Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Moorhead II, J. Robert

Committee Member

Swan II, Edward J.

Committee Member

Jankun-Kelly, T.J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


We present the results from a user study looking at the ability of observers to mentally integrate wind direction and magnitude over a vector field. The data set chosen for the study is an MM5 (PSU/NCAR Mesoscale Model) simulation of Hurricane Lili over the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches the southeastern United States. Nine observers participated in the study. This study investigates the effect of layering on the observer's ability to detrmine the magnitude and direction of a vector field. We found a tendency for observers to underestimate the magnitude of the vectors and a counter-clockwise bias when determining the average direction of a vector field. We completed an additional study with two observers to try to uncover the source of the counter-clockwise bias. These results have direct implications to atmospheric scientists, but may also be able to be applied to other fields that use 2D vector fields.



Layering||2D vectors||Hurricane Lili||Weather||Visualization||User study