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To my wife Andrea ii Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. -David Frost iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the members of my committee for the guidance throughout this project. A special thanks to Yalan Li, Carol Bratt, and Rupasree Srikantha for their contribution to my project. Thank you especially to Kim Brogden for his encouragement and support to keep me on track, and his never-ending enthusiasm for every project hedoi:10.17077/etd.dbmqnenp fatcat:7wkbvozz45bjvbjs7lullqvcma