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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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

"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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Reformulating a link between social influence network theory and status characteristics theory and a method for testing that link.

Description: The impact of social influence from others on choices made by subjects and how this influence accumulates was studied by secondary analysis of reported experimental data. To explain this impact a link is proposed between social influence network theory (SINT) and status characteristics theory (SCT). The link formula transforms stay probabilities for different status relationships of subject with one disagreeing other agent into horizontal axis coordinate values while stay probabilities of subject given two disagreeing others are transformed into vertical-axis coordinate values corresponding to the horizontal axis values for further analyses. The results support the utility of the proposed link between the two theories.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hollander, James Fisher
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Longitudinal Study of Rape Attitude Correlates among College Men

Description: Research has linked rape victim-blaming attitudes (VBAs) with gender role stereotyping, negative peer attitudes towards women, and acceptance of interpersonal violence. The current study analyzed longitudinal questionnaire data of college men (n=166) from White and Smith's (2001) study of college student victimization. Results indicate that VBAs can be conceptualized as either overt or covert, and that the covert VBA was more strongly correlated with alcohol use, sexualized peer attitudes, traditional gender stereotypes, need for sexual dominance, and perpetration of dating aggression. The covert VBA was also correlated with rape proclivity one year later, and partially mediated relationships between earlier variables and later rape proclivity. Additionally, endorsement of chivalry moderated the relationship between traditional gender stereotypes and the covert VBA, casting new perspective on the role of chivalry. Overall, results demonstrate the importance of targeting subtle expressions of VBAs in educational programs, and the need for longitudinal studies on rape attitude development.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Towards Communicating Simple Sentence using Pictorial Representations

Description: Language can sometimes be an impediment in communication. Whether we are talking about people who speak different languages, students who are learning a new language, or people with language disorders, the understanding of linguistic representations in a given language requires a certain amount of knowledge that not everybody has. In this thesis, we propose "translation through pictures" as a means for conveying simple pieces of information across language barriers, and describe a system that can automatically generate pictorial representations for simple sentences. Comparative experiments conducted on visual and linguistic representations of information show that a considerable amount of understanding can be achieved through pictorial descriptions, with results within a comparable range of those obtained with current machine translation techniques. Moreover, a user study conducted around the pictorial translation system reveals that users found the system to generally produce correct word/image associations, and rate the system as interactive and intelligent.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Leong, Chee Wee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Individual Perceptions of a Proposed Pressure to be Positive in America

Description: Positive psychology has become influential in research and practice. However, some have criticized positive psychologists who focus solely on the virtues of being positive. A tyrannical pressure to be positive may potentially exist in positive psychology, as well as mainstream United States culture. The following study explored perceptions of this theory using focus groups of individuals who differed in coping style, social desirability, and depression. Results suggest that individuals are affected by social pressures to be positive, and the expression of both positive and negative emotions is determined by social pressures, rules, context, and consequences. Although emotional expression, especially negativity, is contraindicated in several social contexts, there are also social, psychological, and physical benefits to all types of emotional expression.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Mitchell, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Differential Scoring Patterns on the Clock Drawing Test: a Comparison of Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Dementia.

Description: This study examined differences in scoring patterns among those diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia and vascular dementia on the clock-drawing test. Archival clock drawing data was retrieved on 279 patients presenting at a county hospital-based memory clinic. Analysis of drawings was based on frequency of qualitative errors, as well as an overall quantitative score. Mean comparisons found those patients with Alzheimer's dementia to perform worse on both quantitative and qualitative scoring measures. However, Pearson's chi-squared test revealed a significantly higher rate of spacing errors among subjects with vascular dementia. Such lends support to my hypothesis that impaired executive functioning in vascular dementia patients would lead to poor qualitative performance. Logistic regression found significant predictive ability for the qualitative criteria in diagnosis (χ2 = 25.49, p < .001), particularly the rate of omission (z = 8.96, p = .003) and addition errors (z = 7.58, p = .006). Such findings hold important implications for the use of qualitative criteria in cognitive screening assessments.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Everitt, Alaina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gene Flow among Populations of the Mayfly Epeorus pleuralis (Banks 1910) (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) in Three Adjacent Appalachian Headwater Streams

