Computation & Neural Systems California Institute of Technology

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Athanassios SiapasCaltech Celebrates 30 Years of its Computation and Neural Systems Option
Computation and Neural Systems (CNS) at Caltech explores the relationship between the physical structure of a computational system and the dynamics of its operation, as well as the computational problems that it can efficiently solve. At the symposium Professor Pietro Perona told the audience, despite CNS's success, its faculty members never rest on their laurels; they regularly reevaluate whether to continue the option and how to evolve its scope to keep it intellectually vibrant. Professor Carver Mead remarked, “I think it's true that the fields we bring together in CNS really do synergize. The goals aren't so different. Because to build something you have to understand it. And if you understand it, you can build it. That's a saying that Dick Feynman got from me." [Caltech story]

Stephen DolbierComputation and Neural Systems student Stephen Dolbier, mentored by Professor Antonio Rangel, is a recipient of the 2017 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. He is working on a project that uses eye-tracking to predict human decision making. This summer, he will be a data science intern at Quotient Technology Inc.. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study. 05.15.17

Athanassios SiapasAthanassios G. Siapas, Professor of Computation and Neural Systems, has been named by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a 2017 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow. “The fellowship program provides research awards to top-tier researchers from U.S. universities to conduct revolutionary “high risk, high pay-off” research of strategic importance to the Department of Defense,” said Mary J. Miller, acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. Professor Siapas has been named a fellow in the area of cognitive neuroscience. His research focuses on the study of information processing across networks of neurons, with emphasis on the neuronal mechanisms that underlie learning and memory formation. [DoD release]

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How does the brain compute? Can we endow machines with brain-like computational capability? Faculty and students in the CNS program ask these questions with the goal of understanding the brain and designing systems that show the same degree of autonomy and adaptability as biological systems. Disciplines such as neurobiology, electrical engineering, computer science, physics, statistical machine learning, control and dynamical systems analysis, and psychophysics contribute to this understanding. The unifying theme is the relationship between the physical structure of a computational system (molecular, neuronal, or electronic hardware), the dynamics of its operation, and the computational problems that it can efficiently solve.

Faculty Positions Available Positions are available through Engineering & Applied Science, Biology, and Information Science & Technology. For details, see our Positions page.

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A complete list of speakers including additional information such as talk titles and abstracts can be found on the CNS Wiki Page.

A good choice involves rapidly combining both value and visual information. Here, the fly chooses the food reward offered by the salient flower, but pays a devastating price falling prey to the camouflaged crab spider


The Computation and Neural Systems degree program is organized jointly by the Division of Biology, the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.

 

 

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