• Auditors’ Quantitative Materiality Judgments: Properties and Implications for Financial Reporting Reliability

      We analyze data made available through the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) to provide descriptive evidence on the properties of auditors' actual quantitative materiality judgments and the implications of those judgments for financial reporting. Auditors' quantitative materiality judgments do not appear to result simply from applying conventional rules of thumb (e.g., 5% of pretax income), but instead are associated with size-related financial statement outcomes (income, revenues, and assets), where the relative importance of the size-related outcomes varies with client characteristics such as financial performance. Using the distribution of actual materiality amounts reported by auditors to the PCAOB as part of the audit-inspection process, we construct a materiality-judgment measure that locates a specific materiality amount within a normal range that is both comparable across varying client characteristics and supported by guidance in audit firm internal policy manuals. We find that looser materiality (an amount closer to the high end of a normal materiality range) is associated with fewer audit hours and lower audit fees, supporting the construct validity of this measure. We also find that looser materiality is associated with lower amounts of proposed audit adjustments and, in extreme cases, with a greater incidence of restatements, highlighting the importance of auditor materiality assessments for financial reporting reliability.
    • Augmented design and analysis of computer experiments: a novel tolerance embedded global optimization approach applied to SWIR hyperspectral illumination design

      Keresztes, Janos C.; John Koshel, R.; D’huys, Karlien; De Ketelaere, Bart; Audenaert, Jan; Goos, Peter; Saeys, Wouter; Univ Arizona, Coll Opt Sci (OPTICAL SOC AMER, 2016-12-12)
      A novel meta-heuristic approach for minimizing nonlinear constrained problems is proposed, which offers tolerance information during the search for the global optimum. The method is based on the concept of design and analysis of computer experiments combined with a novel two phase design augmentation (DACEDA), which models the entire merit space using a Gaussian process, with iteratively increased resolution around the optimum. The algorithm is introduced through a series of cases studies with increasing complexity for optimizing uniformity of a short-wave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging (HSI) illumination system (IS). The method is first demonstrated for a two-dimensional problem consisting of the positioning of analytical isotropic point sources. The method is further applied to two-dimensional (2D) and five-dimensional (5D) SWIR HSI IS versions using close-and far-field measured source models applied within the non-sequential ray-tracing software FRED, including inherent stochastic noise. The proposed method is compared to other heuristic approaches such as simplex and simulated annealing (SA). It is shown that DACEDA converges towards a minimum with 1 % improvement compared to simplex and SA, and more importantly requiring only half the number of simulations. Finally, a concurrent tolerance analysis is done within DACEDA for to the five-dimensional case such that further simulations are not required. (C) 2016 Optical Society of America
    • Augmented reality navigation to assist retrograde peroneal access for the endovascular treatment of critical limb ischemia

      Lu, Weifeng; Wang, Lixin; Zhou, Wei; Fu, Weiguo; Univ Arizona, Dept Surg, Div Vasc Surg (ELSEVIER, 2019-11-18)
      Retrograde access is an alternative approach to endovascular intervention for critical limb ischemia but may be challenging in patients with poor below-knee vessel runoff. Here, we introduce an innovative technique based on an augmented reality navigation system to gain successful retrograde access to the peroneal artery of an 84-year-old woman with critical limb ischemia. Our result showed that this innovative technique had the potential advantage of influencing target vessel access selection with lower contrast material volume and radiation exposure compared with the conventional approach. More in-depth study is required to investigate the safety and efficacy of augmented reality-assisted vascular interventions.
    • Augmenting ideational fluency in a creativity task across multiple transcranial direct current stimulation montages

      Chrysikou, E.G.; Morrow, H.M.; Flohrschutz, A.; Denney, L.; University of Arizona (Nature Research, 2021)
      Neuroimaging and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) research has revealed that generating novel ideas is associated with both reductions and increases in prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity, and engagement of posterior occipital cortex, among other regions. However, there is substantial variability in the robustness of these tDCS‐induced effects due to heterogeneous sample sizes, different creativity measures, and methodological diversity in the application of tDCS across laboratories. To address these shortcomings, we used twelve different montages within a standardized tDCS protocol to investigate how altering activity in frontotemporal and occipital cortex impacts creative thinking. Across four experiments, 246 participants generated either the common or an uncommon use for 60 object pictures while undergoing tDCS. Participants also completed a control short-term memory task. We applied active tDCS for 20 min at 1.5 mA through two 5 cm × 5 cm electrodes over left or right ventrolateral prefrontal (areas F7, F8) or occipital (areas O1, O2) cortex, concurrent bilateral stimulation of these regions across polarities, or sham stimulation. Cathodal stimulation of the left, but not right, ventrolateral PFC improved fluency in creative idea generation, but had no effects on originality, as approximated by measures of semantic distance. No effects were obtained for the control tasks. Concurrent bilateral stimulation of the ventrolateral PFC regardless of polarity direction, and excitatory stimulation of occipital cortex did not alter task performance. Highlighting the importance of cross-experimental methodological consistency, these results extend our past findings and contribute to our understanding of the role of left PFC in creative thinking. © 2021, The Author(s).
    • Augmenting the Disaster Healthcare Workforce

