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Ongoing Research Projects supported by Research IT

Listing of project codes and abstracts, describing work undertaken which use the resources of the compute clusters hosted by the Research IT team.

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Project Title The impact of ethnic tensions on market intgration across Africa
Project Code HPC_19_01073
Principal Investigator Assistant Professor Andrea Guariso
Start Date 2019-11-05
End Date 2020-12-31
Abstract In this reseach project we plan to empirically investigate how ethnic linkages and ethnic tensions shape market integration across the African continent. The literature has already shown that ethnic linkages play a key role in social life across the region. However it is still unclear how this translates into relevant economic dimensions. Our starting hipothesis is that markets will be more integrated across areas where the same ethnic groups are located. This because closer social networks and higher trust within-ethnic groups will make economic exchange easier. We also expect that in "normal" peaceful times markets will be relatively well integrated within a country, as economic motives lead people to trade. However, as ethnic tensions arises, we expect a disruption in the market linkages between areas where different ethnic groups are located. We plan to exploit election dates as events tht trigger ethnic tensions and make ethnicity more salient. We then want to study whether around elections we observe markets to become more integrated across areas where the same ethnic groups are located as opposed to "normal" times. If so, we then plan to dig into the mechanisms.
Project Title Spin and valley transport in 2D systems
Project Code HPC_19_01072
Principal Investigator Dr Stephen Power
Start Date 2019-10-22
End Date 2020-10-22
Abstract The potential for two-dimensional (2D) materials to fuel disruptive technologies is most apparent in the fields of spin- and valley-tronics. These disciplines shift the emphasis from the charge of electrons to their more exotic degrees of freedom, or flavours, such as the spin and valley indices. Future technologies will exploit spin and valley currents in a similar manner to how electronic charge currents are the basis of today’s devices. The reliable manipulation and detection of flavour currents is a vital next step. Graphene offers a range of advantages as a transport channel for flavour currents, but other 2D materials are far better candidates for their generation and manipulation. This project aims to combine advantages from each system into a single novel heterostructure device and so optimise the generation, manipulation, transport and detection of flavour currents in realistic geometries. A multi-scale computational approach will be employed to allow complementary atomic-level descriptions and experimental-scale quantum transport simulations.
Project Title Metastable neural dynamics in the functional connectome of the healthy neonate brain
Project Code HPC_19_01071
Principal Investigator Dr Arun Bokde
Start Date 2019-10-31
End Date 2020-05-31
Abstract Introduction Current theory proposes that healthy neural dynamics operate in a metastable regime, where brain regions interact to simultaneously maximize integration and segregation, yet little is known of how and when these dynamical properties arise (Tognoli and Kelso, 2014). Lesion studies can provide us with a better understanding of brain networks. In previous studies, they have been used to assess the structural robustness of cortical networks (Hagmann et al., 2007) and to better understand the human white matter connectome (Irimia and Van Horn, 2014). Moreover, they have previously been used to understand how lesion-induced changes can propogate throughout the whole network in the macaque brain (Honey & Sporns, 2008), and how graph theoretical properties of the lesioned regions relate in simulated and empirical neural dynamics (Alstott et al., 2009). Accordingly, this study seeks to examine the effect of lesions on synchrony and metastability in the neonate brain which has not yet been investigated. Objective The study aims to compare the coordinative interactions between the brains connectivity networks at rest in a cohort of healthy neonates and adults. Secondly, we wish to assess the resilience of brain networks by simulating the effect of lesions and their consequence on metastable neural dyanmics. Analysis Rs-fMRI data obtained from the developing human connectome project (N=400), and 100 unrelated adult participants from the HCP (N=100), will be used for the analysis (dHCP; Makropoulos et al., 2018, HCP; Van Essen et al., 2013). Resting state cortical networks will be defined using both the Schaefer 7 and 17 network parcellations (Schaefer et al., 2017). Additionally, subcortical networks will be included from the Automated anatomical labeling atlas (Shi et al., 2011, Tzourio-Mazoyer et al., 2002). For each network, synchrony and metastability will be computed using the Kuramoto order parameter and compared between the healthy neonate and adult group. For the lesion study, individual regions and all their connections will be quantified, and removed from the model in order to assess the effect of lesions on both global and local dynamics.
Project Title Segmentation of hippocampus subfields in a longitudinal study with adolescents
Project Code HPC_19_01070
Principal Investigator Dr Arun Bokde
Start Date 2019-10-09
End Date 2020-02-29
Abstract Depression in adolescence is a possible consequence of negative/stressful life events. The hippocampus and the amygdala are key regions to understand the development of depressive symptoms that lead to brain structural changes. With Freesurfer, I want to sub-divide the hippocampus in its subfields, and to obtain measures of their volume at three different stages of life, so that I will be able to compare possible changes between less and more stressed adolescents over time. This will lead to understand more what happens to the brain structures when adolescents live stressful experiences.
