[Comp-neuro] Announcement: Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop 2006

Reinoud Maex reinoud at tnb.ua.ac.be
Wed Feb 1 10:17:07 CET 2006

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ralph Etienne-Cummings <retienne at jhu.edu>
Date: February 1, 2006 4:16:01 AM GMT+01:00
To: comp-neuro-owner at neuroinf.org
Subject: Announcement:  Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop 2006

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Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop
Call for Applications
Sunday, June 25 - Saturday, July 15, 2006
Telluride, Colorado

Avis COHEN (University of Maryland)
Rodney DOUGLAS (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich,  
Ralph ETIENNE-CUMMINGS (Johns Hopkins University)
Paul HASLER (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Timmer HORIUCHI (University of Maryland)
Giacomo INDIVERI (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich,  
Christof KOCH (California Institute of Technology)- Past Organization  
Board Member
Terrence SEJNOWSKI (Salk Institute and UCSD)
Shihab SHAMMA (University of Maryland)
Andre van SCHAIK(University of Sydney)

We invite applications for a three week summer workshop that will be  
held in Telluride, Colorado from Sunday, June 25 to Saturday, July  
15, 2006. The application deadline is Friday, March 24, and  
application instructions are described at the bottom of this document.

The 2005 Workshop and Summer School on Neuromorphic Engineering is  
sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Institute of  
Neuromorphic Engineering, Wow Wee Toys, Airforce Research Office,  
Eglin Airforce Research Lab, Nova Sensors, Institute for  
NeuroInfomatics - ETHZ, Geogia Institute of Technology, University of  
Maryland - College Park, Johns Hopkins University, The Salk  
Institute, and by the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering at  
the California Institute of Technology.

Last year's workshop was an exciting event and a great success. We  
strongly encourage interested parties to browse through the previous  
workshop web pages at: http://ine-web.org/workshops/past-workshops


Carver Mead introduced the term "Neuromorphic Engineering" for a new  
field based on the design and fabrication of artificial neural  
systems, such as vision systems, head-eye systems, and roving robots,  
whose architecture and design principles are based on those of  
biological nervous systems. The goal of this workshop is to bring  
together young investigators and more established researchers from  
academia with their counterparts in industry and national  
laboratories, working on both neurobiological as well as engineering  
aspects of sensory systems and sensory-motor integration. The focus  
of the workshop will be on active participation, with demonstration  
systems and hands on experience for all participants. Neuromorphic  
engineering has a wide range of applications from nonlinear adaptive  
control of complex systems to the design of smart sensors. Many of  
the fundamental principles in this field, such as the use of learning  
methods and the design of parallel hardware (with an emphasis on  
analog and asynchronous digital VLSI), are inspired by biological  
systems. However, existing applications are modest and the challenge  
of scaling up from small artificial neural networks and designing  
completely autonomous systems at the levels achieved by biological  
systems lies ahead. The assumption underlying this three week  
workshop is that the next generation of neuromorphic systems would  
benefit from closer attention to the principles found through  
experimental and theoretical studies of real biological nervous  
systems as whole systems.


The three week summer workshop will include background lectures on  
systems neuroscience (in particular learning, oculo-motor and other  
motor systems and attention), practical tutorials on analog VLSI  
design, small mobile robots (Koalas, Kheperas, LEGO robots), hands-on  
projects, and special interest groups. Participants are required to  
take part and possibly complete at least one of the projects  
proposed. They are furthermore encouraged to become involved in as  
many of the other activities proposed as interest and time allow.  
There will be two lectures in the morning that cover issues that are  
important to the community in general. Because of the diverse range  
of backgrounds among the participants, the majority of these lectures  
will be tutorials, rather than detailed reports of current research.  
These lectures will be given by invited speakers. Participants will  
be free to explore and play with whatever they choose in the  
afternoon. Projects and interest groups meet in the late afternoons,  
and after dinner. In the early afternoon there will be tutorial on a  
wide spectrum of topics, including analog VLSI, mobile robotics,  
auditory systems, central-pattern-generators, selective attention  
mechanisms, etc.
Projects that are carried out during the workshop will be centered in  
a number of working groups, including:

* active vision
* audition
* motor control
* central pattern generator and locomotion
* robotics
* multichip communication
* analog VLSI
* learning
* neuroprosthetic systems

The active perception project group will emphasize vision and human  
sensory-motor coordination. Issues to be covered will include spatial  
localization and constancy, attention, motor planning, eye movements,  
and the use of visual motion information for motor control.

