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.

An algorithmic study of kernel contraction in EL

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-13
Abstract: 

Kernel contraction is an interesting problem that can be considered a step towards belief revision. Kernels were introduced as a tool to determine why a given belief is accepted by the knowledge base. The aim of using kernels is to invalidate the reasons why that given belief is accepted, and hence rejecting that belief. We use Description Logic EL for two reasons: it is used in some large knowledge base applications, and it has a polynomial-time reasoning algorithm. In this study we introduce an algorithm that performs kernel contraction by reduction to the network-flow problem. We evaluate the rationality of the algorithm by applying postulates that govern kernel contraction. We also explain two heuristics: localization and specificity, that can be used to arrive at more reasonable and common-sense solutions. We will also be focusing on the complexity of the algorithms as an indicator of their feasibility.

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

Revealing place through art: A métissage of indwelling within thin places

Date created: 
2017-09-14
Abstract: 

This inquiry explores how artists are influenced by place - in particular our deep relationship with the natural world. This métissage approach weaves together poetic inquiry, life writing, and photographic inquiry - a multi-modal, multi-sensory, and heuristic pathway to seeking place. It is about evocation and provocation that comes from the indwelling of place, and the deep dialogic with place. Does place live within the artistic creation? How does place inform the geography of our embodied poetics? Does illness trespass on, or open an artist to synergies with place? Society traditionally asks artists to make meaning, to be the human vessel that translates. Place/nature asks artists not to generate meaning so much as to discern the meaning already there. This inquiry created an observational pathway that leads to a discernment of 'thin places', witnesses the communion as well as synergy of artist and place; and honours the way home.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Vicki Kelly
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Built Environment and Urban Crime Patterns: A spatial analysis of land use and property crime in Surrey, B.C.

Date created: 
2017-07-07
Abstract: 

As we grow our urban space, it is important to understand the influence of the built environment on criminal opportunity. Using a theoretical foundation that synthesizes routine activity theory and social disorganization theory, this study examines the spatial relationship between land use and property crime in a large metropolitan city. A series of spatial analyses were used to explore the geographic distribution of three types of property crime: residential break and enter, commercial break and enter, and theft of motor vehicle. Results found support not only for a spatial relationship between the built environment and property crime occurrences but also for the effect of the socio-economic variables of routine activity theory and social disorganization theory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Bryan Kinney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Rogues Among Rebels: Entanglements between Irish Catholics and the Fishermen’s Protective Union of Newfoundland

Date created: 
2017-08-24
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the relationship between Newfoundland’s Irish Catholics and the largely English-Protestant backed Fishermen’s Protective Union (FPU) in the early twentieth century. The rise of the FPU ushered in a new era of class politics. But fishermen were divided in their support for the union; Irish-Catholic fishermen have long been seen as at the periphery—or entirely outside—of the FPU’s fold. Appeals to ethno-religious unity among Irish Catholics contributed to their ambivalence about or opposition to the union. Yet, many Irish Catholics chose to support the FPU. In fact, the historical record shows Irish Catholics demonstrating a range of attitudes towards the union: some joined and remained, some joined and then left, and others rejected the union altogether. Far from being beholden to the whims of clerics, political elites, or the structural dictates of the economy and of region, Irish-Catholic fishermen made their own decisions about membership. Nevertheless, the pressures of class and ethno-religious solidarities mediated their decisions to engage with the union. This thesis uses a combination of newspaper sources, church correspondence, oral histories, censuses, and election data to unearth the history of Irish Catholics’ complex relationship with the FPU, and argues that this relationship is an example of the entanglements of ethnicity and class in pre-Confederation Newfoundland.

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

Coloring cayley tables of finite groups

Date created: 
2017-08-08
Abstract: 

The chromatic number of a latin square L, denoted χ(L), is defined as the minimum number of partial transversals needed to cover all of its cells. It has been conjectured that every latin square L satisfies χ(L) ≤ |L| + 2. If true, this would resolve a longstanding conjecture, commonly attributed to Brualdi, that every latin square has a partial transversal of length |L|−1. Restricting our attention to Cayley tables of finite groups, we prove two results. First, we constructively show that all finite Abelian groups G have Cayley tables with chromatic number |G|+2. Second, we give an upper bound for the chromatic number of Cayley tables of arbitrary finite groups. For |G| ≥ 3, this improves the best-known general upper bound from 2|G| to 3 |G|, while yielding an even stronger result in infinitely many cases.

