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Dedication To my parents iii Acknowledgments First, I thank God for giving me the ability to finish this work. His insight, encouragement, dedication, and great personality helped me throughout this research. I am greatly thankful for him. I appreciate their fruitful discussions. Two close friends provided me with unlimited support: Carla Willaims and(More)
ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I begin by thanking my adviser, Dr. Chunyan Li, whose teaching skills and hard work set an example that will be hard to forget. His patience and guidance were very much appreciated during my years at LSU. I am also grateful to the other committee members, Drs. Jaye Cable, discussions about the code, and Mr. Imtiaz Hossain (LSU's Shell(More)
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