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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Adoption, Management, and Performance of Local Government Investment Pools: A Comparative Analysis of State Practices
This dissertation examines the factors influencing a state’s decision to adopt a local government investment pool (LGIP), the institutional arrangements used in managing them, and the effect of the institutional types on LGIP performance. The dissertation extends the policy adoption theory with insights from investment theory to demonstrate that management credibility influences the likelihood of a state’s LGIP adoption. The study finds that the quality of financial management, the quality of professional leadership, proximate state neighbors who have previously adopted an LGIP, and economic factors determine a state’s proclivity to policy adoption. The dissertation also describes the institutional arrangements used in managing LGIPs and develops typologies based on their institutional arrangements. The dissertation compares LGIPs depending on the risk aversion of their institutional arrangements. The research extends the risk-return tradeoff in investment theory to LGIP institutional arrangements. The empirical findings show that LGIP institutional arrangement that has greater risk report higher performance. The dissertation also finds that competition in the LGIP market due to multiple vendors, and periods of economic recession account for higher performance because of higher risk-taking behaviors associated with them. This dissertation promotes public funds investment laws that emphasize prudent management of government finances and guides managers of the public purse on the types of institutional choices that optimize returns with minimal risk.
The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology
This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Adoptive Parenthood: an Exploratory Study of the Influence of Pre-adoption Communication Satisfaction on Post-adoption Family Adjustment and Coping
There are over a million adopted children in the United States, which makes up over 2% of the population. in spite of the fact that the majority of children are adopted into loving and caring homes, early life trauma puts them at higher risk for developing behavioral and emotional problems than non-adopted children. Due to these issues, many adoptive parents encounter post-adoption stress. This stress is often linked to minimal education regarding short- and long-term challenges associated with adoption. the adoption agency is likely the best group for addressing challenges, yet few researchers have studied adoption agency communication and adoptive parent adjustment. in this study I examined pre-adoption communication satisfaction, post-adoption adjustment (life change and parental adjustment), and coping strategies. Hypothesis 1 questioned the relationship between adoptive parents’ pre-adoption communication satisfaction with their social workers and post-adoption family adjustment; this hypothesis was supported only for problems related to home and work life adjustment. Hypothesis 2 predicted coping strategies would mediate the relationship between communication satisfaction and family adjustment. H2 was not supported for both life change and parental adjustment. Research Questions 1a and 1b inquired about the coping strategy that had an impact on life change and parental adjustment; escape-avoidance coping was most common for problems related to parental difficulty adjustment. a second research question was added post hoc; it questioned if special needs adopted children had an impact on family adjustment. Results indicated the special needs designation is related to home and work life adjustment. After discussing the theoretical and practical implications of this study, I offer limitations and directions for future research.
Adult Attachment, Acculturation and Help-seeking of Latino College Students
Based on theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence, the present study examined the unique and shared effects of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and acculturation on attitudes toward seeking professional help among Latino college students. The research participants included 149 bilingual Latino college students from a large, public southwestern university. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that attachment avoidance was positively associated with both the recognition of need for psychological help and stigma of seeking professional help. Acculturation to American society was found to be statistically insignificant in predicting help-seeking attitudes in this sample of the population. Findings from exploratory questions suggested that Latino individuals would most likely seek help from parents, close friends, and then professionals. This study suggested that Latino individuals with high attachment avoidance acknowledge the potential benefit of professional help-seeking but distrust the process of approaching others for help. Limitations, implications, and future research directions will be discussed.
Adult Attachment Patterns, Mental Representation of Self, and Faith: Mediators of Childhood Trauma and Affect-Behavior Regulations in Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse and neglect by attachment figures in childhood on negative mental representations of self, insecure attachment patterns in close relationship, and poor religious faith; and (c) most importantly, deepening an understanding of how their negative images of self, anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, and/or poor religious faith and practices, rather than parental abuse and neglect in childhood itself, directly predict their presenting symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse problems. In doing so, it is crucial for clinicians to provide clients with secure and comforting therapeutic atmosphere, focus on building trusting working relationship with clients, and be aware of how clients' transference and clinicians' own counter-transference interact with each other and influence therapeutic process and effectiveness. Several important limitations of the present study and implications for future studies were discussed.
