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A Comparative Analysis of Digital and Paper Restaurant Menus Based on Customer Perception and Nutritional Labeling

Description: The restaurant industry is a highly customer-driven field. Therefore, it is imperative that restaurateurs consider customer expectations with regard to restaurant menus. The purpose of this experimental study is to examine the effects of menu format (i.e., paper or digital) and amount of nutritional information (i.e., extensive, brief, or none) on customer perceptions of the effectiveness, perceived ease of use, and information quality of the menu. Furthermore, this research intends to test the effect of these three menu attributes on the outcomes of value and satisfaction in order to assess the competitive advantage of one format over the other. The Cognitive Appraisal and Information Processing Theories provide structure to the proposed conceptual framework and give credence to the findings. This study also fills gaps in the present research by not only ameliorating weaknesses of extant studies, but also by examining several different aspects of restaurant menus simultaneously within a single study.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Moody, Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas: An Examination of Movement and Opportunity on the Texas Frontier

Description: The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas recounts the actions of the first four generations of the John Walling family. Through a heavily quantitative study, the study focuses on the patterns of movement, service, and seizing opportunity demonstrated by the family as they took full advantage of the benefits of frontier expansion in the Old South and particularly Texas. In doing so, it chronicles the role of a relatively unknown family in many of the most defining events of the nineteenth-century Texas experience such as the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Close of the Frontier. Based on extensive research in census, tax, election, land, military, family paper, newspaper, and existing genealogical records; the study documents the contributions of family members to the settlement of more than forty counties while, at the same time, noting its less positive behaviors such as its open hostility to American Indians, and significant slave ownership. This study seeks to extend the work of other quantitative studies that looked at movement and political influence in the Old South, Texas, and specific communities to the microcosm of a single extended family. As a result, it should be of use to those wanting a greater understanding of how events in nineteenth-century Texas shaped, and were shaped by, families outside the political and social elite.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cure, Stephen Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can Observing Behavior Predict Performance in Conditional Discriminations?

Description: Prompts are implemented often in training procedures, to include conditional discriminations, and this can lead to prompt dependency. The current study extends a prior study that suggested that the effectiveness of supplementary visual stimuli displaying the sample and comparison was dependent on the timing in relation to the selection task, presented as a prompt or feedback, in a match-to-sample procedure. The current research examines if the differences in that effectiveness were due to differences in observing behavior in those two conditions. Measures of observing behavior were determined by making access to the individual visual stimuli contingent on clicking on the visual stimulus and keeping the cursor located on the stimulus. Participants viewed the sample comparison much less than the comparison stimulus in both the prompt and feedback conditions. Latency to select the comparison stimulus was much shorter for the prompt condition suggesting that the participants might have interacted differently with the selection task in the two conditions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Marchini, Kevin Julian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Brain Brain Injury on Primary Cilia of Glial Cells and Pericytes

Description: Glial cells maintain homeostasis that is essential to neuronal function. Injury to the nervous system leads to the activation and proliferation of glial cells and pericytes, which helps to wall off the damaged region and restore homeostatic conditions. Sonic hedgehog is a mitogen which is implicated in injury-induced proliferation of glial cells and pericytes. The mitogenic effects of sonic hedgehog require primary cilia, but the few reports on glial or pericyte primary cilia do not agree about their abundance and did not address effects of injury on these cilia. Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that arise from the centrosome and are retracted before cells divide. Depending on cell type, proteins concentrated in cilia can transduce several mitotic, chemosensory, or mechanosensory stimuli. The present study investigated effects of stab wound injury on the incidence and length of glial and pericyte primary cilia in the area adjacent to the injury core. Astrocytes, polydendrocytes and pericytes were classified by immunohistochemistry based on cell-type markers. In normal adult mice, Arl13b immunoreactive primary cilia were present in a majority of each cell type examined: astrocytes, 98±2%; polydendrocytes, 87±6%; and pericytes, 79±13% (mean ± SEM). Three days post-injury, cilium incidence decreased by 24% in astrocytes (p< 0.008) and 41% in polydendrocytes (p< 0.002), but there was no significant effect in pericytes. Polydendrocytes labeled with the cell cycle marker Ki67 were less likely to have cilia compared to resting, Ki67- polydendrocytes. Considering post-injury rates of proliferation for astrocytes and polydendrocytes, it appears that resorption of cilia due to cell cycle entry may account for much of the loss of cilia in polydendrocytes but was not sufficient to account for the loss of cilia in astrocytes. Under normal conditions, astrocytes rarely divide, and they maintain non-overlapping territories. However, three days after injury, there was a 7-fold increase in ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Coronel, Marco Vinicio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Enhanced Coarse-Graining for Multiscale Modeling of Elastomers

