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 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Aging Texas Well: An Assessment of Denton's Aging-Friendliness
The purpose of this research was to conduct a needs assessment for the city of Denton, Texas to learn how residents view Denton's aging-friendliness. The research design was based on the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services' Aging Texas Well Toolkit and was funded by a two year grant from that agency. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to gather data on six community indicators: demographics, housing, transportation, health care (including mental health and substance abuse services), recreation, and community supports and services. Input from city residents was gathered through focus groups, followed by a survey of the broader community in the city to validate and prioritize the needs identified. The research found gaps in Denton's aging-friendliness. Denton residents feel that although there are some services for the aging in the area, other services are lacking. The top needs identified by residents were a single point of contact for, and better communication about, resources currently available, as well as a need for increased transportation options.
Analysis of Trace Amounts of Adulterants Found in Powders/Supplements Utilizing Direct Inject, Nanomanipulation, and Mass Spectrometry
The regulations of many food products in the United States have been made and followed very well but unfortunately some products are not put under such rigorous standards as others. This leads to products being sold, that are thought to be healthy, but in reality contain unknown ingredients that may be hazardous to the consumers. With the use of several instrumentations and techniques the detection, characterization and identification of these unknown contaminates can be determined. Both the AZ-100 and the TE2000 inverted microscope were used for visual characterizations, image collection and to help guide the extraction. Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction (DAPNe) technique and nanospray ionization mass spectrometry (NSI-MS) was the technique used for examination and identification of all adulterants. A Raman imaging technique was than introduced and has proven to be a rapid, non-destructive and distinctive way to localize a specific adulterant. By compiling these techniques then applying them to the FDA supplied test samples three major adulterants were detected and identified.
Applied Real-Time Integrated Distributed Control Systems: An Industrial Overview and an Implemented Laboratory Case Study
This thesis dissertation mainly compares and investigates laboratory study of different implementation methodologies of applied control systems and how they can be adopted in industrial, as well as commercial, automation applications. Namely the research paper aims to assess or evaluate eventual feedback control loops' performance and robustness over multiple conventional or state-of-the-art technologies in the field of applied industrial automation and instrumentation by implementing a laboratory case study setup: the ball on beam system. Hence, the paper tries to close the gap between industry and academia by: first, conducting a historical study and background information of main evolutional and technological eras in the field of industrial process control automation and instrumentation. Then, some related basic theoretical as well as practical concepts are reviewed in Chapter 2 of the report before displaying the detailed design. After that, the next Chapter, analyses the ball on beam control system problem as the case studied in the context of this research through reviewing previous literature, modeling and simulation. The following Chapter details the proposed design and implementation of the ball on beam case study as if it is under the introduced distributed industrial automation architecture. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes this work by listing several points leaned, remarks, and observations, and stating possible development and the future vision of this research.
"Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism"
Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism is a character driven film that sheds light on the consequences of slavery in the U.S. Through a personal narrative, the viewer comes to understand how these consequences support the argument for slavery reparations. The purpose of the film is to bridge the generational gap in awareness of reparation history. The film can be used to enlighten young Americans of all ethnicities to encourage them to find their purpose in this country, help build better race relations, and work towards building a true democracy.
Coaching Efficacy Beliefs and Transformational Leadership Behaviors: Their Ability to Predict Motivational Climate
This study investigated the relationship between belief in coaching abilities (coaching efficacy beliefs, CEB), transformational leadership behaviors (TLB), and motivational climate development of current strength and conditioning coaches working with high school level athletes. The measures used were the coaching efficacy scale for high school teams (CES II-HST, Myers et al.,2000), the differentiated transformational leadership inventory (DTLI, Callow et al., 2009), and the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS, Midgley et al., 2000). It was hypothesized that CEB and TLB would influence motivational climate development, while coaches' background characteristics would correlate with CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development. The 60 coaches who participated reported an average of thirteen (SD=8) years of experience and 51 were Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Coaches reported high efficacy, frequent use of TLB, and development of a moderately high task- and somewhat ego-involving motivational climate. Correlations between demographic variables and CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development revealed three significant relationships: years of experience with CEB, and professional development activities and athlete to coach ratio with ego-involving climate development. CEB and TLB had a strong positive correlation. Two regression analyses were conducted to determine if the outcomes of the CEB and TLB measures predicted motivational climate development. The only significant predictor was TLB positively predicting development of a task-involving motivational climate. Strength coaches can utilize the findings of this study help shape their leadership behaviors and develop a task-involving motivational climate that emphasizes effort, improvement, and cooperative learning and is optimal for athlete development and performance.
Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers
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Building waste and disposable packaging are a major component in today's landfills. Most of these are structural or thermally insulative polymer foams that do not degrade over a long period of time. Currently, there is a push to replace these foams with thermoplastic or biodegradable foams that can either be recycled or composted. We propose the use of compostable soy-based polyurethane foams (PU) with kenaf core modifiers that will offer the desired properties with the ability to choose responsible end-of-life decisions. The effect of fillers is a critical parameter in investigating the thermal and mechanical properties along with its effect on biodegradability. In this work, foams with 5%, 10%, and 15% kenaf core content were created. Two manufacturing approaches were used: the free foaming used by spray techniques and the constrained expansion complementary to a mold cavity. Structure-property relations were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal conductivity, compression values, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), and automated multiunit composting system (AMCS). The results show that mechanical properties are reduced with the introduction of kenaf core reinforcement while thermal conductivity and biodegradability display a noticeable improvement. This shows that in application properties can be improved while establishing a responsible end-of-life choice.
Conceptual Framework for the Development of an Air Quality Monitoring Station in Denton, Texas
Denton, Texas consistently reaches ozone nonattainment levels. This has led to a large focus of air pollution monitoring efforts in the region, with long-range transport being explored as a key contributor. For this study, the University of North Texas Discovery Park campus was chosen as a prospective location for an extensive air quality monitoring station. Sixteen years of ozone and meteorological data for five state-run monitoring sites within a 25 mile radius, including the nearest Denton Airport site, was gathered from TCEQ online database for the month of April for the years 2000 to 2015. The data was analyzed to show a historical, regional perspective of ozone near the proposed site. The maximum ozone concentration measured at the Denton Airport location over the 16 year period was measured at 96 ppb in 2001. Experimental ozone and meteorological measurements were collected at the Discovery Park location from March 26 to April 3 and April 8 to April, 2016 and compared to the Denton Airport monitoring site. A time lag in ozone trends and an increase in peak ozone concentrations at the proposed location were observed at the proposed site in comparison to the Denton Airport site. Historical and experimental meteorological data agreed in indicating that southern winds that rarely exceed 20 miles per hour are the predominant wind pattern. Back trajectories, wind roses, pollution roses, and bivariate plots created for peak ozone days during experimental periods support long range transport as a considerable cause of high ozone levels in Denton. Furthermore, a study of the precursor characteristics at the Denton Airport site indicated the site was being affected by a local source of nitrogen dioxide that was not affecting the proposed location. The differences in the Denton Airport site and the proposed site indicate that further monitoring at Discovery Park would be insightful. An outline of an expansive mobile monitoring station and suggestions for effective utilization are provided to guide future studies in Denton and the surrounding North Texas region.
