UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

The 50,000 Watt Blowtorch of the Great Southwest: The History of WBAP
This paper looks at the history of WBAP while examining how programming has changed from 1922-2014 and how WBAPs audience helped shape programming at the station. This paper reveals four formatting changes throughout the stations history and provides in-depth statistical analysis of how WBAPs audience changed during the stations 90 plus years of existence.
Acceptability of Behavioral Interventions for Autism
Caregivers' evaluation of evidence-based behavioral interventions may differ dependent upon the type of language used to describe the intervention. We administered a survey to 24 parents of children with autism to assess social validity measures of behavioral interventions described in one of three communication styles: technical, conversational, and conversational with intended outcome. Participants were presented with a description of two behavior-reduction and two behavior-acquisition interventions. Overall, interventions described in conversational with intended outcome style received the highest social validity ratings, while interventions described in the technical style received the lowest ratings. Moreover, behavior-acquisition interventions were rated significantly higher than behavior-reduction interventions when described in either conversational or conversational with intended outcome style. The current study supports the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Compliance Code that behavior analysts should inform the client/consumer of the treatment/interventions in an understandable language. Findings are also discussed in terms of verbal communities.
Adolescents' Social Networking Use and Its Relationship to Attachment and Mental Health
Adolescents spend much of their time using the internet and electronic media. Since its inception, the use of online social networking (OSN) sites by adolescents continues to grow. With the proliferation of OSN, it is critical to examine how this activity affects psychological development, but better measurement tools are needed. As researchers struggle to keep up with this rapidly growing field, many gaps remain in the literature investigating the interrelations between adolescent's OSN use and mental health outcomes. Research examining the relationship between OSN and mental health outcomes, specifically depression and anxiety, has produced mixed results suggesting that other factors influence this association. A large research literature documents associations between attachment and mental health. Given that attachment also affects interpersonal communication, several studies have investigated links between attachment and OSN use in adult and college populations. Results indicated that even though attachment to father was independently related to anxiety and depression symptoms, it was not a significant moderator for mental health and OSN. Attachment to mother was a significant moderator for anxiety and depression and several OSN subscales. Based on this information, a greater focus on youth's interpersonal connection and social skills both online and offline may be beneficial when treating adolescents experiencing anxiety or depression.
African American Children in the Jim Crow North: Learning Race and Developing a Racial Identity
This thesis explores how African American children in the North learned race and racial identity during the Jim Crow era. Influences such as literature, media, parental instruction, interactions with others, and observations are examined.
Analysis of Pre-ictal and Non-Ictal EEG Activity: An EMOTIV and LabVIEW Approach
In the past few years, the study of electrical activity in the brain and its interactions with the body has become popular among researchers. One of the hottest topics related to brain activity is the epileptic seizure prediction. Currently, there are several techniques on how to predict a seizure; however, most of the techniques found in research papers are just mathematical models and not system implementations. The seizure prediction approach proposed in this thesis paper is achieved using the EMOTIV Epoc+ headset, MATLAB, and LabVIEW as the analog and digital signal processing devices. In addition, this thesis project incorporates the use of the Hilbert Huang transform (HHT) method to obtain intrinsic mode functions (IMF) and instantaneous frequency components of the transform. From the IMFs, features as variation coefficient (VC) and fluctuation indexes (FI) are extracted to feed a support vector machine that classifies the EEG data as pre-ictal and non-ictal EEGs. Outstanding patterns in non-ictal and pre-ictal are observed and demonstrated by significant differences between both types of EEG signals. In other words, a classification of EEG signals according to a category can be achieved proving that an epileptic seizure prediction technology has a future in engineering and biotechnology fields.
Analysis of Students' Knowledge, Perceptions, and Interest in Engineering Post Teacher Participation in a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Professional Development
This study examined the impact of the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Teachers (RET) in engineering at University of North Texas on students after their teachers' participation in the program. Students were evaluated in terms of self-efficacy, knowledge of engineering, perceptions of engineering, and interest in engineering. A 22-item Likert pre/post survey was used for analysis, and participants included 589 students from six high schools, one middle school, and one magnet school. Paired surveys were analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in attitudes and knowledge after teachers implemented lessons from their time at the RET. Surveys were also analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in student response based on gender or student school type. Results showed no statistically significant difference in the self-efficacy of students, however there was a statistically significant difference in knowledge, perceptions, and interest in engineering. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference between genders on an isolated question, and seven out of the 22 Likert questions showed a statistically significant difference between student school types.
Analyzing Tuberculosis Vulnerabilities and Variables in Tarrant County
Over 9 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported worldwide in 2013. While the TB rate is much lower in the US, its uneven distribution and associated explanatory variables require interrogation in order to determine effective strategies for intervention and control. However, paucity of case data at fine geographic scales precludes such research. This research, using zip code level data from 837 confirmed TB cases in Tarrant County obtained from Texas Department of State Health Services, explores and attempts to explain the spatial patterns of TB and related risk markers within a framework of place vulnerability. Readily available census data is then used to characterize the spatial variations in TB risk. The resulting model will enable estimations of the geographic differences in TB case variables using this readily available census data instead of time-consuming and expensive individual data collection.
