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    Health news and media manipulation: An examination of health reporting, and what this means for journalism today

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    This thesis will investigate, firstly, the presentation and handling of health news and ‘miracle cures’ by the media today and, secondly, what this in turn means for journalism, particularly New Zealand journalism. The series of stories written and produced about Lyprinol, a mussel extract reported by the New Zealand media to be a miracle cancer cure, will be used to help illustrate some of the points raised about the media’s coverage of health and related issues. I employed the Political Economy context throughout this thesis, looking in particular at how news organisations are constrained and shaped by the political and economic environment in which they operate, and how this in turn shapes the news that they produce. I looked specifically at the increasingly intimate relationships between the media and health organisations and drug companies, the commercialisation and subsequent sensationalism of the news, the traditional and ideal roles that the media should play in modern society, and finally, what can or should be done, if anything, in order to make the media more accountable and responsible for their actions. This thesis will show that commercialisation is a determining factor and, subsequently, sensation is a pervasive feature, of much of what the media produces about health and related issues. This thesis will also contend that the media’s presentation of health and ‘miracle cures’ is both harmful and misleading – enough to justify introducing new or more effective ways of making the media more responsible and accountable to the public, whom it is undoubtedly their duty to serve

    Role of mathematical modelling and applications in university service courses: an across countries study

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    The aim of this study was to find out what university students, studying mathematics as a service course, think about the role of the mathematical modelling process and application problems in their studies. For this purpose a questionnaire was given to more than 500 students from 14 universities in 9 countries. The research was not a comparison of countries or universities: an across countries study approach was chosen to reduce the affect of differences in education systems, curricula, cultures. The results of the questionnaire were analysed and presented in the paper. In particular, an attempt was made to identify which step of the mathematical modelling process the students found most difficult

    Hellbank.com

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    www.hellbank.com offers the thesis that: - the properties of net art are related to ideas that 19th century subjectivist Austrian School economic theoreticians had about the nature of process and the exchange of information - in its conviction that the pre-determinant of all economic activity is the exchange of information, Austrian School’s subjectivist economic theory effects an aestheticisation of economic exchange through the denomination of media of exchange. - these ideas influenced the development of information technology, and that they have culminated in a theory of globalisation which is supported by its own, ubiquitous technology of globalisation. - these technologies act to reduce transaction costs, and that this has been successfully achieved by the implementation of information technologies, particularly the net. - cultural constructs, "the way we do things at our place”, often involve a strategic construction, management, and appointment, or shifting of the burden of transaction costs. - there is conflict between the cultural construction of transaction costs, and the commercial need to reduce transaction costs. This exegesis of hellbank.com explores this thesis by - Describing my own personal predicament of identity, and placing it within a theoretical context - Describing the endogenously derived realism of Austrian School economic theory, within the context of a critique of liberalism, written in the 1930s from a position of exogenously derived realism, by the Nazi, Carl Schmitt, one of the few twentieth century theoreticians of national sovereignty. - Describing the theoretical context in which the polymath John von Neumann designed the von Neumann architecture - Giving an example of the cultural construction of transaction costs, and their implications in gift giving

