Science.gov

Sample records for performance improvement focus

  1. Combining two focus measures to improve performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Xiaohua; Yin, Lijuan; Yao, Yunshi; Wu, Wen; Zhang, Yifei

    2017-10-01

    The focus measure is widely used in the shape from focus, passive autofocus, etc, and its performance determines the application results of these techniques. In this paper, a new focus measure that combines two existing focus measures is proposed to improve performance, including the sensitivity to defocus and the independence of image content. Comparative experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness of the proposed focus measure. This paper provides a new idea for follow-up research on high-performance focus measures.

  2. Improving protein array performance: focus on washing and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Nath, Nidhi; Hurst, Robin; Hook, Brad; Meisenheimer, Poncho; Zhao, Kate Q; Nassif, Nadine; Bulleit, Robert F; Storts, Douglas R

    2008-10-01

    For protein microarrays, maintaining protein stability during the slide processing steps of washing, drying, and storage is of major concern. Although several studies have focused on the stability of immobilized antibodies in antibody microarrays, studies on protein-protein interaction arrays and enzyme arrays are lacking. In this paper we used five bait-prey protein interaction pairs and three enzymes to optimize the washing, drying, and storage conditions for protein arrays. The protein arrays for the study were fabricated by combining HaloTag technology and cell-free protein expression. The HaloTag technology, in combination with cell-free expression, allowed rapid expression and immobilization of fusion proteins on hydrogel-coated glass slides directly from cell extracts without any prior purification. Experimental results indicate enzyme captured on glass slides undergoes significant loss of activity when washed and spin-dried using only phosphate buffer, as is typically done with antibody arrays. The impact of washing and spin-drying in phosphate buffer on protein-protein interaction arrays was minimal. However, addition of 5% glycerol to the wash buffer helps retain enzyme activity during washing and drying. We observed significant loss of enzyme activity when slides were stored dry at 4 degrees C, however immobilized enzymes remained active for 30 days when stored at -20 degrees C in 50% glycerol. We also found that cell-free extract containing HaloTag-fused enzymes could undergo multiple freeze/thaw cycles without any adverse impact on enzyme activity. The findings indicate that for large ongoing studies, proteins of interest expressed in cell-free extract can be stored at -70 degrees C and repeatedly used to print small batches of protein array slides to be used over a few weeks.

  3. Improving focus performance at litho using diffraction-based focus metrology, novel calibration methods, interface, and control loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jiarui; Chen, Y. L.; Chen, K. H.; Lee, Brian; Tsai, Frankie; Ke, C. M.; Liao, C. H.; Ngo, Desmond; Gosali, Benny; Tijssen, Robin; Huang, Vincent; Tu, Ward; Noot, Marc; Escalante Marun, Maryana; Leewis, Christian; Luijten, Carlo; Staals, Frank; Van Veen, Martijn; Furthner, Francois; Young, Stuart; Bhattacharyya, Kaustuve

    2016-03-01

    In advanced optical lithography the requirements of focus control continues to tighten. Usable depth of focus (DoF) is already quite low due to typical sources of focus errors, such as topography, wafer warpage and the thickness of photoresist. And now the usable DoF is further decreased by hotspots (design and imaging hotspots). All these have put extra challenges to improve focus metrology, scanner focus stability calibrations and on-product correction mechanisms. Asymmetric focus targets are developed to address robustness in focus measurements using diffraction-based focus (DBF and μDBF) metrology. A new layout specific calibration methodology is introduced for baseline focus setup and control in order to improve scanner focus uniformity and stability using the measurements of the above mentioned asymmetric targets. A similar metrology is also used for on product focus measurements. Moreover, a few novel alternative methods are also investigated for on-product focus measurements. Data shows good correlation between DBF and process on record (POR) method using traditional FEM. The new focus calibration demonstrated robustness, stability and speed. This technical publication will report the data from all the above activities including results from various product layers.

  4. Focused process improvement events: sustainability of impact on process and performance in an academic radiology department.

    PubMed

    Rosenkrantz, Andrew B; Lawson, Kirk; Ally, Rosina; Chen, David; Donno, Frank; Rittberg, Steven; Rodriguez, Joan; Recht, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate sustainability of impact of rapid, focused process improvement (PI) events on process and performance within an academic radiology department. Our department conducted PI during 2011 and 2012 in CT, MRI, ultrasound, breast imaging, and research billing. PI entailed participation by all stakeholders, facilitation by the department chair, collection of baseline data, meetings during several weeks, definition of performance metrics, creation of an improvement plan, and prompt implementation. We explore common themes among PI events regarding initial impact and durability of changes. We also assess performance in each area pre-PI, immediately post-PI, and at the time of the current study. All PI events achieved an immediate improvement in performance metrics, often entailing both examination volumes and on-time performance. IT-based solutions, process standardization, and redefinition of staff responsibilities were often central in these changes, and participants consistently expressed improved internal leadership and problem-solving ability. Major environmental changes commonly occurred after PI, including a natural disaster with equipment loss, a change in location or services offered, and new enterprise-wide electronic medical record system incorporating new billing and radiology informatics systems, requiring flexibility in the PI implementation plan. Only one PI team conducted regular post-PI follow-up meetings. Sustained improvement was frequently, but not universally, observed: in the long-term following initial PI, measures of examination volume showed continued progressive improvements, whereas measures of operational efficiency remained stable or occasionally declined. Focused PI is generally effective in achieving performance improvement, although a changing environment influences the sustainability of impact. Thus, continued process evaluation and ongoing workflow modifications are warranted. Copyright © 2015 American College of Radiology

  5. Competitor presence reduces internal attentional focus and improves 16.1km cycling time trial performance.

    PubMed

    Williams, Emily L; Jones, Hollie S; Andy Sparks, S; Marchant, David C; Midgley, Adrian W; Mc Naughton, Lars R

    2015-07-01

    Whilst the presence of a competitor has been found to improve performance, the mechanisms influencing the change in selected work rates during direct competition have been suggested but not specifically assessed. The aim was to investigate the physiological and psychological influences of a visual avatar competitor during a 16.1-km cycling time trial performance, using trained, competitive cyclists. Randomised cross-over design. Fifteen male cyclists completed four 16.1km cycling time trials on a cycle ergometer, performing two with a visual display of themselves as a simulated avatar (FAM and SELF), one with no visual display (DO), and one with themselves and an opponent as simulated avatars (COMP). Participants were informed the competitive avatar was a similar ability cyclist but it was actually a representation of their fastest previous performance. Increased performance times were evident during COMP (27.8±2.0min) compared to SELF (28.7±1.9min) and DO (28.4±2.3min). Greater power output, speed and heart rate were apparent during COMP trial than SELF (p<0.05) and DO (p≤0.06). There were no differences between SELF and DO. Ratings of perceived exertion were unchanged across all conditions. Internal attentional focus was significantly reduced during COMP trial (p<0.05), suggesting reduced focused on internal sensations during an increase in performance. Competitive cyclists performed significantly faster during a 16.1-km competitive trial than when performing maximally, without a competitor. The improvement in performance was elicited due to a greater external distraction, deterring perceived exertion. Copyright © 2014 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Modified Monovision With Spherical Aberration to Improve Presbyopic Through-Focus Visual Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zheleznyak, Len; Sabesan, Ramkumar; Oh, Je-Sun; MacRae, Scott; Yoon, Geunyoung

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate the impact on visual performance of modifying monovision with monocularly induced spherical aberration (SA) to increase depth of focus (DoF), thereby enhancing binocular through-focus visual performance. Methods. A binocular adaptive optics (AO) vision simulator was used to correct both eyes' native aberrations and induce traditional (TMV) and modified (MMV) monovision corrections. TMV was simulated with 1.5 diopters (D) of anisometropia (dominant eye at distance, nondominant eye at near). Zernike primary SA was induced in the nondominant eye in MMV. A total of four MMV conditions were tested with various amounts of SA (±0.2 and ±0.4 μm) and fixed anisometropia (1.5 D). Monocular and binocular visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) at 10 cyc/deg and binocular summation were measured through-focus in three cyclopledged subjects with 4-mm pupils. Results. MMV with positive SA had a larger benefit for intermediate distances (1.5 lines at 1.0 D) than with negative SA, compared with TMV. Negative SA had a stronger benefit in VA at near. DoF of all MMV conditions was 3.5 ± 0.5 D (mean) as compared with TMV (2.7 ± 0.3 D). Through-focus CS at 10 cyc/deg was significantly reduced with MMV as compared to TMV only at intermediate object distances, however was unaffected at distance. Binocular summation was absent at all object distances except 0.5 D, where it improved in MMV by 19% over TMV. Conclusions. Modified monovision with SA improves through-focus VA and DoF as compared with traditional monovision. Binocular summation also increased as interocular similarity of image quality increased due to extended monocular DoF. PMID:23557742

  7. Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) Improves the Performance of Microtiter Plate ELISAs.

    PubMed

    Green, David J; Rudd, Edwin A; Laugharn, James A

    2014-08-01

    We investigated the use of Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) technology to improve the performance of microtiter plate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Experiments were performed with commercially available AFA instrumentation and off-the-shelf 96-well microtiter plate sandwich ELISAs. AFA was applied over a range of acoustic energies, temperatures, and durations to the antigen/antibody binding step of an ELISA for measuring HIV-1 p24 in tissue culture samples. AFA-mediated antigen/antibody binding was enhanced up to 2-fold over passive binding at comparable temperatures and was superior or comparable at low temperature (8-10 °C) to passive binding at 37 °C. Lower nonspecific binding (NSB), lower inter- and intra-assay coefficients of variation (CVs), higher Z' factors, and lower limits of detection (LODs) were measured in AFA-mediated assays compared with conventional passive binding. In a more limited study, AFA enhancement of antigen/antibody binding and lower NSB was measured in an ELISA for measuring IGFBP-3 in human plasma. We conclude from this study that application of AFA to antigen/antibody binding steps in microtiter plate ELISAs can enhance key assay performance parameters, particularly Z' factors and LODs. These features render AFA-mediated binding assays potentially more useful in applications such as high-throughput screening and in vitro diagnostics than assays processed with conventional passive antigen/antibody binding steps.

  8. Use of quasi-isoelectric buffers as anolyte and catholyte to improve capillary isoelectric focusing performances.

    PubMed

    Poitevin, Martine; Peltre, Gabriel; Descroix, Stephanie

    2008-04-01

    The use of quasi-isoelectric anolytes and catholytes has been investigated to improve CIEF performances. Narrow pH cuts of carrier ampholytes (NC) have been compared to more conventional couples of anolytes/catholytes (phosphoric acid/sodium hydroxide and glutamic acid/lysine). First, a CIEF setup that consists in a bare silica capillary and 70:30 water/glycerol separation medium has been used. The experiments have shown that when using NC instead of more classical anolytes and catholytes, an increase in the protein detection time was observed and the resolutions obtained for neutral and acidic proteins were doubled. Moreover, according to the NC fraction used, the resolution was modified. In order to investigate further the mechanisms involved, a second setup using a capillary coated with hydroxypropylcellulose was used. With this setup no difference has been observed when changing anolyte and catholyte nature. A simple methodology has then been developed to evaluate EOF during focusing and mobilization steps of CIEF experiments. It highlighted the crucial role played by EOF when using a bare silica capillary. EOF indeed decreased by 33% during mobilization step when using NC instead of classical anolytes and catholytes.

  9. Value-Driven Population Health: An Emerging Focus for Improving Stakeholder Role Performance.

    PubMed

    Allen, Harris; Burton, Wayne N; Fabius, Raymond

    2017-04-06

    Health and health care in the United States are being jeopardized by top-end spending whose share of the gross domestic product continues to increase even as aggregate health outcomes remain mediocre. This paper focuses on a new approach for improving stakeholder role performance in the marketplace, value-driven population health (VDPH(SM)). Devoted to maximizing the value of every dollar spent on population health, VDPH holds much promise for ameliorating this dilemma and exerting a constructive influence on the reshaping of the Affordable Care Act. This paper introduces VDPH and differentiates the science underlying it from the management that serves to make good on its potential. To highlight what VDPH brings to the table, comparisons are made with 3 like-minded approaches to health reform. Next, 2 areas are highlighted, workplace wellness and the quality and cost of health care, where without necessarily being recognized as such, VDPH has gained real traction among 2 groups: leading employers and, more recently, leading providers. Key findings with respect to workplace wellness are assessed in terms of psychometric performance to evaluate workplace wellness and to point out how VDPH can help direct future employer initiatives toward firmer scientific footing. Then, insights gleaned from the employer experience are applied to illustrate how VDPH can help guide future provider efforts to build on the model developed. This paper concludes with a framework for the use of VDPH by each of 5 stakeholder groups. The discussion centers on how VDPH transcends and differentiates these groups. Implications for health reform in the recently altered political landscape are explored.

  10. Improving Performance: Leading from the Bottom. PISA in Focus. No. 2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OECD Publishing (NJ1), 2011

    2011-01-01

    Since the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2000 and 2009 surveys both focused on reading, one can track in detail how student reading performance has changed over that period. Among the 26 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries with comparable results in both assessments, Chile, Germany,…

  11. Improving Performance: Leading from the Bottom. PISA in Focus. No. 2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OECD Publishing (NJ1), 2011

    2011-01-01

    Since the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2000 and 2009 surveys both focused on reading, one can track in detail how student reading performance has changed over that period. Among the 26 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries with comparable results in both assessments, Chile, Germany,…

  12. Does Cognitively Focused Instruction Improve the Academic Performance of Low-Achieving Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kearns, Devin M.; Fuchs, Douglas

    2013-01-01

    Stakeholders are debating the value of cognitively focused instruction for students who have not benefited from a skills-based approach. Much of the discussion, however, is occurring without recognition of research that has been conducted in the past 2 decades. In this article, we reviewed the research. Electronic databases and hard copies of…

  13. Want to Improve Low-Performing Schools? Focus on the Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Le Floch, Kerstin; Garcia, Alicia N.; Barbour, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    The Issue: School improvement policy for the past few decades has been characterized by mandated lists of activities--both well intended and research based--designed to stimulate a dramatic turnaround in student achievement. However, this prescriptive approach to policy, particularly federal policy, has not resulted in the systemic changes needed…

  14. Does Performance-Based Pay Improve Teaching? PISA in Focus. No. 16

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OECD Publishing (NJ1), 2012

    2012-01-01

    The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has long established that high-performing education systems tend to pay their teachers more. They also often prioritise the quality of teaching over other choices, including class size. But in the current budgetary climate, paying everybody more may not be a viable alternative. So many…

  15. Improving Performance in Constructing specific Web Directory using Focused Crawler: An Experiment on Botany Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalilian, Madjid; Boroujeni, Farsad Zamani; Mustapha, Norwati

    Nowadays the growth of the web causes some difficulties to search and browse useful information especially in specific domains. However, some portion of the web remains largely underdeveloped, as shown in lack of high quality contents. An example is the botany specific web directory, in which lack of well-structured web directories have limited user's ability to browse required information. In this research we propose an improved framework for constructing a specific web directory. In this framework we use an anchor directory as a foundation for primary web directory. This web directory is completed by information which is gathered with automatic component and filtered by experts. We conduct an experiment for evaluating effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.

  16. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2002-09-27

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the eighth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) issuing subcontracts, (2) SWC membership class expansion, (3) planning SWC technology transfer meetings, and (4) extending selected 2001 project periods of performance. In addition, a literature search that focuses on the use of lasers, microwaves, and acoustics for potential stripper well applications continued.

  17. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2001-09-14

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the US petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the four quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. During this reporting period, Penn State primary focus was on finalizing all subcontracts, planning the SWC technology transfer meeting and two workshops in the southern US, and preparing the next SWC newsletter. Membership in the SWC now stands at 49.

  18. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2003-04-08

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the ninth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) organizing and hosting two fall technology transfer meetings, (2) SWC membership class expansion, and (3) planning the SWC 2003 Spring meeting. In addition, a literature search that focuses on the use of lasers, microwaves, and acoustics for potential stripper well applications continued.

  19. Establishment of an Industry-Driven Consortium Focused on Improving the Production Performance of Domestic Stripper Wells

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison; Sharon L. Elder

    2006-04-21

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has established a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that is focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the seventh quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) Nomination and election of the Executive Council members for the 2006-07 term, (2) Finalize and release the 2006 Request for Proposals (RFP), (3) Invoice and recruit members, (4) Plan for the spring meeting, (5) Improving communication efforts, and (6) Continue distribution of the DVD entitled: ''Independent Oil: Rediscovering American's Forgotten Wells''.

  20. Establishment of an Industry-Driven Consortium Focused on Improving the Production Performance of Domestic Stripper Wells

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison; Sharon L. Elder

    2006-05-01

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that is focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the eighth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) Organize and host the 2006 Spring Meeting in State College, PA to review and select projects for SWC co-funding; (2) Participation in the 2006 PA CleanEnergy Expo Energy Theater to air the DVD on ''Independent Oil: Rediscovering American's Forgotten Wells''; (3) New member additions; (4) Improving communications; and (5) Planning of the fall technology meetings.

  1. Establishment of an Industry-Driven Consortium Focused on Improving the Production Performance of Domestic Stripper Wells

    SciTech Connect

    Joel Morrison; Sharon Elder

    2006-01-24

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the sixth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period included: (1) Organized and hosted two technology transfer meetings; (2) Collaborated with the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (POGAM) to host a Natural Gas Outlook conference in Pittsburgh, PA; (3) Provided a SWC presentation at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) meeting in Jackson Hole, WY; and (4) Completed and released a stripper well industry documentary entitled: ''Independent Oil: Rediscovering America's Forgotten Wells''.

  2. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2005-01-04

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the seventeenth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) organizing and hosting the SWC fall technology transfer meetings in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and State College, Pennsylvania, (2) planning of the upcoming SWC spring proposal meeting, (3) release of the SWC Request-for-proposals (RFP), (4) revision of the SWC By-Laws, and (5) the SWC Executive Council nomination and election for 2005-2006 term members.

  3. Establishment of an Industry-Driven Consortium Focused on Improving the Production Performance of Domestic Stripper Wells

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2005-08-26

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the eighteenth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) prepare presentation for the 16th Annual Oil Recovery Conference in Wichita, Kansas, (2) continued working on the SWC technical bulletin ''Keeping the Home Wells Flowing: Helping Small Independent Oil and Gas Producers Develop New Technology Solutions'', (3) continue efforts on the Public Broadcast of Independent Oil: Rediscovering America's Forgotten Wells, and (4) continue efforts to recruit SWC members.

  4. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2004-12-28

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the first quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) hosting the SWC spring proposal meeting in Golden Colorado, (2) planning of the upcoming SWC fall technology transfer meetings, and (3) recruiting the SWC base membership.

  5. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2004-12-23

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the fifteenth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) hosting the SWC spring proposal meeting in Golden Colorado, (2) planning of the upcoming SWC fall technology transfer meetings, and (3) recruiting the SWC base membership.

  6. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2001-06-28

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the US petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the first quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. The SWC is in its infancy; however, interest from the petroleum and natural gas industry has grown substantially during this reporting period. As of December 31, 2000, nineteen members have joined the consortium and several other companies have expressed interest. During the last three months, efforts were focused on the development of the necessary infrastructure and membership base to begin the consortium technology development activities. These efforts included: (1) preparing a draft constitution and bylaws, (2) developing draft membership application forms, (3) developing an intellectual property statement, (4) providing overview presentations to trade association meetings, and (5) marketing the consortium individually to potential members. These activities are discussed in further detail in this first quarterly technical progress report.

  7. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2004-05-10

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the eleventh quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) organizing and hosting the Spring SWC meeting in Pearl River, New York, (2) working with successful applicants and Penn State's Office of Sponsored Research to get subcontracts in place, and (3) planning three SWC technology transfer meetings to take place in the fall of 2003. During this reporting period, the efforts were focused primarily on the organizing and hosting the SWC Spring proposal meeting and organizing the fall technology transfer meetings.

  8. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2002-08-27

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the sixth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) release of 2002 SWC request-for-proposal, (2) organized and hosted the Spring SWC meeting in Columbus, Ohio for membership proposal presentations and review; (3) tentatively scheduled the 2002 fall technology transfer meeting sites, and (4) continued to recruit additional Consortium members. In addition, a literature search that focuses on the use of lasers, microwaves, and acoustics for potential stripper well applications continued.

  9. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2004-05-10

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the tenth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) release of the 2003 request-for-proposal (RFP), (2) planning the spring SWC meeting in Pearl River New York, and (3) tentatively plan the SWC 2003 fall technology transfer meetings. During this reporting period, the efforts were focused primarily on the organizing and hosting the fall technology transfer meetings. Simultaneously, administrative issues such as modifying the SWC Constitution and By-Laws and creating a block membership tier to promote further industrial involvement were areas of concentration. The SWC is poised to enter its third year with a growing, diversifying membership.

  10. Establishment of an Industry-Driven Consortium Focused on Improving the Production Performance of Domestic Stripper Wells

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison; Sharon L. Elder

    2006-06-30

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that is focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas producers, trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the ninth quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. Key activities for this reporting period include: (1) Develop and process subcontract awards for the nine projects selected at the 2006 Spring meeting; (2) Continue distribution of the DVD on ''Independent Oil: Rediscovering American's Forgotten Wells''; (3) Improving communications; (4) New member recruitment; (5) Identify SWC projects to be showcased for booth exhibition, preparing an exhibit, promoting and marketing for the 2006 Oklahoma Oil and Gas Trade Expo organized by the OK Marginal Well Commission, Oklahoma City, OK; and (6) Identify projects and draft agenda for the fall technical workshop in Pittsburgh, PA.

  11. Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

    This document contains four papers presented at a symposium on performance improvement moderated by Edward Schorer at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) "The Organizational Ecology of Ethical Problems: International Case Studies in the Light of HPT [Human Performance Technology]" (Peter J. Dean,…

  12. Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

    This document contains four papers presented at a symposium on performance improvement moderated by Edward Schorer at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) "The Organizational Ecology of Ethical Problems: International Case Studies in the Light of HPT [Human Performance Technology]" (Peter J. Dean,…

  13. CTE's Focus on Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, John; Kelley, Patricia; Pritz, Sandy; Hodes, Carol

    2011-01-01

    Just one of the ways career and technical education (CTE) is revamping its image is through increased attention to data-driven instructional techniques as a means of improving and focusing instruction on what matters most. Accountability and data have increasingly become a core focus of research, news, and commentary about education in recent…

  14. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2002-09-30

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), has established a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that is focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. The consortium creates a partnership with the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the second topical report. The SWC has grown and diversified its membership during its first 24 months of existence. The Consortium is now focused on building strategic alliances with additional industrial, state, and federal entities to expand further the SWC membership base and transfer technologies as they are developed. In addition, the Consortium has successfully worked to attract state support to co-fund SWC projects. Penn State has entered a co-funding arrangement with the New York State Energy Development Authority (NYSERDA) which has provided $200,000 over the last two years to co-fund stripper well production-orientated projects that have relevance to New York state producers. During this reporting period, the Executive Council approved co-funding for 14 projects that have a total project value of $2,116,897. Since its inception, the SWC has approved cofunding for 27 projects that have a total project value of $3,632,109.84. The SWC has provided $2,242,701 in co-funding for these projects and programmatically maintains a cost share of 39%.

  15. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY-DRIVEN CONSORTIUM FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC STRIPPER WELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Joel L. Morrison

    2001-09-12

    The Pennsylvania State University, under contract to the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory will establish, promote, and manage a national industry-driven Stripper Well Consortium (SWC) that will be focused on improving the production performance of domestic petroleum and/or natural gas stripper wells. the consortium creates a partnership with the US petroleum and natural gas industries and trade associations, state funding agencies, academia, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This report serves as the third quarterly technical progress report for the SWC. During this reporting period the SWC entered into a co-funding arrangement with the New York State Energy Development Authority (NYSERDA) to provide an additional $100,000 in co-funding for stripper well production-orientated projects.The SWC hosted its first meeting in which members proposed research projects to the SWC membership. The meeting was held on April 9-10, 2001 in State College, Pennsylvania. Twenty three proposals were submitted to the SWC for funding consideration. Investigators of the proposed projects provided the SWC membership with a 20 minute (15 minute technical discussion, 5 minute question and answer session) presentation. Of the 23 proposals, the Executive Council approved $921,000 in funding for 13 projects. Penn State then immediately started the process of issuing subcontracts to the various projects approved for funding.

  16. Low Intensity Focused tDCS Over the Motor Cortex Shows Inefficacy to Improve Motor Imagery Performance.

    PubMed

    Angulo-Sherman, Irma N; Rodríguez-Ugarte, Marisol; Iáñez, Eduardo; Azorín, Jose M

    2017-01-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a brain stimulation technique that can enhance motor activity by stimulating the motor path. Thus, tDCS has the potential of improving the performance of brain-computer interfaces during motor neurorehabilitation. tDCS effects depend on several aspects, including the current density, which usually varies between 0.02 and 0.08 mA/cm(2), and the location of the stimulation electrodes. Hence, testing tDCS montages at several current levels would allow the selection of current parameters for improving stimulation outcomes and the comparison of montages. In a previous study, we found that cortico-cerebellar tDCS shows potential of enhancing right-hand motor imagery. In this paper, we aim to evaluate the effects of the focal stimulation of the motor cortex over motor imagery. In particular, the effect of supplying tDCS with a 4 × 1 ring montage, which consists in placing an anode on the motor cortex and four cathodes around it, over motor imagery was assessed with different current densities. Electroencephalographic (EEG) classification into rest or right-hand/feet motor imagery was evaluated on five healthy subjects for two stimulation schemes: applying tDCS for 10 min on the (1) right-hand or (2) feet motor cortex before EEG recording. Accuracy differences related to the tDCS intensity, as well as μ and β band power changes, were tested for each subject and tDCS modality. In addition, a simulation of the electric field induced by the montage was used to describe its effect on the brain. Results show no improvement trends on classification for the evaluated currents, which is in accordance with the observation of variable EEG band power results despite the focused stimulation. The lack of effects is probably related to the underestimation of the current intensity required to apply a particular current density for small electrodes and the relatively short inter-electrode distance. Hence, higher current intensities

  17. Fear Recognition Impairment in Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease: When Focusing on the Eyes Region Improves Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hot, Pascal; Klein-Koerkamp, Yanica; Borg, Celine; Richard-Mornas, Aurelie; Zsoldos, Isabella; Adeline, Adeline Paignon; Anterion, Catherine Thomas; Baciu, Monica

    2013-01-01

    A decline in the ability to identify fearful expression has been frequently reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In patients with severe destruction of the bilateral amygdala, similar difficulties have been reduced by using an explicit visual exploration strategy focusing on gaze. The current study assessed the possibility of…

  18. Fear Recognition Impairment in Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease: When Focusing on the Eyes Region Improves Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hot, Pascal; Klein-Koerkamp, Yanica; Borg, Celine; Richard-Mornas, Aurelie; Zsoldos, Isabella; Adeline, Adeline Paignon; Anterion, Catherine Thomas; Baciu, Monica

    2013-01-01

    A decline in the ability to identify fearful expression has been frequently reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In patients with severe destruction of the bilateral amygdala, similar difficulties have been reduced by using an explicit visual exploration strategy focusing on gaze. The current study assessed the possibility of…

  19. Improvement of focus accuracy on processed wafer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashibata, Satomi; Komine, Nobuhiro; Fukuhara, Kazuya; Koike, Takashi; Kato, Yoshimitsu; Hashimoto, Kohji

    2013-04-01

    As feature size shrinkage in semiconductor device progress, process fluctuation, especially focus strongly affects device performance. Because focus control is an ongoing challenge in optical lithography, various studies have sought for improving focus monitoring and control. Focus errors are due to wafers, exposure tools, reticles, QCs, and so on. Few studies are performed to minimize the measurement errors of auto focus (AF) sensors of exposure tool, especially when processed wafers are exposed. With current focus measurement techniques, the phase shift grating (PSG) focus monitor 1) has been already proposed and its basic principle is that the intensity of the diffraction light of the mask pattern is made asymmetric by arranging a π/2 phase shift area on a reticle. The resist pattern exposed at the defocus position is shifted on the wafer and shifted pattern can be easily measured using an overlay inspection tool. However, it is difficult to measure shifted pattern for the pattern on the processed wafer because of interruptions caused by other patterns in the underlayer. In this paper, we therefore propose "SEM-PSG" technique, where the shift of the PSG resist mark is measured by employing critical dimension-scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) to measure the focus error on the processed wafer. First, we evaluate the accuracy of SEM-PSG technique. Second, by applying the SEM-PSG technique and feeding the results back to the exposure, we evaluate the focus accuracy on processed wafers. By applying SEM-PSG feedback, the focus accuracy on the processed wafer was improved from 40 to 29 nm in 3σ.

  20. Do Pattern-Focused Visuals Improve Skin Self-Examination Performance? Explicating the Visual Skill Acquisition Model.

    PubMed

    John, Kevin K; Jensen, Jakob D; King, Andy J; Ratcliff, Chelsea L; Grossman, Douglas

    2017-09-01

    Skin self-examination (SSE) consists of routinely checking the body for atypical moles that might be cancerous. Identifying atypical moles is a visual task; thus, SSE training materials utilize pattern-focused visuals to cultivate this skill. Despite widespread use, researchers have yet to explicate how pattern-focused visuals cultivate visual skill. Using eye tracking to capture the visual scanpaths of a sample of laypersons (N = 92), the current study employed a 2 (pattern: ABCDE vs. ugly duckling sign [UDS]) × 2 (presentation: photorealistic images vs. illustrations) factorial design to assess whether and how pattern-focused visuals can increase layperson accuracy in identifying atypical moles. Overall, illustrations resulted in greater sensitivity, while photos resulted in greater specificity. The UDS × photorealistic condition showed greatest specificity. For those in the photo condition with high self-efficacy, UDS increased specificity directly. For those in the photo condition with self-efficacy levels at the mean or lower, there was a conditional indirect effect such that these individuals spent a larger amount of their viewing time observing the atypical moles, and time on target was positively related to specificity. Illustrations provided significant gains in specificity for those with low-to-moderate self-efficacy by increasing total fixation time on the atypical moles. Findings suggest that maximizing visual processing efficiency could enhance existing SSE training techniques.

  1. 10th Annual Systems Engineering Conference - Focusing on Improving Performance of Defense Systems Programs. Volume 1. Tuesday Presentations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-25

    system requirements, evaluate design alternatives, and identify potential technology/ human interface constraints • Appropriate resourcing (personnel...sufficient for evaluation of “ human behavior” utilizing information systems in a SoS environment • Systems are designed at the individual-to-system...to address them: • Consider world-class performers in other industries • Think outside the box • Develop lessons learned • Evaluate commercial programs

  2. Improved astigmatic focus error detection method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernacki, Bruce E.

    1992-01-01

    All easy-to-implement focus- and track-error detection methods presently used in magneto-optical (MO) disk drives using pre-grooved media suffer from a side effect known as feedthrough. Feedthrough is the unwanted focus error signal (FES) produced when the optical head is seeking a new track, and light refracted from the pre-grooved disk produces an erroneous FES. Some focus and track-error detection methods are more resistant to feedthrough, but tend to be complicated and/or difficult to keep in alignment as a result of environmental insults. The astigmatic focus/push-pull tracking method is an elegant, easy-to-align focus- and track-error detection method. Unfortunately, it is also highly susceptible to feedthrough when astigmatism is present, with the worst effects caused by astigmatism oriented such that the tangential and sagittal foci are at 45 deg to the track direction. This disclosure outlines a method to nearly completely eliminate the worst-case form of feedthrough due to astigmatism oriented 45 deg to the track direction. Feedthrough due to other primary aberrations is not improved, but performance is identical to the unimproved astigmatic method.

  3. Strategic Improvement That Focuses on Student Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blum, Robert E.; Kneidek, Anthony W.

    1991-01-01

    The idea behind strategic improvement is to bring the entire school district to focus on student learning and improved student outcomes. Under Superintendent Kent Hunsaker's leadership, the Bethel (Oregon) school District became a pilot site for Creating the Future, a research-based, district-level improvement process developed by the Northwest…

  4. How Performance Improves

    SciTech Connect

    Jerry L. Harbour; Julie L. Marble

    2005-09-01

    Countless articles and books have been written about and numerous programs have been developed to improve performance. Despite this plethora of activity on how to improve performance, we have largely failed to address the more fundamental question of how performance actually improves. To begin exploring this more basic question, we have plotted some 1,200 performance records to date and found that irrespective of venue, industry, or business, there seems to be a fundamental and repeatable set of concepts regarding how performance improves over time. Such gained insights represent both opportunities and challenges to the performance technologist. Differences in performance outcomes may, for example, be as much a function of the life cycle stage of a performance system as the efficacy of the selected improvement method itself. Accordingly, it may be more difficult to compare differing performance improvement methods than previously thought.

  5. Focus of attention and speech motor performance.

    PubMed

    Lisman, Amanda L; Sadagopan, Neeraja

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of an internal vs. external 'focus of attention' on speech motor performance in healthy young adults. Twenty adults (aged 18-25) participated in a within-subjects experimental design. Nonwords, real words, and tongue twisters were produced by each participant in both attentional focus conditions (internal and external), with order of condition counterbalanced across participants. Speech motor coordinative consistency, timing, and behavioral accuracy were investigated. Accuracy of nonword, real word and tongue twister productions were relatively high across both external and internal focus conditions. A robust effect of condition on timing measures was noticed such that an internal focus (on articulatory movement) resulted in longer production durations and higher durational variability for most productions. In addition, an internal focus caused an increase in movement coordination variability for the production of real words. Our findings offer some preliminary support to the theory that operating in an external 'focus of attention' condition, with a focus on acoustic goals, results in more efficient, automatic control of speech movements. After reading this article, the reader will be able to: (1) describe the relevance of and challenges associated with the application of principles that govern nonspeech movements to speech performance; (2) summarize the implications of an external vs. internal focus of attention for speech motor performance; and (3) describe its role in speech motor skill learning in healthy and disordered groups. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Conducting a Customer-Focused Performance Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grant, David A.; Moseley, James L.

    1999-01-01

    Explains how to conduct an organization's performance analysis that focuses on customer needs by identifying the desired state, determining the current state, and identifying the current or predicted gap in performance. Considers the organization's mission, a vision or strategic plan, the organization's cultural values, and organizational goals.…

  7. Embarking on performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bobbi; Falk, Leslie Hough

    2014-06-01

    Healthcare organizations should approach performance improvement as a program, not a project. The program should be led by a guidance team that identifies goals, prioritizes work, and removes barriers to enable clinical improvement teams and work groups to realize performance improvements. A healthcare enterprise data warehouse can provide the initial foundation for the program analytics. Evidence-based best practices can help achieve improved outcomes and reduced costs.

  8. CSAF Logistics Review Focused Improvement for EAF Readiness

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-04-01

    Logistics Review Focused Improvement For EAF Readiness 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR( S ) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER...AU/ACSC/071/2002-04 AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE AIR UNIVERSITY CSAF LOGISTICS REVIEW FOCUSED IMPROVEMENT FOR EAF READINESS by Ray A...5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME( S ) AND ADDRESS(ES) Air University Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama 8

  9. Contemporary: The Psychological Side of Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerson, Richard F.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses the importance of focusing on the people side of performance improvement instead of just the models, processes, and theories. Topics include the mental state of the performer; the psychology of performance improvement; stress and its effects on performance; guaranteeing performance improvement; performance attributions; and external…

  10. Focus of Attention and Putting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boutcher, Stephen H.; Crews, Debra J.

    The effect of a preshot attentional/behavioral routine on putting performance was investigated. Subjects were randomly assigned to four groups: (1) Male Routine (MR); (2) Female Routine (FR); (3) Male Control (MC); and (4) Female Control (FC). Subjects in the FR and MR groups were given individualized putting routines which focused on specific…

  11. Performance Improvement Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1997

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on performance improvement processes. In "Never the Twain Shall Meet?: A Glimpse into High Performance Work Practices and Downsizing" (Laurie J. Bassi, Mark E. Van Buren) evidence from a national cross-industry of more than 200 establishments is used to demonstrate that high-performance…

  12. Performance Improvement Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1997

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on performance improvement processes. In "Never the Twain Shall Meet?: A Glimpse into High Performance Work Practices and Downsizing" (Laurie J. Bassi, Mark E. Van Buren) evidence from a national cross-industry of more than 200 establishments is used to demonstrate that high-performance…

  13. Does an Advanced Pelvic Simulation Curriculum Improve Resident Performance on a Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Focused Objective Structured Clinical Examination? A Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Tania; Hakim, Julie; Black, Amanda; Fleming, Nathalie

    2016-06-01

    To determine the effect of an advanced pelvic simulation curriculum on resident performance on a pediatric and adolescent gynecology (PAG) focused objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Obstetrics and gynecology residents in a single academic Canadian center participated in a PAG simulation curriculum. An OSCE on prepubertal vaginal bleeding was administered at the biannual OSCE examination 2 months before the simulation curriculum and again 3 months after the simulation curriculum. Academic half-day at the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre. Obstetrics and gynecology residents from the University of Ottawa. Participants completed 4 stations teaching PAG-appropriate history-taking, genital examination, Tanner staging, vaginal sampling and flushing, hymenectomy, vaginoscopy, laparoscopic adnexal detorsion, and approach to the child and/or adolescent. Advanced pelvic models were used for procedure-specific stations. The primary outcome measure was change in mean score on a prepubertal vaginal bleeding OSCE station. Secondary outcome measures were changes in individual component scores. Fourteen residents completed the simulation curriculum and the PAG OSCE at the 2 separate time points (before and after simulation curriculum). The mean OSCE score before the simulation curriculum was 54.6% (20.5 of 37) and mean score after the curriculum was 78.1% (28.9 of 37; P < .001). Significant score increases were found in history-taking, examination, differential diagnosis, identification of organism, surgical procedures, and identification of foreign body (P < .01 for all). This innovative PAG simulation curriculum significantly increased residents' knowledge in PAG history-taking, examination skills, operative procedures, and approach to the child and/or adolescent. Obstetrics and Gynecology Program Directors should consider incorporating PAG simulation training into their curriculum to ensure that residents meet their learning objectives and

  14. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Forrest B.; Bull, Jeffrey S.; Rising, Michael Evan

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  15. Improving Surface Irrigation Performance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Surface irrigation systems often have a reputation for poor performance. One key feature of efficient surface irrigation systems is precision (e.g. laser-guided) land grading. Poor land grading can make other improvements ineffective. An important issue, related to land shaping, is developing the pr...

  16. Human Performance Improvement: Lessons To Be Learned from Quality Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hummel, Paul A.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses quality improvement (QI) and how it can help human performance improvement (HPI). Compares QI and HPI and discusses focusing on products and services; focusing on the customer; using data more effectively; continuous improvement; benchmarking; establishing standards; specialization; and involving the clients. (LRW)

  17. CF6 performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennard, D. J.

    1978-01-01

    Potential CF6 engine performance improvements directed at reduced fuel consumption were identified and screened relative to airline acceptability and are reviewed. The screening process developed to provide evaluations of fuel savings and economic factors including return on investment and direct operating cost is described. In addition, assessments of development risk and production potential are made. Several promising concepts selected for full-scale development based on a ranking involving these factors are discussed.

  18. Improved Large-Field Focusing Schlieren System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstein, Leonard M.

    1993-01-01

    System used to examine complicated two- and three-dimensional flows. High-brightness large-field focusing schlieren system incorporates Fresnel lens instead of glass diffuser. In system with large field of view, image may also be very large. Relay optical subsystem minifies large image while retaining all of light. Facilities candidates for use of focusing schlieren include low-speed wind and water tunnels. Heated or cooled flow tracers or injected low- or high-density tracers used to make flows visible for photographic recording.

  19. Axial spatial distribution focusing: improving MALDI-TOF/RTOF mass spectrometric performance for high-energy collision-induced dissociation of biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Belgacem, O; Pittenauer, E; Openshaw, M E; Hart, P J; Bowdler, A; Allmaier, G

    2016-02-15

    For the last two decades, curved field reflectron technology has been used in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometers, assisting in the generation of post-source-decay (PSD) or collision-induced dissociation (CID) without decelerating precursor ions, producing true high-energy CID spectra. The result was the generation of product ion mass spectra with product ions typical of high-energy (10 keV and beyond) collision processes. The disadvantage of this approach was the lack of resolution in CID spectra resulting from the excess laser energy deposition used to generate those MS/MS spectra. The work presented in this study overcomes this limitation and includes comprehensive examples of high-energy and high-resolution CID MALDI-MS/MS spectra of biomolecules. The devices used in this study are TOF/RTOF instruments equipped with a high-vacuum MALDI ion source. High-resolution and high-energy CID spectra result from the use of axial spatial distribution focusing (ASDF) in combination with curved field reflectron technology. A CID spectrum of the P14 R1 peptide exhibits product ion resolution in excess of 10,000 (FWHM) but at the same time yields typical high-energy product ions such as w- and [y-2]-type ion series. High-energy CID spectra of lipids, exemplified by a glycerophospholipid and triglyceride, demonstrate C-C backbone fragmentation elucidating the presence of a hydroxyl group in addition to double-bond positioning. A complex high mannose carbohydrate (Man)8 (GlcNAc)2 was also studied at 20 keV collision energy and revealed further high-energy product ions with very high resolution, allowing unambiguous detection and characterization of cross-ring cleavage-related ions. This is the first comprehensive study using a MALDI-TOF/RTOF instrument equipped with a curved field reflectron and an ASDF device prior to the reflectron. © 2015 The Authors. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry published by John Wiley

  20. Axial spatial distribution focusing: improving MALDI-TOF/RTOF mass spectrometric performance for high-energy collision-induced dissociation of biomolecules

    PubMed Central

    Belgacem, O; Pittenauer, E; Openshaw, M E; Hart, P J; Bowdler, A; Allmaier, G

    2016-01-01

    Rationale For the last two decades, curved field reflectron technology has been used in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometers, assisting in the generation of post-source-decay (PSD) or collision-induced dissociation (CID) without decelerating precursor ions, producing true high-energy CID spectra. The result was the generation of product ion mass spectra with product ions typical of high-energy (10 keV and beyond) collision processes. The disadvantage of this approach was the lack of resolution in CID spectra resulting from the excess laser energy deposition used to generate those MS/MS spectra. The work presented in this study overcomes this limitation and includes comprehensive examples of high-energy and high-resolution CID MALDI-MS/MS spectra of biomolecules. Methods The devices used in this study are TOF/RTOF instruments equipped with a high-vacuum MALDI ion source. High-resolution and high-energy CID spectra result from the use of axial spatial distribution focusing (ASDF) in combination with curved field reflectron technology. Results A CID spectrum of the P14R1 peptide exhibits product ion resolution in excess of 10,000 (FWHM) but at the same time yields typical high-energy product ions such as w- and [y–2]-type ion series. High-energy CID spectra of lipids, exemplified by a glycerophospholipid and triglyceride, demonstrate C–C backbone fragmentation elucidating the presence of a hydroxyl group in addition to double-bond positioning. A complex high mannose carbohydrate (Man)8(GlcNAc)2 was also studied at 20 keV collision energy and revealed further high-energy product ions with very high resolution, allowing unambiguous detection and characterization of cross-ring cleavage-related ions. Conclusions This is the first comprehensive study using a MALDI-TOF/RTOF instrument equipped with a curved field reflectron and an ASDF device prior to the reflectron. © 2015 The Authors. Rapid Communications in

  1. Improve Relationships to Improve Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arum, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Attempts to raise student performance have focused primarily on either relationships between adults in the system or formal curriculum. Relatively ignored has been a focus on what sociologists believe is the primary relationship of consequence for student outcomes--authority relationships between students and educators. Successful school reform is…

  2. Improve Relationships to Improve Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arum, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Attempts to raise student performance have focused primarily on either relationships between adults in the system or formal curriculum. Relatively ignored has been a focus on what sociologists believe is the primary relationship of consequence for student outcomes--authority relationships between students and educators. Successful school reform is…

  3. Focusing Light Beams To Improve Atomic-Vapor Optical Buffers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strekalov, Dmitry; Matsko, Andrey; Savchenkov, Anatoliy

    2010-01-01

    Specially designed focusing of light beams has been proposed as a means of improving the performances of optical buffers based on cells containing hot atomic vapors (e.g., rubidium vapor). There is also a companion proposal to improve performance by use of incoherent optical pumping under suitable conditions. Regarding the proposal to use focusing: The utility of atomic-vapor optical buffers as optical storage and processing devices has been severely limited by nonuniform spatial distributions of intensity in optical beams, arising from absorption of the beams as they propagate in atomic-vapor cells. Such nonuniformity makes it impossible to optimize the physical conditions throughout a cell, thereby making it impossible to optimize the performance of the cell as an optical buffer. In practical terms simplified for the sake of brevity, "to optimize" as used here means to design the cell so as to maximize the group delay of an optical pulse while keeping the absorption and distortion of the pulse reasonably small. Regarding the proposal to use incoherent optical pumping: For reasons too complex to describe here, residual absorption of light is one of the main impediments to achievement of desirably long group delays in hot atomic vapors. The present proposal is directed toward suppressing residual absorption of light. The idea of improving the performance of slow-light optical buffers by use of incoherent pumping overlaps somewhat with the basic idea of Raman-based slow-light systems. However, prior studies of those systems did not quantitatively answer the question of whether the performance of an atomic vapor or other medium that exhibits electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) with Raman gain is superior to that of a medium that exhibits EIT without Raman gain.

  4. Performance Improvement Assuming Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Gordon

    2007-01-01

    Individual performers, work teams, and organizations may be considered complex adaptive systems, while most current human performance technologies appear to assume simple determinism. This article explores the apparent mismatch and speculates on future efforts to enhance performance if complexity rather than simplicity is assumed. Included are…

  5. Performance Improvement Assuming Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Gordon

    2007-01-01

    Individual performers, work teams, and organizations may be considered complex adaptive systems, while most current human performance technologies appear to assume simple determinism. This article explores the apparent mismatch and speculates on future efforts to enhance performance if complexity rather than simplicity is assumed. Included are…

  6. Performance Improvement [in HRD].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1995

    These four papers are from a symposium that was facilitated by Richard J. Torraco at the 1995 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (HRD). "Performance Technology--Isn't It Time We Found Some New Models?" (William J. Rothwell) reviews briefly two classic models, describes criteria for the high performance workplace…

  7. Performance Improvement [in HRD].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1995

    These four papers are from a symposium that was facilitated by Richard J. Torraco at the 1995 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (HRD). "Performance Technology--Isn't It Time We Found Some New Models?" (William J. Rothwell) reviews briefly two classic models, describes criteria for the high performance workplace…

  8. Quality and performance improvement in respiratory care.

    PubMed

    Malinowski, Thomas P

    2004-06-01

    An essential responsibility of the modern respiratory care manager is to establish and monitor a particular level of quality and service being provided by a department. Focusing on quality and performance improvement fosters an environment that empowers and encourages all employees to be innovative and resolve roadblocks that limit organizational performance. This article discusses the issues regarding quality and performance improvement that arise in the daily operations of a respiratory care department.

  9. The Effect of Attentional Focus Cues on Object Control Performance in Elementary Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, Kara K.; Matsuyama, Abigail L.; Irwin, J. Megan; Porter, Jared M.; Robinson, Leah E.

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose: Attentional focus cues have been shown to impact motor performance of adults and children. Specifically, an external focus of attention results in improved motor learning and performance as compared to adopting an internal focus of attention. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an internal and external…

  10. Focus of Attention Affects Performance of Motor Skills in Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Robert A.; Cash, Carla Davis; Allen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    To test the extent to which learners performing a simple keyboard passage would be affected by directing their focus of attention to different aspects of their movements, 16 music majors performed a brief keyboard passage under each of four focus conditions arranged in a counterbalanced design--a total of 64 experimental sessions. As they…

  11. Focus of Attention Affects Performance of Motor Skills in Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Robert A.; Cash, Carla Davis; Allen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    To test the extent to which learners performing a simple keyboard passage would be affected by directing their focus of attention to different aspects of their movements, 16 music majors performed a brief keyboard passage under each of four focus conditions arranged in a counterbalanced design--a total of 64 experimental sessions. As they…

  12. Improvement of inter-field CDU by using on-product focus control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Kyeong Dong; Park, Tony; Hwang, Jong Hyun; Choi, Jin Phil; Kang, Young Seog

    2014-04-01

    This paper introduces to improve inter-field CDU with on-product focus control by diffraction based focus (DBF) method. For DBF target selection, a robust focus metrology for focus control was obtained, and the selected DBF target was integrated on each seven spot of a product reticle. For on-product focus control, previously on-product focus monitoring was performed, and the monitored lots showed a stable focus fingerprint. Based on the result, Z and Z/ Rx/Ry corrections per field on wafers were applied. Focus uniformity of controlled wafers was improved up to 29% in comparison with non-corrected ones. To demonstrate the improvement of inter-field CDU, Full CDs on wafers were measured by SEM. As a result, inter-field CDU for controlled wafers was improved by 16% (3σ) compared with noncontrolled wafers.

