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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
2011 2016


Systems biology studies complex biological systems. It is an interdisciplinary field, with biologists working with non-biologists such as computer scientists, engineers, chemists, and mathematicians to address research problems applying systems’ perspectives. How these different researchers and their disciplines differently contributed to the advancement of this field over time is a question worth examining. Did systems biology become a systems-oriented science or a biology-oriented science from 1992 to 2013? This project utilized computational tools to analyze large data sets and interpreted the results from historical and philosophical perspectives. Tools deployed were derived from scientometrics, corpus linguistics, text-based analysis, network analysis, and …

Contributors
Zou, Yawen, Laubichler, Manfred, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2016

How fast is evolution? In this dissertation I document a profound change that occurred around the middle of the 20th century in the way that ecologists conceptualized the temporal and spatial scales of adaptive evolution, through the lens of British plant ecologist Anthony David Bradshaw (1926–2008). In the early 1960s, one prominent ecologist distinguished what he called “ecological time”—around ten generations—from “evolutionary time”— around half of a million years. For most ecologists working in the first half of the 20th century, evolution by natural selection was indeed a slow and plodding process, tangible in its products but not in its …

Contributors
Peirson, Bruce Richard Erick, Laubichler, Manfred D, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation shows that the central conceptual feature and explanatory motivation of theories of evolutionary directionality between 1890 and 1926 was as follows: morphological variation in the developing organism limits the possible outcomes of evolution in definite directions. Put broadly, these theories maintained a conceptual connection between development and evolution as inextricably associated phenomena. This project develops three case studies. The first addresses the Swiss-German zoologist Theodor Eimer's book Organic Evolution (1890), which sought to undermine the work of noted evolutionist August Weismann. Second, the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope's Primary Factors (1896) developed a sophisticated system of inheritance that …

Contributors
Ulett, Mark Andrew, Laubichler, Manfred D, Hall, Brian K, et al.
Created Date
2014

Computational tools in the digital humanities often either work on the macro-scale, enabling researchers to analyze huge amounts of data, or on the micro-scale, supporting scholars in the interpretation and analysis of individual documents. The proposed research system that was developed in the context of this dissertation ("Quadriga System") works to bridge these two extremes by offering tools to support close reading and interpretation of texts, while at the same time providing a means for collaboration and data collection that could lead to analyses based on big datasets. In the field of history of science, researchers usually use unstructured data …

Contributors
Damerow, Julia, Laubichler, Manfred, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2014

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In the closing paragraphs, the parents of autistic children are described as emotionally cold. Yet, he concludes that the condition as he described it was innate. Since its publication, his observations about parents have been a source of controversy surrounding the original definition of autism. Thus far, histories about autism have pointed to descriptions of parents of autistic children with the claim that Kanner abstained from assigning them causal significance. Understanding …

Contributors
Cohmer, Sean, Hurlbut, James B, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2014

In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work noncredible.Science soon published <&ldquo;>Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered,<&rdquo;> and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by others with articles in The American Biology Teacher, <&ldquo;>Haeckel's Embryos and Evolution: Setting the Record Straight <&rdquo;> and the New York Times, <&ldquo;>Biology Text Illustrations more Fiction than Fact.<&rdquo;> Meanwhile, others emphatically stated that the goal of comparative embryology was not to resurrect Haeckel's work. At the center of the controversy was Haeckel's no-longer-accepted idea of recapitulation. Haeckel believed that the development …

Contributors
Wellner, Karen Linette, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin D., et al.
Created Date
2014

Once perceived as an unimportant occurrence in living organisms, cell degeneration was reconfigured as an important biological phenomenon in development, aging, health, and diseases in the twentieth century. This dissertation tells a twentieth-century history of scientific investigations on cell degeneration, including cell death and aging. By describing four central developments in cell degeneration research with the four major chapters, I trace the emergence of the degenerating cell as a scientific object, describe the generations of a variety of concepts, interpretations and usages associated with cell death and aging, and analyze the transforming influences of the rising cell degeneration research. Particularly, …

Contributors
Jiang, Lijing, Maienschein, Jane, Laubichler, Manfred, et al.
Created Date
2013

Despite the minor differences in the inclusiveness of the word, there is a general assumption among the scientific community that the 'pursuit of knowledge' is the most fundamental element in defining the word 'science'. However, a closer examination of how science is being conducted in modern-day South Korea reveals a value system starkly different from the value of knowledge. By analyzing the political discourse of the South Korean policymakers, mass media, and government documents, this study examines the definition of science in South Korea. The analysis revealed that the Korean science, informed by the cultural, historical, and societal contexts, is …

Contributors
Hyun, Byunghun, Hurlbut, Ben, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011