Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF ACTIVE CONNECTIONS IN MANETS THROUGH DYNAMIC ROUTE AND POWER OPTIMIZATION

    Author:
    Zeki Bilgin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Computer Science
    Advisor:
    Bilal Khan
    Abstract:

    In this thesis, we consider two significant problems that occur within active connections in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). These are: (A) degradation of path optimality in terms of hop count, and (B) failures on the constituents links of a path. Both phenomena occur over time because of node movement. Our investigation considers what can be done to minimize their occurrence of both, after the problem of initial route selection has been resolved by standard MANET routing protocols. In developing solutions to the aforementioned problems, we identified two broad and complementary approaches: (i) Variable topology, fixed power: These approaches assume that the transmission power of the nodes is kept fixed, but the topology of the connections is modifiable during their lifetimes. (ii) Variable power, fixed topology: These approaches assume that the topological structure of the connection must be kept fixed, but the transmission power levels used by constituent nodes is adjustable. Within approach (i), we developed (A) two new route optimization schemes that seek to shorten path lengths by eliminating inessential hops "on-the-fly", without relying on promiscuous mode of wireless cards, and (B) two new route maintenance schemes that circumvent impending link failures and heal broken links in an efficient way. We implemented our schemes in the ns2 packet level network simulator, as extension to the Ad hoc On Demand Distance Vector (AODV) routing protocol. Through extensive simulations, we show that our schemes are able to optimize path lengths, increase connection lifetime, reduce overall control traffic overhead, decrease end-to-end delay, and provide energy savings in packet transmissions. Within approach (ii), we developed (B) several new dynamic power budget distribution schemes. These were evaluated using a new model in which each connection is assigned a fixed power budget, and seeks to distribute this budget among its constituent nodes so as to increase the connection's lifetime. We implemented our schemes as a discrete event simulation. Through extensive simulation experiments, we showed that our schemes are able to consistently improve connection lifetimes without excessive additional control traffic overhead. The conclusions of both studies are seen to hold scalably as one varies situational parameters such as network size, number of connections, and node mobility levels.

  • Producing Bodies, Knowledge, and Community in Everyday Civilian Struggle over Surveillance

    Author:
    Michelle Billies
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Michelle Fine
    Abstract:

    In a global context of rapidly expanding security practices, those cast as social threats are themselves often most risk of harm. In this dissertation, I develop the concept surveillance threat (ST) to describe the perception or experience of impending or actual harm faced by targeted civilians when they are stopped or screened by law enforcement. Singled out by race and other lines of sociocultural force, those stopped risk physical, legal, sexual, and spatial consequences. Yet focusing solely on the risk of harm limits the full meaning of this encounter. As I show in my research, civilians persistently struggle against these threats. Using the police practice of "stop and frisk" in New York City as a case study, I analyze ST and civilian response from the civilian perspective. In my mixed methods approach, I bring together survey and narrative data on stop and frisk, widening the unit of analysis from unidirectional harm to multidirectional struggle. Shifting attention to the interaction as a dynamic reframes these relations of power as more than a simple, imbalanced opposition. Instead, based on my findings, I theorize an embodied civilian psychology of responsiveness to threat that enables those targeted to engage the encounter as an active site of conflict. I find civilians consistently claim their rights, protect themselves and others, assert social power, construct critical knowledge, and pursue justice. Applying Abu Lughod's (1990) insight <“>where there is resistance, there is power,<”> I then study how civilians enact urban civil life through their interactions with police, recognizing a collective imaginary civilians draw on to influence the conditions of their daily lives. With concern for the ways police practice is restructuring urban environments by enforcing particular raced sexualities and genders, I bring a special focus to civilian constructions of racialized, sexual, and gender-infused space.

  • Bureaupathology and Organizational Fraud Prevention: Case Studies of Fraud Hotlines

    Author:
    Chelsea Binns
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Criminal Justice
    Advisor:
    F. Warren Benton
    Abstract:

    This dissertation examined the effect of organizational bureaucracy on fraud hotline performance. Fraud hotlines are used to receive anonymous fraud tips from employees in all sectors to prevent and detect fraud. This work contributes to the research on fraud hotlines, which today is very light. This work also examined individual hotline performance against organization theory, which is absent in the literature. The literature also doesn't include studies using social media data to determine organizational climate. This work contributes to that literature by providing a collective case study examination of the fraud hotlines in six organizations. Their hotline performance was examined in light of the Theory of Bureaucracy. According to the literature, the condition of organizational bureaupathology can result in crime concealment, reduced fraud reporting, and/or reduced hotline performance. To determine the presence and level of dysfunctional organizational bureaucracy and bureaupathology with respect to employees, the primary audience of fraud hotlines, this study qualitatively measured employee perception of specific bureaucracy and bureaupathology indicators in their workplace by examining their company review submissions in social media. Hotlines were evaluated using their individual level hotline metrics/statistics and also by examining their specifications, metrics, functionality, and adherence to best practices. Interviews with hotline administrators, an evaluation of the level of reported organizational fraud, and consideration of the historical context was also considered in evaluating the overall performance of the hotlines. This study ultimately determined there is no consistent relationship between organizational bureaupathology and hotline performance. At times, where an organization had more bureaupathology, the hotline tended to perform better, in terms of its metrics, functionality and adherence to best practices. At other times, hotlines with lower levels of bureaupathology tended to perform worse than their counterparts. These organizations were in the private sector, so the sector where a given hotline is operated may be a factor. This study further found better functioning hotlines didn't have less internal fraud. Organizations where employees perceived a high presence of the bureaucracy indicators "Insistence on the Rights of Office" and "Impersonal Treatment" tended to have a better adherence to hotline best practices, yet had a higher instance of internal fraud in comparison to organizations. In other words, the conditions that contribute to a successful hotline may also give rise to fraud, and or inhibit fraud reporting, in the same organizations. This study further determined fraud hotlines might not prevent fraud. Regardless of hotline performance, including the number of calls received, all of the subject organizations experienced employee crime. These results are contrary to expectations but consistent with bureaupathology theory, which says that employees in excessive bureaucracies adhere strongly to organizational rules and procedures and may be incapable of responding to unpredictable events. As a result of the aforementioned findings, organizational hotline assessment methodology should consider external factors, such as the historical context, presence of internal fraud and employee sentiment as factors in assessing organizational fraud, in assessing hotline performance.

  • GENDER (IN)EQUALITY IN POLAND FOUR YEARS AFTER ENTERING THE EU: YOUNG POLISH FEMINISTS SPEAK THEIR MINDS - CASE STUDY OF KONSOLA ORGANIZATION

    Author:
    Maria Biskup
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Sociology
    Advisor:
    Hester Eisenstein
    Abstract:

    This dissertation concerns the study of gender (in)equality in Poland as it is experienced by the young Polish feminists themselves. Through in depth interviews, an ethnographic study of young Polish feminists belonging to the most active feminist organization in Poznan, Poland, supplemented by works of contemporary Eastern European as well as Western feminists I have tried to show how feminism is experienced, explained, lived through, fought for and talked about in contemporary European Union belonging Poland. I argue that feminism, although known on a large scale in Poland, still has a status of a problematic word on which a spell of suspicion had been set due to particulars of Polish history, including the treatment of gender issues by the Communist government, the Solidarity Trade Movement and the understated power of the Polish Catholic Church in this matter. Because each of these institutions created their own meaning of gender rights and feminism overall, these confusing messages have for years entangled and problematized the meaning of feminism, creating unflattering stereotypes of what feminism is as a movement, who feminists are, what they are fighting for and in what manners. Feminism became associated with images of burly women who burn bras, don't shave their legs and hate men. Although feminism in Poland is still largely relegated to the academic sphere, the actions these young active feminists take, such as their growing presence on the local scale through organizing, sponsoring and coordinating feminist events, cooperation with other women's organizations in organizing, conferences and publications on the issues of women's presence on the local and national levels in the media, have been slowly paying off. Because of the efforts of women from KONSOLA, feminism is becoming a less problematic word in the contemporary Poland.

  • Arts Work: A Typology of Skills for Arts-Based Group Workers

    Author:
    Mary Bitel
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Harriet Goodman
    Abstract:

    The arts are utilized in groups across the applied humanities and social sciences with a wide range of populations to address a multitude of individual, group, and community needs. Despite literature suggesting challenges to the implementation of mutual aid based groups in social work, a body of empirical evidence exists on the use and benefits of the arts in working with groups across social science disciplines, including social work. In groups that utilize purposeful activity, balance of group process and task completion is integral to the development of the group as a system of mutual aid. Through interviews with a sample of expressive arts group practitioners, this study sought to identify the skills expressive artists used and to determine whether those skills had a significant impact on group dynamics. This study explored expressive artists' rationale for the intervention skills they used. It also explored whether their work with groups suggested additional skills beyond those articulated in the social work literature to promote group dynamics including development of a system in mutual aid and the balance of group process and creative task completion. The researcher developed a performance-based typology of skills in response to how expressive artists described the skills and tools they used in activity-based group work. This typology reflected a focus on performance-rooted traits, facilitative skills, and interventions that resembled aspects of the interactional or mutual aid approach to group work but moved beyond that model to address the unique aspect of creative arts in groups. The typology of skills presented in this study suggest an expanded and highly engaged role for the worker; it supports a fluid, cyclical quality in the use of skills and interventions that moves beyond the approach provided in traditional models of social group work. Most significantly, it suggests that arts-based group worker's primary and essential task lies in the consistent balance of group process and creative task completion. Engagement around both process and task promote the transmission of voice to group members, a significant aspect of this study that has implications for anti-oppression work across the field of social work.

  • Meaning Making at the Interface of Gender, Disability, and Policy: Physically Disabled Women in London and Coventry, England Explore the Covention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    Author:
    Heidi Bjorgan
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Anna Stetsenko
    Abstract:

    Historically, persons with disabilities are socially, culturally, and economically underprivileged and neglected worldwide (WHO, 2006, 2011) and this is especially true of women with disabilities. The intersection between women's gender and their disabilities, although overlooked for many decades, has been described as the phenomenon of a dual handicap. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006) was created to protect the rights of all people with disabilities and, for the first time in history, identified women with disabilities as a population that has unique rights and needs that warrant special legislation and protection. This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of physically disabled women living in England, while contextualizing them within the discourse on disability rights within the sociocultural and historical-political context (England). The lived experiences of physically disabled women are posited to be mediated by human rights documents as well as by political discourses and practices that surround and accompany these documents. Framed in socio-historical cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and Bakhtin's (1986) dialogical works, this study investigates how policy documents are meaning-making systems (Daiute, 2008, 2010) that shape and serve as the tools to organize and frame disabled women's experiences. Narratives collected through group meetings with 18 physically disabled women in London and Coventry, England, were first analyzed using a values analysis (Daiute, Stern, & Lelutiu-Weinberger, 2003) to understand the interactions between the CRPD and women's lives. Then a discourse analysis of group narratives and policy documents (Daiute, 2008) was conducted across the CRPD (2006) and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) as activity- meaning making systems. Finally, a historical analysis of disability and gender within the UK and the UN was conducted. The major findings indicate that the intersection of gender and disability is historically absent within UK and UN activity-meaning systems (Daiute, 2008, 2010) as enacted in the CRPD and CEDAW treaty. The values analysis revealed disability and diversity education at local levels (schools, councils, hospitals) and their own participation in local politics, specifically for Lambeth, with a high level of value expressions. Surprisingly, both groups given their right to have a family and a home took an opposing view to the CRPD values. Interestingly, both groups described social practices such as staring, being ignored by others as being issues within their daily lived experiences, but still provided a subjective view to Article 6: Women and Disabilities. The study suggests that there is a need for further research on disabled women's perspectives and experiences within the discourse of human rights in order to develop socio-political practices that support rather than isolate disabled women.

  • Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: Urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia

    Author:
    Carwil Bjork-James
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Anthropology
    Advisor:
    Marc Edelman
    Abstract:

    This dissertation analyzes the role of space-claiming protests by primarily left grassroots social movements in Bolivia's current political transformation. Space claiming includes mass protests that physically control or symbolically claim urban space through occupations of plazas and roads, sit-ins, blockades, and other measures. As a theoretical construct, space claiming brings together tactics of collective action and meanings of public spaces, and looks at the consequences of their interaction. This dissertation is based on ethnographic engagement and oral interviews with protest participants and their state interlocutors during twelve months of fieldwork and archival research. By using detailed ethnographic evidence--of social life as experienced through the human body, the meanings attached to places, and social movement practices--it explains how grassroots movements exerted leverage upon the state through pivotal protest events. This study shows that the political import of these protests arises from their interruption of commercially important flows and appropriation of meaning-laden spaces in cities like Cochabamba and Sucre. Social movements used spatial meanings, protest symbols and rhetoric to build an imagined community of interest and sovereignty, which claims the right to direct the political course of the state. The presence of indigenous bodies, symbols, and politics in these spaces challenged and inverted their longstanding exclusion from power. The largest mobilizations exercised control over aspects of daily life that would otherwise be organized by the state. These interruptions of commerce and circulation, and the collective gatherings that directed them posed an alternate possibility of sovereignty. This put the existing order into question, forcing shifts in political life to resolve the temporary crises. At the same time, the practices of disruption were added to the routines of political practice, making future officeholders even less able to maneuver independently of the grassroots base. This dissertation explains why and how space-claiming protests work as political tools, and the ways that practices of cooperation, coordination, and decisionmaking within protest have become models for Bolivia's political culture. In doing so, it contributes to the study of social protest in Latin America, the theory of social movement practice, and the geographic study of political protest.

