UNT Theses and Dissertations - 19,166 Matching Results

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Cosmophonia: Musical Expressions of Astronomy and Cosmology

Description: Astronomy and music are both fundamental to cultural identity in the form of various musical styles and calendrical systems. However, since both are governed by incontrovertible laws of physics and therefore precede cultural interpretation, they are potentially useful for insight into the common ground of a shared humanity. This paper discusses three compositions inspired by different aspects of astronomy: Solstitium e Equinoctium, a site-specific composition for four voices and metal pipes involving an inclusive communal musical ritual and sonic meditation; Helios, a short symphonic work inspired by helioseismology; and Perspectives, a piece for soprano and percussion based on a logarithmic map of the universe.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Difalco, Elaine Celleste
Partner: UNT Libraries

Genomic Island Discovery through Enrichment of Statistical Modeling with Biological Information

Description: Horizontal gene transfer enables acquisition and dissemination of novel traits including antibiotic resistance and virulence among bacteria. Frequently such traits are gained through the acquisition of clusters of functionally related genes, often referred to as genomic islands (GIs). Quantifying horizontal flow of GIs and assessing their contributions to the emergence and evolution of novel metabolic traits in bacterial organisms are central to understanding the evolution of bacteria in general and the evolution of pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance in particular, a focus of this dissertation study. Methods for GI detection have also evolved with advances in sequencing and bioinformatics, however, comprehensive assessment of these methods has been lacking. This motivated us to assess the performance of current methods for identifying islands on broad datasets of well-characterized bacterial genomes and synthetic genomes, and leverage this information to develop a novel approach that circumvents the limitations of the current state-of-the-art in GI detection. The main findings from our assessment studies were 1) the methods have complementary strengths, 2) a gene-clustering method utilizing codon usage bias as the discriminant criterion, namely, JS-CB, is most efficient in localizing genomic islands, specifically the well-studied SCCmec resistance island in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genomes, and 3) in general, the bottom up, gene by gene analysis methods, are inherently limited in their ability to decipher large structures such as GIs as single entities within bacterial genomes. We adapted a top-down approach based on recursive segmentation and agglomerative clustering and developed a GI prediction tool, GEMINI, which combined compositional features with segment context information to localize GIs in the Liverpool epidemic strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Application of GEMINI to the genome of P. aeruginosa LESB58 demonstrated its ability to delineate experimentally verified GIs in the LESB58 genome. GEMINI identified several novel islands including pathogenicity islands and revealed the ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Jani, Mehul
Partner: UNT Libraries

Infinitely Many Solutions of Semilinear Equations on Exterior Domains

Description: We prove the existence and nonexistence of solutions for the semilinear problem ∆u + K(r)f(u) = 0 with various boundary conditions on the exterior of the ball in R^N such that lim r→∞u(r) = 0. Here f : R → R is an odd locally lipschitz non-linear function such that there exists a β > 0 with f < 0 on (0, β), f > 0 on (β, ∞), and K(r) \equiv r^−α for some α > 0.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Joshi, Janak R
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditions for Teaching Writing: Exploring Two Cases of Seventh Grade Expository Writing Instruction

Description: This qualitative two-case study draws from the intersection of three theoretical perspectives: sociocultural theory, transactional theory, and complex systems theory. Guided by two research questions, this qualitative study explored the conditions two seventh grade English language arts teachers set for teaching expository writing and their implications. Deductive coding based on seven a priori patterns of powerful writing instruction (empathy, inquiry, dialogue, authenticity, apprenticeship, re-visioning, and deep content learning) revealed six conditions for teaching expository writing. Inductive pattern analysis of these conditions revealed three emergent themes: reinforcing structures, mediating transactions, and balancing tensions. These findings suggest that teaching expository writing is a complex system filled with dialectical relationships. As interdependent pairs, these relationships encompass the entire system of expository writing instruction, including the structural and transactional aspects of teaching and learning to write. The overlapping conditions and themes demonstrate that expository writing appears ambiguous at times; however, routine, yet responsive instruction, framed by apprenticeship and a balance of reading and writing activities designed to inspire self-discovery are fundamental to the process of teaching expository writing. The final chapter includes instructional implications and a discussion about the significance of setting conditions for generative literacy learning. Recommendations for future research include writing research based on complexity theory, connections between expository writing and empathy, and critical thinking relative to critical action.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Slay, Laura Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measurement of Fidelity and Social Validity: Caregiver Application of Trial-Based Functional Analysis Procedures

