1,219 results for Masters, 2013

  • A Palladium-Catalysed Allylic Alkylation Cascade: Towards the Total Synthesis of Thromboxanes A₂ and B₂

    Turner, Claire Alison (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The design and development of new chemical reactions is crucial to the ongoing success of organic synthesis research. In this work the scope and utility of a recently discovered regioselective palladium-catalysed allylic alkylation (Pd-AA) cascade was explored through increasing the range of non-symmetric pyran-based biselectrophiles and β-dicarbonyl bis-nucleophiles that can be used in this reaction. Four differentially protected tri-substituted dihydropyrans based on glucose were synthesised, including 2,3-unsaturated silyl glycosides and α,β-unsaturated lactones. These substrates were assessed as bis-electrophiles in the Pd-AA cascade. One silyl glycoside bis-electrophile, possessing a carbonate leaving group, was shown to be an excellent substrate for reaction with a number of cyclic bis-nucleophiles. Furthermore, a series of regioisomeric methylated 4-hydroxycoumarins were synthesised, tested and found to be equally effective as bis-nucleophiles in the Pd-AA cascade with both acyclic and cyclic bis-electrophiles. Advances made during this research include a novel Ferrier reaction with silanol nucleophiles, which was found to produce silyl glycosides, albeit in low yields. Additionally, several Perlin aldehydes were generated by the Ferrier-type hydrolysis of 3,4,6-tri-O-acetyl-D-glucal and led to the discovery of discrepant structural assignments in the literature. Furthermore, a ¹³C NMR shielding template was generated as a tool for the stereochemical assignment of tri-substituted dihydropyrans. An extended variant of the Pd-AA cascade was achieved by employment of the bisnucleophile Meldrum’s acid with the optimal tri-substituted bis-electrophile in the presence of H₂O. The reaction afforded a γ-butyrolactone that could serve as a potential intermediate en route to the synthesis of the biologically interesting compounds thromboxanes A₂ and B₂. This extended Pd-AA cascade, although currently unoptimised, is capable of performing five synthetic transformations in one-pot and holds the potential to improve on the current syntheses of the thromboxanes.

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  • The question of survival: understanding the impact of liberalisation and development on indigenous peoples in Mindanao, Philippines

    Pueblos, Adora Penaco (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis aims to study the impact of mineral resource development on the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, focussing primarily on the consequential effect of the destruction of their ancestral domains and loss of access to their sacred spaces as it relates to their survival. Further, it seeks to bring to the widest attention possible their little known struggles against the invading and destructive forces of development, particularly large-scale mining, in their traditional areas. Most of all, this research ambitions to (1) debunk the prevailing research trend of dismissing emotions as irrational, illogical and useless in research because it is unquantifiable, and therefore, unscientific; and (2) critique Western-influenced paradigms on development by shedding light on the limitations of Eurocentric commitment to orthodox discourses that valorise resource development as supreme over cultural meanings and view environment as something completely detached from humans. In this study is presented the conflicting sides found at the heart of this age-old problem: the opposing views of government/mining companies on one hand, and those of the indigenous peoples on the other, their differing perceptions and stance on the issue of exploitation and control of natural resources found in ancestral domains. This research explored the deep emotional connections of indigenous peoples to their ancestral domains and how these are inexorably linked to their cultural identity. The data illustrate their profound sufferings in the hands of development agents and, paradoxically, the Philippine government itself through its open-arms policy on foreign investments and liberalised mining laws, heavily compounded by the unwarranted deployment of the military to ensure a smooth transition in approved mining areas. Using de-colonising methodologies and research approaches to tackle the issue, empirical data gathered are drawn from participant observation, semi-structured interviews and informal indigenous communities, and later organised according to themes evident upon collation of data. The findings are linked to a wider theoretical context and complemented with analyses of academic literature orientated to post-structural political ecology, emotional geographies and indigenous geographies that support the arguments in this study. As well as highlighting potential areas for future studies on indigenous peoples, this research points to the root cause of the problem to a people’s fundamental loss of power that denies them their control over their emotional spaces, resources and destiny. Accordingly, this fundamental relation needs to be given greater consideration in policy formulation and implementation of regulations that govern environment, natural resources and ancestral domains.

