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  • Corruptions, Imitations, and Innovations: Tropes of Ibn Taymiyya's Polemics

    Author:
    Faris Al Ahmad
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Middle Eastern Studies
    Advisor:
    Anna Akasoy
    Abstract:

    Most of the Mamluk theologian Taqī al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Taymiyya's opinions had a polemical nature. This paper traces certain common tropes of Ibn Taymiyya's polemics such as tahrīf (corruption), taqlīd (imitation), and bid`a (innovation) that he repeatedly used in some of his judgments that targeted Christians, Jews, Sufis, mutakallimūn, philosophers, and Nusayris. The paper argues that what connects all of these groups in Ibn Taymiyya's polemics is the tropes of corruption, imitation, and innovation that he identified in their thought and practice. When investigating Ibn Taymiyya's polemics within the broader array of religious polemics, a consideration of his commentaries on different groups is important. The fact is that Ibn Taymiyya does not target a religious or intellectual group per se. He targets certain "corrupted or innovated" ideas and practices done by certain groups and being blindly "imitated" by other groups. He does not tolerate any mistakes in theology as a result of the imperfect human intellect not only by the followers of other religions, but also by Muslims. In his judgment strategies, Ibn Taymiyya referred to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish scriptures as well as analytical methods of reason and logic. Nonetheless, he is convinced that Revelation should always take precedent over any human intellect methods in evaluating theology; otherwise, we will corrupt theology.

  • The People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit

    Author:
    Kara Alaimo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Stanley Renshon
    Abstract:

    "The People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit" argues that civil servants best serve the interests of both the President of the United States and the American people as public affairs officers in the Department of the Treasury. Using interviews conducted with political appointees who served as Treasury spokespeople during the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, civil servants who served in public affairs for the Treasury, and Treasury reporters who interacted frequently with the government officials, the study finds that civil servants better advance the goals of the President in the press than the political appointees personally selected by the President. This is the case because civil servants have greater knowledge of the policies they advocate and because reporters apply greater skepticism to the arguments of political appointees because reporters assume that appointees are always attempting to advance political agendas - a phenomenon this study calls the "appointee discount." While scholars have previously argued that presidents accept the lower competence of appointees in order to attain their greater loyalty, this study suggests that no such tradeoff exists. It finds that political appointees and civil servants leak information to the press that does not serve the interests of the President with roughly the same frequency. The study also finds that civil servants better serve the interests of the American people in such roles. The study finds that neither political appointees nor civil servants in the Treasury's public affairs department are conducting the "permanent campaign" to build support for the President that White House aides have been accused of practicing, by governing based upon public opinion polls and appealing to the emotions, as opposed to the reason, of the American people. However, political appointees are significantly more likely to withhold information requested by reporters than civil servants.

  • Acculturation of children of Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City: Intergenerational perspectives and alternative trajectories

    Author:
    Mohammed Alam
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Harriet Goodman
    Abstract:

    This study explores the acculturation experiences of thirty-three Bangladeshi second generation youths in New York City through in depth interviews. The researcher has observed and recorded interactions between youths and parents in the natural setting of their homes. The findings of this qualitative study, conducted in the tradition of grounded theory, are presented in four analytic categories: crossroads of acculturation dividing immigrant parents and children; gendered socialization of Bangladeshi children in traditional patriarchal families; influence of New York City on acculturation of these children; and their ethnic self-identity trajectories and repertoires. These frameworks reveal how intentionality and secondary socialization impinge on intergenerational cultural continuity to transform new New Yorkers; unlike their parents, the children renounce ethnocentricity, native country affiliation, and patriarchal value system. Bangladeshi immigrant parents contribute to the city's increasing diversity by remaking the city through burgeoning ethnic enclaves, in which they hold fast to cultural traditions. In contrast, their children remake the city and the city remakes them. They embrace a plurality of perspectives and the values of an egalitarian society. Because all the young informants are New Yorkers, their acculturation experiences are shaped in a diverse and multi-ethnic setting. They contextualized these experiences in comparison with actual and potential second generation immigrant experiences in "the mid-west" or upstate New York, isolated from a vibrant ethnic enclave and multi-cultural community. The study has also developed mid-level theories: immigrant children's acculturation is attributed to push-pull factors, shift from primary to secondary socialization, and intentionality compared with parents. Bangladeshi girls question gendered socialization and reject their parent's role in contracting arranged marriages more so than the boys. They benefit from the protection of stringent parental oversight, while boys' freedoms lead, in some instances, to antisocial behavior. In addition, the length of children's self-identity trajectories is matched by the level of complexity in their identity repertoires. A key implication for social work practice is that Bangladeshi parents reject services from members of their own community because they do not want exposure of parent-child conflicts within the ethnic enclave. Community-based services are unlikely to benefit families who need to resolve intergenerational discord.

