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The Flora and Fauna in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Mexican Casta Paintings

Description: The primary objective of this thesis is to identify patterns of appearance among the flora and fauna of selected eighteenth-century New Spanish casta paintings. The objectives of the thesis are to determine what types of flora and fauna are present within selected casta paintings, whether the flora and fauna's provenance is Spanish or Mexican and whether there are any potential associations of particular flora and fauna with the races being depicted in the same composition. I focus my flora and fauna research on three sets of casta paintings produced between 1750 and 1800: Miguel Cabrera's 1763 series, José Joaquín Magón's 1770 casta paintings, and Andrés de Islas' 1774 sequence. Although the paintings fall into the same genre and within a period of a little over a decade, they nevertheless offer different visions of New Spain's natural bounty and include objects designed to satisfy Europe's interest in the exotic.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Torres, Anita Jacinta
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identification and characterization of an incomplete root hair elongation (IRE)-like gene in Medicago truncatula (L.) root nodules.

Description: Cloning and molecular characterization of new genes constitutes a useful approach in studying the symbiotic interactions between the model plant Medicago truncatula and Synorhizobium meliloti. Large numbers of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) available for Medicago truncatula, along with numerous cDNA, oligonucleotides, and Affimetrix DNA microarray chips, represent useful tools for gene discovery. In an attempt to identify a new gene that might be involved in the process of nodulation in Medicago truncatula, preliminary data reported by Fedorova et al. (2002), who identified 340 putative gene products or tentative consensus sequences (TCs) expressed only in nodules, was used. This research was focused on TC33166 (TC103185), which has 3 ESTs in the TC, and whose strongest BLASTX hit of TC103185 is the incomplete root hair elongation (IRE) protein kinase-like protein (NP_192429) from Arabidopsis thaliana. The Arabidopsis IRE gene is required for normal root hair growth, and a role in apical growth was suggested (Oyama et al., 2002). Infection thread growth can be looked at as an inward growth of the root hair. Thus, TC103185 was a good candidate for identifying a gene that may be involved in early events of nodulation. MtIRE (GenBank accession AC122727) is organized in 17 exons and 16 introns, similarly to the Arabidopsis IRE gene. MtIRE is a new member of the IRE family and it is a putative Ser/Thr protein kinase. MtIRE is a nodule- and flower-specific gene, suggesting that nodulation may have recruited it from other developmental processes. MtIRE is likely to be involved in the invasion process, or in the maturation of the symbiosome, or of the cells that contain rhizobia, rather than infection thread initiation and elongation or in nitrogen fixation. Nodule invasion precedes the onset of MtIRE expression and the expression pattern changes in time within the nodule. RNA interference results support MtIRE ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Pislariu, Catalina Iulia
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Intangible Qualities of Rare Books: Toward a Decision-Making Framework for Preservation Management in Rare Book Collections, Based Upon the Concept of the Book as Object

Description: For rare book collections, a considerable challenge is involved in evaluating collection materials in terms of their inherent value, which includes the textual and intangible information the materials provide for the collection's users. Preservation management in rare book collections is a complex and costly process. As digitization and other technological advances in surrogate technology have provided new forms representation, new dilemmas in weighing the rare book's inherently valuable characteristics against the possibly lesser financial costs of surrogates have arisen. No model has been in wide use to guide preservation management decisions. An initial iteration of such a model is developed, based on a Delphi-like iterative questioning of a group of experts in the field of rare books. The results are used to synthesize a preservation management framework for rare book collections, and a small-scale test of the framework has been completed through two independent analyses of five rare books in a functioning collection. Utilizing a standardized template for making preservation decisions offers a variety of benefits. Preservation decisions may include prioritizing action upon the authentic objects, or developing and maintaining surrogates in lieu of retaining costly original collection materials. The framework constructed in this study provides a method for reducing the subjectivity of preservation decision-making and facilitating the development of a standard of practice for preservation management within rare book collections.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Sheehan, Jennifer Karr
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining Employee Satisfaction, Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction in a Retail Banking Organization

