Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ON THE DAMAGE OF HYBRID THICK COMPOSITES SUBJECT TO DROP-WEIGHT AND BALLISTIC IMPACTS

    Author:
    Yougashwar Budhoo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Engineering
    Advisor:
    Feridun Delale
    Abstract:

    The aim of this study is to investigate the low velocity and ballistic impact responses of thick-section hybrid fiber composites at various temperatures. Plain-woven S2-Glass and IM7 Graphite fabrics are chosen as fiber materials reinforcing the SC-79 epoxy. Four different types of composites consisting of alternating layers of glass and graphite woven fabric sheets are considered. The tensile tests were conducted following ASTM Standards D3039 (Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials) and D3518 (Standard Test Method for In-Plane Shear Response of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials by Tensile Test of a +/- 45° Laminate) on hybrid and non-hybrid plain weave composite materials. Strips (6.35mm × 25mm × 250mm) of non-hybrid IM-7 Graphite/SC-79 epoxy denoted as GR for brevity, non-hybrid S-2 Glass/SC-79 epoxy called GL for short, hybrid GR/GL/GR and hybrid GL/GR/GL specimens were tensile tested. The tests were conducted at -60 °C, -20 °C, room temperature, 75 °C and 125 °C. Then the rule of mixtures was used to predict the Young's moduli of GL/GR/GL and GR/GL/GR using the experimental values obtained from the stress-strain curves of the GL and GR specimens. The predicted Young's moduli of GL/GR/GL and GR/GL/GR were then compared to those obtained experimentally. It was found that the calculated Young's and shear moduli match closely (within 6 %) to those obtained experimentally. The Poisson's ratio was measured using strain gages. Classical lamination theory was used to calculate the thermal stresses developed in the hybrid woven composite, which were then compared to the maximum stress values obtained experimentally from the unidirectional tensile tests, to determine whether they were significant. It was determined that the calculated thermal stresses are negligible (in the order of 2.5%) compared to the failure stress of the composite, and thus will be neglected in impact modeling and computations. Next, low-velocity impact tests were conducted using an Instron-Dynatup 8250 impact test machine equipped with an environmental chamber operable from -60 °C to 316 °C. Test temperatures were achieved in the same manner as in tensile testing. The impact tests were performed at an energy level of 30 Joules. Both destructive cross-sectional micrographs and nondestructive ultrasonic techniques used to evaluate the damage created by impact. Ultrasound C-scans were performed using a Physical Acoustics Corporation UltraPAC immersion ultrasonic imaging system. The Finite Element code LS-DYNA was chosen to perform numerical simulations of low velocity and later ballistic impact on thick-section hybrid composites. The experimentally obtained force-time histories, strain-time histories and damage patterns of impacted composites are compared with Finite element results. Good agreement between experimental and FE results has been achieved when comparing dynamic force, contact stiffness, deflection, energy, strain histories and damage patterns from experimental measurements and FE simulations. It was shown that the variation of results obtained from our low velocity impact experiments for the hybrid composite was very small (in the order of 8 %) when compared to those of the non- hybrid composite material. Also, when looking at the hybrid or non-hybrid composites, the effect of temperature at -60 °C, -20 °C was not significant, whereas at 75 °C and 125 °C was very significant. The final portion of this research deals with ballistic impact experiments on the above mentioned composites and numerical modeling. Ballistic impact tests were performed using helium pressured high-speed gas-gun. In this case also, high and low temperatures were achieved in the same manner as those in the tensile testing. From experiments, it is concluded that GL has a better ballistic impact resistance compared to the other three composites layups. The ballistic limit of GL increases with an increase in test temperature, while GR is decreased. The ballistics limits for the hybrids were in between of those for GL and GR.

