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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Analysis of Roger-ducasse’s Pastorale Pour Orgue
Pastorale pour Orgue (1909) is Jean Jules Aimable Roger-Ducasse’s only solo organ composition, which demonstrates skillful use of organ colors and demands a virtuoso technique for performance. Writing Pastorale in 1909, Roger-Ducasse synthesized compositional styles and techniques of two very different compositional approaches – impressionism and classicism. This study examines the stylistic characteristics of Pastorale by Roger-Ducasse as examples of both of these influences. the synthesis in Pastorale is primarily evident in the combination of classical forms and generic references with impressionist harmony and color. Thus, examining these musical elements provides hitherto unexplored insights into Pastorale as a master solo organ work of the early twentieth century. the dissertation is divided into four chapters. the first chapter presents the purpose, the significance, and the state of research of the piece. in the second chapter, I examine the traits of classicism through genre, form, thematic variation and other classicist elements of the composition. the third chapter presents the traits of impressionism including harmonic parallelism, extended chords, pedal points, ostinatos, and whole-tone scales. in the fourth chapter, I summarize the study and make a suggestion for further research of the piece. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115106/
Analysis of Sources Affecting Ambient Particulate Matter in Brownsville, Texas
Texas is the second largest state in U.S.A. based on geographical area, population and the economy. It is home to several large coastal urban areas with major industries and infrastructure supporting the fossil-fuel based energy sector. Most of the major cities on the state have been impacted by significant air pollution events over the past decade. Studies conducted in the southern coastal region of TX have identified long range transport as a major contributor of particulate matter (PM) pollution along with local emissions. Biomass burns, secondary sulfates and diesel emissions sources are comprise as the dominant mass of PM2.5 have been noted to be formed by the long range transport biomass from Central America. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify local as well as regional sources contributing to the PM pollution in the coastal area of Brownsville located along the Gulf of Mexico. Source apportionment techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF) were employed on the air quality monitoring data to identify and quantify local and regional sources affecting this coastal region. As a supplement to the PMF and PCA, conditional probability function (CPF) analysis and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis were employed to characterize the meteorological influences for PM events. PCA identified an optimal solution of 6 sources affecting the coastal area of Brownsville, while PMF resolved 8 sources for the same area. Biomass comingled with sea salt was identified to be the dominant contributor from the PCA analysis with 30.2% of the apportioned PM mass in Brownsville, meanwhile PMF account secondary sulfates I & II with 27.6%. the other common sources identified included, biomass burning, crustal dust, secondary sulfate, oil combustion, mobile sources and miscellaneous traffic sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115069/
An Analysis of the Correspondence Between the Measures Collected by an Autism Treatment Center and its Stated Mission Goals
This study was a program evaluation for an autism treatment center for the period of April 2008 through August 2011. the study extended previous evaluations of the autism treatment center. the purpose of this evaluation was to determine the degree to which the center’s measures corresponded with its stated mission goals. a number of data sources were reviewed including client records of demographic and outcome information. Findings suggest the center maintained records that allow for the evaluation of most of its mission’s goals. There were, however, difficulties with data collection, storage, and retrieval. the present program evaluation found that missing information and lack of follow-up information hindered efforts toward mission evaluation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115107/
An Analysis of the Pedagogical Advantages Relating to Combined Study of Euphonium and Trombone through the Use of Specific Repertoire
Doubling is defined as playing two instruments. It is becoming increasingly necessary for low brass musicians to double in the course of their careers. Euphoniumists often learn trombone, and trombonists learn euphonium. The instruments share several surface similarities but also differ in many significant ways. Interviews with six professional doublers highlight strategies for learning, teaching, and performing on both trombone and euphonium. Slide and valve technique, adjustment of intonation, tone quality, air usage, repertoire, and skill maintenance are all addressed. Trombone literature comprises a large part of the euphonium repertoire, due to the fact that most trombone pieces can be performed on euphonium. Euphoniumists should avoid playing pieces that require glissandi or extremely loud dynamics to be effective. Euphonium solos are generally too technical to be practical for trombonists to perform. Grøndahl's Concert pour trombone et piano ou orchestre is a standard piece for both instruments. When performing the piece on either instrument, it is helpful to practice the piece on both trombone and euphonium in order to tap into each instrument's strengths. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31539/
An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns
Academic institutions have recently organized to address their campus' greenhouse gas emissions. Along those lines, the University of North Texas (UNT) pledged to minimize the campus' environmental impact, and conducted a transportation survey in May 2009. The analyses confirm that commuting to campus was the second highest source (29%) of UNT's greenhouse gas emissions, following purchased electricity (48%). Students, faculty and staff drive over 89 million miles per year, 84% of which comes from students. Forty‐two percent of student driving trips originate in the primary and secondary core areas surrounding Denton, which are partially served by buses. However, because these core areas are in close proximity to the campus, they contribute only 8% of the total student driving distance. Beyond the Denton core, the inner periphery of Denton County contributes another 22% of driving mileage. Students living in the outer periphery (outside Denton County) contribute the remaining 70% of total driving distance, and carpooling is currently their only alternative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28489/
Analytical Model of Cold-formed Steel Framed Shear Wall with Steel Sheet and Wood-based Sheathing
The cold-formed steel framed shear walls with steel sheets and wood-based sheathing are both code approved lateral force resisting system in light-framed construction. In the United States, the current design approach for cold-formed steel shear walls is capacity-based and developed from full-scale tests. The available design provisions provide nominal shear strength for only limited wall configurations. This research focused on the development of analytical models of cold-formed steel framed shear walls with steel sheet and wood-based sheathing to predict the nominal shear strength of the walls at their ultimate capacity level. Effective strip model was developed to predict the nominal shear strength of cold-formed steel framed steel sheet shear walls. The proposed design approach is based on a tension field action of the sheathing, shear capacity of sheathing-to-framing fastener connections, fastener spacing, wall aspect ratio, and material properties. A total of 142 full scale test data was used to verify the proposed design method and the supporting design equations. The proposed design approach shows consistent agreement with the test results and the AISI published nominal strength values. Simplified nominal strength model was developed to predict the nominal shear strength of cold-formed steel framed wood-based panel shear walls. The nominal shear strength is determined based on the shear capacity of individual sheathing-to-framing connections, wall height, and locations of sheathing-to-framing fasteners. The proposed design approach shows a good agreement with 179 full scale shear wall test data. This analytical method requires some efforts in testing of sheathing-to-framing connections to determine their ultimate shear capacity. However, if appropriate sheathing-to-framing connection capacities are provided, the proposed design method provides designers with an analytical tool to determine the nominal strength of the shear walls without conducting full-scale tests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271920/
Analyzing Contingencies of Behavioral and Cultural Selection
