94,222 research outputs found

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Paradoxes in the Management of Timebanks in the UK’s Voluntary Sector: Discursive Bricolage and its Limits

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    This paper contributes to our understanding of volunteer management by charting some important challenges associated with the governance of one of the UK‚Äôs largest timebanking networks. While timebanking is often treated as a form of volunteering, many timebank advocates are keen to distinguish it sharply from traditional volunteering. We suggest that this tension generates a fundamental ‚Äėperformance paradox‚Äô in the management of timebanks in the voluntary sector. We draw on political discourse theory to characterise and evaluate associated challenges, suggesting that, when viewed against a host of context-specific organisational and policy pressures, the progressive potential of timebanking cannot be realised as a distinct community economy without adequate support. Instead of taking up a position alongside more traditional forms of volunteering, timebanking is more likely to be subsumed by them

    The influence of blockchains and internet of things on global value chain

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    Despite the increasing proliferation of deploying the Internet of Things (IoT) in global value chain (GVC), several challenges might lead to a lack of trust among value chain partners, e.g., technical challenges (i.e., confidentiality, authenticity, and privacy); and security challenges (i.e., counterfeiting, physical tempering, and data theft). In this study, we argue that Blockchain technology, when combined with the IoT ecosystem, will strengthen GVC and enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. Thus, we examine the impact of Blockchain technology when combined with the IoT ecosystem and how it can be utilized to enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. We collected data through an online survey, and 265 UK Agri-food retailers completed the survey. Our data were analyzed using structural equation modelling (SEM). Our finding reveals that Blockchain technology enhances GVC by improving IoT scalability, security, and traceability when combined with the IoT ecosystem. Which, in turn, strengthens GVC and creates more value for value chain partners ‚Äď which serves as a competitive advantage. Finally, our research outlines the theoretical and practical contribution of combining Blockchain technology and the IoT ecosystem

    Implementaci√≥n de una estrategia pedag√≥gica a trav√©s de una aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil para mejorar la comprensi√≥n de lectura y adquisici√≥n de vocabulario del ingl√©s de los estudiantes del programa de Licenciatura en Lenguas Extranjeras con √Čnfasis en Ingl√©s

