|The Emergence of Sentence Guidelines in the Balkans – Should Albania Follow the Same Model?|
Adrian Leka, Brunilda Jani-Haxhiu
Different countries have established different models and mechanisms to assist the judge in the difficult task of determining the criminal sentence. These approaches are influenced by the criminal justice system model, the role of the judge in criminal proceedings and, not infrequently, by priority issues that are not related to the conceptualization of the criminal justice system: corruption, professionalism of judges, etc.
In countries that have a codified body of criminal law – as a rule, countries that belong to the civil law tradition, the criminal law sets the minimum and maximum ranges of the criminal punishment. Within these limits, it is up to the judge to determine the individualized sentence for each defendant, based on the principles and rules provided for by the criminal law.
Different types of mechanisms have been established in countries that belong to the common law tradition, as the criminal law is not so inflexible in setting the ranges of punishment and the judge has much more discretion in determining the sentence, based on the rules of precedent. In some of these countries, sentencing guidelines are used. These guidelines are usually approved by the judges themselves and are not legally binding, but they gain application as a result of the precedent rule.
In recent years, sentencing guidelines have been approved and applied in two of Albania’s neighboring countries: Kosovo and North Macedonia. This paper will address the role of guidelines in criminal proceedings, the models they were based on, the reasons for introducing them, and how they were implemented in Kosovo and North Macedonia. Finally, we will argue whether the introduction of such a mechanism in Albania would be in harmony with the existing framework and beneficial, in general.
Exploring Students' Attitudes Toward Science and Course Engagement as Predictors of Science Literacy
Genejane Adarlo, Marlene De Leon, Abigail Marie Favis
Studies that investigate the relationship of students’ attitudes toward science and their engagement in the teaching-learning process to science literacy in a higher education setting and within the context of a pandemic are limited. This cross-sectional, correlational study sought to determine whether 1) students’ attitudes toward science and student course engagement are significantly related to science literacy; and if 2) students’ attitudes toward science and their course engagement are significant predictors of science literacy. The survey included 67 undergraduate students taking the mandated Science, Technology, and Society course during the second semester of the academic year 2020 to 2021 in an institution of Jesuit higher education in the Philippines. Results revealed 1) a positive moderate relationship between students’ attitudes toward science and science literacy (p < 0.001); 2) a positive strong relationship between student course engagement and science literacy (p < 0.001); and 3) both students’ attitudes toward science (p = 0.02) and their course engagement (p < 0.001) are significant predictors of science literacy. Such results can be helpful in (re)designing science education in a higher education setting and within the context of a pandemic.
A Transdisciplinary Approach to Reading: In Mathematics, Remedial Reading, and Biblical Exegesis
Russell Jay Hendel
This paper studies reading comprehension in three distinct disciplinary settings: Mathematics verbal problems, remedial reading, and biblical exegesis. This transdisciplinary approach enriches our understanding of reading, enabling focus on key methods of improving reading. The transdisciplinary approach also affords us new insights into addressing equity issues. The paper's approach is influenced by Meyer's seminal work on textual organizational structure as a key method to achieve reading comprehension. Consistent with this approach, the paper advocates using signal words or keywords, as well as listing and teaching organizational structures as a means to improving literacy in reading, mathematics, and biblical exegesis. The paper recommends that these techniques should be a primary method of approaching math and biblical fluency.
Study to Delimit the Factors That Contribute to the Adoption of an Agile Methodology
Sandra-Dinora Orantes-Jiménez, Yadira-Jazmín Pérez-Castillo, María-Elena Aguilar-Jaúregui
Agile methodologies are increasingly being adopted by companies. The research on adopting an agile approach is based on the elements required for its implementation. On the other hand, a quantitative study on the challenges of adopting an agile approach is interesting. The main objective of this work is to present the results of a study on the factors that have a significant relationship with the adoption of an agile approach over a traditional one by work teams in software development companies. With this objective, a systematic analysis of works that mention this transition was carried out, to extract and synthesize the existing challenges. These challenges were used to outline a conceptual framework to evaluate the connection between the challenges that work teams have to suffer from the linear relationship with the adoption of an agile approach. Next, a construct was used to test and evaluate the factors that are part of the proposed framework. The findings indicate that what leads to the decision the transition from the traditional approach to agile is the quality, complexity, and management of iterations where the work is visible to the users; factors that have a significant linear relationship with the adoption of an agile approach. We recommend that organizations consider these findings during their adoption phase of any agile methodology over a traditional one.
