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 Degree Level: Doctoral
Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation Using Wikipedia
Ambiguity is inherent to human language. In particular, word sense ambiguity is prevalent in all natural languages, with a large number of the words in any given language carrying more than one meaning. Word sense disambiguation is the task of automatically assigning the most appropriate meaning to a polysemous word within a given context. Generally the problem of resolving ambiguity in literature has revolved around the famous quote “you shall know the meaning of the word by the company it keeps.” In this thesis, we investigate the role of context for resolving ambiguity through three different approaches. Instead of using a predefined monolingual sense inventory such as WordNet, we use a language-independent framework where the word senses and sense-tagged data are derived automatically from Wikipedia. Using Wikipedia as a source of sense-annotations provides the much needed solution for knowledge acquisition bottleneck. In order to evaluate the viability of Wikipedia based sense-annotations, we cast the task of disambiguating polysemous nouns as a monolingual classification task and experimented on lexical samples from four different languages (viz. English, German, Italian and Spanish). The experiments confirm that the Wikipedia based sense annotations are reliable and can be used to construct accurate monolingual sense classifiers. It is a long belief that exploiting multiple languages helps in building accurate word sense disambiguation systems. Subsequently, we developed two approaches that recast the task of disambiguating polysemous nouns as a multilingual classification task. The first approach for multilingual word sense disambiguation attempts to effectively use a machine translation system to leverage two relevant multilingual aspects of the semantics of text. First, the various senses of a target word may be translated into different words, which constitute unique, yet highly salient signal that effectively expand the target word’s feature space. Second, the translated context words themselves embed co-occurrence information that a translation engine gathers from very large parallel corpora. The second approach for multlingual word sense disambiguation attempts to reduce the reliance on the machine translation system during training by using the multilingual knowledge available in Wikipedia through its interlingual links. Finally, the experiments on a lexical sample from four different languages confirm that the multilingual systems perform better than the monolingual system and significantly improve the disambiguation accuracy.
The Impact of Professional Development on Student Achievement As Measured by Math and Science Curriculum-based Assessments
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement measured by scores on curriculum-based assessments, CBAs. The participants in the study included 260 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade math and science teachers. Teacher participation in professional development courses was collected for curriculum, instruction, differentiation, assessment, technology integration, and continuous improvement credit types. Achievement data for 8,454 students was used: 2,883 in 3rd grade, 2,752 in 4th grade, and 2,819 in 5th grade. The dependent variable of student achievement was dichotomized at the median: half of the student participants scored above the median and half of the students scored at and below the median. A series of logistic regression models were fit to the data that included examining all main effects and interaction terms among all variables to determine the best fitting model. The results of this study indicate that for 4th grade science, teacher professional development participation in curriculum, instruction, and differentiation credit strands increased the chances for students to score above the district median on CBAs. The larger number of professional development hours in a variety of credit strands had a negative impact on student achievement in 4th grade science. In 5th grade science, the students whose teacher spent more hours in professional learning for continuous improvement had an increased likelihood of scoring above the district median on CBAs.
Preschool Teachers’ Constructions of Early Reading
Much of the current discourse surrounding the practice of early reading has emerged from policies that dictate the definition and means by which reading is taught and by which reading success is measured. Although this discourse directly influences the work of preschool teachers, little is known about what preschool teachers think about early reading and how they develop these understandings or constructions. Research concerning preschool teachers’ constructions is useful because of the potential influence on teachers' decisions and classroom behaviors. The purpose of this study is to better understand preschool teachers’ constructions concerning early reading and the process of learning to read. Six preschool teachers, with a variety of personal, educational, and professional experiences, from four diverse early childhood programs in the North Texas area were interviewed over a nine-month period during which each participant was interviewed for approximately three hours. Through systematic, inductive analysis, three themes were identified under an overarching theme of the interdependent and relational nature of early reading influences: out-of-school interactions, in-school interactions, and interactions with text. Without exception, these teachers referred to their life experiences as influencing their approach to teaching in general and to teaching reading in particular. The goals these preschool teachers had for their students and their instructional decisions were indications of their unique and evolving constructions of early reading and are absolutely grounded in their practice – in their life experiences and in their daily interactions with children. This study suggests that stakeholders should remember that these practical experiences are a primary influence on how preschool teachers think about early reading and the process of learning to read.
Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?
There were two main purposes of this quantitative study. The first purpose was to identify characteristics associated with the selected sample of academic advisors that comprise study. Secondly, the study sought to determine how well work related activities of a selected population of academic advisors correlate with professional characteristics constructs and professional standards constructs of academic advising as a profession. The study used Habley’s (1986) characteristics of a profession to derive the studies professional characteristic construct, education activities, research activities, and professional development activities as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The studies professional standards construct was derived from five Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) professional standards for academic as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The study of 78 out of 210 identified full-time academic advisors at two-and four-year public colleges and universities in the North Texas Region utilized a multidimensional researcher-developed Web survey instrument designed to measure professional standards and characteristic within the field of academic advising. Study results reinforced current criticism of research and education activities within the field of academic advising showing that the lack of scholarly research and education activities among academic advisors decreases significantly their efforts towards professionalization. Also, professional standards construct results suggest that the utilization of CAS standards for academic advising as an evaluation tool may enhance an academic advisor’s knowledge of professional standards within the field.
Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of the contralto voice type had reached its apex in England. Throughout the remainder of the century, the number and popularity of recorded contraltos has decreased alongside the rise of the mezzo-soprano voice type. Due to the contralto’s decline and the lack of repertoire composed specifically for the voice, the definition of “contralto” remains somewhat ambiguous. The large contralto repertoire of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams displays a unique sensitivity to the contralto, particularly with regards to vocal range, flexibility, tessitura, and sustainability. These works thus suggest a new perspective for the voice type. The scope of Vaughan Williams’s oeuvre examined includes each of his operatic roles for contralto and choral works featuring the contralto. Also examined will be the compositional techniques implemented within these pieces which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the contralto voice. A workable definition of the voice type for the pedagogue and performer is included.
The Contribution of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn to Social and Environmental Transformation in the Indian State of Uttarakhand
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The influence of Mohandas K. Gandhi on social and environmental movements in post-colonial India has been widely acknowledged. Yet, the contributions of two European associates of Gandhi, Madeleine Slade and Catherine Mary Heilemann, better known in India as Mira Behn and Sarala Behn, have not received the due attention of the academic community. This dissertation is an examination of the philosophy and social activism of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn and their roles in the evolution of Gandhian philosophy of socioeconomic reconstruction and environmental conservation in the present Indian state of Uttarakhand. Instead of just being acolytes of Gandhi, I argue that these women developed ideas and practices that drew upon from an extensive intellectual terrain that cannot be limited to Gandhi’s work. I delineate the directions in which Gandhian thought and experiments in rural development work evolved through the lives, activism, and written contributions of these two women. Particularly, I examine their influence on social and environmental movements, such as the Chipko and the Anti-Tehri Dam movements, and their roles in promoting grassroots social development and environmental sustainability in the mountain communities of Uttarakhand. Mira Behn and Sarala Behn’s integrative philosophical worldviews present epistemological, sociopolitical, ethical, and metaphysical principles and practices that have local and global significance for understanding interfaith dialog, social justice, and environmental sustainability and thus constitute a useful contribution to the theory and practice of human emancipation in our times.
