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Postmodern Multiplicities in Three Original Works

Description: My recent compositions are situated within a postmodern theoretical framework. The heterogeneity of materials and hybridity of musical formation in these works are interpreted and contextualized within a personal reading of postmodern theories. The critical essay traces my aesthetics through a historical investigation into the definition of musical postmodernism. Through extensive citation and analysis of the writings of Julius T. Fraser, Italo Calvino, and Richard Rorty, the essay aims to provide a theoretical context for the interpretation of the musical examples. The creative documentation contains three newly-composed musical works: Piano Trio from Opus 3/c, Opus 6 for Violin, and Opus 7 for Piccolo. The works' postmodern features include creative approaches to the fragmentation of musical time into separate levels, historical allusions, and the exploration of multiplicity.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Bejo, Ermir

Nathanael Greene and the Myth of the Valiant Few

Description: Nathan Greene is the Revolutionary Warfare general most associated with unconventional warfare. The historiography of the southern campaign of the revolution uniformly agrees he was a guerrilla leader. Best evidence shows, however, that Nathanael Greene was completely conventional -- that his strategy, operations, tactics, and logistics all strongly resembled that of Washington in the northern theater and of the British commanders against whom he fought in the south. By establishing that Greene was within the mainstream of eighteenth-century military science this dissertation also challenges the prevailing historiography of the American Revolution in general, especially its military aspects. The historiography overwhelmingly argues the myth of the valiant few -- the notion that a minority of colonists persuaded an apathetic majority to follow them in overthrowing the royal government, eking out an improbable victory. Broad and thorough research indicates the Patriot faction in the American Revolution was a clear majority not only throughout the colonies but in each individual colony. Far from the miraculous victory current historiography postulates, American independence was based on the most prosaic of principles -- manpower advantage.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Smith, David R.

Psychopathy in Male and Female Offenders: Validating the CAPP-IRS and Investigating the Impact of Gender Role Conformity

Description: Recent conceptualizations of psychopathy are moving toward more inclusive, purely trait-based models. However, researchers continue to heavily rely on assessments of psychopathy that include categorical behavioral elements. The newly developed Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality – Institutional Rating Scale appears to be a promising interview-based measure of psychopathy, but research on its reliability and validity is in its infancy. As a second issue, the vast majority of research on psychopathy, particularly in offender populations, is conducted with male participants. Nonetheless, the growing body of literature involving incarcerated females suggests gender differences in the prevalence and manifestation of psychopathic traits. Reasons for these differences are unclear, but some have proposed socialized gender roles as a contributing factor. With a sample of 52 female 49 male offenders recruited from a large, metropolitan jail, this dissertation evaluated the construct validity of the CAPP-IRS and examined the effect of gender role conformity on the manifestation of psychopathic traits. Results indicated that a three-factor model of psychopathy represented by antagonistic interpersonal relations, restricted emotions, and disinhibited behavior best fit the data. Findings further suggested convergent and discriminant validity for the CAPP-IRS. Additionally, masculine and feminine gender role conformity differentially related to psychopathy, but generally accounted for a small proportion of the variance in psychopathic traits. Recommendations for future research on the CAPP model and its assessment as well as implications for the clinical assessment of psychopathy in women are discussed.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Carter, Rachel Marjann

How Does It Feel to be Creative?

Description: How does it feel to be creative? Such a question, when approached from a phenomenological perspective, reveals new understandings about the embodied experience of creativity, and how it feels as it is being lived. This investigation begins with a provocative contrast of two environments where creativity is thought to manifest itself: school art classrooms, where creativity is often legislated from an authority figure, and New Orleans Second Line parades, where creativity is organically and kinetically expressed. A thorough review of the literature on creativity focuses on education, arts education, creative economies, psychology, and critical theorists, collectively revealing a cognitive bias and striking lack of consideration for community, freedom, and the lived experience of being creative. Further discussions in the literature also neglect sites of creativity, and the impact that place (such as a school classroom) can have upon creativity. The phenomenological perspectives of Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Bachelard, and Trigg support a methodological lens to grasp embodied knowledge, perceptions of placedness on creativity, and the interdependent frictions between freedom, authenticity, movement and belonging. The research method includes investigations in New Orleans in archives, examination of visual and material culture, participation in cultural practice, and formal and informal interviews. Further, the phenomena of walking and wandering became a methodology for embodied data collection that clarified the emerging rich experiences and descriptions of how it feels to be creative, especially how it feels to be creative in a creative place. What is also revealed are intense frictions, such as the tension between perceptions of personal freedom and a high demand for authenticity in terms of New Orleans traditions, that opens the space and fuels the inspiration for the abundance of creativity found in New Orleans culture.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Bartholomee, Lucy

