Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

Factors Affecting the Use of Midwifery Services in Remote Nepal

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Tens of thousands of mothers and hundreds of thousands of newborns die each year or have birth injuries. Families living in remote mountainous areas of Nepal are geographically marginalized, and women often deliver without skilled assistance. Human resources are few and often not trained to the level that international professional organizations recommend. Although the government has established birthing centers in communities in eastern Nepal’s remote, mountainous region of lower Solukhumbu, they are not fully utilized. This study of birthing in a remote area of Nepal examined factors associated with access to skilled birth attendants from both a health systems perspective and from the perspectives of mothers and community members. A concurrent, embedded, mixed methods study investigated mothers’, maternity staff and community members’ experiences with birth through semi-structured interviews. The skills of attending nurses, and the enabling factors such as infrastructure, equipment, and supplies in three levels of maternity facilities were examined through two surveys. Participant observation and field notes were additional methods used. Distance and cost were barriers for many women and lack of birth preparedness contributed to delays in reaching a facility if problems occurred. Although communities believed that health facilities save lives, some women preferred home births, citing institutional barriers arising from outdated and unnecessary obstetrical practices, and lack of choices for women. A shortage of skilled human resources and lack of adequate life-saving supplies and medications were found. Lack of infrastructure resulted in difficulty providing care and referrals. Skilled birth attendants were found to have gaps in life-saving skills. Infrastructure and supplies were inadequate in birthing centers. Improvements in quality of care to maintain cultural safety within birthing institutions require respect for women’s preferences, including birth companions and spiritual healers when requested. Frequent focussed midwifery skills refreshers are needed to improve ability to provide skilled and respectful care. Implementing a fully trained midwifery cohort in rural areas would be a longer term goal.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Craig Janes
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Micro Electro Mechanical Gyroscope Based on Thermal Principles

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Four variants of a novel single-axis thermal gyroscope were designed, microfabricated, and characterized in this thesis. Unlike conventional gyroscopes that use a solid seismic mass, the thermal gyroscope utilizes a particulate proof mass. The operating principle of the device is differential temperature detection due to the Coriolis effect on an oscillatory gas stream, in response to rotation. The stream is created by alternate expansion and contraction of the gas particles through activation of two or multiple microheaters in a confined volume. The miniature device structure includes multiple temperature detectors symmetrically arranged with respect to the microheaters. Thermocouples and resistive temperature detectors are exclusively used in the designs. Three versions of the device possess planar structures, whereas the other version forms an out-of-plane structure relying on a compliant platform and a locking mechanism. The fabrication process of the device is based on a variety of bulk or surface micromachining technologies on silicon substrates using polyimide and/or silicon dioxide structural layers. As the designs progress, the microstructures are freely suspended over a cavity etched into the substrate or within the volume above the substrate, with minimal structural support.

A precision rotary stage was constructed to accurately measure the device performance. Two variants of the device showed extremely low sensitivities. However, two other versions exhibited excellent linearity within the tested ±1260 °/s, and they demonstrated sensitivities of 0.947 and 1.287 mV/°/s where 20 mW of power was supplied to the heaters. The bandwidths of the devices were measured to be 20 and 40 Hz. The robustness of the devices was validated by the drop shocks of 2722 to 16 398 g (9.81 m/s^2). Despite the ability of rejecting linear accelerations, the devices showed comparable sensitivities to the linear accelerations. A systematic study of the device acceleration sensitivity, with a variety of low- to high-density gases at high pressures, confirmed that the acceleration signal was induced due to low degrees of rotational symmetry in the device topology. An analytical correction factor was developed capable of 5.8-fold nonlinearity compensation. A novel device configuration was also constructed proving 16 times more effective in rejecting the linear acceleration signal.

 

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Household Income Composition Changes with Rapid Transit Implementation: A Natural Experiment Study of SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, 1981-2016

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Background—Rapid transit such as SkyTrain is beneficial to move people efficiently, reduce carbon emissions, and increase physical activity. However, these benefits attract new development resulting in rising housing prices that may consequently change the household income composition. Metro Vancouver has not skirted this phenomenon, with rapid population growth and signs of neighbourhood change near SkyTrain.

 

Research Question—Does the household income composition change in areas nearby new SkyTrain stations?

 

Hypothesis—After a new SkyTrain station opens, lower income households may initially have better access to rapid transit, but over time nearby areas shift towards higher income households. Methods and Procedures—This natural experiment study uses census data for Metro Vancouver census tracts (CTs) 1981–2016. Household income composition is measured using relative share of households (location quotient (LQ)) in three income categories. Exposed areas are within 1.6 km (20-min walk) of SkyTrain stations compared to the rest of the region. Spatial analysis visualizes geographic distributions using ArcGIS, and statistical analysis tests concepts with linear mixed effects models using R software.

 

Results—The study assesses 374 CTs in 17 municipalities and finds areas nearby new SkyTrain stations start with a larger relative share of lower income households at baseline (1981) but shift towards more affluence over time. The areas exposed to SkyTrain changed in relative share of households faster than unexposed areas by LQ= -0.024, -0.012, and 0.026 more for very low, lower, and high income households, respectively, per census year (every five years). This means the relative share of each income group changed by 1–3% more in exposed areas than unexposed areas over every five-year period or a total change of 8–18% more over the entire study period.

