Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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About: Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) are the graduate research outputs of Texas Tech University. They represent years of work from our Master's and Doctoral graduates. If you find the ThinkTech digital repository useful, please tell us! Share how open access to scholarship benefits you. Your story matters to us.

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    Counselor’s Perceptions of Using Bystander Intervention to Address Sexual Assault: A Case Study of College Counselors
    (2017-05) Willis, Jill R.; Crews, Charles; Parr, Gerald; Jones, Stephanie J.
    Title IX is a federal policy that requires colleges and universities to respond to sexual assault. As more colleges are under scrutiny regarding their Title IX policies concerning the process of reporting campus sexual assault, college counseling centers may be the primary contact for prevention and intervention on college campuses. One of the best ways to address Title IX requirements is to prevent sexual assault primarily. Bystander intervention is one way to change the culture of the campus community and prevent a sexual assault. The literature falls short of including college counselor perspectives when discussing sexual assault and bystander interventions. This study uses a qualitative method to examine the perceptions of college counselors who are tasked with responsibilities related to Title IX. Seven licensed professional counselors, who have experience at junior colleges, private and public four year universities were solicited to participate in interviews to investigate the role of college counselors and their perceptions of using bystander intervention programs to address and hopefully prevent sexual assault on college campuses.
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    Limitation of EOR Application in Tight Oil Formation
    (2017-05) Mansour, Ahmed GH; Gamadi, Talal; Watson, Marshall; Emadibaladehi, Hossien
    Tight oil reservoirs have become one of the main sources of oil production growth in the USA. Only 3 % to 7 % of the oil can be recovered, in these reservoirs under primary depletion. Further improve in oil recovery of tight oil reservoirs can be achieved by applying gas flooding or huff-n-puff, however, these methods have limitations especially when we are dealing with ultra-low permeable formation. The main objective of this study is to provide a flowchart that can be used to define the limitations of EOR application (gas flooding and HnP) in tight oil formation. This flowchart would help in eliminate the reservoirs that are not suitable for gas flooding but suitable to huff and puff technique and via versa base on reservoir average permeability. Moreover, it would help in optimizing the selected EOR technique. A 2D compositional simulation model was used to investigate the limitations of applying miscible gas flooding and gas cycling in tight formation. Both of the results have been compared under distinct scenarios and conditions. In terms of simulation model, both of homogenous and heterogeneous models have been used to assess the impact of the formation heterogeneity on the feasibility of gas flooding or Huff-n-Puff process. Different values of well spacing have used to identify the optimum well spacing. Moreover, different average permeability values have been used to study the effect of permeability value on the EOR performance in tight oil formation. The Simulation model results show the potential of enhanced oil recovery project in tight oil formation under specific conditions. Well spacing optimization has a significant effect on the gas flooding performance in tight oil formation. Hence, it is recommended to identify the well spacing before commencing in gas flooding project. The simulation study revealed the following: any oil reservoir with permeability less than 0.01md cannot be considered for gas flooding process. Because of the following reasons; gas injectivity issues, long injection time, long depletion time needed to start the gas flooding. In contrast, Huff-n-Puff simulation case studies showed better results and more oil recovery in formation with permeability less than 0.01md. Simulation results showed that any formation with permeability more than 0.1md can be considered for gas flooding but not for Huff-n-Puff because of the following reasons: gas flooding show better recovery factor comparing with Huff-n-Puff method, short depletion time is needed to start gas injection, less time injection and reasonable well spacing in wells In conclusion, this study helps in prompting our understanding of the enhanced oil recovery factor in tight oil formation. The results of the study show the limitations of the EOR using simulation approaches. Knowing the limitations of the EOR process in tight oil formation leads to improve the efficiency of the EOR project in these types of reservoirs.
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    Expecting More in Relationships – Implications of Relational Entitlement
    (2017-05) Nicholas Williams, Denise; Smith, Doug; Soloski, Kristy; Whiting, Jason
    The term relational entitlement has been used to explain attitudes of entitlement in the context of romantic relationships. Thus, entitlement refers to what individuals’ believe they “should” expect from their romantic partner. In cases where expectations for the relationship are both unrealistic and not met by one’s partner, there is a potential for adverse consequences such as, relationship conflict and a decrease in relationship satisfaction. Conflict in relationships can have adverse effects on the relationship mainly the dissolution of the relationship. Romantic relationships that are free of conflict are rare. There can be a variety factors attributed to the startup and maintenance of conflict in relationships. The researcher from the current study hypothesized that entitlement attitudes will influence couples’ conflict styles and their overall relationship satisfaction. Currently, researchers have explored the connection between entitlement attitudes in two areas of relationships: relationship satisfaction and violence. The researcher surveyed 274 participants between the ages 18-60. Participants for this study represented a collection of individuals across the U.S. A structural equation model was conducted to examine the relationship between the five latent constructs of the Sense of Relational Entitlement (SRE) scale and various types of conflict styles: compromise, physical and verbal aggression, submission, avoidance of the issue and control/domination. The researchers also examined the relationship between Sense of Relational Entitlement (SRE) scale and relationship satisfaction. Findings indicated that varying types of relational entitlement attitudes (i.e. sensitivity to relational transgressions or restrictive entitlement) were shown to be significantly related to conflict styles. As such, being entitled was related to the type of conflict style an individual expressed in the relationship.
