964 results for Masters, 2009

  • Māori leadership : affecting positive change within primary education : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand

    Wood, Andrew (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis sought to examine the nature of Māori leadership within the context of English medium primary education. It sought to identify whether a style of leadership that was unique to Māori existed and whether or not the identified style or styles reflected in contemporary times in schools are underpinned and informed by values, practices and ideals inherent within Māoridom. Many aspects of Māoridom have not only endured despite the effects of colonisation but have in fact survived and flourished. Māori leadership is one such aspect. The findings reflect strong styles where values, ideals and practices which are strongly emphasised within Māoridom have all had an informing role for the participant leaders. The leadership styles, approaches and strategies identified within this study echo those of the past. In using the identified strategies, the Māori school leaders have facilitated the development of an educational environment and culture that is empowering and productive in making a positive difference for every child in the school and for the staff, parents and whanau of the school.

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  • The challenge of planning for urban residential environments under the Resource Management Act 1991 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Resource & Environment Planning at Massey University

    Ross, Joanna Margaret (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Planning for urban areas is a process of proactively and creatively providing for the future physical form of an urban area, including its design, development and subsequent use, through the development and implementation of policy and other measures seeking to ensure quality environmental, economic and social outcomes. Yet in New Zealand, the legislation enabling such intervention, the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), makes no reference to the term urban or any of the elements of the urban environment. This thesis proposes that there is a remit, and indeed a requirement, under the RMA to sustainably manage the built form, and that this should be sought through anticipatory policies in district plans. The extent to which elements of urban planning are currently being provided for in operative district plans was examined using content analysis as a research method - i.e. a word count of specific words/phrases relating to urban elements from which inferences could be drawn. The results indicated that elements of urban planning are being provided for in district plan provisions to a greater or lesser extent, although in most instances were not within its 'power house', i.e. the objectives and policies. Further interpretive analysis of actual district plan text suggests that references to urban elements lacked specificity. The results also showed that few associations existed between the various urban elements examined, and that there were no clear causal factors for high urban element word counts. This paper concludes that planners can confidently provide for elements of urban planning in district plans. In doing so their legacy will be district plans that are more strategic, and therefore in alignment with the purpose of the RMA - the sustainable management of natural and physical resources - as opposed to the prevailing view that they should take a more retrospective perspective, seeking only to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of activities on the environment.

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  • Infant and toddler teachers' professional development : reported changes in perceptions and practice : a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in Early Years, Massey University

    Bary, Raewyne (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The aim of this study was to explore any changes in perceptions and/or practice of a group of infant and toddler teachers as a result of their participation in a facilitated professional development programme. This professional development programme and a teaching team which was committed to implementing an Attachment Based Learning programme (ABL) already imbedded in another section of their centre, held the potential for identifying changes in teachers' practices in response to their increased understandings of the theories, philosophies and beliefs underpinning the ABL programme. The experiences of two focus teachers, two professional development facilitators and five infant and toddler teachers' involvement in a centre specific co-constructed professional development programme along with two parent users of the centre are documented in this report using a qualitative mixed-method approach. Data were generated with participants for the duration of the professional development programme spanning a seven month time frame. The teachers were interviewed twice; once at the beginning of the programme and then at the completion of the programme. The parents were interviewed once on the completion of the professional development programme. Data from the interviews as well as teachers' reflective journals, meeting minutes and centre policies were analysed qualitatively using Rogoff's (2003) three planes of analysis; the personal, the interpersonal and the institutional planes. From these planes three thematic categories were revealed in which teachers' understandings were concentrated. These themes were the teachers' view of the child as informant to their practice; how they perceived their role as a teacher; and the importance of team cohesion. Changes in teachers' practice within these three areas were examined, as were the professional development processes that influenced the teachers' perception and pedagogy. The study showed that there needs to be alignment of these concepts across and within the three planes to ensure optimal outcomes for all participants in the learning community. This study has emphasized how professional development can shape teachers' views, understandings and pedagogy. The study contributes to an understanding of the importance of teachers having opportunities to theorise practice, and undertaking authentic and contextual professional development within safe and trusting environments.

