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.

Bridging the gap: Addressing the labour market barriers of black youth in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-08
Abstract: 

Black youth in Canada experience poor labour market outcomes compared to other Canadian youth. Data shows that Black youth experience a higher unemployment rate, lower employment rate and lower earnings compared to other Canadian youth. Using a literature review, case study analysis and expert interviews, this study identifies key labour market barriers Black youth face and policy options to address them. The barriers identified include socioeconomic, educational and discrimination, both during the job search and during employment. The study makes a case to focus on education and discrimination as the two significant barriers. The options evaluated include using mentorship programs for Black youth in secondary school and in post-secondary institutions, adopting AI technology in the hiring process and initiating workplace solutions such as anti-racism training and mentorship. The study concludes with the recommendation to implement mentorship programs at the secondary and post-secondary level to address the educational barriers Black youth face, which in turn affects their labour market outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Bridging the gap: Addressing the labour market barriers of black youth in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-08
Abstract: 

Black youth in Canada experience poor labour market outcomes compared to other Canadian youth. Data shows that Black youth experience a higher unemployment rate, lower employment rate and lower earnings compared to other Canadian youth. Using a literature review, case study analysis and expert interviews, this study identifies key labour market barriers Black youth face and policy options to address them. The barriers identified include socioeconomic, educational and discrimination, both during the job search and during employment. The study makes a case to focus on education and discrimination as the two significant barriers. The options evaluated include using mentorship programs for Black youth in secondary school and in post-secondary institutions, adopting AI technology in the hiring process and initiating workplace solutions such as anti-racism training and mentorship. The study concludes with the recommendation to implement mentorship programs at the secondary and post-secondary level to address the educational barriers Black youth face, which in turn affects their labour market outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Bridging the gap: Addressing the labour market barriers of black youth in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-08
Abstract: 

Black youth in Canada experience poor labour market outcomes compared to other Canadian youth. Data shows that Black youth experience a higher unemployment rate, lower employment rate and lower earnings compared to other Canadian youth. Using a literature review, case study analysis and expert interviews, this study identifies key labour market barriers Black youth face and policy options to address them. The barriers identified include socioeconomic, educational and discrimination, both during the job search and during employment. The study makes a case to focus on education and discrimination as the two significant barriers. The options evaluated include using mentorship programs for Black youth in secondary school and in post-secondary institutions, adopting AI technology in the hiring process and initiating workplace solutions such as anti-racism training and mentorship. The study concludes with the recommendation to implement mentorship programs at the secondary and post-secondary level to address the educational barriers Black youth face, which in turn affects their labour market outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

True north, strong and free: Policy options for supporting sustainable development in Northern Ontario

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-15
Abstract: 

The region of Northern Ontario has experienced prolonged socio-economic decline since the 1980s, and the continuation of these trends presents a threat to the sustainability of communities in the region. This study argues that current regional economic development policy for Northern Ontario has been ineffective in promoting sustainable development. Using a comparative case study analysis, involving secondary data collection, a review of academic and grey literature, and a jurisdictional scan, the region is placed in a broader Canadian context. Three policy options are identified and analyzed based on their ability to effectively promote sustainable development in the region, their cost, their ease of implementation, and their political viability. It is recommended that the federal government increase funding through the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) by implementing an Indigenous-focused program in the near term, while engaging the Government of Ontario to implement collaborative Regional Economic Planning Agencies in the long term.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Mercury loss from gold rush era placer mines in the Fraser Basin

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-01-18
Abstract: 

Gold-rush era mercury loss at mine sites in the Fraser Basin was investigated. 109 soil and sediment samples were collected from suspected hotspots on 15 legacy placer mine sites and tested for total mercury. 89% of sites that had clearly discernable signs of mining had at least one test sample that exceeded all control samples taken during the study, suggesting that mercury use was widespread during B.C.’s Fraser and Cariboo gold rushes. An estimated 17,768 to 247,665 kg was lost in the Fraser Basin between 1858 and 1910, calculated by relating mercury loss to different records of gold extraction. Historical records show that 26,749 kg of mercury was shipped to B.C. from California between 1860 and 1883, and mercury imports into Canada between 1882 and 1899 exceeded expected mercury needs for gold amalgamation practices.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Cliff Atleo
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

Towards memory-efficient incremental processing of streaming graphs

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-03
Abstract: 

With growing interest in efficiently analyzing dynamic graphs, streaming graph processing systems rely on stateful iterative models where they track the intermediate state as execution progresses in order to incrementally adjust the results upon graph mutation to reflect the changes in the latest version of the graph. We observe that the intermediate state tracked by these stateful iterative models significantly increases the memory footprint of these systems, which limits their scalability on large graphs. Due to the ever-increasing size of real-world graphs, it is crucial to develop solutions that actively limit their memory footprint while still delivering the benefits of incremental processing. We develop memory-efficient stateful iterative models that demand much less memory capacity to efficiently process streaming graphs with delivering the same results as provided by existing stateful iterative models. First, we propose a Selective Stateful Iterative Model where the memory footprint is controlled by selecting a small portion of the intermediate state to be maintained throughout execution, and the selection can be configured based on the capacity of the system’s memory. Then, we propose a Minimal Stateful Iterative Model that further reduces the memory footprint by exploiting the key properties of graph algorithms. We develop incremental processing strategies for both of our models in order to correctly compute the effects of graph mutations on the final results even when intermediate states are not available. The evaluation shows our memory-efficient models are effective in limiting the memory footprint while still retaining most of the performance benefits of traditional stateful iterative models, hence being able to scale on larger graphs that could not be handled by the traditional models.

