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.

Health in distant fields: An ethnographic study of Latin American migrant farmworkers’ access to health services in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-07
Abstract: 

Canada prides itself on its universal healthcare system. Nonetheless, migrant farm workers, who have temporary resident status, face difficulties accessing provincial healthcare while in Canada. Interviews and institutional ethnographic analysis were conducted in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. This paper examines the barriers that temporary farm workers from Mexico and Guatemala face when attempting to access healthcare services in Canada. Ontario and British Columbia, provinces with differing healthcare coverage, were found to have the same barriers but at different magnitudes. The reinforcement of bureaucratic barriers in British Columbia restricts temporary farm workers from accessing medical services more so than in Ontario. As the numbers of temporary farm workers rise in Canada, provincial healthcare providers can improve access to medical care by taking into account the difficulties temporary farm workers are currently facing.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gerardo Otero
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Oxygen mass transport parameters in ionomer films under controlled relative humidity

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-20
Abstract: 

Mass transport parameters are determined for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the electrochemical interface of a platinum microdisk electrode and five different series of polymer electrolyte membranes. The series included proton exchange polyfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) based membranes (Nafion 117, Nafion 211), films cast from PFSA dispersions (DE2020), anion exchange quaternary ammonium based membranes (FAA-3), and films cast from hexamethyl-p-terphenyl polymethylbenzimidazole (HMT-PMBI) dispersions. The membranes differ in chemical structure, morphology, and water content controlled by relative humidity. The series of materials were investigated over a range of temperatures (50-70 °C) and relative humidities (30-98% RH) using a solid state electrochemical cell. Cyclic voltammetry yielded the potentials where ORR is mass transport limited, as well as the electrochemically active surface area of the platinum microdisk electrode. Chronoamperometry was performed at mass transport limiting potentials, where fitting the current transients to analytical models (Cottrell/Shoup-Szabo) allowed for the calculation of oxygen diffusion coefficient (Db), solubility (cb), and permeability (Db*cb) for the applied environmental conditions. A numerical model is also presented which highlights constraints in using the analytical models to determine mass transport parameters when the inherently-assumed infinite electrolyte thickness is not present. During chronoamperometric measurements, where the potential applied results in the generation of liquid water at the membrane/electrode interface (ORR), a reversible time-dependent behaviour was observed where Db and Db*cb increased over time to plateau values. The time-dependency responds to changes in relative humidity and is reversible, where mass transport parameters shift to a vapour equilibrated state over long periods of time. It is suggested that the electrochemically generated liquid water at the membrane/platinum interface during oxygen reduction results in a morphological change over repeated perturbations in the form of chronoamperometric analysis. The presence of interfacial liquid water causes hydrophilic channels, which are not present in substantial amounts at the interface in the vapour equilibrated-state, to reorient toward the surface. The increase in water-filled channels at the interface can explain the increase in Db and Db*cb, which are dependent on water content. Oxygen mass transport parameters for both proton and anion exchange membranes are reported as a function of relative humidity. In order to perform electrochemical measurements at < 70% RH (at 50 °C) for perfluorosulfonic acid membranes and for all conditions for anion exchange membranes, a modified twoelectrode setup was employed and compared to a three-electrode configuration. The oxygen diffusion coefficient is observed to depend on the water content. A lower relative humidity resulted in lower values of Db; significantly so for alkaline anion exchange samples compared to their acidic counterparts. cb was observed to exhibit an inverse relationship, which increases with decreasing relative humidity. The decrease in Db as the relative humidity was lowered was larger than the increase in cb, which lead to a decrease in Db*cb as the relative humidity was lowered for all membranes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Holdcroft
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The price of creativity: Policy and the professional artist in British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-04-10
Abstract: 

