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    Sports Team Success and Managerial Decisions: The Role of Playing Time Concentration

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    Professional sports teams employ highly paid managers and coaches to train players and make tactical and strategic team decisions. A large literature analyzes the impact of manager decisions on team outcomes. Empirical analysis of manager decisions requires a quantifiable proxy variable for manager decisions. Previous research focused on manager dismissals, tenure on teams, the number of substitutions made in games, or the number of healthy players on rosters held out of games for rest, generally finding small positive impacts of manager decisions on team success. We analyze manager decisions by developing a novel measure of game-specific coach decisions based on a Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) of playing-time distribution across players on a team roster in a game. Evidence from two-way fixed effects regression models explaining observed variation in National Basketball Association team winning percentage over the 1999-2000 to 2018-2019 seasons show a significant association between managers allocation of playing time and team success. A one standard deviation change in playing-time HHI that reflects a flattened distribution of player talent is associated with between one and two additional wins per season, holding the talent of players on the team roster constant. Heterogeneity exists in the impact across teams with different player talent. This is one of the first papers to examine playing time concentration in professional sports. Our results are important for understanding how managerial decisions affect the production of wins in team sports

    Synthetic Well Log Generation Software

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    In this study, we developed a novel approach to generate synthetic well logs using backpropagation neural networks through the use of an open source software development tool. Our method predicts essential well logs such as neutron porosity, sonic, photoelectric, and resistivity, which are crucial in various stages of oil and gas exploration and development, as they help determine reservoir characteristics. Our approach involves sequentially predicting well logs, using the outputs of one prediction model as inputs for subsequent models to generate comprehensive and coherent sets of well logs. We trained and tested our models using 16 wells from a single field, and the resulting synthetic well logs demonstrated an acceptable degree of accuracy and consistency with the actual logs, thus supporting the efficacy of our approach. This research not only opens up new avenues for enhancing the efficiency of hydrocarbon exploration but also contributes to the growing body of knowledge in the field of AI and ML applications in the oil and gas industry. This work also demonstrates the capabilities of open source tools for developing software and for oil and gas applications

    Optimizing sample collection and data interpretation for effective wastewater-based epidemiology in combined sewer systems

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    COVID-19 has spurred growth in the science surrounding wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) pertaining to the detection of severe acute respiratory virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in waste streams as an early warning signal for public health. However, the highly variable wastewater environment has made it difficult to standardize an approach for sampling and analysis, especially in locations using combined sewer infrastructure. This study addresses knowledge gaps of WBE via three specific aims: (1) to compare diurnal fluctuations of SARS-CoV-2 and the human fecal indicator, pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent samples collected during dry versus wet weather conditions; (2) to assess accuracy of grab versus 24-hour composite samples collected under variable flow conditions; and (3) to examine changes in wastewater influent composition associated with rainfall derived inflow and infiltration (RDII) and impacts to SARS-CoV-2 and PMMoV abundance. Using droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR), both SARS-CoV-2 and PMMoV were quantified hourly at two WWTPs in West Virginia during three wet and three dry weather events. A parallel configuration of two automated samplers was deployed at each WWTP to collect: (a) 24 grab samples, collected hourly, and (b) an equivalent 24-hour composite. Wastewater physiochemistry metadata (chemical oxygen demand, ammonia, conductivity, total suspended solids, turbidity, pH, temperature, and influent flow) was also collected. Results provided evidence of the influence of site-specific factors on viral abundance, including the potential role of septage haulers in skewed viral RNA abundance and RDII as a driver of overall viral concentrations. Significantly lower concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 were observed during wet weather days at both WWTPs (Mann Whitney U,