  13. Attentional Focus Effects in Standing Long Jump Performance: Influence of a Broad and Narrow Internal Focus.

    PubMed

    Becker, Kevin A; Smith, Peter J K

    2015-07-01

    The content of instructions that strength coaches give can have a significant impact on how an athlete or client performs. Research on motor learning has shown an advantage of instructions focusing on the effects of movements (external focus) over those focusing on the movements themselves (internal focus) in the performance of motor skills. Internally focused cues are abundant in coaching, therefore the purpose of this study was to test whether some internally focused cues might be more helpful than others. Participants (68) were randomly assigned to either an external focus (EX), broad internal focus (B-IN), narrow internal focus (N-IN), or a control group (CON), and performed 5 standing long jumps. All groups were instructed that the goal was to jump as far as possible. In addition, the EX group was told to "jump as far past the start line as possible." The B-IN group was told to "use your legs." The N-IN group was told to "extend your knees as rapidly as possible," and the CON group received no additional instruction. An analysis of covariance showed that the EX group (198.09 ± 31.89 cm) jumped significantly farther than both the B-IN group (173.74 ± 35.36 cm), p = 0.010 and the N-IN group (178.53 ± 31.17 cm), p = 0.049, with no group different from the CON group. The results suggest that a broad internal focus is no more effective than a narrow internal focus, and that an external focus leads to the greatest jump distance. Strength and conditioning professionals should carefully word their instructions to induce an external focus of attention whenever possible.

  14. Does Focus of Attention Improve Snatch Lift Kinematics?

    PubMed

    Schutts, Kyle S; Wu, Will; Vidal, Anthony; Hiegel, Jamie; Becker, James

    2016-12-24

    Recent motor control literature has demonstrated that using verbal instructions to direct a performer's attention externally (i.e. toward the movement outcome) enhances motor skill performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate how an athlete's focus of attention impacts kinematic performance of the snatch. Using a counterbalanced within-participant design, 12 competitively trained athletes (8 male, 4 female) performed 2 instructional blocks of 3 snatch repetitions at 80% of their most recent training 1RM. Blocks of internal and external instructions were given to the athlete in a random fashion. Results showed that, when focusing internally, athletes significantly (p <0.05) increased elbow velocity relative to focusing externally, while the external instructions significantly increased horizontal barbell velocity, relative to internal instructions (see table 2). Additionally an internal focus resulted in significantly larger Barbell-Cervical-Hip (BCH) angles at maximum height of the barbell (MH) (see table 1) compared to an external focus, indicating that the athletes squatted under the barbell too soon. This information adds to the literature suggesting small changes in coaching instructions can impact performance significantly. It is recommended that coaches use instructions that direct an athlete's attention externally, toward the movement outcome, rather than the action itself.

  15. CF6 fan performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patt, R. F.; Reemsnyder, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    A significant portion of the NASA-sponsored Performance Improvement Program for the CF6 engine was the development of an improved fan concept. This involved aerodynamic redesign of the CF6 fan blade to increase fan efficiency while retaining the mechanical integrity, operability, and acoustic characteristics of the existing blade. A further improvement in performance was obtained by adding a fan case stiffener ring to decouple blade-case vibrational characteristics, permitting a significant reduction in running tip clearance. Engine testing was performed to establish the performance, mechanical and acoustic properties of the new design relative to the current fan, and to establish power management characteristics for the CF6-50C2/E2 engine. A significant improvement in cruise power SFC of 1.8 percent was demonstrated in Sea Level testing projected to altitude flight conditions.

  16. Improve performance in trauma care.

    PubMed

    Spath, P

    2001-05-01

    Many states have adopted trauma program legislation that includes a statewide trauma registry and performance evaluation activities. Hospitals participating in the trauma network are required to support the statewide activities through submission of data about the trauma patients they treat. By analyzing the quality of care provided to trauma patients, the trauma team members work to improve their services. Consulting editor Patrice Spath, RHIT, provides in-depth advice on how to measure and improve performance in trauma care.

  17. Planning and Focus on Form in L2 Oral Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortega, Lourdes

    1999-01-01

    Investigated whether planning opportunity results in increased focus on form at the level of strategic attention to form during planning time, as well as at the level of production outcomes during task performance. Results provide support for the claim that planning before doing a second language task can promote an increased focus on form.…

  18. The Continuous Improvement Model: A K-12 Literacy Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Vicky B.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine if the eight steps of the Continuous Improvement Model (CIM) provided a framework to raise achievement and to focus educators in identifying high-yield literacy strategies. This study sought to determine if an examination of the assessment data in reading revealed differences among schools that fully,…

  19. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    PubMed

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  20. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study investigating the effects of group hypnosis on the reading performance of university students in a reading and writing center. Discusses study procedures and presents data on pretest scores and gains in vocabulary and comprehension scores. Concludes that regular use of self-hypnosis significantly improved performance. (DMM)

  1. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study investigating the effects of group hypnosis on the reading performance of university students in a reading and writing center. Discusses study procedures and presents data on pretest scores and gains in vocabulary and comprehension scores. Concludes that regular use of self-hypnosis significantly improved performance. (DMM)

  2. Evaluating and Improving Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manatt, Richard P.

    This workbook, coordinated with Manatt Teacher Performance Evaluation (TPE) workshops, summarizes large group presentation in sequence with the transparancies used. The first four modules of the workbook deal with the state of the art of evaluating and improving teacher performance; the development of the TPE system, including selection of…

  3. Surviving Performance Improvement "Solutions": Aligning Performance Improvement Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

    How can organizations avoid the negative, sometimes chaotic, effects of multiple, poorly coordinated performance improvement interventions? How can we avoid punishing our external clients or staff with the side effects of solutions that might benefit our bottom line or internal efficiency at the expense of the value received or perceived by…

  4. Surviving Performance Improvement "Solutions": Aligning Performance Improvement Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

    How can organizations avoid the negative, sometimes chaotic, effects of multiple, poorly coordinated performance improvement interventions? How can we avoid punishing our external clients or staff with the side effects of solutions that might benefit our bottom line or internal efficiency at the expense of the value received or perceived by…

  5. Lithography focus/exposure control and corrections to improve CDU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young Ki; Yelverton, Mark; Lee, Joungchel; Cheng, Jerry; Wei, Hong; Kim, Jeong Soo; Gutjahr, Karsten; Gao, Jie; Karur-Shanmugam, Ram; Herrera, Pedro; Huang, Kevin; Volkovich, Roie; Pierson, Bill

    2013-04-01

    As leading edge lithography moves to advanced nodes which requires better critical dimension (CD) control ability within wafer. Current methods generally make exposure corrections by field via factory automation or by sub-recipe to improve CD uniformity. KLA-Tencor has developed a method to provide CD uniformity (CDU) control using a generated Focus/Exposure (F/E) model from a representative process. Exposure corrections by each field can be applied back to the scanner so as to improve CD uniformity through the factory automation. CDU improvement can be observed either at after lithography or after etch metrology steps. In addition to corrections, the graphic K-T Analyzer interface also facilitates the focus/exposure monitoring at the extreme wafer edge. This paper will explain the KT CDFE method and the application in production environment. Run to run focus/exposure monitoring will be carried out both on monitoring and production wafers to control the wafer process and/or scanner fleet. CDU improvement opportunities will be considered as well.

  6. Thermal performance trade-offs for point focusing solar collectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wen, L.

    1978-01-01

    Solar thermal conversion performance is assessed in this paper for representative point focusing distributed systems. Trade-off comparisons are made in terms of concentrator quality, solar receiver operating temperature, and power conversion efficiency. Normalized system performance is presented on a unit concentrator area basis for integrated annual electric energy production.

  7. Improved alternating gradient transport and focusing of neutral molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kalnins, Juris; Lambertson, Glen; Gould, Harvey

    2001-12-02

    Polar molecules, in strong-field seeking states, can be transported and focused by an alternating sequence of electric field gradients that focus in one transverse direction while defocusing in the other. We show by calculation and numerical simulation, how one may greatly improve the alternating gradient transport and focusing of molecules. We use a new optimized multipole lens design, a FODO lattice beam transport line, and lenses to match the beam transport line to the beam source and the final focus. We derive analytic expressions for the potentials, fields, and gradients that may be used to design these lenses. We describe a simple lens optimization procedure and derive the equations of motion for tracking molecules through a beam transport line. As an example, we model a straight beamline that transports a 560 m/s jet-source beam of methyl fluoride molecules 15 m from its source and focuses it to 2 mm diameter. We calculate the beam transport line acceptance and transmission, for a beam with velocity spread, and estimate the transmitted intensity for specified source conditions. Possible applications are discussed.

  8. Eight Minutes to Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidman, William; McCauley, Michael

    2003-01-01

    Discusses how to produce behavior change and related performance improvement by nonexperts in as little as eight minutes by having them become instantly engaged through instant credibility of the content and instant application to their situation. Explains digital coach technology which can create instant engagement for the nonexpert. (Author/LRW)

  9. Techniques for Improving Spelling Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saylor, Paul

    Improving spelling performance of college students is a question of insuring that the correct information is in long-term memory and readily retrievable. Any system of spelling instruction should recognize the capacity limits of the sensory register and short-term memory; provide for identification of and concentration on the distinctive features…

  10. The performance of magnetic lens for focusing VCN-SANS.

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, M.; Iwashita, Y.; Kanaya, T.; Ichikawa, M.; Tongu, H.; Kennedy, S. J.; Shimizu, H. M.; Mishima, K.; Yamada, N. L.; Hirota, K.; Carpenter, J..; Lal, J.; Anderson, K.; Geltenbort, P.; Guerard, B.; Manzin, G.; Hino, M.; Kitaguchi, M.; Bleuel, M.; NOP Collaboration

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a prototype rotating-permanent magnet sextupole lens (named rot-PMSx) for more efficient experiments with neutron beams in time of flight (ToF) mode. This lens can modulate the focusing strength over range 1.5 x 10{sup 4} T/m{sup 2} {le} g' {le} 5.9 x 10{sup 4} T/m{sup 2}. Synchronization between the modulation and the beam pulse produces a focused beam without significant chromatic aberration. We anticipate that this lens could be utilized in focusing small angle neutron scattering (SANS) instruments for novel approach to high resolution SANS. We carried out experiments testing the principle of this lens at the very cold neutron (VCN) beamline (PF2) at Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), France. The focused beam image size at the detector was kept constant at the same beam size as the source ({approx} 3 mm) over a wavelength range of 30 {angstrom} {le} {lambda} {le} 48 {angstrom} in focal length of {approx} 1.14 m. The flux gain was about 12 relative to a beam without focusing, and the depth of focus was quite large. These results show the good performance of this lens and the system. Thereupon we have demonstrated the performance of this test bed for high resolution focusing of VCN-SANS for a well-studied softmatter sample; a deuterium oxide solution of Pluronic F127, an (PEO){sub 100}(PPO){sub 65}(PEO){sub 100} tri-block copolymer in deuterium oxide. The results of the focusing experiment and the focusing VCN-SANS are presented.

  11. Space Shuttle SRM performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Speak, C. A.; Wilks, R. K.; Jones, K. W.

    1981-01-01

    A number of options for Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) performance improvement were studied and evaluated by NASA with respect to payload improvement potential, technical risk, schedule, cost, and impact on Shuttle system performance. It was found that the SRM delivered specific impulse could be improved by increasing the nozzle expansion ratio from 7.16 to 7.72. This was achieved by decreasing the throat diameter of the nozzle exit cone, while staying within tooling, facility, and ICD limitations. A simple modification of the grain inhibiting pattern was made to reshape the thrust-time history and thereby obtain more delivered impulse during the early portion of motor operation. These performance options, initiated in October 1980, provide a 3,000 lb payload increase. Longer range options are the use of a filament wound composite case, a HTPB propellant, and further increases in the nozzle expansion ratio. These improvements have a potential of 10,000 to 11,000 lb payload increase.

  12. Two Views of ISPI and the Future of Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addison, Roger M.; Tosti, Donald T.

    2012-01-01

    The International Society for Performance Improvement has always been divided by two often-conflicting views of what its purpose or mission really is. Is it primarily technology focused (focusing on the development and promotion of the field) or member focused (focusing on members' interests and their professional development)? This difference in…

  13. Two Views of ISPI and the Future of Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addison, Roger M.; Tosti, Donald T.

    2012-01-01

    The International Society for Performance Improvement has always been divided by two often-conflicting views of what its purpose or mission really is. Is it primarily technology focused (focusing on the development and promotion of the field) or member focused (focusing on members' interests and their professional development)? This difference in…

  14. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    PubMed

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p < 0.05). Base excess, pH and blood bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  15. Performance characteristics of proximity focused ultraviolet image converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. T.; Feibelman, W. A.

    1973-01-01

    Performance characteristics of Bendix type BX 8025-4522 proximity focused image tubes for ultraviolet to visible light conversion are presented. Quantum efficiency, resolution, background, geometric distortion, and environmental test results are discussed. The converters use magnesium fluoride input windows with Cs - Te photocathodes, and P-11 phosphors on fiber optic output windows.

  16. Using TSP to Improve Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-13

    Development phase or cycle Launch Re-launch Project Postmortem Lessons, new goals, new requirements, new risk, etc. Business and technical goals...Establish Product and Business Goals 2. Assign Roles and Define Team Goals 4. Build Overall and Next-Phase Plans 5. Develop the Quality Plan 6...Management Review 3. Produce Development Strategy © 2008 Carnegie Mellon University Using TSP to Improve Performance 14 The TSP Launch Products Business

  17. Aberration compensation and resolution improvement of focus modulation microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Juanjuan; Gao, Peng; Shao, Xiaopeng

    2017-01-01

    Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) has wide applications in biological research and medical diagnosis. However, the spatial resolution and signal to noise ratio (SNR) of CLSM is reduced in the presence of an aberration. Here we improve the pupil-segmentation method to measure and compensate for aberrations in focus modulation CLSM (FM-CLSM), which uses Gaussian-type and doughnut-like foci to scan a sample in sequence. As a result, FM-CLSM can provide images with a high resolution and a high SNR for biomedical or industrial applications.

  18. Reengineering a surgical service line: focusing on core process improvement.

    PubMed

    Kelly, D L; Pestotnik, S L; Coons, M C; Lelis, J W

    1997-01-01

    Integrating principles from a variety of theory has led to the development of a conceptual framework for reengineering in a clinical care delivery setting to improve the value of services provided to the customer. A conceptual framework involving the identification of three high level core processes to reengineer can provide clarity and focus for clinicians to begin directing reengineering efforts. Those core processes are: clinical management of the patient's medical needs, patient operational processes to support the clinical processes, and administrative decision-making processes to support the implementation of the clinical and operational processes. Improvement in any one of these areas has the potential to increase value, but the concurrent targeting of these core processes for reengineering has provided a synergy that has accelerated the achievement of the desired outcomes in the area of surgical services.

  19. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus Over Fit.

    PubMed

    Worthy, Darrell A; Brez, Caitlin C; Markman, Arthur B; Maddox, W Todd

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive psychologists have begun to address how motivational factors influence adults' performance on cognitive tasks. However, little research has examined how different motivational factors interact with one another to affect behavior across the lifespan. The current study examined how children perform on a classification task when placed in a regulatory fit or mismatch. Nine-year-old children performed a classification task in which they either gained or lost points for each response. Additionally, children were given either a global promotion focus (trying to earn a gift card) or a prevention focus (trying to avoid losing a gift card). Previous work indicates that adults in this task tend to perform better when there is a match (or fit) between the overall incentive to earn or avoid losing the incentive and the task reward structure to maximize points gained or minimize points lost. Unlike adults, nine-year-olds perform better in the promotion condition than in the prevention condition regardless of task reward structure. Possible explanations for the differences between adults' and children's performance are discussed as well as possible applications for academic settings.

  20. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus Over Fita

    PubMed Central

    Worthy, Darrell A.; Brez, Caitlin C.; Markman, Arthur B.; Maddox, W. Todd

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive psychologists have begun to address how motivational factors influence adults’ performance on cognitive tasks. However, little research has examined how different motivational factors interact with one another to affect behavior across the lifespan. The current study examined how children perform on a classification task when placed in a regulatory fit or mismatch. Nine-year-old children performed a classification task in which they either gained or lost points for each response. Additionally, children were given either a global promotion focus (trying to earn a gift card) or a prevention focus (trying to avoid losing a gift card). Previous work indicates that adults in this task tend to perform better when there is a match (or fit) between the overall incentive to earn or avoid losing the incentive and the task reward structure to maximize points gained or minimize points lost. Unlike adults, nine-year-olds perform better in the promotion condition than in the prevention condition regardless of task reward structure. Possible explanations for the differences between adults’ and children’s performance are discussed as well as possible applications for academic settings. PMID:21552510

  1. Heat acclimation improves exercise performance

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzo, Santiago; Halliwill, John R.; Sawka, Michael N.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the impact of heat acclimation on improving exercise performance in cool and hot environments. Twelve trained cyclists performed tests of maximal aerobic power (V̇o2max), time-trial performance, and lactate threshold, in both cool [13°C, 30% relative humidity (RH)] and hot (38°C, 30% RH) environments before and after a 10-day heat acclimation (∼50% V̇o2max in 40°C) program. The hot and cool condition V̇o2max and lactate threshold tests were both preceded by either warm (41°C) water or thermoneutral (34°C) water immersion to induce hyperthermia (0.8–1.0°C) or sustain normothermia, respectively. Eight matched control subjects completed the same exercise tests in the same environments before and after 10 days of identical exercise in a cool (13°C) environment. Heat acclimation increased V̇o2max by 5% in cool (66.8 ± 2.1 vs. 70.2 ± 2.3 ml·kg−1·min−1, P = 0.004) and by 8% in hot (55.1 ± 2.5 vs. 59.6 ± 2.0 ml·kg−1·min−1, P = 0.007) conditions. Heat acclimation improved time-trial performance by 6% in cool (879.8 ± 48.5 vs. 934.7 ± 50.9 kJ, P = 0.005) and by 8% in hot (718.7 ± 42.3 vs. 776.2 ± 50.9 kJ, P = 0.014) conditions. Heat acclimation increased power output at lactate threshold by 5% in cool (3.88 ± 0.82 vs. 4.09 ± 0.76 W/kg, P = 0.002) and by 5% in hot (3.45 ± 0.80 vs. 3.60 ± 0.79 W/kg, P < 0.001) conditions. Heat acclimation increased plasma volume (6.5 ± 1.5%) and maximal cardiac output in cool and hot conditions (9.1 ± 3.4% and 4.5 ± 4.6%, respectively). The control group had no changes in V̇o2max, time-trial performance, lactate threshold, or any physiological parameters. These data demonstrate that heat acclimation improves aerobic exercise performance in temperate-cool conditions and provide the scientific basis for employing heat acclimation to augment physical training programs. PMID:20724560

  2. Improved Force Spectroscopy Using Focused-Ion-Beam-Modified Cantilevers.

    PubMed

    Faulk, J K; Edwards, D T; Bull, M S; Perkins, T T

    2017-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is widely used in biophysics, including force-spectroscopy studies of protein folding and protein-ligand interactions. The precision of such studies increases with improvements in the underlying quality of the data. Currently, data quality is limited by the mechanical properties of the cantilever when using a modern commercial AFM. The key tradeoff is force stability vs short-term force precision and temporal resolution. Here, we present a method that avoids this compromise: efficient focused-ion-beam (FIB) modification of commercially available cantilevers. Force precision is improved by reducing the cantilever's hydrodynamic drag, and force stability is improved by reducing the cantilever stiffness and by retaining a cantilever's gold coating only at its free end. When applied to a commonly used short cantilever (L=40μm), we achieved sub-pN force precision over 5 decades of bandwidth (0.01-1000Hz) without significantly sacrificing temporal resolution (~75μs). Extending FIB modification to an ultrashort cantilever (L=9μm) also improved force precision and stability, while maintaining 1-μs-scale temporal resolution. Moreover, modifying ultrashort cantilevers also eliminated their inherent underdamped high-frequency motion and thereby avoided applying a rapidly oscillating force across the stretched molecule. Importantly, fabrication of FIB-modified cantilevers is accessible after an initial investment in training. Indeed, undergraduate researchers routinely modify 2-4 cantilevers per hour with the protocol detailed here. Furthermore, this protocol offers the individual user the ability to optimize a cantilever for a particular application. Hence, we expect FIB-modified cantilevers to improve AFM-based studies over broad areas of biophysical research. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Description and performance of the FOCUS (E831) hadron calorimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arena, V.; Boca, G.; Bonomi, G.; Cheung, H. W. K.; Chung, Y. S.; Gianini, G.; Gourlay, S. A.; Gray, K.; Hansen, S.; Lee, K. B.; Liguori, G.; Malvezzi, S.; Marchesotti, M.; Merlo, M.; Pantea, D.; Ratti, S. P.; Riccardi, C.; Sala, A.; Viola, L.; Vitulo, P.

    1999-02-01

    An iron-scintillator tile calorimeter with tower readout geometry was constructed for the photoproduction experiment FOCUS (E831) at Fermilab. This experiment ran in the 1996-1997 Fermilab-fixed target program using a wide band photon beam with an average energy of 170 GeV. The hadron calorimeter was used in an online trigger. A description of this tile sampling calorimeter is given and its performance described.

  4. Improving cardiovascular protection: focus on a cardiovascular polypill.

    PubMed

    Barrios, Vivencio; Escobar, Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Lack of adherence may explain, at least in part, the poor cardiovascular risk factors control observed in patients with ischemic heart disease, increasing the risk of developing new events. Polypill improves medication adherence, which may actually reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol compared with the drugs given separately. The fixed combination of acetylsalicylic acid 100 mg + ramipril 2.5, 5, or 10 mg + either simvastatin 40 mg or atorvastatin 20 mg is the unique cardiovascular polypill that has been registered in 22 countries worldwide. The polypill-containing simvastatin has been specifically tested in a clinical trial including only patients with ischemic heart disease. The FOCUS study showed that patients treated with the polypill showed a higher adherence compared with those receiving separate medications.

  5. Improving pharmacist documentation of clinical interventions through focused education.

    PubMed

    Rector, Katherine B; Veverka, Angie; Evans, Stacie Krick

    2014-08-01

    The impact of a focused education initiative to increase pharmacists' documentation of clinical interventions is described. A focused education initiative was developed to increase the consistency of pharmacists' documentation of clinical interventions in order to achieve pharmacy goals and to demonstrate the value of pharmacy services at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Education was provided through weekly pharmacy newsletter publications, weekly huddles, and monthly staff meetings. Pharmacy clinical specialists were tasked with providing examples of activities that should be documented as interventions, reviewing the selection of intervention categories to best capture the specific activity, and emphasizing the need for appropriate documentation. Monthly progress was monitored, and results were posted publicly to incentivize staff and assist with accountability. Increases in the number of clinical interventions was reported at monthly pharmacy staff meetings to reinforce the value of this process. The total number of pharmacy clinical interventions increased from an average of 12,493 per month in the first quarter of 2012 to an average of 27,978 per month in the second quarter of 2013, representing a 120% improvement. Associated cost-avoidance dollars also increased proportionally, such that the average cost-avoidance dollars in the second quarter of 2013 was $1.5 million per month. In addition, the pharmacy department far exceeded the health system's division of pharmacy targets for established quality indicators. Effects were sustained during the 12 months after completion of the education initiative. Implementation of a focused pharmacist education initiative led to increased numbers of clinical interventions reported and increased documentation of costs avoided. Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Continuing education for performance improvement: a creative approach.

    PubMed

    Collins, Patti-Ann; Hardesty, Ilana; White, Julie L; Zisblatt, Lara

    2012-10-01

    In an effort to improve patient safety and health care outcomes, continuing medical education has begun to focus on performance improvement initiatives for physician practices. Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Continuing Nursing Education Accredited Provider Unit has begun a creative project to award nursing contact hours for nurses' participation in performance improvement activities. This column highlights its initial efforts.

  7. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W.; Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  8. Soft Magnetic Materials for Improved Energy Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willard, Matthew

    2012-02-01

    A main focus of sustainable energy research has been development of renewable energy technologies (e.g. from wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, etc.) to decrease our dependence on non-renewable energy resources (e.g. fossil fuels). By focusing on renewable energy sources now, we hope to provide enough energy resources for future generations. In parallel with this focus, it is essential to develop technologies that improve the efficiency of energy production, distribution, and consumption, to get the most from these renewable resources. Soft magnetic materials play a central role in power generation, conditioning, and conversion technologies and therefore promoting improvements in the efficiency of these materials is essential for our future energy needs. The losses generated by the magnetic core materials by hysteretic, acoustic, and/or eddy currents have a great impact on efficiency. A survey of soft magnetic materials for energy applications will be discussed with a focus on improvement in performance using novel soft magnetic materials designed for these power applications. A group of premiere soft magnetic materials -- nanocrystalline soft magnetic alloys -- will be highlighted for their potential in addressing energy efficiency. These materials are made up of nanocrystalline magnetic transition metal-rich grains embedded within an intergranular amorphous matrix, obtained by partial devitrification of melt-spun amorphous ribbons. The nanoscale grain size results in a desirable combination of large saturation induction, low coercivity, and moderate resistivity unobtainable in conventional soft magnetic alloys. The random distribution of these fine grains causes a reduction in the net magnetocrystalline anisotropy, contributing to the excellent magnetic properties. Recently developed (Fe,Co,Ni)88Zr7B4Cu1 alloys will be discussed with a focus on the microstructure/magnetic property relationship and their effects on the energy efficiency of these materials for AC

  9. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

    Lightweight, piezoelectrically actuated bending flight-control surfaces have shown promise as means of actively controlling airflows to improve the performances of transport airplanes. These bending flight-control surfaces are called flipperons because they look somewhat like small ailerons, but, unlike ailerons, are operated in an oscillatory mode reminiscent of the actions of biological flippers. The underlying concept of using flipperons and other flipperlike actuators to impart desired characteristics to flows is not new. Moreover, elements of flipperon-based active flow-control (AFC) systems for aircraft had been developed previously, but it was not until the development reported here that the elements have been integrated into a complete, controllable prototype AFC system for wind-tunnel testing to enable evaluation of the benefits of AFC for aircraft. The piezoelectric actuator materials chosen for use in the flipperons are single- crystal solid solutions of lead zinc niobate and lead titanate, denoted generically by the empirical formula (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] (where x<1) and popularly denoted by the abbreviation PZN-PT. These are relatively newly recognized piezoelectric materials that are capable of strain levels exceeding 1 percent and strain-energy densities 5 times greater than those of previously commercially available piezoelectric materials. Despite their high performance levels, (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] materials have found limited use until now because, relative to previously commercially available piezoelectric materials, they tend to be much more fragile.

  10. Fast and accurate auto-focusing algorithm based on the combination of depth from focus and improved depth from defocus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuedian; Liu, Zhaoqing; Jiang, Minshan; Chang, Min

    2014-12-15

    An auto-focus method for digital imaging systems is proposed that combines depth from focus (DFF) and improved depth from defocus (DFD). The traditional DFD method is improved to become more rapid, which achieves a fast initial focus. The defocus distance is first calculated by the improved DFD method. The result is then used as a search step in the searching stage of the DFF method. A dynamic focusing scheme is designed for the control software, which is able to eliminate environmental disturbances and other noises so that a fast and accurate focus can be achieved. An experiment is designed to verify the proposed focusing method and the results show that the method's efficiency is at least 3-5 times higher than that of the traditional DFF method.

  11. Improving the intensity of a focused laser beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haddadi, Sofiane; Fromager, Michael; Louhibi, Djelloul; Hasnaoui, Abdelkrim; Harfouche, Ali; Cagniot, Emmanuel; ńit-Ameur, Kamel

    2015-03-01

    Let us consider the family of symmetrical Laguerre-Gaus modes of zero azimuthal order which will be denoted as LGp0 . The latter is made up of central lobe surrounded by p concentric rings of light. The fundamental mode LG00 is a Gaussian beam of width W. The focusing of a LGp0 beam of power P by a converging lens of focal length f produces a focal spot keeping the LGp0 -shape and having a central intensity I0= 2PW2/(λf)2 whatever the value of the radial order p. Many applications of lasers (laser marking, laser ablation, …) seek nowadays for a focal laser spot with the highest as possible intensity. For a given power P, increasing intensity I0 can be achieved by increasing W and reducing the focal length f. However, this way of doing is in fact limited because the ratio W/f cannot increase indefinitely at the risk of introducing a huge truncation upon the edge of the lens. In fact, it is possible to produce a single-lobed focal spot with a central intensity of about p times the intensity I0. This result has been obtained by reshaping (rectification) a LGp0 beam thanks to a proper Binary Diffractive Optical Element (BDOE). In addition, forcing a laser cavity to oscillate upon a LGp0 can improve the power extract due to a mode volume increasing with the mode order p. This could allow envisaging an economy of scale in term of laser pumping power for producing a given intensity I0. In addition, we have demonstrated that a rectified LGp0 beam better stand the lens spherical aberration than the usual Gaussian beam.

  12. Lessons Learned: 20 Keys to Successful Training and Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spitzer, Dean R.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses issues related to training and performance improvement, including practice required for skill learning; knowledge versus skills; core skills; competence; learning to learn; team orientation; enabling business results; interpersonal and conceptual skills; timing; focusing on priorities; organizational learning and management…

  13. Performance of Spherically Focused Air-Coupled Ultrasonic Transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chimenti, D. E.; Song, Junho

    2007-03-01

    This paper reports the development, testing, and performance evaluation of spherically focused capacitive air-coupled ultrasonic transducers 1 and 5 cm in diameter. A flexible micro-machined copper/polyimide backplate permits a conformal fit to a spherically shaped fixture, forming the rear capacitor plate. A spherically deformed 6-μm aluminized Mylar foil forms the front capacitor plate, completing the transducer. The device's frequency spectrum is centered near 800 kHz with -6dB points at about 400 and 1200 kHz. The device's focal-plane behavior is successfully modeled theoretically as a focused piston radiator. The imaging and defect detection capabilities of the new transducer are demonstrated in a series of critical tests: a 250-μm wire is easily imaged in a confocal geometry with a second device. Composite, honeycomb, and wood samples are imaged in through-transmission C-scans, showing internal defects. A printed circuit board is imaged, showing features as small as 200-μm.

  14. High-performance double-focusing mass spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nier, A. O.; Schlutter, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    Double focusing was first employed when mass spectrometers of a simpler design were not capable any longer to satisfy increasing demands in mass spectroscopy. One of the successful instruments of the 1930's was the mass spectrometer designed by Mattauch and Herzog (1934). The compactness of the Mattauch-Herzog geometry became particularly important in connection with studies involving the employment of rockets, satellites, or space probes. Another advantage of the considered spectrometer is related to the capability of measuring several masses of ions simultaneously. The instrument design was, therefore adopted for some rocket flights to the upper atmosphere, the investigation of the upper atmosphere of Mars, and for studying the upper atmosphere of Venus. Attention is given to laboratory applications involving the instrument in a somewhat enlarged version, and aspects of instrument operation and performance.

  15. Balancing act. Using the clinic scorecard to improve practice performance.

    PubMed

    Scanlan, Art

    2007-02-01

    The balanced scorecard is a strategic management system that impels managers to focus on the performance metrics that drive success. It measures the business process and links a management method for process improvement to strategic goals. A medical practice can use a balanced scorecard to improve operational performance and quality or service, which generates higher levels of patient satisfaction and better financial management.

  16. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Zhili; Yu, Xinghua; Erdman, III, Donald L.; Wang, Yanli; Kelly, Steve; Hou, Wenkao; Yan, Benda; Wang, Zhifeng; Yu, Zhenzhen; Liu, Stephen

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  17. Attentional Focus and Control Parameter: Effect on Throwing Pattern and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Dan

    2011-01-01

    In two separate experiments, this study examined changes in motor pattern and performance accuracy when low-level throwers focused on internal variables, external variables, and/or velocity of throw. In Experiment 1 the task goal was to improve the throwing pattern. In Experiment 2 the task goal was to throw as accurately as possible at a target.…

  18. Attentional Focus and Control Parameter: Effect on Throwing Pattern and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Dan

    2011-01-01

    In two separate experiments, this study examined changes in motor pattern and performance accuracy when low-level throwers focused on internal variables, external variables, and/or velocity of throw. In Experiment 1 the task goal was to improve the throwing pattern. In Experiment 2 the task goal was to throw as accurately as possible at a target.…

  19. Impact of Pupil Transmission Apodization on Presbyopic Through-Focus Visual Performance With Spherical Aberration

    PubMed Central

    Zheleznyak, Len; Jung, HaeWon; Yoon, Geunyoung

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate the impact on through-focus retinal image quality and visual performance of apodizing the pupil's transmission function in combination with extended depth of focus presbyopic corrections, such as spherical aberration (SA). Methods. Through-focus retinal image quality was determined theoretically for various magnitudes of pupil transmission apodization and Zernike primary SA (−0.5 to +0.5 μm) for a 4-mm pupil. The impact of pupil transmission apodization was also assessed psychophysically with a vision simulator equipped with a liquid crystal spatial light modulator for controlling pupil transmission. Through-focus visual acuity (VA) was measured with and without apodization in three cyclopleged subjects from distance to near with monochromatic light (550 nm) under two multifocal aberration conditions. Phase plates induced +0.2 and −0.2 μm of SA over a 4-mm artificial pupil. A baseline condition of zero SA was also included for comparison. Results. The theoretical investigation showed that pupil transmission apodization significantly improved distance image quality in the presence of positive and negative SA. Retinal image quality at all target vergences for negative SA conditions was improved by apodization. Pupil transmission apodization improved through-focus VA by 0.1 to 0.2 logMAR at intermediate and near object distances for the zero and negative SA conditions. In the positive SA condition, apodization degraded VA by approximately 0.1 logMAR at intermediate object distances. Conclusions. Pupil transmission apodization had a significant impact on though-focus visual performance. Pupil transmission apodization affects through-focus retinal image quality by diminishing the relative contribution to the retinal image from the peripheral region of the wavefront aberration. Through-focus visual performance in presbyopic eyes with negative SA was improved due to pupil transmission apodization. PMID:24265022

  20. Getting Results: Improving Process & People Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finnegan, Gregory

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the application of performance technology to improve the performance of people and processes and shows ways to extend the influence of the performance analyst to investigate and improve core processes within an organization. Describes the performance analysis model and presents four case studies based on hospital performance issues. (LRW)

  1. Effect of circumsolar radiation on performance of focusing collectors

    SciTech Connect

    Bendt, P.; Rabl, A.

    1980-04-01

    Circumsolar radiation is one of several factors, along with optical errors (contour, tracking, etc.), that determine the size and shape of the solar image at the receiver of a concentrating collector. The sensitivity of a collector to circumsolar radiation depends on insolation conditions and on collector parameters; it increases with geometrical concentration ratio and decreases with operating threshold. The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) circumsolar data are used to develop fast computational procedures for calculating the effect of circumsolar radiation on both the instantaneous and the long-term average performance of focusing collectors. For predictions of long-term average performance, a standard synthetic circumsolar scan has been developed that describes the brightness distribution of the solar disk (limb darkening) and of the circumsolar region. The radiation intercepted by a receiver is calculated separately for the solar portion and for the circumsolar portion of this standard sun shape, and these two contributions are then weighted according to the long-term average circumsolar ratio for the location and period under study.

  2. Empirical Research on Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marker, Anthony; Huglin, Linda; Johnsen, Liz

    2006-01-01

    In 2002, James Klein published a study based on a content analysis of research articles in "PIQ" from 1997 through 2000. That study was aimed at determining how much empirical research was being reported in HPT and what the focus of that research was. Klein found that only about one third of the articles published in "PIQ" represented empirical…

  3. Apparatus and method for performing electrodynamic focusing on a microchip

    DOEpatents

    Ramsey, John Michael; Jacobson, Stephen C.

    1999-01-01

    A microchip device includes a focusing channel, in which an electric field strength established in the focusing channel is controlled relative to an electric field strength established in a material transport channel segment to spatially focus the material traversing the material transport channel segment.

  4. Apparatus and method for performing electrodynamic focusing on a microchip

    DOEpatents

    Ramsey, J.M.; Jacobson, S.C.

    1999-01-12

    A microchip device includes a focusing channel, in which an electric field strength established in the focusing channel is controlled relative to an electric field strength established in a material transport channel segment to spatially focus the material traversing the material transport channel segment. 22 figs.

  5. On the advantage of an external focus of attention: a benefit to learning or performance?

    PubMed

    Lohse, Keith R; Sherwood, David E; Healy, Alice F

    2014-02-01

    Although there is general agreement in the sport science community that the focus of attention (FOA) has significant effects on performance, there is some debate about whether or not the FOA adopted during training affects learning. A large number of studies on the focus of attention have shown that subjects who train with an external FOA perform better on subsequent retention and transfer tests. However, the FOA in these studies was not experimentally controlled during testing. Therefore, the current study used a dart-throwing paradigm in which the FOA was experimentally manipulated at both acquisition and testing over very short and long training times. Performance at test, in terms of accuracy and precision, was improved by adopting an external focus at test regardless of the focus instructed during acquisition, in both Experiment 1 and 2. Although an effect of acquisition focus during testing in Experiment 2 provides some evidence that FOA affects learning, the current data demonstrate a much stronger effect for performance than learning, and stronger effects of attention on precision than accuracy. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed, but in general these data provide a more nuanced understanding of how attentional focus instructions influence motor learning and performance.

  6. Improving Performance in a Nuclear Cardiology Department

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaFleur, Doug; Smalley, Karolyn; Austin, John

    2005-01-01

    Improving performance in the medical industry is an area that is ideally suited for the tools advocated by the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI). This paper describes an application of the tools that have been developed by Dale Brethower and Geary Rummler, two pillars of the performance improvement industry. It allows the…

  7. Improving Performance in a Nuclear Cardiology Department

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaFleur, Doug; Smalley, Karolyn; Austin, John

    2005-01-01

    Improving performance in the medical industry is an area that is ideally suited for the tools advocated by the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI). This paper describes an application of the tools that have been developed by Dale Brethower and Geary Rummler, two pillars of the performance improvement industry. It allows the…

  8. Performance Pay Path to Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gratz, Donald B.

    2011-01-01

    The primary goal of performance pay for the past decade has been higher test scores, and the most prominent strategy has been to increase teacher performance through financial incentives. If teachers are rewarded for success, according to this logic, they will try harder. If they try harder, more children will achieve higher test scores. The…

  9. Performance Pay Path to Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gratz, Donald B.

    2011-01-01

    The primary goal of performance pay for the past decade has been higher test scores, and the most prominent strategy has been to increase teacher performance through financial incentives. If teachers are rewarded for success, according to this logic, they will try harder. If they try harder, more children will achieve higher test scores. The…

  10. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation.

    PubMed

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also established clear links between facial emotion recognition skills and attentional processes. The present study compares the GAÏA s-face program (GAÏA arm), which focuses on facial emotion recognition processes, with the RECOS program (RECOS arm), a neurocognitive remediation therapy focusing on selective attention. Forty people with schizophrenia were randomly distributed between each study arm and assessed pre- (T1) and post- (T2) therapy. The single-blind assessment focused on facial emotion recognition (the main criteria), symptoms, social and subjective functioning, and neurocognitive and social cognitive performance. Both programs were conducted by nurses after a 3-day training session. The study showed a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition performance in both groups, with a significantly larger effect in the GAÏA arm. Symptoms and social functioning also improved in the GAÏA arm, and certain neurocognitive and social cognitive processes improved in both study arms. Further studies are recommended, with larger population samples and a follow-up assessing the long-term preservation of these improvements.

  11. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation

    PubMed Central

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Dupuis, M.; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also established clear links between facial emotion recognition skills and attentional processes. The present study compares the GAÏA s-face program (GAÏA arm), which focuses on facial emotion recognition processes, with the RECOS program (RECOS arm), a neurocognitive remediation therapy focusing on selective attention. Forty people with schizophrenia were randomly distributed between each study arm and assessed pre- (T1) and post- (T2) therapy. The single-blind assessment focused on facial emotion recognition (the main criteria), symptoms, social and subjective functioning, and neurocognitive and social cognitive performance. Both programs were conducted by nurses after a 3-day training session. The study showed a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition performance in both groups, with a significantly larger effect in the GAÏA arm. Symptoms and social functioning also improved in the GAÏA arm, and certain neurocognitive and social cognitive processes improved in both study arms. Further studies are recommended, with larger population samples and a follow-up assessing the long-term preservation of these improvements. PMID:27445866

  12. Improved first Rayleigh-Sommerfeld method applied to metallic cylindrical focusing micro mirrors.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jia-Sheng; Zhang, Yan; Hane, Kazuhiro

    2009-04-27

    An improved first Rayleigh-Sommerfeld method (IRSM1) is intensively applied to analyzing the focal properties of metallic cylindrical focusing micro mirrors. A variety of metallic cylindrical focusing mirrors with different f-numbers, different polarization of incidence, or different types of profiles are investigated. The focal properties include the focal spot size, the diffraction efficiency, the real focal length, the total reflected power, and the normalized sidelobe power. Numerical results calculated by the IRSM1, the original first Rayleigh-Sommerfeld method (ORSM1), and the rigorous boundary element method (BEM) are presented for quantitative comparison. It is found that the IRSM1 is much more accurate than the ORSM1 in performance analysis of metallic cylindrical focusing mirrors, especially for cylindrical refractive focusing mirrors with small f-numbers. Moreover, the IRSM1 saves great amounts of computational time and computer memory in calculations, in comparison with the vectorial BEM.

  13. Multiple focused EMAT designs for improved surface breaking defect characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thring, C. B.; Fan, Y.; Edwards, R. S.

    2017-02-01

    Ultrasonic Rayleigh waves can be employed for the detection of surface breaking defects such as rolling contact fatigue and stress corrosion cracking. Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs) are well suited to this technique as they can directly generate Rayleigh waves within the sample without the requirement for wedges, and they are robust and inexpensive compared to laser ultrasonics. Three different EMAT coil types have been developed, and these are compared to assess their ability to detect and characterize small (down to 0.5 mm depth, 1 mm diameter) surface breaking defects in aluminium. These designs are: a pair of linear meander coils used in a pseudo-pulse-echo mode, a pair of focused meander coils also used in pseudo-pulse-echo mode, and a pair of focused racetrack coils used in pitch-catch mode. The linear meander coils are able to detect most of the defects tested, but have a much lower signal to noise ratio and give limited sizing information. The focused meander coils and the focused racetrack coils can detect all defects tested, but have the advantage that they can also characterize the defect sizes on the sample surface, and have a stronger sensitivity at their focal point. Measurements using all three EMAT designs are presented and compared for high resolution imaging of surface-breaking defects.

  14. Taking a Strengths-Based Focus Improves School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tschannen-Moran, Megan; Tschannen-Moran, Bob

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to learn whether focusing on strengths through appreciative inquiry would be related to measurable changes in school climate and trust within a small urban school district. The district studied was a beleaguered, underperforming school district in the Midwest Rust Belt. Through an appreciative inquiry initiative, the…

  15. Improved 3D cellular imaging by multispectral focus assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Tong; Xiong, Yizhi; Chung, Alice P.; Wachman, Elliot S.; Farkas, Daniel L.

    2005-03-01

    Biological specimens are three-dimensional structures. However, when capturing their images through a microscope, there is only one plane in the field of view that is in focus, and out-of-focus portions of the specimen affect image quality in the in-focus plane. It is well-established that the microscope"s point spread function (PSF) can be used for blur quantitation, for the restoration of real images. However, this is an ill-posed problem, with no unique solution and with high computational complexity. In this work, instead of estimating and using the PSF, we studied focus quantitation in multi-spectral image sets. A gradient map we designed was used to evaluate the sharpness degree of each pixel, in order to identify blurred areas not to be considered. Experiments with realistic multi-spectral Pap smear images showed that measurement of their sharp gradients can provide depth information roughly comparable to human perception (through a microscope), while avoiding PSF estimation. Spectrum and morphometrics-based statistical analysis for abnormal cell detection can then be implemented in an image database where the axial structure has been refined.

  16. Taking a Strengths-Based Focus Improves School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tschannen-Moran, Megan; Tschannen-Moran, Bob

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to learn whether focusing on strengths through appreciative inquiry would be related to measurable changes in school climate and trust within a small urban school district. The district studied was a beleaguered, underperforming school district in the Midwest Rust Belt. Through an appreciative inquiry initiative, the…

  17. Improving Reading Performances through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    A study was undertaken to investigate the effects of one hypnotic session on the reading improvement of high-risk college students with low aptitude scores and histories of failure in academic situations. The 27 students in the experimental group participated in a one-hour hypnosis session in which they were given a procedure to follow for…

  18. Improving Reading Performances through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    A study was undertaken to investigate the effects of one hypnotic session on the reading improvement of high-risk college students with low aptitude scores and histories of failure in academic situations. The 27 students in the experimental group participated in a one-hour hypnosis session in which they were given a procedure to follow for…

  19. Shifting Focus: From Hydration for Performance to Hydration for Health.

    PubMed

    Perrier, Erica T

    2017-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, literature on hydration biomarkers has evolved considerably - from (de)hydration assessment towards a more global definition of biomarkers of hydration in daily life. This shift in thinking about hydration markers was largely driven by investigating the differences that existed between otherwise healthy individuals whose habitual, ad-libitum drinking habits differ, and by identifying physiological changes in low-volume drinkers who subsequently increase their water intake. Aside from obvious differences in urinary volume and concentration, a growing body of evidence is emerging that links differences in fluid intake with small, but biologically significant, differences in vasopressin (copeptin), glomerular filtration rate, and markers of metabolic dysfunction or disease. Taken together, these pieces of the puzzle begin to form a picture of how much water intake should be considered adequate for health, and represent a shifting focus from hydration for performance, toward hydration for health outcomes. This narrative review outlines the key areas of research in which the global hydration process - including water intake, urinary hydration markers, and vasopressin - has been associated with health outcomes, focusing on kidney and metabolic endpoints. It will also provide a commentary on how various hydration biomarkers may be used in hydration for health assessment. Finally, if adequate water intake can play a role in maintaining health, how might we tell if we are drinking enough? Urine output is easily measured, and can take into account differences in daily physical activity, climate, dietary solute load, and other factors that influence daily water needs. Today, targets have been proposed for urine osmolality, specific gravity, and color that may be used by researchers, clinicians, and individuals as simple indicators of optimal hydration. However, there remain a large number of incomplete or unanswered research questions regarding the

  20. Heat Acclimation Improves Exercise Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    environments. Twelve trained cyclists performed tests of maximal aerobic power ( VO2max ), time-trial performance, and lactate threshold, in both cool [13...C, 30% relative humidity (RH)] and hot (38°C, 30% RH) environments before and after a 10-day heat acclimation (~50% VO2max in 40°C) program. The hot...and cool condition VO2max and lactate threshold tests were both preceded by either warm (41° C) water or thermoneutral (34°C) water immersion to

  1. Improved performance in NASTRAN (R)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Gordon C.

    1989-01-01

    Three areas of improvement in COSMIC/NASTRAN, 1989 release, were incorporated recently that make the analysis program run faster on large problems. Actual log files and actual timings on a few test samples that were run on IBM, CDC, VAX, and CRAY computers were compiled. The speed improvement is proportional to the problem size and number of continuation cards. Vectorizing certain operations in BANDIT, makes BANDIT run twice as fast in some large problems using structural elements with many node points. BANDIT is a built-in NASTRAN processor that optimizes the structural matrix bandwidth. The VAX matrix packing routine BLDPK was modified so that it is now packing a column of a matrix 3 to 9 times faster. The denser and bigger the matrix, the greater is the speed improvement. This improvement makes a host of routines and modules that involve matrix operation run significantly faster, and saves disc space for dense matrices. A UNIX version, converted from 1988 COSMIC/NASTRAN, was tested successfully on a Silicon Graphics computer using the UNIX V Operating System, with Berkeley 4.3 Extensions. The Utility Modules INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 were expanded to handle table data, as well as matrices. Both INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 are general input/output modules that read and write FORTRAN files with or without format. More user informative messages are echoed from PARAMR, PARAMD, and SCALAR modules to ensure proper data values and data types being handled. Two new Utility Modules, GINOFILE and DATABASE, were written for the 1989 release. Seven rigid elements are added to COSMIC/NASTRAN. They are: CRROD, CRBAR, CRTRPLT, CRBE1, CRBE2, CRBE3, and CRSPLINE.