A choice paradigm was used to evaluate allocation of interlocking behavior of two groups of two participants between responses having operant consequences only and responses having cultural consequences. In a discrete trial BABABAB design, each participant could select one of three options, which delivered either 3 or 5 points. In B (cultural consequence) conditions, two of the options had additional effects: the 3-point option also added 3 points to the other participant's earnings, and one of the 5-point options also subtracted 5 points from the other participant's earnings. The third option was unchanged in both conditions and delivered 5 points to the participant who selected it. Results indicated that participants in both groups initially frequently produced response combinations that earned 8 points for one or the other individual (and 0 or 3 points for the other), but allocation of responding increasingly changed to combinations that produced 6 points for each individual. This shift in performances away from maximum individual reinforcement towards maximum group reinforcement indicates cultural contingencies did not act in concert with operant contingencies, suggesting they are different mechanisms of selection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30471/
Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying"
Regardless of culture or nation, students today are experiencing bullying via technology. With the rise of technology, this abuse has the ability to become more far-reaching, and more pervasive than ever. These students face oppression, and in some cases severe imbalances of power. Current research is being conducted and laws created based on varying operational and conception definitions of the term "cyberbullying." This study aims to analyze and provide a coherent definition for the term "cyberbullying" as it is used in research and legislation, especially in the context of today's educational environments. The results help shed light on the large variances in the term and suggestions are made to clarify the definition as the field continues to move forward. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283860/
Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment
The main purpose of this mixed methods research was to explore and analyze visitors’ overall experience while they attended a museum exhibition, and examine how this experience was affected by previously using a virtual 3dimensional representation of the museum itself. The research measured knowledge acquisition in a virtual museum, and compared this knowledge acquired between a virtual museum versus a real one, employing a series of questionnaires, unobtrusive observations, surveys, personal and group interviews related to the exhibition and the artist. A group of twenty-seven undergraduate students in their first semester at the College of Architecture and Design of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico participated in the research, and were divided in two groups, one of which used a 3D virtual representation previous to the museum visit. Results show that participants who experienced the virtual museum concurred that using it was a positive experience that prepared them to go to the real museum because they knew already what they were going to find. Most of the participants who experienced the virtual museum exhibited an increased activity during their museum visit, either agreeing, being more participative, concurring and showing acceptance, asking questions, or even giving their opinion and analysis, disagreeing with the guide and showing passive rejection. Also participants from this group showed an increase on their correct answers to the knowledge acquisition questionnaires, going from 27% answers responded correctly in the pre-test, to 67% of correct answers after the virtual museum usage. The research attempted to show that experiencing a virtual museum can be similar to the experience in physical museum visits, not only engaging participants to go to the museum, but sometimes even offering a more functional way to deliver content. Results of this research evidence that using a virtual museum creates a positive impact in users before, during, and after the museum visit, and that it can be a good alternative, not only for educational, but for promotional and recreational and purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115062/
Anatomical and Morphological Responses of Cardiospermum Halicacabum L. (Balloon Vine), to Four Levels of Water Availability
C. halicacabum (Sapindaceae) is an invasive plant that is considered a nuisance species in Texas riparian environments. Little is known of the tolerance of C. halicacabum to flooding and drought; however, this information may provide insight into the characteristics that contribute to C. halicacabum purported invasiveness. C. halicacabum seedlings (n = 92) were exposed to one of four levels of water availability (flooded, saturated, intermediate and dry) over six weeks under greenhouse conditions. Plant performance was affected by water availability; however, there was no effect on survivorship. Flooded and saturated plants exhibited morphological adaptations; producing adventitious roots, hypertrophy, and aerenchyma tissue. Morphological measures, anatomical responses, and patterns of biomass allocation all indicate that C. halicacabum is able to survive periodic inundation, perform in saturation, and establish and thrive on the drier end of a moisture gradient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67974/
Anchor Nodes Placement for Effective Passive Localization
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Wireless sensor networks are composed of sensor nodes, which can monitor an environment and observe events of interest. These networks are applied in various fields including but not limited to environmental, industrial and habitat monitoring. In many applications, the exact location of the sensor nodes is unknown after deployment. Localization is a process used to find sensor node's positional coordinates, which is vital information. The localization is generally assisted by anchor nodes that are also sensor nodes but with known locations. Anchor nodes generally are expensive and need to be optimally placed for effective localization. Passive localization is one of the localization techniques where the sensor nodes silently listen to the global events like thunder sounds, seismic waves, lighting, etc. According to previous studies, the ideal location to place anchor nodes was on the perimeter of the sensor network. This may not be the case in passive localization, since the function of anchor nodes here is different than the anchor nodes used in other localization systems. I do extensive studies on positioning anchor nodes for effective localization. Several simulations are run in dense and sparse networks for proper positioning of anchor nodes. I show that, for effective passive localization, the optimal placement of the anchor nodes is at the center of the network in such a way that no three anchor nodes share linearity. The more the non-linearity, the better the localization. The localization for our network design proves better when I place anchor nodes at right angles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33132/
Ancient Musical Ideas Through a Twenty-First Century Lens: An Examination of Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes and Its Relationship to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame
British composer Tarik Hamilton O’Regan (b. 1978, London) is earning a reputation as an important composer of today. The innovative works of O’Regan are entering the spectrum of professional, educational, and community performing organizations across the United States and Europe. Scattered Rhymes’ intricate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic relationships with Messe de Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) make an examination and comparison of the two works significant. Analyzing Scattered Rhymes by tracing its roots to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, results in a renewed interest in this ancient work and brings prominence to Tarik O’Regan’s modern musical interpretation of ancient ideas. Understanding Scattered Rhymes as a work based on ideas from the fourteenth century in fusion with compositional concepts rooted in the modern era promotes Scattered Rhymes as one that is valuable in the current musical landscape. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84235/
An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Music for Saxophone by Charles Ruggiero with an Analysis of Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano
Ruggiero's contributions to contemporary music are noteworthy. They include 27 works written for solo instruments, voice, as well as chamber groups and large ensembles. This study serves as an annotated bibliography of selected works written for saxophone by Charles Ruggiero. They include a piece for large chamber ensemble, Dig: From Tunes My Grandmother Heard (2009), a trio for flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone titled Echoes of "Piano Red" (2006), two saxophone quartets, Dig: JSB 1 (2003), and Three Blues for Saxophone Quartet (1981), two works for alto saxophone and piano, Night Songs and Flights of Fancy (2005), and Strayhorn (1999-2000), one piece for soprano saxophone and piano, Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1988), a single movement work for alto saxophone, piano, winds, and percussion, Dance Complusions (2004), one duo for tenor saxophone and percussion, Sizzlesax II (2001), one concerto for soprano saxophone and piano, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra (1995, rev. 1999), and a trio for violin, alto saxophone, and piano, Dances and Other Movements (1983, rev. 1984). In addition, an analysis of Ruggiero's composition Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano offers an insight into the compositional style of the composer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28397/
