81 results for Scholarly text, Use commercially

  • Using BIM to calculate accurate building material quantities for early design phase Life Cycle Assessment

    Berg, Brian (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research simplifies the calculation of the Initial Embodied Energy (iEE) for commercial office buildings. The result is the improved integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) assessments of building materials into the early stages of the building design process (sketch design). This maximises the effectiveness of implementing design solutions to lower a building’s environmental impact. This thesis research proposes that building Information Models (BIM) will make calculating building material quantities easier, to simplify LCA calculations, all to improve their integration into existing sketch design phase practices, and building design decisions. This is achieved by developing a methodology for using BIM LCA tools to calculate highly detailed material quantities from a simple BIM model of sketch design phase building information. This is methodology is called an Initial Embodied Energy Building Information Model Life Cycle Assessment Building Performance Sketch (iEE BIM LCA BPS). Using this methodology calculates iEE results that are accurate, and represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, making them useful for iEE decision-making. iEE is one example of a LCA-based indicator that was used to test, and prove the feasibility of the iEE BIM LCA BPS methodology. Proving this, the research method tests the accuracy that a BIM model can calculate case study building’s building material quantities. This included developing; a methodology for how to use the BIM tool Revit to calculate iEE; a functional definition of an iEE BIM LCA BPS based on the environmental impact, and sketch design decisions effecting building materials, and elements; and an EE simulation calibration accuracy assessment methodology, complete with a function definition of the accuracy required of an iEE simulation to ensure it’s useful for sketch design decision-making. Two main tests were conducted as part of proving the iEE BIM LCA BPS’ feasibility. Test one assessed and proved that the iEE BIM LCA BPS model based on sketch design information does represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, so that are useful for iEE decision-making. This was tested by comparing the building material quantities from a SOQ (SOQ) produced to a sketch design level of detail (truth model 3), to an as-built level of detail, defined as current iEE best practices (truth model 1). Subsequent to proving that the iEE BIM LCA BPS is sufficiently complete, test two assessed if a BIM model and tool could calculate building material quantities accurately compared to truth model 3. The outcome was answering the research question of, how detailed does a BIM model need to be to calculate accurate building material quantities for a building material LCA (LCA) assessment? The inference of this thesis research is a methodology for using BIM models to calculate the iEE of New Zealand commercial office buildings in the early phases of the design process. The outcome was that a building design team’s current level of sketch design phase information is sufficiently detailed for sketch design phase iEE assessment. This means, that iEE and other LCA-based assessment indicators can be integrated into a design team’s existing design process, practices, and decisions, with no restructuring required.

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  • "I just find it awkward": Girls' negotiations of sexualised pop music media

    Goddard, Sarah (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines girls’ relationship with and consumption of female pop stars’ music media. It is contextualised within a period of extensive academic and media debate about girls’ engagement with what has been termed the sexualisation of culture. Much of the alarm concerning girls’ premature sexualisation is underpinned by the presumption of girls as passive media consumers who are uniformly influenced by sexually saturated female pop music, particularly its ubiquitous representation of hyper (hetero) sexually desiring femininity. The notion of girls as precociously sexualised by hypersexual female pop music media has gained homogenous status within mainstream media and popular psychology texts. Girls’ pleasurable consumption and negotiation of a sexually laden media landscape is approached in this research as complicated by their contradictory positioning as savvy consumers within the postfeminist girlhood consumer market and simultaneously as victims within mainstream media and academic literature. Grounded in feminist poststructuralist understandings of girls’ subjectivity, the thesis explores the possibilities of self that representations within female pop music media enable and constrain for girls. Furthermore, the thesis explores ways in which girls make sense of these discourses while carefully managing their positioning as consumers. The research upon which this thesis is based has two parts. Part one of the research involved focus groups within which 30 pre-teen girls, identifying as ‘Kiwis’ or ‘New Zealanders’ discussed their engagement with female popular music media. The second part comprises a thematic discursive and semiotic analysis of girls’ self-recorded group video performances to a favourite pop song by a female artist. Discursive analysis of the professional music videos on which girls’ performances were based accompanied analyses of girls’ videos. The thesis contributes to a growing body of critical feminist research which responds to sexualisation claims that underpin hegemonic understandings of contemporary girlhood. The analyses presented in the research challenge moralistic notions of girls as uniformly influenced by pop music media by highlighting their navigation of this media as a contradictory process of appropriation and rejection. This complex negotiation, while seen in previous feminist literature, is uniquely captured within this thesis through the innovative employment of a performance method that extends feminist theorisations which problematise binary assumptions of girls’ engagement with sexualised media. This research identifies girls’ meaning making as a contradictory and plural process and provides novel insights about girls’ negotiation of postfeminist femininities in their own self-making in relation to self. Crucially, the thesis highlights the way in which girls’ navigation of sexualised media can be understood as occurring through both rejection and reproduction of postfeminist femininity ideals. Contextualised in New Zealand, the research extends knowledge about girls’ navigation of sexualised media beyond a US/UK social context. It also advances the small body of New Zealand literature about girls’ media engagement broadly and about the ways they experience sexualised media in particular.

