Theses

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  •  Effects of Road De-Icing Salts on Two Amphibian Species, Rana Sylvatica and Rana Pipiens, and Their Trematode Parasites
    Effects of Road De-Icing Salts on Two Amphibian Species, Rana Sylvatica and Rana Pipiens, and Their Trematode Parasites
    With ongoing amphibian declines, it is essential to determine possible contributors such as diseases and environmental contaminants that may increase susceptibility. A potential contaminant is road salt (mainly NaCl), which leaches into aquatic environments. I examined whether road salts make larval amphibians (tadpoles) more susceptible to trematode parasite infection, and also how these affect free-living trematode infectious stages (cercariae). I exposed Rana sylvatica (wood frogs) and R. pipiens (northern leopard frogs) to control, medium (400 mg/L), and high salt (800 mg/L) treatments, and then to trematodes. High salt tended to reduce wood frog anti-parasite behaviour and resistance to infection but the opposite was seen for R. pipiens, although these tadpoles had elevated lymphocyte counts in high salinity. Trematodes were differentially affected by increased salinities. The results suggest that host-parasite-environment interactions are complex, with species differentially affected by contaminants, which may lead to community shifts in predominant hosts and parasite species.
     Fuzzy database for medical diagnosis.
    Fuzzy database for medical diagnosis.
    A challenge of working with traditional database systems with large amounts of data is that decision making requires numerous comparisons. Health-related database systems are examples of such databases, which contain millions of data entries and require fast data processing to examine related information to make complex decisions. In this thesis, a fuzzy database system is developed by integration of fuzzy inference system (FIS) and fuzzy schema design, and implementing it by SQL in three different health-care contexts; the assessments of heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and liver disorders. The fuzzy database system is implemented with the potential of having any form of data and tested with different types of data value, including crisp, linguistic, and null (i.e., missing) data. The developed system can explore crisp and linguistic data with loosely defined boundary conditions for decision-making. FIS and neural network-based solutions are implemented in MATLAB for the mentioned contexts for the comparison and validation with the dataset used in published works.
     Hands off my data! A comparison of privacy representations and expectations on Facebook
    Hands off my data! A comparison of privacy representations and expectations on Facebook
    This MRP examines user expectations of online privacy in relation to how Facebook represents privacy in their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. The prevalence and ubiquity of online social networking sites like Facebook have caused academics and individuals alike to reexamine their understandings and expectations of privacy in relation to online settings. As such, the specific purpose of this study is to better understand how the concept of privacy may be understood differently by social network users and the social networks themselves. In this paper I use the Fair Information Principles (FIPs) set out in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to analyze user comments made in relation to proposed changes to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. I find that both Facebook and users share a focus on concerns regarding limiting the use/disclosure/retention of personal information, and consent to have this information collected, and that users pay particular attention to Section 2.3 of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. I show that Facebook represents privacy conceptually in the Statement of Rights and Responsibility as in/accessibility, while users expect privacy to be enforced as data-control.
     Learning from experience: exposure to, attention to, discrimination of, and brain response to faces at 3, 6, and 9 months
    Learning from experience: exposure to, attention to, discrimination of, and brain response to faces at 3, 6, and 9 months
    Infants learn and develop immensely in the first year of life. They show substantial learning in their ability to use the information provided by faces. Faces are important stimuli in infants‘ world and infants reliably prefer faces over other visual stimuli (Fantz, 1963). While experience likely plays a role in infants‘ early face processing, little is known about how infants‘ natural exposure to faces shapes attention and learning. We use head-mounted infant-perspective cameras to capture infants‘ natural experience with faces. We also measured infants‘ attentional preference for, ability to discriminate between, and electrical brain response to familiar (i.e., female, own-race) and unfamiliar (i.e., male, other-race) face types. Infants‘ face experience was highly homogenous: their primary caregiver‘s face represents the 57% of infants‘ experience and was present in all locations and nearly all contexts. Infants‘ other caregiver represented only 11% of their face experience, but was also highly consistent across location and context. Infants showed greater visual attention to female faces of familiar race at 3 months, but not later. They showed no race preference at any age. At 3 months, infants discriminated all face types except for male own-race faces. At 6 months, infants discriminated all face types. At 9 months infants discriminated all face types except for male other-race faces. Electrical brain response only differentiated male from female faces at 6 months, not at 3 or 9 months; there was no effect of race at any age. This may be due to the immaturity of the early face processing system or differential processing being indexed at later attentional components. Infants‘ overall face exposure, mom face exposure, and attentional preference for female faces predicted female own-race face discrimination at 3 months, accounting for 62% of the variance. Exposure to male faces correlated with attention to male faces and attention to male faces predicted discrimination of male faces at 3 months, accounting for 11% of the variance. At 6 months dad face exposure predicted discrimination of male faces, accounting for 17% of the variance. Infants‘ early experience, particularly to caregivers‘ faces, tunes infants‘ attention to faces, which in turn predicts discrimination.