    An Alternate History of the Bad Years: A Novel

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    This is a novel about two recent high school graduates, Moz and Kelsey. The novel, which is set in 2014, alternates in perspective with each part, Kelsey in first-person and Moz in a close third-person. Moz and Kelsey, who have been friends since their freshman year, formed a two-person band together in the fall of their junior year. They have been reasonably successful, playing in local venues and getting some attention on social media. For the summer after their senior year, they decide to go on an eight-week tour around the East Coast and near Midwest together before Kelsey starts college. When the manager of the Meaty Goblins, an up-and-coming indie band, explains that the opening act for their six-month tour has dropped out and offers them the spot, Kelsey must decide whether she is willing to defer her admission and scholarship to college for a year, even if it will likely anger her controlling parents. The consequences of this decision send the band on a journey both literal and internal, a journey through “liminal spaces,” places that feel disconnected from the world that Moz and Kelsey have known before, hotels, parking lots, gas stations in towns they might never visit again. In these spaces, they find the room to grow and change, to begin figuring out the people that they might be becoming. But will these changes bring them together or tear their band apart? And what does Moz really mean to Kelsey


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    A collection of poems that explore and question religion, sexuality, and ways of occupying the world while struggling with mental health issues. These poems venture towards discovering self, and making sense of such an identity by playing with lyricism, poetic form, and imagery


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    Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are excellent alternatives to traditional materials for civil infrastructure. Several researchers have worked on the application of FRP composites for construction, repair, and rehabilitation of structures. This research aims at evaluating the use of carbon, glass, basalt, and hybrid FRPs with epoxy and polyurethane resin systems for rehabilitation of damaged structural components. Following evaluations were carried out in this research: (i) tension testing of FRP coupons, (ii) compression testing of concrete cylinders with and without damaged sections/FRP reinforcements, (iii) flexural testing of external-FRP reinforced RC beams with and without damages, (iv) pull-off tests on FRP wraps bonded to concrete surface under various surface and dry/wet conditions, and (v) comparison of experimental results with the theoretical analysis for axial and flexural structural members. As a part of this work, partially/fully damaged concrete cylinders and reinforced concrete beams wrapped with different FRP systems were tested in compression or flexure to evaluate their axial and flexural strength/stiffness properties, confinement effects, energy absorption, and failure modes. Theoretical models were compared with the experimental results and found to be in good agreement for different FRP systems. FRP systems with carbon, glass, and basalt fibers were found to be effective in providing axial and flexural strength enhancements. The FRP wrap effectiveness was found to depend upon the fiber type, primer, resin, and fiber wet-out properties. FRP fabrics help rehabilitate the damaged civil infrastructure members such as beams and columns at a fraction of the huge replacement costs

    Does Title VII Prohibit Discrimination in Employment-Transfer Decisions Only if They Cause Materially Significant Disadvantages for Employees?

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    Case at a Glance: Petitioner Jatonya Clayborn Muldrow, a sergeant for the St. Louis Police Department, was transferred to another unit within the department. Muldrow sued the City of St. Louis for making a discriminatory transfer decision in alleged violation of Title VII. This case presents the question of whether Title VII prohibits discriminatory transfer decisions absent a separate court determination that the decision caused Muldrow materially significant disadvantages

    Investigation of High-Volume Volcanic Ash Cement Composites Modified with Amorphous Materials Through Experimental and Analytical Methods