The Impact of Teacher Perception of Cultural Competence on the Instructional Decision Making of English As Second Language (Esl) Students
Recent research suggests that culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices have the potential to increase student educational outcomes, as well as to reduce unnecessary or inappropriate placement referrals. Examination of the core components in CRT, teacher efficacy and cultural competence, is proposed to be a critical step to reduce unwarranted referrals of culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, there is limited empirical support for the relationship between CRT and instructional referrals, and even among existing studies there is inconsistency regarding the relation of these constructs. The purpose of this study is to examine teacher factors (i.e., teacher role, degree earned, years of teaching, ESL certification held, language proficiency and ethnicity) as a predictor of teacher competence, and the role these factors play in teachers’ referral decision making. To investigate these relationships, a national sample of elementary teachers (N = 258) completed a survey addressing their background, profession endorsements, sense of teaching efficiency, and the instructional decisions they would make in the scenarios presented. The results of this study revealed that teacher role (i.e., general, ESL or special educator) and ESL certification were important predictors of teacher competency. A statistically significant mean difference in teacher competency was found between teachers with and without ESL certification, indicating ESL certification as an important factor in deciding the level of teacher competency. Finally, teacher competency was found to improve teachers’ instructional decision making in scenarios in which the students displayed linguistic difficulties. The findings provide valuable insights to teacher training programs and other professional development entities regarding how to prepare educators to work more efficiently with ESL students.
From Development of Semi-empirical Atomistic Potentials to Applications of Correlation Consistent Basis Sets
The development of the semi-empirical atomistic potential called the embedded atom method (EAM) has allowed for the efficient modeling of solid-state environments, at a lower computational cost than afforded by density functional theory (DFT). This offers the capability of EAM to model the energetics of solid-state phases of varying coordination, including defects, such as vacancies and self-interstitials. This dissertation highlights the development and application of two EAMs: a Ti potential constructed with the multi-state modified embedded atom method (MS-MEAM), and a Ni potential constructed with the fragment Hamiltonian (FH) method. Both potentials exhibit flexibility in the description of different solid-states phases and applications. This dissertation also outlines two applications of DFT. First, a study of structure and stability for solid-state forms of NixCy (in which x and y are integers) is investigated using plane-wave DFT. A ground state phase for Ni2C is elucidated and compared to known and hypothesized forms of NixCy. Also, a set of correlation consistent basis sets, previously constructed using the B3LYP and BLYP density functionals, are studied. They are compared to the well-known to the correlation consistent basis sets that were constructed with higher-level ab initio methodologies through computations of enthalpies of formation and combustion enthalpies. The computational accuracy with regard to experiment is reported.
Development of Enabling Technologies to Visualize the Plant Lipidome
Improvements in mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies for characterizing the plant lipidome through quantitative and qualitative approaches such as shotgun lipidomics have substantially enhanced our understanding of the structural diversity and functional complexity of plant lipids. However, most of these approaches require chemical extractions that result in the loss of the original spatial context and cellular compartmentation for these compounds. To address this current limitation, several technologies were developed to visualize lipids in situ with detailed chemical information. A subcellular visualization approach, direct organelle MS, was developed for directly sampling and analyzing the triacylglycerol contents within purified lipid droplets (LDs) at the level of a single LD. Sampling of single LDs demonstrated seed lipid droplet-to-droplet variability in triacylglycerol (TAG) composition suggesting that there may be substantial variation in the intracellular packaging process for neutral lipids in plant tissues. A cellular and tissue visualization approach, MS imaging, was implemented and enhanced for visualizing the lipid distributions in oilseeds. In mature cotton seed embryos distributions of storage lipids (TAGs) and their phosphatidylcholine (PCs) precursors were distribution heterogeneous between the cotyledons and embryonic axis raising new questions about extent and regulation of oilseed heterogeneity. Extension of this methodology provides an avenue for understanding metabolism in cellular (perhaps even subcellular) context with substantial metabolic engineering implications. To visualize metabolite distributions, a free and customizable application, Metabolite Imager, was developed providing several tools for spatially-based chemical data analysis. These tools collectively enable new forms of visualizing the plant lipidome and should prove valuable toward addressing additional unanswered biological questions.
Leadership Styles and Cultural Sensitivity of Department Chairs at Texas Public Universities
As the U.S. population diversifies, so do its higher education institutions. Leadership at these institutions should be prepared for this diversification of students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this study was to gain greater knowledge about the leadership styles and cultural sensitivity of department chairs. Survey research was used to determine if department chairs’ leadership styles correlated with their cultural sensitivity. The target population was department chairs from public universities in the state of Texas. The survey was distributed to 406 randomly selected department chairs. The participants completed three measures: Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) for leadership style, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) for cultural sensitivity, and a demographic questionnaire (gender, age range, race/ethnicity, and years of service as department chair). The sample included 165 usable surveys (40% return rate). The department chairs were primarily male (72%), White (78%), and over 50 (71%) years of age. First, a statistically significant negative correlation (r = -.431, p < .0001) occurred between LBDQ overall scores and overall ISS scores: As chairs scored higher on leadership ability, they scored lower on intercultural sensitivity. Second, leadership style by demographic variable displayed mixed results. No significant difference was found for leadership style by age, gender, years of service, or region of service. For ethnicity, White participants scored significantly lower than Minority participants on the LBDQ scales of consideration (t [162] = -2.021, p = .045), structure (t [162] = -2.705, p = .008), and overall (t [162] = -2.864, p = .005). Minority participants might work more diligently to increase their leadership abilities based on their higher LDBQ scores. Third, findings on intercultural sensitivity by demographic variable were mixed. No statistical significance was observed between any of the ISS scales and age, gender, years of service, and region. For ethnicity, Minority participants’ scores showed significantly lower intercultural sensitivity than White participants scores on two of six ISS subscales: interaction enjoyment (t = -2.46, p = .015) and respect (t = 2.107, p = .037). It was concluded that the Minority and White department chairs’ leadership style and intercultural sensitivity differences could be due in part to differences in the chairs’ ethnic affiliations, associated cultural backgrounds, and views of dominant versus non-dominant cultures. Recommendations for study are included.
Synthesis Strategies and a Study of Properties of Narrow and Wide Band Gap Nanowires
Various techniques to synthesize nanowires and nanotubes as a function of growth temperature and time were investigated. These include growth of nanowires by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system using vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism and electro-chemical synthesis of nanowires and nanotubes. Narrow band gap InSb Eg = 0.17 eV at room temp) nanowires were successively synthesized. Using a phase diagram, the transition of the nanowire from metallic- semiconducting- semi-metallic phase was investigated. A thermodynamic model is developed to show that the occurrence of native defects in InSb nanowires influenced by the nanowire growth kinetics and thermodynamics of defect formation. Wide band gap ZnO (Eg = 3.34 eV) and In2O3 (3.7 eV) were also synthesized. ZnO nanowires and nanotubes were successfully doped with a transition metal Fe, making it a Dilute Magnetic Semiconductor of great technological relevance. Structural and electronic characterizations of nanowires were studied for different semiconducting, metallic and semi-metallic nanowires. Electron transport measurements were used to estimate intrinsic material parameters like carrier concentration and mobility. An efficient gas sensing device using a single In2O3 nanowire was studied and which showed sensitivity to reducing gas like NH3 and oxidizing gas like O2 gas at room temperature. The efficiency of the gas sensing device was found to be sensitive to the nature of contacts as well as the presence of surface states on the nanowire.
Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems
The increasingly popular cloud-computing paradigm provides on-demand access to computing and storage with the appearance of unlimited resources. Users are given access to a variety of data and software utilities to manage their work. Users rent virtual resources and pay for only what they use. In spite of the many benefits that cloud computing promises, the lack of dependability in shared virtualized infrastructures is a major obstacle for its wider adoption, especially for mission-critical applications. Virtualization and multi-tenancy increase system complexity and dynamicity. They introduce new sources of failure degrading the dependability of cloud computing systems. To assure cloud dependability, in my dissertation research, I develop autonomic failure identification and diagnosis techniques that are crucial for understanding emergent, cloud-wide phenomena and self-managing resource burdens for cloud availability and productivity enhancement. We study the runtime cloud performance data collected from a cloud test-bed and by using traces from production cloud systems. We define cloud signatures including those metrics that are most relevant to failure instances. We exploit profiled cloud performance data in both time and frequency domain to identify anomalous cloud behaviors and leverage cloud metric subspace analysis to automate the diagnosis of observed failures. We implement a prototype of the anomaly identification system and conduct the experiments in an on-campus cloud computing test-bed and by using the Google datacenter traces. Our experimental results show that our proposed anomaly detection mechanism can achieve 93% detection sensitivity while keeping the false positive rate as low as 6.1% and outperform other tested anomaly detection schemes. In addition, the anomaly detector adapts itself by recursively learning from these newly verified detection results to refine future detection.
Fundamental Studies of Copper Bimetallic Corrosion in Ultra Large Scale Interconnect Fabrication Process
In this work, copper bimetallic corrosion and inhibition in ultra large scale interconnect fabrication process is explored. Corrosion behavior of physical vapor deposited (PVD) copper on ruthenium on acidic and alkaline solutions was investigated with and without organic inhibitors. Bimetallic corrosion screening experiments were carried out to determine the corrosion rate. Potentiodynamic polarization experiments yielded information on the galvanic couples and also corrosion rates. XPS and FTIR surface analysis gave important information pertaining inhibition mechanism of organic inhibitors. Interestingly copper in contact with ruthenium in cleaning solution led to increased corrosion rate compared to copper in contact with tantalum. On the other hand when cobalt was in contact with copper, cobalt corroded and copper did not. We ascribe this phenomenon to the difference in the standard reduction potentials of the two metals in contact and in such a case a less noble metal will be corroded. The effects of plasma etch gases such as CF4, CF4+O2, C4F8, CH2F2 and SF6 on copper bimetallic corrosion was investigated too in alkaline solution. It was revealed that the type of etching gas plasma chemistry used in Cu interconnect manufacturing process creates copper surface modification which affects corrosion behavior in alkaline solution. The learning from copper bimetallic corrosion studies will be useful in the development of etch and clean formulations that will results in minimum defects and therefore increase the yield and reliability of copper interconnects.
Études: Five Compositional and Technical Studies for Solo Organ
Études was composed as a set of five interrelated movements in the followingorder: Prelude, Introduction and Fugue, Triptych, Chorale, and Response. The pieces are compositional as well as technical studies. The movements specifically explore certain styles and forms unique to organ music, and reintroduce these elements in creative ways. As in the traditional étude, each movement contains virtuosic technical studies, which are designed to enhance manual and pedal facility and prepare the performer for advanced repertoire.
Spatial Ability in Registered Nurses
Spatial ability is the skill associated with mental relations among objects, the process of maintaining the physical aspects of an object after mentally rotating it in space. Many studies report a strong association of spatial ability with success in various areas of health care, especially surgery, radiology and dentistry. To date, similar investigations in professional nursing could not be located. Registered nurses, employed in an acute care multi-hospital setting, were surveyed using the Shipley-2Block Pattern Test, the Group Embedded Figures Test, and a newly created test of general nursing knowledge. The sample size of 123 nurses was composed of 31 male nurses and 92 female nurses. Data was collected between May and August of 2013 and analyzed using R, version 2.15.2. The present study did not demonstrate a statistically significant effect for gender differences on two measures of spatial ability. However, Cohen’s d effect sizes for mean gender differences in the present study are consistent with prior studies. This may suggest the nursing profession is comparable with other professions where males perform higher than females on spatial ability. The present study should be considered an initial step toward evaluating the relevance of spatial ability in the performance of nursing care.
A Pedagogical and Methodical Approach to Unaccompanied Euphonium Literature Through Performance and Analyses of Original Works by Torstein Aagaard-nilsen
Original unaccompanied literature currently stands as one of the most understudied bodies of music in the euphonium repertory. This is largely due to a lack of access to reference recordings, live performances, and study/performance guides. Many of the commissioning projects for new euphonium music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have promoted the composition of large scale works for euphonium and large ensembles, but very few have generated new unaccompanied pieces for euphonium. Many of the most recent commissions for unaccompanied euphonium music have been for competitions such as the Lieksa Brass Festival (Finland) and Leonard Falcone International Festival (USA). These competitions are also where many students get their only exposure to the unaccompanied repertoire. Unfortunately, there is a small number of standard unaccompanied works that are continuously recycled for these competitions and the exposure to new pieces in the repertoire is further diminished for many developing euphoniumists. This study will examine the three works for unaccompanied euphonium by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen and provide solutions for many common technical challenges and pose suggestions for approaching and preparing this genre of music. Connections are made throughout the study to specific etudes and other unaccompanied solos that can be used as complementary and precursory studies to aid in the mastery of this literature.
A Study of Silver: an Alternative Maldi Matrix for Low Weight Compounds and Mass Spectrometry Imaging
Soft-landing ion mobility has applicability in a variety of areas. The ability to produce material and collect a sufficient amount for further analysis and applications is the key goal of this technique. Soft-landing ion mobility has provided a way to deposit material in a controllable fashion, and can be tailored to specific applications. Changing the conditions at which soft-landing ion mobility occurs effects the characteristics of the resulting particles (size, distribution/coverage on the surface). Longer deposition times generated more material on the surface; however, higher pressures increased material loss due to diffusion. Larger particles were landed when using higher pressures, and increased laser energy at ablation. The utilization of this technique for the deposition of silver clusters has provided a solvent free matrix application technique for MALDI-MS. The low kinetic energy of incident ions along with the solvent free nature of soft-landing ion mobility lead to a technique capable of imaging sensitive samples and low mass analysis. The lack of significant interference as seen by traditional organic matrices is avoided with the use of metallic particles, providing a major enhancement in the ability to analyze low mass compounds by MALDI.
