Designed especially for neurobiologists, FluoRender is an interactive tool for multi-channel fluorescence microscopy data visualization and analysis.
Large scale visualization on the Powerwall.
BrainStimulator is a set of networks that are used in SCIRun to perform simulations of brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and magnetic transcranial stimulation (TMS).
Developing software tools for science has always been a central vision of the SCI Institute.

SCI Publications


D. N. Anderson, B. Osting, J. Vorwerk, A. D Dorval, C. R Butson. “Optimized programming algorithm for cylindrical and directional deep brain stimulation electrodes,” In Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 026005. 2018.


Objective. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a growing treatment option for movement and psychiatric disorders. As DBS technology moves toward directional leads with increased numbers of smaller electrode contacts, trial-and-error methods of manual DBS programming are becoming too time-consuming for clinical feasibility. We propose an algorithm to automate DBS programming in near real-time for a wide range of DBS lead designs. Approach. Magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging are used to build finite element models that include anisotropic conductivity. The algorithm maximizes activation of target tissue and utilizes the Hessian matrix of the electric potential to approximate activation of neurons in all directions. We demonstrate our algorithm's ability in an example programming case that targets the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for the treatment of Parkinson's disease for three lead designs: the Medtronic 3389 (four cylindrical contacts), the direct STNAcute (two cylindrical contacts, six directional contacts), and the Medtronic-Sapiens lead (40 directional contacts). Main results. The optimization algorithm returns patient-specific contact configurations in near real-time—less than 10 s for even the most complex leads. When the lead was placed centrally in the target STN, the directional leads were able to activate over 50% of the region, whereas the Medtronic 3389 could activate only 40%. When the lead was placed 2 mm lateral to the target, the directional leads performed as well as they did in the central position, but the Medtronic 3389 activated only 2.9% of the STN. Significance. This DBS programming algorithm can be applied to cylindrical electrodes as well as novel directional leads that are too complex with modern technology to be manually programmed. This algorithm may reduce clinical programming time and encourage the use of directional leads, since they activate a larger volume of the target area than cylindrical electrodes in central and off-target lead placements.

S. Guler, M. Dannhauer, B. Roig-Solvas, A. Gkogkidis, R. Macleod, T. Ball, J. G. Ojemann, D. H. Brooks. “Computationally optimized ECoG stimulation with local safety constraints,” In NeuroImage, Vol. 173, Elsevier BV, pp. 35--48. June, 2018.
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.01.088


Direct stimulation of the cortical surface is used clinically for cortical mapping and modulation of local activity. Future applications of cortical modulation and brain-computer interfaces may also use cortical stimulation methods. One common method to deliver current is through electrocorticography (ECoG) stimulation in which a dense array of electrodes are placed subdurally or epidurally to stimulate the cortex. However, proximity to cortical tissue limits the amount of current that can be delivered safely. It may be desirable to deliver higher current to a specific local region of interest (ROI) while limiting current to other local areas more stringently than is guaranteed by global safety limits. Two commonly used global safety constraints bound the total injected current and individual electrode currents. However, these two sets of constraints may not be sufficient to prevent high current density locally (hot-spots). In this work, we propose an efficient approach that prevents current density hot-spots in the entire brain while optimizing ECoG stimulus patterns for targeted stimulation. Specifically, we maximize the current along a particular desired directional field in the ROI while respecting three safety constraints: one on the total injected current, one on individual electrode currents, and the third on the local current density magnitude in the brain. This third set of constraints creates a computational barrier due to the huge number of constraints needed to bound the current density at every point in the entire brain. We overcome this barrier by adopting an efficient two-step approach. In the first step, the proposed method identifies the safe brain region, which cannot contain any hot-spots solely based on the global bounds on total injected current and individual electrode currents. In the second step, the proposed algorithm iteratively adjusts the stimulus pattern to arrive at a solution that exhibits no hot-spots in the remaining brain. We report on simulations on a realistic finite element (FE) head model with five anatomical ROIs and two desired directional fields. We also report on the effect of ROI depth and desired directional field on the focality of the stimulation. Finally, we provide an analysis of optimization runtime as a function of different safety and modeling parameters. Our results suggest that optimized stimulus patterns tend to differ from those used in clinical practice.