    Virtual and the actual: Representation and the object

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    It is declared that we live in an ‘information age’, one where much of our daily experience comes in mediated form, in print or on screen. Information about our world is brought to us through words and images selected and interpreted by others. We can communicate by fax and e-mail, don alternative persona on the Internet, experience alternate realities in computer games, and create convincing digital images from mathematical co-ordinates. Yet we still rely, for sustenance, clothing and housing at the very least, on real things. What then is the significance of real objects: the actual, and what are the limits of the virtual experience in replacing them? The focus of this thesis is on objects – ordinary, everyday objects or things – and the significance they have in human lives. Frequently overlooked, or disregarded as unimportant, objects nevertheless fulfil functions of use, of consumption and transaction, signification of status, and demarcation of social roles. “Soon we will all be doing our shopping on the Internet”, and “we won’t need museums at all soon, it will all be done by virtual reality”. These two examples of frequently heard rhetoric provide a base for the research, selected as areas where unfamiliar objects may be encountered for the first time and which can be expected to reveal the limitations of representation through a virtual experience. In order to assess how effectively the properties of objects can be represented, it is necessary first to understand the range of properties that objects have, and the role of the images which will carry the representation. This has been sought from those who work with or study objects and their place in society. From the fields of education and child development, craft and art theory, philosophy, photography and anthropology; from sociology, museology and material culture studies have come insights into the significance of objects and their qualities. The wider contextual settings of museums and shopping have been explored, and in depth studies conducted. Museums were visited, both in New Zealand and in London, with staff interviews augmented by visitor experience. A survey of Internet shoppers and non shoppers has revealed attitudes and behaviours which will undoubtedly influence the course of the virtual experience. After examination of the practicalities and implications of technological development, the thesis concludes by collecting together a wide range of the identified properties which objects can have, and examining the limitations of conveying them through image and text. Drawing these findings together with the contextual background, allows informed appraisal of the phrases “soon we will all be doing our shopping on the Internet”, and “we won’t need museums at all soon, it will all be done by virtual reality”, and of the implications which would follow

    Signposting, a dynamic approach to design process management

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    This paper presents an overview of a dynamic guidance tool that has been developed to address a need for design support in the aerospace sector. The tool, called signposting, provides the means of directing activity by suggesting the next appropriate task in the design process. This suggestion, based on the presence of key parameters and their associated confidences, allows design to be a reactive process. The underlying logic of the design process is captured using confidence mappings which determine when a task is possible, sensible or not achievable. The lack of prescriptive process structure also allows new design tasks to be added at any time. The signposting technique is described with reference to a simple mechanical design process example

    A multi-thread tabu search algorithm

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    This paper describes a novel refinement to a Tabu search algorithm that has been implemented in an attempt to improve the robustness of the search when applied to particularly complex problems. In this approach, two Tabu searches are carried out in parallel. Each search thread is characterised by it's own short term memory which forces that point out of local optima. However, the two search threads share an intermediate term memory so allowing a degree of information to be passed between them. Results are presented for both unconstrained and constrained numerical functions as well as a problem in the field of hydraulic circuit optimization. Simulation of hydraulic circuit performance is achieved by linking the optimization algorithm to the commercial simulation package Bathfp

    The synthesis of hybrid mechanisms using genetic algorithms

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    This thesis presents a novel design methodology for the synthesis of hybrid mechanisms using Genetic Algorithms. GAs are a search and optimisation method which model the mechanics of population genetics to give a truly global search method. In parallel to the development of a suitable GA, the work also develops novel objective function criteria which go some way to providing an approximation to dynamic criteria whilst using only kinematic properties during calculations. This has considerable effect in reducing the time required to find a feasible solution. The thesis presents a set of results which validate the proposed methodology, both in terms of speed of convergence and quality of the final solutions obtained. The application chosen is the synthesis of a hybrid five bar path generating mechanism. A description is given of the development of a practical machine for a given test case, so as to illustrate that the solutions produced are feasible in terms of real world implementation. Results are presented which show the effectiveness of the machine. Finally, a critical analysis of both the methodology and the results is carried out. This highlights some areas in which the methodology could be improved by future work

    A comparison of two methods applied to the optimisation of fluid power circuits

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    This paper describes two optimisation methods which can be applied to the parameter selection stage of Fluid Power System design. These two methods used are a Genetic Algorithm (GA) and a Tabu Search method, both of which have been claimed to be truely global methods. GAs are a method inspired by natural selection and Darwinian evolution whilst Tabu Search is an aggressive search metaheuristic which guides local search methods towards the globally optimum solution. Results are presented for two different circuit optimisation tasks. These results show that each of the two methods have both advantages and disadvantages

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