Description: In the increasingly competitive world of retail banking, organizations are focusing their attention on customer service as a means of increasing customer loyalty and retention. With this goal of increasing customer retention, the link between the attitudes of the service provider (employee satisfaction), the customer interaction behaviors that those attitudes lead to (customer service quality), and the attitudes that those behaviors generate in the customer (customer satisfaction) has become an increasingly important area of investigation. The goal of this research is to analyze the relationships that exist between these three variables: employee satisfaction, customer service quality, and customer satisfaction in a mid-sized retail bank. Data from three separate surveys collected during the same time period in 137 branches of a regional bank are analyzed using multiple regression analysis to determine whether relationships and interactions exist at a banking center level. While results of the analyses did not show a significant relationship between the variables, issues relevant to this determination are discussed and conclusions drawn regarding the nature of these constructs.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Simpson, Eric Phillip
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An Analysis of EC-4 Pre-Service Teacher Perceptions of Knowledge and Use of Classroom Discipline Techniques

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of pre-service Texas Wesleyan University teachers' knowledge and use of classroom discipline techniques. The study was conducted to obtain data utilized for the evaluation of the research questions. A non-experimental, mixed research design using survey methodology was used. Part one of the Allen Classroom and Discipline Management Instrument (ACDMI) consisted of demographic information: current position, ethnicity, level of education, gender, age, teaching certification obtained, teaching certification anticipated to be obtained, type of teacher certification training, and number of clock hours received in discipline management. The demographic information was used as independent variables for comparing responses to survey items. Part two contained discipline management techniques from Skinner, Canter, Dreikurs, Gathercoal, Glasser, Faye and Funk, Curwin and Mendler, and Berne and Harris. These techniques were used to determine mean differences with the independent variables. Finally, part three was the qualitative section which consisted of four questions requesting information about helpful discipline techniques. The sample population consisted of 150 pre-service teachers from a small liberal arts university in Texas. Findings from the study indicated that EC-4 pre-service teachers' predicted use of discipline management techniques were the ones in which they were most knowledgeable. Furthermore, EC-4 pre-service teachers reported to be most knowledgeable of the following discipline management techniques: "Student Input in Developing Classroom Rules," "Social Reinforcement and Praise," and "Direct Teach and Model Appropriate Behavior." In addition, certified EC-4 pre-service teachers had more knowledge of classroom discipline techniques than non-certified EC-4 pre-service teachers. The qualitative analysis revealed a consensus among all EC-4 pre-service teachers with regard to their training in discipline management. All EC-4 pre-service teachers indicated that their overall training was inadequate in the area of classroom discipline management and that more was needed.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Short, Selena Gutierrez
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Accuracy of Self-Reported Height, Weight, and Calculated BMI and Resulting FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone Classification

Description: The determination of adiposity in adolescents is often assessed with calculations of body mass indices (BMI). Researchers often obtain these measurements from self-reported (SR) values. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of SR height, weight, and calculated BMI (from height and weight). SR and actual measured (ME) BMI values were compared with standards from the FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) classifications. SR height and calculated BMI were found to be accurate while SR weight was, on average, underreported by 4.77 lbs. Because of these errors in SR height and weight, accuracy of classification into the FITNESSGRAM® HFZ was compromised. Consequently, it is important that researchers ascertain actual values of height and weight when measuring adolescents rather than use those from self-reports.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Rowell, Chelsie Joyce
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"The Barroom Girls" and Other Stories

Description: This creative thesis is comprised of five original short stories and a critical preface. The preface discusses the changing cultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic landscape of the modern American South and the effects-positive, negative, and neutral-these changes have had on the region's contemporary literature, including the short stories contained within.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Mortazavi, Sohale Andrus
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Connective Technology Adoption in the Supply Chain: The Role of Organizational, Interorganizational and Technology-Related Factors.

