% in some cases, even proving useful when detection error rates are quite low (-10%). Integrating occupancy

  13. Training of Manual Actions Improves Language Understanding of Semantically Related Action Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Locatelli, Matteo; Gatti, Roberto; Tettamanti, Marco

    2012-01-01

    Conceptual knowledge accessed by language may involve the reactivation of the associated primary sensory-motor processes. Whether these embodied representations are indeed constitutive to conceptual knowledge is hotly debated, particularly since direct evidence that sensory-motor expertise can improve conceptual processing is scarce. In this study, we sought for this crucial piece of evidence, by training naive healthy subjects to perform complex manual actions and by measuring, before and after training, their performance in a semantic language task. Nineteen participants engaged in 3 weeks of motor training. Each participant was trained in three complex manual actions (e.g., origami). Before and after the training period, each subject underwent a series of manual dexterity tests and a semantic language task. The latter consisted of a sentence-picture semantic congruency judgment task, with 6 target congruent sentence-picture pairs (semantically related to the trained manual actions), 6 non-target congruent pairs (semantically unrelated), and 12 filler incongruent pairs. Manual action training induced a significant improvement in all manual dexterity tests, demonstrating the successful acquisition of sensory-motor expertise. In the semantic language task, the reaction times (RTs) to both target and non-target congruent sentence-picture pairs decreased after action training, indicating a more efficient conceptual-semantic processing. Noteworthy, the RTs for target pairs decreased more than those for non-target pairs, as indicated by the 2 × 2 interaction. These results were confirmed when controlling for the potential bias of increased frequency of use of target lexical items during manual training. The results of the present study suggest that sensory-motor expertise gained by training of specific manual actions can lead to an improvement of cognitive-linguistic skills related to the specific conceptual-semantic domain associated to the trained actions

  14. Understanding Low-cycle Fatigue Life Improvement Mechanisms in a Pre-twinned Magnesium Alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Wei; An, Ke

    2015-10-03

    The mechanisms of fatigue life improvement by pre-twinning process in a commercial rolled magnesium (Mg) alloy have been investigated using real-time in situ neutron diffraction under a continuous-loading condition. It is found that by introducing the excess twinned grains through pre-compression along the rolling direction the fatigue life was enhanced approximately 50%, mainly resulting from the prolonged detwinning process and inhibited dislocation slip during reverse tension. Moreover, after pre-twinning process, the removal of the rapid strain hardening during reverse tension leads to a compressive mean stress value and more symmetric shape of stress-strain hysteresis loop. The pre-twinning has significant impacts on the twinning-detwinning characteristics and deformation modes during cyclic loading and greatly facilitates the twinning-detwinning activities in plastic deformation. The cyclic straining leads to the increase of contribution of tensile twinning deformation in overall plastic deformation in both the as-received and pre-deformed sample. The mechanisms of load partitioning in different groups of grains are closely related to the deformation modes in each deformation stage, while the fatigue cycling has little influence on the load sharing. The pre-twinning process provides an easy and cost-effective route to improve the low-cycle fatigue life through manufacturing and processing, which would advance the wide application of light-weight wrought Mg alloys as structural materials.

  15. Understanding Low-cycle Fatigue Life Improvement Mechanisms in a Pre-twinned Magnesium Alloy

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wu, Wei; An, Ke

    2015-10-03

    The mechanisms of fatigue life improvement by pre-twinning process in a commercial rolled magnesium (Mg) alloy have been investigated using real-time in situ neutron diffraction under a continuous-loading condition. It is found that by introducing the excess twinned grains through pre-compression along the rolling direction the fatigue life was enhanced approximately 50%, mainly resulting from the prolonged detwinning process and inhibited dislocation slip during reverse tension. Moreover, after pre-twinning process, the removal of the rapid strain hardening during reverse tension leads to a compressive mean stress value and more symmetric shape of stress-strain hysteresis loop. The pre-twinning has significant impactsmore » on the twinning-detwinning characteristics and deformation modes during cyclic loading and greatly facilitates the twinning-detwinning activities in plastic deformation. The cyclic straining leads to the increase of contribution of tensile twinning deformation in overall plastic deformation in both the as-received and pre-deformed sample. The mechanisms of load partitioning in different groups of grains are closely related to the deformation modes in each deformation stage, while the fatigue cycling has little influence on the load sharing. The pre-twinning process provides an easy and cost-effective route to improve the low-cycle fatigue life through manufacturing and processing, which would advance the wide application of light-weight wrought Mg alloys as structural materials.« less