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  • "Winning Hearts and Minds"? An Exploration of New Zealand Peacekeeping, Masculinities, and Identity in the Solomon Islands

    Stevens, Kiri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Close attention to the practices of masculinity, and individual negotiations of identity are often rendered invisible when exploring the implications of having soldiers engaged as peacekeepers in communities emerging from conflict. Using a feminist post-structural framework and qualitative interviews, I investigate whether involvement in peacekeeping is producing new gender and identity experiences for some New Zealand soldiers. Specifically, I explore the perceptions of two New Zealand Army Reserve Force soldiers who participated in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. Additionally, I engage with the reflections of seven Solomon Islanders to understand the impacts that these new understandings of gender and identity might have for conflict resolution and gender equality in local communities. My research finds that the practices that soldiers value and consider most useful to be a successful soldier are changing as a result of their involvement in peacekeeping. New ideas about masculinity in the armed forces are being engendered by the need for soldiers to express a sense of equality and respect towards local people. The changing nature of soldering is resulting in the emergence of practices that offer alternatives and/or challenge hegemonic and racialized militarized masculinities over those more traditionally valued in the armed forces. However, at the same time, some soldiers continue to place value on practices associated with hegemonic militarized masculinities, such as a belief in the continued need to carry weapons to create security. I further suggest that Solomon Islanders interpreted participating soldiers' behaviours through broader historical-cultural narratives about different countries forces and their perceived cultural sensitivity. Therefore, soldiers' everyday resistances to racial narratives and militarized masculinities were important for creating a sense of trust and respect with local residents. However, while some Solomon Islanders welcomed the sense of security that soldiers produced, the carrying of weapons by soldiers undermined local conflict resolution practices. By focussing on men and masculinities, my research contributes to discussions about hegemonic and militarized masculinities in peacekeeping, and challenges ideas that see men, masculinities and other aspects of identity as static or unconnected to historical and social practices.

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  • Energy security in New Zealand politics: risk perceptions and political agendas

    Tyndall, Lucy Sarah Moor (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Energy security is a subjective concept, as to different actors it invokes different meanings and thoughts about risk. It is highly political because it is at the heart of the debate between the environmental consequences of burning fossil fuels and the economic consequences of constraining this consumption. How a government perceives energy security provides an important indication of how they intend to approach the complexity of current energy issues. No more important is energy security to consider than in New Zealand. As this thesis will show, the term is used in New Zealand's policy-making circles but it is not referred to consistently. This thesis will use the Copenhagen School's Theory of Securitisation and delineate the key features of energy security in New Zealand politics. It will show that there has been two distinct rhetorical politicisations of energy security that argue for two divergent energy policies. First, the Clark Labour Government used a strategy of politicisation to bring energy security risks onto the political agenda. This sought to legitimise strong government leadership in the energy sector to support the development of robust climate change policy. The second rhetorical politicisation is at the heart of the Key National Government, where energy security is subsumed to the immediate concern for economic growth in the wake of the global economic recession. Thus there is a heightened concern for short-term risk to security of energy supply and New Zealand's role in contributing to global energy security. The nature of energy security issues and how they are integrated with other policy challenges remain in dispute. Consequently, energy security is a highly contested and politicised concept in New Zealand politics.

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  • High Impedance Amplifiers for Non-Contact Bio-Potential Sensing

    Ryan, Brett (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research develops a non-contact bio-potential sensor which can quickly respond to input transient events, is insensitive to mechanical disturbances, and operates with a bandwidth from 0.04Hz – 20kHz, with input voltage noise spectral density of 200nV / √Hz at 1kHz. Initial investigations focused on the development of an active biasing scheme to control the sensors input impedance in response to input transient events. This scheme was found to significantly reduce the settling time of the sensor; however the input impedance was degraded, and the device was sensitive to distance fluctuations. Further research was undertaken, and a circuit developed to preserve fast settling times, whilst decreasing the sensitivity to distance fluctuations. A novel amplifier biasing network was developed using a pair of junction field effect transistors (JFETs), which actively compensates for DC and low frequency interference, whilst maintaining high impedance at signal frequencies. This biasing network significantly reduces the settling time, allowing bio-potentials to be measured quickly after sensor application, and speeding up recovery when the sensor is in saturation. Further work focused on reducing the sensitivity to mechanical disturbances even further. A positive feedback path with low phase error was introduced to reduce the effective input capacitance of the sensor. Tuning of the positive feedback loop gain was achieved with coarse and fine control potentiometers, allowing very precise gains to be achieved. The sensor was found to be insensitive to distance fluctuations of up to 0.5mm at 1Hz, and up to 2mm at 5kHz. As a complement to the non-contact sensor, an amplifier to measure differential bio-potentials was developed. This differential amplifier achieved a CMRR of greater than 100dB up to 10kHz. Precise fixed gains of 20±0:02dB, 40±0:01dB, 60±0:03dB, and 80±0:3dB were achieved, with input voltage noise density of 15nV / √Hz at 1kHz.