  2. Development of a Tissue-Mimicking Phantom for Evaluating the Focusing Performance of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zongyu, Jing; Faqi, Li; Jiangzhong, Zou; Zhibiao, Wang

    2006-05-01

    Objectives: To develop a tissue mimicking phantom which can be used to evaluate the focusing performance of the HIFU transducer, and the phantom should has the same acoustic characteristic and thermotics characteristic as the biological tissue. Materials and methods: The tissue mimicking phantom was made from water, gelatin, fresh biologic tissue Its ultrasonic parameters (attenuation coefficient) of the phantom was measured by the method of radiation pressure, and thermotics parameters of the phantom, including thermal conductivity, specific heat/fusion point et al were tested under the Measurement meter. The HIFU biological effect of the phantom was evaluated under the Model JC focused ultrasound tumor therapeutic system, developed and produced by Chongqing HIFU Technology Co. Ltd (working frequency: 0.7MHz; acoustic power: 200W; focal distance: 135mm; Acoustic focal region: 3×3×25 cubic mm). Results: The self-made phantom is sable, has smooth and glossy appearance, well-distributed construction, and good elasticity. We measured the followed values for acoustic and thermal properties: density 1049±2 kg/m3; attenuation 0.532±0.017 dB/cm (0.8 MHz), 0.612±0.021 dB/cm (1.0 MHz); thermal conductivity 0.76±0.08 W/m/-°C; specific heat 3653±143 J/kg-°C; fusion point154±8°C. The BFR induced in the phantom after HIFU exposure was stable in its size and appearance. Conclusion: We produced and improved one tissue mimicking phantom successfully which had semblable ultrasound and thermphysical properties like the soft tissue, and can replace the bovine liver to investigate the HIFU biological effect and to detect the focusing performance of the HIFU energy transducer. The research was supported by Chongqing University of Medical Science (CX200320).

  3. Development of a Tissue-Mimicking Phantom for Evaluating the Focusing Performance of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

    SciTech Connect

    Jing Zongyu; Li Faqi; Zou Jiangzhong; Wang Zhibiao

    2006-05-08

    Objectives: To develop a tissue mimicking phantom which can be used to evaluate the focusing performance of the HIFU transducer, and the phantom should has the same acoustic characteristic and thermotics characteristic as the biological tissue. Materials and methods: The tissue mimicking phantom was made from water, gelatin, fresh biologic tissue Its ultrasonic parameters (attenuation coefficient) of the phantom was measured by the method of radiation pressure, and thermotics parameters of the phantom, including thermal conductivity, specific heat/fusion point et al were tested under the Measurement meter. The HIFU biological effect of the phantom was evaluated under the Model JC focused ultrasound tumor therapeutic system, developed and produced by Chongqing HIFU Technology Co. Ltd (working frequency: 0.7MHz; acoustic power: 200W; focal distance: 135mm; Acoustic focal region: 3x3x25 cubic mm). Results: The self-made phantom is sable, has smooth and glossy appearance, well-distributed construction, and good elasticity. We measured the followed values for acoustic and thermal properties: density 1049{+-}2 kg/m3; attenuation 0.532{+-}0.017 dB/cm (0.8 MHz), 0.612{+-}0.021 dB/cm (1.0 MHz); thermal conductivity 0.76{+-}0.08 W/m/- deg. C; specific heat 3653{+-}143 J/kg- deg. C; fusion point154{+-}8 deg. C. The BFR induced in the phantom after HIFU exposure was stable in its size and appearance. Conclusion: We produced and improved one tissue mimicking phantom successfully which had semblable ultrasound and thermphysical properties like the soft tissue, and can replace the bovine liver to investigate the HIFU biological effect and to detect the focusing performance of the HIFU energy transducer. The research was supported by Chongqing University of Medical Science (CX200320)

  4. Room for Improvement: Performance Evaluations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, Gisela

    1989-01-01

    Describes a performance management approach to library personnel management that stresses communication, clarification of goals, and reinforcement of new practices and behaviors. Each phase of the evaluation process (preparation, rating, administrative review, appraisal interview, and follow-up) and special evaluations to be used in cases of…

  5. Improvements in resist performance towards EUV HVM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yildirim, Oktay; Buitrago, Elizabeth; Hoefnagels, Rik; Meeuwissen, Marieke; Wuister, Sander; Rispens, Gijsbert; van Oosten, Anton; Derks, Paul; Finders, Jo; Vockenhuber, Michaela; Ekinci, Yasin

    2017-03-01

    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography with 13.5 nm wavelength is the main option for sub-10nm patterning in the semiconductor industry. We report improvements in resist performance towards EUV high volume manufacturing. A local CD uniformity (LCDU) model is introduced and validated with experimental contact hole (CH) data. Resist performance is analyzed in terms of ultimate printing resolution (R), line width roughness (LWR), sensitivity (S), exposure latitude (EL) and depth of focus (DOF). Resist performance of dense lines at 13 nm half-pitch and beyond is shown by chemical amplified resist (CAR) and non-CAR (Inpria YA Series) on NXE scanner. Resolution down to 10nm half pitch (hp) is shown by Inpria YA Series resist exposed on interference lithography at the Paul Sherrer Institute. Contact holes contrast and consequent LCDU improvement is achieved on a NXE:3400 scanner by decreasing the pupil fill ratio. State-of-the-art imaging meets 5nm node requirements for CHs. A dynamic gas lock (DGL) membrane is introduced between projection optics box (POB) and wafer stage. The DGL membrane will suppress the negative impact of resist outgassing on the projection optics by 100%, enabling a wider range of resist materials to be used. The validated LCDU model indicates that the imaging requirements of the 3nm node can be met with single exposure using a high-NA EUV scanner. The current status, trends, and potential roadblocks for EUV resists are discussed. Our results mark the progress and the improvement points in EUV resist materials to support EUV ecosystem.

  6. Cost and performance: complements for improvement.

    PubMed

    Rouse, Paul; Harrison, Julie; Turner, Nikki

    2011-10-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) share similar views of resource consumption in the production of outputs. While DEA has a high level focus typically using aggregated data in the form of inputs and outputs, ABC is more detailed and oriented around very disaggregated data. We use a case study of immunisation activities in 24 New Zealand primary care practices to illustrate how DEA and ABC can be used in conjunction to improve performance analysis and benchmarking. Results show that practice size, socio-economic environment, parts of the service delivery process as well as regular administrative tasks are major cost and performance drivers for general practices in immunisation activities. It is worth noting that initial analyses of the ABC results, using contextual information and conventional methods of analysis such as regression and correlations, did not result in any patterns of significance. Reorganising this information using the DEA efficiency scores has revealed trends that make sense to practitioners and provide insights into where to place efforts for improvement.

  7. Improved Polyurethane Storage Tank Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-15

    temperature using a color change temperature indicator tape and using an Infrared (IR) pyrometer . Based on the flow of compound during welding, it is...AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Seaman Corporation,1000 Venture...congressionally mandated research project was undertaken to study polyurethane coated fabric systems and fabrication processes that are or may be used, in

  8. Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmoker, Mike

    2011-01-01

    Instead of piling on one new reform fad after another, here at last is a book that boils down solutions for improved schools to the most powerful, simple actions and structures that ensure you prepare all students for college, careers, and citizenship. Best-selling ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) author and renowned…

  9. Improved antiretroviral refill adherence in HIV-focused community pharmacies

    PubMed Central

    Cocohoba, Jennifer M.; Murphy, Patricia; Pietrandoni, Glen; Guglielmo, B. Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine differences in patient characteristics, antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen characteristics, and regimen refill adherence for HIV-focused pharmacy (HIV-P) versus traditional pharmacy (TP) users. Design Retrospective cohort study Setting California Walgreens pharmacies, May 2007 – August 2009 Participants HIV-positive (HIV+) patients with greater than 30 days of antiretroviral prescription claims. Main outcome measures Modified medication possession ratio (mMPR) to calculate regimen refill adherence, and dichotomous measure of optimal adherence ≥ 95%. Results 4254 HIV-P and 11679 TP users were included. Compared to TP users, HIV-P users traveled farther to pharmacies (5.03 vs. 1.26 miles), filled more chronic disease medications (35% vs. 30%), and received more fixed-dose combination tablets (92% vs. 83%); all p < 0.01. Median mMPR was higher for HIV-P users (90% vs. 77%, p < 0.0001). After adjustment for age, gender, insurance, medication use, and distance from pharmacy, use of HIV-P (OR= 2.18, 95% CI 1.88–2.52) and use of fixed-dose combination antiretroviral tablets (OR=2.43, 95% CI 1.83–3.22) were factors most strongly associated with having ≥ 95% regimen refill adherence. Conclusion For HIV+ patients struggling with antiretroviral adherence, clinicians could consider minimizing pill burden with combination tablets and referral to an HIV-focused pharmacy. PMID:23023860

  10. Performance-based hospital contracting for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Sennett, C; Legorreta, A P; Zatz, S L

    1993-09-01

    A carefully negotiated process that ties improvements in performance to additional compensation can align incentives and support efforts to improve care. Such a process needs to be objective, data-driven, and focused on issues that are important both to the purchaser and to the provider.

  11. Active and Focused Scientist Participation Improves Public Discourse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekwurzel, B.; Grifo, F.; Cole, N.; Halpern, M.; Rogers, E.

    2007-12-01

    Scientists are often dismayed at how the public discourse of controversial topics, such as global climate change, is often missing critical science developments. Active and focused scientist participation can help turn this trend around. Researchers who receive public funding for exploration into fundamental science have a wealth of information to share when their research touches upon topics that are relevant to the public. Taking the time to translate the top findings of your research into publicly accessible language is often a rewarding experience and can make all the difference. Scientists are viewed with trust by the public, the media, and policymakers. Case studies from the northeast United States and California will illustrate the best practices to enhance the active engagement of the scientific community and demonstrate how this can create change. The public discourse on climate change is moving rapidly forward and the consequences of scientists not participating will mount.

  12. Appearance- and Competition-Focused Performance Goals: Examining Their Links with Performance in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warburton, Victoria; Spray, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    We examined the utility of distinguishing between appearance- and competition-focused approach and avoidance performance goals to our understanding of motivation in physical education. Four achievement goals were tested composed of approach-avoidance and appearance-competition components. Three hundred and two pupils, aged 11-14 years, completed…

  13. Appearance- and Competition-Focused Performance Goals: Examining Their Links with Performance in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warburton, Victoria; Spray, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    We examined the utility of distinguishing between appearance- and competition-focused approach and avoidance performance goals to our understanding of motivation in physical education. Four achievement goals were tested composed of approach-avoidance and appearance-competition components. Three hundred and two pupils, aged 11-14 years, completed…

  14. The Impact of a Learning Organization on Performance: Focusing on Knowledge Performance and Financial Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Kyoungshin; Watkins, Karen E.; Lu, Zhenqiu

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among a learning organization, knowledge and financial performance using the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire and its abbreviated version. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a secondary data set and performed second-order factor analysis and…

  15. The Impact of a Learning Organization on Performance: Focusing on Knowledge Performance and Financial Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Kyoungshin; Watkins, Karen E.; Lu, Zhenqiu

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among a learning organization, knowledge and financial performance using the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire and its abbreviated version. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a secondary data set and performed second-order factor analysis and…

  16. Performance, Productivity and Continuous Improvement. Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2002

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on performance, productivity, and continuous improvement. "Investigating the Association between Productivity and Quality Performance in Two Manufacturing Settings" (Constantine Kontoghiorghes, Robert Gudgel) summarizes a study that identified the following quality management variables…

  17. Quality Improvement-Focused Departmental Grand Rounds Reports: A Strategy to Engage General Surgery Residents.

    PubMed

    Abelson, Jonathan S; Mitchell, Katrina B; Afaneh, Cheguevera; Rich, Barrie S; Frey, Theresa J; Gellman, Carol; Pomp, Alfons; Michelassi, Fabrizio

    2016-05-01

    Background Many institutions are seeking ways to enhance their surgical trainees' quality improvement (QI) skills. Objective To educate trainees about the importance of lifelong performance improvement, chief residents at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medicine are members of a multidisciplinary QI team tasked with improving surgical outcomes. We describe the process and the results of this effort. Methods Our analysis used 2 data sources to assess complication rates: the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and ECOMP, our own internal complication database. Chief residents met with a multidisciplinary QI team to review complication rates from both data sources. Chief residents performed a case-by-case analysis of complications and a literature search in areas requiring improvement. Based on this information, chief residents met with the multidisciplinary team to select interventions for implementation, and delivered QI-focused grand rounds summarizing the QI process and new interventions. Results Since 2009, chief residents have presented 16 QI-focused grand rounds. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs) were the most frequently discussed. Interventions to improve UTIs and SSIs were introduced to the department of surgery through these reports in 2011 and 2012. During this time we saw improvement in outcomes as measured by NSQIP odds ratio. Conclusions Departmental grand rounds are a suitable forum to review NSQIP data and our internal, resident-collected data as a means to engage chief residents in QI improvement, and can serve as a model for other institutions to engage surgery residents in QI projects.

  18. Comparative performance of double-focus and quadrupole mass spectrometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, S. K.

    1972-01-01

    Light-weight flight type double focus and quadruple mass spectrometer models were compared. Data cover size, weight, and power sensitivity required to achieve same resolution sensitivity at given mass number. Comparison was made using mathematical relationships. Analysis was confined to equal ion source area sensitivity variations not more than 40% over mass range.

  19. Education Performance Measures Track Kansas School Improvement. Focus On...

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kansas Association of School Boards (NJ1), 2011

    2011-01-01

    Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) staff created an index of educational outcomes to compare results from state to state. This report is an analysis of that study. A list of the overall rankings is included on the back page of this report. The index is based on a combination of objective qualitative measures. The data comes from national…

  20. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus over Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Worthy, Darrell A.; Brez, Caitlin C.; Markman, Arthur B.; Maddox, W. Todd

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive psychologists have begun to address how motivational factors influence adults' performance on cognitive tasks. However, little research has examined how different motivational factors interact with one another to affect behavior across the life span. In the current study, the authors examined how children perform on a classification task…

  1. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus over Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Worthy, Darrell A.; Brez, Caitlin C.; Markman, Arthur B.; Maddox, W. Todd

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive psychologists have begun to address how motivational factors influence adults' performance on cognitive tasks. However, little research has examined how different motivational factors interact with one another to affect behavior across the life span. In the current study, the authors examined how children perform on a classification task…

  2. Extended depth of focus intraocular lens: Chromatic performance

    PubMed Central

    Millán, Maria S.; Vega, Fidel

    2017-01-01

    We describe a first-and-second-diffractive-order intraocular lens ((1st,2nd)DIOL) within the class of hybrid refractive-diffractive designs for intraocular lenses (IOLs) and analyse its properties of focus extension and compensation of longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA), particularly for lenses with low addition. Power, energy efficiency and their wavelength dependence are extended from monofocal IOL and conventional bifocal zeroth-and-first-diffractive-order IOL ((0th,1st)DIOL) to (1st,2nd)DIOL of low addition. Compensation of LCA is experimentally assessed in optical bench through the through-focus energy efficiency of three Tecnis IOLs with red, green and blue illuminations: ZA9003 (monofocal), ZKB00 (bifocal (0th,1st)DIOL with + 2.75 D add) and Symfony ZXR00. We prove Tecnis Symfony ZXR00 IOL can be considered an example of (1st,2nd)DIOL design of low addition, with LCA compensation in both the distance and intermediate foci, whereas the bifocal (0th,1st)DIOL does not compensate in the distance focus. However, the energy efficiency of (1st,2nd)DIOL for wavelengths other than the design wavelength is markedly more asymmetric.

  3. Restoring Executive Confidence in Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidman, William; McCauley, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Many organizations have significantly decreased their investment in performance improvement initiatives because they believe they are too risky. In fact, organizations should invest in performance improvements to build cash reserves and gain market share. Recent scientific breakthroughs have led to the development of methodologies and technologies…

  4. Optimizing MRI Logistics: Focused Process Improvements Can Increase Throughput in an Academic Radiology Department.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Jeremy J; Stormann, Jeremy; Roche, Kelli; Cabral-Goncalves, Ines; Monks, Annamarie; Hallett, Donna; Mortele, Koenraad J

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe and evaluate the effect of focused process improvements on protocol selection and scheduling in the MRI division of a busy academic medical center, as measured by examination and room times, magnet fill rate, and potential revenue increases and cost savings to the department. Focused process improvements, led by a multidisciplinary team at a large academic medical center, were directed at streamlining MRI protocols and optimizing matching protocol ordering to scheduling while maintaining or improving image quality. Data were collected before (June 2013) and after (March 2015) implementation of focused process improvements and divided by subspecialty on type of examination, allotted examination time, actual examination time, and MRI parameters. Direct and indirect costs were compiled and analyzed in consultation with the business department. Data were compared with evaluated effects on selected outcome and efficiency measures, as well as revenue and cost considerations. Statistical analysis was performed using a t test. During the month of June 2013, 2145 MRI examinations were performed at our center; 2702 were performed in March 2015. Neuroradiology examinations were the most common (59% in June 2013, 56% in March 2015), followed by body examinations (25% and 27%). All protocols and parameters were analyzed and streamlined for each examination, with slice thickness, TR, and echo train length among the most adjusted parameters. Mean time per examination decreased from 43.4 minutes to 36.7 minutes, and mean room time per patient decreased from 46.3 to 43.6 minutes (p = 0.009). Potential revenue from increased throughput may yield up to $3 million yearly (at $800 net revenue per scan) or produce cost savings if the facility can reduce staffed scanner hours or the number of scanners in its fleet. Actual revenue and expense impacts depend on the facility's fixed and variable cost structure, payer contracts, MRI fleet composition

  5. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    SciTech Connect

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  6. Coherent combining efficiency improvement based on a focused conformal projection fiber laser array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhi, Dong; Ma, Yanxing; Wang, Xiaolin; Zhou, Pu; Si, Lei

    2016-11-01

    A focused conformal projection system (FCPS) has lots of advantages over parallel projection system, especially in near-field coherent beam combining situation. A home-made FCPS based on fiber laser array with adaptive fiber optics collimator is setup and its performances are investigated. First, the coherent beam combining based on the system is successfully achieved with simultaneous end-cap/tilt control and phase-locking control. Then performances of collimated conformal projection system (CCPS) are examined experimentally and consistent with the theoretical results with efficiencies above 80%. At last, we test the feasibility of FCPS in improving coherent combining efficiency. Results show that comparing with CCPS, the CBC efficiency of FCPS improves about 43.5%, from 59.0% to 84.7%, with perfect fitness to the ideal situation.

  7. Li Anode Technology for Improved Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Tuqiang

    2011-01-01

    A novel, low-cost approach to stabilization of Li metal anodes for high-performance rechargeable batteries was developed. Electrolyte additives are selected and used in Li cell electrolyte systems, promoting formation of a protective coating on Li metal anodes for improved cycle and safety performance. Li batteries developed from the new system will show significantly improved battery performance characteristics, including energy/power density, cycle/ calendar life, cost, and safety.

  8. Using Focused Laboratory Management and Quality Improvement Projects to Enhance Resident Training and Foster Scholarship

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Bradley A.; Klutts, J. Stacey; Jensen, Chris S.; Briggs, Angela S.; Robinson, Robert A.; Bruch, Leslie A.; Karandikar, Nitin J.

    2017-01-01

    Training in patient safety, quality, and management is widely recognized as an important element of graduate medical education. These concepts have been intertwined in pathology graduate medical education for many years, although training programs face challenges in creating explicit learning opportunities in these fields. Tangibly involving pathology residents in management and quality improvement projects has the potential to teach and reinforce key concepts and further fulfill Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education goals for pursuing projects related to patient safety and quality improvement. In this report, we present our experience at a pathology residency program (University of Iowa) in engaging pathology residents in projects related to practical issues of laboratory management, process improvement, and informatics. In this program, at least 1 management/quality improvement project, typically performed during a clinical chemistry/management rotation, was required and ideally resulted in a journal publication. The residency program also initiated a monthly management/informatics series for pathology externs, residents, and fellows that covers a wide range of topics. Since 2010, all pathology residents at the University of Iowa have completed at least 1 management/quality improvement project. Many of the projects involved aspects of laboratory test utilization, with some projects focused on other areas such as human resources, informatics, or process improvement. Since 2012, 31 peer-reviewed journal articles involving effort from 26 residents have been published. Multiple projects resulted in changes in ongoing practice, particularly within the hospital electronic health record. Focused management/quality improvement projects involving pathology residents can result in both meaningful quality improvement and scholarly output. PMID:28913416

  9. Using Focused Laboratory Management and Quality Improvement Projects to Enhance Resident Training and Foster Scholarship.

    PubMed

    Krasowski, Matthew D; Ford, Bradley A; Klutts, J Stacey; Jensen, Chris S; Briggs, Angela S; Robinson, Robert A; Bruch, Leslie A; Karandikar, Nitin J

    2017-01-01

    Training in patient safety, quality, and management is widely recognized as an important element of graduate medical education. These concepts have been intertwined in pathology graduate medical education for many years, although training programs face challenges in creating explicit learning opportunities in these fields. Tangibly involving pathology residents in management and quality improvement projects has the potential to teach and reinforce key concepts and further fulfill Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education goals for pursuing projects related to patient safety and quality improvement. In this report, we present our experience at a pathology residency program (University of Iowa) in engaging pathology residents in projects related to practical issues of laboratory management, process improvement, and informatics. In this program, at least 1 management/quality improvement project, typically performed during a clinical chemistry/management rotation, was required and ideally resulted in a journal publication. The residency program also initiated a monthly management/informatics series for pathology externs, residents, and fellows that covers a wide range of topics. Since 2010, all pathology residents at the University of Iowa have completed at least 1 management/quality improvement project. Many of the projects involved aspects of laboratory test utilization, with some projects focused on other areas such as human resources, informatics, or process improvement. Since 2012, 31 peer-reviewed journal articles involving effort from 26 residents have been published. Multiple projects resulted in changes in ongoing practice, particularly within the hospital electronic health record. Focused management/quality improvement projects involving pathology residents can result in both meaningful quality improvement and scholarly output.

  10. CRTs: electrostatic focusing systems for performing Laminar electron gun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abgarian, Artoush H.

    2004-09-01

    Current CRT technology suffers from a reduced bright image response, and a reduced image resolution due to the distribution of beam current densities following a Gaussian rather than a uniform distribution. A uniform distribution of beam current necessary achieved by proper manipulation of CRT's electro-static focusing system. Functional connection has been found between three electrodes of CRT's electro-static focusing systems, which provide "Laminar" electron flow in system. This technology provides unique characteristics that is providing uniformly distributed output current density. Theoretical analysis is given for some current Electro-optical systems through the calculation of trajectories of electrons in the system without taking into account the different starting velocities. This analysis proves the importance of producing the Electro-optical systems with uniform distribution of current density. As the result it has been achieved ideal explicitness of the image and picture compression from 1 (transfer 1:1, for night vision devices) to 50 times (transfer 1:0.02, for electron-optics transmission) and more accompanied by uniform distribution of current density. Usage of this technology allows 10 time's reduction of time resolution and 2500 times increasing of light intensity for a compression of 50x. There is no need in corrective electrode in order to achieve high power brightness. With this technology no gain correction is required.

  11. Improving synthetic aperture focusing technique for thick concrete specimens via frequency banding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Dwight A.

    2016-04-01

    A multitude of concrete-based structures are typically part of a light water reactor (LWR) plant to provide the foundation, support, shielding, and containment functions. This use has made its long-term performance crucial for the safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). Extending reactor life to 60 years and beyond will likely increase susceptibility and severity of known forms of degradation. While standard Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT) is adequate for many defects with shallow concrete cover, some defects located under deep concrete cover are not easily identified using the standard SAFT. For many defects, particularly defects under deep cover, the use of frequency banded SAFT improves the detectability over standard SAFT. In addition to the improved detectability, the frequency banded SAFT also provides improved scan depth resolution that can be important in determining the suitability of a particular structure to perform its designed safety function. Specially designed and fabricated test specimens can provide realistic flaws that are similar to actual flaws in terms of how they interact with a particular NDE technique. Because conditions in the laboratory are controlled, the number of unknown variables can be decreased, making it possible to focus on specific aspects, investigate them in detail, and gain further information on the capabilities and limitations of each method. To validate the advantages of frequency banded SAFT on thick concrete, a 2.134 m x 2.134 m x 1.016 m concrete test specimen with twenty deliberately embedded defects was fabricated.

  12. Does Mandatory Attendance Improve Student Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marburger, Daniel R.

    2006-01-01

    Previous empirical literature indicates that student performance is inversely correlated with absenteeism. The author investigates the impact of enforcing an attendance policy on absenteeism and student performance. The evidence suggests that an enforced mandatory attendance policy significantly reduces absenteeism and improves exam performance.

  13. Does Mandatory Attendance Improve Student Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marburger, Daniel R.

    2006-01-01

    Previous empirical literature indicates that student performance is inversely correlated with absenteeism. The author investigates the impact of enforcing an attendance policy on absenteeism and student performance. The evidence suggests that an enforced mandatory attendance policy significantly reduces absenteeism and improves exam performance.

  14. Implementing a Nurse Manager Profile to Improve Unit Performance.

    PubMed

    Krugman, Mary E; Sanders, Carolyn L

    2016-06-01

    Nurse managers face significant pressures in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Staying current with multiple sources of data, including reports that detail institutional and unit performance outcomes, is particularly challenging. A Nurse Manager Customized Profile was developed at a western academic hospital to provide a 1-page visual of pertinent data to help managers and director supervisors focus coaching to improve unit performance. Use of the Decisional Involvement Scale provided new insights into measuring manager performance.

  15. Improvements in Off-Center Focusing in an X-ray Streak Camera

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, J W; Weber, F; Holder, J P; Bell, P M

    2003-07-17

    Due to the planar construction of present x-ray streak tubes significant off-center defocusing is observed in both static and dynamic images taken with one-dimensional resolution slits. Based on the streak tube geometry curved photocathodes with radii of curvature ranging from 3.5 to 18 inches have been fabricated. We report initial off-center focusing performance data on the evaluation of these ''improved'' photocathodes in an X-ray streak camera and an update on the theoretical simulations to predict the optimum cathode curvature.

  16. Effects of a Coactor's Focus of Attention on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Coactors take into account certain aspects of each other's tasks even when this is not required to perform their own task. The present experiments investigated whether the way a coactor allocates attention affects one's own attentional relation to stimuli that are attended jointly (Experiment 1), individually (Experiment 2), or in parallel…

  17. Pilot Program to Focus on Performance-Based Teacher Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 2011

    2011-01-01

    To raise the bar for teacher preparation and evaluation, assessments should be based on how well teachers perform in the classroom, not how they are rated during principal-led classroom observations or on written licensure tests, a new report argues. "Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness," by education policy expert and Stanford professor Linda…

  18. Women-focused treatment agencies and process improvement: Strategies to increase client engagement

    PubMed Central

    Wisdom, Jennifer P.; Hoffman, Kim; Rechberger, Elke; Seim, Kay; Owens, Betta

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral health treatment agencies often struggle to keep clients engaged in treatment. Women clients often have additional factors such as family responsibilities, financial difficulties, or abuse histories that provide extra challenges to remaining in care. As part of a national initiative, four women-focused drug treatment agencies used process improvement to address treatment engagement. Interviews and focus groups with staff assessed the nature and extent of interventions. Women-focused drug treatment agencies selected relational-based interventions to engage clients in treatment and improved four-week treatment retention from 66% to 76%. Process improvement interventions in women-focused treatment may be useful to improve engagement. PMID:20046914

  19. Solar receiver performance of point focusing collector system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, Y. C.; Wen, L. C.

    1978-01-01

    The solar receiver performance of cavity receivers and external receivers used in dispersed solar power systems was evaluated for the temperature range 300-1300 C. Several parameters of receiver and concentrator are examined. It was found that cavity receivers are generally more efficient than external receivers, especially at high temperatures which require a large heat transfer area. The effects of variation in the ratio of receiver area to aperture area are considered.

  20. Multifocal Clinical Performance Improvement Across 21 Hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Skeath, Melinda; Whippy, Alan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract: Improving quality and safety across an entire healthcare system in multiple clinical areas within a short time frame is challenging. We describe our experience with improving inpatient quality and safety at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The foundations of performance improvement are a “four-wheel drive” approach and a comprehensive driver diagram linking improvement goals to focal areas. By the end of 2011, substantial improvements occurred in hospital-acquired infections (central-line–associated bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile infections); falls; hospital-acquired pressure ulcers; high-alert medication and surgical safety; sepsis care; critical care; and The Joint Commission core measures. PMID:26247072

  1. Carbohydrates, Muscle Glycogen, and Improved Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, W. Mike

    1987-01-01

    One way to improve athletic performance without harming the athlete's health is diet manipulation. This article explores the relationship between muscular endurance and muscle glycogen and discusses a diet and training approach to competition. (Author/MT)

  2. Wing extensions for improving climb performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicks, O. W.

    1983-01-01

    Recent wind tunnel studies have shown that significant improvements in wing efficiency and climb performance can be achieved using wing extensions having sharp edges and unmodified upper airfoil contours. Based on tests of six configurations, a simple tip shape provided the best wing efficiency at high lift conditions without penalty during cruise conditions. The best configuration tested exhibited more than 20 percent improvement in the maximum rate of climb, plus a reduction in stall speed and a slight improvement in cruise performance over a baseline tip with a round edge. In addition to measurements that were used to determine performance, flow visualization studies provided insight into reasons for improved wing efficiency. Tests were conducted using a high performance general aviation aircraft model with a tapered, cantilevered wing.

  3. Implementation of a performance improvement initiative in colorectal cancer care.

    PubMed

    Marshall, John L; Cartwright, Thomas H; Berry, Carolyn A; Stowell, Stephanie A; Miller, Sara C

    2012-09-01

    In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer after breast and prostate cancer. Numerous improvement programs have been implemented to increase CRC screening rates, but few have focused on improving the care and management of patients with a diagnosis of this malignancy. As national medical organizations focus on quality of care, efforts are necessary to provide clinicians the opportunity for self-assessment and methods for practice improvement. With this goal in mind, a national continuing medical education-certified performance improvement initiative was conceived. THE INITIATIVE CONSISTED OF THREE STAGES: First, participants self-assessed their performance of predetermined topic measures through a review of patient charts. The topic areas included patient safety and supportive care, evidence-based surveillance, and evidenced-based treatment and were derived from current guidelines and other successful quality-improvement initiatives. Second, an actionable plan for practice improvement was developed in at least one of the three topic areas. Third, after a period of self-improvement, participants reassessed their performance of the same topic measures to determine tangible changes in patient care. A total of 540 patient charts were reviewed by 27 clinicians. Notable results showed large gains in areas of supportive care, such as quantitative pain assessments and emotional well-being evaluations, which traditionally have been a minor focus of other quality-improvement initiatives. Participants also showed tangible improvements in the performance of leading measures of quality care. These findings support the need for continued efforts toward performance improvement in both established and emerging areas of CRC patient care.

  4. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    SciTech Connect

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  5. Reducing Channel Interaction Through Cochlear Implant Programming May Improve Speech Perception: Current Focusing and Channel Deactivation.

    PubMed

    Bierer, Julie A; Litvak, Leonid

    2016-06-17

    Speech perception among cochlear implant (CI) listeners is highly variable. High degrees of channel interaction are associated with poorer speech understanding. Two methods for reducing channel interaction, focusing electrical fields, and deactivating subsets of channels were assessed by the change in vowel and consonant identification scores with different program settings. The main hypotheses were that (a) focused stimulation will improve phoneme recognition and (b) speech perception will improve when channels with high thresholds are deactivated. To select high-threshold channels for deactivation, subjects' threshold profiles were processed to enhance the peaks and troughs, and then an exclusion or inclusion criterion based on the mean and standard deviation was used. Low-threshold channels were selected manually and matched in number and apex-to-base distribution. Nine ears in eight adult CI listeners with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices were tested with six experimental programs. Two, all-channel programs, (a) 14-channel partial tripolar (pTP) and (b) 14-channel monopolar (MP), and four variable-channel programs, derived from these two base programs, (c) pTP with high- and (d) low-threshold channels deactivated, and (e) MP with high- and (f) low-threshold channels deactivated, were created. Across subjects, performance was similar with pTP and MP programs. However, poorer performing subjects (scoring < 62% correct on vowel identification) tended to perform better with the all-channel pTP than with the MP program (1 > 2). These same subjects showed slightly more benefit with the reduced channel MP programs (5 and 6). Subjective ratings were consistent with performance. These finding suggest that reducing channel interaction may benefit poorer performing CI listeners. © The Author(s) 2016.

  6. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  7. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  8. Focused impedance measurement (FIM). A new technique with improved zone localization.

    PubMed

    Rabbani, K S; Sarker, M; Akond, M H; Akter, T

    1999-04-20

    Conventional four-electrode impedance measurements (FEIM) cannot localize a zone of interest in a volume conductor. On the other hand, the recently developed electrical impedance tomography (EIT) system offers an image with reasonable resolution, but is complex and needs many electrodes. By placing two FEIM systems perpendicular to each other over a common zone at the center and combining the two results, it is possible to obtain enhanced sensitivity over this central zone. This is the basis of the proposed new method of focused impedance measurement (FIM). Sensitivity maps in both 2D and 3D show the desired improvement. A comparison of stomach-emptying studies also indicates the improvement achieved. This new method may be useful for impedance measurements of large organs like stomach, heart, and lungs. Being much simpler in comparison to EIT, multifrequency systems can be simply built for FIM. Besides, FIM may have utility in other fields like geology where impedance measurements are performed.

  9. Development and testing of the improved focusing quadrupole for heavy ion fusion accelerators

    SciTech Connect

    Manahan, R R; Martovetsky, N N; Meinke, R B; Chiesa, L; Lietzke, A F; Sabbi, G L; Seidl, P A

    2003-10-23

    An improved version of the focusing magnet for a Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) accelerator was designed, built and tested in 2002-2003. This quadrupole has higher focusing power and lower error field than the previous version of the focusing quadrupoles successfully built and tested in 2001. We discuss the features of the new design, selected fabrication issues and test results.

  10. Preschoolers' Cognitive Performance Improves Following Massage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Sybil; Field, Tiffany; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Lundy, Brenda

    1998-01-01

    Effects of massage on preschoolers' cognitive performance were assessed. Preschoolers were given Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised subtests before and after receiving 15-minute massage or spending 15 minutes reading stories with the experimenter. Children's performance on Block Design improved following massage, and…

  11. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  12. Preschoolers' Cognitive Performance Improves Following Massage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Sybil; Field, Tiffany; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Lundy, Brenda

    1998-01-01

    Effects of massage on preschoolers' cognitive performance were assessed. Preschoolers were given Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised subtests before and after receiving 15-minute massage or spending 15 minutes reading stories with the experimenter. Children's performance on Block Design improved following massage, and…

  13. Visuospatial Training Improves Elementary Students' Mathematics Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-01-01

    Background: Although spatial ability and mathematics performance are highly correlated, there is scant research on the extent to which spatial ability training can improve mathematics performance. Aims: This study evaluated the efficacy of a visuospatial intervention programme within classrooms to determine the effect on students' (1) spatial…

  14. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  15. The CF6 engine performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1982-01-01

    As part of the NASA-sponsored Engine Component Improvement (ECI) Program, a feasibility analysis of performance improvement and retention concepts for the CF6-6 and CF6-50 engines was conducted and seven concepts were identified for development and ground testing: new fan, new front mount, high pressure turbine aerodynamic performance improvement, high pressure turbine roundness, high pressure turbine active clearance control, low pressure turbine active clearance control, and short core exhaust nozzle. The development work and ground testing are summarized, and the major test results and an enomic analysis for each concept are presented.

  16. Strategy Changes After Errors Improve Performance

    PubMed Central

    Van der Borght, Liesbet; Desmet, Charlotte; Notebaert, Wim

    2016-01-01

    The observation that performance does not improve following errors contradicts the traditional view on error monitoring (Fiehler et al., 2005; Núñez Castellar et al., 2010; Notebaert and Verguts, 2011). However, recent findings suggest that typical laboratory tasks provided us with a narrow window on error monitoring (Jentzsch and Dudschig, 2009; Desmet et al., 2012). In this study we investigated strategy-use after errors in a mental arithmetic task. In line with our hypothesis, this more complex task did show increased performance after errors. More specifically, switching to a different strategy after an error resulted in improved performance, while repeating the same strategy resulted in worse performance. These results show that in more ecological valid tasks, post-error behavioral improvement can be observed. PMID:26793159

  17. Focusing on heel strike improves toe clearance in people with Parkinson's disease: an observational pilot study.

    PubMed

    Ginis, Pieter; Pirani, Rudi; Basaia, Silvia; Ferrari, Alberto; Chiari, Lorenzo; Heremans, Elke; Canning, Colleen G; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2017-05-22

    To investigate differences in toe clearance between people with PD and age-matched healthy elderly (HE) during comfortable walking and to study the effects of dual-tasking and the use of an attentional strategy emphasizing heel strike on toe clearance. Observational cross-sectional study. Camera-based 3D gait laboratory. Ten persons with PD (Hoehn and Yahr I to III) having mild gait disturbances and 10 HE. Participants walked for two minutes under three conditions at comfortable pace: single-task walking, attending to heel strike during single-task walking, and dual-task walking. Minimal and maximal toe clearance; foot strike angle with the ground. People with PD had less maximal toe clearance in the end of the swing phase and a smaller foot strike angle than HE during all three walking conditions. Impairments significantly diminished during heel strike focused walking improving performance to equal the HE. Heel strike focused walking resulted in an increased minimal toe clearance and a longer duration of end swing phase when compared to walking with and without a dual-task. The attentional strategy to focus on heel strike improved the stride length when compared to dual-task walking. Surprisingly, minimal toe clearance did not differ between PD and HE in any of the conditions and there were no dual-task effects on toe clearance. These findings provide evidence favoring the potential incorporation of an attentional strategy focusing on the heel strike in PD gait rehabilitation. Copyright © 2017 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Internal versus External: Oral-Motor Performance as a Function of Attentional Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freedman, Skott E.; Maas, Edwin; Caligiuri, Michael P.; Wulf, Gabriele; Robin, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Previous studies (e.g., G. Wulf, M. HoB, & W. Prinz, 1998; G. Wulf, B. Lauterbach, & T. Toole, 1999; for a review, see G. Wulf & W. Prinz, 2001) have reported that limb motor performance is enhanced when individuals adopt an external focus (focusing on the effect of the movement) versus an internal focus of attention (focusing on body…

  19. Internal versus External: Oral-Motor Performance as a Function of Attentional Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freedman, Skott E.; Maas, Edwin; Caligiuri, Michael P.; Wulf, Gabriele; Robin, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Previous studies (e.g., G. Wulf, M. HoB, & W. Prinz, 1998; G. Wulf, B. Lauterbach, & T. Toole, 1999; for a review, see G. Wulf & W. Prinz, 2001) have reported that limb motor performance is enhanced when individuals adopt an external focus (focusing on the effect of the movement) versus an internal focus of attention (focusing on body…

  20. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  1. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  2. Techniques for improved surface discharge switch performance

    SciTech Connect

    Engel, T.G.; Kristiansen, M.; Stemprok, R.

    1995-12-31

    Several techniques have been developed to improve the performance of surface discharge switches (i.e., SDS). These improvements are reported in this investigation and are planned for the development of a prototype switch for the Atlas experimental facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. One performance improvement technique consists of implanting graphite inserts in the insulator substrate to form capacitively-coupled field emission points with the underlying trigger electrode. These capacitively-coupled field emission points have reduced the trigger risetime normally required for efficient multi-channeling from 1,000 V/ns to 60 V/ns. The resulting discharge has many channels and appears nearly sheet-like in nature. The improved multi-channeling allows the electrodes, which normally rest directly on the insulator surface, to be raised off the insulator surface thereby extending the lifetime of the insulator. Lifetime tests for the improved SDS has been done for 5,000 commutations at 15 kV switch holdoff voltages, 750 kA peak currents, and 70 {micro}s wide pulses. The switch was in good condition at the end of this test and had recorded only 10 prefires during this test. To meet the switch performance requirements for the Atlas facility, further improvements in switch prefire and jitter performance can be accomplished.

  3. Performance improvement in telemedicine: the essential elements.

    PubMed

    Eliasson, A H; Poropatich, R K

    1998-08-01

    Performance improvement activities in telemedicine may be placed into five categories. (1) Licensing and credentialing. Telemedicine overcomes geographical boundaries, but its reach is constrained by state laws on licensing. Some states require a state license, whereas others grant "consultation exemptions" for out-of-state physicians. Simple renewable licenses do not guarantee quality. Potential solutions include a national telemedicine license or license reciprocity laws for telemedicine. (2) Data security and privacy. Telemedicine technology raises some security concerns. Differences in reporting requirements among states complicate the issue of privacy. Storage of telemedicine consultation records may help physicians document care decisions for risk management, but conventional long-term storage may not be feasible because of cost constraints and may not be required to document the encounter appropriately. (3) Informed consent. Potential failures in security and transmission are new, and should be communicated to the patient. (4) Peer review. Peer review findings encourage thorough, accurate, and legible documentation. Results should be recorded by provider and must be available during the recredentialing process. (5) Tailored performance improvement initiatives. By using established principles and techniques, performance improvement initiatives can gather, analyze, and communicate information about the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine. These performance improvement efforts are the heart of quality management and are critical to the justification of telemedicine. Walter Reed Telemedicine has put into effect a performance improvement plan in accordance with this outline. This article describes the plan and suggests it as a model for other telemedicine programs.

  4. Identifying the key performance improvement domains for home health agencies

    PubMed Central

    Koru, Güneş; Alhuwail, Dari; Rosati, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The objective of this study was to support home health agencies (HHAs) in the United States (US) in their individualized quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) initiatives by identifying their key performance improvement domains (KPIDs). Methods: Qualitative research was conducted by following the Framework method. Rich contextual data were obtained through focus group meetings participated by domain experts. The analysis results were further refined in an online forum and validated at a final meeting. Results: Four focus groups involving a total of 20 participants resulted in useful discussions during which various perspectives were expressed by the expert participants. A well-defined set of 17 KPIDs emerged under four categories, namely, economical value, sociocultural sensitivity, interpersonal relationships, and clinical capabilities. Conclusions: The feedback we received from the focus groups indicates that performance improvement in HHAs is a lot more complicated than simply assessing whether certain clinical tasks are performed. The KPIDs identified in this study can help HHAs in their focused and individualized QAPI initiatives. Therefore, the results should be immediately relevant, interesting, and useful to the home care industry and policy makers in the US. PMID:27092266

  5. Engine component improvement program: Performance improvement. [fuel consumption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcaulay, J. E.

    1979-01-01

    Fuel consumption of commercial aircraft is considered. Fuel saving and retention components for new production and retrofit of JT9D, JT8D, and CF6 engines are reviewed. The manner in which the performance improvement concepts were selected for development and a summary of the current status of each of the 16 selected concepts are discussed.

  6. Clinical performance improvement: measuring costs and benefits.

    PubMed

    Brailer, D J

    1998-01-01

    Market shifts in health care reimbursement have made the improvement of clinical performance a key strategic goal for health care delivery systems, including hospitals, physician groups, and integrated delivery systems. This process requires a clinical management infrastructure, advanced clinical information technology, engaged physicians, and alterations to the strategic plan for the delivery system. Because the change to a clinical efficiency orientation takes several years for organizations to achieve, adoption of this approach must begin before markets become fully mature for managed care and most practicing physicians are aware of the change. This article outlines how to evaluate the costs and benefits of improving clinical performance and how to determine when an organization should begin making this change. It advises delivery systems executives to raise the priority of clinical performance improvement and to measure both the near-term and long-term impact of this approach on revenue, cost, quality, and market share.

  7. Improve the efficiency of the inspection process via a thorough control of the scanning focus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villa, Ernesto; Sartelli, Luca; Miyashita, Hiroyuki

    2011-11-01

    Requirements coming from the customer, as well as internal needs of improvements consequent to the increasing complexity of the layout of the newest devices, lead to the necessity of exploring all the potential improvements achievable at the mask manufacturing inspection process. A key point to manage for the better DB inspections is that of being able to achieve a proper matching between the images to be compared, tasks which is accomplished by the tool architecture by means of a pre-swath calibration process on which the quality of the focus is playing a relevant role. From here the decision to focus on this parameter aiming of working out and evaluate a different approach to be used to set the scanning focus on the inspection tool moving from the vendor theory based on the edge speed on a specific test plate to a new one based on intensity measurements into specific features on a purposely designed test vehicle. A matter of relevant importance for mask makers, either for the smoothness of the inspection process or for the homogeneity of the quality of the products being delivered, but on which any tool vendor likes providing official commitments, is that of correlating the overall performance of similar tools. This was accomplished with the new approach with two different tools achieving optical images with similar grey scale distributions into the most critical features. Moreover, the improvement of the matching of the images being compared allows extending the usage of the tool for products for which the complexity of the layout forced the inspection with different pixels or with more advanced tools, with a positive impact either on costs or on the cycle time of the masks being delivered. A careful assessment-verification of the shadowing limitation induced by the frame of the pellicle was another task successfully carried out with the new methodology, with some improvement regarding the inspectable area. The extended its usage the wider the field of

  8. (Too) optimistic about optimism: the belief that optimism improves performance.

    PubMed

    Tenney, Elizabeth R; Logg, Jennifer M; Moore, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A series of experiments investigated why people value optimism and whether they are right to do so. In Experiments 1A and 1B, participants prescribed more optimism for someone implementing decisions than for someone deliberating, indicating that people prescribe optimism selectively, when it can affect performance. Furthermore, participants believed optimism improved outcomes when a person's actions had considerable, rather than little, influence over the outcome (Experiment 2). Experiments 3 and 4 tested the accuracy of this belief; optimism improved persistence, but it did not improve performance as much as participants expected. Experiments 5A and 5B found that participants overestimated the relationship between optimism and performance even when their focus was not on optimism exclusively. In summary, people prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success-unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about just how much optimism can do. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  9. Improving competitiveness through performance-measurement systems.

    PubMed

    Stewart, L J; Lockamy, A

    2001-12-01

    Parallels exist between the competitive pressures felt by U.S. manufacturers over the past 30 years and those experienced by healthcare providers today. Increasing market deregulation, changing government policies, and growing consumerism have altered the healthcare arena. Responding to similar pressures, manufacturers adopted a strategic orientation driven by customer needs and expectations that led them to achieve high performance levels and surpass their competition. The adoption of integrated performance-measurement systems was instrumental in these firms' success. An integrated performance-measurement model for healthcare organizations can help to blend the organization's strategy with the demands of the contemporary healthcare environment. Performance-measurement systems encourage healthcare organizations to focus on their mission and vision by aligning their strategic objectives and resource-allocation decisions with customer requirements.

  10. Method for improving fuel cell performance

    DOEpatents

    Uribe, Francisco A.; Zawodzinski, Thomas

    2003-10-21

    A method is provided for operating a fuel cell at high voltage for sustained periods of time. The cathode is switched to an output load effective to reduce the cell voltage at a pulse width effective to reverse performance degradation from OH adsorption onto cathode catalyst surfaces. The voltage is stepped to a value of less than about 0.6 V to obtain the improved and sustained performance.