  16. Understanding and controlling nanoporosity formation for improving the stability of bimetallic fuel cell catalysts.

    PubMed

    Gan, Lin; Heggen, Marc; O'Malley, Rachel; Theobald, Brian; Strasser, Peter

    2013-03-13

    Nanoporosity is a frequently reported phenomenon in bimetallic particle ensembles used as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. It is generally considered a favorable characteristic, because it increases the catalytically active surface area. However, the effect of nanoporosity on the intrinsic activity and stability of a nanoparticle electrocatalyst has remained unclear. Here, we present a facile atmosphere-controlled acid leaching technique to control the formation of nanoporosity in Pt-Ni bimetallic nanoparticles. By statistical analysis of particle size, composition, nanoporosity, and atomic-scale core-shell fine structures before and after electrochemical stability test, we uncover that nanoporosity formation in particles larger than ca. 10 nm is intrinsically tied to a drastic dissolution of Ni and, as a result of this, a rapid drop in intrinsic catalytic activity during ORR testing, translating into severe catalyst performance degradation. In contrast, O2-free acid leaching enabled the suppression of nanoporosity resulting in more solid core-shell particle architectures with thin Pt-enriched shells; surprisingly, such particles maintained high intrinsic activity and improved catalytic durability under otherwise identical ORR tests. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that catalytic stability could further improve by controlling the particle size below ca. 10 nm to avoid nanoporosity. Our findings provide an explanation for the degradation of bimetallic particle ensembles and show an easy to implement pathway toward more durable fuel cell cathode catalysts. PMID:23360425

  17. Manipulating Light to Understand and Improve Solar Cells (494th Brookhaven Lecture)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisaman, Matthew

    2014-04-16

    Energy consumption around the world is projected to approximately triple by the end of the century, according to the 2005 Report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Solar Energy Utilization. Much will change in those next 86 years, but for all the power the world needs—for everything from manufacturing and transportation to air conditioning and charging cell phone batteries—improved solar cells will be crucial to meet this future energy demand with renewable energy sources. At Brookhaven Lab, scientists are probing solar cells and exploring variations within the cells—variations that are so small they are measured in billionths of a meter—in order to make increasingly efficient solar cells and ultimately help reduce the overall costs of deploying solar power plants. Dr. Eisaman will discuss DOE's Sunshot Initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of solar cell-generated electricity by 2020. He will also discuss how he and collaborators at Brookhaven Lab are probing different material compositions within solar cells, measuring how efficiently they collect electrical charge, helping to develop a new class of solar cells, and improving solar-cell manufacturing processes.

  18. An Active Vision Approach to Understanding and Improving Visual Training in the Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voronov, J.; Tarduno, J. A.; Jacobs, R. A.; Pelz, J. B.; Rosen, M. R.

    2009-12-01

    Experience in the field is a fundamental aspect of geologic training, and its effectiveness is largely unchallenged because of anecdotal evidence of its success among expert geologists. However, there have been only a few quantitative studies based on large data collection efforts to investigate how Earth Scientists learn in the field. In a recent collaboration between Earth scientists, Cognitive scientists and experts in Imaging science at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology, we are investigating such a study. Within Cognitive Science, one school of thought, referred to as the Active Vision approach, emphasizes that visual perception is an active process requiring us to move our eyes to acquire new information about our environment. The Active Vision approach indicates the perceptual skills which experts possess and which novices will need to acquire to achieve expert performance. We describe data collection efforts using portable eye-trackers to assess how novice and expert geologists acquire visual knowledge in the field. We also discuss our efforts to collect images for use in a semi-immersive classroom environment, useful for further testing of novices and experts using eye-tracking technologies.

  19. Towards understanding the improved stability of palladium supported on TS-1 for catalytic combustion.

    PubMed

    Setiawan, Adi; Friggieri, Jarrod; Hosseiniamoli, Hadi; Kennedy, Eric M; Dlugogorski, Bogdan Z; Adesina, Adesoji A; Stockenhuber, Michael

