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Almond consumption and weight loss in obese and overweight adults

Description

Nut consumption, specifically almonds, have been shown to help maintain weight and influence disease risk factors in adult populations. Limited studies have been conducted examining the effect of a small dose of almonds on energy intake and body weight. The

Nut consumption, specifically almonds, have been shown to help maintain weight and influence disease risk factors in adult populations. Limited studies have been conducted examining the effect of a small dose of almonds on energy intake and body weight. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of pre-meal almond consumption on energy intake and weight in overweight and obese adults. In this study included 21, overweight or obese, participants who were considered healthy or had a controlled disease state. This 8-week parallel arm study, participants were randomized to consume an isocaloric amount of almonds, (1 oz) serving, or two (2 oz) cheese stick serving, 30 minutes before the dinner meal, 5 times per week. Anthropometric measurements including weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage were recorded at baseline, week 1, 4, and 8. Measurement of energy intake was self-reported for two consecutive days at week 1, 4 and 8 using the ASA24 automated dietary program. The energy intake after 8 weeks of almond consumption was not significantly different when compared to the control group (p=0.965). In addition, body weight was not significantly reduced after 8 weeks of the almond intervention (p=0.562). Other parameters measured in this 8-week trial did not differ between the intervention and the control group. These data presented are underpowered and therefore inconclusive on the effects that 1 oz of almonds, in the diet, 5 per week has on energy intake and bodyweight.

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2011

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Interactive laboratory for digital signal processing in iOS devices

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The demand for handheld portable computing in education, business and research has resulted in advanced mobile devices with powerful processors and large multi-touch screens. Such devices are capable of handling tasks of moderate computational complexity such as word processing, complex

The demand for handheld portable computing in education, business and research has resulted in advanced mobile devices with powerful processors and large multi-touch screens. Such devices are capable of handling tasks of moderate computational complexity such as word processing, complex Internet transactions, and even human motion analysis. Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and the latest in the family - the iPad, are among the well-known and widely used mobile devices today. Their advanced multi-touch interface and improved processing power can be exploited for engineering and STEM demonstrations. Moreover, these devices have become a part of everyday student life. Hence, the design of exciting mobile applications and software represents a great opportunity to build student interest and enthusiasm in science and engineering. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a portable interactive signal processing simulation software on the iOS platform. The iOS-based object-oriented application is called i-JDSP and is based on the award winning Java-DSP concept. It is implemented in Objective-C and C as a native Cocoa Touch application that can be run on any iOS device. i-JDSP offers basic signal processing simulation functions such as Fast Fourier Transform, filtering, spectral analysis on a compact and convenient graphical user interface and provides a very compelling multi-touch programming experience. Built-in modules also demonstrate concepts such as the Pole-Zero Placement. i-JDSP also incorporates sound capture and playback options that can be used in near real-time analysis of speech and audio signals. All simulations can be visually established by forming interactive block diagrams through multi-touch and drag-and-drop. Computations are performed on the mobile device when necessary, making the block diagram execution fast. Furthermore, the extensive support for user interactivity provides scope for improved learning. The results of i-JDSP assessment among senior undergraduate and first year graduate students revealed that the software created a significant positive impact and increased the students' interest and motivation and in understanding basic DSP concepts.

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2011

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Community supported agriculture membership: characterizing food and sustainability behaviors

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Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items from previous survey research as well as newly created items. A total of 115 CSA member and 233 control survey responses were collected. CSA members were more likely to be older, have more education, and have a higher income than the control group. The majority of CSA members surveyed were female, identified as non-Hispanic and Caucasian, earned a higher income, and reported being the primary food shopper and preparer. The majority of members also noted that the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables they ate and served their family increased as a result of joining a CSA. CSA members were more ecologically minded compared to the control group. Frequency of eating out was not significantly different between groups. However, eating out behaviors were different between income categories. CSA members spent significantly more money at each meal eaten away from home and spent significantly more money on eating out each week. In both cases, controlling for income attenuated differences between groups. CSA members composted at a significantly higher rate and took part in other eco-friendly behaviors more often than the control group. Finally, no significant difference was evident between the two groups when analyzing family involvement in food preparation and meal decision-making. Overall, some significant attitudinal and behavioral differences existed between CSA members and non-CSA members. Further research is necessary to examine other distinctions between the two groups and whether these differences occur as a result of CSA membership.