      Iserson, Kenneth; Univ Arizona, Dept Emergency Med (WESTJEM, 2020-04-13)
      In disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to use all available resources to bolster our healthcare workforce. Many factors go into this process, including selecting the groups of professionals we will need, streamlining their licensing and credentialing processes, identifying appropriate roles for them, and supporting their health and well-being. The questions we must answer are these: How many staff will we need? How do we provide them with emergency licenses and credentials to practice? What interstate licensing compacts and registration systems exist to facilitate the process? What caveats are there to using retired healthcare professionals and healthcare students? How can we best avoid attrition among and increase the numbers of international medical graduates? Which non-clinical volunteers can we use and in what capacities? The answers to these questions will change as the crisis develops, although the earlier we address them, the smoother will be the process of using augmentees for the healthcare system.
    • The Aurora radiation-hydrodynamical simulations of reionization: calibration and first results

      Pawlik, Andreas H.; Rahmati, Alireza; Schaye, Joop; Jeon, Myoungwon; Dalla Vecchia, Claudio; Univ Arizona, Dept Astron & Steward Observ (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2017-04-01)
      We introduce a new suite of radiation- hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation and reionization called Aurora. The Aurora simulations make use of a spatially adaptive radiative transfer technique that lets us accurately capture the small- scale structure in the gas at the resolution of the hydrodynamics, in cosmological volumes. In addition to ionizing radiation, Aurora includes galactic winds driven by star formation and the enrichment of the universe with metals synthesized in the stars. Our reference simulation uses 2 x 512(3) dark matter and gas particles in a box of size 25 h(-1) comoving Mpc with a force softening scale of at most 0.28 h(-1) kpc. It is accompanied by simulations in larger and smaller boxes and at higher and lower resolution, employing up to 2 x 1024(3) particles, to investigate numerical convergence. All simulations are calibrated to yield simulated star formation rate functions in close agreement with observational constraints at redshift z = 7 and to achieve reionization at z approximate to 8.3, which is consistent with the observed optical depth to reionization. We focus on the design and calibration of the simulations and present some first results. The median stellar metallicities of low- mass galaxies at z = 6 are consistent with the metallicities of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, which are believed to have formed most of their stars at high redshifts. After reionization, the mean photoionization rate decreases systematically with increasing resolution. This coincides with a systematic increase in the abundance of neutral hydrogen absorbers in the intergalactic medium.
    • The Author’s Two Bodies: The Death of Qu Yuan and the Birth of Chuci zhangju 楚辭章句

      Du, Heng; Univ Arizona (BRILL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS, 2019-11-08)
      While recent studies of early Chinese texts increasingly eschew the term “author,” the present article defends the utility of this term by proposing a generalizable framework for conceptualizing author claims. Using Qu Yuan as a case study, I demonstrate that the construction of the author, both historical and putative, uniquely contributes to the finalization—rather than the creation—of texts, transforming open and evolving textual traditions into closed and stabilized entities. The creation of the author thus stands at the threshold between textual production and reception, often serving as an indispensable condition for the latter. By applying this approach to the study of the Chuci zhangju, Ioffer a new definition of the textual strata within this compilation.
    • The autism associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase engages early neuronal growth mechanism and controls glutamatergic circuits development in the forebrain

