91,117 results

  • Dynamic system : a digitally fabricated environment. Customised component design

    McNicholas, James (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Digitally designed and fabricated construction is continuously evolving, in its capabilities to produce elements that are susceptible to change. These parts, generated from digitally produced models are able to be made by machines in order to achieve the desired result in a three dimensional environment. The implications of such processes that current technology offers, allows for: greater levels of accuracy in detail and assembly, faster production times and finally a realisation of what were once only thoughts of the imagination. These can now be translated into three-dimensional forms that define our spatial environment. Myself and my two colleagues intention is to pursue this thesis project in collaboration. As a team we believe that the combination of our individual areas of focus, we anticipate, will lead to an outcome of greater substance. Our intention is to bring the findings of our three points of focus and integrate them in an effort to produce a complete solution (three components that form a whole). The outcome of this research as a team is aimed towards investigating the relationship between architecture and construction through the application of digital technology, where we intend to produce a series of customisable, prefabricated modules from components that are able to be both pieced together and taken apart. Individually, my focus considers the relationship we have with our built environment, in the way structures impose or define our spatial boundaries. I intend to investigate how the design of a modular system may have an allowance to be completely customised and manipulated in a way that allows their forms to be modified by the designer; so that they meet the specific requirements of their intended program. This thesis forms one part of three. It presents a combined investigation into the digital design and manual fabrication processes involved with creating a ‘hybrid’ system; joining ‘cut’ flat sheet elements into components that form a larger habitable structure. A thesis on architecture; “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.”

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  • Stroke duties : a hermeneutic enquiry into family experience six months post-stroke

    Duthie, Andrew J. (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Introduction: Stroke is the third largest cause of death in New Zealand and is a major cause of disability. While a lot is known about the stroke survivor and the primary caregiver, little is known about how stroke affects the survivor’s wider family. Aims: This study’s aim is to investigate the lived experience of being a family member of someone who has had a stroke, over the period of six months from the initial stroke. It is part of a larger longitudinal four year project exploring the stroke family lifeworld. Method: The method used was hermeneutic phenomenology as guided by Max van Manen (1997). Results: The stroke survivor is not the only person who needs care. The overarching theme is duty of care. There are three sub-themes: care is ‘different for different people’; there are care ‘expectations of self and expectations of others’; and care brings ‘strain’. All are significant in the family experience. The family have expectations and obligations of their own duty of care and these are also influenced by sources outside the family. In addition there are considerations of fairness regarding the sometimes competing needs of the survivor and the caregiver. Conclusion: Strains on the family change over time. Competing values of mercy and fairness within this family take up time and risk disengagement of the family from the stroke survivor’s progress.

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  • Auckland as a water-city : utilisation of the urban waterways for settlement development

    Shaigan, Chloe (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Auckland’s waterways are being repressed and pushed into the background of our daily lives. The artificial land and road structure dominates the urban environment, and when it comes to accommodating urban functions, infrastructure, and urban growth, the waterways are disregarded. By repressing the city’s waterways, Auckland’s charm, unique sense of place, and identity is consequently being obliterated. It is architecture’s role to gather the environmental characteristics of the place and bring them closer to man. This research project devises a plan to regain the significance of the waterways and bring them to the forefront of our daily lives. What is proposed is the utilisation of the waterways as the building ground for urban development so that water, as well as land, can be the carrier of urban functions and infrastructure. The scheme, a residential development built on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, is proposed for the design. The objective of the design phase is to design a floating Water-Complex. A Water-Complex may be defined as an urban development located on an urban waterway that comprises of residential, recreational, commercial, and public facilities. Taking into consideration the site selection criteria set out above and the analysis of the Waitemata Harbour, the site for the Water-Community was chosen to be located on the waterway adjacent to Birkenhead Wharf and Hinemoa Park. This site, located 4km from Auckland Central, is advantageous because of its close proximity to the CBD and its accessibility via both land and water. There are already existing public transport connections via ferry between Birkenhead Wharf and the CBD, and via bus between Birkenhead Wharf and Albany Station. The location has the opportunity to be strongly connected to the CBD by the water and to act as an extension of the city centre in the same way that existing city-fringe villages, such as Ponsonby, Parnell, and Newmarket, do.