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  • The Two Faces of Ascorbate: Prooxidant Activity and Radio-Sensitisation

    Carson, Georgia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Although not recommended by mainstream oncologists, intravenous injections of pharmacological ascorbate are currently an alternative therapy option for cancer patients. Research has not yet determined whether high-dose ascorbate interacts favourably with radiation therapy to increase DNA damage, and therefore cell death in cancer. Some studies suggest that ascorbate can act as a prooxidant and increase the cytotoxic effect of irradiation in vitro. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a primary brain astrocytoma that is highly therapy resistant, so patients would be advantaged if ascorbate radiosensitised their cancer. In this investigation, flow cytometry and single cell gel electrophoresis (comet tail assay) were used to measure three indicators of DNA damage in GBM cells in response to ascorbate and irradiation, and were contrasted with immunofluorescence-revealed DNA damage from an intracranial mouse model of GBM. The pro-oxidant, radiosensitisation role of ascorbate was confirmed, as measured by H2AX, 8OHdG, and DSBs in vitro. With all three of these markers of DNA damage, combinations of irradiation and ascorbate had increased damage compared with individual treatments. However preliminary in vivo evidence indicates that increased DNA damage did not occur in an animal model of GBM, and in fact ascorbate may protect from DNA damage in an in vivo context. These findings complement previous results from our lab, and serve to fill in gaps in knowledge specifically around the DNA damaging effects of ascorbate. The unique nature of the brain environment, as enclosed by the blood brain barrier, prevents translation of data from other non-brain cancer studies, as such, this investigation also contributes to the exploration of a much needed avenue of research. Considering the context of ascorbate treatment as a potentially harmful currently used adjuvant, it is imperative to confirm or disprove its efficacy in a clinically relevant environment.

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  • Learning Feature Selection and Combination Strategies for Generic Salient Object Detection

    Naqvi, Syed (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    For a diverse range of applications in machine vision from social media searches to robotic home care providers, it is important to replicate the mechanism by which the human brain selects the most important visual information, while suppressing the remaining non-usable information. Many computational methods attempt to model this process by following the traditional model of visual attention. The traditional model of attention involves feature extraction, conditioning and combination to capture this behaviour of human visual attention. Consequently, the model has inherent design choices at its various stages. These choices include selection of parameters related to the feature computation process, setting a conditioning approach, feature importance and setting a combination approach. Despite rapid research and substantial improvements in benchmark performance, the performance of many models depends upon tuning these design choices in an ad hoc fashion. Additionally, these design choices are heuristic in nature, thus resulting in good performance only in certain settings. Consequentially, many such models exhibit low robustness to difficult stimuli and the complexities of real-world imagery. Machine learning and optimisation technique have long been used to increase the generalisability of a system to unseen data. Surprisingly, artificial learning techniques have not been investigated to their full potential to improve generalisation of visual attention methods. The proposed thesis is that artificial learning can increase the generalisability of the traditional model of visual attention by effective selection and optimal combination of features. The following new techniques have been introduced at various stages of the traditional model of visual attention to improve its generalisation performance, specifically on challenging cases of saliency detection: 1. Joint optimisation of feature related parameters and feature importance weights is introduced for the first time to improve the generalisation of the traditional model of visual attention. To evaluate the joint learning hypothesis, a new method namely GAOVSM is introduced for the tasks of eye fixation prediction. By finding the relationships between feature related parameters and feature importance, the developed method improves the generalisation performance of baseline method (that employ human encoded parameters). 2. Spectral matting based figure-ground segregation is introduced to overcome the artifacts encountered by region-based salient object detection approaches. By suppressing the unwanted background information and assigning saliency to object parts in a uniform manner, the developed FGS approach overcomes the limitations of region based approaches. 3. Joint optimisation of feature computation parameters and feature importance weights is introduced for optimal combination of FGS with complementary features for the first time for salient object detection. By learning feature related parameters and their respective importance at multiple segmentation thresholds and by considering the performance gaps amongst features, the developed FGSopt method improves the object detection performance of the FGS technique also improving upon several state-of-the-art salient object detection models. 4. The introduction of multiple combination schemes/rules further extends the generalisability of the traditional attention model beyond that of joint optimisation based single rules. The introduction of feature composition based grouping of images, enables the developed IGA method to autonomously identify an appropriate combination strategy for an unseen image. The results of a pair-wise ranksum test confirm that the IGA method is significantly better than the deterministic and classification based benchmark methods on the 99% confidence interval level. Extending this line of research, a novel relative encoding approach enables the adapted XCSCA method to group images having similar saliency prediction ability. By keeping track of previous inputs, the introduced action part of the XCSCA approach enables learning of generalised feature importance rules. By more accurate grouping of images as compared with IGA, generalised learnt rules and appropriate application of feature importance rules, the XCSCA approach improves upon the generalisation performance of the IGA method. 5. The introduced uniform saliency assignment and segmentation quality cues enable label free evaluation of a feature/saliency map. By accurate ranking and effective clustering, the developed DFS method successfully solves the complex problem of finding appropriate features for combination (on an-image-by-image basis) for the first time in saliency detection. The DFS method enables ground truth free evaluation of saliency methods and advances the state-of-the-art in data driven saliency aggregation by detection and deselection of redundant information. The final contribution is that the developed methods are formed into a complete system where analysis shows the effects of their interactions on the system. Based on the saliency prediction accuracy versus computational time trade-off, specialised variants of the proposed methods are presented along with the recommendations for further use by other saliency detection systems. This research work has shown that artificial learning can increase the generalisation of the traditional model of attention by effective selection and optimal combination of features. Overall, this thesis has shown that it is the ability to autonomously segregate images based on their types and subsequent learning of appropriate combinations that aid generalisation on difficult unseen stimuli.

