The immersed boundary method is an innovative approach to deal with the problem of modeling fluid flows interacting with a flexible, elastic boundary such as the muscle fibers of the heart. Because this is a "coupled system" -- the elastic boundary moves the fluid at the same time as the fluid pushes back against it -- the standard techniques of computational fluid dynamic are inadequate.

Through workshops at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and through scientific literature, the immersed boundary method has become a prevalent tool in computational research and has been applied to modeling fluids in the inner ear, clotting in blood vessels and how fish swim.

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