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  • 1.
    Muhr, Anneli
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Andra generationens unga företagare med utländsk bakgrund: En förståelse av det egna företagandet utifrån social position2020Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation is about young second-generation immigrants who choose to become entrepreneurs. In a qualitative interview study, 22 young individuals’ choices and trajectories as entrepreneurs were examined. The aim of the dissertation was to understand how these young entrepreneurs, based on their social position, motivated their choices and trajectories into working life as business owners. The results of the study show how the young entrepreneurs act based on their social position, in which both structural and intergenerational factors have significance for their choices. Furthermore, variations are clarified in the individuals’ motives and trajectories as young entrepreneurs, which can be understood against the backdrop of various social positions. Three patterns have crystallised from the young entrepreneurs’ stories: the “follower” – the early entrepreneur with a strong tradition of business in their family, the “climber” – the later and strategic young entrepreneur who also has a strong tradition of business, and finally the “stopover” – who does not have a tradition of business in their family. But the most prominent pattern is the “early and horizontal business trajectory”. This trajectory does not represent the typical highly educated springboard examples, which are normally highlighted in previous research. Instead it represents a “new category” which includes young people who come from less highly educated business environments, and who largely follow in the footsteps of their parents and relatives and continues to work in typical trade- and service branches. For this category, it is more likely the individuals’ lack of education, rather than strong education, that drives them to become entrepreneurs. The young people in this category leave school early and start their own businesses. Central to this is how the young people continue to work in the increasingly uncertain and informal labour market, in which relatively strenuous living patterns are passed on through generations, and where the young people partially fall outside the public welfare systems.

  • 2.
    Ebbelind, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics. Linnaeus University.
    Becoming recognised as mathematically proficient: The role of a primary school teacher education programme2020Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study focuses on upper primary prospective teachers in their first years of a teacher education programme in Sweden, in particular, a 20-week mathematics education course. It aims to contribute with insight into how, or even if, experience from a teacher education programme and other relevant past and present social practices and figured worlds plays a role in prospective generalist teachers’ imaginings of themselves as primary mathematics teachers-to-be and potentially shapes their identity. The theoretical perspective, Patterns of Participation, guides the logic and the research process and is used to interpret the construct of professional identity development. Ethnographic methods were crucial during the research process, which starts by taking a wide perspective on relevant social practices and then focuses exclusively on the everyday lives of prospective teachers.

    This study adds to the understanding of how the similarities in the discursive patterns of two prospective teachers, Evie and Lisa, frame their processes as teachers-to-be by staying committed to their prior positive experiences of mathematics. The figured world of performative mathematics is a significant aspect of Evie’s and Lisa’s experience, which involves being recognised for mathematical ability. Evie’s identity development is framed in relation to how her degree of certainty changes during her teacher education experience. She became recognised as someone who helps others in mathematics and found a way of performing this role during the teacher education programme. Lisa’s identity development is framed in relation to her commitment to the figured world of performative mathematics. She became recognised as a winner of competitions and for quickly completing the textbook exercises – experiences that proved formative during her teacher education programme.

    In this study, I conclude that the teacher education programme has an impact regarding prospective teachers’ professional development, but perhaps not in the way teacher educators expect or want. Thus, the teacher educators’ intention for the education programme differs from the result. An important aspect is that prospective teachers are not challenged first and foremost by encountering the theoretical perspectives involved in teaching mathematics. Instead, their prior experience is confirmed when used as a key source in determining what teaching mathematics means in terms of identity.

  • 3.
    Helin, Anu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Eco-immunological studies of innate immunity in Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis comprises two sections, both of which explore eco-immunology of the innate immune system of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). The innate immune system serves a pivotal role as the first line of defense against invading pathogens, and is comprised of physical and chemical barriers. Its main function is to inhibit and/or eliminate the pathogenic microorganisms while minimizing collateral damage to host cells.

    The first section investigates the allelic variation and selective forces acting on five avian β-defensins (AvBD) genes. Showing that purifying selection is the predominant selective force, although one gene AvBD3b, appeared to be subject to balancing selection. Moreover, the solution structure of the AvBD3b peptide was solved in this work, revealing that it contains a typical β-defensin fold with three β-sheets. Linear and folded AvBD3b peptides were shown to exhibit similar antibacterial properties, indicating that the tertiary structure was not the primary determinant of antimicrobial activity. Moreover, testing the antimicrobial activity of synthetic AvBD peptides showed that they mostly had higher activity against Gram-negative than Gram-positive bacteria.

