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The Value Added of the ASU Spirit Squad to Sun Devil Athletics

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Several studies on cheerleading as a sport can be found in the literature; however, there is no research done on the value added to the experience at a university, to an athletic department or at a particular sport. It has

Several studies on cheerleading as a sport can be found in the literature; however, there is no research done on the value added to the experience at a university, to an athletic department or at a particular sport. It has been the feeling that collegiate and professional cheerleaders are not given the appropriate recognition nor credit for the amount of work they do. This contribution is sometimes in question as it depends on the school and the sports teams. The benefits are believed to vary based on the university or professional teams. This research investigated how collegiate cheerleaders and dancers add value to the university sport experience. We interviewed key personnel at the university and conference level and polled spectators at sporting events such as basketball and football. We found that the university administration and athletic personnel see the ASU Spirit Squad as value added but spectators had a totally different perspective. The university acknowledges the added value of the Spirit Squad and its necessity. Spectators attend ASU sporting events to support the university and for the entertainment. They enjoy watching the ASU Spirit Squad perform but would continue to attend ASU sporting events even if cheerleaders and dancers were not there.

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2017-05

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Testing independence of parallel pseudorandom number streams: incorporating the data's multivariate nature

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Parallel Monte Carlo applications require the pseudorandom numbers used on each processor to be independent in a probabilistic sense. The TestU01 software package is the standard testing suite for detecting stream dependence and other properties that make certain pseudorandom generators

Parallel Monte Carlo applications require the pseudorandom numbers used on each processor to be independent in a probabilistic sense. The TestU01 software package is the standard testing suite for detecting stream dependence and other properties that make certain pseudorandom generators ineffective in parallel (as well as serial) settings. TestU01 employs two basic schemes for testing parallel generated streams. The first applies serial tests to the individual streams and then tests the resulting P-values for uniformity. The second turns all the parallel generated streams into one long vector and then applies serial tests to the resulting concatenated stream. Various forms of stream dependence can be missed by each approach because neither one fully addresses the multivariate nature of the accumulated data when generators are run in parallel. This dissertation identifies these potential faults in the parallel testing methodologies of TestU01 and investigates two different methods to better detect inter-stream dependencies: correlation motivated multivariate tests and vector time series based tests. These methods have been implemented in an extension to TestU01 built in C++ and the unique aspects of this extension are discussed. A variety of different generation scenarios are then examined using the TestU01 suite in concert with the extension. This enhanced software package is found to better detect certain forms of inter-stream dependencies than the original TestU01 suites of tests.

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2013

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A continuous latent factor model for non-ignorable missing data in longitudinal studies

Description

Many longitudinal studies, especially in clinical trials, suffer from missing data issues. Most estimation procedures assume that the missing values are ignorable or missing at random (MAR). However, this assumption leads to unrealistic simplification and is implausible for many cases.

Many longitudinal studies, especially in clinical trials, suffer from missing data issues. Most estimation procedures assume that the missing values are ignorable or missing at random (MAR). However, this assumption leads to unrealistic simplification and is implausible for many cases. For example, an investigator is examining the effect of treatment on depression. Subjects are scheduled with doctors on a regular basis and asked questions about recent emotional situations. Patients who are experiencing severe depression are more likely to miss an appointment and leave the data missing for that particular visit. Data that are not missing at random may produce bias in results if the missing mechanism is not taken into account. In other words, the missing mechanism is related to the unobserved responses. Data are said to be non-ignorable missing if the probabilities of missingness depend on quantities that might not be included in the model. Classical pattern-mixture models for non-ignorable missing values are widely used for longitudinal data analysis because they do not require explicit specification of the missing mechanism, with the data stratified according to a variety of missing patterns and a model specified for each stratum. However, this usually results in under-identifiability, because of the need to estimate many stratum-specific parameters even though the eventual interest is usually on the marginal parameters. Pattern mixture models have the drawback that a large sample is usually required. In this thesis, two studies are presented. The first study is motivated by an open problem from pattern mixture models. Simulation studies from this part show that information in the missing data indicators can be well summarized by a simple continuous latent structure, indicating that a large number of missing data patterns may be accounted by a simple latent factor. Simulation findings that are obtained in the first study lead to a novel model, a continuous latent factor model (CLFM). The second study develops CLFM which is utilized for modeling the joint distribution of missing values and longitudinal outcomes. The proposed CLFM model is feasible even for small sample size applications. The detailed estimation theory, including estimating techniques from both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives is presented. Model performance and evaluation are studied through designed simulations and three applications. Simulation and application settings change from correctly-specified missing data mechanism to mis-specified mechanism and include different sample sizes from longitudinal studies. Among three applications, an AIDS study includes non-ignorable missing values; the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test data have no indication on missing data mechanism and it will be applied to a sensitivity analysis; the Growth of Language and Early Literacy Skills in Preschoolers with Developmental Speech and Language Impairment study, however, has full complete data and will be used to conduct a robust analysis. The CLFM model is shown to provide more precise estimators, specifically on intercept and slope related parameters, compared with Roy's latent class model and the classic linear mixed model. This advantage will be more obvious when a small sample size is the case, where Roy's model experiences challenges on estimation convergence. The proposed CLFM model is also robust when missing data are ignorable as demonstrated through a study on Growth of Language and Early Literacy Skills in Preschoolers.

