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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Level: Doctoral
Return-Entry Risk Communication Following 2012 Hurricane Sandy
Within risk communication, much is understood about pre-event warning related to evacuation and sheltering; however risk communication during the return-entry phase when ending evacuations has been largely under-studied in the disaster literature. Understanding of the return-entry risk communication process is important because returning early or prior to issuance of the all-clear message can make returnees susceptible to post-disaster risks, and also hamper post-disaster activities such as debris removal, traffic management, utility restoration and damage assessments. Guided by the Warning Components Framework and the Theory of Motivated Information Management, this dissertation focuses on risk communication as it pertains to organizational behavior during the return-entry process by examining how local emergency management organizations develop, disseminate and monitor return-entry messages. The data is collected through semi-structured telephone interviews with local emergency management organizations that managed return-entry following Hurricane Sandy. The findings of the study indicate that local emergency management organizations required information on post-disaster threats, damages, and utility and infrastructure condition in order to develop return-entry strategy for their community. Organizations improvised to their existing risk communication measures by adopting creative ways for information dissemination to the evacuees. They also utilized active and passive approach to monitor public response to the return-entry messages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848209/
Measuring Culture of Innovation: A Validation Study of the Innovation Quotient Instrument
The ability for an organization to innovate has become one of the most important capabilities needed in the new knowledge economy. The research has demonstrated that an organization’s culture of innovation in particular predicts organizational innovativeness across multiple industries. To provide support to these organizations in their abilities to understand the culture of innovation, researchers have developed instruments to measure culture of innovation, and while many of these instruments have been widely used to inform organizational opportunities for improvement, few of these instruments have been validated or replicated beyond their initial use. The current study employs multiple factor analytic methods to validate the factor structure of the Innovation Quotient instrument developed by Rao and Weintraub and assess the extent to which the instrument is reliable for multiple organizational groups. The results of this study, as well as implications for researchers interested in culture of innovation, are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848105/
Single Notch versus Multi Notch Credit Rating Changes and the Business Cycle
Issuers’ credit ratings change by one or more notches when credit rating agencies provide new ratings. Unique to the literature, I study the influences affecting multi notch versus single notch rating upgrades and downgrades. For Standard & Poors data, I show that rating changes with multiple notches provide more information to the market than single notch rating changes. Consistent with prior literature on the business cycle, I show that investors value good news rating changes (upgrades) more in bad times (recession) and that investors value bad news rating changes (downgrades) more in good times (expansion). I model and test probit models using variables capturing the characteristics of the previous issuer’s credit rating, liquidity, solvency, profitability, and growth opportunity to determine the classification of single notch versus multi notch rating changes. The determinants of multi notch versus single notch rating changes for upgrades and downgrades differ. Business cycle influences are evident. Firms that have multi notch rating upgrades and downgrades have significantly different probit variables vis-à-vis firms that have single notch rating upgrades and downgrades. The important characteristics for determining multiple notch upgrades are a firm’s prior rating change, prior rating, cash flow, total assets and market value. The important characteristics for determining multiple notch downgrades are a firm’s prior rating change, prior rating, current ratio, interest coverage, total debt, operating margin, market to book ratio, capital expenditure, total assets, market value, and market beta. The variables that differ for multi notch upgrades in recessions are cash flow, net income, operating margin, market to book ratio, total assets, and retained earnings. The variables that differ for multi notch downgrades in expansions are a firm’s prior rating change, current ratio, interest coverage ratio, debt ratio, total debt, capital expenditure and market beta. The power of the explanatory tests improves when the stage of the business cycle is considered. Results are robust to consideration of rating changes across rating categories, changes from probit to logit, alternative specifications of accounting variables, lags and leads of recessions and expansions timing, Fama and French industry adjustments, and winsorization levels of variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848118/
The Limits of Arbitrage and Stock Mispricing: Evidence from Decomposing Market to Book Ratio
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of the "limits of arbitrage" on securities mispricing. Specifically, I investigate the effect of the availability of substitutes and financial constraints on stock mispricing. In addition, this study investigates the difference in the limits of arbitrage, in the sense that it will lead to lower mispricing for these stocks, relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. I also examine if the lower mispricing can be attributed to their lower limits of arbitrage. Modern finance theory and efficient market hypothesis suggest that security prices, at equilibrium, should reflect their fundamental value. If the market price deviates from the intrinsic value, then a risk-free profit opportunity has emerged and arbitrageurs will eliminate mispricing and equilibrium is restored. This arbitrage process is characterized by large number of arbitrageurs which have infinite access to capital. However, a better description of reality is that there are few numbers of arbitrageurs to the extent that they are highly specialized; and they have limited access to capital. Under these condition arbitrage is no more a risk-free activity and can be limited by several factors such as arbitrage risk and transaction costs. Other factors that are discussed in the literature are availability of substitutes and financial constraints. The former arises as a result of the specialization of arbitrageurs in the market in which they operate, while the latter arises as a result of the separation between arbitrageurs and capital. In this dissertation, I develop a measure of the availability of substitutes that is based on the propensity scores obtained from propensity score matching technique. In addition, I use the absolute value of skewness of returns as a proxy of financial constraints. Previous studies used the limits of arbitrage framework to explain pricing puzzles such as the closed-end fund discounts. However, closed-end fund discounts are highly affected by uncertainty of managerial ability and agency problems. This study overcomes this problem by studying the effect of limits of arbitrage on publicly traded securities. The results show that there is a significant relationship between proxies of limits of arbitrage and firm specific mispricing. More importantly, empirical results indicate that stocks that have no close substitutes have higher mispricing. In addition, stocks that have high skewness show higher mispricing. Subsequent studies show that the S&P 500 stocks have different levels of liquidity, analysts’ coverage and volatility. These characteristics affect the ability of arbitrageurs to eliminate mispricing. Preliminary univariate tests show that S&P 500 stocks have, on average, lower mispricing and limits of arbitrage relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. In addition, the multivariate test shows that S&P 500 members have, on average, lower mispricing relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848132/
Acceptance Theories for Behavior in Conducting Research: Instructors in the Rajabhat University System, Thailand
Responding to globalization and its effects on education and research development, the Thai government decided to push all public universities to become autonomous and establish a system of quality assurances. The establishment of quality assurances has had a large impact on many Thai instructors, especially in new public universities. Thai instructors are now forced to more focus on conducting research because the number of research publications is regarded as one of the main criteria for quality universities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the key factors, at the individual and university levels, which impact on the instructors' behavior in conducting research of the full-time instructors in the faculty of Management Science from the Rajabhat Universities in Thailand. The current study will help explain how and why the instructors accept or refuse to conduct research and provide insight into the salient factors motivating the instructors to produce more research by conducting HLM. Data were collected from 694 participants at 37 institutions via a questionnaire survey. The findings revealed that there was no difference among these 37 universities on behavior in conducting research. The key factors statistically influencing behavior in conducting research of the instructors were facilitating conditions, academic degree, social influence, and usefulness as well as ease of conducting research that the instructors perceived. This study gained 46% of effect size. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848155/
Modeling the Role of Boundary Spanners-in-Practice in the Nondeterministic Model of Engineering Design Activity
Boundary spanners-in-practice are individuals who inhabit more than one social world and bring overlapping place perspectives to bear on the function(s) performed within and across each world. Different from nominated boundary spanners, they are practitioners responsible for the 'translation' of each small world's perspectives thereby increasing collaboration effectiveness to permit the small worlds to work synergistically. The literature on Knowledge Management (KM) has emphasized the organizational importance of individuals performing boundary spanning roles by resolving cross-cultural and cross-organizational knowledge system conflicts helping teams pursue common goals through creation of "joint fields" - a third dimension that is co-jointly developed between the two fields or dimensions that the boundary spanner works to bridge. The Copeland and O'Connor Nondeterministic Model of Engineering Design Activity was utilized as the foundation to develop models of communication mechanics and dynamics when multiple simultaneous interactions of the single nondeterministic user model, the BSIP and two Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), engage during design activity in the Problem-Solving Space. The Problem-Solving Space defines the path through the volumes of plausible answers or 'solution spaces' that will satisfice the problem presented to the BSIP and SMEs. Further model refinement was performed to represent expertise seeking behaviors and the physical and mental models constructed by boundary spanners-in-practice during knowledge domain mapping. This was performed by mapping the three levels of communication complexity (transfer, translation and transformation) to each knowledge boundary (syntactic, semantic and pragmatic) that must be bridged during knowledge domain mapping. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848187/
