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.

Vancouver’s renewable city strategy: Economic and policy analysis

Date created: 
2017-02-22
Abstract: 

Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy aims for 100% renewable energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To see if Vancouver’s policies will achieve this, I used the CIMS energy-economy model to evaluate the impact of potential policies. I simulated Vancouver’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions under different policy scenarios: (1) current policy, (2) renewable city scenario-specific policies Vancouver has proposed, and (3) additional policies focusing on fuel switching. My results show that fossil fuel use and emissions increase relative to 2015 under current policy by about 10%. The renewable city scenario policies decrease fossil fuel use and emissions by 30% and 25% respectively, but fail to meet Vancouver’s targets. Only additional stringent policies reduce fossil fuel use and emissions to near zero, thereby meeting the targets. These result show that to meet its targets, Vancouver must implement policies that specifically focus on fuel switching in buildings and vehicles.

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

White Euro-Canadian women in transracial/cultural families: Lived experiences of race and difference

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-14
Abstract: 

How do we come to know difference? How do we transform our conceptualizations of difference? This qualitative research study explores the experiences and practices of white Euro-Canadian women in transracial/cultural families with black African new immigrant partners in the Canadian socio-political context. Drawing on critical race feminisms, critical whiteness studies, and antiracism theory, I analyze the interlocking subjectivities of these women in relation to histories of colonialism and nation-building (Carter, 1997; Razack, 2002; Thobani, 2010; Ware, 1992). I examine how the women conceptualize, negotiate, reproduce, and resist dominant ideologies of difference in their lives. I complicate the construct of white femininity, and posit that white women have a distinct responsibility to resist and disrupt white supremacy, and that they can play a key role in doing so (Deliovsky, 2003; Moon, 1999; Najmi & Srikanth, 2002). I consider how white women in transracial/cultural families can be imagined as agentive actors, who can be part of broader social and political change through literacy practices they perform in the everyday learning spaces of their lives (Collins, 2000; Frankenberg, 1993; hooks, 1990, 1992; Twine, 2010). Throughout the study, I problematize the nature of multiculturalism, the notion of ‘culture,’ the construct of whiteness, and dominant conceptions of ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ in Canadian and postcolonial African contexts (Dei, 1996; Fleras, 2014; Frankenberg, 1993; Mayer, 2002; Walcott, 1997). I posit that through their transgressions across multiple forms of difference, transracial/cultural families come to occupy spaces of ‘inbetweenness,’ in which new ways of knowing and being in the world are possible (Brah, 1996; Luke & Luke, 1998). I assess how these women and their families can help us reimagine constructions of difference, which I argue is imperative for the future of diverse western societies, as tensions increase regarding how to "manage diversity" (Essed, 2007; Steyn, 2015; Vertovec, 2015). I seek to contribute to the limited scholarship on white women in multiracial families, and to add to antiracism theory and critical whiteness studies by shedding light on issues of race and antiracism in the home and community.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dolores van der Wey
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The impact of viral infections on neurocognitive functioning in the context of multiple risk factors: Associations with health care utilization

Date created: 
2017-01-30
Abstract: 

Marginally housed persons experience several risk factors for neurocognitive impairment, including viral infections, psychiatric illness, and substance use. Although interventions exist, marginalized persons often obtain inadequate health services, based upon personal and structural barriers. In study one, we employed structural equation modeling to assess determinants of neurocognition (i.e., viral infections, psychiatric symptoms), predicting that any impairment would impede healthcare access. Our findings revealed that greater exposure to viral infections and more severe psychiatric symptoms were similarly associated with poorer neurocognition. Additionally, more frequent opioid use/less frequent alcohol and marijuana use was associated with better neurocognition. Only viral infections directly predicted healthcare use, an association that was positive despite the negative impact viral infections held with neurocognition. In study two, we assessed whether spontaneous clearance of Hepatitis C (HCV) is associated with reversal of neurocognitive impairments by comparing three groups: cleared-HCV, active-HCV, and no exposure to HCV. Our findings did not confirm improved neurocognition with HCV clearance, nor did we find any differences between groups exposed to HCV versus those never exposed to the virus after controlling for the effects of Hepatitis B (HBV). Nevertheless, our findings revealed that HCV conveys adverse health in marginalized persons (i.e., HCV exposure is associated with increased rates of HIV, liver dysfunction, etc.). Overall, these findings confirm the detrimental impact of viral infections on neurocognition in marginalized persons. Moreover, although neurocognition did not emerge as a personal barrier to accessing care in marginalized settings, structural level barriers may be operating. Specifically, our results point to a system where health care is selectively utilized and may not be targeted towards all persons, such as those experiencing elevated psychiatric symptoms.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Allen Thornton
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

