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Commissioning Music for Trombone and Percussion: A Collaboration Between Composer and Performer with an Accompanying Survey of Trombone and Percussion Repertoire

Description: The repertoire for trombone and percussion has grown in popularity since the later 1980s. There are currently more than 110 pieces written for the ensemble. This project follows the commissioning and collaboration of Dr. Blake Tyson, Professor of Percussion at the University of Central Arkansas and well known percussion composer, in the creation of a new piece for trombone and percussion. The project also created a survey of works for trombone and percussion duet that includes 32 works. The survey includes details such as specific percussion instrumentation range, tessitura, grade level, publisher, and a description of each piece.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cook, Justin Hastings

Contributions to Descriptive Set Theory

Description: Assume AD+V=L(R). In the first chapter, let W^1_1 denote the club measure on \omega_1. We analyze the embedding j_{W^1_1}\restr HOD from the point of view of inner model theory. We use our analysis to answer a question of Jackson-Ketchersid about codes for ordinals less than \omega_\omega. In the second chapter, we provide an indiscernibles analysis for models of the form L[T_n,x]. We use our analysis to provide new proofs of the strong partition property on \delta^1_{2n+1}
Date: December 2016
Creator: Dance, Cody

Costly Ignorance: The Denial of Relevance by Job Seekers: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia

Description: Job centers aid businesses seeking qualified employees and assist job seekers to select and contact employment and training services. Job seekers are also offered the opportunity to assess their skills, abilities, qualifications, and readiness. Furthermore, job centers ensure that job seekers are complying with requirements that they must meet to benefit from job assistance programs such as unemployment insurance. Yet, claimants often procrastinate and/or suspend their job search efforts even though such actions can make them lose their free time and entitlements, and more importantly they may lose the opportunity to take advantage of free information, services, training, and financial assistance for getting a job to which they have already made a claim. The current work looks to Chatman's "small worlds" work, Johnson's comprehensive model of information seeking, and Wilson's "costly ignorance" construct for contributions to understanding such behavior. Identification of a particular trait or set of traits of job seekers during periods of unemployment will inform a new Job Seeking Activities Model (JSAM). This study purposely examines job seeker information behavior and the factors which influence job seekers' behavior, in particular, family tangible support as a social norm effect. A mixed method, using questionnaires for job hunting completers and non-completers and interviews for experts, was employed for data collection. Quantitative data analysis was conducted to provide the Cronbach α coefficient, Pearson's product moment correlation, an independent-sample t-test, effect size, and binary Logit regression. The qualitative data generated from the interview transcript for each section of the themes and subthemes were color coded. Finally, simultaneous triangulation was carried out to confirm or contradict the results from each method. The findings show that social norms, particularly uncontrolled social support provided by their families, are more likely to make job seekers ignore the relevant information about jobs available to them in favor ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Alahmad, Badr Suleman

A Decomposition of the Group Algebra of a Hyperoctahedral Group

Description: The descent algebra of a Coxeter group is a subalgebra of the group algebra with interesting representation theoretic properties. For instance, the natural map from the descent algebra of the symmetric group to the character ring is a surjective algebra homomorphism, so the descent algebra implicitly encodes information about the representations of the symmetric group. However, this property does not hold for other Coxeter groups. Moreover, a complete set of primitive idempotents in the descent algebra of the symmetric group leads to a decomposition of the group algebra as a direct sum of induced linear characters of centralizers of conjugacy class representatives. In this dissertation, I consider the hyperoctahedral group. When the descent algebra of a hyperoctahedral group is replaced with a generalization called the Mantaci-Reutenauer algebra, the natural map to the character ring is surjective. In 2008, Bonnafé asked whether a complete set of idempotents in the Mantaci-Reutenauer algebra could lead to a decomposition of the group algebra of the hyperoctahedral group as a direct sum of induced linear characters of centralizers. In this dissertation, I will answer this question positively and go through the construction of the idempotents, conjugacy class representatives, and linear characters required to do so.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tomlin, Drew E

Defect Behaviors in Zinc Oxide and Zinc Titanates Ceramics from First Principles Computer Simulations

