Alan L. Jones

alan jones

Research Scientist

PhD, 1964

Purdue University

Office:  Science 1, Room G60B

Telephone:  (607) 777-2518

Email address:


Research Interests:

  • Seismology
  • Wave propagation
  • Evaluation of earthquake predictions
  • Computer graphics
  • Use of computers in seismology
  • Seismicity
  • Computers in education



  • B.S. Engineering Sciences, Penn State, 1958
  • M.S. Engineering Mechanics, Penn State, 1960.
  • Ph.D. Engineering Sciences, Purdue, 1964. Thesis: Wave propagation in optical fibers.



After finishing my degree at Purdue University in November 1963, I joined IBM at the Glendale Development Laboratory in Endicott New York. During my 26 years with IBM I worked on:

  • * IBM Blood Cell Separator and IBM Blood Cell Processor.
  • * Co-author of IBM's APL graphics offering known as GRAPHPAK.
  • * Device attachment
  • * Computer packaging

When I took an early retirement in 1990 from IBM I joined the staff at the State University of New York at Binghamton working with Francis Wu and Jeff Barker.


Computer Programs:

Seismic/Eruption: A program for the visualization of seismicity and volcanic activity in space and time.

The program, which runs under Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP, has an extensive database of events. A number of pre-defined maps are included which illustrate the seismicity in various parts of the earth.

screen capture of seismic eruption programClick on the image at the right to see a screen-capture of the program. The buttons do not work for you but will work when the program is run on a PC.

An earlier DOS program was used by CBS News when reporting on large earthquakes. It was used at the time of the Parkfield alert in November 1993, the Northridge (Los Angeles) event of January 17, 1994, the Kobe event of January 17, 1995, and several others. You will know it if you see the caption across the top of the screen: "CBS News Seismic Monitor."

Union Pacific Railroad uses the program in their dispatch center in Omaha to inform them when they may have to stop trains and inspect the right-of-way.

This program and the Seismic Waves program (see below) are part of the new Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC which opened September 20, 1997.

Alan Jones and familyThe photo is of me and my wife, Barbara, and our daughters Adele and Kendra in front of the 40-inch monitor running Seismic/Eruption on the opening day. Photograph by Paul Doyle.

The Global Volcanism Program (GVP) of the Smithsonian Institution released in 2000 a CD-ROM with the Seismic/Eruption and Seismic Waves programs on them plus lots more such as a photo gallery of eruptions and earthquake damage. The programs are configured as they are at the National Museum of Natural History exhibit. Go to the GVP web page for an order form.

If you would like to use the Windows program, Seismic/Eruption, you can fetch it here: seisvole.readme and SeismicEruptionSetup.exe.

You can update the earthquakes to within an hour or so of real time. If your computer is connected to the Internet, run Seismic/Eruption and click on "Options/Update hypocenters via Internet."

The program displays both earthquakes and volcanoes. The database of volcanism is from the Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution.

When the program is running, the user sees lights, which represent earthquakes, flashing on the screen in speeded-up time. The user can control the speed of the action. In addition, the program can show seismicity under the earth in three-dimensional and cross-sectional views.

NOTE: The programs Seismic/Eruption and Seismic Waves can be used by anyone free of charge.

Seismic/Eruption has shaded terrain images which are saved-screen images. If you want to create your own images, you can do this by fetching the 5-minute world topographic file It is about 18 megabytes when unpacked and 11.4 meagbytes as a zip file. For higher resolution images of the continental United States, you can fetch It is even larger: 43 megabytes when unpacked and 15.3 megabytes as a zip file.

2005.03.31: Seismic/Eruption now supports the 2-minute world topographic file ETOPO2 which is larger still: about 110 MB. You can download from: Choose yields better shaded terrain images for regional maps. It includes bathymetry, as does ETOPO5.

2009.12.11: Seismic/Eruption now supports the 1-minute world topographic file ETOPO1, 1-minute resolution, which is about 433 MB. You can fetch from: The file you want is the binary 2-byte integer file called Ref: Amante, C. and B. W. Eakins, ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19 pp, March 2009.

Seismic Waves: A program for the visualization of wave propagation

Seismic Waves is a Windows program which illustrates how wave propagate from an earthquake hypocenter to seismic stations throughout the earth. One sees waves propagating out from the epicenter on a three-dimensional view of the earth at the same time one sees waves propagating through a cross-sectional view of the earth. These two wave propagation views are synchronized with actual event waveforms so that as a particular phase arrives at a station, one sees the effect on the seismiogram

To use the program, fetch: seiswave.readme and SeismicWavesSetup.exe .

It is possible to add new events by using the Wilbur II facility at the IRIS Electronic Bulletin Board

Seismic Waves for the Web

In December 2015 a new version of Seismic waves was written in cooperation with Russ Welti of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS). I wrote the part which controls the earth, the waves, and the seismograms. Russ wrote the front end allowing the user to manipulate the features. Whereas the earlier Seismic Waves only runs on Windows, this version will run on all modern computers as well as tablets, iPhones, and some Android phones. You can access it here:

Seismic Waves for the Web

AmaSeis: A program to obtain seismographs from the AS-1 Amateur Seismometer

The AS-1 seismometer is modeled, somewhat, after the design featured in the April 1979 Amateur Scientist column in Scientific American. That design used analog components to amplify the signal whereas the present design is digital with the output going to the RS-232 (communications port) of a personal computer. For more information, click on: AmaSeis

Eqlocate: An interactive program to locate earthquakes using P-wave arrivals

The EqLocate program allows you to select P-wave arrivals of a number of seismograms for an earthquake and find its location. For more information, click on: EqLocate.