Advanced Power Amplifiers Design for Modern Wireless Communication
Modern wireless communication systems use spectrally efficient modulation schemes to reach high data rate transmission. These schemes are generally involved with signals with high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR). Moreover, the development of next generation wireless communication systems requires the power amplifiers to operate over a wide frequency band or multiple frequency bands to support different applications. These wide-band and multi-band solutions will lead to reductions in both the size and cost of the whole system. This dissertation presents several advanced power amplifier solutions to provide wide-band and multi-band operations with efficiency improvement at power back-offs.
Advancements in Instrumentation for Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy
The efforts of my research have led to the successful construction of several instruments that have helped expand the field of microwave spectroscopy. The classic Balle-Flygare spectrometer has been modified to include two different sets of antenna to operate in the frequency ranges 6-18 GHz and 18-26 GHz, allowing it to function for a large range without having to break vacuum. This modified FTMW instrument houses two low noise amplifiers in the vacuum chamber to allow for the LNAs to be as close to the antenna as physically possible, improving sensitivity. A new innovative Balle-Flygare type spectrometer, the efficient low frequency FTMW, was conceived and built to operate at frequencies as low as 500 MHz through the use of highly curved mirrors. This is new for FTMW techniques that normally operate at 4 GHz or higher with only a few exceptions around 2 GHz. The chirped pulse FTMW spectrometer uses horn antennas to observe spectra that span 2 GHz versus the standard 1 MHz of a cavity technique. This instrument decreases the amount of time to obtain a large spectral region of relative correct intensity molecular transitions. A Nd:YAG laser ablation apparatus was attached to the classic Balle-Flygare and chirped pulse FTMW spectrometers. This allowed the study of heavy metal containing compounds. The instruments I constructed and the techniques I used have allowed the discovery of further insights into molecular chemistry. I have seen the effects of fluorinating an alkyl halide by determining the geometry of the carbon backbone of trans-1-iodoperfluoropropane and observing a ΔJ = 3 forbidden transition caused by a strong quadrupole coupling constant on this heavy molecule. The quadrupole coupling tensors of butyronitrile, a molecule observed in space, have been improved. The nuclear quadrupole coupling tensor of difluoroiodomethane was added to a list of variably fluorinated methyl halides upholding a trend for the magnitude of χzz. The study of SrS led to the determination of the Born-Oppenheimer breakdown terms and improving the precision of the SrS internuclear distance. I have also conducted the first pure rotational spectroscopic investigation on an actinide containing molecule, ThO.
Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ABC on adaptive functioning in high school males. Specifically, a pretest/posttest, experimental design (N = 46; Caucasian = 26, Hispanic = 20) was used to examine the changes in adaptive and maladaptive functioning in ABC participants (n = 21) compared to those in a control/waitlist group (n = 25) as measured by the Behavior Assessment System for Children, second edition (BASC-2). Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group engaged in 10 ABC sessions. In order to better understand group process in ABC, I had experimental group participants complete the Group Climate Question Short form (GCQ-S) three times during the intervention. A mixed between/within subjects ANOVA of the BASC-2 scores revealed a statistically significant increase in adaptive functioning for both groups, F(1, 33) = 8.58, p < .01, with a partial eta squared of .21 indicating a large effect. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control/waitlist groups, F(1, 33) = .064, p = .80, and a very small effect size (partial eta squared < .01). A repeated measures ANOVA of the GCQ-S scores revealed a statistically significant increase in engagement, F(2, 38) = 4.067, p = .025, with an eta squared of .21, indicating a large effect. Limitations of the study, implications of the results for practice, and recommendations for future research are presented.
Aerospace and Defense Industries Online Recruiting of College and University Graduates: Strategies Toward Defining a Comprehensive Informational Benchmark
This qualitative, inductive study analyzed online recruiting information posted at the websites of five major aerospace and defense corporations to recruit college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates. Recruitment of this group is critical to staff the personnel for the scientific, technical, and management needs of aerospace and defense industries. The study sought: (1) to determine the use of multiple recruitment factors inferred from the literature and recommended for successful recruitment of college graduates, (2) to determine use of online social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to recruit this population, and (3) to explore commonalities among these corporations regarding online recruiting information to determine if a model for online recruitment now exists. A matrix of recruitment factors was developed from a review of the literature on the personnel needs of this industry and on effective recruiting factors for this group. Content analysis involved filtering information at each website with the matrix. Conclusions of this study include: (1) the matrix of recruitment factors and the rating scale developed for the purposes of this study provide a tool for researching, documenting, and comparing recruitment information on the internet; (2) that while these corporations represent the latest applications in technology in their manufacturing processes and products, they do not use social networking technology to the extent the popular and scholarly literature indicate is typical for the target group. Given that the current generation exhibits extensive use of social media, several of these corporations’ websites appear not to utilize this networking technology. Informally, these corporations argue that cyber-security prevents extensive use of social networking sites. Thus, these corporations must determine how to maintain cyber-security while at the same time adopting more accepted use of social networking platforms.
Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!
Soar! is a musical composition written for wind ensemble and computer music. The total duration of the work is approximately 10 minutes. Flocking behavior of migratory birds serves as the most prominent influence on the imagery and local structure of the composition. The cyclical nature of the birds' journey inspires palindromic designs in the temporal domain. Aesthetically, Soar! portrays the fluid shapes of the flocks with numerous grains in the sounds. This effect is achieved by giving individual parts high degree of independence, especially in regards to rhythm. Technically, Soar! explores various interactions among instrumental lines in a wind ensemble, constructs overarching symmetrical structures, and integrates a large ensemble with computer music. The conductor acts as the leader at several improvisational moments in Soar! The use of conductor-initiated musical events in the piece can be traced back through the historic lineage of aleatoric compositions since the middle of the twentieth century. [Score is on p. 54-92.]
The Affect of Mobile Performance Support Devices on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy of Hospital Float Staff
Floating describes the act of staff moving from one unit to another based on the needs of the patients in a hospital. Many staff who float to different units express negative feelings, including anxiety and lack in self-efficacy. However, floating is both an economical and efficient method to use staff across the hospital, especially with current staffing shortages in the United States. This study investigated how the use of mobile performance support devices may help reduce anxiety and increase self-efficacy for those staff who float to different units. with access to multiple resources available on the mobile device, Bandura's social learning theory and self-efficacy concept set the framework through modeling, observing, and imitating others in order to reproduce certain behaviors and tasks and believe in one's capability to perform. a quantitative study incorporating the retrospective pretest-posttest design was conducted using the population of float staff, including both nurses and respiratory therapists, from Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Both the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and General Self-Efficacy Scale, along with a basic demographic tool, were used to explore anxiety and self-efficacy in relation to the usage of mobile performance support devices. Findings can be used to impact the negative feelings of staff towards the idea of floating.
Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation
Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between affective forecasts and affective reports. Results showed the affective forecasts of participants in the moderate trauma severity condition were significantly less accurate than those of participants in the minor trauma severity condition, providing evidence of immune neglect. Surrogation information significantly improved the accuracy of affective forecasts when participants were deprived of simulation information. Limitations of the current study and implications of the findings are discussed.
Affordances of Instrumentation in General Chemistry Laboratories
The purpose of this study is to find out what students in the first chemistry course at the undergraduate level (general chemistry for science majors) know about the affordances of instrumentation used in the general chemistry laboratory and how their knowledge develops over time. Overall, students see the PASCO™ system as a useful and accurate measuring tool for general chemistry labs. They see the probeware as easy to use, portable, and able to interact with computers. Students find that the PASCO™ probeware system is useful in their general chemistry labs, more advanced chemistry labs, and in other science classes, and can be used in a variety of labs done in general chemistry. Students learn the affordances of the probeware through the lab manual, the laboratory teaching assistant, by trial and error, and from each other. The use of probeware systems provides lab instructors the opportunity to focus on the concepts illustrated by experiments and the opportunity to spend time discussing the results. In order to teach effectively, the instructor must know the correct name of the components involved, how to assemble and disassemble it correctly, how to troubleshoot the software, and must be able to replace broken or missing components quickly. The use of podcasts or Web-based videos should increase student understanding of affordances of the probeware.
African American Father Influences on the Career Development of Emerging Adults
The current study examined the paternal influences on the career development of African American emerging adults. While statistics have shown that many African Americans remain in the lower socioeconomic status bracket and have worse academic and career outcomes, still many African Americans are successful. The literature seems to attribute lack of success to low socioeconomic status, but attributes success to close family relationships. However, most of these studies have focused on maternal relationships and have neglected to include the influence of paternal relationships. Studies that have examined African American fathers have emphasized their negative attributes. Previous studies have also failed to consider the influence of other factors on the career development process such as ethnic identity and psychological adjustment. This study explored the influence of contextual, family, and developmental factors on the career process of African American emerging adults. One hundred sixty-seven African American undergraduate students ages 18 to 25 were recruited for participation in this study. Regression analyses indicated that the quality of the father-child relationship influenced career development, though not in the manner expected. High levels of father support enhanced well-being for individuals with high ethnic identity, but did not produce the same results for individuals with low ethnic identity. Well-being was a significant predictor of career maturity. Explanations, implications, and future directions are discussed.