      Peng, Yun; Lu, Zhongming; Li, Guohui; Piechowicz, Mariel; Anderson, Miranda; Uddin, Yasin; Wu, Jie; Qiu, Shengfeng; Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-07)
      The human MET gene imparts a replicated risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and is implicated in the structural and functional integrity of brain. MET encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, which plays a pleiotropic role in embryogenesis and modifies a large number of neurodevelopmental events. Very little is known, however, on how MET signaling engages distinct cellular events to collectively affect brain development in ASD-relevant disease domains. Here, we show that MET protein expression is dynamically regulated and compartmentalized in developing neurons. MET is heavily expressed in neuronal growth cones at early developmental stages and its activation engages small GTPase Cdc42 to promote neuronal growth, dendritic arborization, and spine formation. Genetic ablation of MET signaling in mouse dorsal pallium leads to altered neuronal morphology indicative of early functional maturation. In contrast, prolonged activation of MET represses the formation and functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, manipulating MET signaling levels in vivo in the developing prefrontal projection neurons disrupts the local circuit connectivity made onto these neurons. Therefore, normal time-delimited MET signaling is critical in regulating the timing of neuronal growth, glutamatergic synapse maturation and cortical circuit function. Dysregulated MET signaling may lead to pathological changes in forebrain maturation and connectivity, and thus contribute to the emergence of neurological symptoms associated with ASD.
    • Autobiographical Memory Fluency Reductions in Cognitively Unimpaired Middle-Aged and Older Adults at Increased Risk for Alzheimer's Disease Dementia

      Grilli, M.D.; Wank, A.A.; Huentelman, M.J.; Ryan, L.; Psychology Department, University of Arizona; Neurology Department, University of Arizona; Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona; Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
      Objective: Recent research has revealed that cognitively unimpaired older adults who are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia often exhibit subtle cognitive alterations in their neuropsychological profiles. Emerging evidence suggests that autobiographical memory, which is memory for personal events and knowledge, may be sensitive to early AD-related cognitive alterations. In the present study, we investigated whether the rapid generation of autobiographical memory category exemplars, a retrieval process that taxes the neural network that is vulnerable to early AD, is compromised in cognitively unimpaired middle-aged and older carriers of the e4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE4), which increases risk for AD dementia. Methods: In addition to standard neuropsychological tests, we administered a fluency task that requires generating exemplars for two types of autobiographical memory, namely episodic memories and personal semantics, to a group of cognitively unimpaired middle-aged and older adults (n = 45) enriched with APOE4 carriers (n = 20). Results: While no APOE4 deficits were found on standard neuropsychological tests, episodic and personal semantic exemplar generation was reduced in the APOE4 group. Discussion: Autobiographical memory aberrations associated with a higher risk for AD are evident in fluency and affect both episodic memory and personal semantics. © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021.
    • Autoionizing Polaritons in Attosecond Atomic Ionization

      Harkema, N.; Cariker, C.; Lindroth, E.; Argenti, L.; Sandhu, A.; Department of Physics, University of Arizona; College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona (American Physical Society, 2021)
      Light-induced states and Autler-Townes splitting of laser-coupled states are common features in the photoionization spectra of laser-dressed atoms. The entangled light-matter character of metastable Autler-Townes multiplets, which makes them autoionizing polaritons, however, is still largely unexplored. We employ attosecond transient-absorption spectroscopy in argon to study the formation of polariton multiplets between the 3s-14p and several light-induced states. We measure a controllable stabilization of the polaritons against ionization, in excellent agreement with ab initio theory. Using an extension of the Jaynes-Cummings model to autoionizing states, we show that this stabilization is due to the destructive interference between the Auger decay and the radiative ionization of the polaritonic components. These results give new insights into the optical control of electronic structure in the continuum and unlock the door to applications of radiative stabilization in metastable polyelectronic systems. © 2021 American Physical Society.
    • Autologistic models for benchmark risk or vulnerability assessment of urban terrorism outcomes.

      Liu, Jingyu; Piegorsch, Walter W.; Schissler, A. Grant; Cutter, Susan L.; University of Arizona; University of Arizona; University of Nevada; University of South Carolina (WILEY, 2018-06-01)
      We develop a quantitative methodology to characterize vulnerability among 132 U.S. urban centers ('cities') to terrorist events, applying a place-based vulnerability index to a database of terrorist incidents and related human casualties. A centered autologistic regression model is employed to relate urban vulnerability to terrorist outcomes and also to adjust for autocorrelation in the geospatial data. Risk-analytic 'benchmark' techniques are then incorporated into the modeling framework, wherein levels of high and low urban vulnerability to terrorism are identified. This new, translational adaptation of the risk-benchmark approach, including its ability to account for geospatial autocorrelation, is seen to operate quite flexibly in this socio-geographic setting.
    • Automated analysis of interactional synchrony using robust facial tracking and expression recognition

