Theses

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  • 'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    The conflict between a sex worker's natural right to dignity, and the scope of control she can exert over her own body - her rightful property - plays a central part in much of the research and debate surrounding the commercialization of sex, and there is little consensus as to which natural right is of greater fundamental importance. This conflict over the morality and legal rights of sex workers is plainly evident in Canada's own treatment of the issue; spanning a period of over twenty-five years, the research and reports on prostitution commissioned by the federal government constitute several thousand pages of empirical evidence documenting the harm caused by the criminalization of prostitution, yet no changes have been made to the country's Criminal Code provisions since 1986. Throughout these government reports and the testimony of dozens of participants in the 2005 hearings held by the country's Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, the same conflict of language and ideology is repeated; regardless of the time and location, conversations about prostitution within Canada follow an almost predictable pattern of spinning wheels and little progress. In light of the new opportunity to effect change in Canada's approach to prostitution law, this paper examines the signs and significations evinced in the language of Canada's present laws, and traces the legislative history of sex work in the country as well as the cyclical nature of the observations and conclusions drawn by the many federally-appointed committees charged with addressing the topic. Select witness testimony from hearings conducted by the most recent committee to address the state of prostitution, the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, is also reproduced and analyzed. Using the opposing perspectives of victim and rights discourse as a loose framework, particular analytical focus is placed on the language used and ideological beliefs expressed within both the formal reports and testimony. Finally, the core conflicts revealed in Canada's hearings and formal reports on prostitution are placed within a larger body of theory on human agency and the physical body for the purpose of emphasizing the unequivocal necessity of respecting sex workers' autonomy, first and foremost, in any future determination of sex work's place within the social and legal fabric of the country.
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    This study explores the online public's reaction to the National Security Agency's surveillance Prism programs in light of the confidential government document leakage to the public on June 7, 2013. Through an in-depth qualitative analysis of top recommended user comments to the news article published in The Guardian describing the technicalities of the Prism program, public perceptions of civil liberties like free speech in new media communication are explored. Overarching themes and salient discourses on the public's understanding of their democratic rights emerged in the analysis. The findings revealed a number of competing views of liberty, and while the majority of the users opposed government surveillance and agreed it was in violation of their rights, further examination revealed a temptation to withdraw from using new media communication susceptible to government surveillance, thereby hindering the Internet's ability to act as a valuable arena for public debate as afforded by new media communication
    (DE)CONSTRUCTING THE “PERFECT RAPE VICTIM”: AN ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SURVIVOR DISCOURSES IN THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
    (DE)CONSTRUCTING THE “PERFECT RAPE VICTIM”: AN ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SURVIVOR DISCOURSES IN THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
    The Canadian criminal justice system has seen many progressive changes to the way sexual assault cases are investigated and prosecuted over the past several decades. From the acknowledgement of spousal rape to the introduction of rape shield provisions, the law has seemingly changed to broaden the definition of what is considered a sexual assault. However, sexually-based offences are still vastly underreported and have the lowest attrition rates of indictable offences. Larger societal discourses around sexual assault and survivor-hood consist largely of rape myths, such as the idea that “real rape” only occurs when an “undeserving” woman is sexually assaulted by a “stranger in the dark.” These discourses permeate the Canadian criminal justice system, negatively influencing the experience of survivors who do not fit the narrow mould “real rape.” Drawing from Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis and Stuart Hall’s Discursive Approach, this Major Research Paper traces the effects of these discourses on constructions of sexual assault and survivor-hood in the legal system. Through a theoretical analysis of existing literature on the experiences of sexual assault survivors, this paper also examines the ways in which the language we use to describe sexual assault serves to cement rape myths and invalidate survivor experiences in every stage of the Canadian criminal justice system.