After the Planes
The dissertation consists of a critical preface and a novel. The preface analyzes what it terms “polyvocal” novels, or novels employing multiple points of view, as well as “layered storytelling,” or layers of textuality within novels, such as stories within stories. Specifically, the first part of the preface discusses polyvocality in twenty-first century American novels, while the second part explores layered storytelling in novels responding to World War II or the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The preface analyzes the advantages and difficulties connected to these techniques, as well as their aptitude for reflecting the fractured, disconnected, and subjective nature of the narratives we construct to interpret traumatic experiences. It also acknowledges the necessity—despite its inherent limitations—of using language to engage with this fragmentation and cope with its challenges. The preface uses numerous novels as examples and case studies, and it also explores these concepts and techniques in relation to the process of writing the novel After the Planes. After the Planes depicts multiple generations of a family who utilize storytelling as a means to work through grief, hurt, misunderstanding, and loss—whether from interpersonal conflicts or from war. Against her father’s wishes, a young woman moves in with her nearly-unknown grandfather, struggling to understand the rifts in her family and how they have shaped her own identity. She reads a book sent to her by her father, which turns out to be his story of growing up in the years following World War II. The book was intercepted and emended by her grandfather, who inserts his own commentary throughout, complicating her father’s hopes of reconciliation. The novel moves between two main narratives, one set primarily in 1951 and the other in the days and weeks immediately prior to September 11, 2001.
An Age-based Etic Analysis of Orthographic Variation in Computer-mediated French Discourse
This study examines orthographic variation in synchronous computer-mediated French discourse. All nontraditional variations of selected frequently occuring items are quantified in order to provide an etic (i.e., from an external perspective) analysis. The primary variable of interest is age since this study focuses on providing a comparison of chat participants in their twenties versus those in their fifties. The widespread claim is that younger people communicate using more informal and/or nontraditional forms than older people; however, the results of the present study suggest that this is not always the case. The main finding of the present study is that the twentysomethings and the fiftysomethings produce the nontraditional orthography in a similar fashion in 52.2% of the terms, and in a non-similar fashion in 47.8% of the terms. Following the presentation and discussion of the results, directions for future research are provided.
Aging Is a Determinant in Anoxia Stress Tolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Oxygen availability is critical for survival for most organisms. The nematode, C. elegans, has been useful for studying genetic regulation of anoxia tolerance due to the oxygen deprivation response mechanisms shared with other metazoans. Studies examining long-term anoxia (72h, LTA) tolerance have only been conducted at adult day 1. To investigate the effect of aging on anoxia tolerance wild-type and mutant strains were exposed to LTA between adult day 1 and day 9. Wild-type isolates and daf-16(mu86) (FOXO transcription factor regulated by insulin-signaling) and aak-2(gt33) (catalytic subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase) strains were anoxia sensitive at day 1 and displayed increased LTA tolerance with aging correlated with reproductive senescence followed by a decline in survivorhsip through day 9. The daf-2(e1370) (insulin receptor homologue of C. elegans), glp-1(e2141) (a lin-12/Notch receptor) and fog-2(q71) (required for spermatogenesis) strains were LTA-tolerant through day 5. I conclude that aging influences LTA-tolerance in a strain- and age-dependent manner. In addition to being LTA-tolerant the daf-2(e1370) and glp-1(e2141) strains have a longevity phenotype that is suppressed by loss of kri-1 or daf-12. While loss of kri-1 did not suppress the LTA-tolerant phenotype of glp-1(e2141) at day 1 the portion of impaired survivors increased at day 3 and by day 5 tolerance was suppressed. Similarly, when exposed to 4 days of anoxia the glp-1(e2141);daf-12(rh41rh611) double mutant had a reduced survivor rate at all ages analyzed compared to glp-1(e2141) controls. To better understand formation of an anoxia-tolerant physiology I exposed adults to one or more 24h bouts. Recurrent bouts increased LTA tolerance in wild-type hermaphrodites in a dose-dependent manner. Bout-treated daf-16(mu86) animals had increased survival rate compared to controls yet maximum survival remained below age-matched wild-type. Anoxia bouts decreased LTA-tolerance in aak-2(gt33) mutants, indicating the requirement for ATP regulation in establishing an LTA-tolerant phenotype. These data support the idea that anoxia tolerance is multi-factorial and influenced by environment, metabolism, food, reproduction, sex phenotype and likely additional factors.