Description: The present study utilized multiple-baseline and multi-probe across participants designs to measure both fidelity and efficacy of caregivers as primary interventionists when using trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) procedures. Participants included any caregiver of a child with a medical or educational diagnosis of autism and challenging behavior. Caregiver fidelity of implementation of TBFA procedures was measured across three phases: baseline, training, and independent implementation or generalization. Within the implementation phase, caregivers independently conducted TBFAs on their respective children within the home setting. Fidelity, efficacy, and social validity across each participant were measured. Each caregiver was able to reach fidelity during the training phase, and three out of five caregivers were able to identify a clear behavior function for their child's behavior within the implementation phase of the study. Social validity was evaluated. Results indicate that caregivers may be able to supplement traditional interventionists during the TBFA process. Implications for future practice are reviewed.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Feldman, Sara P
Partner: UNT Libraries

Differential Associations between Psychopathy Factors and Shooter Bias in the Police Officer's Dilemma

Description: The current study assessed abnormal attention in 71 undergraduate men, approximately half of which displayed elevated psychopathic traits, as they attended to cues on the Police Officer's Dilemma. In the computerized task, participants are instructed to shoot men holding guns and not shoot men holding neutral objects. However, research has shown that irrelevant racial cues in the task can influence participants to shoot unarmed Black men more frequently than unarmed White men; a phenomenon termed shooter bias. Contrary to expectations, individuals with elevated psychopathic traits tended to erroneously shoot unarmed Black men more frequently compared to those with low psychopathy scores. Additional analyses indicated that the interpersonal and lifestyle facets were associated with more interference in determining unarmed Black men as not threatening relative to unarmed White men and the affective domain was associated with faster responses to shooting armed Black men relative to armed White men. Additionally, prejudicial attitudes (i.e., social dominance orientation) moderated the relationship between the affective psychopathic traits and shooting armed Black men by increasing the number of armed Black men identified as threatening relative to armed White targets. These findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between psychopathic traits and prejudicial attitudes and recent refinements to etiological theories of psychopathy.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Roy, Sandeep
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Religious Identity and Interreligious Communications: Predicting In-Group and Outgroup Bias with Topic-Sentiment Analysis

Description: Intergroup relations and the factors affecting them constitute a subject of recurring interest within the academic community. Social identity theory suggests that group membership and the value we assign to it drives the expression of in-group favoritism and outgroup prejudice, among other intergroup phenomena. The present study examines how (ir)religious identities are related to topic-sentiment polarization in the form of positive in-group and negative outgroup bias during interreligious debates in YouTube commentaries. Drawing from the propositions of social identity theory, six hypotheses were tested. The data for the study, a product of a natural experiment, are comments posted on YouTube commentary sections featuring videos of interreligious debates between (a) Christian and atheist or (b) Christian and Muslim speakers. Using topic-sentiment analysis, a multistage method of topic modeling with latent semantic analysis (LSA) and sentiment analysis, 52,607 comments, for the Christian - atheist debates, and 24,179 comments, for the Christian - Muslim debates, were analyzed. The results offer support (or partial support) to the hypotheses demonstrating identity-specific instances of topic-sentiment polarization to the predicted direction. The study offers valuable insights for the relevance of social identity theory in real-world interreligious interactions, while the successful application of topic-sentiment analysis lends support for the more systematic utilization of this method in the context of social identity theory.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Grigoropoulou, Nikolitsa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpersonal Functioning and Experiential Avoidance: Considering New Measurements and Their Implications

