Search Results

Fundamental Issues in Support Vector Machines

Description: This dissertation considers certain issues in support vector machines (SVMs), including a description of their construction, aspects of certain exponential kernels used in some SVMs, and a presentation of an algorithm that computes the necessary elements of their operation with proof of convergence. In its first section, this dissertation provides a reasonably complete description of SVMs and their theoretical basis, along with a few motivating examples and counterexamples. This section may be used as an accessible, stand-alone introduction to the subject of SVMs for the advanced undergraduate. Its second section provides a proof of the positive-definiteness of a certain useful function here called E and dened as follows: Let V be a complex inner product space. Let N be a function that maps a vector from V to its norm. Let p be a real number between 0 and 2 inclusive and for any in V , let ( be N() raised to the p-th power. Finally, let a be a positive real number. Then E() is exp(()). Although the result is not new (other proofs are known but involve deep properties of stochastic processes) this proof is accessible to advanced undergraduates with a decent grasp of linear algebra. Its final section presents an algorithm by Dr. Kallman (preprint), based on earlier Russian work by B.F. Mitchell, V.F Demyanov, and V.N. Malozemov, and proves its convergence. The section also discusses briefly architectural features of the algorithm expected to result in practical speed increases.
Date: May 2014
Creator: McWhorter, Samuel P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opening Doors for Excellent Maternal Health Services: Perceptions Regarding Maternal Health in Rural Tanzania

Description: The worldwide maternal mortality rate is excessive. Developing countries such as Tanzania experience the highest maternal mortality rates. The continued exploration of issues to create ease of access for women to quality maternal health care is a significant concern. A central strategy for reducing maternal mortality is that every birth be attended by a skilled birth attendant, therefore special attention was placed on motivations and factors that might lead to an increased utilization of health facilities. This qualitative study assessed the perceptions of local population concerning maternal health services and their recommendations for improved quality of care. The study was conducted in the Karatu District of Tanzania and gathered data through 66 in-depth interviews with participants from 20 villages. The following components were identified as essential for perceived quality care: medical professionals that demonstrate a caring attitude and share information about procedures; a supportive and nurturing environment during labor and delivery; meaningful and informative maternal health education for the entire community; promotion of men’s involvement as an essential part of the system of maternal health; knowledgeable, skilled medical staff with supplies and equipment needed for a safe delivery. By providing these elements, the community will gain trust in health facilities and staff. The alignment the maternal health services offered to the perceived expectation of quality care will create an environment for increased attendance at health facilities by the local population.
Date: May 2014
Creator: McLendon, Pamela Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia

Description: Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) is among the most common diseases in the Geriatric population, and its prevalence is expected to quadruple by 2047.Vascular Dementia (VaD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia, with studies indicating VaD accounts for 10-20% of dementia cases across the globe. A diagnostic model differentiating AD and VaD would be clinically and scientifically valuable, considering the treatment approaches for these conditions are different. Although there are differences between AD and VaD on their neuropsychological profiles, a diagnostic model that successfully differentiates AD and VaD on neuropsychological testing has not been developed, despite previous attempts. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by examining two diagnostic models used to predict the conversion of AD from mild cognitive impairment, and a third model was proposed to differentiate AD from VaD. We conducted ROC Analyses using the variables LM II Standard Score, Animals Total, and CDRS Sum based on a previous diagnostic model. The sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of mild VaD were calculated for all possible scores of each test measure. The Animals Total cutoff score of 7 achieved excellent sensitivity and specificity, receiving 96% and 92%, respectively. In this sample, patients who could name at least seven animals under 60 seconds were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD. LM II Scaled Score also achieved statistical significance (p <0.001) and a cutoff score of 4 received 96% sensitivity and 77% specificity. Patients who achieved an LM II Scaled Score of 4 or higher were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hill, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It

Description: Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC system and the resulting structural changes across multiple size scales. A series of experiments were conducted to understand the mechanisms and species involved in the carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 to form ZrC. 3 mol% YSZ and graphite powders were uniaxially pressed into pellets and reacted in a graphite (C) furnace. Rietveld x-ray diffraction phase quantification determined that greater fractions of ZrC were formed when carbon was the majority mobile species. These results were validated by modeling the process thermochemically and were confirmed with additional experiments. Measurements were conducted to examine the effect of carbothermal reduction on the bond lengths in ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sondhi, Anchal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Culture Interrupted: Assessing the Effects of the Shining Path Internal Armed Conflict in the Peruvian Highlands