Aging Texas Well: An Assessment of Denton's Aging-Friendliness
The purpose of this research was to conduct a needs assessment for the city of Denton, Texas to learn how residents view Denton's aging-friendliness. The research design was based on the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services' Aging Texas Well Toolkit and was funded by a two year grant from that agency. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to gather data on six community indicators: demographics, housing, transportation, health care (including mental health and substance abuse services), recreation, and community supports and services. Input from city residents was gathered through focus groups, followed by a survey of the broader community in the city to validate and prioritize the needs identified. The research found gaps in Denton's aging-friendliness. Denton residents feel that although there are some services for the aging in the area, other services are lacking. The top needs identified by residents were a single point of contact for, and better communication about, resources currently available, as well as a need for increased transportation options.
AirSniffer: A Smartphone-Based Sensor Module for Personal Micro-Climate Monitoring
Environmental factors can have a significant impact on an individual's health and well-being, and a primary characteristic of environments is air quality. Air sensing equipment is available to the public, but it is often expensive,stationary, or unusable for persons without technical expertise. The goal of this project is to develop an inexpensive and portable sensor module for public use. The system is capable of measuring temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, heat index, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration. The sensor module, referred to as the "sniffer," consists of a printed circuit board that interconnects a carbon dioxide sensor, a temperature/humidity sensor, an Arduino microcontroller, and a Bluetooth module. The sniffer is small enough to be worn as a pendant or a belt attachment, and it is rugged enough to consistently collect and transmit data to a user's smartphone throughout their workday. The accompanying smartphone app uses Bluetooth and GPS hardware to collect data and affix samples with a time stamp and GPS coordinates. The accumulated sensor data is saved to a file on the user's phone, which is then examined on a standard computer.
Alberto Ginastera and the Guitar Chord: An Analytical Study
The guitar chord (a sonority based on the open strings of the guitar) is one of Alberto Ginastera's compositional trademarks. The use of the guitar chord expands throughout forty years, creating a common link between different compositional stages and techniques. Chapters I and II provide the historical and technical background on Ginastera's life, oeuvre and scholar research. Chapter IV explores the origins of the guitar chord and compares it to similar specific sonorities used by different composers to express extra-musical ideas. Chapter V discusses Ginastera's initial uses and modifications of the guitar chord. Chapter VI explores the use of the guitar chord as a referential sonority based on Variaciones Concertantes, Op. 23: I-II, examining vertical (subsets) and horizontal (derivation of motives) aspects. Chapter VII explores uses of trichords and hexachords derived from the guitar chord in the Sonata for Guitar Op. 47.
This thesis consists of a collection of poems and a critical preface. The preface is a discussion of Elizabeth Bishop's descriptive mode, as demonstrated by three of her poems: "Sandpiper," "The Monument," and "Santarém." I argue for Bishop's descriptions as creative acts, and examine the gestures that help her make the reader aware of the shaping power she exercises.
Alfredo Casella's Serenata, op. 46, A Performance Guide for the Ensemble and Trumpet Part
Alfredo Casella's Serenata, op. 46 for clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin and cello is a composition that received great acclaim at the time of its conception, it is all but unknown to modern audiences and performers. The Serenata has several historical influences from the French and Italian Baroque and Classical periods. At present, there is limited scholarship regarding the Serenata op. 46. The first section of this study presents a survey of historical information, current literature and methods of examination. The second section compares movements of the Serenata op. 46 to other historical forms of similar design. The third section provides a performance guide for the trumpeter and ensemble. Implications and suggestions for performance of the composition are provided for the trumpeter. This performance guide provides the trumpeter and ensemble with performance information to help facilitate an informed performance.
Algebraically Determined Rings of Functions
Let R be any of the following rings: the smooth functions on R^2n with the Poisson bracket, the Hamiltonian vector fields on a symplectic manifold, the Lie algebra of smooth complex vector fields on C, or a variety of rings of functions (real or complex valued) over 2nd countable spaces. Then if H is any other Polish ring and &#966;:H &#8594;R is an algebraic isomorphism, then it is also a topological isomorphism (i.e. a homeomorphism). Moreover, many such isomorphisms between function rings induce a homeomorphism of the underlying spaces. It is also shown that there is no topology in which the ring of real analytic functions on R is a Polish ring.
