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The Effectiveness of Business Leadership Practices among Principals on Student Achievement on Public School Campuses in Texas

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Cooper, Kary M.

The Value of Everything: Ranking and Association with Encyclopedic Knowledge

Description: This dissertation describes WikiRank, an unsupervised method of assigning relative values to elements of a broad coverage encyclopedic information source in order to identify those entries that may be relevant to a given piece of text. The valuation given to an entry is based not on textual similarity but instead on the links that associate entries, and an estimation of the expected frequency of visitation that would be given to each entry based on those associations in context. This estimation of relative frequency of visitation is embodied in modifications to the random walk interpretation of the PageRank algorithm. WikiRank is an effective algorithm to support natural language processing applications. It is shown to exceed the performance of previous machine learning algorithms for the task of automatic topic identification, providing results comparable to that of human annotators. Second, WikiRank is found useful for the task of recognizing text-based paraphrases on a semantic level, by comparing the distribution of attention generated by two pieces of text using the encyclopedic resource as a common reference. Finally, WikiRank is shown to have the ability to use its base of encyclopedic knowledge to recognize terms from different ontologies as describing the same thing, and thus allowing for the automatic generation of mapping links between ontologies. The conclusion of this thesis is that the "knowledge access heuristic" is valuable and that a ranking process based on a large encyclopedic resource can form the basis for an extendable general purpose mechanism capable of identifying relevant concepts by association, which in turn can be effectively utilized for enumeration and comparison at a semantic level.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Coursey, Kino High

Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone: A Structural Analysis Identifying Historical Significance, Form and Implications for Performance

Description: Research has been conducted on Francis Poulenc and his prominent 20th century sonata for brass instruments. Poulenc and members of the French compositional collaboration known as Les Six have all been subjects of research. Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Horn Trumpet and Trombone is a crucial piece in the development of brass chamber music during the 20th century. As one of the first works written for modern brass instruments, it demonstrates a highly crafted compositional style representative of Poulenc's early period. Research includes background and historical significance of the Sonata, analysis of form and compositional techniques, biographical information on Francis Poulenc and the members of Les Six and a section on implications for the performance of the work. This study is necessary due to the lack of research available for the piece especially considering its relevance to the development of brass chamber music. This study explores the compositional style of Francis Poulenc and his contribution to the brass ensemble repertoire.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Cord, John T.

"Now His Time Really Seems to Have Come": Ideas about Mahler's Music in Late Imperial and First Republic Vienna

Description: In Vienna from about 1918 until the 1930s, contemporaries perceived a high point in the music-historical significance of Mahler's works, with regard to both the history of compositional style and the social history of music. The ideas and meanings that became attached to Mahler's works in this milieu are tied inextricably to the city's political and cultural life. Although the performances of Mahler's works under the auspices of Vienna's Social Democrats are sometimes construed today as mere acts of political appropriation, David Josef Bach's writings suggest that the innovative and controversial aspects of Mahler's works held social value in line with the ideal of Arbeiterbildung. Richard Specht, Arnold Schoenberg, and Theodor Adorno embraced oft-criticized features in Mahler's music, regarding the composer as a prophetic artist whose compositional style was the epitome of faithful adherence to one's inner artistic vision, regardless of its popularity. While all three critics addressed the relationship between detail and whole in Mahler's music, Adorno construed it as an act of subversion. Mahler's popularity also affected Viennese composers during this time in obvious and subtle ways. The formal structure and thematic construction of Berg's Chamber Concerto suggest a compositional approach close to what his student Adorno described a few years later regarding Mahler's music.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph

Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Le, Dong D.

Comparing a discriminative stimulus procedure to a pairing procedure: Conditioning neutral social stimuli to function as conditioned reinforcers.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Koelker, Rachel Lee

Moderators of the sociocultural internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship among female undergraduates.

Description: The sociocultural model of eating pathology is an empirically-supported model explaining eating disorder etiology. The model poses that body dissatisfaction and subsequent eating pathology stems from the unrealistic standards formulated by Westernized society. Although the model has strong empirical support, variables within the model do not account for 100% of the variance in disordered eating. Thus, the current researcher attempted to explore potential moderating factors in the sociocultural model of eating disorders that may help to explain variance currently unaccounted for. In particular, the researcher focused on the relationship between sociocultural internalization and body dissatisfaction, given that this relationship has not been previously explored within the literature. Based on theoretical support, the researcher chose several potential variables to test, including perfectionism, neuroticism, body surveillance, and shame. Primary analyses tested each variable for moderating effects using hierarchical moderated regression, but no significant findings were shown. Results of post hoc analyses showed all variables had significant mediating effects, with the exception of self-oriented perfectionism. The discussion section addresses consistency with previous research, limitations of the present study, treatment implications and guidelines for future research.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Latimer-Kern, Kelsey M.