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  • God wills it? A comparison of Greek and Latin theologies of warfare during the Medieval period.

    Newman, Timothy John (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The history of the Church’s participation in, and attitudes towards warfare have been well-documented in several fields of research. The development of the doctrine of just war and the medieval crusades within Western Christianity, have been the subject of a considerable amount of scholarship. There has also recently been an increasing amount of research done by historians, theologians and political theorists comparing the status of warfare within the Christian and Islamic traditions. However, the current state of the historiography is focused almost entirely on Western Christianity, and does not address in any depth the attitudes toward warfare present in Eastern Christianity within the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages. This thesis seeks to address this historiographical imbalance by comparing the development of the Eastern and Western Church’s positions on warfare throughout the medieval period. The thesis examines the factors that led to the divergence of the two Churches’ attitudes towards warfare, and the development and impact of their differing theologies during the medieval period. It is argued that the fundamental point of divergence between the Eastern and Western Church’s attitude to warfare is linguistic and theological in nature. The linguistic differences between the Greek and Latin Churches, led to different theological interpretive frameworks regarding the subject of warfare. These different fundamental theological assumptions would lead the two Churches down different developmental paths and would prevent the development or acceptance of Western theories of just war and holy war in the Eastern Church.

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  • Evaluating the Use Of A Virtual Reality Patient Simulator an An Educational Tool In An Audiological Setting

    Sanderson, Elizabeth Anne (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    There is currently an international shortage of Audiologists (McIntyre, 2010). Audiology is a professional degree undertaken at a postgraduate level at most universities around the world. Students have training in anatomy and physiology, hearing aids, cochlear implants, electrophysiology and acoustics; combined with a clinical component to the course. The clinical component is undertaken throughout the entirety of the course and involves a mixture of observation and supervised clinical practice in a variety of settings. Clinical training often begins with students crowded around a single piece of equipment, such as an audiometer for testing puretone-hearing thresholds or by pairing up and simulating a hearing loss. This process creates time and access constraints for students as it restricts their ability to practice performing audiometry, particularly if there is a shortage of equipment, and also limits their exposure to a wide variety of hearing loss pathologies. The potential for universities worldwide to use Virtual Reality and Computer Based Simulations to provide Audiology students with basic clinical skills without relying on extensive support from external clinics warrants further investigation. In particular, it needs to be determined whether Audiology students value these simulations as a useful supplement to their clinical training, and whether the use of these simulations translates into measurable improvements in student abilities in real clinical placements. A computer based training program for Audiology students developed at the Human Interface Technology Lab (HITLAB) New Zealand is evaluated in this study as an educational tool at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. The present study aims to determine if a sample of twelve first year Audiology students felt their interactions with Virtual Patients improved their ability to interact with clients and perform masking which is often part of a basic audiometric assessment for a patient with hearing loss. The study measures the students’ competency in performing masking in puretone audiometry on the Virtual Patient and then on a patient in a real-world setting to see whether the Audiology Simulator training tool improved the student’s basic audiometry skills (a training effect) and whether these skills were maintained after a period of four weeks (a maintenance effect). Statistical analysis is applied to determine any training and maintenance effects. Students also gave subjective feedback on the usefulness of the simulator and suggestions for ways in which it could be improved. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant training effect between students that had used the Audiology Simulator and those that hadn’t. Once all students had used the Virtual Patient there was an overall maintenance effect present in that student’s scores stayed the same or improved even for those students who had not used the Virtual Patient for a period of time. Students overall reported that they found the Virtual Patient to be ‘Moderately Useful’ and had many recommendations for ways in which it could be improved to further assist their learning.The present study indicates that computer based simulation programs like the Virtual Patient are able to present and simulate realistic hearing losses to an acceptable level of complexity for students studying in the field of audiology and that the Audiology Simulator can be a useful and complementary training tool for components of audiological clinical competence, such as puretone audiometry and masking.

