Join MoCSSy for these upcoming events...
|September 20, 2013
||IRMACS Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series|
|October 4, 2013
||IRMACS Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series|
|November 1, 2013
||IRMACS Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series|
|November 15, 2013
||IRMACS Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series|
|November 29, 2013
||IRMACS Interdisciplinary Colloquium Series|
MoCSSy Modelling Workshops are held on the following Fridays, 11:30-13:00 in IRMACS ASB 10940. Everyone is welcome!January 25, 2013
February 1, 2013February 22, 2013March 8, 2013March 22, 2013
MoCSSy hosts a weekly Graduate Seminar Series. During this series, graduate students in the MoCSSy program give talks based on their thesis research and other personal research. Join us on the following Fridays in the Fall semester from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in room IRMACS ASB 10940.
FIRST SPEAKER: Adrienne Peters, School of Criminology, SFU & BC Centre for Social Responsibility working with the Ministry For Children and Family Development
TITLE: An examination into why mentally disordered and violent young offenders necessitate more specialized programming and preliminary results from two such programs in Vancouver
ABSTRACT: A major youth justice policy issue in Canada is the difficulty of providing rehabilitative programs for violent and mentally disordered young offenders. Furthermore, many of these youth remain in the community for the majority of the time and thus remain at risk. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the developmental theories regarding violent and mentally disordered offending, and challenges to providing effective treatment programs for these offenders. In addition, two specialized probation caseloads established in Vancouver, British Columbia to address the specific needs of these young offenders will be discussed. As recent research on serious and violent young offenders suggests that participation in specialized probation services is likely associated with lower recidivism rates, this presentation presents preliminary results from an examination of the two specialized probation. The sample is comprised of 89 young offenders who were referred to specialized youth probation between 2004 and 2010 in Vancouver. Using static and dynamic risk factors that predict serious recidivism, and Cox proportional hazard models, recidivism among the two sub-populations of young offenders was assessed. Results were consistent with existing literature and also shed light on an interesting phenomenon regarding gang affiliated youth.
TITLE: Assessment of Respiratory Flow and Efforts Using Upper-Body Accelerations Considering Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Sleep apnea monitoring requires measurement and assessment of both respiratory flow and efforts in order to detect apnea periods and also classify them into obstructive and central ones. In this study, a method for estimating respiratory flow and efforts by using three small accelerometers is proposed and tested in different sleeping postures and variable flow rates. The three accelerometers were mounted on suprasternal notch, thorax and abdomen of 20 healthy subjects in supine, prone and lateral positions. The accelerometers were used to record the upper airway acceleration (ACCS), chest wall movement (ACCTh) and abdomen wall movement (ACCAbd) due to respiration. Simultaneously we recorded nasal/oral flow (Fnasal) with a nasal cannula connected to a pressure transducer and also recorded respiratory efforts (VTh and VAbd) by dual strain gauge transducers mounted on two belts. We estimated the upper airway flow using ACCS, ACCTh and ACCAbd signals and respiratory efforts using ACCTh and ACCAbd signals by means of machine learning techniques. To assess the agreement of estimated signals with the well-established measurement methods, we calculated the standard error of measurement (SEM) as ρ =1-SEM for every posture and flow rate. The agreement between estimated and actual flow signals for all subjects in all conditions was found significant (ρ =0.83). For estimated thorax and abdomen efforts, calculated ρ was 0.82 and 0.89 respectively. Additionally, we assessed the agreement of Fest and Fnasal by the ratio of time at the tidal peak expiration flow to the expiration time (tPTEF/tE). The mean difference of tPTEF/tE ratios for estimated and actual signals was 0.051 (std=0.033) within and between subjects for all conditions. Besides that we calculated the start time and also the duration of breath cessations. Results demonstrated the feasibility of using upper body acceleration as the simple solution for long term measuring and monitoring respiratory features.
