Student Research

SiViRT Center educates undergraduate and graduate students through first-hand research and design experiences for students with an emphasis on under-represented minority populations in the STEM field. Click on the research titles below to view their descriptions.



  • 3D Image Modeling Using Stereo Camera

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Saeed Ezzati


    • Description: Implement the stereo method which used two identical normal webcam to simulate the human vision, and create a 3-Dimensional image which called Point-cloud. Point cloud is a 3D matrix and gives you the ability to apply your image processing algorithm on 3D data.
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  • 3D Reconstruction with Structured Light and Multiple Cameras

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Jeong Tae Kim


  • Analytical Solution and Direct Numerical Simulations of Particulate Turbulent Flows in a Channel

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Manjura Maula Nayamatullah


    • Description: Engineers and scientists put forth an extensive research to obtain the solution of sediment transport problems; most of them are based on numerical, empirical, or semi-empirical approaches. The possibility of analytical solution is apparently overlooked. Later on, a special attention has been devoted on searching analytical solutions for suspended sediment transport in channels besides numerical simulations. The merits of analytical solution include deep understanding and describing physical phenomenon of the problem by taking into account all the parameters of problem and investigate their influence. Analytical solutions of sediment transport are valuable not only for the basic understanding of the transport process but also useful for validating numerical schemes.
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  • Automatic Segmentation of Pulmonary Arteries from Chest Computed Tomography Images

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Sirajul Salekin


    • Description: There are no automatic image segmentation algorithms for the pulmonary vasculature that can be used in computational hemodynamics to assess pulmonary arterial hypertension progression. Manual segmentation of these complex tree structures demands a significant amount of time and the ensuing measurements of the vessel diameters and branching angles can be unreliable and user dependent. We are working to overcome the aforementioned limitations leading to an efficient technique to model the pulmonary vasculature.
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  • Bio-Heat Transfer Study for Thermal Surgery for Cancer Ablation

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Carlos Acosta


    • Description: Cancer cells can grow rapidly. Destroying all these cells during thermal surgeries is crucial otherwise cells can restart growth in remote locations. Predicting the amount of heat needed to destroy cells is important.
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  • BioFeedback Apparatus, Method and System

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Jacob Kantor


    • Description: To construct a biofeedback training device that is capable of diagnosing and treating the symptoms of fecal incontinence in a novel and effective manner.
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  • Change of Intrinsic Excitability by PF-PC LTD Induction

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Zhen Yang


    • Description: The modulation of synaptic strength has long been considered as the major form of information storage in brain. However, it is found that both behavioral and artificial electrical conditioning can also lead to change of intrinsic excitability. It has been reported that Purkinje cells become more electroresponsive after high frequency stimulation of PF fibers. We hypothesize that its excitability will decrease after LTD induction. We will whole cell patch clamp Purkinje cell and monitor the change in its responsiveness by both electrophysiological and imaging methods.
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  • A Complex-Step Method for Tangent-Stiffnes Calculation in a Massively Parallel Computational Peridynamics Code

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Michael Brothers


    • Description: Complex step can calculate the first order partial derivatives needed to create a tangent stiffness matrix, and can be implemented in pre-existing solver code for superior accuracy over finite difference
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  • Connection of a JEM-ARM200F Electron Microscope to an Advanced Visualization System

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Hussein Fawaz


    • Description: This project will associate the center for simulation, visualization and real time prediction ( SiViRT) and the international center for nanotechnology research. A physical connection is being established through an additional workstation assigned a static IP-address serving as a bridge between both laboratories. With the help of a File Transfer Protocol, the transfer of data should be done automatically which could pave way to a live streaming in the future. The data received are also going to be processed through image enhancement in order to meet expectations and solve problems faced by researchers in the medical field.
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  • Deep Learning Based Approach to Cancer Classification

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Ehren Biglari


    • Description: Deep Belief Networks were applied to metabolite profile data to classify cancer stages. A set of 260 metabolites was analyzed for 7 type T2 and 7 type T3 samples.
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  • Denoising of Ultrasound Images

