UNT Theses and Dissertations - 18,838 Matching Results

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Access to Health Care and Rates of Mortality and Utilization for the Elderly in Rural America

Description: The aging experience of men and women in rural America is different than that of their urban counterparts. In this study, I identified key disparities in access to health care, mortality, and utilization of health care that result from geographic location. Foundational theories are discussed to illustrate that disparities can originate from historical societal behaviors. Secondary data and literary reviews create a combined qualitative and quantitative approach to explore the rural/urban divide, concluding that the potential for increased disparities as the aging population grows is very real and rural residents remain vulnerable to a poor(er) aging experience. Recommendations for policy and practice, as well as additional research, are made to address the conclusion.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Johnson, Barbara Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accurate Joint Detection from Depth Videos towards Pose Analysis

Description: Joint detection is vital for characterizing human pose and serves as a foundation for a wide range of computer vision applications such as physical training, health care, entertainment. This dissertation proposed two methods to detect joints in the human body for pose analysis. The first method detects joints by combining body model and automatic feature points detection together. The human body model maps the detected extreme points to the corresponding body parts of the model and detects the position of implicit joints. The dominant joints are detected after implicit joints and extreme points are located by a shortest path based methods. The main contribution of this work is a hybrid framework to detect joints on the human body to achieve robustness to different body shapes or proportions, pose variations and occlusions. Another contribution of this work is the idea of using geodesic features of the human body to build a model for guiding the human pose detection and estimation. The second proposed method detects joints by segmenting human body into parts first and then detect joints by making the detection algorithm focusing on each limb. The advantage of applying body part segmentation first is that the body segmentation method narrows down the searching area for each joint so that the joint detection method can provide more stable and accurate results.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Kong, Longbo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alloy Development and High-Energy X-Ray Diffraction Studies of NiTiZr and NiTiHf High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys

Description: NiTi-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) offer a good combination of high-strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility that has served them well and attracted the attention of many researchers and industries. The alloys unique thermo-mechanical ability to recover their initial shape after relatively large deformations by heating or upon unloading due to a characteristic reversible phase transformation makes them useful as damping devices, solid state actuators, couplings, etc. However, there is a need to increase the temperature of the characteristic phase transformation above 150 °C, especially in the aerospace industry where high temperatures are often seen. Prior researchers have shown that adding ternary elements (Pt, Pd, Au, Hf and Zr) to NiTi can increase transformation temperatures but most of these additions are extremely expensive, creating a need to produce cost-effective high temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs). Thus, the main objective of this research is to examine the relatively unstudied NiTiZr system for the ability to produce a cost effective and formable HTSMA. Transformation temperatures, precipitation paths, processability, and high-temperature oxidation are examined, specifically using high energy X-ray Diffraction (XRD) measurements, in NiTi-20 at.% Zr. This is followed by an in situ XRD study of the phase growth kinetics of the favorable H-phase nano precipitates, formed in NiTiHf and NiTiZr HTSMAs, based on prior thermo-mechanical processing in a commercial NiTi-15 at.% Hf HTSMA to examine the final processing methods and aging characteristics. Through this research, knowledge of the precipitation paths in NiTiZr and NiTiHf HTSMAs is extended and methods for characterization of phases and strains using high energy XRD are elucidated for future work in the field.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Carl, Matthew A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Animal Rights and Human Responsibilities: Towards a Relational Capabilities Approach in Animal Ethics

