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Interactive laboratory for digital signal processing in iOS devices

Description

The demand for handheld portable computing in education, business and research has resulted in advanced mobile devices with powerful processors and large multi-touch screens. Such devices are capable of handling tasks of moderate computational complexity such as word processing, complex

The demand for handheld portable computing in education, business and research has resulted in advanced mobile devices with powerful processors and large multi-touch screens. Such devices are capable of handling tasks of moderate computational complexity such as word processing, complex Internet transactions, and even human motion analysis. Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and the latest in the family - the iPad, are among the well-known and widely used mobile devices today. Their advanced multi-touch interface and improved processing power can be exploited for engineering and STEM demonstrations. Moreover, these devices have become a part of everyday student life. Hence, the design of exciting mobile applications and software represents a great opportunity to build student interest and enthusiasm in science and engineering. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a portable interactive signal processing simulation software on the iOS platform. The iOS-based object-oriented application is called i-JDSP and is based on the award winning Java-DSP concept. It is implemented in Objective-C and C as a native Cocoa Touch application that can be run on any iOS device. i-JDSP offers basic signal processing simulation functions such as Fast Fourier Transform, filtering, spectral analysis on a compact and convenient graphical user interface and provides a very compelling multi-touch programming experience. Built-in modules also demonstrate concepts such as the Pole-Zero Placement. i-JDSP also incorporates sound capture and playback options that can be used in near real-time analysis of speech and audio signals. All simulations can be visually established by forming interactive block diagrams through multi-touch and drag-and-drop. Computations are performed on the mobile device when necessary, making the block diagram execution fast. Furthermore, the extensive support for user interactivity provides scope for improved learning. The results of i-JDSP assessment among senior undergraduate and first year graduate students revealed that the software created a significant positive impact and increased the students' interest and motivation and in understanding basic DSP concepts.

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2011

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Creep characteristics and shear strength of recycled asphalt blends

Description

The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled

The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled asphalt is sometimes used in pavements, its use as structural fill has been hindered by concern that it is susceptible to large long-term deformations (creep), preventing its use for a great many geotechnical applications. While asphalt/soil blends are often proposed as an alternative to 100% recycled asphalt fill, little data is available characterizing the geotechnical properties of recycled asphalt soil blends. In this dissertation, the geotechnical properties for five different recycled asphalt soil blends are characterized. Data includes the particle size distribution, plasticity index, creep, and shear strength for each blend. Blends with 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% recycled asphalt were tested. As the recycled asphalt material used for testing had particles sizes up to 1.5 inches, a large 18 inch diameter direct shear apparatus was used to determine the shear strength and creep characteristics of the material. The results of the testing program confirm that the creep potential of recycled asphalt is a geotechnical concern when the material is subjected to loads greater than 1500 pounds per square foot (psf). In addition, the test results demonstrate that the amount of soil blended with the recycled asphalt can greatly influence the creep and shear strength behavior of the composite material. Furthermore, there appears to be an optimal blend ratio where the composite material had better properties than either the recycled asphalt or virgin soil alone with respect to shear strength.

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2011

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Community supported agriculture membership: characterizing food and sustainability behaviors

Description

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items from previous survey research as well as newly created items. A total of 115 CSA member and 233 control survey responses were collected. CSA members were more likely to be older, have more education, and have a higher income than the control group. The majority of CSA members surveyed were female, identified as non-Hispanic and Caucasian, earned a higher income, and reported being the primary food shopper and preparer. The majority of members also noted that the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables they ate and served their family increased as a result of joining a CSA. CSA members were more ecologically minded compared to the control group. Frequency of eating out was not significantly different between groups. However, eating out behaviors were different between income categories. CSA members spent significantly more money at each meal eaten away from home and spent significantly more money on eating out each week. In both cases, controlling for income attenuated differences between groups. CSA members composted at a significantly higher rate and took part in other eco-friendly behaviors more often than the control group. Finally, no significant difference was evident between the two groups when analyzing family involvement in food preparation and meal decision-making. Overall, some significant attitudinal and behavioral differences existed between CSA members and non-CSA members. Further research is necessary to examine other distinctions between the two groups and whether these differences occur as a result of CSA membership.

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2011

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Constructing a model for small scale fish farmers

Description

Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught

Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught from the ocean to feed farm raised fish, and the escape of farm raised fish into natural bodies of water. However, the raising of certain types of fish, such as tilapia, seems to be an environmentally better proposition than raising other types of fish, such as salmon. This paper will explore the problems associated with fish farming, as well as offer a model, based on the literature, and interviews with fish farmers, to make small-scale fish farming both more environmentally, and more economically, sustainable. This paper culminates with a model for small-scale, specifically semi-subsistence, fish farmers. This model emphasizes education of the fish farmers, as well as educators learning from the fish farmers they interact with. The goal of this model is to help these fish farmers become both more environmentally and economically sustainable.