Description: ZnO and ZnO-TiO2 ceramics have intriguing electronic and mechanical properties and find applications in many fields. Many of these properties and applications rely on the understanding of defects and defect processes in these oxides as these defects control the electronic, catalytic and mechanical behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to systematically study the defects and defects behaviors in Wurtzite ZnO and Ilmenite ZnTiO3 by using first principles calculations and classical simulations employing empirical potentials. Firstly, the behavior of intrinsic and extrinsic point defects in ZnO and ZnTiO3 ceramics were investigated. Secondly, the effect of different surface absorbents and surface defects on the workfunction of ZnO were studied using DFT calculations. The results show that increasing the surface coverage of hydrocarbons decreased the workfunction. Lastly, the stacking fault behaviors on ilmenite ZnTiO3 were investigated by calculating the Generalized Stacking Fault (GSF) energies using density functional theory based first principles calculations and classical calculations employing effective partial charge inter-atomic potentials. The gamma-surfaces of two low energy surfaces, (110) and (104), of ZnTiO3 were fully mapped and, together with other analysis such as ideal shear stress calculations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Sun, Wei

Design and Manufacture of Molding Compounds for High Reliability Microelectronics in Extreme Conditions

Description: The widespread use of electronics in more avenues of consumer use is increasing. Applications range from medical instrumentation that directly can affect someone's life, down hole sensors for oil and gas, aerospace, aeronautics, and automotive electronics. The increased power density and harsh environment makes the reliability of the packaging a vital part of the reliability of the device. The increased importance of analog devices in these applications, their high voltage and high temperature resilience is resulting in challenges that have not been dealt with before. In particular packaging where insulative properties are vital use polymer resins modified by ceramic fillers. The distinct dielectric properties of the resin and the filler result in charge storage and release of the polarization currents in the composite that have had unpredictable consequences on reliability. The objective of this effort is therefore to investigate a technique that can be used to measure the polarization in filled polymer resins and evaluate reliable molding compounds. A valuable approach to measure polarization in polymers where charge release is tied to the glass transition in the polymer is referred to as thermally stimulated depolarization current (TSDC) technique. In this dissertation a new TSDC measurement system was designed and fabricated. The instrument is an assembly of several components that are automated via a LabVIEW program that gives the user flexibility to test different dielectric compounds at high temperatures and high voltage. The temperature control is enabled through the use of dry air convection heating at a very slow rate enabling controlled heating and cooling. Charge trapping and de-trapping processes were investigated in order to obtain information on insulating polymeric composites and how to optimize it. A number of material properties were investigated. First, polarization due to charges on the filer were investigated using composites containing charged and uncharged particles using ...
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Garcia, Andres

Determinants of Women's Autonomy in Nepal

Description: Nepal in recent times has witnessed a proliferation of community-based organization (CBOs). Established by local residents, CBOs are small level organizations that promote and defend the rights and interests of people especially that of minorities and the disadvantaged. One such minority group that CBOs greatly focus on are women. Despite dramatic increase in the number of CBOs in Nepal its impact on women is understudied. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the relationship between Nepalese women's participation in CBOs and their autonomy. Autonomy comprises of four different dimensions; physical mobility, financial autonomy, household decision-making, and reproductive autonomy. Modifying the conceptual framework used by Mahmud, Shah, and Becker in 2012, I hypothesize that women who participate in CBOs experience greater autonomy. Data from the 2008 Chitwan Valley Family Study is used for analysis. Using SPSS, separate logistic regressions are run to analyze the relationship between CBO membership and the dimensions of autonomy. The results support three of the four proposed major hypotheses. Nepalese women who participate in CBOs have greater autonomy in terms of physical mobility, financial autonomy, and household decision-making. No evidence was found to establish link between CBO membership and reproductive autonomy. The variables that are controlled for in the study include age, caste, religion, education, marital status, exposure to television, exposure to radio, and relationship with one's mother-in-law.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Neupane, Diptee

District Leadership Supporting PLC Implementation in a Rapid Growth District

Description: A growing body of work has emerged regarding the responsibilities required of district leaders in establishing plans that initiate and create conditions for sustainability of continuous improvement achieved through a systemic reform structure such as professional learning communities. However, limited research exists in respect to sustaining cultures of continuous improvement in rapid growth districts. Rapid growth districts can be described as school systems, which construct and open multiple campuses annually. The underlying premise of this study considered how humans interact with one another within a rapidly changing professional organization. Change theory, professional capital, organizational learning theory, and system reform emerge as the conceptual framework in this study of district support of professional learning communities. Data collection for this qualitative descriptive case study included interviewing six K-12 principals, administering the PLCA-DS survey to 247 K-12 staff members, and document review. Recognition of the importance of the PLC framework, building capacity, development of collaborative culture, and issues resulting from constant change due to rapid growth were the four themes generated by the participants to support continuous improvement in a rapid growth district. The four themes combined with the components of the conceptual framework outline how district leaders in a rapidly changing environment cultivate a process leading to system-wide improvement.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tinsley, Laurie Huffman