Social Participation and Depression among Elderly People in Greece
The researcher had two objectives: first, explore how social involvement changes by age among Greek elderly, and second, examine the relationship between social involvement and depression by age among study participants, controlled for education, marital status, and gender. The researcher used data from the 2004 Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) database subjecting a sample of 2,898 elderly aged 50 or older to analysis in terms of the study questions. Approximately 43% of the participants (n = 1,244) were males and 57% were females (n = 1,654). Study results showed Greek elderly participated more in religious activities and less in non-religious activities with increasing age. The study results showed the level of education did not have an effect on the level of religious or non-religious participation. Marital status could influence Greeks’ tendency to participate in religious activities, however, it did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Women are more likely to participate in religious activities than the men. The gender of the participants did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Older Greek elderly were more likely to be depressed than the younger elderly. Participation in religious activities was not shown to relate to decreasing the risk of depressive symptoms; while participation in non-religious activities increased it. Further elaboration showed that caring for family increased the risk of depressive symptoms. Participation in other non-religious activities did not show significant relationships to depressive symptoms. The study findings imply those caring for others are in need of social and mental health support services; and the quality of available social activities need significant improvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848194/
Megachurches and Economic Development: A Theoretical Understanding of Church Involvement at the Local Level
Why do megachurches participate in economic development, and who benefits from their participation? Frumkin's framework for understanding nonprofit and voluntary action and extra-role behavior are theories tested to answer these questions. My research employs a mixed-methods research design conducted in two phases. In phase one, I analyze 42 responses to an online survey to provide data about the prevalence and nature of economic development activities offered by megachurches in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Phase two involved 23 semi-structured telephone interviews with megachurch leadership to provide data that explains the rationale for why megachurches offer economic development activities and who benefits. Evidence from this research demonstrates that megachurches are participating in economic development for reasons consistent with both demand-side and supply-side arguments. Findings also show that megachurches take on extra-role behaviors for in response to community expectations and the values of members and staff. Implications for understanding partnership decisions and collaborations between faith-based organizations and local governments are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848127/
A Re-examination of the Dilution of Auditor Misstatement Risk Assessments: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Client Information Type, Workload, and PCAOB Guidance on Dilution
Many external parties such as investors, creditors, and regulatory agencies, use a company’s financial statements in their decision-making. In doing so, they rely on audit opinions on whether financial statements are fairly stated. However, evidence suggests that there are factors in the audit environment that influence auditor judgments. For example, nondiagnostic client information dilutes auditor judgments when compared to judgments based on diagnostic information alone, especially for less experienced auditors (Hackenbrack 1992; Hoffman and Patton 1997; Glover 1994; Shelton 1999). High time pressure conditions mitigate this effect by refocusing auditor attention toward relevant client information, therefore reducing the impact of nondiagnostic information (Glover 1994, 1997). This research study examines other common audit environment factors to determine if they too influence audit judgment results. An online questionnaire of 149 auditors, CPAs and other accounting professionals indicate that the inclusion of nondiagnostic client information results in a significant change in auditor judgments. The direction of this change follows a theorized pattern; risk assessments that were initially high are reduced, while those that were initially low are increased. Significance was not consistently found for a workload and PCAOB effect on auditor judgment. However, a comparison of the absolute value of dilution effect means across conditions reveals some trending for the proposed unwanted effect of high workload, and the beneficial effect of PCAOB guidance. These results have important implications for auditing research and practice. It extends previous archival research on workload effects and uses a unique questionnaire design to reexamine workload pressures in a behavioral setting. The results of hypothesis testing on workload pressure and PCAOB guidance, although lacking consistent statistical significance; exhibit trends that agree with proposed theoretical relationships. Tests on the effects of nondiagnostic information show strong statistical support for previous studies in the area of psychology and audit. This study’s greatest contribution suggests that audit pressures do not produce equivalent effects on auditor judgment; time pressure improves audit judgment, while workload pressure does not (Glover 1994, 1997). These results can be explained by examining the relationship between stress and audit judgment performance (Choo 1995, Yerkes and Dodson 1908). Different types and different degrees of audit pressures may correspond to different levels of audit pressure. Low to moderate levels of audit pressure, such as the level of time pressure used in Glover’s (1994, 1997) study improve audit performance. Higher audit pressures, such as high workload during an auditor’s busy season, may lower audit performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848096/
Nonlinear and Quantum Optics Near Nanoparticles
We study the behavior of electric fields in and around dielectric and metal nanoparticles, and prepare the ground for their applications to a variety of systems viz. photovoltaics, imaging and detection techniques, and molecular spectroscopy. We exploit the property of nanoparticles being able to focus the radiation field into small regions and study some of the interesting nonlinear, and quantum coherence and interference phenomena near them. The traditional approach to study the nonlinear light-matter interactions involves the use of the slowly varying amplitude approximation (SVAA) as it simplifies the theoretical analysis. However, SVVA cannot be used for systems which are of the order of the wavelength of the light. We use the exact solutions of the Maxwell's equations to obtain the fields created due to metal and dielectric nanoparticles, and study nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena near these nanoparticles. We begin with the theoretical description of the electromagnetic fields created due to the nonlinear wavemixing process, namely, second-order nonlinearity in an nonlinear sphere. The phase-matching condition has been revisited in such particles and we found that it is not satisfied in the sphere. We have suggested a way to obtain optimal conditions for any type and size of material medium. We have also studied the modifications of the electromagnetic fields in a collection of nanoparticles due to strong near field nonlinear interactions using the generalized Mie theory for the case of many particles applicable in photovoltaics (PV). We also consider quantum coherence phenomena such as modification of dark states, stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP), optical pumping in $4$-level atoms near nanoparticles by using rotating wave approximation to describe the Hamiltonian of the atomic system. We also considered the behavior of atomic and the averaged atomic polarization in $7$-level atoms near nanoparticles. This could be used as a prototype to study any $n-$level atomic system experimentally in the presence of ensembles of quantum emitters. In the last chapter, we suggested a variant of a pulse-shaping technique applicable in stimulated Raman spectroscopy (SRS) for detection of atoms and molecules in multiscattering media. We used discrete-dipole approximation to obtain the fields created by the nanoparticles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822820/
Accurate Energetics Across the Periodic Table Via Quantum Chemistry
Greater understanding and accurate predictions of structural, thermochemical, and spectroscopic properties of chemical compounds is critical for the advancements of not only basic science, but also in applications needed for the growth and health of the U.S. economy. This dissertation includes new ab initio composite approaches to predict accurate energetics of lanthanide-containing compounds including relativistic effects, and optimization of parameters for semi-empirical methods for transition metals. Studies of properties and energetics of chemical compounds through various computational methods are also the focus of this research, including the C-O bond cleavage of dimethyl ether by transition metal ions, the study of thermochemical and structural properties of small silicon containing compounds with the Multi-Reference correlation consistent Composite Approach, the development of a composite method for heavy element systems, spectroscopic of compounds containing noble gases and metals (ArxZn and ArxAg+ where x = 1, 2), and the effects due to Basis Set Superposition Error (BSSE) on these van der Waals complexes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822822/
The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment: the Washburne Lead Mine Regiment in the Civil War