Description: Dispersal of aquatic insects is difficult to measure with traditional direct trapping methodologies. However, genetic markers are an ideal surrogate to indirectly infer dispersal and gene flow. For this research, a portion of the cytochrome oxidase I gene was used to evaluate gene flow and dispersal of Epeorus pleuralis located in the northern Appalachian headwater streams of the Allegheny, Genesee, and Susquehanna watersheds. A total of 536 basepairs from 16 individual insects were used for analysis. Thirteen haplotypes were discovered, two of which were shared between the Allegheny and Genesee streams. Although no shared haplotypes were found in the Susquehanna, analysis of molecular variance results suggest that there is not a significant genetic difference between the three populations and attributes the majority of variation to within population differences.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Dunlap, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clarence R. Huebner: An American Military Story of Achievement

Description: In the eyes of the American public excellence is often overshadowed by brilliance of personality. This is particularly true in the portrayal of many of the country's military leaders in World War II. A prime example of this phenomenon is Douglas MacArthur, whose larger than life persona made him a newspaper fixture during the war despite a series of strategic and tactical blunders that would have led to the sacking of a less visible (and publicly popular) leader. At the level of divisional commanders, this triumph of brilliance over excellence is best exemplified by the two primary leaders of the country's 1st Infantry Division, Terry de la Mesa Allen and Clarence R. Huebner. One was a hard-drinking, swashbuckling leader who led by almost the sheer force of his personality; the other, a plain spoken, demanding officer who believed that organization, planning and attention to detail were the keys to superior battlefield performance. The leadership differences between Allen and Huebner have been documented in multiple publications. What has not been documented is the life of the truly overshadowed general - Huebner. Huebner's transition to the leadership of the 1st Infantry Division (1st ID) constitute only a small period in a military career that spans almost fifty years and two world wars. Huebner's story is cyclic in that throughout his life, his actions regularly complete a full circle with a return to key organizations, areas or relationships from where they started. In many respects, Huebner's story parallels the 20th century biography of the army itself. His is an American military story. This thesis is focused on Huebner's life in the years prior to the 1st ID's landing at Omaha Beach.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Flaig, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries

Texas Cowboy as Myth: Visual Representations from the Late Twentieth Century

Description: The working cowboy remains part of the contemporary culture of Texas. A visual record of him appeared early in the state's history, in daguerreotypes, followed by representations in contemporary black and white as well as color photographs, film and video. Although the way of life for the Texas cowboy has changed, it remains a thriving part of the Texas economy, society, and culture. Moreover, the image of the cowboy has permeated popular culture and fine art. This paper explores what late twentieth century popular culture and fine art images of the cowboy signify, emphasizing aspects of how they signify in relation to an existing tradition of photographic representations. Using Barthes' "Myth Today," it considers how the documentary aspect of early photographic representations of cowboys is transformed in contemporary popular culture and fine art to become mythology, for example, by the exaggeration of features of dress to connote ideals allegorically.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Seaton, Melynda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Personal Passions and Carthusian Influences Evident in Rogier Van Der Weyden's Crucified Christ between the Virgin and Saint John and Diptych of the Crucifixion

Description: This thesis examines Rogier Van Der Weyden's two unique fifteenth century Crucifixions, The Crucified Christ Between the Virgin and Saint John and The Diptych of the Crucifixion, in light of Carthusian beliefs, practices and relevant devotional texts. The specific text used to support this examination is the Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony, which in part deals specifically with the Hours of the Passion. Ludolph's text is given visual form in Rogier's paintings and supports the assertion that Rogier and Ludolph were connected by a shared belief and worldview. Key aspects of Rogier's life, supported by original documentation- familial ties, associates, patrons, use of finances, and his close involvement with the Carthusians-- support this assertion. Other models of connections of belief, evidenced through artist's work, are corroborated in the work of Grunewald, Sluter and Durer.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Smith, Tamytha Cameron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opening the Door to Meaning-Making in Secondary Art History Instruction

