The purpose of this study was to examine involvement of African refugee parents in the education of their elementary school children. The setting of the study was Northern and Southern Texas. African refugee parents and their children's teachers completed written surveys and also participated in interviews. In the study's mixed-method design, quantitative measures provided data about parent involvement at home, parent involvement at school, frequency of parent-teacher contact, quality of parent-teacher relationship, parent endorsement of children's schools, and barriers to parent involvement. Qualitative data from the open-ended questions provided data on barriers and strategies to improve involvement. Sixty-one African refugee parents responded to the survey and also participated in an in-depth face-to-face or telephone interview. Twenty teacher participants responded to an online survey. Quantitative data gathered from the parent and teacher surveys were analyzed using frequency distributions and analyses of variance. Qualitative data were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories using Weft QDA, an open-source qualitative analysis software. From these data, I identified barriers to African refugee parent involvement in their children's schools, as well as challenges that teachers face as they try to involve African refugee parents. Results of analyses of variance revealed statistically significant differences in parent involvement between African refugee parents with limited English proficiency and those with high English proficiency. A key finding of the research was that, whereas the overall level of parent involvement for African refugee parents was low, a major barrier to involvement was language. Teachers and parents cited enrolment in English as a second language programs as the best strategy to enhance parent involvement of African refugees. Additionally, parents who reported higher education levels were more involved in their children's education both at home and at school. All groups of African refugee parents reported high endorsement of their children's ...
The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors.
Nation as a brand represents the intangible assets of a country, encompassing various dimensions such as politics, economics, culture, history, and technology. However, much of extant work in nation branding has been limited to the empirical investigations of its positioning and implementation for specific countries, while other scholarly works in nation branding are conceptual. Various factors associated with nation branding are discussed in the literature, but there is no organizing mechanism to connect these factors to explore the dynamics underlying nation branding. To fill this gap, this dissertation attempts to identify the relevant factors underlying the deployment of nation branding, and to develop models to assess the association among these factors. Hunt and Morgan's resource advantage theory serves as the theoretical foundation of this dissertation's framework. After establishing panel data models that link the factors of building and developing the nation brand, the strategic implications of nation branding are discussed. Archival data were used for economic factors such as economic development, tourism, export, and inward foreign investment, and cultural, political, infrastructural, and geographical factors. The primary data were collected for qualitative factors perceived reputable brand and perceived reputable industry. The Anholt-GfK Roper's 2008 Nation Brands IndexSM was incorporated into the model as a moderating variable to test its impact on the relationship between the dependent variables and the independent variables. A total of 24 nations were analyzed to build and validate the models. This dissertation makes several contributions to the nation branding literature. First, it clarifies the definition of nation brand and nation branding. Second, it builds a predictive econometric model to connect the critical determinant and outcome factors of nation branding. Finally, it discusses nation branding strategies in terms of resource advantage theory and provides crucial insights on the development and management of a nation brand that can be ...
Niels Viggo Bentzon (1919-2000) is the most significant composer in the post-Nielsen period of Danish piano music. Bentzon's Third Piano Sonata, Op.44 was composed in 1946 and is considered by Mark L. Lehmann to be one of the great piano sonatas of the twentieth century. Not only does this sonata reflect Hindemith's ideas, but it also reveals Bentzon's unique style that successively empowers his innovative features. By applying Hindemith's theory, this study offers a way of understanding this piece and demonstrates the relevance of Hindemith's theory as a tool for analyzing the sonata. Chapter 1 presents the significance of the study, the state of research, the purpose of the study, and method. Chapter 2 provides a theoretical analysis of Bentzon's Third Piano Sonata, Op. 44. With a discussion of each movement, this analytical chapter traces Hindemith's influences: Bentzon organizes the four movements with a clear formal structure, a mediant relationship between the first movement and the rest of the movements, and a motivic coherence of each movement. Also, this chapter demonstrates how Bentzon follows Hindemith's way of chord construction and harmonic progression. This chapter provides insight into Bentzon's original style that facilitates an understanding of the tonal organization of each movement and illuminates Bentzon's intensity of expression through the use of quasi-improvisational passages, texture, dynamic fluctuations, and treatment of the full range of the piano. The last chapter concludes with a summary of Bentzon's compositional style based on observations from previous chapters.
Play is a significant part of childhood. Typically developing children exhibit a wide range of interests within their play behavior, but children with autism do not. The purpose of this study was to design and implement an assessment tool that will capture the constellation of behaviors indicating play interests in young children. The Early Play Interests Assessment (EPIA) includes categories of play behavior and their components behaviors. Additionally, measures of child affect were built into the EPIA. All behaviors were observed under various environmental conditions. The results show that the EPIA was useful in observing toddlers' play behavior within behavioral categories and components and in assessing the interactions among these measures of play interests. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of creating observational systems to quantify play interests in typical and atypical children and for establishing a link between the information gathered in assessment and the planning and implementation of autism interventions.
The science of behavior analysis relies heavily on direct observation. Human observers are typically used to measure behavior in applied settings. Although the use of human observers is beneficial in many regards, it also presents challenges. Of primary concern is the extent to which the data generated by observers actually corresponds to the behavioral events of interest, and the implications this may have in terms of replication. This study assessed the effects that labels, definitions, and examples and non-examples of two different modalities had on observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Results showed that current practices in observer training may require refinement to ensure high observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Suggestions for how to improve the desired stimulus control of observers are provided.
