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Ab Initio and Density Functional Investigation of the Conformer Manifold of Melatonin and a Proposal for a Simple Dft-based Diagnostic for Nondynamical Correlation
In this work we address two problems in computational chemistry relevant to biomolecular modeling. In the first project, we consider the conformer space of melatonin as a a representative example of “real-life” flexible biomolecules. Geometries for all 52 unique conformers are optimized using spin-component scaled MP2, and then relative energies are obtained at the CCSD (T) level near the complete basis set limit. These are then used to validate a variety of DFT methods with and without empirical dispersion corrections, as well as some lower-level ab initio methods. Basis set convergence is found to be relatively slow due to internal C-H…O and C-H…N contacts. Absent dispersion corrections, many DFT functionals will transpose the two lowest conformers. Dispersion corrections resolve the problem for most functionals. Double hybrids yield particularly good performance, as does MP2.5. In the second project, we propose a simple DFT-based diagnostic for nondynamical correlation effects. Aλ= (1-TAE [ΧλC]/TAE[XC])/λ where TAE is the total atomization energy, XC the “pure” DFT exchange-correlation functional, and ΧλC the corresponding hybrid with 100λ% HF-type exchange. The diagnostic is a good predictor for sensitivity of energetics to the level of theory, unlike most of the wavefunction-based diagnostics. For GGA functionals, Aλ values approaching unity indicate severe non-dynamical correlation. The diagnostic is only weakly sensitive to the basis set (beyond polarized double zeta) and can be applied to problems beyond practical reach of wavefunction ab-initio methods required for other diagnostics.
The Academic Steroid: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants at a North Texas University
The goal of this study was to determine the extent, motivations, and justifications of nonmedical prescription stimulant use among the population at a large public university in the North Texas region. Participants consisted of 526 undergraduate students enrolled at the studied university during the spring and summer 2014 semesters. The findings of the study suggest that the nonmedical use by students was higher than the findings in much of the current literature, but was within the parameters established in the literature. The primary motivation for nonmedical use was academic in nature and was justified by moderation of nonmedical use to strategic academic times.
Accelerated Corrosion Test with Operation Simulation of All-Aluminum Microchannel Heat Exchangers
The HVAC&R industry is looking to transition from copper-aluminum heat exchangers to all-aluminum microchannel technology. The want for the transition stemmed from seeing the performance improvement of all-aluminum microchannel radiators in the automotive industry. Applications differ between the two industries; therefore, applying this technology for HVAC&R use must be validated. Research towards operating modes of an all-aluminum heat exchanger in a defined corrosive environment will provide the industry with a better understanding of heat exchanger design and heat exchanger material selection. The worth in this is preventing overdesign and producing more efficient heat exchangers. Furthermore, ASHRAE members and the corrosion community will find value in a defined corrosion system and corrosion test procedure. The information gained through past research has progressed assessment of material performance; however, the methods improperly simulate and expedite natural weathering. The most common method being used is the ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) Sea Water Acetic Acid Test. The research discussed in this paper was focused on improving a standard corrosion system by implementing system modifications to simulate heat exchanger operation while performing a modified wet-dry cyclic test (e.g. ASTM G85 Annex 5). The goal is to produce results that are more representative of natural corrosion behavior and its forms. Current results were gathered from five of ten samples that underwent initial testing. Finally, possible improvements towards the chamber system and the test method, including the salt solution, are discussed.
The Acceptance and Use of Cloud Computing Services by Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria
This study explored the acceptance of cloud computing (CC) services by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos, Nigeria, which has been missing from CC services literature. It aimed to understand the motivations for adoption, the uses of the services, and the benefits they derive from it. The uses and gratification theory was applied as the theoretic framework for this endeavor. An online survey with close-ended and open-ended questions was distributed to 1200 randomly selected participants through email. In total, 392 valid responses were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics and categories. The results found that SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria had a low level of awareness and appreciation of CC services. The adoption rate was also low. Unlike their counterparts in other regions, SMEs primary concerns were service downtime, stable power supply, and better internet access. The study found that SMEs were not taking full advantage of the capabilities of CC services. Some sections, however, were doing better than others, such as the information and communications sub-sector. This study suggested that targeted interventions should be conducted to raise the awareness of CC services in SMEs, and to improve their efficient and effective use of CC services. The uses and gratification theory was appropriate for guiding this study to understand the acceptance and use of CC services by SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria.
Acute Effects of the Antibiotic Streptomycin on Neural Network Activity and Pharmacological Responses
The purpose of this study is to find out that if antibiotic streptomycin decreases neuronal network activity or affects the pharmacological responses. The experiments in this study were conducted via MEA (multi-electrode array) technology which records neuronal activity from devices that have multiple small electrodes, serve as neural interfaces connecting neurons to electronic circuitry. The result of this study shows that streptomycin lowered the spike production of neuronal network, and also, sensitization was seen when neuronal network pre-exposed to streptomycin.
Adhesion and Surface Energy Profiles of Large-area Atomic Layers of Two-dimensional MoS2 on Rigid Substrates by Facile Methods
Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) show great potential for the future electronics, optoelectronics and energy applications. But, the studies unveiling their interactions with the host substrates are sparse and limits their practical use for real device applications. We report the facile nano-scratch method to determine the adhesion energy of the wafer scale MoS2 atomic layers attached to the SiO2/Si and sapphire substrates. The practical adhesion energy of monolayer MoS2 on the SiO2/Si substrate is 7.78 J/m2. The practical adhesion energy was found to be an increasing function of the MoS2 thickness. Unlike SiO2/Si substrates, MoS2 films grown on the sapphire possess higher bonding energy, which is attributed to the defect-free growth and less number of grain boundaries, as well as less stress and strain stored at the interface owing to the similarity of Thermal Expansion Coefficient (TEC) between MoS2 films and sapphire substrate. Furthermore, we calculated the surface free energy of 2D MoS2 by the facile contact angle measurements and Neumann model fitting. A surface free energy ~85.3 mJ/m2 in few layers thick MoS2 manifests the hydrophilic nature of 2D MoS2. The high surface energy of MoS2 helps explain the good bonding strength at MoS2/substrate interface. This simple adhesion energy and surface energy measurement methodology could further apply to other TMDs for their widespread use.