Constructional Fear Treatment for Dogs in Shelters
Of the approximately 3.9 million dogs that enter US animal shelters each year, many exhibit behaviors related to fear, which can affect their likelihood of adoption. Current dog training procedures to treat fear include counterconditioning and desensitization, which can often take months or years to show any behavior change and do not teach specific behaviors aimed to increase the dog's chance of being adopted. The current study used a negative reinforcement shaping procedure to teach fearful dogs to approach and and interact with people. The results showed that constructional fear treatment increased the amount of time the dog spent at the front of the kennel, and increased sniffing, tail wagging, and accepting petting for all 3 participants.
Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America
What explains the inconsistency of female empowerment in South America, despite high levels of institutional inclusion? Generally, the social sciences tend to lean on the tenets of liberal feminism in order to measure the development of gender-inclusive policy changes; however, their findings indicate that higher levels of institutional inclusion does not necessarily translate into the empowerment of women as a group. Further, within political science, there is little research addressing the relationship between feminist movements and the feminist opinion of individuals within a state. I argue that strong feminist social movements provide a context in which feminist opinion is magnified, and where individuals will be more likely to support progressive policy changes. Using questions from the World Values Survey, I operationalize progressive policies as the Justifiability of Abortion. My primary independent variables are the presence feminist movements and the presence of feminist opinion, which is measured by support for female sexual freedom. After using a multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, I find support for my hypotheses, indicating that feminist opinion is magnified by the presence of feminist movements.
"Counting Out The Harvest"
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"Counting Out The Harvest" is a collection of poems exploring intimate encounters. The poems reflect on encounters with memories, family, and the natural and cosmic worlds. In one of the poems, "Red-Throated Anole," the speaker works desperately to save a small dying lizard. In "Ice Storm, Post-Divorce," the speaker attempts to decipher a cluster of ladybugs taking refuge in her room. In the title poem, a couple wonders patiently if their crop will eventually grow. In each of these poems there is a present longing for the construction of a meaningful identity by means of the encounter, but the intersection between speaker and world falls short of satisfaction, whether the faultiness lies in the body's inability to find full sustenance, or in the ever-changing fluidity of memory to find stability. But the poems progress from pressing against this difficulty toward finding a contented resignation to the world's cyclical order. The final line of the manuscript, "disrobe a layer to begin again," indicates an arrival at satisfaction, which is found ultimately in continuation.
Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans
With an increasing population suffering from obesity or Diabetes Mellitus (DM), it is more pertinent than ever to understand how physiological changes impact cellular processes. Patients with DM often suffer from obesity, hyperglycemia, altered fatty acids that contribute to vascular dysfunction, and increased risk to ischemia. Caenorhabditis elegans is a model system used to study the conserved insulin signaling pathway, cellular responses in whole organisms and the impact a glucose diet has on oxygen deprivation (anoxia) responses. RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) was used to analyze the expression of genes in the anoxia sensitive populations of N2 (wild-type) fed glucose and hyl-2(tm2031), a mutant with altered ceramide metabolism. Comparison of the altered transcripts in the anoxia sensitive populations revealed 199 common transcripts- 192 upregulated and 7 downregulated. One of the gene families that have altered expression in the anoxia sensitive populations encode for Cytochrome P450 (CYP). CYPs are located both in the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but the CYPs of interest are all predicted to be mainly subcellularly localized to the ER. Here, I determined that knock-down of specific cyp genes, using RNA interference (RNAi), increased anoxia survival in N2 animals fed a standard diet. Anoxia sensitivity of the hyl-2(tm2031) animals was supressed by RNAi of cyp-25A1 or cyp-33C8 genes. These studies provide evidence that the CYP detoxification system impacts oxygen deprivation responses. using hsp-4::GFP animals, a transcriptional reporter for ER unfolded protein response (UPR), I further investigated the impact of cyp knock-down, glucose, and anoxia on ER UPR due to the prediction of CYP-33C8 localization to the ER. Glucose significantly increased ER UPR and cyp knock-down non-significantly increased ER UPR. Measurements of ER UPR due to anoxia were made difficult, but representative images show an increase in ER stress post 9-hour anoxia exposure. This study provides evidence that glucose affects ER stress and that ER stress is involved in oxygen deprivation responses.
The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera
The thesis implements a vision-based leader-follower tracking algorithm on a ground robot system. One camera is the only sensor installed the leader-follower system and is mounted on the follower. One sphere is the only feature installed on the leader. The camera identifies the sphere in the openCV Library and calculates the relative position between the follower and leader using the area and position of the sphere in the camera frame. A P controller for the follower and a P controller for the camera heading are built. The vision-based leader-follower tracking algorithm is verified according to the simulation and implementation.
Development of a Self-Report Measure of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) According to the Eleventh Edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): The Complex Trauma Inventory
The work group editing trauma disorders for the upcoming edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) made several changes. Specifically, they significantly simplified the guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and added a new trauma disorder called complex PTSD (CPTSD). The new domains for PTSD and the addition of CPTSD require new instruments to assess these novel constructs. We developed a measure of PTSD and CPTSD (Complex Trauma Inventory; CTI) according to the proposed ICD-11 domains, creating several items to assess each domain. We examined the factor structure of the CTI (using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses) in two separate samples of diverse college students (n1 = 501; n2 = 500), reducing the original 53 trauma items in the item pool to 21 items. Confirmatory factor analyses supported two highly-correlated second-order factors (PTSD and complex factors), with PTSD (i.e., re-experiencing, avoidance, hyper-arousal) and complex factors (i.e., affect dysregulation, alterations in self-perception and alterations in relationships with others) each loading on three of the six ICD-11-consistent first-order factors (RMSEA = .08, CFI = .92, GFI = .87, SRMR = .06). Internal consistency for PTSD (α = .92) and complex factors (α = .93) are excellent.
Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?
Introduction/purpose: Recovery from muscle damage involves a type of programmed cell death known as apoptosis. Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) are released after muscle damage and may cause premature apoptosis in monocytes infiltrating the damaged site. This may alter the time course of events towards recovery. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate if downhill running causes a change in the susceptibility of monocytes to apoptosis. Methods: Participants (5 male, 6 female) completed a downhill running protocol consisting of 6-5 minute bouts at a speed of 6-9mph on a -15% grade treadmill. Venous blood samples were collected immediately pre-exercise (PRE), in addition to 4 -h, 24 -h and 48 -h post-exercise. Creatine kinase (CK) was measured to give an indication of muscle damage. Monocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry for expression of multicaspase and annexin v reagent was used to detect changes in the plasma membrane. A MILLIPLEX MAP human early apoptosis magnetic bead 7-plex kit (EMD Millipore, Billerica, MA) was used to assess the relative concentration of phosphorylated protein kinase B (Akt), Bcl-2 associated death promoter (BAD), B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), active caspase-8, active caspase-9, c jun N terminal kinase (JNK) and tumor protein p53 by Luminex multiplex assay. Results: CK peaked at 24- h. Monocytes showed greater expression of multicaspase at 24 –h and 48 -h than at PRE. Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-8 were all significantly greater at 24 –h than at PRE. Conclusion: Downhill running did alter the apoptotic response of monocytes and therefore may be important in the recovery process from muscle damage.
The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills
This study examined the effects of fluency-based instruction on the identification of six component-composite relations for early reading skills. Five participants (ages 5-8) who struggled with reading participated. A multiple probe design was used to assess the effects of frequency building on prerequisite skills on the emergence of composite reading skills. The results show that the prerequisite skills taught did not have an effect on the composite skill probes but did have an effect on the assessment scores. The data expand the research pertaining to Precision Teaching, fluency-based instruction, and component-composite relations. These data suggest that additional skills may be needed to be taught in order to effects on the composite skills. In addition, these authors identify the need for the identification of the component skills necessary to teach rapid autonomic naming.
The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism
Several evidence-based procedures based upon operant learning principles have been developed to teach language, and for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), naturalistic interventions are commonly implemented as they are both effective and developmentally appropriate. The current investigation compared contingent responsive intervention and combined intervention on the effects of language use in four children diagnosed with ASD. Results suggest that a combined intervention procedure increases target language and requests in children with simplified language (e.g., one-word phrase) as well as complex language (e.g., simple sentences).
Effects of UE Speed on MIMO Channel Capacity in LTE
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With the introduction of 4G LTE, multiple new technologies were introduced. MIMO is one of the important technologies introduced with fourth generation. The main MIMO modes used in LTE are open loop and closed loop spatial multiplexing modes. This thesis develops an algorithm to calculate the threshold values of UE speed and SNR that is required to implement a switching algorithm which can switch between different MIMO modes for a UE based on the speed and channel conditions (CSI). Specifically, this thesis provides the values of UE speed and SNR at which we can get better results by switching between open loop and closed loop MIMO modes and then be scheduled in sub-channels accordingly. Thus, the results can be used effectively to get better channel capacity with less ISI. The main objectives of this thesis are: to determine the type of MIMO mode suitable for a UE with certain speed, to determine the effects of SNR on selection of MIMO modes, and to design and implement a scheduling algorithm to enhance channel capacity.
Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism
Play is considered to be important for the development of young children in that it provides a means to expand their interests, promote engagement and learning, and increase social interactions. Children with autism, however, display deficits in play skills, such as lack of pretend play and rigid or stereotyped manners of play. Research suggests supported play techniques, such as reciprocal imitation training, play expansions, and scaffolding increase play skills in children diagnosed with autism. The current study evaluated the effects of a training package to teach staff members supported play techniques to six young children diagnosed with autism. The study employed a concurrent multiple baseline design across two preschool classrooms. The results suggest that the training package successfully increased staff member use of the supported play techniques and child and staff engagement. The training, however, did not have consistent effects on child social engagement (proximity, attending, and initiating) or on the types of child play (simple manipulation, advanced manipulation, and pretend play). Staff member responses to the post-intervention satisfaction and feedback survey were positive and the results are discussed in the context of the observation procedures and directions for future studies.
An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students
Since the recession of 2008, there has been an increased scrutiny of higher education, with little research done on how this affects high school students' college search process. This study seeks to understand how college perceptions are formed and how they affect the college decision process of high school students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In order to gain a holistic perspective of this process, this study utilized a mixed method approach of analyzing public data, conducting interviews with community members and students, conducting a focus group with high school guidance counselors, and administering a survey to high school students. This study found that students in this area form their perceptions of college in three distinct phases and that these phases affect a student's college priorities. Special attention was given to how academics, cost and location contributed to a student's overall college decision. These findings can be used to assist faculty and staff at higher education institutions in creating effective messaging and programming that relate to this group of students.
Feasibility Study of Consolidation by Direct Compaction and Friction Stir Processing of Commercially Pure Titanium Powder
Commercially pure titanium can take up to six months to successfully manufacture a six-inch in diameter ingot in which can be shipped to be melted and shaped into other useful components. The applications to the corrosion-resistant, light weight, strong metal are endless, yet so is the manufacturing processing time. At a cost of around $80 per pound of certain grades of titanium powder, the everyday consumer cannot afford to use titanium in the many ways it is beneficial simply because the number of processing steps it takes to manufacture consumes too much time, energy, and labor. In this research, the steps it takes from the raw powder form to the final part are proposed to be reduced from 4-8 steps to only 2 steps utilizing a new technology that may even improve upon the titanium properties at the same time as it is reducing the number of steps of manufacture. The two-step procedure involves selecting a cylindrical or rectangular die and punch to compress a small amount of commercially pure titanium to a strong-enough compact for transportation to the friction stir welder to be consolidated. Friction stir welding invented in 1991 in the United Kingdom uses a tool, similar to a drill bit, to approach a sample and gradually plunge into the material at a certain rotation rate of between 100 to 2,100 RPM. In the second step, the friction stir welder is used to process the titanium powder held in a tight holder to consolidate into a harder titanium form. The resulting samples are cut to expose the cross section and then grinded, polished, and cleaned to be observed and tested using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and a Vickers microhardness tester. The results were that the thicker the sample, the harder the resulting consolidated sample peaking at 2 to 3 times harder than that of the original commercially pure titanium in solid form at a peak value of 435.9 hardness and overall average of 251.13 hardness. The combined results of the SEM and EDS have shown that the mixing of the sample holder material, titanium, and tool material were not of a large amount and therefore proves the feasibility of this study. This study should be continued to lessen the labor, energy, and cost of the production of titanium to therefore allow titanium to be improved upon and be more efficient for many applications across many industries.