The arts are a thriving business in Canada. The arts and culture sectors contribute 3% to the Canada’s GDP each year: a larger share than the agricultural, hospitality, or forest industries. However, professional artists—the core cultural labour force—are not as prosperous, and BC artists are worse off than most. The median income of artists in BC is the second lowest in Canada, well below the low-income cut-off. Although they are far more likely than the average worker to hold a university degree, BC artists earn an alarming 48% less than the provincial median for all workers. Women, visible minorities, and aboriginal people working as artists in BC earn even less.Using data collected from a jurisdictional scan, expert interviews, and an online survey of artists from across BC, I identify four potential policy measures to address the issue of low earnings in the arts sector. Options include an expansion of the existing project grants programs administered by the BC Arts Council, as well as three different plans to provide a monthly minimum income to artists. After analyzing each policy in terms of effectiveness, equity, budgetary cost, administrative complexity, and stakeholder acceptance, I recommend establishing a need-based but competitive grant stream providing a Basic Income to professional artists. Referring to survey data, I also propose a set of recommendations to enhance the accessibility, flexibility, and targeting of BC Arts Council programs.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

The G-quadruplex-hemin DNAzyme can tag itself with the reactive substrate biotin tyramide

Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

Genomic database searches suggest that there are a large number of potentially G-quadruplex forming sequences present in the human genome, in addition to their well-established localization in telomeres. Novel imaging techniques support these data and have begun to indicate the extent to which G-quadruplexes are present in vivo. Information on any biological function of these sequences is less clear. This thesis presents the creation of an assay that could target G-quadruplexes for imaging or pulldown and potentially give information on their biological relevance. We utilize the inherent peroxidase activity of the quadruplex-hemin interaction to initiate a tagging reaction based upon a reactive tyramide substrate.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dipankar Sen
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Regulation x Sustainable Development: A Case for Land-Based Aquaculture for First Nations

Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

Aquaculture is gaining attention as an alternative method of protein production in a time of increased population pressure and compromised seafood stocks. Land-based aquaculture (LBA), cultivating seafood in tanks on land, holds potential for economic and community wellbeing development for First Nations. This study identifies regulatory gaps and barriers facing shellfish LBA development in British Columbia and investigates the sustainable community development effects of shellfish LBA on Nanwakolas Member Nations, on northern Vancouver Island, through two sustainable development frameworks: the Community Capital Tool and the Community Wellbeing Wheel. The report assesses how remediation of regulatory challenges could cultivate sustainable development opportunities through LBA. The study found that integrating policy changes to reduce the time required to obtain a license, creation of LBA advisory committees, and partnerships with educational LBA institutions can aid in cultivating a sustainable source of seafood, economic opportunities, resource management governance and preservation of traditional foods for Nanwakolas Nations.

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

Algorithms for colourful simplicial depth and median in the plane

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-07
Abstract: 

The colourful simplicial depth (CSD) of a point x in R^2 relative to a configuration P=(P^1, P^2, ..., P^k) of n points in k colour classes is exactly the number of closed simplices (triangles) with vertices from 3 different colour classes that contain x in their convex hull. We consider the problems of efficiently computing the colourful simplicial depth of a point x, and of finding a point in R^2, called a median, that maximizes colourful simplicial depth. For computing the colourful simplicial depth of x, our algorithm runs in time O(n log(n) + kn) in general, and O(kn) if the points are sorted around x. For finding the colourful median, we get a time of O(n^4). For comparison, the running times of the best known algorithm for the monochrome version of these problems are O(n log(n)) in general, improving to O(n) if the points are sorted around x for monochrome depth, and O(n^4) for finding a monochrome median.

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

How Much Help? How Much Harm? Working class women’s experiences of prenatal care in East Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-06
Abstract: 

This project sought to interrogate the institution of prenatal care in East Vancouver through the lived experiences of working class and historically marginalized women. Prenatal care in British Columbia is a complex of institutional policies and practices. This project focused on prenatal visits between pregnant women and their chosen maternity care provider. Through the stories and experiences of nine research participants, this project affords insight into how the work of prenatal care might be improved to better the experiences and health outcomes for working class and historically marginalized women and their newborns. This could include integrating more substantive ways of centering women in the institution of prenatal care and recruiting women as active participants, such as the use of group care and lay health care workers. Pregnancy is a time of great change for working class and historically marginalized women, attempts to reduce social inequity can start with the institutions that provide women care throughout pregnancy.

