34,877 research outputs found

    Demonstration of lightweight gamma spectrometry systems in urban environments

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    Urban areas present highly complex radiation environments; with small scale features resulting from different construction materials, topographic effects and potential anthropogenic inputs from past industrial activity or other sources. Mapping of the radiation fields in urban areas allows a detailed assessment of exposure pathways for the people who live and work there, as well as locating discrete sources of activity that may warrant removal to mitigate dose to the general public. These areas also present access difficulties for radiometric mapping using vehicles or aircraft. A lightweight portable gamma spectrometry system has been used to survey sites in the vicinity of Glasgow to demonstrate the possibilities of radiometric mapping of urban areas, and to investigate the complex radiometric features such areas present. Variations in natural activity due to construction materials have been described, the presence of 137Cs used to identify relatively undisturbed ground, and a previously unknown NORM feature identified. The effect of topographic enclosure on measurements of activity concentration has been quantified. The portable system is compared with the outputs that might be expected from larger vehicular or airborne systems. For large areas airborne surveys are the most cost effective approach, but provide limited spatial resolution, vehicular surveys can provide sparse exploratory data rapidly or detailed mapping of open areas where off-road access is possible. Backpack systems are ideally suited to detailed surveys of small areas, especially where vehicular access is difficult

    Using debates to develop and assess critical reasoning abilities

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    The ability to construct evidence based arguments is an important and necessary skill in biosciences, health and other areas and arguably helps to define the concept of graduateness – the acquisition of a set of advanced transferable skills that are useful in any employment area. However, developing critical reasoning abilities progressively throughout a three year degree course is often implicitly rather than explicitly addressed. We often assume that our students understand that this is what we expect them to do when we direct them to the evidence base and this is not really good enough in a student centred ethos. Students have to know what they are meant to be learning and need to be able to self evaluate the extent of their learning. Learning outcomes need to be both explicit and transparent. Deconstructing what is meant by critical reasoning is for me relatively straight forward; I want my students to observe the world around them, ask questions about what might be going on, consider possible answers and explanations and determine which ones, on the evidence available, seem most plausible. In other words, I want them to think things through before they express opinions. Critical reasoning is also central to reflective practice – it is about evaluating one’s own reasoning to see how it holds up to new experiences and it is also about ‘the ability to use language with clarity and discrimination’ (Thomson 2002 p2). Opportunities abound on science and health courses to confront radically opposite viewpoints as ethical dilemmas present themselves almost daily. Examples here include reproductive technologies, end of life decisions, ecological ethics and the nature of doctor/patient relationships. Many of these dilemmas are based on debating ‘should we because we can’ and provide a valuable learning opportunity for students to engage in critical examination of both sides of the argument; whilst raising their awareness of the social responsibility of scientists and the impact of scientific developments. In the Faculty of Health here at Leeds Met, on our Health Sciences and Public Health courses we have a first year, first semester module, Concepts of Science and Health. This was designed to explore definitions and views of both of those terms and discuss moral and ethical frameworks that may help to evaluate and construct reasoned arguments around contested issues. 60% of the module assessment is for the production of a group report that sets out the arguments that either support or refute an ethical standpoint followed by a debate with their opposing group based on the written reports

    MS-069: Papers of John W. Vannorsdall

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    The Papers of John W. Vannorsdall consist correspondence and issues proposals from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s from the Office of the Chaplain at Gettysburg College. The papers also include papers pertaining to the Chapel and the Student Christian Association during the same time period. Special Collections and College Archives Finding Aids are discovery tools used to describe and provide access to our holdings. Finding aids include historical and biographical information about each collection in addition to inventories of their content. More information about our collections can be found on our website http://www.gettysburg.edu/special_collections/collections/.https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/findingaidsall/1063/thumbnail.jp

    Reflections on an international teaching experience

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    Evaluating airborne and ground based gamma spectrometry methods for detecting particulate radioactivity in the environment: a case study of Irish Sea beaches

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    In several places, programmes are in place to locate and recover radioactive particles that have the potential to cause detrimental health effects in any member of the publicwho may encounter them. A model has been developed to evaluate the use of mobile gamma spectrometry systems within such programmes, with particular emphasis on large volume (16 l) NaI(Tl) detectors mounted in low flying helicopters. This model uses a validated Monte Carlo code with assessment of local geochemistry and natural and anthropogenic background radiation concentrations and distributions. The results of the model, applied to the example of particles recovered from beaches in the vicinity of Sellafield, clearly show the ability of rapid airborne surveys conducted at 75 m ground clearance and 120 kph speeds to demonstrate the absence of sources greater than 5 MBq 137Cs within large areas (10–20 km2 h−1), and identify areas requiring further ground based investigation. Lowering ground clearance for airborne surveys to 15 m whilst maintaining speeds covering 1–2 km2 h−1 can detect buried 137Cs sources of 0.5 MBq or greater activity. A survey design to detect 100 kBq 137Cs sources at 10 cm depth has also been defined, requiring surveys at b15 m ground clearance and b2 m s−1 ground speed. The response of airborne systems to the Sellafield particles recovered to date has also been simulated, and the proportion of the existing radiocaesium background in the vicinity of the nuclear site has been established. Finally the rates of area coverage and sensitivities of both airborne and ground based approaches are compared, demonstrating the ability of airborne systems to increase the rate of particle recovery in a cost effective manner. The potential for equipment and methodological developments to improve performance are discussed