U. Ruede, K. Willcox, L. C. McInnes, H. De Sterck, G. Biros, H. Bungartz, J. Corones, E. Cramer, J. Crowley, O. Ghattas, M. Gunzburger, M. Hanke, R. Harrison, M. Heroux, J. Hesthaven, P. Jimack, C. Johnson, K. E. Jordan, D. E. Keyes, R. Krause, V. Kumar, S. Mayer, J. Meza, K. M. Mrken, J. T. Oden, L. Petzold, P. Raghavan, S. M. Shontz, A. Trefethen, P. Turner, V. Voevodin, B. Wohlmuth,, C. S. Woodward. “Research and Education in Computational Science and Engineering,” Subtitled “Report from a workshop sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the European Exascale Software Initiative (EESI-2), August 4-6, 2014, Breckenridge, Colorado,” Vol. abs/1610.02608, 2018.


This report presents challenges, opportunities and directions for computational science and engineering (CSE) research and education for the next decade. Over the past two decades the field of CSE has penetrated both basic and applied research in academia, industry, and laboratories to advance discovery, optimize systems, support decision-makers, and educate the scientific and engineering workforce. Informed by centuries of theory and experiment, CSE performs computational experiments to answer questions that neither theory nor experiment alone is equipped to answer. CSE provides scientists and engineers with algorithmic inventions and software systems that transcend disciplines and scales. CSE brings the power of parallelism to bear on troves of data. Mathematics-based advanced computing has become a prevalent means of discovery and innovation in essentially all areas of science, engineering, technology, and society; and the CSE community is at the core of this transformation. However, a combination of disruptive developments—including the architectural complexity of extreme-scale computing, the data revolution and increased attention to data-driven discovery, and the specialization required to follow the applications to new frontiers—is redefining the scope and reach of the CSE endeavor. With these many current and expanding opportunities for the CSE field, there is a growing demand for CSE graduates and a need to expand CSE educational offerings. This need includes CSE programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as continuing education and professional development programs, exploiting the synergy between computational science and data science. Yet, as institutions consider new and evolving educational programs, it is essential to consider the broader research challenges and opportunities that provide the context for CSE education and workforce development.


M. Berzins, D. A. Bonnell, Jr. Cizewski, K. M. Heeger, A.J.G. Hey, C. J. Keane, B. A. Ramsey, K. A. Remington, J.L. Rempe. “Department of Energy, Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC), Subcommittee on LDRD Review Final Report,” May, 2017.

M. Berzins. “Nonlinear Stability of the MPM Method,” In V International Conference on Particle-based Methods – Fundamentals and Applications. PARTICLES 2017, Edited by P. Wriggers, M. Bischoff, E. O˜nate, D.R.J. Owen, & T. Zohdi, pp. 671--682. 2017.


The Material Point Method (MPM) has been very successful in providing solutions to many challenging problems involving large deformations. The nonlinear nature of MPM makes it necessary to use a full nonlinear stability analysis to determine a stable timestep. The stability analysis of Spigler and Vianello is adapted to MPM and used to derive a stable timestep bound for a model problem. This bound is contrasted against a traditional CFL bound.

A. Bhatele, J. Yeom, N. Jain, C. J. Kuhlman, Y. Livnat, K. R. Bisset, L. V. Kale, M. V. Marathe. “Massively Parallel Simulations of Spread of Infectious Diseases over Realistic Social Networks,” In 2017 17th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGRID), May, 2017.
DOI: 10.1109/ccgrid.2017.141