    The second section investigates expression of two innate immune genes during avian influenza virus infection. Data quality in gene expression studies depends, in part, on the stability of the reference genes (RGs) used to normalize expression levels, meaning putative RGs must be validated prior to use. Eleven potential mallard RGs were tested and it was found that the stability varied across different tissue types, highlighting the importance of correct RG selection for the specific experimental conditions. Optimal RGs were then used in a gene expression study of retinoic acid inducible gene 1 (RIG-I) and myxovirus resistant gene (Mx) in mallards during a low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) infection. Upregulation of both genes was rapid and transient, returning back to basal levels two days post infection across most of the five tissue types analyzed.

    This thesis provides new insights into the tertiary structure and antimicrobial activity of AvBDs, and how this relates to selective pressures exerted in natural populations. It also highlights the importance of RGs validation, and confirms that RIG-I and Mx are involved in the early stages of the mallard immune response to LPAI infection.

  • 4.
    Nordqvist, Jonas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    Residue fixed point index and wildly ramified power series2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis concerns discrete dynamical systems. These are systems where the dynamics is modeled by iterated functions. There are several applications of discrete dynamical system e.g. in biology, pseudo random number generation and statistical mechanics. In this thesis we are interested in discrete dynamical systems described by iterations of a power series f fixing the origin, where it is tangent to the identity. In particular, the coefficients of f are given in a field of positive characteristic p. We are interested in the so-called lower ramification numbers of such series. The lower ramification numbers encodes the multiplicity of the origin as a fixed point of f under p-power iterates. In particular this thesis contains four papers all related to the topic of lower ramification numbers of such power series.

    In Paper I we consider so-called 2-ramified power series and give a characterization of such in terms of its first significant terms. This is further extended in Paper II, where we geometrically locate the periodic points of 2-ramified power series in the open unit disk. In doing, so we provide a self-contained proof of the main result of the first paper.

    In Paper III, we consider power series with a fixed point at the origin of small multiplicity, i.e. the multiplicity of the fixed point is less than that of the characteristic of the ground field. We provide a characterization of all such power series having the smallest possible lower ramification numbers, in terms of its first significant terms, and in terms of the nonvanishing of the so-called iterative residue. In doing so, we also provide a formula for the residue fixed point index for the case of a multiple fixed point. We further extend the results of Paper II by locating geometrically the periodic points in the open unit disk of convergent power series with small multiplicity.

    In Paper IV we consider power series of large multiplicity, and introduce an invariant in positive characteristic closely related to the residue fixed point index. We provide a characterization of these power series having the smallest possible lower ramification numbers in terms of the nonvanishing of this invariant. As a by-product we obtain results about the dimension of the moduli space of formal classification of wildly ramified power series.

  • 5.
    Cronquist, Eva
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Samtidskonstbaserat gestaltningsarbete i utbildningen av bildlärare: Om vikten av transformativ beredskap i förändringsprocesser2020Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation addresses student learning processes in contemporary arts- based practice in visual arts teacher education programs. The arts-based processes studied are based on the explorative method for exploring social and social phenomena. ‘Art’, as a school subject, is based on scientific foundations that are informed by a ‘semiotics of art’ perspective. Notwithstanding this, artistic methods comprise a large part of the subject. The aim of this dissertation is to deepen our knowledge of the students’ experience of the learning processes that are present in contemporary arts-based practice in visual arts teacher education programs. Three empirical investigations into two visual arts teacher education programs were conducted. Study I reports on an investigation into an introductory course in contemporary arts-based practice where focus was placed on the student’s learning processes. The theoretical frameworks used in Study I were hermeneutics, symbolic interactionism, and transformative theory. The results of Study I were reported on in their entirety in a licentiate thesis (Cronquist, 2015), and can be summarised in terms of the concepts ‘resistance’, ‘challenges’, and ‘alienation and conciliation as a communicative process’. This introductory study gave rise to new questions which demanded both further depth and breadth in their answers. These issues were addressed by investigating an additional art teacher education program and by analysing the more advanced courses in this program, in contrast to the analysis of the introductory courses that were analysed in the first investigation. Study II presents an investigation into the meanings which emerged in the students’ experiences of the learning processes in a prescribed contemporary arts-based projects whilst Study III presents an investigation of the meanings with emerged in the students’ experiences of learning processes in a prescribed contemporary arts-based independent project, second cycle (Master of arts in secondary education for upper secondary). Study II and Study III take their point of departure in Dewey’s ‘pragmatism’, where human behaviour is considered to be a transactional process between people and their environment. The method of analysis that was used in these studies was inspired by ‘practical epistemological analysis’ (PEA) (Wickman & Östman, 2014). The object of study, which links all three studies together, addresses deepening our knowledge of the learning processes in contemporary arts-based projects. The results of these studies are revealed in three distinct problem areas namely, the laboratory - explorative problem, the subject-cultural problem, and the methodology problem. The laboratory - explorative problem involves the difficulties which students are