Angular Analysis of a Wide-Band Energy Harvester based on Mutually Perpendicular Vibrating Piezoelectric Beams
The recent advancements in electronics and the advents of small scaled instruments has increased the attachment of life and functionality of devices to electrical power sources but at the same time granted the engineers and companies the ability to use smaller sources of power and batteries. Therefore, many scientists have tried to come up with new solutions for a power alternatives. Piezoelectric is a promising material which can readily produce continuous electric power from mechanical inputs. However, their power output is dependent upon several factors such as, system natural frequency, their position in the system, the direction of vibration and many other internal and external factors. In this research the working bandwidth of the system is increased through utilizing of two different piezoelectric beam in different directions. The dependency of output power with respect to rotation angle and also the frequency shift due to the rotation angle is studied.
Banks and Bankers in Denton County, Texas, 1846-1940
This thesis investigates the importance banks, and bankers had with the development of the Denton County Texas from the 1870s until the beginning of the Second World War. Specifically, their role in the formation of both private and public infrastructure as well as the facilitation towards a more diverse economy. Key elements of bank development are outlined in the study including private, national, and state bank operations.
Can Observing Behavior Predict Performance in Conditional Discriminations?
Prompts are implemented often in training procedures, to include conditional discriminations, and this can lead to prompt dependency. The current study extends a prior study that suggested that the effectiveness of supplementary visual stimuli displaying the sample and comparison was dependent on the timing in relation to the selection task, presented as a prompt or feedback, in a match-to-sample procedure. The current research examines if the differences in that effectiveness were due to differences in observing behavior in those two conditions. Measures of observing behavior were determined by making access to the individual visual stimuli contingent on clicking on the visual stimulus and keeping the cursor located on the stimulus. Participants viewed the sample comparison much less than the comparison stimulus in both the prompt and feedback conditions. Latency to select the comparison stimulus was much shorter for the prompt condition suggesting that the participants might have interacted differently with the selection task in the two conditions.
The Castle/Nikki Heat Phenomenon: A Detailed Examination of Female Representation in Entertainment Media
As entertainment reflects a culture's ideology, it is important for researchers to study its messages and subsequently its potential meanings. Entertainment has the power to inform and persuade, creating models for behavior with which the public interacts. The entertainment texts for the purpose of this study are the Castle television series and the Nikki Heat novels. Together, they create a unique multi-layer fictional world. By using postmodern, feminist, communication, and entertainment theories, the results of this study provide a tightly focused lens which views a narrow aspect of entertainment media. Each text was thoroughly examined using textual analysis, Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis, and conversation analysis. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated that the Castle and Nikki Heat texts support hegemonic ideology, particularly through the use of exaggerated stereotypes, strict gender roles, imagery, and narrative choices that help perpetuate rape culture. The discussion outlines how these results can be interpreted through the dominant messages presented in the texts. This research is intended to serve as a foundation for future research regarding entertainment media.
Characterization of Aprotic Solutes and Solvents using Abraham Model Correlations
Experimental data were obtained for the computation of mole fraction solubilities of three dichloronitrobenzenes in organic solvents at 25oC, and solubility ratios were obtained from this data. Abraham model equations were developed for solutes in tributyl phosphate that describe experimental values to within 0.15 log units, and correlations were made to describe solute partitioning in systems that contain either "wet" or "dry" tributyl phosphate. Abraham model correlations have also been developed for solute transfer into anhydrous diisopropyl ether, and these correlations fit in well with those for other ethers. Abraham correlations for the solvation of enthalpy have been derived from experimental and literature data for mesitylene, p-xylene, chlorobenzene, and 1,2-dichlorobenzene at 298.15 K. In addition, the enthalpy contribution of hydrogen bonding between these solutes and acidic solvents were predicted by these correlations and were in agreement with an established method. Residual plots corresponding to Abraham models developed in all of these studies were analyzed for trends in error between experimental and calculated values.
Clocks and Mirrors
The essays featured in this collection highlight the gaps, as well as parallels, between mental illness and the human condition. In "Appearances," the narrator struggles with her own visual identity especially after reflecting on her Mom's own lengthy history with the mirror. In "Migrations," the lyrical voice of the narrator carries the reader through the typical day of a clinically depressed female character. Lastly, "Attempting the Fall," addresses the issues society has with mental illness by following the narrator from her suicide attempt to the mental ward.
Cognitive Engagement in Later Life: Descriptive and Explanatory Findings
Findings on the relationship between engagement in lifestyle and cognitive functioning are not consistent; some authors report that engagement in lifestyle predicts an individual's cognitive functioning; while other report that an individual's cognitive functioning predicts the type and level of engagement an individual participates in. The current study will use longitudinal data (N = 235) to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Despite inconsistent findings it is proposed that cognitive functioning may be better understood when examining how stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience affect engagement in an active lifestyle. As such the current study will investigate if stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience moderate the relationship between engaged lifestyles and cognitive functioning. The results, limitations and implications are discussed.