  11. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses 11 keys to the personal side of performance improvement, including positive attitude, high self esteem and positive self-image, communication skills, lifelong learning, caring about other people, health and well-being, motivation, goal setting, relaxation, visualization, and personal value system. (LRW)

  12. A Paradigm Shift to Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rulloda, Rudolfo B.

    2009-01-01

    A shift to computer skills for improving academic performances was investigated. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 increased the amount of high school dropouts after the Act was enacted. At-risk students were included in this research study. Several models described using teachers for core subjects and mentors to built citizenship skills, along…

  13. Improved perceptual-motor performance measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, J. F., Jr.; Reilly, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Battery of tests determines the primary dimensions of perceptual-motor performance. Eighteen basic measures range from simple tests to sophisticated electronic devices. Improved system has one unit for the subject containing test display and response elements, and one for the experimenter where test setups, programming, and scoring are accomplished.

  14. Using Semantic Coaching to Improve Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caccia, Paul F.

    1996-01-01

    Explains that semantic coaching is a system of conversational analysis and communication design developed by Fernando Flores, and was based on the earlier research of John Austin and John Searle. Describes how to establish the coaching relationship, and how to coach for improved performance. (PA)

  15. Using the Internet To Improve Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guptill, Angela M.

    2000-01-01

    This article discusses the benefits and outcomes of using Internet-based instruction to improve the performance of students with disabilities by developing Internet-based lessons and assessments that target the growth of higher-order thinking skills required on many state assessments. Internet resources for educators are listed. (Contains…

  16. Describing a Performance Improvement Specialist: The Heurist.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westgaard, Odin

    1997-01-01

    Describes the work of performance improvement specialists and presents a method for determining whether a particular person or position meets the job criteria. Discusses the attributes of being a heurist, or taking a holistic approach to problem solving. Lists 10 steps for a needs assessment and 30 characteristics of successful performance…

  17. Using Semantic Coaching to Improve Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caccia, Paul F.

    1996-01-01

    Explains that semantic coaching is a system of conversational analysis and communication design developed by Fernando Flores, and was based on the earlier research of John Austin and John Searle. Describes how to establish the coaching relationship, and how to coach for improved performance. (PA)

  18. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

    Viewgraphs on electrolysis performance improvement and validation experiment are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis: an ever increasing need/role for space missions; static feed electrolysis (SFE) technology: a concept developed for space applications; experiment objectives: why test in microgravity environment; and experiment description: approach, hardware description, test sequence and schedule.

  19. Improved sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance.

    PubMed

    Mendez-Balbuena, Ignacio; Manjarrez, Elias; Schulte-Mönting, Jürgen; Huethe, Frank; Tapia, Jesus A; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kristeva, Rumyana

    2012-09-05

    Several studies about noise-enhanced balance control in humans support the hypothesis that stochastic resonance can enhance the detection and transmission in sensorimotor system during a motor task. The purpose of the present study was to extend these findings in a simpler and controlled task. We explored whether a particular level of a mechanical Gaussian noise (0-15 Hz) applied on the index finger can improve the performance during compensation for a static force generated by a manipulandum. The finger position was displayed on a monitor as a small white point in the center of a gray circle. We considered a good performance when the subjects exhibited a low deviation from the center of this circle and when the performance had less variation over time. Several levels of mechanical noise were applied on the manipulandum. We compared the performance between zero noise (ZN), optimal noise (ON), and high noise (HN). In all subjects (8 of 8) the data disclosed an inverted U-like graph between the inverse of the mean variation in position and the input noise level. In other words, the mean variation was significantly smaller during ON than during ZN or HN. The findings suggest that the application of a tactile-proprioceptive noise can improve the stability in sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance. Possible explanations for this improvement in motor precision are an increase of the peripheral receptors sensitivity and of the internal stochastic resonance, causing a better sensorimotor integration and an increase in corticomuscular synchronization.

  20. Verbal communication improves laparoscopic team performance.

    PubMed

    Shiliang Chang; Waid, Erin; Martinec, Danny V; Bin Zheng; Swanstrom, Lee L

    2008-06-01

    The impact of verbal communication on laparoscopic team performance was examined. A total of 24 dyad teams, comprised of residents, medical students, and office staff, underwent 2 team tasks using a previously validated bench model. Twelve teams (feedback groups) received instant verbal instruction and feedback on their performance from an instructor which was compared with 12 teams (control groups) with minimal or no verbal feedback. Their performances were both video and audio taped for analysis. Surgical backgrounds were similar between feedback and control groups. Teams with more verbal feedback achieved significantly better task performance (P = .002) compared with the control group with less feedback. Impact of verbal feedback was more pronounced for tasks requiring team cooperation (aiming and navigation) than tasks depending on individual skills (knotting). Verbal communication, especially the instructions and feedback from an experienced instructor, improved team efficiency and performance.

  1. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    PubMed

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  2. Evidence for biomechanics and motor learning research improving golf performance.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Justin W L; Hume, Patria A

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this review was to determine how the findings of biomechanics and motor control/learning research may be used to improve golf performance. To be eligible, the biomechanics and motor learning studies had to use direct (ball displacement and shot accuracy) or indirect (clubhead velocity and clubface angle) golf performance outcome measures. Biomechanical studies suggested that reducing the radius path of the hands during the downswing, increasing wrist torque and/or range of motion, delaying wrist motion to late in the downswing, increasing downswing amplitude, improving sequential acceleration of body parts, improving weight transfer, and utilising X-factor stretch and physical conditioning programmes can improve clubhead velocity. Motor learning studies suggested that golf performance improved more when golfers focused on swing outcome or clubhead movement rather than specific body movements. A distributed practice approach involving multiple sessions per week of blocked, errorless practice may be best for improving putting accuracy of novice golfers, although variable practice may be better for skilled golfers. Video, verbal, or a combination of video and verbal feedback can increase mid-short iron distance in novice to mid-handicap (hcp) golfers. Coaches should not only continue to critique swing technique but also consider how the focus, structure, and types of feedback for practice may alter learning for different groups of golfers.

  3. Leading with Focus: Elevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmoker, Mike

    2016-01-01

    In his 2011 ASCD best-seller "Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning," author Mike Schmoker described a fresh approach to K-12 teaching built on three core elements: a focused and coherent curriculum; clear, structured lessons; and purposeful reading and writing, or authentic literacy. Now, in "Leading…

  4. Leading with Focus: Elevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmoker, Mike

    2016-01-01

    In his 2011 ASCD best-seller "Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning," author Mike Schmoker described a fresh approach to K-12 teaching built on three core elements: a focused and coherent curriculum; clear, structured lessons; and purposeful reading and writing, or authentic literacy. Now, in "Leading…

  5. Effects of varying attentional focus on health-related physical fitness performance.

    PubMed

    Bredin, Shannon S D; Dickson, Danika B; Warburton, Darren E R

    2013-02-01

    Assessing health-related physical fitness is important for determining health status. However, verbal instructions provided during an assessment generally do not specify direction of attentional focus. This investigation examined the effect of attentional focus on performance outcomes during appraisals of health-related physical fitness. Eight females (25.0 ± 4.0 years) and 8 males (26.3 ± 3.9 years) completed 7 physical fitness tests of the Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle Approach (modified Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test, grip strength, push-ups, sit and reach, partial curl-ups, vertical jump, and back extension) on 3 different days, each separated by 1 week. On day 1, no attentional focus was specified. On days 2 and 3, participants were asked to adopt an external focus (instructions focused attention away from the body) or an internal focus (instructions focused attention on the body's movement) in randomized order. Irrespective of sex, adopting an external focus resulted in significantly better performance on all tests when compared with no focus or internal-focus conditions. An internal focus also resulted in performance decrements for grip strength, push-ups, and vertical jump vs. no focus. These results demonstrate that instructing individuals to adopt an external focus provides a performance advantage on appraisals of aerobic and musculoskeletal fitness, whereas an internal focus may hinder performance. In some participants, these scores may convert to a rating of health status that is 1 health benefit zone higher or lower, respectively. This highlights further the importance of formulating verbal instructions that incorporate attentional focus for optimal performance on appraisals of physical fitness.

  6. Interpolated testing influences focused attention and improves integration of information during a video-recorded lecture.

    PubMed

    Jing, Helen G; Szpunar, Karl K; Schacter, Daniel L

    2016-09-01

    Although learning through a computer interface has become increasingly common, little is known about how to best structure video-recorded lectures to optimize learning. In 2 experiments, we examine changes in focused attention and the ability for students to integrate knowledge learned during a 40-min video-recorded lecture. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that interpolating a lecture with memory tests (tested group), compared to studying the lecture material for the same amount of time (restudy group), improves overall learning and boosts integration of related information learned both within individual lecture segments and across the entire lecture. Although mind wandering rates between the tested and restudy groups did not differ, mind wandering was more detrimental for final test performance in the restudy group than in the tested group. In Experiment 2, we replicate the findings of Experiment 1, and additionally show that interpolated tests influence the types of thoughts that participants report during the lecture. While the tested group reported more lecture-related thoughts, the restudy group reported more lecture-unrelated thoughts; furthermore, lecture-related thoughts were positively related to final test performance, whereas lecture-unrelated thoughts were negatively related to final test performance. Implications for the use of interpolated testing in video-recorded lectures are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Integrated Microfluidic Lectin Barcode Platform for High-Performance Focused Glycomic Profiling.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yuqin; Zeng, Yun; Zeng, Yong

    2016-02-02

    Protein glycosylation is one of the key processes that play essential roles in biological functions and dysfunctions. However, progress in glycomics has considerably lagged behind genomics and proteomics, due in part to the enormous challenges in analysis of glycans. Here we present a new integrated and automated microfluidic lectin barcode platform to substantially improve the performance of lectin array for focused glycomic profiling. The chip design and flow control were optimized to promote the lectin-glycan binding kinetics and speed of lectin microarray. Moreover, we established an on-chip lectin assay which employs a very simple blocking method to effectively suppress the undesired background due to lectin binding of antibodies. Using this technology, we demonstrated focused differential profiling of tissue-specific glycosylation changes of a biomarker, CA125 protein purified from ovarian cancer cell line and different tissues from ovarian cancer patients in a fast, reproducible, and high-throughput fashion. Highly sensitive CA125 detection was also demonstrated with a detection limit much lower than the clinical cutoff value for cancer diagnosis. This microfluidic platform holds the potential to integrate with sample preparation functions to construct a fully integrated "sample-to-answer" microsystem for focused differential glycomic analysis. Thus, our technology should present a powerful tool in support of rapid advance in glycobiology and glyco-biomarker development.

  8. Integrated Microfluidic Lectin Barcode Platform for High-Performance Focused Glycomic Profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Yuqin; Zeng, Yun; Zeng, Yong

    2016-02-01

    Protein glycosylation is one of the key processes that play essential roles in biological functions and dysfunctions. However, progress in glycomics has considerably lagged behind genomics and proteomics, due in part to the enormous challenges in analysis of glycans. Here we present a new integrated and automated microfluidic lectin barcode platform to substantially improve the performance of lectin array for focused glycomic profiling. The chip design and flow control were optimized to promote the lectin-glycan binding kinetics and speed of lectin microarray. Moreover, we established an on-chip lectin assay which employs a very simple blocking method to effectively suppress the undesired background due to lectin binding of antibodies. Using this technology, we demonstrated focused differential profiling of tissue-specific glycosylation changes of a biomarker, CA125 protein purified from ovarian cancer cell line and different tissues from ovarian cancer patients in a fast, reproducible, and high-throughput fashion. Highly sensitive CA125 detection was also demonstrated with a detection limit much lower than the clinical cutoff value for cancer diagnosis. This microfluidic platform holds the potential to integrate with sample preparation functions to construct a fully integrated “sample-to-answer” microsystem for focused differential glycomic analysis. Thus, our technology should present a powerful tool in support of rapid advance in glycobiology and glyco-biomarker development.

  9. Integrated Microfluidic Lectin Barcode Platform for High-Performance Focused Glycomic Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yuqin; Zeng, Yun; Zeng, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Protein glycosylation is one of the key processes that play essential roles in biological functions and dysfunctions. However, progress in glycomics has considerably lagged behind genomics and proteomics, due in part to the enormous challenges in analysis of glycans. Here we present a new integrated and automated microfluidic lectin barcode platform to substantially improve the performance of lectin array for focused glycomic profiling. The chip design and flow control were optimized to promote the lectin-glycan binding kinetics and speed of lectin microarray. Moreover, we established an on-chip lectin assay which employs a very simple blocking method to effectively suppress the undesired background due to lectin binding of antibodies. Using this technology, we demonstrated focused differential profiling of tissue-specific glycosylation changes of a biomarker, CA125 protein purified from ovarian cancer cell line and different tissues from ovarian cancer patients in a fast, reproducible, and high-throughput fashion. Highly sensitive CA125 detection was also demonstrated with a detection limit much lower than the clinical cutoff value for cancer diagnosis. This microfluidic platform holds the potential to integrate with sample preparation functions to construct a fully integrated “sample-to-answer” microsystem for focused differential glycomic analysis. Thus, our technology should present a powerful tool in support of rapid advance in glycobiology and glyco-biomarker development. PMID:26831207

  10. Inspire: The Quest for a Coherent Curriculum through a Performing Arts-Focused Curriculum Integration Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlisle, Katie

    2011-01-01

    The author reports on the formation of a performing arts-focused curriculum integration project, in which key components of curriculum integration were employed within a project-focus involving the performing arts of music, theater, and dance. The project occurred within a curricular community partnership between a public school and nearby…

  11. Inspire: The Quest for a Coherent Curriculum through a Performing Arts-Focused Curriculum Integration Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlisle, Katie

    2011-01-01

    The author reports on the formation of a performing arts-focused curriculum integration project, in which key components of curriculum integration were employed within a project-focus involving the performing arts of music, theater, and dance. The project occurred within a curricular community partnership between a public school and nearby…

  12. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  13. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  14. Using Human Dynamics to Improve Operator Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antunes, Rui; Coito, Fernando V.; Duarte-Ramos, Hermínio

    Traditionally Man-Machine Interfaces (MMI) are concerned with the ergonomic aspects of the operation, often disregarding other aspects on how humans learn and use machines. The explicit use of the operator dynamics characterization for the definition of the Human-in-the-Loop control system may allow an improved performance for manual control systems. The proposed human model depends on the activity to be performed and the mechanical Man-Machine Interface. As a first approach for model development, a number of 1-D manual tracking experiments were evaluated, using an analog Joystick. A simple linear human model was obtained and used to design an improved closed-loop control structure. This paper describes practical aspects of an ongoing PhD work on cognitive control in Human-Machine systems.

  15. Improving Team Performance: Proceedings of the Rand Team Performance Workshop.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-08-01

    computing systems . Human experts often rely on knowledge that is fuzzy or incomplete and reasoning that gives only approximate...expertise: incremental enhancement over time. The best human experts con- tinue to improve their performance over the span of a career. Computer - based ...Videodisc- based audiovisual system Below we take a brief, but more in-depth look at some of these features. Automated Speech Automated speech includes

  16. MCP performance improvement using alumina thin film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yuzhen; Yan, Baojun; Liu, Shulin; Zhao, Tianchi; Yu, Yang; Wen, Kaile; Li, Yumei; Qi, Ming

    2017-10-01

    The performance improvement using alumina thin film on a dual microchannel plate (MCP) detector for single electron counting was investigated. The alumina thin film was coated on all surfaces of the MCPs by atomic layer deposition method. It was found that the gain, the single electron resolution and the peak-to-valley ratio of the dual MCP detector were significantly enhanced by coating the alumina thin film. The optimum operating conditions of the new dual MCP detector have been studied.

  17. The role of sensory ocular dominance on through-focus visual performance in monovision presbyopia corrections

    PubMed Central

    Zheleznyak, Len; Alarcon, Aixa; Dieter, Kevin C.; Tadin, Duje; Yoon, Geunyoung

    2015-01-01

    Monovision presbyopia interventions exploit the binocular nature of the visual system by independently manipulating the optical properties of the two eyes. It is unclear, however, how individual variations in ocular dominance affect visual function in monovision corrections. Here, we examined the impact of sensory ocular dominance on visual performance in both traditional and modified monovision presbyopic corrections. We recently developed a binocular adaptive optics vision simulator to correct subjects' native aberrations and induce either modified monovision (1.5 D anisometropia, spherical aberration of +0.1 and −0.4 μm in distance and near eyes, respectively, over 4 mm pupils) or traditional monovision (1.5 D anisometropia). To quantify both the sign and the degree of ocular dominance, we utilized binocular rivalry to estimate stimulus contrast ratios that yield balanced dominance durations for the two eyes. Through-focus visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were measured under two conditions: (a) assigning dominant and nondominant eye to distance and near, respectively, and (b) vice versa. The results revealed that through-focus visual acuity was unaffected by ocular dominance. Contrast sensitivity, however, was significantly improved when the dominant eye coincided with superior optical quality. We hypothesize that a potential mechanism behind this observation is an interaction between ocular dominance and binocular contrast summation, and thus, assignment of the dominant eye to distance or near may be an important factor to optimize contrast threshold performance at different object distances in both modified and traditional monovision. PMID:26024464

  18. Annular spherically focused ring transducers for improved single-beam acoustical tweezers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitri, F. G.

    2016-02-01

    The use of ultrasonic transducers with a central hollow is suggested for improved single-beam acoustical tweezers applications. Within the framework of the Fresnel-Kirchhoff parabolic approximation, a closed-form partial-wave series expansion (PWSE) for the incident velocity potential (or pressure) field is derived for an annular spherically focused ring (asfr) with uniform vibration across its surface in spherical coordinates. The Rayleigh-Sommerfeld diffraction integral and the addition theorems for the Legendre and spherical wave functions are used to obtain the PWSE assuming a weakly focused beam (with a focusing angle α ≤ 20°). The PWSE allows evaluating the incident field from the finite asfr in 3D. Moreover, the obtained solution allows computing efficiently the acoustic scattering and radiation force on a sphere centered on the beam's axis of wave propagation. The analytical solution is valid for wavelengths largely exceeding the radius of the asfr and when the viscosity of the surrounding fluid can be neglected. Numerical predictions for the beam-forming, scattering, and axial time-averaged radiation force are performed with particular emphasis on the asfr thickness, the axial distance separating the sphere from the center of the transducer, the (non-dimensional) size of the transducer, as well as the sphere's elastic properties without restriction to the long- (i.e., Rayleigh) or the short-wavelength (i.e., ray acoustics) regimes. Potential applications of the present solution are in beam-forming design, particle tweezing, and manipulation due to negative forces using ultrasonic asfr transducers.

  19. Annular spherically focused ring transducers for improved single-beam acoustical tweezers

    SciTech Connect

    Mitri, F. G.

    2016-02-14

    The use of ultrasonic transducers with a central hollow is suggested for improved single-beam acoustical tweezers applications. Within the framework of the Fresnel-Kirchhoff parabolic approximation, a closed-form partial-wave series expansion (PWSE) for the incident velocity potential (or pressure) field is derived for an annular spherically focused ring (asfr) with uniform vibration across its surface in spherical coordinates. The Rayleigh-Sommerfeld diffraction integral and the addition theorems for the Legendre and spherical wave functions are used to obtain the PWSE assuming a weakly focused beam (with a focusing angle α ≤ 20°). The PWSE allows evaluating the incident field from the finite asfr in 3D. Moreover, the obtained solution allows computing efficiently the acoustic scattering and radiation force on a sphere centered on the beam's axis of wave propagation. The analytical solution is valid for wavelengths largely exceeding the radius of the asfr and when the viscosity of the surrounding fluid can be neglected. Numerical predictions for the beam-forming, scattering, and axial time-averaged radiation force are performed with particular emphasis on the asfr thickness, the axial distance separating the sphere from the center of the transducer, the (non-dimensional) size of the transducer, as well as the sphere's elastic properties without restriction to the long- (i.e., Rayleigh) or the short-wavelength (i.e., ray acoustics) regimes. Potential applications of the present solution are in beam-forming design, particle tweezing, and manipulation due to negative forces using ultrasonic asfr transducers.

  20. Preoperative cross functional teams improve OR performance.

    PubMed

    Bitter, Justin; van Veen-Berkx, Elizabeth; van Amelsvoort, Pierre; Gooszen, Hein

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present the effect of the introduction of cross-functional team (CFT)-based organization, rather than, on planning and performance of OR teams. In total, two surgical departments of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center (RUNMC) in the Netherlands were selected to illustrate the effect on performance. Data were available for a total of seven consecutive years from 2005 until 2012 and consisted of 4,046 OR days for surgical Department A and 1,154 OR days for surgical Department B on which, respectively 8,419 and 5,295 surgical cases were performed. The performance indicator "raw utilization" of the two surgical Departments was presented as box-and-whisker plots per year (2005-2011). The relationship between raw utilization (y) and years (x) was analyzed with linear regression analysis, to observe if performance changed over time. Based on the linear regression analysis, raw utilization of surgical Department A showed a statistically significant increase since 2006. The variation in raw utilization reduced from IQR 33 percent in 2005 to IQR 8 percent in 2011. Surgical Department B showed that raw utilization increased since 2005. The variation in raw utilization reduced from IQR 21 percent in 2005 to IQR 8 percent in 2011. Hospitals need to improve their productivity and efficiency in response to higher societal demands and rapidly escalating costs. The RUNMC increased their OR performance significantly by introduction of CFT-based organization in the operative process and abandoning the so called functional silos. The stepwise reduction of variation - a decrease of IQR during the years - indicates an organizational learning effect. This study demonstrates that introducing CFTs improve OR performance by working together as a team.

  1. Extended depth of focus contact lenses vs. two commercial multifocals: Part 1. Optical performance evaluation via computed through-focus retinal image quality metrics.

    PubMed

    Bakaraju, Ravi C; Ehrmann, Klaus; Ho, Arthur

    2017-06-09

    To compare the computed optical performance of prototype lenses designed using deliberate manipulation of higher-order spherical aberrations to extend depth-of-focus (EDOF) with two commercial multifocals. Emmetropic, presbyopic, schematic eyes were coupled with prototype EDOF and commercial multifocal lenses (Acuvue Oasys for presbyopia, AOP, Johnson & Johnson & Air Optix Aqua multifocal, AOMF, Alcon). For each test configuration, the through-focus retinal image quality (TFRIQ) values were computed over 21 vergences, ranging from -0.50 to 2.00D, in 0.125D steps. Analysis was performed considering eyes with three different inherent aberration profiles: five different pupils and five different lens decentration levels. Except the LOW design, the AOP lenses offered 'bifocal' like TFRIQ performance. Lens performance was relatively independent to pupil and aberrations but not centration. Contrastingly, AOMF demonstrated distance centric performance, most dominant in LOW followed by MED and HIGH designs. AOMF lenses were the most sensitive to pupil, aberrations and centration. The prototypes demonstrated a 'lift-off' in the TFRIQ performance, particularly at intermediate and near, without trading performance at distance. When compared with AOP and AOMF, EDOF lenses demonstrated reduced sensitivity to pupil, aberrations and centration. With the through focus retinal image quality as the gauge of optical performance, we demonstrated that the prototype EDOF designs were less susceptible to variations in pupil, inherent ocular aberrations and decentration, compared to the commercial designs. To ascertain whether these incremental improvements translate to a clinically palpable outcome requires investigation through human trials. Copyright © 2017 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  2. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Margaret; Eliot, Katie; Heuertz, Rita M; Weiss, Edward

    2012-04-01

    Nitrate ingestion improves exercise performance; however, it has also been linked to adverse health effects, except when consumed in the form of vegetables. The purpose of this study was to determine, in a double-blind crossover study, whether whole beetroot consumption, as a means for increasing nitrate intake, improves endurance exercise performance. Eleven recreationally fit men and women were studied in a double-blind placebo controlled crossover trial performed in 2010. Participants underwent two 5-km treadmill time trials in random sequence, once 75 minutes after consuming baked beetroot (200 g with ≥500 mg nitrate) and once 75 minutes after consuming cranberry relish as a eucaloric placebo. Based on paired t tests, mean running velocity during the 5-km run tended to be faster after beetroot consumption (12.3±2.7 vs 11.9±2.6 km/hour; P=0.06). During the last 1.1 miles (1.8 km) of the 5-km run, running velocity was 5% faster (12.7±3.0 vs 12.1±2.8 km/hour; P=0.02) in the beetroot trial, with no differences in velocity (P≥0.25) in the earlier portions of the 5-km run. No differences in exercise heart rate were observed between trials; however, at 1.8 km into the 5-km run, rating of perceived exertion was lower with beetroot (13.0±2.1 vs 13.7±1.9; P=0.04). Consumption of nitrate-rich, whole beetroot improves running performance in healthy adults. Because whole vegetables have been shown to have health benefits, whereas nitrates from other sources may have detrimental health effects, it would be prudent for individuals seeking performance benefits to obtain nitrates from whole vegetables, such as beetroot.

  3. Maximizing Performance: Augmented Feedback, Focus of Attention, and/or Reward?

    PubMed

    Wälchli, Michael; Ruffieux, Jan; Bourquin, Yann; Keller, Martin; Taube, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Different approaches like providing augmented feedback (aF), applying an external focus of attention (EF), or rewarding participants with money (RE) have been shown to instantly enhance motor performance. So far, these approaches have been tested either in separate studies or directly against each other. However, there is no study that combined aF, EF, and/or RE to test whether this provokes additional benefits. The aim of the present study was therefore to identify the most powerful combination. Eighteen participants performed maximal countermovement jumps in six different conditions: neutral (NE), aF, RE, aF + EF, aF + RE, and aF + EF + RE. Participants demonstrated the highest jump heights with aF + EF, followed by aF + EF + RE, aF + RE, aF, RE, and finally, NE. Activity of the M. rectus femoris differed significantly between conditions resulting in lower muscular activity in aF + EF and aF + EF + RE compared with NE. All other parameters, such as ground reaction forces and joint angles, were comparable across conditions. This is the first study showing superior performance when combining aF with EF. As reduced muscular activity was found only in conditions with EF, it is argued in line with the constrained action hypothesis that adopting an EF improves movement efficiency. In contrast, aF seems to rather enhance (intrinsic) motivation. However, monetary reward did not further amplify performance.

  4. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    SciTech Connect

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  5. Performance of gymnastics skill benefits from an external focus of attention.

    PubMed

    Abdollahipour, Reza; Wulf, Gabriele; Psotta, Rudolf; Palomo Nieto, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    The present study was designed to fill a gap in the literature on attentional focus and sports performance. Specifically, in contrast to most previous studies in which an external focus was directed at an implement, we used a gymnastics skill that did not involve the use of an implement. Furthermore, while most studies used only outcome measures of performance, we also assessed movement quality. Twelve-year-old gymnasts performed a maximum vertical jump with a 180-degree turn while airborne, with their hands crossing in front of their chest during the turn under three different focus conditions. Under the external focus condition, participants were asked to focus on the direction in which a tape marker, which was attached to their chest, was pointing after the turn. Under the internal focus condition, they were asked to focus on the direction in which their hands were pointing after the turn. Under the control condition, no focus instructions were given. The external focus condition resulted in both superior movement form and greater jump height than did the other two conditions, which produced comparable results. The present findings show that, similar to other tasks, the performance of form-based skills can be enhanced relatively easily by appropriate external focus instructions.

  6. Practice policy and quality initiatives quality improvement and confirmation projects: facilitating rapid, measurable performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew; Alsip, Christopher N; Pryor, Rebecca M; Leach, Alan D; Larson, David B

    2013-01-01

    As radiology departments continue to increase in size and complexity, the process of improving and maintaining excellent performance is becoming increasingly challenging. In response, a systematic process for efficiently implementing and sustaining measurable improvement in our radiology department has been developed, which targets focused aspects of individual performance that contribute to overall departmental quality. Projects designed to achieve such improvements have been called quality improvement and confirmation (QuIC) projects. The QuIC project process involves a project champion, medical expert, technical expert, quality improvement technologist specialist, and appropriate leaders, managers, and support personnel. The project champion conducts a preliminary investigation and organizes team members, who define the desired performance through consensus, establish data collection and analysis procedures, and prepare to launch the project. Once launched, the QuIC project process follows an execution period that is divided into four phases: (a) project launch phase, (b) support phase, (c) transition phase, and (d) maintenance phase. The first three phases focus on education, group-level feedback, and individual feedback, respectively. Weekly audits are performed to track performance improvement. Data collection, analysis, and dissemination processes are automated to the extent possible. To date, four such projects have been successfully conducted. The QuIC project concept is an attempt to apply the principles of process improvement to the process of process improvement by enabling any member of a radiology department to efficiently and reliably spearhead a quality improvement project. We consider this to be a work in progress and continue to refine the process with the goal of eventually being able to conduct many projects simultaneously. © RSNA, 2013.

  7. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    SciTech Connect

    Dowd, A.S., jr.

    2002-06-23

    Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are required to be developed, submitted, and reported upon by the prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Management and Operations (M and O) contracts. The best known CAP ''type,'' and there are many, is for Price-Anderson Amendments Act (PAAA) ''potential noncompliances.'' The M and O contractor fines for PAAA problems have increased from approximately $100,000 in 1996 to almost $2,000,000 in 2000. In order to improve CAP performance at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) site at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the contractor chose to centralize the company-wide processes of problem identification and reporting with the PAAA (and other) CAP processes. This directly integrates these functional reports to the contractor General Manager. The functions contained in the M and O contractor central organization, called ''Performance Assurance,'' are: PAAA; Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Liaison; Contract Requirements Management; Issues Management (including the CAP processes); Lessons Learned; Independent and Management Assessments; Internal Audits; and Ethics. By centrally locating and managing these problem identification and problem correction functions, the contractor, BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., has improved PAAA (and other) CAP performance more than 200 percent in the first year of the contract. Much of this improvement (see Table 1 for examples) has been achieved by increasing the knowledge and experience of management and workers in the specific contract and company requirements for CAPs. The remainder of this paper will describe some of the many CAP processes at Y-12 to show the reader the non-trivial scope of the CAP process. Improvements in CAP management will be discussed. In addition, a specific recommendation for CAP management, in a major capital construction project, will be presented.

  8. What Works in Readmissions Reduction: How Hospitals Improve Performance.

    PubMed

    Brewster, Amanda L; Cherlin, Emily J; Ndumele, Chima D; Collins, Diane; Burgess, James F; Charns, Martin P; Bradley, Elizabeth H; Curry, Leslie A

    2016-06-01

    Hospitals across the United States are pursuing strategies to reduce avoidable readmissions but the evidence on how best to accomplish this goal is mixed, with no specific clinical practice shown to reduce readmissions consistently. Changes to hospital organizational practices, a key component of context, also may be critical to improving performance on readmissions, but this has not been studied. The aim of this study was to understand how high-performing hospitals improved risk-stratified readmission rates, and whether their changes to clinical practices and organizational practices differed from low-performing hospitals. This was a qualitative study of 10 hospitals in which readmission rates had decreased (n=7) or increased (n=3). A total of 82 hospital staff drawn from hospitals that had participated in the State Action on Avoidable Readmissions quality improvement initiative. High-performing hospitals were distinguished by several organizational practices that facilitated readmissions reduction, that is, collective habits of action or interpretation shared by organization members. First, high-performing hospitals reported focused efforts to improve collaboration across hospital departments. Second, they helped postacute providers improve care by sharing the hospital's clinical and quality improvement expertise and data. Third, high performers enthusiastically engaged in trial and error learning to reduce readmissions. Fourth, they emphasized that readmissions represented bad outcomes for patients, de-emphasizing the role of financial penalties. Both high-performing and low-performing hospitals had implemented most clinical practice changes commonly recommended to reduce readmissions. Our findings highlight several organizational practices that hospitals may be able to use to enhance the effectiveness of their readmissions reduction efforts.

  9. Improved performance of the optically scanned transducer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, C. W.; Bolorforosh, M. S.

    1992-11-01

    The rapid increase in the use of ultrasound in both clinical and industrial applications requires more advanced and reliable imaging systems for calibrating and characterizing high performance ultrasonic transducers. The optically scanned hydrophone (OSH) is an alternative imaging system capable of quasi-real time imaging of broadband acoustic fields. The main application of the OSH is in the imaging and characterization of acoustic fields such as those emitted from clinical and therapeutic transducers. In this paper, the recent development of the OSH and its application to real time imaging of broadband acoustic fields are reported. Using improved fabrication techniques the optical sampling efficiency of the OSH has been considerably improved. This is achieved by adopting new assembly techniques and incorporating a novel differential electrode configuration. The improved optical sampling efficiency has provided a more competitive, versatile, and faster imaging system. The performance of the modified OSH is compared against the other types of hydrophone such as the spot poled and the needle types.

  10. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  11. Improving E85-Engine Performance and Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, K.; Tao, R.

    2010-03-01

    E85 is an important alternative fuel with 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. However, it is widely reported that E85 vehicles have difficulties to start in winter. There are also complains about the E85 engine performance. Here we report that with proper application of electrorheology, we can solve these issues and improve the engine performance. E85 vehicles all have port injected engines. The fuel is injected into cylinders as droplets. Before the ignition, the fuel evaporates. Because E85 is more viscous than gasoline, the injected E85 droplet size is not small. Especially, in the winter the cold weather makes the viscosity even higher, leading the E85 droplets even bigger. Since evaporation starts from the droplet surfaces, large droplets are difficult to be evaporated before the ignition comes. When there is no enough fuel vapor, the engine cannot start. To solve this problem, we introduce a small device just before the fuel injection, which produces a strong electric field to reduce the fuel viscosity, leading to much smaller fuel droplets in atomization. The evaporation is much faster and the engine is easier to start. After the engine is started, the warm metal surfaces help evaporate the fuel and the engine operates fairly well. As the small fuel droplets produced by our device make the combustion fast and timely, engine efficiency and performance are also improved.

  12. Dynamic classifiers improve pulverizer performance and more

    SciTech Connect

    Sommerlad, R.E.; Dugdale, K.L.

    2007-07-15

    Keeping coal-fired steam plants running efficiently and cleanly is a daily struggle. An article in the February 2007 issue of Power explained that one way to improve the combustion and emissions performance of a plant is to optimize the performance of its coal pulverizers. By adding a dynamic classifier to the pulverizers, you can better control coal particle sizing and fineness, and increase pulverizer capacity to boot. A dynamic classifier has an inner rotating cage and outer stationary vanes which, acting in concert, provide centrifugal or impinging classification. Replacing or upgrading a pulverizer's classifier from static to dynamic improves grinding performance reducing the level of unburned carbon in the coal in the process. The article describes the project at E.ON's Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power station in the UK to retrofit Loesche LSKS dynamic classifiers. It also mentions other successful projects at Scholven Power Station in Germany, Tilbury Power Station in the UK and J.B. Sims Power Plant in Michigan, USA. 8 figs.

  13. Inter-disciplinary focus groups on telephone medicine: a quality improvement initiative.

    PubMed

    Whitson, Heather E; Hastings, S Nicole; McConnell, Eleanor S; Lekan-Rutledge, Deborah A

    2006-09-01

    To identify opportunities for quality improvement in long-term care telephone medicine using a model of interdisciplinary focus groups. Descriptive pilot project. Extended Care and Rehabilitation Center (ECRC), Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Eight of 20 registered or licensed practical nurses and 4 of 6 geriatric medicine fellows voluntarily participated in this quality improvement project. In two 45-minute focus groups, participants were asked to discuss 3 open-ended questions related to telephone medicine. Comments were recorded during the discussions; topical themes were identified by the authors. Participant comments could be categorized into 4 domains describing the characteristics of nurses and physicians who practice the best telephone medicine: (1) provides the appropriate medical component of patient care; (2) appreciates contextual issues; (3) respects the other party's time and resources; and (4) possesses a collaborative attitude. The focus groups identified 5 quality improvement goals: (1) better nursing assessment and provision of patient information; (2) minimization of non-urgent calls after hours; (3) more decisive physician action (or explanation of inaction); (4) better physician familiarity with facility policies/logistics; and (5) better communication/paging system. The discussion format allowed nurses and physicians to identify and respond to potential barriers to improving quality in each area. Nurses and physicians appreciate unique aspects of long-term care telephone medicine and identify distinct barriers to improving practice. Interdisciplinary focus groups were a productive step toward understanding the telephone medicine experience in our facility and developing quality improvement interventions for both nurses and physicians.

  14. Restructuring primary care for performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Kenneth J; Brummel, Stacy; Byrnes, John J

    2009-01-01

    Primary care practices can no longer consider ongoing quality assessment and management processes to be optional. There are ever-increasing demands from any number of interested parties for objectively measured proof of outcomes and quality of care. Primary Care Partners (PCP), a 16-site ambulatory affiliate of the Spectrum Health system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began such a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in 2005. The intent was to develop an ongoing systematic process that would raise its performance potential and improve patient outcomes in the areas of chronic disease management and preventive services. This article describes the partnerships PCP established, specific benchmarks and measurements used, processes utilized, and results to date. This could be used as a roadmap for other primary care systems that are working to establish CQI in their daily operations.

  15. A focused telephonic nursing intervention delivers improved adherence to A1c testing.

    PubMed

    Orr, Patty M; McGinnis, Matthew A; Hudson, Laurel R; Coberley, Sadie S; Crawford, Albert; Clarke, Janice L; Goldfarb, Neil I

    2006-10-01

    Compliance with hemoglobin A1c (A1c) testing is suboptimal despite the clear national recommendations and guidelines established for care of patients with diabetes. Recent studies have demonstrated a relationship between participation in a diabetes disease management (DM) program and improved adherence to A1c testing. A focused intervention study was initiated to investigate the ability of a DM program to drive improvement in A1c testing. A cohort of 36,327 members experienced a statistically significant increase (29%) in A1c testing while participating in the 6-month focused intervention. This finding demonstrated that a focused DM intervention is able to deliver improvement in a clinical process metric critical for managing patients with diabetes, thereby reducing their risk of disease exacerbation.

  16. Methods and apparatus for improving sensor performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaiser, William J. (Inventor); Kenny, Thomas W. (Inventor); Reynolds, Joseph K. (Inventor); Van Zandt, Thomas R. (Inventor); Waltman, Steven B. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    Methods and apparatus for improving performance of a sensor having a sensor proof mass elastically suspended at an initial equilibrium position by a suspension force, provide a tunable force opposing that suspension force and preset the proof mass with that tunable force to a second equilibrium position less stable than the initial equilibrium position. The sensor is then operated from that preset second equilibrium position of the proof mass short of instability. The spring constant of the elastic suspension may be continually monitored, and such continually monitored spring constant may be continually adjusted to maintain the sensor at a substantially constant sensitivity during its operation.

  17. Disease management as a performance improvement strategy.

    PubMed

    McClatchey, S

    2001-11-01

    Disease management is a strategy of organizing care and services for a patient population across the continuum. It is characterized by a population database, interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration, and evidence-based clinical information. The effectiveness of a disease management program has been measured by a combination of clinical, financial, and quality of life outcomes. In early 1997, driven by a strategic planning process that established three Centers of Excellence (COE), we implemented disease management as the foundation for a new approach to performance improvement utilizing five key strategies. The five implementation strategies are outlined, in addition to a review of the key elements in outcome achievement.

  18. Improved Operating Performance of Mining Machine Picks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopenko, S.; Li, A.; Kurzina, I.; Sushko, A.

    2016-08-01

    The reasons of low performance of mining machine picks are stated herein. In order to improve the wear resistance and the cutting ability of picks a new design of a cutting carbide tip insert to be fixed on a removable and rotating pick head is developed. Owing to the new design, the tool ensures a twofold increase in the cutting force maintained longer, a twofold reduction in the specific power consumption of the breaking process, and extended service life of picks and the possibility of their multiple use.

  19. Improvement of Automotive Part Supplier Performance Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kongmunee, Chalermkwan; Chutima, Parames

    2016-05-01

    This research investigates the problem of the part supplier performance evaluation in a major Japanese automotive plant in Thailand. Its current evaluation scheme is based on experiences and self-opinion of the evaluators. As a result, many poor performance suppliers are still considered as good suppliers and allow to supply parts to the plant without further improvement obligation. To alleviate this problem, the brainstorming session among stakeholders and evaluators are formally conducted. The result of which is the appropriate evaluation criteria and sub-criteria. The analytical hierarchy process is also used to find suitable weights for each criteria and sub-criteria. The results show that a newly developed evaluation method is significantly better than the previous one in segregating between good and poor suppliers.

  20. Reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement Act. Hearing on Examining the Need for a Nationwide Testing System Focusing on Recommendations To Establish National Student Performance Standards before the Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. United States Senate, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session (March 7 and June 13, 1991).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.

    The first of two hearings held in the winter and spring of 1991 to consider the reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement focused on the question of national testing. The proposed legislation stipulates that a national test would measure an individual's educational achievement, give the local education agency an…

  1. Carbohydrate supplementation improves stroke performance in tennis.

    PubMed

    Vergauwen, L; Brouns, F; Hespel, P

    1998-08-01

    The effect of carbohydrate supplementation on stroke quality during prolonged simulated tennis match-play was investigated. Well-trained tennis palyers reported to the test center three times. At each occasion they performed a pretest, consisting of the leuven Tennis Performance Test (LTPT) and a shuttle run (SHR), which they repeated (posttest) after a 2-h strenuous training session. Throughout the test session, they received in a double blind random order either a placebo drink (P), a carbohydrate solution (0.7 gxkg(-1) BWxh(-1); CHO), or CHO plus a dose of caffeine (5 mg per kg BW). Stroke quality was evaluated during the LTPT by means of measurements of error rate, ball velocity, precision of ball placement, and a velocity-precision (VP) and a velocity-precision-error (VPE) index. Pretest scores were similar during P and CHO. During P, compared with the pretest, stroke quality during the posttest deteriorated (P < 0.05) both for the first service and strokes during defensive rallies and for SHR performance. However, compared with P, the increase in error rate and number of nonreached balls indefensive rallies was smaller (P < 0.05) during CHO. Similarily, CHO attenuated (P < 0.05) the increase in error rate and the decrease in both the VP (P < 0.1) and VPE (P < 0.05) indices for the first service upon fatigue. Furthermore, CHO improved posttest SHR performance. Stroke quality and SHR time were similar during CHO alone and during combined CHO plus caffeine administration, both for the pretest and for the pretest and for the posttest. It is concluded that CHO supplementation improves stroke quality during the final stages of prolonged tennis play. The data prove that CHO intake may facilitate the maintenance of physical quality during long-lasting intermittent exercise to fatigue.

  2. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    PubMed Central

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  3. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    PubMed

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  4. Improved synthetic aperture focusing technique results of thick concrete specimens through frequency banding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Dwight; Barker, Alan; Albright, Austin; Santos-Villalobos, Hector

    2016-02-01

    A multitude of concrete-based structures are typically part of a light water reactor (LWR) plant to provide the foundation, support, shielding, and containment functions. This use has made its long-term performance crucial for the safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). Extending reactor life to 60 years and beyond will likely increase susceptibility and severity of known forms of degradation. We seek to improve and extend the usefulness of results produced using the synthetic aperture focusing technique (SAFT) on ultrasonic data collected from thick, complex concrete structures such as in NPPs. Towards these goals, we apply the time-frequency technique of wavelet packet decomposition and reconstruction using a mother wavelet that possesses the exact reconstruction property. However, instead of analyzing the coefficients of each decomposition node, we select and reconstruct specific nodes based on the frequency band it contains to produce a frequency band specific time-series representation. SAFT is then applied to these frequency specific reconstructions allowing SAFT to be used to visualize the reflectivity of a frequency band and that band's interaction with the contents of the concrete structure. Specially designed and fabricated test specimens can provide realistic flaws that are similar to actual flaws in terms of how they interact with a particular NDE technique. Artificial test blocks allow the isolation of certain testing problems as well as the variation of certain parameters. Because conditions in the laboratory are controlled, the number of unknown variables can be decreased, making it possible to focus on specific aspects, investigate them in detail, and gain further information on the capabilities and limitations of each method. To minimize artifacts caused by boundary effects, the dimensions of the specimens should not be too compact. In this paper, we apply this enhanced SAFT technique to a 2.134 m × 2.134 m × 1.016 m concrete

  5. Completion task force improves well stimulation performance

    SciTech Connect

    Nagel, N.B.; Arnold, W.T. III; Scott, S.L. ); Thrasher, T.S. ); McCoy, M.W. )

    1994-11-01

    In 1987, Phillips Petroleum Co. identified well stimulation as an area where costs were high and efficiency could be improved. The FCTF was created in an effort to improve performance. It has undertaken a variety of training and technology transfer tasks and, most important, has served as a vehicle for change. The inter-office teamwork fostered by the task force has allowed new technology implementation throughout the company. The economic benefit of the FCTF was achieved by a combination of teamwork and technology. Technology is required to advance hydraulic fracturing applications, but without teamwork, technology may not be accepted or implemented. Team success has been achieved by letting engineers determine team needs and direction. Specific case histories discussed in the following article show the impact changes have had on improving well production as compared to previous stimulation efforts. Tangible results of these efforts have been production acceleration and reserve increases, which were realized through a doubling of average sand concentrations pumped, forced closure concept implementation, and intense, onsite quality control (QC) of fracture treatments. Since 1989, the impact of these measures on worldwide operations is estimated to be over $150 million in accelerated cash flow and added reserves.

  6. Task-focused behavior mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and students' academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kiuru, Noona; Pakarinen, Eija; Vasalampi, Kati; Silinskas, Gintautas; Aunola, Kaisa; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Metsäpelto, Riitta-Leena; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2014-04-01

    In the longitudinal study presented here, we tested the theoretical assumption that children's task-focused behavior in learning situations mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and academic performance. The sample consisted of 2,137 Finnish-speaking children. Data on supportive interpersonal environments (characterized by authoritative parenting, positive teacher affect toward the child, and peer acceptance) were gathered in Grade 1. The children's task-focused behavior was measured in Grades 2 and 3, and academic performance was measured in Grades 1 and 4. The results supported our assumption by showing that all three supportive environments were positively associated with children's subsequent academic performance via increased task-focused behavior in learning situations. These findings suggest that students' academic performance can be promoted by increasing the support they receive from peers, parents, and teachers because such increased support leads to better task focus in learning tasks.

  7. Thoughts and attention of athletes under pressure: skill-focus or performance worries?

    PubMed

    Oudejans, Raoul R D; Kuijpers, Wilma; Kooijman, Chris C; Bakker, Frank C

    2011-01-01

    Choking under pressure in sport has been explained by either explicit attention to skill execution (self-focus theories), or attention to performance worries (distraction theories). The aim of the present study was to find out which focus of attention occurs most often when expert athletes perform under pressure. Two retrospective methods were employed, namely, verbal reports and concept mapping. In the verbal reports, 70 expert athletes indicated their main focus of attention when performing under high pressure in competition. For concept mapping seven expert athletes generated statements about their focus of attention in such high-pressure situations. These statements were clustered and rated on how often they occurred and how important they were for choking. Both methods revealed that under pressure attention of expert athletes was often focused on worries and hardly ever on movement execution. Furthermore, the athletes reported that they focused attention on external factors and that they reverted to positive monitoring in an attempt to maintain performance. These results are more in line with distraction theories than self-focus theories, suggesting that attention to performance worries rather than to skill execution generally explains choking.

  8. PIMM: A Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-05-15

    This report presents a Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology (PIMM) for measuring and reporting the mission performance for organizational elements of the U.S. Department of Energy to comply with the Chief Financial Officer`s Act (CFOA) of 1990 and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. The PIMM is illustrated by application to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC), a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) field center of the Office of Fossil Energy, along with limited applications to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office and the Office of Fossil Energy. METC is now implementing the first year of a pilot project under GPRA using the PIMM. The PIMM process is applicable to all elements of the Department; organizations may customize measurements to their specific missions. The PIMM has four aspects: (1) an achievement measurement that applies to any organizational element, (2) key indicators that apply to institutional elements, (3) a risk reduction measurement that applies to all RD&D elements and to elements with long-term activities leading to risk-associated outcomes, and (4) a cost performance evaluation. Key Indicators show how close the institution is to attaining long range goals. Risk reduction analysis is especially relevant to RD&D. Product risk is defined as the chance that the product of new technology will not meet the requirements of the customer. RD&D is conducted to reduce technology risks to acceptable levels. The PIMM provides a profile to track risk reduction as RD&D proceeds. Cost performance evaluations provide a measurement of the expected costs of outcomes relative to their actual costs.

