Theses

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  •  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.
     The relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    The relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    Some OCD researchers have suggested that highly religious individuals may be predisposed toward developing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but results regarding the relationship between religiosity and OCD symptoms are mixed. Notable weaknesses in the literature include the frequent use of measures with unknown psychometric properties that do not differentiate between various facets of religiosity (e.g., fundamentalism, spirituality, etc.), study of a limited range of religious affiliations, and predominant use of undergraduate student samples. Other research has demonstrated positive benefits of religiosity/spirituality for mental health. The current study attempted to clarify the relationship between OCD symptoms/cognitions and religiosity/spirituality using multidimensional measures of religiosity/spirituality. Seven hundred and forty-six nonclinical (students and community members) and 24 clinical participants (with a principal diagnosis of OCD) from a wide range of religious affiliations completed questionnaires assessing religiosity/spirituality and OCD symptoms/cognitions. In both samples, Obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms were either not significantly related or significantly, negatively related to religiosity and spirituality, but religious crisis was significantly, positively related to OC symptoms. In the nonclinical group, none of the facets of spirituality moderated the relationships between religiosity and fundamentalism or moral TAF. All facets of spirituality significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and scrupulosity (all ps < .02), but additional variance explained was trivial (all ΔR2 < .004). In the clinical sample, only the universality facet of spirituality (i.e., the belief that the universe is ordered and all of humanity is connected) significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and fundamentalism (t = -5.60, p < .001, 95% CI = -.53 to -.24, ΔR2 = .17) and between religiosity and moral thought-action fusion (moral TAF; t = -2.14, p = .04, 95% CI = -.38 to -.005, ΔR2 = .184). High religiosity was only associated with high fundamentalism or moral TAF when universality was low. None of the facets of spirituality significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and scrupulosity (all ps = ns, all ΔR2 < .001). Religiosity and spirituality appear to be unrelated or negatively related to OC symptoms. However, religious individuals with OCD who experience religious crisis may benefit from psychoeducation/consultation with religious professionals to address these difficulties.
     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 role of parking pricing and parking availability on travel mode choice
    The role of parking pricing and parking availability on travel mode choice
    This research examines the impact of parking pricing and parking availability on potential travel mode substitution among current drivers, in four case study areas in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It serves to evaluate opportunities to decrease private vehicle usage among the GTA’s workforce. More specifically, the objective of this study is to analyze whether and to what extent parking pricing and parking availability alter drivers’ willingness to change their mode of transportation. Results from ordered logit models demonstrated that a driver’s willingness to change their mode of transportation was statistically correlated with parking cost and parking availability. Parking availability also impacted the correlation between parking pricing and drivers' willingness to change their mode of transportation. The results from this MRP suggests that interventions focused on reducing driving for commuting purposes may focus on changing parking pricing, but depending on the availability of parking, the impacts of such policy/ program may be different.
     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.
     Three phase digital earth leakage detection
    Three phase digital earth leakage detection
    In any electrical system, protection is the most important requirement to secure both human lives and appliances from any damage. The THREE PHASE EARTH LEAKAGE DETECTION (TDELD), is a design which could be implemented in three phase electrical environment to provide protection to user as well as equipments against any earth leakage fault. Being a microcontroller based solution, it provides ease and luxury at the user end with the help of its auto reset and display features. This research will attempt to improve the existing ELCB design using PIC microcontroller to automatically switch back system to its normal mode when the TDELD tripped during any electric shock or temporary earth leakage while in permanent leakage fault, it provide input control to bring back the system to its normal operation. The results of this research after doing several tests have shown that the average sensitivity value for TDELD against leakage current is better than what could be found in a conventional ELCB.
     Towards accurate FPGA area models for FPGA architecture evaluation
    Towards accurate FPGA area models for FPGA architecture evaluation
    Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices are integrated circuit chips which can be configured by the end user. FPGA architectures have evolved into heterogeneous System-on-Chips (SoCs) devices in order to meet the diverse market demands. Integrating reconfigurable fabrics in SOCs require an accurate estimation of the layout area of the reconfigurable fabrics in order to properly accommodate early floor-planning. Hence, this work provides an evaluation on the accuracy of the minimum width transistor area models in ranking the actual layout area of FPGA architectures. Both the original VPR area model and the new COFFE area model are compared against the actual layouts with up to 3 metal layers for the various FPGA building blocks. We found that both models have significant variations with respect to the accuracy of their predictions across the building blocks. In particular, the original VPR model overestimates the layout area of larger buffers, full adders and multiplexers by as much as 38% while underestimates the layout area of smaller buffers and multiplexers by as much as 58% for an overall prediction error variation of 96%. The newer COFFE model also significantly overestimates the layout area of full adders by 13% and underestimates the layout area of multiplexers by a maximum of 60% for a prediction error variation of 73%. Such variations are particularly significant considering sensitivity analyses are not routinely performed in FPGA architectural studies. Our results suggest that such analyses are extremely important in studies that employ the minimum width area models so the tolerance of the architectural conclusions against the prediction error variations can be quantified. This work proposes a more accurate active area model to estimate the layout area of FPGA multiplexers by considering diffusion sharing and folding. In addition, we found that comparing to the minimum width transistor area model, the traditional metal area based stick diagrams, in lieu of actual layout, can provide much more accurate layout area estimations. In particular, minimum width transistor area can underestimate the layout area of LUT multiplexers by as much as a factor of 2-3 while stick diagrams can achieve over 85% -95% percent accuracy in layout area estimation. Based on our work, we present correction factors to the commonly used FPGA building blocks, so their actual layout area can be used to achieve a highly accurate ranking of the implementation area of FPGA architectures built upon these layouts.
