5,307 results for Auckland University of Technology

  • The Journey

    O'Hagan, Denise

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Jacirama is a native Amazonian Indian who lives with his isolated tribe of Ibiajara in the Amazon rainforest. He is a young shaman’s apprentice and is fascinated with plant lore and medicinal cures, an innate ability he was born with. He has always been a bit different. His skin is prone to burning from the sun; his eyes are the colour of the sky. This enigma was passed off to him by the chief and shamans as a gift from the gods, born under the moon - jaci, he was given the name Jacirama. One day while walking through the forest with his mother, they encounter some strangers, white men. He is suspicious of them, as he has been taught to be from myths told around the fireside at night by the elders. He notices their pale skin and is shocked to see his own blue eyes reflected back at him in a stranger. When he questions his mother, he learns the truth. He had always thought he had come from a long line of shamans and was deeply proud of his heritage. Now this knowledge has been wiped out. He is disgusted to find that he is not of pure Tupi-guarani blood. He learns that his father was a travelling Ethno-botanist named Jerry who stayed with the tribe twenty-two years earlier. Theirs was a quick union of passion and mutual attraction when she was young and unmarried. Jacirama suddenly felt as if he didn’t belong, in his own skin or in the tribe. He must leave, to find his father, to find out where he comes from. He feels he cannot truly know himself until he does. He leaves the tribe in search of his father; with only the names his mother has given him as clues, Jerry and Boston. This tale is of his journey. The exegesis studies the motivation behind this creative work and analyses wider global issues that it may raise, including the importance of the Amazon rainforest as a source of undiscovered medicinal cures, and the necessity for the preservation of the rainforest and indigenous populations. It analyses the overriding question in the novel, that of “who am I?” The exegisis identifies ethnic hybridity studies to demonstrate the importance of knowing ones own cultural identity in order to promote, amongst other benefits, enhanced self esteem.

    View record details
  • Three Essays on Equity, Volatility and Commodity Derivatives

    Xu, Yahua

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis provides a comprehensive study on option markets, with a focus on Leveraged Exchange Traded Fund (LETF) options, volatility options and crude oil options. Study of LETF option market is carried out using a parametric framework. A stochastic volatility framework for the LETFs is proposed and a systematic pricing formula for options on equity and volatility LETFs is further developed by employing Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). In contrast, research on volatility and crude oil option markets is conducted under a nonparametric framework. We extract variance and skew risk premiums from VIX options, which the first study on higher moment risk premiums for the volatility market and explains how they are related to VIX index returns as well as to S&P 500 index returns. When analysing higher moment risk premiums in the crude oil market, we decompose the risk premiums conditional on the market return sign. One key finding is that the decomposed risk premiums contain more predictive information about market excess returns. All the results contribute to a better understanding of the option market, and provide comparison with equity market.

    View record details
  • Online Shopping: A Comparison of New Zealand and Chinese Shoppers

    Xing, Ye

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research paper provides a comparative analysis of New Zealand and Chinese shoppers’ online shopping behavior. The dissertation examines consumers’ frequency of shopping, with particular focus on the comparison of online shopping behavior by Chinese online shoppers and New Zealand online shoppers. The advent and rise of technology in online shopping has led individuals to be able to undertake almost all their daily shopping needs through the use of online shopping websites. This research attempts to find clarification by proposing the mediating role of social influence between national culture and frequency of shopping online. It is important to provide an examination of the impact of social influence on online shopping behavior. The findings of the research indicate that social influence partially mediates between national culture and frequency of online shopping; that normative and informational social influence mediate frequency of online shopping. Future research can investigate relationships between frequency of online shopping and other factors such as level of trust by online shoppers.

