The low-frequency asynchronous switch design (LF-ASD) was introduced as a direct brain-computer interface (BCI) technology for asynchronous control applications. The LF-ASD operates as an asynchronous brain switch (ABS) which is activated only when a user intends control and maintains an inactive state output when the user is not meaning to control the device (i.e., they may be idle, thinking about a problem, or performing some other action). Results from LF-ASD evaluations have shown promise, although the reported error rates are too high for most practical applications. This paper presents the evaluation of four new LF-ASD designs with data collected from individuals with high-level spinal cord injuries and able-bodied subjects. These new designs incorporated electroencephalographic energy normalization and feature space dimensionality reduction. The error characteristics of the new ABS designs were significantly better than the LF-ASD design with true positive rate increases of approximately 33% for false positive rates in the range of 1%-2%. The results demonstrate that the dimensionality of the LF-ASD feature space can be reduced without performance degradation. The results also confirm previous findings that spinal cord-injured subjects can operate ABS designs to the same ability as able-bodied subjects., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Manuscript received June 30, 2003; revised February 6, 2004.
The Neil Squire Society has developed asynchronous, direct brain switches for self-paced control applications with mean activation rates of 73% and false positive error rates of 2%. This report summarizes our results to date, lessons learned, and current directions, including research into implanted brain interface designs., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Manuscript received July 16, 2005; revised March 15, 2006; March 20, 2006.
Proceedings from Architectural Engineering Conference 2013, April 3-5, 2013 at State College, Pennsylvania, United States. Building performance is governed by physical processes, which are dynamically coupled in time and space, and whose degrees of interactions are often difficult to measure and appreciate. As a result, suboptimal performance and failures often occur. The goal of high-performance buildings is to optimize major aspects such as energy efficiency, life-cycle costs, and lighting, which are tightly coupled by the underlying physical processes. The premise behind this research project is that building integration/optimization can only be achieved when grounded on a shared understanding and communication of the underlying physical principles governing building performance, which can then enable the transformation of these principles into meaningful performance metrics. This paper proposes a methodology for building systems integration through building science principles. At the core of the methodology, a vocabulary of building science concepts, principles, and metrics enables using existing knowledge to increase understanding and gain insights on the systems involved in a particular design (including degrees of coupling, redundancies, and behaviours), which in turn facilitates the creation of new knowledge that may be needed to integrate new systems and technologies. A set of generic building science rules implemented using systems theory will enable such knowledge creation while preserving systems integrity at all times. The goal of this research is not to create a knowledge-base to replace building science professionals but to leverage an explicit vocabulary to increase understanding, learning, and communication of building performance for improved building integration. Furthermore, it is envisioned that the knowledge-base will serve as a bridge between building simulation, decision analysis, and optimization. This paper presents the initial attempt to organize a wealth of building science knowledge into a structured vocabulary. The power of generality and usability of the methodology will be tested with a case study. The expected benefits of the approach are three-fold: 1) to promote a more systematic approach to optimize building systems, 2) to facilitate the integration of new systems and technologies in buildings, and 3) to improve the education and dissemination of building science knowledge for improved building integration., Peer reviewed, Conference proceeding, Published.
The article focuses on the cost-benefit findings for ensuring workplaces are made accessible to disabled employees. Topics discussed include accessibility to workplaces in Canada; determining the financial benefit of built environment accommodations through employee retention; and savings in employee retention and retraining costs., Article, Published.
In the summer of 1988, a joint study was done by the Prosthetics and Orthotics Department at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Medical Engineering Resource Unit (MERU) of the University of British Columbia. The study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of applying existing Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD-CAM) techniques to the design and manufacture of spinal orthoses. The orthosis design selected was a TLSO for the treatment of a non-structural curve of the spine. The results of the study were very promising. This paper describes the study and discusses the results., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
With advances in acute care for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), chronic conditions are becoming a central focus.1–3 More specifically, impairments in respiratory function are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among individuals with SCI,4 and have significant economic burden. Paresis or paralysis of the respiratory muscles can lead to respiratory insufficiency, which has a major impact on cough effectiveness and susceptibility to infection.5–7 Prior studies have typically focused on breathing mechanics and pneumonia in the acute stages of SCI, but there is a dearth of evidence regarding secondary chronic conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), among SCI populations. In the general population, risk factors for the development of asthma and COPD include genetic, sociodemographic, and environmental components.8,9 In addition, traffic pollution and occupational exposures, and indoor exposure to pollutants such as mold, increase susceptibility to both diseases. However, that SCI may be an independent risk factor for COPD and asthma (or vice versa) has not been previously examined. It thus remains unknown whether there is a higher prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases (after adjustment for potential confounders) in individuals with SCI. The current study addresses this knowledge gap by utilizing the national Canadian Community Health Survey, which comprises comprehensive, up-to-date, cross-sectional data. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of chronic respiratory outcomes in the SCI population, to compare their odds with a non-SCI population, and to investigate this relationship after controlling for confounders., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received September 18, 2014; Accepted December 09, 2014.