    2016-04-21

    A novel Pd supported on TS-1 combustion catalyst was synthesized and tested in methane combustion under very lean and under highly humid conditions (<1%). A notable increase in hydrothermal stability was observed over 1900 h time-on-stream experiments, where an almost constant, steady state activity obtaining 90% methane conversion was achieved below 500 °C. Surface oxygen mobility and coverage plays a major role in the activity and stability of the lean methane combustion in the presence of large excess of water vapour. We identified water adsorption and in turn the hydrophobicity of the catalyst support as the major factor influencing the long term stability of combustion catalysts. While Pd/Al2O3 catalyst shows a higher turn-over frequency than that of Pd/TS-1 catalyst, the situation reversed after ca. 1900 h on stream. Two linear regions, with different activation energies in the Arrhenius plot for the equilibrium Pd/TS-1 catalyst, were observed. The conclusions were supported by catalyst characterization using H2-chemisorption, TPD, XPS analyses as well as N2-adsorption-desorption, XRD, SEM, TEM. The hydrophobicity and competitive adsorption of water with oxygen is suggested to influence oxygen surface coverage and in turn the apparent activation energy for the oxidation reaction. PMID:27031407

  20. Value Driven Outcomes (VDO): a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving health care costs and outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Kawamoto, Kensaku; Martin, Cary J; Williams, Kip; Tu, Ming-Chieh; Park, Charlton G; Hunter, Cheri; Staes, Catherine J; Bray, Bruce E; Deshmukh, Vikrant G; Holbrook, Reid A; Morris, Scott J; Fedderson, Matthew B; Sletta, Amy; Turnbull, James; Mulvihill, Sean J; Crabtree, Gordon L; Entwistle, David E; McKenna, Quinn L; Strong, Michael B; Pendleton, Robert C; Lee, Vivian S

    2015-01-01

    Objective To develop expeditiously a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving healthcare value (costs relative to outcomes). Materials and methods In 2012, a multidisciplinary team was assembled by the leadership of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and charged with rapidly developing a pragmatic and actionable analytics framework for understanding and enhancing healthcare value. Based on an analysis of relevant prior work, a value analytics framework known as Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) was developed using an agile methodology. Evaluation consisted of measurement against project objectives, including implementation timeliness, system performance, completeness, accuracy, extensibility, adoption, satisfaction, and the ability to support value improvement. Results A modular, extensible framework was developed to allocate clinical care costs to individual patient encounters. For example, labor costs in a hospital unit are allocated to patients based on the hours they spent in the unit; actual medication acquisition costs are allocated to patients based on utilization; and radiology costs are allocated based on the minutes required for study performance. Relevant process and outcome measures are also available. A visualization layer facilitates the identification of value improvement opportunities, such as high-volume, high-cost case types with high variability in costs across providers. Initial implementation was completed within 6 months, and all project objectives were fulfilled. The framework has been improved iteratively and is now a foundational tool for delivering high-value care. Conclusions The framework described can be expeditiously implemented to provide a pragmatic, modular, and extensible approach to understanding and improving healthcare value. PMID:25324556

  1. Understanding the independent influence of duty and achievement striving when predicting the relationship between conscientiousness and organizational cultural profiles and helping behaviors.

    PubMed

    Moon, Henry; Livne, Ephrat; Marinova, Sophia

    2013-01-01

    The theory that 2 facets of the factor conscientiousness, duty and achievement striving, are related to self- or other-centered motives, is supported in 2 studies. In Study 1 (N = 204 undergraduates), the self-centered facet of achievement striving was found to be the most important predictor of attraction toward organizational cultures that were outcome-based, aggressive, and emphasized rewards. Achievement strivers were less attracted to supportive and decisive organizations. In Study 2 (N = 189 part-time MBA students) the other-centered facet of duty was found to be predictive of helping behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. PMID:23171231

  2. Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

    2006-06-01

    Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

  3. Your Planetarium: A Friend Indeed; or How to improve the public understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratcliffe, Martin

    1995-05-01

    Astronomical research requires public funding, and thment on public support. The greatest contact between the public and astronomy occurs through the nationUs planetariums, and the staff of these facilities are frequently asked to com'ent on recent discoveries. It is in our best interest to use and support the work of planetariums as an already existing outlet, not only to build public support for research, but as a nationUs commitment to the greater public understanding o" science. AAS President Frank Shu notes in newsletter 74, "failure to prepare the general citizenry to face an increasingly complex technological future indeed puts the nation at risk". Indeed, the issue is an important one. The efforts of the Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium in Pittsburgh to provide up-to-date, accurate information about current astronomical research, the collaborative effort between STScI and the Buhl Planetarium to produce a new planetarium show, Through the Eyes of Hubble, and future efforts for collaborative projects to present science in an informed, yet entertaining way will be presented, and reflect similar efforts of the entire planetarium communty. Following the presented papers, a discussion session will offer the opportunity to explore new links between the planetarium ommunity and the astronomical community. The ideas will be presented to the newly constituted Astronomy Education Policy Board of the AAS as part of the national astronomy education initiative.

