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Introduction

Texas ScholarWorks was established to provide open, online access to the products of the University's research and scholarship, to preserve these works for future generations, to promote new models of scholarly communication, and to help deepen community understanding of the value of higher education.

UT Tower and campus image credit: Earl McGehee, CC-BY, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ejmc/7452145850

 

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Recent Submissions

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A Comparison of Stress Appraisals: Intervention Affordance Manipulations When Teaching Stress Can Be Enhancing and the Growth Mindset to College Freshmen at the University of Texas at Austin
(2021-05) Rank, Abbey Lane
In this experiment, we were able to prove that an affordance manipulation of the Stress Can Be Enhancing and Growth Mindset intervention information can significantly alter students' self-reported appraisal of the benefits of stress symptoms several weeks after the original presentation of information. This study was conducted at the University of Texas at Austin with the online Psychology 301 course over the duration of a semester.
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BoJack Horseman: A Narrative Analysis of Mental lliness and Substance Abuse
(2021-05) Barrish, Phillip
Since the rise of various media forms, depictions of mental illness and substance abuse have mostly been one-dimensional. Historically, these portrayals have usually demonized or sensationalized these issues in ways that leave no room for nuance and discussion. However, the Nefflix series, BoJack Horseman, seeks to dismantle these narratives in favor of a more fair, comprehensive understanding of the lived experiences of various mental illnesses and substance abuse, particularly clinical depression and alcoholism, respectively. This thesis project seeks to explore the narrative tools and techniques employed by the creators of BoJack Horseman to depict arguably one of the most vivid and compelling portrayals of experiencing mental illness and addiction on television. By performing both a close reading of the dialogue itself alongside an analysis of the show's narrative tools, such as animation and serialization, the show is able to illuminate the chronic, self-destructive cycle that mental illness and addiction vortexes oneself and one's loved ones into. When commenting on BoJack Horseman, it is imperative to understand the way in which the show undermines key elements of traditional storytelling, such as the protagonist's redemption arc, in favor of deeper exploration about the subtleties surrounding the lived experience of mental illness and substance abuse. Finally, this show's particular way of storytelling positions itself to provide companionship for those who similarly suffer from these illnesses by investigating the ways that this show offers some form of solace and guidance in light with one's own lived experiences with mental illness and/or substance abuse.
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III-V optoelectronic devices in the BGaInAs material system
(2022-07-01) El-Jaroudi, Rasha Huntoon; Bank, Seth Robert; Dodabalapur, Ananth; Hutter, Tanya; Wasserman, Daniel; Yu, Edward T
In this work, we investigate the potential of direct-bandgap, III-V materials for lattice-matched absorbers and emitters on silicon. Leveraging the small lattice constant of the boron pnictides, BGaInAs can be grown lattice-matched or nearly lattice-matched to Si; however, the difficult growth mechanics of elemental boron and the highly mismatched nature of BGaInAs have limited prior synthesis of this alloy to compositions outside those required for lattice-matched growth on Si and outside of technologically interesting wavelengths. Therefore, this work focuses on BGaInAs growth on GaAs. Focusing on GaAs reduces the simultaneous amount of boron and indium required to maintain lattice-matching or near lattice-matching as compared to Si. Here, we exploit the non-equilibrium growth properties of molecular beam epitaxy to simultaneously increase the incorporation of boron and indium - enabling the longest wavelength emission from BGaInAs, the first boron-containing active region electrically injected emitter, and all-BGaInAs photodetectors. Our approach is the optimization of BGaInAs on GaAs, focusing on further extending emission wavelengths and increasing B, In concentrations in lattice-matched detectors in order to develop understanding of how increasing B concentrations (and requisite In concentrations) affect BGaInAs-based devices, thus providing a path towards lattice-matched optoelectronic devices on Si.
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Exploring how natural language reflects individual and group social dynamics
(2021-12-02) Seraj, Sarah; Pennebaker, James W.; Swann, William B; Gosling, Samuel D; Durland, Mike
Language can be a window into people’s thoughts, feelings, and life experiences. With the increasing use of online communication platforms, researchers now have more avenues to study people’s life events using real-time and real-world data. My dissertation attempts to identify the most important language markers for understanding people’s cognitive, social, and emotional lives. What are signs in language that predict a distressing life event and how do people cope with it in the months afterward? After identifying a large group of users on Reddit (N = 6,813) who had gone through emotional upheavals such as breakups, divorce, or other distressing life events, we tracked their language in the months before, during and after their upheaval (Chapter 2). In 2020, the world faced a global crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, the pandemic was followed