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2011

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Separating and detecting Escherichia Coli in a microfluidic thannel [i.e., channel] for urinary tract infection (UTI) applications

Description

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and

In this thesis, I present a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) that can separate and detect Escherichia Coli (E. coli) in simulated urine samples for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) diagnosis. The LOC consists of two (concentration and sensing) chambers connected in series and an integrated impedance detector. The two-chamber approach is designed to reduce the non-specific absorption of proteins, e.g. albumin, that potentially co-exist with E. coli in urine. I directly separate E. coli K-12 from a urine cocktail in a concentration chamber containing micro-sized magnetic beads (5 µm in diameter) conjugated with anti-E. coli antibodies. The immobilized E. coli are transferred to a sensing chamber for the impedance measurement. The measurement at the concentration chamber suffers from non-specific absorption of albumin on the gold electrode, which may lead to a false positive response. By contrast, the measured impedance at the sensing chamber shows ~60 kÙ impedance change between 6.4x104 and 6.4x105 CFU/mL, covering the threshold of UTI (105 CFU/mL). The sensitivity of the LOC for detecting E. coli is characterized to be at least 3.4x104 CFU/mL. I also characterized the LOC for different age groups and white blood cell spiked samples. These preliminary data show promising potential for application in portable LOC devices for UTI detection.

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2011

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Stereo based visual odometry

Description

The exponential rise in unmanned aerial vehicles has necessitated the need for accurate pose estimation under any extreme conditions. Visual Odometry (VO) is the estimation of position and orientation of a vehicle based on analysis of a sequence of images

The exponential rise in unmanned aerial vehicles has necessitated the need for accurate pose estimation under any extreme conditions. Visual Odometry (VO) is the estimation of position and orientation of a vehicle based on analysis of a sequence of images captured from a camera mounted on it. VO offers a cheap and relatively accurate alternative to conventional odometry techniques like wheel odometry, inertial measurement systems and global positioning system (GPS). This thesis implements and analyzes the performance of a two camera based VO called Stereo based visual odometry (SVO) in presence of various deterrent factors like shadows, extremely bright outdoors, wet conditions etc... To allow the implementation of VO on any generic vehicle, a discussion on porting of the VO algorithm to android handsets is presented too. The SVO is implemented in three steps. In the first step, a dense disparity map for a scene is computed. To achieve this we utilize sum of absolute differences technique for stereo matching on rectified and pre-filtered stereo frames. Epipolar geometry is used to simplify the matching problem. The second step involves feature detection and temporal matching. Feature detection is carried out by Harris corner detector. These features are matched between two consecutive frames using the Lucas-Kanade feature tracker. The 3D co-ordinates of these matched set of features are computed from the disparity map obtained from the first step and are mapped into each other by a translation and a rotation. The rotation and translation is computed using least squares minimization with the aid of Singular Value Decomposition. Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) is used for outlier detection. This comprises the third step. The accuracy of the algorithm is quantified based on the final position error, which is the difference between the final position computed by the SVO algorithm and the final ground truth position as obtained from the GPS. The SVO showed an error of around 1% under normal conditions for a path length of 60 m and around 3% in bright conditions for a path length of 130 m. The algorithm suffered in presence of shadows and vibrations, with errors of around 15% and path lengths of 20 m and 100 m respectively.

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Date Created
2010

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Cost-effective integrated wireless monitoring of wafer cleanliness using SOI technology

Description

The thesis focuses on cost-efficient integration of the electro-chemical residue sensor (ECRS), a novel sensor developed for the in situ and real-time measurement of the residual impurities left on the wafer surface and in the fine structures of patterned wafers

The thesis focuses on cost-efficient integration of the electro-chemical residue sensor (ECRS), a novel sensor developed for the in situ and real-time measurement of the residual impurities left on the wafer surface and in the fine structures of patterned wafers during typical rinse processes, and wireless transponder circuitry that is based on RFID technology. The proposed technology uses only the NMOS FD-SOI transistors with amorphous silicon as active material with silicon nitride as a gate dielectric. The proposed transistor was simulated under the SILVACO ATLAS Simulation Framework. A parametric study was performed to study the impact of different gate lengths (6 μm to 56 μm), electron motilities (0.1 cm2/Vs to 1 cm2/Vs), gate dielectric (SiO2 and SiNx) and active materials (a-Si and poly-Si) specifications. Level-1 models, that are accurate enough to acquire insight into the circuit behavior and perform preliminary design, were successfully constructed by analyzing drain current and gate to node capacitance characteristics against drain to source and gate to source voltages. Using the model corresponding to SiNx as gate dielectric, a-Si:H as active material with electron mobility equal to 0.4 cm2/V-sec, an operational amplifier was designed and was tested in unity gain configuration at modest load-frequency specifications.