SECOND SPEAKER: Nicole Bance, Faculty of Health Science, Infectious Disease and Virology Lab, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: The development of a novel tool to visualize Marek’s Disease Virus infection patterns
ABSTRACT: Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is an avian oncogenic alphaherpesvirus and results in Marek’s disease (MD), a fatal T-cell lymphoma. MDV is a threat to all farmed chickens and is currently controlled by attenuated live vaccines (administered to all battery chickens before hatch). Interestingly, unlike conventional vaccines that rely on the host immune response, the MDV vaccine protects against disease in a very unique way that has yet to be revealed. Unfortunately because of MDV’s increasing virulence and due to the way chickens are now farmed, vaccine breaks have occurred in the past. This suggests that the current MDV strain could become resistant to the available vaccines. Uncovering this unique relationship in order to aid vaccine development is therefore becoming increasingly pertinent. This project aims to construct a tool to allow the visualization of MDV and its vaccine in vito so that the protection mechanism may be visualized. This novel information has the potential to aid vaccine development not only for MDV but could possibly influence diseases that may not yet have a successful vaccine.
TITLE: Transforming Pain Through Technology: The Measurement Problem
SECOND SPEAKER: Deyar Asmaro, School of Psychology, Lab for Affective Developmental NeuroScience, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: Visual Cue Reactivity and Substance Use: Using ERPs to Assess Components that Differentiate Users and Non-Users.
ABSTRACT: Substance abuse/dependence is an ever-increasing global problem. A great deal of interdisciplinary work has been done to help intervene and prevent an increase in incidence and prevalence rates worldwide, and insights from neuroscience and neuroimaging work may be able to shed light on what is happening in the brains of substance users when they see cues that have become associated with their habitual behavior. An overview of the fMRI and ERP techniques is provided, and the findings from 2 ERP studies that I conducted are presented. One of these studies investigated trait chocolate craving, and the ERP components that distinguished cravers from non-cravers when they passively viewed chocolate and bland food pictures are highlighted. The second study looked at cue reactivity in a sample of marijuana dependent participants, and behavioral results in addition to the ERP components that differentiated this group from a control group that had never tried the drug are summarized. Lastly, the results from the 2 previously mentioned studies are used to provide a context for a third study that is being conducted now, where ERPs are being used in an effort to identify biological markers that predict relapse in smokers who are attempting to quit the habit. Clinical implications for these findings are proposed.
TITLE: The BALCO Scandal: Analyzing a Drug Distribution Network with Social Network Analysis
SECOND SPEAKER: Rebecca Carleton and Dr. Garth Davies, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: Not in Vancouver anymore, Toto: Explaining crime in rural and northern areas
ABSTRACT:While crime has been on the decline in most urban centers for the past few decades, this has not been the case in rural type areas. Despite the vast array of theoretical constructs purporting to explain crime and criminality, few, if any, have been specifically developed for a northern / rural context. This is particularly problematic for Canada since the vast majority of the population resides within 10 miles of the 49th parallel suggesting the vast majority of Canadian geography can be considered rural. While we do know that urban centers are distinct from rural areas, it is unclear whether traditional macro differences, and the corresponding macro criminological theories, are sufficient to account for crime disparities between these areas in any substantive manner. The current evidence suggests further theoretical development would be well suited with integration of cultural and social differences for the purposes of explaining the cause of crime and criminality in northern and rural contexts.
TITLE: Rationale for Expanding North America's First and Only Supervised Injection Facility
Findings suggest attending InSite has numerous positive effects on the lives of IDUs including: saving lives, reducing HIV and HCV risk behavior, decreasing injection in public, reducing public syringe disposal, reducing use of various medical resources and increasing access to nursing and other primary health services. There is also an urgent need to expand the current facility to cities where injection drug use is prevalent.