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  • Antipodean Naivety in the Contact Zone of Berlin: New Zealand writers in Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall

    Tahana, Jordin (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Man from Nowhere & Other Prose by James McNeish (1991), Berlin Diary by Cilla McQueen (1990), To Each His Own by Philip Temple (1999), and Phone Home Berlin: Collected Non-Fiction by Nigel Cox (2007) are all texts written by New Zealand writers who either visited or lived in Berlin before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Their texts chronicle their experiences in Berlin and capture their observations of and reflections on the city, its people and their place as New Zealand writers in Berlin. This thesis discusses the texts they wrote while in Berlin, focussing particularly on the images of war, walls and the idea of ‘antipodean naivety’. My introductory chapter provides a brief history of New Zealand writers in Berlin. The chapter addresses key historical events which took place in Berlin and how they gave rise to artistic and cultural initiatives, providing the opportunity for McNeish, McQueen and Temple to be in the city. In the second chapter, I consider the images of war found in the writers’ texts. McNeish, McQueen and Temple focus particularly on Berlin’s Second World War history and to a lesser extent on the Cold War. I examine the reasons why they focus so heavily on this part of Berlin’s history, especially when the city has a much longer and broader military history that is ignored by the writers when they address issues of war and conflict in their texts. My third chapter addresses images of walls. For the artists and writers resident in Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Berlin Wall is a prominent feature in their texts. But as foreigners to the city and country, they encounter other ‘walls’ such as language and cultural barriers. These metaphorical boundaries are examined further in my fourth chapter which discusses the idea of ‘antipodean naivety’. I apply Mary Louise Pratt’s theory of the ‘contact zone’ in reverse to the experiences of McNeish, McQueen and Temple in Berlin. In my fifth and final chapter I contrast the work of Nigel Cox who was in Berlin ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and for a different purpose. Perhaps surprisingly Cox nevertheless responds to Berlin in similar ways to the other New Zealanders. I argue that as New Zealanders these writers come to Berlin from a small country on the other side of the world with a less grandiose history to a country they think they know. In reality, the way the writers interpret their surroundings and the things on which they focus in their texts - almost always Berlin’s twentieth century history - illustrates how little they know about the city, but also suggests how unsettling the experience of the contact zone is, especially when it is such a historically and ideologically-loaded place, and how it makes them aware of their place of origin and their own naiveties and anxieties.

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  • Biomass Pyrolysis and Optimisation for Bio-bitumen

    Kolokolova, Olga (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Biomass waste has been recognised as a promising, renewable source for future transport fuels. With 1.7 million hectares of pine plantation forests and 12 million cubic meters of annual residue produced by sawmills and the pulp and paper industries, New Zealand presents a prime location where utilisation of these resources can take the next step towards creating a more environmentally friendly future. In this research, the process of fast pyrolysis was investigated using a laboratoryscale, nitrogen-blown fluidised bed pyrolyser at CRL Energy. This equipment can process 1–1.5 kg/h of woody biomass in a temperature range of 450–550°C. The purpose of this rig was to determine the impact of various processing parameters on bio-oil yields. Next, the pyrolysis liquids (bio-oil and tar) were processed downstream into bio-bitumen. Pyrolysis experiments were carried out on Pinus Radiata and Eucalyptus Nitens residue sawdust from sawmills and bark feedstock. The properties of the collected products, including pyrolysis liquids (bio-oil and tar), gas and solid bio-chars, were measured under different operational conditions. Further analysis was also performed to determine pH, volatile content, chemical composition and calorific values of the products. The ultimate goal for this project was to develop a feasible, advanced fast-pyrolysis system for a bio-bitumen production plant using various biomass feedstocks. Additionally, a design for a bio-bitumen production plant was developed, and techno-economic analysis was conducted on a number of plant production yield cases and bio-bitumen manufacture ratios.

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  • Detachment Versus Compartmentalisation: Priming and Intrusion Levels after Listening to an Anxiety-Arousing Auditory Report

