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.

Willing the impossible: Reconciling the Holocaust and the Nakba through photograph-based storytelling

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-17
Abstract: 

On May 14, 1948 Israel proclaimed its independence, establishing a national home for the Jewish people following the horrors of the Holocaust. However, for Palestinians this proclamation was tied to the Nakba or catastrophe, a term used to mark their displacement, dispossession, and occupation. This cycle of violence has made ethical dialogue and the witnessing of the other’s trauma difficult. To begin bridging this divide, my dissertation takes up the impossible yet necessary task of “willing the impossible” (Butler, 2012, p. 222), which entails thinking the unequal yet bound tragedies of the Holocaust and the Nakba contrapuntally, morally and ethically engaging with alterity, and envisioning a new polity based on coexistence, justice, and equitable rights (Said, 2003). It does this by bringing Edward Said’s (2000; 1993; 1986) theories of narrative, memory, and photography, Hannah Arendt’s distinction between “fictional” and “real” stories (1998, p. 186), and Arielle Azoulay’s concept of “the civil contract of photography” (2008, p. 85) into praxis through a unique photograph-based storytelling method. First, I conducted interviews with Palestinians and Israelis living in their respective Canadian diasporas who are of the Holocaust and Nakba postmemory generations (Hirsch, 2012). During these interviews participants narrated their stories of how the Holocaust and/or the Nakba have impacted their lives using family photographs. Second, participants exchanged their stories and photographs with fellow participants from both cultures. Finally, I conducted a second round of interviews in which participants reflected on the experience of narrating their stories and photographs, engaging with the other participants’ stories and photographs, and the research process as a whole. Ultimately, my dissertation demonstrates that storytelling and photography enable the “occasions” (Fabian, 1990, p. 7) and “conditions of possibility” (Culhane, 2011, p. 258) necessary for willing the impossible through “civil imagination” (Azoulay, 2012, p. 5). That is, by narrating and exchanging their postmemories of the Holocaust and/or the Nakba through photographs, my participants were able to connect rather than compare their histories of suffering and exile, take moral, ethical, and political responsibility for one another, and imagine a new form of cohabitation grounded in justice and equitable rights for all.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stuart Poyntz
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Physical properties of RE3TMSb5 (RE = La, Ce; TM = Ti, Zr, Hf)

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-12
Abstract: 

Single crystals of RE3TMSb5 (RE = La, Ce; TM = Ti, Zr, Hf) have been grown by Sn flux and characterized by magnetization, electrical resistivity, and specific heat measurements. Powder X-ray diffraction analysis indicates that the title compounds crystallize into the hexagonal Hf5Sn3Cu-type structure (P63/mcm). The physical property measurements for Ce-containing compounds clearly indicate an antiferromagnetic ordering around 5 K. The effective magnetic moment estimated from magnetic susceptibility measurements is close to the theoretical value, indicating the 4f-electrons of Ce3+ ions are well localized. Magnetization isotherms at T = 2 K show anisotropic behaviour between H||ab and H||c. The temperature-dependent electrical resistivity follows a typical Kondo lattice behavior associated with thermal population of crystalline electric field (CEF) levels. The specific heat measurement for Ce-containing compounds reveals a large Cm/T value at low temperatures, which is much bigger than that of La-containing samples. At high temperatures, the CEF energy level scheme is analyzed by fitting to the Schottky peak observed in specific heat, from which the energy splitting levels between the three doublet states are found to be 165 and 380 K for all three Ce-containing samples. The resistivity measurements for all La-containing samples indicate an anomalous broad peak structure at high temperatures. We also investigate the previously reported superconductivity observed in La3TiSb5 and Ce3TiSb5 below 4 K. Our resistivity and specific heat measurements show that the superconductivity is not an intrinsic property of the single crystals, and is attributed to residual Sn flux.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Eundeok Mun
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Shoreline geometry and depositional architecture of wave-dominated deltaic successions: Upper McMurray Formation, Central-C Area, Northeast Alberta, Canada

Date created: 
2019-11-18
Abstract: 

