UNT Theses and Dissertations - 404 Matching Results

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Spousal Support and Diabetes Management: the Role of Gender and Religion

Description: One in four adults over the age of 60 suffers from diabetes. Around 85%-90% of individuals who have diabetes suffer from Type II diabetes. The prevalence of individuals with diabetes is expected to increase. This paper addresses the influence spousal support, friend support, and religion all have on diabetes mellitus. Gender difference in relation to spousal support benefits has also received limited attention. The limited amount of studies that have examined gender differences in relation to spousal support and diabetes management indicate that diabetic men benefit the most from spousal support due to their wives active involvement in meal preparation and grocery shopping. The results showed that neither spousal support nor religious salience was significantly related to diabetes management. There were observed gender differences in religious salience (males = 4.84, females = 5.36, p < .001) and positive spousal support (males = 3.19, females = 3.02, p <.001), but none of the major hypotheses were supported.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Estevez, Rosemary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Somatostatin Receptors on Neuronal Cilia: Evidence for Neuroprotection

Description: Primary cilia are essential in brain development, as mediators of sonic hedgehog signaling. However, their role in mature neurons remains elusive. One means to elucidate their function may be to investigate the function of the somatostatin type 3 receptor (SstR3), which is concentrated on the primary cilia of neurons. The inhibitory and anticonvulsant properties of somatostatin suggest that ciliary SstR3 might protect neurons against excitotoxicity, as seen in epileptic seizures. C57BL/6 wild type (wt) and SstR3 knockout mice were administered vehicle or epileptogenic agents kainic acid (KA) or pentylenetetrazole. Seizure behaviors were rated on seizure severity scales. KA-induced seizure behaviors were more severe in SstR3 mutants than in wt. Correspondingly, the mutants showed greater reactive gliosis, as indicated by increased numbers of GFAP immunoreactive (GFAP(+)) astrocyte processes. In addition, seizure severity was associated with a greater percentage of neural stem cells having an ACIII(+) cilium. Following injections of pentylenetetrazole, SstR3 mutants reached maximum seizure levels faster than wt. These results support the hypothesis that ciliary SstR3 are neuroprotective in mature neurons, and may provide a new avenue for the treatment of seizures.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Evans, Shakila K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East

Description: The purpose of the Roman Argei ceremony, during which the Vestal Virgins harvested made and paraded rush puppets only to throw them into the Tiber, is widely debated. Modern historians supply three main reasons for the purpose of the Argei: an agrarian act, a scapegoat, and finally as an offering averting deceased spirits or Lares. I suggest that the ceremony also related to war and the spectacle of displaying war casualties. I compare the ancient Near East and Rome and connect the element of war and husbandry and claim that the Argei paralleled the sacred marriage. in addition to an agricultural and purification rite, these rituals may have served as sympathetic magic for pre- and inter-war periods. As of yet, no author has proposed the Argei as a ceremony related to war. By looking at the Argei holistically I open the door for a new direction of inquiry on the Argei ceremony, fertility cults in the Near East and in Rome, and on the execution of war criminals.The Argei and new year’s sacred marriage both occurred during the initiation of campaign and spring planting and harvest season. Both in the ancient Near East and in Rome, animal victims were sacrificed and displayed through impaling, crucifixion, and hanging for fertility and in war. for both Rome and the Near East war casualties were displayed on sacred trees. Through the Near East cultures a strong correlation existed between impaling, hanging, and crucifixion in war and Sacred Tree fertility worship. By examining Roman tree worship, military rituals, and agricultural ceremonies a similar correlation becomes apparent. on the same day of the Argei, Mars was married to the anthropomorphized new year and within the month became a scapegoat expelled from the city. Additionally, on the first day of the Argei boys became soldiers.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ewin, Kristan Foust
Partner: UNT Libraries

No-thought Shopping: Understanding and Controlling Nonconscious Processing in Marketing