Facets of Positive Affect and Risk for Bipolar Disorder: Role of the Behavioral Activation System

Description: Bipolar disorder is characterized by disruptions in mood and affect that occur not only during mood episodes, but during euthymic periods as well. At the same time, sensitivity of the behavioral activation system (BAS) has been implicated in the disorder and is a risk marker for it. Less clear is the relationship between BAS sensitivity and positive affect, particularly lower level facets of positive affect. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between positive affect and vulnerability for mania as assessed using BAS sensitivity. Specifically, the link between daily levels and fluctuations of positive affect and baseline BAS sensitivity was examined. Following the hierarchical model of affect, this study also assessed the relationship between BAS sensitivity and the distinct facets of positive affect. Finally, this study examined whether BAS sensitivity moderates associations between daily rewards and positive affect. Undergraduates (N = 265) from a large university in the South were recruited to complete measures of BAS sensitivity, affect, and mood symptoms at baseline. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), participants completed daily surveys assessing affect and engagement with rewarding situations. An exploratory factory analysis revealed a four factor structure of positive affect, consisting of Serenity, Joviality, Attentiveness, and Self-Assurance. Greater daily levels of overall positive affect, as well as the lower order facets of Joviality, Self-Assurance, and Attentiveness, were predicted by heightened BAS sensitivity. In contrast, the facet of Serenity demonstrated minimal associations with BAS sensitivity. The study findings support a multi-faceted structure of positive affect and suggest that certain facets may be more closely related to risk for bipolar disorder. Specifically, Joviality and Self-Assurance may represent maladaptive forms of positive affect, whereas Serenity may function as a protective element against bipolar disorder.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Dornbach-Bender, Allison

Modeling of High Strain Rate Compression of Austenitic Shape Memory Alloys

Description: Shape memory alloys (SMAs) exhibit the ability to absorb large dynamic loads and, therefore, are excellent candidates for structural components where impact loading is expected. Compared to the large amount of research on the shape memory effect and/or pseudoelasticity of polycrystalline SMAs under quasi-static loading conditions, studies on dynamic loading are limited. Experimental research shows an apparent difference between the quasi-static and high strain rate deformation of SMAs. Research reveals that the martensitic phase transformation is strain rate sensitive. The mechanism for the martensitic phase transformation in SMAs during high strain rate deformation is still unclear. Many of the existing high strain rate models assume that the latent heat generated during deformation contributes to the change in the stress-strain behavior during dynamic loading, which is insufficient to explain the large stress observed during phase transformation under high strain rate deformation. Meanwhile, the relationship between the phase front velocity and strain rate has been studied. In this dissertation, a new resistance to phase transformation during high strain rate deformation is discussed and the relationship between the driving force for phase transformation and phase front velocity is established. With consideration of the newly defined resistance to phase transformation, a new model for phase transformation of SMAs during high strain rate deformation is presented and validated based on experimental results from an austenitic NiTi SMA. Stress, strain, and martensitic volume fraction distribution during high strain rate deformation are simulated using finite element analysis software ABAQUS/standard. For the first time, this dissertation presents a theoretical study of the microscopic band structure during high strain rate compressive deformation. The microscopic transformation band is generated by the phase front and leads to minor fluctuations in sample deformation. The strain rate effect on phase transformation is studied using the model. Both the starting stress for transformation and ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Yu, Hao

Trends in Special Education Due Process Hearings in Texas from 2010-2015: School, Parent, and Social Justice Issues that Inform a Principal's Decision-Making