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.
Algorithm Optimizations in Genomic Analysis Using Entropic Dissection
In recent years, the collection of genomic data has skyrocketed and databases of genomic data are growing at a faster rate than ever before. Although many computational methods have been developed to interpret these data, they tend to struggle to process the ever increasing file sizes that are being produced and fail to take advantage of the advances in multi-core processors by using parallel processing. In some instances, loss of accuracy has been a necessary trade off to allow faster computation of the data. This thesis discusses one such algorithm that has been developed and how changes were made to allow larger input file sizes and reduce the time required to achieve a result without sacrificing accuracy. An information entropy based algorithm was used as a basis to demonstrate these techniques. The algorithm dissects the distinctive patterns underlying genomic data efficiently requiring no a priori knowledge, and thus is applicable in a variety of biological research applications. This research describes how parallel processing and object-oriented programming techniques were used to process larger files in less time and achieve a more accurate result from the algorithm. Through object oriented techniques, the maximum allowable input file size was significantly increased from 200 mb to 2000 mb. Using parallel processing techniques allowed the program to finish processing data in less than half the time of the sequential version. The accuracy of the algorithm was improved by reducing data loss throughout the algorithm. Finally, adding user-friendly options enabled the program to use requests more effectively and further customize the logic used within the algorithm.
Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”
The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of a machine-learning technique algorithm devises semantic networks. The semantic networks represent chord succession and voice leading rules that underlie the framework of Cope’s prelude.
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 Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis
Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable option for educator preparation programs as they offer greater flexibility, staff/instructor diversity, and multiple approaches to instruction. This data suggests that AC programs in Texas have emerged as a real and sustainable option to traditional certification programs leading to certification and licensure.
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.
Amarillo Globe-News: How Did Gene Howe and the Globe-News Help Guide Amarillo, Texas through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression?
For many years newspapers were locally owned by editors and publishers. However, today many are run by corporations from out of state. As a result, many communities have lost the personal relationship between the family owned publication and the community. Gene Howe, who served as editor, publisher and columnist of the Amarillo Globe-News from 1926 until his death in 1952, believed the community was where the focus should be and the newspaper should do all that it can to help their readers. Despite the fact that Howe was not born in Amarillo, Texas, his passion and love for the city and its inhabitants compensated for it. During the Dust Bowl and Great Depression Howe and the Globe-News helped Amarillo survive the dust and economic storms that blew through the Texas Panhandle, an area that has not been written as much as other parts of Texas. Through his “Tactless Texan” column, which served as a pulpit to the community, to the various contests and promotions the newspaper sprang up, including the creation of Mother in Law Day, Gene Howe gave the newspaper another dimension little has been studied about, the role of the editor and publisher in guiding a community through a dramatic era. Understanding Howe’s ethos can allow others to examine the roles editors and newspapers play in communities throughout the country.
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 and Optimization of Graphene FET based Nanoelectronic Integrated Circuits
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Like cell to the human body, transistors are the basic building blocks of any electronics circuits. Silicon has been the industries obvious choice for making transistors. Transistors with large size occupy large chip area, consume lots of power and the number of functionalities will be limited due to area constraints. Thus to make the devices smaller, smarter and faster, the transistors are aggressively scaled down in each generation. Moore's law states that the transistors count in any electronic circuits doubles every 18 months. Following this Moore's law, the transistor has already been scaled down to 14 nm. However there are limitations to how much further these transistors can be scaled down. Particularly below 10 nm, these silicon based transistors hit the fundamental limits like loss of gate control, high leakage and various other short channel effects. Thus it is not possible to favor the silicon transistors for future electronics applications. As a result, the research has shifted to new device concepts and device materials alternative to silicon. Carbon is the next abundant element found in the Earth and one of such carbon based nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene when extracted from Graphite, the same material used as the lid in pencil, have a tremendous potential to take future electronics devices to new heights in terms of size, cost