5,109 results for 2015

  • Professionals' perceptions of the quality of the transnational higher education in Sri Lanka

    Wickramasinghe, AKD; Hope, John (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    This paper discusses the professionals' perceptions of the quality of the transnational higher education in Sri Lanka. The main research questions focus on the priorities for quality in relation to the foreign degree awarding institutes of Sri Lanka and to what extent that the foreign degree awarding institutes of Sri Lanka implement and maintain quality in their institutes. Three different stakeholder groups, namely, lecturers and the senior managers of the foreign degree awarding institutes and the officials of the government organizations related to higher education were included in the sample. This study employed a vertical case study and the data were collected using a questionnaire survey. The findings revealed how quality can be understood differently by various stakeholder groups and the consequences of these various understanding to the quality of these institutes. Furthermore, the difficulties that these institutes face when implementing and maintaining quality were identified and a bank of solutions were suggested to these stakeholder groups by analyzing the data. It was evident from the results that the foreign degree awarding institutes of Sri Lanka face many issues related to quality due to lack of supervision from the government and their respective foreign providers. Since there is very limited research in this area, this paper may serve as a guide to quality of the transnational higher education of Sri Lanka.

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  • A statistical analysis of metamorphopsia in 7106 amsler grids

    Wiecek, E; Lashkari, K; Dakin, Steven; Bex, P (2015-02)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Spatial-frequency dependent binocular imbalance in amblyopia

    Kwon, M; Wiecek, E; Dakin, Steven; Bex, PJ (2015-11)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    While amblyopia involves both binocular imbalance and deficits in processing high spatial frequency information, little is known about the spatial-frequency dependence of binocular imbalance. Here we examined binocular imbalance as a function of spatial frequency in amblyopia using a novel computer-based method. Binocular imbalance at four spatial frequencies was measured with a novel dichoptic letter chart in individuals with amblyopia, or normal vision. Our dichoptic letter chart was composed of band-pass filtered letters arranged in a layout similar to the ETDRS acuity chart. A different chart was presented to each eye of the observer via stereo-shutter glasses. The relative contrast of the corresponding letter in each eye was adjusted by a computer staircase to determine a binocular Balance Point at which the observer reports the letter presented to either eye with equal probability. Amblyopes showed pronounced binocular imbalance across all spatial frequencies, with greater imbalance at high compared to low spatial frequencies (an average increase of 19%, p < 0.01). Good test-retest reliability of the method was demonstrated by the Bland-Altman plot. Our findings suggest that spatial-frequency dependent binocular imbalance may be useful for diagnosing amblyopia and as an outcome measure for recovery of binocular vision following therapy.

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  • Enhanced integration of motion information in children with autism

    Manning, C; Tibber, MS; Charman, T; Dakin, Steven; Pellicano, E (2015-05-06)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    To judge the overall direction of a shoal of fish or a crowd of people, observers must integrate motion signals across space and time. The limits on our ability to pool motion have largely been established using the motion coherence paradigm, in which observers report the direction of coherently moving dots amid randomly moving noise dots. Poor performance by autistic individuals on this task has widely been interpreted as evidence of disrupted integrative processes. Critically, however, motion coherence thresholds are not necessarily limited only by pooling. They could also be limited by imprecision in estimating the direction of individual elements or by difficulties segregating signal from noise. Here, 33 children with autism 6-13 years of age and 33 age- and ability-matched typical children performed a more robust task reporting mean dot direction both in the presence and the absence of directional variability alongside a standard motion coherence task. Children with autism were just as sensitive to directional differences as typical children when all elements moved in the same direction (no variability). However, remarkably, children with autism were more sensitive to the average direction in the presence of directional variability, providing the first evidence of enhanced motion integration in autism. Despite this improved averaging ability, children with autism performed comparably to typical children in the motion coherence task, suggesting that their motion coherence thresholds may be limited by reduced segregation of signal from noise. Although potentially advantageous under some conditions, increased integration may lead to feelings of "sensory overload" in children with autism.