Metro Environmental: The impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, Internet video assistance.

Description: This qualitative study explored the overall impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, internet video assistance at a small HVAC company, Metro Environmental. John Thomason, the president/co-owner developed a website and a new SightPros communication tool that allows wireless, one-on-one, just-in-time, high-quality, video-monitored instructions between an expert at one site and a technician at another site. Metro Environmental successfully used the SightPros-VirTechs system to train a new apprentice remotely. The apprentice and expert changed their normal and routine physical activities because the expert worked remotely and the apprentice worked on-site. Within just a few months, the apprentice proved competent enough to go to customer accounts without more experienced technicians nearby. The technicians express excitement about the SightPros communication tool as a way to contact remote experts whenever needed. The customer and business contacts also give good reviews and suggest other benefits. The expert permanently captures the communications so the company can use the saved video for many applications, especially training. The dissertation provides a list of recommendations to trainers/educators for similar applications.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Daily, Ellen Wilmoth Matthews

Thermophysical, Interfacial and Decomposition Analyses of Polyhydroxyalkanoates introduced against Organic and Inorganic Surfaces

Description: The development of a "cradle-to-cradle" mindset with both material performance during utilization and end of life disposal is a critical need for both ecological and economic considerations. The main limitation to the use of the biopolymers is their mechanical properties. Reinforcements are therefore a good alternative but disposal concerns then arise. Thus the objective of this dissertation is to investigate a biopolymer nanocomposite where the filler is a synthetically prepared layer double hydroxide (inorganic interface); and a biopolymer paper (organic interface) based coating or laminate. The underlying issues driving performance are the packing density of the biopolymer and the interaction with the reinforcement. Since the polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs (the biopolymers used for the manufacture of the nanocomposites and coatings) are semicrystalline materials, the glass transition was investigated using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and dielectric spectroscopy (DES), whereas the melt crystallization, cold crystallization and melting points were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to estimate crystallinity in the coated material given the low thermal mass of the PHA in the PHA coating. The significant enhancement of the crystallization rate in the PHA nanocomposite was probed using DSC and polarized optical microscopy (POM) and analyzed using Avrami and Lauritzen-Hoffman models. Both composites showed a significant improvement in the mechanical performance obtained by DMA, tensile and impact testing. The degradation and decomposition of the two composites were investigated in low microbial activity soil for the cellulose paper (to slow down the degradation rate that occurs in compost) and in compost. An in-house system according to the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM D-98 (2003) was engineered. Soil decomposition showed that PHA coating into and onto the cellulose paper can be considered to be a useful method for the assessment of the degradability of the biopolymer. ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dagnon, Koffi Leonard

Progressing from identification and functional analysis of precursor behavior to treatment of self-injury.

Description: An evaluation of the utility of assessing and treating severe problem behavior through precursor functional analysis was completed. Ongoing measurement of problem behavior in two settings in the participant's natural environment was conducted for the duration of the study. A precursor to self-injurious behavior was identified using descriptive assessment and conditional probability analyses. A precursor functional analysis was then conducted. Subsequently, a treatment, in which precursor behavior produced the maintaining variable identified in the precursor functional analysis, was implemented in the natural environment. Treatment resulted in increases in the precursor behavior and decreases in self-injury in both the treatment setting and the second setting in which observations occurred. Implications of the assessment and treatment procedures are discussed.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dracobly, Joseph Daniel

Examining Career Transitions during Mid-Adulthood through the Lens of Bioecological and Microdevelopmental Research

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Davis, Joe Edd

Evaluating e-Training for public library staff: A quasi-experimental investigation.

Description: A comparative evaluation framework of instructional interventions for implementation of online training for public library staff would enable a better understanding of how to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of training in certain training environments. This dissertation describes a quasi-experimental study of a two-week, asynchronous online training course that was provided at four levels of instructional intervention to public library staff in the United States. The course content addressed the complex issues of difficult patron policy development and situational coping techniques. The objective of the study was to develop and demonstrate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based impact evaluation framework. The framework was used to assess the relative impact of an online course for public librarians at four levels of instructional intervention. The researcher investigated the relationships between the type of e-Training instructional interventions and the short- and long-term impacts on participants' knowledge, self-efficacy, and workplace performance. The study used a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design that included a pretest, posttest and three-month delayed posttest with follow-up survey. 194 participants completed all three phases of the study. The evaluation tools measured course content related knowledge and self-efficacy at all three phases (pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest) and assessed workplace application of training at 3-month follow-up. The results of this study contributed to evaluation theory and learning theory literature applied to the online learning environment and informed public library staff online training practices and evaluation methodologies.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Dalston, Teresa

