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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
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Customers' Attitudes toward Mobile Banking Applications in Saudi Arabia

Customers' Attitudes toward Mobile Banking Applications in Saudi Arabia

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Alshara, Mohammed Ali
Description: Mobile banking services have changed the design and delivery of financial services and the whole banking sector. Financial service companies employ mobile banking applications as new alternative channels to increase customers' convenience and to reduce costs and maintain profitability. The primary focus of this study was to explore the Saudi bank customers' perceptions about the adoption of mobile banking applications and to test the relationships between the factors that influence mobile banking adoption as independent variables and the action to adopt them as the dependent variable. Saudi customers' perceptions were tested based on the extended versions of IDT, TAM and other diffusion of innovation theories and frameworks to generate a model of constructs that can be used to study the use and the adoption of mobile technology by users. Koenig-Lewis, Palmer, & Moll's (2010) model was used to test its constructs of (1) perceived usefulness, (2) perceived ease of use, (3) perceived compatibility, (4) perceived credibility, (5) perceived trust, (6) perceived risk, and (7) perceived cost, and these were the independent variables in current study. This study revealed a high level of adoption that 82.7% of Saudis had adopted mobile banking applications. Also, the findings of this study identified a ...
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Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Date: August 2016
Creator: Quan, Daniel L
Description: 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 ...
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Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Xie, Junfei
Description: Managing large-scale dynamical systems (e.g., transportation systems, complex information systems, and power networks, etc.) in real-time is very challenging considering their complicated system dynamics, intricate network interactions, large scale, and especially the existence of various uncertainties. To address this issue, intelligent techniques which can quickly design decision-making strategies that are robust to uncertainties are needed. This dissertation aims to conquer these challenges by exploring a data-driven decision-making framework, which leverages big-data techniques and scalable uncertainty evaluation approaches to quickly solve optimal control problems. In particular, following techniques have been developed along this direction: 1) system modeling approaches to simplify the system analysis and design procedures for multiple applications; 2) effective simulation and analytical based approaches to efficiently evaluate system performance and design control strategies under uncertainty; and 3) big-data techniques that allow some computations of control strategies to be completed offline. These techniques and tools for analysis, design and control contribute to a wide range of applications including air traffic flow management, complex information systems, and airborne networks.
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Decision-Making with Big Information: The Relationship between Decision Context, Stopping Rules, and Decision Performance

Decision-Making with Big Information: The Relationship between Decision Context, Stopping Rules, and Decision Performance

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Gerhart, Natalie
Description: Ubiquitous computing results in access to vast amounts of data, which is changing the way humans interact with each other, with computers, and with their environments. Information is literally at our fingertips with touchscreen technology, but it is not valuable until it is understood. As a result, selecting which information to use in a decision process is a challenge in the current information environment (Lu & Yuan, 2011). The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate how individual decision makers, in different decision contexts, determine when to stop collecting information given the availability of virtually unlimited information. Decision makers must make an ultimate decision, but also must make a decision that he or she has enough information to make the final decision (Browne, Pitts, & Wetherbe, 2007). In determining how much information to collect, researchers found that people engage in ‘satisficing' in order to make decisions, particularly when there is more information than it is possible to manage (Simon, 1957). A more recent elucidation of information use relies on the idea of stopping rules, identifying five common stopping rules information seekers use: mental list, representational stability, difference threshold, magnitude threshold, and single criterion (Browne et al., 2007). Prior research indicates ...
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The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera

The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera

Date: August 2016
Creator: Li, Songwei
Description: 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.
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Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Date: August 2016
Creator: Kilgore, Whitney Kay
Description: The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Ed Tech Future Ready program has encouraged the use of open informal learning communities as professional learning opportunities for educators. This study categorizes 46 state Twitter chats by their moderation techniques and design. A purposive sample of Twitter chat designers participated in this phenomenological exploration that demonstrates how the designs of these informal learning spaces are aligned with the designers' pedagogical philosophies. Recommendations for supporting, growing, and sustaining similar learning communities are included.
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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

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

Date: August 2016
Creator: Litvin, Justin M
Description: 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.
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Dimensions of Acculturation and Sexual Health among U.S. Hispanic Youth

