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Hamilton, New Zealand

The University of Waikato , informally Waikato University, is a comprehensive university in Hamilton, New Zealand, with a satellite campus located in Tauranga. Established in 1964, it was the first university in New Zealand to be designed from a blank canvas. Wikipedia.


Lowe D.J.,University of Waikato
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2011

Tephrochronology (from tephra, Gk 'ashes') is a unique stratigraphic method for linking, dating, and synchronizing geological, palaeoenvironmental, or archaeological sequences or events. As well as utilizing the Law of Superposition, tephrochronology in practise requires tephra deposits to be characterized (or 'fingerprinted') using physical properties evident in the field together with those obtained from laboratory analyses. Such analyses include mineralogical examination (petrography) or geochemical analysis of glass shards or crystals using an electron microprobe or other analytical tools including laser-ablation-based mass spectrometry or the ion microprobe. The palaeoenvironmental or archaeological context in which a tephra occurs may also be useful for correlational purposes. Tephrochronology provides greatest utility when a numerical age obtained for a tephra or cryptotephra is transferrable from one site to another using stratigraphy and by comparing and matching inherent compositional features of the deposits with a high degree of likelihood. Used this way, tephrochronology is an age-equivalent dating method that provides an exceptionally precise volcanic-event stratigraphy. Such age transfers are valid because the primary tephra deposits from an eruption essentially have the same short-lived age everywhere they occur, forming isochrons very soon after the eruption (normally within a year). As well as providing isochrons for palaeoenvironmental and archaeological reconstructions, tephras through their geochemical analysis allow insight into volcanic and magmatic processes, and provide a comprehensive record of explosive volcanism and recurrence rates in the Quaternary (or earlier) that can be used to establish time-space relationships of relevance to volcanic hazard analysis. The basis and application of tephrochronology as a central stratigraphic and geochronological tool for Quaternary studies are presented and discussed in this review. Topics covered include principles of tephrochronology, defining isochrons, tephra nomenclature, mapping and correlating tephras from proximal to distal locations at metre- through to sub-millimetre-scale, cryptotephras, mineralogical and geochemical fingerprinting methods, numerical and statistical correlation techniques, and developments and applications in dating including the use of flexible depositional age-modelling techniques based on Bayesian statistics. Along with reference to wide-ranging examples and the identification of important recent advances in tephrochronology, such as the development of new geo-analytical approaches that enable individual small glass shards to be analysed near-routinely for major, trace, and rare-earth elements, potential problems such as miscorrelation, erroneous-age transfer, and tephra reworking and taphonomy (especially relating to cryptotephras) are also examined. Some of the challenges for future tephrochronological studies include refining geochemical analytical methods further, improving understanding of cryptotephra distribution and preservation patterns, improving age modelling including via new or enhanced radiometric or incremental techniques and Bayesian-derived models, evaluating and quantifying uncertainty in tephrochronology to a greater degree than at present, constructing comprehensive regional databases, and integrating tephrochronology with spatially referenced environmental and archaeometric data into 3-D reconstructions using GIS and geostatistics. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Lane J.R.,University of Waikato
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2013

The equilibrium geometry of the lowest energy structure of water dimer [(H2O)2] has been investigated using coupled cluster theory. A hierarchy of conventional coupled cluster methods is utilized up to singles doubles triples and quadruples excitations (CCSDTQ). The geometry of (H2O)2 is also optimized using the explicitly correlated coupled cluster singles doubles and perturbative triples [CCSD(T)-F12b] method. Overall, we find that the effect of including excitations beyond CCSD(T) is smaller than inclusion of core-valence correlation and comparable to scalar-relativistic and adiabatic effects. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source


Falloon G.,University of Waikato
Computers and Education | Year: 2013

The past few years have seen an array of new technological gadgets arrive on the education scene, perhaps the best known of these being Apple's i-Device range, particularly the iPad. Such devices have been described by some as 'game changers', and promoted as a key component to stimulating much-needed educational reform. However, history suggests the hype and rhetoric surrounding these technological innovations has failed to match the reality of their performance, in action. Some have attributed this failure to a lack of alignment by teachers of pedagogical models with the potential of technologies, while others argue that claims made are simply unrealistic sales hype. Regardless, schools continue to be seduced by these new technologies, purchasing ever increasing amounts based on the alleged learning promises they offer their students. This study presents an innovative approach to exploring student interaction with iPad apps, and is an attempt to begin to unpack factors that affect their learning pathways, in an effort to improve the educational potential of these popular devices. It focuses specifically on design and content features of apps selected by an experienced teacher to enhance literacy, numeracy and problem-solving capabilities of her 5 year old students. Findings reveal a complex matrix of influencing factors. These include the effect of embedded pedagogical scaffolds (eg., modelling, reflection time), corrective and formative feedback, text-to-speech functionality, imposed interaction parameters, impediments (eg., web links, advertisements, buying content) and the entertainment/education balance. Arguments are made for researchers, teachers and developers to work together and adopt methodologies such as that introduced in this article, to gather data to radically improve the design of apps used by young students for learning. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Laughlin D.C.,University of Waikato
Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

Plants are multifaceted organisms that have evolved numerous solutions to the problem of establishing, growing and reproducing with limited resources. The intrinsic dimensionality of plant traits is the minimum number of independent axes of variation that adequately describes the functional variation among plants and is therefore a fundamental quantity in comparative plant ecology. Given the large number of functional traits that are measured on plants, the dimensionality of plant form and function is potentially vast. A variety of linear and nonlinear methods were used to estimate the intrinsic dimensionality of three large trait data sets. The results of these analyses indicate that while the dimensionality of plant traits is generally larger than we have admitted in the past, it does not exceed six in the most comprehensive data set. The dimensionality of plant form and function is a blessing, not a curse. The higher the intrinsic dimension of traits in an analysis, the more easily our models will be able to accurately discriminate species in trait space and therefore be able to predict species distributions and abundances. Recent analyses indicate that the ability to predict community composition increases rapidly with additional traits, but reaches a plateau after four to eight traits. Synthesis. There appears to be a tractable upper limit to the dimensionality of plant traits. To optimize research efficiency for advancing our understanding of trait-based community assembly, ecologists should minimize the number of traits while maximizing the number of dimensions, because including multiple correlated traits does not yield dividends and including more than eight traits leads to diminishing returns. It is recommended to measure traits from multiple organs whenever possible, especially leaf, stem, root and flowering traits, given their consistent performance in explaining community assembly across different ecosystems. There appears to be a tractable upper limit to the dimensionality of plant traits. To optimize research efficiency for advancing our understanding of trait-based community assembly, ecologists should minimise the number of traits while maximising the number of dimensions, because including multiple correlated traits does not yield dividends and including more than eight traits leads to diminishing returns. It is recommended to measure traits from multiple organs whenever possible, especially leaf, stem, root, and flowering traits, given their consistent performance in explaining community assembly across different ecosystems. © 2013 British Ecological Society. Source


Litvinenko Y.E.,University of Waikato
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

In this paper, the problem of focused particle transport is revisited. A description in terms of a system of stochastic differential equations, completely equivalent to the Fokker-Planck equation, is suggested. The coefficient for spatial diffusion parallel to the mean magnetic field is calculated. The case of isotropic pitch angle scattering and weak focusing is analyzed in detail. The disagreement between a recent analysis by Shalchi and other treatments of the same problem is discussed. © 2012 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

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