Significant Influences in the Composition of Hendrik Hofmeyr's Song Cycle, Alleenstryd

Description: The poet of this cycle, Sydney Vernon Petersen, was a man who faced great adversity during Apartheid. The title of this cycle, Alleenstryd, is an Afrikaans term for 'a struggle alone.' Petersen was of mixed heritage or "Coloured" and born in South Africa in 1914. He died in 1987. His most important works in Afrikaans poetry were published between 1948 and 1965. This cycle specifically focuses on the relationship between the poet and his community, the isolation he endured within that community, the depths of despair he felt and how he overcame those obstacles to finally achieve a sense of self-worth. This group of poems, first published as an anthology by Tafelberg Press in 1979, became the source of inspiration for the composer Hendrik Hofmeyr. The purpose of this research is to identify the significant social, political and musical influences on the composer which contributed to the composition of Alleenstryd (1996), especially the significance of his self-imposed exile. Also, the Afrikaans language, a derivative of 17th century Dutch, is a language dear to its speakers but not widely accessible or familiar to most other nations. Hopefully this research will provide more information and make the language, its composers and the story of the dark history surrounding Apartheid and specifically the individuals who excelled through hardship, available to more people.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Cupido, Conroy Alan

Survey of Approximation Algorithms for Set Cover Problem

Description: In this thesis, I survey 11 approximation algorithms for unweighted set cover problem. I have also implemented the three algorithms and created a software library that stores the code I have written. The algorithms I survey are: 1. Johnson's standard greedy; 2. f-frequency greedy; 3. Goldsmidt, Hochbaum and Yu's modified greedy; 4. Halldorsson's local optimization; 5. Dur and Furer semi local optimization; 6. Asaf Levin's improvement to Dur and Furer; 7. Simple rounding; 8. Randomized rounding; 9. LP duality; 10. Primal-dual schema; and 11. Network flow technique. Most of the algorithms surveyed are refinements of standard greedy algorithm.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dutta, Himanshu Shekhar

Modified epoxy coatings on mild steel: A study of tribology and surface energy.

Description: A commercial epoxy was modified by adding fluorinated poly (aryl ether ketone) and in turn metal micro powders (Ni, Al, Zn, and Ag) and coated on mild steel. Two curing agents were used; triethylenetetramine (curing temperatures: 30 oC and 70 oC) and hexamethylenediamine (curing temperature: 80 oC). Variation in tribological properties (dynamic friction and wear) and surface energies with varying metal powders and curing agents was evaluated. When cured at 30 oC, friction and wear decreased significantly due to phase separation reaction being favored but increased when cured at 70 oC and 80 oC due to cross linking reaction being favored. There was a significant decrease in surface energies with the addition of modifiers.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Dutta, Madhuri

The role of resilience in mediating outcomes associated with grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Description: The occurrence of custodial grandparents is increasing greatly. These grandparents face added stress and many adversities that arise from caregiving. Findings of current research tends to be mixed on the effects of grandparents raising grandchildren experience. Much research concludes that grandparent caregivers experience negative declines in overall health and well-being, while other research points out that the caregiving role may actually be a positive experience for the grandparent. The current study hypothesizes that mixed research may be a result of varying levels of resilience in the custodial grandparent population. The model proposed in this study looks at resilience as a mediator between several variables that effect custodial grandparenting. The current sample consisted of 239 custodial grandparents. A regression/correlation analysis was conducted on the data, and it was found that resilience levels were significant in mediating the effects of grandparent caregiving.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Davis, Shanna R.

The Politics of Sympathy: Secularity, Alterity, and Subjectivity in George Eliot's Novels

