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Fabric Structures in Architecture

Membrane structures in architecture have come a long way from prehistoric times to the present. Nevertheless, Western histories of architecture and treatises on building construction have often ignored them due to their temporality, circumstantial use, or alleged lack of representation, even though they have been present throughout history in all climates and regions around the world.

However, in recent decades, circumstances have changed and have catapulted the use of structural membranes as structural elements or even building systems for many applications. Technical advances in materials, products, elements, systems, design methods, and comfort, together with growing environmental concerns have increasingly placed structural membranes as a favourable alternative to conventional construction methods. This book is dedicated to this evolution of structural membranes, and it includes recent contributions to materials, design, construction, and new applications, including developments that are not yet well documented.


Facilitating innovations in higher education in transition economies
Note: Journal Article
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse innovations in education from the point of view of product content and markets selected. Emerging market economies face a number of problems many of which are closely linked to and dependent upon the effectiveness of higher professional education. External environment changes, such as the formation of knowledge economy, globalisation, changes in the educational needs of consumers as well as new technological advances and growing competition require a different scale of innovations in higher education.
 
Design/methodology/approach: The authors provide research results generated by three waves of expert interviews and several surveys.
 
Findings: Economies in transition set special and very challenging tasks to the higher education system. It needs to be flexible enough to provide high quality services to meet the changing needs of a transition economy and still be able to carry our it’s social and humanitarian functions. A strategic marketing approach can be useful to implement the necessary transformations within higher education and develop innovations in the content and delivery of educational services to satisfy a variety of stakeholders of a university and facilitate positive developments in the society.
 
Research limitations/implications: There is a gap between how universities perceive their main functions in a transition economy and what government and society expects from them.
 
Practical implications: Export of education and other forms of internationalisation are very important for universities in transition economies. Unless linked to the university development strategy, internationalisation has little impact on the programmes' quality and will remain élite in character.
 
Originality/value: The paper combines conceptual issues (such as educational service definition) and practical aspects such as new competencies needed, transformation management and internationalisation strategy development all linked together by the needs of transition economies.
Financial Engineering for the Farm Problem
Note: Journal Article
Purpose: This paper is to provide a general discussion of how techniques from financial engineering can be used to investigate the economic costs of farm programs and to aid in the design of new financial products to implement margin protection for dairy farmers. Specifically the paper investigates the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) and the Dairy Margin Protection (DMP) program. In addition the paper introduces the concept of the Milk to Corn Price ratio to protect margins.

Design/Methodology/Approach:
The paper introduces and reviews the tools of financial engineering. These include the stochastic calculus and Itô's Lemma. The empirical tool is Monte Carlo simulations. The approach is part pedagogy and part practice.

Findings: In this paper the authors illustrate how financial engineering can be used to price complex price stabilization formula in the USA and to illustrate its use in the design of new products.

Practical Implications: In this paper the authors illustrate how financial engineering can be used to price complex price stabilization formula in the USA and to illustrate its use in the design of new products.

Practical Implications: In this paper the authors illustrate how financial engineering can be used to price complex price stabilization formula in the USA and to illustrate its use in the design of new products.

Social Implications: Farm programs designed to protect dairy farmers margins are designed in a seemingly ad hoc fashion. Assessments of programs such as MILC or DMP are conducted on an ex-post basis using historical data. The financial engineering approach presented in this paper provides the means to add significant depth to the assessment of such programs which can be used in conjunction with Monte Carlo simulation to identify alternative model structures before they are written into law.

Originality/Value: This paper builds upon an existing literature. Its originality is in the application of financial engineering techniques to farm dairy policy.

Financial Engineering in Pricing Agricultural Derivatives Based on Demand and Volatility
Note: Journal Article
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the author proposes a financial engineering framework to model commodity prices based on market demand processes and demand functions. This framework explains the relation between demand, volatility and the leverage effect of commodities. It is also shown how the proposed framework can be used to price derivatives on commodity prices. Second, the author estimates the model parameters for agricultural commodities and discuss the implications of the results on derivative prices. In particular, the author see how leverage effect (or inverse leverage effect) is related to market demand.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper uses a power demand function along with the Cox, Ingersoll and Ross mean-reverting process to find the price process of commodities. Then by using the Ito theorem the constant elastic volatility (CEV) model is derived for the market prices. The partial differential equation that the dynamics of derivative prices satisfy is found and, by the Feynman-Kac theorem, the market derivative prices are provided within a Monte-Carlo simulation framework. Finally, by using a maximum likelihood estimator, the parameters of the CEV model for the agricultural commodity prices are found.

Findings:
The results of this paper show that derivative prices on commodities are heavily affected by the elasticity of volatility and, consequently, by market demand elasticity. The empirical results show that different groups of agricultural commodities have different values of demand and volatility elasticity.

Practical Implications: The results of this paper can be used by practitioners to price derivatives on commodity prices and by insurance companies to better price insurance contracts. As in many countries agricultural insurances are subsidised by the government, the results of this paper are useful for setting more efficient policies.

Originality/Value: Approaches that use the methodology of financial engineering to model agricultural prices and compute the derivative prices are rather new within the literature and still need to be developed for further applications.

Financial Engineering, Consumer Credit, and the Stability of Effective Demand
Note: Journal Article
This paper examines the microeconomic implications of recent developments in financial engineering,. with particular emphasis on the post-1987 growth of markets for securitiesbacked by credit card, installment, student loan and home equity receivables. Three linkages of financial engineering to effective demand are identified: (1) funding effects, (2) liquidity preference or speculative effects, and balance sheet or Minsky effects in the United States. Evidence is shown that financial engineering has boosted borrowing power at all income levels. The liberal use of expanded borrowing opportunities has fueled the growth of consumption-especially since 1995. However a secularly rising share of U.S. households have entered the categories of ''speculative'' or ''Ponzi'' finance units- a factor that raises doubts about the sustainability of the current spending boom.
Financial management / by Jo Watkins.
Note: dawnsonera e-book
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