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  • How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

    Sun, I-Chen (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.

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  • Architecture as a Catalyst for Activity

    Tungatt, Rory (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many of New Zealand’s smaller town centres struggle to remain viable. A common issue for these declining public realms is the hollowing out of their city centres. Numerous factors may contribute to this problem. Issues such as a lack of access, connectivity and identity within the urban fabric, or instances of privatisation, where forums that were once public have now shifted to a digital interface. One of the challenges facing cities is the diminishing number of “civic” buildings and activity located in the town centre. The Indoor Community Sports Centre (ICSC) offers a partial remedy for this problem. Even with the merging and downsizing of Council’s and their funding, Territorial Authorities continue to invest in ICSCs. This thesis investigates whether these buildings can make a positive contribution to the public domain of town centres. New Zealand ICSC’s, more often than not, are simple shed-like buildings on the periphery of cities or town centres, predominantly occupying or adjacent to large park areas, sports fields or schools. This thesis examines whether the building type can be adapted to become an “urban” building, where it will have the opportunity contribute to a revitalised town centre. A design case study based on Upper Hutt identifies three key design criteria established from initial research of Sports Centres and best-practice Urban Design. These three criteria – breaking up mass, active edges from the outside and creating a dynamic connection – allow the ICSC to become part of the civic realm. The research concludes that an ICSC can be successfully integrated into an “urban” context. In the Upper Hutt case study, success depends on two broader design strategies. First, the ICSC should be located in an area where walkability, functionality and visual and physical connectivity will benefit the public domain. Second, the ICSC should be part of a mixed-use development, which exploits the building type’s inherent flexibility. This is achieved through combining a transport hub, another essential civic amenity, as well as other commercial programmes that provide occupancy during periods of disuse. The thesis shows how a carefully adapted ICSC can turn a somewhat disconnected, hollowed out town into a functional, integrated and walkable one. The redesigned facility does so by linking existing amenities, feeding city-fringe activity back into the city centre and projecting a consciousness of place.

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  • Improving Clustering Methods By Exploiting Richness Of Text Data

    Wahid, Abdul (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Clustering is an unsupervised machine learning technique, which involves discovering different clusters (groups) of similar objects in unlabeled data and is generally considered to be a NP hard problem. Clustering methods are widely used in a verity of disciplines for analyzing different types of data, and a small improvement in clustering method can cause a ripple effect in advancing research of multiple fields. Clustering any type of data is challenging and there are many open research questions. The clustering problem is exacerbated in the case of text data because of the additional challenges such as issues in capturing semantics of a document, handling rich features of text data and dealing with the well known problem of the curse of dimensionality. In this thesis, we investigate the limitations of existing text clustering methods and address these limitations by providing five new text clustering methods--Query Sense Clustering (QSC), Dirichlet Weighted K-means (DWKM), Multi-View Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MMOEA), Multi-objective Document Clustering (MDC) and Multi-Objective Multi-View Ensemble Clustering (MOMVEC). These five new clustering methods showed that the use of rich features in text clustering methods could outperform the existing state-of-the-art text clustering methods. The first new text clustering method QSC exploits user queries (one of the rich features in text data) to generate better quality clusters and cluster labels. The second text clustering method DWKM uses probability based weighting scheme to formulate a semantically weighted distance measure to improve the clustering results. The third text clustering method MMOEA is based on a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm. MMOEA exploits rich features to generate a diverse set of candidate clustering solutions, and forms a better clustering solution using a cluster-oriented approach. The fourth and the fifth text clustering method MDC and MOMVEC address the limitations of MMOEA. MDC and MOMVEC differ in terms of the implementation of their multi-objective evolutionary approaches. All five methods are compared with existing state-of-the-art methods. The results of the comparisons show that the newly developed text clustering methods out-perform existing methods by achieving up to 16\% improvement for some comparisons. In general, almost all newly developed clustering algorithms showed statistically significant improvements over other existing methods. The key ideas of the thesis highlight that exploiting user queries improves Search Result Clustering(SRC); utilizing rich features in weighting schemes and distance measures improves soft subspace clustering; utilizing multiple views and a multi-objective cluster oriented method improves clustering ensemble methods; and better evolutionary operators and objective functions improve multi-objective evolutionary clustering ensemble methods. The new text clustering methods introduced in this thesis can be widely applied in various domains that involve analysis of text data. The contributions of this thesis which include five new text clustering methods, will not only help researchers in the data mining field but also to help a wide range of researchers in other fields.