  9. Assessing poisoning risks related to storage of household hazardous materials: using a focus group to improve a survey questionnaire

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Martin M; Smolinske, Susan; Keswick, David

    2005-01-01

    Background In fall of 2004, the authors began an investigation to characterize the correlations between the storage of Household Hazardous Materials and the associated health risks, particularly to children. The study area selected was Genesee County, Michigan, near Flint, with data to be collected by a phone survey of residents and through the acquisition of county hospital records containing procedure codes indicating treatment for poison emergencies, and review of poison control center data. Methods A focus group was used to identify key topics and relationships within these data for improving the phone survey questionnaire and its analysis. Results The focus group was successful in identifying the key issues with respect to all the data collection objectives, resulting in a significantly shorter and more topically focused survey questionnaire. Execution time of the phone survey decreased from 30 to 12 minutes, and useful relationships between the data were revealed, e.g., the linkage between reading food labels and reading labels on containers containing potentially harmful substances. Conclusion Focus groups and their preparatory planning can help reveal data interrelationships before larger surveys are undertaken. Even where time and budget constraints prevent the ability to conduct a series of focus groups, one successful focus group session can improve survey performance and reduce costs. PMID:16092959

  10. Assessing poisoning risks related to storage of household hazardous materials: using a focus group to improve a survey questionnaire.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Martin M; Smolinske, Susan; Keswick, David

    2005-08-10

    In fall of 2004, the authors began an investigation to characterize the correlations between the storage of Household Hazardous Materials and the associated health risks, particularly to children. The study area selected was Genesee County, Michigan, near Flint, with data to be collected by a phone survey of residents and through the acquisition of county hospital records containing procedure codes indicating treatment for poison emergencies, and review of poison control center data. A focus group was used to identify key topics and relationships within these data for improving the phone survey questionnaire and its analysis. The focus group was successful in identifying the key issues with respect to all the data collection objectives, resulting in a significantly shorter and more topically focused survey questionnaire. Execution time of the phone survey decreased from 30 to 12 minutes, and useful relationships between the data were revealed, e.g., the linkage between reading food labels and reading labels on containers containing potentially harmful substances. Focus groups and their preparatory planning can help reveal data interrelationships before larger surveys are undertaken. Even where time and budget constraints prevent the ability to conduct a series of focus groups, one successful focus group session can improve survey performance and reduce costs.

  11. 75 FR 46909 - Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding Assessments Focused on Improving Food Aid and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-04

    ... National Institute of Food and Agriculture Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding Assessments Focused on Improving Food Aid and Providing Safe Water AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. ACTION: Notice; request for public comment. SUMMARY: The National Institute of Food and...

  12. Solution-Focused Self-Help for Improving University Students' Well-Being

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pakrosnis, Rytis; Cepukiene, Viktorija

    2015-01-01

    Along with positive developments in psychology, the self-help movement is becoming widespread, based on the belief that people are capable of growing and achieving positive change with only minimal help. This article addresses the potential of a solution-focused self-help tool to improve university students' well-being by comparing its outcome to…

  13. Art Educational Practices: Fostering Self-Control and Improving Focus for Students Coping with Anxiety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogle, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    This action research study served to help students suffering from anxiety or anxiety related issues by using Art as a means of improving focus and fostering self control. The student participants in this study were a group of 25 sophomore and junior high school students, both male and female, ranging between the ages of 15-17. The participants…

  14. Solution-Focused Self-Help for Improving University Students' Well-Being

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pakrosnis, Rytis; Cepukiene, Viktorija

    2015-01-01

    Along with positive developments in psychology, the self-help movement is becoming widespread, based on the belief that people are capable of growing and achieving positive change with only minimal help. This article addresses the potential of a solution-focused self-help tool to improve university students' well-being by comparing its outcome to…

  15. Improving Performance During Image-Guided Procedures

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, James R.; Tabriz, David

    2015-01-01

    Objective Image-guided procedures have become a mainstay of modern health care. This article reviews how human operators process imaging data and use it to plan procedures and make intraprocedural decisions. Methods A series of models from human factors research, communication theory, and organizational learning were applied to the human-machine interface that occupies the center stage during image-guided procedures. Results Together, these models suggest several opportunities for improving performance as follows: 1. Performance will depend not only on the operator’s skill but also on the knowledge embedded in the imaging technology, available tools, and existing protocols. 2. Voluntary movements consist of planning and execution phases. Performance subscores should be developed that assess quality and efficiency during each phase. For procedures involving ionizing radiation (fluoroscopy and computed tomography), radiation metrics can be used to assess performance. 3. At a basic level, these procedures consist of advancing a tool to a specific location within a patient and using the tool. Paradigms from mapping and navigation should be applied to image-guided procedures. 4. Recording the content of the imaging system allows one to reconstruct the stimulus/response cycles that occur during image-guided procedures. Conclusions When compared with traditional “open” procedures, the technology used during image-guided procedures places an imaging system and long thin tools between the operator and the patient. Taking a step back and reexamining how information flows through an imaging system and how actions are conveyed through human-machine interfaces suggest that much can be learned from studying system failures. In the same way that flight data recorders revolutionized accident investigations in aviation, much could be learned from recording video data during image-guided procedures. PMID:24921628

  16. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yearsley, James M.

    Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices take advantage of force-scaling at length scales smaller than a millimeter to sense and interact with directly with phenomena and targets at the microscale. MEMS sensors found in everyday devices like cell-phones and cars include accelerometers, gyros, pressure sensors, and magnetic sensors. MEMS actuators generally serve more application specific roles including micro- and nano-tweezers used for single cell manipulation, optical switching and alignment components, and micro combustion engines for high energy density power generation. MEMS rotary motors are actuators that translate an electric drive signal into rotational motion and can serve as rate calibration inputs for gyros, stages for optical components, mixing devices for micro-fluidics, etc. Existing rotary micromotors suffer from friction and wear issues that affect lifetime and performance. Attempts to alleviate friction effects include surface treatment, magnetic and electrostatic levitation, pressurized gas bearings, and micro-ball bearings. The present work demonstrates a droplet based liquid bearing supporting a rotary micromotor that improves the operating characteristics of MEMS rotary motors. The liquid bearing provides wear-free, low-friction, passive alignment between the rotor and stator. Droplets are positioned relative to the rotor and stator through patterned superhydrophobic and hydrophilic surface coatings. The liquid bearing consists of a central droplet that acts as the motor shaft, providing axial alignment between rotor and stator, and satellite droplets, analogous to ball-bearings, that provide tip and tilt stable operation. The liquid bearing friction performance is characterized through measurement of the rotational drag coefficient and minimum starting torque due to stiction and geometric effects. Bearing operational performance is further characterized by modeling and measuring stiffness, environmental survivability, and high

  17. Electrochemiluminescence-Improving the performance of immunossays.

    PubMed

    1998-07-01

    The novel combination of an electrochemiluminescent label used in a magnetic microparticle-based immunoassay format defines a significantly improved level of immunodiagnostic performance. The main advantages of electrochemiluminescent immunoassays are high sensitivity, extended linearity of signal response together with speed of signal generation and measurement. These attributes in conjunction with fully automated random access analyser lead to superior level of user convenience and clinical application. Electrochmemiluminescence has been applied today to a wide range of analytes of biological interest including thyroid and fertility hormones, infectious desease, as well as various markers of cardiac, malignant and auto immune disease.However, the spectrum of applications is far from being exhausted. The capacity of this technology goes beyond current requirements for diagnostic laboratory tests.

  18. Extreme overbalance perforating improves well performance

    SciTech Connect

    Dees, J.M.; Handren, P.J.

    1994-01-01

    The application of extreme overbalance perforating, by Oryx Energy Co., is consistently outperforming the unpredictable, tubing-conveyed, underbalance perforating method which is generally accepted as the industry standard. Successful results reported from more than 60 Oryx Energy wells, applying this technology, support this claim. Oryx began this project in 1990 to address the less-than-predictable performance of underbalanced perforating. The goal was to improve the initial completion efficiency, translating it into higher profits resulting from earlier product sales. This article presents the concept, mechanics, procedures, potential applications and results of perforating using overpressured well bores. The procedure can also be used in wells with existing perforations if an overpressured surge is used. This article highlights some of the case histories that have used these techniques.

  19. Combined electron and focused ion beam system for improvement of secondary ion yield in secondary ion mass spectrometry instrument

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, L.; Ji, Q.; Leung, K.-N.; Gough, R. A.

    2006-10-16

    Using a combined electron and focused ion beam system to improve performance of secondary ion mass spectrometry instruments has been investigated experimentally. The secondary ion yield for an Al target has been enhanced to about one order of magnitude higher with the postionization induced by the low energy electrons in the combined beam. It can be further improved with the increase of electron beam current. When the combined beam is applied to insulating targets, sample charging is also eliminated. For Teflon targets, the secondary ion signal is increased by more than a factor of 20.

  20. Performance improvements in arrayed waveguide grating modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, Melissa; Fondeur, Barthelemy; Liddle, Craig; Marsh, John A.; Sala, Anca-Liliana

    2002-06-01

    The future of telecom system design relies heavily on combining many optical devices into multifunctional modules with superior performance, lower cost, and smaller overall package size. The AWG module developments discussed here will afford comprehensive benefits to advanced optical networks. Current AWG development efforts focus on lowering insertion loss, reducing crosstalk, increasing channel bandwidth, decreasing channel spacing, managing dispersion, decreasing package size, and incorporating intelligent electronics. Better matching of the waveguide geometry and index of the integrated circuit to the optical fiber reduces the coupling loss. Other design optimizations to the waveguide bend radius and waveguide pitch at the slab can decrease circuit loss. High quality processing reduces the inhomogenieties that cause phase errors in AWGs and thus increase channel crosstalk. Optical design modifications in AWG waveguide tapers at the slab can change the passband shape and increase the channel bandwidth. Dispersion can be managed by better controlling the dispersion slope allowing for compensation. Innovations for temperature control circuitry and novel packaging designs and materials allow for smaller modules and reduced power consumption.

  1. Performance improvements for nuclear reaction network integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longland, R.; Martin, D.; José, J.

    2014-03-01

    Aims: The aim of this work is to compare the performance of three reaction network integration methods used in stellar nucleosynthesis calculations. These are the Gear's backward differentiation method, Wagoner's method (a 2nd-order Runge-Kutta method), and the Bader-Deuflehard semi-implicit multi-step method. Methods: To investigate the efficiency of each of the integration methods considered here, a test suite of temperature and density versus time profiles is used. This suite provides a range of situations ranging from constant temperature and density to the dramatically varying conditions present in white dwarf mergers, novae, and X-ray bursts. Some of these profiles are obtained separately from full hydrodynamic calculations. The integration efficiencies are investigated with respect to input parameters that constrain the desired accuracy and precision. Results: Gear's backward differentiation method is found to improve accuracy, performance, and stability in integrating nuclear reaction networks. For temperature-density profiles that vary strongly with time, it is found to outperform the Bader-Deuflehard method (although that method is very powerful for more smoothly varying profiles). Wagoner's method, while relatively fast for many scenarios, exhibits hard-to-predict inaccuracies for some choices of integration parameters owing to its lack of error estimations.

  2. Performance-Based Compensation: Focus on Special Education Teachers. inForum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burdette, Paula

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to describe states' work in the area of performance-based compensation with a focus on special educators, including how teacher evaluation informs compensation decisions, support given to local education agencies (LEAs), variables used to make compensation decisions and how performance-based compensation is funded.…

  3. Performance-Based Compensation: Focus on Special Education Teachers. inForum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burdette, Paula

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to describe states' work in the area of performance-based compensation with a focus on special educators, including how teacher evaluation informs compensation decisions, support given to local education agencies (LEAs), variables used to make compensation decisions and how performance-based compensation is funded.…

  4. Investigation of microwave antennas with improved performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Rongguo

    This dissertation presents the investigation of antennas with improved performances at microwave frequencies. It covers the following three topics: the study of the metamaterial with near-zero index of refraction and its application in directive antenna design, the design technique of a wideband circularly polarized patch antenna for 60GHz wireless application and the investigation of a novel direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique inspired by human auditory system. First, the metamaterial composed of two-dimensional (2-D) metallic wire arrays is investigated as an effective medium with an effective index of refraction less than unity (neff < 1). The effective medium parameters (permittivity epsilon eff, permeability mueff and neff ) of a wire array are extracted from the finite-element simulated scattering parameters and verified through a 2-D electromagnetic band gap (EBG) structure case study. A simple design methodology for directive monopole antennas is introduced by embedding a monopole within a metallic wire array with neff < 1 at the antenna operating frequencies. The narrow beam effect of the monopole antenna is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment at X-band (8 -- 12 GHz). The measured antenna properties including return loss and radiation patterns are in good agreement with simulation results. Parametric studies of the antenna system are performed. The physical principles and interpretations of the directive monopole antenna embedded in the wire array medium are also discussed. Second, a fully packaged wideband circularly polarized patch antenna is designed for 60GHz wireless communication. The patch antenna incorporates a diagonal slot at the center and features a superstrate and an air cavity backing to achieve desired performances including wide bandwidth, high efficiency and low axial ratio. The detailed design procedure of the circularly polarized antenna, including the design of the microstrip-fed patch antenna and the comparison

  5. Improving the astrometric performance of VLTI-PRIMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woillez, J.; Abuter, R.; Andolfato, L.; Berger, J.-P.; Bonnet, H.; Delplancke, F.; Derie, F.; Di Lieto, N.; Guniat, S.; Mérand, A.; Duc, T. Phan; Schmid, C.; Schuhler, N.; Henning, T.; Launhardt, R.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Quirrenbach, A.; Reffert, S.; Sahlmann, J.; Segransan, D.

    2014-07-01

    In the summer of 2011, the first on-sky astrometric commissioning of PRIMA-Astrometry delivered a performance of 3 m″ for a 10 ″ separation on bright objects, orders of magnitude away from its exoplanet requirement of 50 μ″ ~ 20 μ″ on objects as faint as 11 mag ~ 13 mag in K band. This contribution focuses on upgrades and characterizations carried out since then. The astrometric metrology was extended from the Coudé focus of the Auxillary Telescopes to their secondary mirror, in order to reduce the baseline instabilities and improve the astrometric performance. While carrying out this extension, it was realized that the polarization retardance of the star separator derotator had a major impact on both the astrometric metrology and the fringe sensors. A local compensation of this retardance and the operation on a symmetric baseline allowed a new astrometric commissioning. In October 2013, an improved astrometric performance of 160 μ″ was demonstrated, still short of the requirements. Instabilities in the astrometric baseline still appear to be the dominating factor. In preparation to a review held in January 2014, a plan was developed to further improve the astrometric and faint target performance of PRIMA Astrometry. On the astrometric aspect, it involved the extension of the internal longitudinal metrology to primary space, the design and implementation of an external baseline metrology, and the development of an astrometric internal fringes mode. On the faint target aspect, investigations of the performance of the fringe sensor units and the development of an AO system (NAOMI) were in the plan. Following this review, ESO decided to take a proposal to the April 2014 STC that PRIMA be cancelled, and that ESO resources be concentrated on ensuring that Gravity and Matisse are a success. This proposal was recommended by the STC in May 2014, and endorsed by ESO.

  6. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    PubMed

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  7. A novel reagent significantly improved assay robustness in imaged capillary isoelectric focusing.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Voronov, Sergey; Mussa, Nesredin; Li, Zhengjian

    2017-03-15

    Imaged Capillary Isoelectric Focusing (icIEF) has been used as primary method for charge variants analysis of therapeutic antibodies and proteins [1], [9]. Proteins tend to precipitate around their pI values during focusing [14], which directly affects the reproducibility of their charge profiles. Protein concentration, focusing time and various supplementing additives are key parameters to minimize the protein precipitation and aggregation. Urea and sucrose are common additives to reduce protein aggregation, solubilize proteins in sample matrix and therefore improve assay repeatability [15]. However some proteins and antibodies are exceptions, we found urea and sucrose are not sufficient for a typical fusion protein (Fusion protein A) in icIEF assay and high variability is observed. We report a novel reagent, formamide, significantly improved reproducibility of protein charge profiles. Our results show formamide is a good supplementary reagent to reduce aggregation and stabilize proteins in isoelectric focusing. We further confirmed the method robustness, linearity, accuracy and precision after introducing the new reagent; extremely tight pI values, significantly improved method precision and sample on-board stability are achieved by formamide. Formamide is also proven to be equally functional to multiple antibodies as urea, which makes it an extra tool in icIEF method development.

  8. Interleaved segment correction achieves higher improvement factors in using genetic algorithm to optimize light focusing through scattering media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Runze; Peng, Tong; Liang, Yansheng; Yang, Yanlong; Yao, Baoli; Yu, Xianghua; Min, Junwei; Lei, Ming; Yan, Shaohui; Zhang, Chunmin; Ye, Tong

    2017-10-01

    Focusing and imaging through scattering media has been proved possible with high resolution wavefront shaping. A completely scrambled scattering field can be corrected by applying a correction phase mask on a phase only spatial light modulator (SLM) and thereby the focusing quality can be improved. The correction phase is often found by global searching algorithms, among which Genetic Algorithm (GA) stands out for its parallel optimization process and high performance in noisy environment. However, the convergence of GA slows down gradually with the progression of optimization, causing the improvement factor of optimization to reach a plateau eventually. In this report, we propose an interleaved segment correction (ISC) method that can significantly boost the improvement factor with the same number of iterations comparing with the conventional all segment correction method. In the ISC method, all the phase segments are divided into a number of interleaved groups; GA optimization procedures are performed individually and sequentially among each group of segments. The final correction phase mask is formed by applying correction phases of all interleaved groups together on the SLM. The ISC method has been proved significantly useful in practice because of its ability to achieve better improvement factors when noise is present in the system. We have also demonstrated that the imaging quality is improved as better correction phases are found and applied on the SLM. Additionally, the ISC method lowers the demand of dynamic ranges of detection devices. The proposed method holds potential in applications, such as high-resolution imaging in deep tissue.

  9. Optical designs for improved solar cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosten, Emily Dell

    The solar resource is the most abundant renewable resource on earth, yet it is currently exploited with relatively low efficiencies. To make solar energy more affordable, we can either reduce the cost of the cell or increase the efficiency with a similar cost cell. In this thesis, we consider several different optical approaches to achieve these goals. First, we consider a ray optical model for light trapping in silicon microwires. With this approach, much less material can be used, allowing for a cost savings. We next focus on reducing the escape of radiatively emitted and scattered light from the solar cell. With this angle restriction approach, light can only enter and escape the cell near normal incidence, allowing for thinner cells and higher efficiencies. In Auger-limited GaAs, we find that efficiencies greater than 38% may be achievable, a significant improvement over the current world record. To experimentally validate these results, we use a Bragg stack to restrict the angles of emitted light. Our measurements show an increase in voltage and a decrease in dark current, as less radiatively emitted light escapes. While the results in GaAs are interesting as a proof of concept, GaAs solar cells are not currently made on the production scale for terrestrial photovoltaic applications. We therefore explore the application of angle restriction to silicon solar cells. While our calculations show that Auger-limited cells give efficiency increases of up to 3% absolute, we also find that current amorphous silicion-crystalline silicon heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer (HIT) cells give significant efficiency gains with angle restriction of up to 1% absolute. Thus, angle restriction has the potential for unprecedented one sun efficiencies in GaAs, but also may be applicable to current silicon solar cell technology. Finally, we consider spectrum splitting, where optics direct light in different wavelength bands to solar cells with band gaps tuned to those

  10. CF6 Jet Engine Performance Improvement Program: High Pressure Turbine Aerodynamic Performance Improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1980-01-01

    The improved single shank high pressure turbine design was evaluated in component tests consisting of performance, heat transfer and mechanical tests, and in core engine tests. The instrumented core engine test verified the thermal, mechanical, and aeromechanical characteristics of the improved turbine design. An endurance test subjected the improved single shank turbine to 1000 simulated flight cycles, the equivalent of approximately 3000 hours of typical airline service. Initial back-to-back engine tests demonstrated an improvement in cruise sfc of 1.3% and a reduction in exhaust gas temperature of 10 C. An additional improvement of 0.3% in cruise sfc and 6 C in EGT is projected for long service engines.

  11. Focus-on-form instructional methods promote deaf college students' improvement in English grammar.

    PubMed

    Berent, Gerald P; Kelly, Ronald R; Aldersley, Stephen; Schmitz, Kathryn L; Khalsa, Baldev Kaur; Panara, John; Keenan, Susan

    2007-01-01

    Focus-on-form English teaching methods are designed to facilitate second-language learners' noticing of target language input, where "noticing" is an acquisitional prerequisite for the comprehension, processing, and eventual integration of new grammatical knowledge. While primarily designed for teaching hearing second-language learners, many focus-on-form methods lend themselves to visual presentation. This article reports the results of classroom research on the visually based implementation of focus-on-form methods with deaf college students learning English. Two of 3 groups of deaf students received focus-on-form instruction during a 10-week remedial grammar course; a third control group received grammatical instruction that did not involve focus-on-form methods. The 2 experimental groups exhibited significantly greater improvement in English grammatical knowledge relative to the control group. These results validate the efficacy of visually based focus-on-form English instruction for deaf students of English and set the stage for the continual search for innovative and effective English teaching methodologies.

  12. Building the case for quality improvement in the health care industry: a focus on goals and training.

    PubMed

    Field, Joy M; Heineke, Janelle; Langabeer, James R; DelliFraine, Jami L

    2014-01-01

    Health care organizations are under intense pressure to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery and, increasingly, they are using quality improvement teams to identify and target projects to improve performance outcomes. This raises the question of what factors actually drive the performance of these projects in a health care environment. Using data from a survey of health care professionals acting as informants for 244 patient care, clinical-administrative, and nonclinical administrative quality improvement project types in 93 health care organizations, we focus on 2 factors--goal setting and quality training--as potential drivers of quality improvement project performance. We find that project-level goals and quality training have positive associations with process quality, while organizational-level goals have no impact. In addition, the relationship between project-level goals and process quality is stronger for patient care projects than for administrative projects. This indicates that the motivational and cognitive effects of goal setting are greater for projects that involve interactions with clinicians than for ones that involve interactions with other staff. Although project-level goal setting is beneficial for improving process quality overall, our findings suggest the importance of being especially attentive to goal setting for projects that impact direct patient care.

  13. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bearman, Gregory H.; Wilson, Daniel W.; Johnson, William R.

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  14. Lean methodology for performance improvement in the trauma discharge process.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, Michael Shaymus; Ramaniuk, Aliaksandr; Graymire, Vickie; Rozzell, Monica; Martin, Stacey

    2014-07-01

    High-volume, complex services such as trauma and acute care surgery are at risk for inefficiency. Lean process improvement can reduce health care waste. Lean allows a structured look at processes not easily amenable to analysis. We applied lean methodology to the current state of communication and discharge planning on an urban trauma service, citing areas for improvement. A lean process mapping event was held. The process map was used to identify areas for immediate analysis and intervention-defining metrics for the stakeholders. After intervention, new performance was assessed by direct data evaluation. The process was completed with an analysis of effect and plans made for addressing future focus areas. The primary area of concern identified was interservice communication. Changes centering on a standardized morning report structure reduced the number of consult questions unanswered from 67% to 34% (p = 0.0021). Physical therapy rework was reduced from 35% to 19% (p = 0.016). Patients admitted to units not designated to the trauma service had 1.6 times longer stays (p < 0.0001). The lean process lasted 8 months, and three areas for new improvement were identified: (1) the off-unit patients; (2) patients with length of stay more than 15 days contribute disproportionately to length of stay; and (3) miscommunication exists around patient education at discharge. Lean process improvement is a viable means of health care analysis. When applied to a trauma service with 4,000 admissions annually, lean identifies areas ripe for improvement. Our inefficiencies surrounded communication and patient localization. Strategies arising from the input of all stakeholders led to real solutions for communication through a face-to-face morning report and identified areas for ongoing improvement. This focuses resource use and identifies areas for improvement of throughput in care delivery.

  15. Simulating underwater plasma sound sources to evaluate focusing performance and analyze errors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Tian; Huang, Jian-Guo; Lei, Kai-Zhuo; Chen, Jian-Feng; Zhang, Qun-Fei

    2010-03-01

    Focused underwater plasma sound sources are being applied in more and more fields. Focusing performance is one of the most important factors determining transmission distance and peak values of the pulsed sound waves. The sound source’s components and focusing mechanism were all analyzed. A model was built in 3D Max and wave strength was measured on the simulation platform. Error analysis was fully integrated into the model so that effects on sound focusing performance of processing-errors and installation-errors could be studied. Based on what was practical, ways to limit the errors were proposed. The results of the error analysis should guide the design, machining, placement, debugging and application of underwater plasma sound sources.

  16. Virtual Reality Training Improves Operating Room Performance

    PubMed Central

    Seymour, Neal E.; Gallagher, Anthony G.; Roman, Sanziana A.; O’Brien, Michael K.; Bansal, Vipin K.; Andersen, Dana K.; Satava, Richard M.

    2002-01-01

    Objective To demonstrate that virtual reality (VR) training transfers technical skills to the operating room (OR) environment. Summary Background Data The use of VR surgical simulation to train skills and reduce error risk in the OR has never been demonstrated in a prospective, randomized, blinded study. Methods Sixteen surgical residents (PGY 1–4) had baseline psychomotor abilities assessed, then were randomized to either VR training (MIST VR simulator diathermy task) until expert criterion levels established by experienced laparoscopists were achieved (n = 8), or control non-VR-trained (n = 8). All subjects performed laparoscopic cholecystectomy with an attending surgeon blinded to training status. Videotapes of gallbladder dissection were reviewed independently by two investigators blinded to subject identity and training, and scored for eight predefined errors for each procedure minute (interrater reliability of error assessment r > 0.80). Results No differences in baseline assessments were found between groups. Gallbladder dissection was 29% faster for VR-trained residents. Non-VR-trained residents were nine times more likely to transiently fail to make progress (P < .007, Mann-Whitney test) and five times more likely to injure the gallbladder or burn nontarget tissue (chi-square = 4.27, P < .04). Mean errors were six times less likely to occur in the VR-trained group (1.19 vs. 7.38 errors per case;P < .008, Mann-Whitney test). Conclusions The use of VR surgical simulation to reach specific target criteria significantly improved the OR performance of residents during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This validation of transfer of training skills from VR to OR sets the stage for more sophisticated uses of VR in assessment, training, error reduction, and certification of surgeons. PMID:12368674

  17. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on “what might have been”) has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining “what might be if…”) may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic. PMID:27942041

  18. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    PubMed

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  19. Improved performance in polymer - inorganic composite photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breeze, Alison J.

    It has become increasingly clear over the past few decades that some form of alternative energy is needed to replace the traditional fossil fuels. I briefly discuss a few of the possible alternative sources, why solar energy is one of the more promising ones, give a short history of the development of the solar cell, and explain the motivations for research into polymer - inorganic composite solar cells. An introduction to conducting and semiconducting polymers, as well as the basics of polymer solar cell operation, is given. I present experimental results on the variation of several parameters such as polymer thickness, TiO2 and polymer morphology, and choice of electrodes for devices of the type ITO/TiO2/photoactive polymer/Au in order to probe the effects of charge transport, carrier mobility, light absorption and direction of the internal field on device efficiency. The results demonstrate that short exciton diffusion lengths, low carrier mobilities, and low absorption are the main factors limiting performance in plain polymer photovoltaics. Nanoparticle - polymer and polymer - polymer blend devices are explored as possible solutions for the first two deficiencies, with the polymer - polymer blend devices achieving the best results with an overall 0.6% power conversion efficiency. Many of the experimental results of polymer photovoltaics can be simulated using a simple model which includes terms for Schottky-like injection, ohmic current leakage, and collected photogenerated current. I discuss both the successes and failures of this model, as well as areas for future improvements.

  20. Mechanical performance improvement of electroactive papers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jaehwan; Seo, Yung B.; Jung, Eunmi

    2001-07-01

    Electro-Active Paper (EAPap) is a paper that produces large displacement with small force under electrical excitation. EAPap is made with a chemically treated paper by bonding thin aluminum foils on both sides of the paper to comprise electrodes. When electric voltage is applied on the electrodes the EAPap produces bending displacement. However, the displacement output has been unstable and degraded with time scale. To improve the bending performance of EAPap, different paper fibers-broad-leaf, needle-leaf, bacteria cellulose and Korean traditional paper, and additive chemicals are tested. It was observed that needle-leaf paper exhibits better results then others. By eliminating the effect of adhesive layer and selecting a proper paper fiber, the displacement output has been stable with long time scale. The operational principle of EAPap is, we believe, based on the electrostriction effect associated with intermolecular interaction of the constituents of the paper. To confirm this result, more investigation of the paper quality should be followed in the beginning of paper manufacturing process. Since EAPaps are quite simple to fabricate and lightweight, various applications including flexible speakers, active sound absorbing materials and smart shape control devices can be possible.

  1. Learning to improve path planning performance

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful.

  2. Continuous quality improvement in contract research organizations--the customer focus.

    PubMed

    Sollecito, W A; Kaluzny, A D

    1999-01-01

    The challenge of quality improvement extends beyond traditional service delivery organizations. This is the first of a two-part series on the application of continuous quality improvement (CQI) to contract research organizations associated with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The challenges and processes of clinical trials research, and the role of CQI within that process, are presented. The importance of customer focus, which is a key element of CQI, is described here as the foundation of the CQI process among contract research organizations (CROs) and as a major contributing factor to their success in recent years.

  3. Re-evaluation of an improved efficiency polymeric web point-focus Fresnel lens

    SciTech Connect

    Stillwell, C.B.

    1988-08-01

    The optical efficiency of the lens developed by 3M and reported in Development and Evaluation of an Improved Efficiency Polymeric Web Point-Focus Fresnel Lens was measured by Sandia and reported to be 82%. Subsequent to publication of that report, additional lens tests at Sandia showed a lens efficiency of only 79%. This report presents the results of a study to determine why the lens efficiency is now lower than originally observed. 2 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Influence of varying focus of attention conditions on dart throwing performance in experts and novices.

    PubMed

    Schorer, J; Jaitner, T; Wollny, R; Fath, F; Baker, J

    2012-03-01

    Research suggests an external focus of attention positively affects motor learning more than an internal focus; however, little research has considered this relationship in motor control situations. The present study examined the role of varying focus of attention conditions on dart throwing performance. Experts (n = 6) and novices (n = 6) performed 84 throws under two internal and one external conditions and in the presence and absence of knowledge of results (KR). Results indicated clear differences between experts and novices on both performance and motor control outcomes. Further, there was some evidence that movement execution was slowed in experts but not in novices, although results were somewhat inconclusive. Our analyses suggest that varying focus of attention affects temporal parameters of movement execution in experts but not spatial parameters. Interestingly, both experts and novices generally perceived all instruction conditions to be hindrances to performance, with the exception of the external focus with KR condition. Further work is necessary to determine the extent to which these results apply to other open and closed skills.

  5. Improving asthma care in rural primary care practices: a performance improvement project.

    PubMed

    Cicutto, Lisa; Dingae, Meg B; Langmack, Esther L

    2014-01-01

    Rural areas are often underserviced health areas, lack specialty care services, and experience higher levels of asthma-related burden. A primary care, asthma-focused, performance improvement program was provided to a 6-county, rural-frontier region in Colorado to determine whether asthma care practices could be enhanced to become concordant with evidence-based asthma care guidelines. A pre-post, quasi-experimental design was used. A complex, multifaceted intervention was provided to multidisciplinary primary care teams in practices serving children and adults with asthma. Intervention elements included face-to-face trainings, clinical support tools, patient education materials, a website, and clinic visits. Performance improvement and behavior change indicators were collected through chart audits and surveys from the entire health care team. Participants included three health care organizations and their staff in 13 primary care practices. Overall, all team members reported statistically significant improvements in confidence levels for providing quality asthma care. Chart reviews of asthma patient encounters completed before and after the program demonstrated statistically significant improvements in asthma care practices for asthma control assessment (1% vs 20%), provision of asthma action plans (2% vs 29%), controller prescription (39% vs 71%), inhaler technique assessment (1% vs 18%), and arrangement of follow-up appointment (20% vs 37%). The asthma care-focused, multifaceted, complex, performance improvement intervention provided to rural primary health care teams lead to significant improvements in all indicators of quality asthma care provision to adults and children with asthma. However, significant barriers exist for rural practices to adopt evidence-based asthma care practices. © 2014 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on Continuing Medical Education

  6. Guidance on Performing Focused Ethnographies with an Emphasis on Healthcare Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higginbottom, Gina M. A.; Pillay, Jennifer J.; Boadu, Nana Y.

    2013-01-01

    Focused ethnographies can have meaningful and useful application in primary care, community, or hospital healthcare practice, and are often used to determine ways to improve care and care processes. They can be pragmatic and efficient ways to capture data on a specific topic of importance to individual clinicians or clinical specialties. While…

  7. The Effect of Asterisks as an Attention Focusing Device on Test Performance of Undergraduate Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perrin, David W.; Kerasotes, Dean L.

    It was hypothesized that using asterisks as attention focusing devices would cause students to read all asteriked test items more carefully and would improve test scores of undergraduate education students. Sixty-three undergraduates majoring in elementary or special education were administered a 36-item objective test. Asterisks were used to…

  8. Improving UV Resistance of High Performance Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassanin, Ahmed

    High performance fibers are characterized by their superior properties compared to the traditional textile fibers. High strength fibers have high modules, high strength to weight ratio, high chemical resistance, and usually high temperature resistance. It is used in application where superior properties are needed such as bulletproof vests, ropes and cables, cut resistant products, load tendons for giant scientific balloons, fishing rods, tennis racket strings, parachute cords, adhesives and sealants, protective apparel and tire cords. Unfortunately, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes serious degradation to the most of high performance fibers. UV lights, either natural or artificial, cause organic compounds to decompose and degrade, because the energy of the photons of UV light is high enough to break chemical bonds causing chain scission. This work is aiming at achieving maximum protection of high performance fibers using sheathing approaches. The sheaths proposed are of lightweight to maintain the advantage of the high performance fiber that is the high strength to weight ratio. This study involves developing three different types of sheathing. The product of interest that need be protected from UV is braid from PBO. First approach is extruding a sheath from Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) loaded with different rutile TiO2 % nanoparticles around the braid from the PBO. The results of this approach showed that LDPE sheath loaded with 10% TiO2 by weight achieved the highest protection compare to 0% and 5% TiO2. The protection here is judged by strength loss of PBO. This trend noticed in different weathering environments, where the sheathed samples were exposed to UV-VIS radiations in different weatheromter equipments as well as exposure to high altitude environment using NASA BRDL balloon. The second approach is focusing in developing a protective porous membrane from polyurethane loaded with rutile TiO2 nanoparticles. Membrane from polyurethane loaded with 4

  9. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  10. Performance improvement: how to get employee buy-in.

    PubMed

    MacFalda, P A

    1998-01-01

    The radiology department at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, Mich. operated with little change under the same leadership for nearly 20 years. Its equipment was archaic and its operations production focused. Staff morale and both physician and patient satisfaction were low. Given a directive to measurably improve the service and quality offered by the department, the new director let her staff know she needed their support. She then set out to weave in performance expectations for both the organization and the department. Her goal was to create a relationship to both individual and organizational performance improvement, and in turn, to add value to the success of each individual, the department and the organization. Defining work processes was important for the definition of a common vision and core behaviour. The result was the F.A.S.T. concept (friendly, accurate, safe and timely) that put each general work process in a flowchart showing its steps. The next phase involved identifying the measurement for each critical point in the process and determining how to measure it. At each step, questions were defined, answered and translated into individual job descriptions and performance plans. Now, employees know how they and their departments are doing through quarterly reviews. Results are presented monthly at staff meetings, where report cards are posted to provide timely feedback. In some cases, individual report cards within a modality are shared. Successes are celebrated, both in staff meetings and on annual Quality Day, where departments present story boards showing how they have improved service or quality.

  11. Development of a work improvement checklist for occupational mental health focused on requests from workers.

    PubMed

    Tahara, Hiroyuki; Yamada, Tatsuji; Nagafuchi, Keiko; Shirakawa, Chie; Suzuki, Kiyomi; Mafune, Kosuke; Kubota, Shinya; Hiro, Hisanori; Mishima, Norio; Nagata, Shoji

    2009-01-01

    To develop tools offering definite orientation for managers and employees to support their work improvement through occupational mental health. This research was a part of the Mental Health Improvement & Reinforcement Study (MIR study), conducted from October 2004 to March 2006. We developed a trial version named the Kaizen Check List (KCL) by referring to problem solving methods for quality management. Then we improved it for a formal version named MIR Research of Recognition (MIRROR). A feedback form named MIR Action Guidance (MIRAGe) was also developed. We analyzed data from 1,953 respondents at five manufacturing enterprises in Japan using MIRROR and the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) to determine whether or not the workers requesting work improvement had more stress than other workers. The KCL had 47 items, which indicated desirable working conditions for mental health at work, and four answer categories. MIRROR has 45 selected items and improved answer categories. MIRAGe displays the results of MIRROR and step-by-step guidance for work improvement. Respondents with request had significantly higher scores in stressor and lower scores in buffer factors compared with respondents without request in many items of MIRROR. A combinational use of MIRROR and stress scales is useful for finding worksites with high risk factors for mental health and for directing focus on work improvement at these worksites according to workers' requests.

  12. Can sensory attention focused exercise facilitate the utilization of proprioception for improved balance control in PD?

    PubMed

    Lefaivre, Shannon C; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-02-01

    Impaired sensory processing in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been argued to contribute to balance deficits. Exercises aimed at improving sensory feedback and body awareness have the potential to ameliorate balance deficits in PD. Recently, PD SAFEx™, a sensory and attention focused rehabilitation program, has been shown to improve motor deficits in PD, although balance control has never been evaluated. The objective of this study was to measure the effects of PD SAFEx™ on balance control in PD. Twenty-one participants with mild to moderate idiopathic PD completed 12 weeks of PD SAFEx™ training (three times/week) in a group setting. Prior to training, participants completed a pre-assessment evaluating balance in accordance with an objective, computerized test of balance (modified clinical test of sensory integration and balance (m-CTSIB) and postural stability testing (PST)) protocols. The m-CTSIB was our primary outcome measure, which allowed assessment of balance in both eyes open and closed conditions, thus enabling evaluation of specific sensory contributions to balance improvement. At post-test, a significant interaction between time of assessment and vision condition (p=.014) demonstrated that all participants significantly improved balance control, specifically when eyes were closed. Balance control did not change from pre to post with eyes open. These results provide evidence that PD SAFEx™ is effective at improving the ability to utilize proprioceptive information, resulting in improved balance control in the absence of vision. Enhancing the ability to utilize proprioception for individuals with PD is an important intermediary to improving balance deficits.

  13. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

    Productivity is generally considered to be the efficient utilisation of organisational resources and is measured in terms of the efficiency of a worker, company or nation. Focusing on efficiency alone, however, can be harmful to the organisation's long-term success and competitiveness. The full benefits of productivity improvement measures are realised when productivity is examined from two perspectives: operational efficiency (output/input) of an individual worker or a business unit as well as performance (effectiveness) with regard to end user or customer satisfaction. Over the years, corporations have adopted new technology to integrate business activities in order to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in their operations. In recent years, many firms have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to integrate all business activities into a uniform system. The implementation of ERP enables the firm to reduce the transaction costs of the business and improve its productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.

  14. Improving speech perception in noise with current focusing in cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Arthi G; Padilla, Monica; Shannon, Robert V; Landsberger, David M

    2013-05-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users typically have excellent speech recognition in quiet but struggle with understanding speech in noise. It is thought that broad current spread from stimulating electrodes causes adjacent electrodes to activate overlapping populations of neurons which results in interactions across adjacent channels. Current focusing has been studied as a way to reduce spread of excitation, and therefore, reduce channel interactions. In particular, partial tripolar stimulation has been shown to reduce spread of excitation relative to monopolar stimulation. However, the crucial question is whether this benefit translates to improvements in speech perception. In this study, we compared speech perception in noise with experimental monopolar and partial tripolar speech processing strategies. The two strategies were matched in terms of number of active electrodes, microphone, filterbanks, stimulation rate and loudness (although both strategies used a lower stimulation rate than typical clinical strategies). The results of this study showed a significant improvement in speech perception in noise with partial tripolar stimulation. All subjects benefited from the current focused speech processing strategy. There was a mean improvement in speech recognition threshold of 2.7 dB in a digits in noise task and a mean improvement of 3 dB in a sentences in noise task with partial tripolar stimulation relative to monopolar stimulation. Although the experimental monopolar strategy was worse than the clinical, presumably due to different microphones, frequency allocations and stimulation rates, the experimental partial-tripolar strategy, which had the same changes, showed no acute deficit relative to the clinical.

  15. Improving Speech Perception in Noise with Current Focusing in Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Arthi G.; Padilla, Monica; Shannon, Robert V.; Landsberger, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users typically have excellent speech recognition in quiet but struggle with understanding speech in noise. It is thought that broad current spread from stimulating electrodes causes adjacent electrodes to activate overlapping populations of neurons which results in interactions across adjacent channels. Current focusing has been studied as a way to reduce spread of excitation, and therefore, reduce channel interactions. In particular, partial tripolar stimulation has been shown to reduce spread of excitation relative to monopolar stimulation. However, the crucial question is whether this benefit translates to improvements in speech perception. In this study, we compared speech perception in noise with experimental monopolar and partial tripolar speech processing strategies. The two strategies were matched in terms of number of active electrodes, microphone, filterbanks, stimulation rate and loudness (although both strategies used a lower stimulation rate than typical clinical strategies). The results of this study showed a significant improvement in speech perception in noise with partial tripolar stimulation. All subjects benefited from the current focused speech processing strategy. There was a mean improvement in speech recognition threshold of 2.7 dB in a digits in noise task and a mean improvement of 3 dB in a sentences in noise task with partial tripolar stimulation relative to monopolar stimulation. Although the experimental monopolar strategy was worse than the clinical, presumably due to different microphones, frequency allocations and stimulation rates, the experimental partial-tripolar strategy, which had the same changes, showed no acute deficit relative to the clinical. PMID:23467170

  16. The Hospital Medicine Reengineering Network (HOMERuN): a learning organization focused on improving hospital care.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, Andrew D; Patel, Mitesh S; Metlay, Joshua P; Schnipper, Jeffrey L; Williams, Mark V; Robinson, Edmondo J; Kripalani, Sunil; Lindenauer, Peter K

    2014-03-01

    Converting the health care delivery system into a learning organization is a key strategy for improving health outcomes. Although the collaborative learning organization approach has been successful in neonatal intensive care units and disease-specific collaboratives, there are few examples in general medicine and none in adult medicine that have leveraged the role of hospitalists nationally across multiple institutions to implement improvements. The authors describe the rationale for and early work of the Hospital Medicine Reengineering Network (HOMERuN), a collaborative of hospitals, hospitalists, and multidisciplinary care teams founded in 2011 that seeks to measure, benchmark, and improve the efficiency, quality, and outcomes of care in the hospital and afterwards. Robust and timely evaluation, with learning and refinement of approaches across institutions, should accelerate improvement efforts. The authors review HOMERuN's collaborative model, which focuses on a community-based participatory approach modified to include hospital-based staff as well as the larger community. HOMERuN's initial project is described, focusing on care transition measurement using perspectives from the patient, caregiver, and providers. Next steps and sustainability of the organization are discussed, including benchmarking, collaboration, and effective dissemination of best practices to stakeholders.

  17. Through-focus visual performance measurements and predictions with multifocal contact lenses.

    PubMed

    Legras, Richard; Benard, Yohann; Rouger, Hélène

    2010-06-11

    We measured high-contrast visual acuity (VA) and 12c/deg contrast sensitivity (CS) through-focus functions (TFF) of four eyes of four cyclopleged subjects in three conditions: naked eye, with a center-distance and center-near Proclear(R) multifocal addition 2D contact lens. In all conditions, an adaptive optics system statically compensated the astigmatism of the subject's eye alone. Multifocal contact lenses enlarged the width of the curve of through-focus visual performance but reduced the peak performance. We investigated the ability of image quality metrics based on wave-aberration measurements to predict VA and CS TFF. CS(12) metric through-focus and measured through-focus contrast sensitivities were well correlated (r(2)=0.74). Even if visual acuity metrics were often poorer than measured ones, the shapes of the measured through-focus curves and rMTFa(5-15) through-focus were quite comparable (r(2)=0.67). Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Decentralization and health system performance - a focused review of dimensions, difficulties, and derivatives in India.

    PubMed

    Panda, Bhuputra; Thakur, Harshad P

    2016-10-31

    One of the principal goals of any health care system is to improve health through the provision of clinical and public health services. Decentralization as a reform measure aims to improve inputs, management processes and health outcomes, and has political, administrative and financial connotations. It is argued that the robustness of a health system in achieving desirable outcomes is contingent upon the width and depth of 'decision space' at the local level. Studies have used different approaches to examine one or more facets of decentralization and its effect on health system functioning; however, lack of consensus on an acceptable framework is a critical gap in determining its quantum and quality. Theorists have resorted to concepts of 'trust', 'convenience' and 'mutual benefits' to explain, define and measure components of governance in health. In the emerging 'continuum of health services' model, the challenge lies in identifying variables of performance (fiscal allocation, autonomy at local level, perception of key stakeholders, service delivery outputs, etc.) through the prism of decentralization in the first place, and in establishing directed relationships among them. This focused review paper conducted extensive web-based literature search, using PubMed and Google Scholar search engines. After screening of key words and study objectives, we retrieved 180 articles for next round of screening. One hundred and four full articles (three working papers and 101 published papers) were reviewed in totality. We attempted to summarize existing literature on decentralization and health systems performance, explain key concepts and essential variables, and develop a framework for further scientific scrutiny. Themes are presented in three separate segments of dimensions, difficulties and derivatives. Evaluation of local decision making and its effect on health system performance has been studied in a compartmentalized manner. There is sparse evidence about innovations

  19. Thermal-Performance Instability in Piezoresistive Sensors: Inducement and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yan; Wang, Hai; Zhao, Wei; Qin, Hongbo; Fang, Xuan

    2016-01-01

    The field of piezoresistive sensors has been undergoing a significant revolution in terms of design methodology, material technology and micromachining process. However, the temperature dependence of sensor characteristics remains a hurdle to cross. This review focuses on the issues in thermal-performance instability of piezoresistive sensors. Based on the operation fundamental, inducements to the instability are investigated in detail and correspondingly available ameliorative methods are presented. Pros and cons of each improvement approach are also summarized. Though several schemes have been proposed and put into reality with favorable achievements, the schemes featuring simple implementation and excellent compatibility with existing techniques are still emergently demanded to construct a piezoresistive sensor with excellent comprehensive performance. PMID:27886125

  20. Thermal-Performance Instability in Piezoresistive Sensors: Inducement and Improvement.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yan; Wang, Hai; Zhao, Wei; Qin, Hongbo; Fang, Xuan

    2016-11-24

    The field of piezoresistive sensors has been undergoing a significant revolution in terms of design methodology, material technology and micromachining process. However, the temperature dependence of sensor characteristics remains a hurdle to cross. This review focuses on the issues in thermal-performance instability of piezoresistive sensors. Based on the operation fundamental, inducements to the instability are investigated in detail and correspondingly available ameliorative methods are presented. Pros and cons of each improvement approach are also summarized. Though several schemes have been proposed and put into reality with favorable achievements, the schemes featuring simple implementation and excellent compatibility with existing techniques are still emergently demanded to construct a piezoresistive sensor with excellent comprehensive performance.

  1. Performance Improvement--A People Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweeney, Jim; Stow, Shirley

    1981-01-01

    Describes components of the Administrator Performance Evaluation and Teacher Performance Evaluation (APE/TPE) system and delineates the functions and responsibilities of the subcommittees necessary for carrying out the program. (JD)

  2. Halo and Through-Focus Performance of Four Diffractive Multifocal Intraocular Lenses.

    PubMed

    Vega, Fidel; Alba-Bueno, Francisco; Millán, María S; Varón, Consuelo; Gil, Miguel A; Buil, Jose A

    2015-06-01

    To compare, as a function of pupil size, the through-focus performance and halo features of four diffractive intraocular lenses (IOLs). Three diffractive bifocal IOLs (ReSTOR +2.5 D SV25T0, Tecnis +2.75 D ZKB00, and AT LISA +3.75 D 809M) and a diffractive trifocal IOL (AT LISA tri +3.33 D, +1.66 D 839MP) were tested in vitro in a modified International Organization for Standardization eye model. The modulation transfer function (MTF) at the IOLs' foci was obtained with pupils ranging from 2.0 to 5.0 mm. Through-focus MTF curves (at 50 cycles/mm) were compared among all the IOLs. The halo formation and characteristics were obtained from image analysis. The multifocal IOLs studied in this work showed, at their foci, secondary out-of-focus images, which originate halos and whose characteristics depend on the lens design and pupil size. The smallest halo occurred for the distance focus of the SV25T0. The distance and near foci of the SV25T0 yielded, respectively, the best and lowest optical quality among the studied IOLs. The distance focus of the ZKB00, AT LISA, and AT LISA tri were of similar quality, but the near focus of the ZKB00 outperformed the near foci of the rest of the IOLs. The IOLs' optical performance gradually deteriorates as pupil increases. Differences in the design of the diffractive IOLs translate into differences in optical quality at their foci, through-focus performance, and halo features, which can offer further information to surgeons when selecting which IOL to implant.