Green To-Go: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Intervention Package on Restaurateurs' use of Styrofoam Take-Out Containers
Restauranteurs' use of Styrofoam take-out containers was evaluated using an intervention package containing informational components, a written commitment, and an incentive system. A decrease in the use of Styrofoam take-out materials was observed with 4 of 6 restaurants. Across all participants, we observed a 15.7% increase in alternative containers and a 15.7% decrease in Styrofoam containers. Overall, a decreased use of Styrofoam take-out containers was observed with restaurateurs who were able to identify suitable alternative products.
Identification of a Potential Factor Affecting Graduation Rates in STEM for Hispanic Students at the University of North Texas, via Analysis of Nonfiction Science Books in Spanish Language for ELLs in the Dallas ISD Schools
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S.; however despite the continuous growth of the Hispanic population, Latinos are severely underrepresented in STEM fields. One of the reasons that might explain why Latinos do not major in STEM is the way they encounter science curriculum in primary school. Students' limited proficiency in English may constrain their science achievement when instruction is delivered exclusively in English. A quantitative analysis with graduation rates in STEM from 2009 to 2014 at the University of North Texas was conducted, finding that there is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the number of bachelor's degrees in STEM between Hispanic, White, African American and other student populations. Interviews with teachers, librarians and publishing companies were performed to describe the limited science literature in Spanish at the Dallas ISD schools. Improving science literacy by teaching according to ELLs' linguistic skills and culture may lead to a better understanding of science curriculum throughout their education, which may translate into higher college graduation rates by Hispanic recipients in STEM.
Imagining the Empire: Germany Through the Eyes of Early Modern English Travellers
This thesis is a study of early modern English travel narratives and the ways they presented the German states and their people to the public through the medium of print. It is based on an analysis of forty seven published travel narratives written by men and women who toured Germany and wrote about their experiences. The study situates these writings in the context of the growing sense of national identity in early modern Europe and offers an assessment of how these travel narratives contributed to a uniquely English understanding of Germany. As English travel narratives about Germany in the early modern period evolved, writers highlighted distinctive characteristics they believed Germans possessed, and compared their subjects to themselves. Travelers presented diverse and even conflicting views on a variety of subjects related to Germany. Nevertheless, by the late eighteenth century, English travelers had fashioned a common set of images, stereotypes, and characteristics of Germany and its people.
The Impact of Chinese Privet (Ligustrum Sinense) on the Survival and Re-Establishment of Native Plants at the Dallas Floodway Extension
Invasive woody shrubs are a problem when they displace native species and threaten habitats, especially those that harbor rare or endangered species. They not only compete with native plants, but also alter habitat and food that many organisms depend upon. Invasive plants undergo a release from their specialist predators in the nonnative range, providing them advantages over native species. Because modes and pathways of how invasive species spread are not fully understood, predicting spread and implementing restoration ecological controls remain inexact. Due to the lack of comparative studies on woody shrubs, especially invasive privets, we understand very little about conditions affecting their invasiveness. A study was conducted near Dallas, Texas to determine if privet has allelopathic properties that influences growth of native plants. Soil nutrients and other analyses were made and compared between field plots supporting privet, plots in which privet has been removed, and plots where privet has not been observed. In some field plots, natives were planted under the three previously mentioned conditions, and their survival and condition were monitored to evaluate effects of privet on their establishment and growth. It was found that Chinese privet did hinder seed germination in red mulberry, soapberry and beautyberry and root formation in beautyberry cuttings. The soil in the sites were found to be normal for bottomland forests that endured two flooding events within one year.
Influence of a Human Lipodystrophy Gene Homologue on Neutral Lipid Accumulation in Arabidopsis Leaves
CGI-58 is the defective gene in the human neutral lipid storage disease called Chanarin-Dorfman syndrome. This disorder causes intracellular lipid droplets to accumulate in nonadipose tissues, such as skin and blood cells. Here, disruption of the homologous CGI-58 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in the accumulation of neutral lipid droplets in mature leaves. Mass spectroscopy of isolated lipid droplets from cgi-58 loss-of-function mutants showed they contain triacylglycerols with common leaf specific fatty acids. Leaves of mature cgi-58 plants exhibited a marked increase in absolute triacylglycerol levels, more than 10-fold higher than in wild-type plants. Lipid levels in the oil-storing seeds of cgi-58 loss-of-function plants were unchanged, and unlike mutations in beta-oxidation, the cgi-58 seeds germinated and grew normally, requiring no rescue with sucrose. We conclude that the participation of CGI-58 in neutral lipid homeostasis of nonfat-storing tissues is similar, although not identical, between plant and animal species. This unique insight may have implications for designing a new generation of technologies that enhance the neutral lipid content and composition of corp plants.
Knowledge Based System and Decision Making Methodologies in Materials Selection for Aircraft Cabin Metallic Structures
Materials selection processes have been the most important aspects in product design and development. Knowledge-based system (KBS) and some of the methodologies used in the materials selection for the design of aircraft cabin metallic structures are discussed. Overall aircraft weight reduction means substantially less fuel consumption. Part of the solution to this problem is to find a way to reduce overall weight of metallic structures inside the cabin. Among various methodologies of materials selection using Multi Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) techniques, a few of them are demonstrated with examples and the results are compared with those obtained using Ashby's approach in materials selection. Pre-defined constraint values, mainly mechanical properties, are employed as relevant attributes in the process. Aluminum alloys with high strength-to-weight ratio have been second-to-none in most of the aircraft parts manufacturing. Magnesium alloys that are much lighter in weight as alternatives to the Al-alloys currently in use in the structures are tested using the methodologies and ranked results are compared. Each material attribute considered in the design are categorized as benefit and non-benefit attribute. Using Ashby's approach, material indices that are required to be maximized for an optimum performance are determined, and materials are ranked based on the average of consolidated indices ranking. Ranking results are compared for any disparity among the methodologies.