     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.
     Unboxing Nelvana: animation cel preservation and storage for the Nelvana animation collection
    Unboxing Nelvana: animation cel preservation and storage for the Nelvana animation collection
    With no concrete preservation practices in place, the conservation and preservation of animation cels is a challenge for the stewards of animation-related collections. Characterized as mixed media artefacts, animation cels fall somewhere between illustrative art and motion picture film, which partially accounts for the lack of defined guidelines. Studies researching the conservation of animation cels, such as the one conducted by the Getty Conservation Institute in collaboration with the Disney Animation Research Library are so recent that, to date, no conclusive findings have been established. This practical report focuses on the organization, conservation, and storage of the Nelvana Animation Collection housed at Media Commons, University of Toronto Libraries. The information and recommendations provided within are intended as a guide for approaching animation cel care and conservation following “best known practices.” These practices include currently adopted methods of cel conservation, as well as techniques borrowed from the conservation practices of similar objects.
     Working with sexual violence in the latinx community: testimonios and stories of racialized women workers
    Working with sexual violence in the latinx community: testimonios and stories of racialized women workers
    This narrative qualitative research study explores the experiences of Latinx women working with sexual violence in the Latinx community. It explores the stories and showcases the testimonios of two women who have worked in the field of sexual violence within the Latinx community in Toronto, Ontario for many years. Both participants shared similar stories, as well as different experiences with their own individual lenses. The theoretical framework draws from a critical race feminism theory as well as Latinx feminism, creating a mestizaje of theory. A narrative approach was used to collect data, along with an arts-based portion to honour traditional methods of knowledge sharing and expression. Data analysis included a thematic analysis to further look into the themes that emerged from the findings. Implications for future social work research and practice under an anti-oppressive lens are discussed in the conclusion.
     “Now I feel ‘truly’ like me!”: a discourse analysis of the ways ‘the gaze’ functions in two children's picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters
    “Now I feel ‘truly’ like me!”: a discourse analysis of the ways ‘the gaze’ functions in two children's picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters
    Drawing on transgender, queer and feminist theoretical perspectives, I critically analyze two children’s picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters. With these critical theoretical perspectives in mind, this discourse analysis examines the ways the books, both visually and textually, depict gender embodiment and the experiences of the characters. Using questions derived from these theoretical lenses, I analyze concepts of power, normalcy, difference, the gender binary, gender fluidity, intelligibility and unintelligibility. These concepts contribute to the dominant discourse of ‘the gaze’, seen in varying ways in the books. Children’s story books largely underrepresent the experiences of transgender characters, particularly books outlining, and explaining, a social gender transition. The majority of picture books with LGBTQ+ themes focus on same sex families and feature boys in dresses, thus centralize around disrupting the constraints of masculinity. I conclude this paper with recommendations for selecting, reading, and discussing books with transgender and gender variant protagonists. The central themes outlined in the academic literature illustrate that ‘the gaze’ and regulation of knowledge have a significant impact on what is visible in children’s books. This may ultimately affect children’s understanding, and appreciation, of gender variance and, hence, social gender transitions in early childhood.
    "A Stone In The Ocean": A Mixed Methods Investigation Into The Experiences Of Families Trying To Reunite In Canada
    "A Stone In The Ocean": A Mixed Methods Investigation Into The Experiences Of Families Trying To Reunite In Canada
    Every year many families are formed, or find themselves separated, across borders. To address the problem of family separation, the family class stream of immigration to Canada, which accounts for 20-30% of new immigrants annually, allows citizens or permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for permanent residency. Yet there has been very little research on experiences of this policy. Family reunification immigration, located at the intersection of the personal and the political, has been marginalized by masculinized policy disciplines that focus on macro-trends in immigration and render the family invisible, and by feminized disciplines that focus on the family and individual in immigration while rendering policy invisible. This dissertation fills that gap in the literature, using a critical policy studies approach informed by aspects of Critical Theory, intersectionality and Foucauldian interpretations of power. I explore the lived experiences of families as they apply to reunite through the family class stream, and of families who would like to apply to reunite but cannot. I used mixed methods—qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys—to collect data from 169 families, and 100 key informants who support applicant families, including lawyers, consultants, settlement workers and constituency office caseworkers. This approach and research design allowed me to expose and develop a deep knowledge of families’ experiences that have until now been marginalized. Findings show that, though the decision on an immigration application is important, a sole focus on that decision both excludes applicants’ vastly different experiences during the process and renders invisible those who cannot even apply. Diversity in experiences was closely related to interactions between different aspects of social location, and policy design and implementation. Applicants exercised many forms of initiative and agency, but were ultimately constrained by policy structures. The new Government has recently made promising changes, but we must ensure these changes are effective and continue to advocate for further improvements that would mitigate applicants’ negative experiences. Finally, more research needs to be done, most importantly on family reunification through immigration streams that were excluded from this study.