  3. A Collaborative Brain-Computer Interface for Improving Human Performance

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yijun; Jung, Tzyy-Ping

    2011-01-01

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) based brain-computer interfaces (BCI) have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1) Event-related potentials (ERP) averaging, (2) Feature concatenating, and (3) Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right) was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100–250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior. PMID:21655253

  4. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  5. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J

    2013-07-30

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  6. Improving Performance through the Use of Humor.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adair, Frank A.; Siegel, Laurence

    Although the role of humor in relaxation and interpersonal relationships is well documented, its role in increasing performance in the classroom has not been systematically studied. To investigate the effect of appropriately timed humor on performance of a stressful task, 40 college students performed a mathematics test under one of four…

  7. Performance prediction evaluation of ceramic materials in point-focusing solar receivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewing, J.; Zwissler, J.

    1979-01-01

    A performance prediction was adapted to evaluate the use of ceramic materials in solar receivers for point focusing distributed applications. System requirements were determined including the receiver operating environment and system operating parameters for various engine types. Preliminary receiver designs were evolved from these system requirements. Specific receiver designs were then evaluated to determine material functional requirements.

  8. The Effect of Focus on Form and Task Complexity on L2 Learners' Oral Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

    Second Language learners' oral task performance has been one of interesting and research generating areas of investigations in the field of second language acquisition specially, task-based language teaching and learning. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of focus on form and task complexity on L2 learners' oral…

  9. Patients' views on improving sickle cell disease management in primary care: focus group discussion.

    PubMed

    Aljuburi, Ghida; Phekoo, Karen J; Okoye, Nv Ogo; Anie, Kofie; Green, Stuart A; Nkohkwo, Asaah; Ojeer, Patrick; Ndive, Comfort; Banarsee, Ricky; Oni, Lola; Majeed, Azeem

    2012-12-01

    To assess sickle cell disease (SCD) patient and carer perspectives on the primary care services related to SCD that they receive from their general practitioner (GP). A focus group discussion was used to elicit the views of patients about the quality of care they receive from their primary health-care providers and what they thought was the role of primary care in SCD management. The focus group discussion was video recorded. The recording was then examined by the project team and recurring themes were identified. A comparison was made with notes made by two scribes also present at the discussion. Sickle Cell Society in Brent, UK. Ten participants with SCD or caring for someone with SCD from Northwest London, UK. Patients' perceptions about the primary care services they received, and a list of key themes and suggestions. Patients and carers often bypassed GPs for acute problems but felt that GPs had an important role to play around repeat prescriptions and general health care. These service users believed SCD is often ignored and deemed unimportant by GPs. Participants wanted the health service to support primary health-care providers to improve their knowledge and understanding of SCD. Key themes and suggestions from this focus group have been used to help develop an educational intervention for general practice services that will be used to improve SCD management in primary care.

  10. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  11. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  12. Integrating patient satisfaction into performance measurement to meet improvement challenges.

    PubMed

    Smith, J E; Fisher, D L; Endorf-Olson, J J

    2000-05-01

    A Value Compass has been proposed to guide health care data collection. The "compass corners" represent the four types of data needed to meet health care customer expectations: appropriate clinical outcomes, improved functional status, patient satisfaction, and appropriate costs. Collection of all four types of data is necessary to select processes in need of improvement, guide improvement teams, and monitor the success of improvement efforts. INTEGRATED DATA AT BRYANLGH: BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, has adopted multiple performance measurement systems to collect clinical outcome, financial, and patient satisfaction data into integrated databases. Data integration allows quality professionals at BryanLGH to identify quality issues from multiple perspectives and track the interrelated effects of improvement efforts. A CASE EXAMPLE: Data from the fourth quarter of 1997 indicated the need to improve processes related to cesarean section (C-section) deliveries. An interdisciplinary team was formed, which focused on educating nurses, physicians, and the community about labor support measures. Physicians were given their own rates of C-section deliveries. The C-section rate decreased from 27% to 19%, but per-case cost increased. PickerPLUS+ results indicated that BryanLGH obstetric patients reported fewer problems with receiving information than the Picker norm, but they reported more problems with the involvement of family members and friends. The data collected so far have indicated a decrease in the C-section rate and a need to continue to work on cost and psychosocial issues. A complete analysis of results was facilitated by integrated performance management systems. Successes have been easily tracked over time, and the need for further work on related processes has been clearly identified.

  13. The use of focused electronic medical record forms to improve health-care outcomes.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Bryan D; Katz, Robert D; Pascarella, Eugene M

    2011-01-01

    We tested the use of specifically designed electronic medical record forms, thereby demonstrating the ability to electronically capture, report, and compare clinical data. To that end, podiatric physicians can determine what constitutes the most effective program or treatment for specific conditions by documenting their treatment outcomes. A prospective case series was initiated to determine the value of using focused electronic medical record forms to track walking programs in the practices of podiatric physicians. Three patients were observed for 48 weeks using focused electronic medical record forms to input data (body mass index, cholesterol level, hemoglobin A(1c) level, blood pressure, and other vital information). Patients were given pedometers so that they could log their mileage and their podiatric physicians could enter it into the medical record. Information was collected using an electronic medical record system with the ability to link multiple templates together and assign logic to create flexible entry completion requirements. The clinical data generated are captured in a common database, where the data offer future opportunity to compare statistics among a multitude of practices in various demographic regions. Focused electronic medical record forms were effectively used to track improvements and overall health benefits in a walking program supervised by podiatric physicians. Valuable information can be ascertained with focused electronic medical record forms to help determine treatment effectiveness. This information can later be compared with practices across many different demographics to ascertain the best evidence-based practice.

  14. Enhanced Expectancies Improve Performance Under Pressure

    PubMed Central

    McKay, Brad; Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Wulf, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    Beyond skill, beliefs in requisite abilities and expectations can affect performance. This experiment examined effects of induced perceptions of ability to perform well under generic situations of challenge. Participants (N = 31) first completed one block of 20 trials on a throwing accuracy task. They then completed questionnaires ostensibly measuring individual differences in the ability to perform under pressure. Enhanced-expectancy group participants were told that they were well-suited to perform under pressure, while the control group received neutral information. Subsequently, all participants completed another block of 20 trials on the throwing task, with their performance videotaped and under the assumption that they could secure a prize for themselves and a paired participant with successful performance. Both groups had similar accuracy scores on the first trial block. The enhanced-expectancy group significantly increased their throwing accuracy in the higher-pressure situation (second block), whereas the control group showed no change in performance. Furthermore, beliefs regarding performance under challenge predicted throwing accuracy on the second block. The present findings provide evidence that enhancing individuals’ generic expectancies regarding performance under pressure can affect their motor performance. PMID:22291680

  15. Dynamic focus optical coherence tomography: feasibility for improved basal cell carcinoma investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasiri-Avanaki, M. R.; Aber, Ahmed; Hojjatoleslami, S. A.; Sira, Mano; Schofield, John B.; Jones, Carole; Podoleanu, A. Gh.

    2012-03-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. To improve the diagnostic accuracy, additional non-invasive methods of making a preliminary diagnosis have been sought. We have implemented an En-Face optical coherence tomography (OCT) for this study in which the dynamic focus was integrated into it. With the dynamic focus scheme, the coherence gate moves synchronously with the peak of confocal gate determined by the confocal interface optics. The transversal resolution is then conserved throughout the depth range and an enhanced signal is returned from all depths. The Basal Cell Carcinoma specimens were obtained from the eyelid a patient. The specimens under went analysis by DF-OCT imaging. We searched for remarkable features that were visualized by OCT and compared these findings with features presented in the histology slices.

  16. Clinical performance improvement series. Classic CQI integrated with comprehensive disease management as a model for performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

    In recent years, health and disease management has emerged as an effective means of delivering, integrating, and improving care through a population-based approach. Since 1997 the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has utilized the key principles and components of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and disease management to form a model for health care improvement that focuses on designing best practices, using best practices to influence clinical decision making, changing processes and systems to deploy and deliver best practices, and measuring outcomes to improve the process. Experience with 28 programs and more than 14,000 patients indicates significant improvement in outcomes, including high physician satisfaction, increased patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and improved clinical process and outcome measures across multiple diseases. DIABETES DISEASE MANAGEMENT: In three months a UPHS multidisciplinary diabetes disease management team developed a best practice approach for the treatment of all patients with diabetes in the UPHS. After the program was pilot tested in three primary care physician sites, it was then introduced progressively to additional practice sites throughout the health system. The establishment of the role of the diabetes nurse care managers (certified diabetes educators) was central to successful program deployment. Office-based coordinators ensure incorporation of the best practice protocols into routine flow processes. A disease management intranet disseminates programs electronically. Outcomes of the UPHS health and disease management programs so far demonstrate success across multiple dimensions of performance-service, clinical quality, access, and value. The task of health care leadership today is to remove barriers and enable effective implementation of key strategies, such as health and disease management. Substantial effort and resources must be dedicated to gain physician buy-in and achieve compliance. The

  17. Improvements To Micro Contact Performance And Reliability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-12-22

    results in a reduction in the variance between predicted vs. observed results by approximately 70%. External factors to micro-contact performance are...overall performance . The variance in contact resistance is the second factor which must be considered. How critical a factor this variance is depends... performance over time. Those external factors that a contact may be exposed to fall into two groups: electrical loading and external circuitry. 39 2.4.1

  18. Measuring collections effort improves cash performance.

    PubMed

    Shutts, Joe

    2009-09-01

    Having a satisfied work force can lead to an improved collections effort. Hiring the right people and training them ensures employee engagement. Measuring collections effort and offering incentives is key to revenue cycle success.

  19. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    PubMed

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  20. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts — a subset of medical humanities — into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation. PMID:25125749

  1. Improving Performance Of Industrial Enterprises With CGT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolgih, I. N.; Bannova, K. A.; Kuzmina, N. A.; Zdanova, A. B.

    2016-04-01

    At the present day, a falling in the overall level of efficiency production activities, especially in the machine-building companies makes it necessary to development various actions in the State support, including through the creation consolidated taxation system. Such support will help improve efficiency of activity not only the industrial companies, but also will allow improve economic and social situation in regions where often large engineering factories is city-forming.

  2. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  3. Terahertz quantum-well photodetectors: Design, performance, and improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S.; Wang, T. M.; Hao, M. R.; Yang, Y.; Zhang, Y. H.; Shen, W. Z.; Liu, H. C.

    2013-11-01

    Theoretical studies and numerical simulations on design, performance, and improvements of terahertz quantum-well photodetector (THz QWP) are presented. In the first part of this paper, we discuss the device band structure resulting from a self-consistent solution and simulation results. First, the temperature dependence of device characteristics is analyzed. Next, we deduce the condition of optimal doping concentration for maximizing dark current limited detectivity Ddet* when QWP is lightly doped. Accordingly, unlike in previously published reports, doping concentration is not fixed and is selected by the above condition. In the second part of this paper, we propose two schemes for improving operation temperature. The first is to incorporate an optical antenna which focuses incident THz wave. Numerical results show that the QWP with peak frequency higher than 5.5 THz is expected to achieve background-noise-limited performance at 77 K or above when employing a 106 times enhancement antenna. The second scheme is to use a laser as the signal source to achieve photon-noise-limited performance (PLIP) at high temperatures. Simulations show that when operating below critical temperature QWPs in the range of 1 ˜ 7 THz can reach PLIP under practical illumination intensities.

  4. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  5. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  6. Improving Teacher Performance through Evaluation and Supervision.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drake, Jackson M.

    To guarantee an efficient educational system, effective evaluation and supervision of teacher performance are necessary. However, the evaluation of teacher performance presents two major problems: first, no clear definition or measure of effective teaching exists, and second, evaluation is perceived to have conflicting purposes, either as a…

  7. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  8. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  9. Clinical performance feedback and quality improvement opportunities for perioperative physicians

    PubMed Central

    Kaye, Alan David; Okanlawon, Olutoyin J; Urman, Richard D

    2014-01-01

    Clinical performance feedback is an important component of the ongoing development and education of health care practitioners. For physicians, feedback about their clinical practice and outcomes is central to developing both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. Cultural and financial infrastructures need to be in place, and the concept of feedback needs to be readily embraced and encouraged by clinical leadership and other stakeholders. The “buy-in” includes the expectation and view that feedback occurs on a routine basis, and those engaged in the process are both encouraged to participate and held accountable. Feedback must be part of an overarching quality improvement and physician education agenda; it is not meant to be an isolated, fragmented initiative that is typically undermined by lack of resources or systemic barriers to gaining improvement within programs. Effective feedback should be an integral part of clinical practice. Anesthesiologists and other perioperative physicians are identifying specialty-specific indicators that can be used when creating a broader quality improvement agenda. Placing a more immediate formal feedback strategy that focuses on goal-oriented behavior is rapidly becoming a mainstay. Physicians may use their individual feedback reports for reflection and designing personal development plans as lifelong learners and leaders in improving patient care. PMID:24833948

  10. Heavy Charged Particle Radiobiology: Using Enhanced Biological Effectiveness and Improved Beam Focusing to Advance Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Christopher; Borak, Thomas B.; Tsujii, Hirohiko; Nickoloff, Jac A.

    2011-01-01

    Ionizing radiation causes many types of DNA damage, including base damage and single- and double-strand breaks. Photons, including X-rays and γ-rays, are the most widely used type of ionizing radiation in radiobiology experiments, and in radiation cancer therapy. Charged particles, including protons and carbon ions, are seeing increased use as an alternative therapeutic modality. Although the facilities needed to produce high energy charged particle beams are more costly than photon facilities, particle therapy has shown improved cancer survival rates, reflecting more highly focused dose distributions and more severe DNA damage to tumor cells. Despite early successes of charged particle radiotherapy, there is room for further improvement, and much remains to be learned about normal and cancer cell responses to charged particle radiation. PMID:21376738

  11. Heavy charged particle radiobiology: using enhanced biological effectiveness and improved beam focusing to advance cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Allen, Christopher; Borak, Thomas B; Tsujii, Hirohiko; Nickoloff, Jac A

    2011-06-03

    Ionizing radiation causes many types of DNA damage, including base damage and single- and double-strand breaks. Photons, including X-rays and γ-rays, are the most widely used type of ionizing radiation in radiobiology experiments, and in radiation cancer therapy. Charged particles, including protons and carbon ions, are seeing increased use as an alternative therapeutic modality. Although the facilities needed to produce high energy charged particle beams are more costly than photon facilities, particle therapy has shown improved cancer survival rates, reflecting more highly focused dose distributions and more severe DNA damage to tumor cells. Despite early successes of charged particle radiotherapy, there is room for further improvement, and much remains to be learned about normal and cancer cell responses to charged particle radiation.

  12. Improved highly accurate localized motion imaging for monitoring high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Xiaolei; Azuma, Takashi; Sugiyama, Ryusuke; Kanazawa, Kengo; Seki, Mika; Sasaki, Akira; Takeuchi, Hideki; Fujiwara, Keisuke; Itani, Kazunori; Tamano, Satoshi; Takagi, Shu; Sakuma, Ichiro; Matsumoto, Yoichiro

    2016-07-01

    Visualizing an area subjected to high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy is necessary for controlling the amount of HIFU exposure. One of the promising monitoring methods is localized motion imaging (LMI), which estimates coagulation length by detecting the change in stiffness. In this study, we improved the accuracy of our previous LMI by dynamic cross-correlation window (DCCW) and maximum vibration amount (MVA) methods. The DCCW method was used to increase the accuracy of estimating vibration amplitude, and the MVA method was employed to increase signal-noise ratio of the decrease ratio at the coagulated area. The qualitative comparison of results indicated that the two proposed methods could suppress the effect of noise. Regarding the results of the quantitative comparison, coagulation length was estimated with higher accuracy by the improved LMI method, and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) was reduced from 2.51 to 1.69 mm.

  13. Improving combat casualty care and field medicine: focus on the military medic.

    PubMed

    De Lorenzo, R A

    1997-04-01

    As military medicine in general copes with a rapidly changing world environment, so too must the backbone of the medical force, the enlisted medic. To meet these challenges, the training and utilization of military medics must match new and different missions. This paper will explore innovative approaches to training and preparing for combat casualty care and field medicine. The focus will fall on the education, evaluation, operations, patient-care skills, equipment, and telemedicine potential of the military medic. Future directions for study and development will be suggested. Exploration of the following may improve the capability of the military medic: (1) improved training to include advanced-level skills and interventions for combat casualty care and broader exposure to the casualties expected in operations other than war; (2) annual educational and periodic proficiency evaluation requirements; (3) strengthened medical control at all echelons; and (4) carefully selected additional equipment and technologies to enhance medical capabilities.

  14. Dual-focus Magnification, High-Definition Endoscopy Improves Pathology Detection in Direct-to-Test Diagnostic Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

    PubMed

    Bond, Ashley; Burkitt, Michael D; Cox, Trevor; Smart, Howard L; Probert, Chris; Haslam, Neil; Sarkar, Sanchoy

    2017-03-01

    In the UK, the majority of diagnostic upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopies are a result of direct-to-test referral from the primary care physician. The diagnostic yield of these tests is relatively low, and the burden high on endoscopy services. Dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy is expected to improve detection and classification of UGI mucosal lesions and also help minimize biopsies by allowing better targeting. This is a retrospective study of patients attending for direct-to-test UGI endoscopy from January 2015 to June 2015. The primary outcome of interest was the identification of significant pathology. Detection of significant pathology was modelled using logistic regression. 500 procedures were included. The mean age of patients was 61.5 (±15.6) years; 60.8% of patients were female. Ninety-four gastroscopies were performed using dual-focus magnification high-definition endoscopy. Increasing age, male gender, type of endoscope, and type of operator were all identified as significant factors influencing the odds of detecting significant mucosal pathology. Use of dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy was associated with an odds ratio of 1.87 (95%CI 1.11-3.12) favouring the detection of significant pathology. Subsequent analysis suggested that the increased detection of pathology during dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy also influenced patient follow-up and led to a 3.0 fold (p=0.04) increase in the proportion of patients entered into an UGI endoscopic surveillance program. Dual-focus magnification, high-definition endoscopy improved the diagnostic yield for significant mucosal pathology in patients referred for direct-to-test endoscopy. If this finding is recapitulated elsewhere it will have substantial impact on the provision of UGI endoscopic services.

  15. Are Performance Improvement Professionals Measurably Improving Performance? What "PIJ" and "PIQ" Have to Say about the Current Use of Evaluation and Measurement in the Field of Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guerra-Lopez, Ingrid; Leigh, Hillary N.

    2009-01-01

    Measurement and evaluation are at the core of reliably improving performance. It is through these central mechanisms that performance improvement professionals are able to demonstrate the true worth of their efforts. However, the true value of the contributions they make is inconclusive. This article presents a content analysis of 10 years' worth…

  16. Are Performance Improvement Professionals Measurably Improving Performance? What "PIJ" and "PIQ" Have to Say about the Current Use of Evaluation and Measurement in the Field of Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guerra-Lopez, Ingrid; Leigh, Hillary N.

    2009-01-01

    Measurement and evaluation are at the core of reliably improving performance. It is through these central mechanisms that performance improvement professionals are able to demonstrate the true worth of their efforts. However, the true value of the contributions they make is inconclusive. This article presents a content analysis of 10 years' worth…

  17. Performance Improvements of the Phoneme Recognition Algorithm.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-06-01

    present time, there are commercially available speech recognition machines that perform limited speech recognition. There are still major drawbacks to...to recognize. Even though the training period has been made fairly painless to the user, it still severely limits the vocabulary the machine can...this information to perform the recognition routines. 47 ..- 7f Alterations to the templates’ spectrum file was limited to changing values in the

  18. Interactive Performance and Focus Groups with Adolescents: The Power of Play

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Anne E.; Aroian, Karen J.; Warren, Stefanie

    2012-01-01

    Conducting focus groups with adolescents can be challenging given their developmental needs, particularly with sensitive topics. These challenges include intense need for peer approval, declining social trust, short attention span, and reliance on concrete operations thinking. In this article we describe an adaptation of interactive performance as an alternative to traditional focus group method. We used this method in a study of discrimination experienced by Muslims (ages 13-17) and of peer pressure to engage in sexual behavior experienced by Hispanic girls (ages 10-14). Recommendations for use of this method include using an interdisciplinary team, planning for large amounts of disclosure towards the end of the focus group, and considering the fit of this method to the study topic. PMID:22949032

  19. Laser performance, thermal focusing and depolarization effects in Nd:Cr:GSGG and Nd:YAG

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams-Byrd, Julie A.; Barnes, Norman P.

    1990-01-01

    The laser performance of Nd:Cr:GSGG and Nd:YAG was investigated and compared for laser efficiency, thermal focusing, and depolarization effects. Laser efficiency was studied for Nd:Cr:GSGG and Nd:YAG under similar conditions. Laser efficiency was measured as a function of electrical energy and output mirror reflectivity. Maximum laser efficiency was calculated by determining the losses in the laser cavity. Thermal focusing and birefringence loss of Nd:Cr:GSGG and Nd:YAG have been examined by varying the average pump power. The average pump power changed by adjusting both the energy per pulse and the pulse-repetition frequency. Substantial thermal focusing differences for Nd:Cr:GSGG are explained.

  20. Improving Team Performance for Public Health Preparedness.

    PubMed

    Peck, Megan; Scullard, Mickey; Hedberg, Craig; Moilanen, Emily; Radi, Deborah; Riley, William; Bowen, Paige Anderson; Petersen-Kroeber, Cheryl; Stenberg, Louise; Olson, Debra K

    2017-02-01

    Between May 2010 and September 2011, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to assess the effect of exercises on team performance during public health emergency response. Participants were divided into 3 research teams exposed to various levels of intervention. Groups consisted of a control group that was given standard MDH training exercises, a didactic group exposed to team dynamics and communication training, and a treatment group that received the didactic training in addition to a post-exercise facilitated debriefing. To assess differences in team performance, teams engaged in 15 functional exercises. Differences in team performance across the 3 groups were identified, although there was no trend in team performance over time for any of the groups. Groups demonstrated fluctuation in team performance during the study period. Attitudinal surveys demonstrated an increase in workplace satisfaction and confidence in training among all groups throughout the study period. Findings from this research support that a critical link exists between training type and team performance during public health emergency response. This research supports that intentional teamwork training for emergency response workers is essential for effective public health emergency response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:7-10).

  1. Improving the Performance and Portability of VPIC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, Robert; Peters, Evan; Nystrom, David; Albright, Brian

    2016-10-01

    VPIC is a Particle-in-Cell (PIC) code which is able to deliver novel science at unprecedened scale. Most notably, this includes the attainment of petaflop performance during the simulation of trillions of particles. Such high levels of performance have historically been achieved though the use of vectorization, and explicit compiler intrinsics in VPIC. An approach which can offer good performance, at the cost of the code needing to be re-written for each new vector-width or hardware architecture. In this work we present an investigation of how modern coding techniques and auto-vectorization can be used to enable VPIC to automatically scale to new vector-widths and hardware platforms, using a single codebase which no longer needs to be manually adapted for new vector-widths. To achieve this, we express the core PIC algorithm in such a way that the compiler is able to generate auto-vectorized instructions, including an adaptation of the algorithm so that it no longer contains data dependencies. We also present a performance study for this new code variant, showing that it is able to achieve vector performance comparable to that of historic hand coded intrinsics on both Intel Knights Landing and traditional Intel Xeon platforms. Work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Dept. of Energy by the Los Alamos National Security, LLC Los Alamos National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396 and supported by the LANL LDRD program.

  2. Using an energized oxygen micro-jet for improved graphene etching by focused electron beam

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Songkil; Henry, Mathias; Fedorov, Andrei G.

    2015-12-07

    We report on an improved Focused Electron Beam Induced Etching (FEBIE) process, which exploits heated oxygen delivery via a continuous supersonic micro-jet resulting in faster graphene patterning and better etch feature definition. Positioning a micro-jet in close proximity to a graphene surface with minimal jet spreading due to a continuous regime of gas flow at the exit of the 10 μm inner diameter capillary allows for focused exposure of the surface to reactive oxygen at high mass flux and impingement energy of a supersonic gas stream localized to a small etching area exposed to electron beam. These unique benefits of focused supersonic oxygen delivery to the surface enable a dramatic increase in the etch rate of graphene with no parasitic carbon “halo” deposition due to secondary electrons from backscattered electrons (BSE) in the area surrounding the etched regions. Increase of jet temperature via local nozzle heating provides means for enhancing kinetic energy of impinging oxygen molecules, which further speed up the etch, thus minimizing the beam exposure time and required electron dose, before parasitic carbon film deposition due to BSE mediated decomposition of adsorbed hydrocarbon contaminants has a measurable impact on quality of graphene etched features. Interplay of different physical mechanisms underlying an oxygen micro-jet assisted FEBIE process is discussed with support from experimental observations.

  3. Using an energized oxygen micro-jet for improved graphene etching by focused electron beam

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Songkil; Henry, Mathias; Fedorov, Andrei G.

    2015-12-07

    We report on an improved Focused Electron Beam Induced Etching (FEBIE) process, which exploits heated oxygen delivery via a continuous supersonic micro-jet resulting in faster graphene patterning and better etch feature definition. Positioning a micro-jet in close proximity to a graphene surface with minimal jet spreading due to a continuous regime of gas flow at the exit of the 10 micrometer inner diameter capillary allows for focused exposure of the surface to reactive oxygen at high mass flux and impingement energy of a supersonic gas stream localized to a small etching area exposed to electron beam. These unique benefits of focused supersonic oxygen delivery to the surface enable a dramatic increase in the etch rate of graphene with no parasitic carbon ‘halo’ deposition due to secondary electrons (SE) from backscattered electrons (BSE) in the area surrounding the etched regions. Increase of jet temperature via local nozzle heating provides means for enhancing kinetic energy of impinging oxygen molecules, which further speed up the etch, thus minimizing the beam exposure time and required electron dose, before parasitic carbon film deposition due to BSE mediated decomposition of adsorbed hydrocarbon contaminants has a measurable impact on quality of graphene etched features. Interplay of different physical mechanisms underlying an oxygen micro-jet assisted FEBIE process is discussed with support from experimental observations.

  4. Using an energized oxygen micro-jet for improved graphene etching by focused electron beam

    DOE PAGES

    Kim, Songkil; Henry, Mathias; Fedorov, Andrei G.

    2015-12-07

    We report on an improved Focused Electron Beam Induced Etching (FEBIE) process, which exploits heated oxygen delivery via a continuous supersonic micro-jet resulting in faster graphene patterning and better etch feature definition. Positioning a micro-jet in close proximity to a graphene surface with minimal jet spreading due to a continuous regime of gas flow at the exit of the 10 micrometer inner diameter capillary allows for focused exposure of the surface to reactive oxygen at high mass flux and impingement energy of a supersonic gas stream localized to a small etching area exposed to electron beam. These unique benefits ofmore » focused supersonic oxygen delivery to the surface enable a dramatic increase in the etch rate of graphene with no parasitic carbon ‘halo’ deposition due to secondary electrons (SE) from backscattered electrons (BSE) in the area surrounding the etched regions. Increase of jet temperature via local nozzle heating provides means for enhancing kinetic energy of impinging oxygen molecules, which further speed up the etch, thus minimizing the beam exposure time and required electron dose, before parasitic carbon film deposition due to BSE mediated decomposition of adsorbed hydrocarbon contaminants has a measurable impact on quality of graphene etched features. Interplay of different physical mechanisms underlying an oxygen micro-jet assisted FEBIE process is discussed with support from experimental observations.« less

  5. Performance Improvement/HPT Model: Guiding the Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dessinger, Joan Conway; Moseley, James L.; Van Tiem, Darlene M.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary is part of an ongoing dialogue that began in the October 2011 special issue of "Performance Improvement"--Exploring a Universal Performance Model for HPT: Notes From the Field. The performance improvement/HPT (human performance technology) model represents a unifying process that helps accomplish successful change, create…

  6. 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…

  7. Performance Improvement/HPT Model: Guiding the Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dessinger, Joan Conway; Moseley, James L.; Van Tiem, Darlene M.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary is part of an ongoing dialogue that began in the October 2011 special issue of "Performance Improvement"--Exploring a Universal Performance Model for HPT: Notes From the Field. The performance improvement/HPT (human performance technology) model represents a unifying process that helps accomplish successful change, create…

  8. 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…

  9. Cold homes, fuel poverty and energy efficiency improvements: A longitudinal focus group approach.

    PubMed

    Grey, Charlotte N B; Schmieder-Gaite, Tina; Jiang, Shiyu; Nascimento, Christina; Poortinga, Wouter

    2017-08-01

    Cold homes and fuel poverty have been identified as factors in health and social inequalities that could be alleviated through energy efficiency interventions. Research on fuel poverty and the health impacts of affordable warmth initiatives have to date primarily been conducted using quantitative and statistical methods, limiting the way how fuel poverty is understood. This study took a longitudinal focus group approach that allowed exploration of lived experiences of fuel poverty before and after an energy efficiency intervention. Focus group discussions were held with residents from three low-income communities before (n = 28) and after (n = 22) they received energy efficiency measures funded through a government-led scheme. The results show that improving the energy efficiency of homes at risk of fuel poverty has a profound impact on wellbeing and quality of life, financial stress, thermal comfort, social interactions and indoor space use. However, the process of receiving the intervention was experienced by some as stressful. There is a need for better community engagement and communication to improve the benefits delivered by fuel poverty programmes, as well as further qualitative exploration to better understand the wider impacts of fuel poverty and policy-led intervention schemes.

  10. Cold homes, fuel poverty and energy efficiency improvements: A longitudinal focus group approach

    PubMed Central

    Grey, Charlotte N. B.; Schmieder-Gaite, Tina; Jiang, Shiyu; Nascimento, Christina

    2017-01-01

    Cold homes and fuel poverty have been identified as factors in health and social inequalities that could be alleviated through energy efficiency interventions. Research on fuel poverty and the health impacts of affordable warmth initiatives have to date primarily been conducted using quantitative and statistical methods, limiting the way how fuel poverty is understood. This study took a longitudinal focus group approach that allowed exploration of lived experiences of fuel poverty before and after an energy efficiency intervention. Focus group discussions were held with residents from three low-income communities before (n = 28) and after (n = 22) they received energy efficiency measures funded through a government-led scheme. The results show that improving the energy efficiency of homes at risk of fuel poverty has a profound impact on wellbeing and quality of life, financial stress, thermal comfort, social interactions and indoor space use. However, the process of receiving the intervention was experienced by some as stressful. There is a need for better community engagement and communication to improve the benefits delivered by fuel poverty programmes, as well as further qualitative exploration to better understand the wider impacts of fuel poverty and policy-led intervention schemes. PMID:28890663

  11. Virtual Channel Discrimination is Improved by Current Focusing in Cochlear Implant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Landsberger, David M.; Srinivasan, Arthi G.

    2009-01-01

    Cochlear implant users' spectral resolution is limited by both the number of implanted electrodes and channel interactions between electrodes. Current steering (virtual channels) between two adjacent monopolar electrodes has been used to increase the number of spectral channels across the electrode array. However, monopolar stimulation is associated with large current spread and increased channel interaction. Current focusing across three adjacent electrodes (tripolar stimulation) has been used to reduce electrode current spread and improve channel selectivity. In the present study, current steering and current focusing were combined within a four-electrode stimulation pattern (quadrupolar virtual channels), thereby addressing the need for both increased channels and reduced current spread. Virtual channel discrimination was measured in 7 users of the Advanced Bionics Clarion II or HiRes 90K implants; virtual channel discrimination was compared between monopolar and quadrupolar virtual channels at three stimulation sites. The results showed that quadrupolar virtual channels provided better spectral resolution than monopolar virtual channels. The results suggested that quadrupolar virtual channels might provide the “best of both worlds” improving the number of spectral channels while reducing channel interactions. PMID:19383534

  12. Traditional Labs + New Questions = Improved Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rezba, Richard J.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Presents three typical lab activities involving the breathing rate of fish, the behavior of electromagnets, and tests for water hardness to demonstrate how labs can be modified to teach process skills. Discusses how basic concepts about experimentation are developed and ways of generating and improving science experiments. Includes a laboratory…

  13. AQIP and Accreditation: Improving Quality and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spangehl, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    For the past 12 years, the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) has offered an innovative means for colleges and universities to maintain regional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the only regional U.S. accrediting commission currently providing alternative pathways for maintaining accreditation. Although all HLC…

  14. Compounds and methods for improving plant performance

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas Joseph

    2016-09-20

    The invention is directed to methods and compositions for increasing a growth characteristic of a plant, increasing nutrient use efficiency of a plant, or improving a plant's ability to overcome stress comprising applying a composition comprising ketosuccinamate, a derivative thereof, or a salt thereof, to the plant or to a propagation material of the plant.

  15. Traditional Labs + New Questions = Improved Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rezba, Richard J.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Presents three typical lab activities involving the breathing rate of fish, the behavior of electromagnets, and tests for water hardness to demonstrate how labs can be modified to teach process skills. Discusses how basic concepts about experimentation are developed and ways of generating and improving science experiments. Includes a laboratory…

  16. AQIP and Accreditation: Improving Quality and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spangehl, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    For the past 12 years, the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) has offered an innovative means for colleges and universities to maintain regional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the only regional U.S. accrediting commission currently providing alternative pathways for maintaining accreditation. Although all HLC…

  17. Improving Children's Working Memory and Classroom Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St Clair-Thompson, Helen; Stevens, Ruth; Hunt, Alexandra; Bolder, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated close relationships between working memory and children's scholastic attainment. The aim of the present study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. Two hundred and fifty-four children aged five to eight years were tested on measures of the phonological loop,…

  18. Improving Children's Working Memory and Classroom Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St Clair-Thompson, Helen; Stevens, Ruth; Hunt, Alexandra; Bolder, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated close relationships between working memory and children's scholastic attainment. The aim of the present study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. Two hundred and fifty-four children aged five to eight years were tested on measures of the phonological loop,…

  19. Rankings as a Catalyst: Improving Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cyr, John; Fyfe, Diane

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss why ranking has become so popular in schools. Those who promote ranking believe that it provides information to help parents and students choose a "good school"; that it puts pressure on the underperforming school to improve; and that it provides an opportunity for a school to be scrutinized through a…

  20. The Influence of Attentional Focus Instructions and Vision on Jump Height Performance.

    PubMed

    Abdollahipour, Reza; Psotta, Rudolf; Land, William M

    2016-12-01

    Studies have suggested that the use of visual information may underlie the benefit associated with an external focus of attention. Recent studies exploring this connection have primarily relied on motor tasks that involve manipulation of an object (object projection). The present study examined whether vision influences the effect of attentional focus on the performance of body movements through space (body projection). Participants (N = 24, Mage = 25.0 ± 3.3 years) performed a maximum vertical jump in a room with a 4-m ceiling under full-vision and no-vision conditions. Additionally, participants performed 3 trials under each of 3 attentional conditions, presented in a counterbalanced order: external focus (ExF; "concentrate on the ceiling and try to touch it"), internal focus (InF; "concentrate on your fingers and try to bring them up as high as possible"), and control (Con; no-focus instruction). Results indicated that regardless of visual condition, a statistically significant difference was observed such that participants in the ExF condition (30.93 ± 8.37 cm) jumped significantly higher than participants in both the InF (30.09 ± 8.66 cm, p = .004, d = 0.68) and Con (30.23 ± 8.73 cm, p = .002, d = 0.57) conditions. Furthermore, jump height was overall significantly higher in the full-vision condition compared with the no-vision condition (p = .004, d = 0.47). Importantly, there was no interaction between ExF and vision. The present findings demonstrate the benefit of an ExF on a body projection task and further provide evidence of the independence of ExF and visual information.

  1. MR-guided focused ultrasound robot for performing experiments on large animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mylonas, N.; Damianou, C.

    2011-09-01

    Introduction: In this paper an experimental MRI-guided focused ultrasound robot for large animals is presented. Materials and methods: A single element spherically focused transducer of 4 cm diameter, focusing at 10 cm and operating at 1 MHz was used. A positioning device was developed in order to scan the ultrasound transducer for performing MR-guided focused ultrasound experiments in large animals such as pig, sheep and dog. The positioning device incorporates only MRI compatible materials such as piezoelectric motors, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic, brass screws, and brass pulleys. The system is manufactured automatically using a rapid prototyping system. Results: The system was tested successfully in a number of animals for various tasks (creation of single lesions, creation of overlapping lesions, and MR compatibility). Conclusions: A simple, cost effective, portable positioning device has been developed which can be used in virtually any clinical MRI scanner since it can be sited on the scanner's table. The propagation of HIFU can be via a lateral or superior-inferior approach. This system has the potential to be marketed as a cost effective solution for performing experiments in small and large animals.

  2. Visible camera cryostat design and performance for the SuMIRe Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smee, Stephen A.; Gunn, James E.; Golebiowski, Mirek; Hope, Stephen C.; Madec, Fabrice; Gabriel, Jean-Francois; Loomis, Craig; Le fur, Arnaud; Dohlen, Kjetil; Le Mignant, David; Barkhouser, Robert; Carr, Michael; Hart, Murdock; Tamura, Naoyuki; Shimono, Atsushi; Takato, Naruhisa

    2016-08-01

    We describe the design and performance of the SuMIRe Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) visible camera cryostats. SuMIRe PFS is a massively multi-plexed ground-based spectrograph consisting of four identical spectrograph modules, each receiving roughly 600 fibers from a 2394 fiber robotic positioner at the prime focus. Each spectrograph module has three channels covering wavelength ranges 380 nm - 640 nm, 640 nm - 955 nm, and 955 nm - 1.26 um, with the dispersed light being imaged in each channel by a f/1.07 vacuum Schmidt camera. The cameras are very large, having a clear aperture of 300 mm at the entrance window, and a mass of 280 kg. In this paper we describe the design of the visible camera cryostats and discuss various aspects of cryostat performance.

  3. Connecting the Learners: Improving Uptake of a Nursing Home Educational Program by Focusing on Staff Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Colón-Emeric, Cathleen S.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of the Study: The CONNECT intervention is designed to improve staff connections, communication, and use of multiple perspectives for problem solving. This analysis compared staff descriptions of the learning climate, use of social constructivist learning processes, and outcomes in nursing facilities receiving CONNECT with facilities receiving a falls education program alone. Design and Methods: Qualitative evaluation of a randomized controlled trial was done using a focus group design. Facilities (n = 8) were randomized to a falls education program alone (control) or CONNECT followed by FALLS (intervention). A total of 77 staff participated in 16 focus groups using a structured interview protocol. Transcripts were analyzed using framework analysis, and summaries for each domain were compared between intervention and control facilities. Results: Notable differences in descriptions of the learning climate included greater learner empowerment, appreciation of the role of all disciplines, and seeking diverse viewpoints in the intervention group. Greater use of social constructivist learning processes was evidenced by the intervention group as they described greater identification of communication weaknesses, improvement in communication frequency and quality, and use of sense-making by seeking out multiple perspectives to better understand and act on information. Intervention group participants reported outcomes including more creative fall prevention plans, a more respectful work environment, and improved relationships with coworkers. No substantial difference between groups was identified in safety culture, shared responsibility, and self-reported knowledge about falls. Implications: CONNECT appears to enhance the use of social constructivist learning processes among nursing home staff. The impact of CONNECT on clinical outcomes requires further study. PMID:23704219

  4. Organic photovoltaic cells: from performance improvement to manufacturing processes.

    PubMed

    Youn, Hongseok; Park, Hui Joon; Guo, L Jay

    2015-05-20

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been pursued as a next generation power source due to their light weight, thin, flexible, and simple fabrication advantages. Improvements in OPV efficiency have attracted great attention in the past decade. Because the functional layers in OPVs can be dissolved in common solvents, they can be manufactured by eco-friendly and scalable printing or coating technologies. In this review article, the focus is on recent efforts to control nanomorphologies of photoactive layer and discussion of various solution-processed charge transport and extraction materials, to maximize the performance of OPV cells. Next, recent works on printing and coating technologies for OPVs to realize solution processing are reviewed. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of non-traditional lamination and transfer method towards highly efficient and fully solution-processed OPV.

  5. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  6. Using Collateral Material To Improve Writing Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Monica E.

    2003-01-01

    Examines the extent to which the provision of selected collateral material can enhance students' enjoyment of their writing tasks, and their performance in a context where although English is the official language, it is little used and much resisted by students for whom the language of choice for social interaction is the local Creole.…

  7. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  8. Does Musical Training Improve School Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wetter, Olive Emil; Koerner, Fritz; Schwaninger, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    In a retrospective study, we compared school performance of 53 children practicing music (group 1) with 67 controls not practicing music (group 2). Overall average marks as well as average marks of all school subjects except sports were significantly higher in children who do (group 1) than in those who do not practice music (group 2). In a…

  9. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steventon, Candace E.

    A personalized parenting program was implemented to address poor academic performance and low self-esteem of high school students. Student records, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and teacher surveys were employed to identify and measure academic and/or self-perception growth. Parents participated in an 8-week…

  10. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  11. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  12. Does Musical Training Improve School Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wetter, Olive Emil; Koerner, Fritz; Schwaninger, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    In a retrospective study, we compared school performance of 53 children practicing music (group 1) with 67 controls not practicing music (group 2). Overall average marks as well as average marks of all school subjects except sports were significantly higher in children who do (group 1) than in those who do not practice music (group 2). In a…

  13. Improving Oral Performance through Interactions Flashcards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Urquijo, Jasson

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes an action research project that addressed the issue of low oral performance in English among third grade learners at a public girls' school in Bogota, Colombia. The issue was identified via content analysis of ten field logs compiled over the third and fourth quarter of the second semester, 2010. To address the problem of…

  14. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Mary L; Paydos, Michael

    2008-06-20

    This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article--number two in the series--describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP), a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM) system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  15. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    O'Neil, Mary L; Paydos, Michael

    2008-01-01

    This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP), a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM) system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM. PMID:18570658

  16. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jezzini-Aouad, M.; Flahaut, P.; Hariri, S.; Winiar, L.

    2010-06-01

    Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic) welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A). This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B) used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  17. FOCUSED R&D FOR ELECTROCHROMIC SMART WINDOWS: SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCE AND YIELD ENHANCEMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Marcus Milling

    2004-09-23

    Developments made under this program will play a key role in underpinning the technology for producing EC devices. It is anticipated that the work begun during this period will continue to improve materials properties, and drive yields up and costs down, increase durability and make manufacture simpler and more cost effective. It is hoped that this will contribute to a successful and profitable industry, which will help reduce energy consumption and improve comfort for building occupants worldwide. The first major task involved improvements to the materials used in the process. The improvements made as a result of the work done during this project have contributed to the enhanced performance, including dynamic range, uniformity and electrical characteristics. Another major objective of the project was to develop technology to improve yield, reduce cost, and facilitate manufacturing of EC products. Improvements directly attributable to the work carried out as part of this project and seen in the overall EC device performance, have been accompanied by an improvement in the repeatability and consistency of the production process. Innovative test facilities for characterizing devices in a timely and well-defined manner have been developed. The equipment has been designed in such a way as to make scaling-up to accommodate higher throughput necessary for manufacturing relatively straightforward. Finally, the third major goal was to assure the durability of the EC product, both by developments aimed at improving the product performance, as well as development of novel procedures to test the durability of this new product. Both aspects have been demonstrated, both by carrying out a number of different durability tests, both in-house and by independent third-party testers, and also developing several novel durability tests.

  18. Focus groups among public, military, and private sector mothers: insights to improve the immunization process.

    PubMed

    Houseman, C; Butterfoss, F D; Morrow, A L; Rosenthal, J

    1997-08-01

    The underimmunization of children younger than 2 years old is a major health problem in U.S. cities. Innovative methods to increase immunization rates are being researched and implemented. In 1993, six focus groups were conducted with 41 mothers (25 African Americans and 16 Caucasians) to discuss their views regarding immunizations and the services they received from health care providers in the public health (n = 27), military (n = 4), and private (n = 10) sectors. Participants viewed immunizations positively, but perceived many barriers to immunization. They suggested the following ways to improve the immunization process: enhancing knowledge acquisition, improving reminder and appointment systems, providing transportation and child care, decreasing waiting times, improving the clinic environment, and making the immunizations less traumatic. According to mothers in this study, obtaining an immunization on time is a complex task that requires planning and resources. The fewer resources that are available to mothers, the more difficult it is to succeeded. Health care providers must help mothers identify and remove barriers if immunization rates are to be increased.

  19. Brush Seals for Improved Steam Turbine Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turnquist, Norman; Chupp, Ray; Baily, Fred; Burnett, Mark; Rivas, Flor; Bowsher, Aaron; Crudgington, Peter

    2006-01-01

    GE Energy has retrofitted brush seals into more than 19 operating steam turbines. Brush seals offer superior leakage control compared to labyrinth seals, owing to their compliant nature and ability to maintain very tight clearances to the rotating shaft. Seal designs have been established for steam turbines ranging in size from 12 MW to over 1200 MW, including fossil, nuclear, combined-cycle and industrial applications. Steam turbines present unique design challenges that must be addressed to ensure that the potential performance benefits of brush seals are realized. Brush seals can have important effects on the overall turbine system that must be taken into account to assure reliable operation. Subscale rig tests are instrumental to understanding seal behavior under simulated steam-turbine operating conditions, prior to installing brush seals in the field. This presentation discusses the technical challenges of designing brush seals for steam turbines; subscale testing; performance benefits of brush seals; overall system effects; and field applications.

  20. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks.

    PubMed

    Gollo, Leonardo L; Copelli, Mauro; Roberts, James A

    2016-01-01

    As few real systems comprise indistinguishable units, diversity is a hallmark of nature. Diversity among interacting units shapes properties of collective behavior such as synchronization and information transmission. However, the benefits of diversity on information processing at the edge of a phase transition, ordinarily assumed to emerge from identical elements, remain largely unexplored. Analyzing a general model of excitable systems with heterogeneous excitability, we find that diversity can greatly enhance optimal performance (by two orders of magnitude) when distinguishing incoming inputs. Heterogeneous systems possess a subset of specialized elements whose capability greatly exceeds that of the nonspecialized elements. We also find that diversity can yield multiple percolation, with performance optimized at tricriticality. Our results are robust in specific and more realistic neuronal systems comprising a combination of excitatory and inhibitory units, and indicate that diversity-induced amplification can be harnessed by neuronal systems for evaluating stimulus intensities.

  1. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks

    PubMed Central

    Copelli, Mauro; Roberts, James A.

    2016-01-01

    As few real systems comprise indistinguishable units, diversity is a hallmark of nature. Diversity among interacting units shapes properties of collective behavior such as synchronization and information transmission. However, the benefits of diversity on information processing at the edge of a phase transition, ordinarily assumed to emerge from identical elements, remain largely unexplored. Analyzing a general model of excitable systems with heterogeneous excitability, we find that diversity can greatly enhance optimal performance (by two orders of magnitude) when distinguishing incoming inputs. Heterogeneous systems possess a subset of specialized elements whose capability greatly exceeds that of the nonspecialized elements. We also find that diversity can yield multiple percolation, with performance optimized at tricriticality. Our results are robust in specific and more realistic neuronal systems comprising a combination of excitatory and inhibitory units, and indicate that diversity-induced amplification can be harnessed by neuronal systems for evaluating stimulus intensities. PMID:27168961

  2. Improving fuel-rod performance. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Ocken, H.; Knott, S.

    1981-03-01

    To reduce the risk of fuel-rod failures, utilities operate their nuclear reactors within conservative limits on power increases proposed by nuclear-fuel vendors. Of particular concern to US utilities is that adopting these limits results in an industrywide average plant capacity loss of 3% in BWR designs and 0.3% in PWR designs. To replace lost BWR capacity by other generating means currently costs the utilities $150 million annually, and losses for PWRs are about $20 million. Efforts are therefore being made to identify the factors responsible for Zircaloy degradation under PCI condition and to improve nuclear-fuel-rod design and reactor operation.

