Matching Items (26)

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Future of Wastewater Sensing Workshop Guide

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The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society,

The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Security, LC Nano, and the Nano-enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Systems NSF Engineering Research Center. The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop explores how technologies for studying, monitoring, and mining wastewater and sewage sludge might develop in the future, and what consequences may ensue for public health, law enforcement, private industry, regulations and society at large. The workshop pays particular attention to how wastewater sensing (and accompanying research, technologies, and applications) can be innovated, regulated, and used to maximize societal benefit and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes, when addressing critical social and environmental challenges.

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  • 2015-11-01

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Study Abroad Programs and the Culture Shock Phenomenon: A Comprehensive Analysis of Liability, Risk, and the Efficacy of Preparation

Description

As undergraduate students focus on the perceived adventure, growth opportunities, social connections, freedom and fun, they may not be aware of the dangers and risks associated with studying abroad. Despite

As undergraduate students focus on the perceived adventure, growth opportunities, social connections, freedom and fun, they may not be aware of the dangers and risks associated with studying abroad. Despite university-created crisis prevention measures such as policies, documentation, and orientations warning of the risk of travel, students who study abroad face some form of a crisis every year. Universities warn travelers of the dangers of crime and the psychological issues associated with liminal experiences and culture shock, preparing students for the harsh reality that immersion into a foreign culture is an intense and sometimes taxing experience. Faculty and staff dedicate a tremendous amount of time and energy to ensure our students are braced for their travel experience, yet students still experience immense hardships. In a comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon, we seek to find and explore reasons and variables that account for this chasm. We suspect the reason for this chasm, despite good efforts, is the variance between the resources that are provided and needed both upon entry into host country, and re-entry into native country. In extensively reviewing existing scholarly literature, reviewing case studies, conducting examinations of multi-causal variables, and analyzing measurable data, we suggest that study abroad preparation resources must adapt in order to accommodate an ever-evolving undergraduate tourist experience. In Section I the research team provides an introduction and underscores the central question of the study. Section II includes an extensive literature review in order to establish a definition of culture shock, determine what universities currently do to mitigate culture shock and risk, and assess the efficacy of these strategies. The research team subsequently identifies a lacuna -- the gap or point of departure from existing literature and research that this study seeks to fill. Section III presents our hypothesis, while Section IV offers an outline of precise Methodology. Section V includes an in-depth Data Analysis using findings dependent upon surveys and interviews as discussed in Methodology. Section VI presents policy recommendations or a “fix” based upon findings presented in Data Analysis. Section VII presents a conclusion, offering a culmination of deductions and implications, proving the relevance of this study to Arizona State University.

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  • 2019-05

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Leveraged Buyouts: Risk Considerations for Exceeding Leverage Limitations

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In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, banking regulators have been taking a more active role in pursing greater financial stability. One area of focus has been on Wall

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, banking regulators have been taking a more active role in pursing greater financial stability. One area of focus has been on Wall Street banks' leverage lending practices which include leveraged lending activities to fund leveraged buyouts. In March 2013, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued guidance urging banks to avoid financing leveraged buyouts in most industries that would put total debt on a company of more than six times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda. Our research, using data on all leveraged buyouts (with EBITDA >$20 million) issued after the guidance, sets out to explain the elements banks consider when exceeding leverage limitations. Initially, we hypothesized that since deals over 6x leverage had higher amounts of debt, they were riskier deals, which would carry over to other risk measures such as yield to maturity on debt and company credit ratings. To analyze this, we obtained a large data set with all LBO deals in the past three years and ran difference-in-means tests on a number of variables such as deal size, credit rating and yield to maturity to determine if deals over 6x leverage had significantly different risk characteristics than deals under 6x leverage. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that deals over 6x leverage had significantly less risk, mainly demonstrated by lower average YTMs, than deals under 6x. One possible explanation of this might be that banks, wanting to ensure they are not fined, will only go through with a deal over 6x leverage if other risk metrics such as yield to maturity are well below average.

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  • 2016-05

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Contaminants in Philippine Fish (Siganus fuscescens) and Potential Effects on Public Health

Description

The Philippines relies on a vast biodiversity of fishes as a staple food, but like many countries around the globe, experiences severe “leakages” of contaminants and pollutants in the environment.