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2013

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Alternative methods via random forest to identify interactions in a general framework and variable importance in the context of value-added models

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This work presents two complementary studies that propose heuristic methods to capture characteristics of data using the ensemble learning method of random forest. The first study is motivated by the problem in education of determining teacher effectiveness in student achievement.

This work presents two complementary studies that propose heuristic methods to capture characteristics of data using the ensemble learning method of random forest. The first study is motivated by the problem in education of determining teacher effectiveness in student achievement. Value-added models (VAMs), constructed as linear mixed models, use students’ test scores as outcome variables and teachers’ contributions as random effects to ascribe changes in student performance to the teachers who have taught them. The VAMs teacher score is the empirical best linear unbiased predictor (EBLUP). This approach is limited by the adequacy of the assumed model specification with respect to the unknown underlying model. In that regard, this study proposes alternative ways to rank teacher effects that are not dependent on a given model by introducing two variable importance measures (VIMs), the node-proportion and the covariate-proportion. These VIMs are novel because they take into account the final configuration of the terminal nodes in the constitutive trees in a random forest. In a simulation study, under a variety of conditions, true rankings of teacher effects are compared with estimated rankings obtained using three sources: the newly proposed VIMs, existing VIMs, and EBLUPs from the assumed linear model specification. The newly proposed VIMs outperform all others in various scenarios where the model was misspecified. The second study develops two novel interaction measures. These measures could be used within but are not restricted to the VAM framework. The distribution-based measure is constructed to identify interactions in a general setting where a model specification is not assumed in advance. In turn, the mean-based measure is built to estimate interactions when the model specification is assumed to be linear. Both measures are unique in their construction; they take into account not only the outcome values, but also the internal structure of the trees in a random forest. In a separate simulation study, under a variety of conditions, the proposed measures are found to identify and estimate second-order interactions.

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2013

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A test and confidence set for comparing the location of quadratic growth curves

Description

Quadratic growth curves of 2nd degree polynomial are widely used in longitudinal studies. For a 2nd degree polynomial, the vertex represents the location of the curve in the XY plane. For a quadratic growth curve, we propose an approximate confidence

Quadratic growth curves of 2nd degree polynomial are widely used in longitudinal studies. For a 2nd degree polynomial, the vertex represents the location of the curve in the XY plane. For a quadratic growth curve, we propose an approximate confidence region as well as the confidence interval for x and y-coordinates of the vertex using two methods, the gradient method and the delta method. Under some models, an indirect test on the location of the curve can be based on the intercept and slope parameters, but in other models, a direct test on the vertex is required. We present a quadratic-form statistic for a test of the null hypothesis that there is no shift in the location of the vertex in a linear mixed model. The statistic has an asymptotic chi-squared distribution. For 2nd degree polynomials of two independent samples, we present an approximate confidence region for the difference of vertices of two quadratic growth curves using the modified gradient method and delta method. Another chi-square test statistic is derived for a direct test on the vertex and is compared to an F test statistic for the indirect test. Power functions are derived for both the indirect F test and the direct chi-square test. We calculate the theoretical power and present a simulation study to investigate the power of the tests. We also present a simulation study to assess the influence of sample size, measurement occasions and nature of the random effects. The test statistics will be applied to the Tell Efficacy longitudinal study, in which sound identification scores and language protocol scores for children are modeled as quadratic growth curves for two independent groups, TELL and control curriculum. The interpretation of shift in the location of the vertices is also presented.

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2015

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Threshold regression estimation via lasso, elastic-net, and lad-lasso: a simulation study with applications to urban traffic data

Description

Threshold regression is used to model regime switching dynamics where the effects of the explanatory variables in predicting the response variable depend on whether a certain threshold has been crossed. When regime-switching dynamics are present, new estimation problems arise related

Threshold regression is used to model regime switching dynamics where the effects of the explanatory variables in predicting the response variable depend on whether a certain threshold has been crossed. When regime-switching dynamics are present, new estimation problems arise related to estimating the value of the threshold. Conventional methods utilize an iterative search procedure, seeking to minimize the sum of squares criterion. However, when unnecessary variables are included in the model or certain variables drop out of the model depending on the regime, this method may have high variability. This paper proposes Lasso-type methods as an alternative to ordinary least squares. By incorporating an L_{1} penalty term, Lasso methods perform variable selection, thus potentially reducing some of the variance in estimating the threshold parameter. This paper discusses the results of a study in which two different underlying model structures were simulated. The first is a regression model with correlated predictors, whereas the second is a self-exciting threshold autoregressive model. Finally the proposed Lasso-type methods are compared to conventional methods in an application to urban traffic data.

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2015

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Regression analysis of grouped counts and frequencies using the generalized linear model

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Coarsely grouped counts or frequencies are commonly used in the behavioral sciences. Grouped count and grouped frequency (GCGF) that are used as outcome variables often violate the assumptions of linear regression as well as models designed for categorical outcomes; there

Coarsely grouped counts or frequencies are commonly used in the behavioral sciences. Grouped count and grouped frequency (GCGF) that are used as outcome variables often violate the assumptions of linear regression as well as models designed for categorical outcomes; there is no analytic model that is designed specifically to accommodate GCGF outcomes. The purpose of this dissertation was to compare the statistical performance of four regression models (linear regression, Poisson regression, ordinal logistic regression, and beta regression) that can be used when the outcome is a GCGF variable. A simulation study was used to determine the power, type I error, and confidence interval (CI) coverage rates for these models under different conditions. Mean structure, variance structure, effect size, continuous or binary predictor, and sample size were included in the factorial design. Mean structures reflected either a linear relationship or an exponential relationship between the predictor and the outcome. Variance structures reflected homoscedastic (as in linear regression), heteroscedastic (monotonically increasing) or heteroscedastic (increasing then decreasing) variance. Small to medium, large, and very large effect sizes were examined. Sample sizes were 100, 200, 500, and 1000. Results of the simulation study showed that ordinal logistic regression produced type I error, statistical power, and CI coverage rates that were consistently within acceptable limits. Linear regression produced type I error and statistical power that were within acceptable limits, but CI coverage was too low for several conditions important to the analysis of counts and frequencies. Poisson regression and beta regression displayed inflated type I error, low statistical power, and low CI coverage rates for nearly all conditions. All models produced unbiased estimates of the regression coefficient. Based on the statistical performance of the four models, ordinal logistic regression seems to be the preferred method for analyzing GCGF outcomes. Linear regression also performed well, but CI coverage was too low for conditions with an exponential mean structure and/or heteroscedastic variance. Some aspects of model prediction, such as model fit, were not assessed here; more research is necessary to determine which statistical model best captures the unique properties of GCGF outcomes.