  4. Communicating environmental health issues using GIS or improving response to citizens with understandable maps and data

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, J.H.

    1998-07-01

    People living near a Superfund site are understandably concerned about the effects of hazardous waste releases on the health of their families and themselves. These concerns often turn to anger if the residents believe investigators and public health officials are withholding critical details. In many communities with Superfund sites, residents are demanding detailed information on site investigations and public health assessments, even before such activities are completed. Investigators and public health officials can provide on-going public briefings using a geographic information system (GIS) as part of an interactive public presentation. A GIS is an excellent tool to answer questions about locations of multi-media site investigations and the analytical results because it combines computer mapping and graphics with a database. Rather than incorporate a multitude of slides and overheads into a detailed public presentation that too often never addresses the citizen concerns, a GIS can be used as a query system to answer citizen's questions. The GIS can be incorporated into a laptop or desktop computer for a one-on-one session with a resident or can be plugged into a computer projector to answer questions at public meetings.

  5. Use of Airport Noise Complaint Files to Improve Understanding of Community Response to Aircraft Noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fidell, Sanford; Howe, Richard

    1998-01-01

    This study assessed the feasibility of using complaint information archived by modem airport monitoring systems to conduct quantitative analyses of the causes of aircraft noise complaints and their relationship to noise- induced annoyance. It was found that all computer-based airport monitoring systems provide at least rudimentary tools for performing data base searches by complainant name, address, date, time of day, and types of aircraft and complaints. Analyses of such information can provide useful information about longstanding concerns, such as the extent to which complaint rates are driven by objectively measurable aspects of aircraft operations; the degree to which changes in complaint rates can be predicted prior to implementation of noise mitigation measures; and the degree to which aircraft complaint information can be used to simplify and otherwise improve prediction of the prevalence of noise-induced annoyance in communities.

  6. Improving our understanding of papillary renal cell carcinoma with integrative genomic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Modi, Parth K.

    2016-01-01

    Papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) is a heterogeneous and incompletely understood histologic subtype of kidney cancer. Recently, authors from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network performed a comprehensive molecular characterization of pRCC. Using multiple analytic methods, they identified 4 subgroups of pRCC with varied genotypic anomalies and probabilities of overall survival. This analysis elucidated the differences between type 1 and type 2 pRCC. Furthermore, type 2 pRCC was found to be heterogeneous itself, with at least 3 subtypes with distinct molecular features. This improved characterization and insight about potential driver mutations and altered pathways may lead to the development of more targeted agents and better patient stratification in clinical trials for pRCC. PMID:27162793

  7. Understanding Interactions between Cellular Matrices and Metal Complexes: Methods To Improve Silver Nanodot-Specific Staining.

    PubMed

    Choi, Sungmoon; Yu, Junhua

    2016-08-26

    Metal complexes are frequently used for biological applications due to their special photophysical and chemical characteristics. Due to strong interactions between metals and biomacromolecules, a random staining of cytoplasm or nucleoplasm by the complexes results in a low signal-to-background ratio. In this study, we used luminescent silver nanodots as a model to investigate the major driving force for non-specific staining in cellular matrices. Even though some silver nanodot emitters exhibited excellent specific staining of nucleoli, labeling with nanodots was problematic owing to severe non-specific staining. Binding between silver and sulfhydryl group of proteins appeared to be the major factor that enforced the silver staining. The oxidation of thiol groups in cells with hexacyanoferrate(III) dramatically weakened the silver-cell interaction and consequently significantly improved the efficiency of targeted staining. PMID:27380586

  8. Understanding stress in the operating room: a step toward improving the work environment.

    PubMed

    Vowels, Anthony; Topp, Robert; Berger, Jill

    2012-01-01

    Job-related stress is an important factor predicting staff satisfaction and position turnover among nursing staff, particularly in the operating room. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived amount of stress elicited by events in the perioperative environment, the frequency of those events, and the impact of those events on the perceived stress of operating room nurses (ORNs) and operating room technologists (ORTs). The Survey on Stress in the OR instrument, which was used to query the subjects, exhibited high internal consistency of all items. The findings indicated that the ORNs and the ORTs exhibited remarkable similarities between stressful events perceived as high and low impact. The two groups agreed that the highest impact stressful event was "pressure to work more quickly." Using the results of this study, OR administrators may be able to redesign the OR environment to minimize the impact of stressful events and thereby improve job satisfaction and minimize nursing staff turnover. PMID:22545480