Does Underwriter Size Matter? Only Within the Right Context
The initial matching relationships between underwriters and bonds/issuing firms and the certification quality of underwriters, as determined by changes in the issuing firm’s financial strength post issue, are the two primary research topics in this dissertation. Based on total underwriter syndicate market share, two distinct categories, low market power (LMP) syndicates and high market power (HMP) syndicates were defined. Firm financial strength is examined based on a new factor developed in this research. A comparison of the two underwriting categories, or pools, indicates that the HMP underwriters take on firms of lower initial financial strength and additionally, the issuing firms decline more in financial strength two years following bond issuance than do firms using LMP underwriters. Notwithstanding these results, the more interesting findings are the relationships within each of these pools. In the LMP pool of underwriters, financially stronger firms used the larger LMPs to underwrite their bonds, while the weaker firms used smaller LMPs. In contrast, among HMP underwriters, the largest HMPs aligned with the firms of relatively lower financial strength. The relationships in both pools reverse when changes in financial strength are examined. Larger LMPs are associated with greater issuing firm financial decline while larger HMPs correlate with lower levels of decline in firm financial strength. Divergent patterns in initial underwriter-issuer matching and underwriter certification found in this research indicate that there are true differences in the “small” underwriting syndicates as compared to the larger syndicates. These patterns should be considered by both issuing firms and investors as both constituencies contemplate the corporate bond market.
Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano: the Influence of Idiomatic Jazz Elements on a Prominent Mid-20th Century Neo-classical Composer
Harold Shapero’s Sonata for Trumpet in C and Piano is a significant work that it is rarely performed and studied. Shapero’s composition contains musical attributes that demand artistically accurate choices if the style of this jazz-influenced sonata is to be achieved. Written in 1940 in dedication to Aaron Copland, the Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano makes use of a variety of stylistic influences, blending those of early 20th century jazz with Stravinsky-influenced neo-classicism. The intent of this study is to examine the unique performance practice implications and musical considerations of Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano in correlation to the composer’s implementation of jazz idiomatic elements within the constructs of neo-classicism. The first section of this study examines the historical context necessary for understanding the social and musical conditions of the early to mid 1940s. The second section addresses the musical elements that characterize this work; the primary focus of this section is an exploration of Harold Shapero’s implementation of jazz idioms into his first composition for trumpet. The final section of the study interprets the utilization of idiomatic jazz elements within the work so as to allow the trumpet player with little jazz experience to accurately perform the piece.
Utilizing North American Art Song Settings of Psalm Texts in Worship Services: an Annotated Guide for Singers, Voice Instructors, and Music Ministers
This dissertation provides a guide for appropriate use of North American art song settings of biblical psalms for solo voice written after 1950 in the worship services of Christian faiths. The songs analyzed are for all voice parts and a variety of accompanying ensembles. The placement of each song on a specific calendar day is guided by the individual church calendars and lectionaries, on the prevalent themes of the text, and the characteristics of the musical setting. Performance of these songs only in a concert setting limits their usefulness for singers, voice teachers, and music directors alike. A new and worthy performing context can be established by analyzing the text and musical settings.
Using Complexity Thinking to Build Adaptive Capacity in Schools: an Analysis of Organizational Change in California
In response to reductionist neoliberal approaches to organizational change that have been prevalent in American education since the 1980s, some educators have begun to employ a whole-systems approach to improving student learning. These approaches, based in complexity sciences, recognize the nonlinear, unpredictable nature of learning and the interconnected relationships among myriad factors that influence the teaching/learning that occurs in schools. In the summer preceding the 2011-2012 school year, a cohort of educators from California Unified School District participated in a 10-day training regarding human systems dynamics (HSD) and complexity thinking. Their goal was to build adaptive capacity throughout the district in the pursuit of improving student learning. Through analysis of the interviews from seven target participants from this training, this study investigates what target participants report regarding their use of HSD methods and models in their work in schools across the 2011-2012 school year. Findings indicate that target participants displayed distinct arcs of use of HSD methods/models. In addition, findings suggest that target participants’ need for support in learning and implementing HSD methods/models, the influence of systemic and individual history, and the role of agency affected their “arcs of use.” This study illuminates the ways in which HSD methods/models support both organizational change efforts and the ways in which teaching/learning occur in the classroom, including the applicability of HSD methods/models in building collaborative cultures and in helping students develop the kinds of thinking required in the use of 21st-century literacies.
Internet Health Information and Patient-health Professional Relationship
The purpose of this study was to investigate patient use and presentation of Internet health information and its effect on patient-health professional relationship from a sample of residents at active adult communities in Texas. Five sites were used to recruit the 260 participants between November 2012 and January 2013. The data were received using a self-administered survey. Using Cronbach’s alpha, logistic regression and regression analysis through SAS, the data revealed that older respondents are less likely to discuss web-based information with health professionals. In addition, logistic regression analysis indicated that four of the variables, IHI Sharing, educational status (bachelor degree), marital status (married), and perceived health status (excellent and very good health) predicted varied of the 20 indicators making up the patient-health professional relationship scale. Further studies are needed to enhance this research.
Implications of Punctuation Mark Normalization on Text Retrieval
This research investigated issues related to normalizing punctuation marks from a text retrieval perspective. A punctuated-centric approach was undertaken by exploring changes in meanings, whitespaces, words retrievability, and other issues related to normalizing punctuation marks. To investigate punctuation normalization issues, various frequency counts of punctuation marks and punctuation patterns were conducted using the text drawn from the Gutenberg Project archive and the Usenet Newsgroup archive. A number of useful punctuation mark types that could aid in analyzing punctuation marks were discovered. This study identified two types of punctuation normalization procedures: (1) lexical independent (LI) punctuation normalization and (2) lexical oriented (LO) punctuation normalization. Using these two types of punctuation normalization procedures, this study discovered various effects of punctuation normalization in terms of different search query types. By analyzing the punctuation normalization problem in this manner, a wide range of issues were discovered such as: the need to define different types of searching, to disambiguate the role of punctuation marks, to normalize whitespaces, and indexing of punctuated terms. This study concluded that to achieve the most positive effect in a text retrieval environment, normalizing punctuation marks should be based on an extensive systematic analysis of punctuation marks and punctuation patterns and their related factors. The results of this study indicate that there were many challenges due to complexity of language. Further, this study recommends avoiding a simplistic approach to punctuation normalization.
Educational Experiences of Youth with And/or At-risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Residing in Foster Care Settings
Research examining the academic experiences of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) residing in foster care (FC) is scarce. Research is warranted to understand the academic strengths, weaknesses, and school disciplinary experiences of youth with EBD residing in FC. Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW II) included data on eight participants classified as EBD. Having a limited number of participants classified as EBD in the data set, I used participants’ scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to classify participants who may be at-risk for EBD. Analyses were conducted to determine if significant relationships existed between participants’ internalizing and externalizing scores on the CBCL and their (a) scores on assessments of academic achievement and (b) behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion. Results indicated that participants’ scores on the CBCL were not predictive of their academic achievement or of their numbers of behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion.
