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.

Between Two Rocks

Date created: 
2016-10-28
Abstract: 

Between Two Rocks is a stage performance inspired by the Norse folktale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. A cast of five performers animates scenic space with movement, words, and large piles of sheep fleece as they extract, flip, and spin an ever-expanding horizon. The encounter between traditional handcraft and live performance, written story and oral telling, human and animal merge in a visual, sensory experience that emphasizes the physical and imaginary edges of the proscenium stage space. The work draws ideas from postdramatic theatre and theories of landscape on stage. Between Two Rocks is at times a concert of objects, at others a fleecy dance, occasionally a display of traditional labour, yet ultimately a weaving of theatrical elements in a physical animation of space.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Appendix C: Video Documentation, Between Two Rocks Trailer
Appendix C: Video Documentation, Between Two Rocks Full Show Documentation
Senior supervisor: 
Ker Wells
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Pricing Defaultable Catastrophe Bonds with Compound Doubly Stochastic Poisson Losses and Liquidity Risk

Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

Catastrophe bond (CAT bond) is one of the modern financial instruments to transfer the risk of natural disasters to capital markets. In this project, we provide a structure of payoffs for a zero-coupon CAT bond in which the premature default of the issuer is also considered. The defaultable CAT bond price is computed by Monte Carlo simulations under the Vasicek interest rate model with losses generated from a compound doubly stochastic Poisson process. In the underlying Poisson process, the intensity of occurrence is assumed to follow a geometric Brownian motion. Moreover, the issuer’s daily total asset value is modelled by the approach proposed in Duan et al. (1995), and the liquidity process is incorporated to capture the additional return of investors. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is carried out to explore the effects of key parameters on the CAT bond price.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Cary Chi-Liang Tsai
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

A brightness – a signal – a sign (the light explored and questioned everything) ((Tlattic in xochitl in cuicatl))

Date created: 
2016-09-28
Abstract: 

A brightness – a signal – a sign (the light explored and questioned everything) ((tlattic in xochitl in cuicatl)) is a project that begins with a process of walking throughout Vancouver, finding objects, walking with the objects, then constructing sculptures collaboratively with them. This is done while considering the possibility for quantum entanglement between the human and non-human, and forming a bond between the human body, the sites where the objects are found, and the found objects themselves. This labour is driven by the experience of being an immigrant living within a diaspora and is a performative means for creating a dynamic and reciprocal relationship with the Land of Vancouver.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Allyson Clay
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Associations among teacher-student interpersonal relationships and students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and academic achievement: A cross cultural study

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

This cross-cultural study explored associations among teacher-student relationship, students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and students’ academic achievement in grade 5 and 6 students from Vancouver, Canada (n = 102) and Hong Kong, China (n = 207). Hong Kong students perceived their teachers to be more dissatisfied, strict, admonishing, and uncertain, while Vancouver students perceived their teachers to be more helpful and friendly. Students’ levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation did not differ across cultures. Students’ intrinsic motivation positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales, and negatively correlated with teacher’s perceived dissatisfaction in both Vancouver and Hong Kong. Vancouver students’ extrinsic motivation was not significantly correlated with any teacher-student relationship subscales whereas Hong Kong students’ extrinsic motivation was significantly and positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales. Students’ academic achievement was positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales in both Vancouver and Hong Kong, negatively correlated with teacher’s uncertainty in Hong Kong, and positively correlated with student’s intrinsic motivation in both Vancouver and Hong Kong. Academic achievement was not significantly correlated with extrinsic motivation in either sample. Culture did not moderate the association between i) teacher-student relationships and academic achievement, ii) intrinsic motivation and academic achievement, iii) extrinsic motivation and academic achievement, iv) teacher-student relationships and extrinsic motivation, or v) teacher-student relationships and intrinsic motivation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Lucy Le Mare
Department: 
Education: Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Sparse Multivariate Reduced-Rank Regression with Covariance Estimation

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-14
Abstract: 

