[Comp-neuro] Announcement: FIAS Summer School - Theoretical Neuroscience & Complex Systems (05-27. Aug. 2006, Frankfurt/Main, Germany)

Vasile Vlad Moca Moca at figss.uni-frankfurt.de
Thu Feb 9 20:39:25 CET 2006

Announcement and Call for Applications:

Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) Summer School:

Theoretical Neuroscience & Complex Systems

We invite applications for a three-week summer workshop that will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from Saturday, August 5 to Sunday, August 27, 2006. The application deadline is Saturday, April 15, and application instructions are described at the bottom of this document.


Larry ABBOTT, Columbia University, USA
Ad AERTSEN, University of Freiburg, Germany
Dana BALLARD, University of Rochester, USA
Emery BROWN, Harvard and MIT, USA
György BUZSÁKI, Rutgers University, USA
Yves FRÉGNAC, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
Wulfram GERSTNER*, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, France
Rainer Goebel, Maastricht University, Netherlands
Claudius GROS, Goethe University, Germany
Wolfgang MAASS, FIAS, Germany and Technische Universität Graz, Austria
Bartlett MEL, University of South California, USA
Gordon PIPA, FIAS and Max-Planck Institute, Germany
John RINZEL*, New York University, USA
Wolf SINGER, FIAS and Max-Planck Institute, Germany
Andrey SOLOV'YOV, FIAS, Germany
Jochen TRIESCH, FIAS, Germany and UC San Diego, USA
Christoph VON DER MALSBURG, FIAS, Germany
Carl VAN VREESWIJK, René Descartes University, France



There is a deficiency in the exchange of ideas between theoretical physicists and experimental biologists.  This arises from different background knowledge bases and viewpoints, even when addressing the same problem.  The aim of the FIAS Summer School on Theoretical Neuroscience and Complex Systems is to provide a bridge linking experimentalists and theorists.  The school also addresses the challenge of further developing theoretical sciences and transferring existing concepts into the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience.  This transference will be highly dependent on the successful training of students so that they can bridge the different fields.  Applicants will work on projects that they themselves propose, and to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations, each student will be assigned a "working-group" comprising one experimental neuroscientist, one theoretical neuroscientist, and one theoretical physicist. 


The three-week summer workshop will include a preschool that will take place at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt.  During these three days, theoretical physicists will be trained in basic concepts of neuroscience, experimental neuroscientists will be trained in basic concepts of network theory and complex systems, and theoretical neuroscientists will be trained in experimental neuroscience.  The first two days of the summer school will be used to introduce the main concepts of neuronal systems and information processing.  The second week is devoted to the characterization and analysis of neural recordings, as well as to the description and modeling of neurons, synapses, and small networks. The third week introduces approaches for modeling higher cognitive functions.  Throughout, participants work on projects that they themselves propose, and this work will be carried out in collaboration with an interdisciplinary working-group comprising one experimental neuroscientist, one theoretical neuroscientist, and one theoretical physicist.  Lectures will be held in the mornings from Monday-Friday, while students will work on their projects in the afternoons from Monday-Wednesday.  Intra-group progress reports will be presented on Wednesday and Friday evenings.  A preview of the following week's lectures will be provided on Thursday afternoons to ensure that all participants are comfortable with the material to be discussed.  Saturdays will be devoted to "theory in practice," and participants will have the chance to visit actual research laboratories: MPIH (Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research) in Frankfurt and the Honda Research Institute in Offenbach. Each Sunday will be reserved for recreational opportunities, and on the final day of the summer school, the projects will be presented.

The scientific program will cover the following areas:

.    Neuroanatomy

.    Neurophysiology 

.    Basics in modeling of neurons 

.    Realistic models of neural microcircuits

.    Abstract models of higher-level functions

.    Outlook to other complex systems


FIAS is a Foundation of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University and is located on the natural science campus, Riedberg, in Frankfurt am Main. It also has close collaboration with the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the J.W. Goethe-University and the Max Planck Institutes for Brain Research and Biophysics.  The preschool will take place at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research.  Students and Lecturers will stay in the Marriott Courtyard Frankfurt Nordwestzentrum. The hotel is located very close to the FIAS Institute and has excellent access to the public transport system. 


FIAS organizes the summer school and covers the accommodation and the cultural Program. Students have to pay a registration fee of 150?.  Students from Easter European countries or students in general who need support for their travel expenses can apply for reimbursement and a waiver for the registration fee.  Please indicate this in your application if you are considering applying for reimbursement.  We will also need an estimation of your travel expenses. 


Students who have a bachelor, a master, a Ph.D., or other equivalent degrees can apply for this summer school.  To apply, please provide two letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, as well as a one page description of a small project she/he is planning to work on during the course. The project proposal should outline the basic idea as well as problems the student might have faced so far.  Based on the proposal, the committee will group students to teams and assign interdisciplinary faculty to each individual team. 

Information about applying and the summer school in general can be found at the website: http://www.fias.uni-frankfurt.de/neuro_school/

A copy of the summer school announcement can be downloaded from:

Application will include:

* First name, last name, affiliation, valid e-mail address
* Two letters of recommendation
* Curriculum Vitae
* Project proposal (max. one page)
* Request for reimbursement of travel expenses (if applicable)

Please send your documents in an electronic format to: neuro_school at fias.uni-frankfurt.de
The application deadline is Saturday, April 15, 2006.
Applicants will be notified by e-mail by May 1, 2006.

For further information, please contact: 

Denise Meixler (neuro_school at fias.uni-frankfurt.de)
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Max-von-Laue-Str. 1
60438 Frankfurt am Main

tel: +49 69 798 47601
fax: +49 69 798 47611
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