A Comparative Analysis of Digital and Paper Restaurant Menus Based on Customer Perception and Nutritional Labeling
The restaurant industry is a highly customer-driven field. Therefore, it is imperative that restaurateurs consider customer expectations with regard to restaurant menus. The purpose of this experimental study is to examine the effects of menu format (i.e., paper or digital) and amount of nutritional information (i.e., extensive, brief, or none) on customer perceptions of the effectiveness, perceived ease of use, and information quality of the menu. Furthermore, this research intends to test the effect of these three menu attributes on the outcomes of value and satisfaction in order to assess the competitive advantage of one format over the other. The Cognitive Appraisal and Information Processing Theories provide structure to the proposed conceptual framework and give credence to the findings. This study also fills gaps in the present research by not only ameliorating weaknesses of extant studies, but also by examining several different aspects of restaurant menus simultaneously within a single study.
Coping Strategy as Mediator between Parental Attachment and the Parent-Child Relationship
Previous research has shown that adult attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are associated with both coping strategy use and the parent-child relationship. Additionally, research has shown that coping strategy is associated with aspects of the parent-child relationship. The current study aimed to further examine associations between parental romantic attachment, coping strategy use, and the parent-child relationship. It was hypothesized that coping strategy use would mediate the relationship between parental romantic attachment and aspects of the parent-child relationship. Participants included 86 heterosexual couples (N = 176 parents) from the Family and Kid Connection project archival dataset. Instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, a brief measure of coping, and the Attachment and Relational Frustration Subscales of the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. An actor-partner independence model was proposed and tested via multilevel modeling. Higher levels of parental attachment anxiety predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Father's attachment avoidance also predicted poorer father-child relationships. Higher levels of both parental attachment dimensions predicted greater use of avoidant emotional coping. Finally, greater use of avoidant emotional coping predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Results partially supported proposed mediational hypotheses. Two mediational paths were supported by results: an actor-actor path in which fathers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between fathers' romantic attachment avoidance and father-child attachment, and an actor-actor path in which mothers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between mothers' romantic attachment anxiety and mother-child attachment.
Creating a Verbal Community for Describing Emotional Responses within a Contingency Lens: The Effects of a Brief Training Workshop
Observing emotional responses is recognized as a valuable clinical skill in a variety of professions, including applied behavior analysis. Emotional responses can flag possible contingencies thereby guiding a behavior analyst to better select valid measures, goals, and procedures. Additionally, emotional responses can be goals in and of themselves. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a workshop on the observation and description of emotional responses by behavior analysts-in-training. The procedures included instructions, modeling, practice, discussion and feedback. The workshop included a blend of trainer presentation and interteaching strategies. The effects of the workshop were evaluated using a single-subject A-B design with multiple probe measures across four students. During probe assessments participants watched short video clips of family interactions and wrote a descriptive narrative in response to several questions. This created a permanent record for quantitative evaluation and analysis. The study resulted in an increase in the number of descriptions of emotional responses among all participants. The participants also increased responses tying the emotional response to external environmental events more often in the post-workshop assessment than the pre-workshop assessment. Results are discussed within the context of training applied behavior analysts, the analysis of verbal behavior, and the role of emotions in clinical practice.
The Creation of Fictional History in the Tequila Industry
The creation of fictional history in the tequila industry due to changes in government policy, trade agreements and big business.
Cyclic Polarization of AA 3102 in Corrosive Electrolytes Containing Sodium Chloride and Ammonium Sulfate
Corrosion of all aluminum microchannel heat exchangers present a challenge in automotive and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries. Reproducibility of Salt Water Acetic Acid Test (SWAAT) has been questioned and a need to new corrosion tests with better reproducibility has risen. Cyclic polarization, that is an electrochemical test, was explored for its suitability for the assessment of AA 3102 tube material that is currently a popular aluminum alloy used in manufacturing of heat exchanger. Corrosive electrolytes containing 3.5 % sodium chloride with 0.5 % ammonium sulfate (high chloride) or 0.5 % sodium chloride with 3.5 % ammonium sulfate (high sulfate) at their pH or acidic (pH=4) were used to measure corrosion potential (Ecorr), protection potential (Epp), pitting potential (Epit), Tafel constants (βa and βc), corrosion rate (mpy). Corrosive electrolyte used in SWAAT test (4.2% Sea Salt at pH 2.9) was also used to compare corrosion resistance of AA 3102 in SWAAT electrolyte compared to the other electrolytes used in this research. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe and document sample surface corrosion damage after each electrochemical test on all samples. Results of the cyclic polarization tests indicated that SWAAT electrolytes was the most aggressive electrolyte resulting in highest corrosion rates compared to all other electrolytes used in this investigation. SEM results indicated AA 3102 alloy exhibited higher pitting tendency in electrolytes with high sodium chloride whereas high sulfate electrolytes cause appearance of uniform corrosion surface damage on this alloy. Both high sulfate and SWAAT electrolytes showed intergranular corrosion but high chloride electrolyte showed severe pitting of AA 3102. Mohammad Navid Dorreyatim- Cyclic Polarization of AA 3102 in Corrosive Electrolytes Containing Sodium Chloride and Ammonium Sulfate. Master of Science (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), December 2016, 98 pp., references, 31 titles.
