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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
A Training Package for Parents and their Toddlers with Autism: Observed Changes in Parent Teaching Episodes, Child Turn Taking and Social Attending, and Parent-Child Engagement

A Training Package for Parents and their Toddlers with Autism: Observed Changes in Parent Teaching Episodes, Child Turn Taking and Social Attending, and Parent-Child Engagement

Date: May 2015
Creator: Hunt, Nina Marie
Description: Research has shown that parents of children with autism report higher stress than parents of children with other developmental disabilities. It has been suggested that parent training programs, specifically naturalistic social-communication training, can reduce parental stress and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. Although the development of a multilevel assessment has been suggested, much of the research in this area has relied on measures of parent implementation fidelity and specific child target skills such as vocal communication, eye contact, and joint attention. Few have directly measured the parent-child interaction. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of an in-home parent training package for toddlers with autism on parent-child social interactions. Within this package, parents are taught to attend to contextual variables, to arrange the environment to set the occasion for child responding, to respond immediately to targeted child approximations, and to respond in ways that are mutually reinforcing, social, and fun. Data were collected during 5-min video-taped assessments, on the number of parent teaching episodes, child target skills (turn taking and social attending), engagement, and synchronous engagement. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across two parent-child dyads and indicated increases in all measures. ...
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A Performance Evaluation of Confidence Intervals for Ordinal Coefficient Alpha

A Performance Evaluation of Confidence Intervals for Ordinal Coefficient Alpha

Date: May 2015
Creator: Turner, Heather J.
Description: Ordinal coefficient alpha is a newly derived non-parametric reliability estimate. As with any point estimate, ordinal coefficient alpha is merely an estimate of a population parameter and tends to vary from sample to sample. Researchers report the confidence interval to provide readers with the amount of precision obtained. Several methods with differing computational approaches exist for confidence interval estimation for alpha, including the Fisher, Feldt, Bonner, and Hakstian and Whalen (HW) techniques. Overall, coverage rates for the various methods were unacceptably low with the Fisher method as the highest performer at 62%. Because of the poor performance across all four confidence interval methods, a need exists to develop a method which works well for ordinal coefficient alpha.
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Trajectory Analytics

Trajectory Analytics

Date: May 2015
Creator: Santiteerakul, Wasana
Description: The numerous surveillance videos recorded by a single stationary wide-angle-view camera persuade the use of a moving point as the representation of each small-size object in wide video scene. The sequence of the positions of each moving point can be used to generate a trajectory containing both spatial and temporal information of object's movement. In this study, we investigate how the relationship between two trajectories can be used to recognize multi-agent interactions. For this purpose, we present a simple set of qualitative atomic disjoint trajectory-segment relations which can be utilized to represent the relationships between two trajectories. Given a pair of adjacent concurrent trajectories, we segment the trajectory pair to get the ordered sequence of related trajectory-segments. Each pair of corresponding trajectory-segments then is assigned a token associated with the trajectory-segment relation, which leads to the generation of a string called a pairwise trajectory-segment relationship sequence. From a group of pairwise trajectory-segment relationship sequences, we utilize an unsupervised learning algorithm, particularly the k-medians clustering, to detect interesting patterns that can be used to classify lower-level multi-agent activities. We evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach by comparing the activity classes predicted by our method to the actual classes from the ...
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Automatic Language Identification for Metadata Records: Measuring the Effectiveness of Various Approaches

Automatic Language Identification for Metadata Records: Measuring the Effectiveness of Various Approaches

Date: May 2015
Creator: Knudson, Ryan Charles
Description: Automatic language identification has been applied to short texts such as queries in information retrieval, but it has not yet been applied to metadata records. Applying this technology to metadata records, particularly their title elements, would enable creators of metadata records to obtain a value for the language element, which is often left blank due to a lack of linguistic expertise. It would also enable the addition of the language value to existing metadata records that currently lack a language value. Titles lend themselves to the problem of language identification mainly due to their shortness, a factor which increases the difficulty of accurately identifying a language. This study implemented four proven approaches to language identification as well as one open-source approach on a collection of multilingual titles of books and movies. Of the five approaches considered, a reduced N-gram frequency profile and distance measure approach outperformed all others, accurately identifying over 83% of all titles in the collection. Future plans are to offer this technology to curators of digital collections for use.
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Student Teachers’ Changing Confidence in Teaching