Description: One of the major goal of the researchers is to reduce energy loss including nanoscale to the structural level. For instance, around 65% of fuel energy is lost during the propulsion of the automobiles, where 11% of the loss happens at tires due to rolling friction. Out of that tire loss, 90 to 95% loss happens due to hysteresis of tire materials. This dissertation focuses on multiscale modeling techniques in order to facilitate the discovery new rubber materials. Enhanced coarse-grained models of elastomers (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer and natural rubber) are constructed from full-atomic models with reasonable repeat units/beads associated with pressure-correction for non-bonded interactions of the beads using inverse Boltzmann method (IBM). Equivalent continuum modeling is performed with volumetric/isochoric loading to predict macroscopic mechanical properties using molecular mechanics (MM) and molecular dynamics (MD). Glass-transition and rate-dependent mechanical properties along with hysteresis loss under uniaxial deformation is predicted with varying composition of the material. A statistical non-Gaussian treatment of a rubber chain is performed and linked with molecular dynamics in order predict hyperelastic material constants without fitting with any experimental data.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Uddin, Md Salah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Black Males' Treatment Experiences in Mental Health Court: A Phenomenological Analysis

Description: Mental health courts (MHCs) are part of an umbrella of specialty courts in which court officials, law enforcement, and treatment providers work together to seek alternative solutions to failed traditional approaches to justice. Researchers investigating MHCs indicated that the courts may be helpful in reducing recidivism and introducing offenders with mental health disorders to treatment services. I used the qualitative method of phenomenology to understand the experiences of young adult Black male clients' perceptions of mental health treatment in MHCs. Twelve participants ranged in age from 21-40 years. The research team identified three themes -- (a) helpful treatment factors, (b) relational growth, (c) treatment barriers – and five subthemes: (a) internal growth, (b) relational growth, (c) behavioral growth, (d) factors of marginalization, and (e) interpersonal barriers. Meaning pertaining to findings and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Stare, Bryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Memory and Continuity Amidst Irreversible Decline in the Texas Big Empty

Description: This thesis interrogates sense of place and place attachment in the Big Empty on the north central Texas plains. The region stretches from the Red River on the north to the Colorado River basin on the south and from the Cross Timbers on the east to the Caprock escarpment on the west. Since 1930, the Big Empty has seen sustained and severe population decline such that some counties there now register less than a quarter the population they did at their peaks during the interwar years. Through in-depth field interviews, I examine sense of place and place attachment amidst apparently irreversible decline. I also describe conditions of postindustrial rurality arising from rolling reconfigurations of economic and social relations, particularly changes in scale in farming and the diminished centrality of productivist agriculture in local economies and culture, and how these conditions become legible through the study of place.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Underwood, Robert Reed
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clocks and Mirrors

Description: The essays featured in this collection highlight the gaps, as well as parallels, between mental illness and the human condition. In "Appearances," the narrator struggles with her own visual identity especially after reflecting on her Mom's own lengthy history with the mirror. In "Migrations," the lyrical voice of the narrator carries the reader through the typical day of a clinically depressed female character. Lastly, "Attempting the Fall," addresses the issues society has with mental illness by following the narrator from her suicide attempt to the mental ward.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Thies, Jaclyn Michele
Partner: UNT Libraries

