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.

Apoema: Exploring a communally constituted conception of selfhood approach to child welfare through an Indigenous Family Group Conferencing program

Date created: 
2020-07-16
Abstract: 

Canadian child welfare systems can be neatly mapped onto individualistic conceptions of selfhood. This individualistic stance is ingrained in child welfare’s framing of child maltreatment, language, and interventions as connected to parents’ unwillingness or inability to make proper and responsible choices. What follows is a series of adversarial and punitive attitudes and practices that normalize defamilialization and emancipation of children and youth from their families, without taking into account circumstances that precipitate the involvement of child welfare systems in families’ lives and the narrow and/or non-existent avenues for self and social improvement available to them prior to involvement. Based on a previously articulated critique of selfhood, this dissertation reaffirms the need for ontological reformulation concerning the nature of selves, offering the communal self as an alternative. This communally constituted, relational, and historical and socio-culturally situated concept of self, acknowledges the interplay of agency and context from a critical lens. It aligns with Indigenous notions of self-in-relation and Indigenist scholarship and advocacy that for decades have urged child welfare stakeholders for more broadly defined notions of selfhood and family. The communal self also grants a space wherein non-Indigenous child welfare stakeholders can ethically position themselves and engage in ally-ship without disingenuously trying to occupy Indigenous perspectives. Through an exploratory qualitative study of the experiences of families and mentors involved with an Indigenous, community-led and based Family Group Conferencing child welfare program in Winnipeg, Manitoba (MB), this dissertation goes beyond theorical considerations, providing a concrete example of the promise of child welfare interventions offered from a communal perspective of selfhood. Mentors, parents, and community members voices’ enliven the Tupi term that precedes the title of this dissertation, apoema, or “the one who sees far”, compelling us to see beyond the immediacy of what surrounds us, to conceive of ways to recast a more harmonious future, not only for Indigenous but for all peoples.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Lucy Le Mare
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Biomechanical analysis and simulation of backward falls with head impact in older adults

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-05
Abstract: 

This thesis examined the dynamics of backward falls in older adults involving head impact. Time-varying kinematics were extracted from digitizing videos of 11 real-life falls by residents of long-term care. The pelvis always impacted the ground before the head. On average, the head descended 1.2 m, and had a vertical velocity of 1.7 m/s just before it struck the ground. A novel dummy was used to examine how fall mechanics and compliant flooring affect head acceleration. Landing with a curved versus flat torso decreased peak rotational acceleration by 27% (4633 versus 5901 rad/s2). Landing with fixed versus freely rotating hips lowered peak translational accelerations by 36% (101.5 versus 158.7 g) and peak rotational accelerations by 38% (4168 versus 6366 rad/s2). The protective benefit of compliant flooring depended on torso curvature and hip stiffness. These results show that unexplored aspects of fall mechanics strongly influence head impact severity.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Stephen Robinovitch
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Contradictions between public perception of privacy and corporate privacy policy: A case study of TikTok

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

While artificial intelligence and big data technology are booming in the platform economy, it is hard to ignore how the business practices that take up these technologies are changing people’s perceptions of privacy and the implications lying beneath these practices. This paper used a systematic review and discourse analysis, respectively, to contrast how individuals perceive privacy with corporate privacy claims. Based on these results, the paper describes and analyzes the contradictions at play between personal and corporate relationships to privacy. Based on a case study of TikTok’s privacy policy, the study finds that people are generally not aware of the consequences of TikTok’s collection and use of personal data, and an unequal relationship has been established between the company and its users through business practice. I argued that protecting personal privacy should be considered as a part of people’s subjectivity which should not be harmed, while the centralization of information and knowledge is putting people’s subjectivity in greater danger than at any previous time.

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.

Clothing fantasies: A case study analysis into the recontextualization and translation of subcultural style

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

Although the study of subcultures within a Cultural Studies framework is not necessarily new, what this research studies is the process of translation and recontextualization that occurs within the transnational migration of a subculture. This research takes the instance of punk subculture in Japan as a case study for examining how this subculture was translated from its original context in the U.K. The frameworks which are used to analyze this case study are a hybrid of Gramscian hegemony and Lacanian psychoanalysis. The theoretical applications for this research are the study of subcultural migration and the processes of translation and recontextualization.

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

Selective isolation of Burkholderia, untargeted metabolomics, and biofilm inhibition screening for the discovery of bacterial natural products

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-10-25
Abstract: 

The study of natural products is dedicated to the discovery, evaluation, and use of specialized metabolites from natural sources for crop, animal, and human health. The methods required to isolate, characterize, and find utility for these important compounds are continually developing and finding new methods for exploring the diversity of chemistry available in the natural world. This work explores methods in selecting source organisms, comparison of the resulting natural products extracts with an established source of bioactive compounds, and biological screening of a vast library for the discovery of compounds for potential medical use. In the course of this work, a new and robust selection method is described for the one-step isolation of Burkholderia from complex environmental samples. This method introduces a systematic methodology for isolation of other priority organisms. The comparative untargeted metabolomics of the extracts from the Burkholderia library with an existing library of marine actinobacteria highlights the value of continued exploration of both new taxa and additional strains of known organisms for the discovery of important natural products. Finally, the high-throughput image-based screening of extracts and pure compounds for the inhibition and dispersion of V. cholerae biofilms highlights the difficulty and utility of natural products drug discovery for potential medical applications. This work demonstrates the various and important facets of natural products research from the beginning acquisition of organisms and their resulting compounds to the evaluation of these molecules prior to clinical use.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Roger G. Linington
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Tuning self-assembly of rod-shaped liquid crystals