    View record details
  • Exploring the Lived Experience of Opportunities and Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurial Women of Rural Nepal

    Baniya Badu, Nilam

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Nepal is a developing Asian country, and its economy is dependent on agriculture, tourism and foreign remittances. Nepalese women lag behind their male counterparts in all sectors, even though both genders are considered equal by the law. Deep-rooted patriarchal perceptions, stereotypical practices, unimplemented laws, illiteracy, and cultural and religious traditions adversely impact the everyday lives of Nepalese women. Women’s entrepreneurship is recognised as a crucial tool for economic growth, poverty reduction, and job creation of a country. However, women’s entrepreneurship has been seldom researched in Nepal and, further investigation and research on this topic is required to obtain relevant information and data. This thesis is an exploratory study that fills a gap in literature by adding scarce knowledge about lived experiences of women entrepreneurs of rural Nepal. It highlights differences on how entrepreneurship is practiced differently in developing countries when compared to developed ones. It also examines a unique perspective about rural entrepreneurial women residing in a male-dominated society. The purpose of this qualitative research is also to raise awareness about the complexity of their lives and also to encourage, support and promote their entrepreneurial activities. This research can help policymakers and organisations involved with women empowerment to support women and women entrepreneurs of Nepal. In addition, this study can also aid future studies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven women entrepreneurs in a rural village of Nepal. They all started their enterprises to fulfil the basic needs of their families. Those women faced difficulties in their everyday lives because of their gender and the underlying poverty in the village. Cultural traditions, religious beliefs, patriarchal perceptions, lack of education, and migration of men and youths to the cities, adversely affected their everyday lives and their entrepreneurial journeys. Unreliable roads, frequent power outage, poor drinking water facilities, poor mobile networks, and a lack of mechanical tools and equipment decreased their efficiencies and increased their daily workloads. However, this study proved that these women, similar to western entrepreneurs, identified good opportunities, initiated their venture, and formulated a plan. This study indicated that education, training opportunities, financial access, and improved infrastructure are important to promote and empower women entrepreneurs of rural Nepal.

    View record details
  • Investigating Culturally Responsive Practices: Perceptions and Experiences of Secondary School Middle Leaders

    Morgan, Leigh

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The aim of this research was to critically examine the perceptions and understandings of culturally responsive practices carried out by secondary school middle leaders in low decile, multi-ethnic school settings in New Zealand. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven middle leaders from six different secondary schools in the Auckland region. Middle leaders’ understandings, experiences and challenges that they encountered in their schools were diverse and multi-faceted. The data revealed that culturally responsive leadership is influenced by personal, interpersonal and school factors. Possessing personal traits that allowed middle leaders to be innately culturally responsive, and which allowed them to effectively communicate and form learning and working relationships, were considered to be the most influential factors in effective culturally responsive middle leadership. The redesigned socio-ecological model presented in this thesis acknowledges the importance of both culturally responsive practices and culturally responsive leadership by middle leaders. A number of recommendations arose from this research. Culturally responsive leadership and practices involve a committed approach from principals, senior management, middle leaders and teachers to engage students and families in the community. Individual teachers need to critically reflect on their personal values and beliefs and how these might influence their teaching practices. The research also highlighted the importance of emphasising both bi-culturalism and multiculturalism if schools are to meet their obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    View record details
  • Can Relative Motion Extension Splinting (RMES) Provide an Earlier Return to Function Than a Controlled Active Motion (CAM) Protocol? A Randomised Clinical Trial

