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  • 1.
    Shevtsov, Stepan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM). KU Leuven, Belgium.
    A Control-theoretic Approach to Realize Self-adaptive Software Systems with Guarantees2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering modern software systems is a challenging task as these systems are subject to different types of uncertainties. Examples of such uncertainties are disturbances in the environment that are difficult to predict and goals that may change during operation. The idea of self-adaptation is to handle these uncertainties at runtime, when the knowledge becomes available to resolve them. As more software systems with strict requirements are designed to be self-adaptive, the need for adaptation guarantees is becoming a high-priority concern. Providing such guarantees with traditional architecture-based approaches has shown to be challenging, calling for new approaches to engineer self-adaptive systems. To tackle this challenge, this thesis studies control-based software adaptation (CBSA). CBSA applies principles from control theory to design self-adaptive software systems. More specifically, we address the following research problem using CBSA: how to realize self-adaptive software systems that satisfy multiple stakeholder requirements with guarantees in the presence of uncertainties.

    The thesis addresses the research problem in two subsequent stages. The first stage focuses on satisfying multiple stakeholder requirements of different types, and providing adaptation guarantees. This stage starts with a systematic literature review of CBSA, which provides a comprehensive overview of the field, including existing CBSA approaches, applied models and controllers, and analyzed guarantees. From the review, we identify a number of gaps in the existing research and concrete challenges in addressing the research problem. Then, we devise SimCA, a control-theoretic approach to realize self-adaptive software systems that satisfy multiple requirements with guarantees. SimCA combines mathematical models of software system, a control-based adaptation mechanism, and formal analysis of the required guarantees. SimCA is also reusable, meaning that it can be applied to a family of cooperative software systems with strict requirements. The second research stage focuses on handling different types of uncertainty.We first discuss the types of uncertainty and study whether existing CBSA approaches try to deal with these types. We then introduce an enhanced approach called SimCA* that includes components to deal with uncertainty in software parameters, addition or removal of requirements at runtime and software component interactions. In order to obtain evidence about the applicability and reusability of SimCA and SimCA*, we apply informal exploratory case studies with three software systems with strict requirements from different domains.

  • 2.
    Rahman, Mohammad A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Biophysical studies of the actin-myosin motor system and applications in nanoscience2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The actin-myosin motor system plays important roles in cellular processes. In addition, actin and myosin have been used for developments towards nanotechnological applications in recent years. Therefore, fundamental biophysical studies of actin and myosin and the actomyosin force generating cycle are important both in biology and for nanotechnology where the latter applications require methodological insights for optimization. This dual goal is central in the present thesis with major focus on factors that control the function (e.g. velocity) and the effectiveness of transport of filaments (e.g. filament flexural rigidity) through nanoscale channels with supplementation of methodological insights. The thesis thus provides evidence that actin is a dynamic filament whose flexural rigidity is different at different MgATP concentrations as well as in the presence or absence of myosin binding. Furthermore, probing the myosin ATPase cycle with the myosin inhibitor blebbistatin revealed that velocity is easily modified by this drug. Our detailed studies also suggest that actin-myosin force generation is preceded by Pi release and that blebbistatin changes the rate limiting transition in the cycle from the attachment step to a step between weakly attached states. The studies of actin dynamics and of the actomyosin force generating cycle were largely performed using in vitro motility assay (IVMA) where surface adsorbed myosin motor or its proteolytic fragments propel fluorescently labeled actin filaments. The IVMA is often taken as the basis for developments towards different nanotechnological applications. However, in the IVMA, actomyosin motility is often negatively affected by the presence of “dead”, non-functional myosin heads. Therefore, in this thesis, two popular methods, that are often used to remove dead myosin heads, are analyzed and compared. It was found that after affinity purification, the in vitro actin sliding velocity is reduced compared to the control conditions, something that was not seen with the use of blocking actin. Therefore, the effects of the affinity purification method should be considered when interpreting IVMA data. This is important while using IVMA both for fundamental studies and for nanotechnological applications. Another issue in the use of IVMAs in nanotechnological applications is the requirement for expensive and time-consuming fabrication of nanostructured devices. We therefore developed a suitable method for regenerating molecular motor based bionanodevices without a need to disassemble the flow cell. Evidence is presented that, use of proteinase K with a suitable detergent (SDS or Triton X100) lead to successful regeneration of devices where both actin-myosin and microtubule-kinesin motility are used. Lastly, this thesis presents efforts to immobilize engineered light sensitive myosin motors on trimethyl chlorosilane (TMCS) derivatized surfaces for light operated switching of myosin motor in order to control actin movement in nano-networks. This has potential for developing a programmable junction in a biocomputation network. In brief, the described results have contributed both to the fundamental understanding of actin and myosin properties and the actomyosin interaction mechanisms. They have also given technical insights for molecular motor based bionanotechnology.

  • 3.
    Sjökvist, Tinh
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Coated Norway Spruce: Influence of Wood Characteristics on Water Sorption and Coating Durability2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Wood used outdoors is often degraded and discoloured by microorganisms as a natural part of its life cycle, particularly when exposed to high levels of moisture for prolonged times. In this case, the application of a coating (i.e. paint) is an option for increasing the service life of the wood.

    Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) is commonly used for outdoor applications in Sweden. Earlier studies have shown that uncoated spruce heartwood is less prone to moisture sorption in outdoor exposure, resulting in lower moisture content (MC) levels, as compared to sapwood. However, studies related to the above mentioned characteristics are rather limited for coated spruce, especially including the influence of outdoor exposure (i.e. weathering).

    The aim of this thesis is, therefore, to increase the knowledge of how heartwood and sapwood of different densities influence on the durability of coated Norway spruce for outdoor use. Different types of coatings with alkyd-, acrylic-, flour- (calcimine paint), or linseed-oil-based resin were included. The objectives were to study the water sorption (including MC variation) behaviour and crack formation of uncoated and coated heartwood and sapwood of different densities.

    Furthermore was an objective to study the microbial growth on the surface of similar samples of coated spruce in outdoor exposure. The used methods included wetting and liquid permeability experiments, accelerated water absorption (with samples floating freely in water), and outdoor field test. The field method lasted between three to five years and involved monitoring of the MC variation, the crack formation and the microbial growth on the samples.

    The results based on wetting measurements using octane as the adsorbed liquid showed no difference in liquid permeability between the spruce heartwood and sapwood samples of comparable densities, and indicated a similar level of pit aspiration (closure). The common flow path between two cells of conifers occurs through the pits. Still, the sapwood samples had in general a clearly higher water sorption rate than heartwood samples. It could be concluded that the increased sorption was presumably caused by a lowered water surface tension, most likely by a contamination effect of the water by surface-active sapwood extractives rather than differences in morphology of heartwood and sapwood.

    However, no clear difference in water absorption and MC levels was seen between coated heartwood and sapwood in the field study or in the accelerated water absorption study. Thus, it is suggested that a coating hinders the surfaceactive extractives to lower the water surface tension, resulting in a similar water absorption behaviour of coated heartwood and sapwood. The influence of density on water sorption of coated spruce was similarly to uncoated spruce, meaning the low-density samples had a higher MC than the high-density samples in the field tests. Furthermore, a one-year weathering of the coated and uncoated samples caused a larger increase in water sorption of high-density heartwood in the accelerated water absorption study.

    The field study on uncoated and calcimine-coated spruce showed a higher number of cracks on the high-density samples than on the low-density samples. Additionally, within each density group, a larger number of cracks were seen on sapwood samples as compared to heartwood samples. High-density samples with an alkyd- or an acrylic coating also showed a higher number of cracks. As expected, the formation of cracks on the samples increased their water sorption significantly. The microbial growth was higher on sapwood than on heartwood samples with a white coloured alkyd coating.

    The main conclusion is that heartwood and sapwood of different densities influence the water sorption and durability of coated Norway spruce. However, the principles in water sorption of uncoated heartwood and sapwood could not be applied to coated samples. Overall, the results point out that low-density heartwood could be the best material combination to improve the durability of coated spruce in outdoor use. The knowledge acquired in this thesis can enable an increased service life of coated spruce in outdoor use. The increase in service life is achieved by a careful selection of the wood material regarding the proportion of heartwood and to the choice of wood density. As a concluding remark, the role of surface-active spruce extractives needs to be explored, and a follow-up investigation in the context of water sorption is suggested for future research.

  • 4.
    Waxegård, Gustaf
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Conceptualizing professionals' strategies in care pathways for neurodevelopmental disorders2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Neurodevelopmental disorders (ND), are complex neuropsychological functional impairments. About 3-5% of all children meet criteria for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and about 1% for autism spectrum disorder – along with intellectual developmental disorder the most common ND diagnoses. Degree and type of functional impairment vary greatly within and between patients, necessitating multi-professional assessment and treatment. Using classic grounded theory (Glaser), this thesis offers a new theory of professionals’ practices in care pathways for ND. It also contains a pilot evaluation of a new, tablet-based, clinical test of attention.

    Study I shows that care pathways for ND are characterized by social dilemmas. What is rational for an individual professional, team or clinic, is not always rational for the care pathway as a whole. Collective action therefor requires development and sustainability of inter-professional trust. The study highlights strategies used by professionals to decide on whether to act collectively or unilaterally. Such trust testing strategies are couched in the frameworks of social dilemma-theory and game-theory.  

    Study II emphasizes the importance of professional control over strategies, structures and methods in the care pathway for ND (unpacking control) to deal with ND-related complexity. Lack of such control can short-circuit the ability to work successfully as a professional. Unpacking control is understood mainly in the light of professions theory.

    Study III evaluates the new MapCog Spectra test as a rapid method to detect and assess clinical problems of attention. Four groups of children and adolescents took the test. Two groups were comprised of patients with either ND or other psychiatric problems. Two groups were comprised of school children without known clinical conditions. The MapCog Spectra test separated clinical from non-clinical groups with good precision.

    In the thesis, concepts from studies I and II are integrated and extended to form a unified theory about professional practices in care pathways for ND. The latters are suggested to be a particular form of commons, which can be collectively managed by professionals in more or less successful ways. A quantitative model for the dynamics in the care pathways is presented.

  • 5.
    Jonsdottir, Sigridur Sia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Effects of perinatal distress, satisfaction in partner relationship and social support on pregnancy and outcome of childbirth2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The aim of this thesis was to achieve a deeper understanding of the situation among women experiencing perinatal distress during pregnancy and childbirth and the effects that dissatisfaction in partner relationship and weak social support from family and friends could have on pregnancy and childbirth.

    Methods: Following screening for perinatal distress, 562 expecting mothers came for a semi-structured interview. This screening, done with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, categorized 360 (64.1%) women into the perinatal distressed group (PDG) and 202 (35.9%) into the non-distressed group (NDG). During the interview women answered the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Data were collected with these instruments for study I. Additional data for the three other studies were gathered from the women´s pregnancy records (II), electronic medical records (II, III), and childbirth records (IV). Results of the four studies were obtained by using descriptive statistics; parametric and nonparametric statistics and regression modeling.

    Results: Women in the PDG were significantly more likely than the NDG to be dissatisfied in their partner relationship, continue smoking during pregnancy, be dissatisfied with division of household tasks and child-rearing, have elementary or lower education, and to be students or unemployed. They were also significantly more likely to experience fatigue, vomiting and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Women in the PDG who received weak family support reported nausea and heartburn more frequently than those with strong family support. Women in the PDG utilized more antenatal care service and were allocated more part time as well as earlier sick leaves during pregnancy, than those in the NDG. Women in the PDG were significantly more likely to use epidural anesthesia as a single pain management during labor.

    Conclusion: Perinatal distress affects pregnancy and childbirth. It is more common among women who are dissatisfied in their partner relationship and with the division of household tasks and child-rearing. Perception of weak social support also affects pregnancy among distressed women. Distressed women along with their partners and families should be offered support and consultation to relieve distress and strengthen their bonds during pregnancy and childbirth.  

  • 6.
    Zimmer, Björn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Guided Interaction and Collaborative Exploration in Heterogeneous Network Visualizations2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The visual exploration of large and complex network structures remains a challenge for many application fields, such as systems biology or social sciences. Often, various domain experts would like to work together to improve the analysis time or the quality of the analysis results. Collaborative visualization tools can facilitate the analysis process in such situations. Moreover, a growing number of real world networks are multivariate and often interconnected with each other. Entities in a network may have relationships with elements of other related data sets, which do not necessarily have to be networks themselves, and these relationships may be defined by attributes that can vary greatly. A challenge is to correctly assign the attributes and relations between different data sets and graphs in order to be able to analyze them visually afterwards. The navigation between the resulting visualizations is also difficult. How can users be guided to other interesting data points relevant to their current view and how can this information be additionally displayed in a graph without losing the overview of the data?

    In this dissertation, we propose our new web-based visualization environment OnGraX, which supports distributed, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration of networks and related multivariate data sets. In addition to standard collaboration features like event tracking or synchronizing, our client/server-based system provides a rich set of visualization and interaction techniques for better navigation and overview of the input network. Changes made by specific analysts or even just visited network elements can be highlighted by heat maps, which enable us to visualize user behavior data without affecting the original graph visualization. We evaluate the usability of the heat map approach against two alternatives in a user experiment.

    Additional features of OnGraX include a comprehensive visual analytics approach that supports researchers to specify and subsequently explore attribute-based relationships across networks, text documents, and derived secondary data. Our approach provides an individual search functionality based on keywords and semantically similar terms over an entire text corpus to find related network nodes. For examining these nodes in the interconnected network views, we introduce a new interaction technique, called Hub2Go, which facilitates the navigation by guiding the user to the information of interest. To showcase these features, we use a large text corpus collected from papers listed in the IEEE VIS publications data set (1990--2015) that consists of 2,752 documents. We analyze relationships between various heterogeneous networks, a Bag-of-Words index, and a word similarity matrix, all derived from the initial corpus and metadata. We also propose a design for the interactive specification of degree-of-interest functions, which can be used to provide and evaluate configurations for guidance based on network attributes and logged user data in heterogeneous networks.