Age Friendly Cities: The Bureaucratic Responsiveness Effects on Age Friendly Policy Adoption
Challenging a long-held attachment to the medical model, this research develops a cultural model placing local governments at the center of policy making and refocusing policy attention on mobility, housing, the built environment and services. To examine the phenomenon of age friendly policy adoption by cities and the magnitude of adoption, a 21-question web-based survey was administered to a sample of 1,050 cities from the U.S. Census having a population over 10,000 and having at least 14% of their population aged 65 years and over. The goal of the questionnaire was to help identify what kind of policy objectives cities establish to facilitate the opportunity for older adults to live healthy and independent lives in their communities as they age. Multiple linear and ordinal regression models examined the likelihood of policy action by cities and provide evidence as to why some cities support more age friendly policy actions than others. Evidence illustrates theoretical advancement providing support for a cultural model of aging. The cultural model includes multiple factors including bureaucratic responsiveness reflected in the management values of the administration. Findings show variation in the integration of a cultural awareness of aging in the municipality's needs assessment, strategic goals, citizen engagement strategies, and budgetary principles. Cities with a cultural awareness of aging are more likely to adopt age friendly policies. Findings also provide support for the argument that the public administrator is not the driving sole factor in decision making. A shared spaced with mobilized citizen need of individuals 65 and over is identified.
American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)
This is an analysis of combat operations of US First Army under the command of Courtney Hodges, between August 1 and September 12, 1944, with an emphasis upon 1st, 4th, 9th, and 30th Divisions. However, other formations are necessarily discussed in order to maintain context. Indeed, many historians have failed to emphasize the complex interdependent nature of these efforts, and the traditional narrative has been distorted by inadequate situational awareness. This study argues that the army's operations were exceedingly difficult, resulting in approximately 40,000 casualties over a six week period. Although historians claim that the Germans were essentially defeated by the end of July, and that the Allied advance was subsequently halted by logistical difficulties, the official combat records clarify that logistical shortages were a tertiary factor, as the enemy remained capable of strong resistance. Consequently, defensive efforts were the primary factor hindering the advance, in conjunction with deteriorating weather conditions, rugged terrain, and surprisingly severe traffic congestion. Although this was mobile warfare, military theorists have overestimated the effectiveness of mechanization and underestimated the potential for antitank defenses. Ultimately, this study asserts that First Army was the primary American combat formation, and historians have exaggerated the importance of George Patton's Third Army. Therefore, in order to understand an American way of war, the combat operations of First Army deserve far more attention than they have previously received. This narrative thus emphasizes forgotten battles, including: Tessy, St. Sever, Tete, Perriers, Mayenne, Ranes, Flers, Mace, Elbeuf, Mantes, Corbeil, Sevran, Mons, Cambrai, Philippeville, Dinant, and Aubel.
American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study
It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
Americans Who Would Not Wait: The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917
This dissertation examines the five battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force designated as the American Legion. Authorized in Canada between 1915 and 1917, these units were formed to recruit volunteers from the United States to serve in the Canadian Overseas Contingent during the First World War. This work reviews the organization of Canada’s militia and the history of Anglo-American relations before examining the Canadian war effort, the formation of the American Legion, the background of its men, and the diplomatic, political, and constitutional questions that it raised. Much of the research focuses on the internal documents of its individual battalions (the 97th, 211th, 212th, 213th and 237th) and the papers of Reverend Charles Bullock now housed at the Public Archives of Canada. Documentation for the diplomatic furor the American Legion caused comes largely through the published diplomatic documents, British Foreign Office records held at the Public Record Office at Kew, and United States Department of State files at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The most useful sources for American Legion correspondence are the Beaverbrook papers held at the House of Lords Record Office, the papers of Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden, and those of the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught found in the Public Archives of Canada. During its brief existence the American Legion precipitated diplomatic and political problems in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Dominion of Canada. Among the issues raised by the controversy surrounding the American Legion were: the relationship between the dominion government in Canada and the British government; the structural problems of imperial communications; the rise of a Canadian national identity and the desire for greater autonomy; and, the nature of citizenship and expatriation. This dissertation is also a long overdue account of the thousands of United States citizens ...
Analysis and Optimization of Graphene FET based Nanoelectronic Integrated Circuits
Like cell to the human body, transistors are the basic building blocks of any electronics circuits. Silicon has been the industries obvious choice for making transistors. Transistors with large size occupy large chip area, consume lots of power and the number of functionalities will be limited due to area constraints. Thus to make the devices smaller, smarter and faster, the transistors are aggressively scaled down in each generation. Moore's law states that the transistors count in any electronic circuits doubles every 18 months. Following this Moore's law, the transistor has already been scaled down to 14 nm. However there are limitations to how much further these transistors can be scaled down. Particularly below 10 nm, these silicon based transistors hit the fundamental limits like loss of gate control, high leakage and various other short channel effects. Thus it is not possible to favor the silicon transistors for future electronics applications. As a result, the research has shifted to new device concepts and device materials alternative to silicon. Carbon is the next abundant element found in the Earth and one of such carbon based nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene when extracted from Graphite, the same material used as the lid in pencil, have a tremendous potential to take future electronics devices to new heights in terms of size, cost and efficiency. Thus after its first experimental discovery of graphene in 2004, graphene has been the leading research area for both academics as well as industries. This dissertation is focused on the analysis and optimization of graphene based circuits for future electronics. The first part of this dissertation considers graphene based transistors for analog/radio frequency (RF) circuits. In this section, a dual gate Graphene Field Effect Transistor (GFET) is considered to build the case study circuits like voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) and low ...