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  • Digitisation and Matauranga Maori

    Stevenson, Alison; Callaghan, Samantha (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In 2007 the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre undertook the digitisation of H. G. Robley's 'Moko; or Maori Tattooing' along with associated contextual material. This project prompted much thought and debate within the Centre about the propriety of making such material freely available online and highlighted a number of issues which are likely common to most cultural and heritage organisations looking to undertake the digitisation of Maori-based material. Throughout periods of colonisation indigenous knowledge has been collected by ethnographers, anthropologists, and others, and much of this has found its way into the collections of libraries and archives. This is true in New Zealand as it is overseas. However, despite the existence of this material and a national digital strategy that promotes the benefits of online access to cultural and heritage material, the numbers of organisations who have digitised representations of Matauranga Maori are few. Within the contexts of both international discourse on indigenous knowledge and the NZETC project this paper addresses these issues which fall into the categories of ownership, control, access, and consultation which we also attempt to frame using the corresponding Te Ao Marama concepts of rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga, mana and putanga, and korerorero whanui. Questions arise in terms of ownership of not just the physical objects themselves but also the knowledge encoded within them, issues of who has the right to control that knowledge and determine who may access it and who may not, as well as discovering who it is appropriate to consult with and how institutions may respond to the results of consultation. We ask whether these issues act as barriers to digitisation of Matauranga Maori material and consequently whether they provide an explanation for the relative scarcity of these types of projects. Finally we identify opportunities that organisations can gain from undertaking such projects.

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  • Fore to Form

    Irvine, James (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Designing for sports equipment demands excellence. The sheer nature of competition drives athletes to achieve the unachievable. This obsession to improve shifts from the athlete to the designer. The continual development and availability of materials, technologies and processes makes the role of the designer more critical than ever. Though the one real opportunity for innovation lies in how the designer interprets and utilizes these technologies. The question that this research asks is: Can the integration and synchronisation of contemporary digital tools reshape the design process of golf clubs? This investigation predominantly uses an experimental ‘research through design’ approach based on the ideas and methods derived from a number of professional design projects and theoretical design approaches. It argues that the unique combination and application of emerging digital tools can expose a breadth of creative design opportunities for golf club design. Golf clubs, like any other sports equipment must be designed with the underlying, crucial theme of performance improvement. The term performance can be broken down into two aspects; mental (visual) and physical (functional). The criteria for these aspects changes with each individual and demands a new level of customisation. This thesis investigates how this could be achieved and proposes innovative pathways to integrate individual performance data as form defining inputs. It also explores the potential of new digital aesthetics to enhance functional criteria yet preserving critical features of traditional club design.

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  • An investigation of foreign exchange risk management by exporting small and medium sized enterprises

    Dang, Vu (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Previous studies on foreign exchange (forex) risk management have tended to focus on multinational enterprises; while how SMEs manage their forex risk is still largely unexplored. As small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly involved in international markets, they have become a new research setting on forex risk management. Given that SMEs have limited access to resources, skills and capabilities, internal hedging techniques could be favoured by SMEs. There is limited research on this matter, and the extant literature on forex management generally considers derivatives as major hedging techniques for large firms. This thesis primarily investigates how exporting SMEs manage forex risk. In addition, approaches to forex management could be changed as a firm becomes more experienced internationally. Following the basic principles of internationalisation theory, the thesis also examines the impact of the internationalisation degree of the firm on forex management decisions. This thesis sheds new light on SMEs’ hedging practices by providing a better understanding of SMEs’ choices of forex risk management. Three research questions have been raised: (1) what determinants influence SMEs’ choice to hedge as a way of managing forex risk; (2) what strategies do SMEs use when they choose hedging to manage forex exposure; and (3) how does the degree of internationalisation impact the choice of forex management. The thesis draws on two theoretical perspectives to help address these overarching questions. It extends the use of the resource-based view (RBV), and combines this with internationalisation theory. The setting of SMEs is a context for using the RBV. New Zealand and Australian exporting SMEs provide the sample for testing the hypotheses. The contributions of this thesis are twofold. Firstly, the thesis identifies four determinants of forex risk strategy by exporting SMEs, i.e. degree of internationalisation (specifically, export ratio), forex exposure, perceived forex risk, and resources. Secondly, it extends the use of the RBV and the internationalisation theory in forex risk management of SMEs. In addition, the thesis uses a research approach combining an exploratory qualitative study and a main quantitative study.