Controlling the spread of infectious diseases in large populations is an important societal challenge. Mathematically, the problem is best captured as a certain class of reaction-diffusion processes (referred to as contagion processes) over appropriate synthesized interaction networks. Agent-based models have been successfully used in the recent past to study such contagion processes. We describe EpiSimdemics, a highly scalable, parallel code written in Charm++ that uses agent-based modeling to simulate disease spreads over large, realistic, co-evolving interaction networks. We present a new parallel implementation of EpiSimdemics that achieves unprecedented strong and weak scaling on different architectures — Blue Waters, Cori and Mira. EpiSimdemics achieves five times greater speedup than the second fastest parallel code in this field. This unprecedented scaling is an important step to support the long term vision of real-time epidemic science. Finally, we demonstrate the capabilities of EpiSimdemics by simulating the spread of influenza over a realistic synthetic social contact network spanning the continental United States (∼280 million nodes and 5.8 billion social contacts).

L. Bos, A. Narayan, N. Levenberg, F. Piazzon. “An Orthogonality Property of the Legendre Polynomials,” In Constructive Approximation, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 65--81. Feb, 2017.
ISSN: 0176-4276, 1432-0940
DOI: 10.1007/s00365-015-9321-3


We give a remarkable additional othogonality property of the classical Legendre polynomials on the real interval [−1,1]: polynomials up to degree n from this family are mutually orthogonal under the arcsine measure weighted by the degree-n normalized Christoffel function

J. Cates, L. Nevell, S. I. Prajapati, L. D. Nelon, J. Y. Chang, M. E. Randolph, B. Wood, C. Keller, R. T. Whitaker. “Shape analysis of the basioccipital bone in Pax7-deficient mice,” In Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1, Springer Nature, Dec, 2017.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18199-9


We compared the cranial base of newborn Pax7-deficient and wildtype mice using a computational shape modeling technology called particle-based modeling (PBM). We found systematic differences in the morphology of the basiooccipital bone, including a broadening of the basioccipital bone and an antero-inferior inflection of its posterior edge in the Pax7-deficient mice. We show that the Pax7 cell lineage contributes to the basioccipital bone and that the location of the Pax7 lineage correlates with the morphology most effected by Pax7 deficiency. Our results suggest that the Pax7-deficient mouse may be a suitable model for investigating the genetic control of the location and orientation of the foramen magnum, and changes in the breadth of the basioccipital.

M. Chen, G. Grinstein, C. R. Johnson, J. Kennedy, M. Tory. “Pathways for Theoretical Advances in Visualization,” In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE, pp. 103--112. July, 2017.


More than a decade ago, Chris Johnson proposed the "Theory of Visualization" as one of the top research problems in visualization. Since then, there have been several theory-focused events, including three workshops and three panels at IEEE Visualization (VIS) Conferences. Together, these events have produced a set of convincing arguments.

M. Feiszli, A. Narayan. “Numerical Computation of Weil-Peterson Geodesics in the Universal Teichmueller Space,” In SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 3, SIAM, pp. 1322--1345. Jan, 2017.
DOI: 10.1137/15M1043947


We propose an optimization algorithm for computing geodesics on the universal Teichm\"uller space T(1) in the Weil-Petersson (WP) metric. Another realization for T(1) is the space of planar shapes, modulo translation and scale, and thus our algorithm addresses a fundamental problem in computer vision: compute the distance between two given shapes. The identification of smooth shapes with elements on T(1) allows us to represent a shape as a diffeomorphism on S1. Then given two diffeomorphisms on S1 (i.e., two shapes we want connect with a flow), we formulate a discretized WP energy and the resulting problem is a boundary-value minimization problem. We numerically solve this problem, providing several examples of geodesic flow on the space of shapes, and verifying mathematical properties of T(1). Our algorithm is more general than the application here in the sense that it can be used to compute geodesics on any other Riemannian manifold.

S. Ghimire, J. Dhamala, J. Coll-Font, J. D. Tate, M. S. Guillem, D. H. Brooks, R. S. MacLeod, L. Wang. “Overcoming Barriers to Quantification and Comparison of Electrocardiographic Imaging Methods: A Community-Based Approach,” In Computing in Cardiology, Vol. 44, 2017.


