424 research outputs found

    An analysis of the decision making processes and criteria applied by adolescents selecting A level subjects and place of study

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    A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of LutonThe research was stimulated by involvement in leading elements of an Education Management programme. Developing part of the teaching material led to the realisation that while pupils' choice of school has been extensively researched it appeared that subject choice, particularly at A level had not. It also became apparent that ideas and models concerning decision making, extensively adopted within the Consumer Behaviour literature had not been applied in this context. Extensive reviews ofthe literature confirmed this position and indicated that the post sixteen school choice was also under researched and further that it was not possible to apply extant consumer behaviour models directly to the A level or School choice contexts. The research programme consisted of a mixture of qualitative and quantitative techniques. Building on elements of theory, from the literature, exploratory research employing focus groups was used to develop an initial model of adolescent pupil decision making. Early in the exploratory research it was found that the decision for adolescents choosing where to study their A levels was inextricably linked to choice of subjects. Choice of A level subjects was added to the research programme. Based on the exploratory results a quantitative study, using questionnaires, was developed to test the model on both single (choosing a school) and multiple (choosing A level subjects) choice situations. The study investigated differences between single-choice and multiple-choice decision making, an area neglected by consumer research, which provides at least a partial explanation of the process used by the pupils when they choose schools/colleges and A level subjects. Findings identify that although some aspects ofthe choice process are similar, there are important differences between the two types of decision. Evoked set are larger for multiple-choice decisions, and multi-choice decisions are likely to involve more stages in the decision making process than single-choice decisions. The results also identified that the parents' role has changed from 'decider', when their children were younger, to 'influencer', with the adolescent pupils becoming the decision makers. Concomitantly, choice criteria are shown to have evolved with 'discipline' decreasing markedly in importance and subject range increasing. The pre-eminence of personal sources of information is confinued but co-orientation emphasised

    Malaysian wooden furniture industry: study of safety standards, compliance and consequential implications

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    The improvement of health and safety standards within the organisational context is an important issue of global concern. The traditional approach to managing workplace safety in Malaysia has focused on the technical aspects of engineering systems and processes, and it has attributed the majority of workplace accidents and injuries to unsafe working conditions instead of the unsafe work practices of employees. However, there has been a fundamental shift in the safety management research carried out in many countries and across diverse industries, which aims to measure the impact of attitudinal, organisational, cultural and social dimensions on occupational safety. The factors affecting the safety level in the Malaysian wooden furniture industry was studied in 30 wooden furniture manufacturing factories, using a structured questionnaire. The study found that although there were four determinants of the prevailing safety climate in the work environment, it was the management responsibility and safety precautions that had the strongest influence on safety climate. Further, the primary health and safety concerns among workers in the wooden furniture manufacturing industry were the air-borne dust, noise, chemical exposure, materials handling and occupational accidents. In this context, it is essential for the management to show commitment towards health and safety and incorporate safety precautions into the operational system, to ensure a safe working environment in the wooden furniture manufacturing industry. Further, in order to improve the safety level within the wooden furniture industry, the economics and policies that govern the implementation of safety and health precautions must be emphasised, as the wooden furniture industry is a cost sensitive industry

    Table of Contents and Prologue

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    Editorial board, Table of contents, and Prologue, an introduction to volume 1

    On the Equivariance Properties of Self-adjoint Matrices

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    We investigate self-adjoint matrices ARn,nA\in\mathbb{R}^{n,n} with respect to their equivariance properties. We show in particular that a matrix is self-adjoint if and only if it is equivariant with respect to the action of a group Γ2(A)O(n)\Gamma_2(A)\subset \mathbf{O}(n) which is isomorphic to k=1nZ2\otimes_{k=1}^n\mathbf{Z}_2. If the self-adjoint matrix possesses multiple eigenvalues -- this may, for instance, be induced by symmetry properties of an underlying dynamical system -- then AA is even equivariant with respect to the action of a group Γ(A)i=1kO(mi)\Gamma(A) \simeq \prod_{i = 1}^k \mathbf{O}(m_i) where m1,,mkm_1,\ldots,m_k are the multiplicities of the eigenvalues λ1,,λk\lambda_1,\ldots,\lambda_k of AA. We discuss implications of this result for equivariant bifurcation problems, and we briefly address further applications for the Procrustes problem, graph symmetries and Taylor expansions

    Through Einsteins Eyes

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    We have developed a relativistically accurate computer graphics code, and have used it to produce photo-realistic images and videos of scenes where special relativistic effects dominate, either in astrophysical contexts or in imaginary worlds where the speed of light is only a few metres per second
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