Description: Interpersonal functioning can be conceptualized as being comprised of social skills, connectedness, social cognition, and intimacy. A concept that is related to an examination of interpersonal functioning is experiential avoidance (EA), which can be defined as an unwillingness to experience or remain in contact with unpleasant private events through attempts to avoid or escape from these experience. An examination of EA and interpersonal functioning has not previously taken place. This study thus sought to fill that gap in the literature. The availability of a behavioral-oriented measure of interpersonal functioning aided in this investigation. The relationship of EA and interpersonal functioning to depression and anxiety were also examined, in order to evaluate their relative contributions to psychopathology. Overall, it was found that EA and interpersonal functioning were significantly related. However, the dimensions of EA varied in strength with respect to their relationships with interpersonal functioning. Further, it was found that interpersonal functioning predicted unique variance in both depression and anxiety, and partially mediated the relationship between EA and both anxiety and depression. These results might guide the development of treatment programs and add support to the use of treatments with trans-diagnostic targets.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Steinberg, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mental Illness Stigma, Parent-Child Communication, and Help-Seeking of Young American Adults with Immigrant Parents

Description: This study examined a mediational model of mental illness stigma, parent-child communication about mental health concerns, and help seeking attitudes/behaviors among young adults with at least one immigrant parent while considering the possible moderating effect of acculturation gap. The primary goal of this study was to examine whether the acculturation gap changed the relation between mental illness stigma and communication about personal mental health concerns with immigrant parents, which in turn could become a significant predictor of their help-seeking attitudes, as well as a barrier to seeking professional mental health services. Findings provided support to the direct and indirect effects of mental illness stigma through communication about mental health concerns on attitudes about help-seeking. The acculturation gap hypothesized to be a possible moderator for the stigma-communication about mental health concerns relationship among young adult ABCI was found to be significant for ABCI with a low mainstream culture acculturation gap. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Bismar, Danna
Partner: UNT Libraries

It's the Kids! Examining Early-Career Elementary General Music Teacher Longevity in Title I Settings

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing to the longevity of four early-career (5 to 10 years of experience) K–5 elementary general music teachers in Title I schools situated in four regions of the United States. The central research question was: How did early-career elementary general music teachers in Title I schools describe the opportunities and challenges that contributed to their decisions to continue teaching? Using Deci and Ryan's theory of self-determination as a theoretical framework, I analyzed how the four teachers reflected on the degree to which they each possessed autonomy, competence, and relatedness through recounting their perspectives, stories, and experiences. Although the participants shared many commonalities, they also experienced challenges and opportunities unique to their teaching environments. Results were mixed regarding their levels of autonomy and relatedness, but all four teachers possessed a high level of competence, which was likely a contributing factor to their longevity and potential to continue teaching. Nurture and care for children also emerged as a prominent theme from the results, which required the application of a separate theoretical framework. Noddings's theory of the ethic of care served as a lens for examining the myriad ways each participant demonstrated love, care, and concern for her students. All four teachers strongly expressed the important role their love of working with children and seeing them grow, progress, and learn played in their desire to continue teaching. Of all the contributing factors, the participants' ethic of care seemed to be the most significant influence on their decisions to continue teaching. They also spoke extensively about the role of their love for music as a subject. Conclusions address implications for the field and recommendations for future research.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Chandler, Michael Douglas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Suona la tromba: A Discussion of the Trumpet Aria through the Works of Giovanni Legrenzi and Carlo Pallavicino

Description: The early trumpet arias by Giovanni Legrenzi and Carlo Pallavicino are important works in the trumpet repertoire that have remained relatively unpublished and unstudied. This dissertation will look at the history of the trumpet in opera, discuss the development of the trumpet aria, and provide examples of how to approach the performance of the trumpet aria. Through study and performance of the early trumpet arias by Legrenzi and Pallavicino, trumpet soloists will be able to learn the necessary techniques to collaborate with singers and perform all trumpet arias.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Wallin, Spencer
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The Impact of Teacher Professional Development on Student Achievement at a North Texas High School as Measured by End-of-Course Assessments in Algebra I and English Language Arts

Description: The purpose of this study determined if a significant relationship existed between the amount of professional development that teachers participated in and the impact on the classroom instruction that followed. The goal was to study the effect that this had on student achievement in the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for English 1 and Algebra 1 for students at a large north Texas high school. Testing years for the study included the school years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Additional variables included the work in three areas of teacher professional development over the three-year period. Fourteen teachers, in two subjects, were studied in their implementation of classroom instruction. Particular attention was given to the instructional changes, and the number of hours of professional development in the areas of instruction, technology, and differentiation. Teachers were given opportunities to participate in 18 hours of professional development in all three areas in each of the three years. Teachers were then asked to incorporate the work that they completed each year into their day to day classroom instruction. The goal of the implementation of the professional development in addition to the curricular specifics regarding instruction of state standards was expected to produce increased state scale score marks for the students in the classes. Results of the study indicated success for students in the area of English 1 end-of-course assessment. From the beginning of the study, where student success rates in English state assessment was calculated at 47% overall passing rate, to the completion of the study, where student success was charted at 70% overall passing rate, significant changes were noted. In addition to the improvements made in English I, there were also significant changes made in the approaches to the Algebra 1 assessment. Classroom instructional practices were noted as much improved, and ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Younkman, Freddy W
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Operationalizing Listening-to-Question and Questioning-to-Listen in Mathematics Teaching