  9. Improving our understanding of papillary renal cell carcinoma with integrative genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Modi, Parth K; Singer, Eric A

    2016-04-01

    Papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) is a heterogeneous and incompletely understood histologic subtype of kidney cancer. Recently, authors from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network performed a comprehensive molecular characterization of pRCC. Using multiple analytic methods, they identified 4 subgroups of pRCC with varied genotypic anomalies and probabilities of overall survival. This analysis elucidated the differences between type 1 and type 2 pRCC. Furthermore, type 2 pRCC was found to be heterogeneous itself, with at least 3 subtypes with distinct molecular features. This improved characterization and insight about potential driver mutations and altered pathways may lead to the development of more targeted agents and better patient stratification in clinical trials for pRCC. PMID:27162793

  10. Improving the Understanding of Intake and Charge Effects for Increasing RCCI Engine Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Splitter, Derek A; Reitz, Rolf; Wissink, martin; DelVescovo, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The present experimental engine efficiency study explores the effects of intake pressure and temperature, and premixed and global equivalence ratios on gross thermal efficiency (GTE) using the reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy. Experiments were conducted in a heavy-duty single-cylinder engine at constant net load (IMEPn) of 8.45 bar, 1300 rev/min engine speed, with 0% EGR, and a 50% mass fraction burned combustion phasing (CA50) of 0.5 CA ATDC. The engine was port fueled with E85 for the low reactivity fuel and direct injected with 3.5% 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) doped into 91 anti-knock index (AKI) gasoline for the high-reactivity fuel. The resulting reactivity of the enhanced fuel corresponds to an AKI of approximately 56 and a cetane number of approximately 28. The engine was operated with a wide range of intake pressures and temperatures, and the ratio of low- to high-reactivity fuel was adjusted to maintain a fixed speed-phasing-load condition. This allowed for the investigation of several combinations of intake temperature, intake pressure, and charge stratification at otherwise constant thermodynamic conditions. The results show that sources of engine inefficiency compete as functions of premixed and global equivalence ratios. Losses are minimized through proper balancing of intake pressure and temperature, such that the global equivalence ratio ( global) is as lean as possible without overly lean regions of the stratified charge causing an increase in incomplete combustion. The explored speed-load-phasing combination shows that losses are minimized at conditions where approximately 2/3 of the fuel is fully premixed. The results exhibit a pathway for achieving simultaneous increases in combustion and fuel efficiency through proper fuel reactivity and initial condition management.

  11. Micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration for the removal of cadmium and zinc: Use of response surface methodology to improve understanding of process performance and optimisation.

    PubMed

    Landaburu-Aguirre, Junkal; Pongrácz, Eva; Perämäki, Paavo; Keiski, Riitta L

    2010-08-15

    In this study, removal of cadmium and zinc from their respective water samples was conducted by micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration (MEUF), using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as the surfactant. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used for modelling and optimising the process, and to gain a better understanding of the process performance. Face Centred Composite (CCF) Design was used as the experimental design. The factors studied were pressure (P), nominal molecular weight limit (NMWL), heavy metal feed concentration (C(Zn), C(Cd)) and SDS feed concentration (C(SDS)). Using RSM the retention of heavy metals was maximized while optimising the surfactant to metal ratio (S/M). Response surface plots improved the understanding the effect of the factors on permeate flux. Concentration polarisation was negligible and therefore, high NMWL membranes with high pressure provided high flux with negligible effect on the retention of heavy metals. The optimal conditions of zinc removal were C(SDS)=13.9 mM, C(Zn)=0.5 mM, NMWL=10 kDa and P=3.0 bar, and for cadmium removal C(SDS)=14.2 mM, C(Cd)=0.5 mM, NMWL=10 kDa and P=3.0 bar. The retentions achieved were 98.0+/-0.4% for zinc and 99.0+/-0.4% for cadmium. To improve resource efficiency, the surfactant was reclaimed after use; 84% of the initial SDS was recovered by precipitation. PMID:20488619

  12. The emergence of hydrogeophysics for improved understanding of subsurface processes over multiple scales

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Binley, Andrew; Hubbard, Susan S.; Huisman, Johan A.; Revil, André; Robinson, David A.; Singha, Kamini; Slater, Lee D.