    Collocott, Shirley

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Various active mobilisation protocols are used after repair of extensor tendons in zone V and VI. These include relative motion extension splinting (RMES) and controlled active motion (CAM) protocols. Similar outcomes are reported for most early active mobilisation protocols, however reports on RMES protocols suggest a possible earlier return to work and functional use of the affected hand. To date no published prospective trials have compared the RMES to other early active mobilisation protocols. This randomised clinical trial prospectively investigated whether patients with extensor tendon repairs in zone V and VI managed with an RMES protocol would return to functional use of the hand sooner than those managed with an extensor CAM protocol. Between January 2015 and February 2016, 42 participants who had undergone extensor tendon repair in zone V and/or VI were recruited to the study. They were randomised into two groups: one group was treated using a CAM protocol, the other an RMES protocol. Participants were reviewed at four and eight weeks post-operatively. The primary outcome was the Sollerman Hand Function Test (SHFT) score. Secondary outcomes included: days to return to work, total active motion (TAM), grip strength the QuickDASH (Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand) questionnaire and participant satisfaction. Complications were recorded. The RMES group demonstrated significantly better results than the CAM group at four weeks with regard to the SHFT mean score (p=0.0073), the QuickDASH score (p=0.77) and TAM (p=0.008). At eight weeks the RMES group continued to show better results than the CAM group for TAM (p=0.030), but there was no difference between groups for the SHFT and QuickDASH scores. Median days to return to work were similar between groups with RMES group 20 days (Interquartile range [IQR]: 12, 57) and CAM 18 days (IQR: 6, 55), (p=0.77). There was no significant difference between groups with regard to grip strength at eight weeks. RMES participants reported a significantly higher level of satisfaction with the splint than the CAM group (p<0.0001). No tendon ruptures occurred in either group. One RMES participant underwent tenolysis surgery and there was no significant difference in complication rates between groups. This is the first randomised clinical trial to prospectively compare an RMES protocol to a CAM protocol. Participants treated with an RMES protocol demonstrated better early return to functional use of the hand than those treated with a CAM protocol, and RMES participants continued to show better range of motion than CAM participants at eight weeks. RMES participants were also more satisfied with splinting than CAM participants. There was no difference in return to work timeframes, possibly due to factors outside the control of the study. No ruptures occurred in either group, complication rates were low and not significantly different between groups. This study has demonstrated that an RMES protocol provides an earlier return to hand function than a CAM protocol for patients who have undergone extensor tendon repair in zone V and VI.

    View record details
  • An Interpretive Review of Psychoanalytic Literature on Empathy in the Therapeutic Relationship

    Kistasamy, Kumeshni

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This dissertation is an interpretive review of psychoanalytic literature on empathy within the therapeutic relationship. The creative science of hermeneutics is used to explore the history of empathy and its function within the therapeutic relationship. A critical analysis of the literature provides the platform for assessing present arguments for the importance of empathy in the therapy relationship. This analysis identified three important areas neglected in the research. These are the wider context of the evolution of empathy, the role of culture and consideration of the client’s experience. A discussion of these areas concludes this dissertation.

    View record details
  • Health Literacy Among Pacific Mothers in New Zealand: Exploring the Associations of Demographic and Behavioural Factors With Health Literacy of Pacific Mothers in the Context of Pacific Health and Well-being.

    Sa'uLilo, Losi

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The physical and social factors related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including obesity, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and some cancers, are multifaceted and complex (Ministry of Health [MoH], 2012a, 2012b, 2012c). One factor that may contribute to the inequitable burden of NCDs in Pacific people is health literacy; almost 90% of Pacific males and females aged 15 years and over have low health literacy (MoH, 2012c; University of Otago, & Ministry of Health, 2011). Health literacy is the ability to access, read, understand and interpret basic health related information to make informed health decisions to improve health outcomes (Kickbusch, Maag & Saan, 2005). Individuals with low health literacy are less likely to manage ill health including type 2 diabetes (Harris, 2000; Kim, Love, Quistberg & Shea, 2004), seek professional medical assistance (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2013), or interpret nutrition related information (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). To date, there is no evidence to show that health literacy is related to NCDs among Pacific people in New Zealand. Further, no studies showing any associations between health literacy and health outcomes with Pacific mothers in New Zealand have been published. Using both qualitative and quantitative research methodology, this research examined the extent to which health literacy and health outcomes are related in Pacific mothers in New Zealand. In doing so, this research comprised two studies: firstly a quantitative study to determine the association(s) between the single item literacy screener and weight status in Pacific mothers; and secondly a qualitative study using focus groups with Pacific mothers and semi structured interviews with health professionals in New Zealand to: 1) determine whether public health information is being appropriately interpreted by Pacific mothers and 2a) explore and discuss the experiences of health professionals with Pacific mothers and their health issues and 2b) examine best practice for these health professionals in addressing potential health literacy issues for Pacific mothers in New Zealand.

