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Female Friendship Films: A Post-Feminist Examination of Representations of Women in the Fashion Industry

Description: This thesis focuses on three fashion industry themed female friendship films: Pret-a-Porter/Ready to Wear (1994) by Robert Altman, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) by David Frankel, and The September Issue (2009) by R.J. Cutler. Female interpersonal relationships are complex – women often work to motivate, encourage and transform one another but can just as easily use tactics like intimidation, manipulation, and exploitation in order to save their own jobs and reputations. Through the lens of post-feminist theory, this thesis examines significant female interpersonal relationships in each film to illustrate how femininity is constructed and driven by consumer culture in the fashion industry themed films.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Gelogullari, Gulin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating a Sustainable Community Development Initiative Among the Lakota People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Description: This thesis details my applied thesis project and experience in the evaluation of a workforce development through sustainable constructio program. It describes the need of my client, Sweet Grass Consulting and their contractual partner, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, in the evaluation of Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program. My role involved the development of an extensive evaluation package for this program and data analysis of evaluation materials to support Thunder Valley CDC's grant-funded Workforce Development Program. I place the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC in the context of their community, the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota People, and within an historical and contemporary context to highlight the implications of the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC. Using the theoretical frameworks of cultural revitalization and community economic development, I attempt to highlight two important components of Thunder Valley CDC's community development efforts - cultural revitalization for social healing, and development that emphasizes social, community and individual well-being. Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program is still in its early stages, and so this first year of implementation very much represented a pilot phase. However, while specific successes are difficult to measure at this point, general successes are viewable in the daily operations of Thunder Valley CDC that examplify their stated mision and goals. These successes include initiatives that holistically address community needs; relevancy in the eyes of the community they serve; support for the community and for Program participants' unique challenges; and a cultural restoration and revitalization emphasis that underlies and strengthens all of this. The program thus has the potential to provide a model for community development by challenging dominant "development" paradigms and utilizing community resources and assets for community development that reflects the community's values and worldviews.
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Date: December 2015
Creator: Mosman, Sarah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Megachurches and Economic Development: A Theoretical Understanding of Church Involvement at the Local Level

Description: Why do megachurches participate in economic development, and who benefits from their participation? Frumkin's framework for understanding nonprofit and voluntary action and extra-role behavior are theories tested to answer these questions. My research employs a mixed-methods research design conducted in two phases. In phase one, I analyze 42 responses to an online survey to provide data about the prevalence and nature of economic development activities offered by megachurches in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Phase two involved 23 semi-structured telephone interviews with megachurch leadership to provide data that explains the rationale for why megachurches offer economic development activities and who benefits. Evidence from this research demonstrates that megachurches are participating in economic development for reasons consistent with both demand-side and supply-side arguments. Findings also show that megachurches take on extra-role behaviors for in response to community expectations and the values of members and staff. Implications for understanding partnership decisions and collaborations between faith-based organizations and local governments are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: English, Ashley E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determination of Solute Descriptors for Illicit Drugs Using Gas Chromatographic Retention Data and Abraham Solvation Model

Description: In this experiment, more than one hundred volatile organic compounds were analyzed with the gas chromatograph. Six capillary columns ZB wax plus, ZB 35, TR1MS, TR5, TG5MS and TG1301MS with different polarities have been used for separation of compounds and illicit drugs. The Abraham solvation model has five solute descriptors. The solute descriptors are E, S, A, B, L (or V). Based on the six stationary phases, six equations were constructed as a training set for each of the six columns. The six equations served to calculate the solute descriptors for a set of illicit drugs. Drugs studied are nicotine (S= 0.870, A= 0.000, B= 1.073), oxycodone(S= 2.564. A= 0.286, B= 1.706), methamphetamine (S= 0.297, A= 1.570, B= 1.009), heroin (S=2.224, A= 0.000, B= 2.136) and ketamine (S= 1.005, A= 0.000, B= 1.126). The solute property of Abraham solvation model is represented as a logarithm of retention time, thus the logarithm of experimental and calculated retention times is compared.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Mitheo, Yannick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning

Description: Over the last several decades, researchers have documented how impaired reasoning by adult offenders impeded the intelligent waiver of Miranda rights. Logically, it stands to reason that juveniles – who are developmentally less mature and have less life experience than their adult counterparts – would possess even greater impairment, thereby heightening their risk for invalid Miranda waivers. Juvenile Miranda research supports this notion; with some researchers finding that psychosocial maturity, among other factors, affect a juvenile’s understanding of their rights. Yet, relatively few studies have examined its relation to Miranda reasoning and decision-making. Thus, the current study investigated the specific role of maturity in juveniles’ Miranda comprehension and reasoning. Participants included 236 legally-involved juveniles recruited from either a juvenile detention center or a juvenile justice alternative education program. The effects of psychosocial maturity were examined on a variety of Miranda-related measures and assessed a broad range of Miranda abilities. It was found that, in general, immature juveniles performed more poorly on all Miranda measures as compared to their mature counterparts. However, the impact of maturity varied considerably depending on the ability. Specifically, maturity was most important in the context of Miranda reasoning. As a novel addition to the literature, the current study also investigated the effects of developmental timing on maturity (i.e., immaturity-delayed versus immaturity-expected) on Miranda abilities.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Sharf, Allyson J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Towards Resistance Detection in Health Behavior Change Dialogue Systems

Description: One of the challenges fairly common in motivational interviewing is patient resistance to health behavior change. Hence, automated dialog systems aimed at counseling patients need to be capable of detecting resistance and appropriately altering dialog. This thesis focusses primarily on the development of such a system for automatic identification of patient resistance to behavioral change. This enables the dialogue system to direct the discourse towards a more agreeable ground and helping the patient overcome the obstacles in his or her way to change. This thesis also proposes a dialogue system framework for health behavior change via natural language analysis and generation. The proposed framework facilitates automated motivational interviewing from clinical psychology and involves three broad stages: rapport building and health topic identification, assessment of the patient’s opinion about making a change, and developing a plan. Using this framework patients can be encouraged to reflect on the options available and choose the best for a healthier life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Sarma, Bandita
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Empirical Study of Software Debugging Games with Introductory Students

Description: Bug Fixer is a web-based application that complements lectures with hands-on exercises that encourage students to think about the logic in programs. Bug Fixer presents students with code that has several bugs that they must fix. The process of fixing the bugs forces students to conceptually think about the code and reinforces their understanding of the logic behind algorithms. In this work, we conducted a study using Bug Fixer with undergraduate students in the CSCE1040 course at University of North Texas to evaluate whether the system increases their conceptual understanding of the algorithms and improves their Software Testing skills. Students participated in weekly activities to fix bugs in code. Most students enjoyed Bug Fixer and recommend the system for future use. Students typically reported a better understanding of the algorithms used in class. We observed a slight increase of passing grades for students who participated in our study compared to students in other sections of the course with the same instructor who did not participate in our study. The students who did not report a positive experience provide comments for future improvements that we plan to address in future work.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Reynolds, Lisa Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Archaeological Site Vulnerability Modeling for Cultural Resources Management Based on Historic Aerial Photogrammetry and LiDAR

Description: GIS has been utilized in cultural resources management for decades, yet its application has been largely isolated to predicting the occurrence of archaeological sites. Federal and State agencies are required to protect archaeological sites that are discovered on their lands, but their resources and personnel are very limited. A new methodology is evaluated that uses modern light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and historic aerial photogrammetry to create digital terrain models (DTMs) capable of identifying sites that are most at risk of damage from changes in terrain. Results revealed that photogrammetric modeling of historic aerial imagery, with limitations, can be a useful decision making tool for cultural resources managers to prioritize conservation and monitoring efforts. An attempt to identify key environmental factors that would be indicative of future topographic changes did not reveal conclusive results. However, the methodology proposed has the potential to add an affordable temporal dimension to future digital terrain modeling and land management. Furthermore, the methods have global applicability because they can be utilized in any region with an arid environment.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Helton, Erin King
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exceedance Frequency Analysis of Urban Stormwater Quality and Its Relation to Land Use Change, Denton, Texas