To decipher the complex juxtaposition of laterally adjacent depositional environments that occur in the upper member of the McMurray Formation to the Wabiskaw Member, detailed sedimentological and ichnological analyses were undertaken. Thirteen facies and five facies associations are identified. The study interval consists of shallow-water deltaic to embayed shoreface successions, that increase in thickness and marine influence upwards. Allogenic and autogenic flooding surfaces were distinguished based on sedimentological, ichnological, and geophysical properties. Allogenic flooding surfaces were mapped across the study area, to identify the internal stratigraphic architecture of the upper member of the McMurray Formation. The thicknesses of individual deltaic shingles were identified by mapping their bounding autogenic flooding surfaces. Allogenic flooding surfaces were assessed to identify the viability of use as localized supplemental datums. During McMurray deposition the paleoshoreline evolved from an elongated restricted embayment to a less-confined, open embayment with more normal marine processes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
James MacEachern
Department: 
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Search for charged Higgs bosons in tau-lepton final states with 139 inverse femtobarns of proton-proton collision data recorded at a centre of mass energy of 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-11-20
Abstract: 

The Higgs boson, with a measured mass of approximately $125~GeV$, has been studied extensively since its discovery in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider. This discovery opens the question of whether the Higgs boson of the Standard Model (SM) is the only scalar particle of Nature or it belongs to a larger scalar sector, as predicted in many Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) theories. Therefore, observation of charged Higgs bosons would indicate new physics. This thesis presents results of a search for a charged Higgs boson in the mass range $80~GeV$ to $3~TeV$, through tau-lepton final states. The search is performed using proton-proton collisions data at $\sqrt{s}=13~\mbox{TeV}$, collected with the ATLAS experiment, during 2015 to 2018. The final results are interpreted in the context of the Minimal SuperSymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) benchmark scenarios. In these scenarios, charged Higgs bosons coupling to tau-lepton are enhanced for some parts of the search phase space, thus increasing the chance of their discovery. No significant excess of events above the expected background from the Standard Model processes is observed. Therefore, upper limits on the charged Higgs boson production cross section times its branching ratio to tau-lepton and its associated neutrino are set at a 95\% Confidence Level. The results are also interpreted in the context of the hMSSM and $m^{mod -}_{h}$ benchmark scenarios of the MSSM. Due to the enhancement of the charged Higgs boson coupling to tau-leptons at high values of the $\tan\beta$ parameter of the MSSM, it is possible to exclude the high $\tan\beta$ region in the $M_{H^{\pm}}$--$\tan\beta$ parameter space. In this work, $\tan\beta$ values around 60 are excluded up to a charged Higgs boson mass of $1400~\GeV$. Furthermore, in the low mass region, below $170~GeV$, all values of $\tan\beta$ in range 1--60 are excluded at 95\% confidence level.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dugan O'Neil
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Exploring main group radicals using an isotope of hydrogen

Date created: 
2019-10-07
Abstract: 

Muonium, which is considered a light isotope of the H atom, is a radioactive atom with a lifetime of 2.197 µs. Muonium adds to unsaturated molecules to form muoniated radicals. The collection of spectroscopic techniques that are used to observe muoniated radicals are known as µSR. To determine the identity of the muoniated radicals, experimental hyperfine coupling constants (hfcs) of the muoniated radicals obtained from µSR techniques were compared with hfcs of the muoniated radicals calculated using Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods available in the Gaussian 09 software package. µSR studies help us understand the reactivity of molecules towards the H atom and the configuration and conformation of the radicals formed. The polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymer was tested for suitability in µSR sample cell fabrication. Muoniated radicals formed from monomers of PEEK, 4,4-dihydroxybenzophenone and para-dimethoxybenzene were detected. Since similar radicals expected in PEEK could interfere with sample signals it is concluded that PEEK is unsuitable for µSR sample cells. Phosphaalkene reactions with muonium were studied to understand their behaviour in radical polymerization. The model compound mesPC(Me)2 was studied and two muoniated free radicals, mesP-MuC•(Me)2 and mesP•-C(Mu)Me2 were detected. The mesP•-C(Mu)Me2 radical was compared with its isotopologue mesPH-C•(Me)CH2Mu formed from mesPH(CMe=CH2). A number of phosphaalkenes that differ from each other with respect to electronegativity and the bulkiness of the attached substituent groups were studied. Adamantyl phosphaalkene (AdP=CtBuH) produced only the AdMuP-C•(tBuH) radical while a sample of (CF3)2-mesP=C(Me)2 showed muoniation at both the P and C centers of the P=C bond. Muoniated radicals formed by mesP=CPh2 were identified. This helped to resolve ambiguity in identifying the initiation products of the radical polymerization pathway of mesP=CPh2. The reaction of Mu with 2,4,6-tri-tert-butyl-1,3,5-triphosphosphabenzene (TPB) resulted in two muoniated radicals. Mu addition to the C atoms of the ring resulted in rearrangement to form a bicyclic product. TPB undergoes hydrogenation via a cationic route forming a bicyclic product. In this thesis I propose a radical route for this hydrogenation pathway.In summary we have utilized µSR techniques to broaden the understanding of neutral radical formation from phospha-organic compounds.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Paul Percival
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