  • Into the Woods: Motif-Based Fairy Tale Analysis and the Gendered Aesthetics of French 17th and 18th-Century Women Writers

    Author:
    Christina Buehler
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    French
    Advisor:
    Francesca Canade-Sautman
    Abstract:

    For such beautiful and often times short stories, fairy tales have inspired diverse analyses from multiple scholars. The studies are as varied as the tales they discuss. There are historical and sociological viewpoints that study both the local culture and mannerisms displayed by the protagonists and the people whom they meet along their journey. The feminist approach looks at the role of women in these tales and how they interact as a group with each other as well as with the female protagonists in their fictional lives. Those who are intrigued by the psychological aspect of fairy tales look to Jung and Freud to fuel their dissection of tale elements. A final approach that is particularly intriguing and not as well studied as one would think is the classic textual analysis of a fairy tale, focusing on motifs. The richness of the visual elements and descriptions in the tales enhances the overall story arc and although the tales are meant to entertain the general population, there are certain areas that beg to be studied in depth. Ultimately the question that needs to be explored is why the author of a fairy tale chooses certain elements to help propel the movement of the story. If one reads enough tales, it becomes apparent that there are certain recurring motifs that are particularly significant in the author's works. These motifs are not haphazardly chosen; they are deliberately selected by the learned fairy tale writers to enhance the tale's overall impact. The recurring motifs found within the literary fairy tale tradition deserve further attention. Upon studying the historical development of the literary fairy tale in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, it is clear that the French authors drew much of their ideas from the tale-tellers before them, especially the Italians Straparola and Basile, who were responsible for the first written fairy tales, albeit in their local dialect. These elements and motifs, which were present in the early tales of the Italians, were expanded and enhanced by the French. Although Charles Perrault is the best-known French fairy tale writer, this dissertation focuses on the tales written by the French women, particularly Mme. d'Aulnoy. These conteuses deserve more than a second glance, as their tales are rich with beautiful prose and great detail. Therefore, the first half of this dissertation will look at the historical development of the tale in France, demonstrating a clear connection between the Italian tale-tellers and their French counterparts. The second part of this study will be a textual analysis of select tales by the conteuses showcasing the unique sensitivity and viewpoint that they brought to their tale-telling.

  • Intentionality without intensionality

    Author:
    Matias Bulnes
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Philosophy
    Advisor:
    Michael Levin
    Abstract:

    The main thesis of the dissertation is that the choice between individualism and externalism is a false dilemma. Individualism is the view that mental entities such as beliefs, desires, concepts, etc. are internal to an individual's body, individuated independently of what happens outside. Externalism is the view that they are external to the body, individuated by the relations between the individual and her environment. Both of these views disarm conundrums about the mind but are also plagued by their own problems. Yet the choice makes a material difference in nearly all mind-related problems. I do not wish to deny that they are mutually exclusive--I take this to be rather obvious. But in the dissertation I trace a route between them that avoids their perils. I make one fundamental methodological assumption: mental entities are defined by their role in folk psychology. As a consequence, in adjudicating between competing hypotheses related to the nature of mental entities I rely on their power to explain and systematize folk psychology. My strategy is simple. I begin with a diagnosis of the problems that plague individualism. I argue that by committing to the intensionality of the mental, individualism makes the content of mental entities (or what they represent) accessory to their individuation, contrary to folk psychology. Then I weaken the individualist view just enough to avert this consequence without falling prey to the problems that plague externalism. The result is a view of mental entities as having individualist structure but externalist content. The objects immanent to the mental famously observed by Brentano emerge neither as neural symbols nor as external realities but rather as virtual objects, that is, as immanent to a characterization of brain states in terms of personal dispositions to interact with an environment.

  • Conspiratorial Modernism: Modernism and Conspiracy Theory in Proust, Joyce, Faulkner, and Musil

    Author:
    Johannes Burgers
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Marc Dolan
    Abstract:

    This project investigates the concurrent emergence of literary modernism and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in Europe and America between 1894 and 1942. This period, stretching from the Dreyfus Affair to the beginning of the Endlösung (final solution), represents the most significant shifts in anti-Semitic discourse in Europe, and roughly outlines the most important years of modernism. By bringing these two discourses into conversation, this project documents their remarkably similar reactions to modernity's fragmentation and dislocation. Both modernists and conspiracy theorists believed that modernity had fractured an erstwhile total and complete reality. They therefore wrote vast, totalizing works that tried to create a complete worldview. The critical difference was that modernists concluded that such a worldview was no longer possible, while the conspiracy theorists were convinced that they are being thwarted by Jews. In uncovering a previously undocumented history, this study not only reveals the pervasive and multifarious influence of anti-Semitism on literature, but also contributes to a growing body of scholarship on modernism's relationship to other early twentieth century discourses. Methodologically, this thesis is supported through a three-pronged approach that combines history, biography, and aesthetics. First, I construct a historical model that documents the transmission of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in Europe and across the Atlantic. Second, I situate Marcel Proust, James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Robert Musil within this context through their personal biography, especially their contact with anti-Semitism and anti-Semites. Third, I align the aesthetics of conspiracy theory with that of each authors' magnum opus, respectively, A la recherche du temps perdu , Ulysses, the Yoknapatawpha novels, and Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. In its historical approach, this study uses the current transnational approach in Modernism Studies, and applies this model to conspiracy theories. Traditionally, scholars have explained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories by situating them within a national discourse. My comparative approach highlights the substantially different antipathies that people had towards Jews in each of the countries studied, while at the same time revealing an extensive transatlantic economy of anti-Semitic ideas. Though often couched in nationalist rhetoric, anti-Semitism's theoretical underpinnings were established through this larger conversation. This discourse of anti-Semitism touched the lives of all these authors in different ways, and shaped how they represented Jewishness in their texts. Through letters, journals, and other often-overlooked biographical material, I uncover biographical connections between each author and anti-Semitism. All the authors demonstrate various levels of sympathy for Jews, while also harboring negative stereotypes. Beyond the historical and biographical overlap, modernism and conspiracy theory share a similar aesthetic. Modernist and conspiracy texts were encyclopedic and omnivorous in their scope. Consequently, the narrative drive of such texts relies on assembling and fashioning the work into a coherent whole. Yet, their sheer overwhelming size continuously resists complete comprehension. Further, at the center of each work is a region of unknowability that ostensibly masks a transcendental truth that, when revealed, will make the world complete again. I conclude that for the modernist the point is that such a transcendental truth no longer exists, and that for the conspiracy theorist this truth is obscured by a vast Jewish conspiracy. Modernism therefore undermines and resists the conspiratorial project by revealing totality as an impossibility. I structure the chapters around specific dates that indicate real and fictional moments of rupture that modernists attempt to reveal and conspiracy theorists try to close.

  • The Vastness of Small Spaces: Self-Portraits of the Artist as a Child Enclosed

    Author:
    Matthew Burgess
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Nancy Miller
    Abstract:

    A tent of bed sheets, a furniture fort, a corner of the closet surrounded by chosen objects--the child finds or fashions these spaces and within them daydreaming begins. What do small spaces signify for the child, and why do scenes of enclosure emerge in autobiographical self-portraits of the artist? Sigmund Freud's theory that the literary vocation can be traced to childhood experiences is at the heart of this project, especially his observation that "the child at play behaves like a writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or rather, re-arranges the things of this world in a new way." Gaston Bachelard's exploration of space and poetic reverie is also foundational, and I situate Freud's "child at play" within Bachelard's spatial topography in order to examine the ways in which enclosures facilitate the discovery and development of the child's creative capacity. The paradoxical relation between smallness and vastness is a central theme in this dissertation; as the child imagines a world of her own within the small space, spatial constraints dissolve or vanish. My first chapters consider representations of childhood space in the work of two British memoirists at midcentury, Virginia Woolf and Denton Welch, and in the third chapter, I analyze lyric self-portraits by three American poets of the postwar period: Frank O'Hara, Anne Sexton, and Robert Duncan. Others have suggested that childhood enclosures are symbolic of "womb" or "cave," but these interpretations fail to capture the complexity of meanings at play within these scenes. I argue that this recurring figure is less about a lost union with the maternal body or some atavistic memory of the beginning of history; rather, for the author tracing the origins of her creative vocation to childhood, the small space is where the artist is born.

