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The Civic Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Seoul, Korea: Implications for Urban Governance

Description: This dissertation answers three research questions: "What differences and similarities exist among neighborhood associations in the United States, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea?," "What are the civic roles of neighborhood associations in apartment complexes in Seoul, South Korea?," and "What factors promote neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance?" To answer the first question, this research analyzes the purposes, governance structures, roles, and legal substance of neighborhood associations by reviewing previous studies, public and legal documents, court cases in the U.S., and by conducting interviews. To answer the second and the third questions, a 2016 survey, "Understanding the Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Urban Governance" was conducted with 154 representatives of neighborhood associations in Seoul. Social capital theory, government failure theory, and third party government theory were used to create hypotheses that test proposed relationships about neighborhood interactions, community characteristics, and the civic roles played by neighborhood associations. The findings show that neighborhood associations have adopted several roles including service provider, partner in public service delivery for local government, and advocate for residents in urban governance. The findings also show that social capital created by neighborhood interactions and community characteristics facilitates neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kim, Jung Wook

Firm Performance and Analyst Forecast Accuracy Following Discontinued Operations: Evidence from the Pre-SFAS 144 and SFAS 144 Eras

Description: Because of the non-recurring and transitory nature of discontinued operations, accounting standards require that the results of discontinued operations be separately reported on the income statement. Prior accounting literature supports the view that discontinued operations are non-recurring or transitory in nature, and also suggests that income classified as transitory has minimal relevance in firm valuation. Finance and management literature, however, suggest that firms discontinue operations to strategically utilize their scarce resources. Assuming that discontinued operations are a result of managerial motives to strategically concentrate resources into remaining continued operations, this dissertation examines the informativeness of discontinued operations. In doing so, this dissertation empirically tests the financial performance, investment efficiency, valuation, and analyst forecast accuracy effects of discontinued operations. In 2001, Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) 144 (hereafter SFAS 144) replaced Accounting Principles Board's Opinion 30 (hereafter APB 30) and broadened the scope of divestiture transactions to be presented in discontinued operations. Some stakeholders of financial statements argued that discontinued operations were less decision-useful in the SFAS 144 era because too many transactions that do not represent a strategic shift in operations were separately stated as discontinued operations on the income statement. With the possibility that the discontinued operations reported in SFAS 144 era may not reflect a major strategic reallocation of resources, this dissertation examines whether the relationship between discontinued operations, firm performance, investment efficiency, and analyst forecast accuracy are different in the pre-SFAS 144 and SFAS 144 era. Using a sample of firms that discontinued operations between 1990 and 2012, this dissertation study finds limited evidence that firms experience improvement in financial performance following discontinued operations and that such improvement is only observed in pre-SFAS 144 era. The results also suggest that any improvement in financial performance documented is conditional on the profitability ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Guragai, Binod

Validation of an Observation and Evaluation Instrument for the Supervision of Middle and Secondary Pre-Service Teachers

Description: The purpose of the study was to determine the validity and reliability of a revised observation and evaluation instrument of middle and secondary pre-service clinical teaching to be used as part of the clinical supervision cycle and for formative purposes. The North Texas Appraisal of Classroom Teaching (NTACT) serves as a performance assessment tool utilized by a south-central university-based educator preparation program for the evaluation and supervision of pre-service teachers during their last semester of their program. The researcher piloted and field-tested a redesigned observation and evaluation instrument (NTACT-V2) on observer participants with varying educational experiences in the south-central region. To accumulate evidence of validity and reliability, this study employed methods of factor analysis and generalizability study for developing a valid and reliable instrument to guide the refinement process of the NTACT observation and evaluation instrument. Some of the significant conclusions reached in this study were (a) the NTACT-V2 is a practical, user-friendly classroom observation and evaluation instrument; (b) the instrument refined and developed in this study exhibits appropriate content, face, and criterion validity as determined by a panel of experts and an extensive review of the literature; and, (c) a variety of observers can use the evaluation instrument with relative ease while achieving a high degree of reliability.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Bush, Brandon