Description: In this thesis, I analyze some of the most important contributions concerning the inclusion of animals in the moral and political sphere. Moving from these positions, I suggest that a meaningful consideration of animals' sentience demands a profound, radical political theory which considers animals as moral patients endowed with specific capabilities whose actualization needs to be allowed and/or promoted. Such theory would take human-animal different types of relationships into account to decide what kind of ethical and political responsibilities humans have towards animals. It would be also based on the assumption that animals' sentience is the necessary and sufficient feature for assigning moral status. I start from the consideration that in the history of political philosophy, most theorists have excluded animals from the realm of justice. I then propose an examination of utilitarianism, capabilities approach, and relational-based theories of animal rights (in particular the works by Kymlicka and Donaldson, and Clare Palmer) and borrow essential elements from each of these approaches to build my theory. I claim that a political theory which attaches high importance to individual capabilities, as well as to the various types of relationships we have with animals, is the most appropriate to tackle the puzzle of human responsibilities to animals.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Guerini, Elena
Partner: UNT Libraries

Application-Specific Things Architectures for IoT-Based Smart Healthcare Solutions

Description: Human body is a complex system organized at different levels such as cells, tissues and organs, which contributes to 11 important organ systems. The functional efficiency of this complex system is evaluated as health. Traditional healthcare is unable to accommodate everyone's need due to the ever-increasing population and medical costs. With advancements in technology and medical research, traditional healthcare applications are shaping into smart healthcare solutions. Smart healthcare helps in continuously monitoring our body parameters, which helps in keeping people health-aware. It provides the ability for remote assistance, which helps in utilizing the available resources to maximum potential. The backbone of smart healthcare solutions is Internet of Things (IoT) which increases the computing capacity of the real-world components by using cloud-based solutions. The basic elements of these IoT based smart healthcare solutions are called "things." Things are simple sensors or actuators, which have the capacity to wirelessly connect with each other and to the internet. The research for this dissertation aims in developing architectures for these things, focusing on IoT-based smart healthcare solutions. The core for this dissertation is to contribute to the research in smart healthcare by identifying applications which can be monitored remotely. For this, application-specific thing architectures were proposed based on monitoring a specific body parameter; monitoring physical health for family and friends; and optimizing the power budget of IoT body sensor network using human body communications. The experimental results show promising scope towards improving the quality of life, through needle-less and cost-effective smart healthcare solutions.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Sundaravadivel, Prabha
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Art and Science of Data Analysis

Description: This thesis aims to utilize data analysis and predictive modeling techniques and apply them in different domains for gaining insights. The topics were chosen keeping the same in mind. Analysis of customer interests is a crucial factor in present marketing trends and hence we worked on twitter data which is a significant part of digital marketing. Neuroscience, especially psychological behavior, is an important research area. We chose eye tracking data based on which we differentiated human concentration while watching controllable (video game) videos and uncontrollable (sports) videos. Currently, cities are using data analysis for becoming smart cities. We worked on the City of Lewisville emergency services data and predicted the vehicle-accident-prone areas for development of precautionary measures in those areas.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Daita, Ananda Rohit
Partner: UNT Libraries

Artificially Structured Boundary for Control and Confinement of Beams and Plasmas

Description: An artificially structured boundary (ASB) produces a short-range, static electromagnetic field that can reflect charged particles. In the work presented, an ASB is considered to consist of a spatially periodic arrangement of electrostatically plugged magnetic cusps. When used to create an enclosed volume, an ASB may confine a non-neutral plasma that is effectively free of applied electromagnetic fields, provided the spatial period of the ASB-applied field is much smaller than any one dimension of the confinement volume. As envisioned, a non-neutral positron plasma could be confined by an ASB along its edge, and the space-charge of the positron plasma would serve to confine an antiproton plasma. If the conditions of the two-species plasma are suitable, production of antihydrogen via three-body recombination for antimatter gravity studies may be possible. A classical trajectory Monte Carlo (CTMC) simulation suite has been developed in C++ to efficiently simulate charged particle interactions with user defined electromagnetic fields. The code has been used to explore several ASB configurations, and a concept for a cylindrically symmetric ASB trap that employs a picket-fence magnetic field has been developed. Particle-in-cell (PIC) modeling has been utilized to investigate the confinement of non-neutral and partially neutralized positron plasmas in the trap.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Hedlof, Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Association of College and Career Readiness Indicators on Hispanic College Enrollment and Postsecondary Resiliency