  • 7.
    Eklund, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
    Harmonising value in a car’s interior using sensory marketing as a lens2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The human senses have always influenced people’s perceptions of thesurrounding environment and objects. As a consequence of the evolvement ofthe experience economy, research on the human senses has increasedsubstantially and attracted scholars from various research domains, includingsensory marketing. In the marketing domain, research emphasises that value iscreated when consumers experience brands, products, and servicescapes that areexciting and fun to interact with through the human senses. In accordance withthe service-dominant logic discussion, value is created from the servicesurrounding the product, such as the experience, which includes manufacturersand consumers. Although this has partly been captured under sensorymarketing, little is known of how sensory marketing cues contribute to brandexperience and brand value. Theoretically, it is emphasised that creating valueis a service process, where the manufacturer’s goal is to plan and design amultisensory brand experience facilitated by the human senses leading toconsumer value, as well as to enhance the brand as an image. Hence, the purposeof this dissertation is to understand and explain how value is created within acar’s interior by applying sensory marketing as a lens.

    To address the purpose, an exploratory sequential mixed methods approachwas employed to capture different aspects of creating value. The empirical dataare based on a case study with a global premium car manufacturer, focusing onhow value is created and offered within a car’s interior. The qualitative sequenceexplored how the manufacturer plans and designs a value proposition byembedding sensory cues in the car’s interior. Furthermore, how value-in-use iscreated by providing a brand experience is analysed. The quantitative sequenceexamined the relationship between brand experience and brand image to explainhow consumer value as an experience is created.

    The dissertation concludes that creating value in the car’s interior followsthe logic of service-dominant logic and includes manufacturers and consumers.For the manufacturer, this was a strategic process to position the automotivebrand as premium by offering value in the car’s interior. To achieve this, valuewas planned and designed by embedding sensory cues in the car’s interior.However, sensory cues were not embedded in isolation; rather they wereharmonised with another to gestalt the coherent theme of Scandinavia in termsof colour, material, and shape to provide consumers with a brand experience forsense-making. Moreover, it was demonstrated that not all brand experiencedimensions impact brand image to create value as an experience. The resultsshow that sensory, affective, and harmony experience have a positiverelationship with brand image, which generates the consumer’s value as anexperience.

    Overall, the dissertation contributes to the process of creating value in thecar’s interior by relating sensory marketing with branding and service-dominantlogic, with harmony uniting these. Similar to an orchestra, where the conductorstrategically organises various instruments on the stage to play a harmoniousmelody for the audience, the manufacturer uses the car’s interior as a stage withsensory cues to provide consumers with a harmonious brand experience, leadingto a positive brand image. Harmony has been identified, operationalised,measured, and tested with a positive result. Theoretical, managerial, and ethicalimplications are discussed.

  • 8.
    Lindblad, Fredrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Identifying drivers and barriers for market growth within the industry producing wooden multi-family houses: Land allocation process for future growth2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    At present, Sweden is experiencing a housing shortage, which Swedish authorities expect to continue until at least 2025. Producers of wooden multi-family houses have a relatively small market share compared to those who use traditional building materials. Limited ability to meet the increased building demand restricts possibilities for development regarding innovation, bio-economy and sustainability.


    Swedish municipalities are responsible for planning the building development in their regions based on their projected requirements and strategies. Combining this with a desire to develop sustainable building solutions based on wood increases complexity in the public procurement process. Currently, public building developments are achieved through the Public Procurement Act or land-allocation activity, depending on the development strategy. This normally involves developing local strategies regarding, e.g. design, material choice and geographical development. Identifying drivers and barriers in the industry and market enables improved market entry activities related to public building initiatives using wood-based solutions. Hence, improving transparency in land-allocation activity generates possibilities for companies to respond successfully to requests from municipalities. This knowledge is used to better understand the required strategic development for companies, the government and municipalities to increase use of sustainable building materials such as wood in Swedish multi-family housing projects.


    Results show that the industry experiences barriers associated with municipalities' actions and knowledge related to wood as a building solution. Further, concrete’s strength as a building material is an issue, since municipalities tend to opt for familiar solutions. Furthermore, the way in which municipalities manage land-allocation activity is perceived as insufficient, with limited information, a subjective evaluation process, and uncertainties regarding their roles in the process. These factors contribute to ambiguity and sub-optimisation for developers proposing wood-based building solutions.

  • 9.
    Johansson, Maria
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Intensivvårdsdagbok i Sverige: betydelse och tillämpning2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim of the thesis was to explore how the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) diary was experienced by family members, family members of non-survivors and nursing staff in the ICU setting, thereby contributing to the development of national clinical practice guidelines regarding the structure, content and use of the ICU diary.

    Methods:  A qualitative design was employed for all four studies:  a hermeneutic approach was adopted in studies I and II, whilst a qualitative descriptive design with the use of focus groups interviews was chosen in study III. An Instrumental Multiple Case Study design was carried out in study IV.

    Main Findings: The diary symbolised the maintenance of relationships with the patients and was a substitute for the usual opportunities for communication. The diary was instrumental in meeting the needs of the majority of participant family members. The diary provided the means to be present at the patient’s bedside, to feel involved in caregiving, to maintain hope and to relay relevant information. If the critically ill family member did not survive the stay in the ICU, the diary acted as a form of bereavement support by processing the death of the patient. Nevertheless, some family members found the diary too public an arena to write in as the diary entries indicated visiting patterns which in turn provoke feelings of guilt when the visits were infrequent. Further, not knowing what to write was another source of pressure.

    Nursing staff experienced that writing diaries often felt meaningful and led to an increased motivation and engagement in patient care and family support. They expressed that they felt they did something good for the patient and family members. Thus, the diary can be seen as a way to promote person-centred care, where family members were offered to participate in the care. However, in the absence of guidelines or clear guidelines about the use of an ICU diary, then not many patients actually received a diary.

    Conclusions: Practice guidelines concerning ICU diaries would help to ensure the more widespread and consistent use of diaries for all ICU patients. As family members may benefit from the diary, even if the patient may not always be able to do so. The ICU diary can be seen as a tool to help promote person-centred care by directly involving family members and providing a human touch, thus helping to counterbalance the highly technical physical environment of ICU.

  • 10.
    Sjöstrand Öhrfelt, Magdalena
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Ord och inga visor: konstruktioner av förskolebarnet i kunskapsekonomin2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Historically, changes in preschool policy have been legitimized in relation to ideas about the preschool child and the various problems that the education of this child is supposed to be able to “solve”. From an early age, children have been considered the most effective tool for dealing with a variety of social, economic or environmental issues of central importance for maintaining and developing society.

    Against this background, the purpose of this thesis is to examine representations of the preschool child in different policy texts (textbooks, research- and educational policy) related to changing requirements and targets affecting contemporary Swedish preschools. Discursive constructions of the preschool child are considered as important central aspects, used to legitimize political reforms in accordance with pedagogical ideas and prevailing social contexts. The thesis focuses on the tensions within contemporary constructions of the preschool child in the so-called “knowledge economy”: i.e. the tensions between a competent child, who is both able and willing to take advantage of education, and a “newcomer” – the vulnerable child – in need of obtaining the benefits of education in order to be able to cope with the future.

    The simultaneously competent and vulnerable preschool child is thus an efficiently designed target for the interests of economic transnational organizations viewing education mainly in terms of human capital development, as well as an important factor for economic competitiveness.

    In the thesis’ final analysis, I study how the OECD, EU and IEA are developing methods for measuring and evaluating the results of preschool education, with the intention of being able to "streamline" it by finding universally successful concepts that are both cost-effective and of high quality. The construction of the preschool child as simultaneously competent and vulnerable is used to legitimize shifts in power over the definition of the Swedish preschool agenda, the fundamental ideas of what preschool is about, what its aims are, and for whom it is intended. As these ideas are disguised as being the result of supposedly "objective" forces far from the ideological contradictions of the political sphere, a critical discussion concerning the goals and aims of early childhood education becomes almost impossible to achieve.

  • 11.
    Johansson, Maude
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Postpartum depression, depressive symptoms and parental stress in mothers and fathers 25-30 months after child birth: A family perspective2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the prevalence of postpartum depression and parental stress 25 - 30 months after delivery. The first study was conducted 25 months after delivery. The aims were to investigate the prevalence of postpartum depression and the associations between postpartum depression and parental stress in two areas of study; spouse relationship problems and feelings of incompetence in parenthood. Seven hundred mothers and 646 fathers answered a questionnaire. The results showed that the prevalence of depressive symptoms was more than 11% for mothers and nearly 5% for fathers and that parents with postpartum depressive symptoms experienced more feelings of incompetence and spouse relationship problems than parents without postpartum depressive symptoms.

    The second study included 176 mothers and 146 fathers. The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms, and if parental stress and attachment style affected postpartum depression in mothers and fathers 30 months after birth. The prevalence rate of postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers was 14.9 %, while for fathers it was 11.5 %. We observed a difference with the preoccupied and fearful attachment style in terms of parents with postpartum depressive symptoms and parents without postpartum depressive symptoms. However, the differences were not significant. Furthermore, parental stress outperformed attachment styles as a predictor for postpartum depressive symptoms in both the mothers and the fathers.

    Study III was a qualitative interview study explored the lived experiences of mothers and fathers, their experiences of postpartum depression, and parental stress. Five prominent themes were identified. Both mothers and fathers described experiences of inadequacy as the most stressful. Experiences of problems during pregnancy or a traumatic delivery contributed to depressive symptoms and anxiety in mothers, and affected fathers’ wellbeing.

    Thus, identifying depressive symptoms with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depressive Scale (EPDS), mothers described varying experiences of child health care support. Depressive symptoms seemed to affect the spouses’ relationships. Experiences of emotional problems and insecure upbringing in the parents’ family of origin may contribute to vulnerability that led to long-term problems for mothers.

    The overall conclusion of this thesis was that postpartum depression and parental stress had a significant impact on the everyday lives and that postpartum depression does not seemed to decline 25- 30 months after childbirth.

  • 12.
    Thulin, Johanna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Putting words to child physical abuse: Possible consequences, the process of disclosure, and effects of treatment. From children’s perspectives2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim of the thesis is to explore the experiences and possible consequences concerning reported health and relations between a parent perpetrator of physical child abuse and the children who are victims of the parental physical abuse, the children’s thoughts when disclosing the abuse, and the impact of an intervention designed to support these children in a Swedish context – Combined Parent Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT). Methods: This thesis has a mix-method design. Study I and IV used different self-assessment scales, and the outcomes were analysed using descriptive statistics, paired-samples t test, independent t test, ANOVA, Pearson correlations, and hierarchical linear regression. Study II and III consisted of interviews with 15 (Study II) and 20 (Study III) children, respectively. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The results suggest that experiencing child physical abuse affects the relationship between a parent and a child as well as the child’s wellbeing in several ways. However, the results also suggest that participating in the CPC-CBT intervention could decrease parents’ use of violence and increase the child’s wellbeing. In addition, the results suggest that trust and participation influence whether a child discloses abuse and contributes to the success of treatment. Conclusion: The CPC-CBT could be seen as a successful turning point for the participating children, shifting from one trajectory (living in fear of violence) to another (living without fear). Furthermore, when children disclose to adults about their physical abuse, it is important that the adults recognise the children’s participatory rights and strive to earn their trust.

  • 13.
    Ståhlkrantz, Katarina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Rektors pedagogiska ledarskap: en kritisk policyanalys2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The pedagogical leadership is regarded as the most significant of the principal ́s duties. Because there is no clear definition of pedagogical leadership as a concept, it may be difficult for the principal to know how to practice it. Various versions of the concept’s meaning are currently circulating, in turn offering different norms to relate to and act upon. This doctoral thesis takes its point of departure from the policy proposal of a Rektorslyft in the Swedish national budget of 2011, as a solution to the problem that principals were not considered to be good enough pedagogical leaders. The study is designed as a critical policy analysis, with a curriculum theory framework and a critical interpretative perspective. The critical approach is directing focus towards the steering of the school. Further, a poststructuralist perspective adds a discursive approach to the study. The empirical material consists of a selection of official education policy documents, mainly governmental official reports. The aim of the study is to examine and analyse how the pedagogical leader is discursively constructed in official education government documents, what changes and stabilities can be distinguished in these discursive constructions over time and how these can be understood and explained. Bacchi ́s WPR-method and Foucault ́s genealogy is used as a methodological framework for the text analysis. The result shows six discursive breakpoints in the construction of the pedagogical leader from the 1950s to 2010s. These breakpoints have a close relationship to changes in school steering. Principals’ pedagogical leadership can therefore be regarded as a policy to legitimise new steering reforms. The result further indicates that principals from the 1950s to 2010s were given a clearer personal responsibility within the pedagogical leadership. The changes identified through the critical policy analysis can be explained by the context and policy streams. The text analysis also indicated stabilities in the discursive construction of the pedagogical leader. These stabilities can be explained by traditions and school structures. Hopefully, this study has contributed to a better and deepened understanding of principals’ pedagogical leadership, as well as have given the concept an empirical and theoretical basis.

  • 14.
    Svensson, Anders
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Räddningsaktörers tidiga närvaro vid akuta situationer på svensk landsbygd2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim was to describe the first responders´ (FRs) experiences ofarriving early at emergency situations in rural areas in Sweden and the characteristicfeatures of the assignments they encounter. The four studies aimed to: describe critical incidents in which ambulance nurses experience worry in their professional life and the actions they take in order to prevent and cope with it (I), explore and describe experiences of the First Incident Person (FIP) assignment within an Fire Department (FD) (II), describe experiences of the While Waiting for the Ambulance (WWFA) assignment, as experienced by home healthcare nurses (III) and map out and describe WWFA assignments focusing on frequency, event time,CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and survival >30 days after performed CPR (IV).