Project Title Charge Transfer States in Organic LED's
Project Code HPC_19_01069
Principal Investigator Dr Charles Patterson
Start Date 2019-09-24
End Date 2020-06-01
Abstract This project will use many body methods to calculate excitations in organic molecules with applications as organic light emitting diodes. It is being conducted as a final year project in Theoretical Physics.
Project Title Magnetoelectricity in Ni-based Tellurates
Project Code HPC_19_01068
Principal Investigator Prof Stefano Sanvito
Start Date 2019-07-24
End Date 2020-07-24
Abstract Multiferroics (MFs) are materials that can combine at least two primary ferroic properties: ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity and ferroelasticity. In the case of magnetoelectric (ME) MFs, coupling between ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism occurs. The understanding of the underlying quantum-level microscopic mechanisms that lead to ME coupling is essential for the engineering of novel ME MFs, since the ones already existing in nature are very limited. Spin-induced ferroelectrics manifest among the strongest ME effects ever recorded. In particular, the polar antiferromagnet Ni3TeO6 transcends the ME performance of all other single-phase MFs, because it exhibits non-hysteretic colossal ME coupling. A solid theoretical approach is essential for further insight in the fundamental physics hidden behind magnetoelectricity. On these grounds, we propose electronic and magnetic structure first principles calculations for Ni3TeO6, aiming at investigating the magnetocrystalline anisotropy and magnetic exchange interactions in Ni3TeO6.
Project Title development of an on-chip optical frequency synthesizer
Project Code HPC_19_01066
Principal Investigator Prof John Donegan
Start Date 2018-01-01
End Date 2021-12-31
Abstract With the help of a self-referenced optical frequency comb (OFC), optical frequencies can be controlled to the same precision as microwave frequencies. Currently self-referenced OFC systems are only available through bench-top setups such as a combination of femtosecond pulsed lasers, EDFAs, and highly nonlinear optical fiber. The whole setup is bulky, expensive and sensitive to environment changes. There is strong interest to miniaturize the whole setup to chip-scale so that a highly accurate optical frequency source would be cheap and easily available for applications such as a chip-scale optical clock, high spectral efficiency optical communications, and LiDAR.
Project Title Eco-Metrics
Project Code HPC_19_01065
Principal Investigator Prof Laurence Gill
Start Date 2017-09-01
End Date 2020-09-30
Abstract Due to the inaccessibility of many wetlands, there is a growing recognition that remote sensing techniques can be a viable and cost-effective alternative to field-based ecosystem monitoring. The objective of the study is to investigate the use of multispectral satellite imagery for delineating the extent of raised bogs and then monitoring their ecological composition in order to help with Ireland’s obligations under the EU Habitats Directive. Mere classification of the wetlands will not be helpful or practical until there is a scope of generalisation. In order to generalise the findings, the study suggests the usage of a convolutional neural network for image classification and pattern recognition of various species present inside the wetlands such as raised bogs.
Project Title Abundance tomography of SNe Ia
Project Code HPC_19_01064
Principal Investigator Dr Mark Magee
Start Date 2019-07-16
End Date 2022-03-01
Abstract Abundance tomography is used to map the composition of the ejecta in supernovae. This allows for the interrogration of which elements are produced and in what amounts, providing vital constraints on explosion models. This project will involve testing abundance tomography models of SNe Ia by calculating light curves. Comparisons between the model and observed light curves will demonstrate whether the current abundance tomography analysis is suitable.
Project Title Effects of the 56Ni distribution
Project Code HPC_19_01063
Principal Investigator Dr Mark Magee
Start Date 2019-07-08
End Date 2021-02-28
Abstract Despite being generally regarded as a homogeneous group, it is becoming increasingly evident that normal SNe Ia can show significant diversity. Differences in the explosion mechanisms and conditions are imprinted on the light curve shapes and colours, allowing for the interrogation of the physical conditions (density profile, composition, etc.) within the supernova. This project will investigate how differences in the nucleosynthesis of the explosion impacts the light curves and key physical parameters that have been neglected in previous studies. I will present models calculated with our radiative transfer code and show that these may be used to provide constraints on the explosion mechanism for individual objects and to determine the exact explosion date. With these models in hand, I will also discuss what observations are necessary to constrain the properties of future objects. This will become increasingly important in future years, as upcoming surveys discover SNe at earlier times, and in greater numbers.