    faced with when they are tasked with making independent choices of methods for creative laboratory - explorative workprocesses in art projects. The subject- cultural problem refers to how students carry within themselves their experiences of learning processes from other subjects and how they put them in contrast with their learning experiences in their art classes. The methodology problem reveals to us how scientific research methods and exploratory art methods come to collide with each other (from the students’ perspective) in the students’ independent art projects. In conclusion, I present a discussion of the questions and challenges that contemporary art concepts can provide to an art teacher education program. ‘Transformative preparedness’ is highlighted as a central concept which students can use to move forward in their art teacher training when habitual behaviours are challenged. ‘Transformative preparedness’ is based primarily on the ability to adopt another person’s perspective.

    Keywords: teacher education program, art teacher education program, contemporary art, art project, contemporary arts-based practice learning processes, transformation, subject culture, artistic project methods

  • 6.
    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.

  • 7.
    Jalilzadehazhari, Elaheh
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    A decision-making framework for enhancing client well-being: When designing windows and blinds2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The current state of window and blind design moves beyond evaluating a single function, such as energy consumption, to include a human perspective in architectural design approach to create value. A current thought among architects and design professionals is that the highest value outcomes can be obtained when any architectural design contributes to enhanced well-being. Previous studies show that an individual’s well-being is determined by five main life domain factors: health, economy, personality, demographic variables and behavior variables. However, the life domain factors health and economy show stronger and more positive correlations to well-being. At this point, value creation within architectural design context, including window and blind design, can be seen as an attempt to enhance well-being by improving health and providing economic benefits for clients. Clients can represent i) owners who own a built asset, ii) investors who commit capital and expect to obtain financial return, or iii) occupants who live or work in the building every day. In the context of owner-occupied buildings, the value creation process is mainly seen as an attempt to enhance well-being for one entity by improving health and providing economic benefits. When considering investment properties or assets held for sale, the value creation process is mainly translated into an attempt to enhance well-being for several entities by improving health for occupants and providing economic benefits for owners and/or investors.Selecting a window and blind design to enhance client well-being remains a challenging task due to three main difficulties. The first difficulty relates to the contradictory effects of windows and blinds on visual and thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. The second difficulty is the availability of a variety of window and blind designs in different sizes, positions and forms, making the selection of windows and blinds an intricate decision challenge for architects and designers. The third difficulty involves decisions about the selection of windows and blinds that should include all criteria and their interactions simultaneously.To resolve the abovementioned difficulties, this research applied the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) as a multi-criteria decision-making method to select a window and blind design based on a trade-off between visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. The analyses of results show the capability of AHP in resolving difficulties, however its application is mainly limited to a small number of designs. To overcome this limitation, a decision-making framework was developed based on integration between non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II) as an optimization algorithm and AHP. The strength and limitations of the decision-making framework were later tested by employing it in window and blind design practice. To investigate further benefits from the implementation of the framework, it was expanded by evaluating additional building envelopes, i.e. windows as well as external walls, roof and floor constructions, which made it possible to select a trade-off construction solution. The analyses of results show the framework’s ability to resolve difficulties and locate a trade-off design in a relatively short period of time. However, the decision-making framework only allows the analysis of the objective criteria for evaluating visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. This is because it is necessary to rely on the creativity of the architects and designers when designing windows and blinds in order to consider subjective issues. The decision-making framework can be used either by design teams or customer service experts in window manufacturing companies. A literature study was therefore conducted to extend the technology acceptance model and thereby investigate the determinants of framework user acceptance of the decision-making framework. The results showed that organizational, individual, technological and environmental characteristics were the most influential external variables when investigating determinants of framework user acceptance of the framework. Organizational characteristics included top management support, training, organizational culture, and organizational size, while individual characteristics included the users’ previous knowledge and experience. Technological characteristics embraced information quality and system quality, meanwhile environmental characteristics comprised fulfillment of regulations and competitiveness.