    View record details
  • The Experience of Living With Bowel Cancer for Maori in Taranaki

    Ruakere, Brian Thomas

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The title of this study is: The experience of living with bowel cancer for Māori in Taranaki. Research methods for this study have been adapted from research approaches collectively known as Kaupapa Māori. The study is also informed by Gadamerian hermeneutic interpretive methodology which unpacks the nature of how we understand and interpret. However, the lens through which understanding is expressed, is from a Māori worldview. Ten Māori patients, diagnosed with bowel cancer were interviewed and their narratives analysed using Gadamerian hermeneutic methodology. The concepts of whakapapa, mauri and tapu were fundamental to the analysis process. Whakapapa in the context of this study examined the stories substance or origin about participant experiences and initial signs that not all was right with their health. The concept of mauri shed light on ways of experiencing bowel cancer that came to reveal how participant stories fell into one of three perspectives: mauri moe; mauri oho and mauri ora. Signs archetypal of mauri moe were evident where participant behaviours remained grounded in responses framed within the notion of mamae and its negative elements of neglect, hurt, pain, anguish, and sorrow. Mauri oho revealed distinct changes in behavioural patterns that signified an upsurge in motivation by participants who were committed to overcome their dilemma and be well again. Mauri ora signified actions that revealed successful outcomes when participants became highly motivated, felt good about their health and were committed to keeping good health. The concept of tapu was utilised to examine the underlying principal issues that determined participant existence in the present. The findings showed that participants had no understanding of bowel cancer before they were diagnosed. Some participants experienced shame and embarrassment at the prospect of having to live the rest of their lives with a stoma. Recognition of tapu through the proper exercise of mana was an important factor in participant recovery. Violation of tapu through the wrongful exercise of mana also manifested as having negative effects on participant recovery. Based on the findings from this study the following recommendations for further research are proposed: a Kaupapa Māori action research study in conjunction with introducing the inflatable colon to the community working with a group of stakeholders to educate Māori about bowel cancer and; a Kaupapa Māori action research study with a group of stakeholders to devise a treatment pathway that integrates the concepts of whakapapa, mauri and tapu when assessing Māori who present to healthcare providers with a suspected prognosis of bowel cancer.  

    View record details
  • Ex-offender Narratives: Revealing the Experience and Success of a Halfway House in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Mortimore, Holly

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    In Aotearoa New Zealand, consultation of the halfway house resident is absent from the literature, omitting the true experience of resettling in this environment upon release from prison. Halfway housing as a solution to the difficulty ex prisoners have attaining accommodation has been historically operated by community groups in Aotearoa New Zealand. Narratives are often dismissed as academic data and are undervalued in Criminology. Narrative in an Aotearoa New Zealand context is particularly relevant as the indigenous population value storytelling as taonga. Kaupapa aligned narrative criminology ensures protection of the participant, while eliciting a rich and empowered narrative. This is particular to the vulnerable residents of a halfway home. While it ensures protection, it also allows them to have ownership of their story and narrative identity. Using this methodology; six residents of a halfway house were interviewed and their narratives documented. From these narratives, it was determined how the experience residing in a halfway house influenced their narrative identity and encouraged their desistance from crime. Initial results found that participant conversion to a religious narrative identity assisted in shame management, while providing the framework for forgiveness and redemption. The halfway house organisation provided opportunity for the participants to earn their redemption, and to practise ‘giving back’ to the community they were once removed from. Finally, the house environment provided them constant prosocial and peer support, which allowed participants to cut ties with their criminal past, share lived experiences and exist without being isolated or judged. This is significant when considering reintegrative policy. It has shown that supported accommodation needs to be more than providing an ex-prisoner with shelter where they are easily supervised. Successful supported accommodation has the potential to reduce the reoffending rate and increase safety in the community.