Description: This study explores all due process hearings that occurred in Texas public school districts from 2010-2015. Special attention was paid to the reasons for the hearings within the legal reports addressed and their outcomes. The study was conducted using a quantitative approach involving a legal document content analysis of due process hearings to select the participants to be interviewed with a qualitative semi-structured interview protocol. Following this process, nine participants from one district were interviewed. Responses were then analyzed for themes and patterns using qualitative methods, and conclusions were drawn based on the data. The study found that campus and central office administrators believed socio-economic levels, lack of empathy shown to parents, and distrust contributed to parents' decisions to file due process complaints or litigation. They also believed that placement decisions influenced by student discipline, parent denial about the impact of the disability on children, and parent entitlement played a role. Lastly, the nine participants found that parent advocacy and communication were strong contributors to the amount of due process hearings held at Evergreen ISD.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Poton, Marcy Rose

Design of Bioinspired Conductive Smart Textile

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

The Influence of Disease Mapping Methods on Spatial Patterns and Neighborhood Characteristics for Health Risk

Description: This thesis addresses three interrelated challenges of disease mapping and contributes a new approach for improving visualization of disease burdens to enhance disease surveillance systems. First, it determines an appropriate threshold choice (smoothing parameter) for the adaptive kernel density estimation (KDE) in disease mapping. The results show that the appropriate threshold value depends on the characteristics of data, and bandwidth selector algorithms can be used to guide such decisions about mapping parameters. Similar approaches are recommended for map-makers who are faced with decisions about choosing threshold values for their own data. This can facilitate threshold selection. Second, the study evaluates the relative performance of the adaptive KDE and spatial empirical Bayes for disease mapping. The results reveal that while the estimated rates at the state level computed from both methods are identical, those at the zip code level are slightly different. These findings indicate that using either the adaptive KDE or spatial empirical Bayes method to map disease in urban areas may provide identical rate estimates, but caution is necessary when mapping diseases in non-urban (sparsely populated) areas. This study contributes insights on the relative performance in terms of accuracy of visual representation and associated limitations. Lastly, the study contributes a new approach for delimiting spatial units of disease risk using straightforward statistical and spatial methods and social determinants of health. The results show that the neighborhood risk map not only helps in geographically targeting where but also in tailoring interventions in those areas to those high risk populations. Moreover, when health data is limited, the neighborhood risk map alone is adequate for identifying where and which populations are at risk. These findings will benefit public health tasks of planning and targeting appropriate intervention even in areas with limited and poor-quality health data. This study not only fills the identified ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Ruckthongsook, Warangkana

Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) with Latina/o Children Exhibiting School Behavior Problems: Comparative Effects of Delivery by Spanish-Speaking and English-Speaking Counselors

Description: The shortage of bilingual counselors is one barrier to young Latina/o children receiving mental health services. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a developmentally responsive intervention based on the premise that play is children's natural means of communication across cultures. This randomized controlled study examined the effects of CCPT with young Spanish-speaking Latina/o children exhibiting clinical levels of school behavior problems. Participants were 57 pre-K to kindergarten Latina/o children (72% male; mean age = 4.0) randomly assigned to three treatment groups: CCPT with Spanish-speaking, bilingual counselors; CCPT with English-speaking, monolingual counselors; or active control (bilingual mentoring). Monolingual counselors participated in cultural competency training and supervision with bilingual counselors and supervisors. According to independent observers and teachers blinded to children's group assignment, both the bilingual CCPT group and the monolingual CCPT group demonstrated moderate treatment effects over bilingual mentoring, yet between-group differences were not statistically significant. Analysis of within-group change over time indicated that children in both CCPT interventions demonstrated statistically significant improvement, while the mentoring group did not. The percentage of children in each treatment group who improved from clinical to normal behavioral functioning suggests the clinical significance of the findings: 80% bilingual CCPT, 70% monolingual CCPT, 15% bilingual mentoring. Overall, findings indicate that CCPT, whether delivered by bilingual counselors or culturally-competent, monolingual counselors, is a promising intervention for young Latina/o children exhibiting behavior problems.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Barcenas Jaimez, Gustavo