  • 8.
    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.

  • 9.
    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.

  • 10.
    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.

  • 11.
    Sandholm, Kerstin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Development and evaluation of immunoassays for complement diagnostics2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Laboratory analyses of human body fluids play an important role in clinical diagnosis. This thesis comprises projects in which various immune assays have been developed and evaluated as complement diagnostics in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Various methods have been used, such as ELISA, Western blot, flow cytometry, and xMAP technology.

    In paper 1, we monitored complement parameters in EDTA-plasma and CSF from patients with suspected neuroborreliosis (NB) by using in-house sandwich ELISAs.  We found significantly elevated levels of C1q, C4, C3, and C3a in CSF, but not in plasma, suggesting that complement plays a role in the intrathecal immune response in NB.

    Complement is a main player in early inflammation, and in paper 2, we investigated the role of complement activation in phagocytosis and the release of cytokines and chemokines in response to two clinical isolates: Borrelia afzelii K78 and Borrelia garinii LU59. Our results show that complement activation plays an important role in the initial process of phagocytosis, but not in the subsequent cytokine release that occurs in response to live Borrelia spirochetes. C1q, a valuable biomarker of disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), can be quantitated using a number of different immunochemical techniques.

    In paper 3, we developed and validated a magnetic bead-based immunoassay for quantifying C1q in EDTA-plasma and CSF. In contrast to soluble immunoprecipitation assays such as nephelometry and turbidimetry, this new assay was not hampered by the interaction between C1q and detecting antibodies. The novel assay was shown to give a clear correlation between nephritis and SLEDAI score in SLE.

    Warfarin is a commonly used but complicated treatment in patients with thrombosis. It reduces the function of vitamin K-dependent coagulation proteins, including protein S, which is a ligand for C4b-binding protein (C4BP). In paper 4, we demonstrated a decrease in various isoforms of C4BP that resulted in a strong complement activation in patients treated with warfarin, but not in patients treated with other anticoagulants.

    Taken together, the results from the papers included in this thesis stress the importance of validated assays with high sensitivity and specificity in enabling accurate diagnosis in patients with various inflammatory diseases.

  • 12.
    Billsten, Johan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dissemination and Implementation of the Swedish National Guidelines for Treatment of Substance use: – A five year evaluation2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis contains four empirical studies. The data derives from an evaluation project named Knowledge to Practice (KtP) that aimed to disseminate and implement the Swedish National Guidelines for Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Substance Use Disorder-treatment from 2010–2014. The aim of this thesis was to identify key determinants affecting implementation.

    The data collection consisted of:

    - Web surveys that were distributed annually from 2010–2014 to a panel of 3,852 respondents working in substance abuse treatment in social services and health care

    - Web surveys distributed to approximately 10,000 participants in the national core curriculum course. Surveys were distributed before the start of the course and immediately after the course ended. A follow-up web survey was distributed one year later

    - Semi-structured surveys for all regions’ user organizations to answer in focus groups

    - Interviews with process managers in every region

    The aim of Study I was to describe KtP's efforts and the situation in 2012. Web surveys were distributed to a panel of 3,852 respondents and 10,000 participants from core curriculum courses. Process managers from all 21 regions were interviewed. Study II used an instrument named Organizational Readiness for Change (ORC).The aim was to: (a) identify clusters of employees with different ORC profiles and (b) investigate whether belonging to a specific profile predicted the use of therapy methods, assessment instruments and cross-sectional collaboration. The ORC instrument was part of an annual web survey to a panel of 3,852 respondents.The aim of Study III was to evaluate, via a four-year follow-up study, whether user organizations continued existing after national support concluded and if their influence within social services and health care was implemented over time. The aim of Study III was to evaluate, via a four-year follow-up study, whether user organizations continued existing after national support concluded and if their influence within social services and health care was implemented over time. The aim of Study IV was to evaluate the extent of the dissemination and implementation work organised by KtP and whether there was increased use of treatment methods, assessment instruments and changes in cross-sectional collaboration between authorities. Factors associated with success were studied on three organizational levels: regional, municipal and individual. Results show that setting and person-related determinants, as measured by the ORC instrument, predicted implementation of assessment instruments and treatment methods. Profiles with high scores on institutional resources, staff attributes and organizational climate and low scores on motivational readiness were associated with more successful implementation. Respondent-level specialist competence and the ORC factors of staff attributes and institutional resources were related to the use of treatment methods. The ORC factor of organizational climate was related to the increase of cross-sectionalcollaboration at a respondent level. Years of employment working with substance users predicted increased use of assessment instruments and in contrast, the ORC factor institutional resources available were negatively related to instrument use. No predictors were found at the region/municipality level. The majority of respondents were positive to the national guidelines and found them useful in their daily work. They also reported positive attitudes to the KtP project. In 2011, two-thirds of the process managers from Sweden's 21 counties assessed that KtP's most important results were access to education and method support. The one-year follow-up web survey distributed to the participants in core curriculum courses showed that memory retention of the course content was fair. Eighty per cent of the respondents gave the correct answer to seven out of nine questions. User organizations still existed in most regions and they reported increased influence in the field of substance use treatment, both in social services and within health care services.