Description: This dissertation explores how nonconscious thought processing might be affected and activated in ways that influence consumer decision making. To activate nonconscious thought processes, this dissertation relies on priming—the unobtrusive activation of mental representations by stimuli in a social context, which occurs without participants' conscious awareness. Three dimensions of consumer decision making are investigated: purchase intention, product evaluation and arousal. The dissertation is based on the auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit and somatic marker hypothesis. The dissertation is driven by three experiments, which respectively explore crucial areas in priming effects and addresses the following research question: can primes be shaped or controlled by marketers? Specifically, the dissertation examines whether shopping behavior can be primed. Second, the dissertation also examines how facial primes displaying basic emotions (happiness, anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise) can prime emotion and arousal. Finally the dissertation examines the effect of the interaction of the buying prime with the primes of faces displaying basic emotions on the dependent variables of purchase intention, product evaluation, emotion, and arousal. Results from three experimental studies show that shopping behavior can be primed, and primed participants will exhibit higher product evaluation than those exposed to a control prime. Second while exposing participants to primes of faces displaying emotions did not elicit those emotions, the priming with faces did reveal a marginal activation of arousal in the participants. Third priming with faces was not found to interact with primed buying behavior such that the interaction would affect the level of arousal. The results indicate that Bargh's auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit can be applied to marketing. Thus priming shopping behavior can affect product evaluation though the effect of this prime appears to be too weak to be applied in the field. Priming with faces was found not to interact ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fabrize, Jr., Robert O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Engagement of Transfer Students in Texas Universities

Description: The success of transfer students plays a critical role in improving the baccalaureate attainment rates of undergraduates attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas; however, current indicators suggest transfer students have lower persistence and graduation rates relative to students who begin and complete their college education at one university (i.e., non-transfer students). Additionally, the research literature indicates a link between degree completion and engagement; however, transfer students are reported to be less engaged and less likely to persist than their counterparts. This quantitative study compared the engagement experiences of 2-year transfers, 4-year transfers, swirl transfer, and non-transfers by using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2008 data to determine if there are any differences among these groups, and if these differences persist after controlling for individual and institutional covariates. the sample consisted of 2,000 seniors attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas. the engagement scores of each group were compared using a multivariate analysis (MANOVA). This study found non-transfers were more engaged than each type of transfer student on Student-Faculty Interaction and Supportive Campus Environment factors; moreover, these differences generally persisted after controlling for residence, enrollment status, and institutional control (i.e., public vs. private).The data indicated no difference among the three transfer sub-groups for any of the engagement variables, which suggests their engagement experiences were similar. This research suggests that efforts to increase the participation and success rates of Texans, particularly those described as transfers, may be informed by how students perceive their engagement experiences; consequently, institutions may consider modifying and implementing policies that promote student participation in educationally purposeful activities leading to persistence and graduation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Fernander, Keith A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Multiscalar Analysis of Buruli Ulcer in Ghana: Environmental and Behavioral Factors in Disease Prevalence

Description: Buruli ulcer (BU), an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease after leprosy and tuberculosis and a WHO-defined neglected tropical disease. Despite years of research, the mode of transmission of BU remains unknown. This master’s thesis provides an integrated spatial analysis of disease dynamics in Ghana, West Africa, an area of comparatively high BU incidence. Within a case/matched control study design, environmental factors associated with BU infection and spatial behaviors are investigated to uncover possible links between individual daily activity spaces and terrains of risk across disturbed landscapes. This research relies upon archival and field-collected data and analyses conducted with geographical information systems (GIS).
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ferring, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Frances Farenthold: Texas' Joan of Arc

