UNT Theses and Dissertations - 63 Matching Results

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The Acceptance and Use of Cloud Computing Services by Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Azogu, Olajumoke O
Partner: UNT Libraries

Age Friendly Cities: The Bureaucratic Responsiveness Effects on Age Friendly Policy Adoption

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Keyes, Laura Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Application of UV-Vis Spectroscopy to the Monitoring, Characterization and Analysis of Chemical Equilibria of Copper Etching Baths

Description: The continuously increasing demand for innovation in the miniaturization of microelectronics has driven the need for ever more precise fabrication strategies for device packaging, especially for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Subtractive copper etching is a fundamental step in the fabrication process, requiring very precise control of etch rate and etch factor. Changes in the etching chemical equilibrium have significant effects on etching behavior, and CuCl2 / HCl etching baths are typically monitored with several parameters including oxidation-reduction potential, conductivity, and specific gravity. However, the etch rate and etch factor can be difficult to control even under strict engineering controls of those monitoring parameters. The mechanism of acidic cupric chloride etching, regeneration and recovery is complex, and the current monitoring strategies can have difficulty controlling the interlocking chemical equilibria. A complimentary tool, thin-film UV-Vis spectroscopy, can be utilized to improve the current monitoring strategies, as UV-Vis is capable of identifying and predicting etching behavior that the current standard methodologies have difficulty predicting. Furthermore, as a chemically-sensitive probe, UV-Vis can investigate the complex changes to the chemical equilibrium and speciation of the etch bath, and can contribute overall to significant improvements in the control of the copper etching system in order to meet the demands of next-level design strategies.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lambert, Alexander S
Partner: UNT Libraries

Becoming Successful in Education: Beating the Odds, Despite a Background Entrenched in Poverty

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Thompson, Pauline A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Brain Computer Interface (BCI) Applications: Privacy Threats and Countermeasures

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bhalotiya, Anuj Arun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Case Studies to Learn Human Mapping Strategies in a Variety of Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architectures

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Malla, Tika Kumari
Partner: UNT Libraries

Catalytic Properties and Mechanical Behavior of Metallic Glass Powders

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Garrison, Seth Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Jimenez, Kyrstin Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Collective Security and Coalition: British Grand Strategy, 1783-1797

Description: 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.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: DaSilva, Jose E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 into Blood Cells of Zebrafish: Potential for Genome Editing in Somatic Cells

Description: Factor VIII is a clotting factor found on the intrinsic side of the coagulation cascade. A mutation in the factor VIII gene causes the disease Hemophilia A, for which there is no cure. The most common treatment is administration of recombinant factor VIII. However, this can cause an immune response that renders the treatment ineffective in certain hemophilia patients. For this reason a new treatment, or cure, needs to be developed. Gene editing is one solution to correcting the factor VIII mutation. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing introduces a double stranded break in the genomic DNA. Where this break occurs repair mechanisms cause insertions and deletions, or if a template oligonucleotide can be provided point mutations could be introduced or corrected. However, to accomplish this goal for editing factor VIII mutations, a way to deliver the components of CRISPR/Cas9 into somatic cells is needed. In this study, I confirmed that the CRISPR/Cas9 system was able to create a mutation in the factor VIII gene in zebrafish. I also showed that the components of CRISPR/Cas9 could be piggybacked by vivo morpholino into a variety of blood cells. This study also confirmed that the vivo morpholino did not interfere with the gRNA binding to the DNA, or Cas9 protein inducing the double stranded break.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Schneider, Sara Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design Considerations and Implementation of Portable Mass Spectrometers for Environmental Applications

Description: Portable mass spectrometers provide a unique opportunity to obtain in situ measurements. This minimizes need for sample collection or in laboratory analysis. Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) utilizing a semi permeable membrane for selective rapid introduction for analysis. Polydimethylsiloxane membranes have been proven to be robust in selecting for aromatic chemistries. Advances in front end design have allowed for increased sensitivity, rapid sample analysis, and on line measurements. Applications of the membrane inlet technique have been applied to environmental detection of clandestine drug chemistries and pollutants. Emplacement of a mass spectrometer unit in a vehicle has allowed for large areas to be mapped, obtaining a rapid snapshot of the various concentrations and types of environmental pollutants present. Further refinements and miniaturization have allowed for a backpackable system for analysis in remote harsh environments. Inclusion of atmospheric dispersion modeling has yielded an analytical method of approximating upwind source locations, which has law enforcement, military, and environmental applications. The atmospheric dispersion theories have further been applied to an earth based separation, whereby chemical properties are used to approximate atmospheric mobility, and chemistries are further identified has a portable mass spectrometer is traversed closer to a point source.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Mach, Phillip Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design, Synthesis and Optoelectronic Properties of Monovalent Coinage Metal-Based Functional Materials toward Potential Lighting, Display and Energy-Harvesting Devices

