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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Date Range
2011 2019


Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter involved in attention, goal oriented behavior, movement, reward learning, and short term and working memory. For the past four decades, mathematical and computational modeling approaches have been useful in DA research, and although every modeling approach has limitations, a model is an efficient way to generate and explore hypotheses. This work develops a model of DA dynamics in a representative, single DA neuron by integrating previous experimental, theoretical and computational research. The model consists of three compartments: the cytosol, the vesicles, and the extracellular space and forms the basis of a new mathematical paradigm for …

Contributors
Tello-Bravo, David, Crook, Sharon M, Greenwood, Priscilla E, et al.
Created Date
2012

Olfaction is an important sensory modality for behavior since odors inform animals of the presence of food, potential mates, and predators. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a favorable model organism for the investigation of the biophysical mechanisms that contribute to olfaction because its olfactory system is anatomically similar to but simpler than that of vertebrates. In the Drosophila olfactory system, sensory transduction takes place in olfactory receptor neurons housed in the antennae and maxillary palps on the front of the head. The first stage of olfactory processing resides in the antennal lobe, where the structural unit is the glomerulus. …

Contributors
Luli, Dori, Crook, Sharon, Baer, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2013

A key factor in the success of social animals is their organization of work. Mathematical models have been instrumental in unraveling how simple, individual-based rules can generate collective patterns via self-organization. However, existing models offer limited insights into how these patterns are shaped by behavioral differences within groups, in part because they focus on analyzing specific rules rather than general mechanisms that can explain behavior at the individual-level. My work argues for a more principled approach that focuses on the question of how individuals make decisions in costly environments. In Chapters 2 and 3, I demonstrate how this approach provides …

Contributors
Udiani, Oyita Udiani, Kang, Yun, Fewell, Jennifer H, et al.
Created Date
2016

In the field of infectious disease epidemiology, the assessment of model robustness outcomes plays a significant role in the identification, reformulation, and evaluation of preparedness strategies aimed at limiting the impact of catastrophic events (pandemics or the deliberate release of biological agents) or used in the management of disease prevention strategies, or employed in the identification and evaluation of control or mitigation measures. The research work in this dissertation focuses on: The comparison and assessment of the role of exponentially distributed waiting times versus the use of generalized non-exponential parametric distributed waiting times of infectious periods on the quantitative and …

Contributors
Morale Butler, Emmanuel Jesús, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Aparicio, Juan P, et al.
Created Date
2014

In the honey bee antennal lobe, uniglomerular projection neurons (uPNs) transiently spike to odor sensory stimuli with odor-specific response latencies, i.e., delays to first spike after odor stimulation onset. Recent calcium imaging studies show that the spatio-temporal response profile of the activated uPNs are dynamic and changes as a result of associative conditioning, facilitating odor-detection of learned odors. Moreover, odor-representation in the antennal lobe undergo reward-mediated plasticity processes that increase response delay variations in the activated ensemble of uniglomerular projection neurons. Octopamine is necessarily involved in these plasticity processes. Yet, the cellular mechanisms are not well understood. I hypothesize that …

Contributors
Smith, Adrian Nicholas, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Sinakevitch, Irina T., et al.
Created Date
2016

The Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) is a summer research program for undergraduate students, largely from underrepresented minority groups. Founded in 1996, it serves as a 'life-long' mentorship program, providing continuous support for its students and alumni. This study investigates how MTBI supports student development in applied mathematical research. This includes identifying of motivational factors to pursue and develop capacity to complete higher education. The theoretical lens of developmental psychologists Lev Vygotsky (1978, 1987) and Lois Holzman (2010) that sees learning and development as a social process is used. From this view student development in MTBI is attributed to …

Contributors
Evangelista, Arlene Morales, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Holmes, Raquell M, et al.
Created Date
2015

A sequence of models is developed to describe urban population growth in the context of the embedded physical, social and economic environments and an urban disease are developed. This set of models is focused on urban growth and the relationship between the desire to move and the utility derived from city life. This utility is measured in terms of the economic opportunities in the city, the level of human constructed amenity, and the level of amenity caused by the natural environment. The set of urban disease models is focused on examining prospects of eliminating a disease for which a vaccine …

