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Electronic Body Protectors: Improving upon an unbiased method to judge Taekwondo Competitions

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In competitive Taekwondo, Electronic Body Protectors (EBPs) are used to register hits made by players during sparring. EBPs are comprised of three main components: chest guard, foot sock, and headgear. This equipment interacts with each other through the use of

In competitive Taekwondo, Electronic Body Protectors (EBPs) are used to register hits made by players during sparring. EBPs are comprised of three main components: chest guard, foot sock, and headgear. This equipment interacts with each other through the use of magnets, electric sensors, transmitters, and a receiver. The receiver is connected to a computer programmed with software to process signals from the transmitter and determine whether or not a competitor scored a point. The current design of EBPs, however, have numerous shortcomings, including sensing false positives, failing to register hits, costing too much, and relying on human judgment. This thesis will thoroughly delineate the operation of the current EBPs used and discuss research performed in order to eliminate these weaknesses.

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2016-05

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Arizona's mature education market: how school and community stakeholders make meaning of school choice policies

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School choice reforms such as charter schools, vouchers, open enrollment, and private and public school tax credit donation programs have expanded throughout the United States over the past twenty years. Arizona’s long-standing public school choice system enrolls a higher

School choice reforms such as charter schools, vouchers, open enrollment, and private and public school tax credit donation programs have expanded throughout the United States over the past twenty years. Arizona’s long-standing public school choice system enrolls a higher percentage of public school students in charter schools than any state besides Washington D.C. A growing number of Arizona’s charter schools are managed by for-profit and nonprofit Education Management Organizations (EMOs). Advocates of school choice argue that free-market education approaches will make public schools competitive and nimble as parents’ choices place pressures on schools to improve or close. This, then, improves all schools: public, private, and charter. Critics are concerned that education markets produce segregation along racial and social class lines and inequalities in educational opportunities, because competition favors advantaged parents and children who can access resources. Private and for-profit schools may see it in their interest to exclude students who require more support. School choice programs, then, may further marginalize students who live in poverty, who receive special education services, and English language learners.

We do not fully understand how Arizona’s mature school choice system affects parents and other stakeholders in communities “on the ground.” That is, how are school policies understood and acted out? I used ethnographic methods to document and analyze the social, cultural, and political contexts and perspectives of stakeholders at one district public school and in its surrounding community, including its charter schools. I examined: (a) how stakeholders perceived and engaged with schools; (b) how stakeholders understood school policies, including school choice policies; and (c) what influenced families’ choices.

Findings highlight how most stakeholders supported district public schools. At the same time, some “walked the line” between choices that were good for their individual families and those they believed were good for public schools and society. Stakeholders imagined “community” and “accountability” in a range of ways, and they did not all have equal access to policy knowledge. Pressures related to parental accountability in the education market were apparent as stakeholders struggled to make, and sometimes revisit, their choices, creating a tenuous schooling environment for their families.

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2017

Tracing a Legacy: A Performer’s Analysis of Three Works for Solo Viola Commissioned for the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition

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Highly active in the fields of viola performance, composition, recording, and pedagogy, Lionel Tertis is known as one of the first and most influential career violists. Established in 1980, the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and Festival was founded in

Highly active in the fields of viola performance, composition, recording, and pedagogy, Lionel Tertis is known as one of the first and most influential career violists. Established in 1980, the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and Festival was founded in his honor and occurs triennially at the Isle of Man. While addressing facets of the professional violist with workshops, lectures, and masterclasses, this event provides a venue for competitive performers, acting as a platform for new viola repertoire.

Each competitor must prepare an extensive set of viola repertoire, among which is a compulsory piece for unaccompanied viola by an English composer. These commissioned works require the virtuosity and expression available within a contemporary musical language; this additionally challenges competitors to provide an artistic interpretation relatively untouched by tradition or common practice.

Although these pieces are written specifically for the competition, the commissioned works have the capacity to reach beyond the competition sphere and are highly programmable in most recital and solo performance settings. These pieces provide the contemporary violist with a greater selection of repertoire that displays idiomatic and expressive strengths of the viola.

My project commemorates the contributions of Lionel Tertis to the advancement of viola repertoire and performance with the study of works written a century post his prolific career. The secondary intent is to provide biographical information about each composer and to explore how these highly programmable works enrich the violist and their repertoire, ultimately bringing recognition to these new works for solo viola. Through biographical research, musical analysis, interviews and the recording process, I will provide a performer's analysis and supplemental recordings for three of these works: Darkness Draws In by David Matthews, Sonatine I by Roger Steptoe and Through a Limbeck by John Woolrich.

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2017