SECOND SPEAKER: Elysha Cohen, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: Examining the Therapeutic Role of Cannabis: Substantiating its Medicinal Utility
ABSTRACT: The therapeutic use of cannabis has been documented by historians, social scientists and the medical profession.Opponents; however, argue that much of the findings are largely based on personal opinion and hearsay. Over the past 40 years there has been a growing body of research examining the medicinal applications of marijuana through more objective measures; often through double blind and placebo controlled studies of cannabis and its analogous pharmaceuticals. The findings from these studies have been mixed and suffer from high dropout rate and issues with the tools of measurement, but overall evidence suggests that cannabis is effective in the treatment of pain, nausea and emesis, appetite stimulation and glaucoma. Cannabis appears to be less effective in the treatment of spasticity. Upon review of the literature it is evident that future research needs to focus on smoked marijuana rather than synthetic compounds such as dronabinol or nabilone. Secondly, there needs to be more studies comparing the efficacy of cannabis to other drugs currently being used to treat the same condition, ailment or disease.
SECOND SPEAKER:Sara Namazi, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
MoCSSy Semester-End Presentations - Friday December 2nd from 9:00 to 11:30 in room ASB 10900.
Soft Skills Workshops
|May 20, 2011
||"Scientific and Technical Writing Skills" by Yolanda Koscielski|
|May 27, 2011
||"Library Resources for Interdisciplinary Research" by Shane Plante
|June 3, 2011
||"Time Management" by Ruth Silverman
|June 10, 2011
||"IP Protection - Practical Aspects" by Mike Volker|
|June 17, 2011
||"Discover the keys for a successful academic work search" by Brenda Badgero
MoCSSy Semester-End Presentations - Friday April 8th from 10:30 to 2:30 at room 10900.
MoCSSy Graduate Student Seminar Series
SPEAKER: Huaxin Wei, PhD, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University Surrey
TITLE: Analyzing the Game Narrative: Structure and Technique
SPEAKER: Laurens Bakker, M.Sc. Student, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: Spatial Disaggregation of the Universal Soil Loss Equation using a Cellular Automata Approach
TIME: February 25th, 2011
SPEAKER: Azadeh Alimadad, PhD candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU
TITLE: A cross-country analysis of sodium content in supermarket food
ABSTRACT: A common approach to tackling high salt consumption is to act at the population level, through actions such as government governmental policies or changes in the food industry. However, this study shows that individual decision-making can also play a key role in daily sodium consumption, which as a result should encourage industrials to reduce the salt content in their products. We recorded the salt content of food sold in several supermarkets in France and Canada. We find that, within a category of produce, tremendous differences exist in salt content. Thus, by comparing labels, individuals are able to undertake noticeable changes. Furthermore, we examine the relationship between the price and sodium content in grains, meats and vegetables.
SPEAKER: Hamed Yaghoubi Shahir, PhD Candidate, Software Technology Lab, School of Computing Science, SFU
TITLE: Generating Vignettes for Coastal Surveillance Operations
ABSTRACT: Canada and its allies have identified the vulnerability of sea-lanes, their ports and harbors to a variety of threats and illegal activities. With a total length of over 243,000 kilometers, Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world. Scarce surveillance and tracking capabilities make it difficult to perform large volume surveillance, keeping track of all marine traffic. To facilitate surveillance operations, decision support systems play a key role, but it is difficult to do real world experiments in all cases. Therefore, computer simulation is the next best solution for evaluating different algorithms and analyzing various situations. However, generating appropriate test cases is a complex activity which is not efficient to do manually, so we need to have an automatic (or at least semi-automatic) approach. Generating realistic and concrete test cases (vignettes) for marine safety and security domain is the main goal of this project. We are building software for generating vignettes, which facilitates the simulation process of different situations and scenarios by users, and the testing and evaluation of algorithms by developers.
TIME: February 11th, 2011
SPEAKER: Jonathan Cinnamon. PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University.