    (Re)Writing Canadian Space: Dystopian Geographies in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl and M.G. Vassanji’s Nostalgia
    (Re)Writing Canadian Space: Dystopian Geographies in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl and M.G. Vassanji’s Nostalgia
    This paper examines how dystopian fiction opens up a productive space for disrupting naturalized assumptions, and shifting our understanding of taken-for-granted spaces. Drawing on Doreen Massey’s (2005) proposal that space must be seen as the product of constant interrelations, I argue that dystopian literature can similarly prompt us to reconsider our relationship to the spaces we inhabit. Using the concept of the “critical dystopia,” I examine how dystopian frameworks are operationalized in the Canadian context through a comparative analysis of two novels that speculate distinctly Canadian dystopian futures: Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl (2002) and M.G. Vassanji’s Nostalgia (2016). By applying Massey’s theorization of space—its multiplicities, complexities, and political potentialities—to an examination of how Canadian spaces are transformed in the dystopian context, I then analyze how those representations challenge the spatial ideologies associated with globalization, and resist the neoliberal view of space as a surface to be crossed and conquered (Massey, 2005).
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront:  infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront: infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    The transition of waterfront land use from industrial to post-industrial is a global phenomenon. There are several forces that are driving this change, including the advancement of shipping technology and the relocation of industrial processes to areas with greater availability of land. In place of industrial uses, many cities have undertaken, or are in the process of undertaking the redevelopment of their waterfront. As a result of past industrial use, there often exists, a significant amount of transportation infrastructure that isolates the city from the waterfront. This paper establishes the context for waterfront redevelopment, before examining the impact of infrastructure urban forms by using the work of Kevin Lynch as a tool for analysis. Several case precedents are used to examine the course of action that other North American cities have pursued to mitigate the impact of infrastructure forms on the waterfront and how they may influence the way Toronto deals with its waterfront infrastructure.
    10-GHz wide tuning-range linear voltage-controlled oscillator
    10-GHz wide tuning-range linear voltage-controlled oscillator
    The current high-growth nature of digital communications demands higher speed serial communication circuits. Present day technologies barely manage to keep up with this demand, and new techniques are required to ensure that serial communication can continnue to expand and grow. The goal of this work is to optimize the performance of an essential building block of serial communication circuits, namely, the phase-locked loop (PLL), so that it can cope with today's high-speed communication. Due to its popularity, the optimization has targeted the charge-pump-based implementqation of the phase-locked loop. This goal is achieved by researching, designing, and evaluating high speed serial communication circuits. Research has involved an in-depth study of the state of the art in high-speed serial communication circuits ; high-speed, controlled oscillators, and CMOS technology. An LC, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is designed in 0.18-micron, mixed-signal, 6-metal-2-poly, CMOS process. A novel tuning technique is employed to tune its output frequency. Simulation results shows that it provides quadrature and differential outputs, operates with 10 GHz center frequency, 600-MHz tuning range centered around its center frequency, and phase noise of -95 dBc/Hz at 1-MHz offset from the fundamental harmonic of its output, and draws 10 ,A of DC current from a single 1.8-V power supply. Also, it exhibits a good linearity throughout its tuning range. The new tuning technique increases the tuning range of the VCO to 6% of its center frequency compared to the 1-to-2% typical value. As its locking performance depends on the characteristic of the employed VCO and to demonstrate the effect of optimizing the tuning range of the VCO, a charge-pump PLL is designed. Simulation results shows that the PLL acquisition range is 300 MHz compared to a maximum value of 100 MHz when a conventional LC VCO is employed. Also, as a measure of its tracking range, the maximum frequency slew rate of its input has improved by 40%.
    2-D Kasai velocity estimation for Doppler optical coherence tomography / by Darren Morofke.
    2-D Kasai velocity estimation for Doppler optical coherence tomography / by Darren Morofke.
    Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution, non-invasive technique to image subsurface tissue and tissue functions. A broadband light source illuminates an object and the reflected photons are processed using an interferometer, demodulated into inphase and quadrature components and then digitized. The captured data contains information about the velocity of the moving scatterers but current Doppler estimation algorithms have a limited velocity detection range. Here we demonstrate Doppler OCT (DOCT) detection of in vivo of blood flow in a rat aorta with over 1 m/s peak velocity through an esophageal DOCT probe using a new processing technique. Previous methods have used a transverse Kasai (TK) autocorrelation estimation to estimate the velocity. By calculating the Kasai autocorrelation with a lag in the depth or axial direction, backscattered frequency information is obtained. Through subtraction with stationary backscattered information, the Doppler shift is obtained by the axial Kasai (AK) technique. Maximum non-aliased Doppler frequency estimation using a time domain DOCT system increased from +/-4 kHz to =+/-1.6 MHz. The TK has better velocity resolution in the low flow rate range and when combined with the AK we demonstrate a dynamic frequency range over 100 dB with a velocity detection range from 10 [micro]m/s to over 1 m/s. This velocity range spans from microcirculation to cardiac blood flow velocities.