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  • A computational referencing approach to stocks correlation analysis

    Zhang, Ruibin (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The activity of the stock market is dynamic and complicated, with financial figures changing every minute. Thus, it is not ever an easy task for a professional investor to discover the beneficial knowledge that will advantage his investment intuition. Nevertheless, various studies have proved that a stock's volatility is always associated with several financial factors, even though the association is versatile and the strength of the association varies from one to another. By finding and referencing these factors, investors can either be led to profit, or misled to loss. It follows that stocks correlation presents an often positive influence to future stock movement prediction. Unlike typical technical and fundamental stocks correlation analysis, we developed in this research a hybrid method on the basis of technical analysis with attention to the theory of fundamental analysis. In other words, we deploy a mathematical model to numerically measure stocks correlation in parameterization of a selected fundamental economic factor. The approach promotes a two-tier correlation computation architecture. In the top tier, a Pearson product-moment correlation is derived to measure the direct connection of a stock to a pre-defined referencing factor. Next, the obtained results are used for referencing featured stocks correlation modeling. In contrast to traditional stocks correlation analysis, the employment of a referencing approach for computational correlation knowledge discovery will enhance the accuracy, credibility and intelligibility of the interrelationship between each pair of stocks. This is because those pre-defined referencing factors are characterized with remarkable stability and reputation in the stock market as well as global economy. We have applied the proposed referencing model to stocks correlation analysis of S&P 500 for the period of January 2000 to December 2011. In our case studies, we use the U.S. crude oil price and the S&P 500 indices price respectively as the referencing factor to compute correlation of a selected family of stocks, with them being compared to the results of same correlation analysis applied to random selected stocks within the scope of S&P500. The performance of the proposed model is demonstrated clearly through both numerical and visual observations generated from the experiment. The correlation knowledge extracted by the proposed approach will give investors a different way to interpret stock volatility in order to strengthen their investment confidence. However, the selection of referencing factors is subject to criticism on the ground of subjectivity and the arbitrary nature of the selection process - unavoidable problems in this area of research. This leave us a future research direction that, by employing multiple referencing factors to ensure that the outcome developed by stocks correlation analysis is utterly impartial.

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  • How can commercial banks in Laos promote and sustain competitive advantage through practicing strategic leadership?

    Manichith, Phonephet (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Strategic leaders play an important role in promoting and sustaining competitive advantage for commercial banks in Laos over the long-term. Strategic leaders play an important role in promoting and sustaining competitive advantage for commercial banks in Laos over the long-term. They are key people who have capabilities to anticipate and foresee challenges and opportunities in both the present and future. Furthermore, they provide a pathway to employees to encourage them to move in the right direction. They inspire others to work effectively to achieve the goals of banks and to assist them achieve above-average profitability and financial performance. Thus, without effective strategic leaders, banks cannot promote sustainable competitive advantage over the long term. This qualitative research study investigated the understandings and perspectives of strategic leaders in the Lao banking sector in relation to their roles, capabilities, and the real practices of their banks to determine key capabilities that they should have in order to help their banks gain above-average performance over the long term. A semi-structured interview was used as a research method with eleven participants from four leading banks in Laos to gather data and answer the research question of ‘How can commercial banks in Laos promote competitive advantage through practicing strategic leadership?’ The findings are crucial for all commercial banks in Laos because it enables their strategic leaders to use empirical research as a pathway to lead the banks to sustainable competitive advantage for the future. The research findings reveal the important role of strategic leaders and nine key capabilities that effective strategic leaders should have in the 21st century. In essence, based on this research study, the researcher has developed the crucial models related to strategy and competitive advantage, including Key Capabilities of Effective Banking Strategic Leaders Model (Figure 7), Competitive Advantage Model (Figure 8), and Competitive Advantage Creating Process Model (Figure 9). These models demonstrate the relationship between competitive advantage, strategic management process, and strategic leaders. Finally, the study concluded that strategic leadership is fundamental for promoting and sustaining competitive advantage for commercial banks in Laos over the long-term. This is because strategic leaders are key people who make strategic-decisions that lead banks to success. It is important for key leaders, especially the top management team, to have effective strategic leadership with at least nine key capabilities.