Drought: Construction of a Social Problem

Description: Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parham, Antoinette D

Effect of Makerspace Professional Development Activities on Elementary and Middle School Educator Perceptions of Integrating Technologies with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Description: This study investigated a Makerspace professional development program, the Makers' Guild, provided to teachers within north Texas over the course of a semester. The research employed a constructionist approach delivered via 2D and 3D technologies during STEM instructional activities within a creative space. Participants reported statistically significant increases in self-reported competence in technology integration, confidence levels toward integrating World Wide Web, Emerging Technologies for Student Learning, Teacher Professional Development, and attitudes toward math, technology, science, and STEM careers.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Jennifer R

Effects of Brain Brain Injury on Primary Cilia of Glial Cells and Pericytes

Description: Glial cells maintain homeostasis that is essential to neuronal function. Injury to the nervous system leads to the activation and proliferation of glial cells and pericytes, which helps to wall off the damaged region and restore homeostatic conditions. Sonic hedgehog is a mitogen which is implicated in injury-induced proliferation of glial cells and pericytes. The mitogenic effects of sonic hedgehog require primary cilia, but the few reports on glial or pericyte primary cilia do not agree about their abundance and did not address effects of injury on these cilia. Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that arise from the centrosome and are retracted before cells divide. Depending on cell type, proteins concentrated in cilia can transduce several mitotic, chemosensory, or mechanosensory stimuli. The present study investigated effects of stab wound injury on the incidence and length of glial and pericyte primary cilia in the area adjacent to the injury core. Astrocytes, polydendrocytes and pericytes were classified by immunohistochemistry based on cell-type markers. In normal adult mice, Arl13b immunoreactive primary cilia were present in a majority of each cell type examined: astrocytes, 98±2%; polydendrocytes, 87±6%; and pericytes, 79±13% (mean ± SEM). Three days post-injury, cilium incidence decreased by 24% in astrocytes (p< 0.008) and 41% in polydendrocytes (p< 0.002), but there was no significant effect in pericytes. Polydendrocytes labeled with the cell cycle marker Ki67 were less likely to have cilia compared to resting, Ki67- polydendrocytes. Considering post-injury rates of proliferation for astrocytes and polydendrocytes, it appears that resorption of cilia due to cell cycle entry may account for much of the loss of cilia in polydendrocytes but was not sufficient to account for the loss of cilia in astrocytes. Under normal conditions, astrocytes rarely divide, and they maintain non-overlapping territories. However, three days after injury, there was a 7-fold increase in ...
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Coronel, Marco Vinicio

The Effects of Student-Perceived Instructor Demotivating Behaviors on Doctoral Students' Information Seeking Behaviors

Description: In their studies on student motivation in th4e 1990s, Gorham & Christophel and Christophel & Gorham found that students perceived their own demotivation to be caused by instructor behaviors. While there are studies that explore the topic of student demotivation and other studies that illustrate the great influence instructors have on student information seeking behaviors, research focusing on the connection between these two concepts is almost nonexistent. Using Gorham & Christophel's concept of instructor-owned student demotivation, this mixed-methods study sought to identify which instructor behaviors doctoral computer science and information science students found demotivating and to what extent their perceptions of these demotivating instructor behaviors influenced their information seeking behaviors in a face-to-face classroom. Demographic and student-perceived demotivating instructor behavior surveys along with semi-structured interviews and follow-up questions were used to collect data. The surveys will be analyzed using descriptive statistics in Excel, and the semi-structured interviews and follow up questions were analyzed using content analysis and Colaizzi's method of phenomenological enquiry in NVivo. The findings showed that instructor demotivating behaviors not only influence student information seeking behaviors in the classroom, but they also can lead to lasting effects on the student. In addition, the participants have expectations of instructor behaviors, which come from their own experiences. These expectations also influence the level of demotivation they feel in a face-to-face classroom.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cantu, Brenda Ann