Analysis and Performance of a Cyber-Human System and Protocols for Geographically Separated Collaborators

Description: This dissertation provides an innovative mechanism to collaborate two geographically separated people on a physical task and a novel method to measure Complexity Index (CI) and calculate Minimal Complexity Index (MCI) of a collaboration protocol. The protocol is represented as a structure, and the information content of it is measured in bits to understand the complex nature of the protocol. Using the complexity metrics, one can analyze the performance of a collaborative system and a collaboration protocol. Security and privacy of the consumers are vital while seeking remote help; this dissertation also provides a novel authorization framework for dynamic access control of resources on an input-constrained appliance used for completing the physical task. Using the innovative Collaborative Appliance for REmote-help (CARE) and with the support of a remotely located expert, fifty-nine subjects with minimal or no prior mechanical knowledge are able to elevate a car for replacing a tire in an average time of six minutes and 53 seconds and with an average protocol complexity of 171.6 bits. Moreover, thirty subjects with minimal or no prior plumbing knowledge are able to change the cartridge of a faucet in an average time of ten minutes and with an average protocol complexity of 250.6 bits. Our experiments and results show that one can use the developed mechanism and methods for expanding the protocols for a variety of home, vehicle, and appliance repairs and installations.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Jonnada, Srikanth

Educational Technology: A Comparison of Ten Academic Journals and the New Media Consortium "Horizon Reports" for the Period of 2000-2017

Description: This exploratory and descriptive study provides an increased understanding of the topics being explored in both published research and industry reporting in the field of educational technology. Although literature in the field is plentiful, the task of synthesizing the information for practical use is a massive undertaking. Latent semantic analysis was used to review journal abstracts from ten highly respected journals and the New Media Consortium Horizon Reports to identify trends within the publications. As part of the analysis, 25 topics and technologies were identified in the combined corpus of academic journals and Horizon Reports. The journals tended to focus on pedagogical issues whereas the Horizon Reports tended to focus on technological aspects in education. In addition to differences between publication types, trends over time are also described. Findings may assist researchers, practitioners, administrators, and policy makers with decision-making in their respective educational areas.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Morel, Gwendolyn

Replenishment: A Musical Narrative Inspired by Sleep

Description: The Replenishment cycle contains five works that allude to the experience of sleep, beginning with awake drowsiness and ending with the piece inspired by rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, titled Conceiving Realities. This last piece is an intermedia work composed for chamber ensemble, live painting with biofeedback, computer, and audiovisual processing. This critical essay describes the composition of Conceiving Realities within the context of the Replenishment cycle, followed by a thorough analysis of the research involved in the technological aspects of the piece, and finally, a description of the instrumentation, notation, intermedia elements, and technology comprising the work. Conceiving Realities uses a system of interactions between painting, biofeedback, music, and video, in which a painter wears brainwave and heartbeat sensors that send data to a computer patch processing the sound of an ensemble as the painter listens and creates the painting while responding to the music. This requires a passive biofeedback system in which the painter is focused on listening and painting. The computer uses the data to process existing sounds, instead of synthesizing new lines. The score blends elements of traditional notation, graphics, and guided improvisation; giving the performers some creative agency. This alludes to the way in which scenarios in dreams occur without voluntary control of the dreamer. Finally, a camera captures the painting and projects three video screens applying individual types of processing to the original video stream, controlled in real time by the amplitude of the ensemble. All these elements create an immersive experience for the audience that is mediated by the interaction of sight and sound.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Espinel Pulgar, Miguel Angel

Listening in the Living Room: The Pursuit of Authentic Spaces and Sound in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Do It Yourself (DIY) Punk

Description: In the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) do-it-yourself (DIY) punk scene, participants attempt to adhere to notions of authenticity that dictate whether a band, record label, performance venue, or individual are in compliance with punk philosophy. These guiding principles champion individual expression, contributions to one's community (scene), independence from the mainstream music industry and consumerism, and the celebration of amateurism and the idea that everyone should "do it yourself." While each city or scene has its own punk culture, participants draw on their perceptions of the historic legacy of punk and on experiences with contemporaries from around the world. For this thesis, I emphasize the significance of performance spaces and the sonic aesthetic of the music in enacting and reinforcing notions of punk authenticity. The live performance of music is perceived as the most authentic setting for punk music, and bands go to great lengths to recreate this soundscape in the recording studio. Bands achieve this sense of liveness by recording as a group, rather than individually for a polished studio sound mix, or by inviting friends and fans into the studio to help record a live show experience. House venues have been key to the development of the DFW scene with an emphasis on individual participation through hosting concerts in their homes. This creates a stronger sense of community in DIY punk performance. Through participation observation, interviews, analysis of source materials, as well as research in previous Punk scholarship, questions of authenticity, consumerism, and technology and sound studies, this thesis updates work on the experience of sound, listening, and the importance of space in DIY punk communities today.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Peters, Sean Louis

Civil Liberties and National Unity: Reaction to the Sedition Act in the Southern States, 1798

Description: The traditional narrative of political party development in the United States of America during the latter half of the 1790s ascribes the decline in popularity of the Federalist Party in the Election of 1800 to that party's passage of controversial legislation, specifically the Sedition Act of 1798, prior to the election. Between the passage of the Sedition Act and the Election of 1800, however, the midterm elections of 1798-1799 transpired and resulted in a significant increase in Federalist popularity in four states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. This study seeks to ascertain why these four states increased their support for the Federalist Party in 1798-1799, despite the passage of the Sedition Act by the Federalist Party. By examining newspapers and election results, this study analyzes the reaction of these four states to the passage of the Sedition Act and finds that generally, these states did not react strongly against the Sedition Act in the immediate aftermath of its passage. Instead, all four states urged national unity and emphasized the need to support the national government because the United States faced the threat of war with France. This study employs a state-by-state formula to determine each state's individual reaction to the Sedition Act and the Quasi-War, finding that ultimately, the Sedition Act did not have as significant of an impact in these states as the popular narrative holds.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Robinson, Sarah Elizabeth

Teaching Observational Learning to Children with Autism: An In-vivo and Video-Model Assessment

Description: Observational learning (OL) occurs when an individual contacts reinforcement as a direct result of discriminating the observed consequences of other individuals' responses. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have deficits in observational learning and previous research has demonstrated that teaching a series of prerequisite skills (i.e., attending, imitation, delayed imitation, and consequence discrimination) can result in observational learning. We sequentially taught these prerequisite skills for three young children with ASD across three play-based tasks. We assessed the direct and indirect effects of training by assessing OL before and after instruction across tasks and task variations (for two participants) during both in-vivo and video-model probes using a concurrent multiple-probe design. All participants acquired the prerequisite skills and demonstrated observational learning during probes of directly-trained tasks. Generalization results varied across participants. Observational learning generalized to one untrained task for one participant. For the other two participants, observational learning generalized to variations of the trained tasks but not to untrained tasks. Generalization additionally occurred during the in-vivo probes for both participants for whom we assessed this response. Implications of these findings, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Sansing, Elizabeth M

Shear and Compression Strength of Cold-formed Steel Clip Angles Subjected to Different Screw Patterns

Description: This thesis presents experiments and numerical analysis of the cold-formed steel clip angle in three different limit states which are shear, compression, and combination of the screw connection. A previous cold-formed steel clip angle test program (which is Phase 1) developed design methods for clip angle. Therefore, the object of this thesis is to further investigate the behavior and design methods of loading-bearing cold-formed steel clip angles under different screw pattern. For each limit state, a test program was conducted to investigate the behavior, strength, and deflection of the clip angle. The test result were compared with previous CFS clip angle design method. Amending existing CFS clip angle method were developed by each of the four limit states studied in this project.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Yan, Zhishan

The Effectiveness of Peer Mentoring with High School Student Mentors and Child Mentees