Description: Supply chain management (SCM) is an area that offers organizations significant opportunities for both cost reductions and revenue enhancement. In their article, "Supply Chain Management: Implementation Issues and Research Opportunities," Lambert, Cooper and Pagh defined SCM as the "integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders." Adopting and implementing appropriate technology has emerged as a source of competitive advantage for supply chain member firms through the integration of business processes with suppliers and customers. It is important to understand the factors influencing an organization's decision to acquire such technology. In the context of this study, connective technologies are defined as wireless communication devices and their accompanying infrastructure and software which may enhance coordination among supply chain partners. Building on previous literature in the areas of supply chain management, marketing strategy, and organizational innovation, a model was developed to test the relationships between organizational, interorganizational, and technology-related factors and the adoption of advanced connective technology, using radio frequency identification (RFID) as the test case, in the supply chain. A Web-based survey of supply chain professionals was conducted resulting in 224 usable responses. The overall model was statistically significant with four of the predictors significantly influencing the adoption of RFID in the supply chain. Size, centralization, new product advantage and time to achieve targeted ROI were significantly related to adoption of connective technology (RFID). Interorganizational related factors were not significant predictors of connective technology adoption. The study contributes to theory by testing scales from marketing and management in a supply chain context in order to better understand behavioral dimensions of supply chain management and logistics. The conceptualization and measurement of market orientation at the interfirm level advances the market orientation literature. Finally, the study contributes ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Neeley, Concha Kaye Ramsey
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Supercritical Silylation and Stability of Silyl Groups

Description: Methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) and organosilicate glass (OSG) are the materials under this study because they exhibit the dielectric constant values necessary for future IC technology requirements. Obtaining a low-k dielectric value is critical for the IC industry in order to cope time delay and cross talking issues. These materials exhibit attractive dielectric value, but there are problems replacing conventional SiO2, because of their chemical, mechanical and electrical instability after plasma processing. Several techniques have been suggested to mitigate process damage but supercritical silylation offers a rapid single repair step solution to this problem. Different ash and etch damaged samples were employed in this study to optimize an effective method to repair the low-k dielectric material and seal the surface pores via supercritical fluid processing with various trialkylchlorosilanes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, capacitance- voltage measurements, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), characterized the films. The hydrophobicity and dielectric constant after exposure to elevated temperatures and ambient conditions were monitored and shown to be stable. The samples were treated with a series of silylating agents of the form R3-Si-Cl where R is an alkyl groups (e.g. ethyl, propyl, isopropyl). Reactivity with the surface hydroxyls was inversely proportional to the length of the alkyl group, perhaps due to steric effects. Contact angle measurements revealed that heating the films in ambient diminished hydrophobicity. Depth and surface profiling using (DSIMS) and (XPS) were utilized to develop a model for surface coverage.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nerusu, Pawan Kumar
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Depression, Activities of Daily Living, and Retirement

Description: Depression is a common clinical and subclinical psychiatric disorder in the middle-age to older adult population. This study examined the relationship between depression and activities of daily living (ADLs) in middle-age to older adults. This study examined longitudinal data from the 1998, wave 4, and 2000, wave 5, of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Panel Study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. A negative cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between higher ADL scores and depression was hypothesized. A goal of the present study was to determine the temporal precedence of these two constructs using a cross-lag panel design to first examine the cross-sectional relationship between ADLs and depression at time-one and at time-two, and then the time-one to time-two longitudinal relationships to examine temporal precedence possible causal relationships. Finally, differences in these correlational relationships by retirement status and then by marital status were tested. There were several interesting findings, including those who were retired in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs (i.e., worse functioning), but also reported better health than those who were working in both 1998 and 2000. Similarly, those people who were not married in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs but better health than those who were married in both 1998 and 2000. Married individuals reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were not married.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Jackson, Lauren Innes
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Photographic metaphors: A multiple case study of second language teachers' experiences using the acquisition model.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine and document second language teachers' perceptions of their implementation of a meaning-making approach, known as the Acquisition Model, to second language instruction. Of particular focus were the concerns and strategies the second language teachers experienced when changing their pedagogical practice from mechanical to meaning making. The main research question, which guided this study, was: "What is the 'lived experience' of L2 teachers as they implement an innovative pedagogy to teach a second language?" The researcher addressed this research question through Max van Manen's (1990) six step phenomenological method, "Researching Lived Experience" and image-based research techniques (i.e., photo elicitation and reflexive photography). In addition, the researcher also created and applied an innovative data collection technique, which she called Collaborative Imagery. Findings from this study generated various implications in the areas of second language education, curricular change, teacher reflection, image-based research, and educational research.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: DeLaCruz-Raub, Jeanne Marie
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Language and the Art of Writing