Description: Born in 1926, Frances "Sissy" Tarlton Farenthold began her exploration of politics at a young age. In 1942, Farenthold graduated from Hockaday School for Girls. In 1945, she graduated from Vassar College, and in 1949, she graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. Farenthold was a practicing lawyer, participated in the Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission from 1964 to 1969, and directed Nueces County Legal Aid from 1965 to 1967. In 1969, she began her first term in the Texas House of Representatives. During her second term in the House (1971-1972), Farenthold became a leader in the fight against government corruption. In 1972, she ran in the Democratic primary for Texas governor, and forced a close run-off vote with Dolph Briscoe. Soon afterwards in 1972, she was nominated as a Democratic vice-presidential candidate at the Democratic convention, in addition to her nomination as the chairperson of the National Women's Political Caucus. Farenthold ran in the Democratic primary for governor again in 1974, but lost decisively. From 1976 until 1980, she was the first woman president of Wells College, before coming back to Texas and opening a law practice. For the next three decades, Farenthold practiced law, taught at the University of Houston, and furthered her activism for the environment, as well as women's, minority's, gay and lesbian, and immigrant's rights. She currently lives in Houston and continues working towards these goals.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fields-Hawkins, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decentering and the Theory of Social Development

Description: The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Fincher, Jennie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Continuity of Caste: Free People of Color in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans, 1804-1820

Description: Because of its trademark racial diversity, historians have often presented New Orleans as a place transformed by incorporation into the American South following 1804. Assertions that a comparatively relaxed, racially ambiguous Spanish slaveholding regime was converted into a two-caste system of dedicated racial segregation by the advent of American assumption have been posited by scholars like Frank Tannenbaum, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, and a host of others. Citing dependence on patronage, concubinage, and the decline in slave manumissions during the antebellum period, such studies have employed descriptions of the city’s prominent free people of color to suggest that the daily lives of non-whites in New Orleans experienced uniform restriction following 1804, and that the Crescent City’s transformation from Atlantic society with slaves to rigid slave society forced free people of color out of the heart of the city, known as the Vieux Carré, and into “black neighborhoods” on the margins of town. Despite the popularity of such generalized themes in the historiography, however, the extant sources housed in New Orleans’s valuable archival repositories can be used to support a vastly divergent narrative. By focusing on individual free people of color, or libres, rather than the non-white community as a whole, this paper seeks to show that free people of color were self determined in both public and private aspects of daily life, irrespective of governmental regime, and that their physical presence and political agency were not entirely eroded by the change in administration. Through evaluation of the geography of free black-owned properties listed in the city’s notarial archives, as well as baptisms, births, deaths, and marriages listed in archdiocese ledgers, I show that the family and community lives of free people of color in New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood appeared alive and well throughout the territorial period.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Foreman, Nicholas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hochschild Cohomology and Complex Reflection Groups

Description: A concrete description of Hochschild cohomology is the first step toward exploring associative deformations of algebras. In this dissertation, deformation theory, geometry, combinatorics, invariant theory, representation theory, and homological algebra merge in an investigation of Hochschild cohomology of skew group algebras arising from complex reflection groups. Given a linear action of a finite group on a finite dimensional vector space, the skew group algebra under consideration is the semi-direct product of the group with a polynomial ring on the vector space. Each representation of a group defines a different skew group algebra, which may have its own interesting deformations. In this work, we explicitly describe all graded Hecke algebras arising as deformations of the skew group algebra of any finite group acting by the regular representation. We then focus on rank two exceptional complex reflection groups acting by any irreducible representation. We consider in-depth the reflection representation and a nonfaithful rotation representation. Alongside our study of cohomology for the rotation representation, we develop techniques valid for arbitrary finite groups acting by a representation with a central kernel. Additionally, we consider combinatorial questions about reflection length and codimension orderings on complex reflection groups. We give algorithms using character theory to compute reflection length, atoms, and poset relations. Using a mixture of theory, explicit examples, and calculations using the software GAP, we show that Coxeter groups and the infinite family G(m,1,n) are the only irreducible complex reflection groups for which the reflection length and codimension orders coincide. We describe the atoms in the codimension order for the groups G(m,p,n). For arbitrary finite groups, we show that the codimension atoms are contained in the support of every generating set for cohomology, thus yielding information about the degrees of generators for cohomology.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Foster-Greenwood, Briana A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rapid Prototyping and Design of a Fast Random Number Generator