Description: Each day countless numbers of high school students remain standing at the threshold of the door to meaningful learning in art history because of traditional authoritative instructional methods and content. With the keys of feminist pedagogy, interactive teaching methods, and the new art histories, the teacher can now unlock that door and lead students to personally relevant learning on the other side. A case study using both qualitative and quantitative research methods was conducted in a secondary art history classroom to examine the teacher's pedagogical choices and the degree to which they enable meaningful and relevant student learning. The analysis of multiple sources of data, including classroom observations, revealed statistically significant correlations between the teacher's instructional methods and the content, as well as their impact on student meaning-making.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Stroud, Elizabeth J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Propagation analysis of a 900 MHz spread spectrum centralized traffic signal control system.

Description: The objective of this research is to investigate different propagation models to determine if specified models accurately predict received signal levels for short path 900 MHz spread spectrum radio systems. The City of Denton, Texas provided data and physical facilities used in the course of this study. The literature review indicates that propagation models have not been studied specifically for short path spread spectrum radio systems. This work should provide guidelines and be a useful example for planning and implementing such radio systems. The propagation model involves the following considerations: analysis of intervening terrain, path length, and fixed system gains and losses.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Urban, Brian L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

MBE Growth and Instrumentation

Description: This thesis mainly aims at application of principles of engineering technology in the field of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). MBE is a versatile technique for growing epitaxial thin films of semiconductors and metals by impinging molecular beams of atoms onto a heated substrate under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Here, a LabVIEW® (laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench) software (National Instruments Corp., http://www.ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/usH) program is developed that would form the basis of a real-time control system that would transform MBE into a true-production technology. Growth conditions can be monitored in real-time with the help of reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) technique. The period of one RHEED oscillation corresponds exactly to the growth of one monolayer of atoms of the semiconductor material. The PCI-1409 frame grabber card supplied by National Instruments is used in conjunction with the LabVIEW software to capture the RHEED images and capture the intensity of RHEED oscillations. The intensity values are written to a text file and plotted in the form of a graph. A fast Fourier transform of these oscillations gives the growth rate of the epi-wafer being grown. All the data being captured by the LabVIEW program can be saved to file forming a growth pedigree for future use. Unattended automation can be achieved by designing a control system that monitors the growth in real-time and compares it with the data recorded from the LabVIEW program from the previous growth and adjusts the growth parameters automatically thereby growing accurate device structures.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Tarigopula, Sriteja
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Dual Dielectric Approach for Performance Aware Reduction of Gate Leakage in Combinational Circuits

Description: Design of systems in the low-end nanometer domain has introduced new dimensions in power consumption and dissipation in CMOS devices. With continued and aggressive scaling, using low thickness SiO2 for the transistor gates, gate leakage due to gate oxide direct tunneling current has emerged as the major component of leakage in the CMOS circuits. Therefore, providing a solution to the issue of gate oxide leakage has become one of the key concerns in achieving low power and high performance CMOS VLSI circuits. In this thesis, a new approach is proposed involving dual dielectric of dual thicknesses (DKDT) for the reducing both ON and OFF state gate leakage. It is claimed that the simultaneous utilization of SiON and SiO2 each with multiple thicknesses is a better approach for gate leakage reduction than the conventional usage of a single gate dielectric (SiO2), possibly with multiple thicknesses. An algorithm is developed for DKDT assignment that minimizes the overall leakage for a circuit without compromising with the performance. Extensive experiments were carried out on ISCAS'85 benchmarks using 45nm technology which showed that the proposed approach can reduce the leakage, as much as 98% (in an average 89.5%), without degrading the performance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Mukherjee, Valmiki
Partner: UNT Libraries