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  • Hybrid culture : a digitally fabricated environment customised component design

    Chetty, Azmon (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Throughout history, western culture has had minimal influence on Indigenous Polynesian and Japanese Architecture. Current advances in the technological age are playing a major part in traditional building techniques used by Polynesians and Japanese. It seems traditional building methods have been set aside, to accommodate newer, updated building processes which still result in an aesthetically similar form. Modular Architecture is developing into a more influential and common style, allowing the architect to manipulate the built form by exploring new connection methods and developing new methods of construction. Modular Architecture limitations can be pushed further due to the advances in technology and digital fabrication. At present, the increase in prefabricated building components being used in Pacific Island Architecture is directed at minor building additions or building components. Recent predictions indicate that these regions will be hit harder in the future by natural disasters, so solutions to provide shelter and protection has become of high importance. In this project the main objective is to create a series of prefabricated building models that are influenced by Polynesian and Japanese methods of construction, by examining, formulating and articulating connections that combine traditional Polynesian and Japanese joinery methods; Thus providing an opportunity to study the similarities between traditional Polynesian marine technology and building methods. This will showcase a series of connections that are adaptable to the multiple building designs and distinguishing indigenous architectural aspects. Major emphasis will be placed on traditional joining methods; how they can be simplified, combined and manipulated by digital fabrication, to create efficiency in the construction process. This will be followed by a report on results from strength testing the capabilities of the structure and the performance of the joints, which is very rarely done in architecture

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  • What are the significant factors that have influenced the adoption of Moodle by staff in a Māori tertiary institution?

    Kaka, Tane Randell (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The purpose of this research is to get a clear understanding of the significant factors that are influencing the adoption of a Learning Management System (LMS) by staff within a Māori tertiary institution. The LMS (Moodle) has been in use since its introduction in 2005. Prior to 2005 the institution used no form of LMS or e-Learning technology. Moodle has been the first and only form of e-Learning technology used since 2005. The motivation for this research arose from the researcher’s observation that very few teaching staff were supporting their delivery strategies with the use of Moodle. In this study the researcher seeks important answers to some critical questions. The one principal question that presented itself to the researcher was “what are the significant factors that have influenced the adoption of Moodle by staff within a Māori tertiary institution”. By studying the adoption of Moodle within a Māori tertiary institution the researcher looks at aspects of Māori culture and explores whether current technology is “transforming education” within the organization or not. A mixed qualitative and quantitative research methodology was used. An on-line survey with SurveyMonkey and a series of interviews were employed. Observations were made and recorded to enhance the research. To gather a deeper understanding some interviews were followed by more analytical face-to-face discussions. The aim was to answer the following sub-questions: • To what extent does Māori culture affect the adoption of Moodle? • What effect does the reluctance to move away from traditional methods of learning have on the adoption of Moodle and to what extent? • What are the levels of computer literacy and what impact are they having on the adoption of Moodle? • To what extent is the training provided impacting on the adoption of Moodle? • What are the special requirements of Māori as users of Moodle? • To what extent is the accessibility of Moodle impacting on its adoption? ... The study also concludes that even though Moodle has been used since 2005 there is still some way to go in providing solutions to the following issues. • Extensive training required • Encouragement and support from management is required to use Moodle • A majority of staff prefer traditional over non-traditional teaching methods. Initial set-up and maintenance of resources for the successful use of e-Learning technology takes significant time input.

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  • Exploring contingency planning for adverse weather conditions : how well do event managers plan for inclement weather?

    Bridges, Trudi (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This research investigates the impact inclement weather has on outdoor events and the project planning implications for event managers. How well do event managers plan for inclement weather and how many just hope for the best? In March 2012 hundreds of New Zealanders had their weekend plans disrupted due to an impending ‘weather bomb’. The Met Service had issued a strong wind warning with gusts of 120km/h predicted along with heavy rain. The role of the event manager is to deliver the event according to the event scope and organisational goals and objectives through the development of an event plan (Getz, 2012). This is achieved through the event management framework of the development phase, operational planning phase, implementation, monitoring and management phase followed by an evaluation of the event (Mallen & Adams, 2008). Closely aligned is the contingency planning framework of identifying and managing risk. Contingency planning is the advanced preparation of action to meet unexpected events that could significantly impact the occasion should they occur. For every aspect of the event there should be a contingency plan. To discover how well event managers’ plan for inclement weather a questionnaire aligned to the event management process was developed to explore event managers’ preparedness for the effects of weather on their events. Fifteen event managers of outdoor events from throughout New Zealand participated in the research. Potentially there will be those whose events have suffered detrimentally to inclement weather conditions and those that have not. Results showed event managers in New Zealand are well aware of the perils Mother Nature can deliver to an event. There was evidence the event managers have good monitoring systems in place to monitor impending weather conditions. They are also cognisant of the need to provide shelter and protection from the elements for their patrons. The research results indicated elements of weakness when planning for contingency in the areas of budget setting and seeking appropriate weather insurance to protect an organisation from potential financial losses that inclement weather may bring.