    Methods: The four studies in this thesis had both descriptive and explorative designs. They were analysed with qualitative and quantitative analysis methods.

    Results: By dispatching FRs in rural areas an early presence at the scene of anaccident or emergency situation can be secured, which prevent full scenarios to happen and increase the possibility to save lives. However, FRs are worried about specific emergency situations as well as situations related to their work environment.Leaving ongoing work tasks cause ethical dilemmas and inner emotional worries why support before, during and after an FR assignment is sought for.

    Conclusions: Generating effective interprofessional collaboration during FR assignment requires that the FRs work conditions are adopted to the assignment requirements for immediate response. The feeling of security disappears when the FRs are excluded from the group affiliation and the need to feel support in new interprofessional collaboration structures becomes clear. Support function based on individual requests is to be designed. Continuous collaborative exercises are required where all involved FRs participate.

  • 15.
    Kucher, Kostiantyn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Sentiment and Stance Visualization of Textual Data for Social Media2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapid progress in digital technologies has transformed the world in many ways during the past few decades, in particular, with the new means of communication such as social media. Social media platforms typically rely on textual data produced or shared by the users in multiple timestamped posts. Analyses of such data are challenging for traditional manual methods that are unable to scale up to the volume and the variety of the data. While computational methods can partially address these challenges, they have to be used together with the methods developed within information visualization and visual analytics to gain knowledge from the text data by using interactive visual representations.

    One of the most interesting aspects of text data is related to expressions of sentiments and opinions. The corresponding task of sentiment analysis has been studied within computational linguistics, and sentiment visualization techniques exist as well. However, there are gaps in research on the related task of stance analysis, dedicated to subjectivity that is not expressible only in terms of sentiment. Research on stance is an area of interest in linguistics, but support by computational and visual methods has been limited so far. The challenges related to definition, analysis, and visualization of stance in textual data call for an interdisciplinary research effort. The StaViCTA project addressed these challenges with a focus on written text in English. The corresponding results in the area of visualization are reported in this work, based on multiple publications.

    The main goal of this dissertation is to define, categorize, and implement means for visual analysis of sentiment and stance in textual data, in particular, for social media. Our work is based on the theoretical framework and automatic classifier of stance developed by our project collaborators, involving multiple non-exclusive stance categories such as certainty and prediction. We define a design space for sentiment and stance visualization techniques based on literature surveys. We discuss multiple visualization and visual analytics approaches developed by us to facilitate the underlying research on stance analysis, data collection and annotation, and visual analysis of sentiment and stance in real-world text data from several social media sources. The work described in this dissertation was carried out in cooperation with domain experts in linguistics and computational linguistics, and our approaches were validated with case studies, expert user reviews, and critical discussion. The results of this work open up further opportunities for research in text visualization and visual text analytics. The potential application areas are academic research, business intelligence, social media monitoring, and journalism.

  • 16.
    Lindgren, Patric
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Småstat i brytningstid: Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska orientering efter tre världskonflikter under 1900-talet2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis aims to explain how small states, in this case Sweden, security politics adapts to new circumstances after great conflicts in the 20th century. The analytical model is built by a combination of the opposite theories of international politics, realism and idealism, combined with actor based and structure based perspectives and thus creating a four field analytical matrix.

    The empirical foundation constitutes of three post conflict periods; post-first world war, post-second world war and post-cold war periods. For every period three cases are analyzed; one foreign politics initiative, one association to an international organization and one defence politics decision. In the post-first world war period the focus is on the Swedish intervention of the Åland archipelago, the association to the League of Nations and disarmament decision in 1925. In the post-second world war period the focus is on the association of Sweden to the United Nations, the Swedish initiative to a Scandinavian defence alliance and the defence decision of 1948. In the post-cold war period the focus is on the Swedish association to the European Union, the Swedish participation in the NATO led IFOR operation in Bosnia and the defence decision in 1996.

    The main conclusions of these investigations are that small states, like Sweden, both are restricted in their foreign and security politics by international structures and able to use the same structure to promote their interests. Time is a key element for analyzing both structural and actor based aspects of a small states capacity. Also, in the case of Sweden, there tends to be a tension between an idealistic dominated politics and a realistic dominated politics when it comes to foreign and security politics, and that idealism seems to have increased in the latter period.

  • 17.
    Johansson, Maria C.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    The institutionalisation of validation and the transformation of vocational knowledge: The case of admission into Vocational Teacher Education in Sweden2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis was to understand the validation of vocational knowledge prior to entry into vocational teacher education in Sweden with regard to conceptions and understandings of vocational knowledge, and also to understand how institutional conditions, such as ideas of how to organise validation, influence the content and form of the validation practice. From this aim the following research questions were developed: What ideas about the organisation of validation stand out in the policy and practice of validation? What conceptions and understandings of vocational knowledge is the organisation of validation built on and what do they entail? Who has the agency to describe and decide upon vocational knowledge in the policy and practice of validation? What institutional arrangements appear in the practice of validation?

    To conduct the studies in the thesis a multimethods approach was adopted, combining policy analysis and interviews. For theoretical support, new institutional theories were used and also theories of knowledge. The results revealed that the regulative elements of validation have transformed vocational knowledge to fit a frame similar to formal education. In terms of norms and values, it appears as if validation is more of a social and economic project than one of accounting for vocational knowledge and vocational pride. Cultural/cognitive matters that are taken for granted when considering vocational knowledge differ quite significantly between agents involved in validation. Validation of vocational knowledge exhibits a conceptual confusion having different conceptions of knowledge simultaneously at play. This confusion blurs the boundaries between concepts of knowledge, learning, and the learning context. In the complexity of ideas of how to organise validation and different knowledge conceptions, institutional arrangements appear to be based on a sense of belonging, either to academia or to the trade. The agency of those with vocational knowledge is limited in several ways within validation.

  • 18.
    Roos, Helena
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    The meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics in student talk: Inclusion as a topic when students talk about learning and teaching in mathematics2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis contributes to research and practice within the field of special education in mathematics with more knowledge about, and an understanding of, students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education. Three research questions guide the study: What meaning(s) is/are ascribed, and how is inclusion used, in mathematics education research? What meaning(s) do the students ascribe to inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? And what frames students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching?The first part of this study began with a systematic literature review on the notion of inclusion in mathematics education research, and the search resulted in 1,296 research studies. Of these, 76 studies were retained after the criteria for time span and peer-reviewed research were applied and 19 duplicates had been removed. The second part of the study involves a case study of three students and their meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education. The selected school was a lower secondary school in an urban area of Sweden. The school had set out to work inclusively, meaning their aims were to include all students in the ordinary classroom teaching in every subject and to incorporate special education into the ordinary teaching with no fixed special education groups. Three students were chosen for this part of the study: one in Grade 7 and two in Grade 8. Edward, one of the students in Grade 8, was chosen because he was thought to be a student in access to mathematics education. The other two students were chosen because they were thought to be struggling to gain access to mathematics education: Veronica in Grade 7 and Ronaldo in Grade 8 (the same class as Edward). In this study, the object of the study is the meaning(s) of inclusion in student talk. This study is an instrumental and collective case (Stake, 1995), as it involves several students’ meaning(s) aimed at developing a more general understanding of inclusion in mathematics education. The case is also an information-rich case (Patton, 2002), with contributions from students in mathematics education at an inclusive school. Applying Flyvbjerg’s (2006; 2011) notions, one can also call this kind of selection “information-oriented”, and the case is an extreme one – a choice made in order to get “a best case scenario”. An extreme case is a case used to “obtain information on unusual cases  which can be especially problematic or especially good in a more closely defined sense” (Flyvbjerg, 2011, p. 307). The data in this study consists of both observations and interviews conducted during the spring semester 2016. The observations took place in a Grade 7 and Grade 8 classroom at the same school where the interviewed students were enrolled. At least one mathematics lesson each month for each class was observed, and student interviews followed each observation. The observations were used to provide a context for the interviews and to support the analysis. In this study, discourse analysis (DA) as described by Gee (2014a; 2014b) was chosen as both the theoretical frame and as an analytical tool because of its explanatory view on discourse, with description foregrounded. With the help of DA, this study describes both the meaning(s) and the use of the notion of inclusion in mathematics education research. It also describes students’ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education as well as framing issues in student talk of inclusion in mathematics education. From Gee´s point of view, DA encompasses all forms of interaction, both spoken and written, and he provides a toolkit for analysing such interaction by posing questions to the text. Gee distinguishes two theoretical notions, big and small discourses, henceforth referred to as Discourse (D) and discourse (d). Discourse represents a wider context, both social and political, and is constructed upon ways of saying, doing, and being: “If you put language, action, interaction, values, beliefs, symbols, objects, tools, and places together in such a way that other recognize you as a particular type of who (identity) engaged in a particular type of what (activity), here and now, then you have pulled of a Discourse” (Gee, 2014 a, p. 52, Gee’s italics). When looking at discourse (with a small d), it focuses on language in use – the “stretches of language” we can see in the conversations we investigate (Gee, 2014a, 2014b), meaning the relations between words and sentences and how these relations visualize the themes within the conversations. These small discourses can inform on how the language is used, what typical words and themes are visible, and how the speakers or writers design the language. According to Gee (2015), big Discourse sets a larger context for the analysis of small discourse. The results of the first part of the study answer to the research question, What meaning(s) is ascribed, and how is inclusion used in mathematics education research? They show that research on inclusion in mathematics education use the term inclusion when both referring to an ideology and a way of teaching, although these two uses are usually treated separately and independently of each other. The results of the second part of the study answer to the following research questions: What meaning(s) do the students ascribe to inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? And what frames students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? These questions show how meaning(s) of inclusion in student talk can be described by three overarching Discourses: the Discourse of mathematics classroom setting, of assessment, and of accessibility in mathematics education. Within these Discourses, smaller discourses make issues of meanings of inclusion for the students visible in terms of: testing, grades, tasks, the importance of the teacher, (not) being valued, the dislike of mathematics, the classroom organization, and being in a small group. This study shows the complexities and challenges of teaching mathematics, all while simultaneously handling students’ diversity and promoting the mathematical development of each student. To enhance students’ participation and access demands that the teacher knows her or his students, is flexible, has a pedagogical stance and tactfulness, and is knowledgeable in mathematics and mathematics education. It also demands that the teacher is able to take a critical stance and resist the prevailing discourse of assessment that can sometimes overshadow the mathematics education, and in a sense, almost become mathematics for the students. Furthermore, this study also shows how complex and challenging it is to be a mathematics student: they are required to relate to, understand, and participate in many Discourses existing at the same time in a single mathematics classroom. These Discourses interrelate and are embedded in power relations between students and teachers and institutions. This demands that the students are alert and able to use various symbols and objects as well as recognize patterns, and then act accordingly. Hence, to be able to fully participate, you have to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk (Gee, 2014a). This means that not only do you have to use the language correctly, but also you have to act properly at the right time and place.

  • 19.
    Hemmilä, Venla
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Towards low-emitting and sustainable particleandfibreboards: Formaldehyde emission test methods and adhesives from biorefinery lignins2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    High volumes, fast production speed, and low material costs have been historically the driving factors of the particle- and fibreboard industries. However, in recent years the fossil-fuel dependency and health issues of the formaldehyde-containing adhesives used in the production have gained attention from both legislators and consumers. The latest example of legislation development is the change that the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany  (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Nukleare Sicherheit) made to their testing method, effectively lowering the formaldehyde emission levels of wood-based panels in Germany from the European emission level of 0.1 ppm (E1, EN 717-1) to 0.05 ppm. As the emission levels of requirements decrease, market opportunities arise for formaldehyde-free bio-based adhesive systems. The aim of this thesis was thus to evaluate the different formaldehyde test methods at low emission levels (<0.05 ppm), and to explore new adhesive alternatives to the formaldehyde and petroleum-based systems used today.

    As formaldehyde emissions decrease, choosing the right measurement method becomes increasingly important. Repeatability and correlation between the main European and American formaldehyde measurement chambers, described in EN 717-1 and ASTM D 6007 standards respectively, were determined. In addition, an alternative fast factory method based on emissions was evaluated, and the effect of reducing the conditioning time before emission measurements was investigated. A literature research was conducted on different bio-based raw materials in order to review their potential, from both scientific and industrial viewpoints, as alternatives to the current petroleum-derived and formaldehyde-based adhesives. Lignin residues from biorefinery processes were chosen for further testing due to their increasing volumes and potential to suit various pathways for adhesive making. Three different biorefinery lignins were compared, and ammonium lignosulfonate was chosen for making adhesives for particleboards by using one petroleum-based and one bio-based crosslinker.

    The main conclusion of the formaldehyde emission part of the thesis was that formaldehyde emissions can be measured both accurately and quickly at low levels using chamber methods, even at factory environment. There was a good correlation between the American D 6007 and European EN 717-1 chamber methods at emission levels <0.05 ppm for both particleboards (r2 = 0.9167) and fibreboards (r2 = 0.9443). Further understanding on the effect of edge-sealing of boards and analytical methods described in the standards was obtained. It was confirmed that a fast chamber method with 1 day conditioning and 15 minutes measuring time could be used for factory formaldehyde control for most board types.