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    A Formal Approach to Quantifying Soft Goals Satisfaction in Self-Adaptive Systems
    (2017-05) Oyedeji, Oluwabukunmi O.; Siami Namin, Akbar; Hewett, Rattikorn; Mengel, Susan
    Self-Adaptive systems are systems that are expected to fulfill a set of requirements at varying operational environments. The system can, in essence, adapt to the changes and not hamper the continual operation of that system. More specifically, these sorts of systems are expected to be aware of their operational state (self-aware), and the set of requirements that they need to meet at varying state of the system operations. In recent years, to ensure software quality, requirements are given careful consideration during the development of self-adaptive systems. The trend of applying Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering (GORE) techniques are in use today. GORE-based modeling techniques such as Tropos and Goal-oriented Requirement Language (GRL) are used to model agent intentions. These models help in understanding systems and stakeholders’ motivations for performing a task. In modeling the stakeholders or system intentions, these requirements modeling techniques ensure the right systems are built. Thus, these modeling techniques are helpful for requirements elicitation of said self-adaptive systems. Due to the fact that goal models can be analyzed to answer questions relating to satisfaction of the intentional elements of the agent seeks to satisfy, it has become extremely important to predict system behavior. One major factor considered in self-adaptive systems is at a different point in time when there is a change in operational context and what is the effect of these changes to the satisfaction of agent intentions. This thesis focuses on providing the ability to analyze an agent’s intentions at varying operational context. In doing this, the thesis seeks to quantify the impact of this changing operational context to the satisfaction of soft goals at a particular time as oppose to the current method of weighing all impact to the satisfaction of these soft goals without consideration of excluding alternative path not taken while performing satisfaction analysis on a given goal model.
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    Examining the Shift to Patient Centeredness: Patient-Centered Communication Practices in the American Diabetes Association’s Complete Guide to Diabetes
    (2017-05) Strubberg, Brandon C.; Koerber, Amy; Still, Brian; Locke Carter, Joyce
    In 2001, the Institute of Medicine declared that patient centeredness was one of its pillars of quality healthcare, signaling a change to the traditional biomedical model. The fifth edition of the American Diabetes Association’s Complete Guide to Diabetes, published in 2011, claimed to embrace this era of patient centeredness. This study uses a mixed-methods approach comprised of rhetorical analysis, reading reception and eye tracking, and critical theory, to examine the patient-centered communication practices that the American Diabetes Association (ADA) implements in its manual. Specifically, the present study is designed to answer the following research questions: • Compared with past iterations of the ADA’s manual, what design practices are implemented in the fifth edition to create the semblance of patient-centered communication? • How do people with diabetes experience and respond to these patient-centered rhetorical devices in the context of the rhetoric of managed care? • Can eye-tracking methods be triangulated with rhetorical analysis effectively to study these kinds of questions? I conducted a rhetorical analysis of the fourth and fifth editions of the ADA’s Complete Guide to Diabetes to identify patient-centered design moves made in the two editions of the manual. I then conducted an eye-tracking study—adapted from traditional reading reception studies—to observe how participants engaged those design elements during reading. I also performed pre- and post-test interviews during the eye-tracking study to determine relevant subjective life experiences that affected the ways in which the participants experienced the texts. The rhetorical analysis component of the present study found that the fifth edition of the manual makes effective use of design and rhetorical appeals in its text that more closely aligns with the concepts of patient centeredness and patient-centered communication practices than does the fourth edition of the manual. The eye-tracking portion of the study provided observational data—gaze plots and heat maps—of participants’ reading behaviors. While these data were interesting, it was the pre- and post-test interviews that provided especially astute subjective insights as participants discussed their reading experiences in the context of their lives with diabetes. Ultimately, more participants preferred the user-centered design of the fifth edition than those who preferred the fourth edition of the ADA’s manuals. Combining two approaches, rhetorical analysis and eye tracking, proved to be an interesting, though potentially unnecessary mode for identifying both empirical and interpretive results for the present study. Each method seemingly corroborated the other’s findings, but the interviews were essential to understanding how the readers actually responded to the design choices on a subjective level whereas the eye-tracking data were questionable.
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    Design and synthesis of novel [1]rotaxane monomers for the preparation of slip-link polymers
    (2017-05) Kunapareddy, Chandra Sekhar; Mayer, Michael F.; Birney, David M.; Casadonte, Dominick J.
    Incorporation of mechanical bonds into a polymer backbone has the potential to impart unusual properties on a polymeric material. For instance, low activation energy for viscous flow, and rapid stress relaxation have all been predicted for these structures. Slip-link polymers, a novel class of mechanically-interlocked polymers, are expected to show unique responsiveness under external stimuli. However, synthetic routes to such polymeric architectures remain either rare or unsuccessful. This dissertation presents a novel synthetic strategy toward slip-link polymers. In our new approach to access slip-link polymers, initially, a self-entangled [1]rotaxane is designed and synthesized for use in entropy-driven ring-opening olefin metathesis polymerization (ED-ROMP). Upon careful adjustment of this olefin metathesis reaction, a self-entangled [1]rotaxane was polymerized with Grubbs II catalyst to produce slip-link polymers. Motivated by the initial results of the polymerization of [1]rotaxanes, a series of [1]rotaxanes with a variety of structures were designed and synthesized in our laboratory to extend the scope of synthesis for slip-link polymers. This dissertation will focus on our efforts toward the design of the components of the [1]rotaxane, [1]rotaxane synthesis, and polymerization results.
