Rice University makes its graduate theses and dissertations available online at no cost to end users. These electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) cover the period from 1918, when the first dissertation was issued to H. E. Bray, through the most recently processed graduating year. Occasionally a thesis or dissertation may be be missing from the repository. If you are unable to find a specific dissertation, please let us know and we will attempt to make it available through the repository, provided that the author has not elected for it to be embargoed.

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### Recent Submissions

• #### Fragility and Risk Assessment of Aboveground Storage Tanks during Storm Events ﻿

Aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) have suffered severe damage during past storm events, resulting in the release of hazardous chemicals in the environment. For instance, more than 30 million liters of oil products were ...
• #### The importance of political parties for voters in Latin America ﻿

(2019-05-24)
This dissertation examines the importance that parties have for voters in Latin America in three main aspects: as information shortcuts, as a social identity, and as a key piece of information needed to hold governments ...
• #### Getting Enlightened: A Comparative Study of Buddhist Temples in Mainland China and the US ﻿

(2019-05-23)
This dissertation examines the intersection of religion, ethnicity, and gender in two Chinese Mahayana Buddhist temples that are affiliated with the same international Buddhist headquarters, but situated in two distinctive ...
• #### Advanced Optical Studies of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Wrapped with Single-Stranded DNA ﻿

(2019-05-23)
Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) exist in a variety of discrete structures, giving distinct optical and electronic properties. Purification of as-grown SWCNTs and sorting of SWCNT mixtures into pure (n,m) fractions ...
• #### Modeling Polymer Phase Behavior with the Cubic-Plus-Chain (CPC) Equation of State ﻿

(2019-04-18)
Cubic-plus-chain (CPC) equation of state (Sisco et al., Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2019) is used to model vapor-liquid and liquid-liquid phase equilibria for different polymer-solvent systems. Polypropylene ...
• #### Separation and characterization of crude oils and investigation of their wetting properties on rock surfaces ﻿

(2019-04-19)
The complexity of crude oil makes its compositional characterization a very challenging task. As a conventional method for characterizing crude oil, SARA fractionation is based on the differences between the solubility and ...
• #### Mechanistic Investigation of Fouling of Heat Exchangers Caused by Asphaltene Deposition in Oil Refineries ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Asphaltene precipitation and subsequent deposition is a growing problem for the oil and gas industry. The so-called “cholesterol of the oil” is the heaviest and the most polar fraction of the oil that is well-known to cause ...
• #### Engineering Adeno-Associated Virus for Protease Targeted Gene Therapy and Immune Avoidance ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) has earned significant attention as a safe and efficient gene therapy tool. AAV has been used in over 100 clinical trials to treat a variety of human diseases. However, non-specific targeting ...
• #### Getting by with a Little Help from (Family and) Friends?: The Link between Family Support and Residential Attainment ﻿

(2019-04-18)
In the context of increasing wealth inequality and work insecurity, the burdens of economic instability have been overwhelmingly offloaded onto American families. This instability and exposure to disadvantage represents a ...
• #### Development of Low-Cost Technologies for Cervical Cancer Prevention in Low-Resource Settings ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Early detection and treatment strategies have reduced the rate of cervical cancer by 65% in high-income countries. However, cervical cancer remains the first or second leading ...
• #### Resolving Spatial Heterogeneity of Elastic Properties in Veins and Mitral Valves ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Each tissue of the cardiovascular system exhibits a unique pattern of composition and material properties, which are matched to the tissue’s mechanical environment and required function. My global objective was to characterize ...
• #### Resolving Spatial Heterogeneity of Elastic Properties in Veins and Mitral Valves ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Each tissue of the cardiovascular system exhibits a unique pattern of composition and material properties, which are matched to the tissue’s mechanical environment and required function. My global objective was to characterize ...
• #### The Variability of Strains in Bolts and the Effect on Preload in Jointed Structure ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Torque wrenches are the most common method used for tightening bolts; however, this method can cause a large amount of uncertainty in the resulting bolt preload. With the inability to determine the preload in bolted ...
• #### Hardware, wetware, and methods for precision control of gene expression ﻿

(2019-04-17)
The ability to control the biochemical processes of the cell is fundamental to the goals of synthetic biology. This control implies the ability to specify the spatial, temporal, and amount of gene expression and protein ...
• #### Alkylation of Boron Nitride Nanomaterials using Reductive Conditions ﻿

(2019-04-17)
Boron nitride nanomaterials possess an unparalleled combination of properties: their mechanic properties are superior to that of steel, their thermal conductivity is comparable to that of copper, their band gap is that of ...
• #### Blind Demodulation via Convex and Non-Convex Programming ﻿

(2019-04-18)
We consider the bilinear inverse problem of recovering two vectors, $x$ and $w$, in $\R^L$ from their entrywise product. In this dissertation, we consider three different prior on these unknown signals, a subspace prior, ...
• #### Thermodynamic Modeling of Branched Molecular Systems ﻿

(2019-04-17)
Presence of branches in the molecular structure results in properties different from that of linear molecules and also leads to special industrial value and diverse novel applications. However, a basic knowledge of ...
• #### The Impact of Political Identity on Consumer Behavior ﻿

(2019-04-18)
Over the past decade, consumers’ political identity has become more salient because of increased political polarization. As such, companies need to better understand how consumers’ political identity affects their attitudes ...
• #### Characterizing Nonlinear Dynamics with Stochasticity Using Semiflexible Paramagnetic Colloidal Filaments ﻿

(2019-04-19)
Elastic Brownian filaments exhibit rich dynamics that are essential in numerous biological and industrial processes, such as intracellular transport and flagellar motion in biology, processing of rod-like polymers, and ...
• #### What Does it Take to Lead Change? A Qualitative Approach to Identifying Change Leader Functions and Competencies ﻿

(2019-04-19)
For both the financial and physical health of the United States, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of patient care. Numerous evidence based practices exist that would improve the quality of patient care, however ...