144 research outputs found

    Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation

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    Using pooled data on instructional time and student performance by subject, our study finds evidence for the school inputs-student achievement relationship for German states. This finding is robust both to the inclusion of state fixed effects and in an extensive extreme bounds analysis. It stands in contrast to the majority of related studies. We argue that this is due to an error-in-variables problem and implied misinterpretation of existing studies that disregard the fact of learning being a cumulative process by relying on rather poor proxies for instructional time. Highschool ninth graders from the OECD Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA-E) tests’ bottom percentiles bene.t most from extra-instructional time measured in cumulated form from first up to ninth grade. Besides total instructional time exposure, we identify eight further social environment and institutional variables with robust impact on student performance. In contrast to instructional time hardly any of these factors can be affected by policy in the short run.education production function, student performance, school resources

    Essays on Education and Other Human Capital Related Policies

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    The thesis deals with five different human capital-related problems and tries to approach these problems from an empirical point of view. Each essay includes an own introduction and a short conclusion. All parts of the thesis are self-contained and can be read separately. The first essay entitled \"Size matters. The Relevance and Hicksian Surplus of Preferred College Class Size\" deals with the impact of class size on student evaluations of instructor performance using a sample of approximately 1,400 economics classes held at the university of Munich. Secondly, the data of a representative survey is used to estimate the willinngness-to-pay for preferred class size. Based on these findings and data, we try to give some evidence on what factors determine students\'' preferences for small class size with special interest to gender differences in the second essay entitled \"What determines Students Preferences for Small Class Size\". \"Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bound Analysis based on German state-level variation\" mainly deals with instructional time shortfall and student performance variation over the different German states using extreme bound analysis. Thereby the techniques also overcomes an error-in-variables problem and implied misinterpretation of existing studies that disregard the fact of learning being a cumulative process by relying on rather poor proxies for instructional time. In the essay \"No State Left Behind? Public education, accountability, and hybrid forms of federal governance\" the focus lies on announcement effects of the respective PISA results on election polls of federal government and federal states in Germany with regard to differences in relative performance in German states. In consideration of the results, we draw a policy conclusion about the distribution of authorities in a public education system between a federal government and federal states. Finally the last essay entitled \"A Re-examination of the Role of Gender in Determining Digital Piracy Behavior\" concentrates on the gender-gap in determining digital piracy behavior using a representative survey with more than 200 participants. In contrast to existing studies, we sharply discriminate between the frequency and the extent of pirating digital media

    Ultra-luminous X-ray sources and neutron-star-black-hole mergers from very massive close binaries at low metallicity

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    Gravitational waves from the binary black hole (BH) merger GW150914 may enlighten our understanding of ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs), as BHs>30Msun can reach luminosities>4x10^39 erg s^-1 without exceeding their Eddington limit. It is then important to study variations of evolutionary channels for merging BHs, which might instead form accreting BHs and become ULXs. It was recently shown that massive binaries with mass ratios close to unity and tight orbits can undergo efficient rotational mixing and evolve chemically homogeneously, resulting in a compact BH binary. We study similar systems by computing ~120000 detailed binary models with the MESA code covering a wide range of initial parameters. For initial mass ratios M2/M1~0.1-0.4, primaries >40Msun can evolve chemically homogeneously, remaining compact and forming a BH without undergoing Roche-lobe overflow. The secondary then expands and transfers mass to the BH, initiating a ULX phase. We predict that ~1 out of 10^4 massive stars evolves this way, and that in the local universe 0.13 ULXs per Msun yr^-1 of star-formation rate are observable, with a strong preference for low-metallicities. At metallicities log Z>-3, BH masses in ULXs are limited to 60Msun due to the occurrence of pair-instability supernovae which leave no remnant, resulting in an X-ray luminosity cut-off. At lower metallicities, very massive stars can avoid exploding as pair-instability supernovae and instead form BHs with masses above 130Msun, producing a gap in the ULX luminosity distribution. After the ULX phase, neutron-star-BH binaries that merge in less than a Hubble time are produced with a formation rate <0.2 Gpc^-3 yr^-1. We expect that upcoming X-ray observatories will test these predictions, which together with additional gravitational wave detections will provide strict constraints on the origin of the most massive BHs that can be produced by stars.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A. 19 Pages plus 16 pages of appendices. Abstract abridge