Angular Analysis of a Wide-Band Energy Harvester based on Mutually Perpendicular Vibrating Piezoelectric Beams
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.
“The Angular Degrees of Freedom” and Other Stories
The preface, " Performing Brain Surgery: The Problematic Nature of Endings in Short Fiction," deals with the many and varied difficulties short story writers encounter when attempting to craft endings. Beginning with Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor and moving to my own work, I discuss some of the obscure criteria used to designate a successful ending, as well as the more concrete idea of the ending as a unifying element. Five short stories make up the remainder of this thesis: "In-between Girls," "Crocodile Man," "Surprising Things, Sometimes Amusing," "Good Jewelry," and "The Angular Degrees of Freedom."
Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron for Piano Solo By Jürg Baur: a Performer's Guide
The purpose of this dissertation is to give instruction regarding the performance of three important piano works by Jürg Baur (1918-2010). Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron stand out as his most significant piano works both because of their length and because of their pianistic complexity. Since Baur had a successful career as both teacher and composer during his lifetime, his acclaimed works received many honors in Germany. His works can be performed by intermediate to advanced students. Intermediate students can easily offer simpler pieces like Aphorismen in competitions, while pieces like Capriccio and Heptameron better are suited to a more advanced level. Although some of his compositions are difficult to perform compared with other modern German works, Baur's music is more accessible. In the article, "Auf der Spuren der alten Zeit" Baur is quoted to state that Paul Hindemith and Bela Bartok's music influenced his own compositional ideas. However, although Baur is a modern composer, he didn't write in a totally atonal style, but rather attempted to broaden tonality. While Heptameron is atonal, Aphorismen and Capriccio give the impression of tonality, thus they are more accessible to the audience. I was fortunate enough to study Aphorismen with Baur as well as receiving advice for performance of Capriccio and some movements of Heptameron. Therefore, I gained a primary source of instruction, particularly in regards to pedal markings, rhythmic indications, voice balancing, finger suggestions, articulation markings, and tone of musical expression. In this dissertation, I include my own instructions (accepted by the composer) along with the composer's intentions.
Application of Cyclic Polarization of Aluminum 3003 Used in All-Aluminum Microchannel Heat Exchangers
All-aluminum microchannel heat exchangers are designed to significantly reduce refrigerant charge requirements, weight, reduced brazed joints, and decreased potential for leakage by increasing reliability. Al 3003 alloy is corrosion resistant and can be formed, welded, and brazed but the issue with all-aluminum heat exchangers is localized corrosion (pitting) in corrosive environments. Currently, there is no universally accepted corrosion test that all coil manufacturers use to characterize their products. Electrochemical testing method of cyclic polarization was employed in this investigation and relevant parameters including electrolyte corrosive agent and its concentration, electrolyte pH, and applied potential scan rate was varied to find an optimal set of parameters. Results of cyclic polarization of Al 3003 in electrolytes containing various concentrations of NaCl were compared with those of the tests in Sea Water Acidified Accelerated Test (SWAAT) electrolyte and it is shown the SWAAT electrolyte (4.2% sea salt acidified to pH of 2.9) is by far stronger (in terms of corrosivity) than typical 3.5% NaCl solution used in most corrosion testing. Corrosion rates (g/m2yr) of Al 3003 measured in this investigation were comparable to those provided by ISO 9223 standard corresponding to C1 through CX categories. Duration of cyclic polarization test is much shorter than that of SWAAT and results obtained in this test is more reproducible compared to those of SWAAT. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs show typical pit depths of about 50 μm.
Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups
The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
Assessing Terrorist Cyber Threats: Engineering a Functional Construct
Terrorist organizations and individuals make use of the Internet for supportive activities such as communication, recruiting, financing, training, and planning operations. However, little is known about the level of computer-based (“cyber”) threat such terrorist organizations and individuals pose. One step in facilitating the examination and assessment of the level of cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals is development of an assessment tool or methodology. This tool would guide intelligence collection efforts and would support and facilitate comparative assessment of the cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals through the provision of a consistent method of assessment across time, amongst organizations and individuals, and between analysts. This study leveraged the professional experience of experts to engineer a new functional construct – a structured analytical technique designed to assess the cyber threat posed by terrorist entities and individuals. The resultant instrument was a novel structured analytical construct that uses defined indicators of a terrorist organization/individual’s intent to carry out cyber attacks, and their capability to actually do so as measures of an organization/individual’s overall level of cyber threat.
Attitudes about Caregiving: An Ethnicity by Generation Approach
The goal of this project was to understand ethnic and generational differences in attitudes towards caregiving and expected burden while taking into consideration factors such as gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. One hundred and sixteen young adults (ages 18-25) and 93 middle-age adults (ages 38-62) were enrolled in the study. Participants included European Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Using moderation analysis, two hypotheses were investigated: 1) Ethnicity relates to attitudes towards caregiving, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. 2) Ethnicity and expected burden relate to each other, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. Familism emerged as a moderator in the relationship between ethnicity and expected burden. Results suggested that the strength of the relationship between being African American and expecting burden was less for those with moderate familism (R =.078), slightly higher for low familism (R = .176), and the highest for high familism (R= .261). Additional results indicated that the strength of the relationship between being Hispanic, as opposed to being European American, and expected burden, was higher for middle-aged adults (R =.23) when compared to young adults (R =.19). The current findings lend support to the recently established idea that familism is not protective against burden as it increases one's sense of obligation towards family (Knight & Sayegh, 2010).