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Of the roughly 3,500 volunteer regiments and batteries organized by the Union army during the American Civil War, only a small fraction has been studied in any scholarly depth. Among those not yet examined by historians was one that typified the western armies commanded by the two greatest Federal generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry was at Fort Donelson and Shiloh with Grant in 1862, with Grant and Sherman during the long Vicksburg campaign of 1862 and 1863, and with Sherman in the Meridian, Atlanta, Savannah, and Carolinas campaigns in the second half of the war. These Illinois men fought in several of the most important engagements in the western theater of the war and, in the spring of 1865, were present when the last important Confederate army in the east surrendered. The Forty-fifth was also well connected in western politics. Its unofficial name was the “Washburne Lead Mine Regiment,” in honor of U.S Representative Elihu B. Washburne, who used his contacts and influences to arm the regiment with the best weapons and equipment available early in the war. (The Lead Mine designation referred to the mining industry in northern Illinois.) In addition, several officers and enlisted men were personal friends and acquaintances of Ulysses Grant of Galena, Illinois, who honored the regiment for their bravery in the final attempt to break through the Confederate defenses at Vicksburg. The study of the Forty-fifth Illinois is important to the overall study of the Civil War because of the campaigns and battles the unit participated and fought in. The regiment was also one of the many Union regiments at the forefront of the Union leadership’s changing policy toward the Confederate populace and war making industry. In this role the regiment witnessed the impact of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Of interest then, are the members’ views on the freeing of the slaves. Also of interest are their views on the arming of the slaves into black regiments, and on the Copperhead, anti-war movement in the Union. With ample sources on the regiment, and with no formal history of the unit having been written or published, a scholarly, modern study of the Lead Mine regiment therefore seems in order, as it would provide further insight into the Civil War from the Union soldiers’ perspective and into the sacrifices the men made in order to preserve their country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822827/
Parent-adolescent Attachment, Bullying and Victimization, and Mental Health Outcomes
Traditional and cyber bullying have been identified as universal problematic issues facing adolescents, and research is needed to understand correlates associated with these phenomena. Structural equation modeling analyses examined associations between attachment to parents, traditional and cyber bullying or victimization, and mental health outcomes among 257 high school students (Average age 15.9 years). Key patterns emerged, including associations between maternal attachment and mental health outcomes; victimization and mental health concerns; and bullying and victimization in both traditional and cyber contexts. The role of attachment to mothers and fathers varied by context. Findings extend the literature by identifying risk factors in adolescence associated with bullying and victimization, as well as suggesting appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to increase adolescent well-being. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822828/
Deformation Micro-mechanisms of Simple and Complex Concentrated Fcc Alloys
The principal objective of this work was to elucidate the effect of microstructural features on the intrinsic dislocation mechanisms in two FCC alloys. First alloy Al0.1CoCrFeNi was from a new class of material known as complex concentrated alloys, particularly high entropy alloys (HEA). The second was a conventional Al-Mg-Sc alloy in ultrafine-grained (UFG) condition. In the case of HEA, the lattice possess significant lattice strain due to the atomic size variation and cohesive energy differences. Moreover, both the lattice friction stress and the Peierls barrier height are significantly larger than the conventional FCC metals and alloys. The experimental evidences, so far, provide a distinctive identity to the nature and motion of dislocations in FCC HEA as compared to the conventional FCC metals and alloys. Hence, the thermally activated dislocation mechanisms and kinetics in HEA has been studied in detail. To achieve the aim of examining the dislocation kinetics, transient tests, both strain rate jump tests and stress relaxation tests, were conducted. Anomalous behavior in dislocation kinetics was observed. Surprisingly, a large rate sensitivity of the flow stress and low activation volume of dislocations were observed, which are unparalleled as compared to conventional CG FCC metals and alloys. The observed trend has been explained in terms of the lattice distortion and dislocation energy framework. As opposed to the constant dislocation line energy and Peierls potential energy (amplitude, ΔE) in conventional metals and alloys, both line energy and Peierls potential undergo continuous variation in the case of HEA. These energy fluctuations have greatly affected the dislocation mobility and can be distinctly noted from the activation volume of dislocations. The proposed hypothesis was tested by varying the grain size and also the test temperature. Activation volume of dislocations was a strong function of temperature and increased with temperature. And the reduction in grain size did not affect the dislocation mechanisms and kinetics. This further bolstered the hypothesis. The second part deals with deformation characteristics of Al-Mg-Sc alloy. The microstructure obtained from the severe plastic deformation (SPD) techniques differ in dislocation density, grain/cell size, and in the grain boundary character distribution. Therefore, it is vital to understand the deformation behavior of the UFG materials produced by various SPD techniques, as the microstructural features basically control the deformation mechanisms. In this study, a detailed analysis was made to understand the deformation mechanisms operative in various regimes of a stress-strain in UFG Al-Mg-Sc alloy produced via friction stir processing. The stress-strain curves exhibited serrations from the onset of yielding to the point of sample failure. The serration amplitude and frequency was higher in UFG material as compared to CG material. Furthermore, the microstructural features that result in the serrated flow were investigated along with the avalanche characteristics. The presence of both ultrafine grains and Al3Sc precipitates were the necessary conditions to reach the critical stress required to push the grain boundary into a critical state to set off an avalanche. The microstructural conditions that did not satisfy both the requirements did not exhibit deep serrations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822829/
Identification of Hox Genes Controlling Thrombopoiesis in Zebrafish
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Thrombocytes are functional equivalents of mammalian platelets and also possess megakaryocyte features. It has been shown earlier that hox genes play a role in megakaryocyte development. Our earlier microarray analysis showed five hox genes, hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, hoxc11b and hoxd3a, were upregulated in zebrafish thrombocytes. However, there is no comprehensive study of genome wide scan of all the hox genes playing a role in megakaryopoiesis. I first measured the expression levels of each of these hox genes in young and mature thrombocytes and observed that all the above hox genes except hoxc11b were expressed equally in both populations of thrombocytes. hoxc11b was expressed only in young thrombocytes and not in mature thrombocytes. The goals of my study were to comprehensively knockdown hox genes and identify the specific hox genes involved in the development of thrombocytes in zebrafish. However, the existing vivo-morpholino knockdown technology was not capable of performing such genome-wide knockdowns. Therefore, I developed a novel cost- effective knockdown method by designing an antisense oligonucleotides against the target mRNA and piggybacking with standard control morpholino to silence the gene of interest. Also, to perform knockdowns of the hox genes and test for the number of thrombocytes, the available techniques were both cumbersome or required breeding and production of fish where thrombocytes are GFP labeled. Therefore, I established a flow cytometry based method of counting the number of thrombocytes. I used mepacrine to fluorescently label the blood cells and used the white cell fraction. Standard antisense oligonucleotide designed to the central portion of each of the target hox mRNAs, was piggybacked by a control morpholino and intravenously injected into the adult zebrafish. The thrombocyte count was measured 48 hours post injection. In this study, I found that the knockdown of hoxc11b resulted in increased number of thrombocytes and knockdown of hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, and hoxd3a showed reduction in the thrombocyte counts. I then screened the other 47 hox genes in the zebrafish genome using flow sorting method and found that knockdown of hoxa9a and hoxb1a also resulted in decreased thrombocyte number. Further, I used the dye DiI, which labels only young thrombocytes at specific concentrations and observed that the knockdown of hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, hoxd3a, hoxa9a and hoxb1a, lead to a decrease in young thrombocytes; whereas hoxc11b knockdown lead to increase in number of young thrombocytes. Using bromodeoxyuridine, I also showed that there is increase in release of young thrombocytes into peripheral circulation in hoxc11b knockdown fish which suggests that hoxc11b significantly promotes cell proliferation rather effecting apoptosis. In conclusion, I found six hox genes that are positive regulators and one hox gene is a negative regulator for thrombocyte development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822768/
Messiaen’s Musical Language: Technique and Theological Symbolism in Les Corps Glorieux, “Combat De La Mort Et De La Vie”
One of the most important ways to understand Olivier Messiaen’s musical language is through the lens of the theological ideas that many of his works convey. He considers expressing his Christian faith to be the primary purpose in his music. Through his idiosyncratic technique, Messiaen gives power and life to his religious music that he combines with his interest in literature, musical analysis, poetic imagery and symbolism, his love for theatre, and his compositional and organ abilities. The abundant studies of Messiaen’s works deal with the intricacies of his musical language, yet most of these studies barely discuss his theological ideas. Nevertheless, technical analysis of his music poses immense challenges, especially in the domains of melody and harmony. Although my approach is unconventional and do not follow any existing system, I base my technical and theological analyses mainly from Messiaen's technique, his commentaries and his references to the Scriptures. The “Combat de la mort et de la vie” is the heart of Les Corps glorieux in both technical and theological aspects. It is an intricate musical artwork where Messiaen demonstrates his melodic and harmonic developments using his idiosyncratic language, and through symbolism portrays the most complex of all drama according to Christian theology—the story of Jesus Christ's Passion and Resurrection. My research can relate directly to a more informed and convincing performance of the work, and can contribute a different perspective to the study, understanding, and appreciation of Messiaen's theologically inspired works. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822769/
