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An Evaluation of the Effect of Learning Styles and Computer Competency on Students' Satisfaction on Web-Based Distance Learning Environments

Description: This study investigates the correlation between students' learning styles, computer competency and student satisfaction in Web-based distance learning. Three hundred and one graduate students participated in the current study during the Summer and Fall semesters of 2002 at the University of North Texas. Participants took the courses 100% online and came to the campus only once for software training. Computer competency and student satisfaction were measured using the Computer Skill and Use Assessment and the Student Satisfaction Survey questionnaires. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory measured students' learning styles. The study concludes that there is a significant difference among the different learning styles with respect to student satisfaction level when the subjects differ with regard to computer competency. For accommodating amd diverging styles, a higher level of computer competency results in a higher level of student satisfaction. But for converging and assimilating styles, a higher level of computer competency suggests a lower level of student satisfaction. A significant correlation was found between computer competency and student satisfaction level within Web-based courses for accommodating styles and no significant results were found in the other learning styles.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Du, Yunfei

The Evolution of Yeats's Dance Imagery: The Body, Gender, and Nationalism

Description: Tracing the development of his dance imagery, this dissertation argues that Yeats's collaborations with various early modern dancers influenced his conceptions of the body, gender, and Irish nationalism. The critical tendency to read Yeats's dance emblems in light of symbolist-decadent portrayals of Salome has led to exaggerated charges of misogyny, and to neglect of these emblems' relationship to the poet's nationalism. Drawing on body criticism, dance theory, and postcolonialism, this project rereads the politics that underpin Yeats's idea of the dance, calling attention to its evolution and to the heterogeneity of its manifestations in both written texts and dramatic performances. While the dancer of Yeats's texts follow the dictates of male-authored scripts, those in actual performances of his works acquired more agency by shaping choreography. In addition to working directly with Michio Ito and Ninette de Valois, Yeats indirectly collaborated with such trailblazers of early modern dance as Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Maud Allan, and Ruth St. Denis. These collaborations shed important light on the germination of early modern dance and on current trends in the performative arts. Registering anti-imperialist and anti-industrialist agendas, the early Yeats's dancing Sidhe personify a romantic nationalism that seeks to inspire resistance to the cultural machinery of British colonization. In his middle career, these collective Sidhe transmute into the solitary figure of a bird-woman-witch dancer, who, resembling the soloists of early modern dance, occupies center stage without any support from men and (to some extent) contests patriarchal assumptions. The late Yeats satirizes the imposition of sexual, racial, and religious purity on postcolonial Irish identity by means of Salome-like dances in which "fair" dancers hold the severed heads of "foul" spectators. These dances blur customary socio-political boundaries between fair and foul, classical and grotesque. Early to late, the evolution of Yeats's dancers reflects his gradual incorporation ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Lee, Deng-Huei

Form, Style, Function and Rhetoric in Gottlob Harrer's Sinfonias: A Case Study in the Early History of the Symphony

Description: Gottlob Harrer (1703-1755) composed at least twenty-seven sinfonias for his patron Count Heinrich von Bruhl in Dresden from 1731-1747, placing them among the earliest concert symphonies written. Harrer's mostly autograph sinfonia manuscripts are significant documents that provide us with a more thorough understanding of musical activities in and around Dresden. Several of the works indicate topical references, including dance, march, and hunt allusions, that comment on the Dresden social occasions for which Harrer composed these works. Harrer mixes topical references with other gestures in several of his sinfonias to create what I believe is an unrecognized affective language functioning in instrumental works of the time. An examination of the topical allusions in Harrer's works solidifies their connection to the social milieu for which he wrote them, and therefore better defines the genre of the concert sinfonia of the time. The first part of this study of Harrer's sinfonias addresses evidence about the composer, his patron, Dresden society, and the circumstances surrounding the first performances of several works, musical evidence of the composer's stylistic and formal approach to the genre, and the rhetorical meaning of topical gestures in the scores in ways not yet explored. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that the stylistic and formal characteristics of Harrer's sinfonias were often influenced by the function and context of their premieres. Part Two of the dissertation provides transcriptions of Harrer's sinfonias, making them available for performance and further study in the hope that such a holistic approach will enrich our appreciation of musical life in Dresden in the 1730s.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Rober, Russell Todd

Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde

Description: Critics and audiences alike have neglected the idea of Wilde as a precursor to Beckett. But I contend that a closer look at each writer's aesthetic and philosophic tendencies-for instance, their interest in the fluid nature of self, their understanding of identity as a performance, and their belief in language as both a way in and a way out of stagnancy -will connect them in surprising and highly significant ways. This thesis will focus on the ways in which Wilde prefigures Beckett as a dramatist. Indeed, many of the themes that Beckett, free from the constraints of a censor and from the societal restrictions of Victorian England, unabashedly details in his drama are to be found residing obscurely in Wilde. Understanding Beckett's major dramatic themes and motifs therefore yields new strategies for reading Wilde.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Tucker, Amanda

How Parenting Stress and Discouragement Impact Functioning Within Stepfamilies

Description: The study analyzed how parenting stress and discouragement affect stepfamily functioning. Whether the parent was a biological parent or stepparent, whether the stepparent was a stepmother or stepfather, or whether the marriage had been formed more or less than two years was also considered. One assumption made was that increased parenting stress and discouragement will lead to decreased family functioning. Other assumptions were that there will be more increased parenting stress and discouragement and decreased family functioning found in stepparents than biological parents, in stepmothers more than stepfathers, and in parents in families formed less than two years more than those in families formed more than two years. Complete data was collected from 30 subjects. Three instruments were used in the study. The Parenting Stress Index measures how much stress parents experience in areas relating to how they see their child and how they see themselves as parents. The Discouragement Scale for Adults was developed to measure the Adlerian concept of discouragement in an adult population. The Family Assessment Device measures how a family functions.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Roberson, Mary Larson

Impact of Absent Father-Figures on Male Subjects and the Correlation to Juvenile Delinquency: Findings and Implications

Description: This study was predicated on the belief that a father brings something unique to the family, thus, making irreplaceable contributions to the life of a child. Fathers are unique in that they provide something different from mothers. They are irreplaceable because when they are absent, children are said to suffer emotionally, intellectually, socially, and behaviorally. The contributions of fathers to a child's well being cannot be fully replaced by better programming, ensuring child support programs, or even by well-intentioned mentoring programs. A review of literature relevant to delinquency and adolescent behavioral and academic success revealed that there may be a correlation between a male role-model and the teaching of self-control and socially appropriate behaviors. Indeed, much of what the large body of research pertaining to fatherhood reveals is that, compared to children raised in two-parent homes, children who grow up without their fathers have significantly worse outcomes, on average, on almost every measure of well being (Horn, 2002). In addition, an understanding of the factors that may influence delinquent behaviors, in particular within the family unit, can better equip parents and educators to support those who may be exhibiting the beginning signs of delinquent behavior. This study was designed to determine the influence of, or correlation between, juvenile delinquency and the presence or absence of a father-figure in a child's life. Responses made on the Delinquency Check List between two sample sets, delinquent and non-delinquent adolescents, were examined. The study attempted to determine if delinquent activity among adolescents was differentiated by the absence or presence of a father-figure in a child's life. This study also investigated the frequency and severity of delinquent activities between adolescents in the determined sample groups.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Eastin, Jennifer Flood

The Impact of Financial Aid on Persistence: Application of the Financial Nexus Model

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the financial nexus between college choice and persistence for full-time, first-time, first-year freshman college students. The theoretical framework of this study was the financial nexus construct developed by St. John, Paulsen, and Starkey (1996) and Paulsen and St. John (1997). This is the first study to apply the financial nexus construct to full-time, first-time, first-year freshman population; the first to examine baccalaureate/comprehensive and doctoral/research institutions in both public and private sectors separately. The results of this study found that (1) overall, it is slightly evident that there is a financial nexus between college choice and persistence among full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students; (2) the nexus between college choice and persistence may be different by the Carnegie Classification, and (3) the pattern of the direct effects of financial variables (i.e., tuition and financial aid) on persistence was different from the previous results. Unlike in the previous studies, tuition increases appeared to have a positive effect on the enrollment of full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students attending institutions of all Carnegie Classifications. The result suggests that price may reveal a "quality effect" and that higher tuition institution may signal higher quality. In both public and private institution students, students of comprehensive/baccalaureate institutions were more sensitive to tuition than those of research/doctoral institution. This result may raise fundamental questions about the tuition price responsiveness of full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students. The results indicate that public students were more sensitive to grants than private students. Also, students attending comprehensive/ baccalaureate institutions were more sensitive to grants than those of research/doctoral institutions in both sectors.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Hwang, Dae-Yeop

The impact of U.S. quick service on the health and patronage of Chinese urban consumers.