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    41BX274: Data Collection of Remote Sensing Anomalies and the Jacal Structure at the Perez Ranch in Bexar County, TX
    (2017-05) Walter, Tamra; Jordan, MIchael
    Data collection was carried out at the Perez Ranch Site (41BX274), which is located on the Medina River in the southwestern portion of Bexar County, Texas. Initially, the land was owned by the Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo. However, due to secularization of the church and ranching operations in the late 18th Century, this land was sold to Juan Ygnacio Perez. Perez was a direct descendant of Spanish settlers, and was married to the granddaughter of Andres Hernandez, the first private rancher in Texas. Perez was well known for supporting the Spanish crown and for his role in the Battle of Medina. Although the property was officially granted to Perez by Colonel Antonio Cordero in 1808, Perez had been occupying the land since 1793. Previous archaeological investigations, conducted by the Center for Archaeological Research, uncovered the stone foundation of the Perez family house, while archival records indicated that the ranch had 5 jacals and several corrals during its occupation by the Perez family. The current project was conducted from March 14th to March 22nd, 2015, and was headed by Jonathan Welch, a master’s student in the Anthropology department at Texas Tech University, and excavated by volunteering students from the Texas Tech Anthropology Department. The project will be divided into two areas in order to assess different questions about the site. Area A will be located approximately 8m east of the previously excavated stone house foundation. The purpose of Area A is to determine the cause of the anomaly that was found in both the GPR and Magnetometer Surveys conducted by the THC during the previous excavations. In order to assess this anomaly, a 2m by 2m unit will be placed where the anomaly is the most intensely observed. Area B will be located to the 25-30m southwest of the stone house and consists of one of the five jacal structures discovered by previous investigations. The purpose of the excavations in Area B will be to determine the construction methods and age of the jacal as well as determine the occupational sequence of the jacal, by placing units inside the jacal, as well as one on the eastern side of the jacal.
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    Analysis of College Students’ Communication Apprehension Levels in the Tinder App
    (2017-05) Arias, V. Santiago; Punyanunt-Carter, Narissra; Bucy, Erik; Sarge, Melanie; Hellmueller, Lea
    Online dating is generally understood as a convenient tool that facilitates romantic initiation by anticipating interactions where users have almost total control on their self–presentation strategies. From this vantage point, it can be assumed that this environment would be convenient for those individuals who feel anxious or apprehensive while communicating in the dating communication context; thus, an online platform that reduces the textual information in the online dating interaction may be even more convenient for users who do not easily dare to communicate. Therefore, the present thesis examined differences between non-users and users of Tinder in terms of communication apprehension and Tinder use proposing a positive relationship as the main hypothesis. However, results indicated that this relationship is negative, then indicating that individuals with lower levels of CA use more Tinder; additionally, gender, job status, and personality traits were not found to be related with Tinder use. In consequence, these findings are aligned to previous scholarly work on CA and online environments where more gregarious individuals benefit the most from online environments rather than being useful for individuals less sociable successful.
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    The Psychology of Urban Play: Designing Play Modules based on the effects Of Child/Parent relationships
    (2017-05) Ghodsi, Seyedeh Behnoush; Glassell, Mari Michael; Park, Sohyun; Bradatan, Cristina
    Urban designers will benefit from a better understanding of the relationship between children and parents’ behavior when situating play areas in the urban environment. Thus, it is significant for designers to have research insights into developmental psychology of children and the safety and visibility psychology of parents when designing all scales of play areas – play modules, surfacing, siting, organization, and location in terms of typical urban conditions. This research results in an overall method as a proof of concept to explain how one can design play components, which could be applied in any city according to the psychology of child/parent’s behavior.
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    A Study of Weathered Tempered Glass
    (2017-05) Afolabi, Bolaji A.; Morse, Stephen M.; Norville, H. Scott; Surles, James
    The governing standard for the design of load resistance in the United States is ASTM E1300. Although it was developed based on the empirical data of annealed glass, ASTM E1300 provides recommendations for the design of heat treated glass. The basic procedure in the most recent version of ASTM E1300 recommends the scaling of the non-factored load using a glass type factor for heat treated glass. Its simplistic approach fails to maximize the material strength of heat treated glass. In subsequent years, this simplistic approach has given rise to several researchers suggesting revisions of the design methodology of heat treated glass. These revisions include heat treated glass design factors and a modified glass failure prediction method for heat treated glass that incorporates the residual compressive surface stress. This dissertation provides a greater understanding of the strength of fully tempered glass by empirical testing, empirical analysis and estimation of surface flaw parameters. In particular, this dissertation extensively probes residual compressive surface stress as a determining factor in the strength of fully tempered glass, a type of heat treated glass. Extensive empirical testing of approximately 20-year old weathered fully tempered glass and analysis of the resulting datasets confirms the gap between actual failure loads and those predicted by the standard. The result is contrasted with the results of the modified glass failure prediction model proposed by Morse and Norville which includes heat treated glass type factors that vary with RCSS. To better characterize factors that influence RCSS, the relative importance of the measuring device, the specimen itself, location of measurement and weathering are analyzed based on further empirical testing. Finally, the glass failure prediction model is modified to estimate surface flaw parameters for new and weathered fully tempered glass. Statistical analysis is employed to evaluate the fit to empirical data of models incorporating residual compressive surface stress as well as models based on estimations of the existing standard. This study provides convincing evidence for the need to incorporate residual compressive surface stress in the prediction of the load resistance of fully tempered glass as well as the revision of the surface flaw parameters. A path towards improving the methodology is suggested.