Culturally Proficient Leadership: Teacher Perceptions of Elementary School Principals in Urban, Title I Schools
This study examined elementary teachers’ perceptions of their principal’s level of cultural proficiency. Practices for Developing a Culturally Competent School Environment, a survey Camille Smith and adapted by Dr. Mack T. Hines, was completed from a sample size of 119 teachers. The survey contained 35 items, including six constructs: valuing diversity, assessing the culture, managing the dynamics of difference, institutionalizing cultural knowledge and resources, adapting to diversity and inclusiveness. Teachers rated their principal using a Likert scale which consisted of 1 = never uses, 2 = rarely uses, 3 = sometimes uses, 4 = frequently uses, and 5 = always uses. Teachers of various races, ages and years with their principal participated in this study. The study reveals that these variables do not make a statistically significant difference in the teachers’ perception of how proficient they are in valuing diversity, a assessing his/her own culture and institutionalizing cultural knowledge. This quantitative study reveals the variances of statistical significance of teacher demographics: age, gender, years served under current principal and accountability rating of the school. Cultural proficiency is important to the development and maintenance of the necessary relationships among students, teachers, principals and the school community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822772/
Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens
Embarking on a study abroad experience is thought to be a transformational experience for students, and previous researchers have tended to find that the potential benefits of study abroad experiences, including greater conceptual and behavioral intercultural competence, are greater with longer periods abroad. The purpose of this study was to create an intentional learning experience for students who embarked on a short-term study abroad in rural areas of China and to apply faculty intervention of a student development approach to student learning to create a high-impact learning environment for students centered on a service-learning project. This qualitative study gathered primary data from students and instructors during the course through a collection of observation and field notes, student journals, pre- and post-construct tests, and final presentation. Follow-up interviews were conducted 10 months after course completion. Six students participated in this course and study who were from a variety of disciplines and classifications. Five students were female; one was male. Four students were undergraduates; two were graduate students. Student ethnicities included three Caucasians and African American, along with two international students from Mexico and Iran. Key outcomes of this study were that when short-term study abroad faculty members applied creative interventions, students were transformed with regard to their beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors and that when they guided students through a process of reflection and analysis, students exhibited exponential personal development. In addition, the ability to challenge or support students in reaching higher levels of personal development is a privilege that faculty must earn over time and through an authentic demonstration of care for students’ wellbeing. Short-term study abroad faculty members can use the results of this study to maximize the developmental impact of such programs on student participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822773/
Biological Applications of a Strongly Luminescent Platinum (Ii) Complex in Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging and Hypoxia Imaging in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Phosphorescent transition metal complexes make up an important group of compounds that continues to attract intense research owing to their intrinsic bioimaging applications that arise from bright emissions, relatively long excited state lifetimes, and large stokes shifts. Now for biomaging assay a model organism is required which must meet certain criteria for practical applications. The organism needs to be small, with a high turn-over of progeny (high fecundity), a short lifecycle, and low maintenance and assay costs. Our model organism C. elegans met all the criteria. The ideal phosphor has low toxicity in the model organism. In this work the strongly phosphorescent platinum (II) pyrophosphito-complex was tested for biological applications as a potential in vivo hypoxia sensor. The suitability of the phosphor was derived from its water solubility, bright phosphorescence at room temperature, and long excited state lifetime (~ 10 µs). The applications branched off to include testing of C. elegans survival when treated with the phosphor, which included lifespan and fecundity assays, toxicity assays including the determination of the LC50, and recovery after paraquat poisoning. Quenching experiments were performed using some well knows oxygen derivatives, and the quenching mechanisms were derived from Stern-Volmer plots. Reaction stoichiometries were derived from Job plots, while percent scavenging (or antioxidant) activities were determined graphically. The high photochemical reactivity of the complex was clearly manifested in these reactions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822774/
Identification of Genes Involved in Flocculation by Whole Genome Sequencing of Thauera Aminoaromatica Strain Mz1t Floc-defective Mutants
Thauera aminoaromatica MZ1T, a floc-forming bacterium isolated from an industrial activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, overproduces exopolysaccharide (EPS) leading to viscous bulking. This phenomenon results in poor sludge settling and dewatering during the clarification process. To identify genes responsible for bacterial flocculation, a whole genome phenotypic sequencing technique was applied. Genomic DNA of MZ1T flocculation-deficient mutants were subjected to massively parallel sequencing. The resultant high-quality reads were assembled and compared to the reference genome of the wild type genome. We identified nine nonsynonymous mutations and one nonsense mutation putatively involved in EPS biosynthesis. Complementation of the nonsense mutation located in an EPS deacetylase gene restored the flocculating phenotype. The FTIR spectra of EPS isolated from the wild-type showed reduced C=O peak of the N-acetyl group at 1665 cm-1 as compared to the spectra of MZ1T floc-deficient mutant EPS, suggesting that the WT EPS was partially deacetylated. Gene expression analysis also demonstrated the deacetylase gene transcript increased before flocculation occurred. The results suggest that the deacetylation of MZ1T EPS is crucial for flocculation. The information obtained from this study will be useful for preventing viscous bulking and wastewater treatment system failure, and may have potential applications in the biotechnology sector for the controlled removal of cells. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822777/
Photo-induced Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil to Four Native Gulf of Mexico Species
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Photo-induced toxicity following co-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) are an important commercial and ecological resource in the Gulf of Mexico and their largely transparent larvae may make them sensitive to PAH photo-induced toxicity. Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), an important fishery resource, have positively buoyant, transparent eggs. These characteristics may result in mahi-mahi embryos being at particular risk from photo-induced toxicity. Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and speckled seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) are both important fishery resources in the GoM. They spawn near-shore and produce positively buoyant embryos that hatch into larvae in about 24 h. The goal of this body of work was to determine whether exposure to UV as natural sunlight enhances the toxicity of crude oil to early lifestage GoM species. Larval and embryonic organisms were exposed to several dilutions of water accommodated fractions (WAF) from several different oils collected in the field under chain of custody during the 2010 spill and two to three gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Here, we report that co-exposure to natural sunlight and oil significantly reduced larval survival and embryo hatch compared to exposure to oil alone. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822778/
A Practical Edition of the Twenty-four Caprices for Solo Violin by Sir William Herschel
Sir William Herschel (1738–1822) was a prominent musician and composer in the 18th century England. He worked as a concert director in several cities. In addition, he was a master of various instruments, and an active solo performer. Herschel composed numerous orchestral and solo works. His music, however, is hardly known today. Many of his compositions remained unpublished, among them the Twenty-Four Caprices for Solo Violin. These caprices are one of the earliest technical studies for the instrument, which must be brought to the intermediate violin students’ and violin teachers’ attentions. The purpose of this study is to create a practical edition of the Twenty-Four Caprices for Solo Violin, and to make it available for violinists by publishing them. The dissertation will look into the performance practice of Hershel’s caprices. Based on a thorough research of the violin methods, the edition will provide fingerings, bowings, and practicing suggestions which are useful for students who wish to improve violin technique. The author of this study strongly believes that these neglected technical studies are extremely beneficial works for violinists, and they deserve to be made public. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822781/
The Role of Spirituality in Ethnic Minority Patients with Copd
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death for low-to middle income countries (Downs & Appel, 2006; GOLD, 2011). COPD is a largely preventable disease due to the lifestyle factors that heavily contribute to disease onset and severity. Although traditionally COPD research has focused on health outcomes related to risk factors, compliance, comorbid psychological and physical conditions, and treatment interventions, a growing body of research suggests religious and spiritual factors may play an equally important role in health outcomes for several medical conditions, including pulmonary disease. However, studies of this kind have not specifically examined COPD nor have they examined the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in COPD management among ethnic minority patients. As such, the current study aimed to examine whether spiritual ethnic minority patients with COPD hold religious fatalistic attitudes and less active religious problem solving . A sample of 35 ethnic minority patients from the Louis. B. Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic in Cleveland, OH. were recruited to participate in the study. Due to the acknowledgeable limitations of the present study, results are preliminary but convey associations between religious health fatalistic beliefs and religious problem solving approaches. Implications and areas of future study are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822782/
