12,570 results for Doctoral

  • The Effect of Domain Knowledge on Consecutive Interpreting Performance: An Experimental Study with Student Interpreters

    Ding, Yan (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Theoretical models of interpreting competence emphasize the need for interpreters to have a wide range of knowledge, as interpreters encounter a broad spectrum of subject areas in their work. Nevertheless, there is little empirical evidence to show how existing or acquired domain knowledge contributes to the final interpreting performance. This thesis aims to address this research gap by investigating the effect of domain knowledge on both the interpreting product and the interpreting process. To do so, I designed and conducted an experiment in consecutive interpreting with 54 student interpreters. These students were recruited from three different programs where consecutive interpreting courses were offered, and thus formed three samples. The same experiment was replicated on each of the three samples. In the experiment, I divided the student interpreters in each sample into two groups. In each case, both groups were provided with a list of core terminology for the source speech. In addition, the experimental groups of all three samples, but not the control group, received a portfolio of parallel texts pertinent to the source speeches subject area and topic, which they were able to study before they carried out the interpreting. I hypothesized that the domain knowledge acquired through reading the portfolio would, firstly, help student interpreters obtain higher scores in interpreting quality assessments, and secondly, help student interpreters apply higher-level interpreting strategies, which are also more likely to be successful in solving interpreting problems. I used a number of complementary data-collection tools in the experiment, including background questionnaires, pre-tests and post-tests, retrospective reports and interviews. I applied both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods to analyse the data collected. Among the data analysis methods, propositional analysis proved to be a very effective tool. Due to space limit and other considerations, this thesis presents the results from the first two samples only, which are more comparable in nature, The results obtained confirm the two hypotheses of the study. First, participants in the experimental groups, who read the portfolio, obtained higher scores in interpreting quality assessments than those in the control groups, who did not read the portfolio. Propositional analysis showed that participants in the experimental groups performed better than those in the control groups especially in reproducing predicates and difficult propositions. This result suggests that participants in both groups did perform well with easy propositions, yet reading the portfolio also helped participants in the experimental groups to perform well with difficult propositions. Second, participants in the experimental groups applied a higher proportion of high-level (macro-level) interpreting strategies, which also had a higher success rate than strategies applied by participants in the control groups. In general, the findings of this study suggest that domain knowledge affects student interpreters??? processes at the sentence and discourse level instead of at the lexical level. Key words: domain knowledge, consecutive interpreting, interpreting competence, interpreting quality, interpreting strategy, propositional analysis, experimental study.

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  • Spatial and Temporal Topological Analysis of Landscape Structure using Graph Theory

    Cheung, Alan (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    System behaviours of juxtaposed landscape elements can be revealed by analysing compositional and configurational properties of a landscape. Traditional approaches to spatial analysis mainly entail the use of spatial statistics and classical spatial data structures to analyse the composition of a landscape. However, such analyses are unable to capture the essence of landscape configuration because spatial relationships are treated as end products, rather than means to an end. In this regard, landscape structure is not being appreciated appropriately in an empirical way. Since the basis of any analytical method is invariably tied to the form of the data, it is necessary to go beyond existing data structures and create new ways to ???see??? the data. In this thesis, spatial relationships in the form of spatial topology are exploited to provide insights on the interactive properties of landscape elements through time and space. The introduction chapter of this thesis presents an overview of the history and heritage of GIScience that led to the current state of affairs in spatial analysis. It then outlines the rationale for analysis of landscape configuration based on a new approach to assessment of spatial topology. The next four chapters are written as publications. The first three papers document the methodology, using case study examples from the published literature. The fourth paper applies these new methods to a case study in Qinghai Province, western China. The papers are followed by a summary discussion chapter. The first paper (Chapter 2) outlines a new data structure based on graph theory. The Spatio-Temporal Relational Graph (STRG) is created to record spatial phenomena through space and time. STRG has the advantage of being an extension of mainstream spatial data structures that can be easily applied to existing datasets. Graph edit distance and graph bridges were adapted to STRG from mathematical graph analysis. Analysis of the effectiveness of these procedures showed that relational changes between landscape elements play a big part in explaining landscape structure and dynamics. The results also showed the relevance of graph-based analytics to geographic theories. Based on these findings, graph edit distance was shown to provide a useful tool in monitoring and explaining spatio-temporal dynamics of landscapes. The second paper (Chapter 3) extends the toolset of graph analytics by introducing subgraph identification and analysis. Subgraphs are aggregated landscape elements that are topologically linked together. Analytical procedures in the form of regular equivalence are described and applied on the premise that topological relations play a part in explaining how elements are arranged on the landscape. The results show that similar subgraphs reoccur often, suggesting the existence of patterns and structures. Furthermore, certain subgraphs display traits that can be interpreted to represent ecological phenomena such as transition zones, succession level of vegetation, relative abundance, and land degradation. The third paper (Chapter 4) presents the use of statistical methods to assess the significance of subgraphs. By using odds ratios and standard statistical tests, this study identifies prominent subgraphs/patterns that define the structure of a landscape, reinforcing the findings from Chapter 3. In particular, the significance of particular ecological phenomena are demonstrated using combined interpretation of occurrence and statistical significance. This study also introduced synthetic scenarios of random and procedurally generated urban landscapes. While the random landscape did not produce significant patterns, the urban landscape provided patterns which are readily interpreted using the graph methods. The fourth paper (Chapter 5) is a case study which applies the suite of STRG and analytical methods to landscapes of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. By combining results from spatial statistics and graph analytics through space and time, different landscape systems that characterise and act on the landscape are delineated. In line with landscape ecology theories, systems involving natural grassland system are found to be more dynamic than human tended agricultural systems. The combined use of graph analytics and spatial statistics is shown to create greater meaning than their individual use, enhancing prospects to meaningfully test landscape ecology concepts and principles relating to fragmentation and patch dynamics. In particular, spatial topology is used to provide evidence that perforation is the main degradation mechanism in one of the study areas. Findings from the thesis are summarised and related back to the international literature in the discussion chapter. The combined use of graph-based tools and spatial statistics is considered to provide useful empirical evidence on the interacting components of landscape systems and their dynamics. Graph-based landscape analytics are shown to hold great promise as a tool that can help to unlock patterns hidden within data sets, making these patterns self-evident. It is contended that concepts such as graphs that originated from external fields of research are converging with GIScience to provide a new suite of analytical tools to assess spatial topology from the perspective of data structures themselves. Possible future directions for STRG and its associated analytics are outlined.