     Massive media: theories and practices of large-scale projections and public data visualizations
    Massive media: theories and practices of large-scale projections and public data visualizations
    This dissertation describes, historicizes, theorizes, and deploys “massive media,” an emerging subset of technical assemblages that include large outdoor projections, programmable architectural façades, and urban screens. Massive media are massive in their size and subsequent visibility, but are also an agglomeration of media in their expressive screen and cinema-like qualities and their associated audio, interactive, and network capabilities. This dissertation finds that massive media enable and necessitate the development of new practices of expanded cinema, public data visualization, and new media art and curation that blend the logics of urban space, monumentality, and the public sphere with the aesthetics and affordances of digital information and the moving image to support a more participatory public culture in which we identify and engage with collective presence, memory, and action through information, architecture, and the moving image. Through historical research, case studies, conversations with cultural producers, participant observation, and creation-as-research projects, large-scale public projections are shown to represent a new monumentality that can be better understood and evaluated using analytical tools from cinema studies, namely superimposition, montage, and apparatus/dispositif. Low-resolution LED façades, while sharing some of the functional and theoretical characteristics of projection, are shown to uniquely support an emerging practice of public data visualization and represent a more consistent embodiment of a hybrid and relational public sphere through a tighter coupling of information, architecture, and context. Programmable architectural façades, more than projections, embody the development of supermodernism in architecture where data-rich public spaces of identity, congregation, and contestation seek and find appropriate and consistent outlets in highly visible spatial assemblages of architecture and media. Finally, a curatorial approach to massive media is crucial in order to create suitable spaces and opportunities for the development of massive media as a legitimate art form. This requires the sustained provision of technical support and coordination as well as an ongoing negotiation with corporate, institutional, and civic owners and operators. While massive media exists primarily as a highly commercialized phenomenon, it can also be pressed into service, through coordinated curatorial and artistic efforts, to critique or co-opt commercialization, and to re-envision the role of urban media environments in shaping collective identity, historical consciousness, and public display culture.
     Multidisciplinary constraints within a two-dimensional aerodynamic optimization method
    Multidisciplinary constraints within a two-dimensional aerodynamic optimization method
    This research demonstrates the importance of including multi-disciplinary constraints within a two-dimensional aerodynamic optimization method. These constraints increase the methods flexibility and versatility by providing the aerodynamic designer with the latitude to expand the design envelope. The additional constraints include a global minimum thickness, a maximum point thickness, an area, two curvature functions and a stowability constraint. The global minimum thickness constraint is used to prevent airfoil surface crossovers. The maximum point thickness and area constraint address airfoil structural requirements. The curvature function constraints deal with the airfoils manufacturability. Finally, the stowability constraints combines flap trajectory, including the flap mechanics, together with the final airfoil shape, to ensure high-lift stowability
     Retrieving histories: a case study of Cyril J. Brown’s family album
    Retrieving histories: a case study of Cyril J. Brown’s family album
    This thesis examines the visual construction of family in the previously unknown personal album of Cyril J. Brown in the Royal Ontario Museum’s South Asian photography collection. Beginning with retrieving the object’s personal history and tracing its links to the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the crossover in photographic content between Brown’s personal album and the Kautz Family YMCA Archive at the University of Minnesota is examined. In doing so, I argue that family photography and institutional forms of image making are interconnected through the use of familial photographic tropes and pictorialist techniques which are common to both collections. Finally, concluding with a reflection on the significance of Brown’s album for the genre of family photography.