Disease Tissue Imaging and Single Cell Analysis with Mass Spectrometry

Description: Cells have been found to have an inherent heterogeneity that has led to an increase in the development of single-cell analysis methods to characterize the extent of heterogeneity that can be found in seemingly identical cells. With an understanding of normal cellular variability, the identification of disease induced cellular changes, known as biomarkers, may become more apparent and readily detectable. Biomarker discovery in single-cells is challenging and needs to focus on molecules that are abundant in cells. Lipids are widely abundant in cells and play active roles in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and are the main component of cellular membranes. The regulation of lipid metabolism is often disrupted or lost during disease progression, especially in cancer, making them ideal candidates as biomarkers. Challenges exist in the analysis of lipids beyond those of single-cell analysis. Lipid extraction solvents must be compatible with the lipid or lipids of interest. Many lipids are isobaric making mass spectrometry analysis difficult without separations. Single-cell extractions using nanomanipulation coupled to mass spectrometry has shown to be an excellent method for lipid analysis of tissues and cell cultures. Extraction solvents are tunable for specific lipid classes, nanomanipulation prevents damage to neighboring cells, and lipid separations are possible through phase dispersion. The most important aspect of single-cell analysis is that it uncovers the extent of cellular heterogeneity that exists among cellular populations that remains undetected during averaged sampling.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hamilton, Jason S

Food and the Master-Servant Relationship in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Britain

Description: This thesis serves to highlight the significance of food and diet in the servant problem narrative of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain and the role of food in master-servant relationships as a source of conflict. The study also shows how attitudes towards servant labor, wages, and perquisites resulted in food-related theft. Employers customarily provided regular meals, food, drink, or board wages and tea money to their domestic servants in addition to an annual salary, yet food and meals often resulted in contention as evidenced by contemporary criticism and increased calls for legislative wage regulation. Differing expectations of wage components, including food and other perquisites, resulted in ongoing conflict between masters and servants. Existing historical scholarship on the relationship between British domestic servants and their masters or mistresses in context of the servant problem often tends to place focus on themes of gender and sexuality. Considering the role of food as a fundamental necessity in the lives of servants provides a new approach to understanding the servant problem and reveals sources of mistrust and resentment in the master-servant relationship.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Weiss, Victoria A

Creating Discussion: An Auteur Analysis of Films Directed by Adrian Lyne

Description: This thesis examines the various "signature" threads that are present within the "oeuvre" of the Hollywood filmmaker Adrian Lyne. The goal of this thesis is to showcase both how and why Lyne can be thought of as an auteur and to open up his films to new and previously unexplored meanings. Lyne's eight feature films are analyzed in-depth individually and in comparison to one another from a variety of theoretical frameworks and points of focus in each of the body chapters.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Oliver, Stephanie Renee

Age Friendly Cities: The Bureaucratic Responsiveness Effects on Age Friendly Policy Adoption

Description: Challenging a long-held attachment to the medical model, this research develops a cultural model placing local governments at the center of policy making and refocusing policy attention on mobility, housing, the built environment and services. To examine the phenomenon of age friendly policy adoption by cities and the magnitude of adoption, a 21-question web-based survey was administered to a sample of 1,050 cities from the U.S. Census having a population over 10,000 and having at least 14% of their population aged 65 years and over. The goal of the questionnaire was to help identify what kind of policy objectives cities establish to facilitate the opportunity for older adults to live healthy and independent lives in their communities as they age. Multiple linear and ordinal regression models examined the likelihood of policy action by cities and provide evidence as to why some cities support more age friendly policy actions than others. Evidence illustrates theoretical advancement providing support for a cultural model of aging. The cultural model includes multiple factors including bureaucratic responsiveness reflected in the management values of the administration. Findings show variation in the integration of a cultural awareness of aging in the municipality's needs assessment, strategic goals, citizen engagement strategies, and budgetary principles. Cities with a cultural awareness of aging are more likely to adopt age friendly policies. Findings also provide support for the argument that the public administrator is not the driving sole factor in decision making. A shared spaced with mobilized citizen need of individuals 65 and over is identified.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Keyes, Laura Marie

Effectiveness of Fillers for Corrosion Protection of AISI-SAE 1018 Steel in Sea Salt Solution