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    La lengua inglesa como idioma universal, ha sido estudiado por personas en todo el mundo a trav√©s de diferentes metodolog√≠as, usando diversas herramientas y estrategias. En Colombia, el ingl√©s se aprende como lengua extranjera, en donde las habilidades que se buscan desarrollar son: el habla, la escucha, la lectura y la escritura. Actualmente, las personas optan por aprender una segunda lengua a trav√©s de aplicaciones m√≥viles para desarrollar sus habilidades comunicativas, entre las cuales tambi√©n est√° la adquisici√≥n de vocabulario. Alfonso, et al. (2018) aprender vocabulario sea de forma aut√≥noma, le permite al estudiante establecer unas bases que le permitir√°n comprender contextos y significados. El aprendizaje de una lengua a trav√©s de una herramienta como una aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil resulta ser bastante c√≥moda, permitiendo autonom√≠a en el proceso de aprendizaje. Ramos, A., Herrera, J. y Ram√≠rez, M. (2010) gracias a los dispositivos m√≥viles, el aprendizaje se da en cualquier lugar, tiempo o espacio. El uso de una aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil en el aprendizaje del ingl√©s permite al individuo aprender en cualquier momento del d√≠a utilizando un dispositivo m√≥vil. El presente trabajo busca fomentar la adquisici√≥n del vocabulario en ingl√©s a trav√©s de la implementaci√≥n de una aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil, en la cual los estudiantes de la Licenciatura en Lenguas Extranjeras con √Čnfasis en Ingl√©s de la Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia del CEAD Bucaramanga, a trav√©s de lecturas cortas, actividades, juegos y puzles, puede llegar a mejorar su vocabulario. Para alcanzar tal objetivo, los participantes tienen acceso a dispositivos m√≥viles o en su defecto a computadores, los cuales usar√°n como herramienta que les permitir√° hacer uso de la aplicaci√≥n. Teniendo en cuenta lo anterior, se hace importante indicar que el objetivo general del presente trabajo es implementar una aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil como herramienta tecnol√≥gica para la adquisici√≥n del vocabulario del ingl√©s a trav√©s de la lectura de textos cortos. Para alcanzar el objetivo de la investigaci√≥n, se construye una metodolog√≠a cuasi experimental, de tipo descriptiva, con un enfoque mixto, en el que se utiliz√≥ herramientas como la prueba prestest -posttes y la encuesta. Operativamente, el presente trabajo fue estructurado en 4 fases. La primera fase es la aplicaci√≥n de una encuesta de caracterizaci√≥n y a su vez de un pretest, que es un examen diagn√≥stico de vocabulario. La fase 2 se basa en el dise√Īo y elaboraci√≥n de la propuesta pedag√≥gica, recolecci√≥n y construcci√≥n de material y revisi√≥n t√©cnica de la herramienta. En la fase 3 se realiza la implementaci√≥n de la propuesta pedag√≥gica mediada por la aplicaci√≥n m√≥vil. Finalmente, en la fase 4, se aplica el postest, a trav√©s de la herramienta Quizzis.The English language, as a universal language, has been studied by people all over the world through different methodologies, using diverse tools and strategies. In Colombia, English is learned as a foreign language, where the skills sought to be developed are speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Currently, people choose to learn a second language through mobile applications to develop their communicative skills, among which is also the acquisition of vocabulary. Alfonso, et al. (2018) learning vocabulary be it autonomously, allows the learner to establish a foundation that will allow him/her to understand contexts and meanings. Learning a language through a tool such as a mobile application turns out to be quite convenient, allowing autonomy in the learning process. Ramos, A., Herrera, J. and Ram√≠rez, M. (2010) thanks to mobile devices, learning can take place anywhere, at any time or place. The use of a mobile application in learning English allows the individual to learn at any time of the day using a mobile device. The present work seeks to promote the acquisition of English vocabulary through the implementation of a mobile application, in which the students of the Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Languages with Emphasis in English of the Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia of CEAD Bucaramanga, through short readings, activities, games and puzzles, can get to improve their vocabulary. To achieve this objective, participants have access to mobile devices or computers, which they will use as a tool that will allow them to make use of the application. Considering the above, it is important to indicate that the general objective of this work is to implement a mobile application as a technological tool for the acquisition of English vocabulary through the reading of short texts. In order to achieve the objective of the research, a quasi-experimental methodology is constructed, of descriptive type, with a mixed approach, in which tools such as the prestest -posttest and the survey were used. Operationally, the present work was structured in 4 phases. The first phase is the application of a characterization survey and a pretest, which is a diagnostic vocabulary test. Phase 2 is based on the design and elaboration of the pedagogical proposal, collection, and construction of material and technical review of the tool. Phase 3 is the implementation of the pedagogical proposal mediated by the mobile application. Finally, in phase 4, the post-test is applied through the Quizzis tool

    Differences in external match load metrics between professional and semi-professional football players

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    This study aimed to investigate the differences in external match load between professional and semi-professional footballers, and also aimed to investigate whether periods of fixture congestion throughout the season had an effect on the external match load of players at either the professional or semi-professional level. This study consisted of data from 51 football players, 21 professional and 30 semi-professional footballers, playing in the 2019/2020 football season. The data collected was obtained via MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) devices, which measured the players‚Äô total distance, high-speed distance, accelerations, decelerations and player load. Once the external match load data was quantified, a comparison between playing levels took place using a univariate ANOVA. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to examine if significant differences existed in external match load variables across player performance level (2 levels) and time of the season (3 levels) during periods of time when teams experienced fixture congestion. This study found that professional players travelled significantly greater distances in a 90 minute match (10.93 ¬Ī 2.46 vs 9.02 ¬Ī 1.56 km respectively; P<0.001). No differences in high-speed distance were observed between playing level (P=0.70), whereas semiprofessional players recorded significantly greater player load value than the professional players (88.6 ¬Ī 12.2 vs 68.8 ¬Ī 18.9% respectively; P<0.001). Periods of fixture congestion were not found to significantly affect any of the match load variables at either playing level despite the time of the season. In conclusion, neither playing level was found to exhibit a superior level of external match load. The other major finding of this thesis was that fixture congestion did not affect match load. Further research is required to quantify and compare the external match load at the non-elite professional and semi-professional level of football, as these levels of football are largely ignored in this field of literature

