You limited your search to:

  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
In Vitro Investigations of Antibiotic Influences on Nerve Cell Network Responses to Pharmacological Agents
Neuronal networks, derived from mouse embryonic frontal cortex (FC) tissue grown on microelectrode arrays, were used to investigate effects of gentamicin pretreatment on pharmacological response to the L-type calcium channel blocker, verapamil. Gentamicin is a broad spectrum antibiotic used to control bacterial contamination in cell culture. The addition of gentamicin directly to medium affects the pharmacological and morphological properties of the cells in culture. A reproducible dose response curve to verapamil from untreated cultures was established and the mean EC50 was calculated to be 1.5 ± 0.5 μM (n=10). 40 μM bicuculline was added to some cell cultures to stabilize activity and verapamil dose response curves were performed in presence of bicuculline, EC50 1.4 ± 0.1 μM (n=9). Statistical analysis showed no significant difference in verapamil EC50s values obtained in presence of bicuculline and hence the data was combined and a standard verapamil EC50 was calculated as 1.4 ± 0.13 μM (n=19). This EC50 was then used to compare verapamil EC50s obtained from neuronal cell cultures with chronic and acute exposures to gentamicin. FC cultures (21- 38 days old) were found to be stable in presence of 2300 μM gentamicin. The recommended concentration of gentamicin for contamination control is 5uL /1 ml medium (108 μM). At this concentration, the verapamil EC50 shifted from 1.4 ± 0.13 μM to 0.9 ± 0.2 μM. Given the limited data points and only two complete CRCs, statistical comparison was not feasible. However, there is a definite trend that shows sensitization of cells to verapamil in presence of gentamicin. The cultures exposed to 108 μM gentamicin for 5 days after seeding showed loss of adhesion and no data could be collected for pharmacological analysis. To conclude, acute gentamicin exposure of neuronal cell cultures causes increased sensitivity to verapamil and chronic or long term exposure to gentamicin may cause loss of adhesion of the cell culture by affecting the glial growth. The effect of chronic exposure to gentamicin on pharmacological responses to verapamil remains inconclusive.
Electromagnetic Shielding Properties of Iron Oxide Impregnated Kenaf Bast Fiberboard
The electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of kenaf bast fiber based composites with different iron oxide impregnation levels was investigated. The kenaf fibers were retted to remove the lignin and extractives from the pores in fibers, and then magnetized. Using the unsaturated polyester and the magnetized fibers, kenaf fiber based composites were manufactured by compression molding process. The transmission energies of the composites were characterized when the composite samples were exposed under the irradiation of electromagnetic (EM) wave with a changing frequency from 9 GHz to 11 GHz. Using the scanning electron microscope (SEM), the iron oxide nanoparticles were observed on the surfaces and inside the micropore structures of single fibers. The SEM images revealed that the composite’s EM shielding effectiveness was increased due to the adhesion of the iron oxide crystals to the kenaf fiber surfaces. As the Fe content increased from 0% to 6.8%, 15.9% and 18.0%, the total surface free energy of kenaf fibers with magnetizing treat increased from 44.77 mJ/m2 to 46.07 mJ/m2, 48.78 mJ/m2 and 53.02 mJ/m2, respectively, while the modulus of elasticity (MOE) reduced from 2,875 MPa to 2,729 MPa, 2,487 MPa and 2,007 MPa, respectively. Meanwhile, the shielding effectiveness was increased from 30-50% to 60-70%, 65-75% and 70-80%, respectively.
Comparative Analysis of the Musical Distortion in Kaikhosru Sorabji’s and Vladimir Horowitz’s Piano Paraphrases Based on Bizet’s Opera Carmen
This study focuses on a comparative analysis of two piano paraphrases, Pastiche on Habanera from ‘Carmen’ by Kaikhosru Sorabji and Variations on a Theme from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ by Vladimir Horowitz. These compositions idiomatically distort the original material in a manner that was not explored up to the moment of their respective conception. They expose each composer’s free compositional approach, reflecting musical freedom rooted in the originality of their musical thinking. The aesthetic uniqueness of these two compositions strongly stimulates and justifies academic interest to explore their technical construction, musical differences, and artistic significance. This study proposes to undertake a comparative study of these two compositions, analyzing (1) aspects of the musical character, which are linked with embellishment, or rearrangement of original material, and (2) differences in performance approach based on recorded examples and critical observations by others of the performances of these works by Sorabji and Horowitz.
The Effects of Model Prompts on Joint Attention Initiations in Children with Autism
The general purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of minimally intrusive prompting procedures and preferred stimuli on protodeclarative joint attention initiations in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two boys and one girl diagnosed with ASD participated. The experimenter provided attention and social interaction following protodeclarative initiations throughout all phases of the study. During intervention, a model prompt was delivered every 30 s if the participant failed to initiate a bid for joint attention. Results for the first participant show that a model prompt was sufficient to increase the rate of protodeclarative initiations across stimulus sets. Generalization was seen across sets, but not across environments. Subsequently, the model prompt was sufficient to increase the rate of protodeclarative initiations across sets in a second setting (classroom). Results for the second participant are inconclusive. Data collected during the initial baseline condition show that she engaged in an incompatible verbal response across sets. When pictorial stimuli depicting highinterest items and activities were introduced, the rate of protodeclarative initiations increased over time. We then returned to original baseline condition and saw an initial decrease, followed by a steady increase in the rate of protodeclarative initiations. The third participant withdrew prematurely due to medical reasons. The findings of the current study show that minimally intrusive prompts and natural consequences may be sufficient to establish protodeclarative initiations in children. However, this finding may be limited to only those children for whom social interactions already function as reinforcers.
Characterization of Ionic Liquid Solvents Using a Temperature Independent, Ion-specific Abraham Parameter Model
Experimental data for the logarithm of the gas-to-ionic liquid partition coefficient (log K) have been compiled from the published literature for over 40 ionic liquids over a wide temperature range. Temperature independent correlations based on the Gibbs free energy equation utilizing known Abraham solvation model parameters have been derived for the prediction of log K for 12 ionic liquids to within a standard deviation of 0.114 log units over a temperature range of over 60 K. Temperature independent log K correlations have also been derived from correlations of molar enthalpies of solvation and molar entropies of solvation, each within standard deviations of 4.044 kJ mol-1 and 5.338 J mol-1 K-1, respectively. In addition, molar enthalpies of solvation and molar entropies of solvation can be predicted from the Abraham coefficients in the temperature independent log K correlations to within similar standard deviations. Temperature independent, ion specific coefficients have been determined for 26 cations and 15 anions for the prediction of log K over a temperature range of at least 60 K to within a standard deviation of 0.159 log units.
Charles Wuorinen’s Flute Variations Ii: an Analysis and Performance Guide
Charles Wuorinen’s contributions to contemporary music are significant. He has produced more than 260 compositions in a wide array of genres including pieces for orchestra, opera, ballet, chamber ensemble, and soloists. This document serves as an analysis and performance guide for Charles Wuorinen’s work for solo flute, Flute Variations II. Issues of analysis include serial techniques, time-point nesting, and pitch centricity and provide insight into the compositional style of the composer. As this work exhibits techniques borrowed from traditional shakuhachi performance, this document provides a brief history of the shakuhachi and an overview of the shakuhachi techniques utilized in Flute Variations II. The performance guide provides a pedagogical narrative to aid in the synthesis of conceptual ideas with contemporary techniques.