Looking Outward from the Village: The Contingencies of Soil Moisture on the Prehistoric Farmed Landscape near Goodman Point Pueblo
Ancestral Pueblo communities of the central Mesa Verde region (CMVR) became increasingly reliant on agriculture for their subsistence needs during Basketmaker III (BMIII) through Terminal Pueblo III (TPIII) (AD 600–1300) periods. Researchers have been studying the Ancestral Pueblo people for over a century using a variety of methods to understand the relationships between climate, agriculture, population, and settlement patterns. While these methods and research have produced a well-developed cultural history of the region, studies at a smaller scale are still needed to understand the changes in farming behavior and the distribution of individual sites across the CMVR. Soil moisture is the limiting factor for crop growth in the semi-arid region of the Goodman Watershed in the CMVR. Thus, I constructed the soil moisture proxy model (SMPM) that is on a local scale and focuses on variables relevant to soil moisture – soil particle-size, soil depth, slope, and aspect. From the SMPM output, the areas of very high soil moisture are assumed to represent desirable farmland locations. I describe the relationship between very high soil moisture and site locations, then I infer the relevance of that relationship to settlement patterns and how those patterns changed over time (BMIII – TPIII). The results of the model and its application help to clarify how Ancestral Pueblo people changed as local farming communities. The results of this study indicates that farmers shifted away from use of preferred farmland during Terminal Pueblo III, which may have been caused by other cultural factors. The general outcome of this thesis is an improved understanding of human-environmental relationships on the local landscape in the CMVR.
Married in a Frisky Mode: Clandestine and Irregular Marriages in Eighteenth-Century Britain
The practice of irregular and clandestine marriage ran rampant throughout Britain for centuries, but when the upper class felt they needed to reassert their social supremacy, marriage was one arena in which they sought to do so. The restrictions placed on irregular marriages were specifically aimed at protecting the elite and maintaining a separation between themselves and the lower echelon of society. The political, social, and economic importance of marriage motivated its regulation, as the connections made with the matrimonial bond did not affect only the couple, but their family, and, possibly, their country. Current historiography addresses this issue extensively, particularly in regards to Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 in England. There is, however, a lack of investigation into other groups that influenced and were influenced by the English approach to clandestine marriage. The Scots, Irish, and British military all factor into the greater landscape of clandestine marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and an investigation of them yields a more complete explanation of marital practices, regulations, and reactions to both that led to and stemmed from Hardwicke's Act. This explanation shows the commonality of ideas among Britons regarding marriage and the necessity of maintaining endogamous unions for the benefit of the elite.
Measurement and Analysis of Indoor Air Quality Conditions
More than 80% of the people in urban regions and about 98% of cities in low and middle income countries have poor air quality according to the World Health Organization. People living in such environment suffer from many disorders like a headache, shortness of breath or even the worst diseases like lung cancer, asthma etc. The main objective of the thesis is to create awareness about the air quality and the factors that are causing air pollution to the people which is really important and provide tools at their convenience to measure and analyze the air quality. Taking real time air quality scenarios, various experiments were made using efficient sensors to study both the indoor and outdoor air quality. These experimental results will eventually help people to understand air quality better. An outdoor air quality data measurement system is developed in this research using Python programming to provide people an opportunity to retrieve and manage the air quality data and get the concentrations of the leading pollutants. The entire designing of the program is made to run with the help of a graphical user interface tool for the user, as user convenience is considered as one of the objectives of the thesis. A graphical user interface is made for the user convenience to visualize graphically the data from the database. The designed system is tested and used for the measurement and analysis of the outdoor air quality. This data will be available in the database so it can be used for analyzing the air quality data for several days or months or years. Using the GrayWolf system and the designed outdoor air quality data measurement system, both the indoor and outdoor air quality was measured to analyze and correlate.
The Modeling and Simulation of EV3 Motor Dynamics
This paper describes a procedure to find the transfer function for the Lego Mindstorms Ev3. Lego Mindstorms Ev3 can serve as the platform for a system modeling and a controller design course. It is economical and accessible. It is also very compatible with Matlab and Simulink. This platform can be used for concepts of modeling, feedback, and controller design. The main approach in this work focuses on the closed loop instead of open loop. Although this approach turns the problem into a more complicated puzzle, it reveals more details. In this work, different techniques have been used, such as time domain, root locus, and least square estimation. Different tools have also been utilized such as Matlab SISO tool, the Matlab System Identification tool, and Simulink. These methods and implementations assisted to acquire different types of transfer functions for the system. By simulating the transfer functions and comparing them with experimental studies, the matching scores were calculated to decide on the best transfer function. Finding the finest transfer function for this gadget enables us to prepare diverse practical undergraduate and graduate curricula.
The Moderating Effect of Religiosity on the Relationship between Attachment and Psychological Wellbeing in a Muslim-American Sample
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Although research on attachment theory has grown exponentially in the field of psychology, few studies exist that examine this theory among young Muslim-American adults, despite the fact that Muslim-Americans represent a significant and growing segment of the U.S. population. The first goal of the current study was to replicate the results of previous studies demonstrating a strong relationship between attachment and the selected wellbeing indicators of psychological symptoms and life satisfaction. The second goal of the proposed study was to examine the relationships among maternal attachment, Islamic religiosity, and psychological wellbeing. Findings provided partial support to the direct effects of attachment and religiosity variables on particular outcome variables but did not support the moderating effect of religiosity. High maternal Control was found to be predictive of less psychological distress, whereas both maternal control and care were found to be negatively associated with an interpersonal behaviors aspect of religiosity. In addition, those who endorsed practicing Islamic rituals were found to report less life satisfaction, and individuals who viewed the world through an Islamic lens reported higher psychological distress. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
Network Security Tool for a Novice
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Network security is a complex field that is handled by security professionals who need certain expertise and experience to configure security systems. With the ever increasing size of the networks, managing them is going to be a daunting task. What kind of solution can be used to generate effective security configurations by both security professionals and nonprofessionals alike? In this thesis, a web tool is developed to simplify the process of configuring security systems by translating direct human language input into meaningful, working security rules. These human language inputs yield the security rules that the individual wants to implement in their network. The human language input can be as simple as, "Block Facebook to my son's PC". This tool will translate these inputs into specific security rules and install the translated rules into security equipment such as virtualized Cisco FWSM network firewall, Netfilter host-based firewall, and Snort Network Intrusion Detection. This tool is implemented and tested in both a traditional network and a cloud environment. One thousand input policies were collected from various users such as staff from UNT departments' and health science, including individuals with network security background as well as students with a non-computer science background to analyze the tool's performance. The tool is tested for its accuracy (91%) in generating a security rule. It is also tested for accuracy of the translated rule (86%) compared to a standard rule written by security professionals. Nevertheless, the network security tool built has shown promise to both experienced and inexperienced people in network security field by simplifying the provisioning process to result in accurate and effective network security rules.
Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and Their Body Servants
Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and their Body Servants is an examination of the relationship between Texas Confederates and the slaves they brought with them during and after the American Civil War. The five chapter study seeks to make sense of the complex relationships shared by some Confederate masters and their black body servants in order to better understand the place of "black Confederates" in Civil War memory. This thesis begins with an examination of what kind of Texans brought body servants to war with them and the motivations they may have had for doing so. Chapter three explores the interactions between master and slave while on the march. Chapter four, the crux of the study, focuses on a number of examples that demonstrate the complex nature of the master slave relationship in a war time environment, and the effects of these relationships during the post-Civil War era.
Post-Hoc Analysis of Challenging Behavior by Function: A Comparison of Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments, Functional Analyses, and Treatments
The current study examines anecdotal assessment, functional analysis, and treatment outcomes from 44 participants. Agreement across Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS), Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF), and Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) assessments, agreement between those anecdotal assessments and functional analyses, and agreement between those anecdotal assessments and treatment outcomes were analyzed across maintaining variables and topography categories of challenging behaviors. Overall, the QABF had the highest agreement results with functional analyses and treatment with 70% and 92% of cases respectively. Patterns in the distribution of maintaining variables was examined across behavior topography categories.
The Power of the Servant Teacher
An instructor's power in the classroom is constructed and sustained through communication. The aim here is to examine how a teacher's power can be negotiated through a lens of servant leadership in hopes of furthering modes in which communication scholars can train future teachers to utilize their power in the classroom. I hypothesize that a teacher utilizing a servant leadership framework employs more pro-social behavioral alteration techniques (BATs). Participants were asked to answer an online survey with questions regarding a chosen instructor's attributes of servant leadership and behavioral alteration messages (BAMs). My hypothesis was partially supported in that that are perceived to use persuasive mapping a specific dimension of servant leadership engage in significantly more pro-social BATs; however, instructors with higher levels of emotional healing engage in significantly more anti-social BATs. Additionally, the gender of the participant and rank of the instructor evaluated influenced students' perceptions of compliance-gaining strategies. The discussion examines the specific dimensions of servant leadership as they relate to power and explores future directions for research examining professional development and training for future faculty and the need to examine gender of participant and instructors with an experimental research design.
Preschool Life Skills: A Systematic Replication with Children with Developmental Disabilities
School readiness literature indicates that skills which lend themselves to readiness and success in primary school are not amongst the skills generally taught in center based care facilities. Furthermore, children enrolled in non- maternal care settings are at greater risk for developing problem behavior. To address this issue, the Preschool Life Skills (PLS) program was created as a preventative intervention to teach functional communication and social skills to typically developing children. Children diagnosed with developmental disabilities are not immune to these concerns and are also at risk for developing problem behaviors in non-maternal settings, due to insufficient instruction and contingency management. The current study aimed to evaluate and identify the dose of instruction necessary for the PLS curriculum to be a successful and efficient teaching tool for children with developmental disabilities. Twelve preschool life skills were taught to 9 participants across 4 instruction units. Instruction was provided by means of a three-tiered instructional approach, which incorporated class-wide instruction, followed by small group and individual instruction as necessary. Skills were sequentially introduced and unit probes were conducted following mastery of all 3 skills within a unit. Results indicated that the adaptations made to the original preschool life skills curriculum led to skill acquisition with all nine participants.
Presence of Wolbachia, A Potential Biocontrol Agent: Screening for Vertebrate Blood Meal Source and West Nile Virus in Mosquitoes in the North Texas Region
West Nile virus (WNV) is a geographically endemic mosquito-borne flavivirus that has spread across the United States infecting birds, mosquitos, humans, horses and other mammals. The wide spread nature of this virus is due to the ability of the mosquito vector to persist in broad, ecological diverse environments across the United States. In this study, mosquito populations in North Texas region were sampled for detection of Wolbachia, blood meal source, and WNV. The ultimate goal of this study was to examine the potential of a biocontrol agent, Wolbachia sp. that colonizes the hindgut of various insects, including mosquitos, as a natural means to interrupt virus transmission from mosquitos to other hosts, including humans. In Australia, Wolbachia sp. from fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) have been successfully used to block transmission of a similar pathogenic virus from mosquitos responsible for transmission of Dengue fever. Here, mosquitoes were collected using CDC style Gravid Traps in Denton, Texas, from October 2012 through September 2014. Collected mosquitoes were identified, sexed, and categorized as to the amount of host blood in their alimentary system using a Zeiss Axio Zoom microscope (Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC, Thornwood, NY). Culex quinquefaciatus was the dominant blood engorged species collected. Smaller populations of Culex tarsalis and Aedes albopictus, another known vector for WNV were also collected. Mosquito larva were also collected from the UNT water research field station and reared to adults. Cx. tarsalis was the dominant mosquito taken from this habitat. Samples of Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. tarsalis and A. albopictus were analyzed for Wolbachia sp. and to identify host blood in the mosquito alimentary system. Total DNA extraction from the pool of mosquito samples was by both commercially available DNA extraction kits (Qiagen, Valencia, CA) and salt extraction technique. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify and identify Wolbachia sp. 16SrDNA and mitochondrial DNA from vertebrate blood. The maternally inherited endosymbiont, Wolbachia, were found to be uniformly distributed across the mosquitoes sampled in this study. Blood meal analysis by PCR showed that Cx. quinquefaciatus fed more on birds than on mammalian blood sources based on the previously developed primers used in this study.