    2015-06-15

    Geophysics provides a multidimensional suite of investigative methods that are transforming our ability to see into the very fabric of the subsurface environment, and monitor the dynamics of its fluids and the biogeochemical reactions that occur within it. Here we document how geophysical methods have emerged as valuable tools for investigating shallow subsurface processes over the past two decades and offer a vision for future developments relevant to hydrology and also ecosystem science. The field of “hydrogeophysics” arose in the late 1990s, prompted, in part, by the wealth of studies on stochastic subsurface hydrology that argued for better field-based investigativemore » techniques. These new hydrogeophysical approaches benefited from the emergence of practical and robust data inversion techniques, in many cases with a view to quantify shallow subsurface heterogeneity and the associated dynamics of subsurface fluids. Furthermore, the need for quantitative characterization stimulated a wealth of new investigations into petrophysical relationships that link hydrologically relevant properties to measurable geophysical parameters. Development of time-lapse approaches provided a new suite of tools for hydrological investigation, enhanced further with the realization that some geophysical properties may be sensitive to biogeochemical transformations in the subsurface environment, thus opening up the new field of “biogeophysics.” Early hydrogeophysical studies often concentrated on relatively small “plot-scale” experiments. More recently, however, the translation to larger-scale characterization has been the focus of a number of studies. In conclusion, geophysical technologies continue to develop, driven, in part, by the increasing need to understand and quantify key processes controlling sustainable water resources and ecosystem services.« less

  13. The emergence of hydrogeophysics for improved understanding of subsurface processes over multiple scales

    SciTech Connect

    Binley, Andrew; Hubbard, Susan S.; Huisman, Johan A.; Revil, André; Robinson, David A.; Singha, Kamini; Slater, Lee D.

    2015-06-15

    Geophysics provides a multidimensional suite of investigative methods that are transforming our ability to see into the very fabric of the subsurface environment, and monitor the dynamics of its fluids and the biogeochemical reactions that occur within it. Here we document how geophysical methods have emerged as valuable tools for investigating shallow subsurface processes over the past two decades and offer a vision for future developments relevant to hydrology and also ecosystem science. The field of “hydrogeophysics” arose in the late 1990s, prompted, in part, by the wealth of studies on stochastic subsurface hydrology that argued for better field-based investigative techniques. These new hydrogeophysical approaches benefited from the emergence of practical and robust data inversion techniques, in many cases with a view to quantify shallow subsurface heterogeneity and the associated dynamics of subsurface fluids. Furthermore, the need for quantitative characterization stimulated a wealth of new investigations into petrophysical relationships that link hydrologically relevant properties to measurable geophysical parameters. Development of time-lapse approaches provided a new suite of tools for hydrological investigation, enhanced further with the realization that some geophysical properties may be sensitive to biogeochemical transformations in the subsurface environment, thus opening up the new field of “biogeophysics.” Early hydrogeophysical studies often concentrated on relatively small “plot-scale” experiments. More recently, however, the translation to larger-scale characterization has been the focus of a number of studies. In conclusion, geophysical technologies continue to develop, driven, in part, by the increasing need to understand and quantify key processes controlling sustainable water resources and ecosystem services.

  14. The emergence of hydrogeophysics for improved understanding of subsurface processes over multiple scales

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Huisman, Johan A.; Revil, André; Robinson, David A.; Singha, Kamini; Slater, Lee D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Geophysics provides a multidimensional suite of investigative methods that are transforming our ability to see into the very fabric of the subsurface environment, and monitor the dynamics of its fluids and the biogeochemical reactions that occur within it. Here we document how geophysical methods have emerged as valuable tools for investigating shallow subsurface processes over the past two decades and offer a vision for future developments relevant to hydrology and also ecosystem science. The field of “hydrogeophysics” arose in the late 1990s, prompted, in part, by the wealth of studies on stochastic subsurface hydrology that argued for better field‐based investigative techniques. These new hydrogeophysical approaches benefited from the emergence of practical and robust data inversion techniques, in many cases with a view to quantify shallow subsurface heterogeneity and the associated dynamics of subsurface fluids. Furthermore, the need for quantitative characterization stimulated a wealth of new investigations into petrophysical relationships that link hydrologically relevant properties to measurable geophysical parameters. Development of time‐lapse approaches provided a new suite of tools for hydrological investigation, enhanced further with the realization that some geophysical properties may be sensitive to biogeochemical transformations in the subsurface environment, thus opening up the new field of “biogeophysics.” Early hydrogeophysical studies often concentrated on relatively small “plot‐scale” experiments. More recently, however, the translation to larger‐scale characterization has been the focus of a number of studies. Geophysical technologies continue to develop, driven, in part, by the increasing need to understand and quantify key processes controlling sustainable water resources and ecosystem services. PMID:26900183

  15. The emergence of hydrogeophysics for improved understanding of subsurface processes over multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binley, Andrew; Hubbard, Susan S.; Huisman, Johan A.; Revil, André; Robinson, David A.; Singha, Kamini; Slater, Lee D.