    The bio-based adhesives’ literature review revealed a large amount of studies on different sustainable adhesive systems, some of which seem promising. Both soy protein and tannin were found to be partially commercialized, with certain pre-requisites. Kraft-lignin was especially well researched, but was found to be difficult to use for other applications than partial replacement of phenol in phenol-formaldehyde (PF) adhesives due to poor water solubility and purity. Lignin residues from biorefinery processes were found to be a less studied, growing raw-material source with a lot of potential. Thus, supercritical water hydrolysis lignin (SCWH) and two biorefinery lignosulfonates were chemically and thermally characterized, and evaluated as raw materials for value-added applications, including adhesives. SCWH lignin was found to have more β-R linkages and lower amount of impurities than the lignosulfonates. High amount of phenolic hydroxyl groups indicated that SCWH would be well suited for phenol replacement in PF adhesives. The two lignosulfonates had more aliphatic hydroxyl groups, which can be interesting for other crosslinking reactions than PF. Ammonium lignosulfonate (ALS) was chosen for further evaluation as having slightly better properties than sodium lignosulfonate (SLS). ALS was combined with one bio-based crosslinker, furfuryl alcohol (FOH), and one synthetic crosslinker, 4,4’-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (pMDI), and tested as particleboard adhesive. Although in veneer tensile shear strength testing the crosslinkers worked equally well, pMDI provided significantly better results in particleboards. In addition, higher emissions than what can be expected from wood particles alone were detected from the particleboard samples crosslinked with FOH, even though FOH can be classified as non-formaldehyde added adhesive system. Further research is needed to elucidate how much the lignin contributes to the final adhesion strength when it is used together with pMDI.

    This thesis has provided new insights on formaldehyde emissions and bio-based adhesives towards healthier and more sustainable particle- and fibreboards. It has been proven that formaldehyde emissions can be measured accurately at emission levels of wood, enabling comparisons of formaldehyde-free systems. Formaldehyde-free adhesives based on a biorefinery lignin type and pMDI showed promising results for particleboards. However, these results need to be improved by different modifications of the lignin in order to bring the adhesive system to the economical and performance level required by the particleboard industry.

  • 20.
    Nordmark, Susanna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    A Multimodal Seamless Learning Approach Supported by Mobile Digital Storytelling (mDS)2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of digital tools such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have shown potential to enhance teaching and learning in a wide variety of contexts. 21st century skills such as creativity, problem-solving and innovation as means for supporting learning and knowledge creation, are considered fundamental proficiencies in today's technology- driven society, and they are therefore considered essential to promote, already from the earliest of school years. Hence, there are a number of challenges related to how to design and implement innovative and varied strategies

    for teaching and learning supported by mobile technologies in educational settings. Moreover, it is also crucial to think about how to actively involve teachers into the processes mentioned above, inspiring and inviting them to implement new methods and technologies into their everyday educational practices.

    The work presented in this thesis embodies a series of co-design and design-based research efforts aiming at exploring the interplay between design, information and communication technologies and learning through mobile digital storytelling, guided by the theoretical frameworks of constructivism, multimodality, new media literacies, mobile seamless learning, and technology enhanced learning. Two main research questions have been identified as formulated below, and have served as

    the basis that guided my efforts:

    What design features are necessary to scaffold mobile seamless learning approaches with the support of mobile digital storytelling?

    Considering the role of mobile digital storytelling for educational settings: which design factors and learning requirements could guide and support similar initiatives?

    Over the years of my doctoral studies, a progression of research interventions involving teachers, pupils, and museum staff have been co-designed, developed, tested and validated. These efforts have resulted in a method, a mobile application, and a web service for mobile digital storytelling in educational contexts, named the mobile digital storytelling (mDS) system.

    The mDS system introduces learning technology approaches aiming to support teacher and pupil digital inclusion, mobile seamless learning and multimodal aspects, and serves as a reflective instrument for both collaborative and individual work. The validation of mDS in different educational settings indicates that it can be independent of subject matter, user age, locality and previous knowledge of technology enhanced learning, and is easy to access and manage for teachers as well as pupils. Hence, it proposes several innovative means on multiple levels for meeting the 21st century skills required for supporting contemporary learning and knowledge creation.

  • 21.
    Perez, Miguel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    A teacher-centred design system to integrate digital technologies in secondary mathematics classrooms2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite efforts made by teachers and researchers, studies show that digital technologies have not improved conditions for teaching and learning mathematics to the degree expected by stakeholders inside as well as outside the school system.

    In this research, the problem of the integration of digital technologies is addressed through the perspective of design. It sets out to explore the conditions where educational design researchers may succeed in producing valuable and sustainable contributions to teacher change. The design approach developed and used for this purpose is Agile Educational Design (AED). It shares many of the common features of other design methodologies within the field; however, the AED approach is an explicit systems approach to design based on the Singerian philosophy of design. Rather than focus on ready-made products or other resources such as curriculum material, professional development or design principles, the focus is on processes and supporting teachers’ operationalisation of theoretical principles to achieve change. It is argued that all phases of the design process need to be considered from a research perspective. The developmental phases cannot be treated as uncomplicated inputs that only serve as a ‘design base’ for research activities. The Anthropological Theory of the Didactic is used as an overall theoretical framework to describe all aspects of the design process and to analyse the empirical data which consists of three design cycles related to three different ways of interacting with teachers. The design cycles were carried out in various settings, including different schools (secondary level) and with different teachers and different learning objectives. The dynamic geometry software GeoGebra was used in all three cycles.

    The results highlight some of the internal and external constraints that hinder teachers from integrating digital technologies in an effective way to support students learning mathematics. Digital technologies introduce important epistemological changes in the mathematical content that may explain some of the teachers’ difficulties in exploiting the full potential of digital technologies. However, giving teachers the responsibility for orchestrating lessons in accordance with theoretical principles provided by a researcher showed promising results regarding achieving sustainable changes in teachers’ practices. 

  • 22.
    Morgalla, Mario
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Benzene-char conversion and particle-vapor characterization in biomass gasification2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Biomass is increasingly attracting attention as an alternative to fossil fuels. Gasification permits the thermochemical conversion of biomass into a product gas rich in carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The product gas can be further processed to generate heat, electricity, synthesis gas, chemicals, and biofuels. Particulate matter (PM), inorganic and organic (tars) impurities are formed as contaminants in the gasification process. In this thesis PM and tars formed during atmospheric fluidized bed biomass gasification are characterized and the conversion of a model tar compound (benzene) using a biomass based char aerosol in high temperature (HT) applications is investigated.

    PM in the product gas of a steam-blown atmospheric bubbling fluidized bed gasifier was characterized for mass size distribution and concentration, morphology, and elemental composition. The hot product gas was extracted using a HT- dilution probe combined with a primary and a secondary thermodenuder to adsorb tars and investigate the volatility/thermal stability of the remaining aerosol, respectively. Size distributions with three distinct modes were established. The fine and intermediate modes were mainly formed by tar and alkali vapors that had condensed in the sampling and conditioning systems. The coarse mode mainly consisted of the original particles, which are char, fly ash, and fragmented bed material. The presented PM sampling and conditioning system also showed the potential for online monitoring of heavy tars.

    The tar conversion performance of finely dispersed char particles within a HT-filter and an Al2O3 bed were tested experimentally using benzene as the model-tar. Benzene plus steam (or CO2) were simultaneously supplied to a tubular ceramic reactor that was heated electrically. Fragmented char particles were suspended and continuously supplied via a separate supply line. A HT-filter or a packed bed of crushed Al2O3 balls was positioned in the reactor to retain the char particles. The benzene conversion in the so formed hot char bed was investigated by varying the temperature of the filter or bed, gas flow rates, benzene concentrations, gasification media, char type, char mass and char concentration.

    Increasing the ratio of the char mass and gas flow rate (also referred to as char weight time) enhanced the benzene conversion. This was accomplished by increasing the supplied char concentrations, reducing the gas flow rates or slowing the char gasification reactions. The latter was achieved by lowering the steam concentrations or changing the gasification medium from steam to CO2. Increasing the temperature of the Al2O3 bed did not only raise the char gasification rate and thus reduce the char weight time but also showed to enhance the specific benzene conversion activity of the woody char samples. However, in the 900−1100 °C temperature range, the combined effect was to lower benzene conversions at higher temperatures. The apparent rate constant of the benzene conversion was slightly higher when CO2 rather than steam was used as the gasification medium. Increasing the benzene concentration slightly reduced the benzene conversion. Activated carbon pellets showed higher benzene conversions compared to a pine wood char which was related to the higher specific surface area of the activated carbon pellets. In contrast to a commercially available barbeque charcoal made from broadleaf wood, steam-activated woody charcoal converted benzene even in the absence of steam. This was probably due to the earlier steam activation of the woody charcoal and thus higher microporous surface area compared with that of the barbeque charcoal. Doping the woody barbeque charcoal with approximately 0.7 wt. % iron or 2 wt. % potassium did not improve the specific benzene conversion of the char. For a certain char concentration, however, the doping increased the char gasification rate, leaving less char in the packed alumina bed, thus leading to overall lower benzene conversions.

  • 23.
    Siméus, Jenny
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
    Black Lives, White Quotation Marks: Textual Constructions of Selfhood in South African Multivoiced Life Writing2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis focuses on South African multivoiced and collaborative life writing. The analysed primary texts are The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena (1980) by Elsa Joubert, The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa (1995) by Margaret McCord, Finding Mr Madini (1999) by Jonathan Morgan and the Great African Spiderwriters, David’s Story (2000) by Zoë Wicomb, and There Was This Goat: Investigating the Truth Commission Testimony of Notrose Nobomvu Konile (2009), co-written by Antjie Krog, Nosisi Mpolweni and Kopano Ratele. All of these primary texts are either collaborative autobiographies about black lives, multivoiced life writing texts about black lives, or a text that problematises this kind of life writing where predominantly disadvantaged, black life writing subjects either have had their lives narrated or have had their narration steered by well educated, advantaged, Westernised and usually white writers.

    The analyses of the primary texts are carried out by problematising them in the light of the South African historical and cultural context within which they were produced. The focus of the analyses is on the effects on and the consequences for textual constructions of selfhood when the writers tell or include the life writing subjects’ lives in the life writing texts. The involvement of the writers in the life writing projects is argued to greatly have impacted the textually represented selves that were created in the resulting multivoiced life writing texts.

    Drawing on theory rooted in postcolonial studies, life writing in general, and self-narration in particular, this thesis concludes that the examined black South African life narratives to various extents are told on white, Western terms and thus inserted in white quotation marks. White quotation marks are defined in this thesis as a certain Western perception of self-narration and selfhood, consisting of components rooted in language, racial tropes, narrative form, and Western autobiographical traditions. Both writers and life writing subjects have been involved in creating or employing these white quotation marks. In some cases this has been an unintentional result and in other cases it has been a conscious effort.

  • 24.
    Razmjoo, Narges
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Characterization of conversion zones in a reciprocating grate furnace firing wet woody biomass2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Grate-firing systems are a common and popular combustion technology for burning biomass. However, combustion of biomass in these furnaces may emit a large amount of pollutants in the form of CO, CH4, PAH, NOx, and particles. These furnaces need to be further developed to increase their efficiency and improve the overall system performance while ensuring environmental compatibility. To improve the combustion of biomass in grate furnaces, it is vital to understand the processes occurring inside both the fuel bed and the gas phase above the bed (freeboard).

    The aim of this study was to characterize the conversion zones in two reciprocating-grate furnaces, with 4 and 12 MW maximum thermal outputs, firing wet woody biomass, mainly by measuring the temperature and gas concentration distributions. Measurements in the freeboard were conducted in both of the furnaces. However, measurements in the fuel bed were carried out only in the 4-MW furnace, in which the influence of two parameters, i.e., the fuel moisture and the primary airflow rate, on the bed conversion was investigated. Furthermore, a simplified model of the drying of wet biomass on a grate was developed and used to estimate the drying rate and to simulate the extent of the drying zone along the grate. The model was then validated against measurements of the fuel moisture and flue gas water vapor concentration made by NIR and FTIR, respectively.

    Measurements of temperature and gas concentration (i.e., CO, CO2, O2, CH4, and NO) profiles in the fuel bed were carried out through ports located in the wall of the furnace, by means of a stainless steel probe incorporating a K-type thermocouple. The temperature distribution along the height of the fuel bed was measured through a view-glass port, using a bent probe. High temperatures within a layer of about 0.1 m from the grate surface indicated the existence of a combustion layer at the bottom of the fuel bed (co-current combustion pattern). The drying rate of the moist fuel was calculated by the model to be about 0.0211–0.0235 kg water/m2s, under a certain condition. Therefore, the drying layer of the moist fuel was estimated to occupy almost two-thirds of the total grate length.

    Measurements of temperature and gas concentration profiles in the freeboard of the two furnaces were carried out by means of a water-cooled stainless-steel suction pyrometer. The pyrometer was introduced into the furnaces through the measuring ports, located along the pathways of the hot gas flow, and positioned at several locations between the wall and the furnace width center. For both of the furnaces, the temperature varied mainly in the 600–1000°C range in the primary combustion chamber, and reached about 1100–1200°C in the secondary chamber. A significant rise in NO concentration was observed in the transition sections between the primary and secondary combustion chambers of the furnaces. There was a positive correlation between NO and O2 at the ports in the secondary combustion chambers, which implied that in this high temperature region, the O2 concentration was the limiting factor for oxidation of N-volatiles to NO.

  • 25.
    Pernebo, Karin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Children in group interventions after exposure to violence toward a caregiver: Experiences, needs, and outcomes2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of three empirical studies, all part of the same research project, with a general aim to explore interventions for children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Because witnessing violence toward a caregiver is associated with negative impact on children’s health and development, effective interventions for children exposed to IPV are necessary.

    The aim of Study I was to elucidate young children’s experiences of participating in group interventions for children exposed to IPV. Nine children, aged 4 to 6 years, were interviewed after participating in group programs designed for children exposed to IPV. The interviews were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five master themes embracing the children’s experiences were identified: joy; security; relatedness; talking; and competence.

    The aim of Study II was to investigate young children’s accounts of their abused parent. Interviews were conducted with 17 children between 4 and 13 years old who had witnessed IPV. Thematic analysis identified three main themes: coherent accounts of the parent; deficient accounts of the parent; and parent as a trauma trigger.

