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"Failure to Yield": Essays

Description: Failure to Yield is a collection of creative nonfiction that explores themes of presence and emotional connection and expression. The seven essays, which include three flash essays, explore the themes by reflecting on such topics as marriage, parent-child relationships and addiction. The collection is woven together by the author's relationships with her parents and children and by her experiences growing up in a small town in Iowa.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Siegfried, Cary Ann

The Impact of True Fit Technology on Millennial Consumer Confidence and Satisfaction in their Online Clothing Purchase

Description: This study examines the use of True Fit® technology by millennial consumers and its impact on consumer confidence and satisfaction with respect to online sizing. In the apparel industry, there is a lack of size standards among retailers, and as a result consumers will encounter frequent size variations in their clothing size. Difference sizing technology has been developed to address the sizing issue. One is True Fit® which unlike other sizing technologies, uses mathematical algorithms to compile large amounts of data from designers. The purpose of this study was to analyze consumer confidence and satisfaction after True Fit® has been used to make a sizing decision while online shopping. The technology acceptance model (TAM) was used as the basis for the theoretical framework for this study. TAM explores how current advances in technology are influencing consumers' behaviors and attitudes. The variables studies included perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, attitude, intent to use True Fit®, confidence and satisfaction. The methodology used in the study is a quantitative method consisting of an online survey and a True Fit® task, where consumers were exposed to True Fit® prior to answering questions about the use of sizing technology. The results of the study suggest the dependent variable of confidence and satisfaction with the sizing technology was positively affected by the intent to use True Fit®. Thus, it can be inferred that consumers felt positively about adopting apparel size technology and that technology such as this would have wide application in the future.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Parr, Jacqueline Nicole

Considerations for Global Development and Impact using Haiti as a Case Study

Description: As the world becomes more connected, issues surrounding sustainable development are coming to the fore of global discussions. This is exemplified in strategies such as the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), released in 2015, which created a framework for global development that defines specific goals for issues like poverty, climate change, and social justice. To complement the analysis that went into defining the SDGs, capital allocations around the world are becoming more impact focused so that the paradigm of development is shifting from donations to impact investments. The push for impact, however, has led to a homogenization of global challenges like reproductive health and poverty. This, in turn, has led to a standardization of information resulting in agencies designing interventions based on data and information that is misguided because of incorrect assumptions about a specific context. This paper explores how the decision-making mechanisms of global development agencies and investors could apply more anthropological processes to mitigate negative impact. As the development sector becomes more and more standardized, anthropologists can act as translators between affected communities and the institutions deciding how best to help them.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Clerie, Isabelle

Corbicula fluminea Invasion as a Secondary Effect of Hydrilla verticillata Management via Triploid Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

Description: A study of Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea Müller) colonization in relation to changes in aquatic vegetation community as a result of management of Hydrilla verticillata (L. f.) Royle with grass carp was conducted at the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility (LAERF), Lewisville, TX, from April 2015 through October 2016. Percent vegetation cover, C. fluminea abundance and water quality metrics (pH, turbidity, conductivity, DO, calcium, chlorophyll a) from 16 experimental subjects were analyzed. Treatments included four replicated grass carp stocking densities; 1-control with no fish stocked (n = 4), 2-low density of 40-43 fish per vegetated ha (n = 4), 3-medium density of 72-81 fish per vegetated ha (n = 4) and 4-high density of 110-129 fish per vegetated ha (n = 4). Data analysis showed statistical significance in the relation of C. fluminea abundance to percent vegetation cover (multiple linear regression, r2 = 0.820), grass carp stocking densities (two-way analysis of variance, p = <0.001) and chlorophyll a (multiple linear regression, r2 = 0.339). Findings of this research indicate the possibility that management of hydrilla had enabled establishment of secondary invasive species.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Holbrook, David Lee

Homologs of Mammalian Lysosomal Lipase in Arabidopsis and Their Roles in Lipid Droplet Dynamics

