24,815 research outputs found

    Reading in a foreign language: Strategic variation between readers of differing proficiency

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    For university language students who are required to deal with literary texts for linguistic or literary purposes, there is hardly any transitional stage between short adapted expository texts, read in the early stages of language learning, and complex literary texts, encountered at university in the literature class. Language readers must then make a substantial mental effort to understand texts intended for a native readership. In challenging reading mode, the quality of reading depends on the efficiency of problem-solving operations, including evaluative and executive strategies, put into place in order to attempt to fill in the comprehension gaps present in complex texts. Although reading strategies used by foreign language learners have been identified and categorised by research, the conditions of their use and their relationships are still unclear. Moreover, to my knowledge, no empirical investigation has focused specifically on comprehension monitoring in the context of foreign language literary texts. Literature instruction would benefit from such a study. Using verbal reports to elicit data, this study proposes to examine how proficient and less proficient university students of French, at intermediate level of instruction, implement problem-solving strategies when reading literary texts. Strategies such as guessing at words, consulting a dictionary, and translating mentally, are studied in relation to their contribution to the overall monitoring cycle. The results obtained indicate that proficient and less proficient readers tend to use the same strategies but with different purposes. The study demonstrates that the major difference between the two groups of respondents resides in ability some readers have to integrate meaning and construct text in a cohesive and synthetic fashion

    Suppression of Dewetting in Pulsed Laser Melting of Thin Metallic Films on Silica

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    Pulsed excimer laser projection irradiation has been successfully applied to completely melt and resolidify encapsulated elemental metal films of Au, Cu, Cr, and Ni directly on amorphous SiO2 substrates. A combination of narrow irradiated lines and appropriate SiO2 capping layers was used to obtain films that do not dewet when fully melted. Detailed processing maps were generated for Au and Ni, while equivalent trends for Cu and Cr were also noted. These systems were analyzed for common behaviors. These behaviors have been generalized into a basic process map that may apply more generally. Experimental parameters and sample preparation criteria are presented to realize such resolidification studies in other metal systems

    Biosecurity and exotic disease surveillance in the New Zealand pig industry : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Massey University, New Zealand

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    Chapter 1 removed due to copyright reasons. Published as: Neumann, E. J.(2012). Disease transmission and biosecurity. In J.J. Zimmerman, L.A. Karriker, A. Ramirez, K.J. Schwartz, & G.W. Stevenson (Eds.), Diseases of swine (pp. 141-164). Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell.The New Zealand commercial pig industry is modern and highly productive. The industry is free from many of the important infectious diseases present in much of the rest of the world. However, alongside the commercial industry are a large number of non-commercial pig holdings operated with minimal attention to biosecurity. The extent to which the activities in the non-commercial sector might negatively impact the commercial sector was unknown therefore a series of projects was undertaken to explore the likelihood of an exotic disease occurring. A risk assessment was undertaken to determine the likelihood porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus would be introduced into New Zealand through imported fresh pork. The study estimated that at least 4.3 pig herds per year were likely to become infected with PRRS and that 36% of these incursions would spread to additional herds. It was recognized that the data describing the interactions between commercial and non-commercial pigs could be improved so a prospective study was undertaken to collect information about the movements of pigs and genetic material between farms. To assist in development of a national surveillance programme, two additional studies were then initiated. First, a study was conducted to determine the effect of blood sample mishandling on the performance of ELISA assays and second, a retrospective analysis of data from a national abattoir-based lesion recording system (PigCheck) was conducted. These studies were done with the realization that future surveillance activities would need to incorporate creative means of generating high-quality surveillance data, from various surveillance components, using both laboratory- and field-based staff. Investment Logic Mapping was then used to assist the industry in establishing a biosecurity and surveillance strategy. A single strategy ‘improve surveillance’ was identified as the key area for biosecurity investment. In response to this finding, modelling of potential surveillance activities was completed and a surveillance programme was proposed costing approximately $0.50 per pig annually. The work presented in this thesis demonstrates the New Zealand pig industry is susceptible to introduction of an exotic disease and that the population of non-commercial pigs must be considered when developing biosecurity, and disease readiness or response plans for the commercial industry. The described studies show that a cost effective national disease surveillance programme can be implemented through use of a combination of existing and newly developed sources of surveillance information

    Flexibility and Interaction at a Distance: A Mixed-Model Environment For Language Learning

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    This article reports on the process of design and development of two language courses for university students at beginning levels of competence. Following a preliminary experience in a low-tech environment for distance language learning and teaching, and a thorough review of the available literature, we identified two major challenges that would need to be addressed in our design: (1) a necessity to build sufficient flexibility into the materials to cater to a variety of learners' styles, interests and skill levels, therefore sustaining learners' motivation; and (2) a need to design materials that would present the necessary requisites of authenticity and interactivity identified in the examined literature, in spite of the reduced opportunities for face-to-face communication. In response to these considerations, we designed and developed learning materials and tasks to be distributed on CD-ROM, complemented by a WebCT component for added interactivity and task authenticity. Although only part of the original design was implemented, and further research is needed to assess the impact of our environment on learning outcomes, the results of preliminary evaluations are encouraging