Angular Analysis of a Wide-Band Energy Harvester based on Mutually Perpendicular Vibrating Piezoelectric Beams

Description: The recent advancements in electronics and the advents of small scaled instruments has increased the attachment of life and functionality of devices to electrical power sources but at the same time granted the engineers and companies the ability to use smaller sources of power and batteries. Therefore, many scientists have tried to come up with new solutions for a power alternatives. Piezoelectric is a promising material which can readily produce continuous electric power from mechanical inputs. However, their power output is dependent upon several factors such as, system natural frequency, their position in the system, the direction of vibration and many other internal and external factors. In this research the working bandwidth of the system is increased through utilizing of two different piezoelectric beam in different directions. The dependency of output power with respect to rotation angle and also the frequency shift due to the rotation angle is studied.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mirzaabedini, Sohrab
Partner: UNT Libraries

Programmable Mechanical Metamaterials with Negative Poisson's Ratio and Negative Thermal Expansion

Description: Programmable matter is a material whose properties can be programmed to achieve particular shapes or mechanical properties upon command. This is an essential technique that could one day lead to morphing aircraft and ground vehicles. Metamaterials are the rationally designed artificial materials whose properties are not observed in nature. Their properties are typically controlled by geometry rather than chemical compositions. Combining metamaterials with a programmable function will create a new area in the intelligent material design. The objective of this study is to design and demonstrate a tunable metamaterial and to investigate its thermo-mechanical behavior. An integrated approach to the metamaterial design was used with analytical modeling, numerical simulation, and experimental demonstration. The dynamic thermo-mechanical analysis was used to measure base materials' modulus and thermal expansion coefficient as a function of temperature. CPS, the unit cell of the metamaterial, is composed of circular holes and slits. By decomposing kinematic rotation of the arm and elastic deformation of a bi-material hinge, thermo-mechanical constitutive models of CPS were developed and it was extended to 3D polyhedral structures for securing isotropic properties. Finite element based numerical simulations of CPS and polyhedral models were conducted for comparison with the analytical model. 3D printing of multi-materials was used for sample fabrication followed by tests with uniaxial compressive mechanical tests and thermal tests at 50℃. From the analytical model of the metamaterial, the contour plots were obtained for the effective properties – Poisson's ratio, the effective coefficient of thermal expansion of the metamaterial as a function of geometry and materials. A controllable range of temperature and strain was identified associated with maximized thermal expansion mismatch and contact on the slit surface of CPS, respectively. This work will pave the road toward the design of programmable metamaterials with both mechanically- and thermally- tunable capability and provide unique ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Heo, Hyeonu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Information Content of Iron Butterfly Arbitrage Bounds

Description: Informed traders trade options on underlying securities to lower transaction costs and increase financial leverage for price trend and variance strategies. Options markets play a significant role in price discovery by incorporating private information about future prices for an underlying security into option prices. I generate a new model-free volatility measure to calculate the "distance from arbitrage bounds" from minute-by-minute option series for the S&P 500 index and 30 individual underlying stocks. These iron butterfly arbitrage bounds (IBBs) use intraday call and put option prices from the Bloomberg database. Narrow and wide IBBs are expected to reveal the options market valuation of volatility by market participants. Data series is gathered by using successive one-minute intervals from the Bloomberg database. The data comprise the most recent bid and ask option prices and volumes. I collect S&P 500 index values and index options and use 30 underlying stock prices and option prices for the contracts that have the largest option trading volume during the sampling interval. These bid and ask prices reflect the information generated by intraday price pressures implied by S&P 500 index options or stock options. Consistent with the option micro-structure literature, I find that the IBB measure for actively traded stock options attains its highest level immediately after the open of the market, declines steadily throughout the first trading hour and remains relatively stable until market close. However, index IBBs behave differently. S&P 500 index option IBB attains its lowest level during the first hour of the trading day, then increases and remains relatively stable until market close. I present new evidence regarding the dynamic relation between stock returns and innovations in expected volatility by using the minute-by-minute change in implied volatility (IV) as a proxy. Unlike the relationship between individual stock returns and their respective changes in implied ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kochan, Mucahit
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Castle/Nikki Heat Phenomenon: A Detailed Examination of Female Representation in Entertainment Media