Description: This randomized, controlled study examined the effectiveness of two mentoring programs, child mentor relationship training (CMRT) and peer assistance and leadership (PAL®), on high school mentor empathic behaviors and child mentee behavior problems. Participants were 60 young, at-risk students (61.7% male; 38.3% Hispanic/Latino/a, 31.7% Caucasian, 21.7% African American, 8.3% biracial) and 30 high school students (53.3% male; 66.7% Caucasian, 26.7% Hispanic/Latino/a, 0.03% African American, 0.03% Asian). Mentors and mentees were randomly assigned to CMRT or PAL®, which was treatment as usual in the participating school district. Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated compared to the PAL® treatment group over time, mentors in the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in empathic behaviors with a large treatment effect, as rated by independent observers. Analysis revealed a moderate treatment effect with CMRT group mentee behavior problems, but the difference was not statistically significant between treatment groups over time. Further analysis revealed the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant reductions in behavior problems from pre- to post-test with a very large treatment effect. Overall, findings support CMRT as a promising school-based intervention for at-risk young children that potentially increases school counselor efficiency.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Dafoe, Eric C.

Phylogenetic and Functional Characterization of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) CENTRORADIALIS/TERMINAL FLOWER1/SELF-PRUNING Genes

Description: Plant architecture is an important agronomic trait driven by meristematic activities. Indeterminate meristems set repeating phytomers while determinate meristems produce terminal structures. The centroradialis/terminal flower1/self pruning (CETS) gene family modulates architecture by controlling determinate and indeterminate growth. Cotton (G. hirsutum) is naturally a photoperiodic perennial cultivated as a day-neutral annual. Management of this fiber crop is complicated by continued vegetative growth and asynchronous fruit set. Here, cotton CETS genes are phylogenetically and functionally characterized. We identified eight CETS genes in diploid cotton (G. raimondii and G. arboreum) and sixteen in tetraploid G. hirsutum that grouped within the three generally accepted CETS clades: flowering locus T (FT)-like, terminal flower1/self pruning (TFL1/SP)-like, and mother of FT and TFL1 (MFT)-like. Over-expression of single flower truss (GhSFT), the ortholog to Arabidopsis FT, accelerates the onset of flowering in Arabidopsis Col-0. In mutant rescue analysis, this gene driven by its native promoter rescues the ft-10 late flowering phenotype. GhSFT upstream sequence was used to drive expression of the uidA reporter gene. As anticipated, GUS accumulated in the vasculature of Arabidopsis leaves. Cotton has five TFL1-like genes, all of which delay flowering when ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis; the strongest phenotypes fail to produce functional flowers. Three of these genes, GhSP, GhTFL1-L2, and GhBFT-L2, rescue the early flowering tfl1-14 mutant phenotype. GhSPpro:uidA promoted GUS activity specifically in plant meristems; whereas, other GhTFL1-like promoters predominately drove GUS activities in plant vascular tissues. Finally, analysis of Gossypium CETS promoter sequences predicted that GhSFT, GhSP, GhTFL1-L1, GhTFL1-L2 and GhBFT-L2 are regulated by transcription factors involved in shoot and flowering development. Analysis of cotton's two MFT homologs indicated that neither gene functions to control shoot architecture. Our results emphasize the functional conservation of members of this gene family in flowering plants and also suggest this family as targets during artificial selection ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Prewitt, Sarah F

Estimating Thermal Conductivity and Volumetric Specific Heat of a Functionally Graded Material using Photothermal Radiometry

Description: Functionally graded materials (FGMs) are inhomogeneous materials in which the material properties vary with respect to space. Research has been done by scientific community in developing techniques like photothermal radiometry (PTR) to measure the thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity of FGMs. One of the problems involved in the technique is to solve the inverse problem, i.e., estimating the thermal properties after the frequency scan has been obtained. The present work involves finding the unknown thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity of the FGMs by using finite volume method. By taking the flux entering the sample as periodic and solving the discretized 1-D thermal wave field equation at a frequency domain, one can obtain the complex temperatures at the surface of the sample for each frequency. These complex temperatures when solved for a range of frequencies gives the phase vs frequency scan which can then be compared to original frequency scan obtained from the PTR experiment by using a residual function. Brute force and gradient descent optimization methods have been implemented to estimate the unknown thermal conductivity and volumetric specific heat of the FGMs through minimization of the residual function. In general, the spatial composition profile of the FGMs can be approximated by using a smooth curve. Three functional forms namely Arctangent curve, Hermite curve, and Bezier curve are used in approximating the thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity distributions in the FGMs. The use of Hermite and Bezier curves gives the flexibility to control the slope of the curve i.e. the thermal property distribution along the thickness of the sample. Two-layered samples with constant thermal properties and three layered samples in which one of the layer has varying thermal properties with respect to thickness are considered. The program is written in Fortran and several test runs are performed. Results ...
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Koppanooru, Sampat Kumar Reddy

