[Comp-neuro] PhD studentship in Biocomputation Research Group, Centre for Computer Science and Informatics Research, University of Hertfordshire

Shabnam Kadir shabnam.kadir at gmail.com
Wed May 30 16:18:59 CEST 2018

Applications are invited for a *PhD studentship* on *Computational
frameworks for high-dimensional neural data* with *Dr. Shabnam Kadir *in
the *Biocomputation Research Group* in the Centre for Computer Science and
Informatics Research, University of Hertfordshire, U.K.

*Project Description*

New developments in experimental technology have led to petabytes of raw
data being produced by experimental neuroscientists, which are increasingly
publicly available, e.g. Allen Institute data http://www.brain-map.org/. In
particular, we are in the realm where population recordings of tens of
thousands of neurons are feasible thanks to, e.g. a new generation of large
dense probes for electrophysiological recordings, imaging using 2-photon
microscopy coupled with calcium fluorescent sensors. Large scale neuronal
recordings require novel approaches for both processing and quantitative

As well as using techniques from high-dimensional statistics, machine
learning, information theory, we aim to explore new approaches from
mathematical fields outside statistics, such as algebraic topology. The
study of networks is a particularly important topic in neuroscience:
neurons communicate with each other electrically via synapses, forming
intricate networks. These networks can be studied using techniques from
computational topology (e.g. persistent homology, clique topology). These
could be used to extract information about subnetworks and assemblies, both
from large scale recordings, and via connectomics derived from simulations
(Blue Brain Project).

We aim in this project to go beyond spike sorting and develop new tools and
computational frameworks which would help interpret high dimensional data
and interrogate how information is being processed by the brain, e.g.  How
are sensory stimuli (location in environment, visual and auditory stimuli)
encoded? How can we characterise the neural activity associated with
memory, attention, decision making and motor control?

We shall be collaborating with labs at Imperial, Pennsylvania State
University and UCL.

More information can be found here: http://www.herts.ac.uk/_

*Requirements *

We are looking for candidates with the following profile:

 - Strong first degree in a quantitative field such as mathematics,
physics, computer science, engineering, computational neuroscience.

 - Strong programming skills (e.g. Python, MATLAB, C++).

 - Interest in neuroscience and biology would be helpful.

A studentship from the PhD Programme in Computer Science provides
approximately £14,750 per annum bursary plus the payment of student fees.
Applicants from outside the UK or EU are eligible.

Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been
recognised as excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
Assessment (2014), with 50% of the research submitted rated as
internationally excellent or world-leading. The Centre for Computer Science
and Informatics Research provides a very stimulating environment, offering
a large number of specialised and interdisciplinary seminars as well as
general training and researcher development opportunities. The University
is situated in Hatfield, in the green belt just north of London.

Please contact *Dr Shabnam Kadir* (s.kadir2 at herts.ac.uk) for informal
enquiries. Application forms are available under http://www.herts.ac.uk/a
programme-in-computer-science and should be returned to Mrs Lorraine
Nicholls and Mrs Emma Thorogood, Research Student Administrators,
University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, Tel:
01707 286083, doctoralcollegeadmissions at herts.ac.uk. The short-listing
process will begin on 25th June 2018.


Dr Shabnam Kadir

Senior Lecturer

School of Computer Science,

University of Hertfordshire,


Hertfordshire AL10 9AB,

United Kingdom.

Tel. +44 1707 284641

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