Description: As entertainment reflects a culture's ideology, it is important for researchers to study its messages and subsequently its potential meanings. Entertainment has the power to inform and persuade, creating models for behavior with which the public interacts. The entertainment texts for the purpose of this study are the Castle television series and the Nikki Heat novels. Together, they create a unique multi-layer fictional world. By using postmodern, feminist, communication, and entertainment theories, the results of this study provide a tightly focused lens which views a narrow aspect of entertainment media. Each text was thoroughly examined using textual analysis, Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis, and conversation analysis. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated that the Castle and Nikki Heat texts support hegemonic ideology, particularly through the use of exaggerated stereotypes, strict gender roles, imagery, and narrative choices that help perpetuate rape culture. The discussion outlines how these results can be interpreted through the dominant messages presented in the texts. This research is intended to serve as a foundation for future research regarding entertainment media.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Skinner, Katharine Virginia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Friends of the State Courts: Organized Interests and State Courts of Last Resort

Description: Why do interest groups participate in state courts of last resort by filing amicus curiae briefs? Are they influential when they do? This dissertation examines these questions using an original survey of organized interests that routinely participate in state supreme courts, as well as data on all amicus curiae briefs and majority opinions in over 14,000 cases decided in all fifty-two state supreme courts for a four year period. I argue that interest groups turn to state judiciaries to achieve the dual goals of influencing policy and organizational maintenance, as amicus briefs can help organized interests achieve both outcomes. Furthermore, I contend that amicus briefs are influential in shaping judicial policy-making through the provision of legally persuasive arguments. The results suggest that interest groups do file amicus briefs to both lobby for their preferred policies and to support their organization's long-term viability. Additionally, the results indicate that organized interests also participate in counteractive lobbying in state courts of last resort by filing amicus briefs to ensure their side is represented and to dull the effect of oppositional amici. The findings also demonstrate support for the influence of amicus briefs on judicial policy-making on state high courts, as amicus briefs can influence the ideological direction of the court's majority opinions. Overall, this research extends our understanding of interest group lobbing in the judiciary and in state policy venues, and provides insight into judicial politics and policy-making on state courts of last resort.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Perkins, Jared David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Impact of the Community of Inquiry and Student Learning Process on Participants' Academic Achievement

Description: This dissertation presents an empirical investigation of learning from online courses. The current dissertation examined student participation, using Arbaugh et al.'s Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument and Biggs et al.'s revised version of the Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) to determine CoI influences on learning from the students' perspective. This study is in response to Rourke and Kanuka's call to provide further empirical evidence about CoI conceptual framework connections to deep and meaningful learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the elements of CoI, cognitive, social, and teaching presences and students' learning approaches to students' perceived learning. Students enrolled in traditional, online, and, blended courses during the 2016 spring semester at a southwestern university participated in a web-based survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the indirect effects between the elements of CoI, learning approaches, and perceived learning. Student's deep approach to learning was found to have an indirect effect between cognitive presence and perceived learning. However, this study's findings, when the CoI framework was viewed in its entirety, failed to provide evidence to simulate deep and meaningful learning.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Pacleb, Selverio V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Privacy Preserving EEG-based Authentication Using Perceptual Hashing