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

Art-based placemaking at Renfrew Ravine: Implications for sustainable places

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-06-12
Abstract: 

This research explores the role of placemaking at Still Creek, Vancouver, Canada. Placemaking is an integrative approach to public space management that aims to foster both sense of place and sense of community through a citizen-driven process. At Still Creek, a non-profit organization is engaging their neighbourhood using an interdisciplinary approach of arts and stewardship in collaboration with several community partners. Findings suggest placemaking is occurring at Still Creek through three key activities (e.g. festival, art in place, and environmental stewardship and restoration). Still Creek has become a place of interest, care and advocacy among those involved suggesting sense of place is present along with several community building elements as well. Implications for sustainable places are also explored

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

Electrical impedance and diffuse optical spectroscopy for early breast cancer diagnosis

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-16
Abstract: 

In this thesis, we apply sensor-based tools for investigating breast tissue characteristics to identify anomalies, including cancer. The non-invasive technologies utilized are based on the Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Diffuse Optical Imaging (DOI). As the accuracy of Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) depends on the physician’s experience, these technologies enhance the diagnostic capabilities by providing additional information. We tested twenty patients utilizing these technologies, in a clinical trial, with around 100% success rate in identifying the location of cancerous tumors.The correlation between healthy and cancerous tissue electrical properties is defined by extracting the electrical features of tissues based on Cole-Cole model. Also, by processing the raw data of the DOI-probe, we have been able to create the cross-sectional optical images of the breast in different wavelengths from 690nm to 850nm. This study suggests that EIS and DOI are useful technologies for early detection of breast cancers.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Farid Golnaraghi
dr. Carolyn Sparrey
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

British travelers and Egyptian ‘dancing girls:’ locating imperialism, gender, and sexuality in the politics of representation, 1834-1870

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-04
Abstract: 

This project examines representations of two categories of Egyptian female entertainers, the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî. By situating Egypt’s ‘dancing girls’ in relation to the socio-cultural context of nineteenth-century Britain, it seeks to determine how gendered dynamics of power were culturally constructed and negotiated around these women. Such an approach breaks from previous historiographical contributions to the topic of Egyptian female entertainers by considering the wider implications of imperial power, gender, and sexuality within the politics of their representation. Chapter Two analyzes the cultural significance of the 1834 banishment of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî from Cairo, and proposes alternative historical perspectives. Chapter Three explores parallels drawn by British travelogue authors between Egypt’s female entertainers and bourgeois archetypes of masculinity and prostitution. Finally, Chapter Four contemplates the impact of Egyptian ‘dancing girls’ upon British society and interprets the typecasting of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî as indicative of underlying insecurities relating to imperialism and desire.

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

Tor, what is it good for? How crime predicts domain failure on the darkweb

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-07-14
Abstract: 

Content analysis of the darkweb shows the volume of illicit domains which are speculated to facilitate criminal activity. Describing Tor serves a valuable purpose, however does not allow for broader speculations about the criminogenic nature of the environment and the dismantling of the hidden services. Examining how the criminal content leads to domain failures is a small step towards providing insight into any casual mechanisms on Tor. The current study analyzes how 774 categorized domains explain website failure using a Cox repeated events regression while controlling for structure, popularity and size. Tor domain failure was found to be a function of popularity and size rather than criminality. Some criminally focused domains, however did survive longer on average than legal websites. The visibility of the domains may lead to increased costs financially as well as socially. The lack of infrastructure paired with law enforcement interventions may explain domain failures on Tor.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Frank
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Habitat drivers of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) feeding behaviour and breeding productivity

Date created: 
2017-08-11
Abstract: 

Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica belong to a declining guild of birds, and much remains unknown about the causes of these declines. Research in Europe has shown that pastures, hay fields, and livestock benefit Barn Swallow populations, and this study aimed to determine whether similar trends are found in a North American context. We studied this in two ways, first, by examining breeding productivity in three different habitats and then by examining how much they fed over certain types of fields. Breeding productivity parameters of swallows were largely similar although there were some differences, with higher fledging success in crop habitat and a higher proportion of intermediate nests in non-agricultural habitat in one of the years, however the overall picture suggests that non-agricultural, crop, and livestock are largely similar to one another, unlike what was found in European studies. Weather and manure management may have a greater impact on breeding productivity and warrant future research. We also found no difference in Barn Swallow feeding over grassland set-aside and cultivated fields, though the insect communities were different.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Tony Williams
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.