Description: This study focused on the evaluative listening practices of four teachers who participated in an algebra professional development involving lesson study. This instrumental case study operationalizes the enactment of teacher listening followed by teacher questions and responses to define listening-to-question. Also, questioning-to-listen is operationalized as the enactment of purposefully posing questions to posture oneself to listen to students' mathematical thinking. Because of the tacit aspect of teacher listening and the visibility of teacher questioning, interrelating listening and questioning affords teachers an accessible point of entry into developing listening practices. In response to participants wondering as to when evaluative listening is appropriate in the mathematics classroom, this study discusses six instances of teaching excerpts along a continuum of listening orientations from directive to observational to responsive. The results indicate positive aspects of evaluative listening towards an observational and responsive listening stance. Results of the study also confirm a reliance on low-order gathering information questions as the predominant type of teacher question posed in mathematics teaching. This study reveals the necessity of contextualizing teacher questions to inform appropriate uses of evaluative listening. Future professional development should consider emphasizing positive aspects of evaluative listening in mathematics teaching.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Kuehnert, Eloise Aniag
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Young and Mature Thrombocytes in Zebrafish

Description: Eukaryotic platelets are small cell fragments that are released into the bloodstream from megakaryocytes, and their production is initiated in the bone marrow. They are mainly involved in blood hemostasis and thrombus formation. The newly synthesized platelets are called reticulated platelets or young platelets. Zebrafish thrombocytes are equivalent to mammalian platelets and have similar characteristics and functions. Likewise, zebrafish has both young and mature thrombocytes. Only young thrombocytes as reticulated platelets are labeled with thiazole orange. Similarly, labeling zebrafish thrombocytes with a specific concentration of DiI-C18 showed two populations of thrombocytes (DiI+ and DiI-). Again, only young thrombocytes showed DiI+ labeling. The mechanism of selective labeling of young thrombocytes by is unknown. Furthermore, there is no zebrafish line where young and mature thrombocytes are differentially labeled with fluorescence proteins. Therefore, in this study, we identified and confirmed that the RFP labeled cells of Glofish were young thrombocytes. In addition, we found that myosin light chain 2 (MLC2) promoter is expressed in young thrombocytes. We also generated a transgenic zebrafish line, GloFli fish, where the young and mature thrombocytes are labeled with red and green fluorescence proteins respectively. Furthermore, this study showed a two-fold increase in glycerol-phospholipids (GP) in mature thrombocytes compared to young thrombocytes suggesting the lipid composition may be important for differential labeling. Therefore, we tested the liposomes prepared with different ratios of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and observed that the lower amounts of PE favor the DiI-C18 labeling whereas higher concentrations of PC are less efficient. Also, in both PE and PC, increased concentrations of both resulted in decreased binding. These results are consistent with our observation that mature thrombocytes have higher concentrations GP and thus DiI-C18 may not bind to them efficiently compared to young thrombocytes.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Fallatah, Weam
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Supply Chain Finance: Developing a Weighted Cash Conversion Cycle to Proxy Corporate Financial Performance