Electrodeposition of Nickel and Nickel Alloy Coatings with Layered Silicates for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance and Mechanical Properties
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
The new nickel/layered silicate nanocomposites were electrodeposited from different pHs to study the influence on the metal ions/layered silicate plating solution and on the properties of the deposited films. Nickel/layered silicate nanocomposites were fabricated from citrate bath atacidic pHs (1.6−3.0), from Watts’ type solution (pH ~4-5), and from citrate bath at basic pH (~9). Additionally, the new nickel/molybdenum/layered silicate nanocomposites were electrodeposited from citrate bath at pH 9.5. The silicate, montmorillonite (MMT), was exfoliated by stirring in aqueous solution over 24 hours. The plating solutions were analyzed for zeta potential, particle size, viscosity, and conductivity to investigate the effects of the composition at various pHs. The preferred crystalline orientation and the crystalline size of nickel, nickel/layered silicate, nickel/molybdenum, and nickel/molybdenum/layered silicate films were examined by X-ray diffraction. The microstructure of the coatings and the surface roughness was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Nickel/molybdenum/layered silicate nanocomposites containing low content of layered silicate (1.0 g/L) had increase 32 % hardness and 22 % Young’s modulus values over the pure nickel/molybdenum alloy films. The potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance measurements showed that the nickel/molybdenum/layered silicate nanocomposite layers have higher corrosion resistance in 3.5% NaCl compared to the pure alloy films. The corrosion current density of the nickel/molybdenum/layered silicate nanocomposite composed of 0.5 g/L MMT is 0.63 µA·cm-2 as compare to a nickel/molybdenum alloy which is 2.00 µA·cm-2.
An Examination of Text Reflection and Imagery in Zoltán Gárdonyi’s Fünf Lieder Nach Gedichten Von Rainer Maria Rilke
Zoltán Gárdonyi is described as having exemplified “the continuation of the Liszt tradition” in his music; however, since for so much of his compositional life he was forbidden to publish by the Communist government in Hungary due to his connection to the Christian church, he has been largely forgotten. Shortly after the composer’s death in 1986, Gárdonyi’s son, Zsolt (b.1946) began publishing his father’s music in addition to his own. However, the elder Gárdonyi’s works are still not widely known outside Hungary and Germany. Gárdonyi’s ability to support and reflect text musically makes his songs excellent teaching tools and recital repertoire. A characteristic example of this may be found in his Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke. According to his son, Zoltán wrote these songs “in the German romantic tradition (e.g. Brahms) like a mirror for the romantic influenced lyrics.” Examination of the Rilke-Lieder, and of the poems which make up the cycle, demonstrates the composer’s ability to “mirror” text in both general tone and specific idea. Discussion of imagery, textures and sonorities, and elements of harmony, melody and rhythm as they relate to interpretation of the poetry, reveal the depth to which the poetry is embedded in the music of the songs. At times the piano becomes another “narrator” or even a character in the poems, expressing not only text but subtext as well. This document explores the illustration of the extensive imagery of Rilke’s texts in the music of Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke, with the purpose of both introducing Gárdonyi’s song literature to American singers and voice teachers, and making the case for its inclusion in the canon of repertoire for the studio and the stage.
Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the Aids Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996
This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
The Measurement of Occupational Identity Among Undergraduate Preservice Music Teachers: a Test Development Study
A large segment of society is either preparing to enter the work force, or is already engaged in some chosen line of work. Preparing to enter the work force takes a considerable amount of time and effort. The decision to follow one career path over countless others may, on the surface, appear to be discretely individual. But when viewed from a sociological perspective, occupational choices are implicitly and explicitly reached through a consensus of contributing factors. Consequently, an occupational identity is not how an individual describes a personal work-related self, but is rather dialectic. It is the merging, albeit, negotiation of viewpoints which causes persons to view themselves in relationship with how others think of them. It is expected that students newly enrolled in music education degree programs will, with time, replace erroneous lay conceptions of music teaching with those presented in curricula and espoused by significant role models. However, the professional socialization process, characteristic of music education degree programs, has not always been successful in transforming students’ personal perspectives of music teaching. This transformation process is critical toward the development of occupational identities that are congruent with school music teaching positions. There has been an established line of research in music education that examines who school music teachers are from a sociological perspective. When pursuing this literature, however, it became evident that, over time, the term identity had been used under many different guises, incorporating mixed perspectives from among the social sciences. The studies that have dealt with occupational identity have done so for different purposes, employing different theories and methodologies. While any of these previous research protocols may be useful for particular purposes, the reality is that the terms identity and occupational identity have become interchangeable. The term identity is sometimes used to denote self-concept or role concept without being clear about what these mean or how or if they are different from occupational identity. The underlying issue here, and a principle concern for music education, is whether or not music education degree programs are guiding preservice music teachers toward an occupational identity that matches with the occupation. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the field of occupational identity by developing a researcher-designed measurement tool for occupational identity in music education. This study focused solely on preservice music teachers, their perceptions and demonstrable behaviors, associated with the changes that might occur over the course of their professional preparation. The data in this investigation, subjected to principal components analysis, resulted in a 5-component solution rotated to simple structure using oblique Oblimin rotation. Thirty-five items from a pool of 106 with component loadings >.35 explained 57% of the total variance. Reliability estimates using Cronbach’s alpha were .93 for all 35 items and ranged from .92 to .66 for the five components.
Breaking the Doubler Barrier: Using Sy Brandon’sDivertissement to Demonstrate a Practical Approach to Performing Multiple WoodwindWorks
Multiple woodwind training is ideal for securing certain types of employment; however, with so many different instruments, performance standards on each are difficult to maintain. Furthermore, for many multiple woodwind players, proficiency on all woodwinds ceases to be a top priority after graduation, even though they continue to market themselves as highly proficient on all of these instruments. The problem for most begins with what it means to be proficient on each instrument. The technical demands of multiple woodwind performance vary widely, but often a performance calls for complete proficiency on a variety of instruments. Multiple woodwind players who lack in professional level proficiency damage the credibility of the field and jeopardize employment opportunities for others. This study aims to address the common problems involving proficiency and to help multiple woodwind players, band directors, and doublers become familiar with and overcome these common pitfalls. Sy Brandon’s Divertissement provides an outstanding platform to address problems and provide solutions for multiple wind players, band directors, and doublers. This dissertation serves as a multiple woodwind specialist’s resource for maximum efficiency in learning and playing repertoire that involves multiple woodwinds, such as musicals, and other multiple woodwind genres.