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Date Created
2010

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Portfolio modeling, analysis and management

Description

A systematic top down approach to minimize risk and maximize the profits of an investment over a given period of time is proposed. Macroeconomic factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), Outstanding Consumer Credit, Industrial Production

A systematic top down approach to minimize risk and maximize the profits of an investment over a given period of time is proposed. Macroeconomic factors such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), Outstanding Consumer Credit, Industrial Production Index, Money Supply (MS), Unemployment Rate, and Ten-Year Treasury are used to predict/estimate asset (sector ETF`s) returns. Fundamental ratios of individual stocks are used to predict the stock returns. An a priori known cash-flow sequence is assumed available for investment. Given the importance of sector performance on stock performance, sector based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for the S&P; and Dow Jones are considered and wealth is allocated. Mean variance optimization with risk and return constraints are used to distribute the wealth in individual sectors among the selected stocks. The results presented should be viewed as providing an outer control/decision loop generating sector target allocations that will ultimately drive an inner control/decision loop focusing on stock selection. Receding horizon control (RHC) ideas are exploited to pose and solve two relevant constrained optimization problems. First, the classic problem of wealth maximization subject to risk constraints (as measured by a metric on the covariance matrices) is considered. Special consideration is given to an optimization problem that attempts to minimize the peak risk over the prediction horizon, while trying to track a wealth objective. It is concluded that this approach may be particularly beneficial during downturns - appreciably limiting downside during downturns while providing most of the upside during upturns. Investment in stocks during upturns and in sector ETF`s during downturns is profitable.

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2010

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Operationalizing neighborhood resiliency: a grass-roots approach

Description

This research addresses the ability for neighborhoods to assess resiliency as it applies to their respective local areas. Two demographically and economically contrasting neighborhoods in Glendale, Arizona were studied to understand what residents' value and how those values link to

This research addresses the ability for neighborhoods to assess resiliency as it applies to their respective local areas. Two demographically and economically contrasting neighborhoods in Glendale, Arizona were studied to understand what residents' value and how those values link to key principles of resiliency. Through this exploratory research, a community-focused process was created to use these values in order to link them to key principles of resiliency and potential measureable indicators. A literature review was conducted to first assess definitions and key principles of resiliency. Second, it explored cases of neighborhoods or communities that faced a pressure or disaster and responded resiliently based on these general principles. Each case study demonstrated that resiliency at the neighborhood level was important to its ability to survive its respective pressure and emerge stronger. The Heart of Glendale and Thunderbird Palms were the two neighborhoods chosen to test the ability to operationalize neighborhood resiliency in the form of indicators. First, an in-depth interview was conducted with a neighborhood expert to understand each area's strengths and weaknesses and get a context for the neighborhood and how it has developed. Second, a visioning session was conducted with each neighborhood consisting of seven participants to discuss its values and how they relate to key principles of resiliency. The values were analyzed and used to shape locally relevant indicators. The results of this study found that the process of identifying participants' values and linking them to key principles of resiliency is a viable methodology for measuring neighborhood resiliency. It also found that indicators and values differed between the Heart of Glendale, a more economically vulnerable yet ethnically diverse area, than Thunderbird Palms, a more racially homogenous, middle income neighborhood. The Heart of Glendale valued the development of social capital more than Thunderbird Palms which placed a higher value on the condition of the built environment as a vehicle for stimulating vibrancy and resiliency in the neighborhood. However, both neighborhoods highly valued public education and providing opportunities for children to be future leaders in their local communities.

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2011

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Community food resource assessment in Central City South, Phoenix: a study of community capacity building

Description

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more prevalent grocery options. I formed a partnership with Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, a local community development organization engaged in Central City South, Phoenix, to enhance the community's capacity to meet its community health goals by improving access to healthy food. I used a community-based participatory approach that blended qualitative and quantitative elements to accommodate collaboration between both academic and non-academic partners. Utilizing stakeholder interviews, Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys (NEMS), and mapping to analyze the community's food resources, research revealed that the community lacks adequate access to affordable, nutritious food. Community food stores (n=14) scored an average of 10.9 out of a possible 54 points using the NEMS scoring protocol. The community food assessment is an essential step in improving access to healthy food for CCS residents and provides a baseline for tracking progress to improve residents' food access. Recommendations were drafted by the research partnership to equip and empower the community with strategic, community-specific interventions based on the research findings.

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2011