Description: This study was a qualitative examination of social, economic, political, and cultural dilemmas that face Peruvian survivors of the Communist Shining Path Revolution, an internal armed conflict that cut a swath of terror and destruction during the years 1980-2000, with a reported loss of 69,000 residents either killed or considered “disappeared.” The conflict affected primarily poor, uneducated Andean campesinos and townspeople in the highland areas of the Ayacucho District. In this study, I looked closely at the responsibilities of both government and NGOs in the facilitation of readjustment during and after times of instability. In addition, specific challenges the elderly, women and campesinos face in a post-conflict world are analyzed and possible social policies are discerned that might be developed to better implement the transition to a new form of community. Ideas that emerged from this research may assist policy shapers in other less developed countries involved in similar conflicts by examining how Peru dealt with its own issues. Methodology included participant observation and interviews with long-term Ayacuchan residents who stayed-in-place during war time, along with migrants who went to live in shantytowns in more urban areas. The government-mandated Truth and Reconciliation Commission report serves as a framework as it outlined those ultimately deemed responsible and detailed what those affected may expect in the way of appropriate reparations and compensation in the future. Much emphasis is given to the emerging role of women and how ensuing shifts of gender specific cultural roles may affect familial and communal bonds in small-scale societies.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Van Wye, Kalynn Hicks
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial Mismatch Between Hiv Infection and Access to Hiv Service Facilities in Texas

Description: Since 2004, the number of people living with HIV (PLWH) has steadily increased by about 5% and currently, the number in Texas is about 86,000. Though the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan seeks to ensure “unfettered access to quality healthcare”, barriers to access still exist especially among minority populations. This study examines the relationship between HIV infection rates and the geographic location of HIV service centers with a focus on 4 counties: namely, Dallas, Denton, Harris and Tarrant. The goal is to show whether there is a spatial mismatch between HIV rates and service providers. Are service facilities located in zip codes where they are most needed? Using the vulnerability framework and the Inverse Care Law (ICL), we address the research question using demographic variables (race/ethnicity, sex, poverty, education attainment) and HIV data. Our results show that extreme vulnerable zip codes have high HIV rates and closest proximity to HIV service providers.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Aggrey Korsah, Emmanuel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Private Affections: Miscegenation and the Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Description: This study politicizes the mixed relationship in Israeli-Palestinian literature. I examine Arab-Jewish and interethnic Jewish intimacy in works by Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, canonical Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua, select anthologized Anglophone and translated Palestinian and Israeli poetry, and Israeli feminist writer Orly Castel-Bloom. I also examine the material cultural discourses issuing from Israel’s textile industry, in which Arabs and Jews interact. Drawing from the methodology of twentieth-century Brazilian miscegenation theorist Gilberto Freyre, I argue that mixed intimacies in the Israeli-Palestinian imaginary represent a desire to restructure a hegemonic public sphere in the same way Freyre’s Brazilian mestizo was meant to rhetorically undermine what he deemed a Western cult of uniformity. This project constitutes a threefold contribution. I offer one of the few postcolonial perspectives on Israeli literature, as it remains underrepresented in the field in comparison to its Palestinian counterparts. I also present the first sustained critique of the hetero relationship and the figure of the hybrid in Israeli-Palestinian literature, especially as I focus on its representation for political options rather than its aesthetic intrigue. Finally, I reexamine and apply Gilberto Freyre in a way that excavates him from critical interment and advocates for his global relevance.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Cohen, Hella Bloom
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drilling Down Natural Gas Well Permitting Policy: Examining the Effects of Institutional Arrangements on Citizen Participation and Policy Outcomes

Description: Over the past decade the movement of natural gas drilling operations toward more suburban and urban communities has created unique policy challenges for municipalities. Municipal response is manifest in a variety of institutional arrangements, some more enabling than others regarding citizen access to public hearings. This observation lead to the main research question, “How are variations in citizen participation affecting policy outcomes?” The argument is made that institutions affecting citizen participation, in turn affect policy outcomes. If the general public is given access to public hearings, their preferences for longer setbacks will be taken into account and the approved gas wells will have greater distances from neighboring residences – effectively providing for greater safety. Given the paucity of research on the topic of natural gas drilling, the research first begins with the presentation of a theoretical framework to allow for analysis of the highly complex topic of gas well permitting, emphasizing the rule-ordered relationships between the various levels of decision making and provides a typology of collective action arenas currently used by Texas municipalities. The research uses paired case studies of most similar design and employs a mixed methods process for the collection, analysis and interpretation of the municipal level gas well permitting process. The investigation includes a complete census of 185 approved gas wells from four North Texas cities between the years 2002-2012; 20 interviews comprised of city officials and drilling operators; and archival records such as gas well site plans, ordinances, on-line government documents and other public information. The findings reveal that zoning institutions are associated with a 15% longer gas well setback than siting institutions and institutions without waivers are associated with a 20% longer gas well setback than institutions with waiver rules. The practical implications suggest that citizen participation has a positive effect on public safety ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Long, Laurie C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dual-band Microwave Device Design

