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Session 19A-19B 15:30-17:00 // day two

19A - Forums of Communication & Cultures University of Warwick, Monash University South Africa, and University of Leeds

The project looks to investigate the relationship between personality, attitude towards mathematics and teaching and learning preferences. By considering these individual differences in both high and low attitude samples the aim is to gain insight into how to make mathematics more accessible across different disciplines in higher education. Our correlational study consists of a sample of 257 participants from an online questionnaire with 3 parts; a 30 item ‘Big Five’ personality test, a revised subset of the Fennema-Sherman attitude scales and teaching and learning preferences. This includes type of learner, ranking of methods, independence of study and preference for the flipped classroom. The results suggested many significant trends in the data. For example, conscientiousness positively correlates with attitude to mathematics in the male sample and both the high and low attitude samples. This relationship was only significant in the female sample when we controlled for the type of learner. Whilst in general conscientiousness was highest for visual learners, who also had a high attitude score, female visual learners had a negative attitude towards mathematics. I will be discussing this in the talk alongside some of the other results from this study with a consideration of how these trends may contribute to our understanding of what leads to a more positive attitude towards mathematics.

For the first time in the history of humanity more people live in urban areas than rural ones. There is no doubt that providing housing and services for billions of people across the world’s cities will be one of our greatest challenges yet. The vast majority of this rapid urbanisation is taking place within a developing-world context. The aim of this research is to investigate the positive and negative consequences of rapid urbanisation within the developing world. To fully explore the complexities and dynamics of this topic, a qualitative content analysis is undertaken, drawing from a variety of seminal texts, contemporary urban research and illustrative case studies. It is argued that massive slum formation is one of the most pressing challenges of rapid urbanisation, as slums face both environmental and social challenges. However, care must be taken to emphasise that slums remain home for many millions of people, and therefore deserve respect as such. Further analysis reveals that, despite the challenges they may face, urbanisation has unlocked massive innovation potential within developing-world cities, shifting global innovation dynamics to challenge the traditional ‘North-South’ flow of innovation. Although developing-world cities are often presented as a list of problems (and sometimes rightly so), this research highlights that they are also places of complexity and massive potential. The key to a sustainable future for the developing world therefore lies within understanding the growing city and how to manage it.

The Double Object Construction (DOC) (1) and its alternation (AltDOC) (2) arise when a verb takes two complements – a direct object (theme) and an indirect object (recipient) or its prepositional form (3).

The syntax of the DOC and its variation have been researched extensively (Stowell, 1981), however there is little literature that identifies its acceptance and what affects the DOCs and the AltDOCs use, as the AltDOC is considered marginal (Gerwin, 2013). This research identifies a number of linguistic aspects that affect the use & the grammatical rating of the DOC; the effects of how Latin and German verbs form past tense, syllabic structure, and the ordering of DPs. A grammaticality judgement task was administered to 24 balanced sex (under)graduates who are native English. Participants were required to rate from 1-4 how grammatical declarative DOCs and AltDOCs sounded when preceded by introductory contexts. Mixed three-way ANOVAs were used to identify the effect of verb stem, verb frame and DP heaviness (pronominal or DP) on participants’ ratings.

The results show that DP order had an effect on the grammatical judgement but was a result of verb frame rather than verb stem. The result of verb stem was probably moderated by the number of syllables; Germanic derived verbs rated higher than those of Latin in the DOC. The findings have particular importance as variations of the DOC are indeed used as productive constructions in British English.

World War Two and the Cold War saw the power structures and epicentres of the 20th century shift. As Russia grew in power, former Great Powers faltered as they attempted to adapt to new power structures. Joseph Nye’s theory of soft power encapsulated the move from hard military power, to persuasive soft power. His theory focuses on three sources: culture, political values, and foreign policy. However, whilst there is agreement the sources, there is no consensus on how to measure soft power. This study posits that the Eurovision Song Contest is a viable measure of Nye’s theory. As a quasi-political and cultural phenomenon, the contest offers an interstate platform to exercise soft power. In this study I used a negative binomial regression with random effects to test my theory that the contest can be used to measure soft power within the Great Powers of Europe. My findings were that major power status has a negative effect on points received. Furthermore, it was also found that countries with a lower Human Development Index score receive substantially more points, suggesting that Eastern - who, on average, have lower scores than the West – are more likely to receive more points. Combined with the theory of bloc voting, the results suggest that Eastern countries receive a higher vote share. Within the Great Powers, Russia can be seen to be exercising the most influence within the contest. These results, coupled with the historic mirroring, suggests that Russia is currently the strongest power in Europe.

19B - Models, Functions & Pathways University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Baruch College, City University of New York


This talk will delve deep into the realms of number theory, and will explore some very powerful techniques used by mathematicians to crack many problems- from those that are obviously difficult, to those which appear simple, but are deceptively hard; such as the problem of counting the number of ways we can write integers (whole numbers) as the sum of an even number of square numbers.