      Yu, Xiang; Zhang, Shaoting; Yu, Yang; Dunbar, Norah; Jensen, Matthew; Burgoon, Judee K.; Metaxas, Dimitris N. (IEEE, 2013-04)
      In this paper, we propose an automated, data-driven and unobtrusive framework to analyze interactional synchrony. We use this information to determine whether interpersonal synchrony can be an indicator of deceit. Our framework includes a robust facial tracking module, an effective expression recognition method, synchrony feature extraction and feature selection methods. These synchrony features are used to learn classification models for the deception recognition. To evaluate our proposed framework, we have conducted extensive experiments on a database of 242 video samples. We validate the performance of each technical module in our framework, and also show that these synchrony features are very effective at detecting deception.
    • Automated annotation of learner English

      Picoral, Adriana; Staples, Shelley; Reppen, Randi; University of Arizona (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2021-03-01)
      This paper explores the use of natural language processing (NLP) tools and their utility for learner language analyses through a comparison of automatic linguistic annotation against a gold standard produced by humans. While there are a number of automated annotation tools for English currently available, little research is available on the accuracy of these tools when annotating learner data. We compare the performance of three linguistic annotation tools (a tagger and two parsers) on academic writing in English produced by learners (both L1 and L2 English speakers). We focus on lexico-grammatical patterns, including both phrasal and clausal features, since these are frequently investigated in applied linguistics studies. Our results report both precision and recall of annotation output for argumentative texts in English across four L1s: Arabic, Chinese, English, and Korean. We close with a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of using automatic tools to annotate learner language.
    • Automated bug localization in JIT compilers

      Lim, HeuiChan; Debray, Saumya; Department of Computer Science, University of Arizona (ACM, 2021-04-07)
      Many widely-deployed modern programming systems use just-in-Time (JIT) compilers to improve performance. The size and complexity of JIT-based systems, combined with the dynamic nature of JIT-compiler optimizations, make it challenging to locate and fix JIT compiler bugs quickly. At the same time, JIT compiler bugs can result in exploitable security vulnerabilities, making rapid bug localization important. Existing work on automated bug localization focuses on static code, i.e., code that is not generated at runtime, and so cannot handle bugs in JIT compilers that generate incorrect code during optimization. This paper describes an approach to automated bug localization in JIT compilers, down to the level of distinct optimization phases, starting with a single initial Proof-of-Concept (PoC) input that demonstrates the bug. Experiments using a prototype implementation of our ideas on Google's V8 JavaScript interpreter and TurboFan JIT compiler demonstrates that it can successfully identify buggy optimization phases. © 2021 ACM.
    • Automated data processing architecture for the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

      Wang, Jason J.; Perrin, Marshall; Savransky, Dmitry; Arriaga, Pauline; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Marois, Christian; Rameau, Julien; Wolff, Schuyler; et al. (SPIE-SOC PHOTO-OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERS, 2018-01)
      The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is a multiyear direct imaging survey of 600 stars to discover and characterize young Jovian exoplanets and their environments. We have developed an automated data architecture to process and index all data related to the survey uniformly. An automated and flexible data processing framework, which we term the Data Cruncher, combines multiple data reduction pipelines (DRPs) together to process all spectroscopic, polarimetric, and calibration data taken with GPIES. With no human intervention, fully reduced and calibrated data products are available less than an hour after the data are taken to expedite follow up on potential objects of interest. The Data Cruncher can run on a supercomputer to reprocess all GPIES data in a single day as improvements are made to our DRPs. A backend MySQL database indexes all files, which are synced to the cloud, and a front-end web server allows for easy browsing of all files associated with GPIES. To help observers, quicklook displays show reduced data as they are processed in real time, and chatbots on Slack post observing information as well as reduced data products. Together, the GPIES automated data processing architecture reduces our workload, provides real-time data reduction, optimizes our observing strategy, and maintains a homogeneously reduced dataset to study planet occurrence and instrument performance. (c) 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
    • Automated Design of CubeSats using Evolutionary Algorithm for Trade Space Selection

      Kalita, Himangshu; Thangavelautham, Jekan; Univ Arizona, Aerosp & Mech Engn Dept, Space & Terr Robot Explorat SpaceTREx Lab (MDPI, 2020-09-28)
      The miniaturization of electronics, sensors, and actuators has enabled the growing use of nanosatellites for earth observation, astrophysics, and even interplanetary missions. This rise of nanosatellites has led to the development of an inventory of modular, interchangeable commercially-off-the-shelf (COTS) components by a multitude of commercial vendors. As a result, the capability of combining subsystems in a compact platform has considerably advanced in the last decade. However, to ascertain these spacecraft's maximum capabilities in terms of mass, volume, and power, there is an important need to optimize their design. Current spacecraft design methods need engineering experience and judgements made by of a team of experts, which can be labor intensive and might lead to a sub-optimal design. In this work we present a compelling alternative approach using machine learning to identify near-optimal solutions to extend the capabilities of a design team. The approach enables automated design of a spacecraft that requires developing a virtual warehouse of components and specifying quantitative goals to produce a candidate design. The near-optimal solutions found through this approach would be a credible starting point for the design team that will need further study to determine their implementation feasibility.
    • Automated digital TIL analysis (ADTA) adds prognostic value to standard assessment of depth and ulceration in primary melanoma

