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.

Fear and loathing on public transportation: Applying a spatial framework to crime patterns on Vancouver's Canada Line SkyTrain System

Date created: 
2017-09-25
Abstract: 

The expansion of mass forms of public transportation systems have often been resisted due to fears and concerns over an increased level of crime. The following study seeks to determine whether the SkyTrain’s Canada Line has increased levels of reported crime in six criminal offence categories: commercial burglary, residential burglary, mischief, theft, theft from vehicle, and theft of vehicle between January 2003 and December 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Time series regression, panel data analysis, and spatial point pattern tests are applied to determine whether such concerns should be merited or disregarded in the study of crime and transportation. Results demonstrate that census tracts that host a Canada Line SkyTrain station do not increase levels of crime. Rather, census tracts that host multiple SkyTrain stations and/or are situated in socially disorganized neighbourhoods are at a higher level of risk for criminal victimization. These findings are critical in removing the negative stigma surrounding mass forms of public transportation systems. Additionally, these results assist local police, transit authorities, and urban planners to create appropriate crime prevention strategies to prevent crime while restructuring public discourse about the potential criminogenic effects from public transportation systems.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Assessing the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the lionfish invasion in the Wider Caribbean Region

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-11
Abstract: 

Environmental changes of different scales and magnitudes are occurring at an alarming pace throughout the globe. As natural and human systems resist, cope, and/or adapt to global changes, new equilibrium states might be reached. To understand these changes we need to obtain information relevant to both biological and human systems and the interactions within and between them. My thesis combines approaches from ecology and socioeconomic to investigate the impacts of a specific stressor - invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish - on coral reef ecosystems. First, I explore how this invasion has changed trophic interactions and food web dynamics of coral reef fish communities. Second, I investigate how the impacts of an invasive predator can scale up to affect and change socioeconomic systems associated with natural systems. I found that the trophic niche of lionfish has changed over time, concomitant with large changes in native fish prey abundance. I also found that lionfish predation is having impacts on energy flow through coral reef fish communities even in the absence of marked changes in fish community structure. Combined, these changes could affect ecosystem function. I also present some of the first evidence of economic impacts of this invasion in regions that depend on reef-related tourism. I show that reductions in lionfish abundance through management actions should be beneficial to the reef tourism industry, and that tourist user fees are an acceptable means of financing such actions. As new management strategies are explored, the popularity of lionfish tournaments (derbies) has increased, premised on the idea that involving the public could help to tackle this invasion. However, my results show that such events are most likely to be successful only when lionfish densities are high and where there is a large pool of participants. This dissertation sheds light on the need to study and manage the impacts of biotic invasions from a multidisciplinary and integrated perspective since impacts will rarely be limited to the natural system affected by invaders.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Isabelle M. Côté
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Marriage migrants: American women navigating immigration and intercultural marriage

Date created: 
2017-12-07
Abstract: 

Based on eight semi-structured interviews from June 2016 with American women married to German spouses and living as immigrants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the aim of this study is uncover how this group experiences immigration and integration. Taking a feminist perspective and grounded within standpoint theory, I argue that the combinations of their American citizenship, gender, position within intercultural marriage and immigration status, creates a unique immigration and integration experience for this group in Germany. Findings reveal the following intricacies within intercultural marriages, the challenges that female immigrants and mothers face, the importance of language in integration, the role that American citizenship plays in immigration and the emotional struggle to find a sense of belonging as immigrant newcomers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Karl Froschauer
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A visual arts educator-researcher’s inquiry into the role of the teacher in an intergenerational arts program

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-28
Abstract: 

This study explores a visual arts educator-researcher’s inquiry of the role of the teacher in the development and implementation of an intergenerational (IG) arts program. Two iterations of an IG arts program were implemented in New Westminster, British Columbia with retired longshoremen and 1) 20 homelearners aged 10–11 years, during eight weekly sessions, and 2) in collaboration with an elementary teacher and his class of 24 Grade 3–4 students aged 8–9 years, during ten weekly sessions. The aim of this inquiry is to explore what it means to be a visual arts educator-researcher within an IG learning context and to examine the social practices that underpin the effectiveness of the program. Reflexive analysis focused on reflection in action and on action, drawing on data collected during the study that included observations, interviews and artifacts. The findings highlight a process for deepening our understanding of intergenerational interactions for artistic learning that emphasize equal group status and provide a framework for viewing teaching as a social practice.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Susan O'Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Advanced techniques for bounded and unbounded repetition in parabix regular expression search

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-12
Abstract: 

The three-level architecture of the regular expression search tool named icGrep, which is based on a pure parallel Parabix framework, has shown great speedup compared to conventional search tools. This thesis proposed some advanced techniques for bounded and unbounded repetition in Parabix regular expression search. We first accelerated the bounded repetition type of Unicode unit-length regular expressions by utilizing a log2 technique with the UTF8-to-UTF32 pipeline. To reduce the overhead brought about by the UTF-8-to-UTF-32 transformation, the multiplexed character classes concept was proposed. For the unbounded repetition part, we have reviewed finite automata theory for application to Parabix regular expression matching and proposed a totally different compile pipeline for the local language. In the meanwhile, we proposed star-normal-form optimization to make the RE abstract syntax tree less complex and less ambiguous. All of these innovative techniques have demonstrated their performance dealing with repetition against the basic pipeline.