Description: Urbanization causes various environmental issues including water pollution, air pollution, and solid waste. Urbanization of watersheds has a profound influence on the quality of stormwater runoff. The quality of stormwater runoff is highly associated with land use. This study analyzed the exceedance frequency of stormwater quality in five watersheds of Denton over eleven years and also analyzed the relationship between stormwater quality and land use/cover of each watershed. The results showed that the most of the water quality parameters that were examined in the Lower Pecan watershed exceeded their threshold most frequently. The higher frequency of exceedance in this watershed can be attributed to the wastewater treatment plant and landfill site. Total suspended solids and turbidity were frequently exceeded in Hickory and Clear Creek watersheds. Conductivity was found to have highest percentage of exceedance in Upper Pecan and Cooper watersheds. Thus, rural watersheds were related with higher exceedance of TSS and turbidity whereas urban watersheds were related with higher exceedance of conductivity.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Shrestha, Manjul
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of an Intensive Toilet Training Model

Description: The current evaluation assessed the effectiveness of an intensive toilet training procedure for three young boys with autism. The evaluation extended the work of LeBlanc et al. (2005) by assessing parents’ preference to include the usage of urine alarm and positive practice. In addition, we collected descriptor data on challenging behaviors. All three parent participants’ elected not to use the urine alarm and one parent elected to discontinue the implementation of positive practice techniques. Researchers chose a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effects of the intervention. All three child participants’ increased successful self-initiations for the toilet and decreased accidents across home and clinic settings. Findings suggest that clinicians should partner with parents to develop individualized toileting interventions that are acceptable and effective.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Doan, Dai
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Virtual Classroom As a Tool for the Assessment of Automatic and Controlled Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Description: Assessment of executive functioning in neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., autism) is a crucial aspect of neuropsychological evaluations. The executive functions are accomplished by the supervisory attentional system (SAS) and include such processes as inhibition, switching, and planning. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to present similarly to other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD). For example, ASD and ADHD may share similar etiological underpinnings in the frontostriatal system of the frontal lobe. Research on executive functioning in ASD has been mixed, thus the precise nature of executive functioning deficits in ASD remains equivocal. In recent years, simulation technologies have emerged as an avenue to assess neurocognitive functioning in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders impacting frontostriatal function. Simulation technology enables neuropsychologists to assess neurocognitive functioning within a testing environment that replicates environments in which the subject is likely to be in everyday life, as well as present controlled, real-world distractions, which may be better able to tap “hot” executive functions. A Virtual Classroom Continuous Performance Test (CPT) has been used successfully to assess attention in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders impacting frontostriatal function. The current study aimed to investigate executive functioning in individuals with high functioning ASD using a new construct driven Stroop assessment embedded into the Virtual Classroom. Group differences were found in the Virtual Classroom with distractions condition, indicating individuals with ASD may be more vulnerable to external interference control than neurotypical individuals.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Carlew, Anne R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition Using a Clustered Neural Network

Description: Optical character recognition (OCR) software has advanced greatly in recent years. Machine-printed text can be scanned and converted to searchable text with word accuracy rates around 98%. Reasonably neat hand-printed text can be recognized with about 85% word accuracy. However, cursive handwriting still remains a challenge, with state-of-the-art performance still around 75%. Algorithms based on hidden Markov models have been only moderately successful, while recurrent neural networks have delivered the best results to date. This thesis explored the feasibility of using a special type of feedforward neural network to convert freeform cursive handwriting to searchable text. The hidden nodes in this network were grouped into clusters, with each cluster being trained to recognize a unique character bigram. The network was trained on writing samples that were pre-segmented and annotated. Post-processing was facilitated in part by using the network to identify overlapping bigrams that were then linked together to form words and sentences. With dictionary assisted post-processing, the network achieved word accuracy of 66.5% on a small, proprietary corpus. The contributions in this thesis are threefold: 1) the novel clustered architecture of the feed-forward neural network, 2) the development of an expanded set of observers combining image masks, modifiers, and feature characterizations, and 3) the use of overlapping bigrams as the textual working unit to assist in context analysis and reconstruction.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Bristow, Kelly H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Unique Channel Email System

Description: Email connects 85% of the world. This paper explores the pattern of information overload encountered by majority of email users and examine what steps key email providers are taking to combat the problem. Besides fighting spam, popular email providers offer very limited tools to reduce the amount of unwanted incoming email. Rather, there has been a trend to expand storage space and aid the organization of email. Storing email is very costly and harmful to the environment. Additionally, information overload can be detrimental to productivity. We propose a simple solution that results in drastic reduction of unwanted mail, also known as graymail.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Balakchiev, Milko
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lines by Someone Else: the Pragmatics of Apprompted Poems