    2015-06-01

    Geophysics provides a multidimensional suite of investigative methods that are transforming our ability to see into the very fabric of the subsurface environment, and monitor the dynamics of its fluids and the biogeochemical reactions that occur within it. Here we document how geophysical methods have emerged as valuable tools for investigating shallow subsurface processes over the past two decades and offer a vision for future developments relevant to hydrology and also ecosystem science. The field of "hydrogeophysics" arose in the late 1990s, prompted, in part, by the wealth of studies on stochastic subsurface hydrology that argued for better field-based investigative techniques. These new hydrogeophysical approaches benefited from the emergence of practical and robust data inversion techniques, in many cases with a view to quantify shallow subsurface heterogeneity and the associated dynamics of subsurface fluids. Furthermore, the need for quantitative characterization stimulated a wealth of new investigations into petrophysical relationships that link hydrologically relevant properties to measurable geophysical parameters. Development of time-lapse approaches provided a new suite of tools for hydrological investigation, enhanced further with the realization that some geophysical properties may be sensitive to biogeochemical transformations in the subsurface environment, thus opening up the new field of "biogeophysics." Early hydrogeophysical studies often concentrated on relatively small "plot-scale" experiments. More recently, however, the translation to larger-scale characterization has been the focus of a number of studies. Geophysical technologies continue to develop, driven, in part, by the increasing need to understand and quantify key processes controlling sustainable water resources and ecosystem services.

  16. Surveillance should be strengthened to improve epidemiological understandings of mosquito-borne Barmah Forest virus infection

    PubMed Central

    Eastwood, Keith; Webb, Cameron; Durrheim, David

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Barmah Forest virus (BFV) is a mosquito-borne virus causing epidemic polyarthritis in Australia. This study used case follow-up of cases from the surveillance system to demonstrate that routinely collected BFV notification data were an unreliable indicator of the true location of exposure. Methods BFV notifications from June 2001 to May 2011 were extracted from the New South Wales (NSW) Notifiable Conditions Information Management System to study case distribution. Disease cluster analysis was performed using spatial scan statistics. Exposure history data were collected from cases notified in 2010 and 2011 to accurately determine travel to high-risk areas. Results Cluster analysis using address data identified an area of increased BFV disease incidence in the mid-north coast of NSW contiguous with estuarine wetlands. When travel to this area was investigated, 96.7% (29/30) cases reported having visited coastal regions within four weeks of developing symptoms. Discussion Along the central NSW coastline, extensive wetlands occur in close proximity to populated areas. These wetlands provide ideal breeding habitats for a range of mosquito species implicated in the transmission of BFV. This is the first study to fully assess case exposure with findings suggesting that sporadic cases of BFV in people living further away from the coast do not reflect alternative exposure sites but are likely to result from travel to coastal regions. Spatial analysis by case address alone may lead to inaccurate understandings of the true distribution of arboviral diseases. Subsequently, this information has important implications for the collection of mosquito-borne disease surveillance information and public health response strategies. PMID:23908926

  17. A New and Improved Carbon Dioxide Isotope Analyzer for Understanding Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Y. W.; Berman, E. S.; Owano, T. G.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Oikawa, P. Y.; Baldocchi, D. D.; Still, C. J.; Gardner, A.; Baer, D. S.; Rastogi, B.