Description: This investigation was a post-hoc, quantitative analysis of secondary academic performance and participation choices of Hispanic students. Three years of longitudinal student-level data was collected to examine the likelihood of college enrollment based on college and career readiness (CCR) factors. At the time of the study, CCR was defined as qualifying exam scores, credit for at least two advanced/dual enrollment courses, or enrollment in a career and technology education (CTE) coherent sequence of courses. Research participants (N = 803) consisted solely of Hispanic high school graduates from the 2014 cohort. Frequency statistics indicate 45.5% (n = 365) attended an institute of higher education (IHE) within 2 years of high school graduation. Findings reveal Hispanic females were more likely than Hispanic males to meet CCR indicators as well as postsecondary resiliency outcomes. Analysis of chi-square tests of independence suggests a moderately strong association exists between CCR indicators and postsecondary participation among high school graduates. Differences were found in terms of gender and postsecondary enrollment, x^2(6) = 24.538, p < .001. Differences were also found in terms of type of IHE and postsecondary resiliency, x^2(3) = 34.373, p < .001. More Hispanic CCR graduates enrolled at 2-year and 4-year IHE than expected by chance. While non-CCR graduates enrolled in IHE, they were less likely to meet postsecondary resiliency outcomes. CCR graduates who initially enrolled at 2-year IHE were also less likely to persist. Furthermore, the greatest contribution to differences in resiliency existed for Hispanic CCR graduates who enroll at 4-year IHE.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Parker, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Association of Personality Facets with Unique Dimensions of PTSD

Description: The present study aims to examine which maladaptive and Big Five personality traits, as well as which lower order facets, are related to symptoms specific to PTSD (i.e., intrusions and avoidance). Unique effects were isolated by controlling for nonspecific general depression that occurs in the disorder but is not specific to it. 707 undergraduate students were administered a self-report online survey to assess their personality, trauma history, PTSD and mood symptoms. Additionally, data from 536 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) responders who have been administered personality, PTSD, and mood surveys as part of a longitudinal study were analyzed. As expected, neuroticism was highly correlated with PTSD, but had fewer associations with PTSD dimensions after controlling for depression. Trust and agreeableness emerged as important, being negatively related to PTSD, while most maladaptive personality domains and facets were positively related to PTSD (perceptual dysregulation had the highest association). Other traits, such as antagonism and openness, were not significantly related to PTSD. There is growing evidence that clinical interventions can change personality traits; the present study provides new personality targets for intervention that are uniquely related to PTSD.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Shteynberg, Yuliya A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automated Tree Crown Discrimination Using Three-Dimensional Shape Signatures Derived from LiDAR Point Clouds

Description: Discrimination of different tree crowns based on their 3D shapes is essential for a wide range of forestry applications, and, due to its complexity, is a significant challenge. This study presents a modified 3D shape descriptor for the perception of different tree crown shapes in discrete-return LiDAR point clouds. The proposed methodology comprises of five main components, including definition of a local coordinate system, learning salient points, generation of simulated LiDAR point clouds with geometrical shapes, shape signature generation (from simulated LiDAR points as reference shape signature and actual LiDAR point clouds as evaluated shape signature), and finally, similarity assessment of shape signatures in order to extract the shape of a real tree. The first component represents a proposed strategy to define a local coordinate system relating to each tree to normalize 3D point clouds. In the second component, a learning approach is used to categorize all 3D point clouds into two ranks to identify interesting or salient points on each tree. The third component discusses generation of simulated LiDAR point clouds for two geometrical shapes, including a hemisphere and a half-ellipsoid. Then, the operator extracts 3D LiDAR point clouds of actual trees, either deciduous or evergreen. In the fourth component, a longitude-latitude transformation is applied to simulated and actual LiDAR point clouds to generate 3D shape signatures of tree crowns. A critical step is transformation of LiDAR points from their exact positions to their longitude and latitude positions using the longitude-latitude transformation, which is different from the geographic longitude and latitude coordinates, and labeled by their pre-assigned ranks. Then, natural neighbor interpolation converts the point maps to raster datasets. The generated shape signatures from simulated and actual LiDAR points are called reference and evaluated shape signatures, respectively. Lastly, the fifth component determines the similarity between evaluated and reference shape ...
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Sadeghinaeenifard, Fariba
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Biogeographic Distribution of Caddisflies (Insecta: Trichoptera) within the South-Central United States