Description: Over the last sixty years, overtly intertextual poems with titles such as “Poem Beginning with a Line by John Ashbery” and “Poem Ending with a Line by George W. Bush” have been appearing at an increasing rate in magazines and collections. These poems wed themselves to other texts and authors in distinct ways, inviting readers to engage with poems which are, themselves, in conversation with lines from elsewhere. These poems, which I refer to as “apprompted” poems, explicitly challenge readers to investigate the intertextual conversation, and in doing so, they adopt inherent risks. My thesis will chart the various effects these poems can have for readers and the consequences they may hold for the texts from which they borrow. Literary critics such as Harold Bloom and J. H. Miller have described the act of borrowing as competitive and parasitic—“agon” is Bloom’s term for what he sees as the oedipal anxiety of poets and poets’ texts to their antecedents, but an investigation of this emerging genre in terms of linguistic pragmatics shows that apprompted poems are performing a wider range of acts in relation to their predecessors. Unlike Bloom’s theory, which interprets the impulse of poetic creation through psychoanalysis, I employ linguistic terms from Brown and Levinson’s linguistic Politeness theory to analyze apprompted poems as conversational speech events. Politeness theory provides a useful analysis of these poems by documenting the weight of threats to the positive and negative “faces” of the participants in each poetic conversation. I have documented these “face-threatening-acts” and used them to divide apprompted poems into five major speech events: satire, revision, promotion, pastiche, and ecclesiastic. Ultimately, this paper serves at the intersection of literary criticism and linguistics, as I suggest a theoretical approach to the interpretation and criticism of apprompted poems by way of linguistic pragmatics.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gibson, Kimberly Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Expertise Revisited: Reflecting on the Intersection of Science and Democracy in the Case of Fracking

Description: This dissertation aims to explain the conditions under which expertise can undermine democratic decision making. I argue that the root of the conflict between expertise and democracy lies in what I call insufficiently “representative” expertise – that is forms of scientific research that are not relevant to the policy questions at hand and that fail to make visible their hidden values dimensions. I claim that the scholarly literature on the problem of expertise fails to recognize and address the issue correctly, because it does not open the black box of scientific methodologies. I maintain that only by making sense of the methodological choices of experts in the context of policy making can we determine the relevance of research and reveal the hidden socio-political values and consequences. Using the case of natural gas fracking, I demonstrate how expert contributions – even though epistemically sound – can muddle democratic policy processes. I present four case studies from controversies about fracking to show how to contextualize scientific methodologies in the pertinent political process. I argue that the common problem across all case studies is the failure of expertise to sufficiently represent stakeholders’ problems and concerns. In this context, “representation” has three criteria: (1) the operational research questions on which the qualified experts work are relevant to stakeholders’ problems and concerns; (2) the non-epistemic values and consequences of epistemic choices of experts are compatible with social and political values and priorities; and (3) hidden values attached to facts are fully transparent and openly debated. In the conclusion, I propose a normative version of this representation theory that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of expertise for democratic policy making. Instead of the value-free science ideal, I propose a new ideal to legitimately allow non-epistemic values in scientific reasoning without compromising the soundness of ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ahmadi, Mahdi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the USA

Description: Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; and specifically perceived tangible support was increased. A significant effect of gardening was also found for adjustment. Although a significant effect was not found for psychological and somatic symptoms, there is still evidence of effects on somatic complaints. Varying results from quantitative and qualitative data warrant further investigation into the nuanced work of clinical research and advocacy with refugee populations.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gerber, Monica M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Study of Metal Whiskers Growth and Mitigation Technique Using Additive Manufacturing