Enhanced Coarse-Graining for Multiscale Modeling of Elastomers

Description: One of the major goal of the researchers is to reduce energy loss including nanoscale to the structural level. For instance, around 65% of fuel energy is lost during the propulsion of the automobiles, where 11% of the loss happens at tires due to rolling friction. Out of that tire loss, 90 to 95% loss happens due to hysteresis of tire materials. This dissertation focuses on multiscale modeling techniques in order to facilitate the discovery new rubber materials. Enhanced coarse-grained models of elastomers (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer and natural rubber) are constructed from full-atomic models with reasonable repeat units/beads associated with pressure-correction for non-bonded interactions of the beads using inverse Boltzmann method (IBM). Equivalent continuum modeling is performed with volumetric/isochoric loading to predict macroscopic mechanical properties using molecular mechanics (MM) and molecular dynamics (MD). Glass-transition and rate-dependent mechanical properties along with hysteresis loss under uniaxial deformation is predicted with varying composition of the material. A statistical non-Gaussian treatment of a rubber chain is performed and linked with molecular dynamics in order predict hyperelastic material constants without fitting with any experimental data.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Uddin, Md Salah

Evolving Curricular Models in Culinary Arts: An Instrumental Case Study of a Technical Field

Description: The purpose of this research study was to examine how chefs and other individuals in the food industry understood the field of culinary arts. This study used an instrumental case study with purposeful sampling of multiple cases. Through a series of open-ended interviews using snowball-sampling strategy that concluded with 45 participants sharing their experiences in culinary education and employment, several themes emerged across all of the interviews: (1) Disempowerment of those who have been successful in the culinary arts; (2) Conflict in the field; and, (3) Needs of employers not being met. Following the analysis of the data, two research questions were inductively formed: (1) How do the participants' understandings vary based upon the three models (apprenticeship, associate degree, and baccalaureate degree) of culinary education? (2) How do these themes vary depending upon the three models of culinary education? What resulted was thick description of the impact of the three models of formal chef education has had on the field of culinary arts, followed by the potential in the development of the baccalaureate degree model as it represented an opportunity for field redefinition in culinary arts. This study produced a set of data revealing that current culinary education has become one that has bred disempowerment, continued conflict in the field of culinary arts, and left needs unfullfilled related to technical skills required for successful employment. The shift from the time-consuming and expensive model of apprenticeship to the development of the associate degree has necessitated a reconsideration of culinary education. What has been offered in this research is the potential for a transformation facilitated within a baccalaureate degree that could intertwine both technical skills and academic knowledge.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cossio, Allison

Examining the Impact of the Community of Inquiry and Student Learning Process on Participants' Academic Achievement

Description: This dissertation presents an empirical investigation of learning from online courses. The current dissertation examined student participation, using Arbaugh et al.'s Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument and Biggs et al.'s revised version of the Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) to determine CoI influences on learning from the students' perspective. This study is in response to Rourke and Kanuka's call to provide further empirical evidence about CoI conceptual framework connections to deep and meaningful learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the elements of CoI, cognitive, social, and teaching presences and students' learning approaches to students' perceived learning. Students enrolled in traditional, online, and, blended courses during the 2016 spring semester at a southwestern university participated in a web-based survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the indirect effects between the elements of CoI, learning approaches, and perceived learning. Student's deep approach to learning was found to have an indirect effect between cognitive presence and perceived learning. However, this study's findings, when the CoI framework was viewed in its entirety, failed to provide evidence to simulate deep and meaningful learning.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Pacleb, Selverio V.

Framework to Evaluate Entropy Based Data Fusion Methods in Supply Chain Management