Bank Capital, Efficient Market Hypothesis, and Bank Borrowing During the Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008
During the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008, liquidity and credit dried up, threatening the stability of financial institutions, particularly the banking firms. Traditional source of funds from the last resort, the Discount Window of the Federal Reserve System, failed to remedy the liquidity problem. To assuage the liquidity and credit problem, the Federal Reserve System established several emergency lending facilities and provided unprecedented amount of loans to the banking industry. Using a dataset published by Bloomberg LLP in the aftermaths of the financial crisis, which contains daily loan balances from the Fed, I conduct an event study to test whether financial markets are efficient in reflecting all public, anticipated and classified information in security prices. The most important contribution of this dissertation to the finance discipline and literature is the investigation and analysis of the Fed’s unprecedented loans to the banking industry during the Great Recession and the market reaction to it. The second major contribution of this study is the empirical test of strong form efficient market hypothesis, which has not been feasible due to legal data challenges. This dissertation has other contributions to the finance discipline and banking research. First, I develop an algorithm for measuring the amount of borrowing by banks. Second, I introduce a new “loan balance” ratio to traditional list of bank financial ratios. Third, I use event study methodologies to allow for cross-correlation, heteroscedasticity and event induced-variance change in studying US banks’ performance during the Great Recession.
Bass Reeves: a History • a Novel • a Crusade, Volume 1: the Rise
This literary/historical novel details the life of African-American Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves between the years 1838-1862 and 1883-1884. One plotline depicts Reeves’s youth as a slave, including his service as a body servant to a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War. Another plotline depicts him years later, after Emancipation, at the height of his deputy career, when he has become the most feared, most successful lawman in Indian Territory, the largest federal jurisdiction in American history and the most dangerous part of the Old West. A preface explores the uniqueness of this project’s historical relevance and literary positioning as a neo-slave narrative, and addresses a few liberties that I take with the historical record.
Becoming Successful in Education: Beating the Odds, Despite a Background Entrenched in Poverty
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of three relationships on academic achievement in mathematics in students of poverty. The three factors that were examined included: teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer- student relationships. The driving question for the research was as follows: Do external factors such as teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer-student relationships lead to academic success for students of poverty? The study employed a non-experimental, quantitative approach and utilized longitudinal data from a national database High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) used a sample of 944 public and private high schools across the USA. A total 0f 28,240 were represented in the survey. Of these 28,240 students, 2641 were used in this study as identified by parental income below the poverty threshold. The outcome of the study indicated that there was little or no correlation between the three relationships and mathematics achievement (academic success). Correlations between the dependent variable (math achievement) and the independent variables even though some were statistically significant their weights had no concrete significance. The study recommends that several initiatives can be instated in schools to support and enhance academic achievement in students of poverty.
Belief Transfers in Co-branding and Brand Extension and the Roles of Perceptual Fit
Existing co-branding and brand extension research generally coalesces around two important constructs: perceptual fit and attitude toward the brand. Studies in co-branding and brand extension to date have generally emphasized the transference of affective elements of attitude from parent brand to the extension. Researchers and practitioners clearly need to learn more about the transfer of belief, the cognitive elements of attitude. Too little is currently known about whether and how beliefs are actually transferred in co-branding and brand extension applications, particularly in terms of perceptual fit. This dissertation investigates belief transfer and the effect of perceptual fit on belief transfer in co-branding and brand extension scenarios and develops answers to the following research questions: 1.Are different categories of beliefs transferable from parent brand to theextension? 2.How do various sub-dimensions of perceptual fit affect belief transfers fromparent brands to the extension? 3.How do different categories of beliefs affect consumers’ intentions to purchasethe extension products? Categorization Theory was used as the fundamental theory to build the hypotheses. This dissertation involved qualitative studies, belief scale development, and experimental design studies. The results revealed that aesthetic and functional beliefs are positively transferred from parent brand to the extension. The transfer of aesthetic beliefs is affected by the level of brand fit while the transfer of functional beliefs is independent upon the level of any perceptual fit construct. Finally, cognitive structure based on the strength of extension beliefs is more predictive upon the purchase intention. Findings will extend the co-branding and brand extension literature, especially in terms of the pattern of belief transfers that unfold subject to the influence of various perceptual fit constructs. The results will also provide additional insights about the role that perceptual fit plays in influencing categories of consumer beliefs as those beliefs are also influenced by the specific perceptual fits ...
Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico
In 1863, Fort Bascom was built along the Canadian River in the Eroded Plains of Territorial New Mexico. Its unique location placed it between the Comanches of Texas and the Comancheros of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This post was situated within Comanchería during the height of the United States Army's war against the Southern Plains Indians, yet it has garnered little attention. This study broadens the scholarly understanding of how the United States Army gained control of the Southwest by examining the role Fort Bascom played in this mission. This includes an exploration of the Canadian River Valley environment, an examination of the economic relationship that existed between the Southern Plains Indians and the mountain people of New Mexico, and an account of the daily life of soldiers posted to Fort Bascom. This dissertation thus provides an environmental and cultural history of the Canadian River Valley in New Mexico, a social history of the men stationed at Fort Bascom, and proof that the post played a key role in the Army's efforts to gain control of the Southern Plains Indians. This study argues that Fort Bascom should be recognized as Texas' northern-most frontier fort. Its men were closer to the Comanche homeland than any Texas post of the period. Its records clearly show that the Army used Fort Bascom as a key forward base of operations against Comanches and Kiowas. An examination of Bascom's post returns, daily patrols, and major expeditions allows its history to provide a useful perspective on the nineteenth-century American Southwest.
Bioinspired and biocompatible coatings of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) and layer double hydroxide composites for corrosion resistance
Hierarchical arrangement of biological composites such as nacre and bone containing high filler (ceramic) content results in high strength and toughness of the natural material. In this study we mimic the design of layered bone microstructure and fabricate an optimal multifunctional bio-nanocomposite having strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), a biodegradable polymer was used as a substrate material with the reinforcement of LDH (Layered double hydroxide) as a nanofiller in different concentrations to achieve enhancement in mechanical properties as well as processing related thermostability. Corrosion resistance was increased by mimicking a layered structured which incorporated a tortuous diffusion path.