Description: For years, the alloy of choice for electroplating electronic components has been tin-lead (Sn-Pb) alloy. However, the legislation established in Europe on July 1, 2006, required significant lead (Pb) content reductions from electronic hardware due to its toxic nature. A popular alternative for coating electronic components is pure tin (Sn). However, pure tin has the tendency to spontaneously grow electrically conductive Sn whisker during storage. Sn whisker is usually a pure single crystal tin with filament or hair-like structures grown directly from the electroplated surfaces. Sn whisker is highly conductive, and can cause short circuits in electronic components, which is a very significant reliability problem. The damages caused by Sn whisker growth are reported in very critical applications such as aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and military weapons systems. They are also naturally very strong and are believed to grow from compressive stresses developed in the Sn coating during deposition or over time. The new directive, even though environmentally friendly, has placed all lead-free electronic devices at risk because of whisker growth in pure tin. Additionally, interest has occurred about studying the nature of other metal whiskers such as zinc (Zn) whiskers and comparing their behavior to that of Sn whiskers. Zn whiskers can be found in flooring of data centers which can get inside electronic systems during equipment reorganization and movement and can also cause systems failure.Even though the topic of metal whiskers as reliability failure has been around for several decades to date, there is no successful method that can eliminate their growth. This thesis will give further insights towards the nature and behavior of Sn and Zn whiskers growth, and recommend a novel manufacturing technique that has potential to mitigate metal whiskers growth and extend life of many electronic devices.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gullapalli, Vikranth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ternary Oxide Structures for High Temperature Lubrication

Description: In this research, a temperature dependent tribological investigation of selected ternary oxides was undertaken. Based on the promising results of previous studies on silver based ternary oxides, copper based ternary oxides were selected to conduct a comparative study since both copper and silver are located in the same group in the periodic table of the elements. Two methods were used to create ternary oxides: (i) solid chemical synthesis to create powders and (ii) sputtering to produce thin films. X-ray diffraction was used to explore the evolution of phases, chemical properties, and structural properties of the coatings before and after tribotesting. Scanning electron microscopy, Auger scanning nanoprobe spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to investigate the chemical and morphological properties of these materials after sliding tests. These techniques revealed that chameleon coatings of copper ternary oxides produce a friction coefficient of 0.23 when wear tested at 430 °C. The low friction is due to the formation of copper tantalate phase and copper in the coatings. All sputtering coatings showed similar tribological properties up to 430 °C.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Gu, Jingjing
Partner: UNT Libraries

Operationalizing a Reading Culture at Rio Hondo Junior High

Description: A rural Rio Grande Valley school has continuously performed below the state average on the reading portion of the State Assessment of Academic Readiness. One of the concerns expressed amongst teachers and staff is the student’s lack of desire to read for pleasure or for academic purposes. This study examines the attitudes of students and staff in towards reading by focusing on the school’s reading culture. A mixed methods approach consisting of interviews, participant observation, a focus group, and a survey was employed in this study. The study found that the teachers and students maintained two polarizing perceptions of their reading culture. Based on these findings the following recommendations were made: create a literature-centered curriculum, increase and vary the selection of school library books, and align teachers’ perception with the students’ perception to create a unified reading culture.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Manning, Victoria Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of the Influence of Non-Conventional Sources of Emissions on Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations in North Texas

Description: Emissions of air pollutants from non-conventional sources have been on the rise in the North Texas area over the past decade. These include primary pollutants such as volatile organic compound (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which also act as precursors in the formation of ozone. Most of these have been attributed to a significant increase in oil and gas production activities since 2000 within the Barnett Shale region adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex region. In this study, air quality concentrations measured at the Denton Airport and Dallas Hinton monitoring sites operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were evaluated. VOC concentration data from canister-based sampling along with continuous measurement of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5), and meteorological conditions at these two sites spanning from 2000 through 2014 were employed in this study. The Dallas site is located within the urban core of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, while the Denton site is an exurban site with rural characteristics to it. The Denton Airport site was influenced by natural gas pads surrounding it while there are very few natural gas production facilities within close proximity to the Dallas Hinton site. As of 2013, there were 1362 gas pads within a 10 mile radius to the Denton Airport site but there were only 2 within a 10 mile radius to Dallas Hinton site. The Dallas site displayed higher concentrations of NOx and much lower concentrations of VOC than the Denton site. Extremely high levels of VOC measured at the Denton site corresponded with the increase in oil and gas production activities in close proximity to the monitoring site. Ethane and propane are two major contributors to the measured VOC concentration, suggesting the influence of fugitive emissions of natural gas. ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Lim, Guo Quan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parent Partnership: Towards a Constructional Approach to Improving the Life of Parents with Children with Autism

