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Houston, TX, United States

The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, United States is a comprehensive Catholic university, grounded in the liberal arts. Founded in 1947 by Basilian Fathers, it serves as the only Catholic university in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. Wikipedia.

Prentis E.L.,University of St. Thomas, Texas
International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy

The goal of this paper is to test if the promised U.S. electrical system high reliability standards are being maintained, once states deregulate their electric utilities. This research is the first in the literature to combine states that offer retail choice, by deregulating their electric utilities, with North American Electric Reliability Corporation reserve margin forecasts, from 2014-2023, to analyze whether deregulated retail-choice states are adding adequate generating capacity to meet demand, and thus provide high electrical system reliability, when compared to the U.S. as a whole. This paper’s results on electrical system reliability in the deregulated states are timely and important for U.S. electricity energy policy. Additionally, this is the first paper in the literature to propose a new spacetime business model that adequately addresses the complex, multidiscipline, multidimensional, U.S. electrical system deregulated market. Future research will specify the new business model’s mathematical formulation. © 2014, Econjournals. All rights reserved. Source

Fukutomi S.,University of St. Thomas, Texas
Food and Foodways

This article introduces the Japanese concept of kodawari-meaning obession and a detailed personal aesthetic-as an analytical category to think about the process by which everyday foods are valorized as gourmet. I show that the kodawari of chefs and consumers influence each other and combine to create an aesthetic appreciation of rāmen noodles, elevating it from its inexpensive background to an object of gourmet desire in contemporary Japan. Kodawari is an individual experience, and chefs develop their own techniques to make their rāmen bowls stand out. Likewise, consumers learn to appreciate the personal touches of chefs and shops, while at the same time developing their own complex sensorial appreciation for rāmen from their individual vantage point. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in rāmen shops in Tokyo with chefs and aficionados, this article shows how their efforts result in the valorization of an everyday food item. © 2014 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Prentis E.L.,University of St. Thomas, Texas
International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy

Economic theory states that “free market” competition naturally achieves lower prices—thereby increasing efficiency and benefiting society. This is the first paper in the literature to use means testing to statistically analyze electricity prices, from 1970-2011, for states that restructure their electric utilities—pre-and-post restructuring—relative to U.S. electricity prices; thus determining whether restructured electricity utility states are more or less efficient, after restructuring, than before. This fundamental empirical evidence is sought to explain whether expected operating synergies are being realized and stockholders are gaining or losing relative value—once states restructure—and electric companies are merged or acquired. This paper’s empirical results are timely and important to future energy policy—in this crucial to the economy electric power industry—and establish whether “free market” economic theory is being appropriately applied in states that restructure their verticallyintegrated government-regulated natural monopoly electric utilities. Future research is suggested. © 2015, Econjournals. All rights reserved. Source

Morosan C.,University of St. Thomas, Texas
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the applicability of biometric systems in travel and explain how they can be used in response to today's increasing security problems. Design/methodology/approach: This research is conceptual. Its analysis is based on an extensive review of literature on biometric systems. Findings: Biometric systems can improve travel security without compromising consumer value, convenience, and privacy. Deployment of various applications of biometric systems (i.e. immigration/visitor management systems, trusted traveler programs) improve specific aspects of travel security. Biometric systems present challenges, associated with consumers' perceptions of system functionality, privacy, trust, and anxiety, which must be examined in the context of consumer adoption. To achieve synergy in travel information technology and provide benefits to all stakeholders, biometric systems must seamlessly integrate with other travel technologies, both intra-firm and inter-firm. Research limitations/implications: This research provides a domain statement for biometric systems in travel and stays at the foundation of a methodical approach for the study of biometric systems in travel. It offers a conceptual framework that asserts that an integrated deployment and adoption of biometric systems in travel can transform the current travel system into an ideal, more secure system. Further, this study formulates a number of propositions for further empirical examination of biometric systems in specific fields within travel. Practical implications: This research provides specific suggestions to integrate biometric systems with the existing systems to achieve synergies and derive benefits for travel stakeholders. Social implications: Addressing the security-privacy relationship, biometric systems have social implications. Travelers' concerns about privacy, fear of harm, trust, and anxiety are found to influence their view of biometric systems, with potential implications for adoption and use. Originality/value: To date, there is scant academic research examining how biometric systems improve travel security. Thus, the position of this research is unique: it offers insight into a technology that is promising for both research and practitioners investigating the role of biometric systems in improving travel security and paves the way for a multitude of specific research directions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Source

Moses J.I.,Space Science Institute | Visscher C.,Lunar and Planetary Institute | Keane T.C.,Russell Sage College | Sperier A.,University of St. Thomas, Texas
Faraday Discussions

Using one-dimensional thermochemical/photochemical kinetics and transport models, we examine the chemistry of nitrogen-bearing species in the Jovian troposphere in an attempt to explain the low observational upper limit for HCN. We track the dominant mechanisms for interconversion of N2-NH 3 and HCN-NH3 in the deep, high-temperature troposphere and predict the rate-limiting step for the quenching of HCN at cooler tropospheric altitudes. Consistent with some other investigations that were based solely on time-scale arguments, our models suggest that transport-induced quenching of thermochemically derived HCN leads to very small predicted mole fractions of hydrogen cyanide in Jupiter's upper troposphere. By the same token, photochemical production of HCN is ineffective in Jupiter's troposphere: CH4-NH3 coupling is inhibited by the physical separation of the CH4 photolysis region in the upper stratosphere from the NH3 photolysis and condensation region in the troposphere, and C 2H2-NH3 coupling is inhibited by the low tropospheric abundance of C2H2. The upper limits from infrared and submillimetre observations can be used to place constraints on the production of HCN and other species from lightning and thundershock sources. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

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