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  • Factors Influencing Participant Satisfaction with Free/Libre and Open Source Software Projects

    Chawner, Brenda (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The purpose of this research was to identify factors that affect participants’ satisfaction with their experience of a free/libre open source software (FLOSS) project. The research built on existing models of user satisfaction from the information systems literature, and also incorporated two characteristics of FLOSS projects first identified by Ye, Nakakoji, Yamamoto, and Kishida (2005), product openness and process openness. The central research question it answered was, What factors influence participant satisfaction with a free/libre and open source application software project? Richard Stallman’s reasons for setting up the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation arose from his frustration at being forced to be a passive user of software used for a Xerox printer. These suggest that being able to be an active participant in a FLOSS project is one factor that should be examined, and therefore the first sub-question this project answers is, What types of contributions do participants make to free/libre and open source software projects? Several studies have shown that the extent of participation in a FLOSS project varies from individual to individual, and this variation leads to the second sub-question, Do the factors that influence satisfaction vary for different types of participation? If so, in what way? A preliminary conceptual model of factors affecting participant satisfaction was developed, reflecting the key concepts identified in the literature. The main theoretical goal of this research was to test the model using empirical data. The research used a sequential, mixed methods approach. The first, qualitative stage involved reviewing documents from selected projects and interviewing a purposive sample of FLOSS project participants. The second, quantitative stage involved an online survey of FLOSS project participants, and the data gathered were used to test the conceptual model. The results of the first stage showed that participation in FLOSS projects was a more complex construct than previously reported in the literature. Seven distinct categories of activities were identified: • use; • interaction with code; • supporting the community; • outreach; • sponsorship; • management; and • governance. Four attributes that modified these categories were also identified: organisational focus, role formality, remuneration, and time commitment. Data from 154 responses to the online survey were used to test the model using stepwise multiple regression, which determined the effect of each of the variables on overall participant satisfaction. Moderated regression analysis was used to test the effects of three potential moderating variables. The results showed that that perceived system complexity had the largest effect, decreasing satisfaction if respondents perceived that the software was complex, while project openness and perceived developer communication quality accounted for the most variance in satisfaction. The main theoretical contribution of this research lies in its extension of satisfaction studies to FLOSS communities, showing that communication and openness are more important than in conventional software projects. Its practical contribution will help people involved in the management and governance of FLOSS projects to identify ways of increasing their participants’ satisfaction, which may in turn encourage them to contribute more.

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  • Self-improvement books: A genre analysis

    Koay, Dong Liang (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The aim of the thesis is to explore the characteristics of self-improvement books as a genre. Although self-improvement books are a widely read genre, particularly in the Western world, none to my knowledge has examined the linguistic features of this genre in detail. The thesis draws on the three main schools of genre theory: English for Specific Purposes, Systemic Functional Linguistics, and the New Rhetoric, and begins by investigating the sections (e.g., acknowledgement, introduction chapter) in self-improvement books and the typicality of the sections. Focusing on three sections: introduction chapters, body chapters, and about the author sections, the thesis examines how authors structure the sections by analysing the moves and steps. This study also examines the stories in self-improvement books by analysing the purpose of the stories and their structure. Stories were chosen because they seemed to be a feature of self-improvement books based on my observation and as suggested by interview data. To analyse self-improvement books at a register level, the thesis examines the most unambiguous aspects of engagement: personal pronouns focusing on you, imperative clauses, and questions. It also examines the lexicogrammatical features of self-improvement book titles and compares them to the titles of historical biographies, showing that imperative clauses and ing-clause are found only in self-improvement book titles. Drawing on interview data and literature on the American Dream, American individualism, Neoliberalism, and New Age beliefs, the thesis explains how the linguistic characteristics of the genre of self-improvement books reflect these ideologies. The dataset for the study is 40 self-improvement books, selected on the basis of a set of criteria that I developed. Subsets were selected from the main dataset for specific analyses. The text analysis part of the study is supplemented by interview data from specialist informants, who come from three categories: readers of the genre, non-readers of the genre, and authors of the genre. Move analysis identifies obligatory rhetorical moves and indicates that the main purposes of introduction chapters and about the author sections are persuading readers to read the book, and establishing credibility, respectively. Authors always persuade readers to read their books by listing reasons to read them. To demonstrate authors’ credibility, they refer to their areas of expertise. Unlike the introduction chapters and about the author sections, the body chapters have more than one obligatory rhetorical move. The body chapters present the problem that readers potentially experience, present the authors’ message, recommend practical applications, and encourage readers to apply them. From a genre perspective, the purpose of all the stories in my analysis is to illustrate the authors’ message. Register analysis, and drawing on interview data, suggests that authors use the personal pronoun you, imperative clauses, and questions to engage readers. The abundance of the personal pronoun you suggests that self-improvement books are a reader-oriented genre. The analysis of the imperative clauses using Halliday’s process types suggests that the main way to improve our lives, the authors recommend, is to change how we think. Finally, my thesis shows that the social purpose of self-improvement books is to help potential readers improve their lives, and the approach of improving one’s life has an individualistic orientation.

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  • First Principles Study of Ga₍₂₀₋x₎Alx⁺ Nanoalloys: Structure, Thermodynamics and Phase Diagram

    Ojha, Udbhav (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Nanoalloys (a finite framework of two or more metal atoms) represent a rapidly growing field owing to the possibilities of tuning its properties as desired for various applications. Their properties are size, shape, composition, chemical ordering, and temperature dependent, thereby offering a large playground for varied research motivations. This thesis documents the investigations on how the addition of aluminium affects the cationic gallium clusters, both in terms of geometric & electronic structure and thermodynamics, which have been observed to show greater-than-bulk melting behaviour for small sizes. A specific cluster size of 20 atoms is selected, Ga₍₂₀₋x₎Alx⁺, with the overall intention of creating a phase diagram which is the most reliable way to predict the phase changes in the system. All the first principles (density functional theory) based Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics calculations have been performed in the microcanonical ensemble. Melting behaviour is first studied in the pure Al₂₀⁺ clusters and then in three representative clusters of Ga₍₂₀₋x₎Alx⁺ series: Ga₁₉Al⁺, Ga₁₁Al₉⁺ and Ga₃Al₁₇⁺ clusters. We observe that all the three nanoalloy compositions show greater-than-bulk melting behaviour behaviour as well and in Ga₁₉Al⁺, specifically, Al prefers the internal sites, contrary to the previous arguments. We go on to complete the solid-liquid-like melting phase diagram using the calculated information and further propose a model of these greater-than-bulk melting clusters to be components of the corresponding bulk phases, whether metals or alloys, with additional size-dependent contributions added to it.

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  • A dual-trap optical tweezer approach to study emulsion droplet interactions

    Griffiths, Marjorie (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Foods are a highly complex form of soft condensed matter. Their complexity arises from a number of interrelated factors including the natural heterogeneity of raw materials, intricate composition, and the subtle changes in molecular interactions and micro-structural arrangements dictated by food processing and storage. It is highly important to understand the forces dictating the food structure as the assembly and organisation of major structural entities (i.e biopolymers, droplets, bubbles, networks, and particles) are responsible for the foods stability, texture, flow properties and more inclusively their organoleptic properties. The structural entities of foods exhibit numerous forms of self-organization and have significant structure complexity and dynamic behaviour on the mesoscopic length scales from 10 to 1000 nanometres. These dynamic weak interactions between the constituents define the organized state that ranges from simple spatial or temporal ordering to more intricate interactions making up the food microstructure. These interactions are often small in magnitude and are short ranged making them difficult to measure directly. Very few studies have been carried out on direct force measurements in foodstuffs. The focus of this research was to develop a dual-trap optical tweezer method to directly measure interactions between micrometre colloidal particles and ultimately to design an apparatus where interactions between less homogeneous systems, such as emulsion droplets could directly measured as a function of separation. As the name suggests, optical tweezers provide the ability to control the position of particles using a focused laser beam. The general concept of this method is to immobilise two particles in two separate optical traps and step one particle closer to the other stationary particle in a controlled fashion. The droplet’s movement is then recorded using a high-speed camera that provides near-to-real-time images of the particle’s positions. The particle’s positions are determined by a 3-D tracking algorithm developed in-house which determines the position of both particles to a precision of sub-pixel accuracy. The force exerted on each droplet (by the other one) can be extracted as it is proportional to the trap strength (pN/μm) and the displacement of the particle from the centre of the optical trap (μm). To demonstrate the optical tweezer method,the interactions between silica beads of a known size were measured as a function of bead separation. The measured force-distance curves agreed with the electrostatic component of the DLVO theory. Once the method was established it was applied at increasing salt concentrations (decreasing Debye lengths). Interestingly, a salt concentration was found beyond which the experimental data no longer agreed with the predictions of DVLO theory. Above 100 μM sodium chloride the Debye length was reduced to less than the Brownian fluctuations of the particles in the traps, which then dominated the apparent repulsion by restricting their particle trajectories, masking the actual nature of the electrostatic interactions. This resulted in force curves which fitted the exponential function, however, the fitted decay constant bore no resemblance to the actual Debye length. A diffusion experiment was designed to demonstrate the ability to measure interactions in multiple environments using the same pair of beads (at low salt concentrations where Debye lengths are faithfully recovered). The evolution of force-displacement curves was measured as the local salt concentration changed owing to the diffusion of salt from the interface and the results obtained were shown to agree with predictions based on a standard diffusion formalism. Applying the dual-trap optical tweezers method, successfully demonstrated with silica beads, to less homogeneous systems such as emulsion droplets presented challenges which showcased that emulsion design was critical as certain criteria had to be met in order to facilitate undertaking the tweezer experiments. These criteria include particle size (1-3 μm ), low polydispersity, and a reasonable refractive index mismatch between the droplet and continuous phase. In keeping with food systems a protein stabilised oil-in-water emulsion was chosen. Two popular emulsifiers, sodium caseinate and β-lactoglobulin, were investigated at different ionic strength, pH and homogenisation pressures and phase volumes. The emulsion chosen for direct force measurements was a sodium caseinate emulsion when prepared in a 100 mM phosphate buffer at pH 7.0, 60 wt. % soya bean oil and 0.04 wt.% protein which provided an adequate droplet size with minimal polydispersity. Interactions between pairs of sodium caseinate emulsion droplets were measured. Unlike for silica beads, the individual droplet size needed to be measured to deter- mine the surface-to-surface separation of droplet pairs. The droplet’s diameter was determined by measuring the restricted diffusion of the droplet in a weak optical trap and fitting the short time mean squared displacement behaviour to a Brownian motion simulation. It was found that the droplet size can be determined in this fashion to within 50 nm. Moving forward, the interactions between pairs of emulsion droplets were measured in water using the same method gleaned from the silica bead interaction study. The experimental data fitted well to the electrostatic force described by the DLVO theory with reasonable ζ-potentials extracted. To further demonstrate this dual optical tweezer method, interactions between the same pair of droplets were measured at increasing NaCl concentrations by means of diffusion. The expected trend has found to agree from calculations of increased local salt concentration based on a diffusion equation. At salt concentrations above 100 μm significant deviations in the force-curves were observed that may signal salt induced changes of the droplet’s interface or be attributed to the small magnitude of the force being within the noise. This warrants further investigation. In conclusion, the dual-trap optical tweezers have shown incredible potential to become a robust method to measure the interactions between droplets. This method has some clear advantages over current methods including that force, and spatial resolution is superior, sample preparation is straightforward, forces are measured in 3-dimensions, and the droplets are free in solution during measurement, not wetted on surfaces. Accordingly, dual-trap optical tweezer methodology has provided the ability to measure interactions to a precision that has not yet been achieved by any other method for the study of emulsion systems, which in itself is a major achievement. This method is another tool in the toolbox of a colloid chemist, food scientist and physicists to probe interactions in soft materials.