Description: Parents with children diagnosed with autism face a variety of stressors. The typical approach to dealing with these stressors is pathological which focuses on the problem by attempting to eliminate or alleviate the stressors through counseling, behavioral therapy, tutoring, and/or drugs. The purpose of the current study was to assess an alternative approach, a constructional one, which focuses on solutions by teaching 3 parents to analyze their life, formulate goals, and develop programs to reach their goals building off of their strengths and assets. The by-product is the reduction or elimination of the stressors. The results suggest that the use of a constructional program is very effective in helping parents develop a new repertoire that will ultimately improve their overall quality of life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liden, Timothy Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Computer-based Self-instructional Training Package on Novice Instructors’ Implementation of Discrete Trial Instruction and a Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention

Description: Discrete trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs) are often incorporated into early intensive behavioral interventions for young children with autism. Recent advances in staff training methods have demonstrated that self-instructional manuals, video models, and computer-based training are effective and efficient ways to improve staff implementation of these teaching strategies however research in this area is limited. The current evaluation assessed the effects of a computer-based training package including self-instructional manuals with embedded video models on direct-care staff’s implementation of DTI and an NDBI. All participants’ DTI teaching fidelity increased during role-plays with an adult and with a child with autism and all participants increased teaching fidelity across untrained instructional programs. In addition, moderate improvement was demonstrated following NDBI training on the use of correct prompts, environmental arrangements, and response interaction. Together, these results indicate that therapists are able to acquire a large number of skills using two teaching techniques, DTI and NDBI, following brief computer-based training.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Horsch, Rachel M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design of Frequency Output Pressure Transducer

Description: Piezoelectricity crystal is used in different area in industry, such as downhole oil, gas industry, and ballistics. The piezoelectricity crystals are able to create electric fields due to mechanical deformation called the direct piezoelectric effect, or create mechanical deformation due to the effect of electric field called the indirect piezoelectric effect. In this thesis, piezoelectricity effect is the core part. There are 4 parts in the frequency output pressure transducer: two crystal oscillators, phase-locked loop (PLL), mixer, frequency counter. Crystal oscillator is used to activate the piezoelectricity crystal which is made from quartz. The resonance frequency of the piezoelectricity crystal will be increased with the higher pressure applied. The signal of the resonance frequency will be transmitted to the PLL. The function of the PLL is detect the frequency change in the input signal and makes the output of the PLL has the same frequency and same phase with the input signal. The output of the PLL will be transmitted to a Mixer. The mixer has two inputs and one output. One input signal is from the pressure crystal oscillator and another one is from the reference crystal oscillator. The frequency difference of the two signal will transmitted to the frequency counter from the output of the mixer. Thus, the frequency output pressure transducer with a frequency counter is a portable device which is able to measure the pressure without oscilloscope or computer.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ma, Jinge
Partner: UNT Libraries

Organizational Learning Capacity As a Predictor of Individuals’ Tendency Towards Improvisation in Nonprofit Organizations in Saudi Arabia

Description: The study is undertaken for a more compressive understanding for organizational theory and its applicability to tendency towards improvisation during emergency times among individuals in Non Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Saudi Arabia. The analysis involved an examination of direct effect of learning on tendency towards improvisation and possible mediating effects between organizational learning and tendency towards improvisation among individuals in NPOs, while controlling for key demographic differences (e.g. individuals’ age, education level and years in service, number of full-time staff and volunteers). Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to full-time employees in 13 NPOs in three cities in the western area of Saudi Arabia, namely Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah (N= 304). The main statistical method employed to hypotheses examination was Structural Equation Modeling. The hypothesis examination resulted in three out of five hypnotized paths are to be significant. Two direct relations were interpreted as outcomes of organizational learning, with increases in the level of organizational learning is being positively related to individuals’ self –efficacy and agility. The third significant path interpreted as individuals’ agility is positively related to their tendency to improvise during emergency times, which indicates organizational learning has indirect effect on tendency towards improvisation. Finally, the applicability of organizational learning theory to the field of emergency management and suggestions for future research in light of the findings of this research are also discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Alhumaid, Saleh Mohammad
Partner: UNT Libraries