[Comp-neuro] Call for Contributions | Unconventional Computation: Quo Vadis?

Christof Teuscher notify at teuscher.ch
Fri Nov 3 03:34:53 CET 2006


Unconventional Computation: Quo Vadis?

March 20-23, 2007
La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, NM, USA

A workshop organized and sponsored by the Center for Nonlinear
Studies (CNLS) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL),
http://cnls.lanl.gov, with additional support from the Modeling,
Algorithms & Informatics Group (CCS-3), http://www.ccs.lanl.gov/ccs3,
and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), http://www.santafe.edu

Unconventional computation is an interdisciplinary research area with
the main goal to enrich or go beyond the standard models, such as the
von Neumann computer architecture and the Turing machine, which have
dominated computer science for more then half a century. This quest,
in both theoretical and practical dimensions, is motivated by the huge
gap between information processing in nature and in artifacts and by
the hope that certain challenges that computational sciences face
today might be tackled efficiently by alternative paradigms. For
example, developments in synthetic biology, biochemistry,
neuroscience, or optics, show that complex computations are
omnipresent in physical systems, but that they cannot always be easily
described or reproduced in the context of standard computing
models. Given a physical, biological, or chemical system, the question
is whether such a system computes, and if yes, then what and how? What
are the limits and characteristics of such a computation and how could
we "exploit" and "program" the system to perform a specific task in an
efficient manner?

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together a multidisciplinary
core of scientists who work in the broad field of unconventional
computation, to highlight state-of-the-art research in each subfield,
to focus on the above-mentioned questions, and to delineate promising
future research directions. Both theoretical and experimental
contributions will be covered to further the dialog and to foster
collaborations. Particular light will be shed on the capability of
unconventional computers to solve large-scale real world problems and
to eventually outperform classical paradigms. The workshop shall help
to further what is generally considered unconventional today into
something conventional tomorrow.

The single-track program will be anchored by about 20 invited talks by
leading researchers and by a limited number of shorter talks and
posters, selected from contributed submissions and describing novel
and significant advances in the field.  Selected contributions will be
published in a journal special issue after the workshop, following
standard refereeing procedures. In addition, The Santa Fe Institute
(http://www.santafe.edu) is sponsoring a half-day workshop on Neural
Computation as part of the general theme of the conference:
"Unconventional Computation: Quo Vadis?"  The Neural Computation
workshop will bring together experimental neuroscientists,
computational neuroscientists, and computer scientists to ask "Does
the brain 'compute'?".  If so, "In what sense?".  If not, "What forms
of non-computational information processing does the brain perform?".
Are there "computational primitives" for the brain that represent
first-level abstractions for the brain in the same sense that binary
arithmetic and Boolean algebra are "computational primitives" for Von
Neumann architectures?

The meeting will take place in a picturesque setting in historic Santa
Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is the oldest capitol city in the U.S., has a
vibrant culinary and cultural scene, and lies in the foothills of the
Sangre de Cristo mountains, where there are excellent outdoor
recreational opportunities.

The deadline for submission of one-page abstracts for contributed
presentations and posters is Friday, January 19, 2007, and the
acceptance decisions will be made by Thursday, February 1,
2007. Accommodation at the conference hotel must be reserved by
Sunday, February 18, 2007.  The registration fee, which includes the
reception dinner and daily breakfast and break-snacks is $180
USD. Submissions from junior researchers are especially welcome, and
travel awards for graduate students and postdocs may be
available. More information about the conference, including
instructions for registering, submitting papers, reserving
accommodations, and applying for travel awards, is available at the
conference web site: http://cnls.lanl.gov/uc07

Abstract submission:         Fri, Jan 19, 2007
Notification of acceptance:  Thu, Feb 1, 2007
Early registration ends:     Sun, Mar 4, 2007

Andy Adamatzky (U. West of England)
Howard Barnum (Los Alamos)
Jake Beal (MIT)
Angela Belcher (MIT)
Leon Chua (UC, Berkeley)
Peter Dittrich (Friedrich-Schiller U.)
Seth Copen Goldstein (Carnegie Mellon)
Fredric Gruau (U. Paris Sud)
Seth Lloyd (MIT)
Jonathan W. Mills (Indiana)
Steen Rasmussen (Los Alamos)
Hava T. Siegelmann (U. Mass, Amherst)
Michael L. Simpson (Oak Ridge)
Ehud Shapiro (Weizmann Institute)
Darko Stefanovic (U. New Mexico)
Tommaso Toffoli (Boston U.)
Jim Tour (Rice)
Christopher A. Voigt (UC, San Franciso)
Ron Weiss (Princeton)

Christof Teuscher, LANL
Ilya Nemenman, LANL
Francis J. Alexander, LANL
Greg W. Johnson, LANL
Chris Wood, Santa Fe Institute

We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Santa Fe!

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