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ICES Feature Stories

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
How to Predict Cancer:  Tom Yankeelov talks to Dell Medical School about 'mathematizing' cancer for patient-specific treatment How to Predict Cancer: Tom Yankeelov talks to Dell Medical School about 'mathematizing' cancer for patient-specific treatment

ICES Professor Thomas Yankeelov, was already an aspiring cancer killer when, on a Florida beach five years ago, he read “The Origins of Computer Weather Prediction and Climate Modeling.”

The paper, by Peter Lynch, a professor of meteorology at University College Dublin, recounts the human failure during the last hundred or so years to predict the weather. Yankeelov, then a cancer researcher at Vanderbilt University, noticed that people’s historically weak understanding of the weather bore surprising similarity to their struggle to grasp the so-called Emperor of All Maladies.
Read more.

Posted: Oct. 13, 2016
Working Backwards: Tan Bui-Thanh Uses Inverse Problem Solving for Oil and Gas Exploration Working Backwards: Tan Bui-Thanh Uses Inverse Problem Solving for Oil and Gas Exploration

ICES Professor Tan Bui-Thanh, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, has received three research grants this year from industry and research organizations alike to study efficient methods for solving challenging inverse problems. Read more.

Posted: Oct. 5, 2016