There has been a recent upsurge in the development of electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) methods, along with a significant increase in clinical application. To better assess the state-of-the-art, enable reliable progress, and facilitate clinical adoption, it is important to be able to compare results in a comprehensive manner, scientifically and clinically. However, studies vary in modeling choices, computational methods, validation mechanisms and metrics, and clinical applications, making unified evaluation and comparison of ECGI a critical challenge.

This paper describes initial results of a project to address this challenge via a community-based approach organized by the Consortium for Electrocardiographic Imaging (CEI). We detail different aspects of this collective effort including a data sharing repository, a platform for comparison of different algorithms and modeling approaches on the same datasets, several active workgroups and progress made along these directions. We also summarize the results from groups participating in this collaboration and contributing solutions by applying their methods to the same dataset for comparison.

W. W. Good, B. Erem, J. Coll-Font, D. H. Brooks, R. S. MacLeod. “Detecting Ischemic Stress to the Myocardium Using Laplacian Eigenmaps and Changes to Conduction Velocity,” In Computing in Cardiology, Vol. 44, IEEE, 2017.


The underlying pathophysiology of ischemia and its electrocardiographic consequences are poorly understood, resulting in unreliable diagnosis of this disease. This limited knowledge of underlying mechanisms suggests a data driven approach, which seeks to identify patterns in the ECG that can be linked statistically to underlying behavior and conditions of ischemic stress. The gold standard ECG metrics for evaluating ischemia monitor vertical deflections within the ST segment. However, ischemia influences all portions of the electrogram. Another metric that targets the QRS complex during ischemia is Conduction Velocity (CV). An even more inclusive, data driven approach is known as "Laplacian Eigenmaps" (LE), which can identify trajectories, or "manifolds", that respond to different spatiotemporal consequences of ischemic stress, and these changes to the trajectories on the manifold may serve as a clinically relevant biomarker. On this study, we compared the LE- and CV-based markers against two gold standards for detecting ischemic stress, both derived from the ST segment. We evaluated the response time and fidelity of each biomarker using a Time to Threshold (TTT) and Contrast Ratio (CR) measure, over 51 episodes recorded as cardiac electrograms from a canine model of controlled ischemia. The results show that metrics designed to monitor regions beyond the ST segment can perform at least as well, if not better, than traditional ST segment based metrics.

C. Gritton, J. Guilkey, J. Hooper, D. Bedrov, R. M. Kirby, M. Berzins. “Using the material point method to model chemical/mechanical coupling in the deformation of a silicon anode,” In Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 045005. 2017.


The lithiation and delithiation of a silicon battery anode is modeled using the material point method (MPM). The main challenges in modeling this process using the MPM is to simulate stress dependent diffusion coupled with concentration dependent stress within a material that undergoes large deformations. MPM is chosen as the numerical method of choice because of its ability to handle large deformations. A method for modeling diffusion within MPM is described. A stress dependent model for diffusivity and three different constitutive models that fully couple the equations for stress with the equations for diffusion are considered. Verifications tests for the accuracy of the numerical implementations of the models and validation tests with experimental results show the accuracy of the approach. The application of the fully coupled stress diffusion model implemented in MPM is applied to modeling the lithiation and delithiation of silicon nanopillars.

L. Guo, A. Narayan, T. Zhou, Y. Chen. “Stochastic Collocation Methods via L1 Minimization Using Randomized Quadratures,” In SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. A333--A359. Jan, 2017.
ISSN: 1064-8275
DOI: 10.1137/16M1059680


In this work, we discuss the problem of approximating a multivariate function via ℓ1 minimization method, using a random chosen sub-grid of the corresponding tensor grid of Gaussian points. The independent variables of the function are assumed to be random variables, and thus, the framework provides a non-intrusive way to construct the generalized polynomial chaos expansions, stemming from the motivating application of Uncertainty Quantification (UQ). We provide theoretical analysis on the validity of the approach. The framework includes both the bounded measures such as the uniform and the Chebyshev measure, and the unbounded measures which include the Gaussian measure. Several numerical examples are given to confirm the theoretical results.