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  • Quality of Urban Life and Intensification: Understanding Housing Choices, Trade-Offs, and the Role of Urban Amenities

    Allen, NM (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Many New World cities in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Northwest have urban growth management policies and strategies in place to promote intensification as a way to avoid sprawl while continuing to absorb population growth. Enhancing the quality of urban life of residents has also become a fundamental component in the urban growth management strategies of many cities seeking to prioritise intensification. In spatial terms, fulfilling a directive for a compact city will require the intensification of town centres and existing neighbourhoods by increasing the availability of a variety of multi-unit, multi-use, and multi-storey attached housing typologies. It will also require social changes in terms of the lifestyle expectations and aspirations of residents. In order to understand the impetus for residents to buy into this mandate for intensification, it will be important to research the housing choices and aspirations of residents who are living in attached forms of housing and to investigate the role of the neighbourhood in their perceived quality of urban life. This thesis makes a contribution to housing and urban intensification research. The findings provide insights into two critical areas: firstly, higher density housing choices and the trade-offs residents make when deciding where to live; secondly, the significance of neighbourhood amenities in relation to neighbourhood satisfaction. In order to address the aims of this research, fifty-seven-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with residents who currently live in attached typologies across four established neighbourhoods in the case study city of Auckland, New Zealand. The interviewees were asked to define their neighbourhood, express what ???quality of life??? and ???quality of urban life??? meant to them, and to discuss their housing experiences, housing choices, and housing aspirations. Data was also gathered about their perceptions of density and intensification. They were asked to identify which neighbourhood amenities they used, how often, how they accessed them, and the role these amenities played in their neighbourhood satisfaction. Following a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach, the data was evaluated using Substantive Coding methods, conducted both manually and through NVivo, the qualitative data analysis software. The research concludes that if higher density living is to be embraced in established neighbourhoods, what must be understood is the role of urban amenities both within the neighbourhood, and within the wider city, in meeting the quality of urban life expectations of residents. The apparent risk of not considering urban amenities in this way is to misunderstand the nature of contemporary urban life and the effects of changing demographics and household structures on housing choices.

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  • Potential Positive Effects of Health-Related Storylines in Fictional Television Programs

    Bavin, Lynda-Maree (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Integrating health-promoting messages within the storylines of fictional television programs may provide the opportunities for a captured audience, for in-depth education and for positive behavioural modelling. This thesis reports the results of three studies on this topic. The first study employed a randomised experimental design to examine the impact of an alcohol poisoning storyline in the television program, ER, on viewers??? alcohol-related beliefs, attitudes, intentions and behaviours. The second study employed a prospective observational design, including both viewers and non-viewers, to examine the impact of the same storyline. The findings of the first two studies provide support for the potential of a storyline in a fictional television program to have a positive impact on viewers??? drinking-related outcome expectations, attitudes and intentions. Short-term changes in behaviour, however, were not found at 4 to 14 days post-viewing. One potential explanation is that the more subtle nature of narrative may not be sufficiently explicit to stimulate behavioural change. A complementary public service announcement placed after the episode may prompt viewers to reflect on the health message in the story, enhance perceived accuracy of the health-related content and serve as a cue for behavioural action. Consequently, the third study in this thesis employed a randomised between-subjects experimental design to investigate the effects of a complementary public service announcement. Overall, an organ donation episode with a complementary public service announcement had a significantly greater impact on perceived learning, intention to discuss one???s organ donor wishes, and actual discussion behaviour, than each of the standalone viewing conditions. Self-referencing of organ donation to one???s own life was the most substantial mediator of these effects, which suggests that the complementary public service announcement may have served as a prompt for viewers to relate the preceding program???s storyline and fundamental health message to their own life and, in turn, stimulated behavioural action. To conclude, the findings of the final study suggest that complementary public service announcements are a promising post-production strategy for substantially enhancing the positive impact of health-related storylines in fictional television programs. The findings may be practically implemented in New Zealand and other countries around the world to promote positive health behaviour change at a population-based level.

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  • Preclinical studies of epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues for treating glioma

    Yung, Raymond (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The search for effective treatments against glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumour, has been met with limited success over the last decade. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) continues to be a major challenge in this process by limiting the distribution of drugs to the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have the capacity to penetrate the BBB and are essential for normal brain development and function. These fatty acids have also demonstrated anti-tumour effects against a range of experimental cancer models. These findings have led to the development of novel epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues that may distribute to the brain and be effective against brain tumours. A range of epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues reduced the cell viability of the GL261-luc2 glioma cell line in vitro. In animal studies, the daily dosing of 16-{3-[4-chloro-3- (trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ureido}hexadecanoic acid (C29) at 50 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p), significantly delayed growth of subcutaneous (s.c) tumours, and demonstrated a trend towards a prolonged survival. C29 treatment decreased intracranial (i.c) tumour bioluminescence (BLI), however, no survival benefit was observed. Ethyl 16-{[(4 methylphenyl)carbamoyl]amino}hexadecanoate (CUT-EE) at 50 mg/kg i.p daily, did not demonstrate activity against either s.c or i.c tumour models. A rapid and sensitive LC-MS/MS method was developed and validated for measuring epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues in mouse plasma, brain, s.c tumour and liver tissues. C29 exposure following a 50 mg/kg i.p dose was significantly lower in brain versus plasma and s.c tumour tissues, with a brain to plasma exposure ratio of 0.09. Accumulation of C29 in the brain was observed after a repeated dose, whereas brain accumulation with CUT-EE was seen after a single dose. CUT-EE brain concentrations increased over 24 h following administration, and surpassed plasma concentrations to demonstrate a brain to plasma exposure ratio of 124. In conclusion, preclinical results of two epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues herein demonstrated C29???s anti-tumour effects of against a s.c murine glioma model, and CUT-EE???s capacity to distribute and accumulate in the brain. The findings reported in this thesis support the prospect of designing further epoxy omega-3 fatty acid analogues that combine both anti-tumour and brain penetrating characteristics, and offer a promising outlook for treating brain tumours.

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  • Quantifying the Complete Hydrologic Budget for an Extensive Living Roof