    Study III was an effectiveness study investigating the outcomes of two group interventions for children exposed to IPV and their non-offending parent: one psycho-educative community-based intervention (CBI) and one psychotherapeutic treatment intervention. The study included 50 children between 4 and 13 years old and their mothers. Child and maternal mental health problems and trauma symptoms were assessed before and after treatment. The results indicate that although children benefited from both interventions, symptom reduction was larger in the psychotherapeutic intervention. Despite these improvements, most of the children’s mothers still reported child trauma symptoms at clinical levels post treatment. Both interventions, however, significantly reduced maternal post-traumatic stress.

    The results showed that children generally appreciated and benefited from both interventions studied, but most still showed symptoms at clinical levels post treatment and a possible need for additional and/or different support and interventions. These results indicate not only the need for continuous and post-treatment assessment of children’s symptoms in routine clinical practice, but also the value of including children as informants in research.

  • 26.
    Haus, Sylvia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in energy and material system: a life cycle perspective2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Human society releases greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere while providing housing, heat, mobility and industrial production. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main causes of climate change, coming mainly from burning fossil fuels and land-use changes. Sustainably managed forests play an important role in climate change mitigation with the prospect of sustainably providing essential materials and services as part of a low-carbon economy, both through the substitution of fossil-intensive fuels and material and through their potential to capture and store carbon in the long-term perspective.

    The overall aim of this thesis was to develop a methodology under a life cycle perspective to assess the climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in bioenergy and material systems. To perform this kind of analysis a methodological framework is needed to accurately compare the different biological and technological systems with the aim to minimize the net carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and hence the climate impact. In such a comparison, the complete energy supply chains from natural resources to energy end-use services has to be considered and are defined as the system boundaries.

    The results show that increasing biomass production through more intensive forest management or the usage of more productive tree species combined with substitution of non-wood products and fuels can significantly reduce global warming. The biggest single factor causing radiative forcing reduction was using timber to produce wood material to replace energy-intensive construction materials such as concrete and steel. Another very significant factor was replacing fossil fuels with forest residues from forest thinning, harvest, wood processing, and post-use wood products. The fossil fuel that was replaced by forest biomass affected the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon-intensive coal being most beneficial to replace. Over the long term, an active and sustainable management of forests, including their use as a source for wood products and bioenergy allows the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 27.
    Bonakdar, Farshid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Cost-optimality approach for prioritisation of buildings envelope energy renovation: A techno-economic perspective2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The existing residential buildings in the European countries are rather old and often fail to meet the current energy performance criteria. In Sweden, about 45% of the existing residential buildings have been constructed before 1960. Considering the significant contribution of existing buildings to Greenhouse Gas emissions, improving buildings energy performance could considerably help to achieve the national targets. Sweden’s fourth national action plan calls for 45% reduction in final energy use for heating of buildings by 2050, compared to 1995. Deep energy renovation of buildings envelope would significantly contribute to heat demand reduction. However, it is often subject to complex challenges from economic perspectives.

    In this thesis, the cost-effectiveness and cost-optimality of building energy renovation have been studied in order to provide knowledge on where to start building renovation, in which order and to what extent. It aims at suggesting cost-effective approaches for prioritising the implementation of energy renovation measures in residential buildings, considering different techno- economic scenarios. An extensive building energy simulation work and analytical analysis were performed on a multi-family building and single- family houses.

    The findings suggest how to prioritise the energy renovation of different envelope components in buildings located in different outdoor climates from energy saving and cost-effective perspectives. The findings indicate that the energy renovation of older buildings in northern climate zones are more cost- effective, compared to less old buildings in southern zones, when renovated to a cost-optimal level. The older buildings offer more energy saving when renovated to a cost-optimal level, compared to less old buildings or those in southern zones. The contribution of climate zones to the cost-effectiveness of energy renovation varies significantly in different components, depending on their level of exposure to outdoor climate.

    An optimisation exercise was done in order to maximise energy saving by renovation of building envelope components under budget constraint condition. The enumerative algorithm of Brute-force was employed for this optimisation problem. The results suggest optimum renovation packages which could offer as much energy saving as a limited budget allows. It helps to develop a forward-thinking perspective that would guide individuals and financial institutions in their investment plans and incentives allocation policy.

  • 28.
    Abbas, Nadeem
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Designing Self-Adaptive Software Systems with Reuse2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern software systems are increasingly more connected, pervasive, and dynamic, as such, they are subject to more runtime variations than legacy systems. Runtime variations affect system properties, such as performance and availability. The variations are difficult to anticipate and thus mitigate in the system design.

    Self-adaptive software systems were proposed as a solution to monitor and adapt systems in response to runtime variations. Research has established a vast body of knowledge on engineering self-adaptive systems. However, there is a lack of systematic process support that leverages such engineering knowledge and provides for systematic reuse for self-adaptive systems development. 

    This thesis proposes the Autonomic Software Product Lines (ASPL), which is a strategy for developing self-adaptive software systems with systematic reuse. The strategy exploits the separation of a managed and a managing subsystem and describes three steps that transform and integrate a domain-independent managing system platform into a domain-specific software product line for self-adaptive software systems.

    Applying the ASPL strategy is however not straightforward as it involves challenges related to variability and uncertainty. We analyzed variability and uncertainty to understand their causes and effects. Based on the results, we developed the Autonomic Software Product Lines engineering (ASPLe) methodology, which provides process support for the ASPL strategy. The ASPLe has three processes, 1) ASPL Domain Engineering, 2) Specialization and 3) Integration. Each process maps to one of the steps in the ASPL strategy and defines roles, work-products, activities, and workflows for requirements, design, implementation, and testing. The focus of this thesis is on requirements and design.

    We validate the ASPLe through demonstration and evaluation. We developed three demonstrator product lines using the ASPLe. We also conducted an extensive case study to evaluate key design activities in the ASPLe with experiments, questionnaires, and interviews. The results show a statistically significant increase in quality and reuse levels for self-adaptive software systems designed using the ASPLe compared to current engineering practices.

  • 29.
    Ahlbäck, Tor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Digitala skrivtavlor - till vad, hur och varför?: En studie om den digitala skrivtavlans betydelse för grundskolans digitalisering utifrån ett lärarperspektiv2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to examine in what aspects the interactive whiteboard (IWB) has contributed to the digitalization of our schools, and how it may have changed the actual teaching in the classroom. This research explores this question from a didactic perspective, as well as from the perspective of the teachers’ reflections. The main research questions are: What do teachers use the IWB for? How do teachers use the IWB? Why do teachers use the IWB? These questions have been analyzed within a didactic framework, which is based on the expanded didactic triangle (Hudson & Meyer 2011) and the logic of events (von Wright 1983). Data was collected by interviews and surveys. The analysis was done abductively, based on a mixed methods approach. The results show that the IWB has the function of a digital hub in whole-class teaching, being mainly used as a computer projector, film projector and digital whiteboard. The main value of the IWB according to the study is that it provides the teacher access to digital information during a class. In their response, teachers express a wish to vary and adapt the teaching to include the IWB, in order to increase student motivation and participation. The study shows major differences with regards to the extent and the ways that the IWB is used in relation to teacher and school, leading to differences in pupils’ learning. Moreover, the complexity of teaching increases with the introduction of the IWB, as it requires the development of the teacher’s knowledge and skills. The study indicates that the use of the IWB implies a shift of the norm in school’s whole-class teaching to become more digital. The results are further discussed through four aspects of education: classroom practice, teachers, the school as an organization and society as a whole. The results imply that in order to develop teachers’ didactic repertoire, teachers need to be given clear assignments as well as opportunities for investigating the possibilities and limitations of digital tools, including developing and describing different methods and their advantages and disadvantages. This is proposed to be an area for further research in general and subject didactics, through action and participatory research.

  • 30.
    Broman, Elias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Ecology and evolution of coastal Baltic Sea 'dead zone' sediments2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since industrialization and the release of agricultural fertilizers began, coastal and open waters of the Baltic Sea have been loaded with nutrients. This has increased the growth of algal blooms and because a portion of the algal organic matter sinks to the sea floor, hypoxia has increased. In conjunction to this, natural stratification of the water column makes the bottom zones especially prone to oxygen depletion due to microbes using oxygen and organic matter to grow. Hypoxia (<2 mg/L O2) and anoxia (no oxygen) are deadly for many organisms and only specialists (typically some microorganisms) are able to survive. Due to the harsh conditions these bottom zones are commonly referred to as 'dead zones'. The focus of this thesis was to look closer at the microbial community changes upon degradation of algal organic matter and the effect of oxygenating coastal Baltic Sea 'dead zone' sediments on chemistry fluxes, phyto- and zooplankton, the microbial community structure, and microbial metabolic responses. Results from field sampling and incubation experiments showed that degradation of algal biomass in nutrient rich oxic sediment was partly related to the growth of archaea; that oxygenation of anoxic sediments decreased stored organic matter plus triggered hatching of zooplankton eggs increasing the benthic-pelagic coupling; and resting diatoms buried in hypoxic/anoxic sediment were alive and triggered to germinate by light rather than oxygen. Changes in the microbial community structures to oxygen shifts were dependent on the historical exposure to oxygen and that microbial generalists adapted to episodic oxygenation were favored during oxygen shifts. Facultative anaerobic sulfur/sulfide oxidizing bacterial genera were favored upon oxygenation of hypoxic/anoxic sediment plus sulfur cycling and nitrogen fixation genes were abundant. Finally, it was discovered that oxygenation regulates metabolic processes involved in the sulfur and methane cycles, especially by metabolic processes that results in a decrease of toxic hydrogen sulfide as well as the potent greenhouse gas methane. This thesis has explored how 'dead zones' change and develop during oxygen shifts and that re-oxygenation of ‘dead zones’ could bring favorable conditions in the sediment surface for reestablishment of new micro- and macroorganism communities.

  • 31.
    Mattsson, Pontus
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.
    Essays on Efficiency, Productivity, and Impact of Policy2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of five self-contained empirical essays centering on total factor productivity (TFP), efficiency, and impacts of policy.

    Essay I: “TFP Change and Its Components for Swedish Manufacturing Firms During the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis” (co-authored with Jonas Månsson and William H. Greene). A driving force of economic development is growth in total factor productivity (TFP). Manufactured goods are, to a large extent, exports, and represent an important part of the economy for many developed countries. Additionally, a slowdown in labour productivity has been observed in many OECD countries after the financial crisis 2008-2009. This study investigates TFP change and its components for the Swedish manufacturing industry, compared with the private service sector, during the years 1997-2013, centering on the financial crisis. Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) is used to disentangle persistent and transient efficiency from firm heterogeneity and random noise, respectively. In addition, technical change (TC), returns to scale (RTS) and a scale change (SC) component are also identified. Along with the empirical analysis, an elaborative discussion regarding TC in SFA is provided. The persistent part for manufacturing (service) is 0.796 (0.754) and the transient part is 0.787 (0.762), indicating improvement potentials. Furthermore, TFP change is substantially lower between the years 2007-2013, compared to 1997-2007, driven by lower technological progress. Policy should, therefore, target interventions that enhance technology. However, care needs to be taken so that policies do not sustain low-productive firms that otherwise would exit the market. 

    Essay II: “A bootstrapped Malmquist index applied to Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Jonas Månsson, Christian Andersson and Fredrik Bonander). This study measures the total factor productivity (TFP) of the Swedish district courts by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA) to calculate the Malmquist productivity index (MPI) of 48 Swedish district courts from 2012 to 2015. In contrast to the limited international literature on court productivity, this study uses a fully decomposed MPI. A bootstrapping approach is further applied to compute confidence intervals for each decomposed factor of TFP. The findings show a 1.7% average decline of TFP, annually. However, a substantial variation between years can be observed in the number of statistically significant courts below and above unity. The averages of the components show that the negative impact is mainly driven by negative technical change (TC). Large variations are also observed over time where the small courts have the largest volatility. Two recommendations are: (1) that district courts with negative TFP growth could learn from those with positive TFP growth; and (2) that the back-up labour force could be developed to enhance flexibility.


    Essay III: “Potential efficiency effects of merging the Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Claes Tidanå). The Swedish district courts have undergone a substantial restructuring process in which the main reform has been to merge. As a result, the number of district courts has declined from 95 in 2000 to only 48 in 2009. All main arguments that support merging concern enhancements of efficiency. However, it has not yet been explicitly examined whether the mergers have the potential to increase efficiency ex ante. Thus, the expectation concerning higher efficiency was built on a subjective view. This paper investigates whether the mergers can be rationalized from a production economic point of view. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is used to compute a production frontier where the conducted mergers are incorporated to identify the potential ex ante gains. Furthermore, the overall potential is decomposed into learning, scale, and harmony to investigate the source of the potential gain, e.g., an effect of adjusting to best practice or a pure merging effect such as scale. The results show diverse potentials, i.e., a number of mergers did not have the potential to gain in efficiency while others could gain substantially. A conclusion based on the analysis is that the potential production economic effects should be investigated before merger decisions are made in the future. This is also likely to be true beyond the Swedish district courts.

    Essay IV: “Impacts on efficiency of merging the Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Per J. Agrell and Jonas Månsson). Judicial courts form a stringent example of public services using partially sticky inputs and outputs with heterogeneous quality. Notwithstanding, governments internationally are striving to improve the efficiency of and diminish the budget spent on court systems. Frontier methods such as data envelopment analysis (DEA) are sometimes used in investigations of structural changes in the form of mergers. We review the methods used to evaluate the ex post efficiency of horizontal mergers. Identification of impacts is difficult. Therefore, we apply three analytical frameworks: 1) a technical efficiency comparison over time, 2) a metafrontier approach among mergers and non-mergers and 3) a conditional difference-in-differences (cDiD) approach where non-merged twins of the actual mergers are identified by matching. In addition, both time heterogeneity and sources of efficiency change are examined ex post. We apply our method to evaluate the impact on efficiency of merging the Swedish district courts from 95 to 48 between 2000 and 2009. Whereas the stated ambition for the mergers was to improve efficiency, no structured ex post analysis has been done. Swedish courts are shown to improve efficiency from merging. In addition to the particular application, our work may inform a more general discussion on public service efficiency measurement under structural changes, and their limits and potential.