Václav Philomathes’ Musicorum Libri Quattuor (1512): Translation, Commentary, and Contextualization
The Czech-born music theorist, Václav Philomathes, wrote the Musicorum libri quattuor in 1512 while attending the University of Vienna. This didactic treatise became one of the most widely published theory treatise of its time with 26 copies of five editions remaining today and covers the topics of Gregorian chant practice, Solmization, Mensural Notation, Choir Practice and Conducting, and Four-voice Counterpoint. Of particular note, is the section on choir practice and conducting, of which there is no equivalent prior example extant today. This dissertation provides a Latin-English translation of Philomathes’s work, as well as produces a critical commentary and comparison of the five editions while positioning the editions within the context of the musico-theoretical background of early-to-mid-16th century scholarship in Central Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822783/
Self-efficacy, Academic Engagement, and Student-teacher Relationships for Ninth-grade African American Male Students’ Algebra I Achievement: a Structural Equation Model
The purpose of the current study was to discern the effects of three latent constructs – self-efficacy, academic engagement, and student-teacher relationships on Algebra I achievement among ninth-grade African American male students. A nationally representative sample from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09) was used in the study. Study participants were 697 African American males enrolled in ninth grade in the fall of 2009 across the United States. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analytical procedures were performed to test the hypothesized relationships of Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) theoretical assumptions. The results indicate that the three latent variables directly or indirectly were related to Algebra I achievement among ninth grade African American male students. Moreover, the results revealed that self-efficacy and student-teacher relationships constructs had direct significant impact on Algebra I academic performance; nonetheless, the relationships were not strong. These two latent variables had small effect sizes of 5% and 1%, respectively. Combined, self-efficacy, academic engagement, and student-teacher relationships explained only 8% of the variance in the Algebra I achievement among African American males across the United States (R2=.08). The magnitude effect of these factors on Algebra I achievement was minimal. Overall, these findings suggest that the self-efficacy and student-teacher relationships latent variables had a negligible effect as predictors of Algebra I academic success among ninth grade African American male students. A summary of the results are presented and future research is recommended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822785/
Expertise Revisited: Reflecting on the Intersection of Science and Democracy in the Case of Fracking
This dissertation aims to explain the conditions under which expertise can undermine democratic decision making. I argue that the root of the conflict between expertise and democracy lies in what I call insufficiently “representative” expertise – that is forms of scientific research that are not relevant to the policy questions at hand and that fail to make visible their hidden values dimensions. I claim that the scholarly literature on the problem of expertise fails to recognize and address the issue correctly, because it does not open the black box of scientific methodologies. I maintain that only by making sense of the methodological choices of experts in the context of policy making can we determine the relevance of research and reveal the hidden socio-political values and consequences. Using the case of natural gas fracking, I demonstrate how expert contributions – even though epistemically sound – can muddle democratic policy processes. I present four case studies from controversies about fracking to show how to contextualize scientific methodologies in the pertinent political process. I argue that the common problem across all case studies is the failure of expertise to sufficiently represent stakeholders’ problems and concerns. In this context, “representation” has three criteria: (1) the operational research questions on which the qualified experts work are relevant to stakeholders’ problems and concerns; (2) the non-epistemic values and consequences of epistemic choices of experts are compatible with social and political values and priorities; and (3) hidden values attached to facts are fully transparent and openly debated. In the conclusion, I propose a normative version of this representation theory that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of expertise for democratic policy making. Instead of the value-free science ideal, I propose a new ideal to legitimately allow non-epistemic values in scientific reasoning without compromising the soundness of research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822786/
High School Contemporary a Cappella: a Descriptive Phenomenology
This study examines the phenomenon of contemporary a cappella music making found in high school settings as curricular and extra-curricular offerings. Past music and music education literature has focused exclusively on contemporary a cappella at the collegiate level. Through application of a descriptive phenomenological method and incorporation an educational-sociological lens, this study advances an understanding of the educational benefit and social value of membership in contemporary a cappella at the high school level. Six recent members from three regions of the United States provided data through individual open-form interviews in which questions were derived from the participants’ own speech. I incorporated phenomenological reductions and processes to negate researcher bias during data collection, analysis, and the formation of a general structure and constituent meanings of membership in high school contemporary a cappella. Participants utilized traditional music skills, individual talents, conceptions of popular culture and music, and in-group socialization to facilitate music making and reify membership. Expressing the value of group membership, individuals acted to benefit the group by cultivating social bonds, developing and fostering personal/shared connections to songs, identifying and purposing individual talents and skills, and gaining an understanding of each members’ unique contribution to membership. Discussion includes implications for music education and suggestions for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822787/
Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Aqueous Polymeric Hybrid Composites and Nanomaterials of Platinum(ii) and Gold(i) Phosphorescent Complexes for Sensing and Biomedical Applications
The two major topics studied in this dissertation are the gold(I) pyrazolate trimer {[Au(3-R,5-R’)Pz]3} complexes in aqueous chitosan polymer and phosphorescent polymeric nanoparticles based on platinum(II) based complex. The first topic is the synthesis, characterization and optical sensing application of gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complexes within aqueous chitosan polymer. A gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complex, {[Au(3-CH3,5-COOH)Pz]3}, shows high sensitivity and selectivity for silver ions in aqueous media, is discussed for optical sensing and solution-processed organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) applications. Gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complexes are bright red emissive in polymeric solution and their emission color changes with respect to heavy metal ions, pH and dissolved carbon dioxide. These photophysical properties are very useful for designing the optical sensors. The phosphorescent polymeric nanoparticles are prepared with Pt-POP complex and polyacrylonitrile polymer. These particles show excellent photophysical properties and stable up to >3 years at room temperature. Such nanomaterials have potential applications in biomedical and polymeric OLEDs. The phosphorescent hybrid composites are also prepared with Pt-POP and biocompatible polymers, such as chitosan, poly-l-lysine, BSA, pnipam, and pdadmac. Photoluminescent enhancement of Pt-POP with such polymers is also involved in this study. These hybrid composites are promising materials for biomedical applications such as protein labeling and bioimaging. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822788/
Effects of Child Development Associate Credential System 20 on Candidate Success Rates
The purpose of this research was to identify the impact of process changes that have been made to the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which is a beginning early childhood teacher credential that focuses on competency based standards widely seen as necessary for early childhood teachers to possess. The process in which early childhood teachers receive their credential changed in 2013 with the implementation of CDA credential 2.0. Changes included taking a computerized exam and the implementation of a professional development specialist conducting an on-site classroom observation. In order to determine the impact that CDA 2.0 had on teacher credentialing success rates, a mixed-method sequential design was employed. First, existing data sets of success rates from a national scholarship program were reviewed. Following, interviews with CDA credential seekers were conducted. Findings revealed that while candidate success rates increased for those receiving CDA credentials under the 2.0 system, the actual number of candidates receiving scholarships to pursue the CDA credential through the national scholarship program decreased. Qualitative analysis of the semi-structured interviews indicated that three areas that impacted CDA 2.0 candidate success rates were the professional education programs and instructors, the CDA Exam, and Professional Development Specialists. This is the first research study to examine the CDA credential process. The findings demonstrate that the 2.0 system provides candidates with necessary supports to be successful. A significant question arising out of the data is how a determination is made to issue a credential. Before QRIS and public policy initiatives employ more efforts to professionalize the field of early childhood – primarily through the CDA credential – the process by which one obtains a credential should be more thoroughly examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822791/
Does Instructional Delivery Method in an Elective Business Class Impact Student Achievement with Respect to Gender, Race and Socio-economic Status in a Selected Texas Public School District?
