This research study aims to identify design strategies, instructional models and technological tools (e.g., educational games) that can be used to motivate high school girls to pursue computer science (CS) education. Part of this study, an educational game CodeBlock intended to teach basic programming, was designed and implemented for HoloLens devices. This study evaluates to what extent participating in a coding workshop consisting of a set of coding exercises and the CodeBlock game play could increase the interest of high school girls in CS. The workshop is conducted by undergraduate students who were involved in the design and implementation of the game, which has an additional benefit of exposing young girls to technologies implemented by post-secondary students, thus increasing the chances they will pursue post-secondary education in CS related fields., Not peer reviewed, Conference proceedings
Proceedings of IEEE Electrical Power And Energy Conference, London, Ontario, Oct. 2012. This paper proposes a multi-agent based control system for real-time and adaptive Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) and Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) in Smart Substations. The design and implementation of the proposed distributed control system using agent technology is discussed in the paper. Furthermore, the architecture, tasks and limits of each Intelligent Agent (IA) as a component of a multi-agent system (MAS) have been explained. A number of control functions are simulated and the results are presented in the paper. The results obtained demonstrate the potential of MAS for improving the efficiency of the system., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of the Fourth International Building Physics Conference: Energy Efficiency and New Approaches: 15 June 2009, Istanbul, Turkey.
The performance of a building envelope component is usually assessed based on the moisture analysis of individual components (such as cladding, sheathing board and/or drywall) for their drying potentials and likelihood of occurrence of problems associated with high moisture accumulation. In the current building envelope simulation practice, the indoor and outdoor boundary conditions are predefined in the context of the local weather data. The indoor boundary conditions are usually assumed to be constant throughout the simulation period, or two sets of values for the summer and winter periods are assumed. Although the outdoor boundary condition (weather data) is independent of the hygrothermal condition of the envelope, the indoor condition is highly influenced by the building enclosure and occupants? activities. Consequently, simplistic assumptions of indoor humidity profiles, which ignore the dynamic coupling of the indoor environment and building enclosure and represented with a set of empirical values, may lead to inaccurate conclusion about the moisture performance of the building enclosure. In this paper, the effects of indoor humidity profiles that are assumed during moisture performance evaluation of exterior building envelope component are analyzed. The indoor humidity profiles, which are considered in the study, are based on measured and simulated data of a real house. Indoor humidity models including a whole building hygrothermal model are used to generate four indoor humidity profiles. The hygrothermal dynamic responses of the building envelope component with respect to the various cases of indoor humidity assumptions are simulated and analyzed. The simulation results suggest that it is important to have more accurate indoor boundary conditions data, which are based on measurement or whole building hygrothermal modelling, to satisfactorily asses the moisture performance of a building enclosure and potential occupants health problems related to mould growth., Peer reviewed article, Published.
Proceedings of the 2015 Workshops at the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Austin, USA, 2015. Communication involves transferring information from one agent to another. An intelligent agent, either human or machine, is often able to choose to hide information in order to protect their interests. The notion of information hiding is closely linked to secrecy and dishonesty, but it also plays an important role in domains such as software engineering. In this paper, we consider the ethics of information hiding, particularly with respect to intelligent agents. In other words, we are concerned with situations that involve a human and an intelligent agent with access to different information. Is the intelligent agent justified in preventing a human user from accessing the information that they possess? This is trivially true in the case where access control systems exist. However, we are concerned with the situation where an intelligent agent is able to using a reasoning system to decide not to share information with all humans. On the other hand, we are also concerned with situations where humans hide information from machines. Are we ever under a moral obligation to share information with a computional agent? We argue that questions of this form are increasingly important now, as people are increasingly willing to divulge private information to machines with a great capacity to reason with that information and share it with others., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of 2010 Eighth Annual International Conference on Privacy Security and Trust (PST) in Ottawa, ON, Canada, 17-19 Aug. 2010. Cryptographic protocols are usually specified in an informal, ad hoc language, with crucial elements, such as the protocol goal, left implicit. We suggest that this is one reason that such protocols are difficult to analyse, and are subject to subtle and nonintuitive attacks. We present an approach for formalising and analysing cryptographic protocols in a theory of action, specifically the situation calculus. Our thesis is that all aspects of a protocol must be explicitly specified. We provide a declarative specification of underlying assumptions and capabilities in the situation calculus. A protocol is translated into a sequence of actions to be executed by the principals, and a successful attack is an executable plan by an intruder that compromises the specified goal. Our prototype verification software takes a protocol specification, translates it into a high-level situation calculus (Golog) program, and outputs any attacks that can be found. We describe the structure and operation of our prototype software, and discuss performance issues., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Non-Monotonic Reasoning (NMR 2016), Cape Town, South Africa; April 22-24, 2016. We are interested in belief revision involving conditional statements where the antecedent is almost certainly false. To represent such problems, we use Ordinal Conditional Functions that may take infinite values. We model belief change in this context through simple arithmetical operations that allow us to capture the intuition that certain antecedents can not be validated by any number of observations. We frame our approach as a form of finite belief improvement, and we propose a model of conditional belief revision in which only the "right" hypothetical levels of implausibility are revised., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (SHMII-4) 2009, 22-24 July 2009, Zurich, Switzerland. A comparative experimental study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of fiber reinforcement as a non-corrosive alternative for welded-wire reinforcement in slabs on grade. Six full-scale slabs-on-grade, reinforced with various combinations of WWM (Welded Wire Mesh), polymeric macro-synthetic fibers (PMF) and cellulose fibers were tested under a centrally concentrated load. Their ductility and load carrying capacity were evaluated and compared. Based on the results of this study, it seems that high dosages of polymeric macrofibers can be used to successfully reinforce concrete slabs. Given that the use of PMF eliminates the possibility of corrosion of reinforcement, this may be a superior