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  • The knot not and the knot now

    Boyle, Audrey (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Chapter one discusses the role of craft in my art practice, and the strengths and weaknesses of such an approach. The next chapter centres around the idea that art can be a simple process of stripping away the detritus that prevents us from seeing, as a child might see, that all matter, all 'things', are invested with a strange vibrant aura. Chapter three looks at how my practice emphasises process and could be considered as a kind of three-dimensional drawing practice. From here I take a different tack and examine the symbolic importance of knots within my art (and life) before I return in the final chapter to a more conventional examination of the role the body plays within my artwork.

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  • Effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment with home based exercises on progressed flexible pes planus

    Kim, Chulhwan (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Background: Flexible pes planus presents under the age of 10 years and may progress leading to various lower-limb symptoms later in life. To date, there is little evidence for non-orthotic rehabilitative strategies. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of an osteopathic and exercise intervention on objective measures of navicular heights and positions, navicular drop, and self-report measures of pain using a short-form McGill’s pain questionnaire in participants with progressed flexible pes planus. Methods: Fourteen participants with pre-diagnosed or examined progressed flexible pes planus were randomly allocated into either the immediate start group (one week of baseline, three weeks of intervention, four weeks follow-up) or the delayed start group (four weeks baseline, three weeks intervention, one week follow-up). Navicular heights, positions, and drop were recorded weekly using sagittal photographs taken with an infrared-filter and analysed using AutoCAD 2010. Pain change was monitored by a short-form McGill’s pain questionnaire. Results: Welch’s t-test indicated a statistically significant (left feet p = 0.05) improvement of sitting navicular heights at the follow-up between the two groups. Pain sensitivity (p < 0.01) and present pain intensity (p < 0.01) exhibited a significant difference between baseline and follow-up with both measures improving by at least 30%. Conclusion: The results of this mixed research study ( a randomised controlled trial and single cohort) found the osteopathic manipulative treatment with home based exercise to be beneficial in reducing the pain sensitivity and intensity experienced in individuals with progressed flexible pes planus.

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  • Floating bodies : reconciling image and object through drawing

    Ellis, Stephen (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This exegesis plots the course of the Floating Bodies project and its ambition to examine climate change iconography through a reconciliation of Image and Object. From an initial polarity, in both concept and outcome, between pictorial and sculptural elements of a single work of art, the project pivoted to consider non-physical ways of combining or converging the two- and three-dimensional. Interrogations of the work and praxes of Vilja Celmins and Anton Henning sparked a broader apprehension of the reconciliation, corroborated by reading of curators Sabine Eckmann and Gertrud Koch on poststructural space, its representation and framing. A synthesis of Image and Object could be found in Image OF Object beyond the conventions and limitations of still life. The project consequently turned to drawing to re-present and re-frame repaired objects montaged with weather and sea imagery. A pendant interrogation of the Sublime and European Romantic land- and sea-scape in parallel with a preference for the contemplative and the visionary led to the making of large obsessively crafted images of repaired domestica threatened by colossal seas. Drawing has long been a part of this practice, but had become devalued through overuse; the rediscovery of the power of the massed mark and the satisfactions of the protracted deliberate accretion of an image are the two signal revelations of the Floating Bodies project. An early political and aesthetic commitment to a humble materiality means that the Floating Bodies suite of drawings that concludes the project are rendered in ballpoint pen on paper, transient media that reflect the environmental preoccupations of the project.

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  • Solo in the city : restructuring space, privacy, and autonomy in housing for a contemporary solo demographic

    Kully, Megan (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Whether constructed for an individual or a group, homes were once a reflection of the needs and preferences of their occupants, providing the foundation for stability, identity, and control. The commodification of shelter in western nations resulted in a steady supply of dwellings suited to the most popular social unit, the nuclear family. Demographic changes over the past several decades, however, have reduced the dominance of this unit, with other households beginning to take shape and grow in number. Of these, the solo dweller represents the fastest growing segment of the population, brought about by changing views on marriage and family, as well as the contraceptive and gender revolutions. Somewhere in this process, architects, developers, and public policy initiatives have failed to make the same accommodations for these demographic shifts as were exercised during the Baby Boom. The result is a demographic that has little choice but to reside in dwellings that were not designed for their specific needs for space, privacy, and autonomy. This has significant social, psychological, and economic consequences for an expanding segment of the population, particularly in housing stressed markets. Project site: 6 Carlaw Park Avenue, Parnell, Auckland.