MCS2: Minimal coordinated supports for fast enumeration of minimal cut sets in metabolic networks

Date created: 
2019-08-21
Abstract: 

Constraint-based modeling of metabolic networks helps researchers gain insight into the metabolic processes of many organisms, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Minimal Cut Sets (MCSs) are minimal sets of reactions whose inhibition blocks a target reaction in a metabolic network. Most approaches for finding the MCSs in constrained-based models require, either as an intermediate step or as a byproduct of the calculation, the computation of the set of elementary flux modes (EFMs), a convex basis for the valid flux vectors in the network. Recently, Ballerstein et al. proposed a method for computing the MCSs of a network without first computing its EFMs, by creating a dual network whose EFMs are a superset of the MCSs of the original network. However, their dual network is always larger than the original network and depends on the target reaction. Here we propose the construction of a different dual network, which is typically smaller than the original network and is independent of the target reaction, for the same purpose. We prove the correctness of our approach, MCS2, and describe how it can be modified to compute the few smallest MCSs for a given target reaction.

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

Genotyping and copy number analysis of immunoglobin heavy chain variable genes using long reads

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-21
Abstract: 

One of the remaining challenges to describing an individual's genetic variation lies in the highly heterogenous and complex genomic regions which imped the use of classical reference-guided mapping and assembly approaches. Once such region is the Immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (IGH), which is critical for the development of antibodies and the immune system. Presented is ImmunoTyper, the first PacBio-based genotyping and copy-number calling tool specifically designed for IGH V genes (IGHV). ImmunoTyper's multi-stage clustering and combinatorial optimization approach is demonstrated to be the most comprehensive IGHV genotyping approach published to date, through validation using gold-standard IGH reference sequence. This preliminary work establishes the feasibility of fine-grained genotype and copy number analysis using error-prone long reads in complex multi-gene loci, and opens the door for in-depth investigation into IGHV heterogeneity using accessible and increasingly common whole genome sequence

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

Towards the integration of complex systems theory, geographic information science, and network science for modelling geospatial phenomena

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-19
Abstract: 