Description: Information in the form of online multimedia, bank accounts, or password usage for diverse applications needs some form of security. the core feature of many security systems is the generation of true random or pseudorandom numbers. Hence reliable generators of such numbers are indispensable. the fundamental hurdle is that digital computers cannot generate truly random numbers because the states and transitions of digital systems are well understood and predictable. Nothing in a digital computer happens truly randomly. Digital computers are sequential machines that perform a current state and move to the next state in a deterministic fashion. to generate any secure hash or encrypted word a random number is needed. But since computers are not random, random sequences are commonly used. Random sequences are algorithms that generate a pattern of values that appear to be random but after some time start repeating. This thesis implements a digital random number generator using MATLAB, FGPA prototyping, and custom silicon design. This random number generator is able to use a truly random CMOS source to generate the random number. Statistical benchmarks are used to test the results and to show that the design works. Thus the proposed random number generator will be useful for online encryption and security.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Franco, Juan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heterosexist Harassment and Rejection, Emotional Social Support and Perceived Stress in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Description: The minority stress theory suggests LGBs experience greater stress levels due to their sexual minority identities; thus, they are more prone to psychological distress. Poor mental health is linked to internalized homophobia and heterosexism. However, affirmative social support may mitigate the stress response via the buffering hypothesis. My model posits that LGBs are more likely to report perceived stress; however, affirmative social support can mitigate stress. I investigated the relationship between perceived stress and sexual minority identity. I explored the relationship between heterosexism, emotional support and perceived stress and the moderating role of social support in my LGB sample. I conducted a hierarchical linear regression to test my model, which accounted for 29% of the variance in perceived stress. Heterosexism and emotional support were significantly associated with perceived stress. I failed to find a moderating role of emotional support. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fritz, Sarah-Mee Hesse
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Beauty of Nature As a Foundation for Environmental Ethics: China and the West

Description: My dissertation aims at constructing an environmental ethics theory based on environmental aesthetics in order to advocate and promote environmentally sustainable practices, policies, and lifestyles. I attempt to construct an integrated environmental aesthetics in order to inspire people’s feelings of love towards nature and motivate them to protect it. In order to achieve this goal, I first examine the philosophical understanding and aesthetic appreciation of nature from philosophical traditions of China, which have an impact on the general public’s attitude towards nature. in chapter one of my dissertation, I point out that nature is viewed as an organic system which is always in a self-generating process of production and reproduction of life. the metaphysical foundation for this perspective of nature is ch’i. Therefore the aesthetic appreciation of nature in China is also the aesthetic appreciation of ch’i. with regard to the concept of ch’i, I focus on the following three questions: (1) what are the objective and aesthetic features of ch’i? (2) How do the Chinese appreciate aesthetic features of ch’i? (3) Why the objective features of ch’i are regarded as the objects of aesthetic appreciation? I argue that the Chinese appreciate the aesthetic features of ch’i by using intellectual intuition and that empathy is the reason why the objective features of ch’i are considered to be aesthetic features. in Chapter 2, I explain in detail the two aesthetic categories for aesthetic appreciation of nature in two major philosophical schools in China: emptiness and creativity. in Chapter 3, I examine the philosophical foundations for aesthetic appreciation of nature in the West. I first investigate the influence of traditional Western philosophy on the perceptions of nature. I argue that traditional Western philosophical thinking doesn’t support aesthetic appreciation of nature. I point out that aesthetic appreciation of nature started from eighteenth century ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gao, Shan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Metamodeling-based Fast Optimization of Nanoscale Ams-socs

