A variety of techniques have been used.

Deferring calculations until needed

mris_fix_topology has a hot loop, which does unnecessary calculations of the face normals

mrisComputeOptimalRetessellation and mrisComputeRandomRetessellation have a similar structure

_:_: then it loops over a set of patches, or iterates on one patch. For each patch it calls

_:_:_: mrisDefectPatchFitness, which calls

_:_:_:_: mrisComputeDefectLogLikelihood, which calls

_:_:_:_:_: mrisComputeDefectMRILogUnlikelihood, which

_:_:_:_:_:_: does an expensive computation all the face normals for ALL the faces

_:_:_:_:_:_: does two other expensive steps, which only use a few of the face normals

To simplify, the original code does this

Since only a few of the face normals are used, it is a waste of time to calculate all of them every time around the loop!

This is replaced by code that does