Description: Lipid droplets (LDs) are organelles with many functions in cells and numerous protein interactors facilitate their biogenesis, maintenance, and turnover. The mammalian lipase responsible for LD turnover during lipophagy, LipA, has two candidate homologs in Arabidopsis: MPL1 and LIP1. One or both of these plant homologs may function in a similar manner to mammalian LipA, providing an LD breakdown pathway. To test this hypothesis, wild type (WT) Arabidopsis plants, MPL1 over-expressing (OE) mutants, and T-DNA insertion mutants of MPL1 (mpl1) and LIP1 (lip1) were examined for LD phenotypes in normal conditions and in environments where LD numbers are known to fluctuate. Plants to be imaged by confocal microscopy were exposed to heat stress and wounding to increase LD accumulation, senescence was induced in leaves to deplete lipids, and LDs were imaged throughout the day/night period to observe their diurnal regulation. The mutation of both MPL1 and LIP1 lead to an increase in LDs within the leaf mesophyll cells, although the spatial distribution of the LDs differed between the two mutants. mpl1 mutants had disrupted diurnal regulation of their LDs, but lip1 mutants did not. Alternately, lip1 mutants retained LDs during dark-induced senescence, and mpl1 mutants did not. Together these results suggest that MPL1 and LIP1 are likely both important for LD dynamics; however they appear have roles in different aspects of LD accumulation and turnover.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: McClinchie, Elizabeth A

Arduino Based Hybrid MPPT Controller for Wind and Solar

Description: Renewable power systems are becoming more affordable and provide better options than fossil-fuel generation, for not only the environment, but a benefit of a reduced cost of operation. Methods to optimize charging batteries from renewable technologies is an important subject for off-grid and micro-grids, and is becoming more relevant for larger installations. Overcharging or undercharging the battery can result in failure and reduction of battery life. The Arduino hybrid MPPT controller takes the advantage of solar and wind energy sources by controlling two systems simultaneously. The ability to manage two systems with one controller is better for an overall production of energy, cost, and manageability, at a minor expense of efficiency. The hybrid MPPT uses two synchronous buck DC-DC converters to control both wind and solar. The hybrid MPPT performed at a maximum of 93.6% efficiency, while the individual controller operated at a maximum 97.1% efficiency when working on the bench test. When designing the controller to manage power production from a larger generator, the inductor size was too large due to the frequency provided by the Arduino. A larger inductor means less allowable current to flow before the inductor becomes over saturated, reducing the efficiency of the controller. Utilizing a different microcontroller like the PIC16C63A produces a much faster frequency, which will reduce the inductor size needed and allow more current before over saturation.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Assaad, Michael

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

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

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

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

Effects of HALSs and Nano-ZnO Worked as UV Stabilizers of Polypropylene

Description: This work reports the outdoor weathering performance of ultraviolet (UV)-stabilized polypropylene (PP) products (using PP resins from Encore Wire). Different hindered amine light stabilizers (HALSs) and nano-ZnO were used to stabilize PP-film-based formulations that were exposed under UV light for 6 weeks simulating for in harsh outdoor weather of Dallas, Texas, USA in 2016. Characterization of the exposed PP film products was done in terms of mechanical and friction spectroscopic properties. The PP film formulations were divided into 15 categories based on the type of HALS and nano-ZnO incorporated. This was done to derive meaningful comparison of the various film formulations. Following exposure under UV light, the lifetimes of certain formulations were determined. On the basis of the mechanical and friction properties, it was determined that generally, the HALS or nano-ZnO stabilized PP film give better properties and if those two kinds of UV stabilizers can work together.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Lu, Xinyao

Spectrum Analysis and Prediction Using Long Short-Term Memory Neural Networks (LSTMs) and Cognitive Radios

Description: One statement that we can make with absolute certainty in our current time is that wireless communication is now the standard and the de-facto type of communication. Cognitive radios are able to interpret the frequency spectrum and adapt. The aim of this work is to be able to predict whether a frequency channel is going to be busy or free in a specific time located in the future. To do this, the problem is modeled as a time series problem where each usage of a channel is treated as a sequence of busy and free slots in a fixed time frame. For this time series problem, the method being implemented is one of the latest, state-of-the-art, technique in machine learning for time series and sequence prediction: long short-term memory neural networks, or LSTMs.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Hernandez Villapol, Jorge Luis

Untangled: The Effects Family Structure Has on Juvenile Delinquency

Description: Juvenile delinquency is an issue in today's society for various reasons. This issue can result due to different motives, but family dynamics is one of the most vital factors. The current study extends prior research done in regards to the family factors that affect juvenile delinquency and what policies and programs are available to eliminate these factors. The seven family dynamics that are studied are socioeconomic status, divorce, cohabiting, family transitions, parental incarceration, parental control, as well as parental substance abuse. A subsample of policies and programs are assigned to each factor and researched of whether or not they are effective. Majority of the programs were effective and were found to minimize antisocial behaviors among adolescents. The programs that were not evaluated were still found to have a positive impact on juveniles' behaviors due to the outcomes of the policies. Investing in these programs and policies are beneficial for juveniles and the impact that family dynamics play on delinquency.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Murray, Taylor Danielle