"Project Reformation"
"Project Reformation" presents the process of change Amanda and Robert Bowen went through as they came to recognize Holy Spirit, the part of Trinity that was sent after the death of Jesus (John 15:26). The documentary combines various filming techniques such as observational footage, reenactments, interviews, and CGI to convey the story. This film captures the walk Robert and Amanda took as they re-examine their past, progressing through a series of supernatural encounters into a recognition of purpose and plan behind the events and experiences. While looking back on this journey, the director seeks to reveal the truth that Holy Spirit is in fact "alive and well," and walks with individuals in their daily lives by sharing how the "gifts" of miracles, healing, visions and prophecy are active even in today's age. In addition, the director desires to reveal the specific message this couple has received through this process: Not to only recognize Holy Spirit, but to reveal the "why" He is now making Himself known in these ways when many would say He has been silent for at least a generation: For reconciliation and restoration, leading to Reformation through Spiritual Healing in Family Ties (Reformation.SHIFT).
Quantification of Human Thermal Comfort for Residential Building's Energy Saving
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Providing conditioned and fully controlled room is the final goal for having a comfortable building. But on the other hand making smart controllers to provide the required cooling or heating load depending on occupants' real time feeling is necessary. This study has emphasized on finding a meaningful and steady state parameter in human body that can be interpreted as comfort criterion which can be expressed as the general occupants' sensation through their ambient temperature. There are lots of researches on human physiological behavior in different situations and also different body parts reaction to the same ambient situation. Body parts which have the biggest reliable linear fluctuation to the changes are the best subject for this research. For these tests, wrist and palm have been selected and their temperatures on different people have been measured accurately with thermal camera to follow the temperature trend on various comfort levels. It is found that each person reaches to his own unique temperature on these two spots, when he/ she feels comfortable, or in other word each person's body temperature is a precise nominate for comfort feeling of that individual. So in future by having this unique comfort parameter and applying them to the HVAC system temperature control, controlling the dynamic temperature and correlating the indoor condition depending on the occupants instant thermal comfort level, would be a rational choice to bring convenience while energy has been saved more.
Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops: An Analysis of Racial Profiling Data in Texas
The primary goal of this study was to analyze existing racial profiling data collected and reported by law enforcement agencies in Texas. The internet-based data used was obtained through TCOLE, as it is the state mandated repository in which all law enforcement agencies must submit their annual racial profiling reports to. In analyzing a collection requirement of these reports, this study sought to determine how frequently law enforcement officers know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops. Furthermore, the study sought to determine if there are differences in the rates of race or ethnicity known prior to stops across Texas geographical regions, county population sizes, agency types, as well as between counties with and without interstate thoroughfares. This analysis consisted of 3,250,984 traffic stops conducted by 1,186 law enforcement agencies in 2014. Findings revealed that law enforcement officers rarely know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops, as was consistently found across all measures. Findings and implications are discussed.
Respiratory Responses in the Freshwater Snail (Pomacea Bridgesii) are Differently Affected by Temperature , Body Mass,and Oxygen Avalability
Pomacea bridgesii is a snail species native to tropical and sub-tropical regions, where it usually faces variability in water, temperature and oxygen level. This study of the effect of temperature on mass-specific oxygen consumption (ṀO2) and its relation to body weight shows that the ṀO2 of juvenile snails in normoxia (18-21 kPa) acclimated at temperature of 25°C ranged from 5 to 58 µMol O2/g/h, with a mean of 41.4 ± 18.3 µMol O2/g/h (n=7). Adult snails in normoxia at 25°C show less variation, ranging from 13 to 23 µMol O2/g/h , with a mean of 24.4± 6.1 µMol O2/g/h (n=12). The Q10 value for juvenile snails was higher in the interval 25-30°C (Q 10=5.74) than in the interval 20-25°C (Q10= 0.286). In adult snails, Q10 was higher in the interval 20-25°C (Q10=3.19). ṀO2 of P. bridgesii in relation to body weight showed a negative linear correlation between metabolic rate and body weight with b values between 0.23 and 0.76. Also, both juvenile and adult snails exhibited weak O2 regulation. In general, the different respiratory characteristics between juvenile and adult snails might be related to the differences of individual life history, which caused them to perform differently in face of temperatures change. Additionally, Pomacean snails species originated in tropical habitats where there is a lack of thermal fluctuation. For this reason, Pomacean snails may be less likely to have evolved effective thermal acclimation capabilities.
Superstitious Behavior Classroom Game Teaching
Superstitions flourish in cultures around the word and in everyday life. Superstitions are so prevalent and influence personal and political decisions, therefore, we sought to develop a classroom demonstration of superstitious behavior that could be used to show quickly and effectively how powerful adventitious reinforcement could be in modifying behavior. An online game was developed and played by one hundred thirteen university students enrolled in a class on critical thinking. Participants gained points (reinforcement) arbitrarily during either 25% or 50% of each game's (A or B) 3 minute duration. Although points were non-contingent, students often engaged in superstations rules or patterns. Results of both self-reports and computer generated data showed, the games were successful in producing superstitious behavior patterns in about 50% of our participants. More students showed superstitious behavior in the 50% game than in the 25% game. We conclude that this is due to the higher reinforcement rate of in 50% game. For future studies, rearranging the stimulus array into a pattern that does not itself strongly control behavior could help refine the results.
Sustainable Education: An Interfaith Climate Change Initiative
This thesis is a study of religion and the environment in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and how participants define and interpret their religious duty toward nature. The literature is focused on the field of Christianity and Ecology from its historical development, culminating with a discussion of contemporary religious environmental activism. Utilizing a participatory action research framework, a sustainable education program was developed, focusing on the environmental ethics of Christianity. With my participants we address the topics of sustainability and climate change, religion and the environment, consumption, and advocacy. While the final product of the study was a program on Christianity and Ecology, interfaith ideas can be found throughout the work.
Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Studies of Chiral Gold Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes
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Chiral gold complexes have been applied in homogeneous catalytic reactions since 1986, in some cases with high enantioselectivity. Acyclic diaminocarbene (ADC) ligands are acyclic analogues of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) that have larger N-CCarbene-N angles and stronger donating ability. ADCs have been developed as alternatives to phosphine and NHC ligands in homogeneous gold catalysis. In 2012, a new series of chiral gold(I) ADCs were first developed by Slaughter's group and were shown to give remarkable enantioselectivities in some reactions. Because of the hindered rotation of the N-CCarbene bonds of ADC, chiral ADC substituents can easily get close to the metal center in some conformations, although two rotameric structures are formed if the chiral amine is nonsymmetric. The selective of specific ADC conformations was the initial focus of this study. Formational selectivity of one diastereomer of an ADC ligand during synthesis was examines by measuring the relative rates of diastereomer formation in a 1H NMR kinetic study. The potential for converting multiple conformational isomers of ADCs into a single conformation, or at least a simpler mixture, was examined. This study used the analogy that anti- isomer has electronic and structural similarity with urea/thiourea, raising the possibility that 1,8-naphthyridine can be used to favor certain conformations through a self-assembled hydrogen-bonding complex. Gold(I) is a soft carbophilic Lewis acid able to active C-C π bonds to nucleophilic attack, and ADC-gold complexes are potentially useful in this regard. Therefore, biaryl gold(I) ADC complexes were examine with silver salt additives in catalytic 1,6-enyne cyclization reaction. A detailed study found that the counteranion affects the regioselectivities of these reactions more than substituents on the ancillary ADC ligands.