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  • Investigating the optimal integration of airborne, ship-borne, satellite and terrestrial gravity data for use in geoid determination

    Winefield, Rachelle (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Each gravity observation technique has different parameters and contributes to different pieces of the gravity spectrum. This means that no one gravity dataset is able to model the Earth’s gravity field completely and the best gravity map is one derived from many sources. Therefore, one of the challenges in gravity field modelling is combining multiple types of heterogeneous gravity datasets. The aim of this study is to determine the optimal method to produce a single gravity map of the Canterbury case study area, for the purposes of use in geoid modelling. This objective is realised through the identification and application of a four-step integration process: purpose, data, combination and assessment. This includes the evaluation of three integration methods: natural neighbour, ordinary kriging and least squares collocation. As geoid modelling requires the combination of gravity datasets collected at various altitudes, it is beneficial to be able to combine the dataset using an integration method which operates in a three-dimensional space. Of the three integration methods assessed, least squares collocation is the only integration method which is able to perform this type of reduction. The resulting product is a Bouguer anomaly map of the Canterbury case study area, which combines satellite altimetry, terrestrial, ship-borne, airborne, and satellite gravimetry using least squares collocation.

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  • Magnetic and electronic properties of iron-based superconducting systems

    Sambale, Sebastian (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis is motivated by the large variety of high-temperature superconductors that contain iron in the superconducting layer. This number has grown rapidly since the discovery in 2008 of the iron-pnictides (and chalcogenides), where iron and arsenic form the superconducting layer. Also of interest are the iron-cuprate hybrid materials, where one out of three copper atoms is replaced by iron. The aim is to understand the superconducting, magnetic and electronic properties of these materials in respect to their iron content. This thesis describes some of these properties for the iron-pnictide compounds of CeFeAsO₁₋xFx and AFe₂As₂ (A=Ba, Sr), and for the ironcuprate hybrids of FeSr₂YCu₂O₆₊y and FeSr₂Y₂₋xCexCu₂O₁₀₋y. Here it has been found that CeFeAsO₁₋xFx follows a 3D fluctuation conductivity above the superconducting transition and the thermal activation energy is correlated to the critical current density within a two fluid-flux creep model below the superconducting transition. NMR measurements show that there is considerable charge disorder within the superconducting doping region. The AFe₂As₂ show a positive magnetoresistance, which could be interpreted through three-carrier transport. Superconducting samples of SrFe₂As₂ display a large enhancement in the magnetoresistance below the superconducting transition up to 1600 %, which is due to three-carrier transport through metallic and superconducting regions in an inhomogeneous state. The superconducting properties of the iron-cuprate FeSr₂YCu₂O₆₊y in respect to the location of iron was studied under the influence of electron and hole doping and with additional magnetic impurities. FeSr₂Y₂₋xCexCu₂O₁₀₋y shows a disorder induced spin-glass state and strong localization depending on the doping.