The Power of Perception: Women and Politics at the Early Georgian Court
The early Georgian period illustrates how the familial dynamic at court affected women’s opportunity to exert political influence. The court represented an important venue that allowed women to declare a political affiliation and to participate in political issues that suited their interests. Appearances often at variance with reality allowed women to manipulate and test their political abilities in order to have the capability to exercise any possible power. Moreover, some women developed political alliances and relationships that supported their own interests. The family structure of the royal household affected how much influence women had. The perception of holding power permitted certain women to behave politically. This thesis will demonstrate that the distinction between appearances and reality becomes vital in assessing women at the early Georgian court by examining some women’s experiences at court during the reigns of the first two Georges. In some cases, the perceived power of a courtier had a real basis, and in other instances, it gave them an opportunity to assess the extent of their political power. Women’s political participation has been underestimated during the early Georgian period, while well-documented post-1760.
Glass Forming Ability, Magnetic Properties, and Mechanical Behavior of Iron-Based and Cobalt-Based Metallic Glasses
Lack of crystalline order and microstructural features such as grain/grain-boundary in metallic glasses results in a suite of remarkable attributes including very high strength, close to theoretical elasticity, high corrosion and wear resistance, and soft magnetic properties. In particular, low coercivity and high permeability of iron and cobalt based metallic glass compositions could potentially lead to extensive commercial use as magnetic heads, transformer cores, circuits and magnetic shields. In the current study, few metallic glass compositions were synthesized by systematically varying the iron and cobalt content. Thermal analysis was done and included the measurement of glass transition temperature, crystallization temperature, and the enthalpies of relaxation and crystallization. Magnetic properties of the alloys were determined including saturation magnetization, coercivity, and Curie temperature. The coercivity was found to decrease and the saturation magnetization was found to increase with the increase in iron content. The trend in thermal stability, thermodynamic properties, and magnetic properties was explained by atomic interactions between the ferromagnetic metals and the metalloids atoms in the amorphous alloys. Mechanical behavior of iron based metallic glasses was evaluated in bulk form as well as in the form of coatings. Iron based amorphous powder was subjected to high power mechanical milling and the structural changes were evaluated as a function of time. Using iron-based amorphous powder precursor, a uniform composite coating was achieved through microwave processing. The hardness, modulus, and wear behavior of the alloys were evaluated using nano-indentation.
The Role of the Actin Cytoskeleton in Asymmetric Cell Division in Maize
Stomata are specialized plant structures required for gaseous exchange with the outer environment. During stomata formation, the cytoskeleton plays an important role in controlling the division of the individual cells leading to the generation of the stomata complex. Two mutants that affect microfilament and microtubule organization in subsidiary mother cells include brk1 and dcd1. While only 20% of the subsidiary cells in the brk1 and dcd1 single mutants are abnormally shaped, it was reported that there is a synergistic effect between the brk1 and dcd1 mutations in the brk1; dcd1 double mutant since 100% of the subsidiary cells are abnormal. The focus of this research is to try to understand this synergistic effect by investigating the actin cytoskeleton and nuclear position in the single and double mutants. The reported results include the observation that the size of actin patch was largest in the wild-type subsidiary mother cells (SMCs) and smallest in dcd1 and brk1; dcd1 SMCs and that brk1 and brk1; dcd1 double mutants had fewer actin patches than wild-type and dcd1 SMCs. Additionally, we observed that some SMCs that did not have actin patches still underwent nuclear migration suggesting that nuclear migration may not be solely dependent on actin patch formation. Finally, during SMC cytokinesis, a large percentage of double mutant (brk1; dcd1) cells showed an off-track development of the phragmoplast as compared to the single mutants and the wild-type plant explaining the large number of abnormally shaped subsidiary cells in the double mutants.
Measuring Teaching Effectiveness Using Value-added and Observation Rubric Scores
This mixed-methods study examined the extent to which teacher performance and student performance measures correlated, and to understand which specific practices of mathematics teachers in Grades 3-5 related to student performance. Research was conducted at five elementary schools in a large, urban north Texas school district. Data sources included component scores and recorded evidence from observation rubrics, interviews with campus administrators, and value-added modeling (VAM) student growth scores. Findings indicated a modest relationship between teacher performance levels and student performance levels. Lack of access to individual teacher VAM data, per district policy, might have impacted the strength of the relationship. Interviews with administrators and an examination of the evidence cited in the observation rubrics identified specific practices associated with highly rated mathematics teaching. Differences in administrators’ experience levels with both mathematics instruction and the observation instrument might have influenced rubric scores and the level of specificity shown in evidence statements.
Studies of Charged Particle Dynamics for Antihydrogen Synthesis
Synthesis and capture of antihydrogen in controlled laboratory conditions will enable precise studies of neutral antimatter. The work presented deals with some of the physics pertinent to manipulating charged antiparticles in order to create neutral antimatter, and may be applicable to other scenarios of plasma confinement and charged particle interaction. The topics covered include the electrostatic confinement of a reflecting ion beam and the transverse confinement of an ion beam in a purely electrostatic configuration; the charge sign effect on the Coulomb logarithm for a two component (e.g., antihydrogen) plasma in a Penning trap as well as the collisional scattering for binary Coulomb interactions that are cut off at a distance different than the Debye length; and the formation of magnetobound positronium and protonium.
Immunity for New Mexico Public School Districts and the 1978 Tort Claims Act
In a 3-year timeframe, nearly 800 student negligence suits were filed, and most involved some claim of personal injury. Despite heightened public attention of negligence lawsuits against school districts and their employees, an empirical study of court decisions revealed that the volume of litigation against school districts remained steady from 1990 to 2005, the majority of cases were ruled in favor of the school district employees, and government and official immunity were most often the basis for these rulings. Researchers have concluded that immunity laws are strong in the United States, although they vary by state in their application. However, a primary recommendation was that, because of the misconception of a lack of immunity for public school employees, a comprehensive study on governmental and official immunity is needed. This dissertation employed legal research, analysis, and methodology to engage in a comprehensive investigation of teacher immunity in the four southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Of central concern to this dissertation was the Tort Claims Act of 1978 from the State of New Mexico. The Tort Claims Act is the vehicle by which immunity is granted to public school employees. Court findings over the last 35 years point to three primary domains under which cases pertaining to immunity fall: negligence (62.5%), evaluation and supervision (16.7%), and student discipline (8.3%). Immunity appears strong across all three domains; however, only future studies on cases by state will determine whether states in the southwest United States are the norm or an anomaly.