Over the last decade, there have been marked changes in the trends of morbidity and mortality among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). With advances in acute care and in the management of septicemia, renal failure, and pneumonia, cardiovascular complications are now a leading cause of death in those with SCI.1 Moreover, several risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are amplified in individuals with SCI compared with able-bodied individuals, including physical inactivity, dyslipidemia, blood pressure irregularities, chronic inflammation, and abnormal glycemic control.2–22. While most of the literature with respect to CVD and SCI has shown a higher prevalence of risk factors for CVD,2–22 relatively few studies have examined the prevalence of CVD itself and corresponding risk estimates.23–26 None of these studies has provided direct comparisons of risk estimates for multiple CVD outcomes in the SCI population compared to a non-SCI population, with appropriate adjustment for confounding, in a large representative sample. It thus remains unknown whether there is excess risk of both heart disease and stroke (after adjustment for potential confounders) in individuals with SCI. The current study addresses this knowledge gap by utilizing the national Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), which is comprised of comprehensive, up-to-date, cross-sectional data. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of heart disease and stroke outcomes in the SCI population, to compare their risk with a non-SCI population, and to investigate this relationship after controlling for confounders., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received December 02, 2012 ; Accepted April 22, 2013.
A series of eleven case studies were gathered from across Canada in the summer of 2002. These case studies define an initial compendium of Best Practice in the use of information technology (IT) in Canada. The professionals interviewed included architects, engineers, general contractors, and owners. Many of them are at the cutting edge in their use of IT. The documentation of their pioneering use of IT can demonstrate how useful these technologies can be and what potential pitfalls are of concern. The case studies cover architecture, engineering, construction management, and specialized contractors. The following technologies were demonstrated: 3D CAD; custom Web sites; commercial Web portals; and in-house software development. No case was found that used wireless communication or standardized data formats such as IFCs or CIMSteel. The following issues were identified: the electronic distribution of documents is more efficient and cheaper; the short time-line and the tight budgets make it difficult to introduce new technologies on projects; the industry is locked in one CAD system and it is difficult to introduce new ones; it is costly to maintain trained CAD and IT personnel; and companies that lag behind reduce the potential benefits of IT. Still, the industry could achieve substantial benefits from the adoption of IT if it would be more widespread., Peer reviewed, Peer reviewed article, Submitted: August 2003 ; Revised: January 2004 ; Published: February 2004, Information technology, Technology use, Case studies, Architecture, Engineering and construction industry, Canada
A 2015 ASHRAE news release corrected the assumption that thermal comfort research included only middle-aged men in suits working in offices.(1) Standard 55 is gender neutral and can be applied to most environments where people go-including into homes. ASHRAE stands behind this assertion through a 2014 interpretation, and includes the standard in its residential resources., Peer reviewed, Technical feature, Published., Standard 55, Thermal comfort
An ultralight manual wheelchair that allows users to independently adjust rear seat height and backrest angle during normal everyday usage was recently commercialized. Prior research has been performed on wheelchair tilt, recline, and seat elevation use in the community, however no such research has been done on this new class of manual ultralight wheelchair with "on the fly" adjustments. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate and characterize the use of the two adjustable seating functions available on the Elevation™ ultralight dynamic wheelchair during its use in the community. Eight participants had data loggers installed onto their own wheelchair for seven days to measure rear seat height, backrest angle position, occupied sitting time, and distance traveled. Analysis of rear seat height and backrest adjustment data revealed considerable variability in the frequency of use and positions used by participants. There was a wide spread of mean daily rear seat heights among participants, from 34.1 cm to 46.7 cm. Two sub-groups of users were further identified: those who sat habitually at a single typical rear seat height, and those who varied their rear seat height more continuously. Findings also showed that participants used the rear seat height adjustment feature significantly more often than the backrest adjustment feature. This obvious contrast in feature use may indicate that new users of this class of wheelchair may benefit from specific training. While the small sample size and exploratory nature of this study limit the generalizability of our results, our findings offer a first look at how active wheelchairs users are using a new class of ultralight wheelchair with "on the fly" seating adjustments in their communities. Further studies are recommended to better understand the impact of dynamic seating and positioning on activity, participation and quality of life., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received: April 28, 2016; Accepted: February 26, 2017; Published: March 9, 2017.
Plants are integral to our lives, providing food, shelter and the air we breathe. The shapes that plants take are central to their functionality, tailoring each for its particular place in the ecosystem. Given the relatively large and static forms of plants, it may not be immediately apparent that chemical kinetics is involved in, for example, distinguishing the form of a spruce tree from that of a fern. But plants share the common feature that their shapes are continuously being generated, and this largely occurs in localized regions of cell division and expansion, such as the shoot and root apical meristems at either end of a plant’s main axis; these regions remain essentially embryonic throughout the life cycle. The final regular structure of a plant, such as the arrangement of leaves along the main stalk, may seem to follow an overall spatial template; but in reality the spatial patterning is occurring at relatively short range, and it is the temporal unfolding of this small scale patterning which generates the plant’s form. A key part of understanding plant morphogenesis, or shape generation, therefore, is to understand how the molecular determinants of cell type, cell division and cell expansion are localized to and patterned within the actively growing regions. At this scale, transport processes such as diffusion and convection are obvious components of localization, for moving molecules to the correct places; but the reaction kinetics for molecular creation, destruction and interaction are also critical to maintaining the molecular identity and the size regulation of the active regions., Book chapter, Published. Submission date: 04. October, 2011; Review date: 13. November, 2011; Published online: 29. February, 2012.