The Mechanisms of Methane C–h Activation and Oxy-insertion Via Small Transition Metal Complexes: a Dft Computational Investigation
Our country continues to demand clean renewable energy to meet the growing energy needs of our time. Thus, natural gas, which is 87% by volume of methane, has become a hot topic of discussion because it is a clean burning fuel. However, the transportation of methane is not easy because it is a gas at standard temperature and pressure. The usage of transition metals for the conversion of small organic species like methane into a liquid has been a longstanding practice in stoichiometric chemistry. Nonetheless, the current two-step process takes place at a high temperature and pressure for the conversion of methane and steam to methanol via CO + H2 (syngas). The direct oxidation of methane (CH4) into methanol (CH3OH) via homogeneous catalysis is of interest if the system can operate at standard pressure and a temperature less than 250 C. Methane is an inert gas due to the high C-H bond dissociation energy (BDE) of 105 kcal/mol. This dissertation discusses a series of computational investigations of oxy-insertion pathways to understand the essential chemistry behind the functionalization of methane via the use of homogeneous transition metal catalysis. The methane to methanol (MTM) catalytic cycle is made up of two key steps: (1) C-H activation by a metal-methoxy complex, (2) the insertion of oxygen into the metal−methyl bond (oxy-insertion). While, the first step (C-H activation) has been well studied, the second step has been less studied. Thus, this dissertation focuses on oxy-insertion via a two-step mechanism, oxygen-atom transfer (OAT) and methyl migration, utilizing transition metal complexes known to activate small organic species (e.g., PtII and PdII complexes). This research seeks to guide experimental investigations, and probe the role that metal charge and coordination number play.
Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis
Benjamin Britten’s life and music have been the subject of study from early in his musical career. Current trends in psychological analysis of Britten’s music tend to focus on common themes, such as homosexuality, pacifism, the sense of the outsider, and the loss of innocence. Similarly, theoretical analyses tend either to provide general categorizations of the technical elements in Britten’s music or to apply a singular preconceived concept as a tool for understanding his compositions. These approaches have yielded significant information but leave aspects of Britten’s personality and music unilluminated. Britten’s Op. 47, Five Flower Songs, are a collection of five part songs for a cappella chorus that are often included within the canon of 20th century choral literature. This paper examines a new perspective on Britten’s music by examining the relationship between Britten’s friendships and their influence on his compositions. Through the examination of these relationships information is revealed that allows for a new method of analysis that is particularly relevant to the Five Flower Songs. The opus was dedicated to two botanists for the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. Contained within specific movements are extra-musical references to scientific characteristics of the flowers that are the subjects of the texts. By examining this work and important connections between other friendships and his compositional output this paper demonstrates the validity of this perspective in analyzing Britten’s life and music.
Experiences and Perceptions of Students in Music and Mathematics
Since the time of Pythagoras, philosophers, educators, and researchers have theorized that connections exist between music and mathematics. While there is little doubt that engaging in musical or mathematical activities stimulates brain activity at high levels and that increased student involvement fosters a greater learning environment, several questions remain to determine if musical stimulation actually improves mathematic performance. This study took a qualitative approach that allowed 24 high school students to express their direct experiences with music and mathematics, as well as their perceptions of how the two fields are related. Participants were divided into four equal groups based on school music participation and level of mathematic achievement, as determined by their performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Students participated in a series of three interviews addressing their experiences in both music and mathematics, and took the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS). TAKS data and MIDAS information were triangulated with interview findings. Using a multiple intelligence lens, this study addressed the following questions: (a) How do students perceive themselves as musicians and mathematicians? (b) What experiences do students have in the fields of music and mathematics? (c) Where do students perceive themselves continuing in the fields of music and mathematics? and (d) How do students perceive the fields of music and mathematics relating to each other? Contrary to most existing literature, the students who perceived a connection between the two fields saw mathematics driving a deeper understanding of the musical element of rhythm. Not surprisingly, students with rich backgrounds in music and mathematics had a higher perception of the importance of those fields. Further, it became readily apparent that test data often played a minimal role in shaping student perceptions of themselves in the field of mathematics. Finally, it became apparent from listening to the experiences of high school students, there are many growth areas for schools in order to meet the needs of their students.
Declining Participation in Fraternity and Sorority Life: a Comparison of Perceptions of Greek-lettered Organizations Between Affiliated and Non-affiliated Students
This quantitative study was used to determine the perceptions that may have caused a decline in membership in fraternities and sororities and to examine active organization involvement between affiliated and unaffiliated students at a single higher education institution in northeast Texas. Eight perceptions were given regarding fraternity and sorority life and why students chose to remain unaffiliated with fraternities or sororities. The instrument used was a modified version of the Extracurricular Involvement Inventory, created by Winston and Massaro (1987) and was administered to participants online via Survey Monkey. There were 206 participants total: 55.3% were female, and 44.7% were male. Regarding ethnicities, 47.0% were African American, 37.5% were Caucasian, and 15.5% were Hispanic/Latino. Out of the participants, 20.9% were in their freshman or sophomore year, 23.8% were juniors, 33.5% were seniors, and 21.8% were graduate students. Participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 32, with a mean of 22.89 (SD = 2.81). The research questions were analyzed using two techniques: logistic regression for the first question and multiple regression for the second question. Findings for the first research question indicated that lack of values, lack of diversity, poor academic attitudes, and a requirement of too much time were primary reasons unaffiliated students chose not to join a fraternity or sorority. Findings for the second question indicated that Greek-affiliated students averaged higher involvement intensity scores when compared to unaffiliated students. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
The Effect of Head Flexion/extension on Acoustic Measures of Singing Voice Quality
A study was undertaken to identify the effect of head flexion/extension on singing voice quality. The amplitude of the fundamental frequency (F0), and the singing power ratio (SPR), an indirect measure of singer’s formant activity, were measured. F0 and SPR scores at four experimental head positions were compared with the subjects’ scores at their habitual positions. Three vowels and three pitch levels were tested. F0 amplitudes and low frequency partials in general were greater with more extended head positions, while SPR increased with neck flexion. No effect of pitch or vowel was found. Gains in SPR appear to be the result of damping low frequency partials rather than amplifying those in the singer’s formant region. Raising the amplitude of F0 is an important resonance tool for female voices in the high range, and may be of benefit to other voice types in resonance, loudness, and laryngeal function.
Development of the Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Near-death Experiences Scale
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs) that would demonstrate acceptable psychometric properties. In consultation with a focus group of six NDE experts, I developed the 50-item Knowledge and Attitudes toward Near-Death Experiences Scale (KANDES), including the 24-item KANDES–Attitude subscale (KANDES-A) and the 26-item KANDES–Knowledge subscale (KANDES-K). Including a pilot administration in which feedback indicated no need for revision, a total of 256 professional and student counselors completed the KANDES. Separate reliability and validity analyses were conducted for each subscale. For the KANDES–A, Cronbach’s alpha was .909, and Pearson’s r for test-retest was .748, both indicating acceptable reliability. An exploratory factor analysis indicated four factors to retain and yielded a factor solution that explained 54.87% of the variance, an acceptable amount of variance to substantiate construct validity. For the KANDES–K, Cronbach’s alpha was .816, indicating acceptable reliability. For each of the scale’s three domains, Cronbach’s alpha was .816 for Domain 1: NDE Content, .817 for Domain 2: NDE Aftereffects, and .631 for Domain 3: Experiencer Characteristics, indicating acceptable reliability. Pearson’s r for test-retest on the total KANDES–K was .812, further demonstrating acceptable reliability.