Description: I start writing by conjuring up an image in my mind. Sometimes it will be something that I have thought about for a while, sometimes it will be something that I sit around attempting to create. Either way, it is simply the idea that I need in order to get started. People will say, "Just sit down and write" which I can do, but it does not mean I will end up anywhere worthwhile. In my writing I need a focus. I need an idea or just one image to get me writing and I can base an entire story off of that one image. I think the reason this works for me is because in my mind it is an illustration and always something that is vibrant and unique. I want the image to stand out and to mean something because I feel that it comes to me for a specific reason, I just have to piece it all together and let the characters and plot unfold for themselves. People often say this, that the characters end up running the story. I think this is true, but in my case my stories are not so driven by character or plot as they are by language. A language driven piece can be a difficult thing to manipulate because it needs to have some direction and some purpose other than just being pleasing to the ear/mind/reader. And what is the point of a language driven piece?
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Damask, Tarah
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Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Performance Appraisals in Organizations

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of and the subjects' overall satisfaction with the implementation of an internally created performance appraisal system. The system was implemented at a major technology consulting firm in the US. The subjects of this study were manager level employees of the firm. An employee survey conducted annually at the firm included questions relating to the implementation of the performance appraisal system. Eight years of managers' responses to six key questions in the Career Development category were analyzed. Managers' perceptions of their contribution to the firm, their understanding of what career paths are available to them, their understanding of the requirements for promotion, as well as their overall satisfaction with the implementation of the performance appraisal system were captured by this survey. Trend analysis indicates that managers at the firm perceived their career path knowledge improved and their understanding of promotion criteria improved as a result of the implementation. Overall satisfaction with the implementation did not improve enough to site confidence in managers' perceptions for the period immediately after the implementation; managers' responses to the actual implementation were disagreeable to neutral. Managers did not feel their impact on the organization improved as a result of the implementation.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Herreid, Cheryl
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The Effects of District Expenditure Per Pupil and Low Socio-Economic Status on the Grade 10, 2000 and 2002 Disaggregated Student Performance Scores on the TAAS

Description: Educators can no longer simply look at student totals to distribute instructional dollars. Databased decision-making must be instituted to overcome achievement gaps between white and non-white students. In low-socioeconomic (SES) settings, districts must increase expenditure per pupil (EPP) as low-SES rates rise for all students as district administrators must be in a position to show product rather than process. It was attempted to determine if a positive or negative relationship existed between Anglo, Hispanic, and African-American student test scores and wealth factors on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests in 2000 and 2002. Wealth factors studied included EPP and SES. Data analysis was carried out on 974 independent and consolidated school districts in Texas. Low-SES was found to be a negative predictor of higher test performance on standardized reading and mathematics tests. To varied degrees, low-SES affected all students from all ethnicities as well as affluent students. EPP was attributed with a positive effect on student test performance. Increases of $1,000 or more at one time produce performance increases from 0.20 to 0.40 points. In making specific recommendations, the researcher advises increasing expenditures low-SES districts, schools, and classrooms through the creation of specific district linear equations exhibited in this study. Funds must be earmarked for those students that are affected by poverty. It is also recommended to decrease the number of low-SES students by merging high-SES and low-SES students to dilute poverty's effects. Additional correlation studies that address instructional strategies and outside factors are needed. Finally, a replicating study using Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills data over a period would be beneficial.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Iker, Gary A.
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Theory in Practice: Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction in an Authentic Project-based Computer Class