Dissimilar Friction Stir Welding Between Magnesium and Aluminum Alloys
Joining two dissimilar metals, specifically Mg and Al alloys, using conventional welding techniques is extraordinarily challenging. Even when these alloys are able to be joined, the weld is littered with defects such as cracks, cavities, and wormholes. The focus of this project was to use friction stir welding to create a defect-free joint between Al 2139 and Mg WE43. The stir tool used in this project, made of H13 tool steel, is of fixed design. The design included an 11 mm scrolled and concave shoulder in addition to a 6 mm length pin comprised of two tapering, threaded re-entrant flutes that promoted and amplified material flow. Upon completion of this project an improved experimental setup process was created as well as successful welds between the two alloys. These successful joints, albeit containing defects, lead to the conclusion that the tool used in project was ill fit to join the Al and Mg alloy plates. This was primarily due to its conical shaped pin instead of the more traditional cylindrical shaped pins. As a result of this aggressive pin design, there was a lack of heat generation towards the bottom of the pin even at higher (800-1000 rpm) rotation speeds. This lack of heat generation prohibited the material from reaching plastic deformation thus preventing the needed material flow to form the defect free joint.
Dissimilar Joining of Al (AA2139) – Mg (WE43) Alloys Using Friction Stir Welding
This research demonstrates the use of friction stir welding (FSW) to join dissimilar (Al-Mg) metal alloys. The main challenges in joining different, dissimilar metal alloys is the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in the stir zone affecting mechanical properties of joint significantly. In this present study, FSW joining process is used to join aluminum alloy AA2139 and magnesium alloy WE43. The 9.5 mm thick plates of AA2139 and WE43 were friction stir butt welded. Different processing parameters were used to optimize processing parameters. Also, various weldings showed a crack at interface due to formation of IMCs caused by liquation during FSW. A good strength sound weld was obtained using processing parameter of 1200 rev/min rotational speed; 76.2 mm/min traverse speed; 1.5 degree tilt and 0.13 mm offsets towards aluminum. The crack faded away as the tool was offset towards advancing side aluminum. Mostly, the research was focused on developing high strength joint through microstructural control to reduce IMCs thickness in Al-Mg dissimilar weld joint with optimized processing parameter and appropriate tool offset.
The Duality of the Hitler Youth: Ideological Indoctrination and Premilitary Education
This thesis examines the National Socialists' ultimate designs for Germany's youth, conveniently organized within the Hitlerjugend. Prevailing scholarship portrays the Hitler Youth as a place for ideological indoctrination and activities akin to the modern Boy Scouts. Furthermore, it often implies that the Hitler Youth was paramilitary but always lacks support for this claim. These claims are not incorrect, but in regard to the paramilitary nature of the organization, they do not delve nearly deeply enough. The National Socialists ultimately desired to consolidate their control over the nation and to prepare the nation for a future war. Therefore, they needed to simultaneously indoctrinate German youth, securing the future existence of National Socialism but also ensuring that German youth carry out their orders and defend Germany, and train the youth in premilitary skills, deliberately attempting to increase the quality of the Wehrmacht and furnish it with a massive, trained reserve in case of war. This paper relies on published training manuals, translated propaganda, memoirs of former Hitler Youth members and secondary literature to examine the form and extent of the ideological indoctrination and premilitary training--which included the general Hitler Youth, special Hitler Youth subdivisions, military preparedness camps akin to boot camp, and elaborate war games which tested the youths' military knowledge. This thesis clearly demonstrates that the National Socialists desired to train the youth in skills that assisted them later in the Wehrmacht and reveals the process implemented by the National Socialists to instill these abilities in Germany's impressionable youth.
The Effects of Feedback Timing when Teaching a New Task to Children with Autism
The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Tosti's proposal about the timing of feedback. The study examined whether it is better to correct immediately after the error occurs or whether it is better to wait until immediately before the next opportunity to respond. In addition, it aimed to determine whether corrections delivered at different times produced different learner affects. Four children with autism were taught to label two sets of pictures under the two different conditions. Results showed that the timing of the feedback yields similar results in regards to number of correct responses and total trial count. However, in regards to time spent in teaching and learner affect, correcting errors before the next opportunity to respond showed to be the more efficient procedure and produced more favorable affect.