    Peck, Rowan (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    During traumatic events, individuals can experience dissociative symptoms related to changes in cognitively processing; these changes are suggested to impact on the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Past literature has proposed two forms of peritraumatic dissociation (compartmentalisation and detachment), however little quantitative research has focussed on separately manipulating these experiences in order to further our understanding of their aetiology. The current study addressed this knowledge gap and additionally sought to understand the role of cognitive processing in the dissociation-intrusion relationship. Using an audio-only adaption of the trauma film paradigm, 60 participants were divided into three conditions and presented with different visual tasks - mirror staring, dot-staring or neutral images – that were hypothesised to induce the two forms of dissociation. Post-audio, a number of factors were assessed, including state dissociation, perceptual priming and conceptual priming, as well as intrusions over the following days. As hypothesised, participants in the dissociation conditions displayed an increase in perceptual priming compared the control conditions, and reported more severe intrusions. However, no differences were found in conceptual priming, in the overall number of intrusions between conditions, or in dissociative symptoms between the dissociation conditions. The current study utilised new techniques in the analysis of PTSD and its origins, and showed their potential in the experimental study of dissociation and analogue trauma techniques. The findings also contributed to the growing body of knowledge investigating the impact that dissociation and cognitive processing has on the aetiology of PTSD.

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  • Why won’t they join? An exploratory investigation of the Belgian government crisis of 2010

    Borthwick, Stephanie Frances (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Belgium has recently undergone a 541-day period with no elected government following the 2010 general election. This has been called a government and cabinet crisis. This thesis aims to determine what is different about Belgium in 2010/11 compared to past years and what has contributed to Belgium’s difficulty forming coalitions recently. By using coalition formation theory and investigating institutional and sociological aspects of Belgian politics, this research project has found an initial explanation for why the Belgian government crisis of 2010 occurred. Several institutional and sociological aspects are now working against each other and hindering cooperative behaviour among the Belgian political parties. Belgium has become the victim of its own well-adapted and unique political system.

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  • Investigation of the design recommendations of reinforced concrete beam-column joints.

    Hannah, Mark Alexander (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    A parametric analysis on 58 beam-column joint specimens has been conducted. The analysis considered 14 fundamental parameters in the design of each specimen and two performance indicators: the horizontal shear strength ratio between the maximum measured strength and the theoretical strength at beam yield, and the nominal curvature ductility of the adjacent beams. Each parameter was varied by a power function, while the linear correlation coefficient between each parameter and performance indicator was recorded. A combined multiple parameter analysis was then conducted to show the interaction of the design parameters and show the representative influences of each parameter based on the magnitude of the applied power functions. Two design equations were constructed from the most influential design parameters, one for each performance indicator. The shear strength ratio was found to be governed by the horizontal joint shear stress, the column axial stress and the yield strength of the longitudinal beam reinforcement. The available curvature ductility of the adjacent beams was also found to be governed by the horizontal joint shear stress, the column axial stress and the yield strength of the longitudinal beam reinforcement, but also the quantity of the horizontal joint shear reinforcement. The influence of the column axial stress on both performance indicators was found to be best represented by a quadratic function. This was because the column axial stress was found to be beneficial up to stress levels of , but axial stress levels exceeding were found to be detrimental to the performance of the beam-column joint, compared to a joint with no axial stress on the columns. The non-linear relationship of the column axial stress agreed with the design assumptions in NZS 3101 for low axial stress values, but at higher axial stress values NZS 3101 assumes a continued performance increase as a result of increasing axial stress, which has been found to be un-conservative. Additionally, an interaction between the column axial stress and the horizontal joint shear stress has been identified. As a result, beam-column joints with high column axial stress levels above 0.40 and horizontal joint shear stress levels in the order of have been shown to fail in a brittle crushing of the concrete in the joint core. Considering this behaviour, it is recommended that the column axial stress levels in earthquake designed beam-column joints should not exceed 0.35 . The results of the parametric analysis were then compared against the current NZS 3101 design equations for conservatism. It was found that a reduction in the horizontal joint shear reinforcement may be possible for beam-column joints incorporating Grade 300 steel in the longitudinal reinforcement of the beams and axial stress levels below 0.25 , but when Grade 500 steel is used or the column axial stress is greater than 0.25 , an increase in the joint shear reinforcement is required compared to NZS 3101. The current NZS 3101 design requirement of at least 40% of the joint shear force, to be resisted by means of joint shear reinforcement, has been found to be appropriate.