Description: This thesis presents a brief introduction to microwave components and technology. It also presents two novel dual-band designs, their analysis, topology, simulation and fabrication. In chapter 2, a novel dual-band bandpass filter using asymmetric stub-loaded stepped-impedance resonators (SLSIRs) operating at 1 and 2.6 GHz is shown. This type of design applies suitable arrangements to improve the filter’s performance. Then, in chapter 3, a novel dual-band balun (transforms unbalanced input signals to balanced output signals or vice versa) operating at 1.1 and 2 GHz with flexible frequency ratios is presented, which has more advantages in microwave applications. Then, conclusion and future works are discussed in chapter 4.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Li Shen, Andres E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Power Generation From a Low-cost Hydrokinetic Energy System

Description: The kinetic energy in river streams, tidal currents, or other artificial water channels has been used as a feasible source of renewable power through different conversion systems. Thus, hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are attracting worldwide interest as another form of distributed alternative energy. Because these systems are still in early stages of development, the basic approaches need significant research. The main challenges are not only to have efficient systems, but also to convert energy more economically so that the cost-benefit analysis drives the growth of this alternative energy form. One way to view this analysis is in terms of the energy conversion efficiency per unit cost. This study presents a detailed assessment of a prototype hydrokinetic energy system along with power output costs. This experimental study was performed using commercial low-cost blades of 20 in diameter inside a tank with water flow speed up to 1.3 m/s. The work was divided into two stages: (a) a fixed-pitch blade configuration, using a radial permanent magnet generator (PMG), and (b) the same hydrokinetic turbine, with a variable-pitch blade and an axial-flux PMG. The results indicate that even though the efficiency of a simple blade configuration is not high, the power coefficient is in the range of other, more complicated designs/prototypes. Additionally, the low manufacturing and operation costs of this system offer an option for low-cost distributed power applications.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Davila Vilchis, Juana Mariel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Empathic Understanding in Child-centered Play Therapy

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore how the therapist-provided conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding were experienced and conveyed in child-centered play therapy (CCPT). Although the therapist-provided conditions are considered essential to the therapeutic process in CCPT, a gap exists between child-centered theory and empirical exploration of the process and dynamics of these relational variables in CCPT. Due to the limited research in this area, a grounded theory approach was utilized to explore how the three variables emerge in CCPT. Participants included four advanced doctoral students, all Caucasian females with extensive training in CCPT, and 12 children ranging from 4 to 8 years of age receiving weekly, individual CCPT. One individual CCPT session was observed and video-recorded for each therapist-child dyad (n = 12). Following each observation, play therapists were interviewed regarding the observed play session (n = 12). During each interview, the researcher and therapist watched the recorded play session in its entirety and discussed noteworthy interactions between the child and therapist. The video-recorded play therapy sessions and therapist interviews were analyzed using a multiphasic, constant comparative method. Results of the analysis included a process-model of the therapist-provided conditions in CCPT, examples of play therapists’ internal experiences and external behaviors associated with the presence and absence of the therapist-provided conditions, and a model of the process play therapists utilize to respond to breaks and barriers to congruence, unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive self-regard in CCPT. Implications for clinical practice, training, supervision, and research are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jayne, Kimberly M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wanted: an Exploration of Journalism Skills Acquired Through Student Media Experiences

Description: Collegiate newsrooms serve two functions: to provide news and information to their campuses and to provide hands-on career preparation for student journalists. Student media professionals face having to do the latter in a way that keeps up with changing demands on entry-level employees, influenced by evolving technology and role consolidation within professional media. This study provides perspective from recent graduates with student media experience on the skills they felt most confident in upon graduating, where they gained those skills, and how they feel their student media experiences prepared them for the workplace. Using Everett Rogers’ theory of innovation diffusion to frame the issue, results show that student media professionals must recognize their roles as the change agent in shaping and pushing the opportunities to develop digital skills expected of entry-level journalists.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Francesco, Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Female Adolescents and Death: a Qualitative Analysis