J. K. Holmen, A. Humphrey, D. Sutherland, M. Berzins. “Improving Uintah's Scalability Through the Use of Portable Kokkos-Based Data Parallel Tasks,” In Proceedings of the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing 2017 on Sustainability, Success and Impact, PEARC17, No. 27, pp. 27:1--27:8. 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4503-5272-7
DOI: 10.1145/3093338.3093388


The University of Utah's Carbon Capture Multidisciplinary Simulation Center (CCMSC) is using the Uintah Computational Framework to predict performance of a 1000 MWe ultra-supercritical clean coal boiler. The center aims to utilize the Intel Xeon Phi-based DOE systems, Theta and Aurora, through the Aurora Early Science Program by using the Kokkos C++ library to enable node-level performance portability. This paper describes infrastructure advancements and portability improvements made possible by our integration of Kokkos within Uintah. Scalability results are presented that compare serial and data parallel task execution models for a challenging radiative heat transfer calculation, central to the center's predictive boiler simulations. These results demonstrate both good strong-scaling characteristics to 256 Knights Landing (KNL) processors on the NSF Stampede system, and show the KNL-based calculation to compete with prior GPU-based results for the same calculation.

J. Jakeman, A. Narayan, T. Zhou. “A Generalized Sampling and Preconditioning Scheme for Sparse Approximation of Polynomial Chaos Expansions,” In SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 39, No. 3, SIAM, pp. A1114--A1144. Jan, 2017.
ISSN: 1064-8275
DOI: 10.1137/16M1063885


In this paper we propose an algorithm for recovering sparse orthogonal polynomials using stochastic collocation. Our approach is motivated by the desire to use generalized polynomial chaos expansions (PCE) to quantify uncertainty in models subject to uncertain input parameters. The standard sampling approach for recovering sparse polynomials is to use Monte Carlo (MC) sampling of the density of orthogonality. However MC methods result in poor function recovery when the polynomial degree is high. Here we propose a general algorithm that can be applied to any admissible weight function on a bounded domain and a wide class of exponential weight functions defined on unbounded domains. Our proposed algorithm samples with respect to the weighted equilibrium measure of the parametric domain, and subsequently solves a preconditioned ℓ1-minimization problem, where the weights of the diagonal preconditioning matrix are given by evaluations of the Christoffel function. We present theoretical analysis to motivate the algorithm, and numerical results that show our method is superior to standard Monte Carlo methods in many situations of interest. Numerical examples are also provided that demonstrate that our proposed Christoffel Sparse Approximation algorithm leads to comparable or improved accuracy even when compared with Legendre and Hermite specific algorithms.

J. Jiang, Y. Chen, A. Narayan. “Offline-Enhanced Reduced Basis Method through adaptive construction of the Surrogate Parameter Domain,” In Journal of Scientific Computing, Vol. 73, No. 2-3, pp. 853--875. 2017.
ISSN: 0885-7474, 1573-7691
DOI: 10.1007/s10915-017-0551-3


The Reduced Basis Method (RBM) is a popular certified model reduction approach for solving parametrized partial differential equations. One critical stage of the \textitoffline portion of the algorithm is a greedy algorithm, requiring maximization of an error estimate over parameter space. In practice this maximization is usually performed by replacing the parameter domain continuum with a discrete "training" set. When the dimension of parameter space is large, it is necessary to significantly increase the size of this training set in order to effectively search parameter space. Large training sets diminish the attractiveness of RBM algorithms since this proportionally increases the cost of the offline phase.

In this work we propose novel strategies for offline RBM algorithms that mitigate the computational difficulty of maximizing error estimates over a training set. The main idea is to identify a subset of the training set, a "surrogate parameter domain" (SPD), on which to perform greedy algorithms. The SPD's we construct are much smaller in size than the full training set, yet our examples suggest that they are accurate enough to represent the solution manifold of interest at the current offline RBM iteration. We propose two algorithms to construct the SPD: Our first algorithm, the Successive Maximization Method (SMM) method, is inspired by inverse transform sampling for non-standard univariate probability distributions. The second constructs an SPD by identifying pivots in the Cholesky Decomposition of an approximate error correlation matrix. We demonstrate the algorithm through numerical experiments, showing that the algorithm is capable of accelerating offline RBM procedures without degrading accuracy, assuming that the solution manifold has low Kolmogorov width.