Description: While literature in areas of constructivism learning theory, use of computer technology in education, and the implementation of project-based learning in the classroom have received widespread attention, there is no reported research that specifically examines the effectiveness of using a project-based learning model for computer technology instruction for pre-service teachers' programs in general, and in art education in particular. Thus, the research problem was to examine through pre- and post-test control-group experimental research design whether two different teaching methods, constructivism teaching approach (project-based learning) and traditional (step-by-step) teaching approach, result in significant differences in learning computer usage, the application of computer technical skills, design projects, and attitudes toward using of technology. The research was conducted at University of North Texas during the fall semester of 2004. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect the data. The quantitative data, collected from a pre-post test and pre and post questionnaire, was analyzed using a t-test. No significant difference was found between the groups as it relates to computer usage, one aspect of the application of computer technical skills (Photoshop usage), and attitudes towards technology. There was, however, a statistical difference between the groups in the use of the other aspect of computer application technical skills (Illustrator). The qualitative data was collected from three sources, the final design project, the focus group interview, and the reflective papers and summarized quantitatively. A rubric was used to assess the final design project and the scores from the rubric were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. A significant difference was found between the groups as it relates to the assessment of the final project design. The constructivist (project-based learning) group scored higher than the traditional (step-by-step) group. The analysis of the focus group interviews revealed more positive responses for the project-based learning group as ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Esmaiel, Yousef Esmaiel
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Acceptance and use of corporal punishment among parents of biologic and non-biologic children.

Description: Objective: Differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance and use of ordinary corporal punishment and use of explaining/reasoning as a disciplinary tool are examined from a sociobiological theoretical perspective. Method: Cross tabulations are used on data from a national survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1995. Results: Contrary to predictions, differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance of ordinary corporal punishment and the use of explaining/reasoning are not statistically significant. In addition, biologic parents are found to use ordinary corporal punishment significantly more often than non-biologic parents. Conclusions: The sociobiological theoretical perspective likely underestimates the influence of culture and social structure on parent-child interactions.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hall, Ellie Tiedeman
Partner: UNT Libraries

The impact of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on reading, mathematics, and language achievement of Hispanic English language learners.

Description: This study sought to answer if the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program had a positive academic impact on Hispanic English language learners (ELL). HIPPY is a free, 2-year, home-based early intervention program for 4-and 5-year-old children. The program is intended to provide educational enrichment to at-risk children from poor and immigrant families, increase school readiness, and foster parent involvement in their children's education. A quasi-experimental design and quantitative measures were used to measure the academic success of Hispanic ELL students in reading, mathematics, and language arts. The sample included an experimental group and a purposeful control group. Hispanic students who attended an early childhood school as 4 year olds and participated in the HIPPY 4 and 5 programs were compared to Hispanic students who attended an early childhood school as 4 year olds and did not participate in HIPPY. Results from the Texas-mandated criterion referenced Texas Assessment Knowledge and Skills (TAKS™) Test and the TerraNova® and TerraNova SUPERA® norm referenced tests were used in this study. Results from the TAKS Reading and TAKS Mathematics Grade 3 and the TerraNova reading, language, mathematics, and total composite scores were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. The treatment group and control group results from both assessments were measured and compared. A statistically significant difference was found in 5 out of the 6 null hypotheses tested. The treatment group statistically significantly outperformed the control group in the TAKS Reading and the TerraNova and TerraNova SUPERA reading, language, mathematics, and total composite assessments. This study substantiates that the HIPPY program works and can have a positive impact on a child's school readiness. Additionally, a significant range of sustainability was also established since the results were measured from assessments administered in the third grade and 5 years after the treatment group ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: García, Maria G.
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Dimension spectrum and graph directed Markov systems.