Description: The purpose of this research design is to explore the meaning of death for the female adolescent. A qualitative design was used as the method of research. Twelve participants were selected from a snowball sample ten females and two males. Four participants reported witnessing the death of an individual, five reported a moderated death experience in which they were not present but were told after the fact and three reported no significant experience with death. The study indicated relationships and cause of death as among the pre-conditions towards meaning development for the adolescent female. The two main themes derived from the pre-conditions are an understanding of the inevitability of death for themselves and the experience of death as qualia. Consequences to the experience of death include increased emotional tolerance under stress and a perceived increased maturity suggesting resilience in the adolescent female following a loss. Future areas of research are also addressed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Wendy L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis

Description: Benjamin Britten’s life and music have been the subject of study from early in his musical career. Current trends in psychological analysis of Britten’s music tend to focus on common themes, such as homosexuality, pacifism, the sense of the outsider, and the loss of innocence. Similarly, theoretical analyses tend either to provide general categorizations of the technical elements in Britten’s music or to apply a singular preconceived concept as a tool for understanding his compositions. These approaches have yielded significant information but leave aspects of Britten’s personality and music unilluminated. Britten’s Op. 47, Five Flower Songs, are a collection of five part songs for a cappella chorus that are often included within the canon of 20th century choral literature. This paper examines a new perspective on Britten’s music by examining the relationship between Britten’s friendships and their influence on his compositions. Through the examination of these relationships information is revealed that allows for a new method of analysis that is particularly relevant to the Five Flower Songs. The opus was dedicated to two botanists for the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. Contained within specific movements are extra-musical references to scientific characteristics of the flowers that are the subjects of the texts. By examining this work and important connections between other friendships and his compositional output this paper demonstrates the validity of this perspective in analyzing Britten’s life and music.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Christopher Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Transition Experience of Second Career Respiratory Faculty: a Phenomenological Study

Description: This phenomenological study investigated the transition experiences of clinical respiratory therapists who pursued second careers as respiratory faculty. Situated Learning Theory and Workplace Learning Theory were the frameworks for interviews with 11 second career respiratory faculty who had taught fewer than five years in baccalaureate degree programs. The goal of this study was to identify the major themes of their experiences. Thematic analysis revealed five common experiences: under-preparation, challenges, overwhelmed feelings, personal responsibilities, and rewards. The common theoretical framework for all participants was the critical need to understand their communities of practice within their organizations. From this study, respiratory department chairs and administrators may better understand the challenges and needs of clinical therapists as they transition into faculty positions. Positive experiences such as improved orientations and continued effective faculty support may promote a more rewarding and long-term practice.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gresham, Jennifer L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Relationship Between Persistence in Attendance in an Afterschool Program and an Early Warning Index for Dropout

Description: School districts constantly struggle to find solutions to address the high school dropout problem. Literature supports the need to identify and intervene with these students earlier and in more systemic ways. The purpose of this study was to conduct a longitudinal examination of the relationship between sustained afterschool participation and the host district’s early warning index (EWI) associated with school dropout. Data included 65,341 students participating in an urban school district’s after school program from school years 2000-2001 through 2011-2012. The district serves more than 80,000 students annually. Data represented students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, and length of participation ranged from 1 through 12 years. Results indicated that student risk increased over time and that persistent participation in afterschool programming had a significant relationship with student individual growth trajectories. Slower growth rates, as evidenced through successive models, supported students being positively impacted by program participation. Additionally, participation was more meaningful if students persisted, as noted in the lower EWI rates, as compared to students who attended less consistently.
Date: May 2014
Creator: King, Teresa C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Sucrose on Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol Naïve and Non-naïve Rats

Description: Sucrose fading and intermittent access are two common procedures that induce alcohol consumption in rodents. Sucrose fading procedures involve exposing ethanol naïve rats to a mixture of ethanol and sucrose and gradually reducing the concentration of sugar. Intermittent access procedures involve providing rats with access to ethanol on alternating days. Given that rats will consume ethanol without sucrose, the role of sugar in the sucrose fading procedure is unclear. Rats must be ethanol naïve when they are exposed to treatment with sucrose fading, so there is no point of comparison to show that exposure to sugar in sucrose fading produces higher levels of drinking. There has yet to be any work that isolates the effects of sugar on the consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of sucrose on ethanol consumption in rats with different alcohol histories. Two groups of six rats were exposed to two successive sucrose fading procedures, 30 days apart and their drinking was measured 30 days after each one. One group was exposed to an intermittent access procedure to establish drinking prior to treatment with sucrose fading, the other was ethanol naïve. Following sucrose fading, all rats drank pharmacologically active doses of ethanol. For both groups consumption correlated with the concentration of sucrose and decreased in a step-wise manner as it was faded. For the ethanol experienced rats, consumption dropped below baseline levels as sucrose was faded and decreased further with the second exposure. In contrast, the ethanol-naïve rats did not decrease consumption from the first sucrose fading procedure to the second. Slight differences in peak force of responses were also observed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Dove, Rachel Jolene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Synthesis, Characterization, Structural, and Optical Properties of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures Embedded in Silicon Based Substrates