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  • Māori Performing Arts and the Weaving Together of Local, National and International Communities

    Avery, Jonathon (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Māori performing arts provides a valuable contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand society. Māori performing arts has an intrinsic link to Māori culture and is used to connect 1) Māori who are disengaged from iwi/hapu/whanau, as well as 2) non-Māori, in New Zealand and around the world with Māori culture. Performance genres such as waiata-a-ringa, haka and mōteatea contain a body of knowledge that communicate Māori ways of being and doing and provide participants with an opportunity to become connected to a culturally literate and informed community. Using ethnographic techniques of participant observation, interviews and performance, this thesis examines the experiences of individuals who engage with Māori performing arts and the meaning they attribute to their engagement with the art form. Drawing on contemporary ideas of community and meaning, this thesis also investigates how Māori performing arts builds and strengthens relationships and whanaungatanga by connecting participants to local, national and international Aotearoa New Zealand communities. This thesis draws on two contexts in Wellington where people engage with Māori performing arts - The Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club at Pipitea marae and Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Along with exploring two Māori performance context in detail, this these explores how Māori performing arts is used as a platform to educate participants about Māori knowledge, language and culture while also discussing how Māori performing arts is used to symbolise and represent Aotearoa New Zealand nationally and internationally.

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  • The Effect of Meditation on Visual and Auditory Sustained Attention

    Badart, Paige (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Failures of attention can be hazardous, especially within the workplace where sustaining attention has become an increasingly important skill. This has produced a necessity for the development of methods to improve attention. One such method is the practice of meditation. Previous research has shown that meditation can produce beneficial changes to attention and associated brain regions. In particular, sustained attention has shown to be significantly improved by meditation. While this effect has shown to occur in the visual modality, there is less research on the effects of meditation and auditory sustained attention. Furthermore, there is currently no research which examines meditation on crossmodal sustained attention. This is relevant not only because visual and auditory are perceived simultaneously in reality, but also as it may assist in the debate as to whether sustained attention is managed by modality-specific systems or a single overarching supramodal system. The current research was conducted to examine the effects of meditation on visual, auditory and audiovisual crossmodal sustained attention by using variants of the Sustained Attention to Response Task. In these tasks subjects were presented with either visual, auditory, or a combination of visual and auditory stimuli, and were required to respond to infrequent targets over an extended period of time. It was found that for all of the tasks, meditators significantly differed in accuracy compared to non-meditating control groups. The meditators made less errors without sacrificing response speed, with the exception of the Auditory-target crossmodal task. This demonstrates the benefit of meditation for improving sustained attention across sensory modalities and also lends support to the argument that sustained attention is governed by a supramodal system rather than modality-specific systems.

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  • The Ethics of Infectious Disease Control: Lessons from the Ebola outbreak and an ethical framework

    McIvor, Joshua (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Ebola virus disease (EVD) devastated its way into news headlines in 2014, destroying communities across three West African countries and costing the lives of over 11,000 people. The global health response was widely scrutinised and criticised, and though the outbreak is now over, there are still many lessons that can be learned from the 2014 EVD outbreak. This thesis will use the EVD outbreak in two ways. Firstly, I will use the EVD outbreak as a case study through which I will strive to address the ethical concerns for using experimental treatment during the outbreak, and I will address ethical concerns of the use of quarantine during the outbreak. Second, I will use the EVD outbreak as a launch pad to examine broader and more abstract ethical principles of the ethics of infectious disease control, such as the principles of reciprocity, transparency, proportionality, and the harm principle. This discussion will highlight how physical, biological features of a disease very much impact the application of the above principles when it comes to controlling the disease in an ethical manner. Finally, from this observation, I have created a ‘disease taxonomy’ that categorises infectious diseases based upon, what I argue, are the most ethically relevant biological features of infectious diseases. The taxonomy can aid in preparing for, understanding, and responding to the most pertinent ethical issues that surround various infectious diseases. The thesis should leave the reader with not only a greater understanding of some of the ethical issues raised by the 2014 EVD outbreak, but also a solid framework to utilise in discussing the most pertinent ethical issues of any future outbreak of any infectious disease.

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  • Securing Unity and Reverence: Chinese ontological security across its maritime and frontier disputes

    Curtis, Henry (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis draws on the Constructivist school of International Relations, applying the theory of ontological security to explain diverging patterns of behaviour by China across its maritime and frontier territorial disputes. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, these patterns have seen China consistently interact with states adjacent to its frontiers to settle disputes peacefully, with occasional instances of conflict. Conversely, in its maritime disputes, though varying in its levels of aggression and cooperation, China has resolutely refused to settle with disputant states. In examining these varying behaviours, it is argued that differences derive from the differing ability of China to secure its national identity between the two types of dispute. Analysing the examples of the Sino-Indian dispute and border war, the Burmese border agreement, and the ongoing South China Sea disputes, periods of conflict and settlement in these disputes are compared to changing manifestations of Chinese national identity. What results is an illustration of frontier border settlement contributing to the security of China’s identity as a unified, pluralistic nation state. The absence of national minority populations in relation to maritime disputes alternatively sees continued interaction in these disputes as securing China’s identity as the superior ‘Central Kingdom’ relative to peripheral South East Asian states, while offering little incentive for settlement. Both types of dispute can be viewed as contributing to the biographical narrative of China’s ‘Century of Humiliation’. This thesis presents a significant departure from existing studies of China’s disputes, predominantly undertaken from a Realist perspective. Additionally, it expands on existing Constructivist literature by demonstrating how national identity can result in a range of behaviours across a range of differing disputes, further validating the emerging ontological security approach within International Relations scholarship.

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