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Douglas Moreman
Main Current Interest: Dolphin Inspired Sonar.
Some other interests and activities of Moreman on the web .

Links to some details of specific areas of my research follow below this personal preamble. Links to some of my Hypotheses and Guesses.

Research Biography:
Before I stumbled onto a mechanism that could immitate, partly, the imaging abilities of the sonar of dolphins, I worked at creating a new science and a new technology wherein "animal behavior" and robotics would cross pollinate. In this effort, I invented the term "ethorobotics", combining "etho" in honor of the European name, "ethology," for the science of the behavior of animals with "robotics."
But, before that, I studied animal behavior in Austin at the University of Texas. After which, accidentally, by studying with the excellent teachers in the "Third Floor" mathematics department, I earned enough hours to declare, in my last undergraduate semester, that my "major" was Mathematics. Dropping Psychology for want of time, I continued taking the two graduate-level courses in Mathematics I had already begun, thinking they would improve my chances of contributing something of value to theories of Behavior. But Mathematics crowded Behavior out of my mind -- for some time.

Eventually, I was induced by circumstances to move to the graduate program in Auburn University in Alabama where graduates of the Third Floor (notably Ben Fitzpatrick, Jr ( Three Hundred Pounds of Integrity), Richard Calder, William Coleman, and later and of the second generation, Ralph Ford) encouraged me. I created Convex Topology by joining general topology with abstract convexity, generalizing the notion of what was, at the time, called the "weak topology" (Also studied by John von Neumann, I later learned. Though, today I cannot find a relevant reference on the Web.) of a normed linear space.

Distressed at a long period of failing to make anything useful of Convex Topology, I gave in to the oblique influence of Third Floor graduate John Neuberger and took up computing.

Circumstances in 1983 took me to Baton Rouge where the Computer Science department of Southern University accepted me onto its faculty to teach courses heavy in mathematics. Their need must have been great: they overlooked my deficiencies in their science. I went there to learn-while-teaching, intending to stay just two years. After 31 years, I dispared of ever knowing much about that science and retired to invent sonar methods inspired by dolphins.

The head-of-department, Leroy Roquemore, and his successors, gave me experience working on grants - a mixed blessing, in that, on the negative side, they entailed much work that took me away from my deepest thoughts.

Circa 1991, I invented the Orthodrop method by which I was able to solve huge, sparse systems of linear equations on my little PC. Then, a helpful soul, Alan Hindmarsh, at Lawrence Livermore National Lab informed me that he had recently learned of the method and that John von Neumann (him again!) had distributed memeographed notes on the main idea of Orthodrop back in the 1930's.

In 1992, I began distributing by mail and later put onto a website, " Ethorobotics of Microsubmarines" subtitled "Dolphinoids for Ridgetrek." It seemed natural to think in terms of a joining into a new science both a study of the behavior of animals and a new robotics. I coined the terms "ethorobotics,"dolphinoids," and "Ridgetrek." The word "ethorobotics" appeared in "Day of the Dolphinoid," an article, excerpted from my larger work, in a trade publication in 1993. That the word " ethorobotics" has entered English is suggested by the number of "hits" on it returned by Google. It seems likely that some roboticists I talked with, and handed a paper to, at a symposium in New England, liked the word and adapted it for their adaptation of physical, swimming, methods of fish to small submarines.

While funded by NASA, my team invented methods of capturing "wisdom" from retiring rocket scientists, and others. The project went on for a few years, but I eventually realized that I would have to NOT go further down that path or I would create precious little "wisdom" of my own - of the depth I believed myself capable. Yet, I cringe when I think of the wisdom and technical details that have been lost as the scientists and engineers of the days of the Moon missions retire or die.

On one grant-project, I was asked to think about what could be accomplished by using two Patriot Missile radar sets together. I applied some of my thoughts about autonomous robotics and learned a little bit about radar - which allowed me, years later, to begin simulations of the sonar of dolphins. The final report of our team must have impressed someone because it was declared "secret" and I have not seen or heard of it since. Rather than my work, it might have been the unique work of my partner John Dyer that someone seemed worthy to hide.

