Theses

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  •  Children's and parents' thoughts and feelings regarding nature in two types of locations:  comparisons and  implications
    Children's and parents' thoughts and feelings regarding nature in two types of locations: comparisons and implications
    This study examines the nature thoughts and feelings of 6 - 12 year-old children and their parents living in mountainous and city regions. It asks whether location and parental influences play roles in children's responses. Hypotheses assumed that participants in mountainous locations would be more connected with nature and that children's and parents' nature thoughts would correlate. Using mix-methods, surveys were distributed to 192 participants. Results illustrated that children in mountainous regions displayed more emotion words while children in the city displayed more descriptive words. No significant differences were found between parents. Compared to the urban sample, participants in mountainous regions felt that their environment was more a part of nature. Lastly, descriptive and total number of words correlated for parents and children. Recommendations include suggestions for curriculum design and childhood experiences. Parents, educators, and policy-makers should provide more unstructured outdoor play opportunities.
     Clinging to a knife’s edge: the Live-in Caregiver Program
    Clinging to a knife’s edge: the Live-in Caregiver Program
    Since the 1900s, Canada has heavily relied on foreign domestic workers. This program has evolved over the years into what is currently known as the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). It is rooted in our colonial history and has reproduced power imbalances between employers and caregivers. Challenging dominance is a difficult task given that immigration policies perpetuate inequalities through the denial of social, economic and political rights to caregivers. I selected this topic based on my experiences as a live-in caregiver with this program. This study uses anti-colonialism and feminist thought to examine the experiences of three former LCP workers. Through narrative interviewing, the findings indicate that the live-in requirement of the LCP has contributed to the abuse, exploitation and marginalization of these caregivers. The study concludes with a discussion of the ways in which the structure of the program can be modified to prevent further exploitation and human rights violations.
     Configurable simultaneously single-threaded (multi-)engine processor
    Configurable simultaneously single-threaded (multi-)engine processor
    As the multi-core computing era continues to progress, the need to increase single- thread performance, throughput, and seemingly adapt to thread-level parallelism (TLP) remain important issues. Though the number of cores on each processor continues to increase, expected performance gains have lagged. Accordingly, com- puting systems often include Simultaneously Multi-Threaded (SMT) processors as a compromise between sequential and parallel performance on a single core. These processors effectively improve the throughput and utilization of a core, however often at the expense of single-thread performance as threads per core scale. Accordingly, applications which require higher single-thread performance must often resort to single-thread core multi-processor systems which incur additional area overhead and power dissipation. In attempts to improve single- and multi-thread core efficiency, this work introduces the concept of a Configurable Simultaneously Single-Threaded (Multi-)Engine Processor (ConSSTEP). ConSSTEP is a nuanced approach to multi- threaded processors, achieving performance gains and energy efficiency by invoking low overhead reconfigurable properties with full software compatibility. Experimen- tal results demonstrate that ConSSTEP is able to increase single-thread Instruc- tions Per Cycle (IPC) up to 1.39x and 2.4x for 2-thread and 4-thread workloads, respectively, improving throughput and providing up to 2x energy efficiency when compared to a conventional SMT processor.
     Crashworthiness of vehicle-to-pole collisions using a hybrid III 3-year-old child dummy
    Crashworthiness of vehicle-to-pole collisions using a hybrid III 3-year-old child dummy
    To date, statistics indicate that motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury for children despite improved crashworthiness of vehicles and child restraint systems, since children are at risk for devastating head and neck injuries due to their fragile physiology. Thus, this thesis focused on minimizing child injuries experienced during frontal vehicle-to-pole collisions by improving on the safety and energy absorption of existing traffic pole structures. A finite element computer model, using LS-DYNA software, was used to simulate crash events in order to determine the influence of pole structural and material characteristics on the injury parameters of a 3-year-old child dummy occupant. It was concluded that the anchored base support, and the embedded pole in soil systems provide desirable crashworthy results. In addition, it is recommended to mandate traffic protection devices in all areas with poor energy absorbing characteristics that resemble non-deformable objects.
     Current source converter-based offshore wind farm: configuration, modulation, and control
    Current source converter-based offshore wind farm: configuration, modulation, and control
    Offshore wind power is attracting increased attention because of considerable wind resources, higher and steadier wind speeds, and smaller environmental impact. Recently, a current source converter (CSC)-based series-connected configuration is proposed and it is considered a promising solution for offshore wind farms as the offshore substation used in existing systems can be eliminated. However, such a CSC-based configuration has disadvantages in terms of size and weight, dynamic performance, cost, reliability, and efficiency. Therefore, this thesis proposes new configurations, modulation scheme, and control schemes to improve the performance of the CSC-based offshore wind farm. First, a new configuration is proposed for the CSC-based offshore wind farm. Compared with existing CSC-based configurations, the new one is expected to be smaller in size and weight. Second, conventional space vector modulation (SVM) with fast dynamic response cannot be used for grid-side CSCs because of its high-magnitude low-order harmonics. To solve this issue, an advanced SVM with superior low-order harmonics performance is proposed. Third, power balancing among series-connected CSCs is an important consideration for system reliability. The possible imbalance of power is investigated and quantitatively defined. A power balancing scheme is proposed, based on which equal power distribution among CSCs is ensured. Fourth, to lower the system insulation requirement of the CSC-based configuration, a bipolar operation is investigated. Compared with monopolar mode, bipolar mode gives lower insulation level, thus contributing to the system in terms of lower cost and higher reliability for a given power rating. In addition, an optimal dc-link current control giving higher efficiency is proposed for the bipolar system. Fifth, an optimized control strategy with reduced cost and improved efficiency is proposed for the CSC-based offshore wind farm. The nominal number of onshore CSCs is optimized, which reduces the cost on power converters. And an optimized bypass operation is introduced to onshore CSCs, which improves the efficiency of the system. Finally, simulation and experimental results are provided to verify the performance of the proposed configuration, modulation scheme, and control schemes.