Description: Through the use of natural history records, published literature, and personal sampling (2011-2016) a total of 454 caddisfly species represented by 24 families and 93 genera were documented from the south-central United States. Two Hydroptilidae species were collected during the 2011-2016 collection efforts that are new to the region: Hydroptilia scheringi and Mayatrichia tuscaloosa. Eightteen species are endemic and 30 are considered species of concern by either federal or state agencies. The majority of each of these groups is Hydroptilidae, or microcaddisflies. Trichoptera community structure, by minimum number of species, was analysed in conjunction with large-scale geographical factors to determine which factor illustrated caddisfly community structure across the region. Physiographic provinces compared to other geographic factors analyzed best-represented caddisfly communities with a minimum of 10 or more species. Statistically, Hydrologic Unit Code 4 (HUC 4) was the most significant geographical factor but low number of samples representing this variable rendered it less representative of caddisfly community structure for the study area.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Perry, Heather Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

"A Blossoming Tree": A Study and Interpretive Guide to the Songs of Nan-Chang Chien on Selected Poems of Muren Hsi

Description: According to a recent United Nations report, China's population of 1.4 billion represents 19% of the world's entire population of 7.6 billion. As the distance between east and west contracts in business, so too do the arts. This dissertation focuses on six selected contemporary Chinese art songs composed by Nan-Chang Chien. By providing the references of musical facts, synopsis of the poems, word-for-word translation, IPA transcription, poetic translation, and interpretive and performance guides, singers and pianists will have an overall understanding and detailed directions for learning the Chinese language and Chinese art songs. This dissertation also provides the foundation and model for further exploration and research into Chinese art sing literature by scholars in the west.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Tsai, Wei-Shu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Changes in Student Borrowing at Private Not-for-Profit Four Year Institutions in the United States

Description: Trends in tuition and financial aid policy have increased the number of students who borrow for higher education and the aggregate debt students acquire. Most research on student borrowing over the years has analyzed the effects of borrowing and the prospects of indebtedness on individual students' choices and persistence. However, dynamics at the institutional level such as the need to ensure a stable flow of resources may accelerate or slow down student borrowing. Drawing on resource dependence theory, this study examined changes in student borrowing at private not for profit four year institutions in the US to identify trends and implications. A fixed effects regression analysis was applied to panel data from the Delta Cost project and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Analytical focus was on the financial and enrollment characteristics of private not for profit four-year institutions, the relationship between these characteristics and student borrowing, and whether these relationships are stable or change over time. Findings revealed that the financial and enrollment characteristics of private not for profit institutions during the study period were characterized by gradual variation. The results also revealed that most of the financial characteristics were predictive of student borrowing and that these relationships vary with time. Evidence from this study cautions higher education policy makers that high tuition dependence and the attendant student loan burden may disadvantage some students. Policy makers concerned about providing equitable access to higher education to all student subpopulations should try to moderate competition among institutions and tuition rises that intensify student borrowing. Institutional practices such as tuition maximization and selective price discrimination must be moderated so that financial aid, including loans, can realize the objective of encouraging fairness and choice in higher education entry.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Namalefe, Susan A
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Evaluation of Functional Analytic Methods