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  • Le Corbusier's early urban studies as source of experiential architectural knowledge

    Schnoor, Christoph (2015-11)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    In the year between April 1910 and March 1911 Le Corbusier – then Charles-Edouard Jeanneret – composed maybe the most comprehensive piece of writing of his career: a manuscript entitled “La construction des villes” which took on to systematically investigate the architectural elements that the city is made from. Taking Camillo Sitte’s Der Städte-Bau nach seinen künstlerischen Grundsätzen of 1889 as his intellectual starting point, Jeanneret developed a complex and convincing thesis within several months, however never published it himself. One of the topics that appear throughout Jeanneret’s manuscript is the quality of space as enclosure. This paper takes this observation as a starting point to ask how the manuscript that was put aside after March 1911 (and only shortly picked up again by Jeanneret in 1915) may have influenced Le Corbusier’s architectural thinking. In order to achieve this, the chapter “The Illusion of the Plan” from Versune architecture is investigated as a link between La construction des villes and Le Corbusier’s houses. Finally, the Maison La Roche-Jeanneret and the Villa Savoye are read as buildings that very strongly incorporate aspects of thinking urban space in a way that way that closely relates to his studies back in 1910.

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  • Synthesis of tunichrome Sp-1

    Pullar, MA; Barker, David; Copp, Brent (2015-10-07)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    The first total synthesis of the ascidian blood pigment tunichrome Sp-1 is reported, with the modified pentapeptide prepared in a convergent manner using a combination of solid-phase peptide synthesis, Hunsdiecker decarboxylative iodination and Buchwald amidation reaction chemistry. The natural product was shown to exist as a mixture of trans- and cis-prolyl conformers, with the former dominating in a 5:1 ratio.

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  • Optimal progressivity with frictions to knowledge diffusion

    Bandyopadhyay, Debasis; Tang, X (2015-12-11)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Data speaks: Predictors of success in tertiary education health study for M??ori and Pacific students

    Wikaire, Erena (2015)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Aim Increasing M??ori and Pacific success into and through tertiary health professional study has been prioritised as a key element in addressing inequitable health outcomes. However, secondary and tertiary education providers are failing to ensure M??ori and Pacific student success. This study aimed to explore the effect of pre-tertiary, admission and early academic outcome variables on academic outcomes within tertiary health study. Methods Kaupapa M??ori methodology, consistent with Kaupapa Pasifika methodology, was used to conduct a quantitative analysis of demographic and academic data for M??ori, Pacific and non-M??ori non-Pacific students enrolled in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland between 2002 and 2012. Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the effect of predictor variables including: school decile (low, medium, high); Auckland school (yes, no); type of admission (school leaver, alternative admission); bridging foundation programme (yes, no); first year bachelor grade point average (GPA); and first year bachelor passed all courses (yes, no); on academic outcomes (first year bachelor GPA, year 2 ??? 4 programme GPA, graduated from intended programme, graduated in the minimum time) and a composite optimal completion outcome for M??ori, Pacific and non-M??ori non-Pacific student groupings. Findings A total of 2686 students (150 M??ori, 257 Pacific, 2279 non-M??ori non-Pacific) who enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Nursing programmes between 2002 and 2012 were included. M??ori and Pacific students were more likely to experience increased and unique barriers to academic success when compared with non-M??ori non-Pacific students. Clear disparities in academic outcomes were demonstrated between non-dominant (M??ori and Pacific) and dominant (non-M??ori non-Pacific student groups) that were partially (but not fully) explained when adjusting for predictor variables. Conclusions If education sectors are serious about achieving real equitable outcomes for M??ori and Pacific students in tertiary health programmes, major institutional changes are needed that invest in equity-focused solutions that are realistic and accomplishable. This will involve self-critique of both secondary and tertiary education institutions and active efforts to address the unique barriers experienced by M??ori and Pacific students in the New Zealand context.