The central pattern generator group will focus on small walking and  
undulating robots. It will look at characteristics and sources of  
parts for building robots, play with working examples of legged and  
segmented robots, and discuss CPG's and theories of nonlinear  
oscillators for locomotion. It will also explore the use of simple  
analog VLSI sensors for autonomous robots.

The robotics group will use rovers and working digital vision boards  
as well as other possible sensors to investigate issues of  
sensorimotor integration, navigation and learning.

The audition group aims to develop biologically plausible algorithms  
and aVLSI implementations of specific auditory tasks such as source  
localization and tracking, and sound pattern recognition. Projects  
will be integrated with visual and motor tasks in the context of a  
robot platform.

The multichip communication project group will use existing interchip  
communication interfaces to program small networks of artificial  
neurons to exhibit particular behaviors such as amplification,  
oscillation, and associative memory. Issues in multichip  
communicationwill be discussed.


The summer school will take place in the small town of Telluride,  
9000 feet high in Southwest Colorado, about 6 hours drive away from  
Denver (350miles). Great Lakes Aviation and America West Express  
airlines provide daily flights directly into Telluride. All  
facilities within the beautifully renovated public school building  
are fully accessible to participants with disabilities. Participants  
will be housed in ski condominiums, within walking distance of the  
school. Participants are expected to share condominiums.

The workshop is intended to be very informal and hands-on.  
Participants are not required to have had previous experience in  
analog VLSI circuit design, computational or machine vision, systems  
level neurophysiology or modeling the brain at the systems level.  
However, we strongly encourage active researchers with relevant  
backgrounds from academia, industry and national laboratories to  
apply, in particular if they are prepared to work on specific  
projects, talk about their own work or bring demonstrations to  
Telluride (e.g. robots, chips, software). Internet access will be  
provided. Technical staff present throughout the workshops will  
assist with software and hardware issues. We will have a network of  
PCs running LINUX and Microsoft Windows for the workshop projects. We  
also plan to provide wireless internet access and encourage  
participants to bring along their personal laptop.

No cars are required. Given the small size of the town, we recommend  
that you do not rent a car. Bring hiking boots, warm clothes, rain  
gear, and a backpack, since Telluride is surrounded by beautiful  
mountains. Unless otherwise arranged with one of the organizers, we  
expect participants to stay for the entire duration of this three  
week workshop.


Notification of acceptances will be mailed out around mid April 2006.  
Participants are expected to pay a $800.00 workshop fee at that time  
in order to reserve a place in the workshop. The cost of a shared  
condominium will be covered for all academic participants but  
upgrades to a private room will cost extra. Participants from  
National Laboratories and Industry are expected to pay for these  
condominiums. Travel reimbursement of up to $500 for US domestic  
travel and up to $800 for overseas travel will be possible if  
financial help is needed (please specify on the application).


Applicants should be at the level of graduate students or above  
(i.e.postdoctoral fellows, faculty, research and engineering staff  
and the equivalent positions in industry and national laboratories).  
We actively encourage women and minority candidates to apply.

The application website is: http://ine-web.org/telluride- 

Application will include:

* First name, Last name, Affiliation, valid e-mail address.
* Curriculum Vitae.
* One page summary of background and interests relevant to the workshop.
* Two letters of recommendation (to be sent by references directly to  
"Alice W. Mobaidin" <mobaidin at isr.umd.edu>).

The application deadline is Friday, March 24, 2006.
Applicants will be notified by e-mail by the end of April.
Ralph Etienne-Cummings
Associate  Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

105 Barton Hall/3400 N. Charles St.             2213 AV Williams Bldg
Johns Hopkins University                        University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD 21218                             College Park, MD 20742
Email:  retienne at jhu.edu                        Email:   
retienne at isr.umd.edu
URL:  http://etienne.ece.jhu.edu/~etienne

Tel:  410 - 516 - 3494
Fax:  410 - 516 - 5566

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