Evidence for Multiple Functions of a Medicago Truncatula Transporter
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Legumes play an important role in agriculture as major food sources for humans and as feed for animals. Bioavailable nitrogen is a limiting nutrient for crop growth. Legumes are important because they can form a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria called rhizobia that results in nitrogen-fixing root nodules. In this symbiosis, rhizobia provide nitrogen to the legumes and the legumes provide carbon sources to the rhizobia. The Medicago truncatula NPF1.7/NIP/LATD gene is essential for root nodule development and also for proper development of root architecture. Work in our lab on the MtNPF1.7/MtNIP/LATD gene has established that it encodes a nitrate transporter and strongly suggests it has another function. Mtnip-1/latd mutants have pleiotropic defects, which are only partially explained by defects in nitrate transport. MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD is a member of the large and diverse NPF/NRT1(PTR) transporter family. NPF/NRT1(PTR) members have been shown to transport other compounds in addition to nitrate: nitrite, amino acids, di- and tri-peptides, dicarboxylates, auxin, abscisic acid and glucosinolates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the AtNPF6.3/NRT1.1( CHL1) transporter was shown to transport auxin as well as nitrate. Atchl1 mutants have defects in root architecture, which may be explained by defects in auxin transport and/or nitrate sensing. Considering the pleiotropic phenotypes observed in Mtnip-1/latd mutant plants, it is possible that MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD could have similar activity as AtNPF6.3/NRT1.1(CHL1). Experimental evidence shows that the MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD gene is able to restore nitrate-absent responsiveness defects of the Atchl1-5 mutant. The constitutive expression of MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD gene was able to partially, but not fully restore the wild-type phenotype in the Atchl1-5 mutant line in response to auxin and cytokinin. The constitutive expression of MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD gene affects the lateral root density of wild-type Col-0 plants differently in response to IAA in the presence of high (1mM) or low (0.1 mM) nitrate. MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD gene expression is not regulated by nitrate at the concentrations tested and MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD does not regulate the nitrate-responsive MtNRT2.1 gene. Mtnip-1 plants have an abnormal gravitropic root response implicating an auxin defect. Together with these results, MtNPF1.7/NIP/LATD is associated with nitrate and auxin; however, it does not act in a homologous fashion as AtNPF6.3/NRT1.1(CHL1) does in A. thaliana.
Prokofiev Beckons the Double Bass Into the Modern Age: a Pedagogical Study of the Op 39 Quintet
Until Serge Prokofiev’s 1924 ballet score Trapèze, the double bass occupied a background or at best a doubling role in almost all composers’ use of the instrument. Technical challenge was limited in these pieces, because composers did not see the instrument’s potential in a chamber music environment. As luthiers developed the instrument, the technical ability of players grew, and composers began writing more challenging music for the instrument. As one of the first major composers to see the double bass in a new light, Prokofiev wrote challenging music for the instrument. This paper illuminates the alluring pedagogical aspects of Prokofiev's Quintet in G Minor, Op. 39 and provides recommendations for accomplishing some difficult passages with ease.
An Assessment of a Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership Program
This project attempts to describe how a hospice and palliative care partnership program works. Through the assessment of one such program, the researcher sought to find out the essential components of the partnership including how the two partner organizations interact and work together. Data was collected using various methods: document review of organization documents such as newsletters, annual or quarterly reports, brochures and other available literature e.g. materials on organizations’ website and on social media; in-depth interviews with stakeholders of both organizations that included staff and board members; observation of staff working; and participant observation during organization events. The findings of the research shows that in order for organizations to have an effective partnership program in place, both partners need to have strong leadership in place, possess a willingness to learn from each other, maintain regular communication, and visit each other regularly. With this in place, several outcomes of the program are likely such as: increasing advocacy for hospice and palliative care, increasing visibility of the organizations both nationally and internationally, and provides an opportunity for organizations to network with other organizations in their locality in order to achieve partnership objectives. The study further reveals that global collaborations in the field of hospice and palliative care began with the advent of the international hospice movement. The assessment of this hospice partnership demonstrates how organizations can establish working relationships and the results likely to come out of such an initiative.
Gordon Binkerd’s “Intermezzo” From Essays for the Piano (1976): a Comprehensive Analysis of Brahmsian Compositional Influences and Stylistic Elements
Gordon Binkerd (1916-2003) was an influential and well-known twentieth century composer. While his choral works are renowned worldwide, his piano music is rather unfamiliar to present-day scholars and performers. Binkerd’s Essays for the Piano (1976) is a set of six pieces that was greatly influenced by Brahms’ music. Especially noteworthy is the first piece of the set, titled “Intermezzo,” which is based on Brahms’ “Intermezzo” Op. 118, No. 1. The fact that Binkerd’s compositional procedures allow for a “recasting” of Brahms’ piece in a way that disguises the original source of his work are intriguing and call for further research on the topic. As such, the main purpose of this study is to analyze Binkerd’s modern transcription-style writing, and consequently examine how it incorporates a series of influences and compositional elements from Brahms’ music. This dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter contains a general overview of piano works by Binkerd that incorporate quotations of works by other composers are addressed. These include Five Pieces for Piano, Suite for Piano: Five Fantasies (Nos. 2, 3, and 4), and the Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3. The second chapter provides an analytical study of the fundamental structure found in Brahms’ Intermezzo, No. 1 from Sechs Klavierstücke, Op. 118 The third chapter equally analyzes the fundamental structure of Binkerd’s “Intermezzo,” No. 1 from Essays for the Piano. The fourth chapter consists of a comparative study of the findings in Chapter 3, as they relate to both Brahms’ and Binkerd’s intermezzi. The fifth and final chapter is a conclusion.
Engineered Microbial Consortium for the Efficient Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels
Current energy and environmental challenges are driving the use of cellulosic materials for biofuel production. A major obstacle in this pursuit is poor ethanol tolerance among cellulolytic Clostridium species. The first objective of this work was to establish a potential upper boundary of ethanol tolerance for the cellulosome itself. The hydrolytic function of crude cellulosome extracts from C. cellulolyticum on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) with 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% (v/v) ethanol was determined. Results indicated that the endoglucanase activity of the cellulosome incubated in 5% and 10% ethanol was significantly different from a control without ethanol addition. Furthermore a significant difference was observed in endoglucanase activity for cellulosome incubated in 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% ethanol in a standalone experiment. Endoglucanase activity continued to be observed for up to 25% ethanol, indicating that cellulosome function in ethanol will not be an impediment to future efforts towards engineering increasing production titers to levels at least as high as the current physiological limits of the most tolerant ethanologenic microbes. The second objective of this work was to study bioethanol production by a microbial co-culture involving Clostridium cellulolyticum and a recombinant Zymomonas mobilis engineered for the utilization of oligodextrans. The recombinant Z. mobilis ZM4 pAA1 and wild type ZM4 were first tested on RM medium (ATCC 1341) containing 2% cellobiose as the carbon source. Ethanol production from the recombinant Z. mobilis was three times that observed from the wild type Z. mobilis. Concomitant with ethanol production was the reduction in OD from 2.00 to 1.580, indicating the consumption of cellobiose. No such change in OD was observed from the wild type. The recombinant ZM4 was then co-cultured with C. cellulolyticum using cellobiose and microcrystalline cellulose respectively as carbon sources. Results indicate that the recombinant ZM4 acted synergistically with C. cellulolyticum to utilize 2.0 g L-1 cellobiose, producing as much as 0.40 mM concentration of ethanol whereas only 0.20 mM ethanol was detected for the wild type ZM4 co-cultured with C. cellulolyticum under the same conditions. A co-culture of the recombinant ZM4 and C. cellulolyticum using 7.5 g L-1 microcrystalline cellulose gave lower ethanol yield than when using cellobiose. In the latter case, the recombinant began producing ethanol in 5 days whereas the wild type required 10 days to produce detectable ethanol. Future efforts will concentrate on identifying the correct concentration of cellulosic substrate at which synergy will be observed using the recombinant ZM4 and other cellulose degrading microorganisms, as well as optimizing medium formulations to better support both organisms.