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  • Barriers to affordable housing for mental health service users : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Public Policy at Massey University, Albany Campus, New Zealand

    Andrew, Colwell (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Housing is both a social issue and a determinant for well being and is an integral component of social policy. The research specifically looked at the barriers for mental health service users to accessing affordable housing. Previous studies have identified affordability, lack of choice and discrimination as specific issues in relation to people with mental illness and housing. While previous studies focussed on housing affordability in relation to the individual, this research considered the barriers to affordable housing for mental health service users in relation to the capitalist structure of society. The research utilised a Marxist theoretical perspective that views housing in terms of the social structures of society and the relationship to class. This approach was supported by the social model of disability, a social construct where those with disabilities are oppressed by the social structures of society. Another element of the research provided a history of government housing policy in New Zealand. A quantitative and qualitative approach was used to collect data which consisted of statistical information and information gained from interviews with the relevant participants. Analysis from a Marxist perspective explained, from the findings, that there are systemic barriers in accessing affordable housing for mental health service users within a capitalist system. From the findings, the social model of disability explained that there are structural disadvantages for mental health service users that result in barriers to accessing affordable housing. An analysis of the history of government housing policy in New Zealand, which has continually promoted the commodification of housing, also explained from the findings that there are systemic barriers to accessing affordable housing for mental health service users within a capitalist system.

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  • A thematic analysis of stories of workplace bullying told on the World Wide Web : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Industrial/Organisational Psychology at Massey University

    Schlup, Josephine (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This study explored how the experience of workplace bullying is described by targets of the phenomenon. The target's experience has been neglected by the research to date as it is difficult to gain access to their point of view. A qualitative approach was undertaken to develop the study in order to gain insight into this experience. Targets' stories were analysed for themes which revealed important aspects of this experience. The World Wide Web was utilised to harvest narratives from carefully selected websites which granted consent to access the stories. These websites provided anonymity for the targets to freely express their experiences of the phenomenon in an effort to provide self-help assistance to viewers. The World Wide Web is a new frontier for the research community which is still developing clear ethical guidelines for this arena. Therefore this project developed its own protocol for conducting its study which was informed by debates of the ethics of internet bases data collection. The analysis of harvested stories identified two global themes: acts of bullying and ongoing consequences. Acts of bullying included the following sub themes: a triggering event, hindsight, persistent and unrelenting negative criticism, scapegoat, tasks and duties changed, deadlines, basic rights denied, personal attacks and name calling, and temper tantrums. The second global theme encompassed ongoing consequences for the target. This theme consisted of the sub themes: rendered powerless, safety hazard, and psychological contract. These themes illustrated a trajectory for the progression of the phenomenon of bullying from targets' points of view. This trajectory provides a richer and more specific understanding of workplace bullying which can assist practitioners and researchers to develop ways for organisations to prevent workplace bullying and/ or undertake interventions when it occurs.

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  • Influence of Visual Grouping and Temporal Attention on Temporal Resolution: Evidence from a Temporal Order Judgment (TOJ) Task