    View record details
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Planning Poker in Software Development: Comparison Between Theory and Practice

    Zhang, Zhaoyang

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Planning Poker is a collaborative software effort estimation technique widely used in agile software development methodologies such as Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). Proponents of Planning Poker claim that the method has the benefits of multi-perspective effort forecasting, promoting group interaction and participation, while avoiding the risk of the “anchoring” cognitive bias, leading to accurate effort forecasting without unrealistic precision. While there is body of empirical research about Planning Poker that investigates the estimation accuracy of the technique in practice, there is not any research that looks at the detail of the implementation of the process of Planning Poker estimation in practice and whether these claimed benefits are realized in practice. This thesis focuses on analyzing the practical execution of Planning Poker in a detailed case study, aiming to identify how the practical process of Planning Poker differs from the theory, and whether the expected benefits are seen or not, and why. The aim of this investigation is to provide a comprehensive conceptualization of Planning Poker estimation in practice, as well as understanding of the difference between practice and theory. In addition, this study also expects to deepen an understanding of the activities of the Planning Poker technique that contribute to the observed benefits and challenges. This will be helpful for software estimators to optimize execution of the Planning Poker technique to maximize the claimed and observed benefits it can provide. The approach to this investigation is based on analyzing video and audio recordings of two Planning Poker sessions undertaken by a team in a case organization. This is supplemented by field notes and photographs related to the Planning Poker meetings. The study starts with an in-depth literature review to explore the theory related to some special behaviors in practical Planning Poker estimation meetings. Both Planning Poker meetings are held by the same development team for the same software project, and conducted in two different development iterations as part of Sprint planning using Scrum as their software development approach. This thesis explores the differences between the process inferred from analyzing the meetings and theory pf Planning Poker. The differences between both meetings also is explored. This thesis also explores whether those claimed benefits in literatures are achieved in practical Planning Poker estimation meetings, and discusses some of the challenges observed in both meetings. The findings of the research includes identification of several different estimation process patterns, such as a gradual changing of the benefit of promoting group interaction is achieved well in practice, whereas avoidance of the “anchoring” effect and promoting individual participation, are largely not achieved. In addition, this thesis identifies some of the practical challenges in implementing Planning Poker, for example domination of the discussion by a single practitioner.

    View record details
  • Smartphone-based Real-time Patient Monitoring and Decision Support System

    Moqeem, Aasia

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Patient monitoring systems have evolved over the past decade as an important first-line monitoring and warning tool. The healthcare delivery is moderately shifting from the traditional manual process to computer-based electronic healthcare system, supported by advanced tools and technologies. Mobile healthcare applications are now increasingly integrating into the healthcare mainstream to provide mobility with patient’s electronic health record. However, the use of mobile raises the challenge of accuracy, stability, security and dependency of such applications in clinical care settings. In particular, lack of clinician engagement, poor user experience, and no clinical decision support are posing some serious issues on the acceptability of smartphone applications in clinical settings. The main aim of this research project was to develop a vital signs monitoring and decision support application for the clinician-as-a-user. An Android-based smartphone application has been developed to monitor vital signs on a mobile device in real-time and to provide rich decision support to the clinicians. The application is fully integrated with wireless medical devices for real-time vital signs monitoring and decision support backed by the six screens (6S) user experience framework for the smartphone applications in healthcare settings. The unique features and contributions that this research project provides are: (1) The ability to access, share, monitor, contact and stay connected with patient’s data anywhere; (2) Hospital-grade medical device connectivity using the standard Bluetooth protocol; (3) Rich clinical decision support in real-time based on the patient’s recent vital signs (health data); (4) The ‘6S’ framework developed for clinician-centered mobile user experience by adapting the international standards and protocols. The proposed application has been evaluated using the best-practice guidelines for a successful mobile healthcare application. The criteria include review of the market available applications, literature review of best-practice guidelines, user engagement, privacy and security and standard design architecture for medical device integration. The proposed application demonstrates the easy to use screens and unique functionality including; patient list with search options, real-time viewing of vital signs, integrated medical devices, structured data entry, historic data, evidence-based knowledgebase search, clinical notes and clinical decision support via clinical risk assessments tools, scales and scores. The proposed smartphone-based clinical decision support application could be seen as a potential standard/ best-practice tool that will help the clinicians to deliver better and timely outcomes. The functional design and implementation required rigorous and systematic workflow methodologies to be acceptable in the clinical care settings. The patient-orientated workflow and the available automated clinical assessment tools and calculators can assist researchers with collecting data that can help clinicians in future decision making.