Student Teachers’ Changing Confidence in Teaching

Date: May 2015
Creator: Stearns, Catherine L
Description: Research shows that student teachers find the mentor teacher and the student teaching experience itself the two most influential factors in their practicum experience. This study examined five student teachers and the two mentor teachers of each in elementary school settings within a metropolitan school district in North Texas. Lave and Wenger’s (1991, 2002) community of practice theory informed this study. Data sources included mentor teacher interviews, student teacher interviews, student teacher observations, student teacher/mentor teacher dialogue journals, and student teacher reflections. A collective case study approach was followed to gain a detailed understanding of the experiences of the five student teachers, looking specifically at their confidence in teaching and the factors associated with it. Findings indicated that the confidence in teaching of all five student teachers changed throughout their practicum experiences. Results suggested many factors influenced these changes. Student teachers shared that the student teaching experience, the grade level/subjects taught, their relationships with their students, and their relationships with their mentor teachers contributed to their confidence. The mentor teachers perceived that student teachers’ confidence could be influenced by consistency in classroom management and their interactions with their mentor teachers. Two areas of influence on student teacher confidence not uncovered ...
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A Case Study of an Urban Charter School’s Journey of School Improvement: Organizational Theory, Institutional Learning and School Reform

A Case Study of an Urban Charter School’s Journey of School Improvement: Organizational Theory, Institutional Learning and School Reform

Date: May 2015
Creator: Subjinski, Amanda
Description: The problem for this study was the need to increase and maintain in student achievement in charter schools. The purpose of this single-case study was to discover how an inner city charter school with a high percentage of at-risk students increased overall student achievement and attained acceptable performance status when faced simultaneously with administrative challenges and increases in state and federal standards. The participants for the single-case study included the school district’s superintendent, the high school principal, the dean of students, four faculty of the district, and one outside consultant appointed to work with the district by the state of Texas. The sampling for this study allowed for the opportunity to study in greater depth the choice of reform strategies and organizational structure designed to result in increased student achievement and student success over the course of two years. Since this was a single-case study of one charter school district, participants were referenced by the role in which they served. All district, campus, and participant names remained anonymous. The results showed the increased student achievement was made possible by several reform strategies and best practices. The primary reform strategies and best practices that had the greatest impact were consistent campus ...
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Mapping Overlapping Constellations: Nature and Technology in “Research in Philosophy and Technology”/“techné” and “Environmental Ethics"

Mapping Overlapping Constellations: Nature and Technology in “Research in Philosophy and Technology”/“techné” and “Environmental Ethics"

Date: May 2015
Creator: Miller, Glen
Description: The overlap between the separate fields of philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy can be investigated using the two longest running flagship journals for each field, Environmental Ethics (EE) and Research in Philosophy and Technology, which is now published as Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology (RPT/Techné). By looking at the theoretical and conceptual ideas on nature and the environment expressed in RPT/Techné, at those on technology and artifacts expressed in EE, and at the individuals who contributed them using the principles of social epistemology as developed by Steve Fuller, a stereoscopic view incorporating the insights from both specializations can be constructed. The ideas developed in the articles can be charted like stars within constellations, loosely connected in groupings that are neither clear nor evident. Five constellations can be discerned from the relevant articles in each journal, and while there is some overlap, there is considerable difference. The stereoscopic view is developed in three ways: first, by reviewing the contributions of authors who have published in both journals; second, by utilizing resources in both specializations to add subtlety and depth to the ideas expressed, starting in this case from Jacques Ellul’s “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”; and third, by using W. ...
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Computational Studies of C–h/c–c Manipulation Utilizing Transition Metal Complexes