     Data migration: relational RDBMS to non-relational NoSQL
    Data migration: relational RDBMS to non-relational NoSQL
    As a part of achieving specific targets, business decision making involves processing and analyzing large volumes of data that leads to growing enterprise databases day by day. Considering the size and complexity of the databases used in today’s enterprises, it is a major challenge for enterprises to re-engineering their applications that can handle large amounts of data. Compared to traditional relational databases, non-relational NoSQL databases are better suited for dynamic provisioning, horizontal scaling, significant performance, distributed architecture and developer agility benefits. Based on the concept of Object Relational Mapping (ORM) and traditional ETL data migration technique this thesis proposes a methodology for migrating data from RDBMS to NoSQL. The performance of the proposed solution is evaluated through a comparative analysis of RDBMS and NoSQL implementations based on query performance evaluation, query structure and developmental agility.
     Development of a web-based collaborative PPGIS to support municipal planning.
    Development of a web-based collaborative PPGIS to support municipal planning.
    The use of computing technologies to support workflows related to the planning and development of a municipality dates back to the late 1950s. The main boosts of computing technologies and applications, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Geographic Information Technology (GIT), in relation to a planning and decision-making context, became evident when the use of Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) started in the 1980s. Collaboration is an important part of many tasks involving people from different organizations, in which maps often play a central role in informing and improving debates and facilitating the decision-making process. It allows diverse stakeholders to share and view maps or spatial images interactively over the Web in real-time, among other platforms. The geospatial collaboration technology not only provides an effective solution to decision makers, but also facilitates scientific and public debates with real-time geospatial information. More recently, some efforts have been made using open map services to develop simple map-sharing applications. However, little has been done on designing and developing such online open source tools in the context of municipal planning and management. Further, a literature review indicates the lack of scientific publications on empirical studies of their practical applications. Web-based PPGIS applications, among others, have now been widely recognized as an efficient and integral part of sound planning and development processes to support public participation. However, GIS alone cannot make the planning process more participative. Demands for Web-based PPGIS tools, integrated with other information and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) tools, have rapidly become increasingly important for supporting collaborative participation during a decision-making process. Therefore, the establishment of public participation in GIS-based applications is an optimistic step taken by the researchers that are progressively working on municipal planning projects that incorporate public participation. The main aim of this research is to provide a Collaborative PPGIS (Co-PPGIS) to enhance public participation in municipal planning related workflows. A research prototype has been developed and its usability is evaluated by adopting the evaluation criteria for the research prototype, as only proper testing will demonstrate whether the prototype is usable or the Co-PPGIS design framework is successful in meeting end-users’ requirements.
     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.
     Empower women:  examining the feasibility of using a  360°  digital-first magazine as a health teaching  and knowledge translation tool for millennial women
    Empower women: examining the feasibility of using a 360° digital-first magazine as a health teaching and knowledge translation tool for millennial women
    Worldwide, women experience inequities in health due to unfair relations of power and control over their lives (Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network, 2007). This is especially true in the area of women’s health (Husoy-Onarheim, Iversen, & Bloom, 2016; Perry, 2012). As healthcare shifts to a health promotion model, women are being empowered through the facilitation of health literacy and informed decision-making (Wuest, Merritt-Gray, Berman, & Ford-Gilboe, 2002; Leaffer & Mickelberg, 2006). In recent years, digital media has become one of the primary ways millennial women access health information (Allison, et al., 2012). Yet there are limited resources that are accurate, engaging and easy to understand (Allison, et al., 2012; Calvillo, Roman, & Roa, 2013). This project examined the feasibility of using a digital magazine as a health teaching and knowledge translation tool for millennial Canadian women. The result of this project was a pilot 360° magazine experience designed to engage millennial women in discussions about taboo health topics.
     Frequency calibration of the system clock of passive wireless microsystems
    Frequency calibration of the system clock of passive wireless microsystems
    This thesis presents a theoretical and simulated study of frequency calibration of the system clock of passive wireless microsystems. The proposed frequency calibration technique achieves ultra-low power, high fre- quency accuracy, and fast calibration of the frequency of a local oscillator in a passive wireless microsystem using a frequency-locked loop (FLL). A new integrating frequency dif- ference detector (iFDD) that senses the frequency difference between the local oscillator and a reference clock is also proposed. The iFDD is implemented using a switched-capacitor network with two integrating paths. The FLL is composed of a logic-control block for gen- eration of clock signals, the iFDD, and a relaxation voltage-controlled oscillator. A detailed analysis of the characteristics of the iFDD in the time and frequency domains is presented. The loop dynamics of the FLL is also investigated. The proposed FLL is implemented in IBM 0.13-µm, 1.2 V CMOS technology and is validated through simulations using Spectre APS.
     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.