    Voyde, Emily (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The main aim of this work is to quantify the ability of an extensive living roof to provide onsite source control for stormwater mitigation. Stormwater mitigation ability was tested by quantifying the components of the living roof hydrologic budget. These included: runoff volume and peak flow rates, water storage within the substrate, and evapotranspiration (ET). Additionally, this research aimed to determine if common methods used to predict ET in agricultural applications could be used to predict living roof ET. Runoff response to rainfall was continuously monitored for one year from an established 235 m2 field installation living roof in Auckland, New Zealand. The extent of stormwater control was quantified by comparing rainfall and runoff across three different substrate types (Pumice, Zeolite and Expanded Clay), at two different substrate depths (50 and 70 mm), in a side-by-side comparison. ET was measured directly in greenhouse and field environments using bench-scale trials. Three tray configurations were tested: unplanted, planted with Disphyma australe (a native species) and planted with Sedum mexicanum (a non-native plant). ET was modelled using ten existing agricultural models. The living roof helped restore an impervious-site runoff hydrograph to a shape and magnitude more representative of a vegetated-site runoff hydrograph. This was achieved by delaying the onset of runoff, delaying peak runoff, and extending the duration of the hydrograph when runoff occurred. The living roof operated effectively year-round, exhibiting consistent volume retention and peak flow reduction. Annual cumulative retention of rainfall was 66% and median peak flow reduction was 93%. Living roof response could not be linked to one factor alone; multiple climatic parameters influenced stormwater mitigation. Plants provided substantial contribution to storage recovery within the system, with transpiration comprising up to 45% of total ET. The influence of water availability overrode the influence of climatic parameters on living roof ET rates. When water was available ET rates were up to 5.4 mm.d-1, but dropped to <0.7 mm.d-1 when water became limited. Commonly used agricultural models failed to accurately estimate daily ET from a living roof. Instead, empirical regression models for estimating ET are presented. They provide a simple and practical solution to allow use of ET in continuous hydrologic simulations. Overall, extensive living roofs demonstrate significant stormwater mitigation benefits through onsite source control.

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  • Polymeric Adsorption of Estrone from Water and Photocatalytic Degradation by Zinc Oxide

    Han, Jie (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Steroid estrogens comprise a class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can interfere with the functioning of human and wildlife's endocrine systems at extremely low levels. Surveys in wastewater treatment facilities in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have shown that conventional biological treatment processes such as the activated sludge process are not completely effective in removing steroid hormone contaminants from wastewater. Elevated levels of steroid estrogens have been detected in surface waters and ground waters as a result of inadequate treatment of those compounds in wastewater treatment facilities. The presence of unregulated steroid estrogens in water resources poses direct risks to exposed aquatic species and potential health risks to humans through food and drinking water supply. As one of the most common steroid estrogen contaminant in treated wastewater effluents, estrone was selected as the target contaminant in this study. A three-stage process was designed to eliminate the risk of this contaminant: 1) capture of trace levels of estrone from water via a reversible chemisorption process; 2) desorption of estrone adsorbate in a chemical-aided adsorbent regeneration process; 3) using photocatalytic degradation as an intensive treatment to degrade estrone at relatively high concentrations. Polyamide (Nylon) 6,6 microfiltration membranes were used as a functional polymeric adsorbent to capture low levels of estrone from water. The process is driven by a hydrogen-bonding mechanism between amide groups in polyamide 6,6 and phenolic hydroxyl groups on estrone molecules. It provides instant removal of estrone from water and harvests trace levels of steroid hormones onto polyamide membranes from relatively large amounts of water. Saturated polyamide membranes were regenerated at ambient conditions using pH 12 caustic soda solutions as membrane regenerant. In this step, pre-adsorbed estrone was desorbed from polyamide membranes and became concentrated in regenerant solutions. The regenerated membrane showed highly consistent adsorption capacities for estrone after five cycles of adsorption and regeneration. The higher concentration of estrone after this process allows efficient further treatment by photocatalytic degradation. The photocatalytic degradation treatment involves the use of zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysts under artificial UVA and solar radiation to degrade estrone in water at near-saturation concentration. Despite its lower specific surface area and inferior dispersion in water, ZnO consistently exhibited superior photocatalytic activity to the benchmark Aeroxide P25?? TiO2 photocatalyst, providing up to three times faster photocatalytic degradation for estrone. Complete decomposition of estrone in a 600 ??g/l solution was observed after 10 min of exposure under an 18W UVA lamp using 0.5 g/l ZnO photocatalyst. Furthermore, solar irradiation was found to be a highly efficient UV source for estrone degradation using ZnO or P25 TiO2 photocatalysts, with minimal direct photolysis observed. The origin of the superior photocatalytic activity of ZnO was investigated by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, which showed that ZnO exhibited markedly higher UV absorption than P25 TiO2 in the wavelength range of 320 - 370 nm. This corresponds to its notably superior activity under the weak artificial UVA irradiation. Dissolution of ZnO photocatalyst was observed during photocatalytic degradation processes. This phenomenon was further studied, as dissolution or photodissolution is of concerns for ZnO photocatalysts due to the potential catalyst inactivation and secondary pollution by free zinc ions. For this purpose, ZnO thin films were prepared by magnetron-sputtering and used as the base material for visual inspection of different dissolution patterns of ZnO under various corrosive conditions. It was found that ZnO suffered rapid dissolution in water at pH = 11 and in certain ligand solution, i.e. 1 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The lowest dissolution rate was obtained at pH 10, with 1.2% dissolution after 24 h of exposure. Minimal dissolution was observed on ZnO films in alkalised 1 mM oxalate and acetate solutions. Pitting corrosion was observed on ZnO films after prolonged UV irradiation, which was ascribed to photo-generated holes on surface defect sites. The presence of hole scavengers (Na2SO3) led to significant suppression of ZnO photo-dissolution. This suppression effect remained in place until hole scavengers were completely consumed, from where the photo-dissolution rates accelerated. As an extended study on ZnO, the intrinsic and UV-induced surface wettability of ZnO thin films was studied in relation to their surface morphologies.

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  • Someone like us: Meanings and contexts informing the delivery of dance in New Zealand primary classrooms

    Snook, Barbara (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Since 2000, dance has been included within the New Zealand Arts Curriculum from years one to thirteen. This curriculum is one of the essential key learning areas offered in every school. Existing research suggests however, that dance is not present in the majority of primary classrooms in New Zealand schools. This study examines the multiple factors informing the delivery of dance in New Zealand primary classrooms. Within a phenomenological paradigm, a constructivist methodology examined participants??? meanings of dance in three separate schools. Emergent findings offered previously hidden keys to understanding that, unless addressed, will ensure that dance remains outside New Zealand primary classrooms. A review of literature addressed the inherent complexities of teaching in schools. The literature revealed that a lack of experience is a reason teachers believe they don???t have the confidence to teach dance. Findings within the present study supported this theory. Findings also indicated that if the generalist classroom teacher, rather than an ???Artist in School??? teaches dance, there is more likelihood of a successful and on-going implementation. Emerging from the complexity of this research was information that recognized the importance of valuing teachers and allowing them a sense of autonomy if dance is to be successfully implemented.