Anti-bullying Policies And Practices In Texas Middle Schools
For over a decade national attention to bullying in American schools has increased, fueled by publicity about suicides of severely bullied youth. Schools have the charge of maintaining the safety of all students in order to ensure a positive learning environment, but there is little information about what they are doing to prevent bullying. The purpose of this study was to provide information on principals’ perceptions of bullying and what anti-bullying policies, procedures, and programs exist in Texas middle schools. Ninety-nine principals completed an online questionnaire that addressed: 1) their knowledge of district and campus policies concerning bullying; 2) their direct experience with bullying; and, 3) bullying-prevention strategies and training in place in their schools. Principals reported direct experience with all types of bullying included on the questionnaire in their schools, but had a surprisingly small mean of 14.8 verified bullying incidents during the 2010-2011 year. Over 60% felt the level of physical safety in their school was good or very good, but only 35% rated their school’s emotional safety as good or very good. Students, parents, and teachers reported bullying to the majority of principals; however, few schools conducted annual student surveys that could provide accurate information about bullying in their schools. Procedures required by state law were more likely to be in place than those not required, though not all schools complied with all requirements. Fewer than 10% of schools had implemented a formal anti-bullying program. The most commonly cited obstacles to effectively addressing bullying were lack of time to conduct investigations and getting parents to file written reports (40%); however, despite having anti-bullying training, 27% felt limited by the lack of strategies. This study fills a void in the literature by providing a statewide overview of middle school principals’ knowledge of district and campus policies and procedures on bullying. It also shows the extent to which legal requirements and best practices have been implemented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103382/
Anticipating Work and Family: Experience, Conflict, and Planning in the Transition to Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to examine the development of work and family plans in young adults, and to clarify the long-term stability, prevalence, and consequences of anticipated work-family conflict. The study utilizes Super’s model of career development and social cognitive career theory, as well as research on current work-family interface, as a framework for understanding the period of anticipating and planning for multiple role integration that occurs between adolescence and adulthood. A sample of 48 male and 52 female college students assessed two years prior completed self-report questionnaires measuring work, marriage, and parenting experience; anticipated work-family conflict; and multiple-role planning. Results of this study suggest that students desire both a career and a family, and recognize potential challenges of a multiple-role lifestyle. Such recognition of anticipated work-family conflict varies by conflict domains and measurement methods, but remains stable over two years. Results also suggest that anticipated work-family conflict does not mediate the relationship between experience and planning; instead, marriage experience predicts planning directly. Implications for the findings are discussed as are suggestions for directions of new research concerning anticipated work-family conflict and planning for multiple roles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84183/
Antigravity
This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, which discusses the elegy of possessive intent, a subgenre of the contemporary American elegy; and Part II, Antigravity, a collection of poems. English elegies have been closely rooted to a specific grief, making the poems closer to occasional poems. The poet—or at least the poet’s speaker—seeks some kind of public consolation for (often) a private loss. The Americanized form does stray from the traditional elegy yet retains some of its characteristics. Some American elegies memorialize failed romantic relationships rather than the dead. In their memorials, these speakers seek a completion for the lack the broken relationship has created in the speakers’ lives. What they can’t replace, they substitute with something personal. As the contemporary poem becomes further removed from tradition, it’s no surprise that the elegy has evolved as well. Discussions of elegies have never ventured into the type of elegy that concerns itself with the sort of unacknowledged loss found in some contemporary American poems of unrequited love. These poems all have speakers who willfully refuse to acknowledge the loss of their love-objects and strive to maintain control/ownership of their beloveds even in the face of rejection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149563/
Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, Opus 33: A Discussion of Musical Intent and Pianistic Effectiveness in Vilém Kurz's Version of the Solo Piano Part
Since its premiere in 1878, Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Concerto in G Minor has been underrated and held in low regard by musicologists, critics, performers and audiences alike. Vilém Kurz (1872-1945), a Czech pianist and pedagogue, revised and reworked the piano solo part to incorporate what he considered to be added brilliance and pianistic effectiveness. However, the revised version has not increased the popularity of the work. In recent decades, this concerto has begun to appear more often in the programs and recordings are currently available, utilizing either the original piano part or Kurz's revision or a combination of both. In order to gain a broader analytical perspective and achieve a more authentic interpretation of the piece, a thorough understanding of the relation between Dvořák’s work and Kurz's revisions is indispensable. This study examines these adaptations and compares them with Dvořák’s scoring in order to gain further insight to Kurz's musical intent and pianistic aims. Examples from all movements are evaluated vis-à-vis the original to determine their purpose and musical validity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30516/
Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31533/
Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron for Piano Solo By Jürg Baur: a Performer's Guide
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The purpose of this dissertation is to give instruction regarding the performance of three important piano works by Jürg Baur (1918-2010). Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron stand out as his most significant piano works both because of their length and because of their pianistic complexity. Since Baur had a successful career as both teacher and composer during his lifetime, his acclaimed works received many honors in Germany. His works can be performed by intermediate to advanced students. Intermediate students can easily offer simpler pieces like Aphorismen in competitions, while pieces like Capriccio and Heptameron better are suited to a more advanced level. Although some of his compositions are difficult to perform compared with other modern German works, Baur's music is more accessible. In the article, "Auf der Spuren der alten Zeit" Baur is quoted to state that Paul Hindemith and Bela Bartok's music influenced his own compositional ideas. However, although Baur is a modern composer, he didn't write in a totally atonal style, but rather attempted to broaden tonality. While Heptameron is atonal, Aphorismen and Capriccio give the impression of tonality, thus they are more accessible to the audience. I was fortunate enough to study Aphorismen with Baur as well as receiving advice for performance of Capriccio and some movements of Heptameron. Therefore, I gained a primary source of instruction, particularly in regards to pedal markings, rhythmic indications, voice balancing, finger suggestions, articulation markings, and tone of musical expression. In this dissertation, I include my own instructions (accepted by the composer) along with the composer's intentions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177239/
Application of FTIR for Quantification of Alkali in Cement
Alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in cement is a major contributor to failure of cement structures around the world, causing increased repair costs and possible rebuild expenses. Alkali levels are indicative of the potential for ASR and are therefore measured and quantified. A linear correlation relating cement alkali concentration measured by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and peak ratio measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is developed. Regression analysis of plots correlating alkali content measured by FTIR absorption band (750 cm-1/923 cm-1) ratio versus equivalent alkali (Na2O)e (%Na2O + 0.658 % K2O) quantified by XRF show linear correlation coefficient, R2, of 0.97. Results of this investigation are discussed in terms of microstructural disorder coefficient Cd which is a reactivity criterion for ASR-susceptible aggregates proposed by Bachiorrini [31]. XRF is a popular technique for alkali quantification but FTIR is faster, safer, and less expensive technique compared to XRF. Portable instrumentation is available for both techniques but FTIR systems are less expensive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84280/
Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding
The analysis of protein residues recovered from archaeological artifacts provides a unique opportunity to reveal new information about past societies. However, many scientists are currently unwilling to accept protein-based results due to problems in method development and a basic lack of agreement regarding the ability of proteins to bind to, and preserve within, artifacts such as pottery. In this paper, I address these challenges by conducting a two-phase experiment. First, I quantitatively evaluate the tendency of proteins to sorb to ceramic matrices by using total organic carbon analysis and spectrophotometric assays to analyze samples of experimentally cooked ceramic. I then test a series of solvent and physical parameters in order to develop an optimized method for extracting and preparing protein residues for identification via mass spectrometry. Results demonstrate that protein strongly sorbs to ceramic and is not easily removed, despite repeated washing, unless an appropriate extraction strategy is used. This has implications for the future of paleodietary, conservation ecology and forensic research in that it suggests the potential for recovery of aged or even ancient proteins from ceramic matrices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28392/
Are Alzheimer's Special Care Units Really Special? Effects of Residential Status on Family Members' Perspectives on High Quality Care for their Loved-Ones in Long-Term Care
This analysis of secondary data collected from family members of nursing home residents in North Texas (n = 422) used a mixed methods approach to determine if there is a difference in perspectives on quality care among family members of Alzheimer’s/Dementia Special Care Unit (ADSCU) residents compared to those of non-ADSCU residents. Descriptive content analysis was used identify and condense responses to an open-ended question into four meaningful categories of qualities of care. An independent t-test was employed to determine if there was a difference between family members of ADSCU residents and family members of non-ADSCU residents regarding their rating of their loved-ones’ nursing home on the important qualities of care they identified from the open-ended question. Closed-ended questions were organized into indices of these qualities of care, and ordinary least square regression was employed to determine if there were significant differences between perceptions of family members of ADSCU residents and those of non-ADSCU residents regarding care their loved-ones are receiving on these qualities of care, controlling for frequency of visit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84203/
Are They Ready? a Multi-case Study of Traditional and Innovative Texas Teacher’s Perceptions of 21St Century Skills in Teaching and Learning
The 21st century is now in the second decade and the need for 21st century skills is discussed at all levels of education as necessary for student success in the future. Federal, state, and districts are addressing this need and have written technology plans to address 21st century skills needed. the purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge of 21st century educational technology. the data includes seven recorded interviews from two separate research projects covering two models of education as teachers discuss teaching, learning, and technology. the data studied determines how educational technology perceived in the school environments has been integrated into the classrooms. the initial scripting of video interviews from two research projects began the analysis of data. Particular themes emerged in response to questions established by the two separate research projects focused on classroom, school, and district environmental arrangements that examined; teaching responsibilities and practices; student learning opportunities; and how technology is woven throughout instruction. Further exploration of themes stemmed from analysis conducted with the qualitative software program, NVivo 9. the themes discussed in this paper relate to instructor perceptions of teaching, learning, classroom procedures, and the role technology plays in each. Also noted are the factors beyond the teacher’s responsibility and set rules that include the school environment, district expectations, and supported teaching strategies for the schools. the teachers expressed their view that technology is an important support for learning and that they used technology to accomplish many of the tasks related to supporting teaching and learning. As perceived by the teachers, a major component that surfaced as a result of the analysis was children’s technology use was most drastically influenced by the expectations of the instructional leader to develop and the need to foster 21st century learning strategies such as critical thinking skills, self-assessment, and problem solving. Therefore, the school environment and expectations of the administrative level of management in the school systems, made the most impact on the learning opportunities the students were afforded where technology was an appropriate tool for learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115150/
The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East
The purpose of the Roman Argei ceremony, during which the Vestal Virgins harvested made and paraded rush puppets only to throw them into the Tiber, is widely debated. Modern historians supply three main reasons for the purpose of the Argei: an agrarian act, a scapegoat, and finally as an offering averting deceased spirits or Lares. I suggest that the ceremony also related to war and the spectacle of displaying war casualties. I compare the ancient Near East and Rome and connect the element of war and husbandry and claim that the Argei paralleled the sacred marriage. in addition to an agricultural and purification rite, these rituals may have served as sympathetic magic for pre- and inter-war periods. As of yet, no author has proposed the Argei as a ceremony related to war. By looking at the Argei holistically I open the door for a new direction of inquiry on the Argei ceremony, fertility cults in the Near East and in Rome, and on the execution of war criminals.The Argei and new year’s sacred marriage both occurred during the initiation of campaign and spring planting and harvest season. Both in the ancient Near East and in Rome, animal victims were sacrificed and displayed through impaling, crucifixion, and hanging for fertility and in war. for both Rome and the Near East war casualties were displayed on sacred trees. Through the Near East cultures a strong correlation existed between impaling, hanging, and crucifixion in war and Sacred Tree fertility worship. By examining Roman tree worship, military rituals, and agricultural ceremonies a similar correlation becomes apparent. on the same day of the Argei, Mars was married to the anthropomorphized new year and within the month became a scapegoat expelled from the city. Additionally, on the first day of the Argei boys became soldiers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115076/
Arithmetic Computations and Memory Management Using a Binary Tree Encoding af Natural Numbers
Two applications of a binary tree data type based on a simple pairing function (a bijection between natural numbers and pairs of natural numbers) are explored. First, the tree is used to encode natural numbers, and algorithms that perform basic arithmetic computations are presented along with formal proofs of their correctness. Second, using this "canonical" representation as a base type, algorithms for encoding and decoding additional isomorphic data types of other mathematical constructs (sets, sequences, etc.) are also developed. An experimental application to a memory management system is constructed and explored using these isomorphic types. A practical analysis of this system's runtime complexity and space savings are provided, along with a proof of concept framework for both applications of the binary tree type, in the Java programming language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103323/
The Art Car Spectacle: a Cultural Display and Catalyst for Community