    Investigation of Mobile Games for Cognitive Assessment and Screening with a Focus on Touch-based and Motion Features

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    Early detection of cognitive decline is important for timely intervention and treatment strategies to prevent further deterioration or development of more severe forms of cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, many tests have been developed for screening and monitoring changes in cognitive status. However, these existing assessment and screening tools are not designed for self-administration without a trained examiner. Moreover, the lack of multiple variations of these paper-based measures and repeated exposure to such tests could reduce their sensitivity to detect cognitive changes due to practice effects. These limitations pose clinical challenges to early identification of cognitive deficits and monitoring of longitudinal changes in cognitive function, especially in resource-limited settings. To this end, a number of studies have adopted mobile technology and gamification to facilitate remote and self-administered cognitive assessment and screening in a less effortful and engaging manner. Despite this, existing literature has so far only examined the feasibility of using gameplay performance as a means for cognitive assessment. There has not been any attempt to explore gameplay behaviours as revealed through patterns of touch interactions and device motions as indicative features for cognitive evaluation. Therefore the aim of this thesis is to investigate the use of touch and motions features in game-based cognitive assessment and screening. This is achieved through two studies. The first study was carried out to examine the links between cognitive abilities and underlying patterns of user-game interaction with a focus on touch gestures and device motions. Twenty-two healthy participants took part in the two-session experiment where they were asked to take a series of standard cognitive assessments followed by playing three casual mobile games in which user-game interaction data were passively collected. The results from bivariate analysis indicated that increases in swipe length and swipe speed, in the game context, were significantly correlated with declines in response inhibition ability but increased performance on attention. However, it remained unclear whether the device motion features alone could be used to identify cognitive ability as the results provide only weak evidence for relationships between cognitive performance and the underlying device motion patterns while playing the games. In the second study, we evaluated the potential use of these behavioural features and mobile games as a potential screening tool for clinical conditions with cognitive impairment. Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is often found to be associated with deficits in multiple cognitive functions in patients with alcohol dependence, which is the focus of this thesis. Based on findings from the preliminary study, the second experimental study was carried out to investigate the feasibility of using such user-game interaction patterns on mobile games to develop an automated screening tool for alcohol-dependent patients. The classification performance of various supervised learning algorithms was evaluated on data collected from 40 patients and 40 age-matched healthy adults. The results showed that patients with alcohol dependence could be automatically identified accurately using the ensemble of touch, device motion, and gameplay performance features on 3-minute samples (accuracy=0.95, sensitivity=0.95, and specificity=0.95). The findings provide evidence suggesting the potential use of user-game interaction metrics on existing mobile games as discriminant features for developing an implicit measure to identify alcohol dependence conditions. In addition to supporting healthcare professionals in clinical decision-making, the game-based method could be used as a novel strategy to promote self-screening, especially outside of clinical settings. The findings from this thesis were also applied to guidelines to aid researchers in the game interaction design to capitalise on the use of touch and device motion features with regard to cognitive assessment and screening

    The company she keeps : The social and interpersonal construction of girls same sex friendships