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    Alternative supplemental cementitious materials (SCMs) are increasingly utilized in novel ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry. Volcanic ash (VA) is an abundant natural resource in many regions of the world. It is used as an alternative SCM for partial Portland cement (PC) replacement, but its low reactivity limits its applications to 10-25 wt.%. Another factor for restriction of high volume (\u3e50%) VA (HVVA) PC replacement in concrete is due to insufficient amounts of Ca(OH)2 produced during PC hydration. These limitations are circumvented by modifying the reactivity of VA and by increasing the source of Ca(OH)2 in the system. This can be achieved by: (1) incorporating individual reactive components, such as CaO, SiO2, and Al2O3, into the mix design; (2) activating the reactivity of VA through physical, chemical and thermal processes; (3) introducing amorphous materials (AMs) that contain high reactive components in their composition to form modified-VA (MVA) and take advantage of their synergistic effects; and (4) employing an additional source of Ca(OH)2 to enable a complete reaction of HVVA. To better utilize HVVA in concrete mixtures, a dependable method to enhance the reactivity efficiency is needed. In this study, a methodology to modify the reactivity of VA was developed and used to increase its performance. An analytical tool to link integrated reaction models and PC paste mortar performance was also developed. Ca(OH)2-reactivity test (CRT) and ASTM C311/C618 reactivity tests are typically used as standard baselines to quantify the reactivity of VAs. This modified these reactivity tests to be reliable for evaluation of VA/MVA. The mechanical and thermal properties of environmentally friendly mix designs containing VA/MVA were experimentally measured. Materials with high amorphous content (\u3e90 wt.%), such as slag (SL), silica fume (SF), and metakaolin (MK), were used to form MVA. A classification that can identify the level of reactivity of VA/MVA was developed based on modified-CRT (MCRT). VA sourced from four different origins were evaluated in this study based on MCRT. Three of them were found to be reactive, while one was non-reactive. Modification of these VAs with AMs (MVA) resulted in higher reactivities. Binary (PC+VA) and ternary (PC+MVA) mortars were developed at 50 wt.% PC replacement based on modified-ASTM C311/C618 reactivity tests. Comprehensive studies on heat evolution behavior and kinetics of binary and ternary pastes were conducted. Linear equations were formulated to estimate the strength of binary mortars as a function of the heat released by binary pastes. The modified reactivity tests show consistent results and has assessed reactivity more accurately than the standard tests found in literature. Results of ternary PC systems indicate that SL is the best candidate for modifying the reactivity of VA to form MVA due to lower consumption of Ca(OH)2, while systems with MK and SF suffer from Ca(OH)2 deficiency that hinder the development of strength. The required amount of Ca(OH)2 for a complete reaction in each VA was calculated based on the VA’s reactivity index (RI). RI was determined based on modified ASTM C311/C618 reactivity test. Linear equations were formulated to estimate RI of VA, thereby facilitating the calculation of the required Ca(OH)2 in the system. The required amounts of Ca(OH)2 for different HVVAs range from 3-10 wt.% of the binder. This amount of Ca(OH)2 was dissolved in the mixing water and used to reproduce the ternary mortars and resulted in improved strength. A linear equation for estimating the amorphous content as a function of RI was formulated and used to distinguish the inert and the reactive portions in each VA. A linear equation was developed to calculate the mass of Ca(OH)2 consumed by each VA, which was then used in the integrated reactions models proposed in this research. Reaction kinetic parameters of VA/MVA systems were experimentally determined and used in integrated reactions models. A 0.5-m insulated cube used to measure adiabatic temperature rise (ATR) was developed. Multiple ATR estimation methods on a single mix design were compared to validate its applicability. Results indicate that all ATR estimation methods compare well with the measurements. Binary (BIR) and ternary (TIR) integrated reaction models were proposed to simulate the binary and ternary hydration blends and predicts their various properties. The chemical reaction equations of VAs are used to estimate the mass of chemically bound water (mc) and gel water (mg), which have not been documented in the literature for VA. In addition, mc and mg for SL and SF were estimated based on their chemical reactions. The experimental heat of hydration was used to calibrate the BIR and TIR models, and thus determine their constant reaction coefficients. These models showed results that match well with the experimental measurements. Parametric analysis was performed using BIR and TIR models. Equation expressing gel/space ratio was modified based on the SiO2 chemical reaction of VA to predict the strength development. It was then further modified to consider the gel/space ratio of AMs. Equations to predict the compressive strength were proposed. The predicted and measured compressive strengths corresponded well. Insufficient Ca(OH)2 in concrete mixtures increases the risk of low strength. Therefore, the dissolved amount of Ca(OH)2 in the mixing water was considered in the models. The developed models show excellent benefits for evaluating the chemical, mechanical and thermal properties of VA/MVA-blended concrete. These models will enable engineers to predict concrete properties that can be used for modifying the reactivity in unique cement blends. They can also be used as a useful tool to take preventative actions to minimize the risk of low strength issues. This work concluded that systems with 50 wt.% PC plus 35 wt.% VA and 15 wt.% SL with additionally dissolved Ca(OH)2 provide very promising results for alternative concrete mixture for use in industrial applications