The problem that guided this study was a socio-constructivist view of education via online learning. Based in the extant literature, a deficiency existed that directly correlated online learning closing the academic achievement gap between student populations. In other words, schools invested in technology; however, few empirical data sets existed that established a connection between technology integration and the academic achievement of different student groups. The purpose of this pooled regression analysis study was to determine whether the method of class instruction effected academic achievement gaps between three subpopulations based on gender, race, and SES. Specifically, this study examined whether gender, race, and SES could predict semester grades within and across traditional, blended, and online course instructional methods. The dependent variable for this study was student success in the form of an end-of-unit test grade designed to evaluate student understanding of the curriculum. The independent variables included student gender, ethnicity, and SES. Quantitative data were collected through an analysis of Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data and student end-of-unit exam grades. The research suggests one combined interaction, [gender x race] in the traditional learning environment, is statistically significant while several independent interactions are significant. Those independent interactions are TAKS scores, gender, and Socio-economic status. According to the trends in this research, no significant differences exists in academic achievement between African American males and White males enrolled in traditional, blended or online classes. This non-significance is important. As suggested, when all other external factors, in this research, are held constant and the academic playing field is level, male students perform equally within the classroom, also, because no significant differences exists in academic achievement, the quality of instruction from well-trained, highly qualified educators can be an integral factor in closing the achievement gap between African American, low-SES male students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822793/
Fundamental Studies of Copper Corrosion in Interconnect Fabrication Process and Spectroscopic Investigation of Low-k Structures
In the first part of this dissertation, copper bimetallic corrosion and its inhibition in cleaning processes involved in interconnect fabrication is explored. In microelectronics fabrication, post chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) cleaning is required to remove organic contaminants and particles left on copper interconnects after the CMP process. Use of cleaning solutions, however, causes serious reliability issues due to corrosion and recession of the interconnects. In this study, different azole compounds are explored and pyrazole is found out to be a potentially superior Cu corrosion inhibitor, compared to the most widely used benzotriazole (BTA), for tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH)-based post CMP cleaning solutions at pH 14. Micropattern corrosion screening results and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) revealed that 1 mM Pyrazole in 8 wt% TMAH solution inhibits Cu corrosion more effectively than 10 mM benzotriazole (BTA) under same conditions. Moreover, water contact angle measurement results also showed that Pyrazole-treated Cu surfaces are relatively hydrophilic compared to those treated with BTA/TMAH. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis supports Cu-Pyrazole complex formation on the Cu surface. Overall Cu corrosion rate in TMAH-based highly alkaline post CMP cleaning solution is shown to be considerably reduced to less than 1Å/min by addition of 1 mM Pyrazole. In the second part, a novel technique built in-house called multiple internal Reflection Infrared Spectroscopy (MIR-IR) was explored as a characterization tool for characterization of different low-k structures.In leading edge integrated circuit manufacturing, reduction of RC time delay by incorporation of porous ultra low-k interlayer dielectrics into Cu interconnect nanostructure continues to pose major integration challenges. The main challenge is that porous structure renders interlayer dielectrics mechanically weak, chemically unstable and more susceptible to the RIE plasma etching damages. Besides the challenge of handling weak porous ultra low-k materials, a lack of sensitive metrology to guide systematic development of plasma etching, restoration and cleaning processes is the major stumbling block. We explored Multiple Internal Reflection Infrared Spectroscopy and associated IR techniques as a sensitive (sub-5 nm) characterization tool to investigate chemical bonding modification across fluorocarbon etch residues and low-k dielectric interface after plasma etching, ashing, UV curing and post-etch cleaning. The new insights on chemical bonding transformation mapping can effectively guide the development of clean-friendly plasma etch for creating ultra low-k dielectric nanostructures with minimal dielectric damages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822794/
The Impact of Computational Methods on Transition Metal-containing Species
Quantum chemistry methodologies can be used to address a wide variety of chemical problems. Key to the success of quantum chemistry methodologies, however, is the selection of suitable methodologies for specific problems of interest, which often requires significant assessment. To gauge a number of methodologies, the utility of density functionals (BLYP, B97D, TPSS, M06L, PBE0, B3LYP, M06, and TPSSh) in predicting reaction energetics was examined for model studies of C-O bond activation of methoxyethane and methanol. These species provide excellent representative examples of lignin degradation via C-O bond cleavage. PBE0, which performed better than other considered DFT functionals, was used to investigate late 3d (Fe, Co, and Ni), 4d (Ru, Rh, and Pd), and 5d (Re, Os, and Ir) transition metal atom mediated Cβ -O bond activation of the β–O–4 linkage of lignin. Additionally, the impact of the choice of DFT functionals, basis sets, implicit solvation models, and layered quantum chemical methods (i.e., ONIOM, Our Own N-layered Integrated molecular Orbital and molecular Mechanics) was investigated for the prediction of pKa for a set of Ni-group metal hydrides (M = Ni, Pd, and Pt) in acetonitrile. These investigations have provided insight about the utility of a number of theoretical methods in the computation of thermodynamic properties of transition metal hydrides in solution. As single reference wavefunction methods commonly perform poorly in describing molecular systems that involve bond-breaking and forming or electronic near-degeneracies and are typically best described with computationally costly multireference wavefunction-based methods, it is imperative to a priori analyze the multireference character for molecular systems so that the proper methodology choice is applied. In this work, diagnostic criteria for assessing the multireference character of 4d transition metal-containing molecules was investigated. Four diagnostics were considered in this work, including the weight of the leading configuration of the CASSCF wavefunction, C02; T1, the Frobenius norm of the coupled cluster amplitude vector related to single excitations and D1, the matrix norm of the coupled cluster amplitude vector arising from coupled cluster calculations; and the percent total atomization energy, %TAE. This work demonstrated the need to have different diagnostic criteria for 4d molecules than for main group molecules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822795/
On City Identity and Its Moral Dimensions
The majority of people on Earth now live in cities, and estimates hold that 60 percent of the world’s cities have yet to be built. Now is the time for philosophers to develop a philosophy of the city to address the forthcoming issues that urbanization will bring. In this dissertation, I respond to this need for a philosophy of the city by developing a theory of city identity, developing some of the theory’s normative implications, illustrating the theory with a case study, and outlining the nature and future of philosophy of the city more generally. Indeed, this dissertation is only a part of my larger project of founding and institutionalizing this new field of both academic and socially-engaged philosophical activity. Throughout the history of the discipline, other areas such a personal identity have received numerous considerations, along with the concept of identity as an abstraction. For example, there is a bounty of research addressing problems pertaining to how objects and people retain an identity over time and claims about identity in general. While one could argue that cities are not any different than any other object, such an account fails to consider that a city’s dynamic nature makes it dissimilar to other things. To illustrate this point, I develop a position called dynamic composition as identity theory that provides a framework for understanding the identity of a city, exhibiting that views within analytic metaphysics are too narrow to apply to all cases. After establishing a concept of city identity, I use an applied mereology to develop a model of city identity that shows how the parts of a city fit together to form a complete city. This model introduces the normative dimension of my project by providing a way to identify how incongruence between a city’s parts can cause problems for residents’ wellbeing. To understand the moral dimensions of infrastructure, I argue that moral theory alone is ill prepared to adequately demonstrate its full range of effects. Yet, instead of developing another moral theory, we can supplement existing moral theories with the concepts of sustainability and resilience thinking to account for the elements that traditional moral systems neglect. I support this view with a detailed account of transportation infrastructure. Namely, I show that current frameworks for assessing transportation infrastructure are inadequate, and employ the method of complex moral assessment developed earlier to make such assessments. Lastly, I show how the research in this dissertation counts as intra-disciplinary research, a new kind of method for philosophical research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822798/
Characterizing the Molecular Changes of Austrofundulus Limnaeus As It Develops Towards and Enters Diapause Ii
Austrofundulus limnaeus is a species of annual killifish which inhabits ephemeral ponds in South America. The species is able to survive seasonally desiccating ponds due to their ability to produce robust embryos. The embryos of this species are capable of entering a developmental arrest, termed diapause II, which precedes the onset of drought. While in this arrested state embryos exhibit the greatest tolerance to anoxia of any characterized vertebrate at 25ºC. Furthermore, when raised at 30ºC, embryos escape the entrance to diapause II and go on to develop directly. Currently, little is known about the molecular mechanisms which induce and maintain this developmentally arrested state. In this study I have developed methods to analyze changes in histone modifications in the context of diapause II. Histone modifications were chosen due to their extreme conservation and well characterized role as modulators of gene expression in other systems. Results utilizing adapted immunobased assays show significant changes in the global amount of H3S10P, H3K27me and H3K4me, as the embryos progress from early embryogenesis through the exit of diapause. Additionally, it is revealed that there exists a degree of phenotypic plasticity with regards to the entrance into diapause II which is modulated by the environment (severe hypoxia 0.1% O2). This work builds a foundation for future histone modification studies and contributes the development of several tools to the field. This study contributes to a greater molecular understanding of the cue(s) which influence the remarkable phenomenon of obligate developmental arrest in a vertebrate embryo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822736/