Description: In this dissertation we study graph directed Markov systems (GDMS) and limit sets associated with these systems. Given a GDMS S, by the Hausdorff dimension spectrum of S we mean the set of all positive real numbers which are the Hausdorff dimension of the limit set generated by a subsystem of S. We say that S has full Hausdorff dimension spectrum (full HD spectrum), if the dimension spectrum is the interval [0, h], where h is the Hausdorff dimension of the limit set of S. We give necessary conditions for a finitely primitive conformal GDMS to have full HD spectrum. A GDMS is said to be regular if the Hausdorff dimension of its limit set is also the zero of the topological pressure function. We show that every number in the Hausdorff dimension spectrum is the Hausdorff dimension of a regular subsystem. In the particular case of a conformal iterated function system we show that the Hausdorff dimension spectrum is compact. We introduce several new systems: the nearest integer GDMS, the Gauss-like continued fraction system, and the Renyi-like continued fraction system. We prove that these systems have full HD spectrum. A special attention is given to the backward continued fraction system that we introduce and we prove that it has full HD spectrum. This system turns out to be a parabolic iterated function system and this makes the analysis more involved. Several examples have been constructed in the past of systems not having full HD spectrum. We give an example of such a system whose limit set has positive Lebesgue measure.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Ghenciu, Eugen Andrei
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Sex-Typed Occupational Aspiration of College Students

Description: This study examines occupational aspiration and choice of traditional first-time college students utilizing longitudinal data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Focus is given to beliefs about the importance of family and money in relation to selection of an occupation that is classified as sex-typed. Change from one occupational category to another is also considered. The dissonance between students' beliefs about the importance of family and money as associated with their sex-typed occupational choice is explored. Understanding students' occupational plans that subsequently determine future prestige, wealth, and status is vital to higher educational professionals who facilitate students in their career selection and major. Therefore, environmental factors of satisfaction with career counseling and academic advising are examined. The U.S. Census Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) data is applied in the classification of sex-typed occupations. Race and ethnicity is investigated to determine if the same gender patterns exist among cultural groups with regards to their occupational selection. The results indicate that students' occupational aspirations were influenced by their belief regarding the importance of family or money. In addition, their beliefs regarding family and money changed after four years of college with family increasing in importance. Strong beliefs that were, either concordant or discordant with relation to students' gender and occupational choice predicted change after four years of college. Also, race and ethnicity showed some relation to sex-typed occupational aspirations of students. Being Hispanic predicted female sex-typed occupations, while being Asian predicted male sex-typed occupations. However, the results of this study may have been compromised by the extremely skewed representation of an elitist student sample. Thus, future research that includes a more diverse student sample (race/ethnicity, social class, and geographical location) was recommended for validation of this study's findings.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hafer, Myra Wyatt
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of continuing bonds and their impact on life attitudes in parents of murdered children.

