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.

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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No, item is not peer reviewed.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.)

Interactions among Dam, SeqA and mismatch repair proteins in Escherichia coli

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-03-31
Abstract: 

The accuracy of DNA replication is very important, and organisms have several proofreading and repair systems to prevent mutations from occurring. Lesions can be introduced by errors during replication, chemical mutagens, UV or ionizing radiation. In Escherichia coli, mismatches are detected by MutS and MutL which together activate MutH to initiate repair. Repair is dependent on GATC hemi-methylation signals on the DNA which is added by DNA adenosine methylase (Dam). SeqA acts as a regulator of DNA replication, sequestering the origin and preventing reinitiation. We hypothesize that 1) Dam and SeqA are coordinated by MutL, and (2) persistent mismatches caused by lack of polymerase proofreading will increase mismatch repair activity. Results show that Dam binds to both SeqA and MutL, and no significant increase in mismatch repair activity was detected when the error prone polymerase was induced. These data suggest the importance of temporal coordination of methylation and/or interaction of Dam and MutL in preparation for mismatch repair. Our data is consistent with previous literature that shows mismatch repair primarily works against transitions and is inefficient at preventing transversions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Claire Cupples
Department: 
Science: Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Role-Focused Process-Mapping for Documenting Software Systems Usage at Hemlock Printers

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-04-02
Abstract: 

This report introduces readers to the principles of process mapping, a flowchart technique widely used in manufacturing and engineering for diagnosis, analysis and improvement of processes and whose advantages can be applied to tasks carried out in Publishing. We base this exposition on the experience gained during the process mapping of Hemlock Printers Ltd. a Burnaby-based company with 50 years in the industry, which started a project to document its workflows and the way software applications were used to automatize them. We examine the nature of process maps, how the company was conceptualized for study and the ways to collect information used, followed by a step by step guide to draw these diagrams, ending with a detailed analysis of selected examples of workflows at Hemlock using these maps and how to apply them to identify problems and opportunities for improvement.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

Professionals in Post-Secondary Education: Conceptions of Career Influence

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-04-03
Abstract: 

Undergraduate students increasingly cite vocational preparation and enhancement as their main reasons for pursuing a post-secondary education. Yet, when they require career advice and support, instead of visiting the career centres on their campuses, students turn to the career influencers in their existing networks: individuals who informally provide career-related advice, guidance, and/or counselling. This qualitative study explores the conceptions of post-secondary education (PSE) professionals working outside of career centres and asks, “How do post-secondary education (PSE) professionals conceive their influence in student career development?” First, 104 students completed a poll identifying the types of PSE professionals they turn to for career help. Then, PSE professionals serving in these identified roles were recruited for the study. Fifteen professionals participated in an in-depth interview discussing a) their professional background, b) their conceptions of the term career, c) how they saw themselves contributing to student career development, and d) resources and competencies that would further their impact to student career success. The study reveals that professionals’ conceptions of career, informed by their experiences and beliefs, influence the career advice they provide to students. Professionals also believe they contribute to student career development through performing their professional roles and exhibiting personal attributes that promote meaningful student interactions and relationships. To enhance their career influence they desire professional development on career-related topics and would like to see institutional commitment in recognizing student career success as an institutional priority. The findings yield recommendations for further research on career influencers in other institutional contexts. Implications are identified for practice that would enhance career services delivery, and employee and student career success.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kris Magnusson
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Navigating Coexistence: Ecological Drivers and Social Implications of Predator-induced Regime Shifts in the Northeast Pacific

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06-05
Abstract: 

Societies are greatly challenged by regime shifts, when ecosystems undergo fundamental changes that are rapid, unexpected, and difficult to reverse. In order to better navigate these transitions, we need information on the drivers, species interactions, and feedbacks that influence ecosystem dynamics, and an understanding of how human communities are adapting to the profound shifts in ecosystem resources. My thesis applies this social-ecological system lens to an iconic regime shift – the recovery of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in the Northeast Pacific that is triggering a trophic cascade which causes sea urchin and shellfish-dominated rocky reefs to become productive macroalgae-dominated forests. To examine how predation and herbivory interactions affect the structure, function, and resilience of reef communities on the central coast of British Columbia (BC), I conducted four years of subtidal surveys and experiments. These data confirm the critical role of sea otter predation in suppressing urchin populations, but also demonstrate for the first time, that complementary predation by mesopredators (i.e. sunflower sea star Pycnopodia helianthoides) further enhance the resilience of kelp forests by consuming smaller-sized urchins that are otherwise unconsumed by otters. I also experimentally quantified how numerical and behavioural factors collectively influence herbivory rates that maintain alternative reef states. Kelp consumption rates showed a positive but non-linear relationship with urchin biomass, whereas food subsidies and predator-avoidance behaviour reduced urchin grazing rates. Next, to understand how sea otter recovery influences coastal Indigenous communities, I worked in a collaborative Indigenous partnership to host workshops and conduct survey interviews in a comparative case study. We identified 22 social-ecological conditions that can influence Indigenous peoples’ ability to adapt to otters, and revealed how perceptions and adaptive capacity differed between a BC First Nations community and an Alaska Sugpiaq Tribe. These quantitative and qualitative data suggest that coexistence with sea otters could be improved through strengthening Indigenous agency and authority and enabling collaborative adaptive otter management grounded in traditional knowledge and western science. As a whole, this thesis highlights the complexities, surprises, and contextual nuances that characterize sea otter recovery in tightly coupled social-ecological systems, and provides the foundations for a road map to improve future human-otter coexistence.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Anne K. Salomon
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.