 

Conclusions—Future planning must consider SkyTrain does impact who lives in areas nearby and options to protect lower income housing with access to transit are needed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meghan L Winters
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Urb.

Variables Relevant to Citizen Participatory Engagement in Technology-Mediated Democratic Systems

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-10-15
Abstract: 

Without citizen participation, democracy is empty of meaning. The purpose of this mixed-mode study is to identify variables relevant to citizen participation in advanced technology-mediated democratic systems such as Canada. A particular interest is to understand the comparative relevance of technological channels of communication, used by media, citizens and other social actors, to citizen participation. The results are based on primary data from 304 responses to a comprehensive survey and 20 in-depth interviews conducted by the author. Associations between 1048 questions about seven classes of participation and five groups of predictors are analyzed. In analysis, only non-parametric ordinal methods are used. First, outstanding predictors for particular forms and classes of participation are identified. Then, theoretical implications regarding predictors relevant to most classes of participation are formulated. Big data false discovery rate criterion is used to deal with the issues of high dimensionality and to identify outstanding relevances. A strong sense of social responsibility for fairness (nationally, internationally, and in international relations), national altruism, the feeling of being oppressed, attention to rights and freedoms, and political, economic, social, and cultural issues are associated with all types of citizen participation. Independent sources, empowered by the Internet and the World Wide Web, have outstanding relevance to citizen participation. Web 2.0 and other Internet based channels, such as telecommunications applications and mobile apps, have provided additional spheres of dialogue and expression for participating citizens. In this study, hundreds of other significant associations regarding particular forms of participation are identified and reported. They have implications for many social actors including the government, educational and media organizations, producers, policy makers, political parties, unions, activists, and parents.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Smith
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The Rationale Behind Vancouver’s Bike Share Program: A Reflexive Exploration of the Program’s Goals, Fare Structure, and Bike Rental Relationship

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-07-15
Abstract: 

This research project explores the development of the Vancouver Public Bike Share (PBS) Program through an evaluative and Bourdieusian framework. It looks at the historical and political context in which different individuals and groups operated during the design of the PBS program. The primary concern of this project is the interplay between the political context and social equity considerations in relation to outcomes of PBS access by people with low income. Important topics of this research include program goals, equity, the development of the fare structure, competitiveness with the local bike rental industry, station placement in Stanley Park, and program evaluation. Using policy documents, interviews with key participants, and public system data, this project examines the explicit and implicit program goals for PBS while also providing a partial evaluation of the program. The project ends with a set of recommendations for the Vancouver Bike Share Program.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Urb.

Community-based Transportation and Outdoor Mobility for Older Adults: A Literature Synthesis and Case Study

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06
Abstract: 

This capstone project is a synthesis of literature on transportation alternatives for older adults. Database searches resulted in 112 relevant articles grouped across three categories: older adult driving and supports for transitioning to non-driver status; community-based transportation options for older adults with mobility impairments; transportation planning and advocacy for older adults. The findings demonstrate that citizen-led neighbourhood-based options such as community-based micro transit and volunteer driver programs facilitate access of older adults. Function, comfort, and safety of older adults are important aspects in neighbourhood design. Regulatory and financial incentives, street infrastructure upgrades and older adult empowerment and advocacy programs facilitate the transition of older adults to an active transportation lifestyle from a car-focused one. Projects that take an integrated, multi-sectoral approach are more successful in diffusion of transportation alternatives at the community level than single sector approaches. A focused case study on neighbourhood barriers and facilitators complements the literature synthesis findings.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Atiya Mahmood
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Well-posedness of a Gas-disk Interaction System

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-08
Abstract: 

This thesis concerns a gas-disk interaction system: the disk is immersed in a gas and acted on by a drag force and an external force. The evolution of the system is described by a coupled system of integro-differential equations. More specifically, we use a pure kinetic transport equation to model the gas and a Newton’s Second Law ODE to model the disk. The two are coupled via the drag force exerted on the disk by the gas and the boundary condition for the gas colliding with the disk.

Systems of this type have been extensively studied in the literature, both analytically and numerically. To the best of our knowledge, existing works focus on existence of nearequilibrium solutions and their long-time behaviour. However, uniqueness of solutions has not been investigated previously. In the first part of the thesis we will give the first rigorous proof of existence and uniqueness of solutions for general initial data and external forcing.

The most important physical feature of this system is its inherent recursivity: particles can collide with the disk time and time again. Recognizing this structure and introducing recursivity into the equations by the means of gas decomposition is the key to obtaining the well-posedness result.