  • THE POLITICAL ETHICS OF INTIMACY IN AMERICAN EVANGELISM

    Author:
    Sophie Bjork-James
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Anthropology
    Advisor:
    Leith Mullings
    Abstract:

    The Political Ethics of Intimacy is an ethnographic study of how conservative evangelical ethics are cultivated within religious communities and become linked to political projects. Based on fourteen months of participant observation research in evangelical churches and Bible study groups in Colorado Springs, I argue that evangelical ethical life is modeled on hierarchical relationships defined by gender and symbolized in the patriarchal family. As the heterosexual nuclear family has become both the central metaphor structuring evangelical ethics and the site where lived evangelicalism is practiced, issues perceived as threatening this family structure are seen as threatening to evangelical ethical life. Thus, abortion and gay rights receive continuing political concern by evangelicals, while issues not framed as directly affecting the family receive less political concern. I show how the familial ideals that shape white evangelical ethical and political life are tied to a racial history of seeing the normative, patriarchal family as the moral foundation of the nation, ideas that shaped resistance to racial equality in the United States from debates about abolition to the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Place Attachment and Mobility in the Lives of HIV positive Men

    Author:
    Libby Black
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Susan Saegert
    Abstract:

    This study explored how transformative effects of an HIV diagnosis inform our sense of place and connectedness to a setting/place attachment and the influence on our use and movement in social space. Using Bourdieu's Sociological perspective I explored the notion of `knowing' or `habitus,' by investigating the nature of a person's position and the conditioning (social learning) of that position which can be viewed as a transformative process that effects, changes, and creates both the position and the conditions that govern practice. Methods: The research included semi structured interviews and (2) focus groups, where one set of groups had the specific objectives of the study disclosed to them, and the researcher surveyed the respondents on the types of questions and information they believed needed to be collected to capture their sense of social space. The final group was presented with the results of the initial group and asked to critique and inform the results. A total of 36 subjects were interviewed or were a part of the focus groups. Using cognitive mapping, I explored the places they frequent, noting physical settings, how these settings were used, evaluated and perceived and how they spent their time. Research findings: The findings reveal themes related to respondents' sense of place and connectedness and their sense of connection to those people and places they deem significant. There are examples of life philosophies that appear connected to positioning and are connected in influential ways to ones sense of `constriction' or `expansion.' When dealing with socially impoverished, isolated men, and their HIV diagnosis, their positioning and conditioning in social space, it appears their `situatedness' directly effects and instructs their `practical sense,' or everyday practices and this allows creative and instructive thinking that transforms their experience of becoming HIV positive into an experience of expansion and growth. Broader, the meanings people attribute to their histories, suggests how one comes to choose, use, and is transformed by the spaces supportive of them, are themselves products of the same cultures and social structures that produce and reproduce the `practical sense' of an agent.

  • On the Arithmetic and Geometry of Quaternion Algebras: a spectral correspondence for Maass waveforms

    Author:
    Terrence Blackman
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Mathematics
    Advisor:
    Stefan Lemurell
    Abstract:

    Abstract

    ABSTRACT

    TERRENCE RICHARD BLACKMAN

    Let A be an indefinite rational division quaternion algebra with discriminant d equal to pq where p and q are primes such that p,q > 2 and let Opq be a maximal order in A. Further, let Opq,p2rq2s,r,s 1 be an order of index p2rq2s in Opq with Eichler invariant equal to negative one at p and at q . Finally, let Opq,p2rq2s1 be the cocompact Fuchsian group given as the group of units of norm one in Opq,p2rq2s. Using the classical Selberg trace formula, we show that the positive Laplace eigenvalues, including multiplicities, for Maass forms on Opq,p2rq2s1 coincide with the Laplace spectrum for Maass newforms defined on the Hecke congruence group Γ0(M) where, M, the level of the congruence group, is equal to p2r+1q2s+1, i.e., the discriminant of Opq,p2rq2s.