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

Neural disjunctive normal form: Vertically integrating logic with deep learning for classification

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-12-14
Abstract: 

Inspired by the limitations of pure deep learning and symbolic logic-based models, in this thesis we consider a specific type of neuro-symbolic integration called vertical integration to bridge logic reasoning and deep learning and address their limitations. The motivation of vertical integration is to combine perception and reasoning as two separate stages of computation, while still being able to utilize simple and efficient end-to-end learning. It uses a perceptive deep neural network (DNN) to learn abstract concepts from raw sensory data and uses a symbolic model that operates on these abstract concepts to make interpretable predictions. As a preliminary step towards this direction, we tackle the task of binary classification and propose the Neural Disjunctive Normal Form (Neural DNF). Specifically, we utilize a per- ceptive DNN module to extract features from data, then after binarization (0 or 1), feed them into a Disjunctive Normal Form (DNF) module to perform logical rule-based classi- fication. We introduce the BOAT algorithm to optimize these two normally-incompatible modules in an end-to-end manner. Compared to standard DNF, Neural DNF can handle prediction tasks from raw sensory data (such as images) thanks to the neurally-extracted concepts. Compared to standard DNN, Neural DNF offers improved interpretability via an explicit symbolic representation while being able to achieve comparable accuracy despite the reduction of model flexibility, and is particularly suited for certain classification tasks that require some logical composition. Our experiments show that BOAT can optimize Neural DNF in an end-to-end manner, i.e. jointly learn the logical rules and concepts from scratch, and that in certain cases the rules and the meanings of concepts are aligned with human understanding. We view Neural DNF as an important first step towards more sophisticated vertical inte- gration models, which use symbolic models of more powerful rule languages for advanced prediction and algorithmic tasks, beyond using DNF (propositional logic) for classification tasks. The BOAT algorithm introduced in this thesis can potentially be applied to such advanced hybrid models.

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

"My Canada is yet unborn": Settler identity & ideology in the life & works of A.M. Stephen

Date created: 
2020-11-18
Abstract: 

A.M. Stephen (1882-1942) was a prominent poet, writer, and activist, working principally in British Columbia. This thesis uses his life and works—chiefly published artistic and political writings, contemporary newspapers, and archival materials collected by his wife—to explore Settler Canadian identity and ideology as he articulated it. His portrayal of Canada, its past, and Indigenous people, his work as an activist and educator, and his attitudes towards class, socialism, and imperialism, were united by an ongoing commitment to the Settler population and nation of Canada. An evolving hegemony can thus be partially reconnoitred as it was conceived and promoted by one successful figure. By placing Stephen under examination in a settler order framework, the unique value of this focus and its exploratory potential is further revealed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Leier
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Bridging the gap: Addressing the labour market barriers of black youth in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-08
Abstract: 

Black youth in Canada experience poor labour market outcomes compared to other Canadian youth. Data shows that Black youth experience a higher unemployment rate, lower employment rate and lower earnings compared to other Canadian youth. Using a literature review, case study analysis and expert interviews, this study identifies key labour market barriers Black youth face and policy options to address them. The barriers identified include socioeconomic, educational and discrimination, both during the job search and during employment. The study makes a case to focus on education and discrimination as the two significant barriers. The options evaluated include using mentorship programs for Black youth in secondary school and in post-secondary institutions, adopting AI technology in the hiring process and initiating workplace solutions such as anti-racism training and mentorship. The study concludes with the recommendation to implement mentorship programs at the secondary and post-secondary level to address the educational barriers Black youth face, which in turn affects their labour market outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Factors associated with housing stability and criminal convictions among people experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness: Results from a Housing First study

Date created: 
2021-05-25
Abstract: 

Background: Housing First (HF) facilitates immediate access to independent housing with community-based supports for people experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness (PEHSMI). Despite positive outcomes associated with HF, studies have infrequently investigated factors that are associated with adverse outcomes once in HF. This thesis investigates factors which hinder housing stability following randomization to HF and factors associated with criminal convictions prior to and following randomization to HF. Methods: Three investigations were conducted using data from the Vancouver At Home study, which contains two randomized controlled trials each involving randomization to HF vs. treatment as usual (TAU) among PEHSMI. Using self-reported data, the first investigation examined the effect of experiencing homelessness in childhood or youth on housing stability (≥90% of days stably housed) after receiving HF (TAU excluded). The second investigation retrospectively examined factors associated with criminal convictions during the five-year period preceding baseline. The third investigation examined factors associated with criminal convictions after receiving HF (TAU excluded). Provincial administrative data were combined with self-reported baseline data for the second and third investigations. Results: 1) Among participants randomized to HF (n=297), those who had experienced homelessness in childhood or youth had significantly lower odds of housing stability. 2) Prior to study baseline, seven variables were significantly associated with criminal convictions among participants (n=425), such as drug dependence, psychiatric hospitalization, and irregular frequency of social assistance payments (vs. regular). 3) Following receipt of HF (n=255), five variables were significantly associated with criminal convictions, including daily drug use, daily alcohol use, and having received addictions counselling among others. Conclusions: Results underscore social marginalization as contributing to poorer housing stability in HF and criminal convictions while in HF and prior to enrollment among PEHSMI. Further supports are needed to facilitate improvements for a greater proportion of HF clients. HF providers may be able to identify clients with additional support needs related to housing stability and criminal convictions by asking about the factors found to be significant in analyses.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Julian Somers
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.