    Keller, Armin (2009-10)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Time appears to pass in slow motion, according to subjective reports of people who have been involved in car accidents or other extreme situations. Previous research attributed time’s subjective expansion (TSE) to the engagement of attention and its influence on the amount of perceptual information processed (Tse et al., 2004). We propose that two processes contribute to slow motion perception in TSE. One is grouping attributes of the scene into wholes and segregating them from their background. Another is an increased amount of attention to temporal properties of the extreme scene. The present thesis investigates the influence of visual grouping and temporal attention on temporal resolution in a less dramatic situation to reveal whether novel or important events perceived in slow motion may indeed be processed in greater depth per unit of objective time than are normal events as assumed by Tse et al. (2004). A temporal order judgment (TOJ) task was applied at 50 participants to measure temporal resolution. A grouping effect was induced by use of a bar stimulus to unify the background on which two light-emitting diodes (LEDs) flashed. Two squares, one forming the background of each separate LED, comprised a control condition for the unified one just described. Attention to temporal properties of the background stimuli was induced by the use of abrupt stimuli which appeared with a specific temporal interval prior to the onset of either LED. In the control condition, the background stimuli were displayed persistently throughout the whole trial rather than abruptly. Temporal resolution was significantly higher when either visual grouping or temporal attention induced by abrupt stimuli was present and highest when both were combined. This novel finding provides evidence that multiple processes are involved leading to increased temporal resolution during TSE.

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  • The effects of environmental mycobacteria on VLP and MVA based vaccines against tuberculosis

    Faiyaz, Rahiman Sharief (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    BCG is already established as a vaccine against a global epidemic of tuberculosis, but its efficacy remains variable. It has shown almost no protection against TB in tropical countries like Africa and India. One of the prime reasons postulated for the failure of BCG as a vaccine is associated with pre-exposure to environmental mycobacteria. Cross-sensitisation to shared mycobacterial antigens is regarded as an important factor for this variation in efficacy. This study investigated the effects of environmental Mycobacterium avium exposure on immune responses to BCG and two novel TB vaccine candidates: Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHDV) virus-like particles conjugated with Antigen 85A (VLP/Ag85A) and Modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing Antigen 85A (MVA/Ag85A). Ag85A peptide was used because it is known to be an effective immunogen. M. avium strain WAg206 was chosen for this study as it has previously been shown to interfere with BCG vaccination. RHDV VLP were generated using a recombinant baculovirus containing the VP60 capsid gene. VLP/Ag85A was prepared by chemical conjugation of mycobacterial peptide Ag85A to VLP. MVA/Ag85A is a genetically modified vaccinia virus expressing Ag85A. T cell proliferation assays, cytokine assays, total antibody and antibody isotype assays were carried out after vaccination to measure the immunogenicity. The results suggest that among these novel vaccines, MVA/Ag85A is the best vaccine candidate following pre-exposure to WAg206 as it generated a stronger Th1 type of immune response than either BCG or VLP/Ag85A based on proliferation assays and cytokine assays specific to mycobacterial antigens. High levels of antigen-specific IFN-γ, a Th1 cytokine, were recorded when mice were vaccinated with MVA/Ag85A following pre-exposure to WAg 206. On vaccination with VLP/Ag85A, antigen-specific IFN-γ responses were low, but the presence of higher levels of total antibody specific to mycobacterial antigens suggested induction of a predominant Th2 response which is not protective. Future work to improve the cell-mediated response to VLP/Ag85A may include using an adjuvant which enhances Th1 responses and overcomes the inhibitory effect of environmental mycobacteria.

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  • Markerless motion capture applied to the analysis of locomotor kinematics in the semi-aquatic hunting spider, Dolomedes aquaticus

