YSU Professor’s Project Receives $600K DOE Grant

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A Youngstown State University computer science professor received a $600,000 grant for a project involving high-energy physics pattern recognition.

The grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science was awarded to Alina Lazar, professor of computer science. Lazar’s project, titled Investigating Large-Scale Models for High-Energy Physics Pattern Recognition, is a collaborative effort with Paolo Calafiura, senior scientist from the Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

It was made possible through the Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research initiative. 

The primary focus of the project is pattern recognition in the context of high-density particle 3D point datasets. The capability is essential for advancing high energy physics experiments in the upcoming generation. 

However, the conventional tracking algorithms used for this purpose present many computational challenges when applied to large-scale projects. 

The project aims to develop algorithms that efficiently handle the training and inference processes for graph neural networks used in particle tracking within high energy physics applications. The knowledge gained from the research may extend beyond its immediate domain and find applications in other areas, such as scene reconstruction for autonomous vehicles.

The FAIR initiative, under the DOE’s Office of Science, is specifically designed to foster collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships between Minority Serving Institutions/Emerging Research Institutions and their partnering institutions.

The DOE recently announced $37 million in grant funding where funds will be allocated to support fundamental research across various fields, including applied mathematics; biology; chemistry; computer science; engineering; geoscience; isotope research; materials science; and physics at the selected institutions. 

The grant will provide support for several YSU students who are actively engaged in research projects. These students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and contribute to cutting-edge scientific projects. 

The grant includes provisions for 10-week paid internships at the LBNL during the summer. This internship opportunity will offer students a chance to gain exposure in the world of scientific research, collaborate with experts and further develop a professional skill set. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.