619 Works

The Religious Bildungsbürgertum in the Queen City: Race and Cultural Politics in Cincinnati’s German Denominational Newspapers, 1830-1862

Michele Mosser Ferris
In the early-nineteenth century, German intellectuals crafted a cultural identity to coalesce the German-speaking people into a distinct Volk. They reformed the universities to produce a new Bildungsbürgertum (educated middle class) that would lead the masses in the cultural politics of asserting German exceptionalism. Key to this transition was Bildung, a philosophical concept that linked human progress to cultural diversity. Clergy from the Bildungsbürgertum immigrated to Cincinnati during the antebellum era, eager to live according...

Reading Algorithms

David Martin Thieme
The current rise of Machine Learning (ML) and the proliferation of ML-based algorithms in modern technology has led to renewed speculation that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could soon match or exceed human cognitive capacity. The ability for an ML-based system to learn, combined with the increasing proficiency and capacity of “deep” ML algorithms lends credence to this speculation, and gives rise to imagined futures—some promising, some apocalyptic—in which machines can think like humans. Many ML algorithms...

Synthetic Studies Toward Ent-Kaurene Natural Products: An Application of Carbon–Carbon Bond Activation in Synthesis

Brent Allen Billett
Recent work in the area of transition metal catalyzed carbon–carbon (C–C) σ-bond activation has allowed for new strategic bond disconnection. Toward this end, the Dong lab has developed a Rh(I)-catalyzed C–C bond activation/olefin insertion strategy to access highly polycyclic scaffolds found in natural products. Of specific interest are the ent-kaurenes eriocalyxin B and isodonal. Herein, we disclose our synthetic efforts toward the family through a C–C activation method. Other key steps in the synthesis include...

Direct β-Functionalization of Ketones via Palladium-Catalyzed Redox Cascade

Chengpeng Wang
Based on versatile catalytic α,β-desaturation methods, strategies that directly functionalize carbonyl compounds at their less reactive β positions have emerged over the past decade. Among the established methods, the redox cascade strategy provides a distinct β-functionalization approach in a step-economical and redox-neutral manner. It is capitalized on reusing the Pd(0) species generated after α,β-desaturation in a subsequent carbon halogen bond activation, in which the electrophile serves as both the oxidant and the source for the...

Identification and Estimation of Dynamic Random Coefficient Models

Wooyong Lee
This paper studies dynamic panel data linear models that allow multiplicative and additive heterogeneity in a short panel context by allowing both the coefficients and intercept to be individual-specific. I show that the model is not point-identified and yet partially identified, and I characterize the sharp identified sets of the mean, variance, and distribution of the partial effect distribution. The characterization applies to both discrete and continuous data. A computationally feasible estimation and inference procedure...

XBART: A Scalable Stochastic Algorithm for Supervised Machine Learning with Additive Tree Ensembles

Jingyu He
This dissertation develops a novel stochastic tree ensemble method for nonlinear regression, which I refer to as XBART, short for Accelerated Bayesian Additive Regression Trees. By combining regularization and stochastic search strategies from Bayesian modeling with computationally efficient techniques from recursive partitioning approaches, the new method attains state-of-the-art performance: in many settings it is both faster and more accurate than the widely-used XGBoost algorithm. Via careful simulation studies, I demonstrate that our new approach provides...

Essays on Incompleteness in Financial Markets and Contracts

Xun Xu
In Chapter 1 of my dissertation, I study how should the banking system be designed under a setting where markets and contracts are incomplete, to most efficiently create the private money in an economy (i.e., bank deposits), which need to be made both liquid and safe. I identify three market failures: an incentive problem, a commitment problem, and a coordination problem, as consequences of the combination of a safe asset creation constraint under liquidity risks...

Customer Retention under Imperfect Information

Yewon Kim
I study why many firms face low retention rates among new customers. In particular, I examine whether customer churn at the firm level after a single product experience is solely driven by heterogeneous preferences or is affected by incomplete information about the products. I use a long panel of individual-level ticket purchases from a major U.S. symphony center for which 60% of first-time customers do not return after a single visit. The data exhibit patterns...


Jessica Hanlon
This paper aims to evaluate the resiliency and environmentally friendly nature of historic preservation and sustainable development by surveying the office building stock within the city of Chicago. Through an evaluation of the operational energy consumption post-development, this paper will address the relation of each building practice and their overall efficiency. Considering each building’s ENERGY STAR rating as an indicator for sustainability and efficiency, this paper will model several variables to illustrate whether a relationship...