Description: Corrosion represents the single most frequent cause for product replacement or loss of product functionality with a 5% coat to the industrial revenue generation of any country in this dissertation the efficacy of using filled coatings as a protection coating are investigated. Fillers disrupt the polymer-substrate coating interfacial area and lead to poor adhesion. Conflicting benefits of increasing surface hardness and corrosion with long term durability through loss of adhesion to the substrate are investigated. The effects of filler type, filler concentration and exposure to harsh environments such as supercritical carbon dioxide on salt water corrosion are systematically investigated. The constants maintained in the design of experiments were the substrate, AISI-SAE 1018 steel substrate, and the corrosive fluid synthetic sea salt solution (4.2 wt%) and the polymer, Bismaleimide (BMI). Adhesion strength through pull-off, lap shear and shear peel tests were determined. Corrosion using Tafel plots and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was conducted. Vickers hardness was used to determine mechanical strength of the coatings. SEM and optical microscopy were used to examine dispersion and coating integrity. A comparison of fillers such as alumina, silica, hexagonal boron nitride, and organophilic montmorillonite clay (OMMT) at different concentrations revealed OMMT to be most effective with the least decrease in adhesion from filler-substrate contact. Subsequently examining filler concentration, a 3 wt% OMMT was found to be most effective. A comparison of unmodified and modified BMI with 3 wt% OMMT exposed and not exposed to supercritical carbon dioxide showed that the BMI provided better corrosion protection; however, OMMT provided better wear, shear, and hardness performance.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Al-Shenawa, Amaal Abdallah Ali

Composer/Performer Collaboration as Seen in the Solo Piano Part of Percy Grainger's Edition of the Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16

Description: The purpose of this document is threefold. First, it demonstrates what Grieg contributes to the musical text compared with the original Peters edition, particularly, those additions that refer to expression, interpretation, and style. Second, this document focuses on presenting Grainger's changes that were approved by Grieg. Third, the document evaluates Grainger's own suggestions for pedaling, hand redistribution and fingering, addition of notes, tempo markings, and other performance guidelines.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lee, Sung Yo

The Effectiveness of Hybrid Problem-Based Learning versus Manual-Based Learning in the Microbiology Laboratory

Description: Promising results from the use of problem-based learning (PBL) as a teaching method in medical programs have encouraged many institutions to incorporate PBL into their curricula. This study investigates how applying hybrid-PBL (H-PBL) in a microbiology laboratory impacts students' higher-order thinking as compared to applying a lecture-based pedagogy. The experimental design compared the learning outcomes of two groups of students: the control group and the H-PBL group, for whom PBL cases comprised 30% of the curriculum. Both groups were taught basic skills for the microbiology lab by the same instructor. Using the traditional teaching style for the control group, the instructor offered each student what they needed for their experiments. The H-PBL group practiced experimental design, data analysis, theory proposal, and created research questions by using six study cases that were closely linked to the area of study. The outcome was measured using a pre- and post- assessment consisting of 24 questions that was designed by following Bloom's taxonomy of learning levels. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data. The results showed that for the first three levels of Bloom's taxonomy— knowledge, comprehension, and application—there were no statistically significant differences between the H-PBL and control group gain scores as determined by a one-way ANOVA. For the knowledge level, f (1, 78) = .232, and p = .632; for the comprehension level, f (1, 78) = .004, and p = .951; and for the application level f (1, 78) =. 028, and p =.863. On the other hand, the gain scores for the three higher levels—analysis, evaluation, and creativity—improved for the H-PBL group. The analysis level showed statistically significant differences, with f (1, 78) = 4.012, and p = .049. Also, there were statistically significant differences in students' performance at the evaluation level, with f (1, 78) = 11.495, ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Alharbi, Najwa

"The Eviction"

Description: The Eviction is a film about the forced eviction of a large homeless encampment in Dallas. In an effort to understand the gravity over a month of filming I will capture the stories of people, events, and the trials of those who are trying to offer a hand up.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Galloway, Andrew Reynolds

Relations among Parental Responding to Offspring Emotion, Emotion Approach Coping, and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms among Trauma-Exposed College Students

Description: The present investigation evaluated whether dispositional use of emotional approach coping partially accounts for the association between parental response to emotional expression and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in a sample of 252 trauma-exposed individuals drawn from a pool of college students and college-age members of the community at-large. An online survey assessed parental reactions to participants' negative emotions during childhood (i.e., offspring retrospective report), as well as participant trauma history, PTSS, and use of emotional approach coping. Findings complement literature illustrating the long-lasting implications of the parent-child relationship, such that both supportive and unsupportive parenting were related to PTSS. Supportive parental reactions also were related to emotional expression, but not emotional processing, and unsupportive reactions did not significantly relate to either aspect of emotional approach coping. Notably, emotional approach coping strategies were unrelated to PTSS in the full sample, and thus the indirect effects models were not supported. Post hoc analyses indicated preliminary support for the indirect effect of emotional expression on the relation between supportive parenting and PTSS in the local college student sample (n = 117). Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Dziurzynski, Kristan E.