A New Look at Retargetable Compilers
Consumers demand new and innovative personal computing devices every 2 years when their cellular phone service contracts are renewed. Yet, a 2 year development cycle for the concurrent development of both hardware and software is nearly impossible. As more components and features are added to the devices, maintaining this 2 year cycle with current tools will become commensurately harder. This dissertation delves into the feasibility of simplifying the development of such systems by employing heterogeneous systems on a chip in conjunction with a retargetable compiler such as the hybrid computer retargetable compiler (Hy-C). An example of a simple architecture description of sufficient detail for use with a retargetable compiler like Hy-C is provided. As a software engineer with 30 years of experience, I have witnessed numerous system failures. A plethora of software development paradigms and tools have been employed to prevent software errors, but none have been completely successful. Much discussion centers on software development in the military contracting market, as that is my background. The dissertation reviews those tools, as well as some existing retargetable compilers, in an attempt to determine how those errors occurred and how a system like Hy-C could assist in reducing future software errors. In the end, the potential for a simple retargetable solution like Hy-C is shown to be very simple, yet powerful enough to provide a very capable product in a very fast-growing market.
Evaluation of Program Effectiveness: a Look at the Bedford Police Department’s Strategy Towards Repeat Victimization in Domestic Violence and Mental Health
The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program being run by the Bedford Police Department’s Repeat Victimization Unit on domestic violence and mental health and mental retardation. The study sought to determine whether the program was effective in reducing instances of repeat victimization in domestic violence and MHMR victims. Additionally the program investigated whether or not the program was effective at reducing victimization severity, and which demographic could be identified as the most victimized. Participants consisted of 157 domestic violence and MHMR victims in the city of Bedford, Tx between November 11, 2012 to July 30, 2013. Findings indicate that levels of repeat victimization for domestic violence and MHMR are relatively low regardless of whether the victim received services through the repeat victimization program or not. Additionally the severity of these repeat victimizations remains relatively constant regardless of whether services were received through the program or not. Implications and findings are discussed.
Finding Out on Facebook: a Qualitative Analysis of Adolescents’ Experiences Following a Suicide Cluster
Suicide clusters have been identified in many populations; however, research exploring the role of online communication in the aftermath of a suicide cluster is extremely limited. This study used the Consensual Qualitative Research method to analyze interviews of ten high school students following a suicide cluster in a small suburban school district. Interviewee’s responses were organized into 4 domains: the suicide, impact, perceptions of school environment, and recovery. The role of social networking emerged as a common theme across domains, suggesting broad relevance to adolescents’ experience following the suicide of a peer. Implications for clinical intervention and research are discussed.
Bank Capital, Efficient Market Hypothesis, and Bank Borrowing During the Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
During the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008, liquidity and credit dried up, threatening the stability of financial institutions, particularly the banking firms. Traditional source of funds from the last resort, the Discount Window of the Federal Reserve System, failed to remedy the liquidity problem. To assuage the liquidity and credit problem, the Federal Reserve System established several emergency lending facilities and provided unprecedented amount of loans to the banking industry. Using a dataset published by Bloomberg LLP in the aftermaths of the financial crisis, which contains daily loan balances from the Fed, I conduct an event study to test whether financial markets are efficient in reflecting all public, anticipated and classified information in security prices. The most important contribution of this dissertation to the finance discipline and literature is the investigation and analysis of the Fed’s unprecedented loans to the banking industry during the Great Recession and the market reaction to it. The second major contribution of this study is the empirical test of strong form efficient market hypothesis, which has not been feasible due to legal data challenges. This dissertation has other contributions to the finance discipline and banking research. First, I develop an algorithm for measuring the amount of borrowing by banks. Second, I introduce a new “loan balance” ratio to traditional list of bank financial ratios. Third, I use event study methodologies to allow for cross-correlation, heteroscedasticity and event induced-variance change in studying US banks’ performance during the Great Recession.
Resilience Among Graduates From Alternative Education Programs
Research has shown that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) typically have poor life outcomes. Students with EBD who are placed in an alternative education setting are likely to continue a path toward failure without carefully designed effective services. Existing studies have independently examined resilience in children and youth and alternative education settings. However, there is a gap in research examining resilience in students who have graduated from alternative education settings. Using semi-structured interviews, the present interpretive and descriptive qualitative study sought to explore factors of resilience in individuals who graduated from alternative education settings. The study sought to identify elements, specific to alternative education settings, that have contributed to resilience in young adulthood and to further our understanding of how alternative education placements have contributed to the participants’ current life status. Findings revealed three themes specific to alternative education settings that contributed to participants’ resilience: teachers who show that they care about their students, a positive learning environment, and a small student-teacher ratio where participants were able to get more one-on-one instruction. Additionally, two other themes arose from the data: having a supportive family and an innate sense of self.
Companion to the Gods, Friend to the Empire: the Experiences and Education of the Emperor Julian and How It Influenced His Reign 361-363 Ad
This thesis explores the life and reign of Julian the Apostate the man who ruled over the Roman Empire from A.D. 361-363. The study of Julian the Apostate’s reign has historically been eclipsed due to his clash with Christianity. After the murder of his family in 337 by his Christian cousin Constantius, Julian was sent into exile. These emotional experiences would impact his view of the Christian religion for the remainder of his life. Julian did have conflict with the Christians but his main goal in the end was the revival of ancient paganism and the restoration of the Empire back to her glory. The purpose of this study is to trace the education and experiences that Julian had undergone and the effects they it had on his reign. Julian was able to have both a Christian and pagan education that would have a lifelong influence on his reign. Julian’s career was a short but significant one. Julian restored the cities of the empire and made beneficial reforms to the legal, educational, political and religious institutions throughout the Empire. The pagan historians praised him for his public services to the empire while the Christians have focused on his apostasy and “persecution” of their faith. With his untimely death in Persia, Julian’s successor Jovian, reversed most of his previous reforms and as such left Julian as the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire.
Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress
While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self and psychological health, are discussed.
Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents
Adolescence is a developmental period during which boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression. Increases in fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology and improvements in psychological well-being, yet the mechanisms that underlie this relationship have not been thoroughly examined. Three such psychosocial variables (i.e. body satisfaction, social physique anxiety, and physical activity self-efficacy) have been identified as possible mechanisms and although they have theoretical support, additional research is needed to demonstrate empirically the potential effects of these variables. Self-report measures were used to assess the psychosocial variables and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index [BMI], and sex was used to determine an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2max). Path analyses were used to test the proposed model using version 6.2 EQS Multivariate Software. Results of study revealed that the boys’ and girls’ depressive scores were determined based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their satisfaction with their bodies and lowered the anxiety they experience in relation to real or imagined judgments of their physique. Although all pathways in the model were significant, with the exception of physical activity self-efficacy to depression, differences emerged between the boys and girls in terms of the strength of some of the relations amongst the variables. Limitations include restricted generalizability, self-report measures, and cross-sectional design. Results have implications for individuals in a context intended to improve physical and psychosocial well-being of adolescents.