Description: Over the last decade there has been a rapid development of United States quick service restaurant companies such as KFC and McDonalds in China. Increasingly urban Chinese consumers patronize these restaurants as a way to experience American culture. For some it is becoming a part of their eating pattern. Recent health studies have demonstrated that nutritional diseases are increasing in China. This study accessed urban Chinese consumers' perceptions about U.S. quick service restaurants and their knowledge about the nutritional value that U.S. quick service food can provide. This study revealed that Chinese consumers' perceptions and knowledge about U.S. quick service impacts their patronage. Additionally, the study determined correlation between consumer patronage and reported health status as well as consumers' length of patronage negative influence on their health status. The results of this study will help U.S. quick service restaurants in educating consumers on nutrition and improving the menus.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Zhang, Jiaoyan

Improving Topic Tracking with Domain Chaining

Description: Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) research has produced some successful statistical tracking systems. While lexical chaining, a non-statistical approach, has also been applied to the task of tracking by Carthy and Stokes for the 2001 TDT evaluation, an efficient tracking system based on this technology has yet to be developed. In thesis we investigate two new techniques which can improve Carthy's original design. First, at the core of our system is a semantic domain chainer. This chainer relies not only on the WordNet database for semantic relationships but also on Magnini's semantic domain database, which is an extension of WordNet. The domain-chaining algorithm is a linear algorithm. Second, to handle proper nouns, we gather all of the ones that occur in a news story together in a chain reserved for proper nouns. In this thesis we also discuss the linguistic limitations of lexical chainers to represent textual meaning.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Yang, Li

In Martha We Trust? The Cultural Significance of the Martha Stewart Phenomenon

Description: The thesis examines the relationship between Martha Stewart's rendition of domesticity and a broader cultural trend of the late 1990s U.S. domestic retreatism. It argues that the mode of construction and representation of the "domestic dream" in Stewart's programs cannot be examined outside of such concepts as class and ethnicity, whose understanding depends on the cultural, social, and political context of a given era, a context, in which they become transparent as aspects of the Western (white, patriarchal) status quo. Performing a deconstructive reading of these categories as employed by Stewart in the process of creation of her media persona, the thesis examines what the negative as well as positive reactions to "Martha Stewart" convey about the condition of American society of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Chmielewska, Katarzyna

Influences of Current Parent-Child Relationships on Young Adults' Romantic Development

Description: In this study, the supportive nature of the parent-child relationship was examined for how it relates to young adults' romantic development, as measured by indicators of attachment relationship importance and romantic involvement. Attachment and social support theories suggest that parents continue to play an important role as their young adult children form romantic relationships. Prior research has indicated that perceived support from parents is positively related to young adults' expressing attachment relationship importance, as evidenced by attachment motivation and engaging in exploration about romantic relationship topics. Furthermore, support from parents has been negatively related to romantic and sexual involvement. Therefore, it was believed that support in the parent-child relationship would predict both the indicators of attachment relationship importance and the indicators of romantic involvement in the present study. Additionally, an interaction of parental support and participants' gender was expected for the indicators of attachment relationship importance but not romantic involvement. A sample of 157 women and 144 men, ages 18-22 completed questionnaires. These measures assessed the supportive quality of relationships with each parent and indicators of the young adults' romantic development. For the indicators of attachment relationship importance, results indicated that exploration was predicted by gender and a conflictual relationship with father while motivation was predicted by a supportive relationship with father. Regarding the indicators of romantic involvement, sexual involvement was predicted by gender. Given these unexpected results, the role of parental support in young adults' romantic development continues to appear important, though the nature of its influence needs further research. Theoretical and methodological issues were discussed in light of these findings.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Rader, Heather Noble

Information systems assessment: development of a comprehensive framework and contingency theory to assess the effectiveness of the information systems function.

