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Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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We only stay: An analysis of the fiction of South Dakota farms
The land was there. The land was free. Some came to live on the land. Some came to speculate. The first South Dakota settlers came spilling westward from Minnesota into the Sioux River Valley in 1857. Others came north from Iowa to join them. They established three townsites, the principal one at Sioux Falls. These settlers, members of the Dakota Land Company, were interested in organizing a new territory for speculative purposes, not in developing the country., San Diego State College, Digitization of this archival thesis was made possible through a generous donation from Robin B. Luby.
WeBWorK 2: a public domain automated homework and exam system with application to computer science
WeBWorK is an open source web-based and extensible system, developed by the University of Rochester to support Mathematics education. Numerous commercial web-based system for assessment and learning of programming fundamentals have emerged in the past years. This project describes the adaptation of WeBWorKs, online system for the Computer Science curriculum. After initial success of WeBWorK at Pace University and Cornell college for computer science courses, we examine the possible implementation of this system for San Diego State University (SDSU). The primary goals of this thesis are to introduce and adapt WeBWorK for Computer Science courses at SDSU and develop problems that help in teaching lower division computer science classes. Since WeBWorK is an open source system, it provides instructors a good platform to teach freshman students taking their first computer science course and allows instructors flexibility for how they ask homework question for students. As an electronic homework and assessment tool, WeBWorK significantly helps instructors manage a large pool of students and also provides students with adequate practice to prepare for their course. Creating a new community of contributors and developing new problems to increase CS WeBWorK problem library will help in providing a good learning environment for Computer Science courses at San Diego State.
WeBWorK 2: an Internet-based system for screening students in the introductory calculus courses
Many students enter courses in college without an adequate background or collection of skills from their high school algebra to succeed in Calculus. This results in fairly high failure rates in the first semester of Calculus. This project is focused primarily on the implementation of the web-based system WeBWorK to examine a student's knowledge of Algebra before entering a course in Calculus. In this thesis we propose introducing WeBWorK gateway exams to San Diego State University as a better screening tool for the introductory calculus courses. We provide details about the features of online gateway exams and step by step instructions for creating them. By implementing online gateway exams, instructors can focus on teaching the concepts of the course, rather than dealing with ill-prepared students. This should aid the institution in planning appropriate courses and gaining confidence that the courses offered are meeting student's needs.
Wear and Mechanical Behaviors of Nickel Aluminide-Carbon Nanotube Composites
The present work investigates the wear and mechanical behaviors of Nickel Aluminide – Carbon Nanotube (Ni3Al-CNT) composite intermetallics. These intermetallics contain 0-3 volume percent Carbon Nanotubes (CNT’s) and were produced using combustion synthesis by Kaitlin Kehl and annealed at 1370°C for 10 hours. A full phase analysis, chemical composition analysis, percent porosity analysis, and Vickers microhardness analysis were conducted on the annealed samples. Wear testing was then conducted using a pin-on-disk tribometer. The wear rate and frictional force/friction coefficient were recorded during the wear testing, and a full chemical composition analysis and SEM observation was conducted on the wear debris. The annealing was shown to eliminate intermediate Nickel-Aluminum phases and unreacted Nickel noted in the unannealed samples. Annealing was also shown to both homogenize and reduce percent porosity of the samples containing CNT’s. Annealing was also shown to increase and homogenize the microhardness of the samples, and microhardness was shown to increase linearly with CNT content. Wear testing analysis showed that the samples underwent ploughing-type abrasive wear that became less severe with increased CNT content; the CNT’s acted as a lubricious layer to prevent abrasive wear. Wear testing analysis also showed simultaneous adhesive and oxidative wear, leading to buildup of wear debris that lifted the sample face from the wear disk and prevented further abrasive wear. The frictional force/friction coefficient were also shown to decrease in samples containing CNT’s, although varying CNT content was not shown to have a tangible effect on frictional force/friction coefficient., San Diego State University
Wearing femininity: Fashioning gender traits in The Stepford Wives and their afterlives
Fashion and clothing garments are not only functional ways of self expression but they are visual markers of inclusion and representation. An era is often depicted through its style of clothing and many times individuals rebelled against society through a radical form of dress. This is the case for women during the Women's Liberation Movement and the setting for many novels including Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives (1974). The narrative follows the lives of American suburban women who desire a life of independence until their husbands interfere and set out to bring back older ideals and expectations of women's roles of submissiveness. I argue that the clothing allows the female characters to negotiate sartorial forms of agency and I turn to fashion as a construction of the representation of Westernized femininity. Furthermore, I contend that individual garments function as a costume which allows the women in The Stepford Wives to embody a character and fulfill a role assigned by society, and through each individual garment we can observe the desires valued by the individuals and by the community of Stepford as a whole. This thesis discusses the representation of sexual desires, domestic practicality, indication of class, as well as a uniform for housewives depicted by the clothing of the middleclass white woman of the 1970s era. Ira Levin's narrative not only includes his novel but spans to two movie adaptations: Bryan Forbes film (1975), and Frank Oz film (2004). I use Forbes' adaptation and the novel as complementary works, displaying fashions of the 1970s as well as the 1950s and 60s, which allow the viewer to understand the standards of dress for these times. The adaptation created in 2004 is a newer transformation that recalls what time was like in the 50s but with a dramatized and nostalgic view recreating the 1950s not as they actually are, but more as a dream-like fantasy. Each text reveals characteristics displayed by clothing that help to define the role of house wife, the specific identity and role that the husbands in The Stepford Wives force their wives to embody., San Diego State University
Web accessible database for Kloosterman cardioid research
In August 2007 a parallel/distributed computer program designed and coded by a team of SDSU computer science graduate students, after running continuously for more than seven months on a 45-node commodity PC cluster, emitted a single 5-digit integer: a prime number counterexample disproving the Evans Conjecture on Kloosterman Sums. In the course of their research, the students discovered another fascinating fact: when the points on the unit circle corresponding to the set of all normalized Kloosterman sums for a given prime p were computed in a particular order and connected by line segments, the resulting graph contained a pronounced embedded epicycloidal locus. In particular, it appeared that for primes p for which the finite field Fp has g=2 as a generator, the locus is a cardioid whose axis of symmetry differs for different p. This thesis project is one of a group of four related thesis projects aimed at developing a suite of software tools to collect, organize, and visualize empirical data about these "Kloosterman cardioids" to aid in the search for a rigorous mathematical explanation for their existence. In particular, this thesis project created a web-accessible database allowing researchers to view and/or download pre-computed Kloosterman cardioid data from a central repository, thereby avoiding incurring the considerable ( O(p3) ) time cost of re-computing the corresponding Kloosterman sums locally.
Web based Tamil language learning
The main objective of this thesis is to create a web based learning tool that enables Tamil Language learning without learning the Tamil script. The goal is accomplished by using English script for teaching Tamil. A web interface is provided for teachers to upload and maintain lessons that could contain text, audio or video. There is a reverse transliterator which converts any Tamil text to its English phonetic equivalent enabling users to read any Tamil content. An English to Tamil translation dictionary provides a huge database of translated words in the English phonetic form, along with an option for the users to add and approve words. Additionally the dictionary search function searches and displays words from the web. The online networking feature provided by the tool enables users to network with other native or non-native users.