UNT Theses and Dissertations - 420 Matching Results

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Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Description: Managing large-scale dynamical systems (e.g., transportation systems, complex information systems, and power networks, etc.) in real-time is very challenging considering their complicated system dynamics, intricate network interactions, large scale, and especially the existence of various uncertainties. To address this issue, intelligent techniques which can quickly design decision-making strategies that are robust to uncertainties are needed. This dissertation aims to conquer these challenges by exploring a data-driven decision-making framework, which leverages big-data techniques and scalable uncertainty evaluation approaches to quickly solve optimal control problems. In particular, following techniques have been developed along this direction: 1) system modeling approaches to simplify the system analysis and design procedures for multiple applications; 2) effective simulation and analytical based approaches to efficiently evaluate system performance and design control strategies under uncertainty; and 3) big-data techniques that allow some computations of control strategies to be completed offline. These techniques and tools for analysis, design and control contribute to a wide range of applications including air traffic flow management, complex information systems, and airborne networks.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Xie, Junfei
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decision Makers’ Cognitive Biases in Operations Management: An Experimental Study

Description: Behavioral operations management (BOM) has gained popularity in the last two decades. The main theme in this new stream of research is to include the human behavior in Operations Management (OM) models to increase the effectiveness of such models. BOM is classified into 4 areas: cognitive psychology, social psychology, group dynamics and system dynamics (Bendoly et al. 2010). This dissertation will focus on the first class, namely cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is further classified into heuristics and biases. Tversky and Kahneman (1974) discussed 3 heuristics and 13 cognitive biases that usually face decision makers. This dissertation is going to study 6 cognitive biases under the representativeness heuristic. The model in this dissertation states that cognitive reflection of the individual (Frederick 2005) and training about cognitive biases in the form of warning (Kaufmann and Michel 2009) will help decisions’ makers make less biased decisions. The 6 cognitive biases investigated in this dissertation are insensitivity to prior probability, insensitivity to sample size, misconception of chance, insensitivity to predictability, the illusion of validity and misconception of regression. 6 scenarios in OM contexts have been used in this study. Each scenario corresponds to one cognitive bias. Experimental design has been used as the research tool. To see the impact of training, one group of the participants received the scenarios without training and the other group received them with training. The training consists of a brief description of the cognitive bias as well as an example of the cognitive bias. Cognitive reflection is operationalized using cognitive reflection test (CRT). The survey was distributed to students at University of North Texas (UNT). Logistic regression has been employed to analyze data. The research shows that participants show the cognitive biases proposed by Tversky and Kahneman. Moreover, CRT is significant factor to predict the cognitive bias in two ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Alkhars, Mohammed
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Defining a Relationship between the Flexibility of Materials and Other Properties

Description: Brittleness of a polymeric material has a direct relationship with the material's performance and furthermore shares an inverse relationship with that material's flexibility. The concept of flexibility of materials has been understood but merely explained with a hand-waving manner. Thus, it has never been defined by a calculation, thereby lacking the ability to determine a definite quantitative value for this characteristic. Herein, an equation is presented and proven which makes determining the value of flexibility possible. Such an equation could be used to predict a material's flexibility prior to testing it, thus saving money and valuable time for those in research and in industry. Substantiating evidence showing the relationship between flexibility of polymers and their respective mechanical properties is presented. Further relating the known tensile properties of a given polymer to its flexibility is expanded upon by proving its relationship to the linear coefficient of thermal expansion for each polymer. Additionally, determining flexibility for polymers whose chemical structures have been compromised by respective solvents has also been investigated to predict a solvent's impact on a polymer after exposure. Polymers examined through literature include polycarbonate (PC), polystyrene (PS), teflon (PTFE), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), poly(ethersulfone) (PES), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF). Further testing and confirmation was made using PC, PS, ABS, LDPE, PP, and PMMA.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Osmanson, Allison Theresa
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

