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Theory of Neural Computation October 05, 2015 - October 07, 2015
Registration Deadline: October 27, 2015 over 1 year ago
To apply for Funding you must register by: August 31, 2015 over 1 year ago
Parent Program: --
Location: MSRI: Simons Auditorium, Atrium
Organizers Dmitri Chklovskii (Simons Foundation), David Eisenbud (MSRI - Mathematical Sciences Research Institute), Gary Marcus (New York University), LEAD Bruno Olshausen (University of California, Berkeley), Christos Papadimitriou (University of California, Berkeley), Terrence Sejnowski (Salk Institute for Biological Studies), Fritz Sommer (University of California, Berkeley)

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The theme of this workshop is on bringing theory into the study of neural networks---those in brains and those in machines.  We will soon have the capability to monitor activity and structure in the brain at unprecedented scales, but what will these data tell us?  It is unlikely that we will gain insight without some theoretical framework to guide our thinking of what to look for, and why.  Similarly, neural network models can now perform feats of language translation and pattern recognition far beyond what was possible a few years ago; but they have yet to shed new light on neurobiological mechanisms in part because there is only a limited theory of such computations.

What are likely candidates for such theories? Do they already exist? And what is needed to more tightly integrate theoretical frameworks with empirical approaches?

There will be four overview talks on Monday to introduce these questions, followed by five talks each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Program is forthcoming.

Poster Session:

If you are interested in presenting a poster, please sign up by clicking HERE.


Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
The Kavli Foundation
The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing
Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience

Group Photo 


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Primary Mathematics Subject Classification No Primary AMS MSC
Secondary Mathematics Subject Classification No Secondary AMS MSC
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To apply for funding, you must register by the funding application deadline displayed above.

Students, recent Ph.D.'s, women, and members of underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Funding awards are typically made 6 weeks before the workshop begins. Requests received after the funding deadline are considered only if additional funds become available.

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MSRI has preferred rates at the Hotel Durant. Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-238-7268. When making reservations, guests must request the MSRI preferred rate. If you are making your reservations on line, please go to this link. Click on "Promo/Corporate Code" at the top of the page. When prompted, select the "Promo/Corporate Code" option and enter the code 123MSRI (this code is not case sensitive). Our lowest preferred rate is $139 per night for a Deluxe Queen, based on availability.

MSRI has a preferred rate of $174 plus tax at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, depending on room availability. Guests can call the hotel's main line at 510-845-7300 and ask for the MSRI- Mathematical Science Research Inst. discount. To book online visit this page. You must select "My dates are: Firm" in order to use the promotional code. Click on "Promo/Corporate Code" at the top of the page. When prompted, select the "Promo/Corporate Code" option and enter the code MSRI (this code is not case sensitive).

MSRI has preferred rates of $130 - $160 at the Berkeley Lab Guest House, depending on room availability. Reservations may be made by calling 510-495-8000 or directly on their website. Select “I am an individual traveler affiliated with the Space Sciences Lab, Lawrence Hall of Science or MSRI.” When prompted for your UC Contact/Host, please list Chris Marshall (coord@msri.org).

MSRI has a preferred rate of $71 or $83 at the Easton Hall, depending on whether the room has a private bathroom. Guests can call the Reservations line at 510-204-0732 and ask for the MSRI- Mathematical Science Research Inst. rate. To book online visit this page. Easton Hall select "Request a Reservation" pick the dates you would like to stay, once you are ready to reserve use the Promotional Code MSRI (this code is not case sensitive).

Additional lodging options may be found on our short term housing page.

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Oct 05, 2015
08:45 AM - 09:00 AM
09:00 AM - 10:15 AM
  The Atoms of Neural Computation
Gary Marcus (New York University)
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
  Searching for Principles of Brain Computation
Wolfgang Maass (Technische Universität Graz)
11:45 AM - 01:45 PM
  Poster + Lunch
01:45 PM - 03:00 PM
  A View of Cortex from the Thalamus
Murray Sherman (University of Chicago)
03:00 PM - 03:15 PM
03:15 PM - 04:30 PM
  Deriving neural circuits from first principles
Mitya Chklovskii (Simons Foundation)
04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Oct 06, 2015
09:00 AM - 09:45 AM
  Understanding vision through the lens of prediction
Stephanie Palmer (University of Chicago)
09:45 AM - 10:30 AM
  Feedforward, lateral and feedback interactions s in visual cortex
Alessandra Angelucci (University of Utah)
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 11:30 AM
  How far can Bayesian theories of vision take us
Daniel Kersten (University of Minnesota)
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  General discussion
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
  Poster + Lunch
02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
  End-to-End Memory Networks
Rob Fergus (New York University, Courant Institute)
02:45 PM - 03:30 PM
  The Statistical Physics of Deep Learning
Surya Ganguli
03:30 PM - 03:45 PM
03:45 PM - 04:30 PM
  General discussion
Oct 07, 2015
09:00 AM - 09:45 AM
  Why attention is important for decision making
Jackie Gottlieb (Columbia University)
09:45 AM - 10:30 AM
  The challenge of constructing a robust short-term memory network
Mark Goldman (University of California, Davis)
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  General discussion
10:45 AM - 10:45 AM
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  Bringing math into the loop
Carina Curto (Pennsylvania State University)
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
  Poster + Lunch
02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
  Rosetta Brain Maps and What They Might Teach Us
Adam Marblestone (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
02:45 PM - 03:30 PM
  Neural relativity principle
Alexei Koulakov (Cold Spring Harbor Lab)
03:30 PM - 03:45 PM
03:45 PM - 04:30 PM
  General discussion