Biocomputing The Role of the College of Computing

With this in mind, the present document briefly outlines a number of ways in which the College of Computing (CoC) can contribute to, and benefit from, initiatives in life and environmental sciences and bioengineering. It should be observed that CoC already has a number of related academic and research activities that are highly relevant to these initiatives and which represent strengths of the faculty within the College to conduct further research in these areas. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

Database systems: capturing the complex structural and operational aspects of biological and environmental data; and the design and implementation of multimedia database systems supporting genome and environmental research.

High performance computing: distributed and parallel systems aimed at facilitating the study of complex environmental simulations.

Graphics and animation: creation of physically-based models, simulations, and animations of biomechanical structures and human motion; and approaches to simulate and control behaviors.

Modeling, imaging, and visualization: analysis, interpretation, and visualization of medical imagery and volumetric datasets; and methods for modeling, simulating, and interacting with biomedical structures and processes.

Distributed simulation: simulations of complex biological systems from molecular structures to ecosystems.

Human-computer interaction: user-interface design and collaborative methods to support easy, intuitive interactions with, and communication about, biomedical information, especially in the context of genome research and telemedicine.

Algorithms: algorithms for assembling genome sequences and to construct computational approaches to solving biological problems.

Intelligent systems and neuroscience: robotics research drawing from, and contributing to, neuroscientific methods; and knowledge-based systems.

Networking and communications: models and techniques to support and enhance the transmission and real-time communication of information contained in a variety of media.

Artificial intelligence and cognitive science: methods of learning, reasoning, and decision-making to interpret and understand biomedical phenomena.

Software engineering: systems designed to deal with large, complex collections of information.

Virtual environments: study of immersible methods to systematically diagnose and treat phobia, currently emphasizing vertigo, and surgery simulation systems.

Extended computing environments: creation of approaches and prototype systems to aid in navigating and/or functioning in physical spaces, such as navigational aids and audio-based interfaces for the blind.

Several of the aforementioned areas represent capabilities that are vital to any information-intensive application environment. The biological and environmental areas are particularly rich in complex information and processes, and are typically worked on by interdisciplinary teams of collaborating scientists around the globe. Many of these bioscience-, biomedical-, and environmentally related computing activities are further detailed at the end of this document. Clearly, there is a critical mass of ongoing research that centers around the biosciences, and CoC would therefore be building on its strengths and interests. In this context, initiatives in the biosciences would draw from, as well as enrich, our intellectual base. It is also worth mentioning that during the past year, a software program (designed to visualize medical imagery and resulting from a collaboration between CoC, OIP, and Emory University) has been commercially licensed.

In addition to these research activities, a number of our faculty have participated in, and continue to be involved in, a variety of academic programs in bioscience and bioengineering. These include the graduate degree-granting program in bioengineering, courses in medical image processing and visualization, and the Whitaker Foundation-funded program. It is expected that these academic activities would increase as the Institute's initiatives expand.

1. Rationale 3. Description of
selected ongoing activities

Last Modified: Dec. 5, 1995 by De Duff (