Synthesis, Characterization, Structural, and Optical Properties of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures Embedded in Silicon Based Substrates
Structural and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures synthesized by low energy ion implantation technique were examined. ZnO molecular ions were implanted into Si/SiO2 substrates at room temperature and then furnace annealed under different temperatures and environments. In all as-implanted samples only Zn nanostructures with varying diameters distributed into the Si/SiO2 matrices were observed. No trace of ZnO was found. The distributions of Zn nanostructures in Si/SiO2 closely matched results from Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) simulations. During annealing at 750 oC, Zn diffused both toward and away from the surface of the substrate and combine with oxygen to form ZnO nanostructures. At higher annealing temperatures ZnO bonding started to break down and transfer to zinc silicate (Zn2SiO4), and at 900 oC the ZnO was completely converted into Zn2SiO4. The average sizes of Zn/ZnO nanostructures depended on the ion fluence. If the fluence increased the average sizes of nanostructures also increased and vice versa. For room temperature photoluminescence (RT-PL), band-edge emission in the ultraviolet (UV) region was observed from all samples annealed at 700 oC/750 oC and were slightly blue shifted as compare to bulk ZnO. Donor-bound exciton (D,X) and acceptor-bound exciton (A,X) transitions were observed in low temperature photoluminescence (PL). The lifetime of both donor-bound excitonic emission (D, X) and acceptor-bound excitonic emission (A, X) were found to be in the picosecond (ps) range.
Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders
Risk assessments for offenders often combine past records with current clinical findings from observations, interviews, and test data. Conclusions based on these risk assessments are highly consequential, sometimes resulting in increased criminal sentences or prolonged hospitalization. Offenders are therefore motivated to intentionally minimize their risk scores. Intentional minimization is especially likely to occur in offenders with high psychopathic traits because goal-directed deception is reflected in many of the core traits of the disorder, such as manipulativeness, glibness, and superficial charm. However, this connection appears to be based on the conceptual understanding of psychopathy, and it has rarely been examined empirically for either frequency or success. The current study examined the connection between psychopathic traits and the intentional minimization of risk factors using a sentenced jail sample. In general, offenders were able to effectively minimize risk on the HCR-20 and SAQ, while the PICTS, as a measure of cognitive styles, was more resistant to such minimization. Psychopathic traits, especially high interpersonal facet scores, led to greater minimization using a repeated measure, simulation design. Important differences in the willingness and ability to use deception were found based on (a) the content of subscales, and (b) the mode of administration (i.e., interview vs. self-report). The important implications of this research are discussed for risk assessment procedures regarding likely areas of deception and its detection. It also informs the growing literature on the connection between psychopathic traits and deception.
Examining the Relationship Between Persistence in Attendance in an Afterschool Program and an Early Warning Index for Dropout
School districts constantly struggle to find solutions to address the high school dropout problem. Literature supports the need to identify and intervene with these students earlier and in more systemic ways. The purpose of this study was to conduct a longitudinal examination of the relationship between sustained afterschool participation and the host district’s early warning index (EWI) associated with school dropout. Data included 65,341 students participating in an urban school district’s after school program from school years 2000-2001 through 2011-2012. The district serves more than 80,000 students annually. Data represented students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, and length of participation ranged from 1 through 12 years. Results indicated that student risk increased over time and that persistent participation in afterschool programming had a significant relationship with student individual growth trajectories. Slower growth rates, as evidenced through successive models, supported students being positively impacted by program participation. Additionally, participation was more meaningful if students persisted, as noted in the lower EWI rates, as compared to students who attended less consistently.
The Effects of Residual Gases on the Field Emission Properties of Zno, Gan, Zns Nanostructures, and the Effects of Light on the Resistivity of Graphene
In this dissertation, I present that at a vacuum of 3×10-7 Torr, residual O2, CO2, H2 and Ar exposure do not significantly degrade the field emission (FE) properties of ZnO nanorods, but N2 exposure significantly does. I propose that this could be due to the dissociation of N2 into atomic nitrogen species and the reaction of such species with ZnO. I also present the effects of O2, CO2, H2O, N2, H2, and Ar residual gas exposure on the FE properties of GaN and ZnS nanostructure. A brief review of growth of ZnO, GaN and ZnS is provided. In addition, Cs deposition on GaN nanostructures at ultra-high vacuum results in 30% decrease in turn-on voltage and 60% in work function. The improvement in FE properties could be due to a Cs-induced space-charge layer at the surface that reduces the barrier for FE and lowers the work function. I describe a new phenomenon, in which the resistivity of CVD-grown graphene increases to a higher saturated value under light exposure, and depends on the wavelength of the light—the shorter the wavelength, the higher the resistivity. First-principle calculations and theoretical analysis based on density functional theory show that (1) a water molecule close to a graphene defect is easier to be split than that of the case of no defect existing and (2) there are a series of meta-stable partially disassociated states for an interfacial water molecule. Calculated disassociation energies are from 2.5 eV to 4.6 eV, that match the experimental observation range of light wavelength from visible to 254 nm UV light under which the resistivity of CVD-grown graphene is increased.
A Study of Learning Outcomes of a Mobile Travel Application in Tourism Geographic Course
Mobile technologies have been adopted into education more and more. New hardware, such as smart phones and tablets, has increased the popularity of mobile technology. There are also many applications created for the fields of education and tourism. This research chose a travel application from Taiwan to apply into a tourism geographic course at the Taiwan Hospitality and Tourism College (THTC). A quasi-experiment design was applied to this study. Two classes/groups participated in the study. One class was the treatment group which used the travel app through teaching scenarios. The other group was the contrast group which used a lecture format with handouts. Both groups were given a pre-test to determine knowledge of Danongdafu Forest Park (DFP), and Taiwan tourism geography. A post-test was administered after eight weeks of teaching activities. Post intervention scores were compared to pre-intervention scores between the two groups. The results of ANOVA showed that there was no statistically significant learning difference between the treatment group and the contrast group. A paired-sample t-test analysis revealed that after eight weeks of teaching DFP content, both groups gained significantly in knowledge. Furthermore, the learning attitudes and interviews of the treatment group students indicated positive responses utilizing m-learning in teaching scenarios. Students indicated a desire to receive m-learning opportunities for future courses.
Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire
The elaborated intrusion (EI) theory of desire is a cognitive model that describes the processes involved in craving as intrusive thoughts that are elaborated upon leading to dissonance when desires are not met. While the theory is based on a wide body of research, certain theoretical predictions have not been fully examined. Specifically, EI theory argues that mental imagery has a central role in craving, and predicts that attempts to suppress substance-related intrusive thoughts and mental imagery is related to increased craving. Further, EI theory suggests that elaboration of craving imagery is related to attention and working memory processes, however, there are questions about whether differential performance in these domains is related to craving. The current study examined the relationship between attention/working memory performance and alcohol craving in a sample of 119 young adult males. Additionally, metacognition was examined to clarify the phenomenological aspects of craving within EI theory. Attention and working memory performance did not significantly predict intrusive thought and mental imagery elaboration. Individuals with high craving reported significantly higher levels of anxiety, thought suppression, and greater strength and frequency of craving-related mental imagery. They were also more likely to try to control their own thoughts and make negative judgments on their ability to do so. The strength of craving-related intrusive thoughts, not mental imagery, was the most significant predictor of craving. Implications for the understanding of craving and treatment recommendations based on the findings are discussed.