Description: Modern consumer electronic systems are mostly based on analog and digital circuits and are designed as analog/mixed-signal systems on chip (AMS-SoCs). the integration of analog and digital circuits on the same die makes the system cost effective. in AMS-SoCs, analog and mixed-signal portions have not traditionally received much attention due to their complexity. As the fabrication technology advances, the simulation times for AMS-SoC circuits become more complex and take significant amounts of time. the time allocated for the circuit design and optimization creates a need to reduce the simulation time. the time constraints placed on designers are imposed by the ever-shortening time to market and non-recurrent cost of the chip. This dissertation proposes the use of a novel method, called metamodeling, and intelligent optimization algorithms to reduce the design time. Metamodel-based ultra-fast design flows are proposed and investigated. Metamodel creation is a one time process and relies on fast sampling through accurate parasitic-aware simulations. One of the targets of this dissertation is to minimize the sample size while retaining the accuracy of the model. in order to achieve this goal, different statistical sampling techniques are explored and applied to various AMS-SoC circuits. Also, different metamodel functions are explored for their accuracy and application to AMS-SoCs. Several different optimization algorithms are compared for global optimization accuracy and convergence. Three different AMS circuits, ring oscillator, inductor-capacitor voltage-controlled oscillator (LC-VCO) and phase locked loop (PLL) that are present in many AMS-SoC are used in this study for design flow application. Metamodels created in this dissertation provide accuracy with an error of less than 2% from the physical layout simulations. After optimal sampling investigation, metamodel functions and optimization algorithms are ranked in terms of speed and accuracy. Experimental results show that the proposed design flow provides roughly 5,000x speedup over conventional design flows. Thus, ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Garitselov, Oleg
Partner: UNT Libraries

Leader Developmental Readiness of Generation Y in the Training Industry

Description: Members of Generation Y in the training and development industry will be required to assume leadership roles as Baby Boomers retire, yet little empirical research exists regarding how best to prepare them for leadership. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in leader developmental readiness between generational cohorts in the training industry, specifically Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Leader developmental readiness provided a definition of developmental readiness for leaders using the five constructs (learning goal orientation, developmental efficacy, self-awareness, leader complexity, and metacognitive ability). A volunteer sample was compiled from members of the ASTD National LinkedIN group (n = 636). Results were analyzed using structured means analysis with maximum likelihood (ML) estimation. Generational cohorts demonstrated differences in leader developmental readiness. Baby Boomers indicated statistically and practically higher metacognitive ability and developmental efficacy than Generation Y. Results demonstrated statistically and practically higher leader complexity in Generation Y and both Generation X and Baby Boomers. These results should inform leader development practitioners as they continue to use existing methods in preparing the different generations for leader development interventions while pointing to possible needs to increase the metacognitive ability and developmental efficacy in Generation Y and ensure accurate perception of leader complexity in those individuals. Further research would be helpful to confirm or refute findings and expand on the target population for enhanced generalizability.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Garrigue, Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Bmi, Depressive Symptoms, and School Absences Among a Racial/ethnically Diverse Sample of Early Adolescents

Description: The current study examined the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness on differences by sex, race/ethnicity, and SES on BMI, depressive symptoms, and school absences among adolescents. a cross-sectional study was conducted in a north Texas school district, which included 609 Caucasian/Whites, 293 Hispanic/Latinos, and 113 African-American/Black adolescents (10-14 years). Main results of the study showed that that cardiorespiratory fitness was the largest predictor of BMI, followed by race/ethnicity, and then sex. Cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescents was inversely associated with BMI. the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness on BMI appeared to be more salient for non-Hispanic white females and non-Hispanic black females in that the former group had lower BMI scores than the latter group when cardiorespiratory fitness was taken into account; however, results showed that non-Hispanic white females and non-Hispanic black females had similar cardiorespiratory fitness level. Other results showed that SES and sex predicted depressive symptoms in that low SES females endorsed more depressive symptoms relative to high SES males; however, this relationship was non-existent when cardiorespiratory fitness was entered into the model. Additionally, findings indicated that BMI and depressive symptoms equally predicted school absences in that adolescents who had a higher BMI and endorsed more depressive symptoms had more school absences.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Garza, Mariana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Devaluing Stigma in the Context of Forgiveness, Coping and Adaptation: a Structural Regression Model of Reappraisal

