Computation and the Brain

Santosh Vempala. CS4803/8803 CAB. Fall 2016. Wed 2-5.

TA: Suk Hwan Hong ( Office Hours: Mon 3-5, Klaus 2337 Lab

Despite tremendous advances in Neuroscience, there are no overarching theories of how the brain accomplishes all that it does. Algorithms and computing have also progressed rapidly, often using faster and more powerful hardware, as well as problem-specific and sophisticated methods. Taking the view that the brain must be, at heart, a computational entity, this intensive seminar will begin with a few classic readings in cognition/neuroscience; discuss relevant models of computational complexity; highlight the gaps between experiment, theory and our understanding; and formulate concrete problems and challenges for both neuro/cognitive scientists and computer scientists.

Prior knowledge of neuroscience or complexity theory is welcome, but not assumed.