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    Exploration of Personal and Institutional Factors that Influence Application for Distance Delivered Programs in Agricultural Communications
    (2017-05) Lohse, Sondra; Irlbeck, Erica; Burris, Scott; Doerfert, David
    The purpose of this study was to understand the factors for consideration when pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural communications. The goal was to understand these influences, factors, and demands so that program administrators can tailor marketing strategies to the target audience. The Texas Tech University Agricultural Education and Communications Department launched the Master of Science in Agricultural Communications (distance delivered) in the 2016 spring semester. This research will assist the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech develop and implement specific marketing ideas that enable non-traditional or non-resident students to enroll in a distance education program that is better suited to their unique needs. Strategic marketing includes knowing what the customer is seeking (Tracy, 2014). To fully understand the target audience and create services and degree programs that meet the needs of students and potential students, universities must also be strategic in their marketing efforts. To understand the marketing efforts that are most effective with a specific target audience, data should be collected and analyzed. These collection methods include conducting surveys and focus groups (Tucciarone, 2008). For this study, participants completed a survey instrument created to determine specific information. The results found the degree plan and ability to choose specific courses is the most important, followed by faculty and course factor groups.
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    Anxiety, Identity, and Female College Student Heavy Episodic Drinking
    (2017-05) Tingey, Ryan; Reifman, Alan; Bell, Nancy; Trejos-Castillo, Elizabeth
    The purpose of the study was to investigate the developmental variable of identity, the individual variable of anxiety, and their relationship with female college student heavy episodic drinking. Concomitant with the transition from high school to college, is the developmental task of identity formation. College provides a structured context for emerging adult female students to work through the developmental demands of identity formation. For female students, identity development comes with unique risks related to heavy episodic drinking. In addition, anxiety is an inevitable part of life and the life transition from high school to college has its own anxiety. Anxiety has both adaptive and maladaptive functions. For female college students, anxiety comes with its own risks related to heavy episodic drinking and consequences. Heavy episodic drinking by female college students has been gradually increasing and comes with unique risks for female students. Specifically, female college students are more likely to experience negative consequences to self (e.g., rape, sexual assault, unprotected sex, etc) as compared to their male counterparts. Moreover, college age women make up the largest age group of all women reporting alcohol related problems. Examining the bidirectional relationship between anxiety and identity may be particularly relevant in understanding female college heavy episodic drinking. Thus, providing needed understanding to decrease the risks and provide direction for effective university prevention for female college students. Erikson’s Theory of Identity Development was the theoretical framework used to conceptualize and examine identity and anxiety factors related to the problems associated with female heavy episodic drinking and consequences. The method procedures for data collection was comprised of a convenience sample of 237 female college students. Female student participants completed a survey comprised of outcome and predictor measures and demographic items. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate mediation and moderation relationships in the proposed model. The moderating analysis addressed age of first drunkenness (early onset of first drunkenness vs. late onset of first drunkenness). Plus, the effects of control variables were also introduced in the model; specifically, grade point average, housing (e.g., on campus and off campus), childhood anxiety, and year in college (e.g., freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior). The outcome of the structural equation model results suggests for this sample of female college students that anxiety and identity did not mediate female college student heavy episodic drinking. Furthermore, identity variables in this study were not a good predictor of female college heavy episodic drinking. Findings resulted in a negative relationship between female college student anxiety and heavy episodic drinking. In addition, there was a significant positive correlation between reported childhood anxiety and current anxiety, suggesting possible continuity of anxiety. The moderator, early age of drunkenness, was also positively associated with female student heavy episodic drinking. The implications of the study suggest that identity may not be a good predictor of female heavy episodic drinking. Furthermore, exploration of female student anxiety and its negative relationship with heavy episodic drinking needs more empirical attention. Finally, the study suggests the ongoing need to further understand the pre-college risks for female college students’ heavy episodic drinking. Identity and anxiety factors and their explanatory model with female heavy episodic drinking could merit further examination. The results suggest the need to examine additional multi-group comparisons; specifically, female students with early onset of anxiety (prior to age 17) and late anxiety onset (18+) and no alcohol related problems vs. alcohol related problems. The negative relationship between anxiety and heavy episodic drinking should continue to be empirically investigated to more clearly understand the influences of anxiety.