    View record details
  • Theory & Observation of High-Order Radio Recombination Lines

    Alexander, Jordan

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This dissertation resolves a mystery in cosmic radio recombination line observations reported by Bell et al. (2000). This is accomplished by rigorously “reverse-engineering” the novel data processing technique they used and through independent observations of high-order RRLs (radio recombination lines) of cosmic origin to test the theory of Stark broadening in plasmas. The findings of this dissertation are summarized in two papers published during the dissertation and reproduced in Chapter 4. I discovered that the apparent hydrogen RRL narrowing first reported by Bell et al. is an artifact of their data processing. I accomplished this by creating a theoretical model of the multiple FS (frequency shifting) technique, originally developed by Bell (1997), which I then implemented as a computer simulation. This technique copies a spectral line bandpass, shifts it in frequency by an offset, and adds it to the unshifted bandpass. The output of this process is then fed back to itself multiple times. I then co-created a theoretical model of the Orion nebula which includes mechanisms of spectral line broadening and non-equilibrium thermodynamics effects. This model is used to numerically solve the radiative transfer problem to simulate hydrogen RRLs. These simulated lines are then processed through the multiple FS model, the results of which are called “processed” lines. Finally, I used Monte Carlo simulation to estimate how noise influences the processed line widths and amplitudes. From these models and simulations, I discovered that multiple FS does not preserve broadening when the original line width is greater than the FS-offset. In this case, I find the processed results manifest the narrowing reported by Bell et al., by reducing broad spectral wings characteristic of Stark broadened RRLs. I also discovered that the S/N of processed lines reduces weakly with the number of overlaps as a result of adding dependent samples. This means the S/N of processed lines as a function of ∆n (transition-order), at fixed frequency, decreases faster than for unprocessed lines, such that a given statistical insignificance level is reached more quickly. Given this analysis, I argue Bell et al.’s ∆n > 11 lines are artifacts of their technique. I conclude that their reported findings, upon re-examination of their novel data processing technique, do not indicate a need to change Stark broadening theory. I present original observations of high-order RRLs from the Orion nebula to test the theory of Stark broadening in cosmic plasmas. I use a wide 1 GHz bandpass centered at 6 GHz to significantly improve the accuracy of measurements by stacking up to eleven hydrogen RRLs of the same ∆n and find no evidence of spectral line narrowing. I show that all statistically significant data from my observations and four-sets of previous observations of high-order hydrogen RRLs (Smirnov et al., 1984; Bell et al., 2011) are in agreement and demonstrate how Stark broadening theory is consistent with these observations. I find that Lockman and Brown (1975)’s RRL model of the Orion nebula over a large range of radio frequencies and ∆n ≤ 2 requires the addition of small-scale density inhomogeneities (clumps) and turbulence to adequately predict my observed hydrogen RRLs for ∆n ≤ 5. I demonstrate that the power law predicted by electron-impact Stark broadening theory is consistent with the five-sets of high-order hydrogen RRLs analyzed here. My data do not allow distinguishing between two approaches to the cut-off parameters (nearest neighbor versus Debye radius) when predicting line broadening from electron impacts. Specifically, the data does not allow an unambiguous choice between the theoretical results of Griem (1967); Gee et al. (1976) and Watson (2006); Peach (2015). This ambiguity arises from small differences in the radiative transfer nebula model parameters. It is currently impossible to independently determine turbulent velocities and other physical & geometric parameters of the Orion nebula with enough accuracy to choose between the two predications of electron-impact broadening theory. This situation represents an ill-posed inverse problem that is currently unsolvable (Brown et al., 1978). However, I am able to show that Peach’s model for electron-plus-proton impacts significantly deviates from the Lorentz-width trend in my data.