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2012

Correlated GMM logistic regression models with time-dependent covariates and valid estimating equations

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When analyzing longitudinal data it is essential to account both for the correlation inherent from the repeated measures of the responses as well as the correlation realized on account of the feedback created between the responses at a particular time

When analyzing longitudinal data it is essential to account both for the correlation inherent from the repeated measures of the responses as well as the correlation realized on account of the feedback created between the responses at a particular time and the predictors at other times. A generalized method of moments (GMM) for estimating the coefficients in longitudinal data is presented. The appropriate and valid estimating equations associated with the time-dependent covariates are identified, thus providing substantial gains in efficiency over generalized estimating equations (GEE) with the independent working correlation. Identifying the estimating equations for computation is of utmost importance. This paper provides a technique for identifying the relevant estimating equations through a general method of moments. I develop an approach that makes use of all the valid estimating equations necessary with each time-dependent and time-independent covariate. Moreover, my approach does not assume that feedback is always present over time, or present at the same degree. I fit the GMM correlated logistic regression model in SAS with PROC IML. I examine two datasets for illustrative purposes. I look at rehospitalization in a Medicare database. I revisit data regarding the relationship between the body mass index and future morbidity among children in the Philippines. These datasets allow us to compare my results with some earlier methods of analyses.

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2012

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Multivariate generalization of reduced major axis regression

Description

A least total area of triangle method was proposed by Teissier (1948) for fitting a straight line to data from a pair of variables without treating either variable as the dependent variable while allowing each of the variables to have

A least total area of triangle method was proposed by Teissier (1948) for fitting a straight line to data from a pair of variables without treating either variable as the dependent variable while allowing each of the variables to have measurement errors. This method is commonly called Reduced Major Axis (RMA) regression and is often used instead of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression. Results for confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and asymptotic distributions of coefficient estimates in the bivariate case are reviewed. A generalization of RMA to more than two variables for fitting a plane to data is obtained by minimizing the sum of a function of the volumes obtained by drawing, from each data point, lines parallel to each coordinate axis to the fitted plane (Draper and Yang 1997; Goodman and Tofallis 2003). Generalized RMA results for the multivariate case obtained by Draper and Yang (1997) are reviewed and some investigations of multivariate RMA are given. A linear model is proposed that does not specify a dependent variable and allows for errors in the measurement of each variable. Coefficients in the model are estimated by minimization of the function of the volumes previously mentioned. Methods for obtaining coefficient estimates are discussed and simulations are used to investigate the distribution of coefficient estimates. The effects of sample size, sampling error and correlation among variables on the estimates are studied. Bootstrap methods are used to obtain confidence intervals for model coefficients. Residual analysis is considered for assessing model assumptions. Outlier and influential case diagnostics are developed and a forward selection method is proposed for subset selection of model variables. A real data example is provided that uses the methods developed. Topics for further research are discussed.

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2012

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Chi-square orthogonal components for assessing goodness-of-fit of multidimensional multinomial data

Description

It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where

It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where the interest is often directed at investigating the association among multi-categorical variables. Pearson's chi-squared statistic is well-known in goodness-of-fit testing, but it is sometimes considered to produce an omnibus test as it gives little guidance to the source of poor fit once the null hypothesis is rejected. However, its components can provide powerful directional tests. In this dissertation, orthogonal components are used to develop goodness-of-fit tests for models fit to the counts obtained from the cross-classification of multi-category dependent variables. Ordinal categories are assumed. Orthogonal components defined on marginals are obtained when analyzing multi-dimensional contingency tables through the use of the QR decomposition. A subset of these orthogonal components can be used to construct limited-information tests that allow one to identify the source of lack-of-fit and provide an increase in power compared to Pearson's test. These tests can address the adverse effects presented when data are sparse. The tests rely on the set of first- and second-order marginals jointly, the set of second-order marginals only, and the random forest method, a popular algorithm for modeling large complex data sets. The performance of these tests is compared to the likelihood ratio test as well as to tests based on orthogonal polynomial components. The derived goodness-of-fit tests are evaluated with studies for detecting two- and three-way associations that are not accounted for by a categorical variable factor model with a single latent variable. In addition the tests are used to investigate the case when the model misspecification involves parameter constraints for large and sparse contingency tables. The methodology proposed here is applied to data from the 38th round of the State Survey conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Michigan State University Social Research (2005) . The results illustrate the use of the proposed techniques in the context of a sparse data set.

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2011