Biomass-Derived Activated Carbon through Self-Activation Process
Self-activation is a process that takes advantage of the gases emitted from the pyrolysis process of biomass to activate the converted carbon. The pyrolytic gases from the biomass contain CO2 and H2O, which can be used as activating agents. As two common methods, both of physical activation using CO2 and chemical activation using ZnCl2 introduce additional gas (CO2) or chemical (ZnCl2), in which the CO2 emission from the activation process or the zinc compound removal by acid from the follow-up process will cause environmental concerns. In comparison with these conventional activation processes, the self-activation process could avoid the cost of activating agents and is more environmentally friendly, since the exhaust gases (CO and H2) can be used as fuel or feedstock for the further synthesis in methanol production. In this research, many types of biomass were successfully converted into activated carbon through the self-activation process. An activation model was developed to describe the changes of specific surface area and pore volume during the activation. The relationships between the activating temperature, dwelling time, yield, specific surface area, and specific pore volume were detailed investigated. The highest specific surface area and pore volume of the biomass-derived activated carbon through the self-activation process were up to 2738 m2 g-1 and 2.209 cm3 g-1, respectively. Moreover, the applications of the activated carbons from the self-activation process have been studied, including lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing, water cleaning, oil absorption, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.
Black Males' Treatment Experiences in Mental Health Court: A Phenomenological Analysis
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.
Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets
In many real-world applications, it is common to have uneven number of examples among multiple classes. The data imbalance, however, usually complicates the learning process, especially for the minority classes, and results in deteriorated performance. Boosting methods were proposed to handle the imbalance problem. These methods need elongated training time and require diversity among the classifiers of the ensemble to achieve improved performance. Additionally, extending the boosting method to handle multi-class data sets is not straightforward. Examples of applications that suffer from imbalanced multi-class data can be found in face recognition, where tens of classes exist, and in capsule endoscopy, which suffers massive imbalance between the classes. This dissertation introduces RegBoost, a new boosting framework to address the imbalanced, multi-class problems. This method applies a weighted stratified sampling technique and incorporates a regularization term that accommodates multi-class data sets and automatically determines the error bound of each base classifier. The regularization parameter penalizes the classifier when it misclassifies instances that were correctly classified in the previous iteration. The parameter additionally reduces the bias towards majority classes. Experiments are conducted using 12 diverse data sets with moderate to high imbalance ratios. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method compared to several state-of-the-art algorithms for imbalanced, multi-class classification problems. More importantly, the sensitivity improvement of the minority classes using RegBoost is accompanied with the improvement of the overall accuracy for all classes. With unpredictability regularization, a diverse group of classifiers are created and the maximum accuracy improvement reaches above 24%. Using stratified undersampling, RegBoost exhibits the best efficiency. The reduction in computational cost is significant reaching above 50%. As the volume of training data increase, the gain of efficiency with the proposed method becomes more significant.
Brain Computer Interface (BCI) Applications: Privacy Threats and Countermeasures
In recent years, brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have gained popularity in non-medical domains such as the gaming, entertainment, personal health, and marketing industries. A growing number of companies offer various inexpensive consumer grade BCIs and some of these companies have recently introduced the concept of BCI "App stores" in order to facilitate the expansion of BCI applications and provide software development kits (SDKs) for other developers to create new applications for their devices. The BCI applications access to users' unique brainwave signals, which consequently allows them to make inferences about users' thoughts and mental processes. Since there are no specific standards that govern the development of BCI applications, its users are at the risk of privacy breaches. In this work, we perform first comprehensive analysis of BCI App stores including software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and BCI applications w.r.t privacy issues. The goal is to understand the way brainwave signals are handled by BCI applications and what threats to the privacy of users exist. Our findings show that most applications have unrestricted access to users' brainwave signals and can easily extract private information about their users without them even noticing. We discuss potential privacy threats posed by current practices used in BCI App stores and then describe some countermeasures that could be used to mitigate the privacy threats. Also, develop a prototype which gives the BCI app users a choice to restrict their brain signal dynamically.
Brand Management Capability and Brand Performance
Brands are intangible assets that provide companies with the potential to extract higher rents or prices from customers. However, only few organizations are able to build and sustain brands over a long period of time. Brand management capability - the organization's ability to build and sustain brands becomes important for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Despite the importance of brand management capability to organizations, majority of the brand management literature has primarily focused on the consumer perspective of brands. This gap in knowledge about the components of brand management capability impedes firms from replicating brand successes, and makes them reliant on brand managers. More recently, there have been multiple calls in literature to identify marketing-related organizational capabilities, which can provide organizations with a sustainable competitive advantage. The focus on developing marketing-based capabilities comes at a time when marketing is losing its influence in organizations. To this end, the current dissertation uses organizational capability theory and literature on brand management to identify the primary resource (intellectual capital comprising of structural, human, and relational capital), organizational culture type (clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market), and processes (strategic brand management, internal branding, and market information processes comprising of information acquisition, information transmission, conceptual utilization, and instrument utilization), that constitute the brand management capability. This dissertation also examines the association among various components of brand management capability and brand performance. A survey-based technique was used to gather data from individuals responsible for managing brands. The data was analyzed using PLS-SEM. The results indicate that human capital, relational capital, market and hierarchy culture types, internal branding, strategic brand management, and instrument utilization are positively associated with brand performance. Structural capital, clan and adhocracy culture types, information acquisition, information transmission, and conceptual utilization are not associated with brand performance. From a research standpoint, this dissertation contributes to the ...