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  • Perceptions of students and teachers on the role of extracurricular activities at a private university in Myanmar

    Soe, Hnin Pwint (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study examined the perceptions and experiences of students and teachers regarding the role of extracurricular activities (ECAs) at a private university (Liberal Arts Programme - LAP) in Myanmar. It focuses on the impacts of participation in ECAs on students' lives, how the LAP mission statement and learning outcomes can be met through ECAs, the issues of participation in ECAs and strategies to overcome the barriers to participation in ECAs. ... The findings of this research demonstrated key challenges to overcome in order to participate in ECAs. The significant challenges include money issues, time management issues, negative impacts on study and parental involvement and permission. This research also explored the strategies to overcome the barriers to participating in ECAs. Strategies students and teachers employed include getting financial support from the university, organising the activities according to most students’ availability, giving parental education on ECAs and receiving academic credits for ECAs.

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  • Performance analysis of defense mechanisms against UDP flood attacks

    Treseangrat, Kiattikul (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack remains one of the most common and devastating security threats to the Internet world. The main purpose of an attack is to disable the use of services on the Internet or the victim network by sending a large number of IP packets to the targeted system. Since no single solution for a DDoS attack has been found, these attacks have managed to prevail on the Internet for a decade. Therefore, it is necessary and important to evaluate such an attack in a real testbed environment to find the most suitable defense mechanism. In this thesis, the different types of DDoS attacks are discussed followed by a focus on UDP flood attacks. Tests were conducted and new results obtained on the impact of a UDP flood attack on computers using the latest versions of Windows and Linux platforms, e.g., Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and Linux Ubuntu 13. This research also produced new evaluation results on various defense mechanisms such as Network Load Balancing, Software Firewall, Access Control Lists, Threshold Limit, Hybrid Method, and IP Verify. Unlike simulation studies, this project lays down the steps involved in implementing the attack in a real testbed environment. In this study, the victim network is based on an Intranet network environment that provides several services (e.g., a web service and file transfer service) to legitimate clients. An attacker in the testbed, on the other hand, will launch the attack from outside the local subnet. Several metrics such as round-trip time, user throughput, packet loss, and CPU utilization of the victim computer were gathered in order to investigate the impact of an attack. The findings of this study concluded that Linux Ubuntu 13 withstood UDP flood attacks better than Windows Server 2012 while the Hybrid Method and Threshold Limit were the most effective defenses against UDP flood attacks for both Windows and Linux platforms. Both defenses significantly increased throughputs, and reduced the RTT, packet loss, and CPU utilization of a victim computer. On the other hand, the Software Firewall was the least effective defense in all studies.

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  • The effect of combining muscle energy technique with soft tissue massage on hamstring extensibility

    Masters, Yashvant (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Introduction: The implications of reduced muscle extensibility are exemplified by the hamstrings and its effects of lower limb and lumbar mechanics. Reduced hamstring extensibility is often seen in conditions such as patellofemoral disorders, plantar fasciitis, and lower back pain. Osteopaths often use specific stretch techniques that essentially comprise of muscle energy and soft tissue massage to improve muscle extensibility and joint range of motion (ROM). Although commonly applied together, evidence to support the effectiveness of muscle energy technique (MET) combined with a specific cross-fibre soft tissue technique to increase knee joint ROM is scarce. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effects of an isometric contraction MET with a soft tissue cross-fibre technique on active knee extension (AKE) and passive knee extension (PKE). Design: Repeated measures cross-over design. Methods: 20 asymptomatic participants (aged 18-45) with a PKE angle of 20 degrees or more were pseudo-randomised to two counterbalanced groups. Group 1 (n=10) received MET and cross-fibre soft tissue and 7 days later received MET only. The same treatments in reverse order were performed on Group 2 (n=10). Measurements for AKE, PKE and passive elastic force were recorded pre and post-intervention. Results: A three-way mixed-method multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed a significant overall effect of time indicating that all measures improved following the interventions, regardless of the intervention. Greater improvements were seen in PKE (p=0.041) and passive force (p=0.005) with MET combined with soft tissue treatment, than with MET alone in both groups. No significant intervention effect for the AKE measure was observed (p=0.55). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that adding cross-fibre soft tissue massage to MET improves passive knee ROM more than MET alone, due to an increase in stretch tolerance as measured by changes in passive force. However, both interventions failed to show any significant improvements in AKE.

