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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Algebraically Determined Semidirect Products
Let G be a Polish group. We say that G is an algebraically determined Polish group if given any Polish group L and any algebraic isomorphism from L to G, then the algebraic isomorphism is a topological isomorphism. We will prove a general theorem that gives useful sufficient conditions for a semidirect product of two Polish groups to be algebraically determined. This will smooth the way for the proofs for some special groups. For example, let H be a separable Hilbert space and let G be a subset of the unitary group U(H) acting transitively on the unit sphere. Assume that -I in G and G is a Polish topological group in some topology such that H x G to H, (x,U) to U(x) is continuous, then H x G is a Polish topological group. Hence H x G is an algebraically determined Polish group. In addition, we apply the above the above result on the unitary group U(A) of a separable irreducible C*-algebra A with identity acting transitively on the unit sphere in a separable Hilbert space H and proved that the natural semidirect product H x U(A) is an algebraically determined Polish group. A similar theorem is true for the natural semidirect product R^{n} x G(n), where G(n) = GL(n,R), or GL^{+}(n,R), or SL(n,R), or |SL(n,R)|={A in GL(n,R) : |det(A)|=1}. On the other hand, it is known that the Heisenberg group H_{3}(R) , (R, +), (R{0}, x), and GL^{+}(n,R) are not algebraically determined Polish groups.
Alignment of Middle School Core TEKS with Visual Arts TEKS
This descriptive study uses a qualitative, content analysis to examine the middle school visual arts and core Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to determine the potential common learning activities that can be aligned between the two. By performing an alignment of the potential common learning activities present in the middle school visual art TEKS and the middle school core TEKS, I demonstrate that there is a foundation for curriculum integration in the Texas middle school visual arts classroom.
“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories
In this collection of short stories, I abduct experiences from my own life and take them on an imaginative journey. I experiment with elements of structure and point of view, often incorporating the magical or surreal to amplify the narrator’s internal landscape. As demonstrated in the title story, “Almost Astronauts,” these stories all deal with a sudden and sometimes destructive shift in the narrator’s perspective.
Alterations in Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (Faah) Transcript Levels and Activity Lead to Changes in the Abiotic Stress Susceptibility of Arabidopsis Thaliana
N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are a class of bioactive lipids, and FAAH is one of the enzymes responsible for degrading NAEs in both plants and animals. in plants, FAAH appears to be closely associated with ABA, a phytohormone which has long been associated with plant stress responses, since the overexpression of FAAH in Arabidopsis results in ABA hypersensitivity. Therefore, it is reasonable to speculate that alterations in FAAH transcript levels will result in altered stress responses in plants. to investigate this hypothesis experiments were carried out in which wild type (WT), FAAH-overexpressing (OE), and T-DNA insertional FAAH knockouts of Arabidopsis (faah) were grown in MS media under stress conditions. the stress conditions tested included chilling stress, heavy metal stress induced by cadmium or copper, nutrient limitations induced by low phosphorus or low nitrogen, salt stress induced with NaCl, and osmotic stress induced with mannitol. the OE plants were consistently hypersensitive to all stress conditions in relation to wild type plants. Inactive FAAH overexpressors did not have the hypersensitivity to the salt and osmotic stress of the active OE plants and were instead tolerant to these stresses. FAAH2 (faah2) knockouts and FAAH 1 and 2 double knockouts (faah 1+2) were based on some root development parameters somewhat more tolerant than WT plants, but more sensitive in terms of shoot growth. Collectively the data suggests that FAAH activity may interact with stress-responsive pathways in plants, perhaps including pathways involving ABA.
Alternative Certification: A Comparison of Factors Affecting the Motivations of General and Special Educators
This study was developed to examine the motivations of individuals who chose alternative routes to teacher certification and what they believe were the strengths and weaknesses of their alternative certification preparation (ACP). Data accrued from this study were based on a 55-item online survey and participant information from an online focus group. The study compared the differences between general and special educators in regards to the motivating factors affecting the decision to become a teacher, remain a teacher, and in choosing a non-university-based ACP, as well as the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the ACP. The results from the survey suggest there are differences in the motivating factors affecting general and special educator's decision to become a teacher and to remain a teacher. Additional survey results suggest there are no differences in the reason these two groups chose a non-university-based ACP. The results of the survey and the online focus group were comparable for these two groups. The remainder of this dissertation includes a review of literature related to teacher shortages and teacher preparation including alternative certification. Additionally, information on the results and analysis of the study are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research.