The Lived Experiences of African American Community College Achievers in Developmental Education

Description: Developmental education courses are typically defined as courses offered at postsecondary institutions below college level instruction. More than 60% of community college students are deemed non-college ready and required to enroll in non-credit bearing developmental education courses. Research shows that developmental education can be either a bridge or barrier to degree attainment for racial/ethnic minority students, particularly African Americans, who require developmental education more than any other racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of African American community college achievers who were required to enroll in two or more developmental education courses. Achievers were defined as students who passed all developmental education courses and were enrolled in their final college gateway course at the time of the interviews. Utilizing a phenomenological approach and anti-deficit framework, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the essence of how African American achievers described, interpreted, and understood their journeys from developmental education to becoming college ready to completing college level courses. Twelve participants were female and three were male, ranging from 20 to 52 years old. Results revealed seven major themes. The first research question addressed how achievers described their developmental education experience from pre-collegiate years through inside the classroom, and four themes emerged: (a) Achievers experienced difficulty from childhood through college matriculation; (b) achievers experienced support from familial and institutional agents; (c) achievers experienced chilly instructional environments; and (d) achievers experienced positive interactions with peer tutors. The second research question addressed factors that contributed to the persistence of achievers, and three themes emerged: (a) Achievers persisted because of clearly defined goals; (b) achievers persisted because of help seeking behaviors; and (c) achievers persisted because of intrinsic motivation that stemmed from difficult life experiences. Although the majority of participants were discouraged by the requirement to enroll in two ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hicks, Janice Marie

Building an Effective Piano Technique while Avoiding Injury: A Comparison of the Exercises in Alfred Cortot's "Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique" and Carl Tausig's "Daily Studies for the Pianoforte"

Description: It is the teacher's responsibility to guide students in building an effective and injury-free piano technique. Improper technique, poor training and bad posture at the instrument all may cause problems such as lack of muscle control, weakness, or tension in the hands. Many teachers are interested in finding information about specific exercises dealing with finger strengthening, stretching, and warm-up strategies, as well as guidelines for safe practicing. It is therefore important for both teachers and students to understand how to build a technique from the earliest years of instruction. Carl Tausig (1841-1871) and Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) both contributed to the development of piano technique by writing books that include a significant number of exercises and excerpts. Their books incorporate detailed instructions on how to play each exercise effectively and without fatigue. Subsequently, Heinrich Ehrlich (1822-1899) collected and systematically arranged Tausig's notes, complementing them with detailed information on how to play Tausig's exercises without causing injury. This dissertation compares and contrasts the exercises found in Alfred Cortot's book, Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique, and Carl Tausig's book, Daily Studies for the Pianoforte. The latter is based on the practical guidebook, How to Practise on the Piano: Reflections and Suggestions, written by Heinrich Ehrlich. Included in this study are references to the performing arts medical literature dealing with pianists' injuries. By comparing two different historical piano methods and considering their effectiveness in light of modern medical performance research, this dissertation aims to help teachers to determine which methods might be better for students to build a solid piano technique without injuring themselves.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Woo, Lae Hyung

Leader-Follower Model and Impact of Mobility on Consensus Building

Description: Wireless sensor networks are an indispensable tool in this highly connected world. WSNs have been the focus of research efforts in areas of communication, electronics and control for many years. Advancements in the fields of MEMS, RF and digital circuit technology has led to the development of low cost and extremely power efficient smart sensors. This has led to the need of a fast, reliable and inexpensive method of consensus building for these sensor networks. Basic concepts of graph theory and consensus building are explained in this thesis. This thesis reviews the models and strategies for consensus building present in the literature. The shortcomings of these models are explained through examples and a leader-follower model based consensus building strategy is presented. Algorithm to convert any graph into a bipartite graph by edge removal and a strategy to select effective leaders based on a weighted combination of node centrality, ratio of leaders to the total number of nodes and presence of leaf nodes in the group is presented in this thesis. Proposed leader-follower model is compared against classic models for consensus building are compared and proven to be better. Mobility is studied using deterministic and random mobility models to show the improvement in convergence rate of the network. It is shown that mobility can turn any disconnected network into a connected network, which is able to reach consensus.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Singh, Ramanpreet

Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status

Description: Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
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Date: May 2017
Creator: DaSilva, Jose E.

Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning: An Investigation of Miranda Abilities in Adult Inpatients

Description: Nearly 700,000 suspects with mental disorders are arrested and Mirandized each year. The current study systematically examined the effects of cognitive deficits and psychological symptoms on both Miranda comprehension and reasoning. The current sample was comprised of 85 adult psychiatric inpatients recruited from University Behavioral Health (UBH), a private psychiatric hospital in North Texas. Unexpectedly, most inpatients demonstrated pervasive deficits in their immediate recall of a representative Miranda warning, omitting approximately four-fifths of its content. In addition, the majority of inpatients evidenced damaging errors in their reasoning about waiver decisions. As a result, 64.7% waived and subsequently confessed after only a 3-5 minute interrogation. Interestingly, impaired verbal ability but not the severity of their symptoms predicted greater deficits in Miranda comprehension.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Winningham, Darby B.

A Panel Analysis of Institutional Finances of Medical Residencies at Non-University-Based Independent M.D. Granting Medical Schools in the United States

Description: Traditionally, medical residency positions have been primarily funded by the federal government. However, due to declining governmental funding support over time, medical schools have resorted to fund these programs through other means such as clinical fees and payments for services. This change has affected the number and types of residencies available to medical school graduates. The purpose of this study was to measure how the availability of fiscal resources shape mission-related outputs, particularly medical residency positions at medical schools. Using academic capitalism as the theoretical framework provided a lens through which to examine how federal policies have shaped the availability and funding of medical residencies today at the institutional level. This concept has been studied in traditional colleges and universities and how they balance mission and money, but less so in the context of medical schools. This study used a fixed effect panel analysis to study the impact of selected variables over a 10-year period on financing of medical residencies. Findings included that tuition revenues, paid for by undergraduate medical students, are increasingly funding medical residency positions. There was little to no effect from hospital revenues and federal research monies on increasing the number of medical residency positions. The funding of university based medical education is particularly timely and of national importance to understand the consequences of federal policies for medical schools and how medical residency funding caps and limits have affected one of the missions of medical schools which is to train physicians.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Cho, Ah Ra

Study Abroad and Student-Athlete Choice

Description: The focus of this case study was a study abroad program for student-athletes at a high academically achieving, small liberal arts college in the mid-west region of the United States. The program is designed to maintain a culture of internationalism and multiculturalism by exposing as many student-athletes as possible to study abroad. I reviewed literature to extract an appropriate theoretical framework along with variables that aligned with the purpose of the study; structural and organizational characteristics of the institution, student's background and pre-college traits, interaction with agents of socialization and institutional environment, and quality of effort. I used the semi-structured interview process to interview 9 senior student-athletes (3 female, 6 male; 7 White, 1 African American/White, 1 Chilean/White) who participated in study abroad during the 2015-2016 academic school year at the researched institution and to interview 5 administrators who facilitate the athletic department at the institution. I found that certain critical elements emerged as necessary to create and maintain a study abroad program geared specifically to the needs of the student-athlete population. I also found strong implications for adaptable elements that could generate opportunities for student-athletes to study abroad at a higher rate. These elements serve as a recommended framework and set of initial guidelines for student-athletes and athletic departments nationwide.
Date: May 2017
Creator: O'Neil, Chaunte' LaJoyce