    View record details
  • The Rock

    Blaber, Donna

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The Rock is a draft of a contemporary Upper Middle Grade/Young YA children's novel, which forms the creative component required to complete a Master of Creative Writing. The accompanying exegesis, entitled Contemporary Themes for Modern Tweens, examines the thinking and research that led to its creation. This includes the importance of tackling modern-day issues in contemporary Upper Middle Grade children's literature in New Zealand, the genre and its restrictions, the methodology employed to keep controversial subject matter non-explicit, as well as the importance of the development of children's identity through reading novels set in recognisable landscapes. Overall it questions whether it is possible to introduce controversial material, usually only found in the realms of YA, to a younger audience. It draws the conclusion that it is possible with multiple layering, revision and a lot of research in the field.

    View record details
  • Evaluation and Improvement of Current Computational Tools for Metabolomics Data Analysis

    Li, SiMing

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    View record details
  • From Autumn to Summer

    Kim, Hyong Eun

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    View record details
  • Personal Values and Motivational Complexities in Mobile Shopping

    Park, Ha Eun

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    With the expansion of mobile shopping (m-shopping) consumption, there is an increased need to understand the variety of consumer motives for consumer engagement in such behaviour. While the m-shopping industry is growing at a rapid pace, the paradoxes of consumer behaviour include the fact that consumers are enthusiastic about conducting searches through m-shopping but when making purchases, they go back to online shopping. This study sought to address this paradox by exploring the motivational complexity of m-shopping. Accordingly, the research objectives were twofold: to explore personal values that drive m-shopping consumption, and to investigate the possible value conflicts of m-shoppers. Based on data collected (n=251) through the hard-laddering approach, this study found 10 types of personal values that motivate m-shopping: Self-respect, Recognition, Exciting Life, Family Well-being, A Sense of Accomplishment, Centre of Attention, Self-direction, Financial Independence, Sense of Belongingness, and Financial Security. Based on two personality characteristics, that is, social character and openness to change, a typology of the personal values of m-shoppers was developed to explain personal values that drive m-shopping consumption. This study also found several value conflicts that are likely to occur in m-shopping consumption. Identified conflicts were: Exciting Life vs. Financial Security, Centre of Attention vs. Financial Independence, and Family Well-being vs. Self-direction. The analysis showed that consumers have to compromise and prioritize between their conflicting personal values. The study augments previous literature in personal values research and m-shopping research, as it provides researchers with a better understanding of how m-shopping consumption satisfies the personal values of consumers. This study provides a springboard for further m-shopping research and personal value oriented investigations in relation to segmentation development as well as m-shopping dissemination. Managerially, this study provides insight into creating a more favourable service design and marketing strategies for m-shopping consumption.

    View record details
  • Clinical Guidelines: Designing for Accurate Decision-making.

    Thornhill, Byron

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This project explores how the use of clinical guidelines can be improved through a design-led approach. Clinicians in surgical operation settings at Auckland City Hospital, as primary users of clinical guidelines, were placed at the centre of the project design process in order to gain an in-depth and holistic understanding of guideline users. The guideline design was prototyped to ensure key principles of information design are adhered to, setting structure, user accessibility and visual design at the forefront of the information design process. The outcome of the research was a smartphone application for haematology-related guidelines that enables efficient and accurate decision-making in perioperative settings.

    View record details
  • ‘Homebound’: The Illustrated Graphic Novel As an Autobiographic Voice for an Immigrant Asian Gay Male in New Zealand

    Chooi, Don Yew Li

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This practice-led artistic inquiry takes the form of an 80-page, scripted and illustrated graphic novel. Creatively, the work is concerned with the narratisation of a largely autobiographical voice through the juxtaposition of word, image, and decompression story telling. The narrative draws heavily upon certain experiences I had, growing up in Malaysia and moving to New Zealand. In this journey, I began to identify as an Asian gay man within the bear culture. Specifically, the novel and exegesis unpack the nature of belonging as both a concern of ethnicity and sexual orientation. In doing so, it draws upon recent discourse surrounding non-western considerations of gay masculinity, filial obligations and notions of the ‘chosen family’. The novel will be available on 2018-12-11