An alternative social imaginary for internationalization in universities

Date created: 
2017-01-09
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study is to make recommendations for the practice of internationalization at public research institutions. Responding to the calls to challenge the meaning and intentions of internationalization in higher education, this is a conceptual inquiry into internationalization, relying upon public documents revealing the history, practices, and policies as well as the literature, to investigate how a public research institution in Canada has understood and experienced internationalization and to imagine an ethical and educative implementation of internationalization in the future. This inquiry found a disconnect between some of the practical policies of the institution and government, and the voice of the institutional leader and the students. This difference was reflective of the social imaginary operating behind the policies and actions. The voices of the leader and the students almost exclusively operated from the more collaborative and communicative imaginary. This exploration into the discourse of internationalization has led me to believe that rather than being a mechanism for coping with globalization, internationalization offers individuals and institutions the opportunity for required growth and development. Internationalization is a policy position that can result in practices that inspire an ethic of interconnected problem solving, individual identity development, and an ethos of care in institutions. I argue that without an approach to internationalization that promotes a social imaginary of collaboration and networked institutions, characterized by global citizenship and intercultural learning, universities are at risk of succumbing to the forces of neoliberal policy directions, marketplace politics, and the tradition of status and rankings. This alternative social imaginary for internationalization––valuing a network of people and institutions in order to create conditions that serve, support, and inspire collaboration for learning, research, and change across the globe—will yield a new way of being for universities, one that results from our history and resonates with our contemporary purpose.

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

Reverberations of moral reform: The impact of the racialized construction of Vancouver’s Chinatown on the Vancouver Police Department, 1886-1907

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

The quick succession of Vancouver’s first seven police chiefs between 1886-1907 is a unique example of how the construction of Vancouver’s Chinatown as a racial place had an effect on the Vancouver Police Department. Although claims of a purportedly vice ridden Chinatown were central to the turn of the twentieth century politicians and moral reformers’ desires to prevent inter-racial socialization, these claims had no immediate effect on Vancouver. Not until the reformers alleged the police department was corrupt and responsible for the apparently rampant gambling in Chinatown did they influence the department’s operation in Chinatown. This thesis looks at the process by which this rhetoric reinforced ideas about gambling in Chinatown and influenced the police department’s response to this problem. This process allowed moral reformers on Vancouver’s city council to consolidate their power over the VPD and force the VPD to rigorously police Chinatown. Although the reformers' influence on the VPD’s operations in Chinatown was not permanent, their efforts to characterize gambling as a distinctively "Chinese" vice facilitated their efforts to police social interaction between Chinese and non-Chinese people, and aided in the construction of Chinatown as a racialized space.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrea Geiger
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Sialic acid metabolism in the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-11-23
Abstract: 

My research investigated sialic acid metabolism in the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. The sialic acid, N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), is a sugar found on fungal spore cell surface that mediates adhesion to host proteins and phagocytes. The aims of the thesis were to characterize a novel A. fumigatus exo-sialidase (AfS), and to clone and characterize putative A. fumigatus nucleotide sugar transporters (AfNSTs) to identify CMP-Neu5Ac or UDP-galactose transporters. The A. fumigatus sialidase gene was expressed in E. coli and crystallized; the crystal structure and Michaelis – Menten kinetic analysis revealed that the glycoside of another sialic acid, 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN), was a better substrate for the enzyme than glycosides of Neu5Ac. This enzyme represents the first sialidase characterized from the Kingdom Fungi. To better understand why KDN is a better substrate for AfS than Neu5Ac, using the enzyme structure as a guide in conjunction with known sialidase structures, a point-mutation (R151L) was introduced in the substrate binding pocket to better accommodate glycans with terminal Neu5Ac. Activity of the R151L mutant was slightly enhanced toward Neu5Ac. Moreover, amino acid sequence comparisons revealed that this amino acid may be a hallmark of KDNases. In addition, I attempted to identify a CMP-sialic acid transporter in A. fumigatus, a type of nucleotide sugar transporter (NST). NSTs mediate nucleotide sugar transport into the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex for subsequent addition to glycoproteins and glycolipids. STD-NMR analysis and 14C-transport assays were conducted to examine the substrate specificity of four putative A. fumigatus NSTs expressed in yeast. Two transporters (AfNST1 and AfNST5) bound UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose, and transported 14C-UDP-galactose. Epitope maps showed that the UDP-moiety anchored the nucleotide sugar and that sugar structure conferred specificity because not all UDP-sugars bound to the NSTs. No CMP-sialic acid transport was detected. Despite similarities in substrate preference between AfNST1 and AfNST5, growth and morphology of the corresponding knock-out mutants differed; only the Af∆NST5KO was compromised when grown on media containing cell wall stressors. Using lectins and flow cytometry, I found that the level of cell surface galactose was significantly reduced in both knockout strains as compared to the wild type; however, sialic acid density on conidia was significantly reduced only in the Af∆NST5KO mutant. This research demonstrates for the first time that NSTs are important for the integrity of the fungal cell and may represent novel targets for antifungal agents.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Margo Moore
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Horse Latitudes, Tokyo Longitudes : A Fictional Marriage of Imagination and Experience

