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.

Early evolution of a forearc basin: Georgia Basin, Vancouver Island, Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-18
Abstract: 

The Late Cretaceous lower Nanaimo Group was deposited in the forearc Georgia Basin of BC, Canada along the western margin of the Canadian Cordillera, and records its initiation and early depositional evolution. Nanaimo Group strata are currently subdivided into 11 lithostratigraphic units, which are identified based on lithology, texture (i.e., dominantly coarse- or fine-grained), and position relative to the basal nonconformity and to one another. Paleotopography on the basal nonconformity, however, ensures that these lithostratigraphic units are not time correlative, and hence, cannot reliably be used to reconstruct basin evolution. Herein, transgressive-regressive sequence stratigraphy is employed to construct a stratigraphic framework for the lower Nanaimo Group. Eight depositional phases are identified in the lower Nanaimo Group. Depositional phases are separated by flooding surfaces, regressive surfaces, or unconformities. The stratigraphy of the lower Nanaimo Group reflects net transgression, manifested as an upwards transition from braided fluvial conglomerates through to marine mudstones.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Shahin Dashtgard
Department: 
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

MagnetoRheological dampers for mass and energy sensitive applications

Date created: 
2018-12-05
Abstract: 

MagnetoRheological (MR) dampers have been used as reliable electronically adjustable shock and motion control devices in the past few years. Although these dampers have proven their performance in practice and the cost has decreased, their usage has been limited to high-end applications. The main drawback of MR dampers is their relatively large weight and energy consumption when compared to their passive counterparts. In this thesis, we investigate factors affecting weight and energy consumption of MR dampers and devise solutions to achieve energy-efficient and light-weight dampers. To this end, an analytic approach is presented to design and build a low-energy consumption and lightweight MR damper. It is shown that the proposed configuration can decrease the mass of MR damper significantly and reduce the energy consumption when AlNiCo alloys are utilized in the magnetic core. A proof-of-concept MR damper for mountain bike applications is designed, fabricated, characterized, and tested in the field, which meets the requirements in mountain bike industry in terms of energy consumption, compression and rebound forces, mass, size, and on-the-fly adjustability of the damping forces, by the user.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mehrdad Moallem
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

A model of health: Using business analytics to identify older Canadian adults with heart disease

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-14
Abstract: 

Nearly 90% of older Canadians have at least one chronic disease; 65% have two or more. The aims of my thesis were to apply business analytics techniques to predict the presence of an exemplar chronic disease, heart disease, among older Canadians, and to calculate the corresponding expected healthcare costs. I used neural networks to develop logistic regression models of heart disease using demographic, lifestyle, and health information for 15,599 older adults from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The Economic Burden of Illness in Canada provided healthcare cost data. The best model identified 65.8% of heart disease cases from 40% of participants with the highest predicted probabilities of heart disease, accounting for $2.7 million more expected annual healthcare costs than a randomly sampled 40%. Among all older Canadians, this difference would be $1.1 billion. These methods could assist healthcare decision makers to optimize the delivery of chronic disease prevention interventions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dawn Mackey
Department: 
Science: Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

VRCast: Mobile streaming of live 360-degree videos

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-10
Abstract: 

Live streaming of immersive multimedia content, e.g., 360-degree videos, is getting popular due to the recent availability of commercial devices that support interacting with such content such as smart phones, tablets, and head-mounted displays. Unicast streaming of immersive content on cellular networks consumes substantial network resources and does not scale to large number of users. Multicast, on the other hand, offers a scalable solution but it introduces multiple challenges, which include handling user interactivity, ensuring smooth quality, supporting user mobility, conserving the energy of mobile receivers, and ensuring fairness among users. We propose a comprehensive solution for the problem of live streaming of 360-degree videos to mobile users, which we refer to as VRCast. VRCast is designed for cellular networks that support multicast, such as LTE. It divides the 360-degree video into tiles and then solves the complex live streaming problem in two steps to maximize the viewport quality of users and ensure a smooth quality within the same viewport while saving the energy of mobile devices and achieving fairness across users. Extensive trace driven simulation and real LTE testbed results show that VRCast outperforms the closest algorithms in the literature by wide margins across several performance metrics. For example, compared to the state-of-the-art, VRCast enhances the median frame quality by up to 22% and reduces the variation in the spatial quality by up to 53% and improves the energy saving for mobile devices by up to 250%.