Derivation: Excerpts From a Novel

Description: The dissertation consists of a critical preface and excerpts from the novel Derivation. The preface details how the novel Derivation explores the tension between the artist and the academy in the university, as well as the role memory plays in the construction of fictional narratives. The preface also details how narrative voice is used to expand the scope of Derivation, and ends with a discussion of masculine tropes in the novel. Derivation traces the path of a woman trying to rebuild her life in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, returning first to her blue collar roots before pursuing a career as an academic.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Design and Development of Lightweight Composite Wall, Roof, and Floor Panels for Rigid Wall Shelter

Description: This thesis presents a research effort aimed at developing a stronger, lighter, and more economic shelter using rigid wall panels. Reported herein is insulation research, wall and roof panel design and testing, floor section modeling and strength calculations, and cost and weight calculations. Beginning stages focus on developing solid wall and roof panels using cold-formed steel corrugated sheathing and members, as well as polyurethane spray foam for insulation. This research includes calculating uniform load density, to determine the overall strength of the panel. The next stage focuses on the flexural strength of the wall and roof panels, as well as finalizing the floor design for the shelter. This includes determining maximum flexural strength required to meet the standards set by the project goal. Direct strength method determined the correct thickness of members to use based on the dimension selected for the design. All Phases incorporated different connection methods, with varied stud spacing, to determine the safest design for the new shelters. Previous research has shown that cold-formed steel corrugated sheathing performs better than thicker flat sheathing of various construction materials, with screw and spot weld connections. Full scale shear wall tests on this type of shear wall system have been conducted, and it was found that the corrugated sheathing had rigid board behavior before it failed in shear buckling in sheathing and sometimes simultaneously in screw connection failures. Another aspect of the research is on the insulation of the wall panels. Research was conducted on many different insulation options for the mobile facilities. Specifically, insulation made of lightweight material, is non-combustible, added rigidity to the structure, and has high thermal properties. Closed cell polyurethane spray foam was selected for full-scale testing in this research. Closed cell polyurethane adds extra rigidity, is lighter than common honeycomb insulation, and has a higher ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Artman, Jeremy J
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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, Construction, and Application of an Electrostatic Quadrupole Doublet for Heavy Ion Nuclear Microprobe Research

Description: A nuclear microprobe, typically consisting of 2 - 4 quadrupole magnetic lenses and apertures serving as objective and a collimating divergence slits, focuses MeV ions to approximately 1 x 1 μm for modification and analysis of materials. Although far less utilized, electrostatic quadrupole fields similarly afford strong focusing of ions and have the added benefit of doing so independent of ion mass. Instead, electrostatic quadrupole focusing exhibits energy dependence on focusing ions. A heavy ion microprobe could extend the spatial resolution of conventional microprobe techniques to masses untenable by quadrupole magnetic fields. An electrostatic quadrupole doublet focusing system has been designed and constructed using several non-conventional methods and materials for a wide range of microprobe applications. The system was modeled using the software package "Propagate Rays and Aberrations by Matrices" which quantifies system specific parameters such as demagnification and intrinsic aberrations. Direct experimental verification was obtained for several of the parameters associated with the system. Details of the project and with specific applications of the system are presented.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Manuel, Jack Elliot
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design of Bioinspired Conductive Smart Textile

Description: Electrically conductive fabrics are one of the major components of smart textile that attracts a lot of attention by the energy, medical, sports and military industry. The principal contributors to the conductivity of the smart textiles are the intrinsic properties of the fiber, functionalization by the addition of conductive particles and the architecture of fibers. In this study, intrinsic properties of non-woven carbon fabric derived from a novel linear lignin, poly-(caffeyl alcohol) (PCFA) discovered in the seeds of the vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) was investigated. In contrast to all known lignins which comprise of polyaromatic networks, the PCFA lignin is a linear polymer. The non-woven fabric was prepared using electrospinning technique, which follows by stabilization and carbonization steps. Results from Raman spectroscopy indicate higher graphitic structure for PCFA carbon as compared to the Kraft lignin, as seen from G/D ratios of 1.92 vs 1.15 which was supported by a high percentage of graphitic (C-C) bond observed from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, from the XRD and TEM a larger crystal size (Lc=12.2 nm) for the PCFA fiber was obtained which correlates to the higher modulus and conductivity of the fiber. These plant-sourced carbon fabrics have a valuable impact on zero carbon footprint materials. In order to improve the strength and flexibility of the non-woven carbon fabric, lignin was blended with the synthetic polymer Poly acrylonitrile (PAN) in different concertation, resulting in electrical conductivity up to (7.7 S/cm) on blend composition which is enough for sensing and EMI shielding applications. Next, the design of experiments approach was used to identify the contribution of the carbonization parameters on the conductivity of the fabrics and architecture of the fibers, results show carbonization temperature as the major contributing factor to the conductivity of non-woven fabric. Finally, a manufacturing procedure was develop inspired by the ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Rizvi, Syed Hussain Raza
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design of New Monodentate Ligands for Regioselectivity and Enantioselectivity Tuning in Late Transition Metal Catalysis