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    Identités troublées, identités troublantes: Ecrire le « moi » pour écrire le « nous »
    (2017-05) Edward, Carole; Jonsson, Andrea; Bains, Christopher
    Aujourd’hui, on ne peut fermer les yeux sur la place importante qu’occupe la question de l’immigration dans l’agenda politique de nombreux pays. En effet, la réorganisation des frontières politiques et géographiques de ces dernières décennies a chamboulé les frontières et a engendré une nouvelle réalité que certains cherchent à nier. La présence réelle de l’immigré devient alors une épreuve de vérité pour la société d’accueil. Sa présence dérange, on voudrait ne pas la remarquer. Ainsi, on cherche à expulser l’étranger ou on lui demande de s’intégrer et s’assimiler. Il devient souvent le bouc-émissaire, la source des maux du pays. Mais on néglige alors les maux que l’étranger subit. La littérature devient dès lors un moyen d’exprimer la souffrance de l’immigré et pour qu’enfin on la et le reconnaisse. On ne peut, en effet, nier l’intérêt porté par la littérature comme par le cinéma et les arts en général à la question de l’immigration. Cette réalité du migrant s’est exprimée à travers de nombreuses œuvres qu’il est difficile de réunir sous une catégorie bien définie. En fonction des époques, des pays et des auteurs, ces œuvres se sont fait le reflet de diverses préoccupations. Elles ont néanmoins donné un lieu de représentation à de nouveaux concepts comme « métissage », « migritude » ou « hybridité » ; des concepts souvent liés à la question de l’identité qui est alors questionnée lorsque le phénomène de l’immigration est représenté et raconté. Cette identité s’exprime aujourd’hui dans une certaine littérature de l’immigration africaine que l’on trouve en France et qui trouve sa source dans les différents phénomènes migratoires du XXe et XIXe siècles ainsi que la mobilité transfrontalière engendrée par la décolonisation. C’est ainsi que la représentation de l’altérité et la figure de l’immigré dans la société française de ce début de XXIe siècle seront questionnées et analysées par une mise en dialogue de deux auteurs : Fatou Diome et Abd Al Malik. Nous verrons ainsi ce qu’ils nous disent de l’immigré mais pas uniquement. En effet, nous allons voir que le phénomène de l’immigration est vécu comme une épreuve de vérité pour le migrant lui-même mais aussi pour ses enfants ainsi que le pays d’accueil et le pays d’origine.
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    Automatic Determination of Illumination Directions From Fourier Plane Images
    (2017-05) Gedies, Robert; Grave de Peralta, Luis; Bernussi, Aryton
    This work explores the automated process of getting Fourier-domain shifts, the so called illumination directions, from Fourier plane images. These phase shifts are key in the implementation of modern iterative phase-recovery algorithms such as Fourier Ptychography Microscopy (FPM), Fourier Plane Imaging Microscopy (FPIM), and Dual Space Microscopy (DSM) of recent years. Incorrect illumination directions lead not only to a lack of improved resolution but, also no convergence of the phase of the light being diffracted from the sample being imaged. An algorithm has been developed that ascertains these illumination directions under a few key assumptions. These illumination directions are judged on correctness based on the synthetic Fourier plane formed in the program developed, and by implementation in FPM to see if magnitude and phase of the optical disturbance are recovered iteratively. The error of this process, along with errors shown in the implementation of DSM, are commented on with their impact in successful phase and magnitude recovery. Finally, further improvements to the algorithm developed and prospects for further generalization are discussed as future work to be done.
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    Exploring the Association Between Youth Body Mass Index (BMI) and Trait Self Esteem, and the Potential For Mediation By Perceptions of Weight-Based Teasing
    (2017-05) Parkman, Thomas J.; Van Allen, Jason; Colwell, Malinda; Littlefield, Andrew
    As the prevalence of youth obesity grows exponentially, so too does the concomitant threat to psychological and physical health posed by weight-based teasing. Extant research demonstrates empirical support for the inverse association between weight status and self-esteem in youths, however, the role of teasing as an underlying mechanism or risk factor has yet to be empirically tested. The purpose of the present study was to add to the literature by examining the inverse association between youth weight status and self-esteem, as well as explore one potential mechanism behind this association: youths’ perceptions of weight-based teasing. 74 youths (53% female, 47% Male, M age = 13.74, SD = 1.49) recruited from a STEM focused summer program provided height and weight measurements (in order to compute BMI percentiles) and completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, as well as the Perceptions of Teasing Scale. The current study did not find a significant inverse association between youth weight status and self-esteem levels, nor did it provide evidence to suggest that youth’s perceptions of weight-based teasing mediated this association. However, exploratory analysis did reveal a significant indirect effect of youths’ total perceptions of teasing on the association between weight status and self-esteem. These findings add to the literature by suggesting that increased weight status is associated with increased total perceptions of teasing, which in turn is associated with decreased levels of self-esteem in youths. Further, weight-based teasing may be a necessary, but not sufficient condition to explain the influence of teasing on the association between weight status and self-esteem in youth. Given these findings, future research should utilize a larger sample size to examine these questions longitudinally, in an effort to assess the causal effect of weight status and perceptions of teasing on self-esteem, and explore the consequences of this mechanism on psychosocial outcomes into adulthood.