    2015-12-01

    Stable CO2 isotopes provide information on biogeochemical processes that occur at the soil-plant-atmosphere interface. While δ13C measurement can provide information on the sources of the CO2, be it photosynthesis, natural gas combustion, other fossil fuel sources, landfills or other sources, δ18O, and δ17O are thought to be determined by the hydrological cycling of the CO2. Though researchers have called for analytical tools for CO2 isotope measurements that are reliable and field-deployable, developing such instrument remains a challenge. The carbon dioxide isotope analyzer developed by Los Gatos Research (LGR) uses LGR's patented Off-Axis ICOS (Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy) technology and incorporates proprietary internal thermal control for high sensitivity and optimal instrument stability. This new and improved analyzer measures CO2 concentration as well as δ13C, δ18O, and δ17O from CO2 at natural abundance (150-2500 ppm). The laboratory precision is ±200 ppb (1σ) in CO2 at 1 s, with a long-term (2 min) precision of ±20 ppb. The 1-second precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.7 ‰, and for δ17O is 1.8 ‰. The long-term (2 min) precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.08 ‰, and for δ17O is 0.18 ‰. The instrument has improved precision, stability and user interface over previous LGR CO2 isotope instruments and can be easily programmed for periodic referencing and sampling from different sources when coupled with LGR's multiport inlet unit (MIU). We have deployed two of these instruments at two different field sites, one at Twitchell Island in Sacramento County, CA to monitor the CO2 isotopic fluxes from an alfalfa field from 6/29/2015-7/13/2015, and the other at the Wind River Experimental Forest in Washington to monitor primarily the oxygen isotopes of CO2 within the canopy from 8/4/2015 through mid-November 2015. Methodology, laboratory development and testing and field performance are presented.

  18. Understanding and Modulating Mammalian-Microbial Communication for Improved Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Mani, Sridhar; Boelsterli, Urs A.; Redinbo, Matthew R.

    2013-01-01

    The fact that the bacteria in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract play a symbiotic role was noted as early as 1885, well before we began to manage microbial infections using antibiotics. However, even with the first antimicrobial compounds used in humans, the sulfa drugs, microbes were recognized to be critically involved in the biotransformation of these therapeutics. Thus, the roles played by the microbiota in physiology and in the management of human health have long been appreciated. Detailed examinations of GI symbiotic bacteria that started in the early 2000s and the first phases of the Human Microbiome Project that were completed in 2012 have ushered in an exciting period of granularity with respect to the ecology, genetics, and chemistry of the mammalian-microbial axes of communication. Here we review aspects of the biochemical pathways at play between commensal GI bacteria and several mammalian systems, including both local-epithelia and nonlocal responses including inflammation, immunology, metabolism, and neurobiology. Finally, we discuss how the microbial biotransformation of therapeutic compounds, such as anticancer or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be modulated to reduce toxicity and potentially improve therapeutic efficacy. PMID:24160697

  19. NASA Contributions to Improve Understanding of Extreme Events in the Global Energy and Water Cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapenta, William M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) has established the water cycle goals of the Nation's climate change program. Accomplishing these goals will require, in part, an accurate accounting of the key reservoirs and fluxes associated with the global water and energy cycle, including their spatial and temporal variability. through integration of all necessary observations and research tools, To this end, in conjunction with NASA's Earth science research strategy, the overarching long-term NASA Energy and Water Cycle Study (NEWS) grand challenge can he summarized as documenting and enabling improved, observationally based, predictions of water and energy cycle consequences of Earth system variability and change. This challenge requires documenting and predicting trends in the rate of the Earth's water and energy cycling that corresponds to climate change and changes in the frequency and intensity of naturally occurring related meteorological and hydrologic events, which may vary as climate may vary in the future. The cycling of water and energy has obvious and significant implications for the health and prosperity of our society. The importance of documenting and predicting water and energy cycle variations and extremes is necessary to accomplish this benefit to society.

  20. Recent Advances in Improvement of Forecast Skill and Understanding Climate Processes Using AIRS Version-5 Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Susskind, Joel; Molnar, Gyula; Iredell, Lena; Rosenberg, Robert

    2012-01-01

    AIRS/AMSU is the state of the art infrared and microwave atmospheric sounding system flying aboard EOS Aqua. These observations, covering the period September 2002 until the present, have been analyzed using the AIRS Science Team Version-5 retrieval algorithm. AIRS is a high spectral resolution infrared grating spectrometer with spect,ral coverage from 650 per centimeter extending to 2660 per centimeter, with low noise and a spectral resolving power of 2400. A brief overview of the AIRS Version-5 retrieval procedure will be presented, including the AIRS channels used in different steps in the retrieval process. Many researchers have used these products to make significant advances in both climate and weather applications. Recent significant results of these experiments will be presented, including results showing that 1) assimilation of AIRS Quality Controlled temperature profiles into a General Circulation Model (GCM) significantly improves the ability to predict storm tracks of intense precipitation events; and 2) anomaly time-series of Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) computed using AIRS sounding products closely match those determined from the CERES instrument, and furthermore explain that the phenomenon that global and especially tropical mean OLR have been decreasing since September 2002 is a result of El Nino/La Nina oscillations during this period.