and efficiency. Thus after its first experimental discovery of graphene in 2004, graphene has been the leading research area for both academics as well as industries. This dissertation is focused on the analysis and optimization of graphene based circuits for future electronics. The first part of this dissertation considers graphene based transistors for analog/radio frequency (RF) circuits. In this section, a dual gate Graphene Field Effect Transistor (GFET) is considered to build the case study circuits like voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) and low noise amplifier (LNA). The behavioral model of the transistor is modeled in different tools: well accepted EDA (electronic design automation) and a non-EDA based tool i.e. \simscape. This section of the dissertation addresses the application of non-EDA based concepts for the analysis of new device concepts, taking LC-VCO and LNA as a case study circuits. The non-EDA based approach is very handy for a new device material when the concept is not matured and the model files are not readily available from the fab. The results matches very well with that of the EDA tools. The second part of the section considers application of multiswarm optimization (MSO) in an EDA tool to explore the design space for the design of LC-VCO. The VCO provides an oscillation frequency at 2.85 GHz, with phase noise of less than -80 dBc/Hz and power dissipation less than 16 mW. The second part of this dissertation considers graphene nanotube field effect transistors (GNRFET) for the application of digital domain. As a case study, static random access memory (SRAM) hs been design and the results shows a very promising future for GNRFET based SRAM as compared to silicon based transistor SRAM. The power comparison between the two shows that GNRFET based SRAM are 93% more power efficient than the silicon transistor based SRAM at 45 nm. In summary, the dissertation is to expected to aid the state of the art in following ways: 1) A non-EDA based tool has been used to characterize the device and measure the circuit performance. The results well matches to that obtained from the EDA tools. This tool becomes very handy for new device concepts when the simulation needs to be fast and accuracy can be tradeoff with. 2)Since an analog domain lacks well-design design paradigm, as compared to digital domain, this dissertation considers case study circuits to design the circuits and apply optimization. 3) Performance comparison of GNRFET based SRAM to the conventional silicon based SRAM shows that with maturation of the fabrication technology, graphene can be very useful for digital circuits as well.
Analysis of Biological Materials Using a Nuclear Microprobe
The use of nuclear microprobe techniques including: Particle induced x-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) for elemental analysis and quantitative elemental imaging of biological samples is especially useful in biological and biomedical research because of its high sensitivity for physiologically important trace elements or toxic heavy metals. The nuclear microprobe of the Ion Beam Modification and Analysis Laboratory (IBMAL) has been used to study the enhancement in metal uptake of two different plants. The roots of corn (Zea mays) have been analyzed to study the enhancement of iron uptake by adding Fe (II) or Fe (III) of different concentrations to the germinating medium of the seeds. The Fe uptake enhancement effect produced by lacing the germinating medium with carbon nanotubes has also been investigated. The aim of this investigation is to ensure not only high crop yield but also Fe-rich food products especially from calcareous soil which covers 30% of world’s agricultural land. The result will help reduce iron deficiency anemia, which has been identified as the leading nutritional disorder especially in developing countries by the World Health Organization. For the second plant, Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta), the effect of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus intraradices) for the improvement of lead-phytoremediation of lead contaminated soil has been investigated. Phytoremediation provides an environmentally safe technique of removing toxic heavy metals (like lead), which can find their way into human food, from lands contaminated by human activities like mining or by natural disasters like earthquakes. The roots of Mexican marigold have been analyzed to study the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in enhancement of lead uptake from the contaminated rhizosphere.
An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition
Beginning in the 1970s, and aided by the advancement and an increased prevalence of computers, spectral music emerged as an important development in twentieth century music. Spectral composers, as exemplified by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, took the harmonic spectra of sounds as the fundamental materials of composition. The resulting music placed an emphasis on texture and gradually evolving forms. The generation of composers immediately following the spectralists assimilated their techniques into distinct and varying styles. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho uses spectral techniques to create an aesthetic that generates form and progression from a sound/noise axis. In her piece Du cristal…à la fumée, a number of pendulum and half-pendulum gestures build up texture and form. The accompanying original composition Axiom Unearthed employs similar pendulum gestures and uses spectral techniques to generate melody and harmony in an aesthetic divergent from traditional spectral pieces.