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    This thesis begins a critical analysis of girls' 'private' interpersonal and social relations as they are enacted within two school settings. It is the study of these marginal subordinated worlds productivity of forms of femininity which provides the main narrative of this project. I seek to understand these processes of (best) friendship construction through a feminist multi-disciplinary frame, drawing upon cultural studies, psychoanalysis and accounts of gender politics. I argue that the investments girls bring to their homosocial alliances and boundary drawing narry a psychological compulsion which is complexly connected to their own experiences within the mother/daughter bond as well as reflecting positively an immense social debt to the permissions girls have to be nurturant and ; negatively their own reproduction of oppressive exclusionary practices. Best friendship in particular gives girls therefore, the experience of 'monogamy' continuous of maternal/daughter identification, reminiscent of their positioning inside monopolistic forms of heterosexuality. But these subcultures also represent a subversive discontinuity to the public dominance of boys/teachers/adults in schools and to the ideologies and practices of heterosociality and heterosexuality. By taking seriously their transmission of the values of friendship in their chosen form of notes and diaries for example, I was able to access the means whereby they were able to resist their surveillance and control by those in power over them. I conclude by arguing that it is through a recognition of the valency of these indivisiblly positive and negative aspects to girls cultures that Equal Opportunities practitioners must begin if they are serious about their ambitions. Methods have to be made which enable girls to transfer their 'private' solidarities into the 'public' realm, which unquestionably demands contesting with them the causes and consequences of their implication in the divisions which also contaminate their lives and weaken them

    Strung pieces: on the aesthetics of television fiction series

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    As layered and long works, television fiction series have aesthetic properties that are built over time, bit by bit. This thesis develops a group of concepts that enable the study of these properties, It argues that a series is made of strung pieces, a system of related elements. The text begins by considering this sequential form within the fields of film and television. This opening chapter defines the object and methodology of research, arguing for a non-essentialist distinction between cinema and television and against the adequacy of textual and contextual analyses as approaches to the aesthetics of these shows. It proposes instead that these programmes should be described as televisual works that can be scrutinised through aesthetic analysis. The next chapters propose a sequence of interrelated concepts. The second chapter contends that series are composed of building blocks that can be either units into which series are divided or motifs that unify series and are dispersed across their pans. These blocks are patterned according to four kinds of relations or principles of composition. Repetition and variation are treated in tandem in the third chapter because of their close connection, given that variation emerges from established repetition. Exception and progression are also discussed together in the fourth chapter since they both require a long view of these serial works. The former, in order to be recognised as a deviation from the patterns of repetition and variation. The latter, In order to be understood in Its many dimensions as the series advances. Each of these concepts is further detailed with additional distinctions between types of units, motifs, repetitions, variations, and exceptions, using illustrative examples from numerous shows. In contrast, the section on progression uses a single series as case study, Carnivàle (2003-05), because this is the overarching principle that encompasses all the others. The conclusion considers the findings of the research and suggests avenues for their application

    Reforming the United Nations

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    The thesis deals with the financial crisis that the United Nations faced starting in 1985 when the US Congress decided to withhold a significant part of the US contribution to the UN regular budget in order to force a greater say for the major contributors on budgetary issues, budgetary restraint and greater efficiency. The UN responded by the adoption of resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986 that was based on the recommendations of a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts ("G-18") set up a year earlier. A new system was introduced regarding the formulation of the regular budget of the United Nations Organisation and a broader process of reform was initiated including a restructuring of the Secretariat and of the intergovernmental machinery in the economic and social fields. After an introductory chapter (Chapter I), the thesis examines the UN problems at the budgetary/financial and administrative/structural levels, the solutions proposed from within and without the United Nations established framework and the actual attempts at reform (Chapters II and ifi). The realisation that the implementation of reforms is rather disjointed and often unsuccessful (e.g. the failure to restructure the intergovernmental machi.neiy) prompts a search for the deeper causes of the UN problems at the political level and the attitudes of the main actors, namely the USA, the USSR, some up-and-coming states, notably Japan, the Third World states and, finally, of the UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat (Chapter 1V). Although the financial crisis may have subsided since 1988 and the USA seem committed to paying up their dues, the deeper UN crisis of identity has not been resolved and is expected to resurface if no bold steps are taken. In that direction, some possible alternative courses for the UN in the future are discussed drawing upon theory and practice (Chapte
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