    Application of the Flowing Material Balance to Unconventional Gas Reservoirs

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    In the realm of conventional reservoirs, the estimation of Original Gas-in-Place (OGIP) has long been established using traditional material balance method. However, the emergence of unconventional shale reservoirs accessed through horizontal well and hydraulic fracturing presents new challenges for estimation OGIP by the traditional material balance. The flowing material balance (FMB) has the potential to provide an estimate of the OGIP in the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV). Adsorption of hydrocarbons to the organic matter within the shale rock matrix represents a significant component of the overall OGIP. The inclusion of the Langmuir volume and pressure in the material balance equation has shown promise to account for adsorption in these reservoirs. The shale mechanical properties are more sensitive to stress. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the impact of shale compaction when estimating OGIP. The impact of shale compaction can be implemented through application of the permeability multipliers determined from experimental data. The ultimate objective of this research is to determine the feasibility of assessing OGIP in the stimulated shale reservoir volume through application of the flowing material balance concept. To achieve this, the predicted production, and flowing pressures data for a horizontal shale well with multistage hydraulic fracture were analyzed to validate the methodology for the evaluation of OGIP in the stimulated shale reservoir volume. By addressing this critical issue in unconventional reservoir management, this study aims to present a comprehensive OGIP determination methodology that can be employed in the early stages of a shale gas well\u27s life cycle. The findings and insights derived from this research will contribute to enhanced decision-making processes, improved reservoir characterization, and ultimately more efficient and effective exploitation of unconventional shale resources

    Enabling Cybersecure and Resilient Smart Distribution Grid with Edge Devices

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    The smart distribution grid achieves enhanced efficiency and flexibility through the utilization of advanced communication infrastructure, digital devices, and robust computation and control capabilities. Grid-edge devices including distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar photovoltaics (PV), battery storage systems, and intelligent electric loads like electric vehicles and smart appliances, are contributing to the growth of the smart distribution grid. This evolution is transforming the grid into a multifaceted network of interconnected devices and systems, enabling bidirectional data communication and power flows. However, these new layers of data integration and control in the smart grid introduce vulnerabilities to cyberattacks and accidental failures, posing significant threats to the critical infrastructure of the distribution grid. To ensure the cybersecure and resilient operation of the smart distribution grid, it is imperative to comprehend the interdependencies between these devices and the grid itself. Additionally, monitoring and controlling are critical for system operation with edge devices. This research focuses on conducting cyber-power co-simulation studies to gain insights into the interplay between the cyber and physical layers of a smart distribution grid. A test-bed for cyber-power co-simulation has been developed, employing OpenDSS as the power network simulator and Mininet as the cyber network emulator. This test-bed integrates distributed coordination, cyber-attack modeling, and anomaly detection and mitigation techniques to evaluate the performance of various distributed control and optimization applications against cyberattacks. Furthermore, this research has devised resiliency metrics to enable the monitoring of smart distribution grids equipped with edge devices and facilitate informed decision-making. These metrics include the IoT Trustability Score (ITS), which leverages a neural network with federated learning to assess the impact of IoT devices. Additionally, Primary level Node Resiliency (PNR) and Distribution System Resiliency (DSR) metrics have been developed, utilizing the cyber-physical attributes of a smart distribution grid. Finally, a resiliency-driven reconfiguration algorithm has been developed, incorporating demand response strategies to maximize the supply to critical loads. Multiple case studies have been conducted to validate these methodologies on different distribution test systems, yielding satisfactory results


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