jAmaseis: Seismology Software Meeting the Needs of Educators

jAmaseis: Seismology Software Meeting the Needs of Educators

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Credit:
Ben Coleman, Moravian College/IRIS Consortium

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Description

The scope of educational seismology is expanded because users have access to realtime data over the Internet. The users in Texas and Pennsylvania send data to the data server. Users in Michigan, Alaska, California, and Pennsylvania receive the data from Texas from the server. Similarly, users in Alaska, California, and Nevada receive the data sent from Pennsylvania.

jAmaseis is a piece of educational software that replaces and updates Amaseis, the current standard program IRIS supports through "Seismographs in Schools." jAmaseis allows users to send and receive seismic data in realtime, filter data, fit a seismogram to travel time curves, triangulate event epicenters on a globe, estimate event magnitudes, and generate images showing seismograms and corresponding calculations. Users accomplish these tasks through an interface specifically designed to enhance education.

Beyond providing educators with an improved version of AmaSeis with new features, jAmaseis offers a number of benefits. Most importantly, the scope of the educational seismology program is significantly larger because jAmaseis allows an educator to use the wealth of resources already developed for AmaSeis without actually possessing a seismometer. In addition, new class- room pedagogies are possible. With jAmaseis, a user can view and manipulate multiple streams of data simultaneously and pro- duce visual representations of the results. Using these capabilities, an educator can instruct students to compare or combine the analysis of various seismic records, providing a deeper learning experience. Finally, because jAmaseis untethers the seismometer from the viewing computer, new applications are possible. For example, jAmaseis can be used to create engaging displays in public spaces simply by mounting a computer monitor.

Work on jAmaseis is a productive collaboration between IRIS and Moravian College. At Moravian, a large percentage of the computer science students are involved in the design and implementation of jAmaseis as either a project within a computer science course or as a summer research experience. These students interact with members of the IRIS Education and Outreach group and see the complete development process from design through implementation. This type of hands-on experience is rarely found in undergraduate computer science programs, and consequently the students have the opportunity to publish at peer-reviewed conferences, have stronger resumes upon graduation, and can draw on their experience during interviews for perspective jobs.

jAmaseis is currently under active development, with plans for release to beta testers in August 2010 and release to the general public during the summer of 2011.

Acknowledgements: This work is supported by an NSF sub-award from the IRIS E&O program and through the Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR) program at Moravian College.


Date Taken: September 29, 2010
Photographer / Contributor: Ben Coleman

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