Description: Structural and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures synthesized by low energy ion implantation technique were examined. ZnO molecular ions were implanted into Si/SiO2 substrates at room temperature and then furnace annealed under different temperatures and environments. In all as-implanted samples only Zn nanostructures with varying diameters distributed into the Si/SiO2 matrices were observed. No trace of ZnO was found. The distributions of Zn nanostructures in Si/SiO2 closely matched results from Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) simulations. During annealing at 750 oC, Zn diffused both toward and away from the surface of the substrate and combine with oxygen to form ZnO nanostructures. At higher annealing temperatures ZnO bonding started to break down and transfer to zinc silicate (Zn2SiO4), and at 900 oC the ZnO was completely converted into Zn2SiO4. The average sizes of Zn/ZnO nanostructures depended on the ion fluence. If the fluence increased the average sizes of nanostructures also increased and vice versa. For room temperature photoluminescence (RT-PL), band-edge emission in the ultraviolet (UV) region was observed from all samples annealed at 700 oC/750 oC and were slightly blue shifted as compare to bulk ZnO. Donor-bound exciton (D,X) and acceptor-bound exciton (A,X) transitions were observed in low temperature photoluminescence (PL). The lifetime of both donor-bound excitonic emission (D, X) and acceptor-bound excitonic emission (A, X) were found to be in the picosecond (ps) range.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pandey, Bimal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acts of Survival: the Plight and Prospects of Dallas Theatre

Description: A comprehensive investigation examines the decline and changes that have affected Dallas regional theatre development from the dream of Margo Jones in the 1940s to the proliferation of emerging theatres in 1993. Changing economic conditions, lack of audience support, and shortages of performance space have contributed to an exodus of Dallas actors and artists. Reviewed are measures to reverse this trend, including funding changes, awareness campaigns, improved inter-theatre cooperation, and guidelines for audience development. The study's conclusion notes that theatres do, indeed, have a natural life cycle, but with renewed emphasis on audience development and self-sufficiency, theatres in Dallas can endure and contribute to an enlarged sense of civic pride.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Leeman, Patricia Diane
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Goal Difficulty and Monitoring Frequency on Effort and Risk Taking Decisions

Description: Management control systems perform a vital role in facilitating the accomplishment of organizational objectives. To effectively align the objectives of employees with those of the organization, firms balance multiple control mechanisms to encourage organizationally desired behaviors and discourage undesired behaviors. The purpose of my dissertation was two-fold. First, I assessed how changes in monitoring frequency influenced employee behaviors and the overall function of the management control system. Second, I investigated the effects of stretch goals on behavior to determine whether stretch goals can lead to harmful behaviors and whether continuous monitoring can mitigate these behaviors. Results suggest that individuals exert more effort when assigned a stretch or difficult goal compared to an easy goal. My study also finds that stretch goals can be harmful because of their effect on risk taking, goal commitment, and job insecurity. Finally, results indicate that accountability mediates the monitoring frequency-risk taking relationship such that continuous monitoring increases accountability and accountability decreases risk taking. However, the ability of monitoring frequency to decrease risk taking may depend on numerous factors. Results from this study allow practitioners to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of implementing continuous monitoring systems and the combined effects of using these systems in conjunction with compensation systems. Consequently, this study highlights necessary considerations for practitioners during the implementation continuous monitoring systems. The study also informs practitioners of the potentially harmful effects of stretch goals, the conditions under which they occur, and the possible ways to mitigate these effects.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shoemaker, Nikki L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Organizational Justice Perception and Its Effects on Knowledge Sharing: a Case Study of Forensics in the Turkish National Police