  • 13.
    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.  

  • 14.
    Osbeck, Christofer
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Exploring gene expression responses of marine bacteria to environmental factors2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacterioplankton are abundant in marine ecosystems, where they as “masters of transformation” of dissolved organic matter (DOM) are important for energy fluxes and biogeochemical cycles. However, the performance of bacteria in a changing marine environment influenced by anthropogenic activities is poorly understood. In this thesis, I did experiments with model bacteria and natural assemblages of bacteria, using microbiology methods combined with modern molecular tools, to investigate responses of marine bacteria to changes in environmental conditions like ocean acidification, organic pollution and organic matter released by phytoplankton. Experiments with a model gammaproteobacterium demonstrated that bacteria in stationary phase showed little responses to organic pollutants, whereas pollutants caused decreased bacterial growth and had a broad physiological impact on actively growing bacteria (as deduced from gene expression analysis). In an experiment with two distantly related marine model bacteria, we identified several important bacterial mechanisms, such as uptake of macromolecules and phosphonates, by which bacteria respond when exposed to DOM produced by photosynthetic dinoflagellates. Using natural bacterial communities in a Baltic Sea mesocosm experiment with the addition of river water from a forested or an agriculture influenced catchment area, we showed important interactions between river water type and the development of phytoplankton blooms that caused different bacterial gene expression activities. In the fourth set of experiments, marine bacterial communities were subjected to elevated CO2, to mimic ocean acidification, under high and low nutrient conditions in a mesocosm study. We found increased bacterial gene expression activity focused on maintaining pH homeostasis, but only under low nutrient conditions, indicating that bacteria focus on cell maintenance instead of growth when challenged by lowered pH. Finally, in a computational analysis, we compared genomes from yet uncultivated prokaryotes by two different strategies: metagenome assembled and single amplified genomes. Importantly, the analysis showed that both methods selected abundant taxa and generated nearly identical sequences in overlapping regions. To conclude, this thesis presents discoveries that will help form a better understanding of marine bacterial responses to present and future anthropogenic disturbances of marine ecosystems.

  • 15.
    Eriksson, Katarina
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Finance and Supply Chain Management: Coordination of a Dyadic Supply Chain through Application of Option Contracts2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this dissertation is to study the relationship between dyadic supply chain flexibility and dyadic supply chain profitability.

    In today’s global environment, competition is no longer limited to companies but has evolved to supply chains. Supply disruption, lead time uncertainty and stochastic demand can result in costly inefficiencies of up to 40% when companies are trying to coordinate ordering and production. A dyadic supply chain competing in a global economy cannot afford to end up with a 40% smaller share of the pie.

    This thesis applies theory and instruments from finance, specifically portfolio theory and real options theory when applying option contracts to create flexibility in a dyadic supply chain.

    The methodology applied was to conduct an initial literature review of prior research to establish research gaps (first paper). This resulted in the development of an algorithm (second paper) combining the base stock model and the option mechanism to create flexibility for an OEM and supplier to coordinate ordering and production bilaterally in a multi-period setting. In the third paper the algorithm was applied to a case study using data from two companies, which resulted in the algorithm being tested and validated. Furthermore, option contract theory was integrated with dyadic supply chain practise while Fisher portfolio paradox was addressed.

    The dissertation contributes in the following areas: the empirical contribution is evidence of the relationship between dyadic supply chain flexibility and profitability using quantitative data from two companies.

    The methodological contribution is a method for the objective valuation of dyadic supply chain flexibility and the measurement of profitability, by valuing the option contract.

    The theoretical contribution is achieved through the integration of portfolio and option theory into SCM while addressing Fisher’s portfolio paradox.