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Clara Mosquera Lopez


    • Description: The ultimate goal of our work with ultrasound images is image segmentation. This is a challenging task because of the poor quality of ultrasound images. The main problem of this king of medical imaging systems is the high level of speckle noise, which makes difficult the computer-aided delineation of body structures, tumors and masses. In this research we pretend to filter out as much noise as possible and to preserve important diagnostic information.
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  • Determination of Acoustic Wave Directionality using Probe Beam Deflection Technique for Photoacoustic and Ultrasound Imaging

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Ronald Barnes


    • Description: Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) has been extensively explored; however, most applications of PAT employ conventional pressure transducers. This project demonstrates the ability of the probe beam deflection technique to detect the propagating acoustic energy produced in PAT. A ray tracing algorithm was designed to work with k-wave techniques implemented by Treeby and Cox allowing for the simulation of the interaction of probe beams and acoustic wave fronts. The simulation model allows for the prediction of the intersection points of the probe beam with the surface of a quadrant photodiode (QPD), resulting in close agreement with the QPD signal obtained in experiment. It will be shown that the probe beam deflection technique can be used to determine the direction of a travelling wave front. The ringing effect of a transducer is also eliminated with this sensor. We are now developing an image reconstruction algorithm based on this acoustic emission sensor. We have early work showing that this sensor can improve spatial and temporal resolution in PAT.
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  • Developing Multiscale Modeling Scheme Using Peridynamics and Molecular Dynamics

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Rezwanur Rahman, PhD


    • Description: To apply peridynamics for modeling continuum scale problem and use a hybrid hierarchical multiscale modeling scheme to link the continuum model to atomistic model
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  • Effects of Electromyographic Biofeedback on Physical Therapy

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Zack Smith


    • Description: The goal of the system is to gather muscle activity data during physical therapy exercises for the use of biofeedback. The system allows patients to have real time information about their performance in a particular exercise.
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  • Effect of Stent Geometries in diseased coronary artery. Unsteady flow dynamic simulations.

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Carlos Moreno


    • Description: Various stents are modeled using SolidWorks and then placed in the stenotic artery in order to numerically simulate the effects of stent to flow dynamic parameters such as wall shear stress, pressure, velocity, and turbulence.
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  • Efficient Resources Utilization in SMT Processors

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Yilin Zhang


    • Description: In an SMT system, write buffer is shared among threads. Due to its size constraint and potentially long latency from its data, the write buffer becomes the most critical component in an SMT system, which is easily get overwhelming occupied by a thread.
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  • Finite-Time Control for Bounded Tracking of a Variable-Speed Wind Turbine System

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Song Yan


    • Description: The goals can be achieved by tracking a given reference rotor speed as mentioned in a previous research. Our work here is to design finite-time tracking controllers so that the maximum wind power can be captured.
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  • Football Kicking Simulator

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Alyssa Schaefbauer, Cole Meyers and Aaron Stout


    • Description: The objective of the UTSA Football Kicking Simulator we have designed is to have a real-time training tool that would give a kicker the ability to practice off the field and receive the same kind of attention to detail they would experience at a training camp. The training tools that we expect to see in the final product will be; calculation of trajectory taking into consideration real life circumstances of drag and lift on the football for players to know the range covered by their kick, the left to right angles of the kick which will be beneficial for coaches to know during a game and taking into consideration which hash would be best to kick off for each player, a pressure sensing mat that would show the kicker their foot print trail so they can adjust their footsteps or make sure it is consistent, noise to simulate crowed and give a sense of pressure that would be on the field, and have high speed cameras taking video from different views for the player or coach to replay and evaluate the kick.
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  • Intragranular Fracture and Frictional Effects in Granular Materials During Pressure-Shear Loading

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Amanda Peterson


    • Description: To use computer models to simulate the experimental data previously collected by varying undetermined properties.
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  • Isotropic Abaqus UEL-Complex Taylor Series Method (CTSE)