This auto-ethnographic study focuses on Houston’s art car community and the grassroots movement’s 25 year relationship with the city through an art form that has created a sense of community. Art cars transform ordinary vehicles into personally conceived visions through spectacle, disrupting status quo messages of dominant culture regarding automobiles and norms of ownership and operation. An annual parade is an egalitarian space for display and performance, including art cars created by individuals who drive their personally modified vehicles every day, occasional entries by internationally renowned artists, and entries created by youth groups. A locally proactive public has created a movement has co-opted the cultural spectacle, creating a community of practice. I studied the events of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s Art Car Weekend to give me insight into art and its value for people in this community. Sources of data included the creation of a participatory art car, journaling, field observation, and semi-structured interviews. The first part is my academic grounding, informed by critical pedagogy and socially reconstructive art practices. The second part narrates my experiences and understandings of the community along with the voices of others. Dominant themes of exploration include empowerment, community, and art. I examine the purposes for participation by artists, as well in the practices of audiences and organizations that provide support for this art form. My findings have significant implications community-based art education and k-12 classroom educators. Relational and dialogic approaches to making art, teaching, and researching are tied to problem-posing education as a recommendation for art education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149669/
The Art-Union and Photography, 1839-1854: The First Fifteen Years of Critical Engagement between Two Cultural Icons of Nineteenth-Century Britain
This study analyzes how the Art-Union, a British journal interested only in the fine arts, approached photography between 1839 and 1854. It is informed by Karl Marx’s materialism-informed commodity fetishism, Gerry Beegan’s conception of knowingness, Benedict Anderson’s imagined community, and an art critical discourse that was defined by Roger de Piles and Joshua Reynolds. The individual chapters are each sites in which to examine these multiple theoretical approaches to the journal’s and photography’s association in separate, yet sometimes overlapping, periods. One particular focus of this study concerns the method through which the journal viewed photography—as an artistic or scientific enterprise. A second important focus of this study is the commodification of both the journal and photography in Britain. Also, it determines how the journal’s critical engagement with photography fits into the structure and development of a nineteenth-century British social collectivity focused on art and the photographic enterprise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84178/
Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique
Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271844/
Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas
Many policy and business decisions regarding food deserts in the U.S. are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of a food desert. This definition only includes large/national chain grocery retailers, based on the assumption that these major retailers are the only affordable sources of food contributing to balanced diets. As alternative distribution channels, including smaller stores, start to include groceries in their product offering, the need to consider the role of other businesses in the food retailing environment should be addressed. This thesis assesses the role of smaller format grocery retailers (small local grocers, convenience stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and drug stores) in shaping the food desert landscape in Dallas, Texas. The analysis evaluates the products offered in these stores, and then identifies the difference these stores make when included in the USDA analysis. This was done by collecting in-store data to determine the variety of products offered, the affordability of those products, and the overall healthfulness of the store. In addition, the gaps in supply and demand were identified in the USDA-defined food deserts in order to identify the impact any smaller format retailer may have. The findings suggest that, overall, smaller format retailers do offer a variety of products needed for a balanced diet. However, the products in these stores are mostly not affordable, and most stores offer more unhealthy foods, than unhealthy. Overall, results suggest dollar stores may play a role in alleviating the impact of food deserts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271885/
Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies
Functional analysis procedures were used to assess and treat multiple topographies of self-injurious behavior exhibited by an individual. An experimental functional analysis indicated that one topography, hand biting, appeared to be maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of delivery of tangible items. The analysis also provided evidence that a second form of self-injury, skin picking, was automatically reinforced. To treat positively reinforced hand biting, access to a preferred tangible was arranged contingent on the omission of biting for a prespecified time interval. Hand biting was nearly eliminated, and low rates were maintained as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned to 10 min. Competing stimulus assessments identified that magazines effectively suppressed all occurrences of skin picking; therefore, noncontingent access to magazines was implemented. Using a combination of multielement and multiple baseline designs, we were able to demonstrate that the two topographies of self-injury were maintained by independent reinforcement contingencies and that interventions corresponding to each topography and function effectively treated both behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103369/
An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector
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This study aimed to address consumers' stereotypical categorizations in the form of essentialist views about foreign cultures and their effect on individual consumers, including their negative or aroused emotions and subsequent retail patronage behaviors. The research mission was to empirically assess the salient dimensions of consumers' states of mind (positive and negative affect, psychological essentialism, epistemic curiosity), states of being (store atmospherics), and states of action (retail patronage behaviors) in a cultural context based on Mehrabian-Russell theory of environmental psychology. Specifically, the retail patronage setting was selected as foreign-based fast-food franchises because it represents both a relevant and timely situational context for consumer behavior. This dissertation makes several contributions to international retail patronage literature. First, it frames curiosity as an aroused emotional state and finds support for the relationship between consumer epistemic curiosity and retail patronage. Second, it provides support for the linkage between consumer affect and retail patronage in an international retail setting. Third, it reveals that affect has a greater impact on retail patronage than epistemic curiosity. The overarching finding of this study is an inability to tie the cultural elements in retail atmospherics, including signs, symbols, and artifacts, to consumer emotions. In addition, we were unable to frame psychological essentialism as a personality trait that would reduce the levels of affect and curiosity in retail store environments characterized by foreign-cultural elements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28417/
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68030/
An Assessment of Fruit Offerings for 7Th and 8Th Grade Students in Texas
Childhood obesity in America is reaching epidemic proportions. This study explored whether daily online lunch menu information was sufficient to enable parents to advise their children about healthy and unhealthy menu choices in 350 Texas middle schools and whether online menu information strongly correlated with the descriptions of the offerings given by 52 school cafeteria managers in telephone interviews. Although schools are making efforts to describe their offerings, they are not vigorously taking advantage of the opportunity to aggressively inform or educate. They are not coding their descriptions in such a way as to explicitly brand food as healthy or unhealthy. They are also not labeling food as generally required by law for consumer services that provide food (except for the fresh produce that lines supermarket shelves). Instead, they only briefly describe what they are serving in the way of fruit in one or two word snippets. Finally, cafeteria managers’ online descriptions were inconsistent with what they described in interviews. Online and verbal descriptions were sometimes contradictory, raising questions about the accuracy of either type of description. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149649/
Assessment of transportation emissions for ferrous scrap exports from the United States: Activity-based maritime emissions model and theoretical inland transportation model.