Determining the Reliability and Use of the Center for Community College Student Engagement Survey of Entering Student Engagement As a Tool to Predict Student Success in a Large Urban Community College District
As community colleges have gained more recognition as a viable pathway for students to enter higher education, they have faced greater accountability that has prompted both practitioners and policy makers to attempt to find solutions and tools, such as National Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), to aid in improving student success outcomes. This study addressed the validity and reliability of the SENSE instrument using a three-pronged approach via student data collected over 3 years of SENSE administrations at a large urban community college (n = 4,958). The instrument was first factor analyzed against the SENSE benchmarks for effective educational practice through generalized least squares and principal component exploratory factor analysis. Although the instrument did not deliver a chi-square factored fit for the six benchmark categories, consistent loadings were observed. Second, construct reliability was tested for each benchmark category, and the survey as a whole using Cronbach’s alpha. All categories did not yield sufficient coefficient scores for establishing construct reliability. However, the overall survey produced a Cronbach’s alpha of .85, clearly indicating construct reliability for all items combined. Third, correlations between SENSE perception scores and community college students’ grade point averages, fall to fall retention, semester credit hours, course completion for developmental and college gateway courses, and degree and certificate completion were calculated. Although no strong correlations were observed, the SENSE may be useful to community colleges seeking to increase completion rates.
The Impact of Developmental Stress on Cardiovascular Physiology of Two Archosaur Species: American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis) and Domestic Chicken (Gallus Gallus)
Crocodilians and birds comprise sister taxa of archosaurs, the development of these vertebrates occurs within an egg case that leaves developing embryos susceptible to fluctuations in the nesting environment. Studies suggest that sub-optimal conditions alter morphological growth and cardiovascular physiology. Regulation of the cardiovascular system is immature in the subjects studied, and embryos may rely on humoral rather than neural control of the cardiovascular system. The primary focus of this dissertation was to assess regulatory mechanisms responsible for maintenance of arterial pressure and heart rate. Dehydration stress had marked effects on embryo growth, and altered baseline cardiovascular parameters, while leaving the response to humoral regulator, angiotensin II (Ang II), unaffected. However, dehydrated alligator embryos developed cholinergic tone on heart rate. Hypoxic incubated chicken embryos were reduced in embryo mass, and altered response to humoral regulatory components Ang I and adenosine in addition identifying a novel regulatory component of the cardiovascular response to acute hypoxia. Collectively, these studies add to the existing knowledge of cardiovascular physiology in embryonic archosaurs and suggest that some components of cardiovascular regulation are plastic following developmental stress.
Secure and Energy Efficient Execution Frameworks Using Virtualization and Light-weight Cryptographic Components
Security is a primary concern in this era of pervasive computing. Hardware based security mechanisms facilitate the construction of trustworthy secure systems; however, existing hardware security approaches require modifications to the micro-architecture of the processor and such changes are extremely time consuming and expensive to test and implement. Additionally, they incorporate cryptographic security mechanisms that are computationally intensive and account for excessive energy consumption, which significantly degrades the performance of the system. In this dissertation, I explore the domain of hardware based security approaches with an objective to overcome the issues that impede their usability. I have proposed viable solutions to successfully test and implement hardware security mechanisms in real world computing systems. Moreover, with an emphasis on cryptographic memory integrity verification technique and embedded systems as the target application, I have presented energy efficient architectures that considerably reduce the energy consumption of the security mechanisms, thereby improving the performance of the system. The detailed simulation results show that the average energy savings are in the range of 36% to 99% during the memory integrity verification phase, whereas the total power savings of the entire embedded processor are approximately 57%.
Caring for Cancer: Understanding the Access and Perceptions of Psychosocial Cancer Services in North Texas
It is estimated that nearly 14.5 million Americans are living with cancer today. A commonly overlooked component to quality cancer care, as defined by the Institute of Medicine, is the role of psychological and social support. Better known as psychosocial support, these needs reflect a broad spectrum of obstacles or assets in an individual’s personal life that may help or hinder their healing experience. Some psychosocial examples include coping skills, transportation to medical appointments, or appropriate knowledge to mitigate the physical impacts of the cancer process. Research has shown that by addressing these potential needs, a better health outcome may be achieved for cancer patients. Through participant observation at local psychosocial service establishments and through semi-structured interviews with service providers and adults diagnosed with cancer living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, this thesis research seeks to explore how local cancer patients are learning of psychosocial services available to them, what barriers may exist in accessing these services, and what individuals may be doing to address their psychosocial needs, both formally or informally. Results yielded recommendations for local psychosocial providers to adjust their marketing of services and kinds of services offered as well as yielded recommendations for future academic research.
Bundle of Joy: Pregnancy, Coping and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls
Using the stress process model, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls was investigated. This model posits that stress resulting from social location and related disruptive life events may indirectly affect health by eroding coping, mastery, or social support mechanisms. The effect of low income, minority status and pregnancy on coping processes in adolescent girls was hypothesized and tested. Communication with parents, involvement in activities, and success in school were examined as positive coping strategies. Smoking tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and drug use were examined as negative coping. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. After combining the available cases from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 datasets, selecting girls aged from 12 to 17 years, and removing missing cases; the sample consisted of a total of 22,854 adolescents. A series of binary logistic regression models were estimated. Findings included that coping strategies partially mediate the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms. In particular, success in school, smoking tobacco, and drug abuse played a mediating role. When coping was accounted for, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms was reduced and became only marginally significant. Implications of the study include a focus on policy that promotes early intervention assisting at-risk adolescents with the development of coping strategies that may help them adjust to unexpected life events, such as pregnancy.
Condition-dependent Hilbert Spaces for Steepest Descent and Application to the Tricomi Equation
A steepest descent method is constructed for the general setting of a linear differential equation paired with uniqueness-inducing conditions which might yield a generally overdetermined system. The method differs from traditional steepest descent methods by considering the conditions when defining the corresponding Sobolev space. The descent method converges to the unique solution to the differential equation so that change in condition values is minimal. The system has a solution if and only if the first iteration of steepest descent satisfies the system. The finite analogue of the descent method is applied to example problems involving finite difference equations. The well-posed problems include a singular ordinary differential equation and Laplace’s equation, each paired with respective Dirichlet-type conditions. The overdetermined problems include a first-order nonsingular ordinary differential equation with Dirichlet-type conditions and the wave equation with both Dirichlet and Neumann conditions. The method is applied in an investigation of the Tricomi equation, a long-studied equation which acts as a prototype of mixed partial differential equations and has application in transonic flow. The Tricomi equation has been studied for at least ninety years, yet necessary and sufficient conditions for existence and uniqueness of solutions on an arbitrary mixed domain remain unknown. The domains of interest are rectangular mixed domains. A new type of conditions is introduced. Ladder conditions take the uncommon approach of specifying information on the interior of a mixed domain. Specifically, function values are specified on the parabolic portion of a mixed domain. The remaining conditions are specified on the boundary. A conjecture is posed and states that ladder conditions are necessary and sufficient for existence and uniqueness of a solution to the Tricomi equation. Numerical experiments, produced by application of the descent method, provide strong evidence in support of the conjecture. Ladder conditions allow for a continuous deformation from Dirichlet conditions to initial-boundary value conditions. Such a deformation is applied to a class of Tricomi-type equations which transition from degenerate elliptic to degenerate hyperbolic. A conjecture is posed and states that each problem is uniquely solvable and the solutions vary continuously as the differential equation and corresponding conditions vary continuously. If the conjecture holds true, the result will provide a method of unifying elliptic Dirichlet problems and hyperbolic initial-boundary value problem. Numerical evidence in support of the conjecture is presented.