Description: The ability of gold(I) to activate many types of unsaturated bonds toward nucleophilic attack was not widely recognized until the early 2000s. One major challenge in gold catalysis is the control over regioselectivity when there are two or more possible products as a result of complicated mechanistic pathways. It is well know that the choice of ligand can have dramatic effects on which pathway is being followed but very rarely are the reasons for this selectivity understood. The synthesis of new acyclic diaminocarbenes was developed and a study of the ligand effects on the regioselectivity of a gold-catalyzed domino enyne cyclization hydroarylation reaction and a Nazarov cyclization was undertaken. New chiral acyclic diaminocarbenes were also developed and tested along side new C3-symmetric phosphite ligands in an asymmetric intramolecular hydroamination of allenes. Structure activity correlations were developed for the potential use in further rational ligand design. The synthesis of 6a,7-dihydro-5-amino-dibenzo[c,g]chromene derivatives via a gold-catalyzed domino reaction of alkynylbenzaldehydes in the presence of secondary amines was developed. These were sent to be screened for biological activity.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Ruch, Aaron Anthony
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

Design, Synthesis and Screening of Homoleptic and Heteroleptic Platinum(ii) Pyridylazolate Complexes for N-type Semiconducting and Light-emitting Devices

Description: A series of heteroleptic and homoleptic platinum(II) complexes has been synthesized and characterized towards their use in thin film devices such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic thin film transistors (OTFTs). Pyridylpyrazolate- and pyridyltetrazolate-containing ligands were selected due to their structural rigidity and ease of functionalization. Single-crystal x-ray diffraction studies of two selected heteroleptic complexes show strong aggregation with preferential stacking into vertical columns with a varying degree of overlap of the neighboring square planar molecular units. It is shown that the close proximity of the molecules to one another in the stack increases semiconducting character, phosphorescence quantum yields, and shorter radiative lifetimes. The potential for these materials towards incorporation into high-efficiency doping free white OLEDs (DFW-OLEDs) for solid-state lighting and display applications has been realized and will be expanded upon by present and future embodiments of materials in this thesis.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Oswald, Iain William Herbert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design, Synthesis and Study of Supramolecular Donor – Acceptor Systems Mimicking Natural Photosynthesis Processes

Description: This dissertation investigates the chemical ingenuity into the development of various photoactive supramolecular donor – acceptor systems to produce clean and carbon free energy for the next generation. The process is inspired by the principles learned from nature’s approach where the solar energy is converted into the chemical energy through the natural photosynthesis process. Owing to the importance and complexity of natural photosynthesis process, we have designed ideal donor-acceptor systems to investigate their light energy harvesting properties. This process involves two major steps: the first step is the absorption of light energy by antenna or donor systems to promote them to an excited electronic state. The second step involves, the transfer of excitation energy to the reaction center, which triggers an electron transfer process within the system. Based on this principle, the research is focused into the development of artificial photosynthesis systems to investigate dynamics of photo induced energy and electron transfer events. The derivatives of Porphyrins, Phthalocyanines, BODIPY, and SubPhthalocyanines etc have been widely used as the primary building blocks for designing photoactive and electroactive ensembles in this area because of their excellent and unique photophysical and photochemical properties. Meanwhile, the fullerene, mainly its readily available version C60 is typicaly used as an electron acceptor component because of its unique redox potential, symmetrical shape and low reorganization energy appropriate for improved charge separation behavior. The primary research motivation of the study is to achieve fast charge separation and slow charge recombination of the system by stabilizing the radical ion pairs which are formed from photo excitation, for maximum utility of solar energy. Besides Fullerene C60, this dissertation has also investigated the potential application of carbon nanomaterials (Carbon nanotubes and graphene) as primary building blocks for the study of the artificial photosynthesis process.
Date: December 2015
Creator: KC, Chandra Bikram
Partner: UNT Libraries