Ethiopian Coffee Stories: Applied Research with Sidama Coffee Farmers Combining Visual and Ethnographic Methods
The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the value of visual research methods to applied anthropology in the context of exploratory research with farmers in Ethiopia. The three methods of photo-elicitation, participatory photography, and ethnographic film, enrich and expand ethnographic methods to support the client's objective of supporting farmers. The applied project constructs a narrative from the local perspective to help consumers learn more about farmers' lives. The research focuses on specific farmers, and their experiences with direct fair trade and coffee farming. The client sees the application of research produced by ethnographic and visual methods as a good direction not only for his company, but the Fair Trade Industry as a whole.
Evaluation of Agreement among Respondents to Anecdotal Assessments and Correspondence between Anecdotal and Experimental Analysis Outcomes
Study 1 evaluated agreement among five respondents using the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Respondents provided ratings for 20 target behaviors exhibited by 10 individuals. At least 4/5 raters agreed on the primary maintaining variable in 80% of cases with the FAST, 70% of cases with the MAS, and 55% of cases with the QABF. Study 2 evaluated correspondence between results of anecdotal assessments and experimental functional analysis for 10 target behaviors selected from Study 1. Correspondence between the experimental functional analyses was 60% with the FAST and the MAS, 50% with the QABF.
An Evaluation of Correspondence between Preference and Performance under a Progressive Ration Schedule with College Students
Preference assessments are used in clinical settings to identify stimuli with reinforcing potential. The progressive-ratio schedule has shown to be useful in clinical assessments in identifying stimuli with stronger reinforcer efficacy that corresponds to formalized assessments.The current study utilized a progressive-ratio schedule to compare videos of high and low preference assessed by verbal reports of preference with college students. Results indicated breakpoints were higher for high preferred videos than low preferred videos for three out of five participants, but preference was not indicative of performance.
An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training to Teach Discrete Trial and Naturalistic Instruction to Novice Therapists
Effective and efficient training strategies are needed to provide training to novel therapists whom provide early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children with autism. We evaluated the effects of interactive computer-based training (ICT) on novice therapists' implementation of two, common EIBI instructional techniques: discrete-trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic instruction. Results demonstrated that ICT improved trainees' instructional fidelity during role-plays with a confederate for DTI instruction and also with a child with autism for both DTI and naturalistic instruction. As a result, the requirement for supervisor feedback on performance was minimized. In addition, results suggest that child language improved as a result of improved therapist performance.
An Evaluation of the Effects of Effort on Resistance to Change
Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has become a prominent method of studying the effects of reinforcement on operant behavior. BMT represents a departure from the Skinnerian tradition in that it identifies the strength of responding with its resistance to change. Like in many other operant research paradigms, however, responses are considered to be momentary phenomena and so little attention has been paid to non-rate dimensions of responding. The current study takes up the question of whether or not the degree of effort defining a discriminated operant class has any meaningful effect on its resistance to change. Using a force transducer, rats responded on a two-component multiple VI 60-s VI 60-s schedule where each component was correlated with a different force requirement. Resistance to change was tested through prefeeding and extinction. Proportional declines in response rate were equal across components during all disruption tests. Differentiated response classes remained intact throughout. The negative result suggests several future research directions.
Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education
Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Exploring Ahope Client Satisfaction and Attitudes
I led a participatory action research (PAR) project with the staff and homeless clients of Ahope Day Center in Asheville, North Carolina, which was meant to evaluate client satisfaction with services and attitudes about certain issues. Project is led by an inquiry group consisting of members of Ahope staff and Ahope clients. The project is a co-designed, co-implemented, and co-interpreted mixed-method evaluation of Ahope's services, client attitudes about education and the environment, client adaptive strategies, optimism levels, and a mapping of client daily routines. The data was collected through participant observation, document analysis, surveys, a listing activity, and informal interviews. Documents were coded using grounded theory and themes emerged related to the value of the intangibles of security, community, and ‘being seen' at Ahope while some suggestions were also made. Findings included client attitudes indicating the importance of the environment and education to clients, high optimism levels among clients, and a number of suggestions for the improvement of Ahope's services.
Family and Cultural Influences on Latino Emerging Adults' Career Development
There is an extensive amount of research on career development, but most of the constructs studied have focused on content-oriented variables rather than process-oriented variables. While some of the studies have examined samples from ethnic minority populations, the majority of studies use ethnic minority populations as comparison groups, studying between-group differences as opposed to within-group differences. The literature is especially deficient in the are of Latino career development. The current study will examine how family and culture influence the career development of Latino emerging adults. This study will explore the influence of socioeconomic status and acculturation on the career salience and career maturity of Latino emerging adults. The quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship will also be explored for its influence on career development outcomes in this population. One hundred fifty Latino undergraduate students ages 18-24 will be recruited for participation in this study. The participants will complete questionnaires regarding demographic information, acculturation, the quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship, career salience, and career maturity.
Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation
With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
High Driver Turnover among Large Long-Haul Motor Carriers: Causes and Consequences
My thesis provides evidence supporting a theory asserting that the high level of competition that exists between motor carriers operating within long-haul trucking is the most significant factor contributing to the continuously high driver turnover rates affecting the entire logistics industry. I explore how long-haul truck drivers internalize the conflict between their identity and the aggressively competitive environment within which they work. Social science authors, industry reports, and truck driver feedback from my own ethnographic study are analyzed for contexts in order to explore the current operating definition of success for motor carriers in both monetary and human terms.
Improving the Long-term Performance of PVC Compositions
PVC are extensively applied in many fields, such as cables, pipes, vehicles, shoes, toys and infusion bags. Generally, plasticizers are blended with PVC to improve the ability of process in industrial production; however, the toxic plasticizers will gradually migrate to the surface of products and such a leakage results in brittleness of plasticized PVC and environmental pollution. In other words, humans are frequently exposed to the potential risks. According to previous researches, cross-linked PVC was proved that it was able to hinder the migration of plasticizer. Thus, in this research, we selected some commercially used cross-linking agents and employed six different tests based on mechanical, tribological and microscopy analysis in order to seek the best solution against plasticizer migration. Thus, we expected to develop a cross-linked flexible PVC which performed improved long-term performance and extended lifetime.
Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys
Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
The Influence of Population on Wrongful Convictions
With criminal cases continuing to be exonerated across the United States, research must be done on the subject to advance current practices to reduce its occurrence in the future. This study combines county population data with the National Registry of Exonerations to analyze the contributing factors to wrongful convictions and the possible effect of population on their frequency. The objective of this study was to identify specific policy changes based on the five contributing factors to wrongful convictions that could be applied to population specific areas. The results yielded multiple patterns that are discussed thoroughly. These findings allowed the introduction of policy changes and proposals for future research.
Memory and Continuity Amidst Irreversible Decline in the Texas Big Empty
This thesis interrogates sense of place and place attachment in the Big Empty on the north central Texas plains. The region stretches from the Red River on the north to the Colorado River basin on the south and from the Cross Timbers on the east to the Caprock escarpment on the west. Since 1930, the Big Empty has seen sustained and severe population decline such that some counties there now register less than a quarter the population they did at their peaks during the interwar years. Through in-depth field interviews, I examine sense of place and place attachment amidst apparently irreversible decline. I also describe conditions of postindustrial rurality arising from rolling reconfigurations of economic and social relations, particularly changes in scale in farming and the diminished centrality of productivist agriculture in local economies and culture, and how these conditions become legible through the study of place.
Modeling of Fracture Toughness of Magnesium Alloy WE43 Before and After Friction Stir Processing
Magnesium alloys are a popular research topic for structural applications because they have a lower density than conventional structural materials, including steel, titanium, and aluminum; however, the reliability and safety of their mechanical properties must be further proven. An important mechanical property for this purpose is fracture toughness, which is the measure of the material's resistance to crack propagation. In this study, a model of an experiment to investigate the fracture toughness of a magnesium alloy WE43 before and after friction stir processing (FSP) is developed, and the results are compared to those produced by a digital image correlation (DIC) system during an experiment from another paper. The model results of the material before FSP matched well with the DIC results, but the model of the material after FSP only partially matches the DIC results. In addition, a theoretical approach to calculating the standard fracture toughness value, KIc, from the modeling results is proposed, and is found to be a conservative approach.
Modeling of Hexagonal Boron Nitride Filled Bismalemide Polymer Composites for Thermal and Electrical Properties for Electronic Packaging
Due to the multi-tasking and miniaturization of electronic devices, faster heat transfer is required from the device to avoid the thermal failure. Die-attached polymer adhesives are used to bond the chips in electronic packaging. These adhesives have to hold strong mechanical, thermal, dielectric, and moisture resistant properties. As polymers are insulators, heat conductive particles are inserted in it to enhance the thermal flow with an attention that there would be no electrical conductivity as well as no reduction in dielectric strength. This thesis focuses on the characterization of polymer nanocomposites for thermal and electrical properties with experimental and computational tools. Platelet geometry of hexagonal boron nitride offers highly anisotropic properties. Therefore, their alignment and degree of orientation offers tunable properties in polymer nanocomposites for thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. This thesis intends to model the anisotropic behavior of thermal and dielectric properties using finite element and molecular dynamics simulations as well as experimental validation.
Musical Ekphrasis in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes
Musical ekphrasis was occurring in the twentieth century in different centers around the world, Cuba: Andalusia, Spain; and Harlem, New York, simultaneously. The writers at the heart of this movement used poetry about music as a means to celebrate the cultures of the marginalized people in their lands, los negros, los gitanos, and African-Americans. The purpose of this study is to define musical ekphrasis and identify it in the works of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes. Also explored are the common characteristics in ekphrastic poetry by the three poets and the common themes found in their ekphrastic poetry, as well as common influences. Each author is considered in the context of his surroundings and his respective culture, and how that influenced his musical tastes as well as his writing style.