Company A, Nineteenth Texas Infantry, a History of a Small Town Fighting Unit
I focus on Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry, C.S.A., and its unique status among other Confederate military units. The raising of the company within the narrative of the regiment, its battles and campaigns, and the post-war experience of its men are the primary focal points of the thesis. In the first chapter, a systematic analysis of various aspects of the recruit’s background is given, highlighting the wealth of Company A’s officers and men. The following two chapters focus on the campaigns and battles experienced by the company and the praise bestowed on the men by brigade and divisional staff. The final chapter includes a postwar analysis of the survivors from Company A, concentrating on their locations, professions, and contributions to society, which again illustrate the achievements accomplished by the veterans of this unique Confederate unit. As a company largely drawn from Jefferson, Texas, a growing inland port community, Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry differed from other companies in the regiment, and from most units raised across the Confederacy. Their unusual backgrounds, together with their experiences during and after the war, provide interesting perspectives on persistent questions concerning the motives and achievements of Texas Confederates.
A Performance Guide for the Unique Challenges in Concerto for Tuba and Chamber Orchestra by Jan Bach
In 2003, Jan Bach completed his monumental Concerto for Tuba and Chamber Orchestra. This concerto requires unique performance techniques and technical skills unlike the majority of available tuba repertoire. In addition to these techniques, the guide explores the influence of popular songs, jazz/rock/funk styles, implied humor, and personal experience through an interview with the composer.
Cultural Exchange: the Role of Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s 1923 and 1924 American Tours
The following is a historical analysis on the Moscow Art Theatre’s (MAT) tours to the United States in 1923 and 1924, and the developments and changes that occurred in Russian and American theatre cultures as a result of those visits. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the MAT’s co-founder and director, developed the System as a new tool used to help train actors—it provided techniques employed to develop their craft and get into character. This would drastically change modern acting in Russia, the United States and throughout the world. The MAT’s first (January 2, 1923 – June 7, 1923) and second (November 23, 1923 – May 24, 1924) tours provided a vehicle for the transmission of the System. In addition, the tour itself impacted the culture of the countries involved. Thus far, the implications of the 1923 and 1924 tours have been ignored by the historians, and have mostly been briefly discussed by the theatre professionals. This thesis fills the gap in historical knowledge.
The Effect of Co-teaching on the Academic Achievement Outcomes of Students with Disabilities: a Meta-analytic Synthesis
Co-teaching has been, and continues to be, a growing trend in American schools since the late 1990s. As the popularity of this service delivery model increases, there is an imperative need for empirical research focusing on how co-teaching affects academic outcomes of students who receive special education services. Evidence regarding the academic outcomes of co-teaching is limited, and reports mixed results. The purpose of this study is to provide a synthesis of research examining academic outcomes of co-teaching on students who receive special education services. Quantitative information from each research report was coded, an overall effect size was computed, and a moderator analysis was conducted. Results suggest a significant effect (g = .281, k = 32, p < .05) of co-teaching on the academic outcomes of students with disabilities when compared to students with disabilities who did not receive instruction in co-taught settings; though a larger effect was found among dissertation reports (g = .439, k = 25, p < .001). Additionally, a significant effect was found when examining the academic outcomes of students in co-teaching compared to the academic outcomes of students in a resource classroom setting (g = .435, k = 27, p < .001. Lastly, effects were stronger the longer these students were in co-teaching environments. Implications of findings and recommendations for further research are discussed.
Optimization of Novel Culturing and Testing Procedures for Acute Effects on Acartia Tonsa and Tisbe Biminiensis
Copepods comprise an ecologically important role in freshwater and marine ecosystems, which is why they are often considered an important ecotoxicological model organism. The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) 14669 protocol is the only guideline for the determination of acute toxicity in three European marine copepod species: Acartia tonsa. The goal of this project was to assess the feasibility of establishing and maintaining cultures of Acartia tonsa, as well as to refine current culturing and egg separation methods. Initial culture methodology proved difficult for consistent production of eggs and collection of nauplii. The development of an airlift system for the separation of eggs from nauplii and adults, based on size, successfully increased the availability of eggs, nauplii and adults. The sensitivity and relative conditions of the copepod species was assessed by running a series of 48h acute toxicity tests with the reference toxicants 3,5-dichlorophenol, 4,4’-methylenebis(2,6-di-tert-butylphenol. The acute 48 hour median lethal dose concentration (LC50), the no observed effect concentration (NOEC), and the lowest observed effect concentration (LOEC) was analyzed for the three reference compounds for of A. tonsa.
Exploration of Visual, Acoustic, and Physiological Modalities to Complement Linguistic Representations for Sentiment Analysis
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
This research is concerned with the identification of sentiment in multimodal content. This is of particular interest given the increasing presence of subjective multimodal content on the web and other sources, which contains a rich and vast source of people's opinions, feelings, and experiences. Despite the need for tools that can identify opinions in the presence of diverse modalities, most of current methods for sentiment analysis are designed for textual data only, and few attempts have been made to address this problem. The dissertation investigates techniques for augmenting linguistic representations with acoustic, visual, and physiological features. The potential benefits of using these modalities include linguistic disambiguation, visual grounding, and the integration of information about people's internal states. The main goal of this work is to build computational resources and tools that allow sentiment analysis to be applied to multimodal data. This thesis makes three important contributions. First, it shows that modalities such as audio, video, and physiological data can be successfully used to improve existing linguistic representations for sentiment analysis. We present a method that integrates linguistic features with features extracted from these modalities. Features are derived from verbal statements, audiovisual recordings, thermal recordings, and physiological sensors signals. The resulting multimodal sentiment analysis system is shown to significantly outperform the use of language alone. Using this system, we were able to predict the sentiment expressed in video reviews and also the sentiment experienced by viewers while exposed to emotionally loaded content. Second, the thesis provides evidence of the portability of the developed strategies to other affect recognition problems. We provided support for this by studying the deception detection problem. Third, this thesis contributes several multimodal datasets that will enable further research in sentiment and deception detection.