Description: In today’s economy, organizational knowledge is a fundamental factor for remaining competitive and managing intellectual capital. Knowledge Management aims to improve organizational performance by designing the work environment with necessary tools. Yet, significant amount of knowledge resides within the people in different forms such as experience or abilities. Transferring individual knowledge within members or into organizational repositories is so difficult. Knowledge sharing only occurs under certain circumstances: People share knowledge when they believe it is beneficial for them, when they feel safe and secure, and when they trust. Since knowledge is power, and brings respect to its bearer, knowledge sharing needs suitable environment. In this context, this study investigates intention to knowledge sharing among forensics in the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the factors -such as perceived organizational justice, organizational citizenship behaviors, subjective norms, and attitudes toward knowledge sharing- affecting their intentions. The researcher utilized a model developed from Ajzen and Fishbein’s (1975; 1980) theory of reasoned action (TRA). To test this model, a self-administered questionnaire survey was administered in Turkey In order to analyze the quantitative data; SPSS version 19 was used for all preliminary analyses and LISREL 8.8 was used for Regression Analysis and Path Analysis The fit of the data to this proposed model was not adequate. However, 7 of the 8 hypotheses supported.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Can, Ahmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accessing the Power of Aesthetics in Human-computer Interaction

Description: In information systems design there are two schools of thought about what factors are necessary to create a successful information system. The first, conventional view holds that system performance is a key, so that efficiency characteristics such as system usability and task completion time are primary concerns of system designers. The second, emerging view holds that the visual design is also the key, so that visual interface characteristics such as visual appeal, in addition to efficiency characteristics, are critical concerns of designers. This view contends that visual design enhances system use. Thus, this work examines the effects of visual design on computer systems. Visual design exerts its influence on systems through two mechanisms: it evokes affective responses from IT users, such as arousal and pleasure and it influences individuals’ cognitive assessments of systems. Given that both affective and cognitive reactions are significant antecedents of user behaviors in the IT realm, it is no surprise that visual design plays a critical role in information system success. Human-computer-interaction literature indicates that visual aesthetics positively influences such information success factors as usability, online trust, user satisfaction, flow experience, and so on. Although academic research has introduced visual design into the Information Systems (IS) field and validated its effects, visual design is still very limited in three contexts: product aesthetics in e-commerce, mobile applications and commercial emails. This dissertation presents three studies to help fill these theoretical gaps respectively.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Chenyan, Xu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Product Management: the Decision Process

Description: This thesis builds upon several theoretical ideas. The first of which is the anthropologists’ transition into the corporate context and the particular type of skills and value that someone with anthropological training can bring to operations management. As anthropology is relatively new and unfamiliar to corporations, anthropologists are often hired without explicit knowledge of how they will address organizational problems. Frequently, this incremental relationship building between the anthropologist and the organization leads to shifting project goals which come only after the anthropologist is able to reveal initial findings to someone who has the power to grant the anthropologist further access to employees and company information. This refocusing comes from a building of trust that is crucially important for the anthropologist’s ability to identify social issues, which is the anthropologist’s expertise. In order to develop the context of this project the following paragraphs will explain in more detail and expand into particular cases in which anthropologists have helped organizations to identify and manage social, organizational problems. As a relationship needs to be built between the anthropologist and the organization, here I argue that there needs to be continual relationship building between anthropological, design, and management theories to optimally solve organizational problems.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pahl, Shane D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Doctoral Level Counseling Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learning in a Cohort Environment

Description: Learning community literature supports the use of student cohorts to enhance learning through increased peer interaction and common course work. Researchers employed the qualitative method of phenomenography to identify various ways doctoral counseling students conceptualize and experience learning in a cohort over the course of a single academic year. Participants were all 10 members of a single southwestern U.S. university counseling program doctoral cohort of full-time students between 20 and 59 years of age with 5 members 20-29, 4 members 30-39, 1 member 50-59; 8 female, 2 male; 9 White non-Hispanic, 1 African-American. Data were transcripts from 30 one-hour interviews, three for each participant over the course of their first year of study. The research team that analyzed the data consisted of three advanced counseling program doctoral students, each with research methods coursework. Results revealed nine dynamic structural aspects of learning: dialogue, diversity, knowledge, motivation, support, shared experience, relationship development, interpersonal awareness, and conflict. Findings support the use of learning communities in doctoral level counselor education programs. Cohort members demonstrated increasing awareness of the potential learning benefits of cohort interaction and developed more in depth strategies over time to utilize the cohort to enhance learning. Future counselor educators may now with greater confidence design learning communities and curriculum to facilitate doctoral cohort development for optimal student interaction.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Huffman, David D.
Partner: UNT Libraries