Negotiated Living: An Ethno-Historical Perspective of Punta Allen
Situated within the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Tulum and within the Sian Ka'an Biosphere gives the village of Punta Allen a distinctive agency in determining their role in the on-going development of tourism in the region that is not given to other communities in the state. This unique circumstance facilitates a dialogue between the reserve, the municipality, and the business cooperatives of Punta Allen that produce a negotiated living. Through the negotiations with the reserve and Tulum, the lobster fishing and tourism cooperatives are given the opportunity to have a relatively significant role in determining the future of Punta Allen in regards to tourism.
Parcel-Based Change Detection Using Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data in the City of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Change detection is amongst the most effective critical examination methods used in remote sensing technology. In this research, new methods are proposed for building and vegetation change detection using only LiDAR data without using any other remotely sensed data. Two LiDAR datasets from 2009 and 2013 will be used in this research. These datasets are provided by the City of Surrey. A Parcel map which shows parcels in the study area will be also used in this research because the objective of this research is detecting changes based on parcels. Different methods are applied to detect changes in buildings and vegetation respectively. Three attributes of object –slope, building volume, and building height are derived and used in this study. Changes in buildings are not only detected but also categorized based on their attributes. In addition, vegetation change detection is performed based on parcels. The output shows parcels with a change of vegetation. Accuracy assessment is done by using measures of completeness, correctness, and quality of extracted regions. Accuracy assessments suggest that building change detection is performed with better results.
Particle Image Velocimetry Sensitivity Analysis Using Automatic Differentiation
A particle image velocimetry (PIV) computer software is analyzed in this work by applying automatic differentiation on it. We create two artificial images that contained particles that where moved with a known velocity field over time. These artificial images were created with parameters that we would have on real PIV experiments. Then we applied a PIV software to find the velocity output vectors. As we mentioned before, we applied automatic differentiation through all the algorithm to track the derivatives of the output vectors regarding interesting parameters declared as inputs. By analyzing these derivatives we analyze the sensitivity of the output vectors to changes on each one of the parameters analyzed. One of the most important derivatives calculated in this project was the derivative of the output regarding the image intensity. In future work we plan to use this derivative combined with the intensity probability distribution of each image pixel, to find PIV uncertainties. If we achieve this goal we will find an uncertainty method that will save computational power and will give uncertainty values with computer accuracy.
Privacy Preserving EEG-based Authentication Using Perceptual Hashing
The use of electroencephalogram (EEG), an electrophysiological monitoring method for recording the brain activity, for authentication has attracted the interest of researchers for over a decade. In addition to exhibiting qualities of biometric-based authentication, they are revocable, impossible to mimic, and resistant to coercion attacks. However, EEG signals carry a wealth of information about an individual and can reveal private information about the user. This brings significant privacy issues to EEG-based authentication systems as they have access to raw EEG signals. This thesis proposes a privacy-preserving EEG-based authentication system that preserves the privacy of the user by not revealing the raw EEG signals while allowing the system to authenticate the user accurately. In that, perceptual hashing is utilized and instead of raw EEG signals, their perceptually hashed values are used in the authentication process. In addition to describing the authentication process, algorithms to compute the perceptual hash are developed based on two feature extraction techniques. Experimental results show that an authentication system using perceptual hashing can achieve performance comparable to a system that has access to raw EEG signals if enough EEG channels are used in the process. This thesis also presents a security analysis to show that perceptual hashing can prevent information leakage.
"Refugees" and Others
Refugees, a novel in progress, begins in the collective first-person with a group of people who live on the same residential street of middle-class homes in an east coast American city and are experiencing the most exquisitely vivid aurora borealis to appear in recorded history. But they quickly learn that this gorgeous wonder is a harbinger of civilization's demise and possibly the end of all life on the planet, because the solar storms causing the sky's fantastic nightly coloring is also slowly stripping away the atmosphere and leeching oxygen into space. This "we" narrative switches to third person, moving between two characters—Julie and Amira—as the narrative moves forward. The first chapter covers the first few months of this apocalyptic crisis, and Julie and Amira are central as they are forced decide if they still have the strength and the will to even attempt survival in these new and brutal circumstances. The second chapter, also told in third person, picks up seventeen years in the future with Aya, Amira's daughter who was six during the initial atmospheric disaster. A small group survived in an underwater refuge, recently discovered the atmosphere above had healed over time, and sent an excursion group, including Aya, to evaluate the changing environment. This chapter reveals the history and particular struggles of these characters living in this complex society, both residual and nascent. The third chapter returns to the group of neighbors—including Julie and Amira—seventeen years prior, immediately following the catastrophic event as their story continues to unfold. This chapter opens, like the first chapter, in the "we" voice, tracing the movement of the group south in a search for help and a desperate, though orderly, effort toward survival. This next phase of their journey introduces fresh conflicts and new characters and points to approaching challenges and ...