The Philippines relies on a vast biodiversity of fishes as a staple food, but like many countries around the globe, experiences severe “leakages” of contaminants and pollutants in the environment. In order to better understand the relationship between environmental pollutants and public health, this research project measured the concentration of pollutants in a commonly consumed local fish (Siganus fuscescens), and then evaluated the potential health risks of eating this fish based on estimated average consumer weight and consumption levels. Fish sampled from four different sites located in Negros Oriental, Philippines were analyzed for organic contaminants using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Pollutants quantified included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, phthalates, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). Across the four study sites, fishes from Manjuyod showed the highest frequency of detection of different pollutants. However, phthalates and PAHs were found in similar concentrations in all four sites, with fishes from Dumaguete showing the highest level of PCBs compared to the other sampled sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guide for fish contaminants pinpoints several health risks associated with the chronic ingestion of these contaminants. Based on estimated average body weights of Filipino adult men, adult women, and children, and various consumption levels, people who eat the fish at or above the national average consumption level may be at increased risk for chronic health outcomes, such as cancer and/or other adverse effects. Specifically, due to the high concentration of PCBs in Dumaguete, selected populations who eat local fish from this site may be at higher risk than the citizens who eat the fish from other sites at similar consumption rates. These results can help to inform local and national policies on water quality, waste disposal, and fish consumption advisory programs.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Risk-reducing Infrastructure: How Much is too Much?

Description

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation to the future economy. We call the first type base infrastructure, and the second type risk-reducing infrastructure. Our model assumes that a single representative individual makes all the decisions within a society and optimizes their own total utility over the present and future. We then calibrate an aggregate economic, two-period model to identify the optimal allocation of today’s output into consumption, base infrastructure, and risk-reducing infrastructure. This model finds that many governments can make substantive improvements to the happiness of their citizens by investing significantly more into risk-reducing infrastructure.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Risky Decision-Making Behavior: An Analysis of The Gambler's Fallacy and The Near-Miss Effect

Description

There are two common cognitive distortions present in risky decision-making behavior. The gambler's fallacy is the notion that a random game of chance is potentially biased by previous outcomes, and

There are two common cognitive distortions present in risky decision-making behavior. The gambler's fallacy is the notion that a random game of chance is potentially biased by previous outcomes, and the near-miss effect is the overestimation of the probability of winning immediately after barely missing a win. This study replicated a portion of the methods of Clark et al. (2014) in an attempt to support the presence of these two fallacies in online simulated risky decision-making tasks. One hundred individuals were recruited and asked to perform one of two classic gambling tasks, either predict the outcome of a dichromatic roulette wheel or spin a simplified, two-reel slot machine. An analysis of color predictions as a function of run length revealed a classic gambler's fallacy effect in the roulette wheel task. A heightened motivation to continue playing after a win, but not a near or full miss, was seen in the slot machine task. How pleased an individual was with the results of the previous round directly affected his or her interest in continuing to play in both experiments. These findings indicate that the gambler's fallacy is present in online decision-making simulations involving risk, but that the near-miss effect is not.

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  • 2017-05

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A Post Financial Crisis Analysis of the Investment Banking Industry

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This paper examines the qualitative and quantitative effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the current landscape of the investment banking industry. We begin by reviewing what occurred during the

This paper examines the qualitative and quantitative effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the current landscape of the investment banking industry. We begin by reviewing what occurred during the financial crisis, including which banks took TARP money, which banks became bank holding companies, and significant mergers and acquisitions. We then examine the new regulations that were created in reaction to the crisis, including the Dodd-Frank Act. In particular, we focus on the Volcker Rule, which is a section of the act that prohibits proprietary trading and other risky activities at banks. Then we shift into a quantitative analysis of the changes that banks made from the years 2005-2016. To do this, we chose four banks to be representative of the industry: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and Bank of America. We then analyze four metrics for each bank: revenue mix, value at risk, tangible common equity ratio, and debt to equity ratio. These provide methods for analyzing how banks have shifted their revenue centers to accommodate new regulations, as well as how these shifts have affected banks' risk levels and leverage. Our data show that all four banks that we observed shifted their revenue centers to flatter revenue areas, such as investment management, wealth management, and consumer banking operations. This was paired with fairly flat investment banking revenues across the board when controlling for overall market changes in the investment banking sector. Additionally, trading-focused banks significantly shifted their operations away from proprietary trading and higher risk activities. These changes resulted in lower value at risk measures for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley with very minor increases for J.P. Morgan and Bank of America, although these two banks had low levels of absolute value at risk when compared to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. All banks' tangible common equity ratios increased and debt to equity ratios decreased, indicating a safer investment for shareholders and lower leverage. We conclude by offering a forecast of our expectations for the future, particularly in light of a Trump presidency. We expect less regulation going forward and the potential reversal of the Volcker Rule. We believe that these changes would result in more revenue coming from trading and riskier strategies, increasing value at risk, decreasing tangible common equity ratios, and increasing debt to equity ratios. While we do expect less regulation and higher risk, we do not expect these banks to reach pre-crisis levels due to the significant amount of regulations that would be particularly difficult for the Trump administration to reverse.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Preferences for Group Risk and Inequality