  • "Who do you think you are?": A multidimensional analysis of the impact of disparities in higher educational attainment within families of first-generation college graduates

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

    This project explores the impact of disparate educational attainment between first-generation college graduates and their family members. This is a conscious shifting of the unit of analysis, from the changing social position and power of an individual student/graduate, to the relational capacity, tensions, and strategies of the family unit that is inclusive of the graduate. This shift in the unit of analysis, from the individual to the family, interrogates the function of higher education by broadening the range of outcomes associated with post-secondary education and credentialing beyond the economic advancement of the graduate. There are currently very few studies of this population that investigate post-degree attitudes and experiences and none of which ask questions about family relationships. Few if any studies have addressed how educational disparities within the family are perceived by other family members, particularly parents and siblings. This work investigates the nature of this affect/effect, primarily from the perspective of the graduate, but also reaching toward a greater understanding of the perspective of family members as well. Three broad areas of inquiry guide this exploratory first investigation of family narratives surrounding the higher educational attainment of first-generation college graduates: In what ways are educational values and justice beliefs (e.g., support of meritocracy), affected by the higher educational successes of one (or some) member(s) of the family? 2) How are family relations and power dynamics impacted by disparate levels of educational attainment within the family? and 3) What are the ideological dilemmas (Billig et al., 1988) of first-generation college graduates and family members, and how are these dilemmas negotiated? A mixed-method design was employed, consisting of a narrative analysis of interviews with first-generation college graduates' (N=13) and family members' (N=5) and an anonymous web-based survey (N=340) broadly assessing first-generation college graduate attitudes about their college experiences, post-college family relationships, current educational values and ideological dilemmas related to educational differences within the family of origin. A principal components analysis of survey items, and bivariate analyses were conducted to test relationships between factors and independent variables; a grounded theory approach was taken in the analysis of open-ended survey items.

  • Crossroads: New York's Black Intellectuals and the Role of Ideology in the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

    Author:
    Kristopher Burrell
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Clarence Taylor
    Abstract:

    Abstract CROSSROADS: NEW YORK'S BLACK INTELLECTUALS AND THE ROLE OF IDEOLOGY IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, 1954-1965 By Kristopher Burrell Adviser: Dr. Clarence Taylor This dissertation studies the importance of New York City, and the black intellectuals who gathered there, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The figures discussed here merit the term "intellectual" because they were makers and purveyors of many ideas that sustained and broadened the movement. Studying key activist-intellectuals from across the ideological spectrum allows for a more complete understanding of the importance of ideas in propelling the movement. Looking at the ways in which black intellectuals evolved and used different ideologies in pursuit of racial equality is another way of demonstrating African American agency. This study writes against the characterization of the civil rights movement as primarily fueled by emotionalism and impulsive. Black intellectuals actively sought to plot out the course that the movement would take. This dissertation continues to move civil rights historiography away from the notion that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X provided the only two approaches for achieving racial equality by demonstrating that there was a broader spectrum of ideologies that African Americans used and adapted in trying to successfully prosecute their struggle to secure racial equality. Instead of merely two approaches--liberal integrationism and black nationalism--I argue that there were four main ideologies in conversation and contention with one another during this period--racial liberalism, conservatism, leftism, and black nationalism. This dissertation also contributes to the growing literature on the civil rights movement outside of the South. I make two main arguments about the significance of New York City to the movement. First, New York was important because institutions of every political and ideological stripe sank roots into and influenced the intellectual and cultural milieu of black New York and black America. Second, black intellectuals who were drawn to the city flourished because they sampled the extraordinary variety of ideas on display as they matured intellectually and developed their own strategies for growing and sustaining a national movement for social, political, and economic justice. For these reasons, New York is deserving of further study in relation to civil rights agitation and activism.