Teacher Leadership Implementation: Change Agents in a Large Urban School District
Education reform initiatives continue to push schools to improve methods of measuring accountability intended to improve student achievement in the United States. Federal programs like the Teacher Incentive Find (TIF) provide school districts with funds to develop and implement school accountability and leadership programs. Teacher leadership is one of the concepts being formally developed amongst these initiatives. My applied thesis project focused on work I conducted with a team of researchers at American Institutes for Research, where we evaluated a teacher leadership program in its third year of implementation. Teacher leadership is facilitated through distributive leadership. School leaders distribute responsibilities that provide teachers with opportunities to extend their expertise outside of their own classrooms. My thesis explores teacher leadership roles and investigates implementation across the client school district. It also discusses how particular anthropological theories about communities of practice, learning, and identity can provide a foundation for conceptualizing teacher leadership implementation and the social interactions between program actors.
Tempered Confetti: Defining Instrumental Collage Music in Tempered Confetti and Venni, Viddi, --
This thesis explores collage music's formal elements in an attempt to better understand its various themes and apply them in a workable format. I explore the work of John Zorn; how time is perceived in acoustic collage music and the concept of "super tempo"; musical quotation and appropriation in acoustic collage music; the definition of acoustic collage music in relation to other acoustic collage works; and musical montages addressing the works of Charles Ives, Lucciano Berio, George Rochberg, and DJ Orange. The last part of this paper discusses the compositional process used in the works Tempered Confetti and Venni, Viddi, – and how all issues of composing acoustic collage music are addressed therein.
Theoretical Analysis of Drug Analogues and VOC Pollutants
While computational chemistry methods have a wide range of applications within the set of traditional physical sciences, very little is being done in terms of expanding their usage into other areas of science where these methods can help clarify research questions. One such promising field is Forensic Science, where detailed, rapidly acquired sets of chemical data can help in decision-making at a crime scene. As part of an effort to create a database that fits these characteristics, the present work makes use of computational chemistry methods to increase the information readily available for the rapid identification and scheduling of drugs to the forensic scientist. Ab initio geometry optimizations, vibrational spectra calculations and ESI-MS fragmentation prediction of a group of common psychedelics are here presented. In addition, we describe an under development graphical user interface to perform ab initio calculations using the GAMESS software package in a more accessible manner. Results show that the set of theoretical techniques here utilized, closely approximate experimental data. Another aspect covered in this work is the implementation of a boiling point estimation method based on group contributions to generate chemical dispersion areas with the ALOHA software package. Once again, theoretical results showed to be in agreement with experimental boiling point values. A computer program written to facilitate the execution of the boiling point estimation method is also shown.
"This Fundamental Lack": Stories
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This short story collection includes five original works of fiction, three of which make up a trilogy titled "The World Drops Beneath You," which follows the life of James McClellan from 1969 in Texas until roughly 2009, when he is struggling to care for his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. One of the two remaining stories, "She Loved Him When He Looked Like Elvis," prominently features James McClellan's parents and is set approximately eight years before the start of the trilogy. Each of the stories is concerned with blue-collar families trying to make their way in postindustrial America and the forces that buffet them, including some brought on by the choices they make.
Tracing the Evolution of Collaborative Virtual Research Environments: A Critical Events-Based Perspective
A significant number of scientific projects pursuing large scale, complex investigations involve dispersed research teams, which conduct a large part or their work virtually. Virtual Research Environments (VREs), cyberinfrastructure that facilitates coordinated activities amongst dispersed scientists, thus provide a rich context to study organizational evolution. Due to the constantly evolving nature of technologies, it is important to understand how teams of scientists, system developers, and managers respond to critical incidents. Critical events are organizational situations that trigger strategic decision making to adjust structure or redirect processes in order to maintain balance or improve an already functioning system. This study examines two prominent VREs: The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory (US-VAO) and the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) in order to understand how these environments evolve through critical events and strategic choices. Communication perspectives lend themselves well to a study of VRE development and evolution because of the central role occupied by communication technologies in both the functionality and management of VREs. Using the grounded theory approach, this study uses organizational reports to trace how critical events and their resulting strategic choices shape these organizations over time. The study also explores how disciplinary demands influence critical events.
Twitter and Radio News: A Dallas-Fort Worth Case Study
This study of radio news stations adds to the field of Twitter research into broadcasters' use of this social media microblogging platform; previous research has predominantly focused on television. This case study, based on a survey with numerous open-ended questions completed in face-to-face interviews, begins to fill in data on how Twitter is being used in major market radio station newsrooms. Limited in scope, this exploratory study used answers from seven members of two radio newsrooms in trying to find out if there were stated goals for tweets; if separate, unique content was being tweeted or was content tied to the stations' on-air product; how tweets seek to increase station listenership and/or increase station website traffic; what were the most frequently tweeted topics; what hyperlinks were included in tweets for internal or external web content; and were tweets personal and/or opinionated, or kept more professional with just factual material. From a strategic management theory standpoint, there is neither a stated plan nor goals sought with these newsrooms' use of Twitter. Unique tweet content includes sending out photos which add visuals to the pictureless world of radio news and live-tweeting of ongoing news events, while complementary content is promotional to push audience members to on-air or website products. There are no analytics in place to try to determine whether the stations' listenership or web traffic increases based on tweets. Promotional teases of upcoming on-air guest interviews or news content and/or web content are the most frequently tweeted topics. Hashtags rather than hyperlinks are more often included in the stations' tweets. News personnel stay away from expressing opinions, or being too personal in tweets, but remain more objective and professional by sticking to facts which is in step with the traditional role of journalists.