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 things we all celebrate”: Aboriginal parents’ conceptualizations of a broad Aboriginal identity in the context of the Aboriginal Focus School in Vancouver

Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

This thesis provides a thematic analysis of how urban Aboriginal parents (N=31) discussing the Aboriginal Focus School in Vancouver conceptualize the broad Aboriginal category as a meaningful identity. Participants conceptualized the broad Aboriginal category as a reflection of the lived experience of urban Aboriginal peoples, as a group with cultural commonalities including shared practices, norms and values, as a collection of diverse Aboriginal cultural groups in which subgroup diversity contributes to the value of the broad Aboriginal identity, and as a basis for solidarity and resilience in response to mistreatment from outgroups. Results also suggest the broad Aboriginal category is most likely to be accepted when it is perceived to be constructed by Aboriginal people themselves. These findings are situated within the Social Identity Theory approach (Reicher, Spears & Haslam, 2010) and add nuance to research on multicultural identities, intragroup relations and the political implications of social category construction.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michael Schmitt
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Three Problems Involving Permutations

Date created: 
2016-12-05
Abstract: 

We study three problems involving permutations: the n-card problem, inv-Wilf-equivalence, and suitable sets of permutations. The n-card problem is to determine the minimal intervals [u, v] such that for every n times n stochastic matrix A there is an n times n permutation matrix P (depending on A) such that tr(PA) belongs to [u, v]. The minimal intervals for the n-card problem are known only for n <= 4. We answer a question posed by Sands, by showing that [1, 2] is a solution to the n-card problem for all n >= 2. We also show that each closed interval of length n/(n−1) contained in [0, 2) is a solution to the n-card problem for all n >= 2. Wilf-equivalence is one of the central concepts of pattern-avoiding permutations. The two known infinite families of Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs both satisfy the stronger condition of shape-Wilf-equivalence. Dokos et al. studied a different strengthening of Wilf-equivalence called inv-Wilf-equivalence. They conjectured that all inv-Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs arise from trivial symmetries. We disprove this conjecture with an infinite family of counterexamples, obtained by generalizing simultaneously the concepts of shape-Wilf-equivalence and inv-Wilf-equivalence. We also prove the Baxter-Jaggard conjecture on even-shape-Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs. A set of N permutations of {1, 2, . . . , v} is (N, v, t)-suitable if each symbol precedes each subset of t − 1 others in at least one permutation. We give examples of suitable sets of permutations for new parameter triples (N, v, t). We relate certain suitable sets of permutations with parameter t to others with parameter t + 1, thereby showing that one of the two infinite families presented by Colbourn can be constructed directly from the other. We prove an exact nonexistence result for suitable sets of permutations using elementary combinatorial arguments. We then establish an asymptotic nonexistence result using Ramsey’s theorem.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jonathan Jedwab
Department: 
Science: Department of Mathematics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

In Search of Cordilleran Point Sources to the Southern McMurray Sub-Basin

Date created: 
2016-12-12
Abstract: 

In the east-central Alberta, isopach values of the McMurray Formation measured from the overlying Wabiskaw Marker datum show that paleotopographic relief on the sub-Cretaceous Unconformity is express by three paleo-valleys carved into the Grosmont-Wainwright Highlands. The paleo-valleys are named herein as: Grouse, Quail, and Ptarmigan. Mineralogical analysis of McMurray Formation sandstones in the paleo-valleys resolves subtle but recognisable vertical and spatial variations in composition. Feldspar contents decrease and lithic contents increase with stratigraphic depth. Based on petrographic analyses, McMurray Formation sandstones are sourced dominantly from a continental-scale drainage across the craton, with secondary input from uplifted sedimentary strata in the west as well as from the Canadian Shield in the east. Probable, paleo-tributaries can be superimposed on isopach maps of the McMurray Formation that, when coupled with net-sand maps, appear to bisect the highlands, suggesting that the Grosmont-Wainwright did not prevent some Cordillera sediment from entering the Ptarmigan and Quail paleo-valleys. This Cordillera-derived sediment was delivered via Edmonton Valley, and is calculated to constitute approximately 35% of the sediment supplied.