option. Furthermore, it seems low dosages of fibers act as an ineffective replacement for WWM. Low dosages of PMF and cellulose fiber when added on their own, or in combination with each other were found to be insufficient in providing sufficient ductility or load carrying capacity compared to the control slab when subjected to the load test. Slabs reinforced with cellulose fiber had a poor mechanical response in comparison to WWM and therefore cellulose fiber on its own is not recommended., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of the 3rd Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference, Atlanta, USA, April 2-4, 2014. Net-zero energy, emissions, and carbon sustainability targets for buildings are becoming achievable with the use of renewable energy technologies and high-performance construction, equipment, and appliances. Methodologies and tools have also been developed and tested to help design teams search for viable strategies for net-zero buildings during the early stages of design. However, the risks for underperformance of high-performance technologies, systems, and whole buildings are usually not assessed methodically. The negative consequences have been, often reluctantly, reported. This paper presents a methodology for explicitly considering and assessing underperformance risks during the design of high-performance buildings. The methodology is a first attempt to formalize extensive applied research and industry experiences in the quest for net-zero energy homes in the U.S., and build on existing tools and methods from performance-based design, as well as optimization, decision, and risk analysis. The methodology is knowledge driven and iterative in order to facilitate new knowledge acquired to be incorporated in the decision making. As a point of departure in the process, a clear definition of the project vision and a two-level organization of the corresponding building function performance objectives are laid out, with objectives further elaborated into high-performance targets and viable alternatives selected from the knowledge-base to meet these. Then, a knowledge guided search for optimized design strategies to meet the performance targets takes place, followed by a selection of optimized strategies to meet the objectives and the identification of associated risks from the knowledge-base. These risks are then evaluated, leading either to mitigation strategies or to changing targets and alternatives, and feeding back to the knowledge-base. A case study of affordable homes in hot humid climate is used to test the methodology and demonstrate its application. The case study clearly illustrates the advantages of using the methodology to minimize under performance risks. Further work will follow to develop the underpinning mathematical formalisms of the knowledge base and the risk evaluation procedure., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of the International Mechanical Pulping Conference 2016, IMPC 2016. After decades of research and development, the technology of thermomechanical pulping (TMP) has dramatically improved resulting in higher pulp quality, especially strength. However, the TMP industry is still faced with the challenge of continually increasing energy costs. One approach to reducing the energy costs is to replace the second-stage high consistency (HC) refiner with several low consistency (LC) refiners. This is based on the observation that low consistency refining is more energy efficient than high consistency refining. The limitation of LC refining is loss of paper strength due to the high frequency of fibre cutting especially at high refining intensity. Chemical treatment combined with low consistency refining provides opportunity for even further energy savings. The chemical treatment could improve pulp properties allowing for further energy reduction in the HC refining stage or reduced intensity during LC refining resulting in less fibre cutting. Indeed, it is also possible that the chemical treatment itself will improve the resistance of the fibre to the cutting during LC refining., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. The ability to predict student performance in a course or program creates opportunities to improve educational outcomes. With effective performance prediction approaches, instructors can allocate resources and instruction more accurately. Research in this area seeks to identify features that can be used to make predictions, to identify algorithms that can improve predictions, and to quantify aspects of student performance. Moreover, research in predicting student performance seeks to determine interrelated features and to identify the underlying reasons why certain features work better than others. This working group report presents a systematic literature review of work in the area of predicting student performance. Our analysis shows a clearly increasing amount of research in this area, as well as an increasing variety of techniques used. At the same time, the review uncovered a number of issues with research quality that drives a need for the community to provide more detailed reporting of methods and results and to increase efforts to validate and replicate work., Peer reviewed, Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings of IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE2014),May 2014, Toronto, Canada. Smart Grid functions such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Pervasive Control and Distribution Management Systems have brought numerous control and optimization opportunities for distribution networks through more accurate and reliable techniques. This paper presents a new predictive approach for Volt/VAr Optimization (VVO) of smart distribution systems using Neural Networks (NN) and Genetic Algorithm (GA). The proposed predictive algorithm is capable of predicting the load profile of target nodes a day ahead by employing the historical metrology data of Smart Meters, It can further perform a comprehensive VVO in order to minimize distribution network loss/operating costs and run Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) to conserve more energy. To test the merits of the proposed algorithm, British Columbia Institute of Technology north campus distribution grid is used as research case study., Conference paper, Published.
14th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology, Toronto, Canada, October 29th-30th, 2014.
A field study is presented here on the investigation of the correlation between wind-driven rain (WDR) as the driving force and the relative proportions of water penetration at intended defects (openings) located at the interface of windows and exterior walls. In this field study, eight full-scale exterior-wall panels of vinyl siding and stucco claddings were built and installed on a field testing station, which is subjected to British Columbia’s west coast climate rain. This paper focuses on the preliminary results from one of the stucco wall panels with a discontinuity in the sealant around the perimeters of the windows. The water passing through this defect was collected and measured. The instantaneous and automatic water collection measurements were synchronized to the data gathered by a nearby weather station on wind-driven rain intensity, wind speed and direction. In addition, rain gauges on exterior of walls collected the wind-driven rain against each façade of the test station. Compared to previous computer simulations and laboratory experimental studies on rain penetration through exterior walls, this study was conducted under more realistic conditions. The panels were subjected to real wind-driven rain events. Also collectively, the experiment took into account rain that splashed off the wall façade upon impact and the rain water around the defect location due to run-off. The study is ongoing. However, when complete, the results from this study will be useful for fine-tuning the principal moisture load that is applied in hygrothermal performance assessment and design of exterior wall systems., Conference paper, Published.