Sunday, October 04, 2015


Silicon Informatics and UTSA to develop, commercialize scalable computing apps

Share this Story

(March 5, 2013) -- Edina, Minn.-based start-up Silicon Informatics Inc. has been awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract by the U.S. Army Research Office to transition recent university research in highly scalable parallel random number generation into products for high-performance computing applications.

Scholars from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Florida State University (FSU) will participate in the research, which will ultimately lead to the development and commercialization of software tools that can help software applications realistically mimic complex phenomena.

The STTR program, established by Congress in 1992, supports the commercialization of basic scientific research by awarding contracts to collaborating small businesses and nonprofit research institutions for research and development projects. This is the first Phase II STTR grant for Silicon Informatics and UTSA.

Random number generation has long been crucial for the realistic computer modeling of complex phenomena in science and industry. Its use extends from cryptography, astrophysics and weather phenomena to the simulation of turbulent behavior in internal combustion engines, risk in financial instruments and portfolios, animation for films and video games, and more.

Nature is highly random: No two snowflakes or trees are exactly alike. Hence, the ability to numerically model natural and derivative artificial phenomena (e.g., engines, animated landscapes and biological processes) realistically can be limited by the scale at which randomness (random numbers) can be generated.

In recent years, the availability of highly parallel, extremely powerful computers with many thousands of processors has created the potential to dramatically increase the realism of modeled phenomena. To help realize this potential, random number generators need to become much more parallel so that they can exploit many more processors and "compute threads" than is possible today.

Phase I of the STTR project led to two breakthroughs. First, UTSA researchers developed a method to evaluate the quality of random numbers among the thousands of parallel streams.  Second, UTSA demonstrated a new, context aware pseudo random number generator that was shown to retain its integrity through billions of parallel streams. Current random number generators only retain their integrity through 1.5 million streams.

Led by Professor Raj Boppana in the Department of Computer Science and UTSA scholars including professors Ram Tripathi and Ravi Sandhu will develop new statistical tests to evaluate the quality of the random number generators that produce billions and trillions of high-quality individual random number streams. They also will develop random number generators that can be incorporated securely into new computer modeling software that can be used by developers, multicore processors, cluster computers and GPU-based parallel computers. Silicon Informatics will optimize and market the software for broad commercial use.

"UTSA and FSU are the two universities in the United States with the expertise to undertake this project with us, and I am thankful that both are part of our team," said Bob Keller, Silicon Informatics president and CEO. "Once the remaining technical goals have been achieved, we plan to offer the solution in a range of commercial markets."

"The extent to which computer modeling can reflect reality is often limited by the quality and scalability of the random number generation methods. The random number generator and the quality evaluation tool developed in this project will help remove this limitation," said Boppana. "We feel very privileged to be selected by Silicon Informatics for this research and expect the methods we create to be applicable to a wide range of industries that model complex behaviors, from entertainment and finance to science and engineering."


About Silicon Informatics

Silicon Informatics is a Minnesota-based company, formed in 2003 by successful entrepreneurs. Since its inception, SI's vision has been to fully exploit emerging, off-the-shelf processors and coprocessors for high-performance computing, parallel data processing and secure communications.

About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment. UTSA serves nearly 31,000 students in more than 140 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy and Sciences as well as University College, the Honors College and the Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond.

About the U.S. Army Research Office

This STTR project is supported by the U.S. Army Research Office. This announcement does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

Other Calendars
» UTSA Events | » Academic | » Institute of Texan Cultures

Submit an Event

Meet a Roadrunner

UTSA student tackles the psychology of breast cancer

Kristen Rosen is developing technology to help breast cancer patients’ quality of life

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

Read More »

UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

Connect with UTSA News


Related Links

Back to Top

2015 © The University of Texas at San Antonio  |  Produced by University Communications and Marketing