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Amuno S.A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau | Amuno M.M.,Cyprus International University
Soil and Sediment Contamination | Year: 2014

Necrosols are a unique category of anthropogenic soils that are associated with excavated cemeteries or graveyards. In spite of the growing number of cemeteries and burial sites found across urban and rural areas globally, scientific information regarding the contamination potential of this category of soils is relatively scarce and not properly understood. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by assessing the contamination significance of trace metal contents in the necrosols associated with two excavated mass graves in Rwanda. For this preliminary geochemical investigation, cemetery soil samples were collected from two excavated mass graves in the Murambi memorial site, Rwanda, and analyzed for trace and major element concentrations. The enrichment factor (EF), chemical index of alteration (CIA), and contamination status of necrosol samples was determined in comparison with the offsite area. The results revealed that the average EF values for both onsite and offsite samples were generally within the class of natural background with only six onsite samples having higher EF values than the offsite or background area. Possible reasons for the progressive depletion of the selected trace element onsite are the relatively low anthropogenic activities and higher weathering intensity of the necrosols in comparison with the background area over time. Even though the mean onsite CIA values for the necrosols were slightly higher than the background area, the index further confirmed that both the necrosols and offsite samples were significantly altered to kaolinic degree. From the resulting pollution index values (PI Nemerow), it can be inferred that the Murambi necrosols were within the range of 0.84 and 1.82, corresponding to the precaution and slightly polluted domain. The current contamination status of the necrosols is likely to have been caused as a result of the anthropogenic input of Cr and Pb onsite relative to the offsite area. © 2014, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Amuno S.A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2013

In this paper, preliminary investigation was conducted to evaluate the potential ecological risk of heavy metals contamination in cemetery soils. Necrosol samples were collected from within and around the vicinity of the largest mass grave in Rwanda and analyzed for heavy metal concentrations using total digestion-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and instrumental neutron activation analysis. Based on the concentrations of As, Cu, Cr, Pb, and Zn, the overall contamination degree (C deg) and potential ecological risks status (RI) of the necrosols were determined. The preliminary results revealed that the associated cemetery soils are only contaminated to a low degree. On the other hand, assessment of the potential ecological risk index (RI) revealed that cumulative heavy metal content of the soil do not pose any significant ecological risks. These findings, therefore, suggest that, while cemetery soils may be toxic due to the accumulation of certain heavy metals, their overall ecological risks may be minimal and insignificant. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Found A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
East Asian Archives of Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objectives: To investigate the effects of different Chinese terms for mental illness and related symptoms on the attitudes of adolescents towards sufferers of a mental illness. Methods: A survey of 578 secondary school students attending 4 schools in Macao was conducted. Each student read a short passage about a new student with a mental illness joining their class. Different versions used different labels to refer to the illness of the new student. The symptoms describing the new student also varied: either describing positive symptoms of schizophrenia or mild negative symptoms only. The attitudes of participants to the new student described were measured. Results: There were significantly more negative attitudes towards the sufferer of a mental illness referred to with a psychiatric label, compared with a general label 'illness'. Participants also expressed significantly more negative attitudes when positive symptoms of schizophrenia were used to describe the new student. The results are discussed in terms of the influence of labels and symptoms on attitudes towards mental illness. Conclusions: These results supported the existence of 2 additive costs in terms of negative attitudes towards sufferers of mental illness, one associated with the label and the other associated with the symptoms. © 2011 Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.

Thota N.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Proceedings - 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling'11 | Year: 2011

In this paper, the repertory grid is presented as a technique to explore novice programmers' experiences within the context of an action research project. The theoretical and methodological aspects of the technique are discussed. The findings from the technique that combined quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods are provided. These findings relate to the learning process, learning content, and learning support as experienced by the students in an introductory object-oriented programming course. The repertory grid technique is then appraised for its relevance and usefulness to the project, and for its contribution to the diversity of computer science research methods. Insights gained from the use of the technique are shared with the community of computer science educators. ©2011 ACM.

Thota N.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Proceedings - 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Computing and Engineering, LATICE 2014 | Year: 2014

Phenomenography is a well-known empirical research approach that is often used to investigate students' ways of learning programming. Phenomenographic pedagogy is an instructional approach to plan learning and teaching activities. This theoretical paper gives an overview of prior research in phenomenographic studies of programming and shows how the results from these research studies can be applied to course design. Pedagogic principles grounded in the phenomenographic perspective on teaching and learning are then presented that consider how to tie students' experiences to the course goals (relevance structure) and how to apply variation theory to focus on the desired critical aspects of learning. Building on this, an introductory object-oriented programming course is described as an example of research-based course design. The insights gained from the experience of running the course are shared with the community of computer science educators, as also the benefits and responsibilities for those who wish to adopt the phenomenographic perspective on learning to plan their teaching. The development of an increased awareness of the variation in students' ways of experiencing programming and the need to broaden the context of the programming course are discussed. © 2014 IEEE.

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