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Doctoral Defense Announcements

Soonwoo (Daniel) Chang; Gaining Competitive Advantage with a Performance-Oriented Assessment using Patent Mapping and Topic Trend Analysis: A Case for EV Wireless Charging Patents

Date:  Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 7:00 PM (EST)

The government’s efforts led to an increase in the total number of technology transfer cases and technology transfer rate, but not in licensing revenues in Korea. The number of technology transfer cases and technology transfer rate are process-oriented variables. While important, they provide limited information on how the transferred technologies are utilized. Therefore, the dissertation focuses on explaining the qualitative performance of patents. This dissertation develops a comprehensive analytic toolkit to assess patents systematically and holistically by modeling their value, rarity, inimitability, and non-substitutability (VRIN) attributes. As a case study, the VRIN of electric vehicle (EV) wireless charging patents is modeled to address the qualitative performance of their potential for competitive advantage in technology transfer and commercialization. The dissertation integrates two research techniques, topic trend analysis using topic modeling and patent mapping to compare the competitive advantage, in terms of VRIN attributes, of EV wireless charging patents registered in the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and compares them to similar patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO). The outcomes of the toolkit for this pilot of EV wireless charging technology are as follows. First, the topic trend analysis shows that connector is a topic that increased in proportion between 2008-2020, which tells that wireless charging may not yet be commercially available. Second, the patent map shows that KIPO patents have lower VRIN attributes than USPTO patents; and have lower value and inimitability attributes but higher rarity and non-substitutability attributes than EPO patents. Also, Korean public organization patents have higher value and inimitability attributes but lower rarity and non-substitutability attributes than Korean private organizations. The dissertation provides evidence that if Korea increases financial investments to improve the VRIN attributes of EV wireless charging patents in KIPO to the level of USPTO patents, then it can provide a way to improve the technology transfer performance in the EV case. However, the primary focus for South Korea is to increase the number of VRIN patents in the field of EV wireless charging patents. More importantly, the toolkit can be used to assess other patented technology

Gayoung Park; A paradigm shifter, mobile phones in the sub-Saharan region: A mixed-method approach to understanding mobile diffusion phenomena of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa region

Date:  Friday, April 1, 2022 at 7:00PM (EST)

Despite multiple benefits brought by using mobile phones in the sub-Saharan region, we know very little about what affects this fastest and unprecedented mobile diffusion in the region (Asongu, 2017). The study tackles the two central research questions: 1) How to identify qualitative factors that have been omitted in the field of quantitative-driven mobile diffusion, and what are they? 2) In what ways are the qualitative factors integrated into quantitative factors to help understand the authentic position of mobile diffusion in the sub-Saharan region? The study improves methodology and variable selection for analyzing wider factors affecting mobile diffusion and their relations, particularly for the sub-Saharan region, and it urges that what has been generally accepted in the past findings of developed countries’ mobile diffusion factors may not have the same dynamics for the sub-Saharan region. Based on the key concepts of a technological frame and its elements of cyclical movement (Bijker, 2010; 2015), the study develops and implements a conceptual framework for the technological frame while explicitly discussing social institutions or background conditions shaping social groups interactions. The study employs a mixed methodology research design; Fixed and Random effects, and Panel Quantile regressions, and with a systematic combining method, it provides a meta-analysis by engaging in crystallization (Tracy, 2010) which provides an in-depth and more complex understanding of the phenomena. The study finds the heterogeneous effect of socio-political factors on mobile diffusion of the sub-Saharan region and concludes that mobile diffusion should be understood not by the factors themselves but by the technological frame emerged through interaction between the social actors and mobile phones and the redefined relationships through the technological frame, which lead evolving social actors and the mobile communication technology. The study contributes to mobile diffusion literature and technology diffusion studies by providing a broadened understanding of multifaceted and dynamic mobile diffusion processes both for practitioners and researchers, and it should offer opportunities to framing future research.

Daniene Byrne; Who Steers Automated Vehicle Policy? A Case of Emergent Technology Policy Design

Date:  Thursday March 31, 2022 at 11:15 (EST)

The Automated Driving System, or ADS, represents a complex and eventually disruptive technology that could transform transportation for all. In the past two decades, self-driving vehicles have gone from an engineering imaginary to tested reality. Still much refinement must occur before we can trust our lives to these robotic chauffeurs. Emergent ADS are shaped by diverse investor and public expectations as well as fears, offering both promises and challenges. U.S. regulators can shape the quality of future technologies to ensure public benefits needs and interests are served. The U.S. rulemaking parameters are a crucial factor in technological design and development. While technological innovators and engineers solve problems through design and research, and industry leaders seek markets and profit, the regulators shape policy legally to democratically reflect public needs. This study explores the development of emergent ADS policy in the U.S. context that embraces culture, politics, and technological advancements. Methods include situational analysis, discourse analysis, content coding, and statistical analysis. Data sets include public comment responses to proposed ADS guidance and shifts in that guidance, allowing a comparison of which groups achieve desired outcomes relative to others. Near term ADS regulatory shifts and their consequences are described. This work sheds new light on the strategic use of regulatory guidance for emergent technologies. Guidance enables regulators to both work with industry cooperatively, while deploying stricter regulation as needed. Research demonstrates scholarly value in using comments as a primary source for assessing emergent policy debate. Although safety benefits are the central focus of ADS discussion, they remain both touted and unproven. Latent within ADS comments and literature is the promise of valuable real- time data collection. Findings demonstrate the strength of ADS industry and coalitions in achieving desired (deregulatory) guidance and shaping the discussion. They also reflect continuing shifts of regulatory power toward public protection and agency oversight. The co-production of emergent technological outcomes by regulatory guidance, novel technologies (ADS), and societal interests demonstrates the fluidity of the process and provides perspectives for the improvement of emergent technology policy design.