The Relation of Perceived Motivational Climate, Mindset, and Achievement Goal Orientation to Grit in Male High School Soccer Players
Grit is defined as "perseverance and passion for long-term goals." Although studied in relation to various outcomes, such as retention and academic performance, few studies have examined variables that may contribute to grit's development. Further, few studies have examined this construct in relation to sport performance or within athletic environments, despite its clear connection to sport-related constructs like mental toughness and resilience. Thus, based in achievement motivation theory, this study examined the relations of the perceived motivational climate as defined by athletes' perceptions of the coaches' behaviors (task vs. ego), athletes' perceptions of their achievement goal orientation (task vs. ego), athletes' perceptions of their implicit theory (i.e., fundamental beliefs regarding whether or not ability can change; growth vs. fixed), and athletes' perception of their level of grit. Male varsity soccer players (N = 81; Mage = 15.80 ± .81) from a large metropolitan area in the south central U.S. completed questionnaires measuring these achievement motivation constructs. The full regression model was significant, accounting for 18% of the grit variance, F(6, 74) = 2.77, p = .017. Within the full model, having a growth mindset (β = .25, p = .035) and endorsing a task goal orientation (β = .36, p = .004) predicted higher levels of grit for the athletes. Neither the coach-created motivational climate, nor the athletes' ego orientation or fixed mindset, were significantly predicted their grit scores. Consistent with Dweck and Duckworth, components of achievement motivation theory, particularly related to a task or growth perspective, may play an important role in athletes' developing a perspective that allows them to work effectively and diligently toward long-term goals.
Simulink Based Modeling of a Multi Global Navigation Satellite System
The objective of this thesis is to design a model for a multi global navigation satellite system using Simulink. It explains a design procedure which includes the models for transmitter and receiver for two different navigation systems. To overcome the problem, where less number of satellites are visible to determine location degrades the performance of any positioning system significantly, this research has done to make use of multi GNSS satellite signals in one navigation receiver.
Sliding Friction and Wear Behavior of High Entropy Alloys at Room and Elevated Temperatures
Structure-tribological property relations have been studied for five high entropy alloys (HEAs). Microhardness, room and elevated (100°C and 300°C) temperature sliding friction coefficients and wear rates were determined for five HEAs: Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4; Co Cr Fe Ni Al0.25 Ti0.75; Ti V Nb Cr Al; Al0.3CoCrFeNi; and Al0.3CuCrFeNi2. Wear surfaces were characterized with scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy to determine the wear mechanisms and tribochemical phases, respectively. It was determined that the two HEAs Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4 and Ti V Nb Cr Al exhibit an excellent balance of high hardness, low friction coefficients and wear rates compared to 440C stainless steel, a currently used bearing steel. This was attributed to their more ductile body centered cubic (BCC) solid solution phase along with the formation of tribochemical Cr oxide and Nb oxide phases, respectively, in the wear surfaces. This study provides guidelines for fabricating novel, low-friction, and wear-resistant HEAs for potential use at room and elevated temperatures, which will help reduce energy and material losses in friction and wear applications.
The Social Psychology of Social Media Reactions to Terrorism
Columnists and social media users commonly stated that terrorist attacks resonate differently in the world and they speculated on some potential reasons such as familiarity, number of victims, and the difference in expectations of a country to be a stage for a terrorist attack to explain this difference. An academic perspective, more specifically a sociological one, is needed to bring light to this debate. In this study, I aimed to understand the discourse after terrorist attacks and to find out if there is a difference between reactions to terrorist attack based on where they happened. This paper embraces a text mining approach to uncover what topics are discussed after four cases of terrorist attacks and to reveal if there is a discrepancy in reactions towards terrorist attacks based on the country they happened. The study consists of two parts. In the first part, the determinants of the public interest and support and how public interest differentiates between different cases of terror attacks is explored. In the second part, topic sentiment analysis is conducted to reveal the nature of the discourse on terrorism. Using the insights from social identity theory, realistic conflict theory and integrated threat theory, I argued that social group categorization in the context of terrorism takes place in a dichotomous manner as Western and Non-Western. This argument, social self-identities being based on ‘West vs. the Rest' mentality in the context of terrorism, is supported by the statistical evidence and the topic model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Story of Pathfinders [Family Pathfinders]: Investigating the Impact, Experiences, and Context of Re-Entry Mentoring
The United States has the largest population of imprisoned persons in the world. The vast majority of these individuals eventually leave prison and re-enter society, facing a number of challenges in the process. Those who are unable to successfully re-enter society run the risk of recidivating back into the prison system. Mentoring has the potential to promote successful re-entry and help offenders to get their lives back on track. Pathfinders of Tarrant County is a unique organization. Its historical position as one of the foremost "welfare to work" programs gives it unique insight into the economic struggles of at-risk individuals and families, and its existing relationships with mentors and other community organizations gives it a rich pool of resources to draw from. By helping to connect participants with community resources, Pathfinders removes quite a bit of the complexity from seeking help at a time when vulnerable people need it most. This thesis presents an overview of how Pathfinders conducts mentoring and its unique brand of social service advocacy, including the unique and not-so unique challenges that a re-entry population may have to offer.