Longitudinal data (N = 263) was used to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Extroversion and openness to experience were also tested as moderators of the relationship between engagement and cognition. Results showed that the relationship between engagement at Wave 1 and cognition at Wave 2 did not differ from the relationship between cognition at Wave 1 and engagement at Wave 2. Testing for moderation with regression indicated that neither extroversion nor openness was moderating the relationship between engagement and cognition in either direction. Structural equation models provided further summary evidence that the relationships among engagement at Wave 1, extroversion, openness, and cognition at Wave 2 were not strong. However, a strong limitation to these results was the measurement error associated with a new measure of engagement.
Optimal animal welfare has been a long-term goal for captive animal institutions. To measure welfare a definition and identification of elements that make up welfare need to be established. Further, a method to measure welfare's elements that can be implemented into staff's daily routine is necessary to establish baseline levels and track changes in welfare. The goal of the proposed captive animal activity tracking system is to allow for the measurement of each element of welfare quickly, while providing information regarding the animal's current state of welfare and how changes to the animal's environment affect welfare. The data show that this system is effective in revealing behavioral patterns and changes in behavior that occurred in response to environmental changes.
The preface describes the construction of a book-length, interwoven sequence of poems. This type of sequence differs from other types of poetry collections in its use of an overarching narrative, repeated images, and recurring characters. Three interwoven sequences are used as examples of how to construct such a sequence.
The first part of the paper states the problem of the double bass not being incorporated into the chamber music program at many universities and the resulting lack of skills that can only be developed through this discipline. The double bass is trying to catch up with the other string instruments as it has been historically ignored, misunderstood and not as developed musically and technically. The historical background and current state of research are being examined to understand why this problem occurred in the first place, noting the vast amount of chamber music repertoire that is unknown and identifying some important but underperformed works. Further the pedagogical benefits of playing chamber music are discussed in order to realize the vital importance of integrating the double bass into the curriculum at major universities. Specific examples from the four major style periods are discussed in detail to show the benefits of studying this repertoire. Finally an implementation process is suggested to help change the current state of chamber music neglect as it pertains to the double bass.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which faith-based preschools promote spiritual development in preschoolers. The participants in the study were faith-based early childhood teachers and administrators from seven states. Early childhood professionals representing 11 Christian faith traditions completed written surveys or online surveys. A total of 201 faith-based educators completed the survey; 20 respondents participated in semi-structured interviews. The concurrent triangulation mixed-method design provided data on 8 program dimensions which support children's spiritual development: prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. I analyzed quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics. All items were examined using mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentages. Qualitative data gathered from semi-structured interviews were coded and analyzed using NVivo8® qualitative analysis software (QSR International, Inc., Cambridge, MA, http://www.qsrinternational.com). From this data I identified the extent to which faith-based preschool programs support children's spiritual development through the practices of prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. Data analyses revealed statistically significant differences in faith-based teachers' hours of training in children's spiritual development across all program practice dimensions. A key finding of the study was that training in children's spiritual development is important regardless of the education level of the early childhood professional. Qualitative data indicated no standardized spiritual development training in faith-based preschools represented in this study. The mixed-method analysis revealed that the 8 program practice dimensions were not always connected in a framework that supported children's spiritual development. Recommendations for professional practice include a program framework to support children's spiritual development in faith-based preschool programs; training for faith-based early childhood professionals in children's spiritual development; and formulating a definition of children's spiritual development.
Social stimuli that function as reinforcers for most children generally do not function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. These important social stimuli include smiles, head nods, thumb-ups, and okay signs. It should be an important goal of therapy for children with autism to condition these neutral social stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. There is empirical evidence to support both a pairing procedure (classical conditioning) and a discriminative stimulus procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. However, there is no clear evidence as to the superiority of effectiveness for either procedure. Despite this most textbooks and curriculum guides for children with autism state only the pairing procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. Recent studies suggest that the discriminative stimulus procedure may in fact be more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. The present research is a further comparison of these two procedures. Results from one participant support recent findings that suggest the discriminative stimulus procedure is more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. But the results from the other participant show no effects from either procedure, suggesting future research into conditions necessary to condition neutral social stimuli to function as reinforcers for children with autism.
Forest encroachment is understood to be the main reason for prairie grassland decline across the United States. In Texas and Oklahoma, juniper has been highlighted as particularly opportunistic. This study assesses the usefulness of three remote sensing techniques to aid in locating the areas of juniper encroachment for the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, Texas. An object based classification was performed in eCognition and final accuracy assessments placed the overall accuracy at 94%, a significant improvement over traditional pixel based methods. Image biomass was estimated using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1 meter resolution IKONOS winter images. A high correlation between the sum of NDVI for tree objects and field tree biomass was determined where R = 0.72, suggesting NDVI sum of a tree area is plausible. However, issues with NDVI saturation and regression produced unrealistically high biomass estimates for large NDVI. Canopy height model (CHM) derived from 3-5m LiDAR data did not perform as well. LiDAR typically used for digital elevation model (DEM) production was acquired for the CHM and produced correlations of R = 0.26. This suggests an inability for this particular dataset to identify juniper trees. When points that registered a tree height where correlated with field values, an R = 0.5 was found, suggesting denser point spacing would be necessary for this type of LiDAR data. Further refining of the methods used in this study could yield such information as the amount of juniper tree for a given location, fuel loads for prescribed burns and better information for the best approach to remove the juniper and ultimately management juniper encroachment into grasslands.