    Formation pathway for lonely stripped-envelope supernova progenitors: implications for Cassiopeia A

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    We explore a new scenario for producing stripped-envelope supernova progenitors. In our scenario, the stripped-envelope supernova is the second supernova of the binary, in which the envelope of the secondary was removed during its red supergiant phase by the impact of the first supernova. Through 2D hydrodynamical simulations, we find that ∼\sim50-90%\% of the envelope can be unbound as long as the pre-supernova orbital separation is ≲5\lesssim5 times the stellar radius. Recombination energy plays a significant role in the unbinding, especially for relatively high mass systems (≳18M⊙\gtrsim18M_\odot). We predict that more than half of the unbound mass should be distributed as a one-sided shell at about ∼\sim10-100pc away from the second supernova site. We discuss possible applications to known supernova remnants such as Cassiopeia A, RX J1713.7-3946, G11.2-0.3, and find promising agreements. The predicted rate is ∼\sim0.35-1%\% of the core-collapse population. This new scenario could be a major channel for the subclass of stripped-envelope or type IIL supernovae that lack companion detections like Cassiopeia A.Comment: 18 pages, 16 figures, to be submitted to MNRAS, comments welcom

    Bandwidth and conversion efficiency analysis of dissipative Kerr soliton frequency combs based on bifurcation theory

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    Dissipative Kerr soliton frequency combs generated in high-Q microresonators may unlock novel perspectives in a variety of applications and crucially rely on quantitative models for systematic device design. Here, we present a global bifurcation study of the Lugiato-Lefever equation which describes Kerr comb formation. Our study allows systematic investigation of stationary comb states over a wide range of technically relevant parameters. Quantifying key performance parameters of bright and dark-soliton combs, our findings may serve as a design guideline for Kerr comb generators

    Biochemical characterization of trans-sialidase TS1 variants from Trypanosoma congolense

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Animal African trypanosomiasis, sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle, is a resurgent disease in Africa caused by <it>Trypanosoma </it>parasites. Trans-sialidases expressed by trypanosomes play an important role in the infection cycle of insects and mammals. Whereas trans-sialidases of other trypanosomes like the American <it>T. cruzi </it>are well investigated, relatively little research has been done on these enzymes of <it>T. congolense</it>.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Based on a partial sequence and an open reading frame in the WTSI database, DNA sequences encoding for eleven <it>T. congolense </it>trans-sialidase 1 variants with 96.3% overall amino acid identity were amplified. Trans-sialidase 1 variants were expressed as recombinant proteins, isolated and assayed for trans-sialylation activity. The purified proteins produced α2,3-sialyllactose from lactose by desialylating fetuin, clearly demonstrating their trans-sialidase activity. Using an HPLC-based assay, substrate specificities and kinetic parameters of two variants were characterized in detail indicating differences in substrate specificities for lactose, fetuin and synthetic substrates. Both enzymes were able to sialylate asialofetuin to an extent, which was sufficient to reconstitute binding sites for Siglec-4. A mass spectrometric analysis of the sialylation pattern of glycopeptides from fetuin revealed clear but generally similar changes in the sialylation pattern of the <it>N</it>-glycans on fetuin catalyzed by the trans-sialidases investigated.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The identification and characterization of a trans-sialidase gene family of the African parasite <it>T. congolense </it>has opened new perspectives for investigating the biological role of these enzymes in Nagana and sleeping sickness. Based on this study it will be interesting to address the expression pattern of these genes and their activities in the different stages of the parasite in its infection cycle. Furthermore, these trans-sialidases have the biotechnological potential to be used for enzymatic modification of sialylated glycoconjugates.</p

    Mortality of Patients with Hematological Malignancy after Admission to the Intensive Care Unit

