WSU Spokane Engineering Faculty Receives National Science Foundation Grant

SPOKANE, Wash. — Complex mathematical calculations will provide new diagnostic capabilities using existing medical equipment if a faculty member at Washington State University Spokane is successful in his research.

Paul Schimpf, associate professor of engineering at WSU Spokane, has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund his pursuit of such demanding computational problems. Neurology and cardiology are two fields that could benefit from the availability of the algorithms under development, which would extract diagnostically useful information about sources of electrical activity in the brain or heart from the electroencephalogram or electrocardiogram. The information gained could prove invaluable in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Schimpf previously developed an algorithm used in modeling the electrical field produced by surgically implanted defibrillators. In that application, the algorithm reduced computation times from three hours to less than 10 minutes, making it feasible for a cardiologist to determine an optimal electrode placement in simulation before surgery.

Schimpf teaches computer engineering, electrical engineering and computer science courses for WSU Spokane. He also coordinates the Engineering Consortium, a collaborative program between WSU Spokane, University of Idaho and Gonzaga University for nontraditional students wishing to complete a bachelor of science in computer engineering.