Yiyi Wang; Encouraging Eco-Driving Behavior: Driver Response to Different Types of In-Vehicle Eco-Driving Feedback

Date:  Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM (EST)

The success of the change towards frequently undertaking eco-driving behavior is highly dependent on the individual drivers and appropriate in-vehicle feedback systems that drivers respond to. This work uses the data coming from 822 individuals who participated an online survey over a two-month period using 14 graphics of different types of in-vehicle eco-driving feedback interfaces and finds that researcher-identified eco-drivers are those ICEV drivers with strong environmental beliefs, and self[1]identified eco-drivers are those who have higher level of education, lower income, and strong environmental beliefs. This variation in researcher-identified and self-identified eco-drivers by demographics, vehicle characteristics, and motivational factors suggests an intention-behavior gap that self-identified eco-drivers are not those who are actually engaging in frequent eco-driving behaviors. Beyond the identification of eco-drivers, the use of in-vehicle eco-driving feedback itself plays an important role in encouraging eco-driving behavior. This work finds that eco-drivers are more likely than non-eco-drivers to be influenced by the use of eight different types of feedback. Eco Mode is the feedback type which has strong impact on eco-driving intentions, is not perceived as a driver distraction, and leads to self-reported behavior change whether you are an eco-driver or not. In particular, it was found that feedback design attributes of 1) Eco Mode, 2) haptic mode, 3) feedback standards, 4) color & movement, 5) specific behavior, 6) biophilic design, and 7) comparisons between current to average/remaining estimates are relevant to drivers’ behavioral response. In the analyses of a causal chain leading from intentions to behavior, support was found for the ability of the variables of environmental beliefs, social norms, and the use of some types of feedback to predict eco[1]driving intentions. Eco-driving intentions account for up to 22.4% of the variance in models explaining self-reported eco-driving behavior. The use of Biophilic Rewards and Eco-Driving Coach feedback types were found to play the most important role in motivating drivers to eco-drive. Ultimately, this research posits that feedback design attributes are relevant in whether and how drivers perceive information and the impact on driver response towards frequent eco-driving behavior. It also provides direction for further research to expand on them.

Kyung Hoon (Daniel) Kim; The Influences of Psychosocial Variables on STEM Achievement and Developmental Differences between High School and College Students

Date:  Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Research has shown that psychosocial variables are general predictors of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) achievement and are important for students' success in STEM. However, studies on psychosocial models have often focused on each level of adolescents or college students, and few studies have examined the developmental perspective. This study investigated how the psychosocial variables of identity, self-efficacy, interest, and sense of belonging (SOB) influence STEM achievement and identified differences between high school and college students and between underrepresented (UREP) and nonunderrepresented (UREP) racial groups in the United States. I designed psychosocial models using the data of the High School Longitudinal Study 2009-2013 for high school and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) 2018-2019 for college students. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses including latent psychosocial variables demonstrated that the psychosocial models predicting STEM achievement differed between high school and college students. Identity was more important and was the strongest predictor of math achievement among high school students. In contrast, self-efficacy was more important and was the strongest predictor of STEM achievement among college students. Self-efficacy was the only direct predictor and the key mediator of STEM achievement among college students, while the three variables of identity, self-efficacy, and sense of belonging (SOB) were direct predictors of STEM achievement among high school students. This suggests that there are developmental changes during the transition from high school to college. In addition, there were differences between underrepresented and non-underrepresented racial groups among college students. Identity had different associations with a sense of belonging (SOB) and, therefore, with STEM achievement in the UREP and non-UREP racial groups. Therefore, high school education professionals should consider the influence of the environment on identity and college education professionals should consider the influence of the environment on selfefficacy to improve students' STEM achievement.


Mohammed R. Osman; States and Carbon:  A Look Ahead

Date:  April 28, 2021 at 7:30 PM

To tackle global climate change, the United States must lower its large carbon footprint. 
An extensive data exploration was undertaken to understand the United States’ energy past and future under carbon constraint using a blended mix of historical and simulation data. Historical data was sourced from the World Bank, EIA, and EPA to study trends at the world stage and state level, along with historical energy regulation changes. Integrated assessment models GCAM and GCAM-USA were used to simulate atmospheric carbon dioxide stabilization scenarios at national and state levels. These simulations projected the world from 2015 to 2100 in five year increments, stopping global carbon dioxide levels at light constraint (650-700 PPM), medium constraint (525-600 PPM), and “Deep Blue” high constraint (450-500 PPM) scenarios, along with a ‘‘Business As Usual’ projection. Data exploration techniques Principal Component Analysis, Hierarchical Clustering on Principal Components and Multidimensional Analysis were applied over the combined datasets to create state energy signatures for analysis, find groupings, and understand  important drivers of technology transition.


Raphael Wentemi Apeaning; Technological and Socio-economic Feasibility of Climate Mitigation: A Focus on Developing Economies

Date:  November 20, 2019

"The Paris Accord is hailed as a turning point in global climate policy governance (Hale, 2016). The bottom-up approach of this climate agreement allowed developing for the first time in the history of the Conference of Parties to frame their “national determined contributions” (NDC) to climate stabilization. The NDC have renewed and spurred the discourse “on how developing economies can contribute to climate mitigation without compromising their legitimate aspirations for development” (IPCC, 2014). This dissertation contributes to this policy dialogue by assessing the salient technology and economic pathways, critical for developing nations to contribute to cost-effective climate mitigation."