The Generation of Recombinant Zea mays Spastin and Katanin Proteins for In Vitro Analysis

Description: Plant microtubules play essential roles in cell processes such as cell division, cell elongation, and organelle organization. Microtubules are arranged in highly dynamic and ordered arrays, but unlike animal cells, plant cells lack centrosomes. Therefore, microtubule nucleation and organization are governed by microtubule-associated proteins, including a microtubule-severing protein, katanin. Mutant analysis and in vitro characterization has shown that the highly conserved katanin is needed for the organization of the microtubule arrays in Arabidopsis and rice as well as in a variety of animal models. Katanin is a protein complex that is part of the AAA+ family of ATPases. Katanin is composed of two subunits, katanin-p60, a catalytic subunit and katanin-p80, a regulatory subunit. Spastin is another MT-severing protein that was identified on the basis of its homology to katanin. In animal cells, spastin is also needed for microtubule organization, but its functionality has not yet been investigated in plants. To initiate an exploration of the function of katanin-p60 and spastin in Zea mays, my research goal was to generate tools for the expression and purification of maize katanin-p60 and spastin proteins in vitro. Plasmids that express katanin-p60 and spastin with N-terminal GST tags were designed and constructed via In-Fusion® cloning after traditional cloning methods were not successful. The constructs were expressed in E. coli, then the recombinant proteins were purified. To determine if the GST-tagged proteins are functional, ATPase activity and tubulin polymerization assays were performed. While both GST-katanin-p60 and GST-spastin hydrolyzed ATP indicating that the ATPase domains are functional, the results of the tubulin polymerization assays were less clear and further experimentation is necessary.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Alodailah, Sattam Sonitan

Artscapes: Community Perceptions of City Beautification through Murals in Denton, Texas

Description: Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB) is inspired by Keep America Beautiful's model of community engagement to create a clean, beautiful, and vibrant city. The community mural initiative, Artscapes, aims to enliven public spaces, abate graffiti, and inspire community members to keep Denton, Texas, clean and beautiful. The goals of this research project are to understand the impact of Artscapes initiative, community perceptions of public art, and find ways KDB can better align future mural projects with the needs and desires of community members. By talking to artists that have worked with KDB, members of the mural art committee, and community members from the neighborhoods that have existing murals, this research provides input from these three populations to continue creating public art for the Denton community. I discuss the context of my work through Lefebvre's concept of "Right to the City," Rafael Schacter's opposition between sanctioned and non-sanctioned murals, Bourdieu's concept of symbolic and social capital, and David Harvey's work on neoliberalism and the entrepreneurial city.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Robertson, Lindsey

An Analytical Perspective of the Developing Aesthetic Concepts in Sergey Prokofiev's "Choses en soi," Op. 45

Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze the compositional techniques in Choses en soi op.45, by Sergey Prokofiev, and to explore the new aesthetic concepts he claimed to include in this composition. Through the examination of the compositional elements and discussion of its salient characteristics.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Liu, Tzu-Yi

Using Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement to Decrease Behavior

Description: We manipulated delay and magnitude of reinforcers in two concurrent schedules of reinforcement to decrease a prevalent behavior while increasing another behavior already in the participant's repertoire. The first experiment manipulated delay, implementing a five second delay between the behavior and delivery of reinforcement for a behavior targeted for decrease while no delay was implemented after the behavior targeted for increase. The second experiment manipulated magnitude, providing one piece of food for the behavior targeted for decrease while two pieces of food were provided for the behavior targeted for increase. The experiments used an ABAB reversal design. Results suggest that behavior can be decreased without the use of extinction when contingencies favor the desirable behavior.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Palmer, Ashlyn