Business/it Alignment: the Impact of Incentive Plans on the Development of Shared Vision
This study, utilizing Preston and Karahanna’s framework for shared vision development and Agency Theory, explores the impact of vision development factors and factors associated with incentive plans on shared vision and alignment. Results of the study confirm the strong relationship between shared vision and alignment, and indicate that having an effective management team is important with respect to developing and maintaining shared vision and alignment within the organization. Several vision development factors such as using the language of the business, participation on the top management team (TMT), and having knowledge of the business impact shared vision through their influence on teamwork. Also, results of this study suggest that participation on the TMT by the CIO/IT leader is more important than the individual’s position in the organizational hierarchy. In addition, attributes associated with incentive plans such as achievable and clear measures, measures linked to organizational goals, measures that align the interests of the individual with those of the organization, regular plan reviews, and using a balanced scorecard approach with respect to incentive plan design positively impact teamwork and shared vision. For practitioners, this highlights the importance of incentive plans as powerful tools that can be used to reinforce shared vision, effective teamwork, and alignment within the organization. Also, the CIO/IT leader needs to be knowledgeable of the business and must fill the role of both a technologist as well as an enterprise leader. This person must be an evangelist communicating the value and benefits of IT to the rest of the organization.
Can Imagination Travel the Distance? Investigating the Role of Psychological Distance and Construal Level in Consumers' Elaborative Approach
Much of consumer behavior research focuses on how consumers process and evaluate information to make current decision. In contrast, many consumer choices ares are underpinned by the need to make choices that incorporate the past or future, other places, other people and other situations that are seemingly hypothetical. The imagination provides the chief means by which consumers are able to traverse this psychological distance. Construal Level Theory (CLT) explains how individuals are able to plan for the future, consider the perspective of another individual and even consider situations that are counter to reality. Construal mindsets are enacted when people form mental representations of distant objects, people, or places. In abstract construal mindsets, individuals think generally, in terms of global features of an object, person, or situation. On the other hand, concrete construal mindsets center around the detailed aspects of an object, person, or situation. These two different construal mindsets serve to help people cope with the uncertainty of the future. This is because abstract cosntruals are more likely than concrete construals to remain unchanged as distance from a future object, person, or place reduces. A number of consumer behavior settings require the use of the imagination. Sticking to a weight loss and or fitness plan, planning a vacation trip, saving for retirement and imagining what birthday gift a friend will enjoy all require imagining a psychologically distant state. Marketers generally seek to stimulate consumption by requiring consumers to imagine a consumption setting. This dissertation uses CLT to guide the hypotheses, as CLT explains how individuals deal with psychological distance by adopting a construal mindset. CLT explains differences in information processing associated with adopting a specific construal mindset and suggests how construal mindsets impact consumer information elaboration processes. This study will contribute to CLT by addressing an understudied be related area: ...
Can Observing Behavior Predict Performance in Conditional Discriminations?
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.
Case Studies to Learn Human Mapping Strategies in a Variety of Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architectures
Computer hardware and algorithm design have seen significant progress over the years. It is also seen that there are several domains in which humans are more efficient than computers. For example in image recognition, image tagging, natural language understanding and processing, humans often find complicated algorithms quite easy to grasp. This thesis presents the different case studies to learn human mapping strategy to solve the mapping problem in the area of coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures (CGRAs). To achieve optimum level performance and consume less energy in CGRAs, place and route problem has always been a major concern. Making use of human characteristics can be helpful in problems as such, through pattern recognition and experience. Therefore to conduct the case studies a computer mapping game called UNTANGLED was analyzed as a medium to convey insights of human mapping strategies in a variety of architectures. The purpose of this research was to learn from humans so that we can come up with better algorithms to outperform the existing algorithms. We observed how human strategies vary as we present them with different architectures, different architectures with constraints, different visualization as well as how the quality of solution changes with experience. In this work all the case studies obtained from exploiting human strategies provide useful feedback that can improve upon existing algorithms. These insights can be adapted to find the best architectural solution for a particular domain and for future research directions for mapping onto mesh-and- stripe based CGRAs.
The Castle/Nikki Heat Phenomenon: A Detailed Examination of Female Representation in Entertainment Media
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.
Catalytic Properties and Mechanical Behavior of Metallic Glass Powders
Lack of crystalline order and microstructural features such as grain/grain-boundary in metallic glasses results in a suite of remarkable attributes including very high strength, close to theoretical elasticity, high corrosion and wear resistance, and soft magnetic properties. By altering the morphology and tuning of composition, MGs may be transformed into high-performance catalytic materials. In this study, the catalytic properties of metallic glass powders were demonstrated in dissociating toxic organic chemicals such as AZO dye. BMG powders showed superior performance compared to state of the art crystalline iron because of their high catalytic activity, durability, and reusability. To enhance the catalytic properties, high energy mechanical milling was performed to increase the surface area and defect density. Iron-based bulk metallic glass (BMG) of composition Fe48Cr15Mo14Y2C15B6 was used because of its low cost and ability to make large surface area by high energy ball milling. AZO dye was degraded in less than 20 minutes for the 9 hours milled Fe-BMG. However, subsequent increase in ball milling time resulted in devitrification and loss of catalytic activity as measured using UV-Visible spectroscopy. Aluminum-based bulk metallic glass (Al-BMG) powder of composition Al82Fe3Ni8Y7 was synthesized by arc-melting the constituent elements followed by gas-atomization. The particle size and morphology were similar to Fe-BMG with a fully amorphous structure. A small percentage of transition metal constituents (Fe and Ni) in a mostly aluminum alloy showed high catalytic activity, with no toxic by-products and no change in surface characteristics. Al-alloy particles, being light-weight, were easily dispersed in aqueous medium and accelerated the redox reactions. The mechanism of dye dissociation was studied using Raman and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Breaking of -C-H- and - C-N- bonds of AZO dye was found to be the primary mechanism. Mechanical behavior of individual BMG particles was evaluated by in situ pico-indentation in a scanning electron ...
Challenge the Silence
This collection of personal essays about incest, abuse, and depression explores the lasting effects of an invisible childhood. The essays follow the protagonist from the age of five to her early twenties. Her brother, at a young age, becomes sexually abusive of her and her sisters, and her parents fail to protect their daughters. The family is divided as the older girls strive to defend their little sisters, while their parents attempt to excuse their son. When her brother is finally sent away, the protagonist is left to salvage what remains of her relationships with her parents.
Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty
Pre-tenured faculty in higher education and as well as mothers have reportedly struggled with low wellness levels, high demands, little social support, and an imbalance of work and home life. Mothers in higher education and in counselor education have reported struggling with work-life balance, high scholarly productivity, and long hours as well as the emotional and physical energy demands of working with counselors-in-training. A search of the professional literature revealed a paucity of quantitative research regarding demographic characteristics, wellness levels, and social support levels of mothers among counselor education faculty (MCEs). Participants for this study were faculties of counselor education programs recruited from the Holland List of Counseling Programs and from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs online directory. A total of 180 MCEs participated (aged 29-63, with mean age 40.6 years; 83% Caucasian, 8% other, 5% African American, 3% Hispanic, <1% Asian). Results showed that faculty rank did not account for a significant difference among wellness scores of MCEs and that reported social support, tenure or non-tenure track, number of children in the care of MCEs, number of children under age 8, number of publications, and teaching workload accounted for 14% of the variance in wellness levels of MCEs. Specifically, reported higher teaching workload (β = -.194, rs2 = .35, p = .012) and higher social support (β = -.258, rs2 = .36, p = <.001) were found to be significant predictors of lower wellness levels among MCEs, both with small effects. Based on these results, MCEs may benefit from advocating that their departments and universities adapt to their unique needs to improve their levels of wellness and social support through mentoring, which, in turn, may result in not only their own increased productivity but also their students' increased wellness levels.
Characteristics of Primary Cilia and Centrosomes in Neuronal and Glial Lineages of the Adult Brain
Primary cilia are sensory organelles that are important for initiating cell division in the brain, especially through sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. Several lines of evidence suggest that the mitogenic effect of Shh requires primary cilia. Proliferation initiated by Shh signaling plays key roles in brain development, in neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, and in the generation of glial cells in response to cortical injury. In spite of the likely involvement of cilia in these events, little is known about their characteristics. Centrosomes, which are associated with primary cilia, also have multiple influences on the cell cycle, and they are important in assembling microtubules for the maintenance of the cell’s cytoskeleton and cilia. The cilia of terminally differentiated neurons have been previously examined with respect to length, incidence, and receptors present. However, almost nothing is known about primary cilia in stem cells, progenitors, or differentiated glial cells. Moreover, it is not known how the properties of cilia and centrosomes may vary with cell cycle or proliferative potential, in brain or other tissues. This dissertation focuses first on neurogenesis in the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ). The SGZ is one of the few brain regions in mammals that gives rise to a substantial number of new neurons throughout adulthood. The neuron lineage contains a progression of identifiable precursor cell types with different proliferation rates. This present study found that primary cilia were present in every cell type in the neuronal lineage in SGZ. Cilium length and incidence were positively correlated among these cell types. Ciliary levels of adenylyl cyclase type III (ACIII) levels relative to ADP-ribosylation factor-like protein 13b (Arl13b) was higher in neurons than in precursor cells and glia, and also changed with the cell cycle. G-protein coupled receptors, SstR3, MCHR1, and Gpr161 receptors were only found in neuronal cilia. The levels ...
Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe
The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child rescue in Nazi-occupied Western Europe was a valid--not to mention heroic--form of survival resistance.
El Cine De Terror Español Como Espejo De La Cultura Española
This study traces the history and culture of Spain as seen through the lens of the nation´s production of horror cinema. Starting from the boom of Spanish horror film in the early 1960s, the thesis compares and contrasts the political and social aspects of Spanish society throughout three distinct eras of the 20th century: 1962 – 1975 (the boom of Spanish horror film through the Franco dictatorship), 1975 – 1999 (the transition to democracy through the end of the 20th century) and 2000 – present (the 21st century). Movies as diverse as Gritos en la noche (1962, Jesús Franco), ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (1976, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador) and Angustia (1987, Bigas Luna) are framed by culturally-related anectodes as well as correlations to their respective social environments. Special attention has been paid to the production and release of each film, especially in regards to censorship during the Franco dictatorship. The results show that Spanish horror cinema has acted as a true mirror to culture, society and politics in its native country throughout the 20th century and that this trend will likely extend in to the future.
Clocks and Mirrors
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.
Collective Security and Coalition: British Grand Strategy, 1783-1797
On 1 February 1793, the National Convention of Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands, expanding the list of France's enemies in the War of the First Coalition. Although British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger had predicted fifteen years of peace one year earlier, the French declaration of war initiated nearly a quarter century of war between Britain and France with only a brief respite during the Peace of Amiens. Britain entered the war amid both a nadir in British diplomacy and internal political divisions over the direction of British foreign policy. After becoming prime minister in 1783 in the aftermath of the War of American Independence, Pitt pursued financial and naval reform to recover British strength and cautious interventionism to end Britain's diplomatic isolation in Europe. He hoped to create a collective security system based on the principles of the territorial status quo, trade agreements, neutral rights, and resolution of diplomatic disputes through mediation - armed mediation if necessary. While his domestic measures largely met with success, Pitt's foreign policy suffered from a paucity of like-minded allies, contradictions between traditional hostility to France and emergent opposition to Russian expansion, Britain's limited ability to project power on the continent, and the even more limited will of Parliament to support such interventionism. Nevertheless, Pitt's collective security goal continued to shape British strategy in the War of the First Coalition, and the same challenges continued to plague the British war effort. This led to failure in the war and left the British fighting on alone after the Treaty of Campo Formio secured peace between France and its last continental foe, Austria, on 18 October 1797.