Professional Affiliations:

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Seismological Society of America



  •  Jones, A.L. (1965) Coupling of optical fibers and coupling in fibers, J. Optical Soc. Am., 55, 261.
  • Jones, A.L. (1966) On the flow of blood in a tube, Biorheology, 3, 183.
  • Jones, A.L. (1968) An extension of an inequality involving modified Bessel functions, J. Mathematics and Physics, 2, 220.
  • Jones, A.L. (1968) Continuous-flow blood cell separation, Transfusion, 8, 94.
  • Judson, G., R. Kellogg, D. Buckner, R. Eisel, S. Perry, W. Greenough, A. Jones (1968) Closed continuous-flow centrifuge, Nature, 217, 816.
  • Jones, A.L. (1969) Review of book Fiber Optics: Principles and Application by N.S. Kapany, J. Optical Soc. Am., 58, 286.
  • Jones, A.L. (1970) The use of APL\360 in mechanical analysis, 1970 IEEE International Computer Group Conference, June 16-18, 195-204.
  • Kirk, J.P. & A.L. Jones (1971) Phase-only complex-valued spatial filter, J. Optical Soc. Am., 61, 1023.
  • Jones, A.L. & A.J. Lavin (1971) Effect of hammer length and nonlinear paper-ribbon characteristics on impact printing, IBM J. Research & Development, 15, 108.
  • Jones, A.L. & K.F. Pezdirtz (1972) Nondestructive eddy current-testing, IEEE Trans. Instrumentation & Measurement, IM-21, 11.
  • Jones, A.L. (1973) Review of book Fiber Optics by M.P. Lisitsa, L.I. Berezhinskii, and M. Ya Valakj. J. Optical Soc. Am., 63, 112.
  • Jones, A.L. (1974) Review of book Fibre Optics: Theory and Practice by W.B. Allen, J. Optical Soc. Am., 64, 1348.
  • Niehoff, W.H. & A.L. Jones (1980) An APL approach to presentation graphics, IBM Systems Journal, 19, 367-381.
  • Jones, A.L. (1988) The IBM Blood Cell Separator and Blood Cell Processor: A Personal Perspective, J. Clinical Apheresis, 4, 171-182.
  • Jones, Alan L., Lawrence W. Braile, and Sheryl J. Braile (2003) A suite of educational computer programs for seismoloty, Seismological Research Letters, 74, 605.
  • Jones, Richard H., Alan L. Jones (2004) Testing Skill in Earthquake Predictions, Seismological Research Letters, 74, 753. (Richard H. Jones is my brother.)


IBM Technical Reports:

  • Jones, A.L. & W.T. Chen (1966) Propagation of torsional waves in a curved bar, IBM Endicott Tech. Report TR 01.956.
  • Jones, A.L. (1966) On the propagation of waves in fluid filled tubes, IBM Endicott Tech. Report TR 01.945.
  • Jones, A.L. (1966) Formation of sediment ripples in a container, TD 01.413, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1966) Response of CCROS circuit considering transmission line effects, TD 01.411, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. & W.T. Chen (1967) Heat flow computations in an SLT laminating process, IBM Endicott Tech. Report TD 01.451.
  • Jones, A.L. (1968) On the imaging of small diffuse objects with coherent light, TR 01.1131, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1969) The use of APL\360 in mechanical analysis, TR 01.2006, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1971) Analysis of sonic delay lines, IBM Endicott Tech. Report EN.20.0256.
  • Jones, A.L. (1972) The Fast Fourier Transform: Applications and an APL implementation, IBM Endicott Tech. Report TR 01.1560.
  • Jones, A.L. & R. Katyl (1974) A graphical input capability for APL, TR 01.1751, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1974) Batch washing of red blood cells, TR 01.1776, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1974) Computer simulation of the IBM 2991 Blood Cell Separator, TR 01.1778.
  • Jones, A.L., G.T. Judson, R.M. Kellogg, & V.R. Kruger (1975) The IBM 2991 Blood Cell Processor, TR 01.1964.
  • Jones, A.L. (1978) Interactive microprocessor software development using an IBM 5100 Portable Computer, TR 01.2207, IBM Endicott.
  • Jones, A.L. (1981) Calibration of an image processing system, IBM Endicott Tech. Report TR 01.2366.


Issued U.S. Patents:

  • 3,801,142 (1974) (with R.M. Kellogg & G.T. Judson) Fluid Coupling (disposable seal for IBM Blood Cell Processor)
  • 3,748,101 (1973) (with G.T. Judson) Centrifuge Fluid Container
  • 3,737,096 (1973) (with G.T. Judson, R.M. Kellogg, & V.R. Kruger) Blood Processing Control Apparatus
  • 4,007,871 (1977) (with R.M. Kellogg) Centrifuge Fluid Container
  • 4,039,936 (1977) (with J.P. Pawletko & J.W. Raider) Interleaved Magnetoresistive Displacement Transducers
  • 4,962,416 (1990) (with K.A. Snyder) Electronic Package with a Device Positioned Above a Substrate by Suction Force Between the Device and Heat Sink
  • 4,927,983 (1990) (with K.A. Snyder & P.E. Winkler) Circuit Board
  • 5,097,593 (1992) (with K.A. Snyder & P.E. Winkler) Method of Forming a Hybrid Printed Circuit Board (a division of U.S. Patent No. 4,927,983)


Thanks to Randall Svihla, a former patent examiner who tracked down the correct title of some of the above patents and the U.S. Patent Number of the last two. Before he contacted me, I thought the last two were one patent. (They issued after I left IBM.)

Last Updated: 1/14/16