Multivariate multiple linear regression is multiple linear regression, but with multiple responses. Standard approaches assume that observations from different subjects are uncorrelated and so estimates of the regression parameters can be obtained through separate univariate regressions, regardless of whether the responses are correlated within subjects. There are three main extensions to the simplest model. The first assumes a low rank structure on the coefficient matrix that arises from a latent factor model linking predictors to responses. The second reduces the number of parameters through variable selection. The third allows for correlations between response variables in the low rank model. Chen and Huang propose a new model that falls under the reduced-rank regression framework, employs variable selection, and estimates correlations among error terms. This project reviews their model, describes its implementation, and reports the results of a simulation study evaluating its performance. The project concludes with ideas for further research.

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

Mechanical Studies of Single Collagen Molecules Using Imaging and Force Spectroscopy

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-07
Abstract: 

Collagen is a key component of the extracellular matrix and is the most abundant protein in vertebrates. Collagen is found in almost every connective tissue of the body including skin, bone, tendon, cartilage, arteries and cornea, where it plays a crucial role in providing structural support. Collagen molecules self-assemble to form hierarchical structures, from single molecules to fibrils to fibers and tissues. Structural and mechanical changes at the molecular level may affect self-assembly of the molecules and the resulting tissue. Despite its significance, the mechanics of collagen and its flexibility at the molecular level remain contentious, and collagen has been variously described as a flexible polymer to a semi-rigid rod. In this thesis, I present my work developing and utilizing experimental and analytical tools to study the mechanical proprieties of molecular collagen. I carefully designed and controlled a wide variety of experimental conditions, such as different collagen types and sources, solution pH and salt concentrations, and analysed the results in search of potential reasons for inconsistency in reported results of collagen flexibility at the basic molecular level. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging is used to study effect of environmental factors such as ionic strength and pH on molecular conformations and flexibility of single collagen molecules. In addition, molecular conformations of different types of collagen from different sources are compared using AFM imaging. I measure persistence length of collagen molecules, a measure of flexibility, arising due to the conformational sampling of collagen. My results link the bending energy of collagen molecules to how tightly the helix is wound. In order to analyse AFM images of collagen, I developed an image and statistical analysis algorithm, SmarTrace, optimized for my images of collagen. The program was validated using images of DNA with known persistence length, then applied to collagen molecules. Analysis of different types of collagen in two different solutions and type I collagen in solutions of different ionic strength and pH show that collagen's flexibility depends strongly on ionic strength and pH. In addition, it shows that different types of collagen show similar average conformational characteristics in a given solution environment. In addition, mechanical properties and force-response of single collagen and procollagen molecules are studied using optical tweezers. I discuss the challenges of stretching single collagen proteins, whose length is much less than the size of the microspheres used as manipulation handles, and show how instrumental design and biochemistry can be used to overcome these challenges. The result of this work is an improved understanding of the sensitivity of molecular flexibility, stability and response of collagen to environmental factors. This can shed light on identifying underlying mechanisms of collagen-related diseases as well as designing and producing improved engineered biomaterials with tunable properties.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nancy Forde
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Design and Fabrication of Nanoscale Bismuth Hall Probes

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-09
Abstract: 

Scanning Hall probe microscopy is a quantitative magnetic imaging technique with high magnetic flux sensitivity and high spatial resolution. Hall sensors have untapped potential to match the sensitivity of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), which are well-known in magnetic microscopy for their flux sensitivity. Furthermore, Hall probes can do so with better spatial resolution. My thesis supports this conclusion with a theoretical calculation while comparing the Hall probe technique to other kinds of magnetic imaging. I have explored further improvements in the overall design and materials of Hall probes. I have obtained and analyzed magnetotransport data for various concentrations of lead in bismuth films and Hall probes. Bismuth, a compensated metal, is a good alternative to semiconductor Hall probes. The presence of electron and hole carriers, though, reduces the Hall effect, and bismuth would be even better for Hall sensors if one kind of carrier were compensated. A doping between 0 and 0.1% lead in bismuth appears to be best for lead-doped bismuth Hall probe operation. I have also made significant progress in the design and fabrication of a more durable Hall probe shape, inspired by hard drive read heads. The novel design should enable operation closer to the sample surface, improving spatial resolution and making it easier to detect flux.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Broun
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The Neoliberal Biopolitics of Climate Security: Resilience and the European Union’s Securitization of Climate Change