    Essay V: “The impact of labour subsidies on total factor productivity and profits per employee.” Subsidizing targeted labour groups is a common intervention to prevent long-term unemployment. Lower expected productivity is the motivation for subsidizing labour, but all research, with one exception, focuses on other effects while some investigates the TFP effects of capital subsidies. This study combines methods that, to the best of my knowledge, have not previously been used together to determine the impacts of labour subsidies on total factor productivity (TFP). Further, the profit per employee is included as a second outcome. Coarsened exact matching (CEM) is performed on the key variables; difference-in-differences (DiD) is then applied to the matched data. It is found that firms employing workers with wage subsidies experience negative and significant effects on both TFP and profit per employee. Heterogeneity is, however, observed; the only sector to show a deficit in both TFP and profit per employee is wholesale. During the second year with a subsidy, a negative impact can be observed on the profit per employee but not on TFP. The policy conclusion from the analysis is that subsidizing individuals from particular groups is necessary to induce firms to hire workers from these groups. However, the time period for which a single firm is subsidized should be considered.

  • 32.
    Bossér, Ulrika
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Exploring the complexities of integrating socioscientific issues in science teaching2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Socioscientific issues, SSI, can briefly be described as societal issues in which science plays a role. Dealing with SSI in science education is a means to prepare and empower students for active and responsible participation in a complex, democratic society. The implementation of SSI-based teaching calls for classroom practices in which scientific evidence alongside for example social and ethical perspectives are considered. Discourse-based teaching activities are emphasized as a means to provide opportunities for students to practice negotiations of SSI and explore diverse viewpoints on the issues. Dealing with SSI in science teaching is recognized as a challenging task for science teachers. This thesis aims to provide knowledge to support the implementation of SSI-based science teaching. Three studies involving two upper secondary school science teachers are performed to achieve this aim. The first study makes use of video-stimulated discussions to investigate the two teachers’reflections on their classroom practices while they implement SSI throughout an academic year. The second study utilizes the concept positioning as a tool to identify and describe the ways in which one teacher’s interactions with students during group work make available different parts for the students to play as participants, when dealing with SSI in the classroom. The third study makes use of the concept communicative approach to investigate how the two teachers’ management of classroom discussions sets conditions for the consideration of multiple perspectives relevant to SSI, including the students’ viewpoints. The results provide knowledge useful when making considerations about the design and enactment of teaching activities in relation to specific educational goals. The results suggest that a specific challenge with designing and enacting SSI-based teaching activities is to balance between controlling and directing the teaching activities to promote specific learning goals and providing space for students’ participation and perspectives. The results of employing the analytical tools elucidate how this challenge can play out in classroom practice and contribute with knowledge of the ways in which teachers’ discursive practices play a role in addressing this challenge. Strategies to support teachers’ implementation of SSI-based teaching that take account of teachers’ existing practices are discussed.

  • 33.
    Holgersson, Martin
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Finans och Existens: Tolkning av vardagslivets finansialisering2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this book is to inquire into the relationship between human beings and financial markets. In this inquiry the author wishes to emphasize two aspects. Firstly, the act of creation of scientific knowledge, and secondly, the ubiquitous relationship that seems to interweave our everyday lives with financial markets. These two aspects highlight the main conversations to which this book wants to contribute. These are interpretative and hermeneutic research within social science in general and business administration in particular, as well as the growing literature on financialization. The more precise problem discussed concerns the insecurity and uncertainty that seem to surround our relationship with financial markets, or, as put in the literature: “the uncertain subjects of financialization”. Inspired by the ethnographic tradition, the author observed a gathering of thousands of people under the topic of making money from money in a spectacular building. The experience of this event worked as a catalyst for an interpretation of not only the specific meeting but also of our relationship to financial markets more generally. With the help of an elaborated analogy, it is suggested that we live (within) a spirit of finance capitalism, a spirit that has an ever-increasing presence in our lives. The author argues that our relationship to financial markets – and the financialization of daily life – is an existential dilemma as much as a financial one. Differently put, we can read the widespread uncertainty surrounding financial markets as doubt about the existence that we – more or less, for better or worse – appear unable to escape in a capitalistic society where finance is omnipresent. The interpretation contributes to the literature on financialization in two distinct ways. First, it integrates several themes recognized in the literature – such as opportunity, power, education and community – under one umbrella. Second, it accomplishes this by drawing on the tradition of sociology of religion and thereby highlighting the existential aspect of finance as an essential part of the human condition in a capitalist society.

  • 34.
    Rahmqvist Linnarsson, Josefin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Forensic care for victims of violence and their family members in the emergency department2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: To explore forensic care in EDs for victims of violence and their family members from the perspectives of ED department heads, ED nurses, and a family member of a victim of violence.

    Methods: Study I consisted of a questionnaire to all heads of EDs in Sweden, data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Study II consisted of a similar questionnaire which also included the instrument Families’ Importance in Nursing Care-Nurses’ Attitudes. It was sent to all nurses at 28 EDs and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple linear and ordinal regression analysis. Study III comprised of individual interviews with twelve nurses from seven EDs and data were analyzed with content analysis. Study IV was a single case study with two interviews with a family member of a victim of violence. Data were analyzed with a Gadamer-inspired hermeneutic approach.

    Results: ED preparedness for forensic care varied and was often limited to women and children. Nurses played a key role, but most of them had no training for this task and felt uncertain (I, II, III). Creating a caring encounter was the main challenge for providing forensic care and nurses perceived hindering factors to overcome this challenge (III). Family members were rarely included in forensic care and nurses perceived that family members were offered little help (I-III). Having ED documents that included family members, was associated with a more positive attitude to family members, which in turn was associated with involving them in care (II). For the family member, perfunctory encounters and caring alliances had a major impact and the experience reframed life (IV).

    Conclusion: Lack of preparedness in EDs to care for all types of victims of violence and differences between individual nurses may prohibit the provision of equal care. Hindering factors for a caring encounter can result in forensic care being unaddressed, which may limit possibilities for alleviated suffering and legal justice. Family members were rarely included in forensic care, but caring encounters can be crucial for the family member in the aftermath of violence.

  • 35.
    Holmgren, Carina A.
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
    Formandet av den entreprenöriella läraren: Entreprenöriellt lärande som styrningsteknologi2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to, from a governing perspective, describe and enhance the understanding of the form entrepreneurial learning takes in lower and upper secondary schools’ practice, and its effects in terms of which approaches and practices are strengthened and marginalized. The context of this thesis is the industrial policy work to implement entrepreneurship in the Swedish educational system in 1996–2009. Industrial policy with its objectives concerning more companies and an entrepreneurial citizen is pervaded by expectations of the impacts of entrepreneurship. Discussing entrepreneurial learning as a governing tech­nology, based on Rose's development of Foucault's concept govern­mentality, provides a distance from these expectations and put productive power and complexity into focus. The governing perspective allows for the visualization of how an educational concept in entrepreneurial learning contributes to hierarchies of what is considered valuable but also how the fostering of the entrepreneurial citizen is made possible.

    I have followed three regional projects aimed at supporting teachers to implement entrepreneurship in their teaching practice. The analysed material includes observations of teacher training in entrepreneurial learning, inter­views with participating teachers and principals, as well as project documents, policy documents and entrepreneurship research.

    This thesis contributes to 'governing research' which use governmentality to understand entrepreneurship related to education. I show how entrepreneurial learning affects teachers’ subjectivities, how they should be and act, through the production of the entrepreneurial teacher, and what ways to be as a teacher this governing technology marginalizes. I also show how an educational concept in entrepreneurial learning enables governing at a distance by creating links between policy, entrepreneurship research, and teachers. These links contribute to teachers embracing entrepreneurial learning, and thus engaging in the fostering of the entrepreneurial citizen. By making visible the complexity of the entrepreneurial teacher and show the three subjectivities this ‘teacher’ offers: the collaborating, the flexible and the individual forming teacher, and the teachers marginalized: the supporting teacher and the autonomous subject teacher, this thesis contributes to a language to talk about how teachers are governed through entrepreneurial learning and its effects.    

  • 36.
    Christel, Stephan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Function and Adaptation of Acidophiles in Natural and Applied Communities2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Acidophiles are organisms that have evolved to grow optimally at high concentrations of protons. Members of this group are found in all three domains of life, although most of them belong to the Archaea and Bacteria. As their energy demand is often met chemolithotrophically by the oxidation of basic ions and molecules such as Fe2+, H2, and sulfur compounds, they are often found in environments marked by the natural or anthropogenic exposure of sulfide minerals. Nonetheless, organoheterotrophic growth is also common, especially at higher temperatures. Beside their remarkable resistance to proton attack, acidophiles are resistant to a multitude of other environmental factors, including toxic heavy metals, high temperatures, and oxidative stress. This allows them to thrive in environments with high metal concentrations and makes them ideal for application in so-called biomining technologies.

    The first study of this thesis investigated the iron-oxidizer Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans that is highly relevant for boreal biomining. Several unresolved nodes of its sulfur metabolism were elucidated with the help of RNA transcript sequencing analysis. A model was proposed for the oxidation of the inorganic sulfur compound tetrathionate. In a second paper, this species’ transcriptional response to growth at low temperature was explored and revealed that At. ferrivorans increases expression of only very few known cold-stress genes, underlining its strong adaptation to cold environments.

    Another set of studies focused on the environmentally friendly metal winning technology of bioleaching. One of the most important iron-oxidizers in many biomining operations is Leptospirillum ferriphilum. Despite its significance, only a draft genome sequence was available for its type strain.Therefore, in the third paper of this thesis we published a high quality, closed genome sequence of this strain for future use as a reference, revealing a previously unidentified nitrogen fixation system and improving annotation of genes relevant in biomining environments. In addition, RNA transcript and protein patterns during L. ferriphilum’s growth on ferrous iron and in bioleaching culture were used to identify key traits that aid its survival in extremely acidic, metal-rich environments. The biomining of copper from chalcopyrite is plagued by a slow dissolution rate, which can reportedly be circumvented by low redox potentials. As conventional redox control is impossible in heap leaching, paper four explored the possibility of using differentially efficient iron oxidizers to influence this parameter. The facultative heterotrophic Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans was identified as maintaining a redox potential of ~550 mV vs Ag/AgCl, favorable for chalcopyrite dissolution,while L. ferriphilum caused the potential to raise far above this critical value. RNA transcript analysis was used to identify genomic features that may contribute to this behavior.

    Lastly, six fields in Northern Sweden were examined for the presence of acid sulfate soils in the fifth paper. The study revealed three acid sulfate soils. The presence of acidophiles that likely catalyze the production of acid in the soil was confirmed by community 16S gene amplicon analysis. One site that was flooded in a remediation attempt and is therefore anoxic still exhibited similar bacteria, however, these now likely grow via ferric iron reduction. This process consumes protons and could explain the observed rise in pH at this site.

    This thesis examines acidophiles in pure culture, as well as natural and designed communities. Key metabolic traits involved in the adaptation to their habitats were elucidated, and their application in mining operations was discussed. Special attention was paid to acidophiles in chalcopyrite bioleaching and in cold environments, including environmental acid sulfate soils in Northern Sweden.

  • 37.
    Strand, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Hjälp mig att hjälpa dig!: upplevelser och uppfattningar av undersökning med MRT för personer med metastaser i ryggen2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim was to explore how patients with spinal metastasesexperience a magnetic resonance imaging examination (MRI). Furthermore,the purpose was to investigate the radiographers’ perceptions of the patients’care needs and what measures can be taken to relieve the suffering associatedwith an MRI examination.

    Methods: The design for all four studies was qualitative with content analysisused in Studies I, III and IV and a phenomenographic approach in Study II.

    Main Findings: The results showed that the patients could experience worry,anxiety, insecurity and pain during an MRI examination. These adverse feelingscan be reduced by adjustments to the examination’s routines as well as byadjustments to the examination’s settings. A short break in the middle of theexamination can be beneficial if the patient is involved in the decision regardingthe break or other adjustments made in conjunction with the examination.Radiographers’ perceptions of the caring for patients were influenced by theircaring perspective and their approach towards what they consider to be essentialin the care of patients with spinal metastasis. The radiographers used theirintuition as a moral compass when they decided what, when and how to adjustthe different aspects of the MRI examination. A shortage of time can affect theextent of the adjustments that can be made as well as the establishment of acaring relationship with the patient.

    Conclusions: The patients may feel a sense of security when they receive correctinformation prior to and during the examination. Patients want to influencetheir own care. The personalization and adjustments of the examinationroutines need to be performed in agreement with the patient. The radiographersshould not use intuition as the foundation for their care and assumptions aboutthe care needs of the patients should be avoided. The

  • 38.
    Karlsson, Mathias
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
    Infinitely Demanding Entrepreneurship2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In both the study and the practice of entrepreneurship, the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is recurrently put forward as a key, or even the key, to resolving many of today’s social, ecological, and economic challenges. However, research shows that entrepreneurs who pursue social change risk overlooking or excluding certain worldviews, values, and ways of living. This thesis examines how entrepreneurial practices can create responsible social change. The study draws on ethnographic work and explores a new initiative launched by the Swedish furniture company IKEA – IKEA’s Partnership with Social Entrepreneurs. The aim of the initiative is to start collaborations with social entrepreneurs around the world, and to support their social change work, particularly when it comes to empowering women. The thesis further sheds new light on ethical and political aspects of entrepreneurship by using the insights and concepts of philosopher Simon Critchley.       