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Kayla Lovelady


    • Description: The beginning of the semester starting in January 2013, the continued work for the numerical example in the manuscript submission“Improved WCTSE method for the generation of 2D weight functions through implementation into a commercial finite element code” was completed. In conjuction and continued following that was the research on anisotropic materials, learning basic FORTRAN programming, and programming a 2-D isotropicUser Element (UEL) in Abqaqus to implement the Complex Taylor Series Method (CTSE) to the built-in Abaqus elements. Upon completing programming of a 3-D Isotropic element implementing CTSE will be continued work throughout the semester.
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  • Mathematical Modeling and Validation Experiments of Laser-Induced in vitro Cell Damage

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Sarah Boukhris, EIT


    • Description: Our objective is to develop a validated mathematical model that will advance our understanding of laser-induced non-isothermal effects on cell damage thus improving the accuracy of laser-tissue interaction predictions.
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  • Modeling the Effects of Molecular Crowding on Cerebellar Long-term Depression

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Horace Deans


    • Description: Our goal is to understand how intracellular content affects the biochemical pathways underlying cerebellar long-term depression. We implemented a Monte Carlo simulation of cerebellar long-term depression based on a previously published mass-action model.
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  • Nanoparticle Transport and Cell Migration Simulation Using a Multi-Scale Approach

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Raul Valencia


    • Description: This work presents a research in progress about cell migration of tumor cells (under physiological conditions) through porous media such as vascular grafts and artery wall in response to changes of the concentration of nutrients, shear stress inside the porous media and properties such as size and distribution of pores, material, thickness, permeability, tortuosity and diffusivity, among others.
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  • Nanoparticle Transport Modeling using Two Kinetic Site Model

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Tanzina Rahman


    • Description: The research includes both experimental and computational approach. Experiments are conducted using glass column packed with sand. Suspended nanoparticles are injected with a syringe injection pump at a constant flow rate and effluents are collected using a fraction collector. The concentration of effluents is measured. The size of influent and effluent nanoparticle is also measured. Breakthrough curves are prepared as a function of pore volume passing through the sand column. The experiments are performed under varying factors such as ionic strength, flow rate, nanoparticle concentration, pH etc. A one dimensional transport model is used to fit the experimental breakthrough curves with two removal rate constants for fast and slow attachments where fast attachment is subject to a site blocking term and the slow attachment is not.
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  • Patient-Specific Visualization Assisted Diagnostic and Guidance (VADG) System for Gastroenterological Examination

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Shamima Yasmin, PhD


    • Description: Human small intestine is found to be composed of a number of layers; each layer is again composed of a number of folds; Each image is meshed with discrete points first; next the outline of different layer is extracted; Each layer is triangulated and is assigned thickness; Finally each layer needs to be composed from back to front; The same technique is applied for all images.
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  • Prediction of Material Property Distributions from Small-Scale Models

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Daniel Sparkman


    • Description: Titanium alloys are used extensively in the aerospace industry, in critical components such as gas turbine engine fan disks, bulkheads, and landing gear. Increasingly, computer models of the material at the microstructural length scale are used to study the inherent stochastic nature of the the elastic and plastic behavior of these alloys. Regions within a structure that have grains with a preferred crystallographic orientation have been linked to early fatigue crack formation. Very little work has been done to statistically characterize these microtexture regions. This project is focused on studying these regions with spatial statistics, and predicting macroscopic material property distributions with simulated micro-scale models.
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  • Probabilistic Progressive Fracture for System Reliability of Large-scale Structural Systems

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Carolina Quintana


    • Description: To compute reliability of large-scale structures subject to progressive crack growth and to identify critical crack locations given SHM information and determine critical crack paths.
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  • Prostate Microscopic Image Segmentation

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Nan Du


    • Description: The prostate cancer diagnosis done by pathologists is very subjective and relatively slow since it heavily depends on the pathologists’ interpretation. In this project, we try to use image processing technique to assist pathologists. Image segmentation is the first step. Cancer cells are segmented from the biopsy images and then object-level features, such as mean intensity, area, perimeter, and standard deviation of the mean intensity of the segmented histological objects, are extracted from segmented histological objects. This can then be used together with metabolites as features for tumor/non-tumor classification.
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  • Quantifying Chloride Dynamics of the Purkinje Cell