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  • Place of worship : contemplating in a factory

    Yasin, Arfa (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This research project explores the ideas of contemporary Islamic Architecture and applies these to mosque design in Auckland. The design articulates the fundamental architectural features of a mosque and ways to integrate these features within the proposed site context. Many small Muslim communities established in the developing countries face persecution from larger religious groups which makes it intolerable for these communities to exhibit freedom of religion. This research project revolves around the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, a minority sect in Islam. Many members of the community have been forced to seek refuge in more developed nations of the world, where they are free to practice their beliefs. The importance of building a mosque is to provide a space of worship for these displaced Muslim communities which generates a similar serene environment previously experienced in traditional mosques. A mosque represents a particular time and material culture of the people who belong to it, their value systems, social status, resilience, assimilation and an imaginary parallel space in a foreign land . Moreover, it represents a beacon of peace for the wider society. Architecture has the ability of establishing grounds of coexistence between refugee Muslim communities and western societies to promote transparency of religion and encourage peaceful dialogue with the western world Project site: a redesign based on existing site of the Baitul Muqeet Mosque at 20 Dalgety Drive, Wiri, Auckland

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  • A multi-agent integrated analysis engine for decentralized network traffic monitoring

    You, Li (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The advent of decentralized systems have been considered as an immense progress as compared to existing centralized systems. In this research, we present an extensible, exible, stable and to the utmost, decentralized network traffic analysis system. The core module of the system is a bunch of collaborative real-time analysis engines/agents capable of actively acting in a knowledge sharing environment, and conducting the fast and precise interpretation on security related information. In building the communication foundation for multi-agent coordination, a new TCP/IP and UDP hybrid based communication protocol is proposed, which ensures a smooth and stable information exchange in between agents, and preserves network communication privacy. The developed integrated network traffic engine exhibits (1) collective intelligence of multiple analysis engines; (2) resilience of decentralized security system; and (3) privacy reservation of encrypted network communications.

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  • Longitudinal sleep patterns of problematic and non-problematic infant sleepers

    Jefferies, LeeAnn Faith (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study describes and compares the sleep patterns of parentally-perceived problematic and non-problematic infant sleepers aged 3 to 13 months. Parents of 63 infants completed brief infant sleep questionnaires (BISQ) and 7-day sleep diaries each month for up to 3 months. Problematic sleepers showed poorer sleep quality and quantity than their non-problematic counterparts over the 3-month period. For problematic sleepers, diaries indicated 1.3 ± 0.4 (mean ± SE) more night wakes per night (p=0.002), 0.92 ± 0.3 hours less total sleep over 24 hours (p=0.008), shorter sleep periods by 2.0 ± 0.7 hours (p=0.009), 0.54 ± 0.3 hours less night-time sleep (p=0.046) and more time awake between 2200 – 0600 by 0.27 ± 0.09 hours (p=0.05) and by 0.41 ± 0.1 hours (p=0.009) from BISQ. Expected developmental changes were observed in both groups, with day naps decreasing from 3.0 ± 0.1 to 2.5 ± 0.1 (p<0.001), night wakes decreasing from 2.1 ± 0.2 to 1.6 ± 0.2 per night (p=0.008), and sleep periods lengthening on average from 8.8 ± 0.4 to 9.8 ± 0.4 hours per night (p=0.007) over 3 months. Problematic sleepers were more likely to have experienced a birth with intervention (forceps, ventouse or caesarean) than non-problematic sleepers (75% versus 58%; p=0.03). This study indicates that problematic sleepers have increased sleep fragmentation and sleep deficit when compared to non-problematic sleepers, leading to poorer sleep quality and quantity. Perinatal factors may also contribute to problematic sleep patterns in infants.