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  • "It is Really Hard Being in Their Shoes": Developing Historical Empathy in Secondary School Students

    Davison, Martyn (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Historical empathy is highly valued by many history education researchers as a means of cultivating tolerance and critical thinking. The potential of historical empathy however, to be widely taught in classrooms, may not be fully realised because there is little agreement regarding its meaning and teaching. This thesis, through a qualitative comparative case study, explores students' development of historical empathy, how the concept might be taught and whether its meaning can be clarified. The thesis begins by describing my interest in historical empathy, before identifying the concept's affective and cognitive dimensions found within the literature. It then outlines how as a teacher-researcher I devised an intervention which entailed teaching one class (Class A/C) the affective dimension first, followed by the cognitive dimension, and teaching another class (Class C/A) the reverse: that is the cognitive dimension first, followed by the affective. Within this context I set out to explore three research questions. The first investigated, through interviews and visual material, how students interpret historical empathy. Findings showed that their interpretations emphasised the difficulty of empathising historically and they identified elements such as open-mindedness and evidence. Building on this, I developed a typology and pathway to help establish a common understanding of historical empathy. The second explored the development of historical empathy in two students, Lucy (Class A/C) and Claire (Class C/A), using their workbooks, essays and assessment task responses. Typologies, pathways and spider-web diagrams were used to plot their progression, while their essays exemplified what the concept of sophisticated historical empathy looked like. The third investigated the sequencing of the affective and cognitive dimensions of historical empathy. Results drawn from multiple data sources showed that student enjoyment and interest were strongest when the affective dimension was taught first, followed by the cognitive. The thesis has made a useful contribution to my practice and the wider history community. It has done this by clearly interpreting the meaning of historical empathy, identifying students' growth in developing the concept through the use of progression strategies and by exploring how the sequence in which historical empathy's affective and cognitive dimensions are taught can influence learning.

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  • Programming Behaviour of Personal Service Robots with Application to Healthcare

    Datta, Chandan (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Summary Poster can be found at http://hdl.handle.net/2292/22631 The objective of this research work is to advance the process of programming personal service robots. As robots enter the open and complex world of humans, they are expected to perform tasks that require close interactions with humans and the environment. Industrial robotics researchers have challenged the process of constructing novel robotic mechanisms. However, the fluid integration of a matured personal service robot platform that can be easily used and easily re-programmed is yet to be seen. Personal service robots are examples of systems that are expected to work in an autonomous or semiautonomous way to deliver useful services for the well-being of humans. An example of such a personal service robot is the Healthbot developed at the University of Auckland. The Healthbot is a multi-purpose reprogrammable robot which can be customised to various scenarios of usage. The Healthbot assists older people with cognitive tasks, such as remembering medication schedules. This thesis provides a workflow for converting the service design knowledge into working software on a robot in a multi-disciplinary team. The service requirements have been developed for a unique class of service applications for the Healthbots project. The analysis provided in this thesis can also serve as a blueprint and thus provide insight for developing services in similar scenarios of service robot design. The thesis presents a case study of design of the Healthbot medication management service to motivate the complexities involved in designing services in multidisciplinary teams. This case study shows that the design process should be supported by programming languages and development environments. It presents the requirements for a software architecture that unifies the design process and fulfils the requirements for an application design framework. The service design was not purely technology driven. Rather, it looked at the design challenges at a system-of-systems level and integrated a closed-loop medication workflow involving multiple user roles in the healthcare system. The proposed design approach also helped domain experts in the Healthbots design team to conduct field trials to identify opportunities for effective use of personal service robots with older people. This thesis develops a formal language specification of a domain-specific programming language for representing the robot???s behaviour and presents a graphical metamodel for the robot???s behaviour definition. The behaviour is defined as what the robot does in response to an event and is the most basic element of a service. The behaviour is encoded as a finite state machine model. The robot???s multi-modal dialogue and behaviour is specified in a set of states that are organised in the domain-specific programming language. A collection of states constitutes a service. The research has also developed a visual programming environment for authoring this domain-specific programming language. This visual programming environment is named as RoboStudio. This programming environment abstracts the textual domain specific language and provides a familiar visual environment using common design elements present in most Integrated Development Environments. An evaluation through two studies provides sufficient evidence to validate and confirm the hypotheses related to the successful attainment of RoboStudio???s design goals. In the first study, using the Cognitive Dimensions Framework, RoboStudio was found to have better Closeness of mapping, causing lesser Viscosity, better Role Expressiveness, fewer Hidden Dependencies, fewer Hard mental operations, better Visibility, and being less Error prone compared to a structured Code Editor. Qualitative data analysis revealed that RoboStudio led to higher user experience compared to a Code Editor for creating, editing, visualising and diagnosing the robot behaviour in both studies with programmers and non-programmers. Feedback from the evaluation study with nonprogrammers showed that RoboStudio could also enable clinicians to create simple healthcare applications. For example, a therapist should be able to easily develop a self-guided exercise/training program. Although the thesis concepts have been developed with an application in context, the research is applicable within a broader context of service robots and would be useful for the larger robotics community. The thesis contributions pave a way for a unified software platform that supports the design process for personal service robots. While programming languages and tools are important, the robotics community will find it useful to know that the service design task can best be supported by providing specialized tools for the different levels of abstraction. Clearly understanding the requirements of those layers of abstraction, especially how the interaction design influences the holistic integration of hardware and software for practical use is a greater system-of-systems integration task. This is currently an active area of research pursued by multiple schools of thought. The progress made in this research supports the application of robotics in healthcare. In the future, there will be multiple cases of robotics technology influencing emerging health technologies. Smart technologies for aging, disability, and independence working in confluence with devices for self-care and activities of daily living are likely to be highly prevalent among the older people for improving self-efficacy and quality of life.

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  • Illusory Convergence: Indigenous self-determination in education policy

    Neilson, Marra (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Indigenous scholars and activists have long advocated self-determination. In more recent years, governmental authorities in the settler societies of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and Canada have accepted aspects of arguments for Indigenous self-determination. This thesis seeks to determine the extent to which the governmental understandings are consistent with the meaning and significance that Indigenous scholars and activists have attached to the notion of self-determination. Using methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this thesis illustrates the ways in which governments have rearticulated the Indigenous meanings of self-determination, often diverging markedly from the positions formulated by Indigenous peoples. In this sense, the convergence that appears to exist between their respective conceptual understandings is illusory. This conclusion is based on an analysis of four key elements of self-determination drawn from the work of Indigenous scholars: knowledge, identity, advancement and decolonisation. The views these scholars and activists express are critically juxtaposed with three key policy documents where elements of Indigenous self-determination are articulated: from Aotearoa New Zealand, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success: The M??ori Education Strategy 2008-2012; from the state of Victoria, Australia, Wannik Learning Together ??? Journey to Our Future Education Strategy for Koorie Students; and from the province of Ontario, Canada, Ontario First Nation, M??tis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. The findings demonstrate that while many of the claims of Indigenous peoples in regard to selfdetermination have been incorporated into official policy discourses, governments largely express self-determination in quite different terms. The official policy discourses of Indigenous selfdetermination have become increasingly located by officials in a broader neoliberal discourses, including that of globalism. This is evident in the policy documents in three interrelated ways: the prevalence of the discourse of audit culture, the frequency of the discourse of deficit theorising and a focus on reform. In regard to each of the key elements; knowledge is rearticulated in ways the diminish the intrinsic value of Indigenous knowledges, identity is rearticulated to focus on enterprising individuals, advancement is rearticulated to emphasise economic advancement through closing the gap and decolonisation rearticulated as it is constructed as reliant on engagement and participation. As a result, the rearticulation of the discourses of Indigenous self-determination across the policy documents is largely a continuation of colonial assumptions.