    Pullar, Kiri (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis focuses on two key goals. Firstly, developing a markerless motion capture technique for the examination of joint angles during spider locomotion. Secondly, applying this technique to understanding gait and gait generating mechanisms in the semi-aquatic hunting spider, Dolomedes aquaticus. I present a markerless technique for reconstructing 2D joint angles during locomotion based on information contained in video frames and a spider model based on the relative lengths of segments and joint angle limits. This algorithm allows gait analysis without the need for a sophisticated lab setup. Analysis is based on the subject filmed by a stationary video camera. Techniques that recover body pose from video sequences with little user intervention have numerous applications such as motion capture, gesture recognition, surveillance of people or animals and animation for movies or computer games. The spiders’ pose is estimated in every frame of a video sequence. The basic elements of my tracking approach include an articulated body model, extracted features from video frames and various constraints. These components are combined in a Bayesian framework, which segments the frame into foreground and subject and estimates the pose of the subject. Joint angles are used to investigate gait and gait generating mechanisms underlying locomotion in the spider. Firstly, kinematic parameters were compared to mass and body length of spiders. Stride length was the only kinematic parameter to yield significant results compared to spider size, however non-significant scaling relationships were similar in magnitude to those in the literature. Secondly, kinematic parameters were analysed in relation to speed of locomotion. Stride frequency showed a greater correlation with normalized speed than absolute speed and stride length showed a greater correlation with absolute speed than normalized speed. This suggests that larger animals increase their speed by increasing stride length, whereas it is possible for smaller animals to increase their speed by increasing stride frequency. Contrary to the relationship frequently observed in insects, both protraction and retraction periods decreased with speed. Thirdly, changes in velocity and acceleration were compared across the trajectory of each pair of legs and the ipsilateral and contralateral coordination of legs was investigated. Each leg was found to contribute in a specific manner to locomotion. Movements of front legs were random, suggesting they play some other role, possibly sensory, rather than contributing to stability. Legs 2 and 3 appeared to play a more dominant role in generating propulsive force, with hind legs probably contributing more to stability than propulsion.

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  • Establishment of THP-1 Monocytes with Compromised Mitochondrial Functions

    Chou, Tzu-wen Joy (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The process of inflammation is important for both normal health and in a number of diseases, such as metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria are vital for the functioning of all cells. It had been implicated as a key player in inflammatory processes, especially through reactive oxygen species as signals of various immune responses. This study aimed to establish a THP-1 cell line with compromised mitochondrial functions, using antimycin A as a Complex III inhibitor, and to investigate the role of mitochondrial stress, as monitored by the expression of Hsp60, in inflammatory processes. High concentrations of antimycin A (100 and 200 μM) were cytotoxic to THP-1 monocytes that they were rapidly killed within 48 hours of exposure. Lower concentrations of antimycin A (5, 10, 25 and 50 μM) gave growth inhibition effects to THP-1 monocytes. Pyruvate and uridine were used with an intention of rescuing the THP-1 cell growth at lower antimycin A concentrations. The THP-1 monocytes treated with antimycin A with uridine and pyruvate showed more growth compared to the ones without uridine and pyruvate supplement. Yet this difference is insignificant statistically. The expressions of Hsp60 and TNF-α at the mRNA level was monitored using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Hsp60 expression from THP-1 monocytes only showed some minor fluctuations in different antimycin A concentrations, regardless of uridine and iii pyruvate supplement, indicating the stress mitochondrial response was unobvious. On the other hand, TNF-α expression was dramatically down-regulated in THP-1 monocytes treated with antimycin A only compared to the untreated control and ones supplemented with uridine and pyruvate. These results suggest that antimycin A may have inhibition effect towards TNF-α expression, and uridine and pyruvate could also have other functions in THP-1 monocytes apart from redox rescue compounds. Yet the mitochondrial stress response shown by Hsp60 induction still remains to be further investigated.

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  • ‘Sandcastles’ & ‘The Postmodern Rules For Family Living’

    Fee, Roderick Harold (2009-11-15T23:21:24Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The exegesis accompanies a thesis, the latter being the portfolio of work consisting of two parts, each being a completed first draft of a novel written during the Masters of Creative Writing course: Part 1: ‘Sandcastles’ - a 'closed' text novel Part 2: ‘The Postmodern Rules For Family Living’ - an 'open' text novel These two works are separately bound with a thesis cover sheet and numbered. The exegesis covers the writer’s motivation for writing these works, reflections on the course of development and changes in thinking that occurred during research and the act of writing. It shows the changing perspectives of the writer’s two thesis works in context and in contra-distinction to each other. It includes the writer’s academic and creative goals as they developed and the result achieved in terms of those goals. It highlights the writer’s developing interest in literary theory including suggesting an ephemeral adjunct to Reader-Response theory which is described as 'Collapse'. It shows the development of the writer’s deep interest in reality in fiction versus the lie in fiction and in the differences between writing and reading a creative work produced primarily for entertainment versus work of a literary nature, identifying some of the differences in features the writer has perceived.

