422 Works

How Behavioral Economics Can Shape Firm Strategy and Public Policy: Lessons from the Field and Laboratory

Matthew C. Chao
Incentives are not always economic or monetary in nature. Individuals are often influenced by socially-based incentives centered on how he or she wants to be perceived in a social setting, such as the desire to publicly adhere to a norm of fairness. Likewise, individuals can also be influenced by cognitively-based incentives centered on self-perception and self-attribution, such as the desire to convince oneself that he or she is altruistic. Behavioral economists have incorporated some of...

Essays in Social and Economic Networks

Khai Xiang Chiong
This thesis consists of three chapters, and they concern the formation of social and economic networks. In particular, this thesis investigates the solution concepts of Nash equilibrium and pairwise stability in models of strategic network formation. While the first chapter studies the robustness property of Nash equilibrium in network formation games, the second and third chapters investigate the testable implication of pairwise stability in networks. The first chapter of my thesis is titled "The Robustness...

Topological Strings, Double Affine Hecke Algebras, and Exceptional Knot Homology

Ross Filip Elliot
In this thesis, we consider two main subjects: refined, composite invariants and exceptional knot homologies of torus knots. The main technical tools are double affine Hecke algebras ("DAHA") and various insights from topological string theory. In particular, we define and study the composite DAHA-superpolynomials of torus knots, which depend on pairs of Young diagrams and generalize the composite HOMFLY-PT polynomials from the full HOMFLY-PT skein of the annulus. We also describe a rich structure of...

The Structure of Hippocampal Activity During REM Sleep

Andreas Hoenselaar
The hippocampus is a brain structure critical for the formation of long-term episodic memories. The current predominant theory is that memories are gradually established across neocortical networks under the influence of hippocampal activity. This process of memory consolidation is conjectured to occur during sleep, which is characterized by two different modes of activation: slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The functional roles of these two different sleep states remain unknown. Paradoxically, REM...

Two and Three Finger Caging of Polygons and Polyhedra

Thomas F. Allen
Multi-finger caging offers a rigorous and robust approach to robot grasping. This thesis provides several novel algorithms for caging polygons and polyhedra in two and three dimensions. Caging refers to a robotic grasp that does not necessarily immobilize an object, but prevents it from escaping to infinity. The first algorithm considers caging a polygon in two dimensions using two point fingers. The second algorithm extends the first to three dimensions. The third algorithm considers caging...

Heteroepitaxy of Group IV and Group III-V semiconductor alloys for photovoltaic applications

Christopher Tien Chen
Photovoltaic energy conversion represents a economically viable technology for realizing collection of the largest energy resource known to the Earth -- the sun. Energy conversion efficiency is the most leveraging factor in the price of energy derived from this process. This thesis focuses on two routes for high efficiency, low cost devices: first, to use Group IV semiconductor alloy wire array bottom cells and epitaxially grown Group III-V compound semiconductor alloy top cells in a...

The Regulation of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms: The Role of Melatonin and Adenosine in Zebrafish

Avni Vasant Gandhi
Sleep is a highly conserved behavioral state whose regulation is still unclear. In this thesis I initially briefly introduce the known sleep circuitry and regulation in vertebrates, and why zebrafish is seen as a good model to study sleep-regulation. I describe the existing two-process model of sleep regulation, which posits that the two processes C (circadian) and S (homeostatic) control timing of sleep-wake behavior. I then study the role melatonin plays in the circadian regulation...

Optomechanical Inertial Sensors and Feedback Cooling

Timothy Dobson Blasius
The optomechanical interaction is an extremely powerful tool with which to measure mechanical motion. The displacement resolution of chip-scale optomechanical systems has been measured on the order of 1⁄10th of a proton radius. So strong is this optomechanical interaction that it has recently been used to remove almost all thermal noise from a mechanical resonator and observe its quantum ground-state of motion starting from cryogenic temperatures. In this work, chapter 1 describes the basic physics...

Thermopower in Two-Dimensional Electron Systems

William Elbridge Chickering
The subject of this thesis is the measurement and interpretation of thermopower in high-mobility two-dimensional electron systems (2DESs). These 2DESs are realized within state-of-the-art GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures that are cooled to temperatures as low as T = 20 mK. Much of this work takes place within strong magnetic fields where the single-particle density of states quantizes into discrete Landau levels (LLs), a regime best known for the quantum Hall effect (QHE). In addition, we review a...