      Moore, Michael R.; Friesner, Isabel D.; Rizk, Emanuelle M.; Fullerton, Benjamin T.; Mondal, Manas; Trager, Megan H.; Mendelson, Karen; Chikeka, Ijeuru; Kurc, Tahsin; Gupta, Rajarsi; et al. (Nature Research, 2021-02-02)
      Accurate prognostic biomarkers in early-stage melanoma are urgently needed to stratify patients for clinical trials of adjuvant therapy. We applied a previously developed open source deep learning algorithm to detect tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) images of early-stage melanomas. We tested whether automated digital (TIL) analysis (ADTA) improved accuracy of prediction of disease specific survival (DSS) based on current pathology standards. ADTA was applied to a training cohort (n = 80) and a cutoff value was defined based on a Receiver Operating Curve. ADTA was then applied to a validation cohort (n = 145) and the previously determined cutoff value was used to stratify high and low risk patients, as demonstrated by Kaplan–Meier analysis (p ≤ 0.001). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed using ADTA, depth, and ulceration as co-variables and showed that ADTA contributed to DSS prediction (HR: 4.18, CI 1.51–11.58, p = 0.006). ADTA provides an effective and attainable assessment of TILs and should be further evaluated in larger studies for inclusion in staging algorithms. © 2021, The Author(s).
    • An automated imaging BRDF polarimeter for fruit quality inspection

      Boyer, Jacob; Keresztes, Janos C.; Saeys, Wouter; Koshel, John; Univ Arizona, Coll Opt Sci; College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States); KU Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven (Belgium); College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States) (SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING, 2016-10-17)
      The purpose of this project was to test and implement recent research of polarization and scatter properties that suggest using a cross polarization imaging system to reduce glare artifacts. In particular, the use of this research is to improve the machine vision of apple quality detection in the food industry. The automated measurement system was implemented by acquiring pictures at different angles and different polarization states of apples. The opto-mechanics, system integration, synchronization and data collection are controlled with LabVIEW.
    • Automated Laboratory Growth Assessment and Maintenance of Azotobacter vinelandii

      Carruthers, B.M.; Garcia, A.K.; Rivier, A.; Kacar, B.; Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona; Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, University of Arizona; Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona (Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2021)
      Azotobacter vinelandii (A. vinelandii) is a commonly used model organism for the study of aerobic respiration, the bacterial production of several industrially relevant compounds, and, perhaps most significantly, the genetics and biochemistry of biological nitrogen fixation. Laboratory growth assessments of A. vinelandii are useful for evaluating the impact of environmental and genetic modifications on physiological properties, including diazotrophy. However, researchers typically rely on manual growth methods that are oftentimes laborious and inefficient. We present a protocol for the automated growth assessment of A. vinelandii on a microplate reader, particularly well-suited for studies of diazotrophic growth. We discuss common pitfalls and strategies for protocol optimization, and demonstrate the protocol's application toward growth evaluation of strains carrying modifications to nitrogen-fixation genes. © 2021 The Authors. Basic Protocol 1: Preparation of A. vinelandii plate cultures from frozen stock. Basic Protocol 2: Preparation of A. vinelandii liquid precultures. Basic Protocol 3: Automated growth rate experiment of A. vinelandii on a microplate reader. © 2021 The Authors.
    • Automated microscope-independent fluorescence-guided micropipette

      Miranda, C.; Howell, M.R.; Lusk, J.F.; Marschall, E.; Eshima, J.; Anderson, T.; Smith, B.S.; University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix (The Optical Society, 2021)
      Glass micropipette electrodes are commonly used to provide high resolution recordings of neurons. Although it is the gold standard for single cell recordings, it is highly dependent on the skill of the electrophysiologist. Here, we demonstrate a method of guiding micropipette electrodes to neurons by collecting fluorescence at the aperture, using an intra-electrode tapered optical fiber. The use of a tapered fiber for excitation and collection of fluorescence at the micropipette tip couples the feedback mechanism directly to the distance between the target and electrode. In this study, intra-electrode tapered optical fibers provide a targeted robotic approach to labeled neurons that is independent of microscopy. © 2021 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement