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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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Stories from immigrant workers in the Valley of the Sun: status, wage theft, recourse, and resilience

Description

Wage theft is a national epidemic that only recently became the focus of increasing research, critical public questioning, and activism. Given the socio- political climate in Maricopa County, Arizona and the heightened national attention on the state, this study answers

Wage theft is a national epidemic that only recently became the focus of increasing research, critical public questioning, and activism. Given the socio- political climate in Maricopa County, Arizona and the heightened national attention on the state, this study answers important questions about the work experiences of immigrant workers in the region. Through an analysis of interviews with 14 low-wage Mexican workers from a local worker rights center, I explore workers' access to traditional recourse, the effects of wage theft on workers and families, and the survival strategies they utilize to mitigate the effects of sudden income loss. By providing an historical overview of immigration and employment law, I show how a dehumanized and racialized labor force has been structurally maintained and exploited. Furthermore, I describe the implications of two simultaneous cultures on the state of labor: the culture of fear among immigrants to assert their rights and utilize recourse, and the culture of criminality and impunity among employers who face virtually no sanctions when they are non-compliant with labor law. The results indicate that unless the rights of immigrant workers are equally enforced and recourse is made equally accessible, not only will the standards for pay and working conditions continue to collapse, but the health of Latino communities will also deteriorate. I assert that in addition to structural change, a shift in national public discourse and ideology is critical to substantive socio-political transformation.

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2011

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Tricks of the shade: heat-related coping strategies of urban homeless persons in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured

This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with homeless people in Phoenix, Arizona during the summer of 2010. The findings demonstrate that homeless people have a variety of coping strategies and the urban environment setting unjustly impacts those strategies. The results suggest a need for further studies that focus spatial environmental effects on homeless people and other vulnerable populations.

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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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Date Created
2010

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Like water for justice: a critical analysis of the United Nations and the inadequate recognition of environmental refugees

Description

As global warming increases, sea levels continue to rise and world populations continue to grow; the Earth is nearing its tipping point. Human action, such as deforestation, mining, and industrialization, has had a profound effect on environments destroying wetlands, and

As global warming increases, sea levels continue to rise and world populations continue to grow; the Earth is nearing its tipping point. Human action, such as deforestation, mining, and industrialization, has had a profound effect on environments destroying wetlands, and the natural infrastructure needed to absorb rainfall and maintain vegetation. Due to extreme changes in climate and temperature, people all over the world are increasingly affected by natural disaster. Unable to sustain their livelihoods, these individuals, become environmental refugees and are forced to flee their land and homes to obtain security in another region or country. Currently, there are approximately 25 million environmental refugees worldwide. Despite the soaring numbers, environmental refugees are not legally recognized or protected by the United Nations, and thus do not receive the same rights or assistance as a traditional refugee. This thesis analyzes definitions and interpretations of Environmental Refugees (ERs) through the frameworks of environmental justice and human rights law and identifies possible avenues of discourse available. Furthermore, this thesis examines the current United Nations definition of refugee and identifies the pros and cons to expanding the current definition to include those affected by natural disaster. Through the case study of New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA), it is demonstrated how ERs are not only an issue facing developing countries, but also exist within developed nations. Hurricane Katrina in NOLA is an ethnographic example that demonstrates how during a time of natural disaster, a variety of past and present structural factors may contribute to the violation of human rights. This thesis then concludes with a discussion of possible categorizations of ERs and the concrete benefits of each category, and how lessons from NOLA can and should be applied to other ER situations in order to avoid human rights violations.

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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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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

Description

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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Date Created
2011