    2D electromagnetic actuated quasi-static FPCB based micromirror for laser marking/engraving system
    2D electromagnetic actuated quasi-static FPCB based micromirror for laser marking/engraving system
    This thesis presents the design and development of quasi-static 2-dimensional Flexible Printed Circuit Board (FPCB) based micromirror for portable laser marking/ engraving system. It focuses on the modelling and prototyping of the novel 2-dimensional electromagnetic actuated micromirror which can be used in place of two 1-dimensional micromirrors having the benefits of lower footprint in size of the scanner and efficient alignment with the incident laser beam. This 2-dimensional micromirror can be used in portable low power laser marking/ engraving system ideally designed for consumer applications like printing name cards, engraving jewellery etc. The problem of drifting/ creep associated with quasi-static mode of FPCB based micromirror actuators is analyzed and Zero method is proposed to minimize the drifting issue which is proven experimentally in the thesis. From this thesis work, it is evident that the developed 2-dimensional, low-cost, quasi-static FPCB based micromirror would be a suitable candidate for replacement of the expensive conventional MEMS bonded mirrors in the market.
    3 Minutes to Midnight:  speculative game design for nuclear disarmament
    3 Minutes to Midnight: speculative game design for nuclear disarmament
    This paper proposes a digital game concept designed to increase the millennial generation’s level of engagement with the campaign for nuclear disarmament. It discusses four key research findings that support the need for the development of this game, and provides helpful information to enable better understanding of the relatively specialized inspiring concepts. The paper argues that activist campaigns should design nuanced communication plans that consider the complexities of the issue and leverage the digital media tools whose affordances best match the goals of the campaign. In the case of nuclear disarmament, I propose a campaign communication strategy in the form of a pervasive social impact game, called 3 Minutes to Midnight, as an effective way to ignite widespread public support in the 21st century.
    3-D Fibrous Network of TiO2 Nanoparticles: Raman Sensor Development
    3-D Fibrous Network of TiO2 Nanoparticles: Raman Sensor Development
    A 3-D nano-fiber particle network of TiO2 nanoparticles is synthesized by pulsed femtosecond laser irradiation of a pure Ti substrate. This study investigated the properties of the resulting nanostructure for chemical and biomolecular detection by Raman spectroscopy. Controlled tuning of surface roughness, porosity and depth of the 3-D network were found to directly influence Raman detection. The presented findings support a previously unrealized detection capacity by TiO2. Crystal violet was used to test the Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) performance of the developed TiO2 sensor pads. The corresponding Raman enhancement factor was determined to be 1.3x106 which is directly comparable to commercial Ag and Au based Raman substrates. Bisphenol-A and diclofenac sodium salt were introduced into drinking water and tested with various sensor pads to develop a Raman detection map. The results suggest an affinity towards uniform TiO2 3-D nanofibrous networks.
    3-D finite element analysis of laterally loaded short shafts in soil
    3-D finite element analysis of laterally loaded short shafts in soil
    The objective of this research is to conduct an optimized design of drilled shaft foundation for noise barrier walls. A non-linear three-dimensional (3D) finite element method (FEM) program, Plaxis 3D, is used to investigate the behaviour of laterally loaded shafts. Two published cases are used to calibrate the modelling method and validate the numerical results. In the case of a field test performed by Helmers (1997), FEM results agree very well with field tests in terms of ultimate load and deflection curves. In the laboratory test conducted by Uncuoglu & Laman (2011) case, numerical results agree well with their results except the soil-shaft interface modelling part. The Plaxis 3D embedded pile model tends to overestimate the lateral load capacity of a smooth pile. Though it is satisfactory in modelling a pile with a “rough” surface. Two theoretical formulas in estimating lateral capacity of piles are also compared with the FEM results. It is found that Broms’s (1964b) theory for cohesionless soils has underestimated the lateral load capacities and Brinch-Hansen’s (1961) theory provides a more accurate estimation. In summary, 3-D FEM is able to accurately simulate the behaviour of laterally loaded drilled shafts in soil.