Contributors
Murillo, David, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Anderies, John M, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation is intended to tie together a body of work which utilizes a variety of methods to study applied mathematical models involving heterogeneity often omitted with classical modeling techniques. I posit three cogent classifications of heterogeneity: physiological, behavioral, and local (specifically connectivity in this work). I consider physiological heterogeneity using the method of transport equations to study heterogeneous susceptibility to diseases in open populations (those with births and deaths). I then present three separate models of behavioral heterogeneity. An SIS/SAS model of gonorrhea transmission in a population of highly active men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) is presented to study the impact of …

Contributors
Morin, Benjamin Richard, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Hiebeler, David, et al.
Created Date
2012

Mathematical modeling of infectious diseases can help public health officials to make decisions related to the mitigation of epidemic outbreaks. However, over or under estimations of the morbidity of any infectious disease can be problematic. Therefore, public health officials can always make use of better models to study the potential implication of their decisions and strategies prior to their implementation. Previous work focuses on the mechanisms underlying the different epidemic waves observed in Mexico during the novel swine origin influenza H1N1 pandemic of 2009 and showed extensions of classical models in epidemiology by adding temporal variations in different parameters that …

Contributors
Cruz-Aponte, Maytee, Wirkus, Stephen A., Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2014

Diseases have been part of human life for generations and evolve within the population, sometimes dying out while other times becoming endemic or the cause of recurrent outbreaks. The long term influence of a disease stems from different dynamics within or between pathogen-host, that have been analyzed and studied by many researchers using mathematical models. Co-infection with different pathogens is common, yet little is known about how infection with one pathogen affects the host's immunological response to another. Moreover, no work has been found in the literature that considers the variability of the host immune health or that examines a …

Contributors
Edme, Soho, Wirkus, Stephen, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2011

The Quantum Harmonic Oscillator is one of the most important models in Quantum Mechanics. Analogous to the classical mass vibrating back and forth on a spring, the quantum oscillator system has attracted substantial attention over the years because of its importance in many advanced and difficult quantum problems. This dissertation deals with solving generalized models of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation which are called generalized quantum harmonic oscillators, and these are characterized by an arbitrary quadratic Hamiltonian of linear momentum and position operators. The primary challenge in this work is that most quantum models with timedependence are not solvable explicitly, yet …

Contributors
Lopez, Raquel, Suslov, Sergei K, Radunskaya, Ami, et al.
Created Date
2012

Diabetes is a disease characterized by reduced insulin action and secretion, leading to elevated blood glucose. In the 1990s, studies showed that intravenous injection of fatty acids led to a sharp negative response in insulin action that subsided hours after the injection. The molecule associated with diminished insulin signalling response was a byproduct of fatty acids, diacylglycerol. This dissertation is focused on the formulation of a model built around the known mechanisms of glucose and fatty acid storage and metabolism within myocytes, as well as downstream effects of diacylglycerol on insulin action. Data from euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp with fatty acid infusion …

Contributors
Burkow, Daniel Harrison, Li, Jiaxu, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2017

The concept of vaccination dates back further than Edward Jenner's first vaccine using cowpox pustules to confer immunity against smallpox in 1796. Nevertheless, it was Jenner's success that gave vaccines their name and made vaccinia virus (VACV) of particular interest. More than 200 years later there is still the need to understand vaccination from vaccine design to prediction of vaccine efficacy using mathematical models. Post-exposure vaccination with VACV has been suggested to be effective if administered within four days of smallpox exposure although this has not been definitively studied in humans. The first and second chapters analyze post-exposure prophylaxis of …

Contributors
Holechek, Susan Anthoanet, Jacobs, Bertram L, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, et al.
Created Date
2011

