University of Texas at Austin


Shashank Subramanian Awarded BGCE Student Paper Prize at SIAM CSE 2021

By John Holden

Published March 19, 2021

Shashank Subramanian

Shashank Subramanian is a 27-year-old PhD student working at the Center for Computational Oncology with Dr. George Biros. His research interests include large-scale inverse problems, machine learning, and high-performance scientific computing applied to biophysical modeling and medical imaging.

Shashank Subramanian was awarded the Bavarian Graduate School of Computational Engineering (BGCE) Student Paper Prize at this year’s SIAM CSE Conference 2021 for the paper entitled, “A scalable inversion framework for brain tumor growth models in personalized medicine.”

The ENB Elite Bavarian Graduate School of Computational Engineering (BGCE) judges looked through 24 paper submissions, in the form of four-page extended abstracts, received by prior-to-Ph.D. international students. With eight outstanding candidates selected and invited to present their work in the finals during this year's SIAM CS&E virtual conference, Subramanian came out on top.

“My work focuses on the design, analysis, and implementation of efficient algorithms to integrate mathematical models of cancer growth with patient-specific medical imaging data,” said Subramanian.

This integration, says Subramanian, holds enormous potential for developing robust and interpretable models that can characterize cancer growth. The models could then provide critical insights into aiding diagnosis, improving prognosis, and fostering the development of new treatment protocols for cancer patients.

“Our main contributions include the design of cancer growth models that are grounded in fundamental mathematical and biophysical principles, physics-inspired regularization methods and numerical schemes for the solution of large-scale, non-convex PDE-constrained optimization problems to adapt our models to data, and scalable, parallel algorithms and software that exploit heterogeneous compute architectures to enable realistic solution times in a clinical setting,” he said.

Clearly this PhD student is one to watch and, thankfully, the Oden Institute is where he chose to advance his research expertise.

“I was interested in pursuing a PhD in the field of computational sciences and the Oden Institute is one of the top-ranked institutes in the country with outstanding faculty for research in this domain.”

“The Oden institute provides a unique opportunity to conduct research at the intersection of several disciplines, namely: computer science, mathematics, scientific computing, and engineering.”

"I have been really fortunate to be working with Shashank since he joined Oden in 2016," said Dr. George Biros. "His motivation, talent, and collegiality have been an inspiration for both me and the students in my group. As a fifth-year graduate student, Shashank has published ten refereed articles, all of them in top peer reviewed journals or conference proceedings--a testament to his incredible scholarship and work ethic. His work integrates biophysical modeling, high performance computing, machine learning, and numerical analysis, and it is yet another example of the outstanding research that takes place at the Oden Institute."

Subramanian is going to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the short term. “After that I intend to pursue a research position at a top academic institution or an industrial research laboratory,” he said.