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  • Precision Teaching: Fast Practice or Merely More Practice Results in Better Learning?

    Kong, Xiuyan (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Doughty, Chase and O'Shields (2004) reviewed the Precision Teaching literature which they point out claimed that Precision Teaching is superior in producing learning outcomes and they posed concerns about the lack of well designed research to support these claims. One issue of concern was in much of the research Precision Teaching involved more practice than the teaching method to which it was compared. This present research aimed to compare the effects of fast practice and slow practice on learning three sets of 20 statistics definitions by tertiary students using a within-subject design. Following Doughty et al.'s (2004) suggestions, the amount of practice of the three sets of definitions was matched. All three sets were learned to some degree of accuracy before practice started. One set was practiced fast and another set was practices slowly and accurately over the same time period and until the fast practice set met a rate aim of 30 correct per min, the third set was practiced slowly and accurately for the same number of trials after this. There were non-timed tests of all sets of definitions prior to the start of any practice, after the rate aim was achieved, after the second slow practice finished and four weeks later. The amount of feedback for fast practice and the first slow and accurate practice was matched, but less feedback was provided for the second slow practice set. Three of the initial eight participants completed all experimental conditions. Results showed that response latencies to complete a response became shorted with both types of practice over practice but were shorter for the fast practiced items than for the slowly practiced items during the practice periods. The tests showed that accuracy was high after the extended practice and after four weeks no practice, regardless the method of practiced. The types and amount of feedback did not appear to have any effect on the learning outcome. Limitations that prevented a firm conclusion were discussed.

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  • The diversity of Hippocampus abdominalis in New Zealand

    Nickel, Jennifer Elisabeth (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study investigates the diversity and population differentiation of the New Zealand Pot-belly seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis through the utilization of morphological and genetic data. Four microsatellite loci - Habd3, Habd6, Habd7 and Habd9 - and three mitochondrial DNA markers - cytochrome b (814 bp), cytochrome oxidase 1 (624 bp) and control region (404 bp) - in conjunction with quantified morphological features revealed a very high diversity but low population differentiation within New Zealand, suggesting very high levels of gene flow. Some sexual dimorphism was detected, in the terms of shorter snout length and trunk length, and a higher incidence of fronds and spotting in males. A sample size of 166 yielded 31-46 microsatellite alleles and no common multilocus genotypes, and 36-40 new sequences were generated for each mitochondrial DNA marker exposing 14-16 haplotypes, with a maximum of 0.7-2.2% sequence divergence. H. abdominalis were found to be widely dispersed mainly in low density populations. As this species is likely to be facing increased threats from exploitation and habitat degradation in the future it is hoped that this information contributes to the knowledge about H. abdominalis so that future conservation management would be easier to implement.

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  • Storytelling: circles and straight lines

    Bronkhorst, Jennifer (2009-11-26T02:58:51Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Storytelling: circles and straight lines is a qualitative, retrospective analysis of my thesis (a collection of iconoclastic New Zealand short stories, entitled In Transit), in which I define the scope of my creative work by: positioning my approach within the wider contemporary and literary contexts; explaining its conceptual framework; and describing my intention and process. To these ends, I have drawn extensively on my personal experience, accumulated knowledge, and orientation, supplemented by wide reading. Throughout the text, I substantiate my views, arguments and conclusions with reference to noted writers, critics, language experts, and philosophers.

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  • Narratives from the Mind's Eye: The Significance of Mental Health Pathography in New Zealand, 1980-2008.