Description: The individual functional analysis (FA) is the most widely used method to identify variables that influence the occurrence of problem behavior. Researchers often modify the FA after the analysis reveals undifferentiated responding. The interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) is one of the most substantial variations of the FA that builds upon the FA modifications. We evaluated the use of the two different functional analytic methods, the FA and IISCA, and the subsequent function-based treatment to reduce problem behavior for three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The individual FA and the IISCA demonstrated differentiated responding for all participants. The treatment based on the results from the traditional FA was effective for all children. We discuss the implications of these findings.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Perkins, Crysta
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of Heterogeneity and Heterogeneity Interval Estimators in Random-Effects Meta-Analysis

Description: Meta-analyses are conducted to synthesize the quantitative results of related studies. The random-effects meta-analysis model is based on the assumption that a distribution of true effects exists in the population. This distribution is often assumed to be normal with a mean and variance. The population variance, also called heterogeneity, can be estimated numerous ways. Accurate estimation of heterogeneity is necessary as a description of the distribution and for determining weights applied in the estimation of the summary effect when using inverse-variance weighting. To evaluate a wide range of estimators, we compared 16 estimators (Bayesian and non-Bayesian) of heterogeneity with regard to bias and mean square error over conditions based on reviews of educational and psychological meta-analyses. Three simulation conditions were varied: (a) sample size per meta-analysis, (b) true heterogeneity, and (c) sample size per effect size within each meta-analysis. Confidence or highest density intervals can be calculated for heterogeneity. The heterogeneity estimators that performed best over the widest range of conditions were paired with heterogeneity interval estimators. Interval estimators were evaluated based on coverage probability, interval width, and coverage of the estimated value. The combination of the Paule Manel estimator and Q-Profile interval method is recommended when synthesizing standardized mean difference effect sizes.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Boedeker, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Major Factors that Affect Hospital Formulary Decision-Making by Three Groups of Prescribers

Description: The exponential growth in medical pharmaceuticals and related clinical trials have created a need to better understand the decision-making factors in the processes for developing hospital medication formularies. The purpose of the study was to identify, rank, and compare major factors impacting hospital formulary decision-making among three prescriber groups serving on a hospital's pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee. Prescribers were selected from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center which is a large, multi-facility, academic oncology hospital. Specifically, the prescriber groups studied were comprised of physicians, midlevel providers, and pharmacists. A self-administered online survey was disseminated to participants. Seven major hospital formulary decision-making factors were identified in the scientific literature. Study participants were asked to respond to questions about each of the hospital formulary decision-making factors and to rank the various formulary decision-making factors from the factor deemed most important to the factor deemed least important. There are five major conclusions drawn from the study including three similarities and two significant differences among the prescriber groups and factors. Similarities include: (1) the factor "pharmacy staff's evaluation of medical evidence including formulary recommendations" was ranked highest for all three prescriber groups; (2) "evaluation of medications by expert physicians" was ranked second for physicians and midlevel providers while pharmacists ranked it third; and (3) the factor, "financial impact of the treatment to the patient" was fifth in terms of hospital formulary decision-making statement and ranking by all three prescriber groups. Two significant differences include: (1) for the hospital-formulary decision making statement, "I consider the number of patients affected by adding, removing, or modifying a drug on the formulary when making hospital medication formulary decisions," midlevel providers considered this factor of significantly greater importance than did physicians; and (2) for the ranked hospital formulary decision-making factor, "financial impact of treatment to the ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Spence, James Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Observation Systems for Monitoring Engagement in an Intervention Program

Description: The measurement of engagement, or the interaction of a person with their environment, is an integral part of assessing the quality of an intervention program for young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers and practitioners can and do measure engagement in many ways on the individual and group level. The purpose of this methodological study was to compare three commonly used recording systems: individual partial interval, group momentary time sampling, and group partial interval. These recording methods were compared across three classes of engagement: social, instructional, and non-instructional in a clinical setting with children with autism. Results indicate that group measurement systems were not sensitive to individual changes in engagement when child behaviors were variable. The results are discussed in the context of behavior analytic conceptual systems and the relative utility and future research directions for behavior analytic practice and research with young children in group settings.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Linden, April D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computational Approaches for Analyzing Social Support in Online Health Communities