During the past two decades, one of the positive developments in academia has been the emergence of a sizable literature pertaining to ecological education-the theory and practice of preparing children and adults alike for ecologically responsible citizenship. Gregory A. Smith, David W. Orr, and C. A. Bowers are three of the more prolific writers in the field. Smith critiques modern primary and secondary education and argues for, and paints a picture of, an alternative "green pedagogy" that seeks to inculcate in students strong community and ecological values. Orr focuses on the social and ethical problems associated with the environmental crisis and the changes that colleges and universities need to make in order to become propagators of, rather than impediments to, a widespread diffusion of ecological literacy. Bowers emphasizes the role that ecologically problematic modern cultural assumptions play in blinkering the ecological vision of most educational theorists and in preventing the flowering of an eco-justice pedagogy. Each writer seeks the transformation of both education and culture with a view toward realizing ecological sustainability, strong communities, social justice, and moral edification. They neglect or ignore some important subjects, including animal welfare ethics, politics, and corporate influence on governments.
Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles as a musical instrument, conductor, performer, and improviser to facilitate the sonic realization of the solemn, nebulous, and peaceful nature of Chán philosophy, thus exploring the cultural and musical potentials; meanwhile, the design of algorithmic structures simulate the modeling of human performance, enabling the computer with intellectual ability and musical expressivity as a decision-maker, resembling its counterpart-the live performer.
Cyberbullying is a category of bullying that occurs in the digital realm which affects our students at astonishing rates. Unlike traditional bullying, where displays of aggression may be evident to bystanders, the ramification of cyberbullying occurs through unconventional ways (e.g., text messaging; online weblogs; video sharing), which results in many cases being camouflaged by the advancement in technology. Nonetheless, the effects of this digital form of peer aggression can be as detrimental as face-to-face bullying. The characteristics of cyberbullying and its influences on adolescents and parents of adolescents were examined. The data accrued is based on an anonymous survey through one of the following methods: (a) paper-pencil survey for adolescent group with 37-question items on the adolescent questionnaire and (b) web-based survey for the parent group with 22-question items on the parent questionnaire. Each survey was systematically coded according to the participating group and assigned code numbers (i.e., 1 represents adolescent group and 2 represents parent group) was provided to ensure confidentiality of the study. Survey examined individual variables among the two target groups: (a) adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age and (b) parents of adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age. Specifically, individual variables examined include (a) demographics, (b) personal experiences, (c) vicarious experiences, and (d) preventative resources. A total of 137 participants (62 adolescents; 75 parents) responded to the survey. Results indicated that 90% of the participants from the adolescent group have reported to experience either as victims or as bystanders of cyberbullying. In addition, 70% of the victims have been cyberbullied 1 to 2 times within a month period and 50% of the victims did not know the perpetrator. Secondly, 89% of parent participants indicated to be knowledgeable about the issues relating to cyberbullying and 89% reported to have no knowledge if their child ...
This thesis covers the design of an automated multiunit composting system (AMUCS) that was constructed to meet the experimental apparatus requirements of the ASTM D5338 standard. The design of the AMUCS is discussed in full detail and validated with two experiments. The first experiment was used to validate the operation of the AMUCS with a 15 day experiment. During this experiment visual observations were made to visually observe degradation. Thermal properties and stability tests were performed to quantify the effects of degradation on the polymer samples, and the carbon metabolized from the degradation of samples was measured. The second experiment used the AMUCS to determine the effect of synthetic clay nanofiller on the aerobic biodegradability behavior of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate).
Existing literature on foreign aid does not indicate what type of political regime is best to achieve human development outcomes or use aid funds more efficiently. I contend that political leaders of different regime types have personal incentives that motivate them to utilize foreign aid to reflect their interests in providing more or less basic social services for their citizens. Using a data set of 126 aid-recipient countries between the years of 1990 and 2007, I employ fixed effects estimation to test the model. The overall results of this research indicate that foreign aid and democratic institutionalization have a positive effect on total enrollment in primary education, while political regime types show little difference from one another in providing public health and education for their citizens.
Despite the central importance of conditional discriminations to the derivation of equivalence relations, there is little research relating the dynamics of conditional discrimination learning to the derivation of equivalence relations. Prior research has shown that conditional discriminations with simple sample and comparison stimuli are acquired faster than conditional discriminations with complex sample and comparison stimuli. This study attempted to replicate these earlier results and extend them by attempting to relate conditional discrimination learning to equivalence relations. Each of four adult humans learned four, four-choice conditional discriminations (simple-simple, simple-complex, complex-simple, and complex-complex) and were tested to see if equivalence relations had developed. The results confirm earlier findings showing acquisition to be facilitated with simple stimuli and retarded with complex stimuli. There was no difference in outcomes on equivalence tests, however. The results are in implicit agreement with Sidman's theory of stimulus equivalence.