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

Oxidation of 3-Chloroindole and Biodegradation of Dialkoxybenzenes with Cytochrome P450cam (CYP101A1)

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Cytochrome P450cam (a camphor hydroxylase) isolated from soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida shows potent importance in environmental applications such as the degradation of chlorinated organic pollutants and insect control agents. Introducing such chemicals can be hazardous to the environment due to their lack of biodegradation. In this thesis, I have studied the role of several P450cam mutants in the oxidation of 3-chloroindole to isatin and the role of wild type P450cam in the dealkylation of 1,4-dibutoxybenzene, a potent feeding-deterrent against stored product pests. Mutant (E156G/V247F/V253G/F256S) was the most active in the conversion of 3-chloroindole by P450cam. We propose two mechanisms for the dechlorination of 3-chloroindole by P450cam. To investigate structure-activity patterns of 1,4-dialkoxybenzenes against beetles, the octanol-water partition coefficients of selected dialkoxybenzenes were investigated. Furthermore, P. putida strain ATCC17453 was able to metabolize 1,4-dibutoxybenzene. Results revealed that cytochrome P450cam catalyzed the first and second dealkylation steps in the biodegradation mechanism.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Erika Plettner
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Uncovering Conceptions of “Journalism Crisis” in Singapore and Hong Kong: When State Influences Interact with Western Liberal Ideals in a Globalizing Media Landscape

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-09-08
Abstract: 

The topic of journalism crisis has become increasingly pertinent as criticisms mount against news media systems that have prioritized private over public interests and/or failed to meet the challenges brought on by the Internet. Much research on journalism crisis, however, is set in the US and couched within a liberal-democratic ideological framework; little is known about how journalism crisis is articulated and experienced in other parts of the world. This thesis, therefore, aims to expand the literature on “journalism crisis” by considering how it is conceived by journalists in societies that may be heavily influenced by Western liberal ideals but whose media systems continue to be subjected to some form of authoritarian control or influence. Establishing first that a journalism crisis must be studied at the ideological, material, and discursive levels, this study develops a journalism crisis framework that features as its dimensions the crisis narratives most commonly discussed in Western-centric literature. While noting the global nature of processes that stem from the West, like neoliberal capitalist expansion and cultural imperialism, this study highlights the selective adoption of liberal ideologies by countries outside the Western world, as imperial influences interact with local histories and cultures. Of specific interest are two cities in Asia – Singapore, a city-state, and Hong Kong, a Special Administration Region of the People’s Republic of China. Standing at important historical junctures – with the passing away of prominent statesman Lee Kuan Yew and the rise of the “Umbrella Revolution” – these two places offer interesting points of comparison as “global cities” and former British colonies that are both subjected to some form of authoritarian control. Through a comprehensive survey with 160 journalists and in-depth interviews, this study uncovers stark differences in the journalism crisis perceptions of news-workers in Singapore and Hong Kong, and argues the existence of a “crisis of legitimacy” narrative, pertaining to the system of governance, that must be accounted for when studying journalism’s decline outside of the Western context.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yuezhi Zhao
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Efficient high throughput sequencing data compression and genotyping methods for clinical environments

Date created: 
2016-12-05
Abstract: 

The rapid development of high throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies has made a considerable impact on clinical and genomics research. These technologies offer a time-efficient and cost-effective means for genotyping many pharmaceutical genes affecting the drug response (also known as ADMER genes), which makes HTS a good candidate for assisting the drug treatment and dosage decisions. However, challenges like data storage and transfer, as well as accurate genotype inference in the presence of various structural variations, are still preventing the wider integration of HTS platforms in clinical environments. For these reasons, this thesis presents fast and efficient methods for HTS data compression and accurate ADMER genotyping.First we propose a novel compression technique for reference-aligned HTS data, which utilizes the local assembly technique to assemble the donor genome and eliminate the redundant information about the donor present in the HTS data. Our results show that we can achieve significantly better compression rates over currently used methods, while providing fast compression speeds and random access capability on the compressed archives. We also present a companion benchmarking framework with the aim to evaluate the performance of different HTS compression tools in a fair and reproducible manner. In the second part, we investigate the genotyping of CYP2D6 gene. Although this gene is involved in the metabolism of 20–25% of all clinically prescribed drugs, accurate genotype inference of CYP2D6 presents a significant challenge for various genotyping platforms due to the presence of structural rearrangements within its region. Thus, we introduce the first computational tool which is able to accurately infer a CYP2D6 genotype from HTS data by formulating such problem as an instance of integer linear programming. Finally, we show how to extend the proposed algorithm to other genes which harbour similar structural rearrangements, like CYP2A6, and to other HTS sequencing platforms, like PGRNseq. We demonstrate the accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed algorithms on large set of simulated and real data samples sequenced by both Illumina and PGRNseq platforms.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S. Cenk Sahinalp
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