Community-based Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Developing, Testing and Validating Conceptual Models
The field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) suggests that transactions, collaboration, and value are important in the supply and delivery of products and services to meet the need of impoverished end-consumers. In many cases, the application of LSCM is paramount in most strategic decision-making efforts. Therefore, this research explores the applications of LSCM processes and activities within the community-based context. The methodology used to address the research questions consisted of a hybrid of mixed methods. This mixed methodology provides three essays that investigate the application and development of LSCM in the community-based context. The essays address the flow of charitable products and services through supply chains. The dissertation does not pay close attention to the first-tier suppliers’ suppliers, which is looking at the originating flow of goods and services (raw materials, manufacturing, etc.). However, the dissertation puts a focus on products and services supplied to focal organizations and how these products are then passed on to end-consumers. Essay I looks at the transaction (costs) that ensue from the supply of charitable products. Essay II analyzes a social service ecosystem and investigates how the network of organizations enable the distribution of charitable products and services. Lastly, Essay III examines the delivery of valuable services to the end-consumers, and what tools Community-Based Enterprises (CBEs) should focus on to develop and retain end-consumers in impoverished communities. The research provides conceptual models that review some fundamental LSCM achievement gaps in supplying, delivering and providing social services to end users within impoverished communities. The dissertation draws upon literature from the fields of economics, marketing, social science, and logistics and supply chain management. The dissertation uses the primary research method of unstructured and semi-structured interviews, case studies, written survey instruments and system dynamics within three studies. The studies resolve to look into the term ...
Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status
Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
A Comparative Analysis of Digital and Paper Restaurant Menus Based on Customer Perception and Nutritional Labeling
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.
Competing Models of Hegemonic Masculinity in English Civil War Memoirs by Women
This thesis examines the descriptions of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinity in English Civil War memoirs by women through a close reading of three biographical memoirs written by Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle; Lady Ann Fanshawe; and Lucy Hutchinson. Descriptions of masculinity are evaluated through the lens of Raewyn Connell's theory of hegemonic masculinity to understand the impact two competing models of masculinity had on the social and political culture of the period. The prevailing Parliamentarian hegemonic masculinity in English Civil War memoirs is traced to its origins before the English Civil War to demonstrate how hegemonic masculinity changes over time. The thesis argues that these memoirs provide evidence of two competing models of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinities during the Civil War that date back to changes in the Puritan meaning of the phrase “man of merit”, which influenced the development of a Parliamentarian model of masculinity.
Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers
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.
A Comprehensive Modeling Framework for Airborne Mobility
Mobility models serve as the foundation for evaluating and designing airborne networks. Due to the significant impact of mobility models on the network performance, mobility models for airborne networks (ANs) must realistically capture the attributes of ANs. In this paper, I develop a comprehensive modeling framework for ANs. The work I have done is concluded as the following three parts. First, I perform a comprehensive and comparative analysis of AN mobility models and evaluate the models based on several metrics: 1) networking performance, 2) ability to capture the mobility attributes of ANs, 3) randomness levels and 4) associated applications. Second, I develop two 3D mobility models and realistic boundary models. The mobility models follow physical laws behind aircraft maneuvering and therefore capture the characteristics of aircraft trajectories. Third, I suggest an estimation procedure to extract parameters in one of the models that I developed from real flight test data. The good match between the estimated trajectories and real flight trajectories also validate the suitability of the model. The mobility models and the estimation procedure lead to the creation of “realistic” simulation and evaluation environment for airborne networks.
The Contribution of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn to Social and Environmental Transformation in the Indian State of Uttarakhand
The influence of Mohandas K. Gandhi on social and environmental movements in post-colonial India has been widely acknowledged. Yet, the contributions of two European associates of Gandhi, Madeleine Slade and Catherine Mary Heilemann, better known in India as Mira Behn and Sarala Behn, have not received the due attention of the academic community. This dissertation is an examination of the philosophy and social activism of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn and their roles in the evolution of Gandhian philosophy of socioeconomic reconstruction and environmental conservation in the present Indian state of Uttarakhand. Instead of just being acolytes of Gandhi, I argue that these women developed ideas and practices that drew upon from an extensive intellectual terrain that cannot be limited to Gandhi’s work. I delineate the directions in which Gandhian thought and experiments in rural development work evolved through the lives, activism, and written contributions of these two women. Particularly, I examine their influence on social and environmental movements, such as the Chipko and the Anti-Tehri Dam movements, and their roles in promoting grassroots social development and environmental sustainability in the mountain communities of Uttarakhand. Mira Behn and Sarala Behn’s integrative philosophical worldviews present epistemological, sociopolitical, ethical, and metaphysical principles and practices that have local and global significance for understanding interfaith dialog, social justice, and environmental sustainability and thus constitute a useful contribution to the theory and practice of human emancipation in our times.
Control and Automation of a Heat Shrink Tubing Process
Heat shrink tubing is used to insulate wire conductors, protect wires, and to create cable entry seals in wire harnessing industries. Performing this sensitive process manually is time consuming, the results are strongly dependent on the operator’s expertise, and the process presents safety concerns. Alternatively, automating the process minimizes the operators’ direct interaction, decreases the production cost over the long term, and improves quantitative and qualitative production indicators dramatically. This thesis introduces the automation of a heat shrink tubing prototype machine that benefits the wire harnessing industry. The prototype consists of an instrumented heat chamber on a linear positioning system, and is fitted with two heat guns. The chamber design allows for the directing of hot air from the heat guns onto the wire harness uniformly through radially-distributed channels. The linear positioning system is designed to move the heat chamber along the wire harness as the proper shrinkage temperature level is reached. Heat exposure time as a major factor in the heat shrink tubing process can be governed by controlling the linear speed of the heat chamber. A control unit manages the actuator position continuously by measuring the chamber’s speed and temperature. A model-based design approach is followed to design and test the controller, and MATLAB/Simulink is used as the simulation environment. A programmable logic controller is selected as the controller implementation platform. The control unit performance is examined and its responses follow the simulation results with adequate accuracy.