     Selective memory: an analysis of albums compiled at the return of the 1904 Younghusband mission into Tibet
    Selective memory: an analysis of albums compiled at the return of the 1904 Younghusband mission into Tibet
    Focusing on a collection of albums at the Archive of Modern Conflict related to the Younghusband Mission in Tibet (1903-1904), this thesis explores the the analysis of personal albums and their contribution to the history of the Mission. The first chapter, a literature survey, outlines the existing textual histories of the invasion, highlighting the absence of photographic analysis in the works, while also highlighting Tibet’s absence from contemporary criticisms of colonial photography. The second chapter is an overview of the visual conventions ascribed to Tibetans in British India’s photography prior to the Younghusband Mission, and the third chapter provides provenance information and detailed descriptions of the AMC’s albums. Finally, the fourth chapter discusses the objects, revealing their contribution to the perpetuation of Tibetan tropes, implicit visual documentation of British superiority, and the development of constructed narratives favouring the British colonizers. Each analysis acts as an example of how photographs should be used to articulate the colonial history of not only the Younghusband Mission, but of Tibet’s greater history with the West.
     Social listening  Integrating Facebook into Business-to-Business (B2B) Communications
    Social listening Integrating Facebook into Business-to-Business (B2B) Communications
    This study builds on the motivation to integrate social media into corporate communications and attempts to understand analytically what works and does not work in terms of the corporate engagement of new communications technologies. The purpose of this study is to better understand the ways in which an organization integrates social media into their communication efforts with an emphasis on feedback within these settings. Of particular importance to this concept of feedback is not just how an organization speaks to their audience within a social media setting, but how they manage listening within the same context; how does audience/stakeholder response filter back through corporate channels when received through social media networks? The specific purpose of this MRP is to observe social listening, that is, how information and communication flows between social media and corporation, with an emphasis on message transmission, processing, and feedback and feed-forward processes through the theoretical lens of autopoiesis, a micro-theory within the larger communications theory of cybernetics. Facebook, in particular, is understood as an autopoietic system. This investigation was undertaken in the form of a case study involving the corporate Facebook page of EMC Corporation, a Fortune200 company. All observation for this study occurred on the Internet and data was collected by taking screenshots of EMC’s official Facebook page. These screenshots were analyzed through the lens of autopoiesis and by using methods from discourse analysis.
     Still birth : soundwalking Garrison Creek.
    Still birth : soundwalking Garrison Creek.
    "My project is about nature in the body and in the individuated imaginary, nature in the soundscape, sound in nature and the nature of sound. When contrasted to culture, I use Astuti's definition of nature as that aspect over which humans have no control (1998, 2001). My audio-piece is about how we locate ourselves through activation -- an activation very literal in soundwalking, which is mobile and receptive, and the creation of an accompanying soundscape which is a statement of personal engagement and, I hope, a communication event."--Page 2.
     Strategies and scripts: an investigation of masculine identity and casual sex
    Strategies and scripts: an investigation of masculine identity and casual sex
    This study analyzed men’s lifestyle websites within the Pick-Up Artist (PUA) community. Employing a feminist post-structural framework, this analysis investigates how heterosexual masculinity is constructed online and aims to examine how sexual activity with multiple women is positioned as valuable to men. Four interpretive repertoires emerged: uncovering the natural —mental and physical work were required to access an authentic, natural maleness; militarization — men were rallied to defend male privilege; feminine commodities for building masculinity — women’s bodies were situated as commodities used to demonstrate achievement of masculinity; and pressured pursuit — men were urged to be the directors of sex and to overcome the obstacle of female consent. PUA authors disavowed the importance of women, though sex from women operated as a central requisite for convincingly achieving masculinity. Key tenets of neoliberalism were regularly present, where male readers were urged to decide to improve and cultivate their outward appearance, behaviours, and subjectivity.
     The colour of time: Stephen Shore’s American Surfaces 1972-2014
    The colour of time: Stephen Shore’s American Surfaces 1972-2014
    In 1972 American photographer Stephen Shore (b. 1947) started the series of chromogenic colour photographs titled American Surfaces (1972-73). In the decades following the initial production of this work and its 1974 acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the material qualities and aesthetics of colour photography underwent dramatic changes. This thesis explores the relationship between developments in colour imaging technology and shifts in artistic production from the making of American Surfaces to the present, and explores the increased recognition now given to colour photography as art. In 2016, American Surfaces can be found in a variety of forms including: two publications, numerous recently created digital chromogenic colour exhibition prints, and the original 1972-73 prints at The Met. Focusing on the materiality of this culturally and historically significant body of colour photographic work, this thesis examines three different iterations of American Surfaces from initial production in 1972 to 2014 and their impact on the interpretation of the series.