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  • Continuing education, registration and professional identity in New Zealand social work

    Beddoe, Elizabeth (2015-01)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    This article draws on a study of New Zealand social workers??? experiences of continuing professional education (CPE) during the first two years following the advent of limited statutory registration. A qualitative study demonstrates strong links between social workers??? educational aspirations and beliefs about the status of the profession. Social workers in the study perceived continuing education in part as a tool to achieve greater professional standing for social work in contested spaces. At a time when registration legislation is likely to be strengthened, this article contributes to the somewhat neglected scholarship of continuing education in an increasingly regulated social work profession.

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  • Domain-specific optimisation for the high-level synthesis of CellML-based simulation accelerators

    Oppermann, J; Koch, A; Yu, T; Sinnen, Oliver (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    The simulation of biomedical models often requires the numerical integration of ordinary differential equation systems, a computationally intensive task that can be accelerated well by deeply-pipelined FPGA-based accelerators. Since the main design target is throughput, larger FPGA devices can easily be exploited by scaling-up the number of parallel datapath instances on a chip. To this end, reducing the area of each datapath becomes a key optimisation. High-level synthesis can be employed to generate custom simulation accelerators from standardised cell descriptions in CellML. In this work, we improve this process by inserting LLVM into the flow to pre-optimise the simulation models generated from CellML for hardware synthesis. This is achieved not only by the selective application of general-purpose optimisation passes, but also by adding new domain-specific optimisations, including unsafe floating-point transformations, to the optimisation flow. We investigate their effect on the quality-of-results and show that a novel strategy using our optimisations outperforms standard strategies, such as LLVM's -Oz (aggressive size reduction), when applied for hardware synthesis in 99 out of 146 example models. Our approach, which reduces area by up to 25%, leads to the smallest implementations for four models examined in detail, and allows a particularly complex cell model to fit on the target FPGA device for the first time.

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  • FPGA based acceleration of FDAS module for pulsar search

    Wang, H; Sinnen, Oliver (2015-12-07)

    Conference poster
    The University of Auckland Library

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), currently in the pre-construction phase, will be the world largest telescope array for radio astronomy. The Fourier domain acceleration search (FDAS) is a sub-module of the Non-imaging Processing Pulsar Search Sub-element (NIP PSS) of SKA-MID Central Signal Processor (CSP) element. The total performance needed for FDAS module of up to 2000 beams is over 14Poperations/s. The huge scale of it is a strong computing challenge. In this work, the use of FPGAs to accelerate the FDAS module is studied, due to their high inherent parallelism and power efficiency. We study the impact of the relaxation of a number of FDAS factors and test them using a Terasic DE5 board. By applying all the relaxation methods, up to 93% FPGAs can be saved. Further, several optimization techniques are introduced to reduce the number of needed FPGAs.

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  • Exception handling with OpenMP in object-oriented languages

    Fan, X; Mehrabi, Mostafa; Sinnen, Oliver; Giacaman, Nasser (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    OpenMP has become increasingly prevalent due to the simplicity it offers to elegantly and incrementally introduce parallelism. However, it still lacks some high-level language features that are essential in object-oriented programming. One such mechanism is that of exception handling. In languages such as Java, the concept of exception handling has been an integral aspect to the language since the first release. For OpenMP to be truly embraced within this object-oriented community, essential object-oriented concepts such as exception handling need to be given some attention. The official OpenMP standard has little specification on error recovery, as the challenges of supporting exception-based error recovery in OpenMP extends to both the semantic specifications and related runtime support. This paper proposes a systematic mechanism for exception handling with the co-use of OpenMP directives, which is based on a Java implementation of OpenMP. The concept of exception handling with OpenMP directives has been formalized and categorized. Hand in hand with this exception handling proposal, a flexible approach to thread cancellation is also proposed (as an extension on OpenMP directives) that supports this exception handling within parallel execution. The runtime support and its implementation are discussed. The evaluation shows that while there is no prominent overhead introduced, the new approach provides a more elegant coding style which increases the parallel development efficiency and software robustness.