    Retrieving with good sense

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    Although always present in text, word sense ambiguity only recently became regarded as a problem to information retrieval which was potentially solvable. The growth of interest in word senses resulted from new directions taken in disambiguation research. This paper first outlines this research and surveys the resulting efforts in information retrieval. Although the majority of attempts to improve retrieval effectiveness were unsuccessful, much was learnt from the research. Most notably a notion of under what circumstance disambiguation may prove of use to retrieval

    MS-082: Capt. Russell Miller and Claudia Lewis Miller Correspondence, 1916-1919

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    This collection consists of 297 letters written between Russell Miller and Claudia Miller from Washington in 1916-1919 during their courtship and marriage before Russell was deployed to Europe during World War I. Almost all letters are attached to their original envelopes with stamps. Special Collections and College Archives Finding Aids are discovery tools used to describe and provide access to our holdings. Finding aids include historical and biographical information about each collection in addition to inventories of their content. More information about our collections can be found on our website http://www.gettysburg.edu/special_collections/collections/.https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/findingaidsall/1075/thumbnail.jp

    Accurate user directed summarization from existing tools

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    This paper describes a set of experimental results produced from the TIPSTER SUMMAC initiative on user directed summaries: document summaries generated in the context of an information need expressed as a query. The summarizer that was evaluated was based on a set of existing statistical techniques that had been applied successfully to the INQUERY retrieval system. The techniques proved to have a wider utility, however, as the summarizer was one of the better performing systems in the SUMMAC evaluation. The design of this summarizer is presented with a range of evaluations: both those provided by SUMMAC as well as a set of preliminary, more informal, evaluations that examined additional aspects of the summaries. Amongst other conclusions, the results reveal that users can judge the relevance of documents from their summary almost as accurately as if they had had access to the document’s full text

    Attitudes to food and lifestyle choices in women with well-controlled and poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus from different ethnic groups : a pilot study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nutrition at Massey University

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    Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in New Zealand, as it has globally. There has also been a dramatic rise in numbers from different ethnic groups attending the Auckland Diabetes Centre, with interpreters in approximately 60 different languages being employed. Research indicates that good glycaemic control in people with diabetes can dramatically reduce the risk of complications. However there are many barriers to achieving this. This thesis, by a dietician working at the Auckland Diabetes Centre, examines the research pertaining to the ethnic groups with the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes, these being Maori, Pacific, Chinese and Indian, along with European groups. It investigates some of the socio-cultural and psychological issues which may be barriers to lifestyle and dietary modification for optimal diabetes control. A total of 232 women attending the Auckland Diabetes Centre took part in this study, aged from 24 to 78 years, the average being 56 years. Duration of diabetes ranged from one to 44 years, with an average of seven years. A questionnaire, designed to obtain their views on diabetes, how it affects their lifestyle, and their perceptions of food and health, was completed at their follow up visit. All had received dietary and lifestyle advice and questionnaire responses indicated a good dietary knowledge. It was evident from comments made that most felt the information given by the dietician was practical, focused on normal food; it was easy to understand and gave them confidence. Most agreed that not smoking, regular meals, daily physical activity, and taking medication (if prescribed) were very important. No statistical association was found between diabetes control and age, income, marital status, education, weight, blood pressure or lipid profile. However duration was significant, with more of those with poorly controlled diabetes likely to have diabetes longer; there was also evidence of an ethnic difference (p=0.02). This was to be expected given that diabetes is a progressive disease, but could indicate frustration and loss of motivation. Psychological issues were significant. The number of ethnic differences found in this study suggest that a more holistic approach and a wider knowledge of cultural and psychological issues is required in diabetes education. Health professionals need to be cognisant of the individual's health beliefs, cultural practices, and any psychological issues, to better assist people of different ethnic groups in management of their diabetes, in order that they may live full and normal lives and avoid complications. At present only 26 (8%) practising dieticians are from minority ethnic groups and not all of these are bilingual. There are only 192 (60%) dieticians employed by District Health Boards, for a population of four million people, 115,000 of whom have diagnosed diabetes. This pilot has identified more precisely the requirements for effective counselling

    MS-079: Captain Benjamin F. Lee Collection regarding 28th Pennsylvania Infantry and John W. Geary

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    The Benjamin F. Lee Collection consists of three series which contain documents relating to requisitions by the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry and correspondence of Lee and John W. Geary between themselves and various other individuals. Special Collections and College Archives Finding Aids are discovery tools used to describe and provide access to our holdings. Finding aids include historical and biographical information about each collection in addition to inventories of their content. More information about our collections can be found on our website http://www.gettysburg.edu/special_collections/collections/.https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/findingaidsall/1072/thumbnail.jp
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