Furyous Female Just-Warriors of Post-Apocalypse and Dystopia

Description: The intention of this thesis is to identify and analyze the precise shift from an exploitative archetype to an empowered representation of women warriors, to identify the arena in which male and female characters are given equal agency in the context of war, and finally explore the key characteristics that make up an empowered female hero. This thesis also addresses the sociocultural nature of the warrior woman archetype as it pertains to the current role of women in the military. The films analyzed in this thesis are all post 9/11 films; a fact that links them culturally to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, numerous milestones have been reached for women in the armed services, especially for those women in combat positions. For the first time in American history women are being recognized for their active role as soldiers in combat. Therefore, it is valid to consider the correlation between seeing women as military professionals, fighting alongside male soldiers in these films, and the cultural impact of female combat soldiers. This aspect of the thesis also imbues the female just-warrior archetype with a legitimate history, mythology, and current cultural reference; which is essential to the visibility of female combat soldiers of the 21st century.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Lynch, Shaylynn

Understanding Perceptions of Community Gardens in the Dallas Area

Description: This exploratory research focuses on identifying the roles and perspectives of community gardens in the Dallas area. Results from semi-structured interviews reveal the social and political makeup of the neighborhoods where the garden projects in this study are located. While these findings highlight the benefits of gardening in the city, they can also be contested spaces. In advocating for the proliferation of garden projects in the city, community organizations would benefit from understanding the nuances of garden initiatives and the way in which they are perceived by members of the garden, nearby residents, and policy makers.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Ayyad, Raja

Maximal Proposition, Environmental Melodrama, and the Rhetoric of Local Movements: A Study of The Anti-Fracking Movement in Denton, Texas

Description: The environmental problems associated with the boom in hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," such as anthropogenic earthquakes and groundwater contamination, have motivated some citizens living in affected areas such as Denton, Texas to form movements with the goal of imposing greater regulation on the industry. As responses to an environmental threat that is localized and yet mobile, these anti-fracking movements must construct rhetorical appeals with complicated relationships to place. In this thesis, I examine the anti-fracking movement in Denton, Texas in a series of three rhetorical analyses. In the first, I compared fracking bans used by Frack Free Denton and State College, Pennsylvania to distinguish the argumentative claims that are dependent on the politics of place, and affect strategies localities must use in resisting natural gas extraction. In the second, I compare campaign strategies that use local identity as a way of invoking legitimacy, which reinforces narrative frameworks of environmental risk. In the third, I conduct and analyze interviews with anti-fracking leaders who described the narrative of their movement, which highlighted tensions in the rhetorical construction of a movement as local. Altogether, this thesis traces the rhetorical conception of place across the rhetoric of the anti-fracking movement in Denton, Texas, while seeking to demonstrate the value of combining rhetorical criticism with rhetorical field methods.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Hensley, Colton Dwayne

Human-Machine Interface Using Facial Gesture Recognition

Description: This Master thesis proposes a human-computer interface for individual with limited hand movements that incorporate the use of facial gesture as a means of communication. The system recognizes faces and extracts facial gestures to map them into Morse code that would be translated in English in real time. The system is implemented on a MACBOOK computer using Python software, OpenCV library, and Dlib library. The system is tested by 6 students. Five of the testers were not familiar with Morse code. They performed the experiments in an average of 90 seconds. One of the tester was familiar with Morse code and performed the experiment in 53 seconds. It is concluded that errors occurred due to variations in features of the testers, lighting conditions, and unfamiliarity with the system. Implementing an auto correction and auto prediction system will decrease typing time considerably and make the system more robust.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Toure, Zikra

When Race Matters: The Influence of Race on Case Clearances in Capital vs. Non-Capital Homicides in Texas

Description: Texas leads the nation in the number of executions carried out since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Race was a key factor in the 1972 moratorium, and though the Supreme Court allowed for its return under new statutes, race continues to plague the capital punishment legal system. In this study, I examine the influence of race on case clearances in capital and non-capital homicides in Texas, using the extra-legal and non-discretionary theories from existing clearance literature. I find that race influences the probability of cases being cleared in non-capital cases but has no statistically significant effect in clearing capital cases.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Samaniego, Rebekah