Secure Communications Based on Cognitive Multidisciplinary Strategies
Mario La Manna
The use of cognitive multidisciplinary strategies represents a powerful tool to allow a communication system to transmit and receive data in a secure way by working in parallel with other electromagnetic devices, sharing the same frequency channels, without being affected by malfunctions caused by unintentional or intentional interferences (e.g. jammers). The cognitive operation is possible by modeling the channel behavior and predicting future channel occupancy. The model of the electromagnetic environment is based on the observation of the spectrum occupancy over time and on suitable reinforced learning strategies to acquire the characteristics of the channel occupancy. The learning operation is paramount, as the prediction about channel occupancy is possible only after understanding the behavior of the concurrent emitters present in the scenario. This paper describes the concept of reinforced learning techniques, based on emitter classification and matching and on human in the loop agent. implemented on a number of real cases of emitter behavior. We show that, in selected study cases, our reinforced learning techniques based on cognitive multidisciplinary strategies can provide good performance, even in presence of a consistent number of concurrent transmitters.
Gait Analysis Method Focused on Skeleton Pose Estimation Using Wheeled Gait-Training Walker
Hidehisa Nakayama, Kazutoshi Ogawa, Tsugito Maruyama
We studied a gait analysis method focusing on skeleton pose estimation based on videos taken during gait-training with a wheeled walker for a person with a case history. For skeleton pose estimation, OpenPose was used. Thirteen gait parameters were designed from the extracted keypoints considering the opinions of some rehabilitation staff. As a result, we found a correlation between the load balance of a left-right elbow and the stability of a left-right posture. This suggests that the stability of walking can be evaluated by training with our developed wheeled walker
Spin Transfer Torque Evaluation Based on Coupled Spin and Charge Transport: A Finite Element Method Approach
Simone Fiorentini, Johannes Ender, Siegfried Selberherr, Wolfgang Goes, Viktor Sverdlov
Emerging spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memories (STT MRAM) are nonvolatile and offer high speed and endurance. MRAM cells include a fixed reference magnetic layer and a free-to-switch ferromagnetic layer (FL), separated by a tunnel barrier. The FL usually consists of several sub-layers separated by nonmagnetic buffer layers. The magnetization dynamics is governed by the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert (LLG) equation supplemented with the corresponding torques. To accurately design MRAM cells it is necessary to evaluate the torques in composite magnetic layers, which depend on nonequilibrium spin accumulation generated by an electric current. Spin accumulation and current also depend on the magnetization. Therefore, the LLG and the spin-charge transport equations must be solved simultaneously. We apply the finite element method (FEM) to numerically solve this coupled system of partial differential equations. We follow a modular approach and use well-developed C++ FEM libraries. For the computation of the torques acting in a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), a magnetization-dependent resistivity of the tunnel barrier is introduced. A fully three-dimensional solution of the equations is performed to accurately model the torques acting on the magnetization. The use of a unique set of equations for the whole memory cell is an ultimate advantage of our approach.
Robot Arm Control System for Assisted Feeding of People With Disabilities in Their Upper Limbs
Daniella Arnáez, Fiorela Manco, José Oliden, Guillermo Kemper
This work proposes a robot arm control system for assisted feeding of people with reduced functionality in their upper limbs. It aims at improving their quality of life by helping users recover their independence when feeding, aided by the proposed system. Previous research presents solutions that often lack functionality to meet the user’s needs, such as a lack of emergency functions or the use of passive feeding techniques, due to the absence of adequate human-robot interaction. The proposed solution involves the design of an interface adapter between the robot arm and the spoon, for the correct transport and positioning of the food. Moreover, a PD-type electronic controller is implemented for the robot arm; it includes gravity compensation and trajectories defined from the detection of the user's position. Additionally, the system has two safety features: an emergency button and a proximity warning that triggers when undesired objects are too close to the robot arm. The proposed system was validated through position tests and interaction with people using rice and oatmeal. When carrying out the tests with rice, 80% success was obtained, while in the case of oatmeal, 98.9% success was achieved.