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  • Post-Disaster Mobilities: Exploring Household Relocation after the Canterbury Earthquakes

    Dickinson, Simon Bernard (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    During 2010 and 2011, a series of major earthquakes caused widespread damage in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The magnitude 6.3 quake in February 2011 caused 185 fatalities. In the ensuing months, the government progressively zoned residential land in Christchurch on the basis of its suitability for future occupation (considering damage from these quakes and future earthquake risk). Over 6,000 homes were placed in the ‘red-zone’, meaning that property owners were forced to sell their land to the Crown. This study analysed patterns of residential mobility amongst thirty-one red-zone households from the suburb of Southshore, Christchurch. Drawing on interviews and surveys, the research traced their experience from the zoning announcement until they had moved to a new residence. The research distinguished between short (before the zoning announcement) and long term (post the red zone ‘deadline’) forms of household relocation. The majority of households in the study were highly resistant to short term movement. Amongst those which did relocate before the zoning decision, the desire to maintain a valued social connection with a person outside of the earthquake environment was often an important factor. Some households also moved out of perceived necessity (e.g. due to lack of power or water). In terms of long-term relocation, concepts of affordability and safety were much more highly valued by the sample when purchasing post-quake property. This resulted in a distinct patterning of post-quake housing location choices. Perceived control over the moving process, relationship with government organisations and insurance companies, and time spent in the red-zone before moving all heavily influenced participants’ disaster experience. Contrary to previous studies, households in this study recorded higher levels of subjective well-being after relocating. The study proposed a typology of movers in the Christchurch post-disaster environment. Four mobility behaviours, or types, are identified: the Committed Stayers (CSs), the Environment Re-Creators (ERCs), the Resigned Acceptors (RAs), and the Opportunistic Movers (OMs). The CSs were defined by their immobility rather than their relocation aspirations, whilst the ERCs attempted to recreate or retain aspects of Southshore through their mobility. The RAs expressed a form of apathy towards the post-quake environment, whereas, on the other hand, the OMs moved relative to pre-earthquake plans, or opportunities that arose from the earthquake itself. Possibilities for further research include examining household adaptability to new residential environments and tracking further mobility patterns in the years following relocation from the red- zone.

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  • Seismic Response of the UC Physics Building in the Canterbury Earthquakes

    McHattie, Samuel Alexander (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the seismic response of the UC Physics Building based on recorded ground motions during the Canterbury earthquakes, and to use the recorded response to evaluate the efficacy of various conventional structural analysis modelling assumptions. The recorded instrument data is examined and analysed to determine how the UC Physics Building performed during the earthquake-induced ground motions. Ten of the largest earthquake events from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquake sequence are selected in order to understand the seismic response under various levels of demand. Peak response amplitude values are found which characterise the demand from each event. Spectral analysis techniques are utilised to find the natural periods of the structure in each orthogonal direction. Significant torsional and rocking responses are also identified from the recorded ground motions. In addition, the observed building response is used to scrutinise the adequacy of NZ design code prescriptions for fundamental period, response spectra, floor acceleration and effective member stiffness. The efficacy of conventional numerical modelling assumptions for representing the UC Physics Building are examined using the observed building response. The numerical models comprise of the following: a one dimensional multi degree of freedom model, a two dimensional model along each axis of the building and a three dimensional model. Both moderate and strong ground motion records are used to examine the response and subsequently clarify the importance of linear and non-linear responses and the inclusion of base flexibility. The effects of soil-structure interaction are found to be significant in the transverse direction but not the longitudinal direction. Non-linear models predict minor in-elastic behaviour in both directions during the 4 September 2010 Mw 7.1 Darfield earthquake. The observed torsional response is found to be accurately captured by the three dimensional model by considering the interaction between the UC Physics Building and the adjacent structure. With the inclusion of adequate numerical modelling assumptions, the structural response is able to be predicted to within 10% for the majority of the earthquake events considered.

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  • Investigating the robustness of the Anzai respiratory gating system

    Anderson, Maggie (Margaret) (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research was undertaken in order to investigate the robustness of the Anzai respiratory gating system. Tests were performed to verify the transfer of image data, to identify the method of gating and the accuracy of phase identification. It was found to have sizeable limitations which could result in either incorrectly gated images or serious artefacts. For these reasons it is recommended it be used under the guidance of a suitably qualified physicist.

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  • The Wide White Stage: Representations of Antarctica in Theatrical Productions (1930-2011)

    Nielsen, Hanne Elliot Fønss (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This project examines representations of Antarctica in the theatre and analyses these in terms of space and place in order to chart the development of awareness of the continent. As examples of cultural production, plays and their treatment of imagined Antarctic space can provide insights into how attitudes towards the continent have developed and been expressed by revealing the dominant narratives at various points in time. A close reading of nine plays from 1930 – 2011 focuses on the use of mimetic and diegetic space within the theatre, examining the language used, stories told and attitudes present. Such analysis reveals the factors determining the choice of an Antarctic setting, be they ecological, political or metaphorical, whilst shedding light on how attitudes towards place, space and representation have changed within the theatre context. These plays can be grouped under four thematic headings, namely “In Scott’s Footsteps,” “Retelling,” “Reimagining,” and “Returning.” While Antarctica remains a backdrop in earlier plays, where Heroic Era narratives are foregrounded, more recent productions have seen the continent come to the fore, where it is treated as part of a global web of connections. These plays illustrate a progression in how Antarctica has been represented upon the stage, a progression that parallels how we have thought about Antarctica in general.