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  • Building Correct by Construction Hard Real-Time Safety Critical Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous Software Systems

    Park, Hee (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Most of today???s embedded systems are very complex. With decreasing hardware costs and rapidly developing semiconductor fabrication technology, designers are now able to build systems that incorporate a wide variety of computing technologies, the so called Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). These systems, controlled by computer programs, continuously interact with their physical environments through a network of sensory input and output devices. Consequently, the operations of such embedded systems are highly reactive and concurrent. Since embedded systems are deployed in many safety-critical applications, where failures can lead to catastrophic events, an interdisciplinary approach such as mathematical logic and formal verification is employed in order to ensure correct behaviour of the control algorithm. The size of these embedded applications is growing significantly each year. With increased time-to-market pressure, automatic and verified code generation from a design described in a high-level language is becoming of utmost importance. There has been significant effort in the development of a reactive programming language called SystemJ, which is based on the Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous (GALS) Model of Computation (MOC). With SystemJ, designers can describe a system using a number of asynchronously running concurrent processes called clock-domains. Each clock-domain is hierarchically composed of one or more reactions, which run concurrently but in lock-step with respect to the speed of the clock-domain. Reactions within a clock-domain communicate through broadcast based communication mechanism, while reactions in two different clock-domains communicate using a message passing mechanism. Similar to other reactive languages, SystemJ is designed based on formal mathematical semantics, allowing one to reason about the designed system before deployment. However, there have been very few studies on verification of programs developed in SystemJ and its GALS language counterparts, which makes it difficult to persuade designers to use such languages in practice. In this thesis, we propose an approach to close this gap by introducing a safety-critical subset of SystemJ called Safety-Critical SystemJ (SC-SystemJ) so that designers are able to automatically verify functional and real-time properties of the GALS system they develop with the language. The original SystemJ language has been refined in order to make it amenable to both functional and real-time property verification. In particular, the SC-SystemJ semantics is based on big-step, which enables translating of the program into a network of finite state machines (FSM). The program can then be verified using many available and wellestablished techniques, which are based on automata theories. With the proposed approach, designers can verify functional correctness of the system on the generated FSMs, which is also an input for back-end code generation, thereby facilitating the What You Prove Is What You Execute (WYPIWYE) paradigm. In addition, an SMT based real-time analysis of the system has been introduced, which verifies whether the system, consisting of multiple communicating clock-domains, will generate output event(s) in response to input event(s) within certain time bounds as specified by the designer. Finally, a novel real-time programming technique has been introduced to the SC-SystemJ language via exact and non-exact real-time waits, which allows designers to describe real-time delays in the program behaviour like in traditional programming languages without need of external timers. Lastly, in order to support the new semantics as well as functional and real-time property verification, a tool-chain for the verification of the SC-SystemJ language has been developed, which includes the compiler, enabling correct-by-construction (WYPIWYE) design process.

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  • The Missing Link: Towards Connected, Flexible, Open and Productive Systems for Knowledge-Driven Organizations

    Rohde, Max (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    From fire to steam, from steam to electricity, and from electricity to information, technology has arguably moved step by step away from the natural world into ever higher levels of abstraction. Many see the next imminent move in the advancement from information-based technology to knowledge-based technology. Unfortunately, this advancement entails innumerable challenges, many of which remain yet unresolved. In particular, modern organizations, which attempt to utilize existing information technology (IT) to leverage and advance their knowledge-based capabilities, face many problems. In this research, we identify four such problems: (1) that information is often a poor representation of rich knowledge-based capabilities, (2) that inherently restrictive organizational systems often poorly support unstructured knowledge work, (3) that cross-organizational applications are often poorly equipped to support fast-moving business networks, and (4) that sophisticated IT solutions often do not meet the situational requirements of knowledge workers and are thus frequently used in unintended ways. Based on observations, theories, and suggestions in existing literature we propose four design guidelines, which aim at overcoming the aforementioned problems: (1) to enable composition of contextual linkages between heterogeneous systems (???no data is an island???), (2) to establish sustainable organizations of information while at the same time allowing emerging and ad-hoc modifications to be made to this information base (???order and chaos???), (3) to provide customizable, simple and modular systems to connect and share information across system boundaries (???fluid integration???), and (4) to provide an infrastructure for organizations to develop, deploy and adapt context-specific applications for knowledge workers easily and quickly (???rapid adaptation???). To support these guidelines, we propose a simple model for the organization of data, the hyperdata model. This model organizes data as uni-directional, unlabeled graphs and emphasizes connectivity and flexibility. We further propose an application programming interface (API), the Nextweb API, which allows defining, querying and manipulating information arranged in accordance with the hyperdata model. We provide a reference implementation for this API, a cloud-based software platform named the Appjangle platform. This platform provides various unique benefits which align with the aforementioned guidelines. Our work is framed by a design science research methodology, which centers on the interrelated activities of (1) synthesizing existing theory from behavioral studies into conceptual design foundations, (2) immersive software development tightly linked with the refinement of theory, (3) evaluation of developed systems using integration, systems, and acceptance tests as well as various implementation scenarios, and (4) the dissemination of conceptual contributions and developed software systems in generalizable, understandable and easily adoptable embodiments to practitioners and researchers alike.

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  • Noble Metal Modified TiO2 Photocatalysts for Solar Hydrogen Production: Roles of Metal Co-catalysts and Reaction Media