  • Studies in Volatility

    Author:
    Nazli Alan
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Business
    Advisor:
    Robert Schwartz
    Abstract:

    This dissertation consists of five chapters that focus on the price discovery role of equity markets and examine the evolution of intraday stock price volatility as a key measure of market quality. Using six differentiated measures of intraday volatility (that mostly focus on the opening half-hour of trading), all common stocks listed at three stock exchanges with varying levels of fragmentation are analyzed: NYSE and NASDAQ stocks over the period 1993-2012, and Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) stocks over the period 2000-2011. The results on the evolution of intraday volatility presented in Chapters 2 and 3 indicate the following: In 1993, opening period volatility for NYSE listed stocks was considerably lower than it was for NASDAQ stocks. Over the years that followed, NASDAQ's opening volatility fluctuated widely, but has exhibited neither an upward nor a downward trend. For the NYSE, on the other hand, opening volatility has risen appreciably; now, and in recent years, its pattern closely matches that of NASDAQ. ISE listed stocks exhibited much higher intraday volatility at the beginning of the sample period (in 2000), but it decreased over the next twelve years. Recognizing the differences in the evolution of fragmentation in these three markets, Chapter 4 presents an analysis of the relation between stock-level fragmentation and the corresponding intraday volatility for the U.S. stocks. The chapter documents a positive and persistent relationship between fragmentation and opening period volatility. In light of the results presented in this dissertation, it is important for market participants to recognize the complexities of the price discovery process in the marketplace and to target on developing more efficient trading mechanisms that will improve the quality of prices. These improvements will benefit the participants in a market as well as the broader economy that they constitute.

  • SCHEDULING AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS

    Author:
    Yosef Alayev
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Computer Science
    Advisor:
    Amotz Bar-Noy
    Abstract:

    In computer science and telecommunications, wireless sensor networks are an active research area. Each sensor in a wireless sensor network has some pre-defined or on demand tasks such as collecting or disseminating data. Network resources, such as broadcast channels, number of sensors, power, battery life, etc., are limited. Hence, a schedule is required to optimally allocate network resources so as to maximize some profit or minimize some cost. This thesis focuses on scheduling problems in the wireless sensor networks environment. In particular, we study three scheduling problems in the wireless sensor networks: broadcast scheduling, sensor scheduling for area monitoring, and content distribution scheduling. For each problem the goal is to find efficient scheduling algorithms that have good approximation guarantees and perform well in practice.

  • De la península ibérica a Italia: concepción y práctica teatral de las primeras comedias castellanas

    Author:
    Marta Albala Pelegrin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Ottavio Di Camillo
    Abstract:

    In my dissertation, De la península Ibérica a Italia: concepción y práctica teatral de las primeras comedias castellanas, I analyze the formation of early modern Spanish comedia, in the context of Italo-Iberian cultural exchanges. My aim is to incorporate the most popular Spanish plays of the first half of the sixteenth century into the larger scenario in which they belong: one that we could name the "formation of the genre of comedy". Works such as Juan del Encina's Eclogues, La Celestina (The Spanish Bawd), and Torres Naharro's Tinellaria and Soldadesca are seen in this light as milestones in a complex thread of contributions leading to the development in the seventeenth century of a Spanish Golden Age "national theater", and specifically in Lope de Vega comedia nueva, as well as to the Italian commedia erudita. Such a reconstruction has long been neglected due to the constitution of the Hispanic and the Italian literary studies, and the asymmetry between the Spanish and the Italian literary traditions, especially regarding the primacy of Italian "comedies" and "authors" in the constitution of a history of "western comedy". The formation of the genre of comedy it is seen in a new light within a textual and bibliographical history, grounded in the relationships among authors, printers, and readers. Cultural and merchant networks established between the Iberian and Italian Peninsulas helped to widespread not only books as commodities, but ideas and forms (genres) contained within them that would appeal to new audiences and readers. In my second chapter, I have reconstructed the possible ways in which these plays could have been represented, in contexts such as Alba de Tormes and Rome, by means of the analysis of internal text evidence (prompts, or configuration of the different scenes) and the extant records, both about its actual performances, and other contemporary spectacles. In order to make sense of the scarce available data, I have delved into architectural treatises (Vitruvio, Alberti, Peruzzi, Serlio), woodcuts, and extant Roman documents on contemporary theatrical performances. As a result of this reconstruction, Encina's latest plays, as well as Naharro's Soldadesca and Tinellaria, appear as deeply rooted in the avant-garde conception of the urban Roman scene, they share both techniques, and scene conceptions with avant-garde Italian authors. In my third chapter, I studied the function that comedies, such as Naharro's Tinellaria and Soldadesca, had at the time, insisting on the religious and political denunciations contained in them, as well as in their relationship with some discourses originating in the Lateran council. As a result of that, I have been able to delimit the circles, critical with the papacy of Julius II, in which these ideas originated, together with the political interests of those that voiced them.

