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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33228/
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Geek As a Constructed Identity and a Crucial Component of Stem Persistence

Geek As a Constructed Identity and a Crucial Component of Stem Persistence

Date: May 2014
Creator: Liggett, Joshua B.
Description: The fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have long been the bastions of the white male elite. Recently, academia has begun to recognize gender and ethnic disparities. In an effort to expand the recruitment pool for these STEM fields in college, various efforts have been employed nationally at the secondary level. In California, the latest of these efforts is referred to as Linked Learning, a pedagogy that combines college preparation with career preparation. The current study is investigating the connection between what has been referred to in current scholarship as "Geeking Out" with higher academic performance. The phenomenon of “Geeking Out” includes a variety of non-school related activities that range from participating in robotics competitions to a simple game of Dungeons & Dragons. The current project investigates the relationship between long term success in STEM fields and current informal behaviors of secondary students. This particular circumstance where Linked Learning happens to combine with "Geeking Out" is successful due to the associated inclusionary environment. Methods included a yearlong ethnographic study of the Center for Advanced Research and Technology, a Central Valley school with a diverse student body. Through participant observation and interviews, the main goal of this research is ...
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Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation Using Wikipedia

Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation Using Wikipedia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Dandala, Bharath
Description: Ambiguity is inherent to human language. In particular, word sense ambiguity is prevalent in all natural languages, with a large number of the words in any given language carrying more than one meaning. Word sense disambiguation is the task of automatically assigning the most appropriate meaning to a polysemous word within a given context. Generally the problem of resolving ambiguity in literature has revolved around the famous quote “you shall know the meaning of the word by the company it keeps.” In this thesis, we investigate the role of context for resolving ambiguity through three different approaches. Instead of using a predefined monolingual sense inventory such as WordNet, we use a language-independent framework where the word senses and sense-tagged data are derived automatically from Wikipedia. Using Wikipedia as a source of sense-annotations provides the much needed solution for knowledge acquisition bottleneck. In order to evaluate the viability of Wikipedia based sense-annotations, we cast the task of disambiguating polysemous nouns as a monolingual classification task and experimented on lexical samples from four different languages (viz. English, German, Italian and Spanish). The experiments confirm that the Wikipedia based sense annotations are reliable and can be used to construct accurate monolingual sense classifiers. ...
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The Impact of Professional Development on Student Achievement As Measured by Math and Science Curriculum-based Assessments

The Impact of Professional Development on Student Achievement As Measured by Math and Science Curriculum-based Assessments

Date: August 2013
Creator: Parish, Deidre A.
Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement measured by scores on curriculum-based assessments, CBAs. The participants in the study included 260 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade math and science teachers. Teacher participation in professional development courses was collected for curriculum, instruction, differentiation, assessment, technology integration, and continuous improvement credit types. Achievement data for 8,454 students was used: 2,883 in 3rd grade, 2,752 in 4th grade, and 2,819 in 5th grade. The dependent variable of student achievement was dichotomized at the median: half of the student participants scored above the median and half of the students scored at and below the median. A series of logistic regression models were fit to the data that included examining all main effects and interaction terms among all variables to determine the best fitting model. The results of this study indicate that for 4th grade science, teacher professional development participation in curriculum, instruction, and differentiation credit strands increased the chances for students to score above the district median on CBAs. The larger number of professional development hours in a variety of credit strands had a negative impact on student achievement in 4th grade science. In ...
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Sustainable Energy Solutions for Water Purification Applications: Municipal and Industrial Case Studies

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Water Purification Applications: Municipal and Industrial Case Studies

Date: May 2014
Creator: Mira, Sebastião Bittencourt de
Description: In several areas around the world, clean water is a precious asset that at anytime, and mainly due to circumstances of weather and climate, can become scarce. Mainly in the dry and remote places, people suffer with lack of water. A solution for this suffering can be a water desalination system, which makes water potable and usable for industry. That solution inherently, brings the problem of power requirement, which is sometimes arduous to accomplish in such remote areas of difficult access and long distances to overcome to build the infrastructure required to operate an electric power plant. Texas and the USA also face this scenario for many regions, for which the government has been creating some programs and driving forward incentives, looking for solutions to support water desalination. Water desalination has future applications for municipalities water-consuming or for arid and remote regions, as well as for industries that rely on heavy water usage, such as natural gas drilling operations, for which millions of gallons are trucked overland to the site and also hauled away afterwards, when the waste water produced must be treated. This thesis created the concept of autonomy for water desalination plants replacing the actual power supply from ...
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Preschool Teachers’ Constructions of Early Reading