Auditors use substantive analytical procedures to make assertions about the adequacy and appropriateness of client balances. The analytical procedure process consists of auditors creating independent account expectations and corroborating unusual fluctuations through obtaining and evaluating additional audit evidence. Prior analytical procedure research has found that knowledge of clients' unaudited account balances biases auditors' expectations towards the current year figures. However, this research has failed to examine the impact of biased expectations on the subsequent stages of analytical procedures. This dissertation assesses the full impact of biased account expectations on auditors' use of analytical procedures. I experimentally test the hypotheses of my dissertation through administering an experiment to senior level auditors. After inducing an account expectation bias that favors the client account balance in half the participants, I examine the auditors' cognitive investigation into an unusual account fluctuation. The results indicate that a biased account expectation negatively affects auditors' judgment quality. In particular, a biased expectation leads auditors to favor hypotheses and additional information that supports the proposition that the client's balance is reasonably stated. Alternatively, auditors with unbiased account expectations are more willing to consider all hypotheses and are able to identify the most pertinent additional information to the decision task. As a result of the different decision strategies employed, auditors who form unbiased account expectations are significantly more likely than auditors with biased account expectations to identify the correct relationship among the underlying data and the proposed hypotheses during a substantive analytical procedure.
Advanced Placement and dual credit programs are designed for high school students and are used to earn college credit and possibly gain college admissions advantages. The present research examined the impact of participation in one or both programs on four-year college graduation rates. Findings indicated significant differences between the programs as well as with students who did not participate in either program. Students in AP achieved the highest four-year graduation rate, followed by students in dual credit, both programs, and neither program. These findings indicate the need for further study to determine whether the programs substantially contribute to four-year graduation rates and what the implications are.
This study examines the relationship between social support and youth's high-risk behaviors. The data were obtained from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Adolescent Project (MHRAP) in 1996. In the Midwestern United States, this study examines the hypothesis that youth with high social support will have low sexual risk behaviors. The study found that youths who had someone to turn to, a greater number of close friends, and someone they could count on were less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. The implications of the findings are discussed.
The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if business leadership practices by Texas public school principals have an impact on principals' campus student achievement in mathematics and reading, as measured by TAKS scores. The survey instrument was the Leadership Assessment Instrument (LAI), developed by Warren Bennis in 1989. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a sample of 300 public school principals in Texas. Of the 300, 140 principals completed and returned the survey, for a response rate of 47%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0, was used for the analysis of data, which included descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and regression. In addition, reliability for the LAI was also calculated. The LAI consists of the following five categories of effective business practices: focused drive, emotional intelligence, building trust, conceptual thinking, and systems thinking. No significant relationships were found between principals' use of LAI elements and student achievement in mathematics and reading. However, the lack of significant relationships between the business model as used in public schools and student achievement reveals that current models of principal preparation programs do not result in school leaders who are adequately prepared to increase student achievement. Further research is recommended as public school leaders continue to seek alternative strategies and innovative practices to improve student achievement.
Second language (L2) researchers and teachers have increasingly come to believe that using a computer-based corpus can be extremely helpful in the language classroom. The purpose of this study is to examine whether corpora can be used outside of the classroom in order for students to improve their essays independently. No previous study has tried to examine students' essays in relation to corpus use so that this study is exploratory. Seven international students wrote five essays on specific topics and then corrected their errors through corpus research. Two experiments were conducted with different students and followed three steps: receiving information about how to use the BYU COCA, writing and correcting, and interviews with students. I examined quantitatively the number and types of errors that students were able to correct in two experiments and reported qualitatively on students' interview responses.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of attendance at a senior center on the well being and quality of life of grandparents that were rearing grandchildren. Using convenience sampling, grandparents (N=130) who were rearing grandchildren were given a self administered demographic data survey along with an attendance at a senior center questionnaire, the Quality of Life Scale, the Well Being Scale by Liang, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Caregiver Burden Scale, and the Role Satisfaction Scale. An initial MANOVA (F 7, 69 = 2.72, p < .01) suggesting that senior center attendance affect the measures as a set was conducted and then a series of one way ANOVAs were carried out to test the hypothesis that attending a senior center has an effect on the dependent variables: well being, quality of life, role satisfaction, caregiver burden, loneliness, current health, and heath one year ago. Subsequently, a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to find out whether frequency and quality of attendance of a senior center predicted quality of life, caregiver burden, well being, loneliness, and role satisfaction, controlling for the demographic data. The results of the MANOVA showed that the dependent variables: quality of life, caregiver burden, well being and role satisfaction were impacted positively by the attendance of a senior center. The results of the regression analyses showed that for each of the major dependent variables, after controlling for the demographic data, the quality and frequency of involvement at the senior center did not have a uniquely significant role in predicting the dependent variables. The results of this study shows that further research need to be conducted to answer other questions regarding grandparents who are rearing minor grandchildren and the affects that senior centers may have in assisting in the management of this new task that ...
Background music is often used in preschool classrooms with the belief that music makes children smarter and increases attention. The purpose of this study was to determine if background music increased children's focused attention during play activities. Focused attention occurs when children maintain attention to a task regardless of distractions. This quasiexperimental study investigated background music and play in a laboratory setting. I videotaped individual children during play with math manipulatives in a pretest-posttest research design with background music used as the treatment. Forty-three 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds played for 15 minutes. The first 5 minutes of play had no music (pretest), the second 5-minute play episode had background music (treatment), and the final 5-minute play episode had no background music (posttest). Data were analyzed using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Findings revealed that the subjects paid less attention to the play task with background music than they did during the pretest, with no music. Another key finding was that children with more musical experiences at home, as reported by the Child's Home Musical Experience Survey (CHIMES), exhibited longer periods of focused attention with background music. This study confirmed previous research that 3-year-old children have shorter focused attention than 4- and 5-year-old children with and without background music. These findings have implications for teachers and parents that background music, instead of increasing attention in children, might indeed decrease children's focused attention during play activities.
Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
The optimal conditions for deposition of zinc-nickel alloys onto stainless steel discs in alkaline solutions have been examined. In the past cadmium has been used because it shows good corrosion protection, but other methods are being examined due to the high toxicity and environmental threats posed by its use. Zinc has been found to provide good corrosion resistance, but the corrosion resistance is greatly increased when alloyed with nickel. The concentration of nickel in the deposit has long been a debated issue, but for basic solutions a nickel concentration of 8-15% appears optimal. However, deposition of zinc-nickel alloys from acidic solutions has average nickel concentrations of 12-15%. Alkaline conditions give a more uniform deposition layer, or better metal distribution, thereby a better corrosion resistance. Although TEA (triethanolamine) is most commonly used to complex the metals in solution, in this work I examined TEA along with other complexing agents. Although alkaline solutions have been examined, most research has been done in pH ≥ 12 solutions. However, there has been some work performed in the pH 9.3-9.5 range. This work examines different ligands in a pH 9.3-9.4 range. Direct potential plating and pulse potential plating methods are examined for optimal platings. The deposits were examined and characterized by XRD.
Most newspapers today are struggling to survive in an increasingly fragmented and digital media environment. How have their owners or corporate parents shaped or adapted their business practices to in order to thrive? This question guides the overall approach to this study. The focus is on one newspaper, the Dallas Morning News. In particular, how has the News used corporate messages to respond to the changing media landscape? This study employs forms of rhetorical and discourse analysis to determine the effectiveness of the News' corporate messages during a 10-year period in order to answer this question. This study finds that the News used inconsistent and ineffective corporate communications throughout this tumultuous period.
The motivation of this work is to understand E-shape analysis and how it can be applied to various classification tasks. It has a powerful feature to not only look at what information is contained, but rather how that information looks. This new technique gives E-shape analysis the ability to be language independent and to some extent size independent. In this thesis, I present a new mechanism to characterize an email without using content or context called E-shape analysis for email. I explore the applications of the email shape by carrying out a case study; botnet detection and two possible applications: spam filtering and social-context based finger printing. The second part of this thesis takes what I apply E-shape analysis to activity recognition of humans. Using the Android platform and a T-Mobile G1 phone I collect data from the triaxial accelerometer and use it to classify the motion behavior of a subject.
This research portrays a paradigm for the assessment of aging services to support populations aging in place. The dissertation was designed to establish a model to identify and evaluate senior ready communities. Area specific social programs and services are identified. In order to meet the growing needs of aging populations, the dynamic representation of existing services and the need for services that could be developed in certain communities require reevaluation in current planning, restructuring, and/or community development.
The current study was designed to replicate and extend previous research on the effectiveness of behavioral parent training. Specifically, the effectiveness of the Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) curriculum in teaching parents to exhibit a set of parenting skills and respond accurately to a multiple choice examination about positive parenting techniques was evaluated. In addition, the curriculum was revised so that the relative effectiveness and acceptability of two role play formats could be assessed. The outcomes of the study showed an improvement in the participants' ability to identify correct answers on a multiple choice examination and apply the parenting skills taught in class within a role play format; results pertaining to the efficacy of each role play format were less conclusive.
Using hierarchical multiple linear regression, this study examined the predictive relationship between micro-career transitions and career related outcomes and how those relationships were moderated by equilibration style. Participants (n = 177) answered an online survey which included a variety of measures for control, predictor, moderator, and outcome criterion (i.e., demographic descriptors, Instrumentality, Openness, Job Insecurity, Social Support Satisfaction, Microtransitions, Equilibration Style, Job Satisfaction, Job Burnout, Life Dissatisfaction, and Career Optimism). Research questions addressed the nature of micro-career transitions (e.g., frequencies, average stress ratings, category types), their predictive relationship with job and career outcomes, and the moderating role of Identity Styles on that relationship. Micro-career transitions were described according to responses for the research sample (n = 638). Significant effects were discovered between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Equilibration styles were also established as having a moderating effect on the predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Interaction terms were decomposed to examine the direction of significant moderating effects. In all cases where interaction terms were significant, moderators enhanced the negative predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes.
The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between cognitive status and depression in a sample of geriatric patients. Participants included 282 geriatric patients ranging in age from 65 to 96 years who were classified according to diagnosis as: DAT, VaD, MCI, and Norm. All were referred for neurocognitive testing from the Geriatric Assessment Program (GAP) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth, Texas. This study sought to identify factor structures for two versions of the GDS using a geriatric sample of cognitively impaired and intact patients. It then compared these factors to each other to determine whether the GDS-15 is truly a shorter version of the GDS-30. These were then compared to a previously determined factor structure. This study explored whether the four-factors of the GDS-30 are able to differentiate cognitive diagnostic groups. Further, this study sought to identify whether the severity of cognitive decline impacted GDS factor score for each of the cognitively impaired groups. Results revealed a two-factor model of the GDS - 15 and a four-factor model with the GDS - 30. The GDS-15 factors did not differ from the first two factors of the GDS-30. Comparison between the GDS-30 factor structure and that reported by Hall and Davis (in press) revealed no significant differences despite the inclusion of a normal, non-demented group in the current study. Comparisons of subscale scores revealed that DAT patients tended to score lower than the other groups on all but the cognitive impairment subscale. Severity level analyses indicated that as severity of deficits increases, awareness of deficits decreases. This study found that although the GDS-30 is a good screening tool for depression in geriatric patients, it is not particularly useful in differentiating cognitive status group. Also, the GDS-15 was not found ...