Industrial ecology is a field of study that encourages the use of closed-loop material cycles to achieve sustainability. Loop closing requires the movement of materials over space, and has long been practiced in the iron and steel industry. Iron and steel (ferrous) scrap generated in the U.S. is increasingly exported to countries in Asia, lengthening the transportation distance associated with closing the loop on the iron and steel life cycle. In order to understand the environmental cost of transporting this commodity, an activity-based maritime transportation model and a theoretical in-land transportation model are used to estimate emissions generated. Results indicate that 10.4 mmt of total emissions were generated, and emissions increased by 136 percent from 2004 to 2009. Increases in the amount of emissions generated are due to increases in the amount of scrap exported and distance it is transported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103296/
An Assessment of Undergraduate Course Syllabi in the Departments of English at Universities in Taiwan
This exploratory, qualitative research explored the extent that course syllabi in the Departments of English in 13 public and 9 private universities in Taiwan reflect the inclusion of syllabus components to promote learning as recommended in the literature in the United States. Research questions included: what components can be inferred from the literature in the U.S. for the recommended components of a course syllabus, for the components for a learning-centered syllabus, and for a model to analyze Bloom's cognitive level of learning? And when these are applied to analyze course syllabi in English courses, are syllabi in these universities congruent with the models? The research identified and analyzed 235 course syllabi from the core courses listed online at these universities. The findings indicated that these syllabi are highly congruent with the syllabus components template; 68% of the syllabi included seven or more of the ten components. Additionally, these syllabi reflect medium congruency with the learning-centered syllabus template. Verbs used in objectives and learning outcomes in different English courses indicate different levels of cognitive learning goals as identified by Bloom's cognitive domain. Additional findings indicate that there was no difference in inclusion of components based on where faculty earned their doctoral degree. This research assumed similarities between higher education in Taiwan and the U.S., conclusions indicate that the course syllabi in Departments of English in Taiwan are congruent with the models recommended in the literature in the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28451/
Atomistic Studies of Point Defect Migration Rates in the Iron-Chromium System
Generation and migration of helium and other point defects under irradiation causes ferritic steels based on the Fe-Cr system to age and fail. This is motivation to study point defect migration and the He equation of state using atomistic simulations due to the steels' use in future reactors. A new potential for the Fe-Cr-He system developed by collaborators at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was validated using published experimental data. The results for the He equation of state agree well with experimental data. The activation energies for the migration of He- and Fe-interstitials in varying compositions of Fe-Cr lattices agree well with prior work. This research did not find a strong correlation between lattice ordering and interstitial migration energy digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30463/
Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional faces, and ability to disengage attention from this material. Hypomanic personality traits were significantly negatively correlated with latency to orient attention to happy faces. A trend toward decreased latency to orient to angry faces with higher hypomanic personality traits was also demonstrated. Hypomanic traits were not correlated with attention to sad faces. Furthermore, hypomanic traits were associated only with differences in initial orientation of attention, not with continued engagement or disengagement. The results of this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of hypomanic personality traits, who are hypothesized to be at greater risk of developing bipolar disorder, are characterized by differences in their initial orientation of attention to positive emotional stimuli, independent of their current mood state. This finding is indicative of biased information processing in individuals with vulnerability to bipolar disorder. Such a bias may have important clinical implications for individuals with a vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as it may represent a mechanism by which vulnerability leads to increased, and at times problematic, engagement with rewarding stimuli. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271775/
Attenuation of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient Under Varying Estimates of Score Reliability
Research pertaining to the distortion of the squared canonical correlation coefficient has traditionally been limited to the effects of sampling error and associated correction formulas. The purpose of this study was to compare the degree of attenuation of the squared canonical correlation coefficient under varying conditions of score reliability. Monte Carlo simulation methodology was used to fulfill the purpose of this study. Initially, data populations with various manipulated conditions were generated (N = 100,000). Subsequently, 500 random samples were drawn with replacement from each population, and data was subjected to canonical correlation analyses. The canonical correlation results were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and an ANOVA design to determine under which condition(s) the squared canonical correlation coefficient was most attenuated when compared to population Rc2 values. This information was analyzed and used to determine what effect, if any, the different conditions considered in this study had on Rc2. The results from this Monte Carlo investigation clearly illustrated the importance of score reliability when interpreting study results. As evidenced by the outcomes presented, the more measurement error (lower reliability) present in the variables included in an analysis, the more attenuation experienced by the effect size(s) produced in the analysis, in this case Rc2. These results also demonstrated the role between and within set correlation, variable set size, and sample size played in the attenuation levels of the squared canonical correlation coefficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30528/
Attracted to the Medium: An Analysis of Social Behaviors, Advertising, and Youth Culture in the Emerging Mobile Era
This thesis is a reception study that examines potential reasons why the adolescent to college aged demographic of youth culture is embracing communicative and informational mobility. The project attests that the move to mobility is motivated by two major factors, the attraction of being an early adopter of technology and the way social behaviors are made attractive in mobile marketing. Chapter 1 explores the importance of these social behaviors, as they are very much intertwined and contribute to how youth acclimate into society. Chapter 2 demonstrates that creating social distinction and cultural capital is linked to being an early adopter of technology. The remaining portion of the document examines recent mobile advertisements and why youth would be attracted to the aesthetic and thematic elements contained in the advertisements. Chapter 3 examines how Blackberry utilizes the behavior of creating and expressing identity in their advertisements. Chapter 4 focuses on how Apple has worked to create a community centered around their brand. Finally, Chapter 5 looks at how Google/Android has highlighted the acquisition, sharing, and utilization of content through the phenomenon of applications. With this project, I hope to illustrate the rationale why youth would be attracted to communicative and informational mobility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84172/
Auditors’ Information Search and Documentation: Does Knowledge of the Client Preference Or PCAOB Accountability Pressure Matter?
