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.

Principles of energy optimization underlying human walking gait adaptations

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-10
Abstract: 

Learning to move in novel situations is a complex process. We need to continually learn the changing situations and determine the best way to move. Optimization is a widely accepted framework for this process. However, little is known about algorithms used by the nervous system to perform this optimization. Our lab recently found evidence that people can continuously optimize energy during walking. My goal in this thesis is to identify principles of optimization, particularly energy optimization in walking, that govern our choice of movement in novel situations. I used two novel walking tasks for this purpose. For the first task, I designed, built, and tested a mechatronic system that can quickly, accurately, and precisely apply forces to a user’s torso. It changes the relationship between a walking gait and its associated energetic cost—cost landscape—to shift the energy optimal walking gait. Participants shift their gait towards the new optimum in these landscapes. In my second project, I aimed to understand how the nervous system identifies when to initiate optimization. I used my system to create cost landscapes of three different cost gradients. I found that experiencing a steeper cost gradient through natural variability is not sufficient to cue the nervous system to initiate optimization. For my third and fourth projects, I used the task of split-belt walking. I collaborated with another research group to analyse the mechanics and energetics of walking with different step lengths on a split-belt treadmill. I found that people can harness energy from a split-belt treadmill by placing their leading leg further forward on the fast belt, and that there may be an energy optimal gait. In my fourth project, I used computer modelling to identify that there may exist an energy optimal gait due to the trade-off between the cost of swinging the leg and the cost of redirecting the body center of mass when transitioning from step to step. Together, these projects develop a new system and a new approach to understand energy optimization in walking. They uncover principles governing the initiation of this process and our ability to benefit from it.

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

relational practice in long term care

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-17
Abstract: 

This critical ethnography explores the concept of relationality from the perspective of nurses working in long term care. The existing literature on this concept, in this context, has mostly focussed on allied health professionals. Data was collected through field observations, solicited diaries, and semi-structured interviews conducted with seven nurses working in long term care. A theory of relational work was used to inform a reading of, and thinking through the research process, data collection and analysis. The findings from this study indicate that nurses privilege the relational in their work, seek out opportunities to cultivate family-like relationships with residents, and see hands-on care as an opportunity to strengthen feelings of connection with the people they care for and with. These findings have potential implications when considering appropriate skill-mix in long term care and for re-evaluating the meaning of nursing work to nurses who work in these settings.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Sharon Koehn
Barbara Mitchell
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Hallyu in Indonesia: Koreanization through advertisements

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

Due to a weak government and failed policies, Indonesia is lagging behind globally in terms of media and cultural development, opening the door for strong culture industries like South Korea to penetrate the Indonesian market. In contrast to Indonesia, Korea’s model of development in creating a culture industry with Hallyu has created a global craze. Constant exposure to Hallyu has led to the Indonesian public to develop a taste for Korean cultural products, leading to advertisements using Korean celebrities for promotion. This paper aims to explore how advertisements as mass culture and reality are intertwined through an analysis of South Korean celebrity advertising campaigns in Indonesia. Findings of the study show the promotion of six Korean elements that have also translated to real-life in Indonesia. The promotion of these elements will continually increase Koreanization in Indonesia where the ideal is then to become as Korean as possible.

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

Unpacking the victim-offender overlap using a network approach

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-17
Abstract: 

Previous studies found support for the victim-offender overlap, but far less is known about why the relationship exists. To address this gap, the current study uses social network analysis (SNA) to measure risky lifestyles, which has implications for future victimization. SNA can provide nuanced insights into how risky lifestyles may lead to serious victimization. Such nuance includes more precise measures of delinquent peer associations, including peer (social), conflict, and co-offending relationships. Using data from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study (ISVYOS), the current study operationalized risky lifestyles using network measures and examined whether these network characteristics can predict serious victimization. Findings from bivariate comparisons show that differences in network characteristics exist across victims and non-victims. Multivariate analyses suggest that offenders’ embeddedness in dense criminogenic networks prospectively predict serious victimization. Further, offenders’ changes in network characteristics showed partial support towards the aggregate age-crime curve. Recommendations for policy and practice are discussed with reference to these findings.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Evan McCuish
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Hierarchical action classification with network pruning

Date created: 
2020-08-13
Abstract: 

Research on human action classification has made significant progresses in the past few years. Most deep learning methods focus on improving performance by adding more network components. We propose, however, to better utilize auxiliary mechanisms, including hierarchical classification, network pruning, and skeleton-based preprocessing, to boost the model robustness and performance. We test the effectiveness of our method on five commonly used testing datasets: NTU RGB+D 60, NTU RGB+D 120, Northwestern-UCLA Multiview Action 3D, UTD Multimodal Human Action Dataset, and Kinetics 400, which is a challenging and different dataset among the others. Our experiments show that our method can achieve either comparable or better performance on all the first four datasets. In particular, our method sets up a new baseline for NTU 120, the largest dataset among the first four. We also analyze our method with extensive comparisons and ablation studies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
KangKang Yin
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Investigating site formation processes at EjTa-4 on Calvert Island, British Columbia: Results from a microstratigraphic study of excavation units 12 and 10/15

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-27
Abstract: 

Accurate interpretation of the archaeological record depends largely on detailed reconstruction of site formation processes. The microscopic and chemical study of archaeological deposits (i.e., the microstratigraphic approach) is effective at reconstructing cultural and natural processes that occurred at any archaeological site. The major focus of my thesis is to test the effectiveness of soil micromorphology and FTIR, two methodological pillars of the microstratigraphic approach, to study site formation processes at EjTa-4, a large shell-matrix site on the central coast of British Columbia. Results indicate well-preserved evidence for activities dating back to 3300 years ago, including built environments, and food processing in the forest. These findings contribute important new information to our knowledge of pre-contact Northwest Coast societies, and to deciphering large shell-matrix sites such as EjTa-4.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Francesco Berna
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Positive illusions about dyadic perspective taking as a moderator of the association between attachment insecurity and marital satisfaction