This descriptive study investigated the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in 5 economically disadvantaged and diverse Texas elementary schools, which demonstrated improvement in student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) over a 5-year period. Each of the schools were given the highest performance rating of Exemplary during the 2008 school year according to criteria developed by the Texas accountability system and had changed from an Acceptable rating in 2004. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in improving exemplary Texas elementary schools and to identify and compare the possible commonalities and differences existing between the schools on the 5 dimensions of professional learning communities. The 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model investigated in this study include: 1) shared and supportive leadership, 2) shared values and vision, 3) collective learning and the application of learning, 4) shared personal practice and 5) supportive conditions (collegial relationships and structures). The method used in this study was a mixed method approach that employed a questionnaire, individual principal and teacher interviews and school performance documents to collect data. The questionnaire data was analyzed through descriptive and analytical statistics while the interviews were investigated by identifying and documenting emergent patterns and themes. The findings from this study suggest that sustainable professional learning communities are evident in the high performing schools selected for this study. The study implies the culture of these schools is supported by relationships fostered by trust and mutual respect and their success is attributed to the collaborative, collegial and collective learning of the staff. Staff members from these schools are focused on student learning while campus leadership, grade level and vertical teams provide the structures ...
Non-strict pure functional programming often requires redesigning algorithms and data structures to work more effectively under new constraints of non-strict evaluation and immutable state. Graph drawing algorithms, while numerous and broadly studied, have no presence in the non-strict pure functional programming model. Additionally, there is currently no freely licensed standalone toolkit used to quantitatively analyze aesthetics of graph drawings. This thesis addresses two previously unexplored questions. Can a force-directed graph drawing algorithm be implemented in a non-strict functional language, such as Haskell, and still be practically usable? Can an easily extensible aesthetic measuring tool be implemented in a language such as Haskell and still be practically usable? The focus of the thesis is on implementing one of the simplest force-directed algorithms, that of Fruchterman and Reingold, and comparing its resulting aesthetics to those of a well-known C++ implementation of the same algorithm.
GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
The objective of this research was to determine if healthcare access disparities exist across race and gender in a publically funded safety-net healthcare system in Texas. Data were examined from a representative random sample of 1468 adults aged 18-64 who were patients in this safety-net system in July and August of 2000 and were analyzed using binary logistic regression and chi-square measures of significance. Major Findings: On measures of health status - overall health rating (p =.051), limited employment (p =.000), energy level (p =.001), and worry (p =.012) - Anglos reported the worst health; Mexican Americans, the best health; with African Americans intermediate. Mexican Americans were more likely to have never had health insurance, and to also have had insurance in the past year; Anglos were least likely to have ever had insurance (p =.015) or to have had insurance in the past year (p =.000). On use of EDs (p =.028), problems getting prescription medicines (p =.029), and foregoing other necessities of life to pay for healthcare, Mexican Americans were least disadvantaged with African Americans reporting greatest use of EDs among both men and women, and Anglos the most problems with prescription medicines and foregoing care, especially among women. Logistic regression revealed that health status was the strongest predictor of problems accessing healthcare in all groups; the poorer health status of safety-net patients, the more problems they had accessing care. Patterns of poor reported health status and greater problems accessing care among Anglos relative to other groups is discussed in terms of social drift and relative deprivation.
Population estimation in inter-censual years has many important applications. In this research, high-resolution pan-sharpened IKONOS image, LiDAR data, and parcel data are used to estimate small-area population in the eastern part of the city of Denton, Texas. Residential buildings are extracted through object-based classification techniques supported by shape indices and spectral signatures. Three population indicators -building count, building volume and building area at block level are derived using spatial joining and zonal statistics in GIS. Linear regression and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models generated using the three variables and the census data are used to estimate population at the census block level. The maximum total estimation accuracy that can be attained by the models is 94.21%. Accuracy assessments suggest that the GWR models outperformed linear regression models due to their better handling of spatial heterogeneity. Models generated from building volume and area gave better results. The models have lower accuracy in both densely populated census blocks and sparsely populated census blocks, which could be partly attributed to the lower accuracy of the LiDAR data used.
Developing chicken embryos have two ductus arteriosus (DA) that shunt blood away from the lungs and to the chorioallantoic membrane, the embryonic gas exchanger. In mammals, DA closure is stimulated by an increase in blood gas O2 that occurs as the animal begins to breathe with its lungs. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of O2 levels during incubation on the vascular reactivity and morphology of the O2-sensitive DA and to examine the effects of changing O2 levels during late incubation on the morphology of the DA from chicken embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia (15%) reduced venous O2 levels in day 16 and day 18 embryos and reduced aircell O2 values in day 16, day 18, and internally pipped (IP) embryos, whereas hyperoxia (30%) increased venous O2 levels and aircell O2 level in day 16, day 18, and IP embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia delayed closure of the DA, whereas hyperoxia accelerated DA closure. In comparison to the left DA from externally pipped (EP) normoxic embryos, the left DA from EP hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to O2. The DA from day 18 hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to norepinephrine and phenylephrine when compared with the DA from day 18 normoxic and hyperoxic embryos. The effect of incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia during different developmental windows on the DA O2-induced contractile response was observed only in IP embryos that were incubated in normoxia for 16 days and were then moved to hyperoxia. Incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia resulted in differences in embryo mass, yolk mass, and heart mass. There is an association between the decreased contractile response to O2 and delayed closure in the proximal portion of the DA from hypoxic embryos; as well as an increased contractile ...