    Al-Azri, Zakiya (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    M/TiO2 (M = Pd, Pt or Au) photocatalysts demonstrate excellent activity for hydrogen (H2) production in alcohol-water mixtures under UV excitation. Their activity depends on two main factors: i) the metal co-catalyst (M) and ii) the reaction medium (alcohol sacrificial reagent). This thesis systematically evaluates the effect of metal co-catalyst type, co-catalyst metal loading, co-catalyst particle size and dispersion and also the effect of the sacrificial agent (alcohol type and concentration) on the activity of M/TiO2 photocatalysts for H2 production in alcohol-water mixtures under UV irradiation. A series of M/TiO2 photocatalysts with metal loading 0-4 wt.% were prepared by the deposition-precipitation with urea method, followed by calcination at 350 oC and/or H2 reduction at 500 oC using the commercial semiconductor photocatalyst, Degussa P25 TiO2 (85 wt.% anatase + 15 wt.% rutile) as the support. TEM analyses showed that the Pd and Pt co-catalysts were highly dispersed over the TiO2 support evidencing a strong metal-support interaction (MSI), with an average particle size of ~2 and 1.5 nm, respectively. For Au/TiO2, the MSI was weaker and the average metal nanoparticle size was larger (~5 nm) and the nanoparticles more spherical in shape. XPS, EXAFS and UVVis analyses confirmed the presence of predominantly zero valent metal nanoparticles on the surface of the photocatalysts. Photoluminescence data established that the metal co-catalysts effectively suppressed electron-hole pair (e--h+) recombination in TiO2 following UV photoexcitation. The noble metal co-catalysts also function as active centres for H2 evolution during alcohol photoreforming. In order to understand the effect of metal co-catalysts on hydrogen production, a series of metals were deposited on P25 TiO2. The amount of Pd, Pt and Au was varied, analyzed and tested in ethanol-water mixtures (80:20 volume ratio) under UV-fluxes comparable to that of sunlight (365 nm, 5-6 mW cm-2). The selection of P25 TiO2 as the support allowed meaningful comparison with the work of other groups. It was observed that optimal H2 production rates were achieved at metal loadings of 0.25-1 wt.% for Pd/TiO2 (40-45 mmol g-1 h-1); 0.5 wt.% for Pt/TiO2 catalysts (43 mmol g-1 h-1); and 1-2 wt.% for Au/TiO2 catalysts (32 mmol g-1 h-1). Higher metal loadings did not enhance the H2 rate confirming the existence of an optimal loading. At all metal loadings, the H2 production rates (in mmol g-1 h-1) for the M/TiO2 (M = Pd, Pt, Au) photocatalysts under UV excitation decreased in the order Pd/TiO2 > Pt/TiO2 > Au/TiO2 >> TiO2. Intrinsic properties of each metal such as dispersion, work function and the d-band centre position explains this trend. Considering the role of metal particle size, hydrogen production rates were found to be one order of magnitude higher per Au particle when compared to Pt and Pd. The activity of the 0.5 wt.% Pd/TiO2, 0.5 wt.% Pt/TiO2 and 1 wt.% Au/TiO2 photocatalysts were subsequently evaluated over a wide range of ethanol concentration from 0 to 100 vol.%. An ethanol to water volume ratio of 90:10 afforded the highest H2 evolution rates in the case of Pd and Pt photocatalysts (51 and 47 mmol g-1 h-1, respectively), whilst the activity of 1 wt.% Au/TiO2 was highest at an 80:20 volume ratio. Reaction products of ethanol photorefroming were analyzed for the M/TiO2 photocatalysts at a fixed metal loading of 1.5 ?? 10-4 molM (0.5 wt.% Pd/TiO2, 1 wt.% Pt/TiO2 and 1 wt.% Au/TiO2 photocatalysts) in a 10:90 volume ratio of ethanol:water in order to gain more information about the reaction mechanism. The evolved gases followed the trend H2 >> O2 > CO2 > hydrocarbons. The gas phase H2:CO2 ratio was 15-23 for all photocatalysts confirming that the evolved H2 was produced by water splitting and ethanol photo-oxidation. The effect of the reaction medium on the performance of M/TiO2 (M = Pd, Pt, Au) photocatalysts for H2 production was also explored. The photocatalytic activities of 0.5 and 1 wt.% Pd/TiO2, 1 wt.% Pt/TiO2 and 1 wt.% Au/TiO2 were evaluated in a wide range of alcoholwater mixtures (fixed alcohol concentration of 10 vol.%) under UV irradiation (365 nm, 5 mW cm-2). H2 production rates in the alcohol-water mixtures were dependent on (i) the metal cocatalyst; and (ii) the alcohol type. The co-catalyst activity followed the order Pd > Pt ??? Au when normalized by catalyst mass (in mmol g-1 h-1). The highest H2 production rates were achieved for the 1 wt.% Pd/TiO2 photocatalyst in glycerol-water mixtures (48 mmol g-1 h-1) and ethylene glycol-water mixtures (45 mmol g-1 h-1). Regarding the effect of the reaction medium, H2 production rates decreased in the order glycerol > ethylene glycol > 1,2-propanediol > methanol > ethanol > 2-propanol > tert-butanol >> water. For each M/TiO2 photocatalyst, correlations were established between the rate of H2 production and specific alcohol properties, especially alcohol polarity and the exponential of the energy change for the alcohol oxidation reaction, exp( ( 2) ) o ox o ??? EVB TiO ???E . The latter was rationalised in terms of simple electron transfer reactions between a donor (alcohol) and an acceptor (valence band holes of TiO2). The photoreaction products in the gas phase from methanol, ethylene glycol and glycerol photoreforming over M/TiO2 (M = Pd, Pt, Au) photocatalysts. The gas phase H2:CO2 ratio ranged from 6 to 10 depending on the alcohol used. Relative H2 and CO2 evolution rates indicated that hydrogen is produced from both water splitting and the alcohol. Finally, the effect of alcohol concentration on the rate of H2 production over 0.5 wt.% Pd/TiO2 was investigated in detail. Results revealed that low alcohol concentrations (e.g. ~5 vol.%) were optimal for H2 production rates in ethylene glycol-water and glycerol-water mixtures, whilst a concentration of around 40 vol.% was optimal for methanol-water mixtures. Results of this thesis provide valuable new insights into the factors influencing H2 yields via alcohol photoreforming over M/TiO2 (M = Pt, Pt, Au) photocatalysts under UV excitation.

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  • Techniques In Overcoming Physical And Temporal Inaccuracies In Hybrid Seismic Simulations