    Campion, Michelle Edith (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Medical narratives have dominated historical accounts of suffering, patients have also played a role in their own illness experiences. Efforts to elucidate their perspective have necessarily focused on deconstructionist readings of material produced by the medical profession. However, in recent years historians have been aided in their task by sufferers, who have begun to publish their own narratives of affliction. These accounts, called 'pathographies', are particularly significant for histories of mental health, where comprehension outside experience remains tenuous. This thesis investigates sufferers' experiences of mental illness through an examination of fourteen New Zealand mental health pathographies, published between 1980 and 2008. It considers, not just what pathographies say, but how the way in which they say it, including the myths, language and media used, conveys the desired meaning and reflects the purpose of the narrative. Sufferers' narratives inform readers about what it is like to be ill, including what was thought, felt and done. In describing their experiences sufferers invariably discuss the illness relationships which comprise their support network. Most especially they highlight the importance of the role which family and friends play in recovery. Despite pathography's restoration of the patient's voice through the provision of a legitimate, therapeutic narrative, silences remain. Whether the result of selectivity, concealment, or forgetfulness, pathographers' silences are far from meaningless, powerfully conveying the pain, anger, embarrassment, and hurt which eludes articulation. In spite of the presence of silence this thesis argues that pathographies are a rich source of information about the position of mental illness sufferers. Yet to be fully utilised, I argue that pathographies testify to the way in which the chaotic can be ordered in a therapeutic plot which communicates the individual truth wrought by memory.

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  • Gaming and Gender: Home as a Place of (Non)conformity for Women Gamers

    Todd, Cherie J. (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This research examines interactive multimedia video games that are played on technological devices such as: computers, gameboys, PlayStation, Portable PlayStation (PSP) and Xbox. Particular attention is paid to women 30 years of age and older, who engage in gaming activities whilst at home. This is a particularly useful group of women to investigate because it opposes stereotypical and gender-normative notions of what it means to be a 'woman at home'. Also, to the best of my knowledge, there have not been any previous studies conducted that explore this particular group in relation to geographies of home. There is an ever expanding body of literature that focuses on 'home' and the meanings that are associated with it. This research represents an attempt to seek a new way of understanding the mutually constitutive relationship between women, home, and gaming by drawing on feminist and poststructuralist theories of identities, place and space. In this thesis, I argue that there are various ways in which women's identities can become blurred by their engagements with cyber/space, and that gaming is an activity which facilitates levels of empowerment for women within the home.

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  • Production, Processing and Characterisation of Porous TiAl Alloy Produced Using Space Holder Method.

    Thabarealam, Tharikalam (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    In the 21st century metals and alloys are considered to be the base for all manufacturing and engineering applications. Titanium and its alloys are examples of these, well known for their excellent corrosion resistance, high strength to weight ratio, good mechanical properties and biocompatibility. In the present study, production of porous titanium alloys using the space holder technique was taken into account. The porous titanium alloy was manufactured by powder metallurgy process. Production of porous titanium alloys using Ammonium-Bi-Carbonate ( ) and Salt (analytical NaCl) as spacer materials with different compositions has been investigated. The raw materials used for production and characterization were obtained from the Titanox Development Ltd, Auckland, TiAl powder, HDH pure titanium powder. Processing, characterization, and mechanical properties such as test and result of optical microscope, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction, micro-hardness, Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) is presented for the porous titanium alloys. It was found that porous titanium has porosities in the range of 25-45% with density ranges from 2.5 to 3.0 for both the spacer materials respectively. Porous structure was determined with the removal of spacer material through sintering process. The sintering process of each spacer material depends on the melting point of the spacer material.

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  • Neon Chalk: Designing Software to Support Drawing as Play for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Shannon, Grant (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Neon Chalk is a prototype piece of software designed to support drawing as play, for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It incorporates a minimalist interface to reduce distraction while drawing, compelling colours and sound that are configurable for each user, and an interaction design that makes the stimulus reward outputted by the software contingent on input from the child drawing. The design and development of the Neon Chalk prototype has motivated and informed the assessment of user-centred data gathering techniques. Six children with ASD were involved in this research. The techniques used within this studied are evaluated based on their suitability of use with this challenging user population.