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  • Evaluation of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme in Central province, Kenya

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: The PMTCT HIV programme has been one of the most successful HIV preventive interventions towards HIV-free future generations. However, even though the programme is virtually effective in developed countries, many developing countries are reporting child HIV infections due to the MTCT. The programme has existed in Kenya for more than a decade, yet in 2011, 12,894children were HIV infected due to MTCT Objective: To evaluate the PMTCT programme, especially the HIV testing from the antenatal period to the postnatal period among expectant parents attending Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in Central Province, Kenya. Design: Retrospective analysis of the hospital registers. Methods: Three hospital registers were analysed for the period from July 2009 to September 2012. The registers were for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care respectively. Each register documented the utilisation of PMTCT services by the expectant parents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were produced to analyse data from the registers. Results: The PMTCT services utilisation was sub-optimal. Of the 504 expectant mothers who attended the antenatal clinic, 59.9% came once, 80.4% had their first visit in the third trimester (between weeks 28 and 40) and only 6.9% were accompanied by their partners. All the women were HIV tested in their first visit but only 12.1% were rescreened after three months, and only 3.8% had been tested prior to the current pregnancy (p=0.000). No expectant mother was tested for HIV intrapartum or postpartum. The children of the 504 mothers who were HIV tested were those whose parent/s were known to be HIV positive or who had presented to a child welfare clinic with recurring symptoms suggestive of a failing immune system. Conclusion: Public health programs need to strengthen the PMTCT and HIV prevention programmes to ensure that HIV testing preconception and in pregnancy is fully implemented and strengthened, alongside continued education of the public through community programmes and the media. To avert further horizontal and vertical transmission of HIV, there is a need to address urgently the identified missed opportunities in the PMTCT program. These programmatic challenges require health system redesign and strengthening, resource allocation, addressing research gaps and reassessing the current PMTCT policies.

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  • A multiwavelength investigation of blazar-type active galactic nuclei.

    Bastin, Fane Troy (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    A multiwavelength investigation is conducted for nineteen blazar-type active galactic nuclei. Studies of variability timescales and flux duty cycles are performed at x- and gamma-rays for each source, with the relationship between flux and spectral index also being probed at gamma wavelengths. The correlation between these two energy ranges is also investigated, by utilising the Discrete Correlation Function with both one and ten day binning. The sources were chosen for their availability over a range of different x- and gamma-ray data sources: observations utilised include 0.2 - 150 keV x-ray data from the Swift mission and 200 MeV- 300 GeV gamma-ray data from the Fermi mission. Daily-binned Fermi data is used to calculate the smallest rise and decay e-folding times in gamma for each source. The results range from 0.4 to 21 days, corresponding to limits on the size of the gamma emission region ranging from Rd^-1 = 4.39 x 10^12 to Rd^-1 = 5.14 x 10^14 m. Flux duty cycles for fourteen sources are created from Fermi data, with six displaying structure at high fluxes that indicate flaring states have occured. Five of these six sources also display clear flares in their light curves, confirming these results. The relationship between the flux and the spectral index shows eight of nineteen sources exhibit harder-when-brighter behaviour. Four of these eight have been previously confirmed to display such behaviour. Results from the Discrete Correlation Function show a correlation at a time lag of ~ 600 days for H 1426+428, of uncertain origin. Gaussian functions are fitted to possible near-zero peaks in 3C 66A, 3C 454.3 and Mrk 421, which could be indicative of a synchrotron self-Compton component to the emission of these objects.

