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ICES Feature Stories

 Prolific author Juan Bello-Rivas Receives 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award  for Advancing Molecular Movement Simulations Prolific author Juan Bello-Rivas Receives 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award for Advancing Molecular Movement Simulations

CSEM Alumnus Juan M. Bello-Rivas has won the ICES 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award for advances in the computational simulation of molecular dynamics.

The applied mathematician from Spain focused his dissertation on modifying a statistical mechanic theory and algorithm called Milestoning that was originally developed by Ron Elber, his advisor in the CSEM program. Read more.

Posted: March 21, 2017
Tinsley Oden at 80:  Keen insights from a long career Tinsley Oden at 80: Keen insights from a long career

As a sophomore in engineering at Louisiana State University Tinsley Oden, ICES director, says he remembers rushing out of his dynamics class to shoot arrows and swing pendulums.

He calculated the arrows’ initial velocity based on how far they went, and determined the frequency of pendulums based on their mass and length. These simple experiments cemented in Oden the power of mathematics to explain the world.

“The fact that through the process of the human mind, using mathematical abstractions, you could actually write down how natural systems would behave was a great revelation to me. I became infatuated with it,” said Oden. Read more.

Posted: March 8, 2017
CSEM Student Tim Smith first learned as an intern what was possible with computational tools CSEM Student Tim Smith first learned as an intern what was possible with computational tools

Mechanical engineering students at UT are sometimes called ‘etcetera engineers.’

That’s partly because the mechanical engineering building—called the Engineering Teaching Building II—is often abbreviated to ETC. But it’s mainly because of the breadth of topics the field encompasses and opportunities it enables.

Tim Smith, a summer 2013 Moncrief Undergraduate Summer Intern, and a 2014 UT mechanical engineering grad, embraced the etcetera as a student. He worked as an facilities engineer intern for BHP Billiton in Houston, and helped ICES professor Michael Sacks construct computational heart models as an ICES summer intern. Read more.

Posted: Jan. 17, 2017
ICES Postdoctoral Fellowship Essential to Team Developing Computational Cancer Models ICES Postdoctoral Fellowship Essential to Team Developing Computational Cancer Models

For the past five years, Ernesto Lima has been making computational models of tumor growth. The models use complex mathematics to simulate the eight hallmarks of cancer behavior—abilities all cancers share, such as unrestricted cell division and immune system evasion. Yet the guiding philosophy of the work is simplicity: the best model for simulating a tumor’s behavior is the one that uses the lowest number of parameters from the available data while meeting an acceptable level of accuracy.

This “Occam’s Razor” inspired approach helps restrict errors introduced by uncertainties associated with additional parameters, Lima said. Read more.

Posted: Dec. 15, 2016
Personalizing Cancer Therapy:  physicians, mathematicians and engineers together simulate advanced cancer treatments Personalizing Cancer Therapy: physicians, mathematicians and engineers together simulate advanced cancer treatments

If you ask Dr. Marissa Nichole Rylander about the myriad factors influencing cancer cells, the names of dozens of growth-promoting proteins, signaling pathways, angiogenic factors and other players trip rapid-fire off her tongue. Undaunted by this biochemical brew, the tissue-engineering expert uses input from physicians at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and ICES colleagues to create intricate simulations of tumors that are informing computational advances in the understanding of cancer. Read more.

Posted: Nov. 8, 2016