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    Effect of Maternal and Child Diet on Childhood Undernutrition in Rural Bangladesh
    (2017-05) Amin, Md. Ruhul; Murimi, Mary; Dawson, John; Oldewage-Theron, Wilna; Lacy, Mark; Carpio, Carlos
    Background and Purpose: Despite extensive promotion of exclusive breastfeeding as the optimal food for a 0-6-month infant, and given that effects of malnutrition for the first 1,000 days might not be reversible, malnutrition during this age is a public health concern in developing countries. Literature review showed that the high prevalence of under nutrition did not significantly differ between the exclusively breastfed and non-exclusively breast fed infants, indicating that issues related to infant feeding between 0-6 months are not well understood or addressed. The objectives of the study were to: 1) determine the demographic, socio-economic profile, and nutritional status of the lactating women and their children aged 0-23-month; 2) determine the relationship, if any, between maternal nutritional status, dietary intake, and the frequency of breast milk intake by the infant 0-5 months; 3) assess the extent of food insecurity among households and its relationship with feeding practices, 4) determine the effect of Infant and Young Children Feeding practices on 0-23 month’s child linear growth, and 5) assess knowledge, attitudes, practices related to food safety issues and their association with undernutrition. Methods: The study was cross-sectional in design and conducted in 35 rural villages of Ramna Union of Kurigram District, Bangladesh. A total of 400 households with lactating mothers having 0-23 month’s children participated in the study. Quantitative data were collected on demographic, anthropometric, dietary intake (repeated 24 h recall), feeding practices, food security, water, sanitation, and hygiene variables. Data were analyzed in PASW Statistics (version 22.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Both descriptive statistics such as frequencies, means, standard deviations, and inferential statistics such correlation, Chi-squared, independent sample t-test, and logistic regression were performed. Results: Approximately, a quarter of the children (24.6%) had low birth weight and about half of the mothers (51.5%) reported that they delivered preterm babies. A majority of the mothers (96.5%) reported breastfeeding their child, while 77.4% reported exclusive breastfeeding, and 12.5% mothers introduced foods other than breast milk as first food (pre-lacteal feeding). Overall, 64% of children met the minimum dietary diversity, 57.1% met minimum meal frequency while 40.8% met minimum acceptable diet. In a logistic regression analysis, child age 6-11 months, and households with per capita monthly income less than $25 were associated with reduced minimum dietary diversity in children. About 35.1% of all children were stunted, 21.8% were underweight, while only 6.5% were categorized as wasted. Male children were significantly more stunted than female children (40.6% vs.29.2%; p = .022). The adjusted median energy intake of mothers was 1917. 61 kcal/day, while protein and fat intakes were 56.39 g and 14.03 g per day respectively. Only 12.1 % of the mothers met the energy requirement, 46.6 % met the protein and 5.2 % met the fat requirement per day. None of the mothers met vitamin A, iron, zinc, and folic acid requirements, while only 13.8% mothers met the requirement for Vitamin C, 45% thiamin, 31% vitamin B6, and 15.5 % calcium. No significant differences in intakes of food groups as well as energy, macro, and micro-nutrients were observed between mothers with stunted and non-stunted infants. Furthermore, no significant correlation (r = -.083, p = .532) was observed between maternal Body Mass Index score and the frequency of breastfeeding to under 6 months’ infants. Additionally, infant’s undernutrition was not associated with maternal undernutrition (p = .254). However, low birth weight (p = .009) and short maternal height (less than 145 cm) were significantly associated with stunting in under 6 months’ infants (p = .030). Approximately, 70% of the households were categorized as food insecure and 45.8 % were severely food insecure. Common strategies employed by the households to address food insecurity were: eating low quality food (53.9%), eating fewer items of foods (51.4%), and borrowing foods (51.9%). Fathers with college level education (OR = 0.32, 95% CI [0.13, 0.76], p = .01), per capita monthly income less than $12.5 (OR = 12.55, 95% CI [4.12, 37.45], p < .001) and number of earning members in the family were important determinants of food security. Prevalence of stunting was significantly high among severely food insecure households (46.2%) as compared to food secure (28.6 %), and mildly food insecure households (26.5%) (p = .003). Furthermore, severe food insecurity was significantly associated with stunting in children aged 12-23 months (OR = 2.87 95% CI [1.47, 5.62], p = .002). In a logistic regression analysis, child age, child sex, maternal education, maternal height, and low birth weight were found to be significant predictors of stunting; however, minimum dietary diversity and exclusive breastfeeding were not found to be associated with stunting. Conclusions and Implications: A majority of the lactating mothers did not meet the recommended level of energy (especially from fat), macro, and micro nutrient intakes indicating that promotion and provision of diversified diet is required for mothers. Association of stunting with low birth weight and maternal short stature suggests that maternal interventions should start in the beginning of conception period in these low income rural mothers.