    Gultom, Ronald (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Experimental testing remains the most reliable tool to help understanding the response of civil engineering structures due to earthquake excitations despite significant advancements in structural analysis software. The hybrid simulation method addresses the challenges found in the shake table and the quasi-static testing methods by enabling dynamic tests on large scale structures at reduced speed, yet still obtaining the full dynamic response of the tested structure. Further efficiency in hybrid simulation is achieved through incorporating the substructuring concept, by only physically testing critical regions of a structure while numerically modelling the rest. A recent advance in the field is the development of the realtime hybrid simulation method. This method overcomes limitations in the conventional hybrid simulation, making it suitable for rate-dependent structures. One of the major challenges in real-time hybrid simulation is actuator delay, which imposes negative numerical damping and leads to inaccurate test results and potentially test instability. This study proposes an intuitive delay compensation procedure to correct the response in real-time, utilising energy balance between those resulted from external and internal forces during a simulation. A series of numerically simulated real-time hybrid simulations with delay is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the procedure in the presence of small to moderate delay. This study also develops a Kalman filter algorithm to be used in conjunction with the proposed delay compensation algorithm. An extensive parametric analysis through numerical simulations show that the algorithms improves the simulation accuracies and extend the stability limit of hybrid simulations in the presence of delay much further than the stability limit of the proposed delay compensation alone. This study adopts nonlinear co-ordinate transformation algorithm for multi-axial testing to perform moment-axial load compatible in-plane tests on wall structures, and bidirectional tests on simple columns. The co-ordinate transformation procedure accounts for global and local actuator co-ordinates, geometric nonlinearity, as well as changes in the test setup geometry during testing. The multi-axial test capability leads to a supplementary investigation on the effect of different displacement paths in bidirectional quasi-static and hybrid simulations on a rocking concrete column. The experiments demonstrate that for the same displacement amplitude in the quasi-static tests, out-of-phase displacement patterns produces lower force envelopes and energy dissipations compared to in-phase displacement patterns. In hybrid simulations, ???staggering??? displacement tracking strategies result in higher displacement amplitudes and hysteretic energy dissipations compared to ???direct??? tracking strategy. The last contribution from this study is an experimental validation of the substructuring concept in hybrid simulations, where there is behaviour incompatibility between the physical substructure and the full prototype structure. This is demonstrated through a hybrid simulation using a squat wall as the physical substructure, with intrinsically shear-dominant behaviour, to replicate the response of a flexure-dominant wall. The experiments show good agreements in terms of the hysteretic envelopes and the maximum force and displacement amplitudes between the squat and the flexure-dominant wall, as well as a good agreement between the experimental results and numerical models.

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  • Transfer Optimization in Public Transport Networks: Timetable Synchronization, Operational Control and a New Service-Design Concept

    Liu, Tao (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Unreliable public transport (PT) service is one of the main reasons to reduce substantially the attractiveness of PT service. As a result, continued unreliable PT service will not only frustrate the existing passengers, but will also cause a loss of potential new users. Transfer synchronization is a useful strategy used to reduce the inter-route or inter-modal passenger transfer waiting time and provide a well-connected service. The main goal of this research is to optimize transfers in a PT network by using better timetable synchronization design, operations control strategies and a new service-design concept. The thesis consists of three parts. The first part focuses on PT timetable synchronization design, coupled with vehicle scheduling, taking into account both PT users and operators interests. A set of integer programming models and deficit function-based solution methods are developed. What???s more, it investigates using multi-size vehicle types to better match the fluctuating passenger demand. The results show that the integration of a PT system can be significantly improved by minimizing the total transfer waiting time and the required fleet size. The second part investigates the optimization of transfer synchronization by using a library of operational tactics. Three control strategies: inter-vehicle communication-based scheme, communication-based cooperative control and model predictive control, are developed to deploy operational tactics in real time. Results from case studies in Auckland and Beijing show that the number of direct transfers can be considerably increased and the total passenger travel time can be significantly reduced. The third part of the thesis investigates a new PT service-design concept, named customized bus (CB). The performances of the CB-based new commuting travel mode are compared with private car, and conventional PT using data collected from two cities: Auckland, New Zealand and Paris, France. The results show that CB can provide a useful alternative for commuter trips. This thesis provides useful mathematical models, solution methods, control strategies, and new service-design concepts for PT transfer optimization. Results can help increase the synchronization, connectivity, controllability and attractiveness of PT service so as to help shift a significant amount of private car users to PT in a sustainable manner.

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  • The use of acoustics to characterise mid-trophic levels of the Southern Ocean pelagic ecosystem

    Escobar-Flores, PC (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Mid-trophic level (MTL) organisms link primary and tertiary consumers and so play a key role in pelagic open-ocean marine ecosystems. Despite their importance, our knowledge of MTL organisms is still very limited. Estimates of total biomass are uncertain, and basic ecological information, such as spatial distribution, abundance indices, and spatio-temporal variability are not yet established. Sampling difficulties posed by the vast areas of open-ocean and the biology of MTL organisms have led to initiatives to collect acoustic data opportunistically. This approach can provide a starting point for the foundation of more advanced ecosystem indicators and models, and consistent monitoring strategies to generate long time series for detecting and interpreting changes in the ecosystem properties due to fishing and climate change. A unique 7-year time series provided the opportunity to study the MTL of the pelagic open-ocean marine ecosystem in the New Zealand (NZ) sector of the Southern Ocean (SO). Thirty three transects of mainly single frequency (38 or 18 kHz) but also multi-frequency (18, 38, 70, 120 and 200 kHz) acoustic data, were collected opportunistically during the transit of toothfish fishing and research vessels between NZ and the Ross Sea from 2008 until 2014. Acoustic data was post-processed following the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) protocols, with some modifications that improved signal processing. Processed acoustic measurements were used to thoroughly characterise the distribution and behaviour of the MTL of the NZ sector of the SO, and to assess the seasonal and interannual variability. This information was also used to develop predictive models for acoustic backscatter (sa) in the epi- and mesopelagic zones. Finally, sa was converted into biological density of MTL to provide estimates for the NZ sector of the SO, and evaluate whether biological density patterns correlate with those observed in backscatter. Mean sa at 38 kHz varied between years, but overall was reasonably stable, and of the same order of magnitude across all transects. Vertical distribution showed clear diurnal vertical migration patterns, and seasonal differences in concentration and behaviour with four distinctive bands of backscatter (epipelagic, transition, mesopelagic, deep mesopelagic). Large-scale horizontal distribution patterns of vertically summed backscatter were analysed and a consistent and significant decrease from north to south was detected. The deep scattering layers (DSL) detected in acoustic transects stopped north of the Ross Sea, which may be related to the temperature tolerance of DSL organisms. Satellite-derived sea surface temperature and time of the day were successfully used for developing an explanatory and predictive model for sa, a proxy for MTL organisms, in the epipelagic zone. Sea surface temperature and depth were used for developing explanatory and predictive models for sa in the mesopelagic zone. These models were tested in the NZ sector of the SO and also in an independent dataset in the Indian Ocean sector of the SO, and showed to perform well. Catch information from research voyages was used to characterise MTL species??? distribution in the NZ sector of the SO. This information and available literature on speciesspecific target strength-length relationships were used to convert sa into biological density. Results suggested that changes in backscatter with latitude reflected different species??? composition, rather than changes in biological density. This research provides the first time series of acoustic data on MTL organisms in the pelagic open-ocean marine ecosystem of the SO. The findings establish an excellent baseline for detecting and monitoring future changes in the SO ecosystem and its MTL component, and for understanding their implications, and cascade effects, for lower and higher trophic levels. Predictive models provide a tool for inferring abundance and distribution of MTL in the NZ sector and other parts of the SO. This information can assist studies of top-predator population dynamics by providing insights into prey abundance. Additionally, this information can be used for ecosystem model validation and parametrisation, and ecological studies. Because of the vast extent of the open-ocean and scarcity of observations, the development of models for explaining and predicting MTL provide a valuable tool for filling current data gaps. The continuation of the ongoing data collection program and its processing is recommended. Consistent acoustic monitoring of the MTL can contribute useful ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables to observe and understand the status of the SO.

