Wayne State CUDA Research Center Summary

About the CUDA Research Center at Wayne State University
The CUDA Research Center at Wayne State University supports research efforts in many fields including the life sciences, natural sciences, and engineering with high computational requirements that utilize GPUs. Examples include the collaboration between Professors Potoff and Schwiebert, which has led to the development of GO-MC, an open-source GPU Optimized Gibbs Ensemble Monte Carlo simulation engine.  By using the GPU, our team has been able to achieve performance improvements of 2000-3000%, and to extend the sizes of systems that may be studied by two orders of magnitude.  These software tools are being used to elucidate the mechanisms of membrane fusion, predict environmental fate of energetic materials, and determine polymer phase behavior Professors Huang and Schwiebert are also using GPUs to speed up our research on Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, where we investigate how the properties of materials arise from their atomic-level, microscopic behavior. Currently, we focus on some important topics of structural dynamics in solid materials, particularly the grain growth and coarsening dynamics during the evolution of polycrystalline systems that are characterized by a large amount of topological defects. The GPU allows us to evaluate complex features of how these materials evolve. Finally, Professors DeGracia, Huang, and Schwiebert are working toward a GPU implementation of a nonlinear system to understand cell death following acute injuries such as stroke and myocardial infarction, with the long-term goal to provide real-time automated monitoring, diagnosis, and prognostication of acutely injured patients.These interdisciplinary research projects have also allowed undergraduate and graduate students to obtain educational and research experience in cross-disciplinary collaborations.

About the Co-PIs
Donald J. DeGraciais an Associate Professor of Physiology at Wayne State University.  He received a B.S. in Industrial Chemistry from Michigan Technological University and Ph.D. in Physiology from Wayne State University.  He has investigated cell death mechanisms in cerebral ischemia since 1988.  Dr. DeGracia’s lab focuses on regulation of protein synthesis following stroke.  This work has provided a foundation for a nonlinear theory of cell death following acute injury for which the lab is currently developing theoretical models and empirical methods to measure the theory.

Zhi-Feng Huangis an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State University. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from TsingHua University, China. He has been working in the area of theoretical condensed matter and statistical physics, with focus on modeling and analyzing the non-equilibrium, nonlinear phenomena in a variety of complex dynamical and material systems, including nanostructure self-assembly and pattern formation in solid materials and soft matter as well as nonlinear dynamics of acute cell injury.

Jeffrey Potoff is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University.  He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.  Prof. Potoff’s group has been active in the development of molecular models, also known as “force fields,” which form the heart of atom-based computer simulations.

Loren Schwiebert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. He received a B.S. in Computer Science from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Ohio State University. He has worked on a wide variety of research topics related to Parallel and Distributed Computing, including parallel computer architecture, wireless sensor networking, and high-performance computing. His current research interests are high-performance computing using many-core architectures and algorithms.