A complex systems approach conceptualizes spatial systems from the bottom-up to better understand how local spatial interactions generate emergent system-level behavior and spatial patterns at large spatial extents. This approach can be applied to examine ecological, urban, and social systems within contexts of geographic space and time. Geographic automata systems (GAS) including cellular automata (CA) and agent-based models (ABM) are spatio-temporal modelling frameworks that are rooted in complex systems theory. In a similar manner, network theory uses a complex systems approach to represent and analyze spatial systems as sets of georeferenced nodes and links that form measurable spatial networks. Separately, GAS and network-based approaches offer unique advantages in exploring and analyzing complex systems, however the two approaches are rarely integrated. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to explore the intersection of complex systems theory, geographic information science, and network theory to leverage the advantages of each field for better understanding a variety of complex spatial systems. The main objective is to develop a suite of novel network-based automata modelling approaches that simulate complex dynamic spatial systems as measurable, evolving, spatial networks. Three novel modelling approaches are developed including: a geographic network automata (GNA) model that uses spatial networks, network-based transition rules, and network analysis for the representation of complex spatial systems; a network-based ABM (N-ABM) that integrates networks not as inputs for the ABM, but as a novel way to conceptualize, analyze, and communicate the model and model results; and a network based validation approach for the testing of ABMs. Obtained results demonstrate that the integration of complex systems theory, geographic information science, and network theory offers new means for the representation, analysis, communication, and testing of GAS and the complex systems they represent, thus helping to thus helping to "open the black box". Furthermore, the presentation of modelling results in application to insect infestation and disease transmission contribute to the enhancement of decision-making processes by providing tools that can be used in forecasting and scenario testing. This dissertation contributes new methodological frameworks to the fields of geographic information science, GAS, and network theory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Suzana Dragicevic
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Taxpayer governmentality

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-19
Abstract: 

This dissertation traces how ‘the taxpayer’ is assembled as a subject for political action on the state and First Nations governments. Theoretically, the dissertation draws on an analytics of governmentality which focuses on the multiplicity of non-state elements of governing. I propose the concept taxpayer governmentality to show how ‘taxpayers’ are responsibilized to govern their own political conducts, delimit the scope of the state, and morally scrutineer Others imagined as burdens. The dissertation attends to two key questions: (1) what is the political spirit of the ubiquitous taxpayer? And (2) how is the taxpayer made up as a subject? I argue that while the taxpayer is a mobile political subject, it is animated by liberal critique of state action, and settler colonial entitlement to possession and control of Indigeneity. Further, I argue that technologies of government and surveillance produce putatively objective data about various ‘objects’, which are then packaged by taxpayer groups and rendered intelligible to the imperatives of taxpayers; this includes knowledge derived from public numbers, accounting, auditing, and transparency. In order to show the mobility and range of the taxpayer, the dissertation analyzes two cases, the Metro Vancouver tax plebiscite, and the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. I draw upon analysis of texts, ethnographic data, and a small set of interviews. In both empirical chapters I show how the taxpayer is differentially constructed as an actor in relation to convergent problematizations. The Metro Vancouver case shows how the taxpayer was mobilized as political adjudicant of the region’s transit corporation through a strategic permanent critique of government and addressed through what I call an economy of evidence. The First Nations Financial Transparency Act chapter examines how two forms of taxpayer subjectivity emerged: First, the settler-taxpayer positioned Indigenous nations as objects to be surveilled, scrutinized, and rendered public property. Second, the Act fostered Indigenous-taxpayer subjectivity, envisioned by Indian Affairs bureaucrats as a method to foster a calculating mentality amongst band members that would redirect political critique to bands, rather than the federal government.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jane Pulkingham
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Design and testing of a novel power-assisted wheelchair system

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-25
Abstract: 

A power-assisted wheelchair is a hybrid between a manual and power wheelchair that consists of an electric-assist system that can be easily mounted on a manual wheelchair. These devices have a demonstrated benefit on the health and mobility of wheelchair users. However, current power-assisted wheelchairs are not addressing all user needs, and as a result there is room for improvement. In this thesis, a novel power-assisted wheelchair system was developed using Stanford Design Thinking. Design requirements were developed using ISO 13485. Concept designs were iterated and a prototype was fabricated. The result is the NeuwDrive, a lightweight power-assist system. The NeuwDrive demonstrates novelty through the use of a right-angled geared motor and a hub design that maintains the overall wheelchair width and allows for easy removal of the drive system. The functionality of the NeuwDrive was verified in two ways. First, the performance was tested using an absorption dynamometer to measure torque and speed. The test results were within the specifications of class-leading devices on the market. The weight of the NeuwDrive is 10.2 kg, below any currently available hub-motor products. Second, a focus group with power-assist wheelchair users was conducted to collected end-user feedback. The results were favourable, with participants favouring the low device weight, removable batteries and narrow width of the NeuwDrive. The results of the testing indicate that the NeuwDrive is a novel power-assist system with potential for future development.

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