On yet another grant project John Dyer (a super-skilled mathematician) and I at Southern University were asked what could be done by placing sensors on some of the 4000 or so oil-platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. So, I invented (surely several others, unknown to me, had invented similar ideas) the concept of a Distributed Observatory, based upon a network of sensors and computers and software whose "intelligence" would grow over time. DOMES would be the distributed observatory of many earth sciences, based, largely upon those oil platforms, but also on nearby boats and so on. The data would be analyzed by a largely autonomous network of small computers working together with a rapidly growable grid of larger computers. The automated system could quickly increase its capabilities in a modeling response to a rapidly developing hurricane. The system would be self-organizing and adaptable to damage. The general idea is not restricted to the Gulf, nor to oil-platforms.
DOMES might be used to study the full life of thunder storms, the lives of generations of coastal dolphins, and so on -- wide-spread phenomena studied via a distributed network of sensors.

Circa 2001 (I am not sure), after examining a directional microphone for sale in some store and wondering how it might work, I accidentally created a model of what might be the mechanism of the imaging sonar of dolphins. That mechanism has evolved, in my mind, and continues to survive tests in computer-based simulations. My theory of how the microphone worked was, however, quite wrong.

Dolphin Inspired Sonar

DOMES an introduction to the concept of a "distributed observatory."

How von Neumann's Elephant creates Hubris and Error in Environmental Sciences
Other pages of this web-site relating to Popular Errors in Science

Aposyndesis: Towards a Theory of Evolution of Social Groups (and war and such)

Convex Topology
A field of mathematics I invented then abandoned due to my seeming inability to find interesting applications. Convex Topology, also known as Convexly Topological Spaces, combines Convexity and Topology and also generalizes many concepts of Normed Linear Spaces.

Orthodrop, a simple method of solving huge sparse systems of linear equations.

Day of the Dolphinoid, 1993
Contains what seems to be the first professionally published instance
of the word "ethorobotics" which, so far as I know, I was the first to coin. That paper was excerpted from the privately published Ethorobotics of Dolphinoids (also, in some versions, called "Ethorobotics of Microsubs") that resulted from my first teaching "Artificial Intelligence - at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Moreman with Hannibal at Cannae
Post-Roman historians underestimated Hannibal in that their descripion of the battle had him winning by a tactic which depended too much on luck. Rather, his tactic depended upon the absolute predictability of behavior of large masses of Roman cavalry and infantry.

Other Hypotheses and Guesses
Aposyndesis: an idea of why the nations so furiously rage together.
Failures of Epistemology in Computer Modeling
Machine Consciousness might (shudder?) be easy to produce.
Speciation via behavior (rather than via geological separation) made possible by Innate Behaviors.
Explaining the methane explosions in Yamal Peninsula, Siberia.
Near-sightedness as a result of slow reaction to feedback.
Lava flows in Decca India tied to Asteroid in Yucatan Mexico.
Hezekiah's Tunnel under Jerusalem: explained.
Subsidence of Coastal Louisiana.
Where are the sub-Saharan sewers?
Racial differences illuminate Vitamin D deficiencies.
Racial differences in immunity explain the die-offs of some indigenous peoples in Americas, Japan, Australia, and South Africa.
Global Warming and Vikings and Mogols (and their horses)
Dipylon shields were what the name says they were?
Asking and answering practical questions inspired by the Old Testament:
Why did King David use a royal mule (rather than a horse), and why are there references to eating children and to leaders rending their garments?
The Bible has what might be the earliest references to machines of war that throw rocks and arrows. How Hezekiah could have had his tunnel under Jerusalem built in well under four years.
There is a 5000 year old stone "dish" in Egypt that looks like it was machined. What was it for?
How did Xerces' bridge over the Hellespont withstand currents? (Water seems to have been too deep for using anchors)

A possible cure for 60 or more strains of cancer, and that crosses the blood-brain barrier, is being tested on its first human in Cincinnati. Bexion

Epistemological Concerns in Climate Science.