Description: The 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy outlined three important goals for managing the current HIV pandemic in the U.S.: (1) reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV; (2) improve access to health care and health-related outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLH/A); and (3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. Each of these goals tacitly depends upon reducing HIV-related stigma, and this study examined how HIV+ individuals evaluate coping efforts to overcome stigma’s impact on quality of life (QOL). a structural regression model was developed to instantiate the reappraisal process described by Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional theory of stress and coping, and this model indicated that maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and perceived stigma, which supports the prediction that coping efficacy is related to stress reduction. Additionally, maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and QOL, supporting the contention that forgiveness is a critical aspect to the evaluative process that influences how PLH/A cope with stigma. Lastly, the model showed that when PLH/A engaged in maladaptive coping to mitigate stress-related stigma, these individuals experienced increased stigmatization and reported significantly lower levels of health-related QOL. in contrast, PLH/A that reported higher levels of dispositional forgiveness were significantly less likely to use maladaptive coping to overcome stigma. Therefore, dispositional forgiveness works through coping to alter perceptions regarding stigmatization, while indirectly influencing attitudes related to health distress, mental health, and cognitive and social functioning. the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gates, Michael S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Down Syndrome and Self-esteem: the Media's Portrayal of Self-esteem in Characters Who Have Down Syndrome

Description: Representations of people with a developmental disability are virtually not covered in the media. Although there is little coverage of people with developmental disabilities in the media, there are a few entertainment television characters who have Down syndrome and are represented in the media. This study will take a look at the history of how people with disabilities were represented in the media and examine how two television characters with Down syndrome were portrayed on the shows by examining their self-esteem. This study seeks to focus on portrayal of people with Down Syndrome because the physical features that people with Down Syndrome possess are easy to identify. Specifically, the study examines the portrayal of self-esteem in two television characters, Corky Thatcher (Life Goes On) and Becky Faye Jackson (Glee). The researcher will also examine how the portrayal of self-esteem in the two characters is similar or different in people who have Down Syndrome. In the study the researcher found that the representation of the character Corky was different from the character Becky. But both characters tackled issues that affected the Down Syndrome community and it affected their self-esteem. Corky and Becky were different from the interviewees in the way they realized their competencies. Although the interviewees who have Down Syndrome and the television characters used self-evaluation differently to evaluate one's own self-esteem, they all seem to exhibit a positive level of self-esteem.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Gee, Courtney
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impact of Texas High School Science Teacher Credentials on Student Performance in High School Science

Description: A study was conducted to determine the relationship between the credentials held by science teachers who taught at a school that administered the Science Texas Assessment on Knowledge and Skills (Science TAKS), the state standardized exam in science, at grade 11 and student performance on a state standardized exam in science administered in grade 11. Years of teaching experience, teacher certification type(s), highest degree level held, teacher and school demographic information, and the percentage of students who met the passing standard on the Science TAKS were obtained through a public records request to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Analysis was performed through the use of canonical correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The results of the multiple linear regression analysis indicate that a larger percentage of students met the passing standard on the Science TAKS state attended schools in which a large portion of the high school science teachers held post baccalaureate degrees, elementary and physical science certifications, and had 11-20 years of teaching experience.
Date: August 2012
Creator: George, Anna Ray Bayless
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Price and Durability on Individual Discounting Functions When Purchasing Hypothetical Goods in a Simulated Internet Store

Description: Online shopping has rapidly expanded in the last decade. Online shopping necessarily imposes delays on all transactions. Behavior analysis has long studied the effects of delay on choice. Additionally, a number of researchers are beginning to study consumer behavior using a behavior-analytic approach. The current study attempted to extend research focusing on consumer behavior in online contexts. The experimenters attempted to evaluate whether goods acquire functional properties and whether these properties influence consumer choice. The researchers were specifically interested in studying acquisition costs and durability and in simulating a natural online shopping environment. Results from the current study extend the findings showing that delay and price influence choice. The data from the current study provide mixed evidence for control by item durability.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Gesick, Jeffrey Glen
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Integrated Approach to Determine Phenomenological Equations in Metallic Systems