Description: The objective of this three-essay dissertation are to develop a weighted cash conversion cycle (CCC_EVA) and empirically investigate its commensurability of corporate financial performance. Essay 1, titled "Supply Chain Finance: Developing a Weighted Cash Conversion Cycle to Proxy Operations Liquidity", presents the development and supporting empirical evidence of CCC_EVA measurability of operations liquidity. This essay shows the processes of scaling capital intensity and financing cost into time intervals captured by the traditional metric. Specifically, this essay investigates how accurately CCC_EVA indexes operations liquidity captured working capital, operational cash flow-to-modified working capital ratio, and quick ratio. The sample used in this essay consists of 4,333 firm-year observations of publicly traded industry classified firms listed on the U.S. exchange markets. The results of the empirical testing have statistically supported the essay hypotheses, that is CCC_EVA is a more accurate proxy of operations liquidity in comparison to the traditional metric (CCC_D). Essay 2, titled "Supply Chain Finance: Weighted Cash Conversion Cycle and Corporate Finance", expands the first essay findings by accounting for well-known financial measurements. Specifically, this essay examines the relations between CCC_EVA and operations liquidity and leverage, Market value, operating profitably and growth, and long-term asset management efficiency. This essay paper has used a sample of 24,127 firm-year observations of publicly traded firms listed on U.S. exchange markets from 1994 to 2016. The results support and extend the previous findings, that is CCC_EVA is a robust proxy of operations liquidity and can enhance its resiliency; maximize market value of corporate equity and debt; identify strategies to improve corporate profitability and credibility. Essay 3, titled "Supply Chain Finance: An Advanced Weighted Cash Conversion Cycle", advances the accuracy of CCC_EVA by differentiating between cash and credit forms of corporate sales and purchase transactions, and introducing operational cash flow into CCC_EVA. The advanced metric allows ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Hammady Brho, Mazen
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Crisis and Catharsis: Linear Analysis and the Interpretation of Herbert Howells' "Requiem" and "Hymnus Paradisi"

Description: Hymnus Paradisi (1938), a large-scale choral and orchestral work, is well-known as an elegiac masterpiece written by Herbert Howells in response to the sudden loss of his young son in 1935. The composition of this work, as noted by the composer himself and those close to him, successfully served as a means of working through his grief during the difficult years that followed Michael's death. In this dissertation, I provide linear analyses for Howells' Hymnus Paradisi as well as its predecessor, Howells' Requiem (1932), which was adapted and greatly expanded in the creation of Hymnus Paradisi. These analyses and accompanying explanations are intended to provide insight into the intricate contrapuntal style in which Howells writes, showing that an often complex musical surface is underpinned by traditional linear and harmonic patterns on the deeper structural levels. In addition to examining the middleground and background structural levels within each movement, I also demonstrate how Howells creates large-scale musical continuity and shapes the overall composition through the use of large-scale linear connections, shown through the meta-Ursatz (an Ursatz which extends across multiple movements creating multi-movement unity). Finally, in my interpretation of these analyses, I discuss specific motives in Hymnus Paradisi which, I hypothesize, musically represent the crisis of Michael's death. These motives are initially introduced in the "Preludio," composed out on multiple structural levels as Hymnus Paradisi unfolds, and, finally, I argue, are transformed as a representation of the process of healing, and ultimately, catharsis.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Davenport, Jennifer Tish
Partner: UNT Libraries

Art Unfettered: Bergson and a Fluid Conception of Art

Description: This dissertation applies philosopher Henri Bergson's methodology and his ideas of duration and creativity to the definitional problem of art, particularly as formulated within analytic aesthetics. In mid-20th century, analytic aesthetics rejected essentialist definitions of art, but within a decade, two predominant definitions of art emerged as answers to the anti-essentialism of the decade prior: functionalism and proceduralism. These two definitions define art, respectively, in terms of the purpose that art serves and in terms of the conventions in place that confer the status of art onto artifacts. Despite other important definitions (including historical and intentionalist definitions), much of the literature in the analytic field of aesthetics center on the functional/procedural dichotomy, and this dichotomy is an exclusive one insofar as the two definitions appear incompatible with each other when it comes to art. I use Bergson's methodology to demonstrate that the tension between functionalism and proceduralism is an artificial one. In turn, abandoning the strict dichotomy between these two definitions of art opens the way for a more fluid conception of art. Using Bergson's application of duration and creativity to problems of laughter and morality, I draw parallels to what a Bergsonian characterization would entail.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Thompson, Seth Aaron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hydrophobicity of Magnetite Coating on Low Carbon Steel

