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West Long Branch, NJ, United States

Belkhouche F.,California State University, Sacramento | Bendjilali B.,Raritan Valley Community College
Robotica | Year: 2013

This paper introduces a probabilistic model for collision risk assessment between moving vehicles. The uncertainties in the states and the geometric variables obtained from the sensory system are characterized by probability density functions. Given the states and their uncertainties, the goal is to determine the probability of collision in a dynamic environment. Two approaches are discussed: (1) The virtual configuration space (VCS), and (2) the rates of change of the visibility angles. The VCS is a transformation of observer that reduces collision detection with a moving object to collision detection with a stationary object. This approach allows to create simple geometric collision cones. Error propagation models are used to solve the problem when going from the VCS to the configuration space. The second approach derives the collision conditions in terms of the rate of change of the limit visibility angles. The probability of collision is then calculated. A comparison between the two methods is carried out. Results are illustrated using simulation, including Monte Carlo simulation. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

Botticello A.L.,Spinal USA | Botticello A.L.,The New School | Rohrbach T.,Raritan Valley Community College
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation | Year: 2015

Objective To assess the association between characteristics of the built environment and differences in perceived health among persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) using objective measures of the local community derived from Geographic Information Systems data. Design Secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Setting Community. Participants Persons with chronic SCI enrolled in the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems database (N=503). All cases were residents of New Jersey, completed an interview during the years 2000 through 2012, had a complete residential address, and were community living at the time of follow-up. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure Perceived health. Results Bivariate tests indicated that persons with SCI residing in communities with more (vs less) mixed land use and small (vs large) amounts of open space were more likely to report poor perceived health. No associations were found between perceived health and differences in the residential or destination density of the community. Adjusting for variation in demographic, impairment, quality of life, and community socioeconomic characteristics accounted for the gap in the odds of reporting poor health between persons living in areas with large versus small amounts of open space (odds ratio [OR], 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-1.02). However, even after accounting for individual background differences, persons living in communities characterized by more heterogeneous land use were twice as likely to report poor health compared with persons living in less mixed areas (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.12-4.08). Conclusions Differences in the built characteristics of communities may be important to the long-term health and well-being of persons with SCI who may have greater exposure to the features of their local area because of limited mobility. The results of this study suggest living in a community with more heterogeneous land use was not beneficial to the perceived health of persons with chronic SCI living in New Jersey. Further investigation is needed to assess if the relationships observed in this analysis are influenced by differences in infrastructure and resources across communities. Further research is also needed to investigate the role built environment plays in the long-term health and well-being of persons with SCI in other geographic locales. © 2015 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Botticello A.L.,Kessler Foundation Research Center | Botticello A.L.,The New School | Rohrbach T.,Raritan Valley Community College | Cobbold N.,Kessler Foundation Research Center
Annals of Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Purpose: There is a need for empirical support of the association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes. This study explores the associations between community and neighborhood land uses and community participation among adults with acquired physical disability. Methods: Cross-sectional data from 508 community-living chronically disabled adults in New Jersey were obtained from among participants in national Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems database. Participants' residential addresses were geocoded to link individual survey data with Geographic Information Systems data on land use and destinations. The influence of residential density, land use mix, destination counts, and open space on four domains of participation were modeled at two geographic scales-the neighborhood (i.e., half mile buffer) and community (i.e., five mile) using multivariate logistic regression. All analyses were adjusted for demographic- and impairment-related differences. Results: Living in communities with greater land use mix and more destinations was associated with a decreased likelihood of reporting optimum social and physical activity. Conversely, living in neighborhoods with large portions of open space was positively associated with the likelihood of reporting full physical, occupational, and social participation. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the overall living conditions of the built environment may be relevant to social inclusion for persons with physical disabilities. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

This study examines the prospects for compromise management to support greater natural resources on recreational beaches by analyzing the spatial dimensions of key natural resource indicators (beach vegetation and wrack) with peak recreational uses in New Jersey, one of the most intensively developed shorelines in North America. The spatial distribution of pedestrian and vehicular recreational uses was measured on 60 transects in heavily-populated beaches during the peak times and days of use during the summer tourist season, and compared to that of vegetation and wrack on 72 transects in nearby protected natural areas. The frequency, density, and % use were calculated for each 10% increment of linear beach surface, and the impacts of protecting different amounts of upper beach areas were calculated in terms of the % vegetation, wrack and recreational use that would be supported in each case. Vegetation was highly concentrated in landward portions of the beach surface, and pedestrian and parked recreational vehicles in the seaward areas, suggesting high compatibility of these natural resources with recreational use. Lower compatibility was found for existing patterns of wrack and vehicle driving, which were more widely distributed across the beach surface. Based on the distributions of these variables, protecting the upper 50% of the beach would support >80% of vegetation, pedestrian and parked vehicular uses, and 42-52% of driving uses and wrack, respectively. Protecting the upper 25% of the beach would support >95% of all recreational uses, 52% of vegetation, and 24% of wrack. Given the current level of impacts to vegetation and wrack on recreational beaches, major gains in these and other natural resources can therefore be made across the shoreline without substantial impacts to existing pedestrian or vehicular recreational uses. Greater ecological benefits and ecosystem services may be obtained by applying these types of compromise management solutions to recreational ocean beaches in the future. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 625.87K | Year: 2015

This project will build a learning community for STEM students at Raritan Valley Community College through faculty mentoring, career development activities, cohort building and access to key student services. Approximately 34 scholars will participate in the learning community, which is designed to improve students educational experiences and connection to peers, faculty and the college, all with the objective of increasing STEM retention, degree achievement and successful transfer to four-year institutions. Partnerships among multiple stakeholders (high schools, 4-year institutions, community organizations, and local employers) will support a well-rounded plan for recruitment, retention, and then placement in the workforce or colleges and universities that grant bachelors degrees. This project is expected to have an impact on the number of STEM graduates prepared to help national, regional, and local companies compete and innovate in the global economy.

The project will investigate the influence of i) improved academic and social integration and ii) improvement in economic circumstances on educational outcomes for academically talented STEM students with demonstrated financial need. In addition to expanding efforts to nurture a STEM learning community (see activities above), the quality and rigor of assessment and evaluation activities will be enhanced in order to test whether efforts to help students assimilate and financial assistance can explain their retention and commitment to complete STEM majors. Formative evaluation will address scholars satisfaction with the project and its contribution towards their satisfaction with the institution, their educational progression, and their career development. Summative evaluation will consist of an analysis of the alignment of retention and enrollment with the project objectives. In addition an analysis will be done on the long-term effects of the project on student placement in college or in the workforce and persistence in STEM fields. Dissemination of the results of evaluation will be done through conferences and workshops focused on higher education and pedagogy. Potential conferences include the Faculty of the Future conference held annually at Bucks County Community College and Best Practices Conference in New York City sponsored by the Institute of International Education.

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