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  • Go, and you will return: Locating meanings in young Muslims’ lived experience at schools in Christchurch, New Zealand via an adapted IPA method influenced by Ramadanian philosophies (IPA-R).

    Loo, Erin WH (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis explored the lived experience of Muslim students in schools in Christchurch, New Zealand; how they made sense of their experience and the meanings they placed on it, and their coping strategies. Its central argument is that young Western Muslims engage in a highly personalized version of everyday ijtihad in managing their social affairs within their everyday encounters of a secularised environment. For this group of participants, their acts of sensemaking helped them construct meaning frameworks in building their social identity. As the findings of this study suggest, this identity is constantly shaped and re-shaped along dimensions of time and space. It is a result of individual awakenings that find synergy within their own critical reasoning, a form of everyday ijtihad. The use of an adapted IPA method influenced by Ramadanian philosophies (IPA-R) was necessary to enable the exploration of the participants’ Muslim consciousness while the small sample size made it possible to study the personal experiences of a group of young Muslims from an idiographic approach. A limitation of this study stemmed from the constraints of member-checking that was substituted with the peer-review process. This study conceptualized that understanding young Muslims’ sensemaking and meaning-making is part of inclusive practice and within the broader context, suggests that the IPA-R approach is a solution to the ‘textbook Muslims’ approach.

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  • Facilitation, Imposition, or Impairment?: The Role of Bridging Networks on Peacebuilding of Local Religious Leaders in the Deep South of Thailand

    Pienkhuntod, Ajirapa (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The peacebuilding potential of local religious leaders in conflict is well established within the peacebuilding literature. To date, most studies have focused on the impact of religious factors on the peacebuilding of religious leaders, while factors other than religion remain under-researched. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of inter-group ties or bridging networks on the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders. This represents the first attempt to examine how the varying behaviour of members of bridging networks impacts the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders during conflict. In an effort to highlight the importance of non-religious mechanisms, the central research question of this thesis is: How do bridging networks affect the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders in a conflict setting? This study examines a single case of the Deep South of Thailand (the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, and some parts of Songkhla). Based on thirty-one in-depth interviews conducted in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, I investigate the impact of three ‘types’ of bridging networks, those with civil society, governmental, and military actors. I trace a causal chain between the behaviours of members of theses bridging networks and the peacebuilding practices of local Islamic and Buddhist leaders in the context of the Southern Thailand conflict. Some local religious leaders engaged in socio-economic development, e.g. drug rehabilitation for youth and the development of the Islamic-integrated curriculum; community justice, e.g. legal training for Islamic leaders and torture prevention; religious dialogues, e.g. inter-religious camps for students; and community mediation between Buddhist-Muslim communities. I find that local religious leaders were pragmatic and likely to engage in a peacebuilding collaboration with other actors only when other actors facilitated the development of their approaches and initiatives to match local needs, or in other words, supporting the bottom-up peacebuilding. In this case, civil society actors could to an extent play a facilitative role by increasing local religious leaders’ socialisation with other like-minded actors and/or peacebuilders, and promote the peacebuilding behaviour of local religious leaders. In contrast, civilian governmental and military actors could do so only in a limited fashion as they used top-down and security approaches respectively, which limit and impair the development of the peacebuilding role of local religious leaders. A safe operational space was also identified as an essential non-material resource enabling engagement in peacebuilding in the ongoing conflict environment. Local religious leaders were unlikely to access financial and/or material resources for peacebuilding available in a bridging network if doing so could generate the risk of being harmed. In this case, the risk was determined by the perceived neutrality or bias of local religious leaders’ contacts who provided resources for peacebuilding. Interestingly, the perceived neutrality or bias of these actors was influenced by their distance to the fighting. I have found that civil society actors were, to some extent, able to provide safe spaces for local religious leaders. Civil society actors were perceived to be more neutral than civilian governmental and military actors, who were associated with the Thai state, the conflict party to the Malay insurgents. As a result, the behaviours of civil society, civilian governmental and military actors (facilitation via socialisation/top-down approach/impairment due to security concerns) created different immediate outcomes (a sense of safety/limited space for participation/fear), which affected varying degrees of access (access, restricted, and no access) to peacebuilding resources in civil society, civilian government and military networks, and consequently resulted in promoting, restricting, or hindering the engagement of local religious leaders in peacebuilding, respectively. I therefore argue that local religious leaders’ contribution to peacebuilding during conflict was significantly influenced by the behaviour of their contacts. In a conflict environment such as the Deep South of Thailand, the more a bridging network facilitated the development of bottom-up peacebuilding approaches and created a safe operational space, the more local religious leaders engaged in peacebuilding. By identifying this enabling condition for peacebuilding, this thesis deepens our understanding of the drivers of local peacebuilding and sheds light on how to improve the peacebuilding role of local religious leaders through bridging networks in a time of conflict.

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  • Teacher Education ICT Appropriation Model TEAM: A Model for ICT Appropriation in Early Childhood Initial Teacher Education

    Merry, Rosina (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Early childhood initial teacher education programmes are only beginning to use information and communication technology (ICT) as part of their curriculum. There is limited research or practice knowledge about how student teachers learn to use ICT for pedagogical purposes. This doctoral study investigated how student teachers might be supported to appropriate and integrate ICT into their developing teaching practice. The study endeavours to understand the experiences of student teachers and practising early childhood teachers. The 230 student teachers in the study were from one university in New Zealand that offers early childhood initial teacher education (ITE). The study utilised interpretative, qualitative methodology. Data were collected over two years with two cohorts of student teachers who were engaged in online discussions in the course of their ITE studies. Thirty-three practising early childhood teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. The online discussions and the interviews provided the material for analysis. Analysis took the form of thematic analysis. The key outcome from this study is the development of the Teacher Education ICT Appropriation Model (TEAM). This is a theoretical model for what is needed to support student teacher and teacher use of ICT. The model is underpinned by a sociocultural view of learning and acknowledges and responds to the social nature of teaching and learning. The model includes key elements – subjective norms, relational trust, ICT cultural tools and enjoyment – as central to creating a sociocultural pedagogical place and space for ICT use. It also takes into account the influence of policy, curriculum and assessment on teaching and learning. Findings indicate these elements are all interrelated in the successful development of effective pedagogy. The thesis argues that, when curriculum takes a sociocultural perspective on learning, ITE must do so as well. This means that, where ITE includes introducing tertiary students to teaching with and through ICT, sociocultural elements must be taken into account and frame up ITE. This thesis sets out just such a frame.

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