    The practical contribution is an algorithm that creates flexibility for an OEM and asupplier to coordinate ordering and production bilaterally and maintain its collaborative advantage when competing in a global economy, thus avoiding ending up with a 40% smaller share of the pie. In addition, this dissertation advances this topic in SCM into a quantitatively measurable theory.

  • 16.
    Österlund, Erik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Going beyond on-the fly-garbage collection and improving self-adaptation with enhanced interfaces2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 17.
    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.

  • 18.
    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.

  • 19.
    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.

  • 20.
    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.

  • 21.
    Olsson, Jörgen
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden.
    Low Frequency Impact Sound in Timber Buildings: Transmission Measurements and Simulations2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    An increased share of multi-story buildings that have timber structures entails potential in terms of increased sustainability as well as human-friendly manufacturing and habitation. Timber buildings taller than two stories were prohibited in Europe until the 1990s due to fire regulations. In 1994, this prohibition was removed in Sweden. Thus, being a rather new sector, the multi-story timber building sector lags behind in maturity compared to the multi-story concrete sector. The low-frequency range down to 20 Hz has been shown to be important for the perception of the impact of sound in multi-story apartments with lightweight floors. This frequency range is lower than the one that has traditionally been measured according to standards and regulations. In small rooms, the measurement conditions tend to go from diffuse fields above 100 Hz to modal sound fields dominated by few resonances, below 100 Hz. These conditions lead to new challenges and to new possibilities for measurements and modelling.

    In the present research, a frequency response functions (FRFs) strategy aimed to simplify simulations and correlations between the simulations and test results was used. Measurements made indicate that, in the low frequencies, the highest sound pressures occur at the floor level opposite the ceiling / floor that is excited. By having an iterative measurement strategy with several microphones and making measurements until a required standard error is obtained, it is possible to gain a desired precision and information about the statistical distribution of both the sound fields and floor insulation performance. It was also found that, depending on the excitation source, the FRF from an excitation point on the floor above to the sound pressure at a microphone position in the room below may differ. This indicates that non-linearities in sound transmissions are present. Thus, the excitation source used in a test should be similar in force levels and characteristics to the real excitation stemming, for instance, from a human footfall, to achieve reliable measurement results. The ISO rubber ball is an excitation source that is close to fulfilling this need. In order to obtain an FRF, the impact force must be known. A rig that enables the impact force from a rubber ball to be measured was developed and manufactured. The results show that the force spectra are the same up to about 55 Hz, regardless of the point impedances of the floors excited in the tests. Similar results have been found by others in tests with human excitations. This means that FRFs up to about 55Hz can be achieved without actually measuring the excitation force.

    On the calculation side, finite element simulations based on FRFs may offer advantages. FRFs combined with the actual excitation force spectra of interest give the sound transmission. At higher frequencies, it is more important to extract the point mobilities of the floors and relate them to the excitation forces. By using an infinite shaft, sound transmission can be studied without involving reverberation time. The calculation methodology is used in the present research to evaluate different floor designs using FE models.

  • 22.
    Ivanenko, Yevhen
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering.
    Optimization and Physical Bounds for Passive and Non-passive Systems2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Physical bounds in electromagnetic field theory have been of interest for more than a decade. Considering electromagnetic structures from the system theory perspective, as systems satisfying linearity, time-invariance, causality and passivity, it is possible to characterize their transfer functions via Herglotz functions. Herglotz functions are useful in modeling of passive systems with applications in mathematical physics, engineering, and modeling of wave phenomena in materials and scattering. Physical bounds on passive systems can be derived in the form of sum rules, which are based on low- and high-frequency asymptotics of the corresponding Herglotz functions. These bounds provide an insight into factors limiting the performance of a given system, as well as the knowledge about possibilities to improve a desired system from a design point of view. However, the asymptotics of the Herglotz functions do not always exist for a given system, and thus a new method for determination of physical bounds is required. In Papers I–II of this thesis, a rigorous mathematical framework for a convex optimization approach based on general weighted Lp-norms, 1≤p≤∞, is introduced. The developed framework is used to approximate a desired system response, and to determine an optimal performance in realization of a system satisfying the target requirement. The approximation is carried out using Herglotz functions, B-splines, and convex optimization. 

    Papers III–IV of this thesis concern modeling and determination of optimal performance bounds for causal, but not passive systems. To model them, a new class of functions, the quasi-Herglotz functions, is introduced. The new functions are defined as differences of two Herglotz functions and preserve the majority of the properties of Herglotz functions useful for the mathematical framework based on convex optimization. We consider modeling of gain media with desired properties as a causal system, which can be active over certain frequencies or  frequency intervals.  Here, sum rules can also be used under certain assumptions.