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

Probabilistic Analysis of Distributed Processes with Focus on Consensus

Date created: 
2017-09-22
Abstract: 

This thesis is devoted to the study of stochastic decentralized processes. Typical examples in the real world include the dynamics of weather and temperature, of traffic, the way we meet our friends, etc. We take the rich tool set from probability theory for the analysis of Markov Chains and employ it to study a wide range of such distributed processes: Forest Fire Model (social networks), Balls-into-Bins with Deleting Bins, and fundamental consensus dynamics and protocols such as the Voter Model, 2-Choices, and 3-Majority.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Petra Berenbrink
Claire Mathieu
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Queer-What-You-Can: Queer community organizing in a gentrifying East Vancouver

Date created: 
2017-09-15
Abstract: 

Queer studies and Urban studies rarely intersect, leaving an entire urban demographic understudied and under-represented in our conceptualizations of the city. Despite the lack of research or attention paid in particular to young queer adults in urban settings, these groups and individuals nevertheless shape our cities through their social organizing and subculture participation. Cities, in turn, shape these groups and individuals as well, as social organizing and sub-culture participation is shaped by forces like gentrification, changing social climates, and urban geographies. Using semi-structured interviews with queer community organizers, I seek to understand the question: What challenges do queer young adults face when organizing community in an increasingly unaffordable and gentrified Vancouver? How do they meet those challenges? These interviews provide insight and context to how queerness shapes global cosmopolitan cities amidst increasing social and economic barriers which impact these place-based groups and identities.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Karen Ferguson
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Exploring the relocation experiences of female indigenous youth in foster care through storywork

Date created: 
2017-09-11
Abstract: 

This qualitative study uses Indigenous Storywork methodology as described by Jo-ann Archibald (2008) to explore the relocation experiences of four female Indigenous youth. Additionally, this study draws on Métis Beadwork methodology informed by Métis Knowledge Holder and artist Lisa Shepherd. This study answers the question, “What stories of relocation are told by female Indigenous youth in foster care who have relocated from rural northern communities and are residing in a Lower Mainland residential program?” Indigenous youth are over represented in the Canadian Child Welfare system as a result of colonization, residential schools, and the removal of Indigenous children from families. There is limited understanding of this populations’ experience of relocation while in foster care. Using Métis Beadwork/Indigenous Storywork methodology, I used beadwork teachings combined with the seven Storywork principles to guide my research and engage with storytellers which include: respect, responsibility, reciprocity, reverence, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy. Findings from this study reveal the youth’s perspective on their experiences of relocation and create space for youth voice in research. Findings may also guide service providers in providing culturally appropriate, effective, and meaningful services to female Indigenous youth in the child welfare system. Findings are presented in three sections: leaving, arriving, and adjusting.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sharalyn Jordan
Amy Parent
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Understanding Milk Protein Adsorption as a Model to Study Sample Loss in Proteomics

Date created: 
2017-08-25
Abstract: 

Non-specific protein adsorption is one of the causes of sample loss in biological experiments. This is a cause of concern in studies where samples are complex and many of the constituent proteins are low abundant, unquantified or unidentified. Since the proteins are irreversibly lost from the samples, it eludes their detection and their role in biological systems cannot be ascertained. This sample loss is unpredictable and non-reproducible which leads to distorted data. On an industrial scale, non-specific adsorption of proteins on machinery may reduce the machine’s efficiency and life. Similarly, unaccounted sample loss due to adsorption during storage contributes to transmission losses to the manufacturer. Various external factors affect protein adsorption that can be exploited to reduce sample loss. In this work, we studied milk proteome adsorption and attempted to quantify the effect of three prominent external factors on the differential adsorption pattern of milk proteins. For this project, we optimized an in-house developed DPA method based on SDS-PAGE, which not only is tag-less and MS compatible but also fast and economical.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Bingyun Sun
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Exploring the feasibility of ion beam gyroscope based on corona discharge

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-01
Abstract: 

An ion beam gyroscope has been proposed to measure the speed of rotating, which is potentially inexpensive and free of the mechanical stress. The characteristics of the low-pressure corona gas discharge in a compact discharge tube are studied to obtain a sufficient and stable ion beam source for ion beam gyroscopes. Ions moving to the cathode by the effect of an electric field can produce a current signal. If a dual-cathode discharge device is used, currents going to the two cathodes are denoted by I1and I2 respectively. If the device is placed on a rotating platform, ions will be deflected by the Coriolis effect. Thus, I1 and I2 change accordingly with rotating speeds. Consequently, the differential current between the variation of each cathode is a function of the Coriolis acceleration rate. Since a magnetic field can deflect ions in the same way as the Coriolis effect, a magnetic field is used to simulate the Coriolis effect to avoid the rotating platform in the early exploring stage. This replacement allows us to have a simpler experimental setup, and the magnetic field is also easier to control. A theoretical model has been derived to describe the motion of ions in the discharge tube. Emulation experiments were conducted to explore the correlation between speed of rotating and differential current, relevant variables and their impacts on the sensitivity of ion beam gyroscopes. These experiments demonstrate the ion beam gyroscope is feasible, although the device's sensitivity is limited by 1.6 pA/rpm.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Albert Leung
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.