IBNR Claims Reserving Using INAR Processes

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

This project studies the reserving problem for incurred but not reported (IBNR) claims in non-life insurance. Based on an idea presented in Kremer (1995), we propose a new Poisson INAR (integer-valued autoregressive) model for the unclosed claim counts, which are the number of reported but not enough reported claims. The properties and the prediction of the proposed Poisson INAR model are discussed. We modify the estimation methods proposed in Silva et al. (2005) for the replicated INAR(1) processes to be applied to our model and introduce new algorithms for estimating the model parameters. The performance of three different estimation methods used in this project is compared, and the impact of the sample size to the accuracy of the estimates is examined in the simulation study. To illustrate, we also present the prediction results of our proposed model using a generated sample.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yi Lu
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

Totem-pole power factor correction rectifier with Gallium-Nitride devices for telecom power supply

Date created: 
2016-12-14
Abstract: 

Wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor technology will largely replace silicon switching devices in the active power factor correction (PFC) circuit of a telecom power supply in the near future. Superior electrical characteristics of commercially available Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices make totem-pole PFC a clear winner over competing topologies in terms of efficiency. This thesis focuses on the development of a totem-pole PFC using state-of-the-art GaN devices for next-generation telecom power supplies. A detailed investigation of ac zero-crossings of this topology has successfully identified the rapid fluctuation in voltage across low-frequency MOSFET as the source of common-mode noise. An equivalent circuit accompanied by a set of equations correlate different circuit parameters with the noise generation. Challenges associated with current reversal near zero-crossings of a synchronous totem-pole PFC are studied and a formerly unreported source of common-mode noise generation around ac zero-crossings has been investigated in detail.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jiacheng (Jason) Wang
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Response of a fractured bedrock aquifer to recharge from heavy rainfall events

Date created: 
2016-12-07
Abstract: 

The response of a fractured bedrock aquifer in a temperate region (Gulf Islands, British Columbia) to heavy rainfall events is characterized. Of the 14 provincial observation wells with hourly groundwater level data, wells with shallow water levels showed pronounced responses to heavy rain events, a lag less than 12 hours, and a strong correlation to all rain events. Rises in groundwater level at Well 125 appear to be better related to all rain events than exclusively heavy rain during summer, and decrease as the rainfall intensity increases. Thermal infrared images and δ18O and δ2H composition for precipitation and seepage indicate an increase in seepage in the late fall and winter. Solution of the Green-Ampt equation for rainfall events of varying magnitude suggest that an increase in winter rainfall intensity leads to more surface ponding and overland flow. The projected occurrence of more heavy rain events in the future may result in lower net recharge.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Diana Allen
Department: 
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Trading off political acceptability and economic efficiency: Policy options for reducing Canada’s electricity and transportation emissions

Date created: 
2016-12-12
Abstract: 

This study used the energy-economy model CIMS to assess policy options for achieving Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction commitment under the Paris agreement, with a focus on electricity and transportation sector reductions. The results found that existing and promised policies will likely be far from sufficient to achieve the Paris target. Two alternative approaches to close the gap to achieving the target were explored: one relying solely on emissions pricing and one relying primarily on flexible regulations. While emissions pricing is generally regarded as the most economically efficient way to reduce emissions, the results found that an emissions price on the order of $200/tCO2 would likely be required to achieve the Paris target, which would likely be very difficult politically to implement. The proposed flexible regulations approach offers an alternative that may be somewhat less economically efficient but may have a better chance of being implemented and thus achieving the target.

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)