    The thesis comes to four main conclusions. First, the study shows that the pursuit of social change requires that a variety of, sometimes contradictory, practices be performed. Second, the study shows that this particular change work and initiative have the positive and responsible outcome of generating a multiplicity of new autonomous spaces that enable the women involved to live more worthwhile lives. Third, the study shows that creating responsible social change is ‘infinitely demanding’ because responding responsibly to another person’s desires and strivings is tremendously challenging, and the number of people to which one can respond is similarly overwhelming. Fourth, the study shows that the complexity of creating responsible social change can be handled through the practices of a faithless faith (i.e., fidelity to a lived subjective commitment) and humour (i.e., the humorous acknowledgment and acceptance of one’s limits as a human being). 

    The major contribution of this thesis is that it enriches our understanding of how entrepreneurial practices can accomplish responsible social change. The main theoretical contribution and thrust of the thesis is then the concept of infinitely demanding entrepreneurship, a notion centred on the suggestion that this form of entrepreneurial practice is driven by committed, responsible, and ethically and politically attentive actors and thus might lead to the creation of responsible social change. Infinitely demanding entrepreneurship has at least five facets: (1) its main aim is to be for the other person and to acknowledge and respect her otherness; (2) there is an attentiveness to the limitations of the specific situation, which encourages people to keep pushing to do more; (3) a plurality of competing ethical and political demands are acknowledged and handled; (4) there is an awareness that a variety of practices have to be carried out and a multiplicity of objectives met, including economic, social, and environmental ones; and (5) the practices of a faithless faith and humour enable these actors to cope with the infinitely demanding situation of trying to create responsible social change.  

    Infinitely demanding entrepreneurship is an argument that breaks with research suggesting that practicing entrepreneurship is a rather easy means of solving societal issues. However, infinitely demanding entrepreneurship is also an argument that contradicts research that views entrepreneurship as the actual villain of today’s problems. Instead pointing out that entrepreneurial practices can create responsible social change, but that succeeding in this endeavour is ‘infinitely demanding’ for the involved and committed people who engage in such practices. 

  • 39.
    Nordahl, Oscar
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Intraspecific diversity of pike (Esox lucius) in the Baltic Sea and new insights on thermoregulation in fish2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fish display a fascinating variation in behavior, morphology and physiology among species, among individuals within species, and within individuals over time. A central quest in ecology and evolution is to understand causes and consequences of such variation. This thesis aims to contribute to this knowledge by: (1) investigating the evolutionary processes that shape intraspecific variation among sympatric subpopulations of pike in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea; and (2) exploring whether fish can utilize sun-basking to regulate body temperature and whether this has any consequences for fitness.

    Identifying barriers that delineate populations is a first step towards evaluating the evolutionary origin of intraspecific variation. This thesis reports on genetic population structures among co-existing pike in the coastal Baltic Sea separated by homing behavior, different spawning strategies and geographic barriers. Field studies revealed that these subpopulations also show phenotypic divergence in reproductive and meristic traits. Experimental studies suggested that differentiation among subpopulations likely was a result of divergent selection and local adaptations to spawning grounds. These adaptations that may further reinforce barriers among subpopulations due to a reduced success of immigrant genotypes.

    For the second aim of the thesis, we first studied seasonal and diel patterns of activity and vertical migration among the Baltic Sea pike. The results suggested that pike exposed themselves to sunlight during spring and summer, and that body temperatures were positively correlated with sun exposure during these basking events. This was followed by experimental studies on inanimate physical models and a field study on carp which demonstrated that fish can become warmer than ambient water when exposed to sun light, a previously overlooked mechanism for fish thermoregulation, and that the heat gain was positively correlated with growth.

    This thesis contributes to our understanding of the origin and maintenance of intraspecific variation among coexisting populations with direct implications for management of pike. It also establishes sun-basking as a novel mechanism for fish to obtain body temperatures in excess of ambient water which could motivate adaptations, both evolutionary and plastic, that optimize heat gain, affect spatiotemporal distributions and biotic interaction within and among species.

  • 40.
    Jani, Yahya
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Landfills and glass dumpsites as future bank accounts of resources – waste characterization and trace elements extraction2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental pollution and health threats as well as scarcity of raw materials, water, food and energy are among the main challenges our world are now facing. Simultaneously, landfills and open dumpsites still are the dominant global waste disposal option even with their long term environmental impacts in case of greenhouse gases and contaminated leachates. In this thesis, landfill mining is suggested as a tool that should be included in an enhanced circular economy model (repair, reuse and recycle + extract and recovery) by considering the extraction/recovery of the lost materials in landfills and dumpsites as secondary resources.

    Characterization data (composition and physicochemical properties) is considered as a vital source for information for: i. the valorization of excavated wastes, ii. to explore potential hazards and iii. as an important tool for theassessment of the waste management systems and policies. In this thesis,excavated wastes from a classic landfill (Högbytorp in Sweden), a landfill buildup according to the European Directive requirements (Torma in Estonia) andhazardous glass dumpsite (Pukeberg in Sweden) was characterized as a centralstep in exploring the potential of recovering of valuables. In addition, the extraction of trace elements from waste glass and different finefractions were also investigated. The reduction-melting method was developedto extract hazardous concentrations of trace elements from old art and crystalglasses with more than (99%) of recovery of Pb, Cd and As. While threechelating agents (EDTA, DTPA and NTA) were used to extract Pb, Cd, Asand Zn from fine fraction (<2 mm) sampled from Pukeberg glasswork with anextraction efficiency of (40%). Besides, the fractionations of the metals Cu, Znand Cr in the fine fractions (<10 mm) excavated from Högbytorp and Tormalandfills were studied by using a modified sequential extraction procedure.

    The findings of this thesis highlighted the need to consider the dumped wastesas secondary resources and landfills and dumpsites as future bank accounts offuture raw materials instead of being burden to the human health and theenvironment.

  • 41.
    Johansson, Annelie
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Lärares bedömningsspråk: Språkhandlingar, bedömning och språklig utformning i grundskolans skriftliga omdömen2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis studies elementary school teachers’ language use in written assessments of students, and problematises the relation between teachers’ experiences of written assessment and the institutional and social expectations of professional language use.

    The study is based on three types of material: questionnaires answered by 39 teachers, interviews with 3 school principals and approximately 2,200 assessments of students, written according to three different templates. The assessments are analysed using methods derived from stylistics and textanalysis. The analyses of the texts focuses on speech acts, the content of the assessment and linguistic choices. The teachers’ testimonials in the questionnaires and the principals’ perspectives provide contextual information necessary for the understanding of the various forms of language used in the assessments.

    The theories applied are critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, e.g., 1992), Roberts & Sarangi’s model of language usage in professional practices (1999,2003), Bernstein’s theory of discourses in pedagogical practices (1990, 1996) and Gerrevall’s (2008) theory of assessment practices.

    The results indicate that the teachers’ language use positions them on a scale from formal to informal, and reflect different conditions for writing assessments. The templates for assessments, the statements of teachers and principals illustrate a wide range of institutional, collegial and personal language use. Teachers use six macro speech acts in their assessments: they inform, evaluate, summarise, guide, express feelings and attitudes, and seek dialogue. The content of the assessments focuses on the students’ achievements, processes, personal qualities and behaviour, but also on psychosocial evaluation, which promotes self-esteem and enhances selfregulation ability. In the assessments, teachers often reproduce parts of previously used texts, switch between formal, institutional, and bureaucratic language and context-bound, informal, and dialogical language use. The results show four typical roles that a teacher can assume: the reporter, the processor, the educator, and the coach. Teachers embrace these roles, and switch between them when navigating between institutional and social expectations of form, function and focus of the assessments, which can partly be explained by the influence of New Public Management on teachers’ documentation practices.

  • 42.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Measures that matter: Facilitating literacy through targeted instruction and assistive technology2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The acquisition of reading skills is one of the most important academic outcomes, as reading enables the individual to acquire knowledge and to actively take part in society. Despite research and educational progress, not all students develop their reading skills to a level that meet academic or societal demands. Study I in the dissertation aimed to demonstrate the relative importance of students developing adequate reading skills in order to succeed academically, and,thus to motivate interventions in order to counteract the negative impact of reduced reading performance. The overall aim of this dissertation was to explore two subsequent approaches for improving students’ possibilities to achieve a functioning literacy. The first approach focused on teachers’ use of reading assessment data and teaching recommendations in order to target instruction in classroom education involving all students (study II). The second approach focusedon the use of assistive reading and writing technology (primarily with text-to-speech, TTS, and speech-to-text, STT functions) for students with severe difficulties with reading (study III and IV). Study I was conducted as a follow-up study of an earlier project, in which grade 2 screening data of word decoding (N=1784) were run through a series of multiple regression analyses, in order to predict grade 9 grade marks and subject choices. Study II was conducted as a teacher intervention project within a larger reading educational project, in which participating grade 1-3 teachers (N=8) used the program features to strengthen reading instruction in classroom teaching. The teachers were interviewed in focus group meetings and their statements were analyzed using qualitative method. Study III and IV consisted of a six week assistive technology intervention (M=21 sessions) aimed to students with severe difficulties in reading from grade 4, grade 8 and from high school (N=146 participants before pretests). The intervention had a randomized control trial design with additional experimental elements, including pretests, posttests and one year follow up measurements, in addition to students, parents and teachers perceptions. The intervention was evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Study I demonstrated that students’ early reading skills predicted long-termacademic performance, meaning that low reading performers received lower grades and academic opportunities than students with higher assessed readingl evels. Study II showed that teachers could use assessment data and recommendationsin order for increasing their awareness of student learning, which influenced how they organized teaching. The impact of using the program for targeting needs in individual students, were, however, rather limited, and required further implementation of the program. Study III and IV showed that assistive technology can be used for assimilating(i.e., to read) and communicating (i.e., to write) text for students with severe difficulties in reading, which affected students’ motivation to engage with text, and their schoolwork in general. However, the extent students’ managed to use the technology varied and pointed to the need of teacher support to be able use the technology efficiently, as well as for further use in classroom education. Approximately 70 % of the students continued to use the technology after theintervention. Additional findings demonstrated the relative advantage of assistive technology in terms of increased reading speed and that students who used assistive technology did not fall behind equally impaired control students onreading measures, as assessed immediately after the intervention and after one year. In summary, this dissertation demonstrated how adjusted teaching, based on assessment data and recommendations, can be used to target individual needs in students, and how the use of assistive technology can be beneficial for students with severe difficulties in reading.

  • 43.
    Ndizeye, Natacha
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    New Strategies for Preparing Polymers with Hierarchical Architectures2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this thesis was to explore novel approaches for controlling morphologies and molecular recognition behaviour of polymers and to use these strategies in conjunction with the molecular imprinting technique in order to either enhance polymer performance in quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor applications, or as an alternative to conventional solvents of polymerization. In Papers I and II, the use of liquid crystalline media in the synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers was demonstrated. When used in conjunction with the molecular imprinting technique the LC media induced hierarchical material architectures, which provided an enhancement of QCM-sensor sensitivity. The use of a class of novel solvents, so-called “non-ionic deep eutectic solvents (ni-DESs)”, was explored in polymer synthesis, Paper III, and for molecularly imprinted polymer synthesis, Paper IV. The use of these solvents produced polymers with morphological features comparable to those prepared in conventional solvents, and sensitivities towards bupivacaine template were observed. Collectively these results present a new strategy for generating new hierarchical polymer architectures and a new class of solvent for polymer synthesis, which can also be used for molecular imprinting, that can be used as an alternative to conventional and sometimes flammable or toxic polymerization solvents.

  • 44.
    Babajan, Tigran
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Oligarchs, State Power and Mass Opinion: A Study of the Role of Oligarchs in Post-Soviet Pseudo-democracies2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis attempts to understand the role of oligarchs in post-Soviet pseudo-democratic regime trajectories. The two dominant, competing streams of prior work have emphasized either the importance of state power or that of mass opinion in these processes in order to explain why some regimes successfully maintain their grip on power, while others make gradual steps towards democratization. However, the role of oligarchs has been largely overlooked; a gap filled by this study. It employs both widely accepted, as well as unique data to approach the research problem. The work presented in this thesis involves large-N surveys, analyses of media reports and an in-depth case study. There are three key findings:

    First, for an overwhelming majority of citizens in post-Soviet pseudo-democracies, oligarchs’ actual, negative influence on the political system as well as popular perceptions of unfair wealth concentration are conducive to beliefs that a non-democratic regime is what is needed in order to set things right in their country.

    Second, the findings from Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine demonstrate that four politically motivated, rival oligarchs focused on enhancing their reputation and organizational capacity in their struggles for power. In all four countries, regimes used their state power to counter the rival oligarchs. Evidence from Armenia and Russia provides a nuanced understanding of these interactions. In particular, incumbents in these countries used their state power to manipulate public opinion in order to damage the reputation and credibility of the rival oligarchs. This thesis suggests that the main regime leaders do so in order to portray themselves as more trustworthy than their oligarch rivals.

    Third, a survey analysis of Kyiv university students shows that they view most oligarchs as corrupt and harmful to their political system. According to the survey results, oligarchs’ concentration of wealth appears to disqualify them from being legitimate political players. Yet, further evidence from this thesis suggests that people differentiate between oligarchs as a group and as individuals, which allows at least some oligarchs to enhance their reputation by using their vast material wealth. I conclude this thesis by discussing possible policy and societal implication of the results and by setting out some new venues of future research.

  • 45.
    Ali, Abdul Aziz
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.
    On the use of wavelets in unit root and cointegration tests2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four essays linked with the use of wavelet methodologies in unit root testing and in the estimation of the cointegrating parameters of bivariate models.