Alternative Complementation in Partially Schematic Constructions: a Quantitative Corpus-based Examination of COME to V2 and GET to V2
This paper examines two English polyverbal constructions, COME to V2 and GET to V2, as exemplified in Examples 1 and 2, respectively. (1) the senator came to know thousands of his constituents (2) Little Johnny got to eat ice cream after every little league game. Previous studies considered these types of constructions (though come and get as used here have not been sufficiently studied) as belonging to a special class of complement constructions, in which the infinitive is regarded as instantiating a separate, subordinate predication from that of the “matrix” or leftward finite verb. These constructions, however, exhibit systematic deviation from the various criteria proposed in previous research. This study uses the American National Corpus to investigate the statistical propensities of the target phenomena via lexico-syntactic (collostructional analysis) and morpho-syntactic (binary logistic regression) features, as captured through the lens of construction grammar.
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)
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This is an analysis of combat operations of US First Army under the command of Courtney Hodges, between August 1 and September 12, 1944, with an emphasis upon 1st, 4th, 9th, and 30th Divisions. However, other formations are necessarily discussed in order to maintain context. Indeed, many historians have failed to emphasize the complex interdependent nature of these efforts, and the traditional narrative has been distorted by inadequate situational awareness. This study argues that the army's operations were exceedingly difficult, resulting in approximately 40,000 casualties over a six week period. Although historians claim that the Germans were essentially defeated by the end of July, and that the Allied advance was subsequently halted by logistical difficulties, the official combat records clarify that logistical shortages were a tertiary factor, as the enemy remained capable of strong resistance. Consequently, defensive efforts were the primary factor hindering the advance, in conjunction with deteriorating weather conditions, rugged terrain, and surprisingly severe traffic congestion. Although this was mobile warfare, military theorists have overestimated the effectiveness of mechanization and underestimated the potential for antitank defenses. Ultimately, this study asserts that First Army was the primary American combat formation, and historians have exaggerated the importance of George Patton's Third Army. Therefore, in order to understand an American way of war, the combat operations of First Army deserve far more attention than they have previously received. This narrative thus emphasizes forgotten battles, including: Tessy, St. Sever, Tete, Perriers, Mayenne, Ranes, Flers, Mace, Elbeuf, Mantes, Corbeil, Sevran, Mons, Cambrai, Philippeville, Dinant, and Aubel.
American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study
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It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
Americans Who Would Not Wait: The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917
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This dissertation examines the five battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force designated as the American Legion. Authorized in Canada between 1915 and 1917, these units were formed to recruit volunteers from the United States to serve in the Canadian Overseas Contingent during the First World War. This work reviews the organization of Canada’s militia and the history of Anglo-American relations before examining the Canadian war effort, the formation of the American Legion, the background of its men, and the diplomatic, political, and constitutional questions that it raised. Much of the research focuses on the internal documents of its individual battalions (the 97th, 211th, 212th, 213th and 237th) and the papers of Reverend Charles Bullock now housed at the Public Archives of Canada. Documentation for the diplomatic furor the American Legion caused comes largely through the published diplomatic documents, British Foreign Office records held at the Public Record Office at Kew, and United States Department of State files at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The most useful sources for American Legion correspondence are the Beaverbrook papers held at the House of Lords Record Office, the papers of Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden, and those of the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught found in the Public Archives of Canada. During its brief existence the American Legion precipitated diplomatic and political problems in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Dominion of Canada. Among the issues raised by the controversy surrounding the American Legion were: the relationship between the dominion government in Canada and the British government; the structural problems of imperial communications; the rise of a Canadian national identity and the desire for greater autonomy; and, the nature of citizenship and expatriation. This dissertation is also a long overdue account of the thousands of United States citizens who left their homes and families to join the American Legion in order to fight another country’s war.