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-21
Abstract: 

Attachment insecurity (i.e., attachment anxiety or avoidance) puts people at risk for dissatisfying relationships, but positive illusions may buffer against insecurities. In 196 mixed-sexed newlywed couples, I investigated whether spouses’ positive illusions about partner’s dyadic perspective taking moderated the association between spouses’ attachment insecurity and both partners’ marital satisfaction over two years. Multilevel modeling indicated that wives’ positive illusions buffered the contemporaneous negative association between wives’ attachment anxiety and wives’ marital satisfaction, and husbands’ positive illusions buffered the negative associations between husband’s attachment avoidance and both partners’ marital satisfaction. Husbands’ positive illusions also buffered the negative association between husbands’ attachment avoidance and husbands’ subsequent marital satisfaction. Despite this evidence for buffering, there was also evidence for potentiation; husbands’ positive illusions potentiated the negative association between attachment anxiety and subsequent marital satisfaction, and wives’ positive illusions potentiated the negative association between wives’ attachment avoidance and subsequent marital satisfaction. Thus, in the moment, positive illusions may allow spouses to feel happy in their relationship despite insecurities, but positive illusions may not sustain marital satisfaction over time and may even be harmful in the face of insecurity.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Rebecca Cobb
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Seeking balance in global news flows: Revisiting the Pan-African News Agency experience

Date created: 
2020-08-31
Abstract: 

Africa and Africans have for centuries faced the issue of negative representation in international news media and particularly in the western news media. News reports in these foreign media connote Africa as a backward continent with barbaric people and unchanging culture. These negative representations are “historical baggage” carried from colonial rulers and have lived on to define Africa and its people. The “single story” of Africa being a crisis-stricken continent with a people in need of civilization is one that Africa and Africans have long fought to overturn. The desire to “own the African story” prompted the establishment of the Pan-African News Agency (PANA) by the Organization of African Unity (OAU). With its core mandate of correcting the distorted image of Africa and contributing to global news flow, the Pan-African News Agency was poised to offer a more positive reporting of Africa to counter persistent negative narratives. This study analyzes the successes and failures of PANA in achieving its core mandate, focusing on developments through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Although PANA exists today, it is now a private enterprise and not very active or effective. Therefore, this study seeks to learn lessons from PANA’s past experiences to inform future measures to revamp the Pan-African News Agency achieve its core mandate of balancing global news flow.

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

Attending to inner self: Designing and unfolding breath-based VR experiences through micro-phenomenology

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-17
Abstract: 

This thesis contributes to human-computer interaction (HCI) research with a focus on the design of virtual reality (VR) applications that support and elicit the experience of breath awareness. Within HCI, advocating for technology-supported well-being has resulted in a large body of interactive systems informed by the quantified self paradigm. While these technologies elicit positive health outcomes, they also sometimes reduce access to a greater range of experiences that promote self-regulation and well-being. A growing interest in HCI is moving beyond the quantified self to designing technologies ``as experiences'' based upon embodied and first-person reflective practices. In this research, we are specifically interested in the experiences that arise through technologies that elicit breath awareness. However, in reviewing prior HCI research in designing for breath awareness, we have found that the differing epistemological commitments and theoretical frameworks determine very different sets of systems’ values, expectations and methods. This is an under-explored design space within HCI that necessitates a deeper understanding of disambiguation of how epistemological commitments shape not only our systems, but our experiences and how we consider methodologies that support the rich and meaningful explication of those experiences. While we contribute primarily to HCI, our work is positioned in the broader intersection of art, science, and technology. We structure our research around two main foci. First focus is on the design and evaluation of VR applications built upon first-person practices of eliciting breath awareness. We engage in disambiguating theoretical underpinnings of the systems that perceptually extend breath awareness to understand how epistemological commitments of different theoretical frameworks inform system design to support breath awareness. Then, we present the iterative process of design and evaluation of two breath-based VR systems: Pulse Breath Water and Respire. Second focus is on methodological strategies that clarify not only fine-grained descriptions of the experience but its very own structure. We have applied micro-phenomenology in HCI to design and evaluate two immersive VR systems for eliciting breath awareness. We contribute to understanding how micro-phenomenology can be used in the context of VR systems for articulating the nuances, complexity, and diversity of a user's experience beyond surface descriptions.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Philippe Pasquier
Thecla Schiphorst
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

θə stqayeʔ ʔə ƛ̓ səl̓ilwətaʔł ʔiʔ tə nec̓ sx̌ʷix̌ʷəy̓em̓: She-Wolf and other Tsleil-Waututh narratives

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-26
Abstract: 

The ancestors of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people lived along the lower Fraser River and all around the shores of neighbouring Burrard Inlet in British Columbia. The Central Coast Salish people living here today are their descendants. Throughout the time that we’ve lived here, our elders shared oral narratives that conveyed history, life skills, and the legal and moral code by which our people lived. In the present work, I have restored three oral narratives of the people from the village of səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), originally related by Tsleil-Waututh elders in English. First, the narratives were translated by Dr. Ruby Peter into her həl̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect (Vancouver Island). Once translated, I converted the narratives into the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect. My hope is that these narratives will inspire and inform our younger generation who are working to gain fluency in our language.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Donna Gerdts
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Linguistics
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.