Description: This dissertation explores data fusion methodology to deduce an overall inference from the data gathered from multiple heterogeneous sources. Typically, if there existed a data source in which the data were reliable and unbiased, then data fusion would not be necessary. Data fusion methodology combines data form multiple diverse sources so that the desired information - such as the population mean - is improved despite redundancies, inaccuracies, biases, and inflated variability in the data. Examples of data fusion include estimating average demand from similar sources, and integrating fatality counts from different media sources after a catastrophe. The approach in this study combines "inputs" from distinct sources so that the information is "fused." Another way of describing this process is "data integration." Important assumptions are 1. Several sources provide "inputs" for information used to estimate parameters of a probability distribution. 2. Since distributions for the data from the sources are heterogeneous, some sources are less reliable. 3. Distortions, bias, censorship, and systematic errors may be more prominent in data from certain sources. 4. The sample size of sources data, number of "inputs," may be very small. Examples of information from multiple sources are abundant: traffic information from sensors at intersections, multiple economic indicators from various sources, demand data for product using similar retail stores as sources, polling data from various sources, and disaster count of fatalities from different media sources after a catastrophic event. This dissertation seeks to address a gap in the operations literature by addressing three research questions regarding entropy base data fusion (EBDF) approaches to estimation. Three separate, but unifying, essays address the research questions for this dissertation. Essay 1 provides an overview of supporting literature for the research questions. A numerical analysis of airline maximum wait time data illustrates the underlying issues involved in EBDF methods. This ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tran, Huong Thi

Friends of the State Courts: Organized Interests and State Courts of Last Resort

Description: Why do interest groups participate in state courts of last resort by filing amicus curiae briefs? Are they influential when they do? This dissertation examines these questions using an original survey of organized interests that routinely participate in state supreme courts, as well as data on all amicus curiae briefs and majority opinions in over 14,000 cases decided in all fifty-two state supreme courts for a four year period. I argue that interest groups turn to state judiciaries to achieve the dual goals of influencing policy and organizational maintenance, as amicus briefs can help organized interests achieve both outcomes. Furthermore, I contend that amicus briefs are influential in shaping judicial policy-making through the provision of legally persuasive arguments. The results suggest that interest groups do file amicus briefs to both lobby for their preferred policies and to support their organization's long-term viability. Additionally, the results indicate that organized interests also participate in counteractive lobbying in state courts of last resort by filing amicus briefs to ensure their side is represented and to dull the effect of oppositional amici. The findings also demonstrate support for the influence of amicus briefs on judicial policy-making on state high courts, as amicus briefs can influence the ideological direction of the court's majority opinions. Overall, this research extends our understanding of interest group lobbing in the judiciary and in state policy venues, and provides insight into judicial politics and policy-making on state courts of last resort.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Perkins, Jared David

A History of Overcoming: Nietzsche on the Moral Antecedents and Successors of Modern Liberalism

Description: This work aims to understand human moral psychology under modern liberalism by analyzing the mature work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I seek to understand and evaluate Nietzsche's claim that liberalism, rather than being an overturning of slave morality, is an extension of the slave morality present in both Judaism and Christianity. To ground Nietzsche's critique of liberalism theoretically, I begin by analyzing his "master" and "slave" concepts. With these concepts clarified, I then apply them to Nietzsche's history by following his path from Judaism to liberalism and beyond--to his "last man" and Übermensch. I find that Nietzsche views history as a series of overcomings wherein a given mode of power maintenance runs counter to the means by which power was initially attained. Liberalism, as the precursor and herald of the "last man," threatens the end of overcoming and therefore compromises the future of human valuation and meaning.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gill, Rodney W

Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation

Description: Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Otting, Tiffany L

The Impact of Psychotherapeutic Reiki on Anxiety and Mindfulness: A Single-Case Design

Description: Reiki healing is one of several complementary and integrative therapies becoming increasingly prevalent in mental health counseling. It has been identified in the medical field for its usefulness in treating anxiety, depression, distress, and pain but has rarely been studied for its counseling impact on client wellness. I conducted single-case research to explore psychotherapeutic Reiki's (PR's) influence on adult clients' anxiety symptoms and perceived sense of mindfulness and provided analysis of data collected from two assessments administered weekly: the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-Adult and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Three of the four participants demonstrated significant improvement in both anxiety and mindfulness over the course of the PR intervention. The study revealed potential therapeutic benefits for integrating PR with conventional talk therapy. Included in discussion of study results are clinical implications and importance, suggestions for future research, and limitations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Webster, Lindsay

The Impact on Achievement from Student and Parent Attitudes towards Using Smartphones in School