Description: For most of the past century, the positive outcome of grief in the West was characterized as the relinquishment of the bond to the deceased. Phrases such as "let go", "move on", and "get over it" were, and continue to be, common to the language of this pursuit. This 'breaking bonds' perspective does not take into account other means of grief resolution, nor does it consider historical or cultural findings. Consequently, reports of bereaved parents who indicate resolution of grief yet maintain a continued relationship with their deceased child were not given much attention until the 1990s. This research employed a Durkheimian approach, taking the social bond as the starting point of inquiry and examined continuing bonds of parents to their murdered children. How these bonds were related to the parents' attitudes of re-investing in life and their level of grief was measured. The relationship between the parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was also assessed. The sample consisted of 46 parents living in North Texas whose child had been murdered three or more years ago. A triangulated methodology was utilized and the data were collected by means of participant observation, unstructured interviews, and a mailed questionnaire which obtained information on continuing bonds, level of grief, life attitudes and demographic variables. Multiple regression techniques were utilized to analyze the quantitative data. Parents on the Continuing Bonds Scale reported high levels of bonds with their deceased child. Contrary to expectation, the level of continuing bonds parents maintained with their children was found to be independent of other variables in the study. The relationship between parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was inverse in that higher levels of grief were associated with lower levels of re-investing in life. The finding of the independence of the Continuing Bonds Scale ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Haag, Marcy J.
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The Long Chorale Preludes of J. S. Bach (1685-1750): Study of Accompaniments together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), J. S. Bach, Louis Vierne (1870-1937), and Others

Description: Johann Sebastian Bach's chorale preludes are varied and artistic not only in the treatment of chorale melodies, but also in the accompaniments of those chorale melodies. This study examines the accompaniments of Bach's long chorale preludes, focusing on identifying the various types and the characteristics that make them unique. This study investigates the two broad categories of accompaniments depending on whether the motives are chorale-derived or independent of the chorale. While the chorale prelude accompaniments in the first large group are closely related, the accompaniments of the chorale preludes in the second group stand independently and illustrate the vast range of Bach's compositional skill. Both groups demonstrate Bach's interest in expanding his predecessors' models, a trait that can be traced throughout all of Bach's compositional history.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Lim, Aesook
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Using Reinforcement Learning in Partial Order Plan Space

Description: Partial order planning is an important approach that solves planning problems without completely specifying the orderings between the actions in the plan. This property provides greater flexibility in executing plans; hence making the partial order planners a preferred choice over other planning methodologies. However, in order to find partially ordered plans, partial order planners perform a search in plan space rather than in space of world states and an uninformed search in plan space leads to poor efficiency. In this thesis, I discuss applying a reinforcement learning method, called First-visit Monte Carlo method, to partial order planning in order to design agents which do not need any training data or heuristics but are still able to make informed decisions in plan space based on experience. Communicating effectively with the agent is crucial in reinforcement learning. I address how this task was accomplished in plan space and the results from an evaluation of a blocks world test bed.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Ceylan, Hakan
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FACET Simulation in the Imataca Forest Reserve, Venezuela: Permanent Plot Data and Spatial Analysis

Description: Tree diameter data from 29 years of observations in six permanent plots was used to calculate the growth rate parameter of the FACET gap model for 39 species in the Imataca forests in Venezuela. The compound topographic index was used as a measure of differential soil water conditions and was calculated using geographic information systems. Growth rate values and topographic conditions typical of hill and valley were input to FACET to simulate dynamics at the species level and by ecological and functional groups. Species shade-tolerance led to expected successional patterns. Drought-tolerant/saturation-intolerant species grew in the hills whereas drought-intolerant/saturation-tolerant species occurred in the valleys. The results help to understand forest composition in the future and provide guidance to forest management practices.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Figuera, Dilcia
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of the relationship between work experience and occupational work ethic characteristics of baccalaureate nursing students.

Description: The primary purpose of this study was to test the theory of experiential learning by measuring to what extent work experience predicts the work ethic characteristics of students in baccalaureate nursing programs at three regional universities in Texas, including Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, and West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Work experience is the amount full-time or part-time on-the-job experience. Work ethic attributes are referred to as considerate, ambitious, dependable, and cooperative. Results generated in this study failed to reject the null hypotheses, which means that work experience, does not provide evidence of the ability to predict the development of work ethic characteristics in baccalaureate nursing students who participated in this research study. Knowledge generated in this study provided alternative directions for future research with respect to the relationship between work experiences and work ethic characteristics in nursing students. Such research may be useful to nursing educators and trainers in the design and delivery phases of the educational process for nurses.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Kegans, Loyd
Partner: UNT Libraries