A Teaching Guide for Debussy and Ravel: Technical and Stylistic Applications for Korean Piano Teachers
Most Korean students study very little French music during their pre-college years. A survey of ten Korean piano professors as well as an investigation into the annual set repertoire from universities, music high schools, middle schools and national competitions in Korea show that French repertoire appears very seldom on the list of required repertoire. Therefore, it is easy for Korean students to neglect French piano music. By the time students reach undergraduate or graduate school and are required to play the music of Debussy and Ravel for the first time, they find themselves at a serious disadvantage. The purpose of this paper is to provide a pedagogical guide for Korean teachers who wish to offer their beginning, middle school and high school students a good foundation in the style of French piano music. This syllabus will introduce a series of French piano pieces, from Couperin and Rameau as well as Chaminade and Fauré to the easier pieces of Debussy and Ravel, which will lead to the ultimate goal of interpreting aspects of French tone, style, technique, and cultural context involved in the eventual successful performance of the more advanced pieces of Debussy and Ravel, which are the bedrock of French piano music. One of the most significant advantages of this syllabus is that it does not skip any steps in the repertoire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822737/
Self-assembly Polymeric Nanoparticles Composed of Polymers Crosslinked with Transition Metals for Use in Drug Delivery
A major drawback of chemotherapy is the lack of selectively leading to damage in healthy tissue, which results in severe acute side effects to cancer patients. The use of nanoparticles as a drug delivery system has emerged as novel strategy to overcome the barriers of immunogenic response, controlled release of therapeutic, and targeting the toxicity only to cancerous cells. In this study, polymeric nanoparticles composed of transition metals and particles derived from natural biopolymers have been generated via self-assembly. For example, nanoparticles composed of cobalt crosslinked with albumin (Co-alb NPs) via Co-amine coordination chemistry of lysine residue were syntheisized in various sizes. The method to generate Co-alb NPs involves no thermal heat, organic solvent or any surfactants, which is ideal for the production of large amounts in a timely manner. The Co-alb NPs displayed exceptional stability under physiological conditions (pH 7.4) for several days with minor changes in size; however degradation could be triggered by reductant (reduced glutathione (GSH), 10 mM) with complete disappearance of particles in less than 2 hour. Numerous therapeutics that are highly effective toward cancer cells have been developed; however, many cannot be administered to patients due to poor solubility in water and pH dependent properties. We have successfully encapsulated 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycampothecin (SN-38) into Co-alb NPs with encapsulation efficiency as high as 94% and loading capacities greater than 30%. We employed an emulsion-solvent evaporation method to incorporate SN-38 into Co-alb (SN38 Co-Alb NPs). Release of the drug from SN38 Co-Alb NPs was determined for particles incubated in PBS or PBS-GSH. SN38 Co-Alb NPs were exceptionally stable under physiological condition (PBS pH 7.4), but exhibited sustained release of SN-38 over time in the presence of GSH. Uptake and toxicity of the particles were also investigated in a gastric carcinoma cell line (SNU-5) where high degrees of macropinocytic uptake were observed. The particles displayed significant toxicity making them a prime candidate for further testing in animal models. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822738/
Retention: Course Completion Rates in Online Distance Learning
Online courses in higher education have a reputation for having a lower course completion or retention rate than face-to-face courses. Much of this reputation is based upon anecdotal evidence, is outdated, or is on a small scale, such as a comparison of individual courses or programs of instruction. A causal-comparative analysis was conducted among 11 large, high research public universities. The universities were compared to each other to determine if differences existed between online and face-to-face course completion; undergraduate and graduation online course completion was analyzed for differences as well. The findings suggested the magnitude of the differences between online and face-to-face completions rates was small or negligible. The area which showed a higher magnitude of difference was in the comparison between undergraduate and graduate online course completion; the practical significance could be worth considering for educational purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822741/
Professor Han Xianguang and His Contribution to the Horn World
This dissertation verifies Professor Han, Xianguang as the most significant Chinese horn player and teacher in the twentieth century. He was the first Chinese horn player to win in an international horn competition and the first president of the China Horn Association. He was the premier performer of the only known Chinese horn concerto: Fantasy-Concerto <In Memory>, composed by Professor Shi Yongkang in 1962. Professor Han also served as a judge for many international horn solo and chamber music competitions, and was president of the first (2012), second (2013), and third (2014) CCOM (Central College of Music) International Horn Festivals in Beijing. This dissertation explores Professor Han’s professional and pedagogical contributions to the horn world. These contributions will, in turn, provide an overview of the evolution of the horn and horn playing in China. The horn, historically and musically an instrument of Western Europe, was transported to Asia by many horn players and teachers, with Professor Han the most significant figure in its evolution in China. During Professor Han’s 60-year teaching career, he developed a special pedagogical system. A number of his outstanding horn students, including two sons, eventually became principal hornists in orchestras throughout China, with a few hired by European orchestras, and some have won international competitions. A secondary purpose of this dissertation is to offer historical and pedagogical information to young horn players, especially those of Asian descent, to give them a more thorough musical and aesthetical understanding of their instrument in the Asian history and culture. As part of his DMA Lecture Recital on September 6, 2015, the author presented the US premiere of Fantasy-Concerto <In Memory> in its piano reduction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822742/
Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying in Korean Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities: Examination of Contributing Factors
Children and Adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) are often involved in aggression, acting out, bullying, violence, substance abuse, and juvenile crime. However, the limited Korean studies have focused primarily on bullying of students with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore contributing factors to traditional bullying and cyberbullying in Korean children and adolescents with EBD. The current study surveyed 112 students with EBD between ages of 10 and 15 and their parents (guardians). The results revealed that internalizing problem behaviors including anxious/depression, withdrawal/depression, and somatic problems significantly affected traditional bullying victimization of Korean students with EBD. The peer support was a significant factor affecting cyberbullying victimization. Furthermore, the maternal psychological control was a meaningful factor affecting perpetration at school and in cyber world. Based on the findings, the present study described implications regarding prevention and intervention programs for addressing traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimization and perpetration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822744/
Urban Sustainability and the Extinction of Experience: Acknowledging Drivers of Biocultural Loss for Socio-ecological Well-being
In this dissertation I address urban sustainability with a focus on loss of cultural heritage and ecological knowledge by expanding the concept “extinction of experience” (EoE). Conceptualized by conservationist Robert Michael Pyle, EoE is the loss of nature experiences leading to apathy towards biodiversity and degradation of the common habitat. I expand upon Pyle’s formulation of the concept by considering the EoE cycle as an indirect driver that amplifies biodiversity losses. Additionally, I introduce the analysis of interrelated losses of biological and cultural diversity in relation to EoE. With a biocultural approach I discuss that EoE is tied to the infrastructural inertia within the global urban economy. I propose that addressing the EoE cycle is critical in that as a complex and multi-faceted process, it cements threats to biological and cultural diversity as permanent fixtures within society by obscuring their significance in light of economic development. This cycle remains a hidden problematic in that it perpetuates the environmental crisis while making such losses invisible within day-to-day lifestyle habits, constructing an emerging urban culture within the global economy that is ignorant of ecological processes and sustainability requirements. I frame the implications of EoE with an analysis of the newly proposed revisions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals voted on in September 2015 to prioritize local ecological knowledge and biocultural heritage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822745/
Environmental Modulation of the Onset of Air-breathing of the Siamese Fighting Fish and the Blue Gourami
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This study determined the effect of hypoxia on air-breathing onset and physiological and morphological characters in larvae of the air breathing fishes Trichopodus trichopterus and Betta splendens. Larvae were exposed intermittently (12/12 h daily) to 20, 17, and 14 kPa of PO2 from 1 to 40 days post-fertilization. Survival, onset of air breathing, wet body mass, O2, Pcrit were measured every 5 dpf. Hypoxia advanced by 4 days, and delayed by 9 days, the onset of air breathing in Betta and Trichopodus, respectively. Hypoxia increased larval body length, wet mass, and labyrinth organ respiratory surface of Betta, but did not affect these factors in Trichopodus. Hypoxic exposure increased O2 by 50-100% at each day throughout larval development in Betta, but had no effect on larval Trichopodus. Hypoxia decreased Pcrit in Betta by 37%, but increased Pcrit in Trichopodus by 70%. Larval Betta reared in hypoxia showed a modified heart rate:opercular rate ratio (3:1 to 2:1), but these changes did not occur in Trichopodus. Compared to Betta, the blood of Trichopodus had a higher P50 and much smaller Bohr and Root effects. These interspecific differences are likely due to ecophysiological differences: Betta is a non- obligatory air-breather after 36 dpf with a slow lifestyle reflected in its low metabolism, while Trichopodus is an obligatory air-breather past 32 dpf with an athletic fast lifestyle and accompanying high metabolism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822746/
Determining the Authenticity of the Concerto for Two Horns, Woo 19, Attributed to Ferdinand Ries
