Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

Receive updates for this collection

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.

Envisioning modernization of China: Discourse on science and technology in the New Youth Magazine (1915-1926)

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-31
Abstract: 

The discourse on science and technology reflects the imagination and recognition of the mass to society in the future, shaped and formed by multiple social powers. This research goes back to the starting point in the Chinese history by addressing a large-scale promotion of “science and technology” by a prominent magazine the “New Youth” founded and led by Chen Duxiu. By analyzing the discourse on science and technology of the magazine, the research finds that China demonstrated an alternative answer to global process of modernization and modernity.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Svitlana Matviyenko
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

A narrative analysis of the corporatization of celestial bodies

Date created: 
2020-08-31
Abstract: 

The main argument of this research is that SpaceX and the government of United States are creating a conception of outer space that directly challenges UNOOSA 1966 Outer Space Treaty. In making this argument, the research draws on theories of the social construction of space and offers a critical analysis of geopolitical and spatiality discourse about Space travel and exploration. By comparing historical efforts of colonization by private corporations – such as the East Indian Company – to the modern exploration by SpaceX of celestial bodies and outer space, the research sheds light on the links between exploration and colonization. In particular, it explores the relationship between the state and private firms, and more broadly, state power and capitalism, in these processes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Katherine Reilly
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

One-dimensional body: The homogenized body of Instagram's #BodyPositive

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-31
Abstract: 

This project examines the Body Positive movement on the social media platform Instagram. The approach is influenced by the work of Herbert Marcuse on consumer culture and media systems. and Susan Bordo and other feminist scholars on the representation and subsequent commodification of the female body. The project examines how Instagram and its algorithms affect the public representation of bodies and the Body Positive social movement. The method is a single-image analysis of Instagram posts in the #bodypositive space. In a sample of 150 posts, analysis of body types shows that bodies reflecting mainstream characteristics in terms of shape, ability and disability, and skin tone and markings comprise 60% of all posts, with marginalized bodies occupying the other 40%. It is concluded that Instagram prioritizes a certain type of body over others therefore restricting the ability of a movement such as the Body Positive movement to alter mainstream body images via this platform.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Alison Beale
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

The community well-being framework: An exercise in reconciliation-informed planning

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-01-06
Abstract: 

Across Canada, a discourse of reconciliation has emerged and is strengthening. Reconciliation is based upon establishing relationships with Canada’s Indigenous populations that are built and maintained on trust, inclusion and respect. These relationships must also be premised upon the recognition of their rights for self-determination and the significance that land holds for Indigenous culture and values. Although Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous population has been underpinned by its colonial praxis, reconciliation calls upon all Canadians to acknowledge this legacy and work towards ending these entrenched, outdated and oppressive ways of thinking. Decolonial thought and postcolonial literature provide an avenue towards actualizing reconciliation, as contemporary Indigenous-rights discourses look to address questions of self-determination, sovereignty, and the recognition of land rights and title. In January of 2019, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) joined the national movement towards reconciliation when they adopted the Policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation. The goal of the policy is to present a vision of the future of planning in Canada by harmonizing key action areas with the TRC’s Calls to Action, the 10 Principles of Reconciliation, and UNDRIP. As practitioners that connect people, land and governance, planners have a responsibility to honour Indigenous ways of planning by critically examining the status quo and looking for ways to incorporate Indigenous practices into daily practice. While CIP’s new policy has succeeded in identifying what reconciliation means to the organization and the important role planners need to play to bring about these achievements, they have not addressed what reconciliation might look like to on-the-ground practitioners on an everyday basis. The following project attempts to consolidate and operationalize the growing volume of literature on the topic through the development of a reconciliation-informed planning framework.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Roseland
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Projecting impact: How the NFB continues to change the world

Date created: 
2020-05-13
Abstract: 

