Robert J. McGough

Associate Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer and Engineering
2120 Engineering Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
Office phone: (517) 432-3333

Dr. McGough’s primary research interests span multiple applications of therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound.  Dr. McGough’s group developed the popular FOCUS software package for rapidly simulating biomedical ultrasound, which is based on the fast ultrasound simulation algorithms created by Dr. McGough and his graduate students.  His present research projects include shear wave elasticity imaging, nonlinear modeling of shock waves for histotripsy, and fractional calculus modeling of ultrasound attenuation and dispersion.  Dr. McGough’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.  Dr. McGough is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.


FOCUS: The ‘Fast Object-oriented C++ Ultrasound Simulator’

FOCUS is the fastest, most accurate, and most memory-efficient simulation software that is presently available for medical ultrasound research.  FOCUS models linear and nonlinear pressure fields generated by single transducers and phased arrays excited with continuous-wave and transient inputs.  FOCUS provides a convenient user interface that enables rapid simulations of the pressure fields produced by a wide variety of medical ultrasound transducers.  FOCUS is routinely applied to medical ultrasound research in many of the top ultrasound research laboratories in the USA and internationally.  At last count, FOCUS is presently used in 94+ different institutions worldwide.  FOCUS can be downloaded here:


Recent Journal Papers

J. F. Kelly, S. Marras, X. Zhao, and R. J. McGough, “Linear and Nonlinear Ultrasound Simulations using the Discontinuous Galerkin Method,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, (under review) 2018.

X. Zhao and R. J. McGough, “Time-domain analysis of power law attenuation in space-fractional wave equations,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, (under review) 2018.

B. Qiang, J. C. Brigham, R. J. McGough, J. F. Greenleaf, and M. W. Urban, “Mapped Chebyshev pseudo-spectral method for simulating the shear wave propagation in the plane of symmetry of a transversely isotropic viscoelastic medium,” Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 389-401, 2017.

J. F. Kelly and R. J. McGough, “Analytical Time-Domain Green's Functions to the Caputo Fractional Wave Equation,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 140, no. 2, pp. 1039-1047, 2016.

X. Zhao and R. J. McGough, “Numerical Analysis of Causal and Noncausal Time-Fractional Wave Equations,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America vol. 139, no. 5, pp. 3021-3031, 2016.