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2011

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Separating and detecting Escherichia Coli in a microfluidic thannel [i.e., channel] for urinary tract infection (UTI) applications

Description

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and an integrated impedance detector. The two-chamber approach is designed to reduce the non-specific absorption of proteins, e.g. albumin, that potentially co-exist with E. coli in urine. I directly separate E. coli K-12 from a urine cocktail in a concentration chamber containing micro-sized magnetic beads (5 µm in diameter) conjugated with anti-E. coli antibodies. The immobilized E. coli are transferred to a sensing chamber for the impedance measurement. The measurement at the concentration chamber suffers from non-specific absorption of albumin on the gold electrode, which may lead to a false positive response. By contrast, the measured impedance at the sensing chamber shows ~60 kÙ impedance change between 6.4x104 and 6.4x105 CFU/mL, covering the threshold of UTI (105 CFU/mL). The sensitivity of the LOC for detecting E. coli is characterized to be at least 3.4x104 CFU/mL. I also characterized the LOC for different age groups and white blood cell spiked samples. These preliminary data show promising potential for application in portable LOC devices for UTI detection.

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2011

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Stereo based visual odometry

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The exponential rise in unmanned aerial vehicles has necessitated the need for accurate pose estimation under any extreme conditions. Visual Odometry (VO) is the estimation of position and orientation of a vehicle based on analysis of a sequence of images

The exponential rise in unmanned aerial vehicles has necessitated the need for accurate pose estimation under any extreme conditions. Visual Odometry (VO) is the estimation of position and orientation of a vehicle based on analysis of a sequence of images captured from a camera mounted on it. VO offers a cheap and relatively accurate alternative to conventional odometry techniques like wheel odometry, inertial measurement systems and global positioning system (GPS). This thesis implements and analyzes the performance of a two camera based VO called Stereo based visual odometry (SVO) in presence of various deterrent factors like shadows, extremely bright outdoors, wet conditions etc... To allow the implementation of VO on any generic vehicle, a discussion on porting of the VO algorithm to android handsets is presented too. The SVO is implemented in three steps. In the first step, a dense disparity map for a scene is computed. To achieve this we utilize sum of absolute differences technique for stereo matching on rectified and pre-filtered stereo frames. Epipolar geometry is used to simplify the matching problem. The second step involves feature detection and temporal matching. Feature detection is carried out by Harris corner detector. These features are matched between two consecutive frames using the Lucas-Kanade feature tracker. The 3D co-ordinates of these matched set of features are computed from the disparity map obtained from the first step and are mapped into each other by a translation and a rotation. The rotation and translation is computed using least squares minimization with the aid of Singular Value Decomposition. Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) is used for outlier detection. This comprises the third step. The accuracy of the algorithm is quantified based on the final position error, which is the difference between the final position computed by the SVO algorithm and the final ground truth position as obtained from the GPS. The SVO showed an error of around 1% under normal conditions for a path length of 60 m and around 3% in bright conditions for a path length of 130 m. The algorithm suffered in presence of shadows and vibrations, with errors of around 15% and path lengths of 20 m and 100 m respectively.

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2010

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Cost-effective integrated wireless monitoring of wafer cleanliness using SOI technology

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The thesis focuses on cost-efficient integration of the electro-chemical residue sensor (ECRS), a novel sensor developed for the in situ and real-time measurement of the residual impurities left on the wafer surface and in the fine structures of patterned wafers

The thesis focuses on cost-efficient integration of the electro-chemical residue sensor (ECRS), a novel sensor developed for the in situ and real-time measurement of the residual impurities left on the wafer surface and in the fine structures of patterned wafers during typical rinse processes, and wireless transponder circuitry that is based on RFID technology. The proposed technology uses only the NMOS FD-SOI transistors with amorphous silicon as active material with silicon nitride as a gate dielectric. The proposed transistor was simulated under the SILVACO ATLAS Simulation Framework. A parametric study was performed to study the impact of different gate lengths (6 μm to 56 μm), electron motilities (0.1 cm2/Vs to 1 cm2/Vs), gate dielectric (SiO2 and SiNx) and active materials (a-Si and poly-Si) specifications. Level-1 models, that are accurate enough to acquire insight into the circuit behavior and perform preliminary design, were successfully constructed by analyzing drain current and gate to node capacitance characteristics against drain to source and gate to source voltages. Using the model corresponding to SiNx as gate dielectric, a-Si:H as active material with electron mobility equal to 0.4 cm2/V-sec, an operational amplifier was designed and was tested in unity gain configuration at modest load-frequency specifications.