    Biological production in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

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    ENGLISH:The present paper is principally concerned with the geographic distribution of the standing crop and production of phytoplankton at the surface of the eastern Pacific, east of 130°W and between 10°N and 33°S, as reflected by recently collected data. In addition we discuss some of the more obvious, general relationships among thermocline topography, nutrient concentration, and the various trophic levels from primary production to fish production. The limited data do not allow a seasonal study. We have therefore mapped all of the data together regardless of the time of collection, but do not wish to imply that the physical, chemical and biological system is without seasonal or periodic change. SPANISH:Como lo reflejan los datos recientemente recolectados, el presente trabajo está dedicado principalmente a la distribución geográfica de las cosechas estables y a la producción del fitoplancton en la superficie del Pacífico Oriental, al este de los 130°W y entre los 10°N y 33°S. Además discutimos algunas de las relaciones generales más obvias entre la topografía de la termoclina, la concentración de los nutrientes, y los varios niveles tróficos, desde la producción primaria hasta la producción de los peces. Los datos limitados no permiten un estudio estacional. Por lo tanto, hemos combinado todos los datos no tomando en cuenta el tiempo de la recolección, pero no queremos implicar que no existen cambios estacionales o periódicos en el sistema físico, químico y biológico

    Monetary Policy, Determinacy, and Learnability in the Open Economy

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    We study how determinacy and learnability of global rational expectations equilibrium may be affected by monetary policy in a simple, two country, New Keynesian framework. The two blocks may be viewed as the U.S. and Europe, or as regions within the euro zone. We seek to understand how monetary policy choices may interact across borders to help or hinder the creation of a unique rational expectations equilibrium worldwide which can be learned by market participants. We study cases in which optimal policies are being pursued country by country as well as some forms of cooperation. We find that open economy considerations may alter conditions for determinacy and learnability relative to closed economy analyses, and that new concerns can arise in the analysis of classic topics such as the desirability of exchange rate targeting and monetary policy cooperation.

    New economy - new policy rules?

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    The U.S. economy appears to have experienced a pronounced shift toward higher productivity over the last five years or so. We wish to understand the implications of such shifts for the structure of optimal monetary policy rules in simple dynamic economies. Accordingly, we begin with a standard economy in which a version of the Taylor rule constitutes the optimal monetary policy for a given inflation target and a given level of productivity. We augment this model with regime switching in productivity, and calculate the optimal monetary policy rule in the altered environment. We find that in the altered environment, a rule that incorporates leading indicators about regimes significantly outperforms the Taylor rule. We use this result to comment on the "new economy" events of the 1990s and the "stagflation" events of the 1970s form the perspective of our model.Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance) ; Economic conditions - United States

    CDS as Insurance: Leaky Lifeboats in Stormy Seas

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    In this paper we update the traditional insurance economics framework to incorporate key features of the credit default swap (CDS) market. First, we allow for insurer insolvency, with asymmetric information as to its probability. We find that stable insurers become less stable because they are forced to compete on price. When insurer type is known, increased competition among insurers can create instability for the same reason. Second, we allow the insured party to have heterogeneous motivations for purchasing CDS. For example, some may own the underlying asset and purchase CDS for risk management, while others buy these contracts purely for speculation. We show that speculators will choose to contract with less stable insurers, resulting in higher counterparty risk in this market relative to that of traditional insurance; however, a regulatory policy that disallows speculative trading can, perversely, cause market counterparty risk to increase. Third, we relax the standard assumption of contract exclusivity, which does not apply to the CDS market, by allowing the insured to purchase contracts from many insurers. In contrast to the traditional insurance model, we show that separation of risk type among insured parties can be achieved through insurer choice. We use our model to shed light on the debate over Central Counterparties (CCP). We show that requiring CDS contracts to be negotiated through CCPs can push stable insurers out of the market, mitigating the benefi t of risk pooling.credit default swaps; insurance; counterparty risk; banking; regulation

    Monetary policy, determinacy, and learnability in the open economy

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    We study how determinacy and learnability of global rational expectations equilibrium may be affected by monetary policy in a simple, two country, New Keynesian framework. The two blocks may be viewed as the U.S. and Europe, or as regions within the euro zone. We seek to understand how monetary policy choices may interact across borders to help or hinder the creation of a unique rational expectations equilibrium worldwide which can be learned by market participants. We study cases in which optimal policies are being pursued country by country as well as some forms of cooperation. We find that open economy considerations may alter conditions for determinacy and learnability relative to closed economy analyses, and that new concerns can arise in the analysis of classic topics such as the desirability of exchange rate targeting and monetary policy cooperation. JEL Classification: E52, F33indeterminacy, international policy coordination, monetary policy rules, new open economy macroeconomics

    How Infectious Was #Deflategate?

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    On Monday January 19, 2015 a story broke that the National Football League (NFL) had started an investigation into whether the New England Patriots deliberately deflated the footballs they used during their championship win over the Indianapolis Colts. Like an infectious disease, discussion regarding Deflategate grew rapidly on social media sites in the hours and days after the release of the story. However, after the Super Bowl was over, the scandal slowly began to dissipate and lost much of the attention it had originally had, as interest in the NFL wained at the completion of its season. We construct a simple epidemic model for the infectiousness of the Deflategate news story. We then use data from the social media site Twitter to estimate the parameters of this model using standard techniques from the study of inverse problems. We find that the infectiousness (as measured by the basic reproduction number) of Deflategate rivals that of any infectious disease that we are aware of, and is actually more infectious than recent news stories of greater importance - both in terms of the basic reproduction number and in terms of the average amount of time the average tweeter continued to tweet about the news story.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figure
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