The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) announced the awardees of the 2021-2022 round of Catalyst Grants. Since 2017 MICDE Catalyst Grants program has funded a wide spectrum of cutting-edge research, this year focusing on AI for physically-based biomedicine, quantum computing, convergence of natural hazards with economic dislocation, and computational integration across scales and disciplines in biology. The five projects awarded in this round represent these new frontiers of computational research spearheaded by the Institute through its initiatives.

Prof. Shravan Veerapaneni (Mathematics) is working on advancing quantum algorithm research. His team will develop a Variational Quantum Monte Carlo algorithm that can potentially be applied to a wide range of linear algebraic tasks, like QR and Singular Value Decomposition (SVD). 

Profs. Salar Fattahi (Industrial and Operations Engineering) and Arvind Rao (Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Biostatistics) are revisiting existing theoretically powerful maximum-likelihood estimation mathematical methods to identify areas of weakness and strengthen them for use in biomedical, largely genomic, applications.

Profs. Gary Luker (Microbiology and Immunology), Nikola Banovic (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Xun Huan (Mechanical Engineering), Jennifer Linderman (Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering), and Kathryn Luker (Radiology), will develop a physics/chemistry-aware inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) computational framework that will support the understanding single-cell and cooperative decision-making that drive tumor growth, metastasis, and recurrence.

Profs. Seth Guikema (Civil and Environmental Engineering and Industrial and Operations Engineering) and Jeremy Bricker (Civil and Environmental Engineering) will develop an integrated computational modeling approach to studying equity and resilience during natural hazard events, specifically estimating what essential services are the main constraints on individuals returning to a more normal life post-hazard, and assess inequities in resilience to coastal flooding events. 

Prof. Jesse Capecelatro (Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering) and Alberto Figueroa (Biomedical Engineering and Vascular Surgery), will develop a versatile, physics-driven, computationally efficient, and massively parallel numerical framework to simulate the interaction between fluids and biological particles in patient-specific vasculature geometries. This framework will enable next-generation computer-aided diagnostics.

“This year’s cohort of MICDE Catalyst Grants range from quantum computing for engineering science, AI for the physics of cancer, and computational advances in hazards engineering, through mathematical advances in data science, and bioengineering,” said MICDE Director Krishna Garikpati, a professor of mathematics and mechanical engineering. “These projects represent new frontiers of computational research spearheaded by MICDE through its initiatives.”

Learn more about MICDE’s Catalyst Grant program and funded projects here.

“This year’s cohort of MICDE Catalyst Grants … represent new frontiers of computational research spearheaded by MICDE through its initiatives.”

Krishna Garikipati
Director, MICDE