Modular forms are at the forefront of a lot of current mathematical research, and have been involved in proving some of the most famous results, such Fermat’s Last Theorem. It is for this reason that I believe my project has great relevance given its huge need for such a technique, in addition to collating other methods from across the scope of mathematics to produce a very elegant result.

In this talk, I will outline briefly the methods used in my research to tackle such a problem, such as the study of some basic modular forms leading to mathematical expressions which can then be used to interpret some modular forms to arrive at the desired result; following the work of J.P.Serre in the process, along with other established figures.

Although number theory typically comes with a stigma of inaccessibility about it, its results often distill down to very relevant applied maths and physics; indeed I believe that it can be accessible to all.

3D printing has transformed various fields by creating objects quickly and affordable. This technology makes life and functioning easier for individuals. This can include motor functions such as walking, hand movements, and communication.

Tremors are an involuntary, rhythmic muscle contraction leading to shaking movements. Hand tremors can make the everyday activity of eating a challenge. This uncontrollable limb shaking affects a person's nutrition and psychological health. State of frustration and social withdrawal from the embarrassment of eating in the company of others are other negative consequences.

This research presents a 3D-printed solution for hand tremors and special awareness. Our spork is an assistive device designed and 3D-printed for patients suffering from scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, substances abuse withdrawal, etcetera. It will aid with balance, self-reliance, and the mental well-being of individuals.

The scale-based handle will act as a counterweight to offset the contents on the other end and reduce shakiness. The larger grip allows an easy and comfortable hold. The product will be 3D-printed for a customizable fit and at an affordable price. Lastly, the product will include a haptic feedback sensor to assist the visually impaired in locating food contents on a plate.

The technology already exists to assist those with tremors. However, none of the top six spoons on the market has yet combined the best qualities of each other. With this research, with have proved it is possible to build a spoon that will help the approximately 7 million people in the USA have tremors.

The JAK/STAT pathway is highly conserved among all animals and is responsible for the development of blood cells and adult immunity. JAK/STAT mutations are responsible for blood cell cancers and autoimmune disorders in humans. Methoprene is a juvenile hormone mimic that prevents metamorphosis in Drosophila. It can be used as a pesticide and is also an environmental toxin. The activity of two genes in the Drosophila JAK/STAT pathway, STAT92 and DOME, is measured after methoprene exposure by using green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporters. When these target genes are activated, there is a green fluorescence in the location of the STAT92 and DOME activity that reflects the expression of the JAK/STAT pathway. For both genes, Drosophila larvae were separated by sex and imaged in different developmental stages as signaling naturally increases over time. Five males and five females from each stage were imaged from ethanol treated larvae, methoprene in ethanol treated larvae and a control group with no treatment. In both sexes and at all stages of larval development, methoprene treated larvae displayed higher expression in the muscles for STAT92 and in the fat body for DOME than the ethanol treated and control larvae. Lamellocytes, blood cells formed only upon a massive infection, are seen in a fluorescent tagged line after methoprene treatment. This implies that methoprene induces an immunological response. The JAK/STAT pathway signals lamellocyte formation which without an infection, encapsulates its own tissue. This autoimmune reaction may be relevant to environmental exposures and mutations in the human JAK/STAT pathway that result in autoimmune disorders. Further tests identifying the location of the JAK/STAT pathway that is involved in lamellocyte formation will be investigated.

An accurate predictive modelling is extremely important for insurance companies to assess the risk in the new markets that they intend to enter. However, the loss experience data in the new market are usually unavailable while they have their own loss experience data of existing policyholders in the current markets. Moreover, a population’s individual medical expenditure is usually heavily zero-inflated, leading to a semi-continuous distribution with a large number of zeros and a continuous distribution for the positive expenditures.

To address these problems, a two-part regression model with three-population covariate shift is applied. A two-part model includes a model for the binary response variable and a model for the outcome variable conditioned on the binary response. The three-population covariate shift known in the machine learning literature allows estimation of the health cost in the new market based on the medical expenditure in the existing current market after adjusting for demographic differences between the current and new market.

In this paper, we use the loss experience data of 10,000 existing policyholders in the Japanese market (current market) to estimate the medical expenditure of the Singapore market (new market) based on two predictors, age and gender. In the two-part model, logistic model is used for the binary response variable and lognormal model is used for the continuous positive expenditure. To apply three-population covariate shift, the data are divided into eight groups based on gender and age groups and are adjusted based on demographic differences between the Singapore and Japan population.

A higher R-square and a lower of the proposed model suggests that the two-part model with three-population shift is a strong predictive model compared with the model without covariate shift. However, only two predictors are involved in this study due to the lack of demographic data. More extensive research will be required to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed model with three or more predictors.