Description: Groundbreaking progress in molecule-based optoelectronic devices for lighting, display and energy-harvesting technologies demands highly efficient and easily processable functional materials with tunable properties governed by their molecular/supramolecular structure variations. To date, functional coordination compounds whose function is governed by non-covalent weak forces (e.g., metallophilic, dπ-acid/dπ-base stacking, halogen/halogen and/or d/π interactions) remain limited. This is unlike the situation for metal-free organic semiconductors, as most metal complexes incorporated in optoelectronic devices have their function determined by the properties of the monomeric molecular unit (e.g., Ir(III)-phenylpyridine complexes in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and Ru(II)-polypyridyl complexes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs)). This dissertation represents comprehensive results of both experimental and theoretical studies, descriptions of synthetic methods and possible application allied to monovalent coinage metal-based functional materials. The main emphasis is given to the design and synthesis of functional materials with preset material properties such as light-emitting materials, light-harvesting materials and conducting materials. In terms of advances in fundamental scientific phenomena, the major highlight of the work in this dissertation is the discovery of closed-shell polar-covalent metal-metal bonds manifested by ligand-unassisted d10-d10 covalent bonds between Cu(I) and Au(I) coinage metals in the ground electronic state (~2.87 Å; ~45 kcal/mol). Moreover, this dissertation also reports pairwise intermolecular aurophilic interactions of 3.066 Å for an Au(I) complex, representing the shortest ever reported pairwise intermolecular aurophilic distances among all coinage metal(I) cyclic trimetallic complexes to date; crystals of this complex also exhibit gigantic luminescence thermochromism of 10,200 cm-1 (violet to red). From applications prospective, the work herein presents monovalent coinage metal-based functional optoelectronic materials such as heterobimetallic complexes with near-unity photoluminescence quantum yield, metallic or semiconducting integrated donor-acceptor stacks and a new class of Au(III)-based black absorbers with cooperative intermolecular iodophilic (I…I) interactions that sensitize the harvesting of all UV, all visible, and a broad spectrum of near-IR ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Ghimire, Mukunda Mani
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determinants of Corporate Governance Choices: Evidence from Listed Foreign Firms on U.S. Stock Exchanges

Description: This study analyzes corporate governance practices of foreign (non-U.S.) issuers listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq. Specifically, I examine the extent to which these foreign issuers voluntarily comply with U.S. stock exchange corporate governance requirements applicable to domestic issuers. My sample consists of 201 foreign companies primarily domiciled in Brazil, China, Israel, and the United Kingdom. I find that 151 (75 per cent) of the sample firms do not elect to comply with any of the U.S. corporate governance requirements. Logistic regression analysis generally supports the hypotheses that conformance with U.S. GAAP and percentage of managerial ownership are positively associated, and that percentage ownership by major shareholders is negatively associated with foreign firms electing to comply with U.S. corporate governance rules. This evidence is relevant for regulators and investors.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Attachot, Weerapat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing a Self-Respect Instrument to Distinguish Self-Respect from Self-Esteem

Description: Throughout the scientific literature, researchers have referred to self-respect and self-esteem as being the same construct. However, the present study advocated that they exist as two distinct constructs. In this quantitative study, an instrument was developed to measure self-respect as a construct, and subsequently distinguish that self-respect is distinct from the construct of self-esteem. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) indicated 32.60% of the variance was accounted for by the 11-item Jefferson Self-Respect instrument (JSR), which measured self-respect as a unidimensional construct. The reliability estimate of the scores from the JSR reached an acceptable α = .82. Fit indices (RMSEA = .031, SRMR = .037, CFI = .982, and TLI = .977) from the confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) signified a well-fitted hypothesized model of self-respect that existed as a unidimensional construct. Additionally, the CFA revealed that the construct of self-respect, and self-esteem was generally distinct, and the strength of the correlation between the two constructs was moderately positive (r = .62).
Date: August 2017
Creator: Jefferson, Sean G
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of an Outcome Measure for Use in Psychology Training Clinics

Description: The ability to monitor client change in psychotherapy over time is vital to quality assurance in service delivery as well as the continuing improvement of psychotherapy research. Unfortunately, there is not currently a comprehensive, affordable, and easily utilized outcome measure for psychotherapy specifically normed and standardized for use in psychology training clinics. The current study took the first steps in creating such an outcome measure. Following development of an item bank, factor analysis and item-response theory analyses were applied to data gathered from a stratified sample of university (n = 101) and community (n = 261) participants. The factor structure did not support a phase model conceptualization, but did reveal a structure consistent with the theoretical framework of the research domain criteria (RDoC). Suggestions for next steps in the measure development process are provided and implications discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Davis, Elizabeth C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Educational Uplift along the US-Mexico Border: How Students, Families, and Educators Cultivate a College-Going Culture in Contested Terrain