"Among Waitresses": Stories and Essays
The following collection represents the critical and creative work produced during my doctoral program in English. The dissertation consists of Part I, a critical preface, and Part II, a collection of seven short stories and two nonfiction essays. Part I, which contains the critical preface entitled "What to Say and How to Say It," examines the role of voice in discussions of contemporary literature. The critical preface presents a definition of voice and identifies examples of voice-driven writing in contemporary literature, particularly from the work of Mary Robison, Dorothy Allison, and Kathy Acker. In addition, the critical preface also discusses how the use of flavor, tone, and content contribute to voice, both in work of famous authors and in my own writing. In Part II of my dissertation, I present the creative portion of my work. Part II contains seven works of short fiction, titled "Among Waitresses," "The Lion Tamer," "Restoration Services," "Hospitality," "Blood Relation," "Managerial Timber," and "Velma A Cappella." Each work develops a voice-driven narrative through the use of flavor, tone, and content. Also, two nonfiction essays, titled "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" and "Tracks," close out the collection. "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" describes the impact of methamphetamine addiction on family relationships, while "Tracks" focuses on the degradation of the natural world by human waste and other forms of pollution. In total, this collection demonstrates my approach to both scholarly and creative writing, and I am grateful for the University of North Texas for the opportunity to develop academically and achieve my goals.
An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut
Four Rotations Pour Marimba (1996) by Eric Sammut has become one of the most important marimba compositions in serious concert solo marimba literature. Four Rotations Pour Marimba is a suite of four short pieces; each of them demonstrates a different musical character while incorporating similar compositional components and techniques. The goal of this thesis project is to create a stylistic analysis for providing the concert marimbist with insight into the interpretation of these four pieces and also giving composers a more in-depth understanding of Sammut's compositional method. This thesis includes a formal analysis and comparisons of compositional elements used in Four Rotations. A brief biography of Sammut and historical significance of Four Rotations Pour Marimba are also included.
Analysis of Graduation Rates for Four-year Colleges: A Model of Institutional Performance Using IPEDS
Under the George W. Bush U.S. presidential administration, the federal government pushed for greater accountability among institutions of higher education for educational outcomes. Graduation rate is a key performance indicator of institutional accountability. Previous researchers of student attrition focused primarily on the effects of student level factors on student persistence/withdrawal behavior. Recently, researchers put more focus on the effects of institutional characteristics on graduation rates, but most of these studies were exploratory and based on multiple regression models. No institutional model has existed to synthesize their results within a theoretical framework. Such an institutional model is needed to explain the process of student persistence at the institutional level. The purpose of this study was to develop a model of institutional performance in graduation rate for four-year, public and private not-for-profit, Title IV institutions in the United States. This study validated the institutional model based on the IPEDS dataset using the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. Further group comparison analyses are conducted by fitting the same SEM model to several subgroup datasets based on grouping variables such as control, geographical region and state. Benchmarking analyses were conducted to demonstrate how administrators and policy-makers can use the institutional model to compare the performance of an institution with its peers and what policy changes can they pursue to improve graduation rates.
An Analysis of Honegger’s Cello Concerto (1929): a Return to Simplicity?
Literature available on Honegger’s Cello Concerto suggests this concerto is often considered as a composition that resonates with Les Six traditions. While reflecting currents of Les Six, the Cello Concerto also features departures from Erik Satie’s and Jean Cocteau’s ideal for French composers to return to simplicity. Both characteristics of and departures from Les Six examined in this concerto include metric organization, thematic and rhythmic development, melodic wedge shapes, contrapuntal techniques, simplicity in orchestration, diatonicism, the use of humor, jazz influences, and other unique performance techniques.
An Analysis of Interrater Agreement Between the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS), Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF), and Analog Assessment Outcomes
An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on anecdotal assessments was compared with experimental functional analysis outcomes for correspondence. Experiment 1 evaluated the agreement of multiple respondents on the function of problem behavior for 22 individuals across 42 target behaviors using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Results showed agreement on the primary maintaining consequence for 4 or 5 of the 5 respondents in 52% (22/42) of the individual's target behaviors with the MAS and 57% (24/42) with the QABF. Experiment 2 examined whether correspondence occurred between the anecdotal assessment results and experimental functional analysis (EFA) results for 7 individuals selected from Experiment 1. Correspondence between the QABF assessment and the EFA was found for 6 of 7 participants, and 4 of the 7 showed correspondence between the EFA and the MAS. This study showed that the QABF had higher correspondence with analog assessments than the MAS thus, supporting the previous findings of Paclawskyj et al. (2001).
Analysis of Micro Enterprise Clusters in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Toluca, Mexico.