Description

Economists, political philosophers, and others have often characterized social preferences regarding inequality by imagining a hypothetical choice of distributions behind "a veil of ignorance". Recent behavioral economics work has shown

Economists, political philosophers, and others have often characterized social preferences regarding inequality by imagining a hypothetical choice of distributions behind "a veil of ignorance". Recent behavioral economics work has shown that subjects care about equality of outcomes, and are willing to sacrifice, in experimental contexts, some amount of personal gain in order to achieve greater equality. We review some of this literature and then conduct an experiment of our own, comparing subjects' choices in two risky situations, one being a choice for a purely individualized lottery for themselves, and the other a choice among possible distributions to members of a randomly selected group. We find that choosing in the group situation makes subjects significantly more risk averse than when choosing an individual lottery. This supports the hypothesis that an additional preference for equality exists alongside ordinary risk aversion, and that in a hypothetical "veil of ignorance" scenario, such preferences may make subjects significantly more averse to unequal distributions of rewards than can be explained by risk aversion alone.

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  • 2014-05

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TRAIL RUNNERS AND SAFETY: EXPLORING PERCEPTIONS OF RISK IN AN URBAN PARK SYSTEM OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST

Description

Issues of visitor safety are a concern among park and recreation managers. As urban parks receive a variety of user groups, understanding perceptions of safety among specific groups becomes pertinent

Issues of visitor safety are a concern among park and recreation managers. As urban parks receive a variety of user groups, understanding perceptions of safety among specific groups becomes pertinent when managing for optimal experiences. This study examines trails runners at two mountain parks in a large southwestern city. Data was collected in the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014 using a five page, onsite, self-administered, exit survey in English. Questions addressed trail runner demographics, level of trail running experience, perceptions of safety, and support for safety related management actions. Of specific interest was how perceptions of safety varied by trail runner demographics and level of experience. 102 trail runners participated in the study. Data analysis was completed using an independent samples t-test to compare sample characteristics with perceptions of safety and safety related management actions. The results include mixed opposition and support for specific preventive management actions. Few significant differences in responses were found between gender, age and specialization. The findings also suggest trail runners primarily learned about these recreation areas through local knowledge and "word of mouth" and not through managers. Further implications of these finding is discussed. Contributions of the study are twofold. First, results provide managers with information regarding trail runners at the parks. Second, findings serve to extend the literature on visitor safety at park and recreation settings in urban areas.

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  • 2014-05

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Dietary Mushrooms and Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Case Study Approach to Validating an Experimental Design

Description

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in addition to the ongoing recommendation for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many studies suggest that fungi have the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with CVD. Specifically, white button mushrooms, viz., Agaricus bisporus, are fairly common and inexpensive and full of untapped possibilities for efficacy although much additional research is needed. With antioxidants, e.g., selenium, and beta-glucans, viz., indigestible polysaccharides, white button mushrooms contain a plethora of bioactive ingredients that confer a potentially strong tool against the debilitating social impact of CVD.
The objective of this thesis was to establish protocols and a valid experimental design for testing whether dietary mushrooms could, in fact, be protective against CVD risk. Specifically, a case-study approach was used to validate this experimental method to test white button mushrooms and their impact on blood lipid levels and the inflammatory response. This dietary study involved preparation of two soups: a placebo, broth-based soup and one with one cup of white button mushrooms per cup of soup to provide one and a half cups of soup (and mushrooms) per day to each participant. The soup was prepared in The Kitchen Café at the ASU Downtown Campus (Phoenix, AZ).
After preparing the soup, the next goal was recruitment through listserv, local advertisements, flyers, and word of mouth of participants to test the overall plan. Over fifteen people responded; however, only one candidate met the inclusion criteria of someone at high risk of developing CVD and agreed to participate in the study. The participant visited the nutrition laboratory in downtown Phoenix (550 N. 5th Street). Anthropometric data and an initial blood draw were completed, and fourteen 1.5 cup containers of mushroom soup were dispensed to the participant. After two weeks, the individual returned and the same procedures were executed to include anthropometry and blood analysis. Even though the subject did not show changes in blood markers of CVD risk (lipids and inflammatory markers), the hypothesis for the thesis that the study design would be effective was accepted. Thus, the procedure was successful and validated and will be used in the future study.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05