Nanophotonic Light Trapping In Thin Solar Cells

Dennis Michael Callahan
Over the last several decades there have been significant advances in the study and understanding of light behavior in nanoscale geometries. Entire fields such as those based on photonic crystals, plasmonics and metamaterials have been developed, accelerating the growth of knowledge related to nanoscale light manipulation. Coupled with recent interest in cheap, reliable renewable energy, a new field has blossomed, that of nanophotonic solar cells. In this thesis, we examine important properties of thin-film solar...

Optimal Data Distributions in Machine Learning

Carlos Roberto González Palacios
In the first part of the thesis we explore three fundamental questions that arise naturally when we conceive a machine learning scenario where the training and test distributions can differ. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we show that in fact mismatched training and test distribution can yield better out-of-sample performance. This optimal performance can be obtained by training with the dual distribution. This optimal training distribution depends on the test distribution set by the problem, but...

Proton-Coupled Reduction of N₂ Facilitated by Molecular Fe Complexes

Jonathan Daniel Rittle
The activation of Fe-coordinated N2 via the formal addition of hydrogen atom equivalents is explored in this thesis. These reactions may occur in nitrogenase enzymes during the biological conversion of N2 to NH3. To understand these reactions, the N2 reactivity of a series of molecular Fe(N2) platforms is investigated. A trigonal pyramidal, carbon-ligated FeI complex was prepared that displays a similar geometry to that of the resting state 'belt' Fe atoms of nitrogenase. Upon reduction,...

A Model for Energy and Morphology of Crystalline Grain Boundaries with Arbitrary Geometric Character

Brandon Scott Runnels
It has been well-established that interfaces in crystalline materials are key players in the mechanics of a variety of mesoscopic processes such as solidification, recrystallization, grain boundary migration, and severe plastic deformation. In particular, interfaces with complex morphologies have been observed to play a crucial role in many micromechanical phenomena such as grain boundary migration, stability, and twinning. Interfaces are a unique type of material defect in that they demonstrate a breadth of behavior and...

Mechanics of Sediment Transport and Bedrock Erosion in Steep Landscapes

Joel Simon Scheingross
Erosion is concentrated in steep landscapes such that, despite accounting for only a small fraction of Earth’s total surface area, these areas regulate the flux of sediment to downstream basins, and their rugged morphology records transient changes (or lack thereof) in geologic and climatic forcing. Steep landscapes are geomorphically active; large sediment fluxes and rapid landscape evolution rates can create or destroy habitat for humans and wildlife alike, and landslides, debris flows, and floods common...

Imidazolium-Based Organic Structure Directing Agents for the Synthesis of Microporous Materials

Joel Edward Schmidt
The central theme of this thesis is the use of imidazolium-based organic structure directing agents (OSDAs) in microporous materials synthesis. Imidazoliums are advantageous OSDAs as they are relatively inexpensive and simple to prepare, show robust stability under microporous material synthesis conditions, have led to a wide range of products, and have many permutations in structure that can be explored. The work I present involves the use of mono-, di-, and triquaternary imidazolium-based OSDAs in a...

An in vitro Biomolecular Breadboard for Prototyping Synthetic Biological Circuits

Zachary Zhipeng Sun
Biomolecular circuit engineering is critical for implementing complex functions in vivo, and is a baseline method in the synthetic biology space. However, current methods for conducting biomolecular circuit engineering are time-consuming and tedious. A complete design-build-test cycle typically takes weeks' to months' time due to the lack of an intermediary between design ex vivo and testing in vivo. In this work, we explore the development and application of a "biomolecular breadboard" composed of an in-vitro...

Advancements in Jet Turbulence and Noise Modeling: Accurate One-Way Solutions and Empirical Evaluation of the Nonlinear Forcing of Wavepackets

Aaron S. Towne
Jet noise reduction is an important goal within both commercial and military aviation. Although large-scale numerical simulations are now able to simultaneously compute turbulent jets and their radiated sound, lost-cost, physically-motivated models are needed to guide noise-reduction efforts. A particularly promising modeling approach centers around certain large-scale coherent structures, called wavepackets, that are observed in jets and their radiated sound. The typical approach to modeling wavepackets is to approximate them as linear modal solutions of...