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Liquid crystals (LCs) exhibit a unique combination of an ordered supramolecular structure and a dynamic nature, which makes them attractive for a wide range of applications. Rod-shaped molecules can self-assemble into numerous types of liquid crystalline phases including lamellar phases with varying degrees of order and fluidity. The suitability of an LC material for a given application is strongly dependent on the type of phases, the phase sequence, and their thermal stabilities. Since these three factors are highly sensitive to molecular structure, it is imperative to possess a deep understanding of their structure-property relationships in order to rationally design materials with desirable properties for a given application. The studies herein investigate how changes in molecular structure can be employed to tune the self-assembly and opto-electronic properties of LC materials. The first part of this thesis explores “molecular symmetry breaking” to improve the thermal stability of LC phases. Two series of compounds were studied: 2,6-di(4ʹ-n-alkoxybenzoyloxy)naphthalenes, which form relatively disordered phases, and 4,4’-dialkanoyloxybiphenyls, which form highly ordered phases. The degree of symmetry was varied by appending terminal alkyl chains of different lengths. A systematic comparison of the LC phase behaviour revealed that symmetry breaking leads to a pronounced depression in the melting point with a limited effect on the clearing point, resulting in broader LC phase ranges for less symmetric isomers. This presents a strategy to tune the LC properties of a material while maintaining the inherent opto-electronic properties. The second part of this thesis focuses on strategic molecular design to optimize LC materials for organic semiconductors. Initially, the effect of replacing the central thiophene in 5,5”-dialkyl-α-terthiophene with an oxadiazole or thiadiazole ring was explored. The oxadiazole analogue is not LC whereas the thiadiazole analogue exhibits several potential advantages in LC phase behaviour compared to the parent terthiophene derivative. Inspired by these results, we studied a series of 2,5-bis(2,2’-bithiophene-5-yl)-1,3,4-thiadiazole derivatives, unsymmetrically substituted with an alkyl chain on one side and an aromatic ring on the other. Through variation of the aromatic ring, both the LC and opto-electronic properties can be tailored, making these compounds highly tunable materials.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Vance E. Williams
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Using human induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) to model inherited and acquired arrhythmias

Date created: 
2018-10-16
Abstract: 

The study of inherited human cardiovascular diseases has been hampered by limited access to cardiac tissue from patients harboring specific mutations, which are thought to be causal. The ability of the human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to differentiate to any cell type including cardiomyocytes, while carrying patients’ complex genetic backgrounds, has made them a promising and powerful tool for drug screening, assessing the cardiotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents, and studying inherited cardiac diseases in vitro by recapitulating their cellular phenotypes. In Chapter 3, I used human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived ventricular and atrial cells to study the toxicity of ibrutinib, a novel Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, which has demonstrated benefit in B cell cancers, but is associated with atrial fibrillation. I showed that ibrutinib has a dramatic impact on the cardiac electrophysiology of hPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes, without affecting hPSC-derived ventricular cardiomyocytes. In Chapter 4, I investigated the arrhythmogenic role of a novel TNNI1 mutation (R37C TNNI1) in the death of “autopsy negative” sudden infant deaths (SIDs) victims. Specifically, I generated R37C+/- TNNI1 hiPSC-CMs using the genome-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 and monitored voltage- and Ca2+ transients through optical mapping. Unlike the isogenic control cell line, irregular voltage- and Ca2+ transients and arrhythmic activities were observed in the presence higher rates of stimulation or β-adrenergic agonists in monolayer of R37C+/- TNNI1 hiPSC-CMs. Chapter 5 focused on the familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC)-associated mutations found in patients, I79N TNNT2, which I generated using CRISPR/Cas9 in hiPSC-CMs. Compared to other FHC-associated mutations found in patients, I79N TNNT2 often results in significantly less ventricular hypertrophy and a higher incidence of sudden cardiac death. Unlike control hiPSC-CMs, the mutant hiPSC-CMs developed irregular and arrhythmogenic voltage- and Ca2+ transients at high stimulation rates and in the presence of β-adrenergic agonists. In sum, hiPSC-CMs have been successfully used to model a growing number of arrhythmogenic disorders, thereby enabling prediction of high-risk populations’ susceptibilities to drug-induced cardiotoxicity as a form of personalized medicine. Besides disease modeling and drug screening, hiPSC-CMs have emerged as a powerful platform for studying the cardiotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Glen Tibbits
Department: 
Science: Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Yield-per-recruit modeling of a British Columbia intertidal clam fishery : management implications of sampling design, variable recruitment, and data collection by user group

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1998
Abstract: 

Invertebrate fisheries are becoming increasingly important in British Columbia (B.C.), but setting robust management strategies is difficult due to lack of data for stock assessment and poor understanding of invertebrate population dynamics. I applied Monte Carlo simulation to a butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus) fishery at Seal Island (near Courtenay, Vancouver Island, B.C.) to evaluate the effects of sampling methods, sample size, parameter estimation method, and variable recruitment on the accuracy and precision of input parameters to the Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit (Y/R) model. The effects of this accuracy and precision on setting management strategies such as minimum legal size (MLS) with the Y/R model were evaluated by calculating the expected loss of Y/R and fishery value for each model scenario. Scenarios used one of four sampling methods, three methods of estimating total instantaneous mortality (Z) (Hoenig's method, Beverton-Holt method, and catch-curve analysis), and four levels of recruitment variability (including constant recruitment).

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Randall Peterman
Department: 
School of Resource and Environmental Management - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.R.M.)

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.