by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of summer 2020, a time of national reckoning on police brutality. These two events naturally led to the question of how people dealt with collective upheavals compared to a personal crisis like a breakup and how the context of the pandemic (social isolation, people living in lockdowns) affected people’s response to the BLM movement. Would the two upheavals interact with each other in any way? A large-scale Reddit dataset (33.7 million posts, 1.37 million users) was used to study the two upheavals (Chapter 3). After identifying important language markers that help us understand people’s psychological state during personal and collective upheavals, we wanted to see if the same markers were important for understanding social dynamics outside of the context of upheavals. A group of individuals who were all part of the same work team were recruited to hold a series of one-on-one chats with everyone else on the team (N = 27; 198 conversations). The language markers that predict successful conversations were identified from the study (Chapter 4). The final chapter puts together the insights from the three different studies and highlights the contribution of each of them.
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Evaluation of multilayered elastostatic backcalculation using in-situ measurements in geosynthetic-reinforced asphalt pavement
(2021-12-02) Weaver, Benjamin Kurt; Zornberg, Jorge G.; Rathje, Ellen M
Raw output data from geophones embedded in an instrumented pavement section with six different geosynthetic reinforcements used as interlayers in the hot mix asphalt (HMA) were processed to determine deflections occurring at several depths within the pavement under falling weight deflectometer (FWD) testing. This testing took place during loading campaigns that were conducted over the first two years of the rehabilitated pavement design life. The intent of the study was to use these measured deflections to assess the accuracy of elastostatic backcalculation, by comparing predicted deflections occurring within the pavement using backcalculated moduli and layered elastic theory to measured ones under similar loading. Deflection Basin Parameters (DBPs) obtained from consideration of surface deflections only which included the Surface Curvature Index (SCI), Base Damage Index (BDI), outermost deflection (W7), and spreadability were first used to qualitatively compare the change in performance of the seven test sections over the first two years of rehabilitated pavement life. When deflections were load and temperature normalized, the spreadability decreased while the SCI increased in each section over time, which are both indicative of the start of damage accumulation. The overlays appeared to be performing similarly in each section, except for in Section 7 which seemed to be deteriorating at a more rapid rate. Additionally, the baseline spreadability of the Old HMA and overlay in the control section immediately following rehabilitation was highest but compared more closely with the spreadability of several of the reinforced sections two years following rehabilitation, which may provide early indication of a possible effect of geosynthetic reinforcement in slowing the degradation of pavement flexural rigidity. Each of these effects should continue to be investigated over the course of the overlay design life through nondestructive testing and and/or routine PCI surveys. Taking the geophone measured depth deflections into consideration and assessing the agreement between theoretical and in situ depth deflections under FWD loading, it was found that during the first two loading campaigns the overall agreement between the two was acceptable, with 75 percent of all observations having a relative error of less than 9 percent, and with the absolute error occurring within a range of -1.2 to +1.0 mils. This apparent range in absolute error was fairly consistent across all load levels and maximum deflections, which suggests that the error is most likely due to a combination of the signal to noise ratio of the geophones as well as slight imprecision in the location of FWD drops as opposed to being a function of nonlinear behavior of unbound pavement materials. When the effect of anomalous readings during the first loading campaign in Section 3 and second loading campaign in Section 4 were ignored, the presence of a geosynthetic reinforcement in the HMA did not seem to affect the overall accuracy of elastostatic backcalculation, with overall average relative errors per sensor in each section being approximately 4.0 to 6.5 percent. The exception to this was in Section 7, which was also the section that appeared to be deteriorating more quickly than the others and had an average relative error per sensor in excess of 11 percent between the two loading campaigns. However, the average absolute error per sensor increased significantly in all sections over time, with the largest errors observed during the last two loading campaigns included in the analysis. It is unknown if this effect is primarily attributable to degradation of the pavement or to degradation in performance of the instrumentation, since a relatively large number of sensors used in this analysis (19 percent) malfunctioned causing the data to become unusable within the time incorporated in this study. The exact cause of the malfunctioning geophones is still under review but lends to the importance of careful installation techniques and planning for redundancy and possible sensor loss if geophones are to be used to provide in-situ measurements for long-term field monitoring programs. Engineers should be wary of the possibility for non-uniqueness of solution in deflection basin fitting, and if pavement layers need to be combined, they should consist of the materials with as close of a match as possible in engineering properties.