Keynote Speaker: Terry Sejnowski
Chair: Joe Devlin

Thursday, November 7, 1:15 – 2:15 pm, Crystal Ballroom

Terrence Sejnowski is a pioneer in computational neuroscience and his goal is to understand the principles that link brain to behavior. His laboratory uses both experimental and modeling techniques to study the biophysical properties of synapses and neurons and the population dynamics of large networks of neurons. New computational models and new analytical tools have been developed to understand how the brain represents the world and how new representations are formed through learning algorithms for changing the synaptic strengths of connections between neurons. He has published over 400 scientific papers and 12 books, including The Computational Brain, with Patricia Churchland.  He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, one of only 13 living persons to be a member of all 3 national academies.

Sejnowski received his PhD in physics from Princeton University and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University. He is now an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and holds the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies.  He is also a Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego, where he is co-director of the Institute for Neural Computation and co-director of the NSF Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center.

Sejnowski is the President of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation, which organizes an annual conference attended by over 1600 researchers in machine learning and neural computation and is the founding editor-in-chief of Neural Computation published by the MIT Press. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society. He has received many honors, including the NSF Young Investigators Award, the Wright Prize for interdisciplinary research from the Harvey Mudd College, the Neural Network Pioneer Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Hebb Prize from the International Neural Network Society and the Rosenblatt Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Sejnowski was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced from the White House on April 2, 2013, and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH for the BRAIN Initiative.

The Dynamic Brain

Brains need to make quick sense of massive amounts of ambiguous information with minimal energy costs and have evolved an intriguing mixture of analog and digital mechanisms to allow this efficiency.  Spike coincidences occur when neurons fire together at nearly the same time.   In the visual system, rare spike coincidences can be used efficiently to represent important visual events in the early stages of visual processing.  This can be implemented with analog VLSI technology, creating a new class of cameras.