Annotated Highlights from the Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells

Hope Gundlah
It is perhaps because Ida B. Wells’s accomplishments were so numerous and various, that she has largely faded from American cultural consciousness today. Her contributions to the early civil rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement made her, during her time, an internationally famous figure. Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862, Wells began working as a schoolteacher. In 1883, Wells was commuting to school via train and took her usual seat in the ladies’...

Frontiers of Incarceration: An Overview of Electronic Monitoring in Cook County

Ayomikun Idowu
Given the substantial cost of running carceral facilities in the United States and the overcrowding of jails and prisons, the number of individuals on electronic monitoring has dramatically risen during the last decade. Government officials have hailed electronic monitoring as the solution to mass incarceration while criminal justice activists have called electronic monitoring another form of incarceration. In particular, electronic monitoring has been criticized for violating individual’s right to privacy through unnecessary surveillance and movement...

The Housing Prescription

Sara Matthews

Redefining Gentrification

Jein Park

Strategies to Strenghtening Abortion Protections in State Legislatures

Charlie Rollason

Get Off My Woodlawn

Ellinor Rutkey

Many Hands Make Heavy Work

Aleena Tariq

Spatializing Kinship

Fikayo Walter-Johnson

Halting the Revolving Doors of Recidivism

Angela Wang

What Can Plea Bargaining Teach Us about Racial Bias in Criminal Justice?

Andrew William Jordan
I develop a model of plea bargaining focused on sources of racial bias in the criminal justice system. Defendants demand more trials and receive shorter sentences when the cases brought against them are weak. Defendants demand more trials but receive longer sentences when prosecutors are biased against them. Data from Chicago, IL show that black defendants demand more trials and receive shorter sentences than white defendants facing the same charges. Viewed through the lens of...

Therapuetic Vision, Discipline, and Religious Virtue in Ordinary Life: A Comparative Ethical Analysis of Augustine and Zhiyi

Eun Young Hwang
In this cross-cultural comparison on religious therapeutics and pathology in Christianity and Buddhism, I focus on Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in the Roman Empire, and Tiantai Zhiyi (538-597) in Sui China. Addressing the cross-cultural phenomena of interiority and disciplinary measures in ordinary life, the present comparison suggests a multi-dimensional comparative method in dialogue with phenomenology, hermeneutics, interiority studies, and post-colonial theories. This comparison examines how Augustine and Zhiyi show similarities and differences when envisaging the...

Optogenetic Analysis of Rho family GTPases during Morphogenesis and Polarization

Ashley Rich
Organismal development is a complex process that involves cell growth and proliferation, specification of cell fates, and reorganization of tissues relative to one another. The generation of subcellular asymmetries is fundamental to many of these developmental events. For example, the building and contracting of actomyosin networks at precise positions within cells effects cell shape changes. Coupling these cell shape changes across a tissue drives tissue morphogenesis and reorganization of germ layers. Additionally, the polarization of...

Social Pressure and Self-Selection in Experimental Policy Evaluation

Alec Brandon
A leading technique uses randomized experimentation to evaluate the impact of policy in- terventions. Applications of this technique often measure the impact of an intervention on a self-selected sample. In this paper, I propose that social pressure from the experimenter is a determinant of these selection decisions. I test this hypothesis in the context of a study on a free LED lighting program. Recruitment takes place door-to-door in the suburbs of Chicago. A day before...

Between the Literal and the Allegorical: Biblical Paraphrase and the Mediation of Scripture in Philo of Alexandria's and Gregory of Nyssa's Lives of Moses

Richard Aaren Zaleski
Philo of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa each composed a two-volume work entitled the Life of Moses. While a few scholarly treatments have been written on how these two treatises have retold the story of Moses as depicted in scripture, a full analysis has yet to appear that investigates how they use the art of ancient paraphrase to reshape scripture. By performing a comparative literary analysis of the two Lives of Moses, both externally with...

Idea Production and Team Structure

Jeremy Gordon Pearce
In the modern world, technological and scientific innovation relies heavily on teamwork. The ``lone genius'' is mostly a story of the past, as innovating teams have become larger, more diverse, and more geographically dispersed. This paper builds a framework that links idea production and matching in teams to aggregate innovation. With this framework, the paper quantifies the forces behind rising team size and shifts in team composition and produces a method for evaluating the relative...

Essays in Information Economics

Wenji Xu
The dissertation consists of three essays in information economics. In the first chapter, "Social Learning in General Information Environments," I consider a variant of the model of herd behavior introduced by Banerjee (1992) and Bikhchandani, Hirshleifer, and Welch (1992). I study a social learning model in which agents make decisions sequentially and learn about an unknown payoff-relevant state through two sources – a signal about the state itself (a state-signal) and a signal about the...

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