Dr. X. George Xu
I have taught several undergraduate courses: Radiological Engineering, Nuclear Instrumentation and Measurement, Physics of Radiology, and Introduction to Engineering Design. I also taught graduate topics: health physics, radiation dosimetry, image processing and visualization, radiotherapy, virtual-reality authoring, and Monte Carlo methods.
My core research activities involve people in the Rensselaer Radiation Measurements and Dosimetry Group (RRMDG), its website contains detailed info about projects, papers, and members. In general, we are interested in experimental and computational methods for measuring and quantifying ionizing radiation in the human body, environment, or nuclear system. We have developed models of complex systems such as electron and proton accelerators, CT/PET scanners and nuclear power reactors. While working on my PhD in early 1990s at Texas A&M University under the direction of Prof Dan Reece and Prof John Poston, I was one of a group of researchers who developed the "Two-dosimeter Algorithms" for the U.S. nuclear power industry (sponsored by EPRI). Later at RPI, we pioneered a number of innovative methods in developing computational phantoms that represent workers and patients realistically (most notably VIP-Man, which you can download from RSICC, RPI Pregnant Women, RPI Adult Male and Female, etc). Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations using production codes such as MCNP, MCNPX, EGS, and Geant4 are integral to our research. Most of our 130 peer-reviewed journal papers and 300 conference abstracts can be categorized into such fields as Health Physics (Radiation and Nuclear Safety), Medical Physics (Radiology and Radiotherapy), Nuclear Detection, Nuclear Power and Reactor Physics, and Computational Methods. A few publications and patents with other groups have covered additional topics: ultrasound imaging, finite element analysis, terahertz sensing, carbon nanotubes, proton radiography, image optimization using electronic observers, CT/PET dose optimization, nuclear and asbestos contamination, second cancer after radiotherapy, cancer stem cells, GPU parallel computing and acceleration for Monte Carlo simulation, and compressive sensing. I always think that software is critical in translating research to practice and we have devoted a lot of time testing and releasing some of the software packages we wrote. I was involved in developing VirtualDoseTM , a commercial software for reporting organ doses from CT examinations and it has been licensed to more than 40 radiology users worldwide. My more recent effort has been the development of ARCHER, a Monte Carlo radiation transport code for CPU, GPU and MIC devices. We will continue to be attracted to new and exciting ideas that address important real-world problems. During my sabbatical leave in Boston 2009-2010, I attended probably 100+ seminars and lectures, among them are two given by Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near. I have learned from him that people tend to think linearly but technologies advance exponentially.
Some research proposals I wrote were funded by NSF, DOE, NIH, NIST and EPRI totaling close to $15 million. I mostly served as the principal investigator, in many cases working with multiple co-investigators from university, hospital or national lab. I have graduated 18 Ph.D. and 11 M.S. students at RPI. I have also mentored many undergraduate students who took my advices seriously. It has been tremendously gratifying for me to work with every one of them, and later to maintain communication and even to collaborate with a some of them.
Apart from teaching and research, I have been active in professional societies, serving as a member of various technical committees of ANS, AAPM, ASTRO, CIRMS, HPS, ICRP, and NCRP. I am an elected fellow of ANS, HPS and AAPM. My role as president of CIRMS in 1999 allowed me to make contributions to ionizing radiation measurement and standardization at the national level working closely with leaders from the NIST, academia, industry, and government. In 2005, I co-founded the International Consortium of Computational Human Phantoms and initiated a project that led to <<Handbook of Anatomical Modeling for Radiation Dosimetry>>. Published in 2009 after two years of efforts by 60 authors from 13 countries, the 30-chapter book documents more than 50 years of history in this research field. In 2008 and then in 2014, I was elected to a 6-year term as a council member of National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP). Over the years, I organized and chaired many conference sessions and committees. I discovered that my ideas were as good as (or sometimes better than) others on the committees. So, if you have an idea and are willing to volunteer, you will do well in any professional committee.
Recently, I co-organized International Workshop on Computational Phantoms for Radiation Protection, Imaging and Radiotherapy in Beijing, China in 2011 and then in Zurich, Switzerland in 2013. I was also involved in the technical committee for several international conferences: World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (WC2012) in Beijing in 2012, the 12th International Conference on Radiation Shielding (ICRS-12) in Japan in 2012, the Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications & Monte Carlo 2013 (SNA + MC 2013), Paris in 2013, the ANS / Radiation Protection and Shielding Division Topical (RPSD 2014), Knoxville, TN in 2014. I will chair a session on ˇ°High-Performance Computing and Algorithms for Advanced Architecturesˇ±, Joint International Conference on Mathematics and Computation (M&C), Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications (SNA) and the Monte Carlo (MC) Method Conference in 2015.
It was always wonderful to receive recognitions from peers and professional organizations: NSF Faculty CAREER Award, Rensselaer School of Engineering Excellence in Research Award, American Nuclear Society Best-Paper Award, Caswell Award for Distinguished Achievements from CIRMS, plus a lot of publicity about our research. However, what made our group really proud are papers in the Physics in Medicine and Biology Journal that were ranked among the 10-best in 2007, the most-downloaded in 2009, the most-cited in 2010, the most-downloaded in 2012, and most-downloaded in 2014.
My thoughts about research are perhaps best reflected in 80 invited talks I gave over the years, some of the recent ones are listed below:
- Plenary presentation, The 41st Annual National Conference on Radiation Control: Advancing Radiation Protection in the 21st Century, Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio, May 18-21, 2009.
- Seminar, Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 8-9am, January 7, 2010.
- Seminar, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, January 12, 2010.
- Plenary presentation, 2010 American Nuclear Society, Joint RPSD, IRD & BMD International Topical Meeting, Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, April 19-23, 2010.
- Invited presentation, Continuous Education Course: New Internal Dose Models ¨C Evaluation and Impact, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 5-9, 2010.
- Invited presentation, Continuous Education Course: Dose Estimation and Reduction in PET/CT Imaging, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 5-9, 2010.
presentation, The Joint International Conference of the 7th Supercomputing in
Nuclear Application and the 3rd Monte Carlo (SNA + MC2010), Tokyo, Japan, October 17-21, 2010.