2,372 research outputs found

    Designing technology to promote play between parents and their infant children

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    PhD ThesisParents’ interaction and engagement with young children is fundamental to their healthy development. Children whose parents interact and communicate more frequently exhibit greater school readiness, better language ability, higher grades, and the ability to make friends, guarding against negative outcomes across the lifespan, such as reduced employment prospects and lower mental health. While HCI research has recently begun to address important challenges in parent-child communication, these have focused predominantly on understanding how parents use technology while parenting. However, designing technologybased interventions to support communication practices in parenting young children is largely under-explored. The research presented in this thesis investigates how technology can promote positive interaction between parents and their infant children, specifically those younger than three years old. This time of childhood is fundamental to healthy development as children progressively construct their understanding and knowledge of the world through their coordination of physical interaction with objects and their sensory experiences during this time. Play is especially crucial in this regard, being the primary method of communication between parent and child. Using three case studies, the thesis describes how I worked collaboratively with play specialists and parents to gain a rich understanding of parents’ current play practices with their children, the challenges they face when seeking to engage with their children, and the barriers to this engagement; my approach to engaging parents in to a co-creative process to build an online resource to support their needs around play; and how the design of the technology builds on how parents currently play with their children, the frenetic nature of being a parent, and the need to leverage opportunities to play as they arise rather than pre-planned play experiences. This research makes four contributions. It argues for parent-infant play to be a potentially important and viable area of research in the nascent HCI literature on parenthood. It provides a rich and detailed account of how parents’ play with their children, highlighting novel uses of technology among numerous examples of communicative play. However, it also illustrates that many parents find it difficult to play with their children. Finally, it provides rich insights in to the complexities and challenges of conducting design research with parents of infant children and the importance of engaging organisations in such long-term design engagements

    The X-ray Variability of Seyfert Galaxies

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    Strong and variable X-ray emission has long been known to be a universal property of active galaxies. However, despite years of study, the exact nature of the variability remains relatively unknown. We present here results of a multi-year monitoring campaign of a sample of Seyfert galaxies (3C 120, Mkn 509, 3C 390.3, and Akn 120), carried out using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). For Mkn 509, we also present results of optical monitoring. Mkn 509 shows a strong correlation between X-ray and optical variations, with the optical leading the X-ray by 25 days. We also investigate the rms-flux relationship in our sample. The two radio loud objects in our sample (3C 120, 3C 390.3) show a clear correlation between flux and rms variability, while the two radio quiet objects (Mkn 509, Akn 120) show no such relationship. Monte Carlo simulations were used to estimate the shape of the underlying power spectrum, and we find that all of our objects have a break frequency below which the power spectrum flattens. The relationship between optical and X-ray variability is discussed, with lags occurring most likely as a result of instabilities or changes in accretion flow propagating inwards through the disk. We also discuss possible physical timescales that could be related to the break frequency, along with connections to galactic X-ray binaries

    Measurement of Atmospheric NOy Species Using Active and Lunar DOAS in an Urban and Forested Region

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    The study of NOy serves as an important undertaking in the understanding of both night and daytime atmospheric processes. Two separate datasets were collected over the course of this research using Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy. In the first study, NO3 vertical column densities (VCDs) determined using lunar DOAS were analysed in conjunction with surface mixing ratios found using active DOAS on two separate nights during the summer of 2015 to quantify the NO3 vertical profile present at York University. The second study focused on the determination of HONO mixing ratios based on full-day active DOAS measurements performed in a forested region at the AMS13 site near Fort McMurray, Alberta during a joint field study with Environment Canada. The average diurnal profile of HONO found in this study (and various other species) was used for calculating the daytime production of OH radical through HONO photolysis compared to other OH production mechanisms

    Exploring New Urbanism: An Examination of New Developments done the old way

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