  • The New Deal in Puerto Rico: Public Works, Public Health, and the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, 1935-1955

    Author:
    Geoff Burrows
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Laird Bergad
    Abstract:

    During the 1930s, Puerto Rico experienced acute infrastructural and public health crises caused by the economic contraction of the Great Depression, the devastating San Felipe and San Ciprián hurricanes of 1928 and 1932, and the limitations of the local political structure. Signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (PRRA) replaced all other New Deal activity on the island. As a locally-run federal agency, the PRRA was very unique and yet very representative of the "Second" New Deal in the United States--which attempted to move beyond finding immediate solutions to the most critical problems of the day and make permanent changes to social and economic life for all U.S. citizens. As the first archival analysis of the PRRA, this dissertation argues that the PRRA actively shifted federal policy in Puerto Rico from a paradigm of relief to one of reconstruction focused on the island's specific needs in the wake of the hurricanes and Depression. This shift mirrored the larger change from the laissez faire individualism of the 1920s to the more prominent use of federal power to intervene in socioeconomic life during the New Deal. By building the island's first truly public works and establishing its first public authorities to administer them, the PRRA constructed a new public infrastructure capable of addressing three interrelated goals: increasing life expectancy through concrete interventions in public health; providing more egalitarian public access to a safer and more permanent built environment; and limiting the private corporate control of Puerto Rico's natural resources. Designed by Puerto Rican engineers and built by Puerto Rican workers, PRRA public works projects made concrete contributions to the physical security of millions of Puerto Ricans through the construction of hurricane-proof houses, schools, hospitals, roads, sewers, waterworks, and rural electrification networks. These projects not only made lasting contributions to local social and economic life, they also had a transformative effect on Puerto Rican politics during the 1940s and the meaning of U.S. citizenship for Puerto Ricans in the twentieth century and beyond.

  • The Fight Over John Q: How Labor Won and Lost the Public in Postwar America, 1947-1959

    Author:
    Rachel Burstein
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Joshua Freeman
    Abstract:

    This study examines the infancy of large-scale, coordinated public relations by organized labor in the postwar period. Labor leaders' outreach to diverse publics became a key feature of unions' growing political involvement and marked a departure from the past when unions used organized workers - not the larger public - to pressure legislators. The new recognition of the liberal public as an important ally and the creation of a program for targeting it signaled larger shifts in the American labor movement: the embrace of bureaucracy akin to other major postwar institutions; the promotion of politics over collective bargaining as the defining objective of the labor movement; the prominence of a new, educated class of labor leaders; and the deradicalization of American unionism in favor of the postwar liberal consensus. The dissertation details PR approaches of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and Congress of Industrial Organizations' (CIO) at particular crisis points in the late 1940s and 1950s, after World War II and before the emergence of the civil rights movement and New Left. These campaigns were responsive and defensive and showed the difficulty labor leaders had in controlling the terms of debate, even as they were successful in maintaining rhetorical popular support. The case studies examined in this dissertation are: 1) the AFL and CIO's efforts to defeat the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947; 2) the role of politics - particularly the 1948 election and the third party campaign of Henry Wallace - in forcing CIO leaders to expel communist unions from their ranks; 3) the 1955 merger of the AFL and CIO and labor's efforts to counter the trope of "big labor" in a world in which large institutions and elite groups increasingly vied for control; and 4) the AFL-CIO's efforts to redefine itself in the face of accounts of union corruption during Congressional hearings on racketeering in organized labor from 1957 to 1959. In all of these cases, labor leaders positioned themselves and the union members they represented as part of a larger public committed to the same political objectives. Ultimately, this was a losing bet; they traded relevance for acceptability.

  • Exercises in Criticism: The Theory and Practice of Literary Constraint

    Author:
    Louis Bury
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Wayne Koestenbaum
    Abstract:

    My dissertation is an exercise in applied poetics, using constraint-based methods in order to write about constraint-based literature. I define constraint-based literature as literature that imposes rules and restrictions upon itself over and above the rules and restrictions (such as grammar and lexicon) inherent in language--as literature that understands itself as part of an avant-garde tradition whose most prominent precursor is the work of the OuLiPo, or "Workshop For Potential Literature," a French writing group, founded in 1960 and still active today, whose purpose is to invent arbitrary constraints for the purposes of generating literary texts. When completed, my dissertation will contain ninety-nine short chapters, each of which follows a different compositional procedure. By tracing the lineage and enduring influence of early Oulipian classics, I argue that contemporary Anglophone writers have, in their adoption of constraint-based methods, transformed such methods from apolitical literary laboratory exercises into a form of cultural critique, whose usage is surprisingly widespread in contemporary Anglophone literature, particularly among poets and experimental novelists.