Dimensions of Acculturation and Sexual Health among U.S. Hispanic Youth

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Driver, Nichola D
Description: Hispanic youth living in the U.S. share a disproportionate burden of risk for HIV, other STIs, and teen pregnancies. They also tend to report lower rates of condom use and higher rates of inconsistent condom use than other racial/ethnic groups. Furthermore, immigrant Hispanic adolescents experience a unique burden of sexual risk compared to their non-immigrant counterparts. These negative sexual health outcomes can severely derail the overall health, social mobility, and life opportunities of these adolescents. Social researchers have tried to explain these sexual risk disparities using the concept of immigrant acculturation, which is broadly defined as the process of adopting the cultural values and beliefs of a host society. Immigrant acculturation has been shown to play a key role in shaping youth attitudes and behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors (see Lee & Hahm, 2010). Yet, studies have largely overlooked the contextual components of acculturation that have been proposed in theoretical literature, specifically characteristics of the immigrant's receiving community. Furthermore, studies have not adequately explored the influence of acculturation on two crucial measures of sexual risk: teen pregnancy norms and condom use. Therefore, the current dissertation consists of two unique studies that examine the influence of acculturation, at both the individual ...
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Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Date: August 2016
Creator: Beatty, John D.
Description: Epitaxial multilayer h-BN(0001) heterostructures and graphene/h-BN heterostructures have many potential applications in spintronics. The use of h-BN and graphene require atomically precise control and azimuthal alignment of the individual layers in the structure. These in turn require fabrication of devices by direct scalable methods rather than physical transfer of BN and graphene flakes, and such scalable methods are also critical for industrially compatible development of 2D devices. The growth of h-BN(0001) multilayers on Co and Ni, and graphene/h-BN(0001) heterostructures on Co have been studied which meet these criteria. Atomic Layer Epitaxy (ALE) of BN was carried out resulting in the formation of macroscopically continuous h-BN(0001) multilayers using BCl3 and NH3 as precursors. X-ray photoemission spectra (XPS) show that the films are stoichiometric with an average film thickness linearly proportional to the number of BCl3/NH3 cycles. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of C yielded few layer graphene in azimuthal registry with BN/Co(0001) substrate. Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) measurements indicate azimuthally oriented growth of both BN and graphene layers in registry with the substrate lattice. Photoemission data indicate B:N atomic ratios of 1:1. Direct growth temperatures of 600 K for BN and 800 to 900 K for graphene MBE indicate multiple integration ...
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District Support: Strategies for Building Capacity in Elementary Principals in a Rapid Growth District

District Support: Strategies for Building Capacity in Elementary Principals in a Rapid Growth District

Date: August 2016
Creator: Jamar, Jacye
Description: The purpose of this descriptive case study was to examine the role of the central office staff and the strategies used to support capacity building in elementary principals in a rapid growth district. By synthesizing research and models from education reform scholars, the conceptual framework of professional capital, intrinsic motivation, the educational change process, and professional learning communities was generated to advance the understanding of utilizing PLCs as a foundation for central office to initiate and sustain continuous improvement in a rapid growth district. The Professional Learning Community Assessment - District Support developed by Olivier, Huffman, and Cowan was administered to 126 participants within the curriculum and instruction department and three elementary schools to collect data to analyze the five dimensions of PLCs within the school district. Eleven interviews were conducted with members of the curriculum and instruction department and elementary principals. According to the eleven interviewees, and PLCA-DS, six themes emerged to support the role of capacity building in elementary principals using the PLC model as a framework. The PLC infrastructure, supportive central office, collaborative culture, continuous improvement, differentiated opportunities to learn, and data use were the six themes generated by the participants to support continuous improvement in elementary ...
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Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?

Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?

Date: August 2016
Creator: Pennel, Kathryn Ann Foster
Description: 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 ...
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Effect Size Reporting and Interpreting Practices in Published Higher Education Journal Articles

Effect Size Reporting and Interpreting Practices in Published Higher Education Journal Articles

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Stafford, Mehary T.
Description: Data-driven decision making is an integral part of higher education and it needs to be rooted in strong methodological and statistical practices. Key practices include the use and interpretation of effect sizes as well as a correct understanding of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). Therefore, effect size reporting and interpreting practices in higher education journal articles represent an important area of inquiry. This study examined effect size reporting and interpretation practices of published quantitative studies in three core higher education journals: Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education. The review covered a three-year publication period between 2013 and 2015. Over the three-year span, a total of 249 articles were published by the three journals. The number of articles published across the three years did not vary appreciably. The majority of studies employed quantitative methods (71.1%), about a quarter of them used qualitative methods (25.7%), and the remaining 3.2% used mixed methods. Seventy-three studies were removed from further analysis because they did not feature any quantitative analyses. The remaining 176 quantitative articles represented the sample pool. Overall, 52.8% of the 176 studies in the final analysis reported effect size measures as part of their major ...
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Effective Public Service Collaboration:  The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services

Effective Public Service Collaboration: The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services

Date: August 2016
Creator: Valero, Jesus N
Description: This dissertation investigates factors that facilitate effective collaboration of networks functioning within the context of a federal homeless policy—the HEARTH Act of 2009. While the federal legislation encourages networked collaboration to address the incidence of homelessness, not all networks are effective in achieving their intended purpose. Using a nationwide sample of homeless networks, this research explores the role that nonprofit organizations play in the collaborative process and models the effect of individual leadership, nonprofit-led network, and community nonprofit capacity on two levels of network effectiveness—network and community—using multivariate regression modeling. Results indicate that nonprofits play a significant role as participants of the collaboration process and as leading agents of homeless networks. In addition, the variation in network effectiveness is explained by multidimensional factors.
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The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families