Description: Superhydrophobic coatings (SHC) with excellent self-cleaning and corrosion resistance property is developed on magnetite coated AISI SAE 1020 steel by using a simple immersion method. Roughness measurement, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), contact angle measurement (CAM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), potentiodynamic polarization test, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and qualitative characterization of self-cleaning behavior, antifouling property and durability of the coatings are assessed. A water contact angle as high as 152o on the coated surface with excellent self-cleaning and resistivity to corrosion and good longevity in atmospheric air is obtained. Self-cleaning test results prove that these surfaces can find applications in large scale production of engineering materials. Potentiodynamic polarization tests and EIS tests confirm that the superhydrophobic low carbon steel surfaces have better resistance to corrosion compared to bare steel and magnetite coated steel in 3.5% NaCl solution. But the longevity of the coated steel surfaces in 3.5% salt solution is limited, which is revealed by the immersion durability test. However, hydrophobic coatings (HC) have better stability in normal tap water, and it can stay unharmed up to 15 days. Finally, hydrophobic coatings on low carbon steel surface retains hydrophobic in open atmosphere for more than two months. Results of this investigation show surface roughness is a critical factor in manufacturing hydrophobic steel surfaces. Higher contact angles are obtained for rougher and more uniform surfaces. A linear mathematical relationship (y =6x+104; R2 = 0.93) is obtained between contact angle (y) and surface roughness (x).
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Akhtar, Mst Alpona
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Value: An Examination of Its Key Dimensions and Elements through the Lens of Service-Dominant Logic and Beyond

Description: his dissertation advocates that value and its creation are often misunderstood concepts since both lack robust comprehensive conceptual foundations from which to advance rigorous theoretical development and analysis. Furthermore, this dissertation characterized value as the subjective assessment of the total worth of benefits received for the price paid or costs, i.e. money, time, energy, etc. The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct a holistic examination of value through the lens of service-dominant logic (S-D) and several historical economic periods of thought. I conducted a comprehensive S-D literature review in conjunction with a conceptual Boardman Soft Systems Methodology to develop a systemigram that captured the most critical S-D concepts and interrelationships to clarify its purpose and future research opportunities. During this process, value was recategorized and simplified into five primary dimensions, i.e. nature, perspectives, measures, storage, and creation. I employed Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory to illustrate that value at the lowest level of abstraction is the efficient satisfaction of human needs. I also investigated value creation and introduced a comprehensive value creation conceptual framework. Value creation is seen as a continuum of activity of key processes, i.e. value co-production, value in exchange, and value co-creation, and key procedural elements, i.e. actors, resource integration, ecosystems, services exchange, institutions and institutional arrangements as essentials to value creation. In addition, this dissertation also presented a Leyden value concept to the S-D lexicon. This concept complements use-value to capture associate upstream co-production activities and efforts as stored potential value. This dissertation then employed this conceptual framework to perform two survey based empirical studies. The first tested Lusch et al. (2007) value-co-production framework and incorporated other constructs such as transaction cost, satisfaction, and future purchase intent into a single testable model. This study leveraged covariance based structural equation modeling with 477 respondents to simultaneously ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Dickens, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Use of Bio-Product/Phase Change Material Composites in the Building Envelope for Building Thermal Control and Energy Savings

Description: This research investigates the bio-products/phase change material (PCM) composites for the building envelope application. Bio-products, such as wood and herb, are porous medium, which can be applied in the building envelope for thermal insulation purpose. PCM is infiltrated into the bio-product (porous medium) to form a composite material. The PCM can absorb/release large amount of latent heat of fusion from/to the building environment during the melting/solidification process. Hence, the PCM-based composite material in the building envelope can efficiently adjust the building interior temperature by utilizing the phase change process, which improves the thermal insulation, and therefore, reduces the load on the HVAC system. Paraffin wax was considered as the PCM in the current studies. The building energy savings were investigated by comparing the composite building envelope material with the conventional material in a unique Zero-Energy (ZØE) Research Lab building at University of North Texas (UNT) through building energy simulation programs (i.e., eQUEST and EnergyPlus). The exact climatic conditions of the local area (Denton, Texas) were used as the input values in the simulations. It was found that the EnergyPlus building simulation program was more suitable for the PCM based building envelope using the latent heat property. Therefore, based on the EnergyPlus simulations, when the conventional structure insulated panel (SIP) in the roof and wall structures were replaced by the herb panel or herb/PCM composite, it was found that around 16.0% of energy savings in heating load and 11.0% in cooling load were obtained by using PCM in the bio-product porous medium.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Boozula, Aravind Reddy
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploratory Mixed Method Study of Gender and Sexual Minority Health in Dallas: A Needs Assessment

