MRI/Acq.: High Performance Instrument for Heterogeneous and Biologically Inspired Architectures Research Project Proposed: This project, acquiring and integrating an SRC-7 system and a GPU cluster into one High Performance Heterogeneous Computing instrument, aims to investigate, model, design, and potentially prototype new heterogeneous architectures that are inspired from biology. The instrument will contribute to expand some of the available hardware accelerators such as reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and graphical (GPGPU) processors currently utilized for research in the fields of high-performance computing, computational neuroscience and medical informatics, and electromagnetic and remote sensing. It will facilitate research towards designing/discovering new heterogeneous architectures that are easy-to-use and highly productive. Moreover, the instrument will also allow investigating the use of new processor technologies through interdisciplinary collaborations with other research groups inside and outside the institution. In computational neuroscience and medical informatics, the high-performance cluster (HPC) will help in designing and developing new computational methods to process and analyze medical imaging data such as diffusion tensor magnetic imaging (DT-MRI). Although DT-MRI is used increasingly in clinical research for its unique ability to depict white matter tracts and for its sensitivity to microstructural and architectural features of brain tissue, it suffers a number of image artifacts that can corrupt diffusion weighted images (DWIs) which in turn affect DTI derived quantities. Although ideal for parallel computation, the post-processing DT-MRI data is very difficult and time consuming. The new instrument will help test new post-processing algorithms, explore the limitations of the existing technology, and develop solutions. In electromagnetic and remote sensing applications, the new instrument will help enhance the computation times of the numerically intensive problems faced by the research community for commercial and military applications. Design and optimization of metamaterials, performance analysis and optimization of antennas on platforms, and target detection behind clutter (e.g., soil, foliage, fog) represent some examples of the latter. Broader Impacts: This instrumentation enables realistic computational problems that can integrate research and teaching as well as promote learning through discovery. Hence, it is expected to contribute in producing a new generation of students and postdocs with the ability to face the current changes in computing technology. Moreover, the instrument enables the creation of a new interdisciplinary HEterogenous and Biologically Inspired Architectures research lab (HEBA). The project includes an outreach program, open house events that include community colleges, high school, and middle school students, and K-12 teachers. Increasing women and minorities is also targeted. Results will be shared and disseminated.

Project Report

The goal of the project is to acquire an SRC-7 system and a GPU cluster and integrate them as one High-Performance Heterogeneous Computing instrument, to support a team of interdisciplinary researchers in the school of engineering at The Catholic University of America (CUA) via the interdisciplinary HEterogeneous and Biologically Inspired Architectures (HEBA) research laboratory. The project allowed participant faculty members, Pi, Co-PIs, and faculty members from other departments, to conduct their reserach activities in a more efficient and productive manner. The results in terms of accuracy and simulation performance gain were more than satifactory. Additionally, the acquired instrument enabled the faculty team to tackle problems of much larger sizes than what was possible without the instrument. The major research activities that were performed under this project were as follows. I) High-Performance Heterogeneous Computing (HPHC) i-a) Productivity and High-Level Design Methodologies for HPHCs i-b) Exact Computations and HPHC Systems II) Electromagnetics and Remote Sensing ii-a) Bio-inspired Optimization in Electromagnetic Design ii-b) Antireflective Surface Design in Millimeter Wave Frequencies ii-c) Interferometric Imaging of Targets Cluttered by Random Media ii-d) Fast Multipole Method for Large-Scale Electromagnetic Problems III) Computational Neuroscience and Medical Informatics iii-a) Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DTI) IV) Interdisciplinary Collaboration iv-a) Dynamic Response of Asymmetric-Plan Single-Story Buildings under Near Fault Translational and Torsional Ground Motions iv-b) Wave Propagation Analysis in Solid Media or Fluid-Saturated Porous Permeable Solid Media iv-c) Digital Signal Processing and Free-Space Optical Communication Systems iv-d) Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of Three-Dimensional Cone-Beam Computer Tomography The results of the project research activities have been disseminated through quite a number of major symposia and journal publications .

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
Richard Voyles
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Catholic University of America
United States
Zip Code