From Germany to Palestine: a Comparison of Two Choral Works by Paul Ben-haim – “Joram” and “Kabbalat Shabbat”
The choral music of Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984) falls clearly into two distinct compositional periods. Born in Munich, Germany as Paul Frankenburger, the composer received formal, classical training at the Munich Academy of Music. His compositions from this period are an amalgamation of many styles, and they include influences of Bach, Handel, Mahler, Debussy, and Strauss. In 1933, Ben-Haim, along with other trained artists and composers, immigrated to Palestine as part of the Fifth Aliyah. Prior to this wave of immigration, Palestine had not yet received any serious composers, and musically, was still in its infancy. Eager to divorce themselves from the West and identify with their new home in the East, Ben-Haim and his fellow transplant composers sought a new musical language and a unique voice for Israel. Enamored with the exotic sounds of his new environment, Ben-Haim began to absorb elements of Eastern Mediterranean music into his compositions. As a Westerner, he was not familiar with these Eastern traditional folk song melodies, modes, and scales, and he required outside source materials from which to draw. This document examines two choral works, one from each of Paul Ben-Haim’s style periods, Joram (1933) and Kabbalat Shabbat (1968), and identifies the compositional source materials that yielded a significant change in the character and style of his work.
An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School
“In what ways does teaching with folk arts inspired visual arts-based instruction enhance community building among elementary students in a Title I school?” was the primary research question in this study. Agreeing with past and present day research that the construct of community is vital to social and cultural capital, this research attempts to determine how the notion of community benefits both students and teachers in the elementary art classroom. Folk art was utilized because this genre was accessible in terms of locality and familiarity among students and teachers. The purpose of this investigation was to produce teaching strategies and methods that show how community can be formed in the art classroom. The participants were elementary students, Grades 2 and 3, in a Title I school located in Denton, Texas. This investigation was conducted under an action research methodology. This approach to research is intended to be transformational, emergent, and accommodating. I recorded observations, field notes, and conversations from the participants. Emergent themes were discovered through content analysis and conceptual maps. Results from this investigation concluded transformation is only possible if the person wants change to happen. Data also showed that community and art education are symbiotic. Transformation, growth, and cultivation are demands that must be met in order for this relationship to flourish. In addition, data suggested that the role of folk arts-based lessons played a significant role in building community among second and third graders.
Social Media in Policing: a Study of Dallas-fort Worth Area City Police Departments
Social media offers numerous opportunities to companies, organizations and government agencies to communicate with people outside their organization, to promote their interests and to better serve their customers, or as in the case with government agencies, to better serve their citizens. However, little is known about how police departments in particular use social media. This research study explores why police departments use social media, how they manage their social media tools, and the problems and challenges experienced as they use social media. This qualitative study is largely guided by grounded theory. The data were collected from a study population using local police departments in the Dallas-Fort worth (DFW) area principal cities using both individual interviews with police departments’ social media officers and observations of these departments’ online social media tools (in particular, Facebook and Twitter). This study has shown that the DFW area city police departments are using social media quite extensively to keep the public informed and often for investigative purposes. There are some success factors to adopting and using these tools, such as the motivation of department staff and their benefits, successful implementation of the tools, the simplicity of using tools and that it is absolutely free.
The Transition Experience of Second Career Respiratory Faculty: a Phenomenological Study
This phenomenological study investigated the transition experiences of clinical respiratory therapists who pursued second careers as respiratory faculty. Situated Learning Theory and Workplace Learning Theory were the frameworks for interviews with 11 second career respiratory faculty who had taught fewer than five years in baccalaureate degree programs. The goal of this study was to identify the major themes of their experiences. Thematic analysis revealed five common experiences: under-preparation, challenges, overwhelmed feelings, personal responsibilities, and rewards. The common theoretical framework for all participants was the critical need to understand their communities of practice within their organizations. From this study, respiratory department chairs and administrators may better understand the challenges and needs of clinical therapists as they transition into faculty positions. Positive experiences such as improved orientations and continued effective faculty support may promote a more rewarding and long-term practice.
Comparison of Learning Performance Between Students Who Do and Students Who Do Not Use Mobile Technology-based Activities
This study examined if using mobile technology-based activities would increase student performance in biological science courses. The study compared two groups of students in lectures and labs. Each group had about 20 students. The mobile group had mobile technology-based activities and the non-mobile group received conventional instruction. The mobile group used links to the website, or a QR Code to access the activities. The non-mobile group had handouts and worksheets over the same content. The research methodology for this study was mixed method. The study was a quasi-experimental design that used instruction method as the independent variable between two groups. The study used formative and summative assessment to compare the performance of the mobile group and non-mobile group in lecture and lab. The student in the mobile group had statistically significantly higher lab exam scores than students in the non-mobile group. Additionally, Students were surveyed about their performance expectancy and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, and they were asked about their self-management of learning. Analysis indicated that both groups had similar performance and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, but the two groups differed on self-management of learning responses to the survey. Focus groups from the mobile group and the non-mobile group were interviewed about issues related to benefits and challenges encountered learning with mobile technology-based activities.
Using Baroque Vocal Music to Introduce Horn Students to the Musical Concepts of Expression, Articulation, Phrasing, and Tempo
Baroque music is an area largely neglected in the music education of young horn students and wind players in general. Baroque horn repertoire is very demanding primarily due to the range. Baroque composers wrote for horn using the uppermost register of the instrument. In this range the partials are closer together, allowing for more melodic writing. This music requires an advanced level of technique, endurance, and ability. Often this repertoire is not suitable for students until they are well into their collegiate years of study. Frequently this music is performed on descant horns. Since only a small number of middle school and high school horn students continue to play after they leave their school band programs, they many never get first hand experience performing Baroque music. Vocal students are often introduced to Baroque arias early in their training. Purcell’s songs and arias are an excellent example of the literature that young voice students use. These arias and songs can be the perfect portal to Baroque music for horn students as well. Here I have created an edition of Henry Purcell’s songs and arias for young horn students. Each aria used the text as a guide for the “affect” and its impact on tone, articulation, and phrasing. The bass line is also used as a guide for determining tempo and style. Each piece is transcribed as a solo with piano accompaniment and as a duet. The goal of this edition is to use Baroque vocal music to introduce horn students to the musical concepts of expression, articulation, phrasing, and tempo.