Preschool Teachers’ Constructions of Early Reading

Date: May 2014
Creator: Walker, Karen Elledge
Description: Much of the current discourse surrounding the practice of early reading has emerged from policies that dictate the definition and means by which reading is taught and by which reading success is measured. Although this discourse directly influences the work of preschool teachers, little is known about what preschool teachers think about early reading and how they develop these understandings or constructions. Research concerning preschool teachers’ constructions is useful because of the potential influence on teachers' decisions and classroom behaviors. The purpose of this study is to better understand preschool teachers’ constructions concerning early reading and the process of learning to read. Six preschool teachers, with a variety of personal, educational, and professional experiences, from four diverse early childhood programs in the North Texas area were interviewed over a nine-month period during which each participant was interviewed for approximately three hours. Through systematic, inductive analysis, three themes were identified under an overarching theme of the interdependent and relational nature of early reading influences: out-of-school interactions, in-school interactions, and interactions with text. Without exception, these teachers referred to their life experiences as influencing their approach to teaching in general and to teaching reading in particular. The goals these preschool teachers had ...
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Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?

Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?

Date: May 2014
Creator: Shelton, Kiesha R.
Description: There were two main purposes of this quantitative study. The first purpose was to identify characteristics associated with the selected sample of academic advisors that comprise study. Secondly, the study sought to determine how well work related activities of a selected population of academic advisors correlate with professional characteristics constructs and professional standards constructs of academic advising as a profession. The study used Habley’s (1986) characteristics of a profession to derive the studies professional characteristic construct, education activities, research activities, and professional development activities as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The studies professional standards construct was derived from five Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) professional standards for academic as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The study of 78 out of 210 identified full-time academic advisors at two-and four-year public colleges and universities in the North Texas Region utilized a multidimensional researcher-developed Web survey instrument designed to measure professional standards and characteristic within the field of academic advising. Study results reinforced current criticism of research and education activities within the field of academic advising showing that the lack of scholarly research and education activities among ...
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Gender, Peace and Democracy

Gender, Peace and Democracy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kelly, Eliza G.
Description: In the last several decades there has been immense international emphasis and promotion of gender equality and female participation in the social, economic, and political spheres of society. There has also been an increase in civil conflict recurrence in countries as well as countries transitioning to democracy. This study explores the effect of female participation on peace and democracy. In the first part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of peace failing in post-civil conflict countries. In many countries, women are marginalized and conflict further marginalizes them. However, I argue that the post-conflict environment allows women to escape this cycle of marginalization and their inclusion and participation is very crucial to sustaining peace. I find that female political and social female decreases the risk of peace failing in post-civil war countries. In the second part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have transitioned to and toward democracy. Previous empirical research has focused on women’s role in transitions to democracy, factors that contribute to the survival of democracy, as well as how women’s participation affects the stability country. I argue that women’s social, ...
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Is Mindfulness Just Another Ego Depletion Exercise?

Is Mindfulness Just Another Ego Depletion Exercise?

Date: May 2014
Creator: Connally, Melissa Londoño
Description: Given increasing interest in the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness, limitations of its treatment utility are frequently questioned. As such, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of mindfulness on a subsequent self-control task in a sample of college students. A total of 67 participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a control condition, an experimental mindfulness-only condition or a comparison expectancy-plus-mindfulness condition to investigate the utility of mindfulness practice when motivated by an outcome of increased self-control. Results did not indicate a difference in persistence on a difficult task between conditions, regardless of the manipulation. Conceptual and experimental limitations of current study’s findings, as well as future directions, are discussed.
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Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Date: May 2014
Creator: Daniels, Sarah M.
Description: At the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of the contralto voice type had reached its apex in England. Throughout the remainder of the century, the number and popularity of recorded contraltos has decreased alongside the rise of the mezzo-soprano voice type. Due to the contralto’s decline and the lack of repertoire composed specifically for the voice, the definition of “contralto” remains somewhat ambiguous. The large contralto repertoire of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams displays a unique sensitivity to the contralto, particularly with regards to vocal range, flexibility, tessitura, and sustainability. These works thus suggest a new perspective for the voice type. The scope of Vaughan Williams’s oeuvre examined includes each of his operatic roles for contralto and choral works featuring the contralto. Also examined will be the compositional techniques implemented within these pieces which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the contralto voice. A workable definition of the voice type for the pedagogue and performer is included.
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