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    Fantasies of Wales: Some paleographic evidence for the mediating role of Gerald of Wales
    (2019-05) Sprouse, Sarah; Nelson Couch, Julie; Hackenbracht, Ryan; McFadden, Brian
    The late medieval period saw an urgent rise in British history-writing. My project asks, how did the twelfth-century writer Gerald of Wales intervene in that nationalist project? Aside from the Rolls Series editions, two monographs, and one edited collection, little has been written on this important figure. I argue through analysis of the manuscripts that Gerald’s works made the Welsh country accessible by incorporating vernacular Welsh folklore and hagiography into a Latin description of the land. Gerald’s two works Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae impacted later descriptions of Wales in both romances and chronicle histories, fundamentally altering the history of British historiography. At the advent of the early modern world when Europeans began to discover and colonize the Americas, British nationalists sought a rediscovery of their own land. I demonstrate how Gerald’s spatial organization of Wales lends a natural fluency to similarly space-based works of such writers as Humphrey Llwyd, William Camden, and Robert Vaughan. This project has three significant sections that together build a unified narrative of Gerald’s intervention in literary history. First, I use deep map theory to demonstrate Gerald’s extensive use of vernacular Welsh tradition within the schema of travel narrative and ecocritical descriptions of the landscape of Wales. Then I examine the manuscript history of these texts with a particular focus on methods of transmission, including translation, excerpting, summary versions, and annotation. This codicological survey connects known late medieval and early modern writers to these texts. Third, I use ecocritical and geographical readings of early modern antiquarian texts to theorize the development of Welsh nationalism as a direct literary product of the deep maps in Gerald’s two texts. The manuscripts containing Gerald’s works about Wales are valuable sources of evidence for late medieval and early modern perceptions of Welsh folklore, hagiography, and ethnography. By studying the transmission of these manuscripts, my project evades largely artificial divisions separating the medieval from the early modern. Instead, I develop the longer perspective as a continuum of development with Gerald’s manuscripts at the center. Since Wales is the principal landscape of Arthurian Middle English romances as well as chronicle histories, my project demonstrates the interventions that led to the fictional construction of this space. James F. Dimock writes in the “Preface” to his Rolls Series edition of the Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae that “A large number of the manuscripts, moreover, are late, and some of these very worthless.” (ix) While this judgement should be attributed to the specific needs of his project, it has largely governed the field’s approach to study of Gerald’s manuscripts. My project addresses this lacuna, arguing that all of the manuscripts, regardless of completeness and condition, are valuable to our understanding of Gerald’s contributions to late medieval and early modern development of the imagined place of Wales both geographically and in the scheme of historiography.
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    An analysis of evolutionary algorithm parameters to estimate the behavior of the algorithmic evolution: A case study using line following robots and simulations
    (2018-05) Bakırcı-Taylor, Çağrı Mert; Aksak, Burak; Barhorst, Alan; Beibei, Ren; Rice, Sean; Yang, James
    Background Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) are nature-inspired multi-objective optimization algorithms that evolve populations of tentative solutions through generations by using the basic principles of evolutionary biology as put forth by Charles Darwin and other evolutionary biologists. Two of the most fundamental problems associated with EAs are the parameter selection and the fitness function design. The former is a problem regarding how the EA parameters are selected, as this selection impacts the behavior and output of evolution. The latter is a problem associated with the level that a fitness function represents the task to be solved, as a higher fitness value should correspond to a better individual, which might not be the case at times. Even if the fitness function, which is a representation or a definition of the problem to be solved by the algorithm, is central to the EAs, its design, as well as the parameter selection, have traditionally been a cumbersome trial-and-error process due to the lack of generalized guidelines. In the literature, there have been many attempts to simplify, guide, or moderate the fitness function design. This dissertation explored these two problems and hence comprised of two major parts: The first part was a rigorous analysis of the interplay between various EA parameters, such as the natural selection rate, mutation rate, and mutation size. The second part is an investigation of a particular subset of the fitness function treatment methods known as “fitness shaping”. We implemented a novel approach to refine the goals of an EA fitness function. Additionally, we developed a task-specific fitness design methodology to simplify the fitness function design process. Methods A custom-built, three-wheeled Line Following Robot was used as the real-world robotic test platform. A custom Evolutionary Algorithm, which we called BIOMSEA, was developed in MATLAB™ 2014a environment and was employed to evolve a solution to the problem of line following. This algorithm simulated a kinematic representation of the real-world robot. The platform was tested on multiple real-world and digital tracks. A Java-based interface was developed to communicate the results of the off-line evolution to the robot in the real-world environment. Each individual utilized 8 black-and-white sensors that were connected to each of the right and left motors. The EA was used to evolve the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) values that was stored in the genes of each individual. These PWM values corresponded to the speed information to be sent to each of the motors when any sensor became active. For the first part of the dissertation, EA parameters such as the natural selection rate, mutation rate, and mode of reproduction was analyzed. Possible correlations between these parameters and the behavior of evolutionary progress were discussed. For the second part, various fitness functions for the same line following task were analyzed to isolate the methodology to simplify the fitness functions in EAs. Task-specific and externally observable modifiers were implemented. The results were verified in the real-world robot to test for the Reality Gap Problem. Results In the first part of the dissertation, it was shown that natural selection rates in between 15% to 85% resulted in evolved behaviors that were comparably, if not equally successful, thus showing that a wide range of natural selection rates can be used to evolve similar results, giving flexibility to the selection. It was also shown that under an effective natural selection rate, the mutation rate did not influence the results as much, even if higher rates of mutation resulted in increased uncertainty. The trade-off between natural selection and