An Analysis of Educational Technology Publications: Who, What and Where in the Last 20 Years
This exploratory and descriptive study examines research articles published in ten of the top journals in the broad area of educational technology during the last 20 years: 1) Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D); 2) Instructional Science; 3) Journal of the Learning Sciences; 4) TechTrends; 5) Educational Technology: The Magazine for Managers of Change in Education; 6) Journal of Educational Technology & Society; 7) Computers and Education; 8) British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET); 9) Journal of Educational Computing Research; and 10) Journal of Research on Technology in Education. To discover research trends in the articles published from 1995-2014, abstracts from all contributing articles published in those ten prominent journals were analyzed to extract a latent semantic space of broad research areas, top authors, and top-cited publications. Concepts that have emerged, grown, or diminished in the field were noted in order to identify the most dominant in the last two decades; and the most frequent contributors to each journal as well as those who contributed to more than one of the journals studied were identified.
Analysis of Factors for Successful State-Level Support of Low-Performing Schools
This study provides a qualitative look at Texas' Professional Service Providers' (PSPs) strategies for supporting low-performing schools. Four PSPs were selected for participation based on the number of schools they helped exit the Texas Title I School Improvement Program from 2007-2012. Data collected and analyzed included provider and principal interviews, providers' progress reports documenting services, and principals' evaluations of provider services. Results indicated key support strategies in two of four cases were supporting and mentoring/coaching while communicating and building trust were important in the other two cases. Communicating, reviewing information, and planning were important across all cases. The quality indicators aligning with the PSPs' strategies were fit, comprehensiveness, and coherence. They were also the most common across all cases. Finally, analysis of the evaluation of provider services revealed PSP-1 with the highest ratings, followed by PSP-2, PSP-3, and PSP-4 respectively. The findings suggest, first, that PSP support has a dual nature. Contextual support was provided based on the campus leaderships' skills and requests. PSPs also ensured coherence among the strategies of all stakeholders. Secondly, a hierarchy of quality service indicators aligned to the PSPs' strategies: fit, comprehensiveness, and coherence. Finally relationships are vital to a successful provider-campus relationship. The findings have implications for PSP selection, professional development, and evaluation.
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).
An Analysis of Market Efficiency for Exchange-traded Foreign Exchange Options on an Intraday Basis
This study examines the comparative magnitude of disturbances in intraday data for exchange traded foreign exchange (FX) options. An in-depth time series analysis on the frequency and extent of discrepancies in the disturbances is conducted. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, using intraday data and trading volume, this study attempts to determine whether both put-call parity and lower boundary conditions consistently hold for exchange traded options written on U.S. dollar denominated options on the Euro trading on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX). Second, this study attempts to investigate the magnitude of any discrepancies that may exist due to a temporary cessation of either put-call parity or lower boundary conditions. Intraday (tick-by-tick) bid prices, ask prices, and trading volume on U.S. dollar denominated European style call options and put options on the Euro are obtained. Option data is collected through a Structured Query Language (SQL) request from the Bloomberg database. Corresponding tick-by-tick spot rates for the underlying exchange rate are obtained for the same time period. Tick-by-tick 3-month Treasury bill rates are obtained to for use as the relevant risk-free interest rate. The primary data set spans an approximate one month period from 11/1/2011 to 12/6/2011. Call and option pricing data for near-the-money exercise prices are obtained for options expiring in December 2011, January 2012, February 2012, March 2012, June 2012, and September 2012. A total of 7,212 ticks (minutes) are analyzed for the conversion strategy and 7,209 ticks are analyzed for the reversal strategy. The data is structured into an unbalanced panel data set (cross-sectional time series data) using put-call pairs as the cross sectional units and ticks as the time-series unit. To test the efficiency of the foreign exchange options market, lower boundary and put-call parity conditions were tested on tick-by-tick currency option data. Analysis shows that lower boundary conditions hold for the overwhelming majority of options, with less than 0.0001% of violations for the observed options. A more detailed econometric analysis was prepared to test the put-call parity condition for currency options. A fixed effects model specification is used to describe the put-call parity relationship. Based on the analysis, it is possible to obtain arbitrage profits in the short run through the use of either a conversion or reversal strategy even after accounting for transaction costs. Taking the first differences of the variables resulted in a model with stationary variables and statistically significant estimators. The inclusion of dummy variables for moneyness did not add significant explanatory power to the deterministic put-call parity relationship. For both first differences of conversion and reversal strategies, the large t-statistics for the slope coefficients and intercept terms indicate a rejection of the null hypothesis, H0: λ0 = 0 and λ1 = 1 after adjusting for standard error. This implies that once transaction costs are adjusted for, put-call parity does not hold. However, the intercept term is only very slightly negative, and the intercept term is only slightly less than one in both cases. This implies that when put-call parity is violated, arbitrage profit should be relatively small.
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.