Ferdinand Ries is credited as the composer of the Concerto for Two Horns, WoO. 19 preserved in the Berlin State Library. Dated 1811, ostensibly Ries wrote it in the same year as his Horn Sonata, Op. 34, yet the writing for the horns in the Concerto is significantly more demanding. Furthermore, Ries added to the mystery by not claiming the Concerto in his personal catalog of works or mentioning it in any surviving correspondence. The purpose of this dissertation is to study the authorship of the Concerto for Two Horns and offer possible explanations for the variance in horn writing. Biographical information of Ries is given followed by a stylistic analysis of Ries’s known works. A stylistic analysis of the Concerto for Two Horns, WoO. 19 is offered, including a handwriting comparison between the Concerto for Two Horns and Ries’s Horn Sonata. Finally, possible explanations are proposed that rationalize the variance in horn writing between the Concerto for Two Horns, WoO. 19 and Ries’s other compositions that include the horn. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822748/
The Laureates’ Lens: Exposing the Development of Literary History and Literary Criticism From Beneath the Dunce Cap
In this project, I examine the impact of early literary criticism, early literary history, and the history of knowledge on the perception of the laureateship as it was formulated at specific moments in the eighteenth century. Instead of accepting the assessments of Pope and Johnson, I reconstruct the contemporary impact of laureate writings and the writing that fashioned the view of the laureates we have inherited. I use an array of primary documents (from letters and journal entries to poems and non-fiction prose) to analyze the way the laureateship as a literary identity was constructed in several key moments: the debate over hack literature in the pamphlet wars surrounding Elkanah Settle’s The Empress of Morocco (1673), the defense of Colley Cibber and his subsequent attempt to use his expertise of theater in An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740), the consolidation of hack literature and state-sponsored poetry with the crowning of Colley Cibber as the King of the Dunces in Pope’s The Dunciad in Four Books (1742), the fashioning of Thomas Gray and William Mason as laureate rejecters in Mason’s Memoirs of the Life and Writings of William Whitehead (1788), Southey’s progressive work to abolish laureate task writing in his laureate odes 1813-1821, and, finally, in Wordsworth’s refusal to produce any laureate task writing during his tenure, 1843-1850. In each case, I explain how the construction of this office was central to the consolidation of literary history and to forging authorial identity in the same period. This differs from the conventional treatment of the laureates because I expose the history of the versions of literary history that have to date structured how scholars understand the laureate, and by doing so, reveal how the laureateship was used to create, legitimate and disseminate the model of literary history we still use today. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822784/
Sensitivity, Inspiration, and Rational Aesthetics: Experiencing Music in the North German Enlightenment
This dissertation examines pre-Kantian rational philosophy and the development of the discipline of aesthetics in the North German Enlightenment. With emphasis on the historical conception of the physiological and psychological experience of music, this project determines the function of music both privately and socially in the eighteenth century. As a result, I identify the era of rational aesthetics (ca.1750-1800) as a music-historical period unified by the aesthetic function and metaphysical experience of music, which inform the underlying motivation for musical styles, genres, and means of expression, leading to a more meaningful and compelling historical periodization. The philosophy of Alexander Baumgarten, Johann Georg Sulzer, and others enable definitions of the experience of beautiful objects and those concepts related to music composition, listening, and taste, and determine how rational aesthetics impacted the practice, function, and ultimately the prevailing style of music in the era. The construction, style, and performance means of the free fantasia, the most personal and expressive genre of the era, identify its function as the private act of solitude, or a musical meditation. An examination of pleasure societies establishes the role of music in performance and discussion in both social gatherings and learned musical clubs for conveying the morally good, which results in the spread of good taste. Taken together, the complimentary practices of private and social music played a significant role in eighteenth-century life for developing the self, through personal taste, and society, through a morally good culture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822804/
Mobile Learning: Factors That Influence University Students’ Intention to Use Smartphones
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This study investigated the factors that influence university students’ intention to use a smartphone. The study proposed and validated a research model based on the technology acceptance model (TAM). The TAM was modified and extended with four new constructs: social norms, perceived enjoyment, perceived value and ease of access. The constructs for the instrument of the study were adapted from previous related studies which had validated the instruments. Data were collected from 110 participants via a survey. The collected data were analyzed using hierarchical multiple-regression using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 22.0). The model demonstrated a good fit where six independent variables together contributed 56.2% of the variance to the outcome or prediction. The results of the analysis were used to test a set of research hypotheses and to answer research questions. The following independent variables were found to be significant in determining university students’ intention to use mobile devices: perceived usefulness, social norms, perceived enjoyment, perceived value and ease of access. The control variables gender and degree level and the independent variable ease of use were not significant predictors. The results of this study may be useful to understand which factors are more important to the students. This understanding can be utilized by the University administrators for developing policies related to mobile learning and by the IT departments for planning organizational technology services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822806/
School and Community Partnerships: Effect on At-risk Elementary Student Populations
The purpose of this study was to investigate the current practices of school and community partnerships in five North Texas elementary schools. In addition, the study focused on the influence community partnerships have on at-risk students based on at-risk indicators data. The literature revealed that when schools, parents, and families work together, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enrolled in coursework beyond high school. The target population included approximately 350 administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals from five North Texas elementary schools. Also included were the respective partners from each of the five elementary schools. This research included online survey instrument and data were gathered and analyzed through a combination of statistical procedures and descriptive and inferential statistics. The results may provide other schools with a profile of school and community partnerships that can be implemented as a method to help their at-risk student populations. Findings included a descriptive analysis of factors that contributed to the success of community engagement efforts as well as those factors that limited those efforts. A secondary purpose of this study was of continuous improvement in developing these approaches through a goal-setting approach. Schools included in the study provided a next steps plan by describing their major goal(s) for improving existing school and community partnerships over the next 3 years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822807/
Form in Popular Song, 1990-2009
Through an examination of 402 songs that charted in the top 20 of the Billboard year-end charts between the years 1990 and 2009, this dissertation builds upon previous research in form of popular song by addressing the following questions: 1) How might formal sections be identified through melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, and text? 2) How do these sections function and relate to one another and to the song as a whole? 3) How do these sections, and the resulting formal structures, relate to what has been described by previous theorists as normative? 4) What new norms and trends can be observed in popular song forms since 1990? Although many popular songs since 1990 do follow well-established forms, some songwriters and producers change and vary these forms. AAA strophic form, AABA form, Verse-Chorus form, Verse-Chorus with Prechorus and/or Postchorus sections, Verse-Chorus-Bridge form, “Other, with a Chorus” and “Other, without a Chorus” forms are addressed. An increasing number of the songs in each of the above listed forms are based on a repeating harmonic progression or no harmonic progression at all. In such songs, the traditional method of identifying sections and section-functions through harmonic analysis is less useful as an analytical tool, and other musical elements (melody, rhythm, instrumentation, and text) are as important, if not even more so, in determining the form of songs in the sample. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822808/
Exploring the Effectiveness of Curriculum Provided Through Transmedia Books for Increasing Students’ Knowledge and Interest in Science
Transmedia books are new and emerging technologies which are beginning to be used in current classrooms. Transmedia books are a traditional printed book that uses multiple media though the use of Quick Response (QR) codes and augmented reality (AR) triggers to access web-based technology. Using the transmedia book Skills That Engage Me students in kindergarten through second grade engage in curriculum designed to introduce science skills and careers. Using the modified Draw-a-Scientist Test (mDAST), observations and interviews, researchers analyzed pre and post data to describe changes students have about science and scientists. Future study may include the development and validation of a new instrument, Draw a Science Student, and examining the mDAST checklist with the intention of updating the parameters of what is considered positive and negative in relationship with work a scientist conducts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822809/
Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice
Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG studies is provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822810/
Montesquieu, Diversity, and the American Constitutional Debate
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It has become something of a cliché for contemporary scholars to assert that Madison turned Montesquieu on his head and thereafter give little thought to the Frenchman’s theory that republics must remain limited in territorial size. Madison did indeed present a formidable challenge to Montesquieu’s theory, but I will demonstrate in this dissertation that the authors of the Federalist Papers arrived at the extended sphere by following a theoretical pathway already cemented by the French philosopher. I will also show that Madison’s “practical sphere” ultimately concedes to Montesquieu that excessive territorial size and high levels of heterogeneity will overwhelm the citizens of a republic and enable the few to oppress the many. The importance of this dissertation is its finding that the principal mechanism devised by the Federalists for dealing with factions—the enlargement of the sphere—was crafted specifically for the purpose of moderating interests, classes, and sects within an otherwise relatively homogeneous nation. Consequently, the diverse republic that is America today may be exposed to the existential threat anticipated by Montesquieu’s theory of size—the plutocratic oppression of society by an elite class that employs the strategy of divide et impera. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822814/
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