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

Rooted graph minors and the reducibility of graph polynomials

Date created: 
2017-04-05
Abstract: 

In 2009, Brown gave a set of conditions which when satisfied imply that a Feynman integral evaluates to a multiple zeta value. One of these conditions is called reducibility, which loosely says there is an order of integration for the Feynman integral for which Brown's techniques will succeed. Reducibility can be abstracted away from the Feynman integral to just being a condition on two polynomials, the first and second Symanzik polynomials. The first Symanzik polynomial is defined from the spanning trees of a graph, and the second Symanzik polynomial is defined from both spanning forests of a graph and some edge and vertex weights, called external momenta and masses. Thus reducibility is a property of graphs augmented with certain weights. We prove that for a fixed number of external momenta and no masses, reducibility is graph minor closed, correcting the previously claimed proofs of this fact. A computational study of reducibility was undertaken by Bogner and L\"{u}ders who found that for graphs with $4$-on-shell momenta and no masses, $K_{4}$ with momenta on each vertex is a forbidden minor. We add to this and find that when we restrict to graphs with four on-shell external momenta the following graphs are forbidden minors: $K_{4}$ with momenta on each vertex, $W_{4}$ with external momenta on the rim vertices, $K_{2,4}$ with external momenta on the large side of the bipartition, and one other graph. We do not expect that these minors characterize reducibility, so instead we give structural characterizations of the graphs not containing subsets of these minors. We characterize graphs not containing a rooted $K_{4}$ or rooted $W_{4}$ minor, graphs not containing rooted $K_{4}$ or rooted $W_{4}$ or rooted $K_{2,4}$ minors, and also a characterization of graphs not containing all of the known forbidden minors. Some comments are made on graphs not containing $K_{3,4}$, $K_{6}$ or a graph related to Wagner's graph as a minor.

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

PT-Symmetric Hamiltonian H=p^2-(ix)^N: Welcome to the Complex World

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-21
Abstract: 

The Hermiticity from conventional quantum mechanics guarantees that the energy spectrum is real. However, if replace this mathematical condition by the physically transparent condition of parity-time reflection symmetry (PT-symmetry), the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian still guarantees that its entire energy spectrum is real if the Hamiltonian has unbroken PT-symmetry. If its PT-symmetry is broken, then two cases can happen - its entire energy spectrum is complex for the first case, or a finite number of real energy levels can still be obtained for the second case. This was “officially” discovered since 1998. After that, the developments in PT-symmetric quantum theory rapidly grew in the last 15 years - with more than 20 international conferences and symposia, and over 2000 research papers about PT-symmetry already published. Furthermore, at least 50 experiments to observe PT-symmetric system were published during the last 10 years. Those experiments told us that it was possible to experimentally measure complex eigenvalue and observe broken and unbroken PT-symmetry. Admittedly, PT-symmetric quantum theory is a young and new field - currently, still not many professors and researchers familiar with this subject. That is why this thesis comes in, and tries to serve a role to introduce this subject to wide audience from students to professors. In this thesis, the energy spectrum from the PT-symmetric Hamiltonian H = p^2 −(ix)^N with x ∈ C, N ∈ R and N ≥ 1 was studied in detail by using numerical and WKB approximation. What the corresponding eigenfunctions look like were also examined in numerical way. Lastly, a few interesting and weird phenomena from PT-symmetric non-relativistic classical mechanics were explored in brief. We hope that this study could not only demystify but also help people appreciate many aspects of PT-symmetry.

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

FPGA to the cloud

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-29
Abstract: 

FPGAs are enabling more applications to be put to the market at a fraction of the cost of ASICs and with a much faster deployment rate. However, the wide range of FPGA brands and types currently available on the market; could overwhelm first time users when choosing a suitable FPGA for a given application. Furthermore, intermediate-to-advanced FPGA users may desire to evaluate some new FPGAs before committing to a purchase. FPGA to the Cloud is a web application that allows users to interact with FPGA evaluation kits remotely on a try-before-you-buy or pay-per-use model. The end user would access a web site where the web application is hosted. The end user would select an FPGA evaluation board from a list, and would be given direct remote access to said FPGA board; with programming tools. The user could use available sample FPGA design files, or upload user-created FPGA design files; for testing and evaluation. The project-prototype is based on the ZedBoard which uses Xilinx’s Zynq-7000 FPGA. The web application was developed using Laravel’s PHP framework.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Craig Scratchley
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Eng.