Computational Studies of C–h/c–c Manipulation Utilizing Transition Metal Complexes

Date: May 2015
Creator: Pardue, Daniel B.
Description: Density Functional Theory (DFT) is an effective tool for studying diverse metal systems. Presented herein are studies of a variety of metal systems, which can be applied to accomplish transformations that are currently difficult/impossible to achieve. The specific topics studied utilizing DFT include: 1) C–H bond activation via an Earth-abundant transition metal complex, 2) C–H bond deprotonation via an alkali metal superbase, 3) and amination/aziridination reactions utilizing a CuI reagent. Using DFT, the transformation to methanol (CH3OH) from methane (CH4) was examined. The transition metal systems studied for this transformation included a model FeII complex. This first-row transition metal is an economical, Earth-abundant metal. The ligand set for this transformation includes a carbonyl ligand in one set of complexes as well as a phosphite ligand in another. The 3d Fe metal shows the ability to convert alkyls/aryls to their oxidized counterpart in an energetically favorable manner. Also, “superbasic” alkali metal amides were investigated to perform C—H bond cleavage. Toluene was the substrate of interest with Cs chosen to be the metal of interest because of the highly electropositive nature of this alkali metal. These highly electrophilic Cs metal systems allow for very favorable C—H bond scission with a toluene substrate. ...
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The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World

The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World

Date: May 2015
Creator: Shade, Molly
Description: As mobile phones become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s world, academic and public audiences alike are curious about the interaction between mobile technologies and social norms. To investigate this phenomenon, I examined how individuals use technology to actively manage their communication behaviors. Through a three-month research project on usage patterns of Burner, a mobile application, this thesis explores the relationships among technology, culture, and privacy. Burner is a service that equips individuals with the means to create, maintain, and/or dissolve social ties by providing temporary, disposable numbers to customers. The application offers a way to communicate without relying on a user’s personal phone number. In other words, Burner acts as a “privacy layer” for mobile phones. It also provides a valuable platform to examine how customers use the application as a strategy for communication management. This thesis represents a marriage of practice and theory: (1) As an applied enterprise, the project was constructed as a customer needs assessment intending to examine how the service was situated in the lives of its users. The findings have successfully been applied to my client’s company strategy and have led to a more informed customer approach. (2) As an academic endeavor, this research contributes to ...
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Combinatorial Assessment of the Influence of Composition and Exposure Time on the Oxidation Behavior and Concurrent Oxygen-induced Phase Transformations of Binary Ti-x Systems

Combinatorial Assessment of the Influence of Composition and Exposure Time on the Oxidation Behavior and Concurrent Oxygen-induced Phase Transformations of Binary Ti-x Systems

Date: May 2015
Creator: Samimi, Peyman
Description: The relatively low oxidation resistance and subsequent surface embrittlement have often limited the use of titanium alloys in elevated temperature structural applications. Although extensive effort is spent to investigate the high temperature oxidation performance of titanium alloys, the studies are often constrained to complex technical titanium alloys and neither the mechanisms associated with evolution of the oxide scale nor the effect of oxygen ingress on the microstructure of the base metal are well-understood. In addition lack of systematic oxidation studies across a wider domain of the alloy composition has complicated the determination of composition-mechanism-property relationships. Clearly, it would be ideal to assess the influence of composition and exposure time on the oxidation resistance, independent of experimental variabilities regarding time, temperature and atmosphere as the potential source of error. Such studies might also provide a series of metrics (e.g., hardness, scale, etc) that could be interpreted together and related to the alloy composition. In this thesis a novel combinatorial approach was adopted whereby a series of compositionally graded specimens, (Ti-xMo, Ti-xCr, Ti-xAl and Ti-xW) were prepared using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™) technology and exposed to still-air at 650 °C. A suite of the state-of-the-art characterization techniques were employed to assess ...
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