Technology-enhanced Classroom Environments and English Language Acquisition Among Native Spanish-speaking, English Language Learners in the Preschool and Elementary Classroom
This qualitative study addressed the question: What are the perceptions of preschool and elementary bilingual and ESL teachers on how technology-enhanced classroom environments support native Spanish-speaking English language learners in the acquisition of English as a second language? With the support of six school districts representing three different regions and 15 schools in Texas, this research investigated technology-enhanced learning environments and the influence of emerging technologies on language acquisition by focusing on classroom interactions and learner engagement in preschool and elementary settings. Forty-six teachers completed the self-identified online questionnaire and from that initial group of participants, 10 were chosen for the face-to-face semi-structured interviews. A two-cycle progressive refinement coding technique was used for the analysis of the teacher interviews. In Vivo coding was selected for the first-cycle coding methodology to study teacher perspectives using their direct language. For the second-cycle methodology, focus coding was chosen as a continuation of the analytical process examining the developing patterns resulting in the initial codes being grouped to form salient categories. This process of reanalyzing and reorganizing coded data led to the creation of four emergent themes and in the views of the teachers interviewed describes how emerging technologies influences English language acquisition. The four emergent themes identified were “engaging students for learning,” collaborating with others,” “developing and clarifying concepts,” and “creating authentic work.”
User Acceptance of Technology: an Empirical Examination of Factors Leading to Adoption of Decision Support Technologies for Emergency Management
This study examines factors that influence the intent to use and actual use of decision support software (DSS) technology by emergency management officials to facilitate disaster response management. The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology popularized by scholars from the field of information sciences (IS) for the private sector is adapted and extended to examine technology use in the public sector, specifically by emergency managers. An e-survey was sent to 1, 452 city and county emergency management officials from FEMA region VI and complete responses obtained from 194 were analyzed. Findings suggest that social influence is the strongest predictor of intent to use DSS technology by emergency managers, unlike private sector studies where performance expectancy was the strongest predictor. Additionally, effort expectancy, collaboration, social vulnerability, professionalism, performance expectancy, and gender explained 40 percent of their intent to use DSS technology. Factors explaining actual use of technology were intent to use technology, having an in house GIS specialist, and age of the emergency manager. This research successfully closes the gap in IS and disaster literature by being the first to focus on factors influencing technology use by emergency managers for decision making in disaster response. It underscores the importance of collaboration not only for post-disaster activities but also as a precursor to better disaster preparedness planning that calls for information sharing and technology acceptance and adoption across partnering jurisdictions.
Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica
Respighi’s scarcely-known orchestral work Sinfonia Drammatica lives up to its title by evoking a narrative throughout the course of its three movements. In this dissertation, I argue how the work’s surface, subsurface, and formal elements suggest this narrative which emerges as a cycle of rising and falling dramatic tension. I explain how Respighi constructs the work’s narrative in the musical surface through a diverse body of themes that employ three motives of contour. The disposition and manipulation of these motives within the themes suggest frequent fluctuations of the level of conflict throughout the symphony as a whole. To show the involvement of musical forms in the work’s narrative, I employ an approach which integrates harmony and thematic behavior. I utilize analytical methods from the current Formenlehre, including terms from James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s sonata deformation theory and William Caplin’s theories of formal functions to elucidate ties between the forms of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s movements and those of conventional sonata forms of the late-eighteenth century. This dissertation also employs Heinrich Schenker’s theories of structures, voice leading, and reduction to illustrate large-scale aspects of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s narrative. The resulting analyses show Respighi’s elaborations of common structural paradigms which serve to heighten the articulation of the narrative.
The Changing Symbolic Images of the Trumpet: Bologna and Venice in the Seventeenth Century
The trumpet is among the most ancient of all musical instruments, and an examination of its history reveals that it has consistently maintained important and specific symbolic roles in society. Although from its origins this symbolic identity was linked to the instrument’s limited ceremonial and signaling function, the seventeenth century represents a period in which a variety of new roles and identities emerged. Bologna and Venice represent the two most important centers for trumpet writing in Italy during the seventeenth century. Because of the differing ideologies at work in these cities, two distinctive symbolic images of the instrument and two different ways of writing for it emerged. The trumpet’s ecclesiastic role in Bologna and its participation in Venetian opera put the instrument at the service of two societies, one centered around the Church, and another around a more permissive state. Against the backdrop of the social and political structures in Venice and Bologna, and through an examination of its newly-emerging musical roles in each city, the trumpet’s changing identities during a most important point in the history of the instrument will be examined.
Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals
Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic structure. Fe-based amorphous materials are economical and due to their ease of processing are of potential interest to synthesize as coatings materials for wear and corrosion resistance applications. Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B amorphous system was used to develop thick coatings on 4130 Steel substrate and the corrosion resistance of the amorphous coatings was improved. It is also shown that the mode of corrosion depends on the laser processing conditions. The microstructure evolution and the corrosion mechanisms operating are evaluated using post processing and post corrosion analysis.
A Study of Novice Special Education Teachers’ Preparation to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The purpose of this study is to identify novice teachers’ perception of their preparedness to teach a class designed for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after graduation from a traditional university-based special education program or from a special education alternative certification program. Teacher preparedness and the need for highly qualified teachers of students with ASD are relevant topics, as the prevalence rate of ASD continues to increase. This phenomenological qualitative study explores novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach students with ASD and their knowledge about teaching students with ASD. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six novice special education teachers of students with ASD. Results indicated that novice teachers of students with ASD have knowledge of autism and evidence-based practices (EBP), which they ascertained primarily through experiences such as; working directly with students with ASD, however, preservice education programs provided the participants with cursory information related to knowledge of ASD and EBP.
Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games
In recent years there has been growing interest in limitless realism in computer graphics applications. Among those, my foremost concentration falls into the complex physical simulations and modeling with diverse applications for the gaming industry. Different simulations have been virtually successful by replicating the details of physical process. As a result, some were strong enough to lure the user into believable virtual worlds that could destroy any sense of attendance. In this research, I focus on fire simulations and its deformation process towards various virtual objects. In most game engines model loading takes place at the beginning of the game or when the game is transitioning between levels. Game models are stored in large data structures. Since changing or adjusting a large data structure while the game is proceeding may adversely affect the performance of the game. Therefore, developers may choose to avoid procedural simulations to save resources and avoid interruptions on performance. I introduce a process to implement a real-time model deformation while maintaining performance. It is a challenging task to achieve high quality simulation while utilizing minimum resources to represent multiple events in timely manner. Especially in video games, this overwhelming criterion would be robust enough to sustain the engaging player's willing suspension of disbelief. I have implemented and tested my method on a relatively modest GPU using CUDA. My experiments conclude this method gives a believable visual effect while using small fraction of CPU and GPU resources.
Perceptions of Family Vacation and Family Cohesion and the Moderating Effects of Parenting Style
Family cohesion, or emotional bonding, is important to family functioning. Shared activities such as family vacations offer opportunities for strengthening the family unit which can improve cohesion. Additionally, parenting style has direct influence on the family unit and family cohesion. This study’s purpose was to assess to what extent the perception of the family vacation experience predicted the perception of family cohesion and whether that relationship was moderated by parenting style. An online survey was conducted, resulting in 97 adult participants responding to items regarding their last family vacation, family cohesion, and parenting style. Using hierarchical multiple regression, a medium effect size was found for the predictive ability of a participant’s perception of their last family vacation on family cohesion. Findings also indicated a negative correlation between an authoritarian parenting style and perception of family cohesion, but a positive relationship between the interaction of family vacation experience and authoritarian parenting to family cohesion. Stronger predictive abilities were found for those with children in the 3-11 age group. Results may encourage parent and family educators to use family vacation as a tool in assisting families with the processes of building strong and cohesive families.