Description: The purpose of this research is to develop a comprehensive, IS assessment framework using existing IS assessment theory as a base and incorporating suggestions from other disciplines. To validate the framework and to begin the investigation of current IS assessment practice, a survey instrument was developed. A small group of subject matter experts evaluated and improved the instrument. The instrument was further evaluated using a small sample of IS representatives. Results of this research include a reexamination of the IS function measurement problem using new frameworks of analyses yielding (a) guidance for the IS manager or executive on which IS measures might best fit their organization, (b) a further verification of the important measures most widely used by IS executives, (c) a comprehensive, theoretically-derived, IS assessment framework, and by (d) the enhancement of IS assessment theory by incorporating ideas from actual practice. The body of knowledge gains a comprehensive, IS assessment framework that can be further tested for usefulness and applicability. Future research is recommended to substantiate and improve on these findings. Chapter 2 is a complete survey of prior research, subdivided by relevant literature divisions, such as organizational effectiveness, quality management, and IS assessment. Chapter 3 includes development of and support for the research questions, IS assessment framework, and the research model. Chapter 4 describes how the research was conducted. It includes a brief justification for the research approach, a description of how the framework was evaluated, a description of how the survey instrument was developed and evaluated, a description of the participants and how they were selected, a synopsis of the data collection procedures, a brief description of follow-up procedures, and a summary. Chapter 5 presents the results of the research. Chapter 6 is a summary and conclusion of the research. Finally, included in the appendices are definitions ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Myers, Barry L.

Integrating Concepts in Modern Molecular Biology into a High School Biology Curriculum

Description: More so than any other science in the past several decades, Biology has seen an explosion of new information and monumental discoveries that have had a profound impact on much more than the science itself. Much of this has occurred at the molecular level. Many of these modern concepts, ideas, and technologies, as well as their historical context, can be easily understood and appreciated at the high school level. Moreover, it is argued here that the integration of this is critical for making biology relevant as a modern science. A contemporary high school biology curriculum should adequately reflect this newly acquired knowledge and how it has already has already begun to revolutionize medicine, agriculture, and the study of biology itself. This curriculum provides teachers with a detailed framework for integrating molecular biology into a high school biology curriculum. It is not intended to represent the curriculum for an entire academic year, but should be considered a significant component. In addition to examining key concepts and discoveries, it examines modern molecular techniques, their applications, and their relevance to science and beyond. It also provides several recommended labs and helpful protocols.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Parker, Timothy P.

Investigating patterns among demographics, identification practices, interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance.

Description: This study explored potential patterns of association among the demographic characteristics, identification practices, educational interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance (SED) as well as specifically investigated the impact of age at identification with SED and the presence of co-occurring disabilities. Data was gathered from the educational records of students with SED in seven rural to semi-rural districts in Texas. Demographic information included gender, ethnicity, age at identification with SED, and identification with co-occurring disabilities. Identification variables that were investigated include the five federal qualifying criteria for SED, IQ score, and BASC and/or CBCL scores. Intervention variables that were explored included placement setting, restrictiveness of placement setting, type of related services provided, parental attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings, number of multidisciplinary team meetings, and total time spent in special education as a student with SED. Outcome variables that were examined included achievement levels in reading and math, attendance, special education status, and grade retention. Results suggested that earlier identification with SED is related to placement in less restrictive settings, achievement within two years of grade level in reading, and lower average number of absences. The presence of co-occurring disabilities in addition to SED is associated with placement in more restrictive settings and with achievement that is two or more years below grade level in reading and math. Additional findings and implications for future research as well as for current practice are discussed.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Gonzalez, Christine

An investigation into the current practices of formal and informal teacher technologists on the use of computers in the classroom in an urban academy school and a private academy school.

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the practices of formal and informal teacher technologists in two school settings: an elite private, high school academy and an urban poor, middle school academy. This investigation included clarifying the role of the formal and informal teacher technologist and investigating the need for both formal and informal teacher technologists. This study also explored the technological differences between the public academy middle school and the private academy high school. Two formal and eight informal teacher technologists were interviewed face-to-face three times, each using the transcendental phenomenology research design. Each teacher technologist was also observed at least once in classroom and teacher training sessions. The results of this study revealed (1) the role of the teacher technologist was a fast technology problem solver; and (2) although students and teachers used technology, the schools lagged in adequate technology and/or teacher training; (3) the teacher technologists used the Internet to build and evaluate curriculum; (4) most students used tool software centered around project-based activities; (5) teacher technologists trained other teachers to be collaborative risk-takers in using technology; (6) teacher technologists shared what they learn with students and other teachers; and (7) students could be student-learners or student-teachers and teachers could be teacher-learners. Four conclusions were reached: technology and constructivist teaching are compatible; technology is a tool; new approaches to professional development are needed; and hardware and software should be standardized for maximum use. Additionally, both schools in this study were evolving the role of the formal teacher technologist. It was recommended that (1) the schools employ at least one fulltime formal teacher technologist whose main role is to assist teachers in technology classroom incorporation, (2) the schools form teams of informal teacher technologists, (3) and the public middle school academy purchase one laptop for each student ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Herring, Jennifer C.

