“A picture is worth thousand words” – with OSC’s assistance, researchers are able to visualize the results of their computation, leading to “aha” moments.


As advanced simulations integrate progressively larger computational data sets from multiple sources, staff members of the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) create intuitive methodologies to integrate these vast caches of multisensory data into a single coherent visualization that can facilitate a researcher’s explorations and interactions.

To optimize the use of the Csuri GPU expansion recently installed at OSC, the Center has expanded support for the biosciences, among other modeling and simulation applications:

  • GPU Support – OSC provides expertise and training in code optimization using CUDA, a GPU-programming toolkit developed by NVIDIA.
  • Remote Visualization – OSC is actively developing remote rendering to a thin-client environment on office or lab laptops and even hand-held devices. A volume visualization application for the Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource at The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with Dr. Kimerly Powell, provides rapid dissemination of imaging results and precludes the need to transfer large data. By maintaining more standardized repositories near HPC facilities, more aggressive and complex analysis can be performed.
  • Extremely Large-Scale Rendering – As imaging requires increasingly larger data sets at multiple scales, users are limited in efficient data handling and analysis. OSC has implemented a hierarchical volume renderer using OpenCL that is capable of handling large-scale data sets, including those that are larger than the video memory on graphics cards.

Funded projects in the biosciences include:

  • Virtual Simulation of Mouse Anatomy and Procedural Techniques – With the OSU Center for Clinical Translational Science, OSC is creating and evaluating an interactive, 3-D volumetric atlas of a mouse anatomy that will be available on-demand for a low-cost desktop environment. The simulation will raise complex anatomy comprehension and proficiencies in procedural techniques, while limiting the need for expensive materials. The system increases model variance, promotes continuous assessment of knowledge and skills and leads to the use of “true standards” for evaluation of animal models proficiencies.
  • Virtual Reality Simulator for Canine Arthroscopy Training – In collaboration with the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, OSC is helping to develop and evaluate a virtual reality simulator for teaching canine arthroscopy. High-resolution digital models of the canine stifle joint will be generated by micro-computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. OSC’s Interface Laboratory provides an integrated environment that include dexterous devices to precisely localize and track 3-D interactions with complex data, such as user movement, morphometrics and haptic (force reflecting) interaction.