Description: Online health communities (OHCs) have become a medium for patients to share their personal experiences and interact with peers on topics related to a disease, medication, side effects, and therapeutic processes. Many studies show that using OHCs regularly decreases mortality and improves patients mental health. As a result of their benefits, OHCs are a popular place for patients to refer to, especially patients with a severe disease, and to receive emotional and informational support. The main reasons for developing OHCs are to present valid and high-quality information and to understand the mechanism of social support in changing patients' mental health. Given the purpose of OHC moderators for developing OHCs applications and the purpose of patients for using OHCs, there is no facility, feature, or sub-application in OHCs to satisfy patient and moderator goals. OHCs are only equipped with a primary search engine that is a keyword-based search tool. In other words, if a patient wants to obtain information about a side-effect, he/she needs to browse many threads in the hope that he/she can find several related comments. In the same way, OHC moderators cannot browse all information which is exchanged among patients to validate their accuracy. Thus, it is critical for OHCs to be equipped with computational tools which are supported by several sophisticated computational models that provide moderators and patients with the collection of messages that they need for making decisions or predictions. We present multiple computational models to alleviate the problem of OHCs in providing specific types of messages in response to the specific moderator and patient needs. Specifically, we focused on proposing computational models for the following tasks: identifying emotional support, which presents OHCs moderators, psychologists, and sociologists with insightful views on the emotional states of individuals and groups, and identifying informational support, which provides patients with ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Khan Pour, Hamed
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computational Investigation of DNA Repair Enzymes: Determination and Characterization of Cancer Biomarkers and Structural Features

Description: Genomic integrity is important for living cells' correct functioning and propagation. Deoxyribonucleic acid as a molecule is a subject to chemical reactions with agents that can come from environment as well as from internal metabolism processes. These reactions can induce damage to DNA and thus compromise the genetic information, and result in disease and death of an organism. To mitigate the damage to DNA, cells have evolved to have multiple DNA repair pathways. Presented here is a computational study of DNA repair genes. The structure of the Homo sapiens direct DNA repair gene ALKBH1 is predicted utilizing homology modeling methods and using AlkB and DBL proteins as templates. Analysis of the obtained structure and molecular dynamics simulations give insights into potentially functionally important residues of the protein. In particular, zinc finger domains are predicted, and lysines that could perform catalytic activities are investigated. Subsequent mutagenesis experiments revealed the effect of the residues predicted to form zinc fingers on activity of ALKBH1. Structure and dynamics of AlkD, a Bascillus cereus base excision DNA repair protein is also studied. This protein has been shown to bind DNA with large alkyl adducts and perform excision catalysis without base flipping which is characteristic to other enzymes in the same family. MD simulations of AlkD revealed that B helix, which interacts with DNA, has higher fluctuations when AlkD is not bound to DNA, and thus could have a role in binding and recognition of DNA. For the purpose of finding biomarkers and to further our understanding of a mode of action of DNA repair genes, statistical methods were applied to identify mutations that are linked to cancer phenotypes. Analysis was based on case-control studies of patients with cancers of prostate, breast, pancreas, lung as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia from NCBI dbGAP database. Those mutations ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Silvestrov, Pavel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computational Simulations of Cancer and Disease-Related Enzymatic Systems Using Molecular Dynamics and Combined Quantum Methods