Description: Using critical race theory and LatCrit as conceptual frameworks, I conducted a qualitative instrumental case study of a cadre of self-identified Mexican-American and Hispanic college students who bring college knowledge, goodwill, and aid to their border town communities. The purpose of this study was to explore how college knowledge and other forms of academic capital are transmitted and co-constructed in the contested terrain of the borderlands. Primary data sources included semi-structured interviews, participant and non-participant observation, and personal artifacts (e.g. newspaper articles, college admissions essays, social media, etc.) collected from 17 full-time undergraduate student participants, 11 males and 6 females, ranging from 19 to 22 years old, who were active members of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Supplemental data sources included semi-structured interviews with 23 family members and 9 educators identified by student participants, as well as a review of public records regarding student participant's border town communities (e.g. newspaper articles, census data, educational statistics, etc.). Findings detail how this group of college students manages the 'scholar' distinction in their hometown and utilizes distinct methods to promote academic capital formation. Specifically, this study delineates the following four types of scholars: (1) pioneers, (2) guardians, (3) ambassadors, and (4) advocates. Ultimately, this research highlights the importance of college students' ingenuity in response to enduring system inequality in higher education, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, with implications for research theory, policy, and practice.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Sanchez, Nydia C
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Surface Treatment on the Performance of CARALL, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Aluminum Joints

Description: Fiber-metal laminates (FML) are the advanced materials that are developed to improve the high performance of lightweight structures that are rapidly becoming a superior substitute for metal structures. The reasons behind their emerging usage are the mechanical properties without a compromise in weight other than the traditional metals. The bond remains a concern. This thesis reviews the effect of pre-treatments, say heat, P2 etch and laser treatments on the substrate which modifies the surface composition/roughness to impact the bond strength. The constituents that make up the FMLs in our present study are the Aluminum 2024 alloy as the substrate and the carbon fiber prepregs are the fibers. These composite samples are manufactured in a compression molding process after each pre-treatment and are then subjected to different tests to investigate its properties in tension, compression, flexural and lap shear strength. The results indicate that heat treatment adversely affects properties of the metal and the joint while laser treatments provide the best bond and joint strength.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Bandi, Raghava
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effectiveness of Fillers for Corrosion Protection of AISI-SAE 1018 Steel in Sea Salt Solution

Description: Corrosion represents the single most frequent cause for product replacement or loss of product functionality with a 5% coat to the industrial revenue generation of any country in this dissertation the efficacy of using filled coatings as a protection coating are investigated. Fillers disrupt the polymer-substrate coating interfacial area and lead to poor adhesion. Conflicting benefits of increasing surface hardness and corrosion with long term durability through loss of adhesion to the substrate are investigated. The effects of filler type, filler concentration and exposure to harsh environments such as supercritical carbon dioxide on salt water corrosion are systematically investigated. The constants maintained in the design of experiments were the substrate, AISI-SAE 1018 steel substrate, and the corrosive fluid synthetic sea salt solution (4.2 wt%) and the polymer, Bismaleimide (BMI). Adhesion strength through pull-off, lap shear and shear peel tests were determined. Corrosion using Tafel plots and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was conducted. Vickers hardness was used to determine mechanical strength of the coatings. SEM and optical microscopy were used to examine dispersion and coating integrity. A comparison of fillers such as alumina, silica, hexagonal boron nitride, and organophilic montmorillonite clay (OMMT) at different concentrations revealed OMMT to be most effective with the least decrease in adhesion from filler-substrate contact. Subsequently examining filler concentration, a 3 wt% OMMT was found to be most effective. A comparison of unmodified and modified BMI with 3 wt% OMMT exposed and not exposed to supercritical carbon dioxide showed that the BMI provided better corrosion protection; however, OMMT provided better wear, shear, and hardness performance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Al-Shenawa, Amaal Abdallah Ali
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Air Pollution on the Intestinal Microbiota: A Novel Approach to Assess How Gut Microbe Interactions with the Environment Affect Human Health

Description: This thesis investigates how air pollution, both natural and anthropogenic, affects changes in the proximal small intestine and ileum microbiota profile, as well as intestinal barrier integrity, histological changes, and inflammation. APO-E KO mice on a high fat diet were randomly selected to be exposed by whole body inhalation to either wood smoke (WS) or mixed vehicular exhaust (MVE), with filtered air (FA) acting as the control. Intestinal integrity and histology were assessed by observing expression of well- known structural components tight junction proteins (TJPs), matrix metallopeptidase-9 (MMP-9), and gel-forming mucin (MUC2), as well known inflammatory related factors: TNF-α, IL-1β, and toll-like receptor (TLR)-4. Bacterial profiling was done using DNA analysis of microbiota within the ileum, utilizing 16S metagenomics sequencing (Illumina miSeq) technique. Overall results of this experiment suggest that air pollution, both anthropogenic and natural, cause a breach in the intestinal barrier with an increase in inflammatory factors and a decrease in beneficial bacteria. This evidence suggests the possibility of air pollution being a potential causative agent of intestinal disease as well as a possible contributing mechanism for induction of systemic inflammation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Fitch, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Student-Created Question Process on Learning Biomedical Statistics in a Specialized Master's in Medical Sciences