Description: The use of electroencephalogram (EEG), an electrophysiological monitoring method for recording the brain activity, for authentication has attracted the interest of researchers for over a decade. In addition to exhibiting qualities of biometric-based authentication, they are revocable, impossible to mimic, and resistant to coercion attacks. However, EEG signals carry a wealth of information about an individual and can reveal private information about the user. This brings significant privacy issues to EEG-based authentication systems as they have access to raw EEG signals. This thesis proposes a privacy-preserving EEG-based authentication system that preserves the privacy of the user by not revealing the raw EEG signals while allowing the system to authenticate the user accurately. In that, perceptual hashing is utilized and instead of raw EEG signals, their perceptually hashed values are used in the authentication process. In addition to describing the authentication process, algorithms to compute the perceptual hash are developed based on two feature extraction techniques. Experimental results show that an authentication system using perceptual hashing can achieve performance comparable to a system that has access to raw EEG signals if enough EEG channels are used in the process. This thesis also presents a security analysis to show that perceptual hashing can prevent information leakage.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Koppikar, Samir Dilip
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design and Manufacture of Molding Compounds for High Reliability Microelectronics in Extreme Conditions

Description: The widespread use of electronics in more avenues of consumer use is increasing. Applications range from medical instrumentation that directly can affect someone's life, down hole sensors for oil and gas, aerospace, aeronautics, and automotive electronics. The increased power density and harsh environment makes the reliability of the packaging a vital part of the reliability of the device. The increased importance of analog devices in these applications, their high voltage and high temperature resilience is resulting in challenges that have not been dealt with before. In particular packaging where insulative properties are vital use polymer resins modified by ceramic fillers. The distinct dielectric properties of the resin and the filler result in charge storage and release of the polarization currents in the composite that have had unpredictable consequences on reliability. The objective of this effort is therefore to investigate a technique that can be used to measure the polarization in filled polymer resins and evaluate reliable molding compounds. A valuable approach to measure polarization in polymers where charge release is tied to the glass transition in the polymer is referred to as thermally stimulated depolarization current (TSDC) technique. In this dissertation a new TSDC measurement system was designed and fabricated. The instrument is an assembly of several components that are automated via a LabVIEW program that gives the user flexibility to test different dielectric compounds at high temperatures and high voltage. The temperature control is enabled through the use of dry air convection heating at a very slow rate enabling controlled heating and cooling. Charge trapping and de-trapping processes were investigated in order to obtain information on insulating polymeric composites and how to optimize it. A number of material properties were investigated. First, polarization due to charges on the filer were investigated using composites containing charged and uncharged particles using ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Garcia, Andres
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family and Cultural Influences on Latino Emerging Adults' Career Development

Description: There is an extensive amount of research on career development, but most of the constructs studied have focused on content-oriented variables rather than process-oriented variables. While some of the studies have examined samples from ethnic minority populations, the majority of studies use ethnic minority populations as comparison groups, studying between-group differences as opposed to within-group differences. The literature is especially deficient in the are of Latino career development. The current study will examine how family and culture influence the career development of Latino emerging adults. This study will explore the influence of socioeconomic status and acculturation on the career salience and career maturity of Latino emerging adults. The quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship will also be explored for its influence on career development outcomes in this population. One hundred fifty Latino undergraduate students ages 18-24 will be recruited for participation in this study. The participants will complete questionnaires regarding demographic information, acculturation, the quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship, career salience, and career maturity.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Rodriguez, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling of Hexagonal Boron Nitride Filled Bismalemide Polymer Composites for Thermal and Electrical Properties for Electronic Packaging