Projecting Impact: How the NFB Continues to Change the World, is a three-part documentary podcast series that examines the methodologies and approaches to making social change through documentary film and interactive digital creations. Is media an effective tool for creating social change? How do we measure it? By examining work from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that was created over three unique eras, I look at the changing face of social impact with regards to documentary film and media production and in relation to broader social movements. Beginning with some of the early ground-breaking documentary work created during the Challenge for Change program (1967-1980), then moving to some of the seminal work created by Studio D (1974-1996), which was the world’s first feminist documentary film studio, and finally, examining documentary creation and dissemination today, Projecting Impact sheds light on the important work of the NFB, the people who’ve created it, and the social change the work has made in the world. Despite tectonic shifts in technology over the past fifty years, I also discover that the unique distribution system employed by the NFB in its early days has surprising contemporary parallels, as do the thoughtful approaches of some of the key NFB creators in addressing social movements and inequality. Today, the NFB continues to be deeply invested in making work that has the potential to create social change. I contend that in this media morass in which we live, the metrics with which we measure social change require a rethink. Acknowledging the NFB's many significant contributions to Canadian society over its first eighty years, traditional metrics cannot capture the full scope of this impact and so, as I argue, the NFB should accept more diverse, community-based measures of uptake and influence.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Milena Droumeva
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Social and cultural aspects of living with type 2 diabetes for ethnic minorities in Canada

Date created: 
2020-04-30
Abstract: 

Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease that affects one in three Canadians and ethnicity is one of its risk factors in Canada. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) which constitutes the vast majority of the cases, is highly impacted by social and cultural factors. However, we know very little about how social and cultural factors impact living with T2DM in for ethnic minorities in Canada. A systematic review of the existing literature and survey-based assessment of patient perceptions were conducted. The most important social and cultural determinants of health for patients were diabetes education, social support, cultural competency of institutions (e.g. healthcare system, the government), patient trust for institutions, perceptions of self, and the perception of financial barriers. The social and cultural factors of importance can be understood in three categories of (1) diabetes education, (2) perceptions of self and perceived relations with others, (3) perceived financial constraints.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Scott Lear
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Enjeux identitaires et insertion professionnelle des étudiants-maîtres et des nouveaux enseignants immigrants francophones au sein des milieux éducatifs en contexte francophone minoritaire

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-09-16
Abstract: 

Cette recherche porte sur la construction identitaire des futurs et nouveaux enseignants issus des communautés immigrantes francophones en Alberta. Issus de cultures éducatives et professionnelles différentes, la problématique de l’intégration de ces derniers dans le milieu professionnel éducatif en contexte minoritaire francophone albertain se pose. Notre propos dans ce travail consiste ainsi à examiner le parcours personnel et professionnel de ces futurs et nouveaux enseignants issus des communautés immigrantes francophones, qu’ils soient étudiants-maîtres en cours de formation professionnelle ou enseignants débutants ayant au plus cinq ans d’expérience de l’enseignement en français en Alberta. Nous cherchons plus spécifiquement à comprendre ce que leurs parcours révèlent de leur intégration dans une communauté professionnelle qui vit et travaille en milieu minoritaire. La méthodologie est qualitative et interprétative. L’approche compréhensive qui est la nôtre (l’entretien compréhensif et le récit de vie) permet d’accéder à leur expérience migratoire et professionnelle. L’analyse des discours, axée sur les contenus, met à jour les défis d’adaptation et d’intégration que ces enseignants rencontrent, les stratégies qu’ils déploient, ainsi que les projets migratoires et ceux en lien avec leur insertion professionnelle. Elle révèle aussi et surtout comment l’expérience migratoire et les défis d’intégration professionnelle engendrent une reconstruction de soi qui met en avant « leur capacité d’action » ou leur agentivité, au sein d’une communauté professionnelle qui n’est pas toujours ouverte sur l’altérité. Par la narration de leur histoire respective, les futurs et nouveaux enseignants issus de l’immigration francophone donnent au final à voir une quête de soi investie au profit d’une (re)construction identitaire qui se veut francophone et plurielle. Ce faisant, leurs récits interrogent les fondements de la francophonie albertaine dans la façon dont celle-ci se définit à l’aune des courants migratoires

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Cécile Bullock
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Service chaining for multicast traffic

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-20
Abstract: 