  • A Critical and Cultural Poetics of the End: Self, Space, and Volatility in Los Angeles

    Author:
    Pamela Albanese
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Ammiel Alcalay
    Abstract:

    A Critical and Cultural Poetics of the End: Self, Space, and Volatility in Los Angeles delineates the correspondences between Los Angeles spaces--exterior, topographical, architectural, and imaginary--and aspects of the self--interiority, identity, experience, and desire--in fictional and non-fictional depictions of Los Angeles. Through close readings of key Los Angeles novels, essays, and films, this project emphasizes how the narrative "I" traverses urban space, focusing on the dissolution of boundaries between self and place. Los Angeles' sprawling, decentralized layout and rapidly-shifting landscape have a profound influence on narrative identity, generating a volatile and disquieting sense of self; this project also explores how the city's unique spatial orientation contributes to a literature and cinema of disillusionment exclusive to Los Angeles.

  • /n/:/r/ Correspondences in Albanian Dialects: Understanding the n>r Sound Change

    Author:
    Katie Albany
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Linguistics
    Advisor:
    Juliette Blevins
    Abstract:

    The Albanian language is an Indo-European language that constitutes a separate branch in the Indo-European language family. There are two major dialects, Geg and Tosk, spoken in present day Albania that are mutually intelligible. There are morpho-syntactic differences between the two dialects and shared words provide evidence for a number of sound changes applying in certain contexts in Tosk. The focus of this paper is n > r sound change in Tosk applying to the nasal /n/ in an intervocalic position followed by an unstressed vowel. The lenition rule has been prolific diachronically, but stopped applying some time between the 13th and the 15th centuries, or after the Turkish occupation of Albania. Turkish loanwords that have resisted the n >r sound change in Tosk provide ample evidence for this. More recent loanwords confirm this finding. Keywords: lenition, sound change, fortition, syncope, apocope, loanwords, intervocalic, unstressed

  • MAG does not Require NgR1, PirB or Sialic Acid Binding to Inhibit Neurite Outgrowth

    Author:
    Najat Al-BASHIR
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Biology
    Advisor:
    Marie Filbin
    Abstract:

    The Role of Gangliosides, NgR1, NgR2 and PirB Receptors in MAG Inhibition of Neurite Outgrowth by Najat Al-bashir Thesis Advisor: Dr. Marie T. Filbin Following injury, axons in the central nervous system (CNS) do not spontaneously regenerate, and this is due to several factors, one of which is the presence of myelin- associated inhibitors. There are three major myelin-associated inhibitors that have been identified, Nogo-66, myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG), and Oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein (OMgp). MAG is a member of immunoglobulin (IgG) super-family and contains 5 Ig-like domains in its extracellular domain. Like Nogo-66 and OMgp, MAG binds to a receptor complex consisting of NgR1- p75NTR-Lingo-1 to inhibit neurite outgrowth. MAG is also a sialic acid binding protein and specifically binds to gangliosides GT1b and GD1a. Recently, NgR2 was also shown to be a sialic acid- dependent binding receptor for MAG. Recently, paired immunoglobulin B (PirB) was also identified as a novel receptor for MAG, Nogo-66 and OMgp. Previously, we showed that the sialic acid binding activity of MAG is not necessary for its inhibitory effects. We mapped the sialic acid binding site on MAG to Arg 118 in the first Ig-domain. When this site is mutated, sialic acid binding is lost but MAG, when expressed by CHO cells, still retains its ability to inhibit neurite outgrowth. Also, we showed that a soluble form of MAG consisting of the MAG extracellular domain fused to the Fc portion of human IgG (MAG-Fc), and a truncated soluble form of MAG consisting iii only of the first three Ig-like domains (MAG (d1-3)-Fc), both bind to neurons in a sialic acid-dependent manner; however, only MAG-Fc inhibits neurite outgrowth. In addition, MAG mutated at Arg118 (MAG (R118A)-Fc), does not bind to neurons and could not inhibit neurite outgrowth. Recently, we mapped the inhibition site on MAG to Ig-domain 5, which is distinct from the sialic acid binding site. Others have reported that gangliosides are functional binding partners for MAG and are necessary for inhibition by MAG when expressed in immobilized membranes. They reported that neurons from mice deficient in the B1, 4-N-actylgalactosaminyltransferase (GalNAcT) gene, which lack all complex gangliosides including GT1b and GD1a, are not inhibited by MAG in immobilized membrane. Others have also shown that clustering gangliosides with antibodies in the absence of MAG is sufficient to inhibit neurite outgrowth via a mechanism engaging p75 NTR receptor. Here we show that clustering MAG (d1-3)-Fc can inhibit neurite outgrowth in neurons from wild type mice but not from GalNAcT deficient mice. We also show that MAG can inhibit neurite outgrowth independent of NgR1, PirB, and sialic acid binding. We show that neurons from GalNAcT deficient mice are inhibited by MAG as effectively as neurons from wild type mice. Also, we show that neurons from NgR1 deficient mice are inhibited by full length MAG and mutated MAG (MAG R118A) that cannot bind sialic acid residues. In addition, in the presence of PirB antibodies, both MAG- and mutated MAG (R118A)-expressing CHO were able to inhibit neurite outgrowth of neurons from NgR1 deficient mice and wild type mice. Taking all these results together, MAG interacts with another as yet unknown receptor(s), in addition to NgR's, PirB and sialic acid to inhibit neurite outgrowth.

  • Nanoacoustic Effects in Type-II Superconductors and Decoherence of Two-state Systems

    Author:
    Jaroslav Albert
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Physics
    Advisor:
    Eugene Chudnovsky
    Abstract:

    In this thesis we focus on two areas of research: nanoacoustic effects in superconductors, and decoherence of two-state systems due to radiation of acoustic phonons. In the first part of this thesis we propose two new nanoacoustic effects: induction of voltage by mechanical stress, and nucleation of a superconducting vortex by an acoustic standing wave. Both of these effects take place in type-II superconductors. In the second part we study relaxation processes via acoustic phonons of a particle in a double-well potential and of a flux qubit. Part 1: Mechanical stress causes motion of dislocations in solids. In a type-II superconductor a moving dislocation generates a pattern of current that exerts a force on the surrounding vortex lattice capable of depinning it. We show that the concentration and the speed of dislocations needed to produce depinning currents are within practical range. When external magnetic field and transport current are present, this effect generates voltage across the superconductor. In this manner, a type-II superconductor can serve as an electrical sensor of the mechanical stress. Nucleation of vortices in a superconductor below the first critical field can be assisted by transverse sound in the GHz frequency range. We work out from energy considerations that, in the presence of a sound wave, vortices enter and exit the superconductor at the frequency of the sound. The computed threshold parameters of the sound are shown to be within experimental reach. Part 2: We propose a method of computing phonon-induced relaxation of two-state systems that is based on symmetry arguments. This allows one to express the rates in terms of independently measurable parameters. For translationally and rotationally invariant systems the conservation of linear and angular momenta must be taken into account when formulating the interaction Hamiltonian. For a particle (e.g., electron or proton) in a rigid double-well potential embedded in a solid the rate is proportional to the seventh power of temperature. For a flux qubit the two-phonon relaxation is important only if the size of the qubit is much smaller than the phonon wavelength. Due to symmetry the two-phonon rate of both systems is proportional to the square of the bias. This allows for additional control of the relaxation rate.