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  • Automation & Testing
  • Financial
  • Geoscience
  • Scientific Libraries
  • Simulation

Testing automation and storage management
Freescale's High Speed Signal Integrity (HSSI) group is responsible for testing the electrical characteristics of the communications subsystems of the chips Freescale makes. The standards bodies for the serial communications protocols that Freescale implements set criteria for things like the amount of electrical noise the chip needs to tolerate while keeping the bit-error rate down to a specific amount.

Risk calculation for financial analysis
A hedge fund needed an implementation of Value at Risk (VaR) on a daily time horizon to estimate the risk of its portfolio. VaR involves estimating the probability distribution of a portfolio's future value. Because the prices of the components of a portfolio are correlated, this correlation structure must be estimated from historical data.

Pore pressure visualization and calculation for geophysics
Drilling for oil requires accurately predicting the fluid pressure in the drilled rock. If the drillers do not counteract the pressure correctly, flammable oil may surge up the well and cause a blowout on the surface, damaging the oil rig and risking lives. Alternatively, oil or gas may seep into other strata and become unrecoverable. Marine oil drilling is an expensive operation, and the downtime caused by even a non-damaging blowout can threaten the viability of a well.

Visual programming application
An important activity in characterizing natural reservoirs of petrochemicals is constructing models of rock physics, which represent how properties of rocks result in observable characteristics. This model-centric approach contrasts with an analysis-based approach, which reasons backwards from observables to rock properties.

Stochastic AVA/AVO seismic analysis
Amplitude versus Angle (AVA), seismic analysis is a well-established oil exploration tool. A set of seismic data around a particular point looking at a particular depth under ground can be summarized by numbers called attributes. Different rock properties, like being filled with oil, can vary the recorded attributes. However, the mapping is not unique; the same set of attributes can represent different models of the rock. In particular, the composition of the rock above the layer can affect the attributes, too.

Calibration, analysis, and visualization of CSEM data
Controlled-Source Electromagnetic sounding (CSEM) is a new tool for marine oil exploration. Sensitive electric and magnetic field detectors are deployed to the seafloor over a prospect. A ship then tows a low-frequency electric source over the detectors. Variations in the electromagnetic properties of the rock below the detectors, specifically those due to the presence of oil, cause detectable changes in the magnitude and phase of the signal received by the detectors.

Plug-in architecture for scientific software
Writing software in an extensible manner allows us to deliver usable partial applications before the deadline in order to get feedback from customers early in the development process. We can also build further projects on the same codebase and leverage the development of earlier projects. We need an application framework that lets us write extensible application.

3D visualization including volume rendering
3D visualization is becoming increasingly important, but is also a difficult problem itself. The open source Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is a popular package providing world-class implementations of a wide variety of 3D visualization algorithms. However, as a C++ toolkit it can be quite cumbersome to use. Scientists want to interact with their data quickly.

2D interactive data visualization
As a scientific software company, we need a flexible, highly capableplotting framework to do the visualizations that are required by scientists and engineers. Plots need to be interactive. We need to be able to control what is plotted on-the-fly while also using plots as graphical input widgets to get information from the user. Plots need to be fast and look good.

Water-tight geometry construction from primitives with parametric changes
A significant part of Procter and Gamble's manufacturing involves mixing fluids. P&G spends resources to design mixing systems that optimize this process. Manufacturing enough new tanks and impellers to physically experiment with all of the design parameters is much too expensive, so CAD models of the mixing tanks and impellers are passed to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solvers to run virtual mixing experiments.

Microrheology Lab
Rheology, the analysis of non-Newtonian fluid properties, conventionally requires cumbersome experimental setups with centrifuges and substantial quantities of test fluid. The technique of microrheology, pioneered at Harvard's Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Group, consists of capturing the motion of micron-scale tracer particles in the test fluid through a microscope.

Empirical fluid mixing with a rule-based design adviser
A significant part of Procter and Gamble's manufacturing involves mixing fluids. P&G spends resources to design mixing systems that optimize this process. Many of the engineers responsible for designing production processes are not experts in mixing, but also do not need the complexity of a computational fluid dynamics tool like VMS to solve most of their problems.