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Emmanuel Michaelides


    • Description: Using an adeno-associated virus to infect Purkinje cells in a parvalbumin mouse line we expect to see clomeleon expression after 14 days of the initial infection. In the presence of chloride the clomeleon will change its flourescence allowing us to quantify the distribution and flow of chloride as it enters the Purkinje cell.
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  • Sensitivity Analysis in Structural Dynamics using the ZFEM Complex Variable Finite Element Method

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Jose Garza


    • Description: Sensitivity analysis of structural systems is of great importance for structural dynamic modifications. The present research demonstrates how to accurately and efficiently obtain derivatives of linear dynamic systems using the complex step method and the generalized multicomplex step method implemented within a complex variable finite element method (ZFEM). An undamped and damped simply supported beam was modeled using ZFEM and the response derivatives were computed with respect to load amplitude, load frequency, beam cross sectional dimension, and Rayleigh damping coefficients.
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  • Sensitivity Analysis of Turbine Engine Sustainment

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Eliseo Iglesias


    • Description: Use Monte Carlo Sampling to calculate global sensitivities and probabilistic sensitivities. These serve as a guide to identify critical variables in the model. Importance is based on the effect of the a variable on the model’s response
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  • Solar Thermal Electricity Power Generation Technology Overview

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Weisong Tian


    • Description: STEP power plants uses concentrated solar thermal to generate super-heated steam to drive the turbine, and therefore produce electricity. This technology is proved to have better performance than currently widely applied PV systems.
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  • Spatial Sorting Collision Detection Algorithm

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Miguel Cortina


    • Description: Sorting particles before detecting collision and finding the neighbors for each particle, improves the computational cost, allowing to use higher number of particles in simulations.
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  • Stochastic Analysis of Human Trabecular Bone from Different Anatomic Locations

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Dana Mecke


    • Description: I have obtained statistical results using the program JMP 9.0 for an 8mm x 20mm cylindrical femoral neck sample which was image processed by Columbia University. This data will include the key microarchitectural features of trabecular bone, rods and plates, which was lost in the previous analysis I had performed. I have analyzed the distributions for the orientation of plates and rods on the X, Y, Z axes, plates thickness, and rod diameter thus far.
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  • A Strain Energy Response Functional (SERF) Method for Modeling Crack Growth

    Right Menu Bullet Student: David Wagner


    • Description: Develop a new high-order progressive strain energy based progressive crack growth algorithm based upon the recent significant enhancements available through the use of multicomplex finite element methods. Demonstrate the accuracy of the new method with proof-of-concept 2D analyses.
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  • Surgical Device for Lymphatic Tissue Removal

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Mohammad Rahman


    • Description: The device uses vacuum force to suck lymph nodes inside and then dissects it safely using electro-cautery. It then collect the dissected tissue quickly in a canister for future examination.
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  • Techniques in Organ Modeling Through Image Reconstruction

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Riebeeck van Niekerk and Jesus Morales


    • Description: Image guided organ reconstruction using cad software. Real two dimensional pill-camera images used to reconstruct three dimensional geometry in order to better visualize patient specific geometry.
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  • Thermal Stratification of Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Wind Turbine Wake Characteristics

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Mithu Debnath


    • Description: There are three instability of Atmospheric boundary layer. Now I am working with only unstable case. I am comparing turbulence budget of atmospheric boundary layer with turbine and without turbine
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  • Upgrades to KCI ActiVAC

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Kathlene Morales, Jose Luis Cruz, Daniel Balbontin, and Fernando Barajas


    • Description: The carrying case is a flexible, TPE skin designed to project the device. The docking station holds the device in its proper operating orientation, and prevents damage while the patient is immobile. The capacitive screen upgrade will not be fully implemented, but instead will model the signal processing required between the two touch panels.
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  • ZFEM for Composite Materials

    Right Menu Bullet Student: Andrew Baines


    • Description: To implement complex Taylor Series expansion into Abaqus to create a user element that has the capabilities of calculating stress, strain, displacement, and energy derivatives for composite materials.
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