NYU Courant Researchers Receive Supercomputing Award for Creating Software that Simulates Blood Flow


Researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have received the George Bell Prize, given to the world’s fastest supercomputing application, for creating software that simulates blood flow.

NYU Courant Researchers Receive Supercomputing Award for Creating Software that Simulates Blood Flow
Researchers at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have received the George Bell Prize, given to the world’s fastest supercomputing application, for creating software that simulates blood flow. The award, which includes a cash prize of $10,000 and is given by the Association for Computing Machinery, is shared with researchers at Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ©iStockPhoto/PLRANG

Researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have received the George Bell Prize, given to the world’s fastest supercomputing application, for creating software that simulates blood flow. The award, which includes a cash prize of $10,000 and is given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), is shared with researchers at Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Ultimately, researchers aim to create a virtual circulatory system that can study blood clots and help scientists develop safer, more effective devices such as stints and heart pumps.

The software, which creates a blood-flow simulation of 260 million deformable red blood cells flowing in plasma, ran on ORNL’s Jaguar supercomputer at 700 trillion calculations per second.

The research team was headed by George Biros, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Computational Science & Engineering, who began the software project as a post-doctoral fellow at the Courant Institute, working with Courant Professor Denis Zorin and doctoral student Lexing Ying.

The application was notable for its realistic modeling—it simulated cells that deform as they move through plasma, not artificially spherical blood cells that retain their shape. Shravan Veerapaneni, a post-doctoral researcher at the Courant Institute, along with Abtin Rahimian, a doctoral student at Georgia Tech, Biros, and Zorin, developed the algorithm that produced this realistic simulation of how individual, three-dimensional cells deform.

Ilya Lashuk, a former postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech and currently at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a team led by Georgia Tech Assistant Professor Richard Vuduc contributed key algorithms making it possible to run the simulations on Jaguar.

The process relies on “fast multipole method,” which was developed by Courant Director Leslie Greengard and Vladimir Rokhlin, a professor a Yale University, in 1987.  The method can be used to solve a range of equations, in particular ones describing fluid motion on the small scale that characterize the blood flow software.

About NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences:

New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is a leading center for research and education. Established under the leadership of Richard Courant in 1935, the Courant Institute has contributed to U.S. and international science and engineering by promoting an integrated view of mathematics and computer science. The Institute is engaged in broad research activities, applying these disciplines to problems in biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and atmosphere-ocean science. The Courant Institute has played a central role in the development of applied mathematics, analysis, and computer science, and is comprised of a faculty which has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of its extraordinary research accomplishments. For more information please visit www.cims.nyu.edu.

Press Contact

James Devitt
James Devitt
(212) 998-6808