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

Towards optical readout of Si:Se+

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-12
Abstract: 

The demonstration of a qubit system in silicon, with efficient optical control and readout of robust electronic and nuclear spin states, would change the current dominant industrial trends in quantum devices. Singly ionized deep double donors in silicon (Si:Se+) have shown promise as examples of such industry-changing qubit candidates. The (Si:Se+) system possesses a long-lived spin qubit with photonic access through a spin-selective optical transition. Under the assumption that this optical transition is radiatively efficient, it has been proposed that this optical transition be exploited for direct emission-based spin-state readout, or alternatively used as a much-sought-after silicon-integrated single-photon source. In the first part of this thesis, we present the measurement of the T1 lifetime of the optically excited state which in turn allowed us to determine a natural radiative efficiency of 0.80(1)%. Fortunately, this spin-photon interface can be coupled to photonic cavity modes for indirect spin-state read-out or to improve the emission rate through the Purcell effect. In the second part of this thesis, we present the hardware and software details of an adaptable automated photonics testing system that can be used to characterize integrated photonic devices.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephanie Simmons
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Relationship between mindful teaching methods and student perception of their retention of mathematical knowledge

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-19
Abstract: 

Although little research has been done on what students perceive increases their retention of mathematical content, studies show that how a memory is acquired has a direct impact on how strong that memory is. By increasing student engagement through the use of teaching tools found in Liljedahl’s thinking classroom, along with digital technology, an increase in student retention in a mathematics classroom could occur. This research study focuses on if there is a relationship between students’ perception of their retention of mathematical knowledge and the use of engaging teaching methods such as vertical, non-permanent surfaces, visibly random groupings, mindful notes, and digital technology. Results were gathered through student surveys and interviews, although staggered assessments were also analyzed to see if variance in results occurred with the implementation of new teaching methods. Results showed that the implementation of engaging teaching methods have a positive impact on students’ perception of their retention of mathematical content.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Liljedahl
Sean Chorney
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.

Resources to support Indigenous reproductive health and justice in Toronto: A respondent-driven sampling study

Date created: 
2018-11-09
Abstract: 

In Canada, the reproductive health and rights of Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people are threatened by the complex nature of historic and ongoing colonialism. In the face of widespread oppression, however, Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people find ways to achieve wellness. To provide novel statistical information about Indigenous reproductive health, this Master’s thesis takes a strengths-based approach to understanding causes of wellness in a cohort of urban Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people of reproductive age (n=323). Through a community-based research partnership with the Seventh Generation Midwives of Toronto and the Well Living House, this study uses secondary data collected with respondent-driven sampling (RDS) methods for the community-driven health survey Our Health Counts Toronto. By drawing on community perspectives and Indigenous reproductive justice theories, we hypothesized that four different resources enhance wellness: (1) relationship to land; (2) traditional foods; (3) cultural connectedness; and, (4) Indigenous programs and services. Logistic regression modelling revealed that relationships to land, traditional foods, and Indigenous programs and services were statistically significant to wellness. This study may aid policy makers and service providers in promoting equitable reproductive health care for Indigenous peoples in Toronto and other Canadian cities. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the applicability of critical Indigenous theories and activism to the fields of population health and epidemiology.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nicole Berry
Scott Venners
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Densification of Vancouver's neighbourhoods: Energy use, emissions, and affordability

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-03
Abstract: 

The City of Vancouver in British Columbia has committed to use 100% renewable energy and reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. Like many cities in North America, much of the Vancouver's land area currently consists of single-family detached home neighbourhoods—a type of land use that has been associated with higher than average per capita energy use and emissions. In this study, I used an energy-economy-emissions model, CIMS, to evaluate how densifying these low-density neighbourhoods with medium-density housing forms would influence energy use, emissions, and home energy and personal transportation affordability. While densification was found to have a modest influence on reducing building emissions, zero-emission building regulations were found to be much more effective, highlighting the importance of energy-switching policy for residential building decarbonization. However, an affordability co-benefit of densification was found: smaller, more energy efficient dwellings in dense building forms reduce annual energy costs relative to detached homes, especially when coordinated with policies and actions to limit vehicle ownership.

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)

Deep video visual relation detection

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-19
Abstract: 

We propose a deep learning approach to the video visual relation detection problem which aims to spatiotemporally localize objects in videos and then predicts the interaction relationship between objects. A video visual relation instance is represented by a relation triplet with the trajectories of the object1 and object2. Our framework is composed of three stages. In stage one, an object tubelet detection model is employed on video RGB frames, which takes as input a sequence of frames and output object tubelets. In stage two, pairs of object tubelets are passed to a temporal relation detection model, which outputs a relation predicate between objects as relation tubelet. In stage three, detected short-term relation tubelets which have same relation triplet and efficient high volume overlap are associated into relation tube. We validate our method on VidVRD dataset and demonstrate that the performance of our method outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Greg Mori
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Reading to learn mathematics: Textbooks, student notes and classroom communication

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-17
Abstract: 

‘Reading to learn mathematics’ has diverse interpretations: from reading to decoding text to reading mathematical literature. This blind study examined the impact of enhanced reading of the mathematics textbook in a Pre-Calculus 11 classroom. Students read and made personal notes on new content before there was any discussion or direct instruction. Their work was collected and examined for aspects and features of the mathematical text noted and whether work was directly copied or uniquely created. Prompts such as, ‘Create notes for a friend who missed class’ were used. The voice of their written work was compared to the voice of the textbook. Results indicated it was not the correctness of explanations or interpretations that mattered, rather the personal involvement with text that allowed for understanding. Further, students demonstrated increased ‘why’ questions, a broader use of mathematical register during class discussion, and changes to their personal connection to their learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Liljedahl
David John Pimm
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.