Investigation of Spray Cooling Schemes for Dynamic Thermal Management

Description: This study aims to investigate variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling characteristics for efficiency improvement in active two-phase thermal management systems. Variable flow spray cooling scheme requires control of pump input voltage (or speed), while intermittent flow spray cooling scheme requires control of solenoid valve duty cycle and frequency. Several testing scenarios representing dynamic heat load conditions are implemented to characterize the overall performance of variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling cases in comparison with the reference, steady flow spray cooling case with constant flowrate, continuous spray cooling. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. HFE-7100 dielectric liquid is selected as the working fluid. Two types of test samples are prepared on 10 mm x 10 mm x 2 mm copper substrates with matching size thick film resistors attached onto the opposite side, to generate heat and simulate high heat flux electronic devices. The test samples include: (i) plain, smooth surface, and (ii) microporous surface featuring 100 μm thick copper-based coating prepared by dual stage electroplating technique. Experimental conditions involve HFE-7100 at atmospheric pressure and 30°C and ~10°C subcooling. Steady flow spray cooling tests are conducted at flow rates of 2 - 5 ml/cm².s, by controlling the heat flux in increasing steps, and recording the corresponding steady-state temperatures to obtain cooling curves in the form of surface superheat vs. heat flux. Variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling tests are done at selected flowrate and subcooling conditions to investigate the effects of dynamic flow conditions on maintaining the target surface temperatures defined based on reference steady flow spray cooling performance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Yata, Vishnu Vardhan Reddy

A Community Based Assessment: An Analysis of Community Based Tourism in Kalache and Hulgol, India

Description: This study incorporated a community based assessment with a focus on community based tourism in Kalache and Hulgol, India. Kalache and Hulgol are two agrarian based communities located in the environmentally significant region of the Western Ghats. Each of these communities has considered community based tourism as a means to reduce urban youth outmigration, to diversify economic resources, and to encourage the empowerment of women. The primary goals of this study were to understand the community issues and objectives, to determine the level of support for tourism development, to determine participant attitudes toward tourism, and to determine the obstacles to tourism development. The findings of this project address the complexity of operating in the tourism industry, the impacts of tourism, and the use of community based tourism models in support of sustainable tourism.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Schutz, Michael

Sustainable Ecofriendly Insulation Foams for Disaster Relief Housing

Description: Natural disasters are affecting a significant number of people around the world. Sheltering is the first step in post-disaster activities towards the normalization of the affected people's lives. Temporary housing is being used in these cases until the construction of permanent houses are done. Disposal of temporary housing after use is leading to a significant environmental impact because most of them are filled with thermally insulative polymer foams that do not degrade in a short period. To reduce these problems this work proposes to use foams made with compostable thermoplastic polylactic acid (PLA) and degradable kenaf core as filler materials; these foams are made using CO2 as blowing agent for insulation purposes. Foams with PLA and 5%, 10% and 15% kenaf core were tested. Different properties and their relations were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermal conductivity, mechanical properties, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray μ-computed tomography (μ-CT) and building energy simulations were done using Energy Plus by NREL. The results show that mechanical properties are reduced with the introduction of kenaf core reinforcement while thermal conductivity display a noticeable improvement.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Chitela, Yuvaraj R

Automated GUI Tests Generation for Android Apps Using Q-learning

Description: Mobile applications are growing in popularity and pose new problems in the area of software testing. In particular, mobile applications heavily depend upon user interactions and a dynamically changing environment of system events. In this thesis, we focus on user-driven events and use Q-learning, a reinforcement machine learning algorithm, to generate tests for Android applications under test (AUT). We implement a framework that automates the generation of GUI test cases by using our Q-learning approach and compare it to a uniform random (UR) implementation. A novel feature of our approach is that we generate user-driven event sequences through the GUI, without the source code or the model of the AUT. Hence, considerable amount of cost and time are saved by avoiding the need for model generation for generating the tests. Our results show that the systematic path exploration used by Q-learning results in higher average code coverage in comparison to the uniform random approach.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Koppula, Sreedevi

Probabilistic Analysis of Contracting Ebola Virus Using Contextual Intelligence

Description: The outbreak of the Ebola virus was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Due to the complex nature of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had created interim guidance for monitoring people potentially exposed to Ebola and for evaluating their intended travel and restricting the movements of carriers when needed. Tools to evaluate the risk of individuals and groups of individuals contracting the disease could mitigate the growing anxiety and fear. The goal is to understand and analyze the nature of risk an individual would face when he/she comes in contact with a carrier. This thesis presents a tool that makes use of contextual data intelligence to predict the risk factor of individuals who come in contact with the carrier.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Gopala Krishnan, Arjun