Ambiguous Tacit Knowledge With a Thematic Focus Based on Japanese Social Culture: An Excellent Source of Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation for Systematic Search of Meaning
Tomomi Kubota, Masahiro Arimoto
Based on the social culture of Japan and how educational trends of the 1980s became the prototype for the organizational culture of schools, some schools have rejected the formative assessments that flourished at the time and have consistently used complex assessments. The purpose of this study is to explore the nature of children's learning from individualized narrative data. In this paper, we use data from a record of integrated learning at Ina Elementary School in Nagano, Japan, which documents the learning of a single child, with peer group dynamics and teacher support, to examine how teachers perceive children's learning from children's statements. The method of analysis of this data was conducted using NVIVO, a qualitative analysis tool, based on a frame grounded in the concept of "relationship" (kankei in Japanese). The data were categorized from the children's statements (narratives), and the learning records were coded and interpreted for meaning. To visualize, at various levels (individual, peer, classroom), we used Peter Senge's learning organization. The results show that children at Ina Elementary School learn directly from learning resources. And teachers work together with them toward the learning resources. In this form of learning, the teacher nurtures the competencies that are invisible and difficult to measure in children, with the teacher’s tacit knowledge. Therefore, it is very difficult to visualize children's learning. For this reason, we can approach the essence of children's learning.
The New Paradigm of Communication Within the Transdisciplinary Research
This paper aims to postulate a new paradigm of communication within transdisciplinary research, treated as a desirable model of practicing science in the XXI century (Brandt et al. 2013, Balsiger 2004, Wickson et al. 2006, Aenis 2010). The author emphasizes the need for a re-naturalization of transdisciplinary communication within the internally diversified teams, by returning to the natural, unforced patterns of human behavior within a group. Although it may seem to be a manifestation of sentiment for the Renaissance vision of science, combining threads from various, seemingly unconnected, areas of study (e.g., physics, metaphysics, and philosophy in one research approach) - today's necessity to restore transdisciplinary communication is a challenging task, including a need to return to the natural practices of cross-domain communication, using the potential of in-depth expertise in all the scientific areas. A mature transdisciplinary dialogue base on a translation of perspectives (Schuetz 1984, Perinbanayagam 2005) resulting from the natural predilection of a human actor to put himself/herself in the position of the other (interaction partner) to understand his/her point of view, for the set of intersubjectively shared senses and meanings is the starting point for every kind of partnership.
Educational Strategies in a Neuro Facility: Virtual Course in Encephalic Vascularization
Joana Martins, Mariana Acioly, Viviane Fragoso, Flaviana Maciel, Ana Beatriz Mattoso, Valdenice Rumão, Carolina Martins
Knowledge of encephalic vascularization is essential to all in a tertiary, Neurology-Neurosurgery facility. Objective: To describe the creation of an online course on encephalic vascularization that is relevant for clinical practice and elevates overall educational levels in a specialized institution. Methods: “Pelopidas Digital” Virtual-Teaching-Platform (PD-VTP) is a customized educational platform, designed to provide short, point-of-care video-tutorials and tests on subjects of interest to Unit's personnel. The virtual course “Basis of Encephalic Vascularization” is presented to professionals through a short vignette and is composed of six modules: Overview of the Arterial Supply, Venous Sinuses, Cerebral Veins, Middle Cerebral Artery, Posterior Cerebral Artery, and Anterior Cerebral Artery. Discussion: Making neuroanatomy meaningful to clinical practice is one challenge that has been greatly helped by technology. A broader one is to convey the importance of vascular neuroanatomy in understanding clinical symptoms, helping to assess risk, and conveying the urgency of an investigation or therapeutic measure to staff personnel in a specialized facility. Conclusion: An educational electronic platform can engage participants at very different levels and disseminate knowledge. Creation of a virtual course on cerebral vascularization can be an attractive tool for Continuing Education in a Neuro facility.
Optimal Plant Growth Through Thermo Mechatronic Analysis
J. Alan Calderón Ch., Julio Tafur, Benjamín Barriga, Jorge Alencastre, Gonzalo Solano, Rodrigo Urbizagástegui, John Lozano, Marvin Chancán
This work is described as a proposal to apply modern control techniques and automation tools for optimal plant growth, also it was based on key agricultural strategies that were developed by ancient civilizations such as the Inca Empire. Many of them ancient techniques including the Inca engineering of andenes were forgotten or set aside through time. In this research, however, some of these key techniques are revisited to analyze and evaluate optimal plant growth using sensors and actuators that were not available in ancient civilizations. In addition, predictive and adaptive mathematical models are used for plant growth analysis of thermodynamic parameters such as temperature, humidity and potential of Hydrogen (pH). Furthermore, there were compared performances of sensors (electromechanical sensors) with designed sensors that were based in nanostructures, because of better study of the plant growth techniques.