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-22
Abstract: 

Contemporary understandings of resilience were initially developed in the discipline of ecology to theorize ecosystems’ capacities to absorb, adapt, and transform in the face of shocks and stresses. Since then, the concept of resilience has informed a versatile and highly mobile set of guiding principles that have migrated to numerous policy fields. In recent years, it has also been a partial yet increasingly powerful prism through which climate change has been constructed as a security threat. In this regard, some populations, mainly residing in the Global South, are deemed insufficiently resilient to the effects of climate change, thereby generating risks of societal disruption, state failure, and population displacement that may adversely affect the Global North. The critical resilience literature has argued that the rise of resilience-thinking is predicated on its intuitive resonance with a neoliberal injunction to be self-reliant. An examination of European Union (EU) institutions’ and agencies’ climate security discourse and practices corroborates this claim, while also generating novel insights into neoliberalism’s contemporary role in the social construction of threats. However, it also reveals the role of antecedent security discourses and practices – in particular human security, risk management, and the security-development nexus – in structuring climate threat discourse. Drawing from the Paris School of Security Studies and from Foucauldian writings on biopolitics, this project argues that the entanglement of resilience and climate security in EU discourse is a function of both antecedent biopolitical security practices, and distinctly neoliberal sensibilities. The EU’s securitization of climate change, in effect, transfers responsibility for managing the effects of climate change away from societies chiefly responsible for it, and onto people most burdened by it.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
James Busumtwi-Sam
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Political Science
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.A.

A novel technological and collaborative approach to mapping deep-sea benthic habitats and assessing risks from bottom contact fishing

Date created: 
2016-12-19
Abstract: 

Bottom longline fishing gear can damage sensitive benthic areas (SBAs) in the ocean; however, the risks to these habitats are poorly understood. In this study we describe a collaborative academic-industry-government approach to mapping SBAs and measuring gear interactions with seafloor habitats via novel deepwater trap camera and motion-sensing systems on commercial longline traps for Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) within the SGaan Kinghlas - Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area. We obtained direct presence-absence observations of cold-water corals and sponges that were used to develop species distribution models of gorgonian corals (Alcyonacea) in fished areas. Video, accelerometer and depth sensor data were used to classify gear movement, estimating a mean bottom footprint of 3 200 m2 (95% CI = 2 400 - 3 900 m2) for a 60-trap Sablefish longline set approximately 3 km in length. Our successful collaboration demonstrates how research partnerships with the fishing industry offer new opportunities for conducting SBA risk assessments over large spatial and temporal scales.

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

Functional magnetic resonance imaging in white matter using 3 T gradient-echo-planar imaging

Date created: 
2016-12-14
Abstract: 

White matter structures make up functional connectivity of the brain. The ability to observe white matter in action will provide insight into both normal brain function, as well as diseases characterized by loss of white matter integrity. Detection of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation in white matter is has been increasingly reported despite historically being controversial. The majority of development work to-date has used high-field MRI and specialized pulse sequences. In the current study, we utilized 3T MRI and a commonly applied gradient echo (GRE) echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequence to probe the robustness of fMRI activation using conventional clinical conditions. Functional activity was stimulated in target regions of interest within the corpus callosum, using an established visual-motor interhemispheric transfer task. The results confirmed that it was possible to detect white matter fMRI activation at the group level (N = 13, healthy individuals). Individual analyses revealed that 8 of the 13 individuals showed white matter activation in the body of the corpus callosum. Overall, the group results replicated prior 4 T MRI studies, but showed a lower percentage of individuals with activation. The findings support the concept that while white matter activation is detectable, the activation levels are close to thresholds used for routine 3 T MRI studies. Furthermore, by applying alternate hemodynamic response functions during analysis, larger clusters of activation were seen at the group-level

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