Published research suggests that literature should transmit ethnic and societal values as well as reassure one's own confidence and self-respect. This study provides a model for examining Asian-American children's and adolescent literature critically from the perspective of identity issues. It examines fifteen award-winning Asian-American children's and adolescent titles written by writers of that culture and published in the United States from 1999 to 2007, with a focus on Chinese (Taiwanese) American, Korean American, and Japanese American books. As published studies indicate, self, social, and ethnic identities are significantly intertwined. Hence, a content analysis was conducted based on these three major groups of categories. The findings of the study demonstrate that even though the selected books cover all three aspects of the identity issues to a certain degree, a considerably greater number of depictions of ethnic identities are made over those of internal identities and social identities. Moreover, less than half of the main characters assume an active role in improving the difficult situation. Two major voids regarding the presentation of social identities are successful social integration and positive social interactions. Recommendations for teaching, writing, illustrating, publishing, and future research are suggested, including publishing more Asian-American books which present an optimistic outlook on life, active conflict-resolving behaviors, and a balance of gender among individuals with whom the main character interacts.
Tree cores of Fraxinus pennsylvanica were used in a dendrochronological analysis investigating the species' responses to climate and flooding. The objective was to develop a model that incorporates the effects of precipitation, temperature, and flooding on radial growth in this species in north-central Texas. The trees exhibited strong climatic signals. The study clearly shows that all three factors have significant impacts on tree ring growth both prior to and during growth; however, the nature and extent of these impacts are highly dependent on what time of year they occur. The large temporal variations in growth responses emphasize the importance of considering the timing of environmental events when studying tree growth responses.
Effective supply chain management gains much attention from industry and academia because it helps firms across a supply chain to reduce cost and improve customer service level efficiently. Focusing on one of the key challenges of the supply chains, namely, demand uncertainty, this dissertation extends the work of Zhao, Xie, and Leung so as to examine the effects of forecasting method selection coupled with information sharing on supply chain performance in a dynamic business environment. The results of this study showed that under various scenarios, advanced forecasting methods such as neural network and GARCH models play a more significant role when capacity tightness increases and is more important to the retailers than to the supplier under certain circumstances in terms of supply chain costs. Thus, advanced forecasting models should be promoted in supply chain management. However, this study also demonstrated that forecasting methods not capable of modeling features of certain demand patterns significantly impact a supply chain's performance. That is, a forecasting method misspecified for characteristics of the demand pattern usually results in higher supply chain costs. Thus, in practice, supply chain managers should be cognizant of the cost impact of selecting commonly used traditional forecasting methods, such as moving average and exponential smoothing, in conjunction with various operational and environmental factors, to keep supply chain cost under control. This study demonstrated that when capacity tightness is high for the supplier, information sharing plays a more important role in effective supply chain management. In addition, this study also showed that retailers benefit directly from information sharing when advanced forecasting methods are employed under certain conditions.
Using a Cox proportional hazards regression model, this dissertation explores three factors currently not addressed in the literature on men who batter women and who are court ordered to participate in a battering intervention program. These factors are the cumulative effects of civil and criminal legal sanctions (dose-response of sanctions) for domestic violence related offenses on recidivism, reduced opportunities to recidivate, and whether the number of legal sanctions imposed has an effect on how long a man maintains his non-recidivism status. Because one domestic violence case may involve multiple sanctions, this study uses the Legal Sanction Dose-Response Index to gauge the cumulative impact of civil and criminal sanctions upon recidivism of domestic violence. The Cox proportional hazards model indicates that the risk of recidivism is 45% lower for men who experienced two legal sanctions (typically arrest and probation) in response to the index case, relative to men who experienced one legal sanction (typically civil protective order). In other words, those with two legal sanctions are able to maintain their non-recidivism status longer relative to those with one sanction. Men with prior criminal court involvement for domestic violence related offenses are more likely to recidivate. Additionally, rather than incarceration reducing opportunities to recidivate, this study finds that incarceration for any offenses committed during the follow-up period is a predictor of recidivism of domestic violence related offenses. It is possible that, rather than incarceration reducing opportunities, recidivists are persistent and use whatever opportunities are available to them to commit domestic violence, despite legal sanctions.
Citizen complaints about inappropriate use of force indicate negative police-public relations, unresponsive police services, and the unresponsiveness of police management to citizens' concerns. However, the effective delivery of key policing services depends on the performance of individual police officers. Surveillance technology can monitor and control the behavior of officers, ensuring that police officers provide high quality policing services that meet the needs of citizens. Examples of surveillance technology such as in-car cameras and CCTV can be used as an administrative tool to respond to citizen complaints by police chief executives. This research examines the effect of surveillance technology on the behavior of municipal police departments that is operationalized as the number of citizen complaints that were filed against municipal police departments. This research also examines the impact of surveillance technology on dismissed and sustained complaints by using 511 large municipal police departments in the U.S. from Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) 2003 dataset. Three different models are developed to evaluate the impact of in-car cameras and CCTV on the citizen complaints and their dispositions. Two ordinary least square regression (OLS) models and a Heckman selection model are used to analyze the data. The Heckman selection model is utilized to correct for selection bias in truncated data for sustained complaints after log transformation. The results suggest that the use of surveillance technology by the police is necessary, but insufficient, in reducing the number of complaints. The finding suggests that videotaped evidence, recorded by surveillance technology, increased the number of convictions of accused officers in municipal police departments. The analysis also suggests that municipal police departments that used CCTV only in 2003 received a higher number of citizen complaints, in comparison to municipal police departments without CCTV, both in 2000 and 2003. No evidence was found to indicate that surveillance ...
