Theses

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  •  Fabrication of smart titanium implants by femtosecond laser synthesis.
    Fabrication of smart titanium implants by femtosecond laser synthesis.
    A 3-D nanostructure particle network of TiO2, TiO, Ti3O oxide nanoparticles is synthesized by ultra-short pulsed femtosecond laser irradiation from a Grade 2 pure titanium substrate. This study investigated the properties of the resulting nanostructure and underneath phase transformed surface for biomaterial applications. Controlled tuning of surface chemistry and phases of the 3-D network were found to directly influence the cell mobility. The presented findings support a previously unrealized capacity by nano-core shell like particles and its phases for reducing cell proliferation on a biomaterial. Both osteoblast and fibroblast cells improved controllability and anisotropic migration with the developed nanostructure. The corresponding oxide phases which influenced this controllability was analysed in detail with possible potential in health care industry. The results suggest an effective means to improve biomaterial life thereby increasing implant life.
     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.
     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
     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 role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice.
    The role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice.
    This study explores the role that animal-assisted interventions (AAI) can play in antioppressive social work practice. A review of relevant literature has shows that while AAI have been demonstrated over time to have many benefits for service users, these types of interventions remain neglected by social work scholarship, and the relationship between AAI and antioppressive practice (AOP) has yet to be explored through research. Engaging a critical, AOP, and ecofeminist approach, this study uses qualitative methodology to explore the research question, “What role can animal-assisted interventions play in anti-oppressive social work practice?” Ultimately, this study confirms that AAI practitioners have found their approaches to be congruent with an anti-oppressive approach to social work practice. Data and themes which support this finding, as well as implications for the field of social work and recommendations for future research, are explored.
     The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    This thesis aims to explore and understand the use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by 13 corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry. The literature review demonstrated that little work has been done to understand the use of indicators and reporting within this industry. Three research questions are addressed through a content analysis of sustainability reports. The analysis shows that when looking at indicators based on the common themes or sustainability pillar they address, there appears to be consistency across the industry. However, when looking at indicators individually, there is a great deal of inconsistency making comparison of reports and benchmarking incredibly difficult. This research has a number of practical implications, particularly, it is the first comprehensive review of indicators being disclosed in the industry and can be used by a variety of stakeholders. Further, this research sets the foundation for a number of other possible streams of future research.
     Towards assessing buildability in wood framed, superinsulated wall assemblies.
    Towards assessing buildability in wood framed, superinsulated wall assemblies.
    A superinsulated home has many attractive attributes including reducing CO2, saving energy and smaller energy bills. The Passive House certification—which originated in Europe—proves that superinsulating is an effective way to reduce energy consumption. As the popularity of superinsulation grows in North America, the need to assess the buildability of these structures increases. This MRP identifies six metrics of buildability for wood framed, superinsulated walls and creates a tool which can be used to assess the buildability of these assemblies. The tool will assess a specific set of working drawings in their local context. The tool is simple to use, assuming that the user has an understanding of the basics of building science and an understanding of the capabilities of the local trades and the local availability of materials. The initial tool was tested by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a series of case studies for most of the metrics. A revised tool is proposed which has been refined to address the shortcomings of the initial tool.
    "Can I not wear my hijab in peace?" : understanding young Muslim girls reason for and experiences of wearing the hijab
    "Can I not wear my hijab in peace?" : understanding young Muslim girls reason for and experiences of wearing the hijab
    The aim of this research paper was to explore the reasons for and experiences of young Muslim girls wearing the hijab. Their decision to wear the hijab is examined by exploring the concept of choice within the framework of socialization. The participants included 4 young Muslim girls in the age range of 11-13 wearing the hijab and attending Canadian public school. Focus group and individual interviews were used for data collection.The results showed that religion was the primary reason why these girls chose to wear the hijab followed by their desire to develop a cultural identity and to represent Islam in the North American society. Family, peers and media were found to have an effect on their decision to wear the hijab. The girls narrated positive as well as negative experiences in and out of school, but were determined in their decision to wear the hijab and were happy with their decision. The implications and limitations of the study indicate a need for future research on this topic.