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  • Exploring hamstrings flexion-relaxation phenomenon in experimental low back pain

    Deshmukh, Gajanan (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Flexion-relaxation phenomenon in lumbar erector spinae muscles is a normal phenomenon which is notably altered in cases of low back pain; however the characteristics of this phenomenon in the hamstring muscles is not well understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate if the hamstrings extension-relaxation ratio was affected by experimental low back pain. Participants: Nineteen healthy, pain-free volunteers with mean age (SD) = 28.7 (6.7) years participated in the study. METHODS: Surface electromyography was used to measure activity in the bilateral hamstring and lumbar erector spinae muscles before and after hypertonic-saline-induced experimental pain of the lumber erector spinae muscles during trunk flexion-extension tasks. Average muscle activity during each phase and extension-relaxation ratio values were analysed for each muscle group (lumbar erector spinae, biceps femoris, and medial hamstrings) using repeated measure ANOVAs. RESULTS: Although pain conditions affected biceps femoris activity in full trunk flexion (P < 0.001), and medial hamstrings activity in extension (P = 0.025), the hamstring extension-relaxation ratio was not affected significantly by the experimental pain. CONCLUSION: Low back pain does not seem to directly affect hamstrings extension-relaxation ratio in an experimental setting

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  • Switching on to digital literacy? : a case study of English language teachers at a Vietnamese university

    Nguyen, Xuan Thi Thanh (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Digital technology has significantly contributed to the shaping of an increasingly digitalised landscape of English language teaching (ELT) today. Recently, Vietnam has experienced initial development in technology-supported language learning (TELL). With its National Foreign Language Project, the country aspires to fully change the face of ELT nationwide by the year 2020 through upskilling English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ linguistic, pedagogical and technological competencies. Despite this favourable framework, no research has been found that surveyed Vietnamese EFL teachers’ digital literacy professional development (PD) in the literature to date. This identified research gap was where the present study aimed to situate itself. In this light, this study was conducted with a view to examining the professional needs and current practice of a group of Vietnamese EFL university lecturers in relation to digital literacy PD. This single case study involved twelve one-to-one semi-structured interviews with seven teachers and five leaders and twelve classroom observation sessions with four of the teachers. It also employed document analysis and observation of these teachers’ practice regarding the use of technology for teaching purposes and technology-related PD The results of this study revealed positive attitudes and optimistic views that teachers and leaders held about the use of technology in ELT and the PD of the teachers’ digital literacy. While the teachers’ technology uptake was found to be associated with to their prior learning and teaching experiences, it did not correlate with their positive attitudes and confidence in using technology. Nevertheless, the research also discovered that teachers’ insufficient digital literacy threatened their sense of competence and put them under the pressure of being success role models for their students in technology application. This lack of confidence led to teachers’ technology anxiety, low uptake of technology in teaching practice and in addition, their reluctance or resistance to TELL. Similarly, teachers’ frequent use of technology could possibly explain their skills and confidence in particular tools; however, it could not always be linked to efficacy in relevant TELL practice. Furthermore, there was a close relationship between teachers’ motivation and their pedagogical adoption of technology, with their motivation reliant on a number of factors mostly related to appraisals of various types, including sense of self-worth, official recognition, incentives, career advancement, improved working conditions, and other benefits. Most teachers shared negative experiences in both classroom use of technology and PD provision by their institution. Noticeably, despite having perceived the importance of technology use and digital literacy in ELT, most teachers did not show much pedagogical understanding of their technology mediated teaching practice. Even though the informants tended to be positive about the effectiveness of the teachers’ technology application for instruction, most of them saw the practice as challenging. Key inhibitors to teachers’ instructional use of technology and digital literacy PD included limited resources and time constraints, lack of guidelines, PD, technical and financial support. The research findings, especially observational data, also showed teachers’ rather limited digital literacy, which strongly affected their instruction and other related tasks including administration. Thus, all participants contended that there should be more practical PD on efficient TELL practice. Additionally, the study also identified their expectations and suggestions for better planning and implementation of future digital literacy PD. Based on this information, relevant implications and recommendations including teachers’ pedagogical use of technology, evaluating teachers’ digital literacy and identifying their PD needs related to digital literacy, and improving digital literacy PD planning and implementation for the teachers were put forward. Both formal and informal learning, including training, mentoring, community of practice, collaborative projects, off-site visits, professional networking, action research and self-training were nominated as potential strategies for teachers’ digital literacy PD.

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