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  • Techniques to visualise and evaluate geothermal fluid-rock interaction and its impact on subsurface conditions

    Lynne, Bridget (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    The dual techniques of Computerised Tomography (CT) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) reveal significant subsurface processes are preserved in geothermal core that provide essential information for developing our conceptual models. CT scans image the spatial distribution of density changes at 0.02 mm increments enabling 3D mapping of density variations within rocks, both laterally and vertically. SEM images support the CT findings by documenting their associated subsurface processes. Dissolution, boiling of fluids, and thermal fluid flow are three important subsurface processes documented in this study. In some cases, multiple events are recorded. The cores examined show voids may be either connected with depth into the sample or shallow disconnected voids. Micro-fractures may be infilled with clays reducing the potential permeability of the channels, while others remain open with clay alteration confined to the host rock. The dual technique approach provides significant information on the spatial distribution and timing of various subsurface processes and provides important insights into permeability controls at the microscale.

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  • A closer look at hydrothermal alteration and fluid-rock interaction using Scanning Electron Microscopy

    Lynne, Bridget (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Traditional techniques routinely used for hydrothermal alteration studies are X-ray diffraction (XRD) and petrographic microscopy. The addition of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to these standard mineralogical analyses greatly enhances our knowledge and understanding of fluid-rock interactions in our geothermal systems. SEM observations on core from geothermal fields in New Zealand and USA show the advantages of adopting SEM to better understand subsurface processes. SEM imagery reveals detailed nano to micron scale information on crystal-crystal relationships. For example significant changes in subsurface environmental conditions such as cooling after boiling, or an increase in acidity at depth over time, can be tracked using SEM. The advantage of SEM is that it examines intact rock samples while XRD requires samples to be crushed and samples for petrographic thin sections are ground down to produce smooth surfaces. These crushing and grinding processes remove much of the mineralogical detail. SEM imagery also reveals crystal-clay relationships which are important, as in some settings clays attach to and alter crystal surfaces which influence porosity, permeability and rock strength. In other cases the clays do not alter crystal surfaces. Furthermore, SEM findings in this study include detail on clay-clay relationships, such as clay inter-bedding, differences in clay maturity, crystallinity and/or quantity. SEM observations allow fundamental questions to be addressed such as: (1) What influence do crystal and clay morphologies have on permeability? (2) How do crystal and clay inter-relationships affect permeability and/or rock strength? (3) How are the rocks reacting to ongoing changes in subsurface environmental conditions? (4) Are certain lithologies better suited for production or injection? (5) Which stratigraphic units are more likely to compress resulting in subsidence at the surface? SEM is a useful technique to examine fine-scale, fluid-rock interactions on core from production or injection wells.

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  • Ground Penetrating Radar investigation of sinter deposits at Old Faithful Geyser and immediately adjacent hydrothermal features, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    Foley, D; Lynne, Bridget; Jaworowski, C; Heasler, H; Smith, GJ; Smith, IJ (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Examining subsurface processes captured in geothermal host rocks using computerised tomography and scanning electron microscopy

    Lynne, Bridget (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    The dual techniques of Computerized Tomography (CT) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) reveal that significant subsurface processes are preserved in core from the Tauhara geothermal field, New Zealand. CT scans image the spatial distribution of density changes at 0.02 mm increments enabling 3D mapping of density variations within rocks. SEM images support the CT findings by documenting their associated subsurface processes. Dissolution, boiling of fluids, and thermal fluid flow resulting in silicification of the host rock, are three important subsurface processes documented in this study. In some cases, multiple events are recorded. The dimensions, structure and connectivity of voids and micro-fractures is also revealed. The cores examined show that some voids are connected with depth into the sample, while other areas reveal shallow disconnected voids. SEM observations on the same sample show the presence of both shallow and deep voids, confirming the CT scan findings. Micro-fracture orientations change with depth within individual samples. Some micro-fractures are infilled with crystals or clays reducing the potential permeability of these channels. The dual technique approach provides useful and significant information on the spatial distribution and timing of various subsurface processes.