TITLE: Enabling injury surveillance in low-resources settings: The role of Web 2.0 and GeoWeb technologies
ABSTRACT: More than 90% of injury-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Injury surveillance – the collection, analysis and interpretation of data concerning injury in populations – is rare in LMIC, thus, little is known about its causes, the spatial context, or the populations at risk. Two major barriers to surveillance are access to software and trained personnel. Free and easy-to-use Web technologies may facilitate the removal of these barriers. A pilot study was conducted in Cape Town, South Africa to assess the feasibility of using Web 2.0 and Geospatial Web tools for injury surveillance, as a substitute for more costly and sophisticated licensed software. Epidemiological data were collected and visualized at a major hospital’s trauma unit using lightweight Web applications. Outcomes of this study suggest that Web 2.0 and GeoWeb applications could facilitate streamlined data collection, management, and visualization. This presents an opportunity for hospitals with constrained resources to engage in injury surveillance, however, both the usability and utility of such a system must be established.
SPEAKER: Andrew Reid. MA Candidate, Department of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: An Evaluation of CCTV at a Park and Ride Facility in Surrey, BC
ABSTRACT: In August, 2009 the City of Surrey, British Columbia implemented a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system at the Scott Road Park and Ride facility. The CCTV pilot project was employed to reduce auto-related crime at the commuter parking lot adjacent to Scott Road Station--a major rapid transit hub in Vancouver's lower mainland. The current study evaluates the effectiveness of the intervention over the one year pilot project. Using several sources of data including local police crime incidents, insurance claim records, and a victimization survey, the impact of CCTV on two types of auto-related crime (theft from motor vehicle and theft of motor vehicle) were considered. A three year period leading up to the intervention was used to formulate a baseline of crime in the City of Surrey and the north region of the Corporation of Delta. The one year pilot project time frame was then considered to evaluate the impact of the intervention. Specifically, this evaluation focuses on significant changes in the amount and type of auto-related offences, fear of crime, the broader trends of auto-related crime leading up to and through the intervention time period, as well as any displacement effects.
TIME: January 28th, 2011
SPEAKER: Vijay Kumar Mago, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, DAV College, Jalandhar, INDIA
TITLE: Introduction to Fuzzy Cognitive Maps
ABSTRACT: Fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) is a method for analysing and depicting human perception of a given system. The method produces a conceptual model which is not limited by exact values and measurements, and thus is well suited to represent relatively unstructured knowledge and causalities expressed in imprecise forms. FCMs describe particular domains using nodes (variables, states, inputs, outputs) and signed fuzzy relationships between them. The nodes of the FCM stand for the concepts that are used to describe the behavior of the system and they are connected by signed and weighted interconnections representing the causal relationships that exist between the concepts. FCM can describe any system using a model having signed causality (that indicates positive or negative relationship), strengths of the causal relationships (that take fuzzy values), and causal links that are dynamic (i.e. the effect of a change in one concept/node affects other nodes, which in turn may affect other nodes). They were applied to a large number of diverse application areas and have already gained momentum due to their simplicity and easiness of use.
SPEAKER: Piper Jackson, PhD Candidate, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
TITLE: A Comprehensive High-Level Design of Continual Planning
ABSTRACT: Automated planning techniques have made possible the automation of complex decision making. However, traditional planning algorithms assume full knowledge and predictability; it is very rare that agents in the real world can rely on either of these. This indicates a need for planning that can change dynamically and operate continually during execution. While effective planning algorithms exist, such as Hierarchical Task Networks (HTNs), it is not clear exactly how such an algorithm should best fit into a system. I propose a high-level model to show how this can be done within the context of an Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop. This model contains the essential features of a robust and flexible planning system, and is meant to act as a base design for continual planning systems in general. I have written the model specification in the CoreASM formal language, and linked this to the MDA INFORM Lab simulation environment for testing in Coast Guard-type situations.
For earlier talks go to the list of MoCSSy Graduate Seminar Series abstracts.
Contact MoCSSy for more information on its events or to be put on the MoCSSy events mail list.