  3. Apply the fundamentals to improve emissions performance

    SciTech Connect

    Storm, S.K.; Storm, D.S.; McClellan, A.C.; Storm, R.F.; Mulligan, J.

    2006-10-15

    The O & M staff of AES Westover Station in Johnson City, New York wisely took a holistic approach to optimizing combustion within Unit 8's boiler in order to reduce its NOx emissions while maintaining acceptable levels of carbon-in-ash content. The results of major modifications, centered on the addition of a fan boosted overfire air system, were a 60% reduction in NOx levels, improved unit reliability, and a project payback period measured in months rather than years. As this project proved, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Improvement of Adaptive Cruise Control Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyata, Shigeharu; Nakagami, Takashi; Kobayashi, Sei; Izumi, Tomoji; Naito, Hisayoshi; Yanou, Akira; Nakamura, Hitomi; Takehara, Shin

    2010-12-01

    This paper describes the Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC), a system which reduces the driving burden on the driver. The ACC system primarily supports four driving modes on the road and controls the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in order to maintain a set speed or to avoid a crash. This paper proposes more accurate methods of detecting the preceding vehicle by radar while cornering, with consideration for the vehicle sideslip angle, and also of controlling the distance between vehicles. By making full use of the proposed identification logic for preceding vehicles and path estimation logic, an improvement in driving stability was achieved.

  5. PMR polyimides with improved high temperature performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vannucci, R. D.; Alston, W. B.

    1975-01-01

    Studies were performed to investigate the effect of substituting a hexafluoro isopropyl idene connecting group for a carbonyl group of a PMR polyimide monomeric reactant on the thermo-mechanical properties processability of graphite fiber reinforced PMR polyimide composites. Composites were fabricated utilizing PMR methodology. Monomeric reactant solutions of various stoichiometric ratios were used to impregnate Hercules HTS graphite fiber. The processing characteristics and elevated temperature (600 F) mechanical properties of the composites are described.

  6. Improving performance by anchoring movement and "nerves".

    PubMed

    Iso-Ahola, Seppo E; Dotson, Charles O; Jagodinsky, Adam E; Clark, Lily C; Smallwood, Lorraine L; Wilburn, Christopher; Weimar, Wendi H; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Golf's governing bodies' recent decision to ban all putting styles "anchoring one end of the club against the body" bridges an important practical problem with psychological theory. We report the first experiment testing whether anchoring provides technical and/or psychological advantage in competitive performance. Many "greats" of professional golf from Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods have argued against anchoring, believing that it takes "nerves" out of competitive performance and therefore artificially levels the playing field. To shed more light on the issue, we tested participants' performance with anchored and unanchored putters under low and high pressure when controlling for the putter length. We found no statistically significant evidence for a technical advantage due to anchoring but a clear psychological advantage: participants who anchored their putters significantly outperformed unanchored counterparts under high, but not low, pressure. Results provide tentative evidence for the ban's justification from a competitive standpoint. However, before any definite conclusions can be made, more research is needed when using high-level golfers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Internal Branding: Using Performance Technology To Create an Organization Focused on Customer Value.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tosti, Donald T.; Stotz, Rodger

    2000-01-01

    Presents a performance technology approach to revenue enhancement, with the goal of improving customer retention through building customer value. Topics include internal branding, a way to make sure that what the company delivers matches what's promised in the advertising; product versus service brands; and customer satisfaction, including…

  8. Internal Branding: Using Performance Technology To Create an Organization Focused on Customer Value.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tosti, Donald T.; Stotz, Rodger

    2000-01-01

    Presents a performance technology approach to revenue enhancement, with the goal of improving customer retention through building customer value. Topics include internal branding, a way to make sure that what the company delivers matches what's promised in the advertising; product versus service brands; and customer satisfaction, including…

  9. Learning-performance distinction and memory processes for motor skills: a focused review and perspective.

    PubMed

    Kantak, Shailesh S; Winstein, Carolee J

    2012-03-01

    Behavioral research in cognitive psychology provides evidence for an important distinction between immediate performance that accompanies practice and long-term performance that reflects the relative permanence in the capability for the practiced skill (i.e. learning). This learning-performance distinction is strikingly evident when challenging practice conditions may impair practice performance, but enhance long-term retention of motor skills. A review of motor learning studies with a specific focus on comparing differences in performance between that at the end of practice and at delayed retention suggests that the delayed retention or transfer performance is a better indicator of motor learning than the performance at (or end of) practice. This provides objective evidence for the learning-performance distinction. This behavioral evidence coupled with an understanding of the motor memory processes of encoding, consolidation and retrieval may provide insight into the putative mechanism that implements the learning-performance distinction. Here, we propose a simplistic empirically-based framework--motor behavior-memory framework--that integrates the temporal evolution of motor memory processes with the time course of practice and delayed retention frequently used in behavioral motor learning paradigms. In the context of the proposed framework, recent research has used noninvasive brain stimulation to decipher the role of each motor memory process, and specific cortical brain regions engaged in motor performance and learning. Such findings provide beginning insights into the relationship between the time course of practice-induced performance changes and motor memory processes. This in turn has promising implications for future research and practical applications. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    SciTech Connect

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  11. Improving Spelling Performance by Imitating a Child's Errors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nulman, Jo Ann Hiroshige; Gerber, Michael M.

    1984-01-01

    When a contingent imitation and modeling procedure was used with a learning disabled eight-year-old, results indicated significant improvement in the number of correctly spelled words. On a transfer test, performance was slightly improved over pretest performance. However, analysis of error quality revealed substantial improvement in ability.…

  12. Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maida, James C.; Bowen, Charles K.; Pace, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two-armed robot that functions as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Crew training for the SPDM is accomplished using a robotic hardware simulator, which performs most of SPDM functions under normal static Earth gravitational forces. Both the simulator and SPDM are controlled from a standard robotic workstation using a laptop for the user interface and three monitors for camera views. Most operations anticipated for the SPDM involve the manipulation, insertion, and removal of any of several types of Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU), modules which control various ISS functions. Alignment tolerances for insertion of the ORU into its receptacle are 0.25 inch and 0.5 degree from nominal values. The pre-insertion alignment task must be performed within these tolerances by using available video camera views of the intrinsic features of the ORU and receptacle, without special registration markings. Since optimum camera views may not be available, and dynamic orbital lighting conditions may limit periods of viewing, a successful ORU insertion operation may require an extended period of time. This study explored the feasibility of using augmented reality (AR) to assist SPDM operations. Geometric graphical symbols were overlaid on one of the workstation monitors to afford cues to assist the operator in attaining adequate pre-insertion ORU alignment. Twelve skilled subjects performed eight ORU insertion tasks using the simulator with and without the AR symbols in a repeated measures experimental design. Results indicated that using the AR symbols reduced pre-insertion alignment error for all subjects and reduced the time to complete pre-insertion alignment for most subjects.

  13. Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maida, James C.; Bowen, Charles K.; Pace, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two-armed robot that functions as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Crew training for the SPDM is accomplished using a robotic hardware simulator, which performs most of SPDM functions under normal static Earth gravitational forces. Both the simulator and SPDM are controlled from a standard robotic workstation using a laptop for the user interface and three monitors for camera views. Most operations anticipated for the SPDM involve the manipulation, insertion, and removal of any of several types of Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU), modules which control various ISS functions. Alignment tolerances for insertion of the ORU into its receptacle are 0.25 inch and 0.5 degree from nominal values. The pre-insertion alignment task must be performed within these tolerances by using available video camera views of the intrinsic features of the ORU and receptacle, without special registration markings. Since optimum camera views may not be available, and dynamic orbital lighting conditions may limit periods of viewing, a successful ORU insertion operation may require an extended period of time. This study explored the feasibility of using augmented reality (AR) to assist SPDM operations. Geometric graphical symbols were overlaid on one of the workstation monitors to afford cues to assist the operator in attaining adequate pre-insertion ORU alignment. Twelve skilled subjects performed eight ORU insertion tasks using the simulator with and without the AR symbols in a repeated measures experimental design. Results indicated that using the AR symbols reduced pre-insertion alignment error for all subjects and reduced the time to complete pre-insertion alignment for most subjects.

  14. Applying sport psychology to improve clinical performance().

    PubMed

    Church, Helen R; Rumbold, James L; Sandars, John

    2017-08-08

    Preparedness for practice has become an international theme within Medical Education: for healthcare systems to maintain their highest clinical standards, junior doctors must "hit the ground running" on beginning work. Despite demonstrating logical, structured assessment and management plans during their undergraduate examinations, many newly qualified doctors report difficulty in translating this theoretical knowledge into the real clinical environment. "Preparedness" must constitute more than the knowledge and skills acquired during medical school. Complexities of the clinical environment overwhelm some junior doctors, who acknowledge that they lack strategies to manage their anxieties, under-confidence and low self-efficacy. If uncontrolled, such negative emotions and behaviors may impede the delivery of time-critical treatment for acutely unwell patients and compound junior doctors' self-doubt, thus impacting future patient encounters. Medical Education often seeks inspiration from other industries for potential solutions to challenges. To address "preparedness for practice," this AMEE Guide highlights sport psychology: elite sportspeople train both physically and psychologically for their discipline. The latter promotes management of negative emotions, distractions and under-confidence, thus optimizing performance despite immense pressures of career-defining moments. Similar techniques might allow junior doctors to optimize patient care, especially within stressful situations. This AMEE Guide introduces the novel conceptual model, PERFORM, which targets the challenges faced by junior doctors on graduation. The model applies pre-performance routines from sport psychology with the self-regulatory processes of metacognition to the clinical context. This model could potentially equip junior doctors, and other healthcare professionals facing similar challenges, with strategies to optimize clinical care under the most difficult circumstances.

  15. Hybrid Modeling Improves Health and Performance Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Scientific Monitoring Inc. was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to create a new, simplified health-monitoring approach for flight vehicles and flight equipment. The project developed a hybrid physical model concept that provided a structured approach to simplifying complex design models for use in health monitoring, allowing the output or performance of the equipment to be compared to what the design models predicted, so that deterioration or impending failure could be detected before there would be an impact on the equipment's operational capability. Based on the original modeling technology, Scientific Monitoring released I-Trend, a commercial health- and performance-monitoring software product named for its intelligent trending, diagnostics, and prognostics capabilities, as part of the company's complete ICEMS (Intelligent Condition-based Equipment Management System) suite of monitoring and advanced alerting software. I-Trend uses the hybrid physical model to better characterize the nature of health or performance alarms that result in "no fault found" false alarms. Additionally, the use of physical principles helps I-Trend identify problems sooner. I-Trend technology is currently in use in several commercial aviation programs, and the U.S. Air Force recently tapped Scientific Monitoring to develop next-generation engine health-management software for monitoring its fleet of jet engines. Scientific Monitoring has continued the original NASA work, this time under a Phase III SBIR contract with a joint NASA-Pratt & Whitney aviation security program on propulsion-controlled aircraft under missile-damaged aircraft conditions.

  16. Algorithms for improved performance in cryptographic protocols.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeppel, Richard Crabtree; Beaver, Cheryl Lynn

    2003-11-01

    Public key cryptographic algorithms provide data authentication and non-repudiation for electronic transmissions. The mathematical nature of the algorithms, however, means they require a significant amount of computation, and encrypted messages and digital signatures possess high bandwidth. Accordingly, there are many environments (e.g. wireless, ad-hoc, remote sensing networks) where public-key requirements are prohibitive and cannot be used. The use of elliptic curves in public-key computations has provided a means by which computations and bandwidth can be somewhat reduced. We report here on the research conducted in an LDRD aimed to find even more efficient algorithms and to make public-key cryptography available to a wider range of computing environments. We improved upon several algorithms, including one for which a patent has been applied. Further we discovered some new problems and relations on which future cryptographic algorithms may be based.

  17. Improved PSI Performance for Landslide Monitoring Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duro, Javier; Iglesias, Ruben; Blanco, Pablo; Sanchez, Francisco; Albiol, David

    2015-05-01

    The work proposed in this paper shows advanced Persistent Scatter Interferometry (PSI) processing based on the use of the Non-Local Interferometric SAR (NLInSAR) filtering for improving landslides monitoring applications. The rationale is to enhance the interferometric phase quality, preserving the full resolution of SAR images, in order to detect both distributed and deterministic scatterers, with the objective of increasing the density of final PSI products. Moreover, since SAR systems are only sensitive to detect displacements in the line-of-sight (LOS) direction, the importance of projecting PSI displacement products along the steepest gradient of the terrain slope is put forward. Two TerraSAR-X data sets acquired in ascending mode corresponding to the period from April to November 2011, and from August to November 2013, respectively, over the area of El Portalet (Central Spanish Pyrenees), are employed for this purpose.

  18. Improving shift report focus and consistency with the situation, background, assessment, recommendation protocol.

    PubMed

    Cornell, Paul; Gervis, Mary Townsend; Yates, Lauren; Vardaman, James M

    2013-01-01

    The Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) protocol was used to improve shift reports in 4 medical-surgical units. The SBAR protocol is increasingly advocated for use during shift reports, but data on the efficacy are limited. Nurses were trained on SBAR in 4 medical-surgical units in a tertiary care hospital. Nurse tasks, tools, and locations were recorded during observation audits. The average time for shift reports did not decrease using SBAR. Nurses spent significantly more time on tasks specific to report. There was significantly more dialogue and less writing with SBAR. The introduction of SBAR made reports more focused, with more time spent discussing the patient and less on transcribing information. The SBAR protocol provides a concise and prioritized structure that enables consistent, comprehensive, and patient-centric reports.

  19. Improved Bacterial and Viral Recoveries from 'Complex' Samples using Electrophoretically Assisted Acoustic Focusing

    SciTech Connect

    Ness, K; Rose, K; Jung, B; Fisher, K; Mariella, Jr., R P

    2008-03-27

    .Coli ({approx}1 {micro}m) and yeast ({approx}4-5 {micro}m) flowing in a microchannel (200 {micro}m deep, 500 {micro}m wide) at a flow rate of 10 {micro}L/min. The E.Coli does not focus in the acoustic field while the yeast focuses at the channel centerline. This result suggests the acoustic size-cutoff for biological particles in our device lies between 2 and 3 {micro}m. Transverse electrophoresis has been explored extensively in electric field flow fractionation [6] and isoelectric focusing devices [7]. We demonstrated transverse electrophoretic transport of a wide variety of negatively-charged species, including fluorophores, beads, viruses, E.Coli, and yeast. Figure 2 shows the electromigration of a fluorescently labeled RNA virus (MS2) from the lower half of the channel to the upper half region with continuous flow. We demonstrated the effectiveness of our electrophoretically assisted acoustic focusing device by separating virus-like particles (40 nm fluorescent beads, selected to aid in visualization) from a high background concentration of yeast contaminants (see Figure 3). Our device allows for the efficient recovery of virus into a pre-selected purified buffer while background contaminants are acoustically captured and removed. We also tested the device using clinical nasopharyngeal samples, both washes and lavages, and demonstrated removal of unknown particulates (>2 ?m size) from the sample. Our future research direction includes spiking known amounts of bacteria and viruses into clinical samples and performing quantitative off-chip analysis (real-time PCR and flow cytometry).

  20. Focused R&D For Electrochromic Smart Windowsa: Significant Performance and Yield Enhancements

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Burdis; Neil Sbar

    2003-01-31

    There is a need to improve the energy efficiency of building envelopes as they are the primary factor governing the heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation requirements of buildings--influencing 53% of building energy use. In particular, windows contribute significantly to the overall energy performance of building envelopes, thus there is a need to develop advanced energy efficient window and glazing systems. Electrochromic (EC) windows represent the next generation of advanced glazing technology that will (1) reduce the energy consumed in buildings, (2) improve the overall comfort of the building occupants, and (3) improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. ''Switchable'' EC windows provide, on demand, dynamic control of visible light, solar heat gain, and glare without blocking the view. As exterior light levels change, the window's performance can be electronically adjusted to suit conditions. A schematic illustrating how SageGlass{reg_sign} electrochromic windows work is shown in Figure I.1. SageGlass{reg_sign} EC glazings offer the potential to save cooling and lighting costs, with the added benefit of improving thermal and visual comfort. Control over solar heat gain will also result in the use of smaller HVAC equipment. If a step change in the energy efficiency and performance of buildings is to be achieved, there is a clear need to bring EC technology to the marketplace. This project addresses accelerating the widespread introduction of EC windows in buildings and thus maximizing total energy savings in the U.S. and worldwide. We report on R&D activities to improve the optical performance needed to broadly penetrate the full range of architectural markets. Also, processing enhancements have been implemented to reduce manufacturing costs. Finally, tests are being conducted to demonstrate the durability of the EC device and the dual pane insulating glass unit (IGU) to be at least equal to that of conventional windows.

  1. Putting words into action: A simple focused education improves prescription label comprehension and functional health literacy.

    PubMed

    Tai, Bik-Wai Bilvick; Bae, Yuna H; LaRue, Charles E; Law, Anandi V

    2016-01-01

    To assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention on prescription (Rx) label comprehension and functional health literacy (FHL) in older adults. Outcomes were compared between current and redesigned Rx labels. Additional objectives were to examine the correlation between 2 outcome measures and to determine the characterizing variables that are predictors for the outcome measures. Southern California, January 2013 to March 2015. Older adults (>55 y) taking 2 or more Rx medications daily were recruited at senior and community centers by a trained data collection team. The validated Modified LaRue Tool (MLT) tested Rx label comprehension before and after a short, focused educational intervention and correlated it with FHL. A simple one-on-one education provided by student pharmacists that was focused on critical elements of an Rx label. Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (STOFHLA) and MLT scores of all current and redesigned label participants at baseline and follow-up. Participants using redesigned Rx labels (n = 90) showed significantly higher MLT scores than with current Rx labels (n = 28) both before (23.0 ± 2.3 vs. 21.0 ± 2.4; P <0.001) and after educational intervention (23.8 ± 1.7 vs. 22.1 ± 3.1; P <0.001). With the use of analysis of covariance, intervention participants using redesigned label (n = 48) showed significant improvement in both MLT (23.1 ± 2.0 to 24.3 ± 1.0; P <0.001) and STOFHLA (29.8 ± 7.5 to 31.5 ± 5.7; P = 0.011) scores, whereas intervention participants using current Rx label (n = 16) did not show significant improvement in either MLT (P = 0.530) or STOFHLA (P = 0.215) scores. Effect size of intervention (redesigned label) was 0.77, indicating practical significance. MLT and STOFHLA scores were significantly correlated with each other, and age and education level were common significant predictors for both outcomes. Older adults using redesigned Rx labels showed improved Rx label comprehension and FHL after

  2. Quality of Plaster Molding for Distal Radius Fractures Is Improved Through Focused Tuition of Junior Surgeons.

    PubMed

    Ramoutar, Darryl N; Silk, Robert; Rodrigues, Jeremy N; Hatton, Mark

    2014-08-01

    Successful nonoperative management of distal radius fractures requires an adequately reduced fracture held in a well-molded cast. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a targeted teaching session to the same group of junior doctors led to objective improvement in fracture reduction and plaster molding and hence a decrease in the redisplacement of these fractures. Retrospective review. Level I academic trauma center. A retrospective review of all dorsally angulated distal radius fractures treated in plaster that presented to our plaster room over a 4-week period (group 1, n = 52). This was followed by the intervention and a subsequent 4-week prospective review (group 2, n = 36). Radiographs were reviewed before manipulation, after manipulation, and at follow-up by a single senior orthopaedic trainee using predetermined criteria. A targeted teaching session on fracture reduction and cast molding to the same group of junior doctors involved in managing all these cases. Adequate fracture reduction, plaster molding, redisplacement, and further intervention before and after the targeted intervention. In group 1, 85% had adequate fracture reduction but only 36% showed adequate molding. This was improved in group 2%-94% adequate reduction and 65% adequate molding (P = 0.022). The rate of redisplacement was improved from 65% to 44% in group 2. In both groups, the rate of redisplacement was around 20% for adequately reduced and molded fractures, compared with around 90% for adequately reduced but inadequately molded cases (P < 0.001). The rate of further intervention improved from 27% to 8% (P = 0.052). We recommend that specific teaching focusing on fracture reduction and molding techniques is included in orthopaedic juniors' induction teaching or as a separate session. Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

  3. Cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative focusing on patients with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Schouten, Loes M T; Niessen, Louis W; van de Pas, Jeroen W A M; Grol, Richard P T M; Hulscher, Marlies E J L

    2010-10-01

    To investigate the lifelong health effects, costs, and cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative focusing on improving diabetes management in an integrated care setting. Economic evaluation from a healthcare perspective with lifetime horizon alongside a nonrandomized, controlled, before-after study in the Netherlands. Analyses were based on 1861 diabetes patients in 6 intervention and 9 control regions, representing 37 general practices and 13 out-patient clinics. Change in the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study score, remaining lifetime, and costs per quality-adjusted life year gained were calculated. Probabilistic life tables were constructed using the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study risk engine, a validated diabetes model, and nonparametric bootstrapping of individual patient data. Annual United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study risk scores reduced for cardiovascular events (hazard ratio: 0.83 and 0.98) and cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio: 0.78 and 0.88) for men and women, respectively. Life expectancy improved by 0.97 and 0.76 years for men and women, and quality-adjusted life years by 0.44 and 0.37, respectively. Higher life expectancy in the intervention group increased lifelong costs by &OV0556;860 for men and &OV0556;645 for women. Initial program costs were about &OV0556;22 per patient. The incremental costs per quality-adjusted life year were &OV0556;1937 for men and &OV0556;1751 for women compared with usual care costs. There is a probability >95% that the collaborative is cost-effective, using a threshold of &OV0556;20,000 per quality-adjusted life year. Optimizing integrated and patient-centered diabetes care through a quality-improvement collaborative is cost-effective compared with usual care.

  4. Focusing on the Environment to Improve Youth Participation: Experiences and Perspectives of Occupational Therapists.

    PubMed

    Anaby, Dana; Law, Mary; Teplicky, Rachel; Turner, Laura

    2015-10-23

    The environment plays a key role in supporting children's participation and can serve as a focus of intervention. This study aimed to elicit the perceptions and experiences of occupational therapists who had applied the PREP approach--Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation. PREP is a novel 12-week intervention for youth with physical disabilities, aimed at improving participation in leisure community-based activities by modifying aspects of the environment. Using a qualitative post-intervention only design, 12 therapists took part in individual semi-structured interviews, in which the therapists reflected on their experience using PREP to enable participation. A thematic analysis was conducted. Four themes emerged from the data; two of which were informative in nature, describing elements of the PREP intervention that target multi-layered composition of the environment and use strategies that involve leveraging resources and problem solving. The two remaining themes were reflective in nature, illustrating a new take on the Occupational Therapy role and re-positioning the concept of participation in therapy practices. Results emphasize aspects of the environment that can serve as effective targets of intervention, guided by the PREP approach. Findings can broaden the scope and focus of occupational therapy practice by redefining views on participation and the environment.

  5. Performance predictions of a focused ion beam from a laser cooled and compressed atomic beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Haaf, G.; Wouters, S. H. W.; van der Geer, S. B.; Vredenbregt, E. J. D.; Mutsaers, P. H. A.

    2014-12-01

    Focused ion beams are indispensable tools in the semiconductor industry because of their ability to image and modify structures at the nanometer length scale. Here, we report on performance predictions of a new type of focused ion beam based on photo-ionization of a laser cooled and compressed atomic beam. Particle tracing simulations are performed to investigate the effects of disorder-induced heating after ionization in a large electric field. They lead to a constraint on this electric field strength which is used as input for an analytical model which predicts the minimum attainable spot size as a function of, amongst others, the flux density of the atomic beam, the temperature of this beam, and the total current. At low currents (I < 10 pA), the spot size will be limited by a combination of spherical aberration and brightness, while at higher currents, this is a combination of chromatic aberration and brightness. It is expected that a nanometer size spot is possible at a current of 1 pA. The analytical model was verified with particle tracing simulations of a complete focused ion beam setup. A genetic algorithm was used to find the optimum acceleration electric field as a function of the current. At low currents, the result agrees well with the analytical model, while at higher currents, the spot sizes found are even lower due to effects that are not taken into account in the analytical model.

  6. Performance optimization of current focusing and virtual electrode strategies in retinal implants.

    PubMed

    Khalili Moghaddam, Gita; Lovell, Nigel H; Wilke, Robert G H; Suaning, Gregg J; Dokos, Socrates

    2014-11-01

    The electrode configuration in an implanted visual prosthesis array affects the spatial electric field distribution within the retina, contributing to current focusing and virtual electrode (VE) stimulation strategies. In this paper, a finite element model incorporating various electrode configurations was used to study the interaction between electrode size and electrode-to-cell distance in current focusing and VE stimulation paradigms. The electrode array unit comprises an active electrode, six flanking return electrodes and a distant monopolar return. A quasi-monopolar (QMP) fraction is defined as the proportion of current which can be preferentially returned through the distant return, in comparison with the more adjacent flanking electrodes. The simulation results indicate that current focusing and VE strategies can be optimized by tuning the QMP fraction. The QMP fraction is adjusted to optimize the electric field spread based on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) density in the degenerate retina, thereby offsetting the effect of inhomogeneous distribution of surviving RGCs and leading to a uniform stimulation paradigm across electrodes. Importantly, there is negligible difference in functional performance across electrode configurations for distances less than the electrode diameter, implying that the stimulation mode does not significantly affect activation threshold or activated retinal area for electrode diameters greater than the retinal thickness. Furthermore, the QMP fraction has a significant effect on VE performance, defined by activation threshold and activated retinal area, when threshold current is evenly divided between two adjacent active electrodes.

  7. IMPROVING CONSISTENCY OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS IN THE DOE COMPLEX

    SciTech Connect

    Seitz, R; Elmer Wilhite, E

    2009-01-20

    The low-level waste (LLW) performance assessment (PA) process has been traditionally focused on disposal facilities at a few United States Department of Energy (USDOE) sites and commercial disposal facilities. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the scope of the use of PA-like modeling approaches, involving multiple activities, facilities, contractors and regulators. The scope now includes, for example: (1) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments, (2) CERCLA disposal cells, (3) Waste Determinations and High-Level Waste (HLW) Closure activities, (4) Potential on-site disposal of Transuranic (TRU) waste, and (5) In-situ decommissioning (including potential use of existing facilities for disposal). The dramatic increase in the variety of activities requiring more detailed modeling has resulted in a similar increase in the potential for inconsistency in approaches both at a site and complexwide scale. This paper includes a summary of USDOE Environmental Management (EM) sponsored initiatives and activities for improved consistency. New initiatives entitled the Performance Assessment Community of Practice and Performance Assessment Assistance Team are also introduced.

  8. Improving problem solving in primary school students: The effect of a training programme focusing on metacognition and working memory.

    PubMed

    Cornoldi, Cesare; Carretti, Barbara; Drusi, Silvia; Tencati, Chiara

    2015-09-01

    Despite doubts voiced on their efficacy, a series of studies has been carried out on the capacity of training programmes to improve academic and reasoning skills by focusing on underlying cognitive abilities and working memory in particular. No systematic efforts have been made, however, to test training programmes that involve both general and specific underlying abilities. If effective, these programmes could help to increase students' motivation and competence. This study examined the feasibility of improving problem-solving skills in school children by means of a training programme that addresses general and specific abilities involved in problem solving, focusing on metacognition and working memory. The project involved a sample of 135 primary school children attending eight classes in the third, fourth, and fifth grades (age range 8-10 years). The classes were assigned to two groups, one attending the training programme in the first 3 months of the study (Training Group 1) and the other serving as a waiting-list control group (Training Group 2). In the second phase of the study, the role of the two groups was reversed, with Training Group 2 attending the training instead of Training Group 1. The training programme led to improvements in both metacognitive and working memory tasks, with positive-related effects on the ability to solve problems. The gains seen in Training Group 1 were also maintained at the second post-test (after 3 months). Specific activities focusing on metacognition and working memory may contribute to modifying arithmetical problem-solving performance in primary school children. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  9. Improving neural network performance on SIMD architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limonova, Elena; Ilin, Dmitry; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-12-01

    Neural network calculations for the image recognition problems can be very time consuming. In this paper we propose three methods of increasing neural network performance on SIMD architectures. The usage of SIMD extensions is a way to speed up neural network processing available for a number of modern CPUs. In our experiments, we use ARM NEON as SIMD architecture example. The first method deals with half float data type for matrix computations. The second method describes fixed-point data type for the same purpose. The third method considers vectorized activation functions implementation. For each method we set up a series of experiments for convolutional and fully connected networks designed for image recognition task.

  10. Performance improvement of CGHs for optical testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pruss, Christof; Reichelt, Stephan; Korolkov, Victor P.; Osten, Wolfgang; Tiziani, Hans J.

    2003-05-01

    The expansion of the field of diffractive optics applications is accompanied by toughening performance requirements for CGHs. Optical testing sets especially high requirements, concerning wavefront accuracy and diffraction efficiency. The key point in fabrication technology is the writing system creating the photomask or the profiled pattern. The diffractive optics fabrication facility at ITO (University of Stuttgart) is based on the circular laser writing system CLWS-300. This flexible and high-accurate tool was originally designed for binary diffractive optics fabrication. This paper presents novel enhancements of this system allowing direct laser writing of a wide range of binary and continuous-relief CGHs on photoresist layers, chromium films and LDW-glass. Main topics of the enhancements were the scanning accuracy and exposure control. Many types of CGHs (binary precision holograms for optical testing, Shack-Hartmann arrays, microlens discs for confocal microscopy, diffractive interferometer objectives, doughnut generators etc.) have been manufactured using the developed algorithms and hardware.

  11. Improved Stirling engine performance using jet impingement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, D. C.; Britt, E. J.; Thieme, L. G.

    1982-01-01

    Of the many factors influencing the performance of a Stirling engine, that of transferring the combustion gas heat into the working fluid is crucial. By utilizing the high heat transfer rates obtainable with a jet impingement heat transfer system, it is possible to reduce the flame temperature required for engine operation. Also, the required amount of heater tube surface area may be reduced, resulting in a decrease in the engine nonswept volume and a related increase in engine efficiency. A jet impingement heat transfer system was designed by Rasor Associates, Inc., and tested in the GPU-3 Stirling engine at the NASA Lewis Research Center. For a small penalty in pumping power (less than 0.5% of engine output) the jet impingement heat transfer system provided a higher combustion-gas-side heat transfer coefficient and a smoothing of heater temperature profiles resulting in lower combustion system temperatures and a 5 to 8% increase in engine power output and efficiency.

  12. Improved Stirling engine performance using jet impingement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, D. C.; Britt, E. J.; Thieme, L. G.

    1982-01-01

    Of the many factors influencing the performance of a Stirling engine, that of transferring the combustion gas heat into the working fluid is crucial. By utilizing the high heat transfer rates obtainable with a jet impingement heat transfer system, it is possible to reduce the flame temperature required for engine operation. Also, the required amount of heater tube surface area may be reduced, resulting in a decrease in the engine nonswept volume and a related increase in engine efficiency. A jet impingement heat transfer system was designed by Rasor Associates, Inc., and tested in the GPU-3 Stirling engine at the NASA Lewis Research Center. For a small penalty in pumping power (less than 0.5% of engine output) the jet impingement heat transfer system provided a higher combustion-gas-side heat transfer coefficient and a smoothing of heater temperature profiles resulting in lower combustion system temperatures and a 5 to 8% increase in engine power output and efficiency.

  13. Measuring edge importance to improve immunization performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, He; Yan, Zhijun; Pan, Yaohui

    2014-12-01

    The edge heterogeneity has a remarkable influence on disease spreading, but it has seldom been considered in the disease-controlling policies. Based on the gravity model, we propose the edge importance index to describe the influence of edge heterogeneity on immunization strategies. Then the edge importance and contact weight are combined to calculate the infection rates on the I-S (Infected-Susceptible) edges in the complex network, and the difference of the infection rates on strong and weak ties is analyzed. Simulation results show that edge heterogeneity has a significant influence on the performance of immunization strategies, and better immunization efficiency is derived when the vaccination rate of the nodes in the weak I-S edges is increased.

  14. Early Experience of Financial Performance and Solvency of Medicaid-Focused Insurers Under ACA Expansion.

    PubMed

    McCue, Michael J

    2016-08-16

    To allow for greater coverage of the uninsured, the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage in 2014. Accessing financial data of state health insurers from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, this data trend study compares the financial performance and solvency of Medicaid-focused health insurers prior to and after the first year expansion of Medicaid coverage. After the first year of Medicaid expansion, there was a significant increase in operating profit margin ratio for Medicaid-focused health insurers within expansion states. Lower medical loss ratio as well as no change in administrative costs contributed to this profitable position. The risk-based capital ratio for solvency increased significantly for health insurers in nonexpansion states while there was no change in this ratio for health insurers in expansion states. Conversely, the other important solvency ratio of cash flow margin increased significantly for health insurers in expansion states but not for insurers in nonexpansion states. © The Author(s) 2016.

  15. [Do envious people show better performance?: Focusing on the function of benign envy as personality trait].

    PubMed

    Sawada, Masato; Fujii, Tsutomu

    2016-06-01

    This study focused on the differences between two, subtypes of envy known as "benign envy" and "malicious envy" as personality traits, and examined the effects of these traits on academic achievement. Two hundred fifty-one university students participated in the study. Both benign envy and malicious envy were found to be independent as also found in a previous study by Lange & Crusius (2015), and a high criterion-related validity was revealed by an association with characteristic variables such as dispositional envy and self-esteem. The students with higher levels of benign envy were found to set goals higher, and as a result achieved higher levels of academic performance. In contrast, no such effect was found for malicious envy. The importance of focusing more attention on the positive aspects of the emotion of envy is discussed.

  16. IMPROVING THE ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF RESIDENTIAL CLOTHESDRYERS

    SciTech Connect

    Hekmat, D.; Fisk, W.J.

    1984-02-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate four techniques to improve the energy efficiency of electrically-heated domestic clothes dryers. Reduced air flow rate and heater input led to energy savings around 8%, while recirculation of a portion of the exhaust air back into the clothes dryer reduced energy consumption by approximately 18%. These two measures are attractive because of their low cost. Two modes of using an air-to-air heat exchanger for heat recovery were considered. The first is to preheat the inlet air with heat from the exhaust air, which resulted in 20 to 26% energy savings. The second mode is 100% recirculation of air through the dryer and a heat exchanger and condensation of water from this air in the heat exchanger by using indoor air. as a heat sink. This resulted in 100% heat recovery (i.e., all heat was rejected to indoors) but the energy consumption of the dryer was increased by up to 6%. To maximize energy savings, a clothes dryer with a heat exchanger can be equipped to operate in the preheating mode in the summer and in the recirculation/condensation mode in the winter. The last measure investigated recirculation, through a heat pump (i.e., dehumidifier), also resulted in a 100% heat recovery and, in addition, up to a 33% reduction in dryer energy consumption, but this technique also yielded long drying times.

  17. Comparison of different focusing fiber tips for improved oral diode laser surgery.

    PubMed

    Stock, Karl; Stegmayer, Thomas; Graser, Rainer; Förster, Wolfram; Hibst, Raimund

    2012-12-01

    State of the art for use of the fiber guided diode laser in dental therapy is the application of bare fibers. A novel concept with delivery fiber and exchangeable fiber tips enables the use of tips with special and optimized geometries for various applications. The aim of this study is the comparison of different focusing fiber tips for enhanced cutting efficacy in oral surgery. For this purpose various designs of tip geometry were investigated and optimized by ray tracing simulations. Two applicators, one with a sphere, and another one with a taper, were realized and tested on porcine gingiva (diode laser, 940 nm, 5 W/cw; 7 W/modulated). The cutting depth and quality were determined by light microscope. Histological sections of the cuts were prepared by a cryo-microtome and microscopically analyzed to determine the cut depths and thermal damage zones. The simulations show that, using a sphere as fiber tip, an intensity increase of up to a factor of 16.2 in air, and 13.2 in water compared to a bare 200 µm fiber can be achieved. Although offering high focusing factor in water, the cutting quality of the sphere was rather poor. This is probably caused by a derogation of the focusing quality due to contamination during cutting and light scattering. Much better results were achieved with conically shaped fiber tips. Compared to bare fibers they exhibit improved handling properties with no hooking, more regular and deeper cuts (5 W/cw: 2,393 ± 468 µm, compared to the cleaved bare fiber 5 W/cw: 711 ± 268 µm). The thermal damage zones of the cuts are comparable for the various tips and fibers. In conclusion the results of our study show that cutting quality and efficiency of diode laser on soft tissue can be significantly improved using conically shaped fiber tips. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Focused attention improves working memory: implications for flexible-resource and discrete-capacity models.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Lin, Hsuan-Yu; Oberauer, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Performance in working memory (WM) tasks depends on the capacity for storing objects and on the allocation of attention to these objects. Here, we explored how capacity models need to be augmented to account for the benefit of focusing attention on the target of recall. Participants encoded six colored disks (Experiment 1) or a set of one to eight colored disks (Experiment 2) and were cued to recall the color of a target on a color wheel. In the no-delay condition, the recall-cue was presented after a 1,000-ms retention interval, and participants could report the retrieved color immediately. In the delay condition, the recall-cue was presented at the same time as in the no-delay condition, but the opportunity to report the color was delayed. During this delay, participants could focus attention exclusively on the target. Responses deviated less from the target's color in the delay than in the no-delay condition. Mixture modeling assigned this benefit to a reduction in guessing (Experiments 1 and 2) and transposition errors (Experiment 2). We tested several computational models implementing flexible or discrete capacity allocation, aiming to explain both the effect of set size, reflecting the limited capacity of WM, and the effect of delay, reflecting the role of attention to WM representations. Both models fit the data better when a spatially graded source of transposition error is added to its assumptions. The benefits of focusing attention could be explained by allocating to this object a higher proportion of the capacity to represent color.

  19. Integrating utilization-focused evaluation with business process modeling for clinical research improvement

    PubMed Central

    Kagan, Jonathan M; Rosas, Scott; Trochim, William M K

    2011-01-01

    New discoveries in basic science are creating extraordinary opportunities to design novel biomedical preventions and therapeutics for human disease. But the clinical evaluation of these new interventions is, in many instances, being hindered by a variety of legal, regulatory, policy and operational factors, few of which enhance research quality, the safety of study participants or research ethics. With the goal of helping increase the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research, we have examined how the integration of utilization-focused evaluation with elements of business process modeling can reveal opportunities for systematic improvements in clinical research. Using data from the NIH global HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks, we analyzed the absolute and relative times required to traverse defined phases associated with specific activities within the clinical protocol lifecycle. Using simple median duration and Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis, we show how such time-based analyses can provide a rationale for the prioritization of research process analysis and re-engineering, as well as a means for statistically assessing the impact of policy modifications, resource utilization, re-engineered processes and best practices. Successfully applied, this approach can help researchers be more efficient in capitalizing on new science to speed the development of improved interventions for human disease. PMID:21552512

  20. Strategic planning as a focus for continuous improvement. A case study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oneill, John W.; Gordon-Winkler, Lyn

    1992-01-01

    What do most of the successful people and organizations in our world have in common? Instead of worrying about the future, they work to create it. They have a plan, or a vision of what they want to accomplish and they focus their efforts on success. Strategic planning has been described as a disciplined, ongoing process to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape what an organization is, what it does, and how it will respond to a changing environment. This case study discussion will evaluate the relationship between strategic planning and Total Quality Management (TQM), or continuous improvement, through the experience of the NASA Johnson Space Center in developing a strategy for the future. That experience clearly illustrates the value of strategic planning in setting the framework and establishing the overall thrust of continuous improvement initiatives. Equally significant, the fundamentals of a quality culture such as strong customer and supplier partnerships, participative involvement, open communications, and ownership were essential in overcoming the challenges inherent in the planning process. A reinforced management commitment to the quality culture was a clear, long-term benefit.

  1. Integrating utilization-focused evaluation with business process modeling for clinical research improvement.

    PubMed

    Kagan, Jonathan M; Rosas, Scott; Trochim, William M K

    2010-10-01

    New discoveries in basic science are creating extraordinary opportunities to design novel biomedical preventions and therapeutics for human disease. But the clinical evaluation of these new interventions is, in many instances, being hindered by a variety of legal, regulatory, policy and operational factors, few of which enhance research quality, the safety of study participants or research ethics. With the goal of helping increase the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research, we have examined how the integration of utilization-focused evaluation with elements of business process modeling can reveal opportunities for systematic improvements in clinical research. Using data from the NIH global HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks, we analyzed the absolute and relative times required to traverse defined phases associated with specific activities within the clinical protocol lifecycle. Using simple median duration and Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis, we show how such time-based analyses can provide a rationale for the prioritization of research process analysis and re-engineering, as well as a means for statistically assessing the impact of policy modifications, resource utilization, re-engineered processes and best practices. Successfully applied, this approach can help researchers be more efficient in capitalizing on new science to speed the development of improved interventions for human disease.

  2. Strategic planning as a focus for continuous improvement. A case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oneill, John W.; Gordon-Winkler, Lyn

    What do most of the successful people and organizations in our world have in common? Instead of worrying about the future, they work to create it. They have a plan, or a vision of what they want to accomplish and they focus their efforts on success. Strategic planning has been described as a disciplined, ongoing process to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape what an organization is, what it does, and how it will respond to a changing environment. This case study discussion will evaluate the relationship between strategic planning and Total Quality Management (TQM), or continuous improvement, through the experience of the NASA Johnson Space Center in developing a strategy for the future. That experience clearly illustrates the value of strategic planning in setting the framework and establishing the overall thrust of continuous improvement initiatives. Equally significant, the fundamentals of a quality culture such as strong customer and supplier partnerships, participative involvement, open communications, and ownership were essential in overcoming the challenges inherent in the planning process. A reinforced management commitment to the quality culture was a clear, long-term benefit.

  3. Improvement of Absorber's Performance by a Surfactant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, Nobuya; Nomura, Tomohiro; Iyota, Hiroyuki; Kawakami, Ryuichiro

    Effects of an addition of surfactant to a lithium bromide aqueous solution have been investigated experimentally. N-octanol was used as a surfactant. The Marangoni convection occurred at/beneath the solution surface in the very beginning of steam absorption was observed both by a real-time type laser holographic visualization and by temperature measurements with extremely fine gauge thermocouples. Generation and growth of the Marangoni convection were both observed and evaluated quantitatively by the flow visualization. Furthermore, solution's surface temperatures with and without addition of the surfactant were measured minutely. Cell's formation pattern and migration speed at the surface were measured varying the initial surfactant's concentration ranging from 0 to 50000 ppm and the shallow liquid layer thickness ranging from 2 to 5 mm. And spacio-temporal scales of the Marangoni convection were determined. Also solution temperature changes at the surface were compared. Temperature increases when the surfactant was added to its solubility limit became almost double than that case of no surfactant. From these temperature differences, effects of the surfactant on absorber's performances were estimated by a calculation quantitatively with diffusion coefficient as an evaluation value.

  4. Using Mental Computation Training to Improve Complex Mathematical Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Allison S.; Kallai, Arava Y.; Schunn, Christian D.; Fiez, Julie A.

    2015-01-01

    Mathematical fluency is important for academic and mathematical success. Fluency training programs have typically focused on fostering retrieval, which leads to math performance that does not reliably transfer to non-trained problems. More recent studies have focused on training number understanding and representational precision, but few have…

  5. Improved fabrication of focused single element P(VDF–TrFE) transducer for high frequency ultrasound applications

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Jong Seob; Shung, K. Kirk

    2013-01-01

    We present an improved fabrication technique for the focused single element poly (vinylidene fluoride–trifluoroethylene) P(VDF–TrFE) transducer. In this work, a conductive epoxy for a backing layer was directly bonded to the 25 μm thick P(VDF–TrFE) film and thus made it easy to conform the aperture of the P(VDF–TrFE) transducer. Two prototype focused P(VDF–TrFE) transducers with disk- and ring-type aperture were fabricated and their performance was evaluated using the UBM (Ultrasound Biomicroscopy) system with a wire phantom. All transducers had a spherically focused aperture with a low f-number (focal depth/aperture size = 1). The center frequency of the disk-type P(VDF–TrFE) transducer was 23 MHz and −6 dB bandwidth was 102%. The ring-type P(VDF–TrFE) transducer had 20 MHz center frequency and −6 dB bandwidth of 103%. The measured pulse echo signal had reduced reverberation due to no additional adhesive layer between the P(VDF–TrFE) film and the backing layer. Hence, the proposed method is promising to fabricate a single element transducer using P(VDF–TrFE) film for high frequency applications. PMID:23021238

  6. The role of patient experience surveys in quality assurance and improvement: a focus group study in English general practice.

    PubMed

    Boiko, Olga; Campbell, John L; Elmore, Natasha; Davey, Antoinette F; Roland, Martin; Burt, Jenni

    2015-12-01

    Despite widespread adoption of patient feedback surveys in international health-care systems, including the English NHS, evidence of a demonstrable impact of surveys on service improvement is sparse. To explore the views of primary care practice staff regarding the utility of patient experience surveys. Qualitative focus groups. Staff from 14 English general practices. Whilst participants engaged with feedback from patient experience surveys, they routinely questioned its validity and reliability. Participants identified surveys as having a number of useful functions: for patients, as a potentially therapeutic way of getting their voice heard; for practice staff, as a way of identifying areas of improvement; and for GPs, as a source of evidence for professional development and appraisal. Areas of potential change stimulated by survey feedback included redesigning front-line services, managing patient expectations and managing the performance of GPs. Despite this, practice staff struggled to identify and action changes based on survey feedback alone. Whilst surveys may be used to endorse existing high-quality service delivery, their use in informing changes in service delivery is more challenging for practice staff. Drawing on the Utility Index framework, we identified concerns relating to reliability and validity, cost and feasibility acceptability and educational impact, which combine to limit the utility of patient survey feedback. Feedback from patient experience surveys has great potential. However, without a specific and renewed focus on how to translate feedback into action, this potential will remain incompletely realized. © 2014 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 42 CFR 494.110 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... organization and services (including those services provided under arrangement), and must focus on indicators... medical errors by using indicators or performance measures associated with improved health outcomes and..., analyze, and track quality indicators or other aspects of performance that the facility adopts or develops...

  8. Cognitive and Performance Enhancing Medication Use to Improve Performance in Poker.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Joshua; Ownby, Raymond L; Rey, Jose A; Clauson, Kevin A

    2016-09-01

    Use of neuroenhancers has been studied in groups ranging from students to surgeons; however, use of cognitive and performance enhancing medications (CPEMs) to improve performance in poker has remained largely overlooked. To assess the use of CPEMs to improve poker performance, a survey of poker players was conducted. Participants were recruited via Internet poker forums; 198 completed the online survey. Approximately 28 % of respondents used prescription CPEMs, with the most commonly used including: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (62 %), benzodiazepines (20 %), and methylphenidate (20 %). CPEMs were used in poker to focus (73 %), calm nerves (11 %), and stay awake (11 %). Caffeine (71 %), as well as conventionally counter-intuitive substances like marijuana (35 %) and alcohol (30 %) were also reported to enhance poker performance. Non-users of CPEMs were dissuaded from use due to not knowing where to get them (29 %), apprehension about trying them (26 %), and legal or ethical concerns (16 %). Respondents most frequently acquired CPEMs via friends/fellow poker players (52 %), or prescription from physician (38 %). Additionally, greater use of CPEMs was associated with living outside the United States (p = 0.042), prior use of prescription medications for improving non-poker related performance (p < 0.001), and amateur and semi-professional player status (p = 0.035). Unmonitored use of pharmacologically active agents and their methods of acquisition highlight safety concerns in this cohort of poker players, especially among non-professional players. The current state of guidance from national organizations on CPEM use in healthy individuals could impact prescribing patterns.

  9. Quality management of human resources. Providers should begin by focusing on education, performance management, and reward systems.