    In Papers V–VII of this thesis, the optical theorem for scatterers immersed in lossy media is revisited. Two versions of the optical theorem are derived: one based on internal equivalent currents and the other based on external fields in terms of a T-matrix formalism, respectively. The theorems are exploited to derive fundamental bounds on absorption by using elementary optimization techniques. The theory has a potential impact in applications where the surrounding losses cannot be neglected, e.g., in medicine, plasmonic photothermal therapy, radio frequency absorption of gold nanoparticle suspensions, etc.  In addition to this, a new method for detection of electrophoretic resonances in a material with Drude-type of dispersion, which is placed in a straight waveguide, is proposed.

  • 23.
    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.

  • 24.
    Vingare, Emme-Li
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Paradoxer i välfärden: När anhöriga blir lösningen på demensomsorgens utmaningar2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis addresses dementia care in Sweden and the function family caregivers are given. The aim of the thesis is to analyse critically the system of municipal eldercare and the function of family caregivers in this system, and in various types of organisations. In the thesis, both organisational perspectives and the experiences of family caregivers are in focus. Eldercare has been a focus of the welfare state from its early days. Throughout the years both the organisation of care and the understanding of responsibility between family and state has changed several times. Today, family caregivers in Sweden have no formal responsibility for people with dementia, but many family caregivers still take on a caregiver responsibility. This raises questions about the function family caregivers play in dementia care and the reasons behind the choice of caregiving. The thesis consists of four papers on which a cumulative analysis was made. The empirical material is based on interviews with 146 family caregivers, of which 55 answered additional questions. Furthermore, a mapping study of activities and professional specialisation was used to study variations between municipalities. Text material was also utilised, both in the form of policies and formal documentation on a municipal level, and on research on family caregiving in dementia care on a national level. The cumulative analysis was made from the perspective of critical systems theory and resulted in three paradoxes: The welfare paradox, the value paradox and the responsibility paradox. The paradoxes are closely connected, and limit agency among family caregivers. Opposition in processes of familisation (the welfare paradox), individual values rather than family values (the value paradox), and the limitations in factual choice in taking on a caregiver responsibility (the responsibility paradox) cooperate in shaping the function of family caregiving and simultaneously limiting family caregiver agency. Since it is in the interest of dementia care to involve family caregivers the paradoxes also contribute to a solution to challenges in dementia care.

  • 25.
    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.

  • 26.
    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.

  • 27.
    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.

  • 28.
    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.

  • 29.
    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.

  • 30.
    Henriksson, Kristina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Skolbesökets osynliga bedömningsprocesser: en studie av hur lärarstudenters yrkeskunnande bedöms under verksamhetsförlagd utbildning2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis treats the assessment of student teachers’ professional skills within the school-based section of Swedish teacher education, more specifically the school visits organized by the university. School visits ordinarily consist of an observed lesson, followed by a post-observation conference. School-based teacher education is regarded as a specific educational element, where the education is transferred to the organisation of professional teachers who educate the student teacher. However, there is a lack of direct research about what happens to the assessment of the student teacher’s proficiency when the assessment system of the education is applied outside the university domain. Research shows that there is tension regarding the view of professional skills between players in teacher education and school organisations, and uncertainties regarding the mandate to develop the student teacher’s professional skills. From a political perspective the school visit is perceived as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the increasing demands for equal and legally secure assessments. The aim of this thesis has therefore been to enhance the understanding of the function of assessment within school-based teacher education. The interactive assessment process of the post-observation conference has been in focus and studied through video observations and interviews. The study assumes multiple theoretical perspectives; a new institutional perspective, Goffman’s interactionist perspective and a professional theoretical perspective. The result shows that simultaneous and conflicting assessment logics guide the assessment task, creating protective and defensive interaction patterns to establish a loyal consensus between conference participants. The situation needs to be played down. The interactive patterns of the conference counteract the institutional logics of the visit, making access to information selective and limited. Judgements and feedback become invisible and the aim of the assessment process is unclear. The controlling purpose of the process, and partly also the formative purpose, is impaired. However, in the execution of assessment itself, assessment logics collaborate with interaction patterns, displaying a secondary adaptation to the situation. This collaboration contributes to a reasonable and legitimate manner of executing the assessment process, assigning meaning to the school visit.

