Eight Western projects fueled by consortium

The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) has provided Western researchers with access to much-needed infrastructure, including the high-performance IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers and cloud computing and agile computing platforms that are unlike any others in Canada.

Among the eight ongoing projects at Western, Mark Daley, principal investigator at Western’s Brain and Mind Institute, and an associate professor of Computer Science and Biology, is using high-performance computing to further his research in neuroscience and modeling the brain.

In diagnosing neurological disorders, doctors use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Current fMRI results can take more than a week to be analyzed and could require additional tests, costing both time and money. In their project, Real-time analysis of human brain networks, Daley and his research team have developed a working prototype that could enable faster, more accurate diagnoses in near-real time.

At MaRS on Tuesday, Daley demonstrated a real-time brain scan, remotely, showing a scan happening in his lab on Western’s campus.

Daley is also looking at newborns that may have neurological problems. As well as other individuals who may have difficulties communicating, such as persons suffering from neurodegenerative conditions or those in vegetative states.

The tools provided by SOSCIP allow Daley’s team to take these colossal data sets collected from scans and make sense of them in an automated way.

Other Western projects include:

  • Improving smarter grid data exchange, led by Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communications and Engineering professor Xianbin Wang;
  • Detecting radiation exposure, led by Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Jagath Samarabandu;
  • Real-time cellular network capacity adjustment, led by Electrical and Computer Engineering professors Abdallah Shami and Serguei Primak;
  • Cytogenetic decision-support visual analytics tool, led by Computer Science professor Robert Mercer;
  • Integrated radiology and pathology, led by Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry  professor Derek Ho;
  • High-performance operations research modeling, led by Electrical and Computer Engineering professors Abdallah Shami and Serguei Primak; and
  • Weather projects for smart cities, led by Canada Research Chair in Wind Engineering and Engineering professor Girma Bitsuamlak.