Description: This study explored the effectiveness of a student question creation process engaging students actively in self, peer, and instructor interaction in development of affective, cognitive, and meta-cognitive skills. Employing a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design assigning both treatment and control activities sequentially in an alternating pattern over a six week period, students' performance on exams as well as their perceptions of various aspects of the student question creation process were used to evaluate the effectiveness of student-created questions (SCQs) activities as a cognitive strategy and to identify factors contributing to the effectiveness of question creation activities on students' learning. Subjects of this study were high performing and highly motivated graduate students in an 8-week online biomedical statistics course, part of a specialized master's program designed for medical school preparation. Survey findings and focus groups strongly supported the student question creation process as a facilitator of higher order thinking. However, the relatively short study duration, comparison of student question creation with another competing method for facilitating learning (discussion board) and not a pure control group, and availability of a common study guide course with student-created questions on all course topics may have muted assessment of the full impact of the strategy on learning. Although practically difficult in an education environment, further research to assess fully the impact of the student question creation strategy is desirable especially if these confounding factors can be greatly minimized, if not eliminated.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bashet, Abuzafar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Electrochemical Deposition of Nickel Nanocomposites in Acidic Solution for Increased Corrosion Resistance

Description: The optimal conditions for deposition of nickel coating and Ni-layered double hydroxide metal matrix composite coatings onto stainless steel discs in a modified all-sulfate solutions have been examined. Nickel films provide good general corrosion resistance and mechanical properties as a protective layer on many metallic substrates. In recent years, there has been interest in incorporation nano-dimensional ceramic materials, such as montemorillonite, into the metal matrices to improve upon the corrosion and mechanical properties. Layered double hydroxides have been used as corrosion enhancer in polymer coatings by increasing mechanical strength and lowering the corrosion rate but until now, have not been incorporated in a metal matrix by any means. Layered double hydroxides can be easily synthesized in a variety of elemental compositions and sizes but typically require the use of non-polar solvents to delaminate into nanodimensional colloidal suspensions. The synthesis of a Zn-Al LDH has been studied and characterized. The effects of the non-polar solvents dimethylformamide and n-butanol on the deposition and corrosion resistance of nickel coatings from a borate electrolyte bath have been studied, a nickel-LDH nanocomposite coating has been synthesized by electrochemical deposition and the corrosion resistance has been studied. Results indicate an improvement in corrosion resistance for the coatings with minimal change in the nickel matrix's internal strain and crystallite size.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Daugherty, Ryan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evolution of Precipitates and Their Influence on the Mechanical Properties of β-Titanium Alloys

Description: Over the last few decades, body-centered-cubic (bcc) beta (β) titanium alloys have largely been exploited as structural alloys owing to the richness in their microstructural features. These features, which lead to a unique combination of high specific strength and ductility, excellent hardenability, good fatigue performance, and corrosion resistance, make these alloys viable candidates for many applications, including aerospace, automobile, and orthopedic implants. The mechanical properties of these alloys strongly depend on the various phases present; which can be controlled by thermomechanical treatments and/or alloy design. The two most important and studied phases are the metastable ω phase and the stable α phase. The present study focuses on the microstructural evolution and the mechanical behavior of these two phases in a model β-Ti alloy, binary Ti-12wt. %Mo alloy, and a commercial β-Ti alloy, β-21S. Microstructures containing athermal and isothermal ω phases in the binary Ti-12wt. %Mo alloy are obtained under specific accurate temperature controlled heat treatments. The formation and the evolution of the ω-phase based microstructures are investigated in detail via various characterization techniques such as SEM, TEM, and 3D atom probe tomography. The mechanical behavior was investigated via quasi-static tensile loading; at room and elevated temperatures. The effect of β phase stability on the deformation behavior is then discussed. Similar to the Ti-12wt. %Mo, the formation and the evolution of the athermal and isothermal ω phases in the commercial β-21S alloy was studied under controlled heat treatments. The structural and compositional changes were tracked using SEM, TEM, HR-STEM, and 3D atom probe tomography (3D-APT). The presence of additional elements in the commercial alloy were noted to make a considerable difference in the evolution and morphology of the ω phase and also the mechanical behavior of the alloys. The Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) like effect was observed in iii this alloy at ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mantri, Srinivas Aditya
Partner: UNT Libraries