Description: It is highly desirable to be able to make predictions of properties in metallic materials based upon the composition of the material and the microstructure. Unfortunately, the complexity of real, multi-component, multi-phase engineering alloys makes the provision of constituent-based (i.e., composition or microstructure) phenomenological equations extremely difficult. Due to these difficulties, qualitative predictions are frequently used to study the influence of microstructure or composition on the properties. Neural networks were used as a tool to get a quantitative model from a database. However, the developed model is not a phenomenological model. In this study, a new method based upon the integration of three separate modeling approaches, specifically artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and monte carlo was proposed. These three methods, when coupled in the manner described in this study, allows for the extraction of phenomenological equations with a concurrent analysis of uncertainty. This approach has been applied to a multi-component, multi-phase microstructure exhibiting phases with varying spatial and morphological distributions. Specifically, this approach has been applied to derive a phenomenological equation for the prediction of yield strength in a+b processed Ti-6-4. The equation is consistent with not only the current dataset but also, where available, the limited information regarding certain parameters such as intrinsic yield strength of pure hexagonal close-packed alpha titanium.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Ghamarian, Iman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Response Patterns in Functional Analyses: a Preliminary Analysis

Description: Functional assessment procedures have proven effective in identifying the operant contingencies that maintain problem behavior. Typically, the evaluation of responding during functional analyses is conducted at the condition level. However, some variables affecting occurrences of behavior cannot be evaluated solely through the use of a cross-session analysis. Evaluating within-session patterns of responding may provide information about variables such as extinction bursts, discriminative stimuli, and motivating operations such as deprivation and satiation. The current study was designed to identify some typical response patterns that are generated when data are displayed across and within sessions of functional analyses, discuss some variables that may cause these trends, and evaluate the utility of within-session analyses. Results revealed that several specific patterns of responding were identified for both across- and within-session analyses, which may be useful in clarifying the function of behavior.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Gibson, Christine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Osvaldo Lacerda’s Sonata for Flute and Piano (1959): A Performance Guide with Historical Background of Brazilian Genres Embolada, Serestra, and Baião

Description: Osvaldo da Costa Lacerda (March 23, 1927-July 18, 2011), one of the most significant Brazilian composers of the twentieth century, wrote more than 250 compositions. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a history and analysis of the Brazilian genres characterized in Osvaldo Lacerda’s, Sonata for Flute and Piano. Written in 1959, the sonata represents traditional Brazilian rhythms within a classical structure and modern harmony. The work provides a basis for the exploration of the embolada, the serestas, and the baião, examples of Brazilian typical song forms and rhythms. Analysis of the historical roots of these nationalistic elements will provide appropriate performance practice considerations when playing Brazilian rhythms; and because this sonata only exists in manuscript form, the historical analysis and performance guide will be of service to disseminate this important Brazilian work. As a basis for a critical edition of the Sonata for Flute and Piano, this initial effort will provide performers with a context for Brazilian flute music. Chapters include the Lacerda’s biography, a background of the nationalistic movement in Brazil and the composers who have influenced Osvaldo Lacerda. Definitions of embolada, serestas, and baião is also provided.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Gimenes, Marilia Gabriela do Nascimento
Partner: UNT Libraries

Incremental Learning with Large Datasets

Description: This dissertation focuses on the novel learning strategy based on geometric support vector machines to address the difficulties of processing immense data set. Support vector machines find the hyper-plane that maximizes the margin between two classes, and the decision boundary is represented with a few training samples it becomes a favorable choice for incremental learning. The dissertation presents a novel method Geometric Incremental Support Vector Machines (GISVMs) to address both efficiency and accuracy issues in handling massive data sets. In GISVM, skin of convex hulls is defined and an efficient method is designed to find the best skin approximation given available examples. The set of extreme points are found by recursively searching along the direction defined by a pair of known extreme points. By identifying the skin of the convex hulls, the incremental learning will only employ a much smaller number of samples with comparable or even better accuracy. When additional samples are provided, they will be used together with the skin of the convex hull constructed from previous dataset. This results in a small number of instances used in incremental steps of the training process. Based on the experimental results with synthetic data sets, public benchmark data sets from UCI and endoscopy videos, it is evident that the GISVM achieved satisfactory classifiers that closely model the underlying data distribution. GISVM improves the performance in sensitivity in the incremental steps, significantly reduced the demand for memory space, and demonstrates the ability of recovery from temporary performance degradation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Giritharan, Balathasan
Partner: UNT Libraries