    View record details
  • Selective Laser Sintering of PMMA and PMMA Plus β-tricalcium Phosphate Polymer Composites

    Velu, Rajkumar

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Certain material systems are currently playing significant roles in the medical application areas. Classified as bio-polymers, polyethylene (PE), polyamide (PA), Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly (lactic acid) (PLA), poly (glycolic acid) (PGA), and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) are notable examples. While these materials are known for their bio-compatibility characteristics, the bio-conductive nature promoting further growth and repairing the damaged parts is often lacking. Natural coral derived HA/calcium carbonate composites and synthetic calcium phosphates are known for bio-conductivity. As a natural consequence, medical materials used in particular for bone repair and replacement needs are a mixture of a biopolymer composite and a bio ceramic. The resulting bio-polymer composites loaded with bio-ceramics such as hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate into different bio-polymer matrices combine the properties both phases and serve the purpose of the specific medical application. Several processing methods such as solvent casting or leaching, phase separation, foaming, gas saturation etc., are applied to put these polymer composites to service. However, most methods fail due to several drawbacks such as time and cost involved and more importantly, lack of flexibility to exactly reproduce complex shapes. In particular, achieving a complex shape is often a prerequisite condition in many medical applications. During the past two decades, the layered processing methods rapidly evolved from mere prototyping solutions to the more advanced technologies, commonly referred to as additive manufacturing. Considering the freedom these techniques offer to manufacture complex forms without any specific tooling or the alteration of the materials and processes, it became important to revisit the current processing techniques as applied to different biopolymers used for varying medical needs. The current research is an attempt in this direction, evaluating a selected combination of a bio-material and an additive processing technology. The specific medical application area targeted is in the bone repair and replacement tasks. Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is selected as the base polymer considering its wider use in bone related applications. The β-form of the tri-calcium phosphate (β-TCP) is the bio-ceramic component to impart the bio-conductivity to the polymer composite. Selective laser sintering is the process, considering the ease of working with powder raw materials and the ultimate control over the micro and meso structures of the sintered substrates. The material consolidation mechanism involves localized heating by a fast moving laser beam. The first task is to match the material combinations with the laser energy so that the substrates absorbs sufficient energy from the laser to achieve the particle melting, fusion, and consolidation. Considering the absorptivity levels of the constituent powders, a CO2 laser source is selected for the experimental investigations. Simulating the laser sintering process conditions required the development of both hardware and software systems and the integration of the same to achieve the overall experimental test bed. Powder feeding and envelope temperature control systems are added for further process controls. Establishing the viability of the material and process combination involved experimental evaluations in three significant stages. The neat PMMA powders are evaluated first for laser sintering with varying process parameters. Working ranges of laser energy densities for initial laser sintering experiments are established by differential scanning calorimetric results. Morphologies of sintered surfaces and porosity analyses are used to evaluate the intra-layer coalescence. Critical process parameters, laser power and scan velocities are gradually adjusted towards more optimum combinations based on these initial results. Further sintering trials and evaluation of the morphological, physical and mechanical characterization results allowed to establish the best process conditions and the overall effectiveness of neat PMMA for selective laser sintering. The same procedure is repeated in the second stage based on varying compositions of PMMA plus β-TCP composites. The final stage involved evaluation of the possible after-effects if any on the biological and the multi-layer responses of the sintered polymer composites based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), in-vitro analyses, and mechanical testing. Overall, the experimental results indicate the suitability of both neat PMMA and PMMA plus β-TCP polymeric materials for processing by selective laser sintering. Best combinations of critical process parameters, laser power and scan velocities could be established for both material systems. The laser interactions are proved to cause no detrimental effects either in the polymer chemistry or the biological nature of the materials further to sintering. Sufficient inter-layer coalescence is also evidenced, establishing the effectiveness of the material and process combination for manufacturing 3D forms. Considering the significant attributes of the constituent material systems and the unlimited design freedom allowed by the laser sintering approach, the findings reported in this thesis are expected to pave ways for wider research interest as well as potential medical applications in the future.

    View record details