    PubMed

    Blair, C S; Fordyce, M; Barney, S M

    1993-10-01

    For a quality management transformation to occur, a healthcare organization must focus on education and development, performance management, and recognition and reward systems during the first years of implementation. Education and development are perhaps the most important human resource management functions when implementing quality management principles and processes because behavioral changes will be required at all organizational levels. Specific programs that support an organization's quality management effort will vary but should include the conceptual, cultural, and technical aspects of quality management. The essence of quality management is to always satisfy the customer and to continuously improve the services and products the organization offers. The approach to performance management should therefore rely on customer feedback and satisfaction. An organization committed to quality management should base its performance management approach on customer orientation, process improvement, employee involvement, decision making with data, and continuous improvement. Managers and trustees are being challenged to provide innovative recognition and reward systems that reinforce the values and behaviors consistent with quality management. Such systems must also be aligned with the behaviors and outcomes that support the philosophy, mission, and values of the Catholic healthcare ministry. The following components should be considered for a recognition and reward system: base pay, incentives, benefits, and nonmonetary rewards.

  10. The effect of concentrator field layout on the performance of point-focus distributed receiver systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pons, R. L.; Dugan, A. F.

    1984-01-01

    The effect of concentrator field layout on the technical-economic performance of a point-focusing distributed receiver (PFDR) solar thermal power plant is presented. The plant design is based on the small community prototype system currently under development for JPL/DOE; parabolic dish concentrators are employed, and small heat engines are used to generate electricity at each dish. The effect of field size, array proportions, dish-to-dish spacing and packing fraction (concentrator-land area ratio) are presented for typical PFDR layouts. Economic analyses are carried out to determine optimum packing fraction as a function of site cost.

  11. SPICE: Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, Malcolm; Escola, Roger; Roca, Monica; Escorihuela, Maria Jose; Thibaut, Pierre; Shepherd, Andrew; Remy, Frederique; Aublanc, Jeremie; Benveniste, Jerome; Restano, Marco; Ambrozio, Americo

    2017-04-01

    For the past 25 years, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a valuable record of ice sheet elevation change, yielding estimates of ice sheet mass imbalance at the scale of individual ice sheet basins. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which limits their capacity to make reliable measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 heralded the start of a new era of SAR altimetry, although full SAR coverage of the polar ice sheets has only been achieved with the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite in February 2016. Because of the heritage of SAR altimetry provided by CryoSat-2, many SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized and evaluated for water and sea ice surfaces only. This leaves several outstanding issues related to the development and evaluation of SAR altimetry for ice sheets, including improvements to Delay-Doppler processing algorithms and SAR altimetry waveform retracking procedures. Here we present results from SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets), a 2 year project that focuses on the expected performance of Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry over the Polar ice sheets. The project, which began in September 2015 and is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, aims to contribute to the development and understanding of ice sheet SAR altimetry through the emulation of Sentinel-3 data from dedicated CryoSat SAR acquisitions made at the Lake Vostok, Dome C and Spirit sites in East Antarctica, and from reprocessed interferometric SAR data in Greenland. More specifically, we will evaluate SAR elevation retrievals using different processing methodologies and

  12. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

    propagates along the channel. However, the sinusoidal behavior on one of the fluids does not fully translate to the other gets damped by the wall and the heat transfer coefficients that can be barely seen on the other flow. A scaling analysis and a parametric study were performed to determine the influence the different parameters on the system have on the time a heat exchanger takes to reach steady state. The results show the dependency of tst* (time a system takes to reach steady state) on the dimensionless parameters M, C, NTUh, NTUc, and Cw. t st* depends linearly on C and Cw, and it is a power function of M. It was also shown that tst* has a logarithmic dependency on NTUh and NTUc. A correlation was generated to approximate the time a system takes to reach steady state for systems where C w << 1. A more complex heat exchanger with the specific application of solar energy storage was also investigated. This application involves a counter-flow heat exchanger with a reacting flow in one of the channels, and it includes varying properties, heat generation, varying heat transfer coefficient, and axial conduction. The application for this reactor heat exchanger is on solar energy storage, and the goals is to heat up steam to 650 °C by using the ammonia synthesis heat of reaction. One of the concerns for this system is the start-up time and also how disturbances in reacting flow can affect the steam outlet temperature. The transient behavior during the system start-up was presented. In order to achieve the desired outlet steam temperature at a reasonable time, the system must operate at high gas mass flow rates. If the inlet temperature of the gas suffers a step change, it affects the reaction rate as well as the outlet steam temperature. A small perturbation on the gas mass flow rate has an effect on the profile shape. However, the maximum temperature reached by the gas due to reaction is not affected, and consequently, it has little effect on the steam temperature. Axial

  13. Hand-Drawn 'Weekly Information Sheets' Focus Teaching, Engage Students, and Improve Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pound, K. S.

    2016-12-01

    Hand-drawn and lettered `Weekly Information Sheets' (WIS) were created on a weekly basis for an upper-level Sedimentology & Stratigraphy class. Use of these sheets resulted in improved work quality, attention to detail, communication skills, and overall engagement. The sheets were modeled on the work of Lynda Barry (https://www.drawnandquarterly.com/syllabus), and included a series of repeated elements: goofy/absurd newspaper clippings, marginally pertinent cartoon(s), a summary of the weeks activities / goals and lectures, as well as cartoon cat, mouse and penguin drawings with innane comments, quotes and general class reminders. The pedagogical aims for these weekly sheets were multifold. First, they were designed so that students could see the time and care I put in to the sheet - my hope was that this would show the time and care I expected them to put in to their work. Second, I wanted to create something students would take the time to read - despite this being a 400-level class, students are rarely diligent about reading a typewritten handout. Third, I wanted to have a vehicle for engaging them in the larger world, including ethical or moral dilemmas. Fourth, I wanted the students to reflectively consider the nature of communication in science. Finally, I wanted a mechanism to focus my thoughts on the teaching and learning for the upcoming week that went beyond simply reviewing my notes and activities. Student response to the WIS was positive; they read them, used them for organizing their class notes and exam review. Students arrived early for class on Mondays for the WIS - although I needed to give them time to read the sheet. Comparison with previous course offerings shows improvements in student communication skills (written reports, poster presentation) and overall achievement.

  14. Chief complaint-based performance measures: a new focus for acute care quality measurement.

    PubMed

    Griffey, Richard T; Pines, Jesse M; Farley, Heather L; Phelan, Michael P; Beach, Christopher; Schuur, Jeremiah D; Venkatesh, Arjun K

    2015-04-01

    Performance measures are increasingly important to guide meaningful quality improvement efforts and value-based reimbursement. Populations included in most current hospital performance measures are defined by recorded diagnoses using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes in administrative claims data. Although the diagnosis-centric approach allows the assessment of disease-specific quality, it fails to measure one of the primary functions of emergency department (ED) care, which involves diagnosing, risk stratifying, and treating patients' potentially life-threatening conditions according to symptoms (ie, chief complaints). In this article, we propose chief complaint-based quality measures as a means to enhance the evaluation of quality and value in emergency care. We discuss the potential benefits of chief complaint-based measures, describe opportunities to mitigate challenges, propose an example measure set, and present several recommendations to advance this paradigm in ED-based performance measurement.

  15. To branch out or stay focused? Affective shifts differentially predict organizational citizenship behavior and task performance.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liu-Qin; Simon, Lauren S; Wang, Lei; Zheng, Xiaoming

    2016-06-01

    We draw from personality systems interaction (PSI) theory (Kuhl, 2000) and regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) to examine how dynamic positive and negative affective processes interact to predict both task and contextual performance. Using a twice-daily diary design over the course of a 3-week period, results from multilevel regression analysis revealed that distinct patterns of change in positive and negative affect optimally predicted contextual and task performance among a sample of 71 employees at a medium-sized technology company. Specifically, within persons, increases (upshifts) in positive affect over the course of a workday better predicted the subsequent day's organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) when such increases were coupled with decreases (downshifts) in negative affect. The optimal pattern of change in positive and negative affect differed, however, in predicting task performance. That is, upshifts in positive affect over the course of the workday better predicted the subsequent day's task performance when such upshifts were accompanied by upshifts in negative affect. The contribution of our findings to PSI theory and the broader affective and motivation regulation literatures, along with practical implications, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Brief group training of medical students in focused cardiac ultrasound may improve diagnostic accuracy of physical examination.

    PubMed

    Stokke, Thomas M; Ruddox, Vidar; Sarvari, Sebastian I; Otterstad, Jan E; Aune, Erlend; Edvardsen, Thor

    2014-11-01

    Physical examination and auscultation can be challenging for medical students. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a brief session of group training in focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU) with a pocket-sized device would allow medical students to improve their ability to detect clinically relevant cardiac lesions at the bedside. Twenty-one medical students in their clinical curriculum completed 4 hours of FCU training in groups. The students examined patients referred for echocardiography with emphasis on auscultation, followed by FCU. Findings from physical examination and FCU were compared with those from standard echocardiography performed and analyzed by cardiologists. In total, 72 patients were included in the study, and 110 examinations were performed. With a stethoscope, sensitivity to detect clinically relevant (moderate or greater) valvular disease was 29% for mitral regurgitation, 33% for aortic regurgitation, and 67% for aortic stenosis. FCU improved sensitivity to detect mitral regurgitation (69%, P < .001). However, sensitivity to detect aortic regurgitation (43%) and aortic stenosis (70%) did not improve significantly. Specificity was ≥89% for all valvular diagnoses by both methods. For nonvalvular diagnoses, FCU's sensitivity to detect moderate or greater left ventricular dysfunction (90%) was excellent, detection of right ventricular dysfunction (79%) was good, while detection of dilated left atrium (53%), dilated right atrium (49%), pericardial effusion (40%), and dilated aortic root (25%) was less accurate. Specificity varied from 57% to 94%. After brief group training in FCU, medical students could detect mitral regurgitation significantly better compared with physical examination, whereas detection of aortic regurgitation and aortic stenosis did not improve. Left ventricular dysfunction was detected with high sensitivity. More extensive training is advised. Copyright © 2014 American Society of Echocardiography. Published by

  17. Teaching Performance Improvement: An Opportunity for Continuing Medical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staker, Larry V.

    2003-01-01

    Practicing physicians generally are not engaged in either the methods of performance improvement for health care or the measurement and reporting of clinical outcomes. The principal reasons are lack of compensation for such work, the perception that the work of performance improvement adds no value and is a waste of time, the lack of knowledge and…

  18. Improving Student Naval Aviator Aircraft Carrier Landing Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Thomas H.; Foster, T. Chris

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses the use of human performance technology (HPT) to improve qualification rates for learning to land onboard aircraft carriers. This project started as a request for a business case analysis and evolved into a full-fledged performance improvement project, from mission analysis through evaluation. The result was a significant…

  19. Social Responsibility as an Ethical Imperative in Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatcher, Tim

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between social responsibility, ethics, and performance improvement has not been seriously or rigorously addressed in related literature or in professional dialogue. Examining the issue of social responsibility as an ethical imperative within performance improvement as a profession demands an understanding and rigorous examination…

  20. Teaching Performance Improvement: An Opportunity for Continuing Medical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staker, Larry V.

    2003-01-01

    Practicing physicians generally are not engaged in either the methods of performance improvement for health care or the measurement and reporting of clinical outcomes. The principal reasons are lack of compensation for such work, the perception that the work of performance improvement adds no value and is a waste of time, the lack of knowledge and…

  1. Improving Student Naval Aviator Aircraft Carrier Landing Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Thomas H.; Foster, T. Chris

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses the use of human performance technology (HPT) to improve qualification rates for learning to land onboard aircraft carriers. This project started as a request for a business case analysis and evolved into a full-fledged performance improvement project, from mission analysis through evaluation. The result was a significant…

  2. A focused educational program after religious services to improve organ donation in Hispanic Americans.

    PubMed

    Salim, Ali; Bery, Cherisse; Ley, Eric J; Schulman, Danielle; Navarro, Sonia; Zheng, Ling; Chan, Linda S

    2012-01-01

    Religion is an important determinant in Hispanic Americans (HA) becoming organ donors as HA often believe religion forbids donation. We investigated the effect of an educational program targeting HA organ donation in places of worship. A prospective observational study was conducted at four Catholic churches with a high percentage of HA. A 45-min "culturally sensitive" educational program, conducted in Spanish, was implemented. Organ donation awareness, knowledge, perception, and beliefs, as well as the intent to become an organ donor, were measured before and after the intervention. Differences between before and after the intervention were analyzed. A total of 182 surveys were conducted before and 159 surveys were conducted after the educational program. A significant increase was observed in organ donation knowledge (54% vs. 70%, p<0.0001), perception (43% vs. 58%, p<0.0001), and beliefs (50% vs. 60%, p=0.0001). However, no significant difference was found in the willingness to discuss donation with family, intent-to-donate, or registering to donate after the intervention. This study demonstrates that a focused educational program in places of worship can significantly improve HA knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs regarding organ donation. Further work is needed to understand why intent-to-donate does not increase despite the increase in organ donation awareness. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  3. A Focused Educational Program after Religious Services to Improve Organ Donation in Hispanic Americans

    PubMed Central

    Salim, Ali; Berry, Cherisse; Ley, Eric J; Schulman, Danielle; Navarro, Sonia; Zheng, Ling; Chan, Linda S

    2012-01-01

    Religion is an important determinant in Hispanic Americans (HA) becoming organ donors as HA often believe religion forbids donation. We investigated the effect of an educational program targeting HA organ donation in places of worship. A prospective observational study was conducted at four Catholic churches with a high percentage of HA. A 45 minute ‘culturally sensitive’ educational program, conducted in Spanish, was implemented. Organ donation awareness, knowledge, perception and beliefs, as well as the intent to become an organ donor, were measured before and after the intervention. Differences between before and after the intervention were analyzed. A total of 182 surveys were collected before and 159 surveys were collected after the educational program. A significant increase was observed in organ donation knowledge (54% vs. 70%, p<0.0001), perception (43% vs. 58%, p<0.0001) and beliefs (50% vs. 60%, p=0.0001). However, no significant difference was found in the willingness to discuss donation with family, intent-to-donate, or registering to donate after the intervention. This study demonstrates that a focused educational program in places of worship can significantly improve HA knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs regarding organ donation. Further work is needed to understand why intent-to-donate does not increase despite the increase in organ donation awareness. PMID:23106648

  4. Improvement of focusing characteristics of a surface plasmonic lens for UV wavelength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeda, Minoru; Tsuchiyama, Akihiro; Okada, Makoto; Matsui, Shinji; Inoue, Tsutomu; Aizawa, Kento

    2017-09-01

    We study a surface plasmonic lens (SP lens) made as multicircular slit apertures of subwavelength widths milled in a thin metal film for generating a subwavelength focal spot in the far-field region. We previously developed the SP lens with a size of less than 4 µm for a wavelength of 375 nm, consisting of three concentric circular slit apertures in aluminum (Al) thin film. We numerically calculated the electric field distribution of the SP lens and verified a tight focal spot of subwavelength size in the far-field region. However, the experimentally measured spot size at the focal position (1.3 µm height above the SP lens surface) was more than the wavelength. The large focused spot size compared with the calculated value is attributed to the incomplete fabrication of the slit aperture delineation. In this study, we improved the design parameters and the fabrication of the SP lens for the same wavelength. We simulated the electric field distribution and confirmed that a focal spot with subwavelength size (270 nm) and enlarged focal length (2.2 µm) was experimentally verified.

  5. Improved media performance in optimally coupled exchange spring layer media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berger, A.; Supper, N.; Ikeda, Y.; Lengsfield, B.; Moser, A.; Fullerton, E. E.

    2008-09-01

    We have studied the recording performance of perpendicular exchange spring layer (ESL)-media for hard disk drive recording. In particular, we investigated the role of interlayer coupling by varying the thickness of a nonmagnetic coupling layer (CL). We demonstrate that not only the media writeability is improved upon optimizing the CL thickness, but also that substantial recording performance improvements can be achieved due to improved media noise properties. The potential of these media structures for high areal density recording is demonstrated by performing areal density measurements, which showed a substantial improvement for optimally coupled ESL-media.

  6. Can particle beam therapy be improved using helium ions? - a planning study focusing on pediatric patients.

    PubMed

    Knäusl, Barbara; Fuchs, Hermann; Dieckmann, Karin; Georg, Dietmar

    2016-06-01

    Aim To explore the potential of scanned helium ion beam therapy ((4)He) compared to proton therapy in a comparative planning study focusing on pediatric patients. This was motivated by the superior biological and physical characteristics of (4)He. Material and methods For eleven neuroblastoma (NB), nine Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), five Wilms tumor (WT), five ependymoma (EP) and four Ewing sarcoma (EW) patients, treatment plans were created for protons and (4)He. Dose prescription to the planning target volume (PTV) was 21 Gy [relative biological effectiveness (RBE)] (NB), 19.8 Gy (RBE) (HL), 25.2 Gy (RBE) for the WT boost volume and 54 Gy (RBE) for EP and EW patients. A pencil beam algorithm for protons (constant RBE = 1.1) and (4)He was implemented in the treatment planning system Hyperion. For (4)He the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) was calculated with a 'zonal' model based on different linear energy transfer regions. Results Target constraints were fulfilled for all indications. For NB patients differences for kidneys and liver were observed for all dose-volume areas, except the high-dose volume. The body volume receiving up to 12.6 Gy (RBE) was reduced by up to 10% with (4)He. For WT patients the mean and high-dose volume for the liver was improved when using (4)He. For EP normal tissue dose was reduced using (4)He with 12.7% of the voxels receiving higher doses using protons. For HL and EW sarcoma patients the combination of large PTV volumes with the position of the organs at risk (OARs) obliterated the differences between the two particle species, while patients with the heart close to the PTV could benefit from (4)He. Conclusion Treatment plan quality improved with (4)He compared to proton plans, but advantages in OAR sparing were depending on indication and tumor geometries. These first results of scanned (4)He therapy motivate comprehensive research on (4)He, including acquisition of experimental data to improve modeling of (4)He.

  7. [Pregnancy outcomes and symptom improvement of patients with adenomyosis treated with high intensity focused ultrasound ablation].

    PubMed

    Zhou, C Y; Xu, X J; He, J

    2016-11-25

    Objective: To investigate the symptom improvement and pregnancy outcomes of patients with adenomyosis after treatment with high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation. Methods: From October 2010 to October 2015, 68 patients with adenomyosis who wish to get pregnancies were treated with HIFU ablation in Suining Central Hospital. Among these patients, 56 presented with dysmenorrhea, 11 presented with menorrhagia, and 1 patient complained both; 41 of them had histories of abnormal pregnancy. The clinical data were analyzed retrospectively. Results: Fifty-four patients got pregnancy at the median of 10 months(range:1 to 31 months) after HIFU ablation, and 21 of them had delivered healthy babies. No uterine rupture occurred during gestation or delivery, and the newborn babies were healthy. Dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia in the patients who had pregnancies after HIFU ablation treatment were significantly relieved. The average menstruation volume score before and 1, 3, 6-month post-HIFU were 2.6±1.7, 1.7±0.8, 1.4±0.6, 1.3±0.6, respectively (P<0.05). The menstruation pain score before and 1, 3, 6-month after HIFU were 1.4±0.9, 0.9±0.7, 0.6±0.5, and 0.9±0.7, respectively (P<0.05). The volume of the adenomyotic lesions before and after HIFU at 1, 3, 6 month were (34±23), (23±15), (20±17), (20±12) cm(3) (P<0.05). Although the spontaneous abortion rate was decreased after HIFU ablation treatment, there was no significant difference between the preoperative and postoperative [43% (23/54) versus 37% (20/54), P>0.05]. However, 20 of the 54 patients had spontaneous abortion, compared with 21 patients who had delivered babies, there were no significant statistical difference in terms of age, duration of disease, lesion size, non-perfused volume ratio, as well as the symptom scores before and after HIFU ablation treatment. Conclusions: HIFU ablation treatment is effective in improving symptoms of patients with adenomyosis. Based on our results, HIFU ablation

  8. Value-based physician compensation: a link to performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Bunkers, Brian; Koch, Mark; Lubinsky, Jeanie; Weisz, Jeffrey A; Whited, Brian

    2016-03-01

    To prepare for the healthcare industry's transition to value-based care, Mayo Clinic Health System implemented a new, value-focused physician compensation plan as part of a larger initiative aimed at systemwide clinical integration. The plan uses three value-based metrics, focusing on outcomes, safety, and patient experience, that initially would determine 5 percent of a physician's compensation. Notable improvements achieved in the first year of the plan's implementation were strong indicators of the potential effectiveness of such a plan.

  9. Uncertain behaviours of integrated circuits improve computational performance

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimura, Chihiro; Yamaoka, Masanao; Hayashi, Masato; Okuyama, Takuya; Aoki, Hidetaka; Kawarabayashi, Ken-ichi; Mizuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Improvements to the performance of conventional computers have mainly been achieved through semiconductor scaling; however, scaling is reaching its limitations. Natural phenomena, such as quantum superposition and stochastic resonance, have been introduced into new computing paradigms to improve performance beyond these limitations. Here, we explain that the uncertain behaviours of devices due to semiconductor scaling can improve the performance of computers. We prototyped an integrated circuit by performing a ground-state search of the Ising model. The bit errors of memory cell devices holding the current state of search occur probabilistically by inserting fluctuations into dynamic device characteristics, which will be actualised in the future to the chip. As a result, we observed more improvements in solution accuracy than that without fluctuations. Although the uncertain behaviours of devices had been intended to be eliminated in conventional devices, we demonstrate that uncertain behaviours has become the key to improving computational performance. PMID:26586362

  10. SPICE: Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, M.; Escola, R.; Roca, M.; Escorihuela, M. J.; Thibaut, P.; Shepherd, A.; Remy, F.; Benveniste, J.; Ambrozio, A.; Restano, M.

    2016-12-01

    Since the launch of ERS-1 in 1991, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a valuable record of ice sheet elevation change, yielding estimates of ice sheet mass imbalance at the scale of individual ice sheet basins. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which limits their capacity to make reliable measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 by the European Space Agency heralded the start of a new era of SAR altimetry, although full SAR coverage of the polar ice sheets has only been achieved with the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite in February 2016. Because of the heritage of SAR altimetry provided by CryoSat-2, many SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized and evaluated for water and sea ice surfaces only. This leaves several outstanding issues related to the development and evaluation of SAR altimetry for ice sheets, including improvements to Delay-Doppler processing algorithms and SAR altimetry waveform retracking procedures. Here we present results from SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets), a 2 year project that focuses on the expected performance of Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry over the Polar ice sheets. The project, which began in September 2015 and is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, aims to contribute to the development and understanding of ice sheet SAR altimetry through the emulation of Sentinel-3 data from dedicated CryoSat SAR acquisitions made at the Lake Vostok, Dome C and Spirit sites in East Antarctica, and from reprocessed SARIn data in Greenland. The principle aims of the project are to (1) evaluate and improve the current

  11. SPICE: Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benveniste, Jérôme; Escolà, Roger; Roca, Mònica; Ambrózio, Américo; Restano, Marco; McMillan, Malcolm; Escorihuela, Maria Jose; Shepherd, Andrew; Thibaut, Pierre; Remy, Frederique

    2016-07-01

    Since the launch of ERS-1 in 1991, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a near continuous record of ice sheet elevation change, yielding estimates of ice sheet mass imbalance at the scale of individual ice sheet basins. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which limits their capacity to make reliable measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 by the European Space Agency heralded the start of a new era of SAR altimetry, although full SAR coverage of the polar ice sheets will only be achieved with the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite in February 2016. Because of the heritage of SAR altimetry provided by CryoSat-2, current SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized and evaluated for water and sea ice surfaces. This leaves several outstanding issues related to the development and evaluation of SAR altimetry for ice sheets, including improvements to SAR processing algorithms and SAR altimetry waveform retracking procedures. Here we will present interim results from SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets), a 2 year project that focuses on the expected performance of Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry over the Polar ice sheets. The project, which began in September 2015 and is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, aims to contribute to the development and understanding of ice sheet SAR altimetry through the emulation of Sentinel-3 data from dedicated CryoSat SAR acquisitions made at several sites in Antarctica and Greenland. More specifically, the project aims to (1) evaluate and improve the current Delay-Doppler processing and SAR waveform retracking

  12. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  13. Trauma return appointment study: a performance improvement initiative.

    PubMed

    Hlavaty, Melissa; Wargo, Christina A

    2012-01-01

    Ensuring that trauma patients will follow up in a clinic after a hospital stay is always a difficult challenge. This was the case for a rural trauma center in north central Pennsylvania serving 31 counties with a patient maximal travel time of 3½ to 4 hours. Performance improvement outcomes found that ensuring follow-up appointments are made is a system challenge. As an outcome of this performance improvement project, educational updates improved appointment scheduling. Scheduling improvement resulted in improved patient compliance for maintaining appointments postdischarge.

  14. A New Focus Lens for Improved Energy Resolution in the Wind and Temperature Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenn, D.; Herrero, F.; Syrstad, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Wind and Temperature Spectrometer (WATS) is a novel neutral particle sensor capable of simultaneously measuring neutral winds, temperature, composition, and density in the upper atmosphere. This compact, low-power instrument is ideally suited for in situ thermospheric measurements on small-satellite platforms. Building on work previously performed, we detail here endeavors to more fully characterize the effects of proposed instrument modifications, leading to a greater understanding of their impact on overall sensor performance. Additionally, laboratory testing of the WATS seeks to confirm theoretical data previously gathered. WATS utilizes electron impact ionization, a crossed Small Deflection Energy Analyzer (SDEA) pair, and a microchannel plate (MCP) detector with linear spatial readout to measure the full 3-D velocity distribution of an incoming neutral stream. A minor weakness in the original WATS design was that a large ion beam divergence at the SDEA entrance led to degraded energy resolution. To address this problem, a simple focusing lens system with a large acceptance angle range, dubbed the Tapered Quad Deflector (TQD), was designed and previously presented. Here, the results of ion trajectory calculations (Simion 3D) and Monte Carlo simulations (Matlab) are used to explore various aspects of the TQD’s functionality. With no modifications to the instrument aside from the addition of the TQD, simulations show an increase in the energy resolution by a factor of two. Further simulations reveal that reducing the width of the instrument’s collimator slit decreases the beam divergence (with a corresponding increase in instrument energy resolution) for both the original and modified WATS. However, this effect is markedly more pronounced in the latter, meaning that the TQD could enable a significant reduction in beam divergence while minimizing the loss of signal that would result from narrowing the collimator slit. Also presented are the results of

  15. Improving the academic performance of university biology students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reese, Latasha Shireen

    Studies indicated that teaching styles and learning styles of students play a very important role in the academic success of students. A lack of knowledge about teaching styles and learning styles often complicates the challenge of learning and, therefore, affects the academic achievement of students. The research site at a college had a retention rate of 70% of its biology majors and needed to improve the retention rate of the biology program. The purpose of this study was to improve the academic performance of university biology students through a multicomponent program, the Student Retention Engagement Program. The 3 components included students and teachers understanding students' learning styles, teachers acquiring knowledge of learner-based teaching methodology, and peer mentoring. In the implementation of this applied dissertation, the researcher sought to increase the grade point averages of 100 Biology 103 students from 2.25 to at least an overall 2.50 out of a 4.00 point grade point average scale. After implementation of the intervention strategies. the overall retention ratc of biology majors was also targeted to improve from 70% to at least 75%. The focus of the dissertation was on the outcomes associated with implementing successful teaching and learning strategies with the biology students. In 1 component of the Student Retention Engagement Program, biology teachers learned to identify their preferred teaching styles through a teaching perspectives inventory administered during a professional development program. A training program focused on utilizing teaching strategies for specific student learning styles was implemented. Another component involved training and using upper class peer mentors. The supervisors of the Office of Retention selected upper class participants who held a 3.0 or higher grade point average. A learning style inventory was administered to the upper class peer mentors and participating students. The results helped to identify

  16. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  17. An improved prompt gamma neutron activation analysis facility using a focused diffracted neutron beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, Kent J.; Harling, Otto K.

    1998-09-01

    The performance of the prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) facility at the MIT Research Reactor has been improved by a series of modifications. These modifications have increased the flux by a factor of three at the sample position to 1.7 × 10 7 n/cm 2 s, and have increased the sensitivity, on average, by a factor of 2.5. The background for many samples of interest is dominated by unavoidable neutron interactions that occur in or near the sample. Other background components comprise only 20% of the total background count rate. The implementation of fast electronics has helped to keep dead time reasonable, in spite of the increased count rates. The PGNAA facility at the MIT Research Reactor continues to serve as a major analytical tool for quantifying 10B in biological samples for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) research. The sensitivity for boron-10 in water is 18 750 cps/mg. The sensitivity for pure elements suitable for PGNAA analysis is reported. Possible further improvements are discussed.

  18. Long-term average performance benefits of parabolic trough improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, R.; Gaul, H.W.; Kearney, D.; Rabl, A.

    1980-03-01

    Improved parabolic trough concentrating collectors will result from better design, improved fabrication techniques, and the development and utilization of improved materials. The difficulty of achieving these improvements varies as does their potential for increasing parabolic trough performance. The purpose of this analysis is to quantify the relative merit of various technology advancements in improving the long-term average performance of parabolic trough concentrating collectors. The performance benefits of improvements are determined as a function of operating temperature for north-south, east-west, and polar mounted parabolic troughs. The results are presented graphically to allow a quick determination of the performance merits of particular improvements. Substantial annual energy gains are shown to be attainable. Of the improvements evaluated, the development of stable back-silvered glass reflective surfaces offers the largest performance gain for operating temperatures below 150/sup 0/C. Above 150/sup 0/C, the development of trough receivers that can maintain a vacuum is the most significant potential improvement. The reduction of concentrator slope errors also has a substantial performance benefit at high operating temperatures.

  19. Development and evaluation of an improved efficiency polymeric web point-focus Fresnel lens

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, S. Jr.

    1987-04-01

    The feasibility of producing parquets of point-focus Fresnel lenses with a 2/sup 0/ draft angle on the riser in a continuous polymeric web is described. The parquet produced consisted of 14 square lenses, each 8.16 in. on a side, in a 2 by 7 format. The primary aim was to show that an increased efficiency was possible over that reported in SAND83-7023 by decreasing the draft angle. A secondary aim was also to produce a web of sufficient thickness to be used without lamination to a thick superstrate. The results demonstrated that increased efficiency was realized for both the thin and thick caliper material, with performance nearly equal to a direct-cut control lens. The results also show that a bowing or sagging problem exists in the laminated lenses. They also show that the thicker, non-laminated lenses may not be stiff enough to lie flat and may buckle, causing these lenses to be potentially unacceptable.

  20. Modeling and Simulation of Ceramic Arrays to Improve Ballistic Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-30

    7.62 APM2 -Evaluate SiC tile on Aluminum with material properties from literature -Develop seam designs to improve performance, demonstrate with DOP...material properties from literature □ Develop seam designs to improve performance, demonstrate with DOP experiments (tiles from Supplier, sintered...SiC) □ Contract (2 years) □ Establish baseline seam and corner performance based on tests with 2 ft x 2 ft panels □ Tile designs identified in

  1. Resuscitation review to improve nursing performance during cardiac arrest.

    PubMed

    Carpico, Bronwynne; Jenkins, Peggy

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Resuscitation Review Simulation Education (RRSE) on improving adherence to hospital protocols and American Heart Association (AHA) resuscitation standards. Prior to implementing the RRSE on two nursing units, performance was evaluated during a simulated cardiac arrest using a mannequin and comparing performance against AHA algorithms. Performance was measured at two separate periods: preintervention and 3 months after the intervention. Both units improved overall scores after the RRSE.

  2. Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, K. P.; Stewart, G. C.; Westergaard, N. J.; Bhattacharayya, S.; Chandra, S.; Chitnis, V. R.; Dewangan, G. C.; Kothare, A. T.; Mirza, I. M.; Mukerjee, K.; Navalkar, V.; Shah, H.; Abbey, A. F.; Beardmore, A. P.; Kotak, S.; Kamble, N.; Vishwakarama, S.; Pathare, D. P.; Risbud, V. M.; Koyande, J. P.; Stevenson, T.; Bicknell, C.; Crawford, T.; Hansford, G.; Peters, G.; Sykes, J.; Agarwal, P.; Sebastian, M.; Rajarajan, A.; Nagesh, G.; Narendra, S.; Ramesh, M.; Rai, R.; Navalgund, K. H.; Sarma, K. S.; Pandiyan, R.; Subbarao, K.; Gupta, T.; Thakkar, N.; Singh, A. K.; Bajpai, A.

    2017-06-01

    The Soft X-ray focusing Telescope (SXT), India's first X-ray telescope based on the principle of grazing incidence, was launched aboard the AstroSat and made operational on October 26, 2015. X-rays in the energy band of 0.3-8.0 keV are focussed on to a cooled charge coupled device thus providing medium resolution X-ray spectroscopy of cosmic X-ray sources of various types. It is the most sensitive X-ray instrument aboard the AstroSat. In its first year of operation, SXT has been used to observe objects ranging from active stars, compact binaries, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei and clusters of galaxies in order to study its performance and quantify its characteriztics. Here, we present an overview of its design, mechanical hardware, electronics, data modes, observational constraints, pipeline processing and its in-orbit performance based on preliminary results from its characterization during the performance verification phase.

  3. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    SciTech Connect

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  4. Performance of solenoids versus quadrupoles in focusing and energy selection of laser accelerated protons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, Ingo

    2013-04-01

    Using laser accelerated protons or ions for various applications—for example in particle therapy or short-pulse radiographic diagnostics—requires an effective method of focusing and energy selection. We derive an analytical scaling for the performance of a solenoid compared with a doublet/triplet as function of the energy, which is confirmed by TRACEWIN simulations. Generally speaking, the two approaches are equivalent in focusing capability, if parameters are such that the solenoid length approximately equals its diameter. The scaling also shows that this is usually not the case above a few MeV; consequently, a solenoid needs to be pulsed or superconducting, whereas the quadrupoles can remain conventional. It is also important that the transmission of the triplet is found only 25% lower than that of the equivalent solenoid. Both systems are equally suitable for energy selection based on their chromatic effect as is shown using an initial distribution following the RPA simulation model by Yan et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 135001 (2009PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.103.135001].

  5. Reaction time after head injury: fatigue, divided and focused attention, and consistency of performance.

    PubMed

    Stuss, D T; Stethem, L L; Hugenholtz, H; Picton, T; Pivik, J; Richard, M T

    1989-06-01

    Three groups of patients who had suffered head injury were compared with matched control subjects on reaction time (RT) tasks. Group I consisted of outpatients previously hospitalised for head injury of wide ranging degrees of severity, assessed at varying intervals after injury. Group II was composed of non-hospitalised mildly concussed patients. Group III was made up of head injured patients of varying degrees of severity assessed 7-10 months after initial hospitalisation for their injury. The reaction time tests were graded in difficulty, from a simple RT response to a complex choice RT test. In addition, subjects were compared in their ability to ignore redundant information during one of the choice RT tests. The findings indicate that traumatic brain injury causes slower information processing, deficits in divided attention, an impairment of focused attention, and inconsistency of performance.

  6. Potential Strategies and Tactics for Organizational Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutchison, Cathleen Smith; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Contrasts the roles of performance technologists and other performance improvement specialists. Provides a matrix of strategies and tactics that performance technologists should be familiar with. Identifies regulations that can affect implementation of tactics, including EEO/affirmative action guidelines; employee safety and health laws,…

  7. Improving Staff Performance through Clinician Application of Outcome Management

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Dennis H.; Parsons, Marsha B.; Lattimore, L. Perry; Towery, Donna L.; Reade, Kamara K.

    2005-01-01

    In two studies, three clinicians were assisted in using an outcome management approach to supervision for improving the work performance of their staff assistants. Using vocal and written instructions, feedback, and modeling, each clinician was assisted in specifying an area of staff performance (or consumer activity related to staff performance)…

  8. Effects of Process and Human Performance Improvement Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasson, Joseph R.; Alvero, Alicia M.; Austin, John

    2006-01-01

    Organizational performance is a function of many variables, two of which are work process factors and human performance factors. Our study compared the effects of changing a work process versus human performance improvement techniques and the combined effects of combing both techniques. A 2 (manual vs electronic process) x 2 (with vs without…

  9. Potential Strategies and Tactics for Organizational Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutchison, Cathleen Smith; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Contrasts the roles of performance technologists and other performance improvement specialists. Provides a matrix of strategies and tactics that performance technologists should be familiar with. Identifies regulations that can affect implementation of tactics, including EEO/affirmative action guidelines; employee safety and health laws,…

  10. Physiologically focused triage criteria improve utilization of pediatric surgeon-directed trauma teams and reduce costs.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Kaushik; Rimer, Mariann; McConnell, Michael D; Miller, Richard S; Morrow, Stephen E

    2010-06-01

    Pediatric surgeon-directed trauma teams (STTs) provide lifesaving treatment but at a high cost. We used physiologically based criteria to improve STT utilization. We reviewed 152 consecutive STT activations at one center, comparing standard and physiologically focused criteria and 24-hour hospital costs/charges for overtriaged patients vs level 2 (emergency department managed) blunt trauma patients matched for age, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and necessity for operation. Our cohort (73.0% male; 86.8% blunt; median age, 8.0 [interquartile range, 4.0-14.0] years) had 10 deaths (6.6%) and 18 (11.8%) emergent operations. Twenty-nine patients met neither standard nor physiologic criteria (group 1), 25 met standard but not physiologic criteria (overtriaged, group 2), and 98 met physiologic criteria (group 3). Group 3 had higher median ISS (19.0 [10.0-33.0] vs 10.0 [4.0-17.0] and 5.5 [5.0-16.75] for groups 1 and 2, P = .001), more intensive care unit admissions (67.2% vs 31.0% and 52.0%, P = .001), longer hospitalization (5.0 [3.0-9.25] days vs 3.0 [1.0-5.0] and 4.0 [2.0-5.0] days, P = .002), and all patients who died or required emergent operation (P < .001). Physiologic criteria maintained 100% sensitivity but improved specificity (49.2% vs 23.0%). Overtriaged patients (n = 18) had 78.2% higher charges ($4700; 95% confidence interval, 13.3%-180.1%; P = .013) and 53.4% higher costs ($800; 95% confidence interval, 1.8%-131.2%; P = .041) than level 2 patients (n = 259) after adjusting for age, ISS, and need for operation, largely because of computed tomography and emergency department charges (66% of overtriaged charges). Physiologic STT activation criteria would have saved 25 activations, $20,000 in costs, and $120,000 in charges annually without compromising patient safety. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Baltic Eye: Focusing on Science and Communication to Improve Policy Making for the Baltic Sea Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCrackin, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    In order to better communicate relevant scientific knowledge to policy- and decision makers, Stockholm University and the Baltic Sea 2020 Foundation partnered to create Baltic Eye in 2014. Seven scientists and two communicators constitute the core team of this initiative. The team integrates communications with scientific analysis and synthesis of Baltic Sea environmental issues. In the past year, the team has focused on two main issues: fisheries management and microplastics. Baltic Sea cod stocks are in poor condition, with large numbers of small individuals. Baltic Eye recommended improvements to the European Union's multiannual fisheries plan to better align with ecosystem-based management principles: prioritization of cod stock recovery, greater consideration of natural variability of temperature and salinity (which affects cod spawning success), and inclusion of mechanisms to adjust quotas in the event of major environmental changes. Communications included policy briefs and debate articles targeted to the European Parliament, national government ministries, and non-governmental organizations. Every year, up to 40 tons of microplastics from personal care products are released in the Baltic Sea catchment. Baltic Eye raised awareness of the issue and made recommended ways to reduce microplastic emissions. Communications included a public presentation to journalists, politicians, and representatives of Swedish government ministries. A policy brief was provided Heads of Delegates of the Helsinki Commission (for protrection of the Baltic Sea environment) in advance of a meeting to develop a plan of action for marine litter. Researchers were interviewed for radio, TV, and print media in Sweden, Finland, and Germany. Next steps are to engage with multinational manufacturers about plans to voluntarily phase out microplastics in personal care products.

  12. Baltic Eye: Focusing on Science and Communication to Improve Policy Making for the Baltic Sea Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCrackin, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    In order to better communicate relevant scientific knowledge to policy- and decision makers, Stockholm University and the Baltic Sea 2020 Foundation partnered to create Baltic Eye in 2014. Seven scientists and two communicators constitute the core team of this initiative. The team integrates communications with scientific analysis and synthesis of Baltic Sea environmental issues. In the past year, the team has focused on two main issues: fisheries management and microplastics. Baltic Sea cod stocks are in poor condition, with large numbers of small individuals. Baltic Eye recommended improvements to the European Union's multiannual fisheries plan to better align with ecosystem-based management principles: prioritization of cod stock recovery, greater consideration of natural variability of temperature and salinity (which affects cod spawning success), and inclusion of mechanisms to adjust quotas in the event of major environmental changes. Communications included policy briefs and debate articles targeted to the European Parliament, national government ministries, and non-governmental organizations. Every year, up to 40 tons of microplastics from personal care products are released in the Baltic Sea catchment. Baltic Eye raised awareness of the issue and made recommended ways to reduce microplastic emissions. Communications included a public presentation to journalists, politicians, and representatives of Swedish government ministries. A policy brief was provided Heads of Delegates of the Helsinki Commission (for protrection of the Baltic Sea environment) in advance of a meeting to develop a plan of action for marine litter. Researchers were interviewed for radio, TV, and print media in Sweden, Finland, and Germany. Next steps are to engage with multinational manufacturers about plans to voluntarily phase out microplastics in personal care products.

  13. Utilizing Health Analytics in Improving Emergency Room Performance.

    PubMed

    Khalifa, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Emergency room performance improvement has been a major concern for healthcare professionals and researchers. ER patients' length of stay and percentage of patients leaving without treatment are two of the most important indicators for performance monitoring and improvement. The main objective of this study is to utilize health analytics methods in identifying areas of deficiency, potential improvements and recommending effective solutions to enhance ER performance. ER data of 2014 were retrospectively retrieved in January 2015 and analyzed for significant variables affecting inpatient admission rates. Patient Acuity Level was the significant variable on which the recommendations were based. A Fast-Track area was redesigned and dedicated for managing lower acuity level patients; CTAS levels 4 and 5. The performance of the ER has been monitored for the first six months of 2015 and compared to 2014. 29% improvement was achieved on shortening the total ER LOS and 30% improvement was achieved on the percentage of patients leaving ER without treatment.

  14. Training Program for Cardiology Residents to Perform Focused Cardiac Ultrasound Examination with Portable Device.

    PubMed

    Siqueira, Vicente N; Mancuso, Frederico J N; Campos, Orlando; De Paola, Angelo A; Carvalho, Antonio C; Moises, Valdir A

    2015-10-01

    Training requirements for general cardiologists without echocardiographic expertise to perform focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU) with portable devices have not yet been defined. The objective of this study was to evaluate a training program to instruct cardiology residents to perform FCU with a hand-carried device (HCD) in different clinical settings. Twelve cardiology residents were subjected to a 50-question test, 4 lectures on basic echocardiography and imaging interpretation, the supervised interpretation of 50 echocardiograms and performance of 30 exams using HCD. After this period, they repeated the written test and were administered a practical test comprising 30 exams each (360 patients) in different clinical settings. They reported on 15 parameters and a final diagnosis; their findings were compared to the HCD exam of a specialist in echocardiography. The proportion of correct answers on the theoretical test was higher after training (86%) than before (51%; P = 0.001). The agreement was substantial among the 15 parameters analyzed (kappa ranging from 0.615 to 0.891; P < 0.001). The percentage of correct interpretation was lower for abnormal (75%) than normal (95%) items, for valve abnormalities (85%) compared to other items (92%) and for graded scale (87%) than for dichotomous (95%) items (P < 0.0001, for all). For the final diagnoses, the kappa value was higher than 0.941 (P < 0.001; 95% CI [0.914, 0.955]). The training proposed enabled residents to perform FCU with HCD, and their findings were in good agreement with those of a cardiologist specialized in echocardiography. © 2015, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Quality assessment and performance improvement in transplantation: hype or hope?

    PubMed

    Reich, David J

    2013-04-01

    Healthcare reform and the national quality strategy is increasingly impacting transplant practice, as exemplified by quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) regulations for pretransplant and posttransplant care. Transplant providers consider not just patient comorbidities, donor quality, and business constraints, but also regulatory mandates when deciding how to care for transplant candidates and recipients. This review describes transplant quality oversight agencies and regulations, and explores recent literature on the pros and cons of transplant QAPI. Transplant's heavily regulated system of care and remuneration involves extensive QAPI process and outcome requirements, and assessment of lifelong, risk-adjusted data from the national, audited, publicly reported, electronic registry. Transplant is a model-integrated delivery system, with payment bundling and accountability for equitable access to high quality, efficient, cost-sensitive, and multidisciplinary care. However, transplant QAPI requires expensive resources and, to bolster wise risk-taking, novel treatments, and access to care, more nuanced risk adjustment, public reporting, and attention to geographic competitive variability. However, transplant QAPI requires expensive resources. In order to bolster wise risk-taking, novel treatments, and access to care, QAPI also requires more nuance in the areas of risk adjustment, public reporting, and attention to geographic competitive variability. With its focus on innovation and on clinical outcomes, transplantation is poised to continue providing outstanding clinical care and to pioneering systems that advance patient safety, satisfaction, and resource utilization, leading in the field of QAPI and healthcare reform.

  16. A Focused Look at Rural Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants. NCEE Evaluation Brief. NCEE 2014-4013

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Linda; Christianson, Megan Davis; Angus, Megan Hague; Rosenthal, Emily

    2014-01-01

    The Study of School Turnaround is a set of case studies of the school improvement process in a purposive sample of 35 schools receiving federal funds through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program over a three-year period (school years 2010-11 to 2012-13). This evaluation brief focuses on the nine SIG schools that were in rural areas and how…

  17. Focus Visits: A Process Improvement Model for Technical College Program Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Eric C.; Dillon, Brenda M.

    This document is designed to provide enough information for technical colleges and similar institutions to conduct their own focus visits. A focus visit is defined as a full-day activity that takes place on the campus during which a team of 10-25 individuals (program faculty, former and current students, technical college staff, advisory committee…

  18. Focus Groups with Working Parents of School-Aged Children: What's Needed to Improve Family Meals?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulkerson, Jayne A.; Kubik, Martha Y.; Rydell, Sarah; Boutelle, Kerri N.; Garwick, Ann; Story, Mary; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne; Dudovitz, Bonnie

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To conduct focus groups to identify parents' perceptions of barriers to family meals and elucidate ideas to guide the development of interventions to overcome barriers. Methods: Focus groups were conducted with a convenience sample of 27 working parents in urban community settings. Results: Parents reported enjoying the sharing/bonding…

  19. Focus Groups with Working Parents of School-Aged Children: What's Needed to Improve Family Meals?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulkerson, Jayne A.; Kubik, Martha Y.; Rydell, Sarah; Boutelle, Kerri N.; Garwick, Ann; Story, Mary; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne; Dudovitz, Bonnie

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To conduct focus groups to identify parents' perceptions of barriers to family meals and elucidate ideas to guide the development of interventions to overcome barriers. Methods: Focus groups were conducted with a convenience sample of 27 working parents in urban community settings. Results: Parents reported enjoying the sharing/bonding…

  20. Novel assist feature design to improve depth of focus in low k1 EUV lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Hoyoung

    2009-12-01

    With the expected continual progress of micro-electronics scaling, low k1 techniques may be required even with EUV lithography. One of important techniques of low k1, the off axis illumination (OAI) in combination with sub-resolution assist features (SRAF) on reticles, has been used extensively in optical lithography. Use of assist features combined with off axis illumination typically requires extremely small pattern sizes. The assist pattern enables printing dense and isolated lines simultaneous. In a low k1 region of around 0.4, assist features will increase depth of focus (DOF) of isolated and semi-isolated lines even in EUV. Since EUVL process operates at a relatively higher k1 value than that for the optical lithography, the assist feature size needed is relatively smaller. In addition, with the mask shadowing effect of EUVL, all horizontal lines should be biased thinner by a couple of nanometers, and horizontal assist features will need to do the same. Fabricating such narrow features on masks is challenging, and could potentially limit the application of SRAF in EUVL in the low k1 regime. A novel approach is proposed to create assist features with similar width as the main critical dimension features. The proposed technique creates assist patterns using thinner absorber which would have higher reflectance than normal absorber. Thinner absorber assist pattern can perform similarly with narrower assist pattern and easier to fabricate. With off axis illumination in EUVL and assist patterns, process margin of semi-isolated and isolated lines can be increased for k1 lower than 0.4.