Description: Gender and sexual minorities (GSM) experience considerably worse health outcomes than heterosexual and cisgender people, yet no comprehensive understanding of GSM health exists due to a dearth of research. GSM leaders in Dallas expressed need for a community needs assessment of GSM health. In response to this call, the Center for Psychosocial Health Research conducted a needs assessment of gender and sexual minority health in Dallas (35 interviews, 6 focus groups). Competency was one area highlighted and shared across existing research. Thus, the current study explored how competency impacts gender and sexual minorities' experience of health care in Dallas. We utilized a consensual qualitative research approach to analyze competency-related contents. The meaning and implications of emerging core ideas were explored. These findings were also used to develop a survey instrument.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Bonds, Stacy
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Ethnography of Direct-to-Consumer Genomics [DTCG]: Design Anthropology Insights for the Product Management of a Disruptive Innovation

Description: Direct-to-consumer genomics (DTCG) health testing offers great promise to humanity, however to date adoption has lagged as a result of consumer awareness, understanding, and previous government regulations restricting DTCG companies from providing information on an individual's genetic predispositions. But in 2017 the broader DTCG market which also includes genealogical testing demonstrated exponential growth, implying that DTCG is starting to diffuse as an innovation. To better understand the sociocultural forces affecting diffusion, adoption, and satisfaction, qualitative ethnographic research was conducted with DTCG genealogy and health consumers. The data was qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis to understand the similarities and differences in beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and mediating factors that have influenced consumers. Design anthropology theory and methods were used to produce ethnographically informed insights. The insights were then translated into actionable product management and business strategy recommendations.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Artz, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influences on Latino Males' Enrollment in Four-Year Colleges

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore characteristics that influence Latino male students' enrollment in four-year colleges. This study utilized a mixed-methods approach and acquired information specifically pertaining to the high school Latino male population. Participants for the study included Latino male high school students in Grades 9-12, parents of Latino male high school students in Grades 9-12, and counselors of high school students in Grades 9-12. The study was conducted across two campuses. Data for student and parent participants were obtained through an online survey questionnaire and counselor data was obtained through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The results of this study reveal that there are influential characteristics that contribute to Latino males' potential enrollment in college. Of the data obtained from student participants, 70.2% of participants on Campus 1 and 90.5% of participants on Campus 2 planned on attending college. Responses from parent surveys found that 85.8% of parents had expectations for their Latino male student to attend college. Through the semi-structured focus group interviews, it was found that the school district and campuses in which the study was conducted had several procedures or processes in place to positively encourage Latino male student enrollment in four-year colleges. Results of this study provide a better understanding and insight on characteristics that influence the high school Latino male student in Grades 9-12 to enroll in college.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Jones, Victor Jerrell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Single Bout of Exercise on Neurocognitive Function following Acute Sleep Loss

Description: Acute sleep loss may lead to elevated fatigue, decreased energy, and diminished cognitive performance. Traditionally, sleep extension is used to restore mood and cognitive function to baseline levels following insufficient sleep, yet this method may not be feasible or preferred. Acute exercise may serve as an affordable and relatively safe intervention to reduce detriments to daytime functioning following sleep loss. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effects of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on neurocognitive function following acute sleep restriction. A secondary aim was to examine the effects of exercise in subjective reports of fatigue, energy, and sleepiness following acute sleep restriction. Fifty-six participants, matched by sex, age, and chronotype, were randomly assigned to either an exercise (EX) or seated control (SC) condition. Following a 4-hour sleep restriction protocol, participants completed the oddball paradigm before and after 20 minutes of exercise or stationary sitting. P3 amplitude and latency, arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue were assessed during the experiment. After controlling for pre-test differences, P3 latency was significantly faster following exercise relative to the control group. No significant P3 amplitude differences were observed between conditions. The EX group displayed significant improvements in arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue compared to the SC group. Findings suggest that 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise following acute sleep restriction may improve cognitive processing speeds, as well as improve arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Carmichael, Kaitlyn E.
Partner: UNT Libraries