In the second part of the thesis we will present a simple numerical method for computing the trajectory of the disk using the aforementioned gas decomposition. We will contrast it with methods used previously, and also use it to show that considering only one or two precollisions for the gas particles is sufficient to accurately compute the density distribution of the gas and the velocity of the disk.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Weiran Sun
Department: 
Science: Department of Mathematics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Leveraging Neoliberalism: Participatory Politics in Canada

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-08-28
Abstract: 

Over the past two decades, there have been dramatic changes in how people participate in politics. Increasingly, people are turning away from political institutions in favour of more informal and unconventional modes of political participation. These modes are often facilitated by networked communication and allow for more 'participatory' forms of political culture. As a governing ideology that operates on multiple levels, neoliberalism has been central to these transformations. By influencing the values, practices, and institutions in Western democracies, it has transformed ideas of citizenship, publicness and democracy by weakening public institutions and privileging a focus on selfimprovement, private life, individualism, and market-oriented actions.

 

In this dissertation, I focused on emerging forms of political culture in Canada with a concern for the relationship between neoliberalism, the theoretical work on participatory politics and developments in practice. Through a series of three case studies, the aims of my project are to: 1) Demonstrate the diversity of this expanding field of practice in Canada and investigate the key characteristics, practices, and contradictions associated with initiatives; 2) Explain how patterns of participatory politics relate to and sometimes contest patterns of neoliberal governance; 3) Assess the degree to which emerging forms of participatory politics represent consequential approaches to public action.

 

While political participation has changed dramatically over the past two decades, we still lack empirical data on how the dynamics of neoliberalism have reshaped political culture in paradoxical ways that both constrict and widen the opportunities for political efficacy. This is the case despite the urgency to develop new ideas that address younger generations whose retreat from traditional methods of public participation, threatens the legitimacy of formal democratic institutions. There is a need to better understand how participatory politics provides avenues for agency that are currently unavailable through institutionalized politics in neoliberal societies such as Canada. In identifying the similarities, differences and limitations of the case studies, this dissertation will assist in assessing competing claims regarding participatory politics and help to inform interventions in policy and education that aim to foster a more robust democracy.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stuart Poyntz
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The syntax of Korean anaphora: An experimental investigation

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-07-15
Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates the syntactic and interpretative properties of three Korean anaphora, third-person pronouns, VP anaphors (VPAs), and null objects (NOs), using experimental methodologies. There is no general consensus among previous studies regarding whether Korean third-person pronoun ku ‘he’ can be construed as a bound variable. Three interconnected experiments were conducted to explore this issue, and the findings demonstrated that some Korean speakers consistently accepted the quantificational binding of ku, while others consistently did not. This result is highly suggestive of inter-speaker variation in the bound variable construal for ku. Taking into consideration the historical background of ku and its present status, I conclude that child learners of Korean may not receive sufficient evidence regarding ku from the primary language input data. Given this, adopting Han et al.’s (2007) two-grammar hypothesis and Déchaine and Wiltschko’s (2002) pronominal typology, I propose that some speakers randomly acquire ϕP ku, which complies with the “pronominal grammar”, while others randomly acquire DP ku, which complies with the “demonstrative grammar”. On the basis of the finding that there is inter-speaker variation in the bound variable construal for ku, the present study investigates the syntax of Korean VPAs and NOs. The existing proposals on their syntactic identities can be grouped into ellipsis and pro-form approaches. In two independent experiments designed to diagnose the presence of “hidden” structure within VPAs and NOs, I examined the (un)availability of sloppy readings for VPAs and NOs with antecedents containing ku. Given the standard view that the sloppy reading in ellipsis is due to a pronoun in the ellipsis site being bound, if VPAs or NOs have elided structure that hosts ku, the distribution of sloppy readings for them should correlate with that of quantificational binding of ku. Such a correlation, however, is not expected if they are pro-forms that do not host elided material (and thus not ku). The correlation was found in the experiment for NOs, but not in the experiment for VPAs. Based on these findings, I claim that VPAs are uniform, un-analyzable pro-forms, while NOs are derived from ellipsis, anaphora that have a fully-fledged structure.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Chung-hye Han
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Linguistics
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Into the Web : how a small publisher in India found a place on the Internet

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1999-03
Abstract: 

Within the realm of publishing, digital communication in the form of the Internet is offering revolutionary opportunities. There are Web sites for an immeasurable range of subject matter from the daily news to online shopping to Brad the mechanical engineering grad's curriculum vitae. So who better to venture into this new form of publication than, well, publishers? The subject matter of this study analyses the entry of a small book publisher in India into the new area of Internet publishing. Kali for Women is a feminist press in New Delhi and also happens to be the first women's publishing house in South Asia. The author of this report travelled to New Delhi to establish a Web site for the company. Although the editors at Kali for Women had wanted to start a Web site for some time, the decision to create Kali's own place on the Internet meant the adoption of an entirely new publishing format with technology unfamiliar to those in the company.

 

While the initiative was successful, it was fraught with challenges and obstacles, a condition that accompanies the introduction of anything new. This study attempts to map Kali's technological trajectory, but first places the endeavour in the context oflndian publishing and Kali's formation and presence in that market. The goal is to understand how and why a small, "low-tech" publisher in New Delhi established a presence in the online global community. The research is based on readings in related subject matter, newspaper articles from Kali's archives, writings by Kali's founders, a sampling of other publishers' Web sites, and the author's own experience .

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rowland Lorimer
Department: 
Master of Publishing Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project Report (M.Pub.)