Plant estrogens have long been associated with health benefits. The potential of tissue culture techniques for the production of several secondary metabolites has been known for many years. Tissue cultures stimulate the production or induce the biosynthesis of novel compounds not found in the mature plant. Tissue culture of Morus alba, family Moraceae, is known to contain phytoestrogens, was established on plant-hormone supplemented Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Petiole and the stem tissue from mature trees were the best explants for initiation and proliferation of calli. The best callus proliferation was obtained on MS medium containing 1-napthalene acetic acid (1mg/ml) and benzylaminopurine (0.5mg/ml) for M. alba. Comparison of phytoestrogens of Moraceae species from in vivo and in vitro tissue isolation were carried out. The estrogenic activities of callus extracts were assayed in an estrogen-responsive yeast system expressing the human estrogen receptor alpha. Male callus extracts had higher estrogenic activity than male and female extracts from in vivo and in vitro tissues. Isolation and characterization of phytoestrogens from above tissues were carried out using solid phase extraction, high perfomance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. Biochanin A, an isoflavonoid, was isolated as one of the compounds in male callus extracts. Biochanin A has been known to have an antiestrogenic acitivity in mammals. Isoflavonoid compounds have been characterized as strong protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors in variety of animal cells. Isoflavones are structurally similar to estradiol, and display agonistic and antagonistic interactions with the estrogen receptor. Isoflavones possess therapeutic and preventive properties such as being used for postmenopausal osteoporosis, breast cancer, and inhibition of tumors.
This dissertation is composed of research studies that contribute to three research areas including social context-aware computing, internal context-aware computing, and human behavioral data mining. In social context-aware computing, four studies are conducted. First, mobile phone user calling behavioral patterns are characterized in forms of randomness level where relationships among them are then identified. Next, a study is conducted to investigate the relationship between the calling behavior and organizational groups. Third, a method is presented to quantitatively define mobile social closeness and social groups, which are then used to identify social group sizes and scaling ratio. Last, based on the mobile social grouping framework, the significant role of social ties in communication patterns is revealed. In internal context-aware computing, two studies are conducted where the notions of internal context are intention and situation. For intentional context, the goal is to sense the intention of the user in placing calls. A model is thus presented for predicting future calls envisaged as a call predicted list (CPL), which makes use of call history to build a probabilistic model of calling behavior. As an incoming call predictor, CPL is a list of numbers/contacts that are the most likely to be the callers within the next hour(s), which is useful for scheduling and daily planning. As an outgoing call predictor, CPL is generated as a list of numbers/contacts that are the most likely to be dialed when the user attempts to make an outgoing call (e.g., by flipping open or unlocking the phone). This feature helps save time from having to search through a lengthy phone book. For situational context, a model is presented for sensing the user's situation (e.g., in a library, driving a car, etc.) based on embedded sensors. The sensed context is then used to switch the phone into a suitable ...
This document traces a link between Pedro Valls and Giovanni Bottesini by identifying traits of Homenaje à Bottesini that resemble techniques and musical characteristics of Bottesini's music, through the comparison of Valls' Homenaje à Bottesini to Bottesini's Fantasia sur La Sonnambula, focusing on the works formal, musical and idiomatic characteristics. This is supported by documented evidence of Bottesini's presence in Spain during Valls's lifetime and Pedro Valls contact with the Italian master of the double bass school of playing and teaching method. This study also proposes adjustments in the notation of Homenaje à Bottesini to more modern and player-friendly score indications, which will help its inclusion into the active double bass repertoire. This document examines performance practice(s) of the work and what advantages or disadvantages these practices have in playing the work, and to ultimately offer a clear pathway, a road map, to performers interested in delving into Pedro Valls's work, with a better idea of what Valls's style consists of and what approach to take when performing his works.
This thesis describes environmental data collection and transmission from the field to a server using Wi-Fi. Also discussed are components, radio wave propagation, received power calculations, and throughput tests. Measured receive power resulted close to calculated and simulated values. Throughput tests resulted satisfactory. The thesis provides detailed systematic procedures for Wi-Fi radio link setup and techniques to optimize the quality of a radio link.
The experimenter asked if documented equivalence class membership would influence the development of shared discriminative stimulus function established through simple successive discrimination training. In Experiment 1, equivalence classes were established with two sets of 9 stimuli. Common stimulus functions were then trained within or across the equivalence classes. Greater acquisition rates of the simple discriminations with stimuli drawn from within the equivalence classes were observed. In Experiment 2, a third stimulus set was added with which no equivalence relations were explicitly trained. The findings of Experiment 1 were replicated, but the Set 3 results were inconsistent across subjects. The outcomes of the two experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes have an effect on other behavioral relations which requires further investigation.
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