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    Background: The admission of patients with malignancies to an intensive care unit (ICU) still remains a matter of substantial controversy. The identification of factors that potentially influence the patient outcome can help ICU professionals make appropriate decisions. Patients and Methods: 90 adult patients with hematological malignancy (leukemia 47.8%, high-grade lymphoma 50%) admitted to the ICU were analyzed retrospectively in this single-center study considering numerous variables with regard to their influence on ICU and day-100 mortality. Results: The median simplified acute physiology score (SAPS) II at ICU admission was 55 (ICU survivors 47 vs. 60.5 for non-survivors). The overall ICU mortality rate was 45.6%. With multivariate regression analysis, patients admitted with sepsis and acute respiratory failure had a significantly increased ICU mortality (sepsis odds ratio (OR) 9.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-99.7, p = 0.04; respiratory failure OR 13.72, 95% CI 1.39-136.15, p = 0.025). Additional factors associated with an increased mortality were: high doses of catecholamines (ICU: OR 7.37, p = 0.005; day 100: hazard ratio (HR) 2.96, p < 0.0001), renal replacement therapy (day 100: HR 1.93, p = 0.026), and high SAPS II (ICU: HR 1.05, p = 0.038; day 100: HR 1.2, p = 0.027). Conclusion: The decision for or against ICU admission of patients with hematological diseases should become increasingly independent of the underlying malignant disease

    Be X-ray binaries in the SMC as indicators of mass transfer efficiency

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    Be X-ray binaries (BeXRBs) consist of rapidly rotating Be stars with neutron star companions accreting from the circumstellar emission disk. We compare the observed population of BeXRBs in the Small Magellanic Cloud with simulated populations of BeXRB-like systems produced with the COMPAS population synthesis code. We focus on the apparently higher minimal mass of Be stars in BeXRBs than in the Be population at large. Assuming that BeXRBs experienced only dynamically stable mass transfer, their mass distribution suggests that at least 30% of the mass donated by the progenitor of the neutron star is typically accreted by the B-star companion. We expect these results to affect predictions for the population of double compact object mergers. A convolution of the simulated BeXRB population with the star formation history of the Small Magellanic Cloud shows that the excess of BeXRBs is most likely explained by this galaxy's burst of star formation around 20--40 Myr ago

    Quantum Information Processing in Optical Lattices and Magnetic Microtraps

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    We review our experiments on quantum information processing with neutral atoms in optical lattices and magnetic microtraps. Atoms in an optical lattice in the Mott insulator regime serve as a large qubit register. A spin-dependent lattice is used to split and delocalize the atomic wave functions in a controlled and coherent way over a defined number of lattice sites. This is used to experimentally demonstrate a massively parallel quantum gate array, which allows the creation of a highly entangled many-body cluster state through coherent collisions between atoms on neighbouring lattice sites. In magnetic microtraps on an atom chip, we demonstrate coherent manipulation of atomic qubit states and measure coherence lifetimes exceeding one second at micron-distance from the chip surface. We show that microwave near-fields on the chip can be used to create state-dependent potentials for the implementation of a quantum controlled phase gate with these robust qubit states. For single atom detection and preparation, we have developed high finesse fiber Fabry-Perot cavities and integrated them on the atom chip. We present an experiment in which we detected a very small number of cold atoms magnetically trapped in the cavity using the atom chip

    Quantum computing implementations with neutral particles

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    We review quantum information processing with cold neutral particles, that is, atoms or polar molecules. First, we analyze the best suited degrees of freedom of these particles for storing quantum information, and then we discuss both single- and two-qubit gate implementations. We focus our discussion mainly on collisional quantum gates, which are best suited for atom-chip-like devices, as well as on gate proposals conceived for optical lattices. Additionally, we analyze schemes both for cold atoms confined in optical cavities and hybrid approaches to entanglement generation, and we show how optimal control theory might be a powerful tool to enhance the speed up of the gate operations as well as to achieve high fidelities required for fault tolerant quantum computation.Comment: 19 pages, 12 figures; From the issue entitled "Special Issue on Neutral Particles
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