Theses

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  • # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    Threats to reputation can destroy a brand. Communicating effectively during a conflict can help to manage negative impressions that expose brands to reputation risk. This is important now more than ever as organizations—and nations—turn to Twitter to address various publics. The rigid 140-character structure of Twitter thus necessitates the creation of sound bites that act as productive texts to address multiple rhetorical objectives simultaneously. An examination of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Twitter account through sentiment and content analysis shows evidence that the Force took a significantly defensive approach to impression management of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. There is evidence that Israel sought to re-frame public impression of its military involvement from aggressor to defender in the armed conflict. Codes discovered in the analysis suggest that the IDF tried to justify force, avoid responsibility and establish legitimacy of its operations.
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    The increasing digitization of contemporary media and culture -- particularly in the West -- is changing how companies market themselves to their target audiences. As the millennial generation increases its online presence and its use of mobile digital technologies, companies whose main consumers lie within this demographic are having to shift their marketing tactics to become more technologically- and mobile-friendly. The world of social media, in particular, has become the second (virtual) home for much of the millennial population. How they dress, where they go, and what they eat are all becoming increasingly impacted by the companies, brands, people, and trends they “follow” online. In this Major Research Project (MRP) I will focus on the ways companies are marketing to millennials by focusing on the ways two clothing brands favoured by millennials are marketing and branding themselves on Instagram. I demonstrate that while these companies’ brand values may be exceedingly different from one another, their social media/Instagram strategies are surprisingly similar. That is, I will argue that these two clothing brands follow a distinctly similar set of social media marketing techniques in order to bring the best shopping experience through the use of images and captions -- into the digital world and to their millennial audiences. In other words, by adhering to a sort of social media orthodoxy, these brands are able to create a stronger connection between themselves and their millennial generation of followers.
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    Nike’s “Possibilities” campaign has become a prime example for social media adoption in marketing. In August 2013, Nike had asked its consumers to redefine “Just Do It” by taking to Twitter and sharing their athletic achievements under the #JustDoIt hashtag. The iconic slogan has since then evolved from a mere promotional message to a trending Twitter topic that continues to engage consumers today. By examining Nike’s #JustDoIt Twitter conversation, marketing professionals and scholars alike can develop a more informed understanding of how Twitter facilitates interaction between a brand and its consumers. The paper aims to explore how Twitter can be used to develop and maintain relationships between businesses and consumers by examining the interactions within Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation. Using Bakhtin’s (1981) notion of heteroglossia and Zappavigna’s (2011) interpretation of the imagined audience and ambient affiliation, this paper will conceptualize the interactions that took place and demonstrate their applications to the practice of social business (Rajagopal, 2013) and Integrated Marketing Communication (Kapoor, Jayasimha, and Sadh, 2013). The research questions are: (1) How does #JustDoIt facilitate interaction between Nike and its consumers? (2) What are Twitter users saying in Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation? (3) To what ends does #JustDoIt serve in Nike’s overall mission? Heteroglossia, the imagined audience, and ambient affiliation are all concepts that can be used to describe user interactions within Twitter hashtags. For businesses, these terms provide a framework for better understanding how branded content can reach audiences on Twitter, thus informing strategies that seek to engage consumers and spark conversations.
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    The Conservative Party of Canada attributed its successful breakthrough in the Toronto area during the 2011 Canadian federal election to their engagement of ethnic and visible minority voters, whereas in the past, these voters were associated with the Liberal party. This research study uses spatial and statistical analyses to test patterns of association between the electoral support for the three major parties and presence of ethnic and visible minority communities. The research uses data from the 2006 Census of Canada, as well as the voting results of the 2011 and 2008 federal elections, the 2011 and 2007 Ontario provincial elections and the 2010 Toronto mayoral election. The findings suggest that non-European origin ethnic and visible minority communities are associated with the Liberal party at the federal and provincial levels, but the opposite is true at the municipal level, and the federal Liberals are haemorrhaging support from ethnic and visible minority communities to the Conservatives and NDP. The victories of the federal Conservatives may instead be associated with other factors like vote splitting, low voter turnout, and divisions between urban and suburban areas., Title should read: 'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minority Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    "The past five decades have seen a marked increase in attention to, and representations of, queer people in mainstream popular culture. Within the last ten years, several films and television programs featuring gay men and lesbians have garnered critical acclaim and high ratings among diverse audiences and myriad companies have incorporated queer imagery into their advertising campaigns. Despite fervent protests from socially conservative organizations, this trend shows no signs of abating."--Introduction.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    The conflict between a sex worker's natural right to dignity, and the scope of control she can exert over her own body - her rightful property - plays a central part in much of the research and debate surrounding the commercialization of sex, and there is little consensus as to which natural right is of greater fundamental importance. This conflict over the morality and legal rights of sex workers is plainly evident in Canada's own treatment of the issue; spanning a period of over twenty-five years, the research and reports on prostitution commissioned by the federal government constitute several thousand pages of empirical evidence documenting the harm caused by the criminalization of prostitution, yet no changes have been made to the country's Criminal Code provisions since 1986. Throughout these government reports and the testimony of dozens of participants in the 2005 hearings held by the country's Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, the same conflict of language and ideology is repeated; regardless of the time and location, conversations about prostitution within Canada follow an almost predictable pattern of spinning wheels and little progress. In light of the new opportunity to effect change in Canada's approach to prostitution law, this paper examines the signs and significations evinced in the language of Canada's present laws, and traces the legislative history of sex work in the country as well as the cyclical nature of the observations and conclusions drawn by the many federally-appointed committees charged with addressing the topic. Select witness testimony from hearings conducted by the most recent committee to address the state of prostitution, the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, is also reproduced and analyzed. Using the opposing perspectives of victim and rights discourse as a loose framework, particular analytical focus is placed on the language used and ideological beliefs expressed within both the formal reports and testimony. Finally, the core conflicts revealed in Canada's hearings and formal reports on prostitution are placed within a larger body of theory on human agency and the physical body for the purpose of emphasizing the unequivocal necessity of respecting sex workers' autonomy, first and foremost, in any future determination of sex work's place within the social and legal fabric of the country.