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  • Studies on the inhibitor selectivity and inhibitory signal transfer of a-Isopropylmalate synthase

    Clarke, Tyler Brooke (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    α-Isopropylmalate synthase (α-IPMS) is responsible for catalysing the first committed step in leucine biosynthesis. This pathway is found in plants and microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Neisseria meningitidis. α-IPMS catalyses a Claisen condensation reaction between α-ketoisovalerate (KIV) and acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA) to form the product α-isopropylmalate (IPM). This enzyme undergoes feedback inhibition by the end product of the pathway, leucine. This regulation allows the control of the rate leucine biosynthesis. This project focuses on the α-IPMS enzymes from M. tuberculosis and N. meningitidis (MtuIPMS and NmeIPMS). These α-IPMS enzymes are homodimeric in structure. Each monomer consists of a catalytic domain which comprises of a (β/α)8 barrel fold, two subdomains and a regulatory domain, to which the allosteric binding of the natural inhibitor leucine occurs. The mechanism by which the allosteric binding of leucine leads to a decrease in enzymatic activity is not yet fully understood. Citramalate synthase (CMS) is responsible for catalysing the first committed step of threonine-independent isoleucine biosynthesis. This enzyme is extremely similar to α-IPMS in both the reaction which it catalyses and the catalytic and regulatory domain structure. CMS catalyses a Claisen condensation reaction between pyruvate and AcCoA to produce citramalate (CM). CMS is also feedback inhibited by the end product of its pathway, isoleucine. The similarity between α-IPMS and CMS enzymes resulted in and examination of the inhibitor selectivity of MtuIPMS. Amino acids in the leucine binding site were altered to their counterparts in the isoleucine binding site of the CMS enzyme to see if the selectivity of the leucine binding site could be interchanged. Results from this study show that it is possible to change inhibitor selectivity with a single amino acid substitution. However, changing the selectivity from leucine to isoleucine was unsuccessful. Instead, one of the MtuIPMS variants displayed significantly increased sensitivity to an alternative amino acid, norvaline. The MtuIPMS variants were expressed and purified using immobilised metal affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. These variants were then kinetically characterised and displayed similar binding affinities and turnover rates for the natural substrates to the wild-type enzyme. As expected changes to the leucine binding pocket had drastic effects on the sensitivity of the enzyme to its natural inhibitor. This work is described in Chapter 2 of this thesis. The mechanism by which the regulatory signal is transferred from the allosteric leucine binding site to the catalytic site in α-IPMS is not fully understood. NmeIPMS variants were created based on preliminary molecular dynamic simulations which indicated that significant changes in residue contacts were associated with leucine binding. Chapter 3 describes studies that explore the effect of single amino acid substitutions of NmeIPMS. The NmeIPMS variants were expressed and purified similarly to MtuIPMS, using immobilised metal affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. Variants were subsequently characterised via mass spectrometry, differential scanning fluorimetry and kinetic assays. It was found that each variant generated retained sensitivity to leucine but displayed significant differences in the catalytic efficiencies with AcCoA. One of the generated variants also displayed a significant increase in thermal stability. Results are drawn together in Chapter 4 along with future directions of this research. This chapter details knowledge gained into protein structure and allosteric mechanisms in this thesis.

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  • Reconstructing distribution from option prices.

    Sung, Jacky (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Option pricing has been a popular topic in the financial industry. If there were an effective way to price options correctly, it could help to identify potential profits and risks in the options market. The risk-neutral density (RND), if it exists, leads to calculation of fair prices of options by taking the expected value of the payoff function under the RND, which can be reconstructed nonparametrically from the market data alone. Jaynes (1963) argues that, out of the infinitely many density functions, there is a unique and most preferred way to choose the density: which is via the maximum entropy principle, and hence, the density obtained is called maximum entropy density (MED). A classical approach of finding the MED is by maximising the Lagrangian function with Lagrange multipliers; however, due to potential numerical difficulties, this is reformulated under the duality result by Borwein et al. (2003). This thesis carries out a simulation study to explore the properties of the MED estimators proposed in the literature. With the framework given, some data were simulated with a log-normal distribution and found that the MED constructed converges to the original distribution when the data is convex and noiseless. However, it is inevitable for the market data to be noisy, simulated noise is added and explores effective methods that would not only filter out the noise but also guarantee the existence of MED were explored. Many possible strategies that deal with noisy and non-convex data including the Tikhonov regularisation, polyhedral set projection, convex hull methods, and the cubic spline smoothing methods have been attempted. As a result of 1000 replications of simulated experiments, the cubic spline smoothing method outperforms the other methods yielding the lowest mean integrated squared error. Some of the reconstructed densities give relatively accurate results. This method was then applied to real VIX indices data, the results obtained, however, depended on the choice of the mixing parameter p, which could be subjective at times.

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