mutation rates, arising from the mutation-selection balance, was successfully reproduced in algorithmic realm. It was shown that cloning was a more superior method to random filling in searching the fitness landscape, unless the random filling scheme was either supported by unlimited evolution, or limited evolution with backward motion prevention. In the second part of the dissertation, it was shown that fitness shaping can be a simple and efficient way to reduce fitness function complexity and designer bias (a priori knowledge) injection to the evolutionary process. The task-specific, externally observable modifiers were shown to be a simple and effective method to modify the goals of the robot in such way that task completion and speed can be significantly improved, 20-folds and 17-folds, respectively, without sacrificing free evolution. When controllers were implemented on the real-world robot, it was seen that the robot evolved using the simplest fitness function fortified with the modifiers can successfully finish the task, faster than any other robot evolved with other fitness functions, showing that the methodology can surpass the Reality Gap Problem. Conclusion Parameter sweep experiments were shown difficult yet enlightening as these types of experiments revealed the most information about the interconnectivity between parameters of an EA. These experiments showed promise in a generalized theory of algorithmic evolution, if they can be performed using more powerful computers, alongside with a well-studied platform. The implementation of parameter sweep experiments led to the realization that the more fundamental parameters of EA impact the behavior and outcome of evolution drastically, pushing our research direction towards a closer examination of the fitness functions. Through further analysis of these fitness functions, we showed that the simplest of fitness functions, known as aggregate functions, could be used with the modifiers that we developed in this study to improve the performance of Line Following Robots, and hopefully other platforms as well. A promising result of these experiments was that a potential simplification of fitness function design through the use of modifiers can potentially result in the ability of connecting the design parameters to the algorithm parameters, effectively generalizing and streamlining the fitness function design. This would accomplish the main goal and motivation of this dissertation. Even if definitive generalizations based on the results of this dissertation would be premature, this research showed that an optimal balance between a priori knowledge injection and free evolution can be achieved by fitness shaping. This was our main contribution to the literature, since the impact of task-specific goal-refiners on EAs have not been explored before. Moreover, this method offered an alternative and complement to the modern search methods, such as the Novelty Search and Surprise Search, without eliminating the use of objective functions.
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    Homestay tourism in Thailand: a typology and analysis of tourists' motivation and satisfaction
    (2006-12) Wongkerd, Nealnara; Stout, Betty; Dodd, Tim; Huffman, Lynn
    Homestay programs are becoming more popular as tourists return from their trips impressed by the friendliness, openness, and generosity of the host family. The homestay concept seems to be the "new" type of tourism of Thailand. Few research studies have been published examining the homestay tourist market. The purposes of the study were to develop a typology of homestay tourists and determine the motivation factors influencing their visits and overall satisfaction with selected homestay programs in Thailand. Six homestay programs were selected based on tourist activities highlighted: culture, nature, and history. Personal interviews and a survey questionnaire were used to collect data. Data were collected in late May through late August, 2006. Personal interviews were used to develop a typology of homestay tourists. The classifications based on the work of Cohen (1979) were used to create a homestay tourist typology for Thailand. Twelve interviewees appeared to match the three modes of tourist experiences as indicated by their engagement in homestay program activities: diversionary, experiential, and experimental mode. Diversionary tourists are those who have no particularly emotionally or intellectually challenging reason to engage in cultural homestay activities. Experiential and experimental tourists are reflected in the interest in the self-discovery and self-expressive experiences and homestay programs with activities that highlighted nature and history. A survey questionnaire part was designed to investigate tourists' motivation and satisfaction with visiting homestay programs. The first part of survey questionnaire was designed to investigate whether homestay tourists are driven by push factors/internal and pull factors/external motivations. A 40-item of survey questionnaire adapted from the work of You, O'Leary, Morrison, & Hong (2000); Pearce and Lee (2005); and Fodness (1994) was used to examine tourists' motivation. Data from 117 participants were analyzed in this study. Using factor analysis, 20 internal/push items were classified into five factors: "Relaxation", "Achievement," "Fun and exciting," "Knowledge," and "Escape and Get Away". Another 20 external/pull items were combined into four factors: "People-interactive," "Nature and Culture," "Price and Activities Available," and "Safety, Accessibility, and Atmosphere." The results of the study revealed significant differences on pull/external motivation factors between gender and country of residence. Male participants had a higher level of motivation for "Fun and Excitement" than female participants, while females had higher levels of motivation for "Nature and Culture" and "Price and Activities Available" than male participants. Thai participants had the highest levels of motivation for "Achievement" and "Escape and Get Away" when compared to participants from other regions. The findings showed that participants from North America had the highest travel motivation for "Knowledge." The second part of the survey questionnaire was to examine tourists' satisfaction with homestay programs. A 30-item of survey questionnaire was developed based on instrumentation by Peleggi (1996); Janiskee (1996); Richard (1996) and the Thailand Homestay Organization Guidelines (2006) to determine tourists' satisfaction. For the satisfaction analysis, five factors were calculated: "Facilities and Amenities," "Attractions," "Activities," "Hospitality Services and Authenticity," and "Personal Preferences and Values." Results revealed participants' mean scores for factors on tourists' satisfaction differed by country of residence. Participants from other Asian countries had the lowest satisfaction level on "Attractions," "Activities," "Hospitality service and Authenticity," and "Personal Preferences and Values." Multiple regression analyses were also performed to assess tourists' satisfaction (intention to revisit, likelihood to recommend, and intention to visit other homestay programs in Thailand).
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    Miri Park's MM piano recital
    (December 2022) Park, Miri; del Pino, Daniel; Jin, Sehee
    This is Miri Park's MM piano recital. The program is Padre Antonio Soler, Mateo Albéniz, Johannes Brahms, Alberto Ginastera, and Ludwig van Beethoven.