Trajectories As a Unifying Cross Domain Feature for Surveillance Systems
Manual video analysis is apparently a tedious task. An efficient solution is of highly importance to automate the process and to assist operators. A major goal of video analysis is understanding and recognizing human activities captured by surveillance cameras, a very challenging problem; the activities can be either individual or interactional among multiple objects. It involves extraction of relevant spatial and temporal information from visual images. Most video analytics systems are constrained by specific environmental situations. Different domains may require different specific knowledge to express characteristics of interesting events. Spatial-temporal trajectories have been utilized to capture motion characteristics of activities. The focus of this dissertation is on how trajectories are utilized in assist in developing video analytic system in the context of surveillance. The research as reported in this dissertation begins real-time highway traffic monitoring and dynamic traffic pattern analysis and in the end generalize the knowledge to event and activity analysis in a broader context. The main contributions are: the use of the graph-theoretic dominant set approach to the classification of traffic trajectories; the ability to first partition the trajectory clusters using entry and exit point awareness to significantly improve the clustering effectiveness and to reduce the computational time and complexity in the on-line processing of new trajectories; A novel tracking method that uses the extended 3-D Hungarian algorithm with a Kalman filter to preserve the smoothness of motion; a novel camera calibration method to determine the second vanishing point with no operator assistance; and a logic reasoning framework together with a new set of context free LLEs which could be utilized across different domains. Additional efforts have been made for three comprehensive surveillance systems together with main contributions mentioned above.
Phantom Menace: the Effect of Narcissism on Word-of-mouth Communications
Previous empirical research and anecdotal accounts suggest that “subclinical narcissism” or “average Joe’s narcissism” is one of the most prevalent social phenomena in many parts of the world. Research also suggests that there will be an unprecedented escalation “in average Joe narcissists” among future generations of consumers. The objective of this study is two-fold. The first objective of this study is to explore the moderating effect of the individual’s level of narcissistic personality on their word-of-mouth (WOM) communications. The second objective of this study is to explore the boundary conditions of the first objective. The data were collected from a large number of consumers through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results support many of the hypotheses accordant with the characteristics of the subclinical narcissistic individual. Specifically, the moderating effect of an individual’s level of narcissistic personality trait on the decision to engage in different types of WOM communications varies across the tested contexts. This study is intended to respond to social scientists' recent call for studies that investigate the fundamental motives behind the individual’s propensity to engage in WOM communication as a function of individual characteristics. The results of this study provide some prescriptive guidance to help companies target appropriate consumers to increase the effectiveness of WOM communication. In addition, this study explores the effect of individual and contextual differences on consumers’ willingness to engage in different types of WOM communication.
Exploring Naming Behavior in Personal Digital Image Collections: the Iconology and Language Games of Pinterest
As non-institutional digital image collections expand into social media, independent non-professional image curators are emerging, actively constructing alternative naming conventions to suit their needs in a social collecting environment. This project considers how independent user-curators are developing particular sense-making behaviors as they actively contribute names to large, unstructured social image collections. In order to capture and explore this evolving language adaptation, Pinterest names are analyzed using a matrix composed of Panofsky’s three strata of subject matter, Rosch’s levels of categorical abstraction, Shatford Layne’s image attributes and Wittgenstein’s language game constructions. Analyzing Pinterest image names illuminates previously unnoticed behaviors by independent user-curators as they create shared collections. Exploring the various language choices which user-curators select as they apply this new curating vocabulary helps identify underlying user needs not apparent in traditionally curated collections restricted to traditional naming conventions.
Conceptualizing Quality of College Life
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents.
Design Space Exploration of Domain Specific Cgras Using Crowd-sourcing
CGRAs (coarse grained reconfigurable array architectures) try to fill the gap between FPGAs and ASICs. Over three decades, the research towards CGRA design has produced number of architectures. Each of these designs lie at different points on a line drawn between FPGAs and ASICs, depending on the tradeoffs and design choices made during the design of architectures. Thus, design space exploration (DSE) takes a very important role in the circuit design process. In this work I propose the design space exploration of CGRAs can be done quickly and efficiently through crowd-sourcing and a game driven approach based on an interactive mapping game UNTANGLED and a design environment called SmartBricks. Both UNTANGLED and SmartBricks have been developed by our research team at Reconfigurable Computing Lab, UNT. I present the results of design space exploration of domain-specific reconfigurable architectures and compare the results comparing stripe vs mesh style, heterogeneous vs homogeneous. I also compare the results obtained from different interconnection topologies in mesh. These results show that this approach offers quick DSE for designers and also provides low power architectures for a suite of benchmarks. All results were obtained using standard cell ASICs with 90 nm process.
Complex Ptsd As a Less Pejorative Label: Is the Proposed Diagnosis Less Stigmatizing Than Bpd?
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists.
The Influence of Perceived Stress on Insulin Resistance in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Objective: To identify whether perceived stress is a risk-factor for higher cortisol levels and greater insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetic patients, using data from participants with and without diabetes in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), specifically MIDUS II, Project 4. The following hypotheses were tested: (H1a) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher cortisol for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H1b) the perceived stress/cortisol relationship would be stronger for people with Type 2 diabetes than for those without it, (H2) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher Homeostatic Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR, insulin-resistance) for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H3a) subjective well-being would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants, and (H3b) depression would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants. Method: MIDUS, a longitudinal study of over 7,000 American adults, explores biopsychosocial factors that could contribute to variance in mental/physical health. Only complete data were utilized. Type 2 participants (n=115) consisted of 54 males and 62 females ranging in age from 36 to 81 years. Non-diabetic participants (n=1097) consisted of 470 males and 627 females ranging in age from 34 to 84 years. Results: None of the predicted relationships were statistically significant. Waist to hip ratio was significantly related to insulin resistance (r = .31, p = .001). Conclusions: Future studies should collect information about the type and duration of stressors in addition to perceptions about stress for those with Type 2 diabetes.
Children’s Experiences in the Therapeutic Relationship: Development and Validation of a Self-report Measure
Most counselors agree that the therapeutic relationship is essential in counseling. However, the current evidence-based treatment movement has resulted in a focus on treatment protocols and techniques in outcome research. Researchers have called for the inclusion of relationship variables in future outcome research. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically-supported, developmentally responsive intervention for children that emphasizes building a therapeutic relationship based on the philosophy of person-centered theory. Exploring the impact of the relationship on CCPT outcomes would be beneficial, but no current quantitative measure exists for obtaining the child’s view of the therapeutic relationship. The purpose of this study was to create a developmentally appropriate instrument to measure children’s perceptions of the therapeutic relationship. Established instrument development procedures were followed to create the Relationship Inventory for Children (RIC), a 15-item instrument for use in outcome research that measures the child’s perspective of the therapeutic relationship. Participants were 33 child experts who participated in interviews and preliminary testing of the instrument as well as 100 children whose scores on the 31-item pilot instrument were submitted to exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Children (62% male) ranged in age from 6 to 9 years (M = 6.92) and 53% identified as Caucasian, 14% as Hispanic, 14% as African American, 2% as Asian American, 0.8% as Native American, 8% as Multiracial, and 9% unreported. The EFA resulted in three factors: Positive Regard, Unconditional Acceptance, and Empathy. Implications for further development of the RIC, for use of the RIC in research, and for application of the RIC to person-centered theory are discussed.