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2010

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Portfolio modeling, analysis and management

Description

A systematic top down approach to minimize risk and maximize the profits of an investment over a given period of time is proposed. Macroeconomic factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), Outstanding Consumer Credit, Industrial Production

A systematic top down approach to minimize risk and maximize the profits of an investment over a given period of time is proposed. Macroeconomic factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), Outstanding Consumer Credit, Industrial Production Index, Money Supply (MS), Unemployment Rate, and Ten-Year Treasury are used to predict/estimate asset (sector ETF`s) returns. Fundamental ratios of individual stocks are used to predict the stock returns. An a priori known cash-flow sequence is assumed available for investment. Given the importance of sector performance on stock performance, sector based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for the S&P; and Dow Jones are considered and wealth is allocated. Mean variance optimization with risk and return constraints are used to distribute the wealth in individual sectors among the selected stocks. The results presented should be viewed as providing an outer control/decision loop generating sector target allocations that will ultimately drive an inner control/decision loop focusing on stock selection. Receding horizon control (RHC) ideas are exploited to pose and solve two relevant constrained optimization problems. First, the classic problem of wealth maximization subject to risk constraints (as measured by a metric on the covariance matrices) is considered. Special consideration is given to an optimization problem that attempts to minimize the peak risk over the prediction horizon, while trying to track a wealth objective. It is concluded that this approach may be particularly beneficial during downturns - appreciably limiting downside during downturns while providing most of the upside during upturns. Investment in stocks during upturns and in sector ETF`s during downturns is profitable.

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2010

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Almond consumption and dietary compensation in overweight and obese adults

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ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies have suggested a link between nut consumption and weight. The possible effects of regular nut consumption as a method of weight loss has shown minimal results with 2-3 servings of nut products per day. This 8 week

ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies have suggested a link between nut consumption and weight. The possible effects of regular nut consumption as a method of weight loss has shown minimal results with 2-3 servings of nut products per day. This 8 week study sought to investigate the effect of more modest nut consumption (1 oz./day, 5 days/week) on dietary compensation in healthy overweight individuals. Overweight and obese participants (n = 28) were recruited from the local community and were randomly assigned to either almond (NUT) or control (CON) group in this randomized, parallel-arm study. Subjects were instructed to eat their respective foods 30 minutes before the dinner meal. 24 hour diet recalls were completed pre-trial and at study weeks 1, 4 and 8. Self-reported satiety data were completed at study weeks 1, 4, and 8. Attrition was unexpectedly high, with 13 participants completing 24 dietary recall data through study week 8. High attrition limited statistical analyses. Results suggested a lack of effect for time or interaction for satiety data (within groups p = 0.997, between groups p = 0.367). Homogeneity of of inter-correlations could not be tested for 24-hour recall data as there were fewer than 2 nonsingular cell covariance matrices. In conclusion, this study was unable to prove or disprove the effectiveness of almonds to induce dietary compensation.

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2011

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Performance of single layer H.264 SVC video over error prone networks

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With tremendous increase in the popularity of networked multimedia applications, video data is expected to account for a large portion of the traffic on the Internet and more importantly next-generation wireless systems. To be able to satisfy a broad range

With tremendous increase in the popularity of networked multimedia applications, video data is expected to account for a large portion of the traffic on the Internet and more importantly next-generation wireless systems. To be able to satisfy a broad range of customers requirements, two major problems need to be solved. The first problem is the need for a scalable representation of the input video. The recently developed scalable extension of the state-of-the art H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video coding standard, also known as H.264/SVC (Scalable Video Coding) provides a solution to this problem. The second problem is that wireless transmission medium typically introduce errors in the bit stream due to noise, congestion and fading on the channel. Protection against these channel impairments can be realized by the use of forward error correcting (FEC) codes. In this research study, the performance of scalable video coding in the presence of bit errors is studied. The encoded video is channel coded using Reed Solomon codes to provide acceptable performance in the presence of channel impairments. In the scalable bit stream, some parts of the bit stream are more important than other parts. Parity bytes are assigned to the video packets based on their importance in unequal error protection scheme. In equal error protection scheme, parity bytes are assigned based on the length of the message. A quantitative comparison of the two schemes, along with the case where no channel coding is employed is performed. H.264 SVC single layer video streams for long video sequences of different genres is considered in this study which serves as a means of effective video characterization. JSVM reference software, in its current version, does not support decoding of erroneous bit streams. A framework to obtain H.264 SVC compatible bit stream is modeled in this study. It is concluded that assigning of parity bytes based on the distribution of data for different types of frames provides optimum performance. Application of error protection to the bit stream enhances the quality of the decoded video with minimal overhead added to the bit stream.

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2011

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Aging predictive models and simulation methods for analog and mixed-signal circuits

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Negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) and channel hot carrier (CHC) are important reliability issues impacting analog circuit performance and lifetime. Compact reliability models and efficient simulation methods are essential for circuit level reliability prediction. This work proposes a set of

Negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) and channel hot carrier (CHC) are important reliability issues impacting analog circuit performance and lifetime. Compact reliability models and efficient simulation methods are essential for circuit level reliability prediction. This work proposes a set of compact models of NBTI and CHC effects for analog and mixed-signal circuit, and a direct prediction method which is different from conventional simulation methods. This method is applied in circuit benchmarks and evaluated. This work helps with improving efficiency and accuracy of circuit aging prediction.

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2011