Auditors regularly make judgments regarding whether a client’s chosen accounting policy is appropriate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting Principles (GAAP). However, to form this judgment, auditors must either possess adequate topic-specific knowledge or must gain such knowledge through information search. This search is subject to numerous biases, including a bias toward confirmation of a client’s preference. It is important to further our understanding of bias in auditors’ information search to identify its causes and effects. Furthering our understanding is necessary to provide a basis for recommending and evaluating a potential debiaser, such as accountability. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annually inspects the audit files of selected engagements, which introduces a new form of accountability within the auditing profession. This new form of accountability has come at great cost, however, there is little empirical evidence regarding its effects on auditors’ processes. As such, it is important to understand whether the presence of accountability from the PCAOB is effective in modifying auditors’ search behaviors to diminish confirmation bias. Using an online experiment, I manipulate client preference (unknown vs. known) and PCAOB accountability pressure (low vs. high) and measure search type (information –focus or decision-focus), search depth (shallow or deep) and documentation quality. I investigate whether auditors’ information search behaviors differ based on knowledge of client’s preference and in the presence of accountability from an expected PCAOB inspection. I also investigate whether differences in auditors’ information search behaviors influence documentation quality, which is the outcome of greatest concern to the PCAOB. I hypothesize and find a client preference effect on information search type such that auditors with knowledge of the client preference consider guidance associated with the client’s preference longer than those without knowledge of the client’s preference. Contrary to expectations, PCAOB accountability pressure does not influence information search depth. with respect to documentation quality, I find that auditors engaged in a more information-focused search have higher documentation quality. Further, as expected, auditors who initially engage in a decision-focus and deep search have higher documentation quality than those auditors who initially engaged in a decision-focused but shallow search. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115132/
Automated Classification of Emotions Using Song Lyrics
This thesis explores the classification of emotions in song lyrics, using automatic approaches applied to a novel corpus of 100 popular songs. I use crowd sourcing via Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect line-level emotions annotations for this collection of song lyrics.  I then build classifiers that rely on textual features to automatically identify the presence of one or more of the following six Ekman emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. I compare different classification systems and evaluate the performance of the automatic systems against the manual annotations. I also introduce a system that uses data collected from the social network Twitter. I use the Twitter API to collect a large corpus of tweets manually labeled by their authors for one of the six emotions of interest. I then compare the classification of emotions obtained when training on data automatically collected from Twitter versus data obtained through crowd sourced annotations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177253/
Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements
The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on the quality of the inspection of the colon. There was no automated measurement method to evaluate the quality of the inspection. This thesis addresses this issue by investigating an automated post-procedure quality measurement technique and proposing a novel approach automatically deciding a percentage of stool areas in images of digitized colonoscopy video files. It involves the classification of image pixels based on their color features using a new method of planes on RGB (red, green and blue) color space. The limitation of post-procedure quality measurement is that quality measurements are available long after the procedure was done and the patient was released. A better approach is to inform any sub-optimal inspection immediately so that the endoscopist can improve the quality in real-time during the procedure. This thesis also proposes an extension to post-procedure method to detect stool, bite-block, and blood regions in real-time using color features in HSV color space. These three objects play a major role in quality measurements in colonoscopy. The proposed method partitions very large positive examples of each of these objects into a number of groups. These groups are formed by taking intersection of positive examples with a hyper plane. This hyper plane is named as 'positive plane'. 'Convex hulls' are used to model positive planes. Comparisons with traditional classifiers such as K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) and support vector machines (SVM) proves the soundness of the proposed method in terms of accuracy and speed that are critical in the targeted real-time quality measurement system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283843/
Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data
Accurate estimates of tree and forest biomass are essential for a wide range of applications. Automated treetop detection and tree crown discrimination using LiDAR data can greatly facilitate forest biomass estimation. Previous work has focused on homogenous or single-species forests, while few studies have focused on mixed forests. In this study, a new method for treetop detection is proposed in which the treetop is the cluster center of selected points rather than the highest point. Based on treetop detection, tree crowns are discriminated through comparison of three-dimensional shape signatures. The methods are first tested using simulated LiDAR point clouds for trees, and then applied to real LiDAR data from the Soquel Demonstration State Forest, California, USA. Results from both simulated and real LiDAR data show that the proposed method has great potential for effective detection of treetops and discrimination of tree crowns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271858/
Automatic Extraction of Highlights from a Baseball Video Using HMM and MPEG-7 Descriptors
In today’s fast paced world, as the number of stations of television programming offered is increasing rapidly, time accessible to watch them remains same or decreasing. Sports videos are typically lengthy and they appeal to a massive crowd. Though sports video is lengthy, most of the viewer’s desire to watch specific segments of the video which are fascinating, like a home-run in a baseball or goal in soccer i.e., users prefer to watch highlights to save time. When associated to the entire span of the video, these segments form only a minor share. Hence these videos need to be summarized for effective presentation and data management. This thesis explores the ability to extract highlights automatically using MPEG-7 features and hidden Markov model (HMM), so that viewing time can be reduced. Video is first segmented into scene shots, in which the detection of the shot is the fundamental task. After the video is segmented into shots, extraction of key frames allows a suitable representation of the whole shot. Feature extraction is crucial processing step in the classification, video indexing and retrieval system. Frame features such as color, motion, texture, edges are extracted from the key frames. A baseball highlight contains certain types of scene shots and these shots follow a particular transition pattern. The shots are classified as close-up, out-field, base and audience. I first try to identify the type of the shot using low level features extracted from the key frames of each shot. For the identification of the highlight I use the hidden Markov model using the transition pattern of the shots in time domain. Experimental results suggest that with reasonable accuracy highlights can be extracted from the video. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103388/