The immune system plays a dual role during neoplastic progression. It can suppress tumor growth by eliminating cancer cells, and also promote neoplastic expansion by either selecting for tumor cells that are fitter to survive in an immunocompetent host or by establishing the right conditions within the tumor microenvironment. First, I present a model to study the dynamics of subclonal evolution of cancer. I model selection through time as an epistatic process. That is, the fitness change in a given cell is not simply additive, but depends on previous mutations. Simulation studies indicate that tumors are composed of myriads of …

Contributors
Chowell, Diego, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Anderson, Karen S, et al.
Created Date
2016

This study contributes to the ongoing discussion of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT). It investigates the case of Rico, a high school mathematics teacher who had become known to his colleagues and his students as a superbly effective mathematics teacher. His students not only developed excellent mathematical skills, they also developed deep understanding of the mathematics they learned. Moreover, Rico redesigned his curricula and instruction completely so that they provided a means of support for his students to learn mathematics the way he intended. The purpose of this study was to understand the sources of Rico's effectiveness. The data for …

Contributors
Lage Ramírez, Ana Elisa, Thompson, Patrick W., Carlson, Marilyn P., et al.
Created Date
2011

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the sixth most common cancer type worldwide, accounts for more than 630,000 new cases and 350,000 deaths annually. Drug-resistance and tumor recurrence are the most challenging problems in head and neck cancer treatment. It is hypothesized that a very small fraction of stem-like cells within HNSCC tumor, called cancer stem cells (CSCs), is responsible for tumor initiation, progression, resistance and recurrence. It has also been shown that IL-6 secreted by head and neck tumor-associated endothelial cells (ECs) enhances the survival, self-renewal and tumorigenic potential of head and neck CSCs. In this study we …

Contributors
Nazari, Fereshteh, Jackson, Trachette L., Jackson, Trachette L., et al.
Created Date
2017

In complex consumer-resource type systems, where diverse individuals are interconnected and interdependent, one can often anticipate what has become known as the tragedy of the commons, i.e., a situation, when overly efficient consumers exhaust the common resource, causing collapse of the entire population. In this dissertation I use mathematical modeling to explore different variations on the consumer-resource type systems, identifying some possible transitional regimes that can precede the tragedy of the commons. I then reformulate it as a game of a multi-player prisoner's dilemma and study two possible approaches for preventing it, namely direct modification of players' payoffs through punishment/reward …

Contributors
Kareva, Irina, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Collins, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

Extraordinary medical advances have led to significant reductions in the burden of infectious diseases in humans. However, infectious diseases still account for more than 13 million annual deaths. This large burden is partly due to some pathogens having found suitable conditions to emerge and spread in denser and more connected host populations, and others having evolved to escape the pressures imposed by the rampant use of antimicrobials. It is then critical to improve our understanding of how diseases spread in these modern landscapes, characterized by new host population structures and socio-economic environments, as well as containment measures such as the …

Contributors
Patterson-Lomba, Oscar, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Towers, Sherry, et al.
Created Date
2014

Combination therapy has shown to improve success for cancer treatment. Oncolytic virotherapy is cancer treatment that uses engineered viruses to specifically infect and kill cancer cells, without harming healthy cells. Immunotherapy boosts the body's natural defenses towards cancer. The combination of oncolytic virotherapy and immunotherapy is explored through deterministic systems of nonlinear differential equations, constructed to match experimental data for murine melanoma. Mathematical analysis was done in order to gain insight on the relationship between cancer, viruses and immune response. One extension of the model focuses on clinical needs, with the underlying goal to seek optimal treatment regimens; for both …

Contributors
Summer, Ilyssa, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Nagy, John, et al.
Created Date
2016

The Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is primarily endemic in five countries, with India and Sudan having the highest burden. The risk factors associated with VL are either unknown in some regions or vary drastically among empirical studies. Here, a dynamical model, motivated and informed by field data from the literature, is analyzed and employed to identify and quantify the impact of region dependent risks on the VL transmission dynamics. Parameter estimation procedures were developed using model-derived quantities and empirical data from multiple resources. The dynamics of VL depend on the estimates of the control reproductive number, RC, interpreted as the average …

Contributors
Barley, Kamal Kevin, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Mubayi, Anuj, et al.
Created Date
2016