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine what type of correlations existed between student and parent attitudes towards using smartphones in school and the resulting impact on achievement, specifically for low-achieving students. Participants in the study were third-grade students and their parents from a primary school in Singapore. The study employed a quantitative analysis to understand the correlations among the different participant groups. The instruments used were Likert-based surveys, along with scores from mid-year and end-of-year achievement exams in English and science. The three most relevant major findings showed that (a) low-achieving students show a positive attitude toward completing science activities, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; (b) the parents of low-achieving students appear to provide their children with autonomy in using their smartphones, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; and (c) having a smartphone and using the smartphone to complete school work is important to low-achieving students and their parents.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gordesky, Joshua

Influence of Underlying Random Walk Types in Population Models on Resulting Social Network Types and Epidemiological Dynamics

Description: Epidemiologists rely on human interaction networks for determining states and dynamics of disease propagations in populations. However, such networks are empirical snapshots of the past. It will greatly benefit if human interaction networks are statistically predicted and dynamically created while an epidemic is in progress. We develop an application framework for the generation of human interaction networks and running epidemiological processes utilizing research on human mobility patterns and agent-based modeling. The interaction networks are dynamically constructed by incorporating different types of Random Walks and human rules of engagements. We explore the characteristics of the created network and compare them with the known theoretical and empirical graphs. The dependencies of epidemic dynamics and their outcomes on patterns and parameters of human motion and motives are encountered and presented through this research. This work specifically describes how the types and parameters of random walks define properties of generated graphs. We show that some configurations of the system of agents in random walk can produce network topologies with properties similar to small-world networks. Our goal is to find sets of mobility patterns that lead to empirical-like networks. The possibility of phase transitions in the graphs due to changes in the parameterization of agent walks is the focus of this research as this knowledge can lead to the possibility of disruptions to disease diffusions in populations. This research shall facilitate work of public health researchers to predict the magnitude of an epidemic and estimate resources required for mitigation.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kolgushev, Oleg Mikhailovich

Information Content of Iron Butterfly Arbitrage Bounds

Description: Informed traders trade options on underlying securities to lower transaction costs and increase financial leverage for price trend and variance strategies. Options markets play a significant role in price discovery by incorporating private information about future prices for an underlying security into option prices. I generate a new model-free volatility measure to calculate the "distance from arbitrage bounds" from minute-by-minute option series for the S&P 500 index and 30 individual underlying stocks. These iron butterfly arbitrage bounds (IBBs) use intraday call and put option prices from the Bloomberg database. Narrow and wide IBBs are expected to reveal the options market valuation of volatility by market participants. Data series is gathered by using successive one-minute intervals from the Bloomberg database. The data comprise the most recent bid and ask option prices and volumes. I collect S&P 500 index values and index options and use 30 underlying stock prices and option prices for the contracts that have the largest option trading volume during the sampling interval. These bid and ask prices reflect the information generated by intraday price pressures implied by S&P 500 index options or stock options. Consistent with the option micro-structure literature, I find that the IBB measure for actively traded stock options attains its highest level immediately after the open of the market, declines steadily throughout the first trading hour and remains relatively stable until market close. However, index IBBs behave differently. S&P 500 index option IBB attains its lowest level during the first hour of the trading day, then increases and remains relatively stable until market close. I present new evidence regarding the dynamic relation between stock returns and innovations in expected volatility by using the minute-by-minute change in implied volatility (IV) as a proxy. Unlike the relationship between individual stock returns and their respective changes in implied ...
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Kochan, Mucahit

Infusing Automatic Question Generation with Natural Language Understanding

Description: Automatically generating questions from text for educational purposes is an active research area in natural language processing. The automatic question generation system accompanying this dissertation is MARGE, which is a recursive acronym for: MARGE automatically reads generates and evaluates. MARGE generates questions from both individual sentences and the passage as a whole, and is the first question generation system to successfully generate meaningful questions from textual units larger than a sentence. Prior work in automatic question generation from text treats a sentence as a string of constituents to be rearranged into as many questions as allowed by English grammar rules. Consequently, such systems overgenerate and create mainly trivial questions. Further, none of these systems to date has been able to automatically determine which questions are meaningful and which are trivial. This is because the research focus has been placed on NLG at the expense of NLU. In contrast, the work presented here infuses the questions generation process with natural language understanding. From the input text, MARGE creates a meaning analysis representation for each sentence in a passage via the DeconStructure algorithm presented in this work. Questions are generated from sentence meaning analysis representations using templates. The generated questions are automatically evaluated for question quality and importance via a ranking algorithm.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mazidi, Karen