Description: Due to the multi-tasking and miniaturization of electronic devices, faster heat transfer is required from the device to avoid the thermal failure. Die-attached polymer adhesives are used to bond the chips in electronic packaging. These adhesives have to hold strong mechanical, thermal, dielectric, and moisture resistant properties. As polymers are insulators, heat conductive particles are inserted in it to enhance the thermal flow with an attention that there would be no electrical conductivity as well as no reduction in dielectric strength. This thesis focuses on the characterization of polymer nanocomposites for thermal and electrical properties with experimental and computational tools. Platelet geometry of hexagonal boron nitride offers highly anisotropic properties. Therefore, their alignment and degree of orientation offers tunable properties in polymer nanocomposites for thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. This thesis intends to model the anisotropic behavior of thermal and dielectric properties using finite element and molecular dynamics simulations as well as experimental validation.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Uddin, Md Salah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parcel-Based Change Detection Using Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data in the City of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Description: Change detection is amongst the most effective critical examination methods used in remote sensing technology. In this research, new methods are proposed for building and vegetation change detection using only LiDAR data without using any other remotely sensed data. Two LiDAR datasets from 2009 and 2013 will be used in this research. These datasets are provided by the City of Surrey. A Parcel map which shows parcels in the study area will be also used in this research because the objective of this research is detecting changes based on parcels. Different methods are applied to detect changes in buildings and vegetation respectively. Three attributes of object –slope, building volume, and building height are derived and used in this study. Changes in buildings are not only detected but also categorized based on their attributes. In addition, vegetation change detection is performed based on parcels. The output shows parcels with a change of vegetation. Accuracy assessment is done by using measures of completeness, correctness, and quality of extracted regions. Accuracy assessments suggest that building change detection is performed with better results.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Yigit, Aykut
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dissimilar Joining of Al (AA2139) – Mg (WE43) Alloys Using Friction Stir Welding

Description: This research demonstrates the use of friction stir welding (FSW) to join dissimilar (Al-Mg) metal alloys. The main challenges in joining different, dissimilar metal alloys is the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in the stir zone affecting mechanical properties of joint significantly. In this present study, FSW joining process is used to join aluminum alloy AA2139 and magnesium alloy WE43. The 9.5 mm thick plates of AA2139 and WE43 were friction stir butt welded. Different processing parameters were used to optimize processing parameters. Also, various weldings showed a crack at interface due to formation of IMCs caused by liquation during FSW. A good strength sound weld was obtained using processing parameter of 1200 rev/min rotational speed; 76.2 mm/min traverse speed; 1.5 degree tilt and 0.13 mm offsets towards aluminum. The crack faded away as the tool was offset towards advancing side aluminum. Mostly, the research was focused on developing high strength joint through microstructural control to reduce IMCs thickness in Al-Mg dissimilar weld joint with optimized processing parameter and appropriate tool offset.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Poudel, Amir
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling Cognitive Authority Relationships

Description: Information-seeking behavior is a mixture of activities and attitudes, oftentimes motivated by an individual's need to make a decision. One underlying element of this mixture is cognitive authority - which sources (e.g., individuals, institutions, texts, etc.) can be trusted to fulfil the information needs? In order to gain insight into the dynamics of cognitive authority selection behavior which is an information seeking behavior, this study explored primary source text data (316 text records) that reflected selection in the mundaneness of life (advice column submissions and responses). Linguistic analysis was performed on the data using the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC2015) software package. Pearson correlation and 1-sample T tests revealed the same 45 statistically significant relationships (SSRs) in the word usage behavior of all subgroups. As a result of the study, the gap in research formed from the lack of quantitative models of cognitive authority relationships was addressed via the development of the Wordprint Classification System which was used to generate a cognitive authority relationship model in the form of a cognitive authority intra-segment wordprint. The findings and implications of this study may provide a contribution to the body of work in the area of information literacy and information seeker behavior by revealing factors that information scientists can address to help meet information seekers' needs. Additionally, the Wordprint Classification System may be used in such disciplines as psychology, marketing, and forensic linguistics to create to create models of various relationships or individuals through the use of written or spoken word usage patterns.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnson, Barbara Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers

Description: Building waste and disposable packaging are a major component in today's landfills. Most of these are structural or thermally insulative polymer foams that do not degrade over a long period of time. Currently, there is a push to replace these foams with thermoplastic or biodegradable foams that can either be recycled or composted. We propose the use of compostable soy-based polyurethane foams (PU) with kenaf core modifiers that will offer the desired properties with the ability to choose responsible end-of-life decisions. The effect of fillers is a critical parameter in investigating the thermal and mechanical properties along with its effect on biodegradability. In this work, foams with 5%, 10%, and 15% kenaf core content were created. Two manufacturing approaches were used: the free foaming used by spray techniques and the constrained expansion complementary to a mold cavity. Structure-property relations were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal conductivity, compression values, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), and automated multiunit composting system (AMCS). The results show that mechanical properties are reduced with the introduction of kenaf core reinforcement while thermal conductivity and biodegradability display a noticeable improvement. This shows that in application properties can be improved while establishing a responsible end-of-life choice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Hoyt, Zachary
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Description: Ubiquitous computing results in access to vast amounts of data, which is changing the way humans interact with each other, with computers, and with their environments. Information is literally at our fingertips with touchscreen technology, but it is not valuable until it is understood. As a result, selecting which information to use in a decision process is a challenge in the current information environment (Lu & Yuan, 2011). The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate how individual decision makers, in different decision contexts, determine when to stop collecting information given the availability of virtually unlimited information. Decision makers must make an ultimate decision, but also must make a decision that he or she has enough information to make the final decision (Browne, Pitts, & Wetherbe, 2007). In determining how much information to collect, researchers found that people engage in ‘satisficing' in order to make decisions, particularly when there is more information than it is possible to manage (Simon, 1957). A more recent elucidation of information use relies on the idea of stopping rules, identifying five common stopping rules information seekers use: mental list, representational stability, difference threshold, magnitude threshold, and single criterion (Browne et al., 2007). Prior research indicates a lack of understanding in the areas of information use (Prabha, Connaway, Olszewski, & Jenkins, 2007) and information overload (Eppler & Mengis, 2004) in Information Systems literature. Moreover, research indicates a lack of clarity in what information should be used in different decision contexts (Kowalczyk & Buxmann, 2014). The increase in the availability of information further complicates and necessitates research in this area. This dissertation seeks to fill these gaps in the literature by determining how information use changes across decision contexts and the relationships between stopping rules. Two unique methodologies were used to test the hypotheses in the conceptual ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Gerhart, Natalie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Friction Stir Welding of High Strength Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum Alloys

Description: Rising demand for improved fuel economy and structural efficiency are the key factors for use of aluminum alloys for light weighting in aerospace industries. Precipitation strengthened 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys are the key aluminum alloys used extensively in aerospace industry. Welding and joining is the critical step in manufacturing of integrated structures. Joining of precipitation strengthened aluminum alloys using conventional fusion welding techniques is difficult and rather undesirable in as it produces dendritic microstructure and porosities which can undermine the structural integrity of weldments. Friction stir welding, invented in 1991, is a solid state joining technique inherently benefitted to reduces the possibility of common defects associated with fusion based welding techniques. Weldability of various 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys via friction stir welding was investigated. Microstructural and mechanical property evolution during welding and after post weld heat treatment was studied using experimental techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, hardness testing, and tensile testing. Various factors such as peak welding temperature, cooling rate, external cooling methods (thermal management) which affects the strength of the weldment were studied. Post weld heat treatment of AL-Mg-Li alloy produced joint as strong as the parent material. Modified post weld heat treatment in case of welding of Al-Zn-Mg alloy also resulted in near 100% joint efficiency whereas the maximum weld strength achieved in case of welds of Al-Cu-Li alloys was around 80-85% of parent material strength. Low dislocation density and high nucleation barrier for the precipitates was observed to be responsible for relatively low strength recovery in Al-Cu-Li alloys as compared to Al-Mg-Li and Al-Zn-Mg alloys.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sidhar, Harpreet
Partner: UNT Libraries