Multicast service chaining refers to the orchestration of network services for multicast traffic. Paths of a multicast session that span the source, destinations and required services form a complex structure that we refer to as the multicast distribution graph. In this thesis, we propose a new path-based algorithm, called Oktopus, that runs at the control plane of the ISP network to calculate the multicast distribution graph for a given session. Oktopus aims at minimizing the routing cost for each multicast session. Oktopus consists of two steps. The first one generates a set of network segments for the ISP network, and the second step uses these segments to efficiently calculate the multicast distribution graph. Oktopus has a fine-grained control over the selection of links in the distribution graphs, which leads to significant improvements in the quality of the calculated graphs. Specifically, Oktopus increases the number of allocated sessions because it can reach ISP locations that have the required services, and thus includes them in the calculated graph. Moreover, Oktopus can reduce the routing cost per session as it carefully chooses links belonging to the graph. We compared Oktopus against the optimal and closest algorithms in simulations using real ISP topologies. Our results show that Oktopus has an optimality gap of 5% on average, and it computes the distribution graphs multiple orders of magnitude faster than the optimal algorithm. Moreover, Oktopus outperforms the closest algorithm in the literature in terms of the number of allocated multicast sessions by up to 37%.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mohamed Hefeeda
Khaled Diab
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Deep learning-based multimedia content processing

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-24
Abstract: 

In the last few years, deep learning has revolutionized many applications in the field of multi-media content processing such as music information retrieval (MIR) and image compression, which are addressed in this thesis. In order to handle the challenges in acoustic-based MIR such as automatic music transcription, the video of the musical performances can be utilized. In Chapter 2, a new learning-based system for visually transcribing piano music using the convolutional neural networks and support vector machines is presented that achieves an average improvement of ~0.37 in terms of F1 score over the previous works. Another significant problem in MIR is music generation. In Chapter 3, a semi-recurrent hybrid model combining variational auto-encoder and generative adversarial network for sequential generation of piano music is introduced that achieves better results than previous methods. Auto-encoders have also been used as a perfect candidate for learned image compression, which has recently shown the potential to outperform standard codecs. Some efforts in integrating other computer vision tasks and image compression to improve the compression performance have also been made. In Chapter 4, a semantic segmentation-based layered image compression method is presented in which the segmentation map of the input is used in the compression procedure. Most learned image compression methods train multiple models for multiple bit rates, which increase the implementation complexity. In Chapter 5, we propose a variable-rate image compression model employing two novel loss functions and residual sub-networks in the auto-encoder. The proposed method outperforms the standard codecs and also previous learned variable-rate methods on Kodak image set. The state-of-the-art image compression has been achieved by utilizing joint hyper-prior and auto-regressive models. However, they suffer from the spatial redundancy of the low frequency information in the latents. In Chapter 6, we propose the first learned multi-frequency image compression approach that uses the recently developed octave convolutions to factorize the latents into high and low frequencies. As the low frequency is represented by a lower resolution, their spatial redundancy is reduced, which improves the compression rate. Our experiments show that the proposed scheme outperforms all standard codecs and learning-based methods in both PSNR and MS-SSIM metrics, and establishes the new state of the art for learned image compression on Kodak image set.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jie Liang
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Transcultural encounters: A case study of Fengshui practitioners in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-31
Abstract: 

The domination of several centuries of Western-scientific knowledge system has led critical scholars such as Boaventura de Sousa Santos to write about the possibility of a monocultural world where alternative knowledge systems would be seen as “non-existent.” This paper evaluates the adequacy of Santos’ sociology of absences in relation to the existence of the traditional knowledge system of Fengshui in Vancouver. By interviewing five Fengshui practitioners and tracing Fengshui from a rapidly modernizing China to Vancouver’s real-estate market in the era of neoliberal globalization, this paper assesses Fengshui’s migration in Vancouver as part and parcel of the movement of elite migrants. In doing so, this paper highlights the importance of intersectional analysis and underscores a limitation in de Sousa Santos’ framework by recognizing that certain traditional knowledge systems could be appropriated and incorporated by transnational capitalists’ economic interests and cultural sensibilities.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Yuezhi Zhao
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.