Investigation of Relational and Overt Aggression Among Boys and Girls

Description: Given the paucity of research that has been conducted on aggression in girls (see Keenan, Loeber, & Green, 1999, for a review), it is important to examine different behavioral manifestations of aggression that may be more prevalent among girls than boys, such as relational aggression (see Crick et al., 1999, for a review). Relational aggression consists of behaviors that harm others through damage to their peer relationships or the threat of such damage (e.g., spreading rumors about a peer so that others will reject him/her, social exclusion; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a particular subset of youth who are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior (Henker & Whalen, 1999; Whalen & Henker, 1985). The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of relational aggression among children with attention problems as compared to the general population. Gender differences in relational aggression were also examined. In the current study, participants included 91 3rd-5th grade public school students. Teacher ratings of aggressive behavior and attention problems were obtained. Parents also completed measures to assess attention problems and social-psychological adjustment. Contrary to prediction, results indicated children with attention problems were not more aggressive than children without attention problems, regardless of the type of aggressive behavior assessed (i.e., relational or overt aggression). With respect to gender differences in relational aggression, results indicate the well-known gender effect for relational aggression only applies to Caucasian students in this sample, as a gender effect for relational aggression was not obtained for Hispanic students. Thus, the gender effect for relational aggression should not be considered a robust finding generalizable to all ethnic groups. Finally, relationally aggressive children were reported to be as well-adjusted as their non-relationally aggressive peers, which is not consistent with previous research. Regardless of aggression status, Hispanic ...
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Long, Melissa M.

Jinxed

Description: My dissertation, Jinxed, developed out of my interest in the movement between the comic and the tragic by tracing the evolution of a romantic relationship. While employing biblical, classical, literary, and pop-cultural traditions, my manuscript has its most clear affinities with Renaissance poetry that navigates between the erotic and the spiritual. The sequence of poems recreates the character of Petrarch's Laura in the Little Redhead Girl, Charlie Brown's first love. My Laura, however, is a feisty secular Irish woman who simultaneously frustrates and attracts a religious narrator. To explore the multifaceted nature of their love, I employ a variety of poetic techniques, such as the repetition inherent in the villanelle to express the powerlessness of the narrator as he begins to fall in love. In "To a Young Philosopher," a sestina, one of the repeated words ("ephemeral") triggers a philosophical discussion that is a proposal of marriage. The manuscript also uses other forms such as the sonnet, Spenserian stanza, terza rima, couplets, and blank verse. Narratively, it ends with Charlie Brown after he has missed kicking Lucy's football, falling to earth literally and symbolically. Poems in the manuscript have appeared in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Talking River Review, and Passages North.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Davis, Richard

Laboratory and field studies of cadmium effects on Hyalella azteca in effluent dominated systems.

Description: Laboratory single-species toxicity tests are used to assess the effects of contaminants on aquatic biota. Questions remain as to how accurately these controlled toxicity tests predict sitespecific bioavailability and effects of metals. Concurrent 42-day Hyalella azteca exposures were performed with cadmium and final treated municipal effluent in the laboratory and at the University of North Texas Stream Research Facility. Further laboratory testing in reconstituted hard water was also conducted. Endpoints evaluated include survival, growth, reproduction, and Cd body burden. My results demonstrate that laboratory toxicity tests may overestimate toxicity responses to cadmium when compared to effluent dominated stream exposures. Discrepancies between endpoints in the three tests likely resulted from increased food sources and decreased cadmium bioavailability in stream mesocosms
Date: August 2003
Creator: Stanley, Jacob K.

Let His Conscience be her Guide: Ethical Self-Fashionings of Woman in Early-Modern Drama

Description: Female characters in early-modern drama, even when following the dictates of conscience, appear inextricably bound to patriarchal expectations. This paradoxical situation is explained by two elements that have affected the Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent. First, the playwright's education would have included a traditional body of philosophical opinion regarding female intellectual and moral capacities that would have tried to explain rationally the necessity of woman's second-class status. However, by its nature, this body of information is filled with contradiction. Second, the playwright's education would have also included learning to use the rhetorical trope et utramque partem, that is arguing a position from all sides. Learning to use this trope would place the early-modern dramatist in the position of interrogating the contradictory notions of woman contained in the traditional sources. Six dramas covering over a sixty-year period from the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries suggest that regardless of the type of work, comedy or tragedy, female characters are shown as adults seeking recognition as autonomous moral beings while living in a culture that works to maintain their dependent status. These works include an early comedy Ralph Roister Doister, a domestic tragedy A Woman Killed With Kindness, a closet drama The Tragedy of Mariam: The Fair Queen of Jewry, two romances, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale, and a tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. What these plays suggest is that throughout early-modern drama, the female character is often depicted as resisting patriarchal demands that are inherently irrational, especially when these demands contradict ethical behavior that the culture ostensibly supports. The Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent is encouraging in that even though the female character may not be successful within the parameters of the drama, nevertheless, the fact that her moral dilemma is described in ways that ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Penque, Ruth Ida

Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.

Description: I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of the force, the force increase rate, and the level of orientation of the chains. Three-dimensional (3D) graphical visualization tools were developed for representation and analysis of the simulation results. These also present interesting educational possibilities. Computer simulations provide us information which is inaccessible experimentally. From the concomitant use of simulations and experiments, a better understanding of the molecular phenomena that take place during deformation of polymers has been established.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Simoes, Ricardo J. F.

Middle Men: Establishing Non-Anglo Masculinity in Southwestern Literature

Description: By examining southwestern masculinity from three separate lenses of cultural experience, Mexican American, Native American and female, this thesis aims to acknowledge the blending of masculinities that is taking place in both the fictitious and factual southwest. Long gone are the days when the cowboys chased down the savage Indians or the Mexican bandits. Southwestern literature now focuses on how these different cultures and traditions can re-construct their masculinities in a way that will be beneficial to all. The southwest is a land of borders and liminal spaces between the United States and Mexico, between brown and white, legal and illegal. All of these borders converge here to create the last American frontier. These converging borders also encompass converging traditions, cultures, and genders. By blending the cowboy, the macho, and the warrior, perhaps these Southwestern writers can construct a liminal masculinity more representative of the southwest itself.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: King, Charla

Modeling Complex Forest Ecology in a Parallel Computing Infrastructure

Description: Effective stewardship of forest ecosystems make it imperative to measure, monitor, and predict the dynamic changes of forest ecology. Measuring and monitoring provides us a picture of a forest's current state and the necessary data to formulate models for prediction. However, societal and natural events alter the course of a forest's development. A simulation environment that takes into account these events will facilitate forest management. In this thesis, we describe an efficient parallel implementation of a land cover use model, Mosaic, and discuss the development efforts to incorporate spatial interaction and succession dynamics into the model. To evaluate the performance of our implementation, an extensive set of simulation experiments was carried out using a dataset representing the H.J. Andrews Forest in the Oregon Cascades. Results indicate that a significant reduction in the simulation execution time of our parallel model can be achieved as compared to uni-processor simulations.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Mayes, John

New Surveillance Technologies and the Invasion of Privacy Rights

Description: Definition of privacy has changed by the changes and improvements in information and surveillance technologies. These changes and improvement need new legal decisions for new kinds of privacy invasions. This study explores the scope of privacy right, particularly when a technological surveillance has occurred by law enforcement agencies. It focuses in particular on increasing law enforcements' surveillance technologies and devices that have the potential to impact citizens' information privacy. These increasing changes in surveillance technologies have important implications both for law enforcements and citizens. This study also discusses increasing law enforcement surveillance for the public's security, changes of the laws that allow law enforcements to use new surveillance powers as a war on terrorism, and the citizens concerns of information privacy. A particular attention is given to the recent public opinion surveys which show citizens' increasing privacy concerns. Finally, a set of recommendations to figure out security-privacy debate and reduce the privacy concerns of the citizens is offered.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Simsek, Yilmaz

No Way Out: A Historical Documentary

Description: No Way Out: A Historical Documentary is the written companion to a forty-minute documentary film entitled "No Way Out". The film deals with a 1974 inmate standoff at a prison in Huntsville, Texas known as the Carrasco Incident. The film examines the prison takeover through the eyes of those who lived through it. Composed of five interviews, "No Way Out" is a compilation of various points of view ranging from former hostages, members of the press, and law enforcement. The written companion for this piece discusses the three phases of the production for this film. These chapters are designed to share with the reader the various intricacies of documentary filmmaking. The thesis also explores theoretical issues concerning collective memory, coping behavior, and the ethics of historical documentary filmmaking.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Holder, Elizabeth Suzanne