Cryogenic Silicon Optical Reference Cavities

David Joseph Yeaton-Massey
Thermodynamical fluctuations in temperature and position exist in every physical system, and show up as a fundamental noise limit whenever we choose to measure some quantity in a laboratory environment. Thermodynamical fluctuations in the position of the atoms in the dielectric coatings on the mirrors for optical cavities at the forefront of precision metrology (e.g., LIGO, the cavities which probe atomic transitions to define the second) are a current limiting noise source for these experiments,...

Robust Control of Evolutionary Dynamics

Vanessa Danielle Jonsson
The application of principles from evolutionary biology has long been used to gain new insights into the progression and clinical control of both infectious diseases and neoplasms. This iterative evolutionary process consists of expansion, diversification and selection within an adaptive landscape - species are subject to random genetic or epigenetic alterations that result in variations; genetic information is inherited through asexual reproduction and strong selective pressures such as therapeutic intervention can lead to the adaptation...

Photonic and Device Design Principles for Ultrahigh-Efficiency (>50%), Spectrum-Splitting Photovoltaics

Carissa Nicole Eisler
The sun has the potential to power the Earth's total energy needs, but electricity from solar power still constitutes an extremely small fraction of our power generation because of its high cost relative to traditional energy sources. Therefore, the cost of solar must be reduced to realize a more sustainable future. This can be achieved by significantly increasing the efficiency of modules that convert solar radiation to electricity. In this thesis, we consider several strategies...

DNA-Mediated Charge Transport Signaling Within the Cell

Michael Andrew Grodick
DNA possesses the curious ability to conduct charge longitudinally through the π-stacked base pairs that reside within the interior of the double helix. The rate of charge transport (CT) through DNA has a shallow distance dependence. DNA CT can occur over at least 34 nm, a very long molecular distance. Lastly, DNA CT is exquisitely sensitive to disruptions, such as DNA damage, that affect the dynamics of base-pair stacking. Many DNA repair and DNA-processing enzymes...

Packaging and Deployment of Large Planar Spacecraft Structures

Manan Arya
This thesis presents a set of novel methods to biaxially package planar structures by folding and wrapping. The structure is divided into strips connected by folds that can slip during wrapping to accommodate material thickness. These packaging schemes are highly efficient, with theoretical packaging efficiencies approaching 100%. Packaging tests on meter-scale physical models have demonstrated packaging efficiencies of up to 83%. These methods avoid permanent deformation of the structure, allowing an initially flat structure to...

Exploring Thermal Phonon Transport from Atomic to Macroscopic Scales for Energy Conversion and Management

Chengyun Hua
Heat is one of the most fundamental forms of energy, and the ability to control heat plays a critical role in most current and future energy applications. Recently, interface engineering between heterogeneous solids has provided new approaches to manipulate heat transport at the scales of the energy carriers in solids, i.e. phonons which are quantized lattice vibrations. For example, nanocrystalline materials, which are polycrystalline materials with nanoscale grain sizes, are promising thermoelectric (TE) materials that...

New Search for the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment Using Ultracold Neutrons at the Spallation Neutron Source

Riccardo Schmid
This document introduces the planned new search for the neutron Electric Dipole Moment at the Spallation Neutron Source at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A spin precession measurement is to be carried out using Ultracold neutrons diluted in a superfluid Helium bath at T = 0.5 K, where spin polarized 3He atoms act as detector of the neutron spin polarization. This manuscript describes some of the key aspects of the planned experiment with the contributions...

Aryne Reactions in the Synthesis of Heterocyclic Molecules

Christopher Keating Haley
Reactive intermediates play an important the within the realm of chemical synthesis. Their high energy and transient nature make them difficult to observe and characterize, but it is these same properties that empower them to form bonds traditionally seen as difficult to prepare and unusual architectures quickly and efficiently. Herein, two reactive intermediates, arynes and transitient (2azaaryl)-cuprates, are exploited for their abilities to prepare important chemical motifs. Both serve as an avenue into the functionalization...

Registration Year

  • 2016
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Affiliations

  • California Institute of Technology
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