Description: This study examines the practical and political implications of sympathy as a mode of achieving the intercommunicative relationship between the self and the other, emphasizing the significance of subjective agency not simply guided by the imperative category of morality but mainly enacted by a hybrid of discourses through the interaction between the two entities. Scenes of Clerical Life, Eliot's first fictional narrative on illuminating the intertwining relation of religion to secular conditions of life, reveals that the essence of religion is the practice of love between the self and the other derived from sympathy and invoked by their dialogic discourses of confession which enable them to foster the communality, on the grounds that the alterity implicated in the narrative of the other summons and re-historicizes the narrative of the subject's traumatic event in the past. Romola, Eliot's historical novel, highlights the performativity of subject which, on the one hand, locates Romola outside the social frame of domination and appropriation as a way of challenging the universalizing discourses of morality and duty sanctioned by the patriarchal ideology of norms, religion, and marriage. On the other hand, the heroine re-engages herself inside the social structure as a response to other's need for help by substantiating her compassion for others in action. Felix Holt, the Radical, Eliot's political and industrial novel, investigates the limits of moral discourse and instrumental reason. Esther employs her strategy of hybridizing her aesthetic and moral tastes in order to debilitate masculine desires for moral inculcation and material calculation. Esther reinvigorates her subjectivity by simultaneously internalizing and externalizing a hybrid of tastes. In effect, the empowerment of her subjectivity is designed not only to provide others with substantial help from the promptings of her sympathy for them, but also to fulfill her romantic plot of marriage.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Koo, Seung-Pon

Effectiveness of on-line corpus research in L2 writing: Investigation of proficiency in English writing through independent error correction.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Kim, Yu-Jeung

Out of Date

Description: Out of Date chronicles the filmmaker's personal journey as she tries to untangle her mixed feelings on singlehood and romance, and turns to the older generation for advice, tales of love and stories of success or failure. The documentary links and contrasts different generations' experiences in love and dating. Also, the film deals with loneliness, commitment, gender differences, and social and cultural practices of love and dating.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Lazcano Aguirre, Libia

The impact of climate and flooding on tree ring growth of Fraxinus pennsylvanica in north-central Texas.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Komperod, Mari

Oral Literature in Africa

Description: This revised edition makes Finnegan’s ground-breaking research available to the next generation of scholars. It includes a new introduction, additional images and an updated bibliography, as well as its original chapters on poetry, prose, "drum language” and drama, and an overview of the social, linguistic and historical background of oral literature in Africa. This volume is complemented by original recordings of stories and songs from the Limba country (Sierra Leone), collected by Finnegan during her fieldwork in the late 1960s,
Date: 2012
Creator: Finnegan, Ruth H.
Item Type: Book

The List

Description: The List is a collection of short stories focusing on the inability to adapt, or learn from self-destructive patterns, and the bizarre ways people reach out for one another when they don't know what else to do.
Date: December 2009
Creator: O'Brien, Tanner Chase

Impacts of Blogging Motivation and Flow on Blogging Behavior

Description: With the development of free and easy-to-use software programs, blogging has helped turn Web consumers into Web content providers. Blogging provides distinctive insight into comprehending e-consumer behavior explicitly with respect to social networking and information searching behaviors while facilitating a state of flow. The objectives of this study are to identify determinant dimensions of blogging motivations and flow, and to investigate the hypothesized relationships of the motivational blogging behavior. Analyzing data (n = 432) from a southwestern university, results reveal the critical dimensions of motivations, behaviors, and flow in blogging. Upon extending Hoffman and Novak's (1996) flow model, 14 out of 26 hypotheses were confirmed regarding the significant impacts of blogging motivations and flow on blogging behaviors. The findings revealed that the desire for information, enjoyment, and loyalty are the primary drivers for experiential blogging behavior. Specifically, information-seeking is the decisive motivation to urge experiential and e-shopping behavior concurrently. This study shows that indulgence and telepresence in flow might play pivotal mediating roles to promote the goal-oriented e-shopping behavior resulting enjoyment and loyalty-seeking motivations.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Park, Boram

Selected Songs of Dan Beaty: Background, Analysis, and Performance Guide

Description: Dan Beaty (1937-2002) was a prolific composer, pianist, researcher, educator, and writer. His large compositional output included chamber works, choral works, songs, orchestral pieces, electronic music, and keyboard works. Beaty was well versed in traditional Western music as well as the more avant-garde and perplexing idioms of the twentieth century. Beaty's compositions reflect the many fascinating, if not always popular, musical trends of his time. His music encompasses styles from serial to jazz, shows compositional influences from Arnold Schoenberg to Indonesian music, and demonstrates thought-provoking and highly intellectual craftsmanship. This document explores several of Beaty's songs through a discussion of the composer's life and compositional process. Songs included in this document are Three Weeks Songs, October, November, A Sappho Lyric, Love Song, That Night When Joy Began, and War Lyrics. This document was written to accompany the author's DMA Lecture-Recital at the University of North Texas. Unfortunately, Beaty's vocal music was never published and is mostly unknown. One goal of the project was to initiate interest in Beaty's songs. Through this document, Lecture-Recital, and additional performances, considerable strides have been made to bring Beaty's songs to new audiences throughout the United States. In addition, the author has received permission from the Beaty family to publish Dan Beaty's songs.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Novak II, Richard A.