Description: This work discusses applications of computational simulations to enzymatic systems with a particular focus on the effects of various small perturbations on cancer and disease-related systems. First, we cover the development of carbohydrate-based PET imaging ligands for Galectin-3, which is a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer tumors. We uncover several structural features for the ligands that can be used to improve their binding and efficacy. Second, we discuss the AlkB family of enzymes. AlkB is the E. coli DNA repair protein for alkylation damage, and has human homologues with slightly different functions and substrates. Each has a conserved active site with a catalytic iron and a coordinating His...His...Asp triad. We have applied molecular dynamics (MD) to investigate the effect of a novel single nucleotide polymorphism for AlkBH7, which is correlated with prostate cancer and has an unknown function. We show that the mutation leads to active site distortion, which has been confirmed by experiments. Thirdly, we investigate the unfolding of hen egg white lysozyme in 90% ethanol solution and low pH, to show the initial steps of unfolding from a native-like state to the disease-associated beta-sheet structure. We compare to mass spectrometry experiments and also show differing pathways based on protonation state. Finally, we discuss three different DNA polymerase systems. DNA polymerases are the primary proteins that replicate DNA during cell division, and have various extra or specific functions. We look at a proofreading-deficient DNA polymerase III mutant, the effects of solvent on DNA polymerase IV's ability to bypass bulky DNA adducts, and a variety of mutations on DNA polymerase kappa.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Walker, Alice Rachel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Connected and Benevolent: The Positive Impact of Social Connections in Reducing Economic Concerns for Volunteering

Description: This dissertation attempts to answer how social and economic mechanisms operate in individual, community and state levels to impact volunteering. Both social processes and economic factors significantly impact the amount of volunteering. However, researchers have a tendency to explain volunteering only by one of these factors. As both theories are equally important in explaining volunteerism, the development of a coherent theory is necessary to combine economic and social theories. This dissertation suggested that, when evaluated together, the influences of the economic factors on volunteering diminish as individuals get more connected with the other members of the society. The three-level analysis of the volunteering largely supports the primary hypothesis of the dissertation that economic concerns for volunteering are crowded out when individuals or the society is highly connected. This finding can help practitioners design better strategies to enhance volunteering such as creating opportunities for the members of the society to interact with each other.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Baktir, Yusuf
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contemporary Double Bass Techniques: An Advanced Technical Approach

Description: Diverse practicing methods are evidence of the importance of applying creativity in our practice regimes. Regardless of a player's technique - traditional or modern - it must be regularly practiced and then applied. One of the most common ways to do that is through practicing technical exercises, which generally means the practice of scales, arpeggios and etudes. These exercises generally function as a warm-up regime for all musicians, but this regime doesn't necessarily provide enough reference for the player in the learning process of a new piece. Adapting exercises to address technical difficulties in a newly learned piece can provide the player with a wide range of practice methods to use, to be creative, to be more aware while practicing, and to build a solid technical foundation for the newly learned piece. Two well-known pedagogues who applied this approach are German bassist Ludwig Streicher and Czech violinist Otakar Ševčik. By implementing analytical studies and composing exercises based on the standard repertoire, Ševčik and Streicher became highly influential teachers in the 20th century. Their work serves as a model in achieving the purposes of this dissertation: the assessment of technical difficulties and compilation of a technique booklet based on six unaccompanied contemporary solo pieces written as required works for the solo competition of the International Society of Bassists' biennial convention since 2007.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Meyer, Mariechen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Correlation between Information Literacy and Critical Thinking of College Students: An Exploratory Study

Description: This exploratory, mixed-methods study investigated the relationship between information literacy and critical thinking. The research question guiding the first portion of the study was: How do information literacy and critical thinking relate in undergraduate students conducting academic research? Using two standardized assessments, the study assessed the information literacy and critical thinking skills of a small population of college students from a private, university in Texas. The correlational analysis of the scores from the two assessments showed a statistically significant, positive, moderate correlation. The study also explored the likelihood of gender differences in cognitive processing using information literacy and critical think skills assessments. The independent samples t-tests for both assessments demonstrated no statistically significant differences between female and male participants. Finally, a qualitative component comprised of a questionnaire provided context to the assessment scores through items requesting information on participant source selection priorities via the three middle stages of Kuhlthau's information search process model as well as their criteria for selecting sources of information. Though only a small number of the participants completed the questionnaire, the responses highlighted areas of interest for future research.
Date: May 2018
Creator: McMullin, Shelly Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries