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.

Benchmarking fiscal benefit distributions through Impact Benefit Agreements: A case study of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-11
Abstract: 

Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) are increasingly important in the planning and successful execution of major resource development projects in Canada. IBAs are tools of Indigenous community development and are intended to help return resource development benefits to locally impacted Indigenous communities. Fiscal benefits delivered through IBAs are often a much needed source of community funding. This report presents a methodology to evaluate the quantum of fiscal benefits Indigenous governments receive through IBAs relative to benchmark standards developed though a literature review. The methodology is applied to a case study of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The results show that IBAs likely fall short in their objective to deliver an adequate share of fiscal benefits to Indigenous governments relative to the fiscal benchmarks used in the evaluation. This report aims to provide tools and recommendations to aide First Nations in the negotiation of IBAs so as to provide a more equitable distribution of the benefits of natural resource development in Canada.

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

Visual analytics in personalized health: A study of the expert analyst – health consumer relationship in a direct-to-consumer service

Date created: 
2020-04-21
Abstract: 

In the era of “big data analytics” for healthcare, the personalized medicine promise offers a shift to the provision of care enabled by our technical ability to quantify and assess large volumes of biomedical data. This message however, often seems to strengthen a notion of healthcare from a “biomedical positivism framework”, that is, that diagnosis of disease, medical image analysis, integration of devices, and ultimately, the selection of the appropriate therapy is empowered by volumes of data and algorithmic accuracy, thus improving the patient’s illness. In this research program, we approached expert biomolecular analysts, recorded their sensemaking process, and analyzed the role of data visualization technologies while they performed analysis of multi-omic data for a direct-to-consumer service of personalized health. We uncovered the nature of the analysts turning to their human-interaction skillset to address the health reality of each consumer they worked for. Assertions about the scientific validity and the amount of data, often emphasize the claims of this personalized health approach, but in practice, the analysts turned to attend goals, preferences, to find actionable evidence in the data, and to frame a relatable health summary story for the clients. The role of technology design in scenarios like this one will be fundamental in properly translating and bridging the effort from these emergent providers (the analysts) in communication with the end consumers. Our findings suggest that both parties benefit from analytic capacities to explore and understand the strength of each piece of evidence in the case, including the evidence that is provided by the clients themselves beyond their biological samples. We believe that this work, along with the research methodologies deployed in work-settings, are a contribution to the Visual Analytics community to support the tasks of bio scientists in personalized medicine, as much as an HCI initiative in support of evidence-based models of preventive healthcare with large amounts of data.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Brian Fisher
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Investigating accessibility of public campus spaces at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-20
Abstract: 

This research explores the spectrum of public accessibility at selected central public spaces at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus and Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus. As both universities are progressing towards urbanization and density, knowing how their public spaces are used by students and the general public alike can advise future directions for campus planning and policy. These two major universities provide housing for a growing residential population and publics that are not necessarily registered students, or employees. Moreover, as both campuses are working to provide increased accessibility to their spaces through public transportation, they will need to chart out directions on how to navigate their seemingly contrasting missions as institutions for higher education while accommodating residents and a diverse demographic of space users who have no direct association with the university. Taking inspiration from methodologies used to study privately owned public spaces, structured observations of physical features, and interviews, the author finds disagreement among interpretations to the degree of publicness of university spaces commonly assumed to be “public”. The findings demonstrate the changing nature and meaning of campus spaces through time, as both universities navigate the challenges and opportunities of finding ways to accommodate a greater range of students, residents, and other space users.

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

Studying the foraging and communication ecology of European fire ants

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-16
Abstract: 

The European fire ant (EFA), or ruby ant, Myrmica rubra L., is an invasive pest in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. EFAs are a nuisance to humans, swarming and stinging aggressively when nests are disturbed. They also cause ecological damage by altering invertebrate communities. The overarching goal of this thesis was to create a control method for EFAs. My specific research objectives were to: (1) develop an effective and affordable food bait; (2) determine trail following of EFAs in response to synthetic trail pheromone; and (3) determine trail following of ants in response to synthetic trail pheromone blends of multiple ant species. Food baits comprising diverse macronutrients such as carbohydrates (apples), proteins and lipids (dead insects) elicited the strongest foraging responses by EFAs. Re-hydrated freeze-dried baits proved as appealing as fresh baits and superior to rehydrated heat-dried baits. Isomerically pure and impure synthetic trail pheromone (3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine) prompted similar recruitment responses of ants. The presence of pheromone, irrespective of dose tested, enhanced the recruitment of ants to food baits, with the dose of 200 ant equivalents eliciting the strongest recruitment responses. Trail pheromone applied in a line leading toward the food bait, but not in a circle surrounding it, was effective in recruiting ants, suggesting that 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine has a guiding but not an attractive function to EFAs. The presence of con- and hetero-specific pheromones had additive or indifferent effects on trail-following responses of garden ants, Lasius niger, and carpenter ants, Camponotus modoc, respectively. These data provide key information for the development of a highly functional insecticidal food bait for EFAs and other nuisance ant species.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gerhard Gries
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.P.M.

swalef bibi: storying the everyday in Iraq

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-14
Abstract: 

In this project I trace a silhouette of Iraqi storytelling practice by using my grandmothers’ storytelling methodology as guidance. I invite William Benjamin’s “Storyteller” as a companion throughout this journey. I look at Iraqi oral history interviews, literature, published memoirs, journalistic anthologies, cartographic stories, and video. I argue that personal memory and life narrative storytelling have become an important register of knowledge in a country whose cultural wealth has been ravaged through decades of colonial violence, dictatorship, sanctions, and multiple wars. The life story in its capacity to hold the affect and everydayness of experience lives on as a, breathing, resilient tradition that is able to respond to systematic violence in liberatory and enduring ways.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gary McCarron
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Face style transfer and removal with generative adversarial network

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-04
Abstract: 

Style transfer plays a vital role in image manipulation and creates new artistic works in different artistic styles from existing photographs. While style transfer has been widely studied, recovering photo-realistic images from corresponding artistic works has not been fully investigated. And all previous work considers style transfer and removal as separate problems. In this thesis, we present a method to transfer the style of a stylized face to a different face without style and recover photo-realistic face from the same stylized face image simultaneously. Here, style refers to the local patterns or textures of the stylized images. Style transfer gives a new way for artistic creation while style removal can be beneficial for face verification, photo-realistic content editing or facial analysis. Our approach contains two components: the Style Transfer Network (STN) and the Style Removal Network (SRN). STN renders the style of the stylized image to the non-stylized image, and the SRN is designed to remove the style of a stylized photo. By applying the two networks successively to an original input photo, the output should match the input photo. The experiment results in a variety of portraits and styles demonstrate our approach's effectiveness.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ze-Nian Li
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Re/generation: Mapping [the] operations of [the] strange in contemporary [art] photography

Date created: 
2020-03-26
Abstract: 

In this arts-based inquiry, I explore the ‘strange’—as a phenomenon, a concept, a narrative strategy, an intervention, an ‘operation,’ a dynamic—in the context of contemporary [art] photography. I specifically focus on the photographic image as event, as a generative encounter between multiple agencies—image(s), viewer(s), text(s) and other contextual factors —What happens? How? Why? Encounters with [the] strange and practices of ‘making strange’ emerge as probes into everyday ontological and epistemological operations of photography and the unique creative affordances this generates for photography as contemporary art.Merging my art practice and scholarship, I developed a form of visual storytelling that performs its subject matter in myriad ways. The project unfolds as a book that blends the linearity of argument structuring conventional modes of academic writing with more intuitive, non-linear modes of artistic writing that seek to open up—evoke and provoke—rather than foreclose differing interpretive paths. I foreground the process of knowledge production and meaning making by giving visibility and presence to participating ‘voices’ and the intertextual dynamics between them. Images, interview transcripts, dictionary definitions, quotes, diagrams, drawings and random bits found along the way converge to animate and illuminate operations of [the] strange. The project is structured like a play in three ‘acts.’ PART I: VIEWFINDER serves as the opening act introducing the main ‘characters’—core concepts, participants and setting—along with the ‘plot’—the research methodology. PART II: STRANGE consists of six ‘scenes’—CONTOURS, FRAMES, THRESHOLDS, HYBRIDS, CONTEXTS and MODES—each of which probes the ‘trials and tribulations’ of the main protagonist—[the] ‘strange’— through a different lens. PART III: RE/GENERATION serves as the final act in which various narrative strands are brought together within the interpretive framework guiding this arts-based inquiry.

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

D'apprenant à enseignant : la construction identitaire et l'accès à la communauté professionnelle des enseignants de français en Colombie-Britannique

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-29
Abstract: 

Cette thèse examine la construction identitaire d’enseignants de français pour qui le français n’est pas une langue dominante en Colombie-Britannique (Canada). J’analyse plus spécifiquement les dynamiques interactionnelles vécues par des enseignants de français au cours de leur propre apprentissage du français jusqu’à leur situation actuelle en tant que professionnels du français langue seconde. Ces dynamiques sont constitutives de la construction de leur identité professionnelle d’enseignants, mais également de l’identité linguistique qu’ils développent, en tant que locuteurs du français, tout au long de leur parcours d’apprenant puis d’enseignant. Ma recherche emploie une méthodologie qualitative et biographique et repose sur une perspective critique pour analyser les propos venant de 17 enseignants et/ou étudiants- maîtres en formation professionnelle recueillies au moyen d’entrevues semi-dirigées. L’analyse des données montre que la confiance identitaire des participants suit une trajectoire qui correspond à trois stades de vie bien particuliers : la scolarité, la formation professionnelle et la carrière d’enseignant de français. Cette trajectoire s’inscrit dans les dynamiques interactionnelles qu’ils vivent à ces trois étapes et elle évolue en fonction des communautés au sein desquelles les participants s’insèrent. Ainsi, pour certains participants, la période de formation professionnelle à l’université est parfois rendue difficile par une remise en question de la légitimité de l’identité linguistique, et donc par extension, de l’identité professionnelle. Ce questionnement identitaire peut ainsi persister durant la carrière d’enseignant, rendant l’exercice de la profession d’autant plus difficile. En revanche, d’autres participants réussissent, à travers notamment la découverte de nouveaux discours sur le bilinguisme, à trouver une nouvelle légitimité professionnelle et linguistique ; cela contribue à leur donner alors le sentiment d’un accès possible à la communauté professionnelle et linguistique qu’ils désirent, dans le contexte de l’enseignement du français comme langue seconde en Colombie-Britannique.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Diane Dagenais
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Testing the limits of water as a human right: A comparison of First Nations in Canada and Palestinian communities

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-29
Abstract: 

Researchers have long questioned if legally-framed efforts, such as the UN declaration of the Human Right to Water, are adequately framed to enable universal enjoyment of the right (Singh et al, 2016; Donnelly, 2006). This document investigates these questions around the realization of the human right to water by comparing First Nations Communities in Canada and Palestinian communities. I posit that both communities continue to face lower rates of water security as a result of settler colonialism, jurisdictional fragmentation and funding patterns. I discuss how these similarities can be related directly to shortcomings of the Human Right to water, specifically its nature as a derivative right, the hegemonic framework, and limited applicability on the ground. The objective of this research is to discuss the common barriers to water access facing these two groups and identify tools that can better serve marginalized communities in realizing the human right to water.

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

Evolutions of chemical and polar structures and electric properties in the Barium-Lead Zirconate-Titanate (BPZT) system

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-14
Abstract: 

Ceramics of the perovskite (1-x)[Ba(Zr0.30Ti0.70)O3] - x[Pb(Zr0.30Ti0.70)O3] (BZT-PZT) solid solution were prepared by solid state reaction method with complete solubility throughout the series. The ceramics were examined by X-ray diffraction and dielectric spectroscopy to investigate the crystal structure, phase transition and electric properties. The XRD results reveal that all ceramics exhibit a pure perovskite structure, and with increasing x, the cubic phase gradually transforms into a tetragonal phase. Detailed structural analysis and Rietveld refinements based on XRD data. The dielectric permittivity was measured as a function of frequency (0.1 Hz - 100 kHz) in the temperature range of 123 K to 573 K. For 0 < x < 0.40, the ceramics exhibit a typical relaxor behaviour. With the increase of the PZT concentration, the temperature of the dielectric maximum (Tmax) shows a non-monotonic variation, which first decreases and then increases at a critical composition (xC1 = 0.10). The maximum of dielectric permittivity (e’max) at Tmax shows frequency dispersion following the Vogel-Fulcher law. The difference between Tmax and the fitting parameter TVF, (Tmax-TVF), first increases and then decreases at another critical composition (xC2 = 0.30), with the increase of PZT concentration, showing the same trend as the shift of Tmax with frequency (DTmax). The high-temperature slope of the diffuse dielectric peak (T > Tmax) is scaled by the empirical Lorenz-type quadratic relation. The transition from the high-temperature paraelectric state, in which the dielectric constant follows the Curie-Weiss law, to the ergodic cluster state is found to occur over all the studied compositions. Single crystals of (Ba1-xPbx)(Zr1-yTiy)O3 were grown by a high-temperature solution growth method using (PbO + B2O3) as a flux upon slow cooling from 1100 °C. The size of the as-grown crystals varies from 1 to 5 mm. The X-ray powder diffraction analysis shows that the crystals have a tetragonal perovskite structure. The composition of the crystal is found to be (Ba0.46Pb0.54)(Zr0.12Ti0.88)O3 by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The measurements of dielectric properties indicate that the crystal undergoes a single phase transition from the cubic to the tetragonal phase at Curie temperature, TC = 554 K, upon heating. Polarized light microscopic studies of the domain structure confirm that the crystals are of tetragonal symmetry at room temperature. A typical ferroelectric hysteresis loop is displayed at room temperature, indicating the ferroelectric nature of the (Ba0.46Pb0.54)(Zr0.12Ti0.88)O3 crystals.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Zuo-Guang Ye
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.