816 research outputs found

    Visual Management in Engineering Can Improve Resource Utilization and Reduce Administrative Non-Value Added Time

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    This research has demonstrated how Visual Management (VM) can be used in an engineering environment to improve engineering resource utilization. Furthermore, it reduces the administrative time associated with unclear project scope, schedule, budget, and task alignment amongst engineers and project leadership. The research references a case study in which low engineering utilization was directly impacting overall project success. Inconsistent visibility of scheduled engineering activities, changes in tasking, and project metrics created uncertainty and resulted in greater than appropriate administrative time. The methodology used was to implement visual project management tools and track engineer utilization over two years. Quarterly utilization results for the engineering staff were captured from January 2017 thru June 2020 and used to show resulting trends and statistical analysis of results. This research has shown clear and consistent improvement from the point of visual management implementation and has sustained improved performance over the last 1.5 years of the research period. Moreover, two statistical t-tests were used to show if the research rejects or accepts the null hypothesis that there was zero statistical difference to utilization or administrative time burdens before and after implementing the visual management tools. Lastly, survey results from the engineers included as participants provided the qualitative data needed to support the research conclusion and quantitative analysis

    EFFECTS OF FOREST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON RACCOON ECOLOGY IN A LONGLEAF PINE ECOSYSTEM

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    Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are ecological generalists common throughout a variety of habitats across their range. Although considered an economically important furbearer species in many regions, they are considered potentially important nest predators of certain species. Because raccoons may have a significant ecological impact on the landscape, it remains important to understand their ecology in a variety of ecosystems. We studied raccoon ecology in a longleaf pine ecosystem in southwestern Georgia, where little information for the species exists. Specifically, we assessed 269 daytime resting sites (i.e., refugia) associated with 31 radio-collared adult raccoons (18M, 13F) during 2014-2015 using an information theoretic approach. The top 2 predictive models included the variables tree diameter, tree type, presence of nearby hardwood, and distances to pine, hardwood, mixed forest and agriculture. However, tree type and diameter were the only informative variables, suggesting that for our study area, variables associated with the tree itself were more important than the landscape. Additionally, we evaluated raccoon home ranges and habitat selection on a study area in which longleaf pine forest restoration practices included substantial hardwood removal efforts spanning a 15-year time period (i.e. 1999 = pre-removal; 2015 = post-removal). Male raccoons maintained larger home ranges than females during both time periods, but there were no significant differences in home range size for either sex according to time period or the interaction. Raccoon habitat use differed by time period at 2 spatial scales. When selecting a home range (secondorder selection), mature pine forests were selected over all other habitat features before hardwood removal. Following hardwood removal, the only habitat selected differently was immature pine forest. When selecting habitats within the home range (third-order selection), hardwood forests were selected over all other habitat features before and after hardwood removal. Raccoons selected wetlands and primary roads differently following hardwood removal. Our findings suggest that habitat manipulation conducive to promoting longleaf pine restoration may impact raccoon populations by altering their space use

    Medial prefrontal cortex lesions in mice do not impair effort-based decision making.

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    The function of the medial prefrontal cortex has previously been determined in the rat to play an important role in effort-based decision making and this, along with functions of other areas, has been assumed largely, to hold true in all rodents. In this study, we attempted to replicate this result in mice and to develop a model for effort-based decision making that could be useful for the study of neurological conditions. Mice were trained on a cost-benefit T-maze paradigm, whereby they chose between a low reward with little effort needed to obtain it or a higher reward, which required increased effort. Following training, the medial prefrontal cortex was lesioned. After surgery, contrary to earlier published rat studies, the performance of the mice did not change. In previous studies, prefrontal cortex lesioned rats chose the low effort/low reward option, but lesioned mice continued to select the high reward/high effort option. However, the other results are in line with previous mouse studies in both the extent of pathology and anxiety-like behaviour. These results illustrate a difference in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex between rats and mice and offer a word of caution on the interpretation of data from studies that employ different species

    Democracy and Social Justice in Sarajevo’s Schools

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    After the end of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, the people of Sarajevo found themselves rebuilding their country while also learning to live with their former enemies in this developing democracy. In this study we examined the extent to which democratic practices and social justice values were being taught in Sarajevo’s schools. Using a case study method, we gathered data gathered from interviews with educators in a variety of roles in Sarajevo, observations of elementary and secondary classroom teaching, and daily reflective journal entries about living and teaching in the city during the fall of 2008. Our data analyses revealed that democratic teaching practices and multicultural values are not being taught in Sarajevo’s schools. Instead, entangled and fragmented governmental structures, lingering emotional trauma from the war, and a general sense of pessimism about the future are interfering with educational reform and movement toward a democratic and socially-just society

    A transfer function approach for predicting rare cell capture microdevice performance

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    Rare cells have the potential to improve our understanding of biological systems and the treatment of a variety of diseases; each of those applications requires a different balance of throughput, capture efficiency, and sample purity. Those challenges, coupled with the limited availability of patient samples and the costs of repeated design iterations, motivate the need for a robust set of engineering tools to optimize application-specific geometries. Here, we present a transfer function approach for predicting rare cell capture in microfluidic obstacle arrays. Existing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools are limited to simulating a subset of these arrays, owing to computational costs; a transfer function leverages the deterministic nature of cell transport in these arrays, extending limited CFD simulations into larger, more complicated geometries. We show that the transfer function approximation matches a full CFD simulation within 1.34 %, at a 74-fold reduction in computational cost. Taking advantage of these computational savings, we apply the transfer function simulations to simulate reversing array geometries that generate a “notch filter” effect, reducing the collision frequency of cells outside of a specified diameter range. We adapt the transfer function to study the effect of off-design boundary conditions (such as a clogged inlet in a microdevice) on overall performance. Finally, we have validated the transfer function’s predictions for lateral displacement within the array using particle tracking and polystyrene beads in a microdevice.National Cancer Institute (U.S.). Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (Cornell Center on the Microenvironment and Metastasis. Award U54CA143876
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