Designing Tools to Probe the Calcium-dependent Function of Arabidopsis Tonneau2

Description: Plants possess unique features in many aspects of development. One of these features is seen in cell wall placement during cytokinesis, which is determined by the position of the preprophase band (PPB) and the subsequent expansion of the phragmoplast that deposits the new cell wall. During phragmoplast expansion, the phragmoplast tracks to the cortical division site, which was delineated by the PPB. Thus the position of the PPB determines the orientation of the division plane. In Arabidopsis thaliana, TONNEAU2 (TON2) is required for PPB formation and has been shown to interact with a type A subunit of the PP2A phosphatase in the yeast two-hybrid system. In Arabidopsis tonneau2 (ton2) mutants, abnormalities of the cortical microtubule cytoskeleton, such as disorganization of the interphase microtubule array and lack of PPB formation before mitosis markedly affects cell shape and arrangement as well as overall plant morphology. Loss of dcd1/add1, the maize ton2 homologues gives rise to a similar phenotype in Zea mays. The TON2 protein has two EF hand domains which are calcium-binding sites. Since calcium has been known to play key roles in several areas of plant functioning, the following question was raised: “Does calcium binding contribute to the localization and function of TONNEAU at the PPB?” To address this question, a series of constructs were generated to determine if TON2 binds calcium. Additionally, Ca2+ binding sites were mutated in constructs containing the TON2 gene fused to GFP or YPF. These constructs were then transformed into ton2 mutant plants and the localization of TON2 fusion protein and whether the construct is capable of rescuing the mutant phenotype were observed. Although, localization of TON2 to the PPB was not observed, the presence of the constructs were confirmed in the transformed plants using selection markers and by observing fluorescence under a confocal microscope.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Oremade, Oladapo O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Detection and Classification of Heart Sounds Using a Heart-Mobile Interface

Description: An early detection of heart disease can save lives, caution individuals and also help to determine the type of treatment to be given to the patients. The first test of diagnosing a heart disease is through auscultation - listening to the heart sounds. The interpretation of heart sounds is subjective and requires a professional skill to identify the abnormalities in these sounds. A medical practitioner uses a stethoscope to perform an initial screening by listening for irregular sounds from the patient's chest. Later, echocardiography and electrocardiography tests are taken for further diagnosis. However, these tests are expensive and require specialized technicians to operate. A simple and economical way is vital for monitoring in homecare or rural hospitals and urban clinics. This dissertation is focused on developing a patient-centered device for initial screening of the heart sounds that is both low cost and can be used by the users on themselves, and later share the readings with the healthcare providers. An innovative mobile health service platform is created for analyzing and classifying heart sounds. Certain properties of heart sounds have to be evaluated to identify the irregularities such as the number of heart beats and gallops, intensity, frequency, and duration. Since heart sounds are generated in low frequencies, human ears tend to miss certain sounds as the high frequency sounds mask the lower ones. Therefore, this dissertation provides a solution to process the heart sounds using several signal processing techniques, identifies the features in the heart sounds and finally classifies them. This dissertation enables remote patient monitoring through the integration of advanced wireless communications and a customized low-cost stethoscope. It also permits remote management of patients' cardiac status while maximizing patient mobility. The smartphone application facilities recording, processing, visualizing, listening, and classifying heart sounds. The application also generates an electronic medical ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Thiyagaraja, Shanti
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determinants of Citizens’ 311 Use Behaviors: 311 Citizen-initiated Contact, Contact Channel Choice, and Frequent Use