    In papers I and II, we examine the performance of some existing unit root tests in the presence of error distortions. We suggest wavelet-based unit root tests that have better size fidelity and size-adjusted power in the presence of conditional heteroscedasticity and additive measurement errors. We obtain the limiting distribution of the proposed test statistic in each case and examine the small sample performance of the tests using Monte Carlo simulations.

    In paper III, we suggest a wavelet-based filtering method to improve the small sample estimation of the cointegrating parameters of bivariate models. We show, using Monte Carlo simulations, that wavelet filtering reduces the small sample estimation bias.

    In paper IV, we propose a wavelet variance ratio unit root test for a system of equations. We obtain the limiting distributions of the test statistics under different specifications of the deterministic components of the estimating equations. We also investigate the small sample properties of the test by conducting Monte Carlo simulations. Results from the Monte Carlo simulations show that the test has good size fidelity for small sample sizes (of up to 100 observations per equation, and up to 10 equations), and has better size-adjusted power for these sample sizes, compared the Cross-sectionally Augmented Dickey-Fuller test.

  • 46.
    Memeti, Suejb
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Programming and Optimization of Big-Data Applications on Heterogeneous Computing Systems2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The next-generation sequencing instruments enable biological researchers to generate voluminous amounts of data. In the near future, it is projected that genomics will be the largest source of big-data. A major challenge of big data is the efficient analysis of very large data-sets. Modern heterogeneous parallel computing systems, which comprise multiple CPUs, GPUs, and Intel Xeon Phis, can cope with the requirements of big-data analysis applications. However, utilizing these resources to their highest possible extent demands advanced knowledge of various hardware architectures and programming frameworks. Furthermore, optimized software execution on such systems demands consideration of many compile-time and run-time system parameters.

    In this thesis, we study and develop parallel pattern matching algorithms for heterogeneous computing systems. We apply our pattern matching algorithm for DNA sequence analysis. Experimental evaluation results show that our parallel algorithm can achieve more than 50x speedup when executed on host CPUs and more than 30x when executed on Intel Xeon Phi compared to the sequential version executed on the CPU.

    Thereafter, we combine machine learning and search-based meta-heuristics to determine near-optimal parameter configurations of parallel matching algorithms for efficient execution on heterogeneous computing systems. We use our approach to distribute the workload of the DNA sequence analysis application across the available host CPUs and accelerating devices and to determine the system configuration parameters of a heterogeneous system that comprise Intel Xeon CPUs and Xeon Phi accelerator. Experimental results show that the execution that uses the resources of both host CPUs and accelerating device outperforms the host-only and the device-only executions.

    Furthermore, we propose programming abstractions, a source-to-source compiler, and a run-time system for heterogeneous stream computing. Given a source code annotated with compiler directives, the source-to-source compiler can generate device-specific code. The run-time system can automatically distribute the workload across the available host CPUs and accelerating devices. Experimental results show that our solution significantly reduces the programming effort and the generated code delivers better performance than the CPUs-only or GPUs-only executions.

  • 47.
    Ahlgren, Fredrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Kalmar Maritime Academy.
    Reducing ships' fuel consumption and emissions by learning from data2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the context of reducing both greenhouse gases and hazardous emissions, the shipping sector faces a major challenge as it is currently responsible for 11% of the transport sector’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Even as emissions reductions are needed, the demand for the transport sector rises exponentially every year. This thesis aims to investigate the potential to use ships’ existing internal energy systems more efficiently. The thesis focusses on making existing ships in real operating conditions more efficient based logged machinery data. This dissertation presents results that can make ship more energy efficient by utilising waste heat recovery and machine learning tools. A significant part of this thesis is based on data from a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea, and an extensive analysis of the ship’s internal energy system was made from over a year’s worth of data. The analysis included an exergy analysis, which also considers the usability of each energy flow. In three studies, the feasibility of using the waste heat from the engines was investigated, and the results indicate that significant measures can be undertaken with organic Rankine cycle devices. The organic Rankine cycle was simulated with data from the ship operations and optimised for off-design conditions, both regarding system design and organic fluid selection. The analysis demonstrates that there are considerable differences between the real operation of a ship and what it was initially designed for. In addition, a large two-stroke marine diesel was integrated into a simulation with an organic Rankine cycle, resulting in an energy efficiency improvement of 5%. This thesis also presents new methods of employing machine learning to predict energy consumption. Machine learning algorithms are readily available and free to use, and by using only a small subset of data points from the engines and existing fuel flow meters, the fuel consumption could be predicted with good accuracy. These results demonstrate a potential to improve operational efficiency without installing additional fuel meters. The thesis presents results concerning how data from ships can be used to further analyse and improve their efficiency, by using both add-on technologies for waste heat recovery and machine learning applications.

  • 48.
    Hennessey, John
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    Rule by Association: Japan in the Global Trans-Imperial Culture, 1868-19122018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Criticizing one-empire approaches, calls to apply much-needed transnational perspectives and methodologies to colonial history have recently emerged. This groundbreaking scholarship has already revealed that the competition between different European empires after 1850 has typically been overemphasized; in fact, a transnational perspective reveals extensive cooperation between the “great powers” of the age, along with myriad examples of exchanges and transfers of colonial knowledge. In this dissertation, I argue that during the height of the New Imperialism during the latter half of the long nineteenth century, one can go even further and describe the co-production of a “global trans-imperial culture” by all of the colonial powers of the age, facilitated by a common “knowledge infrastructure,” including international congresses, trans-imperial scholarly exchange and expositions. I contend that Japan was an important member of this “colonial club” that was deeply engaged with evolving global colonial discourse and practice throughout this period. Emerging trans-imperial historiography has largely neglected Japan, while historians of Japan have tended to exaggerate its uniqueness in global imperial history and often missed important global trends in colonial policy that explain many characteristics of Japanese expansionism. Furthermore, an oversimplified description of Meiji expansionism as “mimetic imperialism” shared by some Japan scholars and global imperial historians ignores the degree to which all imperial powers imitated each other during this period and the great extent to which Japan was involved in multidirectional inter-imperial exchanges.

    The dissertation has three interrelated aims. First, it applies cutting-edge theories of inter-imperial exchanges and cooperation to the Japanese Empire, arguing that Japan took part in a developing global trans-imperial culture throughout the Meiji period. Focusing on connections rather than comparison, it traces how and when different examples of Western colonial knowledge came to Japan and ways in which Japan influenced other empires, investigating trans-imperial conduits like foreign consultants, scholarly texts and international expositions. Secondly, it works to dismantle persistent notions of Japan as a marginal latecomer to this community of imperial powers by demonstrating that Japan engaged with inter-imperially circulating discourses and practices from as early as 1868 and contributed to the development of the culture as a whole. The dissertation joins a growing body of critical work that argues that Meiji-era Hokkaidō is best understood as a colony in which modern technologies of settler colonialism were systematically employed starting directly after the Meiji Restoration.

    Finally, it employs theories of colonial association as a kind of overarching case-study to illustrate how ideas and practices of colonial governance circulated over imperial boundaries and concurrently influenced all empires of the time. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the strategy of assimilating colonized peoples became increasingly discredited among the colonial policy elite worldwide. New notions of how best to rule a colonial territory based on Social Darwinism and British and Dutch experiments in indirect rule, later collectively referred to as the “association” of colonizer and colonized with minimal cultural interchange, became correspondingly influential. Although assimilation and association are frequently treated as unchanging traits of specific empires (with France and Japan typically identified as assimilationist and Britain and the Netherlands as associationist), this dissertation contends that shifts between assimilation and association happened concurrently in different empires around the world, providing important evidence of a common trans-imperial culture. I will demonstrate that Japanese colonial elites engaged with these ideas at the same time as their counterparts in Western empires, with Japan’s famous radical assimilation campaign coming only in the final years of its empire. Revealing the strong influence of associationist thought among Meiji leaders helps to illuminate the consistency and “timeliness” of Japanese colonial discourse and practice and challenges anachronistic notions of the Japanese Empire always being characterized by a unique form of colonial assimilationism.

    The empirical “body” of the dissertation is divided into three large, thematic sections. Part I investigates the trans-imperial linkages between Japan and the United States during Japan’s colonization of Hokkaidō around the 1870s. Chapters 1 - 3 consider the role of three American professors, William Smith Clark, William Wheeler and David Pearce Penhallow, who were hired to establish an agricultural college as part of the colonial development of Hokkaidō. I argue that these American professors contributed to Japan’s colonial expansionism in at least three ways: by helping the Kaitakushi physically transform Hokkaidō into a Japanese settler colony, by spreading a colonial worldview according to which the Ainu were portrayed as a primitive, dying race similar to Native Americans, and finally by acting as propagandists for Japanese expansionism after their return. Chapter 4 considers continuing links to American technologies of settler colonialism in the next generation through the writings of Satō Shōsuke on Hokkaidō’s colonial status. Satō graduated in Sapporo Agricultural College’s first class and later studied land policy in America before returning and becoming president of his alma mater.

    Part II investigates Japan’s early colonization of Taiwan and the debates over its colonial status, which remained highly ambiguous for more than a decade after its acquisition by Japan in 1895. Chapter 5 considers the opinions of three Western colonial consultants from France, Britain and the United States who were engaged by the Japanese government in 1895 from the perspective of assimilation and association. I contend that contrary to previous assertions, all three individuals should be understood as proponents of globally fashionable theories of colonial association rather than as advocates of different national colonial cultures. Chapter 6 is devoted to the writings of Takekoshi Yosaburō, a prominent Japanese proponent of association. I argue that the position of his 1905 book Japanese Rule in Formosa in the domestic political debate over Taiwan’s status has not been fully appreciated and that its 1907 English translation played a crucial role in linking Japan into the trans-imperial academic field of colonial policy studies. Thanks to the efforts of Takekoshi and other propagandists, Taiwan came to be seen as a model colony in the West, especially in the United States where it was widely considered to be a good example for the Philippines, raising Japan’s status among world colonial powers.

    Part III shifts focus from colonial territories to expositions, which Japan used to present its empire to a mass public in Japan, its colonies and the West. I argue that expositions were one of the most important sites at which the global trans-imperial culture was created and maintained. Chapter 7 investigates how the Japanese Empire was presented to a Western public at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London, where it displayed its various colonial territories in detail for the first time outside of Japan. Chapter 8 analyzes presentations of the constituent parts of the Japanese Empire at the Takushoku hakurankai or Colonization Exposition that was held in Tokyo two years later.

    Based on the above case studies, this dissertation concludes that contrary to common assertions, colonial assimilation was not a salient characteristic of Meiji imperialism, and that Japanese leaders did not emulate specific French assimilationist models as is commonly asserted. Instead, leading colonialists in both France and Japan, as well as other empires, were concurrently influenced by new, anti-assimilationist ideas of colonial association, including conserving resources by allowing indigenous laws and customs to be maintained as much as possible, making colonies financially self-sufficient and endowing a separate colonial administration with vast discretionary power. This is not to say that assimilation did not have proponents in Japan and that it did not sometimes inform Japanese colonial policy, but rather that it did not form the dominant mode of Japanese colonialism at this time. While examples of assimilationism can be found in Meiji Japan, I contend that these have been anachronistically exaggerated by later historians as a result of their greater familiarity of Japan’s later radical assimilation drive. The ideas that would later be collectively known as association so dominated the global trans-imperial discourse of colonial administration at this time that countries like Japan that aspired to influence and respect by the world’s “great powers” could hardly afford to ignore them. Assimilation was widely censured as a failed policy by inept “Latin” colonizers like Spain and could therefore only be advocated by Japanese politicians in a domestic context. Even then, opponents of assimilation had a powerful tool at their disposal in the ostensibly scientific arguments of numerous well-known Western theorists. Though not always completely successful, Japanese overseas propaganda still managed to use presentations of Taiwan’s efficient management along associationist lines to convince many Westerners of Japan’s aptitude for colonization, allowing it to participate in many of the key institutions of the global trans-imperial culture and even, at times, to serve as an inspiration to other empires.

  • 49.
    Knust, Martin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Sprachvertonung und Gestik in den Werken Richard Wagners: Ein­flüsse zeitgenössischer Rezitations- und Deklamationspraxis2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 50.
    Svensson, Sofia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Språkhandlingar i flerspråkiga elevers gruppsamtal: en studie av identitetskonstruktion2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to investigate how multilingual fifth-grade pupils in Sweden construct their own and each other’s identities through verbal and non-verbal discourse acts, in group discussions of diary texts without a teacher present. The group discussions were audio and video recorded by the pupils themselves and transcribed by me as a researcher.

    The theoretical foundation of this study is the social constructionist view of identities as multiple, negotiable and flexible processes which are constructed in and through interaction. This is investigated through the participants’ use of discourse acts in the form of initiatives, responses and follow-ups, drawing on the Exchange Structure Model combined with interactional tools from Conversation Analysis. The use of ESM has been expanded in the study for the investigation of non-verbal discourse acts as well. Zimmerman’s framework of the three identity dimensions discourse, situated, and transportable identities has been applied to the analysis of discourse acts, to study the pupils’ identity constructions. Their use of code-switching has been studied in connection with the third identity dimension, here the transportable identity as multilinguals.

    The results show that the pupils as a group cannot be said to make their transportable identities as multilinguals relevant to a high degree in the group discussions. However, some of the pupils make their multilingualism relevant locally, using code-switching as a resource to express feelings, to wield power, and for face-saving effects etc.

    Furthermore, reciprocal contingency between the three dimensions of identity is shown by the pupils’ identity constructions and co-constructions in the group discussions. Discourse identities like initiating diary reporter, confirmation seeker, questioner, responder and endorser are constructed at the micro level of interaction by the participants using verbal and non-verbal discourse acts. These identities build up situated identities together with existing parti