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    This study explores the online public's reaction to the National Security Agency's surveillance Prism programs in light of the confidential government document leakage to the public on June 7, 2013. Through an in-depth qualitative analysis of top recommended user comments to the news article published in The Guardian describing the technicalities of the Prism program, public perceptions of civil liberties like free speech in new media communication are explored. Overarching themes and salient discourses on the public's understanding of their democratic rights emerged in the analysis. The findings revealed a number of competing views of liberty, and while the majority of the users opposed government surveillance and agreed it was in violation of their rights, further examination revealed a temptation to withdraw from using new media communication susceptible to government surveillance, thereby hindering the Internet's ability to act as a valuable arena for public debate as afforded by new media communication
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront:  infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront: infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    The transition of waterfront land use from industrial to post-industrial is a global phenomenon. There are several forces that are driving this change, including the advancement of shipping technology and the relocation of industrial processes to areas with greater availability of land. In place of industrial uses, many cities have undertaken, or are in the process of undertaking the redevelopment of their waterfront. As a result of past industrial use, there often exists, a significant amount of transportation infrastructure that isolates the city from the waterfront. This paper establishes the context for waterfront redevelopment, before examining the impact of infrastructure urban forms by using the work of Kevin Lynch as a tool for analysis. Several case precedents are used to examine the course of action that other North American cities have pursued to mitigate the impact of infrastructure forms on the waterfront and how they may influence the way Toronto deals with its waterfront infrastructure.
    10-GHz wide tuning-range linear voltage-controlled oscillator
    10-GHz wide tuning-range linear voltage-controlled oscillator
    The current high-growth nature of digital communications demands higher speed serial communication circuits. Present day technologies barely manage to keep up with this demand, and new techniques are required to ensure that serial communication can continnue to expand and grow. The goal of this work is to optimize the performance of an essential building block of serial communication circuits, namely, the phase-locked loop (PLL), so that it can cope with today's high-speed communication. Due to its popularity, the optimization has targeted the charge-pump-based implementqation of the phase-locked loop. This goal is achieved by researching, designing, and evaluating high speed serial communication circuits. Research has involved an in-depth study of the state of the art in high-speed serial communication circuits ; high-speed, controlled oscillators, and CMOS technology. An LC, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is designed in 0.18-micron, mixed-signal, 6-metal-2-poly, CMOS process. A novel tuning technique is employed to tune its output frequency. Simulation results shows that it provides quadrature and differential outputs, operates with 10 GHz center frequency, 600-MHz tuning range centered around its center frequency, and phase noise of -95 dBc/Hz at 1-MHz offset from the fundamental harmonic of its output, and draws 10 ,A of DC current from a single 1.8-V power supply. Also, it exhibits a good linearity throughout its tuning range. The new tuning technique increases the tuning range of the VCO to 6% of its center frequency compared to the 1-to-2% typical value. As its locking performance depends on the characteristic of the employed VCO and to demonstrate the effect of optimizing the tuning range of the VCO, a charge-pump PLL is designed. Simulation results shows that the PLL acquisition range is 300 MHz compared to a maximum value of 100 MHz when a conventional LC VCO is employed. Also, as a measure of its tracking range, the maximum frequency slew rate of its input has improved by 40%.
    2-D Kasai velocity estimation for Doppler optical coherence tomography / by Darren Morofke.
    2-D Kasai velocity estimation for Doppler optical coherence tomography / by Darren Morofke.
    Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution, non-invasive technique to image subsurface tissue and tissue functions. A broadband light source illuminates an object and the reflected photons are processed using an interferometer, demodulated into inphase and quadrature components and then digitized. The captured data contains information about the velocity of the moving scatterers but current Doppler estimation algorithms have a limited velocity detection range. Here we demonstrate Doppler OCT (DOCT) detection of in vivo of blood flow in a rat aorta with over 1 m/s peak velocity through an esophageal DOCT probe using a new processing technique. Previous methods have used a transverse Kasai (TK) autocorrelation estimation to estimate the velocity. By calculating the Kasai autocorrelation with a lag in the depth or axial direction, backscattered frequency information is obtained. Through subtraction with stationary backscattered information, the Doppler shift is obtained by the axial Kasai (AK) technique. Maximum non-aliased Doppler frequency estimation using a time domain DOCT system increased from +/-4 kHz to =+/-1.6 MHz. The TK has better velocity resolution in the low flow rate range and when combined with the AK we demonstrate a dynamic frequency range over 100 dB with a velocity detection range from 10 [micro]m/s to over 1 m/s. This velocity range spans from microcirculation to cardiac blood flow velocities.
    3 Minutes to Midnight:  speculative game design for nuclear disarmament
    3 Minutes to Midnight: speculative game design for nuclear disarmament
    This paper proposes a digital game concept designed to increase the millennial generation’s level of engagement with the campaign for nuclear disarmament. It discusses four key research findings that support the need for the development of this game, and provides helpful information to enable better understanding of the relatively specialized inspiring concepts. The paper argues that activist campaigns should design nuanced communication plans that consider the complexities of the issue and leverage the digital media tools whose affordances best match the goals of the campaign. In the case of nuclear disarmament, I propose a campaign communication strategy in the form of a pervasive social impact game, called 3 Minutes to Midnight, as an effective way to ignite widespread public support in the 21st century.