Description: Facing increasingly complex policy issues and diminishing citizen satisfaction with government and service performance, managing the quality of citizen relationship management has become a main challenge for public managers. Solutions to complex policy problems of service performance and low level of citizen participation often must be developed by encouraging citizens to make their voices heard through the various participation mechanisms. Reflecting on this need, the municipal governments in the U.S. have developed centralized customer systems for citizen relationship management. 311 centralized customer system (named 311 in this study) has the functions of citizen-initiated contact, service-coproduction, and transaction, and many local governments launch 311 to maintain or enhance their relationship with the public. Using 311 is an easy and free technically for citizens, but ensuring some degree of citizen engagement and citizens’ 311 use has been challenging for local public managers of municipalities. Despite calls for the importance of 311 in the service and information delivery process, fair treatment and access to use of governmental information, citizen participation, government responsiveness, and citizen satisfaction, to the best of our understanding, no empirical studies explore citizens’ 311 behaviors in the micro and individual level in the field of public administration. This dissertation provides a comprehensive understanding of the 311 centralized customer system, helps local public managers know citizens’ perceived perspectives toward the operation of 311, and assists these managers to develop an effective 311 system in municipalities. The dissertation’s main purpose is to clarify the importance of 311 to citizen relationship management and provide insights into citizens’ 311 use behaviors. More specifically, this dissertation tries to answers the following questions: a. Why do citizens use 311? Do the various groups of the population access and use 311 in San Francisco equally? If not, what factors influence the citizens’ 311 citizen-initiated contact behaviors? b. ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Wu, Wei-Ning
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

Developing Policy for a Tech Program Based on Understanding Organizational Practices

Description: This thesis contributes to research that informs the studies of organizational management and organizational anthropology. It examines the internal hierarchy and organizational practices of a Tech Company and describes how findings contributed to policy recommendations aimed towards supporting a “guild” model for organizational success. The data collecting and research were undertaken while working as an employee of the Tech Program and subsequent analysis continued past the end of that phase of work. Methods included semi-structured interviews which captured the sentiments and understandings of employees within the organization, and a questionnaire which revealed sentiments and experiences from former employees. These were buttressed with participant observation engaged through a participatory action research methodology. Findings add to the work directed towards understanding the effect of Founder’s Syndrome within organizations. Additionally, this thesis contributes to a growing body of research centered on best practices for fostering positive organizational growth by creating lines of communication from front-line employees to management level employers.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Machado Perez, Luis Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of an Instrument to Measure the Level of Acceptability and Tolerability of Cyber Aggression: Mixed-Methods Research on Saudi Arabian Social Media Users

Description: Cyber aggression came about as a result of advances in information communication technology and the aggressive usage of the technology in real life. Cyber aggression can take on many forms and facets. However, the main focus of this study is cyberbullying and cyberstalking through information sharing practices that might constitute digital aggressive acts. Human aggression has been extensively investigated. Studies focusing on understanding the causes and effects that can lead to physical and digital aggression have shown the prevalence of cyber aggression in different settings. Moreover, these studies have shown strong relationship between cyber aggression and the physiological and physical trauma on both perpetrators and their victims. Nevertheless, the literature shows a lack of studies that could measure the level of acceptance and tolerance of these dangerous digital acts. This study is divided into two main stages; Stage one is a qualitative pilot study carried out to explore the concept of cyber aggression and its existence in Saudi Arabia. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 Saudi social media users to collect understanding and meanings of cyber aggression. The researcher followed the Colaizzi’s methods to analyze the descriptive data. A proposed model was generated to describe cyber aggression in social media applications. The results showed that there is a level of acceptance to some cyber aggression acts due to a number of factors. The second stage of the study is focused on developing scales with reliable items that could determine acceptability and tolerability of cyber aggression. In this second stage, the researcher used the factors discovered during the first stage as source to create the scales’ items. The proposed methods and scales were analyzed and tested to increase reliability as indicated by the Cronbach’s Alpha value. The scales were designed to measure how acceptable and tolerable is cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking in Saudi ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Albar, Ali A
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