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

Horse Latitudes/Tokyo Longitudes is a work of fiction that explores the creative process. During the process of writing, I was interested in the interplay between memory and imagination. The characters are based on the people of my life; the events are based both on occurrences in my life and in the lives of my friends. The characters described, however, are not the people who experienced the events. With the exception of the narrator, none of the individuals characterized in the story is acquainted with any of the others. The events are real, the reactions of the characters are drawn from the imagination. Horse Latitudes/Tokyo Longitudes is not simply the result of 'copying down' my life.

While on a Trans-Pacific flight, the central character begins the story by reflecting on his life. He is dissatisfied with the choices he has made and realizes that he must change direction. Through the narrator's actions and those who surround him, the issue of Western romantic love, the passion that guides much of our actions, is explored. The narrator opts to seek that 'One Perfect Love' to recover from his rudderless existence. Romantic love, however, is a path with no final destination.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Grazia Merler
Department: 
Liberal Studies
Thesis type: 
M.A. Project

Modular content: a new publishing strategy at the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-02-01
Abstract: 

This report is a case study of a new publishing model entitled structured modular content,adopted by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia in order to upgrade theiroutdated production system that did not allow for easy reuse of content. In order to implementthis new publishing concept, the Society initiated a project entitled Content Strategy, with theobjective to publish material in independent modules that can be easily recycled. Through thisproject, the Society had to convert all of their content to XML DITA, an open standardfor structuring, developing, managing, and publishing content, with the help of DITA CMS, acomponent management system. This report studies what structured modular content is and howit works, the challenges that the Society encountered while converting their content and how theyovercame them and the new possibilities that structured modular content provides: new products.

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

From the Aldine Press to Aldus@SFU: Showcasing Simon Fraser University Library’s Aldines Online

Date created: 
2017-01-25
Abstract: 

This report stems from a joint commemoration in 2015 of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Simon Fraser University and the five-hundredth anniversary of the death of pioneering Renaissance publisher and scholar Aldus Manutius. To mark these occasions, Publishing@SFU and SFU Library Special Collections joined forces to create a web-based resource comprising an outstanding selection of Aldines from the Wosk–McDonald collection, one of the largest such in North America. This report details the creation of Aldus@SFU, a prototype digital exhibition of the collection intended to be as widely accessible as possible on the Internet through ubiquitous technologies. Adopting a syncretic approach that emphasizes the continuous relationship between innovation and tradition, this report outlines and explores the key intersections between Aldus’ plan to popularize classical literature and the core mission of our project: to contribute to public knowledge by making SFU Aldines conveniently and freely available online via a flexible, mobile-optimized user interface. With original contributions from both scholars and popular media figures complementing the digitized volumes, Aldus@SFU is more than a mere companion website to a library collection. Instead, it is intended as a larger crossover digital platform: an inclusive, collaborative scholarly environment and a visually appealing educational resource whose audience includes not only scholars but also a wider interested public.

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

Three Studies on Hedge Fund Risk Taking and Herding

Date created: 
2016-10-05
Abstract: 

This dissertation consists of three studies on hedge fund risk taking and herding. The first paper documents the risk taking of hedge funds in the last three years prior to liquidation using the measures of return volatility. I find that the risk reduction is the greatest for the liquidated sample during the last two and three years as the fund performance drops. Moreover, the volatility-hazard regression shows that the risk taking of funds reduces during the last year prior to fund liquidation as the predicted hazard rates in the previous year increase. The evidence indicates that the liquidation is forced when the performance of the portfolios drops below the liquidation barrier. The second paper investigates the risk taking choices of hedge funds following redemption requests. I find that hedge funds with longer restriction periods tend to take lower risk if there are no significant redemption requests. Second, hedge funds with short restriction periods tend to increase risks following redemption requests. The increase in risk is larger for large redemptions than for small redemptions. However, if there are large redemptions during market crisis, hedge funds tend to take higher post risk even when the restriction periods are longer. The third paper examines hedge funds herding in response to macroeconomic uncertainty during periods of high volatility with extreme market returns. I find that hedge funds that follow directional strategies herd towards the consensus during periods of high macroeconomic uncertainty. The degree of herding towards the consensus becomes greater during periods of economic downturn. I also find that the degree of herding for live funds following directional strategies is greater during periods of high macroeconomic uncertainty in down markets. This suggests that the similar trading manners of the directional fund managers in times of macroeconomic uncertainty could be beneficial for fund survival.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Klein
Department: 
Beedie School of Business Faculty: Segal Graduate School
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.