M. Kern, A. Lex, N. Gehlenborg, C. R. Johnson. “Interactive Visual Exploration And Refinement Of Cluster Assignments,” In BMC Bioinformatics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, April, 2017.
DOI: 10.1101/123844


With ever-increasing amounts of data produced in biology research, scientists are in need of efficient data analysis methods. Cluster analysis, combined with visualization of the results, is one such method that can be used to make sense of large data volumes. At the same time, cluster analysis is known to be imperfect and depends on the choice of algorithms, parameters, and distance measures. Most clustering algorithms don't properly account for ambiguity in the source data, as records are often assigned to discrete clusters, even if an assignment is unclear. While there are metrics and visualization techniques that allow analysts to compare clusterings or to judge cluster quality, there is no comprehensive method that allows analysts to evaluate, compare, and refine cluster assignments based on the source data, derived scores, and contextual data.

In this paper, we introduce a method that explicitly visualizes the quality of cluster assignments, allows comparisons of clustering results and enables analysts to manually curate and refine cluster assignments. Our methods are applicable to matrix data clustered with partitional, hierarchical, and fuzzy clustering algorithms. Furthermore, we enable analysts to explore clustering results in context of other data, for example, to observe whether a clustering of genomic data results in a meaningful differentiation in phenotypes.

Our methods are integrated into Caleydo StratomeX, a popular, web-based, disease subtype analysis tool. We show in a usage scenario that our approach can reveal ambiguities in cluster assignments and produce improved clusterings that better differentiate genotypes and phenotypes.

A. Narayan, J. Jakeman, T. Zhou. “A Christoffel function weighted least squares algorithm for collocation approximations,” In Mathematics of Computation, Vol. 86, No. 306, pp. 1913--1947. 2017.
ISSN: 0025-5718, 1088-6842
DOI: 10.1090/mcom/3192


We propose, theoretically investigate, and numerically validate an algorithm for the Monte Carlo solution of least-squares polynomial approximation problems in a collocation frame- work. Our method is motivated by generalized Polynomial Chaos approximation in uncertainty quantification where a polynomial approximation is formed from a combination of orthogonal polynomials. A standard Monte Carlo approach would draw samples according to the density of orthogonality. Our proposed algorithm samples with respect to the equilibrium measure of the parametric domain, and subsequently solves a weighted least-squares problem, with weights given by evaluations of the Christoffel function. We present theoretical analysis to motivate the algorithm, and numerical results that show our method is superior to standard Monte Carlo methods in many situations of interest.

T.A.J. Ouermi, A. Knoll, R.M. Kirby, M. Berzins. “OpenMP 4 Fortran Modernization of WSM6 for KNL,” In Proceedings of the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing 2017 on Sustainability, Success and Impact, PEARC17, No. 12, ACM, pp. 12:1--12:8. 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4503-5272-7
DOI: 10.1145/3093338.3093387


Parallel code portability in the petascale era requires modifying existing codes to support new architectures with large core counts and SIMD vector units. OpenMP is a well established and increasingly supported vehicle for portable parallelization. As architectures mature and compiler OpenMP implementations evolve, best practices for code modernization change as well. In this paper, we examine the impact of newer OpenMP features (in particular OMP SIMD) on the Intel Xeon Phi Knights Landing (KNL) architecture, applied in optimizing loops in the single moment 6-class microphysics module (WSM6) in the US Navy's NEPTUNE code. We find that with functioning OMP SIMD constructs, low thread invocation overhead on KNL and reduced penalty for unaligned access compared to previous architectures, one can leverage OpenMP 4 to achieve reasonable scalability with relatively minor reorganization of a production physics code.