  • 31.
    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.

  • 32.
    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.

  • 33.
    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.

  • 34.
    Engström, Robin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
    The Scottish Independence Referendum in Text, Image and Thought2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2014, a referendum was held in Scotland in order to decide the country’s constitutional future. The referendum was the climax of years of campaigning that gave rise to a rich body of political discourse. This compilation thesis attempts to show how an independent Scotland was discursively constructed, and how these constructions impacted on Scottish identity. The thesis consists of four original research papers which employ a number of complementary approaches in order to analyse a rich and diverse data set.

    The first article examines how the Scottish government looked at small European states in order to construct a vision of a future independent Scotland. This was achieved by discursively constructing small states as economically successful and democratically progressive and then by emphasizing Scotland’s role as a small country.

    The second article analyses the many new metaphorical personifications of Scotland, notably as a woman, that appeared during the campaign. The article finds that traditional, gendered metaphors were largely reworked in order to function in a modern political context.

    The third article maps the central topics and the ideological morphology of discourses on Scottish independence produced by the Scottish National Party and the intellectual and artistic movement National Collective. Unlike previous research, the results of the analysis suggest that these organizations as complementary but labels the former politically nationalist and the latter culturally nationalist.

    The fourth article analyses image tweets published by the official Yes and No campaigns in order to ascertain how the two campaigns legitimated their own standpoints and how they delegitimated their opponents online. The analysis finds that the Yes campaign balanced between promoting its own visions whilst criticizing their opponents, in contrast to the No campaign which almost entirely focused on delegitimating its opponents, thus failing to offer alternative visions.

    Collectively, the thesis paints a picture of a diverse independence movement with different aims and different rationales for advocating independence. Besides making a contribution to the literature on nationalism in general and Scottish nationalism in particular, the thesis further integrates the fields of political theory and discourse studies.

  • 35.
    Fridolfsson, Emil
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Thiamin (vitamin B1) in the aquatic food web2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for several life-sustaining processes in most organisms and cells, e.g. in the conversion of food to energy. It also serves as an antioxidant and is important for proper nerve signaling. Thiamin is produced predominantly by bacteria and phytoplankton in the aquatic food web. Not all bacteria and phytoplankton, nor any organisms in higher trophic levels can produce thiamin; instead, they rely on a continuous external supply and uptake of this essential compound. Thiamin deficiencies occur episodically in a wide range of taxa, especially in higher trophic levels. In the Baltic Sea, thiamin deficiencies has been most pronounced in salmon (Salmo salar) and recently deficiencies are also reported for other fish species and birds.

    This thesis focuses on thiamin dynamics in lower trophic levels, covering primary producers as well as primary consumers, as this topic has not received much attention previously. Thiamin content of common phytoplankton and zooplankton species and the transfer between them was investigated in experiments and field studies. The relationship between thiamin deficiency and underlying environmental factors was also investigated using monitoring data.

    Thiamin content differed among phytoplankton classes, species and even strains. Filamentous Cyanophyceae had considerably higher thiamin content than other classes. However, thiamin transfer to copepods was lower, probably associated with difficulties ingesting the filaments. Moreover, thiamin content in seston varied seasonally, being highest during summer when both Prymnesiophyceae and filamentous Cyanophyceae were more abundant. Thiamin content in the two size fractions correlated strongly and was always higher in the smaller size fraction, illustrating the importance of picoplankton and bacteria in the food web. Also, seston thiamin content was higher in the Baltic Proper than in the Skagerrak. Copepods differed in thiamin content among genera, as well as between locations. Acartia sp. had the highest thiamin content and copepods from the Skagerrak had higher levels than congeners from the Baltic Sea. Thiamin deficiency syndromes in salmon was associated with changes in all trophic levels, as well as changes in several abiotic variables.

    In all, this thesis provides new insights on thiamin content and seasonal dynamics in various phytoplankton and zooplankton species, the transfer of this vitamin between trophic levels as well as the overall importance of thiamin in the aquatic food web.

  • 36.
    Hemmilä, Venla
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Towards low-emitting and sustainable particle and fibreboards: 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.

  • 37.
    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.

  • 38.
    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. 

  • 39.
    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.

  • 40.
    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.

  • 41.
    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.

  • 42.
    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.

  • 43.
    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.

  • 44.
    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.

  • 45.
    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.

  • 46.
    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.

  • 47.
    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.

  • 48.
    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.

  • 49.
    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.

  • 50.
    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.

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