Businesses cluster to achieve agglomeration benefits. However, research in developing countries suggests that the economic environment limits small business’ propensity to benefit from agglomerations. The study examines the location, networking patterns, formal structures and owner characteristics of 1256 micro businesses from ten industries and thirteen sample areas in Toluca, Mexico. First, the thesis analyses whether clustering has a positive impact on the success rates of the surveyed enterprises, e.g. higher sales per employee. On an industry scale only Retail benefits from agglomerations economies. However, results of the neighborhood data show that specific areas benefit from urbanization economies. Overall, the study finds that businesses located within agglomerations, have higher levels of formalization, networking and professional training, hence constituting a more sophisticated base for economic development. Conclusions can be drawn for development policies and programs, arguing for a more differentiated approach of small business development depending on business location and cluster characteristics.
An Analysis of Performance Differences Between Self-Directed and Teacher-Directed Alternative Education Campuses in Texas
This study was conducted to analyze the performance differences between alternative education campuses in Texas that used teacher-directed strategies and those that used self-directed strategies. The study was also conducted to inform educators of the results these two strategies had achieved with at-risk students during the three years of 2006-2008. The study used the results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test as reported in the AEIS annual reports from the Texas Education Agency. Alternative education schools were grouped according to the strategy used to educate at-risk students. The results of the statistical tests showed the two strategies had similar performance results and there was no statistical difference between the two. The results offered several implications concerning the ability of at-risk students to achieve in alternative education schools including possible reasons why students who were previously unsuccessful became successful in alternative settings. The report also addressed the number of students who continued to be unsuccessful even when placed on an alternative education campus. Possible reasons for this continued inability to succeed are discussed. Recommendations for further research were listed at the conclusion of the study.
An Analysis of Pitch Organization in Villa-lobos's Rudepoêma
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) stands central to the music history of the Brazilian twentieth century. His music represents a synthesis of the European art influences he absorbed and his quest to find a true Brazilian identity, which was not rooted in the deliberate imitation of Brazilian folk elements, but rather in the natural assimilation of them in his compositional style. His early compositions embody strong post-romantic, impressionistic tendencies, especially in regard to their harmonies and use of tone color, whereas the works from the 1920's and onwards show Villa-Lobos increasingly asserting his unusual and strong voice. Villa-Lobos's large-scale composition for piano, Rudepoêma, was composed between 1921 and 1926, and stands as one of the most significant contributions to the Latin-American piano literature. Despite of its importance in Villa-Lobos's oeuvre, it has largely eluded analytical attention. Discourse on Villa-Lobos is often marked by a somewhat one-dimensional approach that identifies the folk and rhythmic elements as the most important characteristics of his compositional style, and displays a certain reticence with regard to in-depth analysis of other parameters of his works. This study redresses the imbalance in the general approach to analytical assessment of Villa-Lobos's oeuvre by illustrating that pitch organization plays an indispensable role in establishing formal unity between the multiple sections of this complex work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Analysis of the Value-altering Effect of Motivating Operations
Motivating operations (MOs) may affect behavior in two ways; A) an MO momentarily alters the frequency of behavior for which a particular consequence has served as reinforcement (evocative-effect) and B) an MO momentarily alters the behavioral effects of the relevant consequence (value-altering effect). Many studies have empirically demonstrated the evocative function of MOs, however, few if any studies have attempted to systematically manipulate and measure the value-altering effect. The focus of this study was to investigate the value-altering effect by measuring choice and response allocation across two alternative tasks. Participants were two female girls diagnosed with autism. During conditioning sessions, experimenters created a history for the children in which clicking on a moving square on a computer monitor produced a small piece of edible. Prior to some conditions, the participants were allowed 5 min of free-access to the edibles, and in other sessions, access to edibles prior to session was restricted. During these sessions, the square was either red or blue depending on the condition type (pre-access or restricted-access). During probe sessions, both colored squares were concurrently available and participants were allowed to allocate their responding to whichever square they chose. One participant preferred the square associated with restricted-access, which may support the notion of the value-altering effect. Difficulties during conditioning sessions interfered with the ability to run sufficient probes with the other participant to evaluate a value-altering effect. Results suggest that the use of these procedures may be useful to differentiate evocative and function-altering effects of MOs.
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.
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.
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.
Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory
This study examines the mediating effect of social bonding on delinquent behavior among Kurdish teens. Major influences to the study of self concept and delinquency based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are reviewed. The data was collected from a sample of 100 Kurdish teens attending a Gülen affiliated school (Private Çaglayan Murat Anatolian Science High School in Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and 100 Kurdish teens attending a public (non- Gülen) school (The Public High School in Diyarbakır, Turkey). There are two dependent variables for this research project: Involvement in major delinquency and involvement in minor delinquency. The components of social bonding attachment, involvement, commitment, and belief were used as independent variables. Participants’ age ranged between 16 to 18 years. I hypothesize that the relation between the social bonding elements and delinquency should be stronger in the case of Kurdish adolescents who are more attached to conventional Turkish society. Results from binary logistic regression analyses indicate that in the absence of bonding, Kurdish teenagers tend to engage in major and minor delinquent activities. For further exploration and results, the Gülen Movement was examined as an independent variable. Findings suggest a strong relationship between the Gülen Movement and Kurdish adolescents’ probability of involvement in either major or minor delinquent activities. Finally, several directions for future research on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are recommended and some implications are drawn for deterring Kurdish adolescents from becoming involved in delinquent actions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
El Arquetipo Del Narco Mexicano En La Novela, El Cine, Y La Música
Various groups of Mexican culture have assigned to el narco archetypical characteristics of a heroic figure in the literary, visual, and auditory arts. As a result, today’s narcocultura has expanded its tentacles to a vast array of prominent industries, such as publishing companies, the silver screen, and recording studios. El narco is no longer seen by some sectors as the outlaw that stalks our society but, instead, as a hero who fights against a hegemonic faction to reclaim his sovereignty. This thesis unites interdisciplinary observations of the narco phenomena that Mexican culture has assigned to the iconic figure of el narco. The purpose of this work is to recreate the evolutionary development through a theoretical-literary analysis of this prototype in order to better understand Mexican society’s stance on this phenomenon. Octavio Paz’s theory of the Mexican psyche, Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey, and an interdisciplinary focus will be employed to analyze this iconic figure. In this thesis, my aim is to investigate how an ultra-conservative Mexican society evolved into a consortium that upholds the narco’s indistinct behaviors and actions. What roles do first world governments and the Mexican state play to fortify, eradicate, or control the narco phenomenon? Finally, which is the most prudent strategy to coexist in a world alongside the narco?
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.
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.
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.
Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies
This dissertation assesses the importance of a specific debt instrument, the Certifi- cate of Obligation in the state of Texas. It conceptualizes the Certificate of Obligation as a type of contractual debt that enables local governments to finance their capital projects. This dissertation is guided by three research questions: (1) What are the various types of debt instruments employed by local governments and what are their relative advantages? (2) How prevalent is the use of a specific debt instrument such as Certificates of Obligation? And why would some local governments prefer to issue them while others do not? (3) To what extent does the local institutional environment, e.g., the executive authority of city managers in the council-manager form of government, affect debt financing behaviors of local governments? To examine the first research question, we created a typology to represent four ideal types of borrowing methods: (1) Contractual Debt, (2) Voter Approval/Special Tax Debt, (3) Guaranteed, and (4) Non-Guaranteed Debts. The typology examines whether or not the state mandates the referendum requirement for the use of each of these debt instruments, and at the same time determines whether each debt instrument is secured by multiple or single revenue sources. Using data we collected among municipal governments in Texas, we conducted two empirical analyses. The first analysis tests the hypothesis that Certificates of Obligation have higher borrowing costs compared to GO bonds, since a GO bond is often issued under the pledge of the bond issuers’ full-faith credit and taxing authority. We employed a two-stage least square analysis to test the general proposition in the state of Texas. Based on 741 Certificates of Obligation and GO bonds issued between 2008 and 2011, our analyses show that Certificates of Obligation are likely to incur True Interest Costs (TIC) similar to those of GO bonds. The second analysis explores factors explaining the use of Certificates of Obligation in 225 Texas charter cities. Based on Heckman’s two-stage, we found that a local government’s decision to issue Certificates of Obligation to be partly explained by the characteristics of local population, i.e., median household income, population growth, and the percentage of senior citizens living in the jurisdiction. In the case of GO bonds, we found that population size, property tax rate, debt burden, and the percentage of population with at least a college education, to be an important determinant of GO bonds. The volume of GO issuance by local governments was also related to the level of regional competition, i.e., government density. Additionally, we found that local political institutions matter and that they affect debt financing behaviors of local governments.