The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families

Date: August 2016
Creator: Opiola, Kristie K
Description: Adoptive parents often struggle to understand and meet the social-emotional behavioral needs of their adopted child, particularly when the child's pre-adoption experience lacked a secure relationship with an attuned and responsive caregiver. This randomized controlled study, a replication of Carnes-Holt and Bratton's 2014 research, investigated the effects of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive families who reported attached-related concerns such as difficulties establishing a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship as well as concerns about the adopted child's behavior and parental stress. Participants were 49 adoptive parents (61% female; 7% couples; 86% European American, 6% Latino, 6% Asian, and 2% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 2.5 to 9 (50% female; 35% European American, 22% Asian, 12% Latino, 10% Black American, and 21% Biracial or other). Eighty-four percent of children were adopted internationally or from the foster care system. Parents were randomly assigned to CPRT or treatment as usual (TAU). Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that compared to the TAU control group, parents who participated in CPRT reported statistically significant improvement in child behavior problems, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy, with a large treatment effects on all measures. Findings confirmed results from ...
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The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills

The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills

Date: August 2016
Creator: Bandy, Darren
Description: 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.
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The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

Date: August 2016
Creator: Degner, Brittany
Description: 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).
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The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on  Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame

The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame

Date: August 2016
Creator: Womack, Stephanie Dianne
Description: Disordered eating is a general term that describes a wide range of behaviors from diagnosable eating disorders to subclinical patterns of behavior that do not meet criteria for diagnosis (e.g., problematic weight loss behaviors, excessive dieting, bingeing, purging). Disordered eating is prevalent and has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. Negative self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt have been implicated in the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Positive attitudes toward the self (i.e., self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance) may be helpful in reducing shame, guilt, and disordered eating symptoms. In this dissertation, I explored the associations between positive attitudes toward the self, negative self-conscious emotions, and disordered eating in a sample of college students and adults (N = 477). Positive attitudes toward the self were associated with lower levels of disordered eating symptoms, and this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of negative self-conscious emotions. I concluded by discussing areas for future research and implications for clinical practice.
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Effects of UE Speed on MIMO Channel Capacity in LTE

Effects of UE Speed on MIMO Channel Capacity in LTE

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Shukla, Rahul
Description: 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.
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Eight-Year Course of Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features

Eight-Year Course of Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie
Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with ...
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Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice

Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice

Date: August 2016
Creator: Paiva, Deanne
Description: Despite the ruling of Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, segregation in schools is still quite visible with suburban schools educating a student body of more than 70% White and urban schools comprised of mostly Black, Hispanic, and Asian students. Ideally, a school should dispel social and structural inequities through curriculum and quality resources, but fallibly, schools continue to be the vehicles to maintaining the status quo. Students who develop critical awareness and cultivate a critical literacy stance can become agents of change toward a more democratic society. In the current study, urban upper-elementary-age students were asked to engage in a critical literacy event by critically examining the power positions of characters in books that depict historical social injustice. The six female participants met in several sessions to read books and a newspaper article, use a critical reader response tool, and then engage in critical conversations about the books' characters. Their dialogue was recorded and analyzed using a critical discourse qualitative methodology. The findings show that older elementary students are capable of seeing multiple perspectives of an issue and can explain characters' power from born from privilege and fueled by fear and how a shift in power may ...
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Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics

Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics

Date: August 2016
Creator: Valenti Possamai, Fabio
Description: This dissertation provides a philosophical analysis about the influence colonialism had over capitalism's current configuration and how their intricate interplay impacts both the social and the ecological spheres, in both central and peripheral countries. Such analysis draws from the work of José Lutzenberger, a Brazilian environmentalist. The current capitalist economic system tends to disregard the environment, since it would be greatly affected by negative externalities. A negative externality is an economic activity that imposes a negative effect on an unrelated third party. Many negative externalities are related to the environmental consequences of production and consumption. In addition, this dissertation explores the fact that an ecological crisis is also a social crisis. A genealogical and existential thread going from Brazil's early days as one of Portugal's colonies to the present is drawn, showing how colonialism helped to create the foundations and the conditions for the current exploitative capitalist system, in Brazil and elsewhere. To change this situation, the environment should not be entrusted to private interests but to an institution responsible for the good of society as a whole. Genuinely green economies are more prone to appear on the periphery, but only if global economic justice is achieved first.
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Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism

Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism

Date: August 2016
Creator: Van Meter, Sarah M
Description: 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.
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Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction

Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction

Date: August 2016
Creator: Hamid, Fahmida
Description: Automatic text summarization and keyphrase extraction are two interesting areas of research which extend along natural language processing and information retrieval. They have recently become very popular because of their wide applicability. Devising generic techniques for these tasks is challenging due to several issues. Yet we have a good number of intelligent systems performing the tasks. As different systems are designed with different perspectives, evaluating their performances with a generic strategy is crucial. It has also become immensely important to evaluate the performances with minimal human effort. In our work, we focus on designing a relativized scale for evaluating different algorithms. This is our major contribution which challenges the traditional approach of working with an absolute scale. We consider the impact of some of the environment variables (length of the document, references, and system-generated outputs) on the performance. Instead of defining some rigid lengths, we show how to adjust to their variations. We prove a mathematically sound baseline that should work for all kinds of documents. We emphasize automatically determining the syntactic well-formedness of the structures (sentences). We also propose defining an equivalence class for each unit (e.g. word) instead of the exact string matching strategy. We show an evaluation ...
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