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  • Effect of Stimulus and Response Separation on Brushtail Possum Behaviour in a MTS task

    Cameron, Kristie Elizabeth (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Brushtail possums, Trichosurus vulpecula, were presented with five rows of blue and yellow stimuli (levels one-five) arranged vertically 20 mm apart, above the response levers. For each level each possum was trained to complete a Matching to Sample task at zero seconds delay. Generally, possums showed peak performance at the level presently being trained across all levels. There was also a decrease in performance at levels further from the trained level, suggesting performance generalised to similar levels. The findings from this experiment provide evidence for placing stimuli and response manipulanda close together to improve acquisition of a task, and increase the responding accuracy in DMTS experiments. This suggests that the relative position of stimuli and response manipulanda is critical to possums performing a MTS task. These findings also have implications for experiments other than MTS and could be applied to study involving other marsupials.

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  • Dynamic credit scoring using payment prediction

    Oetama, Raymond (2009-04-17T03:02:48Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Credit scoring is a common tool used by lenders in credit risk management. However, recent credit scoring methods are error-prone. Failures from credit scoring will significantly affect the next process, which is payment collection from customers. Bad customers, who are incorrectly approved by credit scoring, end up making payments that, are overdue. In this dissertation, we propose a solution for pre-empting overdue payment as well as improving credit scoring performance. Firstly, we utilize data mining algorithms including Logistic Regression, C4.5, and Bayesian Network to construct payment predictions that can quickly find overdue payments in advance. By utilizing payment prediction, customers who may make overdue payments will be known by the lender earlier. As a result, the lender can proactively approach such customers to pay their payments on schedule. The second solution is to define a refined scoring model that will use feedback from the payment prediction models to improve the initial credit scoring mechanism. The payment prediction result will give information to review the combinations of current credit scoring parameters that work inappropriately. By updating the current credit scoring parameters, the performance of credit scoring is expected to increase significantly. As a result, this mechanism will create a dynamic credit scoring model. We also investigate the impact of the imbalanced data problem on the payment prediction process. We employ data segmentation as a tool to overcome the problem of imbalanced data. By using a novel technique of data segmentation, which we call Majority Bad Payment Segments (MBPS), learning bad payments become much easier. The results of our experiments show that payment prediction based on MBPS produces much higher performance when compared to conventional methods of dealing with imbalanced data. We perform extensive experimentation and evaluation with a variety of metrics such as Hit Rates, Cost Coverage, F-measure, and the Area under Curve measure.

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  • Working as a coordinator midwife in a tertiary hospital delivery suite: a phenomenological study

    Fergusson, Lindsay (2009-09-20T23:13:00Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This phenomenological study has been conducted to reveal midwives’ experiences working as coordinator/charge midwives in tertiary hospital delivery suite settings. The methodology is informed by Heidegger’s interpretive phenomenological, hermeneutic philosophy (1927/1962). Data analysis is based on van Manen’s (1990) research methodology. Five coordinator/charge midwives who work at three tertiary hospitals were interviewed. These interviews were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed to uncover commonality of themes which revealed what it felt like ‘being’ a coordinator/charge midwife. The three themes which emerged and are discussed in the data analysis chapters are: “The performing art of leadership”, “Time as lived” and “In the face of the ‘known’ and the ‘unknown’”. The findings of this study reveal coordinators are the ‘hub’ or the ‘pivot’ at their workplace with their art and soul of midwifery at the very core of their ‘being’. They ‘know’ the unpredictability of childbirth and are regularly challenged by ‘lived time’ as they ‘leap in’ to situations and ‘leap ahead’. Their ability to facilitate teamwork and their resilience in the face, at times, of seemingly insurmountable obstacles shines through.

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