Patrick J. Moran

reconstructed Pat

Patrick J. Moran
Mail Stop 258-6
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000


aquarius map


Welcome to my home page at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) division of NASA Ames Research Center.


My research involves geometric techniques for visualizing and quantitatively analyzing data. Currently I am working on Field Model (FM), a data model implemented in C++ for field data. The FM design offers many features that work particularly well in large-data analysis applications, including support for out-of-core data and demand-driven calculation. FM is an Open Source project, we have a site at Source Forge that is serving as home for the project. Previously I was the project lead and principal architect for the Field Encapsulation Library, where we first prototyped many of the techniques that are now featured in FM.

I am also interested in metadata, i.e., data about data. In particular I am interested in how we might introduce a search capability to a high-performance computing environment, namely, a supercomputing center such as our own. To be effective such a search system would need metadata in order to work effectively with the largely numeric, image, and animation data found here.

Less Recently

I served on a detail to the Technology Partnerships Division at NASA Ames Research Center as the Software Release Authority. My work involved improving the visibility and impact of the work at Ames Research Center via more timely and effective software release, including Open Source releases. One of the original Open Source releases, NASA World Wind reigns as the most widely downloaded software ever produced by NASA.

Even Less Recently

I received my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Santa Clara University. Following Santa Clara I worked for Hewlett-Packard Santa Clara Division (SCD). My work at SCD involved linking together various parts of the electronic instrument manufacturing process. We were successful in linking systems in R&D, information systems, the stockroom and the manufacturing floor in an overall system that was used for daily production.

Following H-P, I entered the graduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in Computer Science. My adviser was Herbert Edelsbrunner, my research involved visualization and alpha shapes. I completed my Ph.D. in 1996. While in Urbana-Champaign I also worked in the Biological Imaging Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Our group showed work at various conferences, including Supercomputing '91 and Siggraph '92. At Supercomputing '95 we demonstrated remote instrument control within the CAVE using the "I-WAY".


David Ellsworth, Chris Henze, Bryan Green, Patrick Moran, and Timothy Sandstrom, "Concurrent Visualization in a Production Supercomputer Environment", IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proceedings Visualization 2006), Vol. 12, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2006, pages 997-1004. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

David Ellsworth, Bryan Green, and Patrick Moran, "Interactive Terascale Particle Visualization", in Proceedings of Visualization 2004, Austin, TX, October 2004, pages 353-360. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

David Ellsworth, and Patrick Moran, "Accelerating Large Data Analysis By Exploiting Regularities," in Proceedings IEEE Visualization 2003, Seattle, WA, October 2003, pp. 561-568. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

Patrick J. Moran, "Developing an Open Source Option for NASA Software," NAS Technical Report NAS-03-009. NASA Ames Research Center, April, 2003. Access the report via the NAS web site.

Patrick J. Moran, Chris Henze and David Ellsworth, "Field Encapsulation Library: The FEL 2.2 User Guide," NAS Technical Report NAS-00-002. NASA Ames Research Center, January, 2000. Access the report via the NAS web site.

Patrick Moran and Chris Henze, "Large Field Visualization With Demand-Driven Calculation," in Proceedings IEEE Visualization 1999, San Francisco, California, October 1999, pp. 27-33. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

C. Potter, R. Brady, P. Moran, C. Gregory, B. Carragher, N. Kisseberth, J. Lyding, and J. Lindquist, "EVAC: a virtual environment for control of remote imaging instrumentation," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 16, No. 4, July 1996, pages 62 - 66. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

R. Brady, J. Pixton, G. Baxter, P. Moran, C. Potter, B. Carragher and A. Belmont, "Crumbs: a virtual environment tracking tool for biological imaging," Proceedings of Biomedical Visualization, 1995, Atlanta, Georgia, Oct.-Nov. 1995, pages 18-25 Access article via IEEE Xplore.

Patrick J. Moran and Marcus Wagner, "Introducing Alpha Shapes for the Analysis of Path Integral Monte Carlo Results," in Proceedings IEEE Visualization 1994, San Francisco, California, October 1994, pp. 52-59. Access article via IEEE Xplore.

Partial Group Portrait

partial group portrait
An old cross section of the NAS division visualization group, from left to right: David Ellsworth, myself, Ravi Samtaney (now at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory), Han-Wei Shen (now an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University), and Chris Henze. Not pictured are group members Tim Sandstrom and Bryan Green. Photograph courtesy of Ling-Jen Chiang.

Other Interests

About the Image

The stars in the heavens appear as scattered points in the night-time sky. In ancient times man saw shapes in those point sets, and those shapes live on as the constellations we know today. Alpha shapes provide a formal way to define shapes in sets of points, such as those defined by the stars. See for example a nice alpha shape demo applet here. Alpha shapes are closely related to Delaunay triangulations and Voronoi diagrams. In the image the dashed edges delineate Voronoi cells, each cell corresponds to a star in the constellation Aquarius.

aquarius map
The point set used to define this Voronoi diagram corresponds to the stars in the constellation Aquarius.

The labeled cells are linked to the corresponding sections of this page using what is known as a client-side image map. For web browsers that support such maps (e.g., Firefox and Internet Explorer), the links provide a quick way to jump to the corresponding sections.

#  Patrick J. Moran, Ph.D.           NAS Division Research Branch
#  NASA Ames Research Center