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  • Patients at risk: Innovation and integration in action

    Naumann, C; Hefford, B; Rea, Harold; Hou, T (2015)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • High-density shallow shear wave velocity characterisation of the urban Christchurch, New Zealand region

    McGann CR; Bradley BA; Cubrinovski M (2015)

    Reports
    University of Canterbury Library

    This report summarizes the development of a region-wide surficial soil shear wave velocity (Vs ) model based on the unique combination of a large high-spatial-density database of cone penetration test (CPT) logs in the greater Christchurch urban area (> 15, 000 logs as of 1 February 2014) and the Christchurch-specific empirical correlation between soil Vs and CPT data developed by McGann et al. [1, 2]. This model has applications for site characterization efforts via maps of time-averaged Vs over specific depths (e.g. Vs30, Vs10), and for numerical modeling efforts via the identification of typical Vs profiles for different regions and soil behaviour types within Christchurch. In addition, the Vs model can be used to constrain the near-surface velocities for the 3D seismic velocity model of the Canterbury basin [3] currently being developed for the purpose of broadband ground motion simulation. The general development of these region-wide near-surface Vs models includes the following general phases, with each discussed in separate chapters of this report. • An evaluation of the available CPT dataset for suitability, and the definition of other datasets and assumptions necessary to characterize the surficial sediments of the region to 30 m depth. • The development of time-averaged shear wave velocity (Vsz) surfaces for the Christchurch area from the adopted CPT dataset (and supplementary data/assumptions) using spatial interpolation. The Vsz surfaces are used to explore the characteristics of the near-surface soils in the regions and are shown to correspond well with known features of the local geology, the historical ecosystems of the area, and observations made following the 2010- 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. • A detailed analysis of the Vs profiles in eight subregions of Christchurch is performed to assess the variablity in the soil profiles for regions with similar Vsz values and to assess Vsz as a predictive metric for local site response. It is shown that the distrubution of soil shear wave velocity in the Christchurch regions is highly variable both spatially (horizontally) and with depth (vertically) due to the varied geological histories for different parts of the area, and the highly stratified nature of the nearsurface deposits. This variability is not considered to be greatly significant in terms of current simplified site classification systems; based on computed Vs30 values, all considered regions can be categorized as NEHRP sites class D (180 < Vs < 360 m/s) or E (Vs < 180 m/s), however, detailed analysis of the shear wave velocity profiles in different subregions of Christchurch show that the expected surficial site response can vary quite a bit across the region despite the relative similarity in Vs30

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  • Fiber types of the anterior and lateral cervical muscles in elderly males

    Cornwall, Jon; Kennedy, Ewan (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Post-print

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  • The impact of homeless men's use of city spaces on their wellbeing

    Nairn, Warren (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Homelessness is a broad and somewhat blunt term to describe a complex concept. Beneath the concept and many varied definitions are people who are living with inadequate, insecure or no housing at all; these are often among the most marginalised and vulnerable in society. Although there are an increasing number of studies on homelessness using a qualitative methodology and a small number using a participatory approach of some kind, there has typically been more of a focus on the concept and causes of homelessness rather than studies that give an opportunity for those impacted by homelessness to present their perspective. In response to a call for a more participatory approach to public health research this study has employed Participatory Video (PV), a visual method that fits within a participatory or advocacy worldview with links to critical theory. PV has been used predominately in the community development setting but is increasingly being adopted as a research method in other social sciences. The purpose of this study is to increase understanding of how homeless men in Christchurch use city spaces and how they understand that this might impact their wellbeing. Alongside this is an exploration of the use of PV as a method for Public Health research. The video resulting from the PV sessions was shown to the participants at each stage of the process giving them control over what was included in the final edit and the opportunity for comment which was included in the data for analysis. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse these data along with a transcript of the video and field notes. This analysis resulted in three main themes, ‘place’, 'nourishment' and ‘daily activity’. The theme of place raised questions about the attribution of meaning and construction of purpose in and through place. The participants' quest for nourishment was addressed in relation to several aspects of emotional and nutritional nourishment. Exploration of the theme of daily activity highlighted the considerable effort required to be nourished and maintain quality and consistency of activity in the environment of the predominantly outdoor city spaces; challenges that are amplified for these men by a lack of options or control over their environment.

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