Automatic Tagging of Communication Data
Globally distributed software teams are widespread throughout industry. But finding reliable methods that can properly assess a team's activities is a real challenge. Methods such as surveys and manual coding of activities are too time consuming and are often unreliable. Recent advances in information retrieval and linguistics, however, suggest that automated and/or semi-automated text classification algorithms could be an effective way of finding differences in the communication patterns among individuals and groups. Communication among group members is frequent and generates a significant amount of data. Thus having a web-based tool that can automatically analyze the communication patterns among global software teams could lead to a better understanding of group performance. The goal of this thesis, therefore, is to compare automatic and semi-automatic measures of communication and evaluate their effectiveness in classifying different types of group activities that occur within a global software development project. In order to achieve this goal, we developed a web-based component that can be used to help clean and classify communication activities. The component was then used to compare different automated text classification techniques on various group activities to determine their effectiveness in correctly classifying data from a global software development team project. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149611/
The Avatar by Steve Rouse: A Performance Practice Guide
The Avatar for trumpet and piano by Dr. Steve Rouse is one of the most challenging compositions in the trumpet repertoire. Due to The Avatar's challenges and increasing popularity, a study is necessary to aid its performance. Each movement is performed on a different instrument: Bb piccolo (with an optional A piccolo part) for Nativity, Bb Flugelhorn for Enigma-Release and Bb trumpet for Rebirth. In addition, the performer must convey one of the work's possible programmatic meanings: (1) The Hindu belief of an Avatar and its life cycle, (2) the life of Christ or (3) the human lifecycle. Chapter 1 gives historical information about the work. Chapters 2-4 discuss each movement of The Avatar programmatically and pedagogically. Facets of each movement are analyzed including differences in programmatic choices, rehearsal techniques and sound concepts. Chapter 5 provides recording suggestions, including choosing a recording engineer, preparing and planning for a recording section, choosing a venue and the benefits of hiring a tonmeister. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31541/
Back in My Hands: the Role of Self-forgiveness and Stigma in Hiv-positive Adults
While advancements in treatment have made HIV a more manageable disease, only recently have psychosocial variables associated with the health of persons living with HIV (PLH) began to receive increased scrutiny. HIV-related stigma, considered by some researchers to be a “second epidemic,” is one such psychosocial variable and is associated with negative physiological and psychological health outcomes. In an effort to alleviate the effects of stress, increased research attention has focused on forgiveness as a teachable coping strategy. Current forgiveness interventions demonstrate encouraging results in decreasing anger and neutralizing stress but have not been applied to HIV-positive populations. In this study, Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping (1984) and Prochaska and Velicer’s transtheoretical model of health behavior (1997) were utilized as theoretical frameworks to inform a randomized clinical trial that examines coping skills, particularly forgiveness, in PLH and perceived HIV-related stigma. An ethnically diverse sample of HIV-positive adults (n = 57) was randomized into a treatment or control group. The treatment group participated in six weeks of cognitive-behavioral group therapy that focused on the teaching of forgiveness as an effective coping tool while the control group was psychoeducational in nature and did not involve mention of forgiveness. Data was obtained on a variety of medical and psychosocial variables, including types of forgiveness (dispositional forgiveness, forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of situations) and perceived HIV-related stigma. Data were collected at three time points: at baseline (Time 1) prior to randomization of participants to the treatment or control group, immediately post intervention (Time 2), and at six-month follow-up (Time 3). Importantly, forgiveness was shown to be a teachable skill that PLH can use to potentially improve mental health. Men in the treatment group reported significantly higher levels of dispositional forgiveness and self-forgiveness than men in the control group at six-month follow up. Additionally, self-forgiveness at Time 1 and self-forgiveness at Time 3 significantly accounted for 34% and 28% of the variance, respectively, in HIV-related stigma at Time 3. Though self-forgiveness was shown to be better than forgiveness of others in predicting HIV-related stigma, the forgiveness intervention was not effective in reducing overall HIV-related stigma in PLH. HIV-related stigma is likely more complex than originally conceptualized. Implications and future directions in improving interventions to mitigate HIV-related stigma are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149612/
Backflow: A Collection
This collection consists of a critical preface and nine essays. The preface analyzes, first, how the imagination influences the personal journey of a writer, and second, the techniques authors use, mainly form, time, and space, to enact the imagination and propel the reader into an imagined narrative. The essays explore themes of loss, mental illness, the rift between the “real” and the “imagined” life, and the intangibility of memory itself. Collection includes the essays “Into the Snow,” “No Longer a Part,” “Borderland,” “Still Wounds,” “What Stays in Las Vegas,” “Remnants,” “The Root,” “Your Father,” and “The Land Lord.” digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103346/
Bad Blood: Impurity and Danger in the Early Modern Spanish Mentality
The current work is an intellectual history of how blood permeated early modern Spaniards' conceptions of morality and purity. This paper examines Spanish intellectuals' references to blood in their medical, theological, demonological, and historical works. Through these excerpts, this thesis demonstrates how this language of blood played a role in buttressing the church's conception of good morals. This, in turn, will show that blood was used as a way to persecute Jews and Muslims, and ultimately define the early modern Spanish identity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30504/
Baptist Pastoral Leadership: An Analysis for Curriculum Development
Through a qualitative study utilizing in-depth interviews, practitioner opinion was gathered regarding how Christian institutions of higher education, primarily Baptist seminaries, may better utilize formal and continuing education to prepare clergy for pastoral leadership. The sample of ten subjects for this study, drawn from the 550 active senior pastors in the Dallas Baptist Association and the Kauf-Van Baptist Association, was selected based on a maximum variation sampling method. The intention was to provide a better understanding of the leadership skills required by senior pastors, to help develop pastoral ministries curriculum and to assess the potential effectiveness of continuing education for pastoral leadership. The subjects indicated that the formal degree program of their seminary did equip them with the basic knowledge needed for pastoral leadership but it did not provide them in sufficiency with the necessary, practical skills for pastoral leadership. The pattern that emerged from the data indicates that, overall, seminaries are providing a quality education in preparing pastors for the ministry in their formal degree plans. However, seminaries may have opportunities to be of further service and to gain a competitive advantage vis a vis other seminaries by enhancing and expanding their continuing education programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30446/