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BMI 871: Computational Brain-Mind

Weng picture


Juyang (John) Weng, PhD
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Cognitive Science Program
Neuroscience Program
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA

A 3-week distance-learning course, July 10 - July 28, 2017.

BMI 871 2016

Course Description

This course introduces computational principles of biological brain, which give rise to the various functions of mind. An emphasis is on regarding the brain as a highly integrated developmental system so that the models and principles are applicable to small biological brains (e.g., fruit flies), large biological brains (e.g., humans), and artificial ones (e.g., machines and robots). The material integrates knowledge in computer science, neuroscience, psychology (also cognitive science), biology, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, and other related disciplines. The course is suited for faculty, senior researchers, postdocs, and graduate students in any discipline — natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences — who are interested in studying how the brain-mind works.

The subjects include: Computational development of biological brains. Machine's symbolic representations. Brain's emergent representations and architectures. Brains as emergent Turing Machines. Brain's spatial representations. Brain's temporal representations. Perception, cognition, attention (bottom-up and top-down), learning, behaviors, abstraction, reasoning, decision making. Vision, audition, touch, multimodality, and integration. Modulatory system: reinforcement, motivation and emotion. The above subjects are detailed down to neuronal computation, cutting across levels of molecules, synapses, cells, circuits, systems, brains, experience, functions, and societies.

Textbook: Juyang Weng. Natural and Artificial Intelligence: Introduction to Computational Brain-Mind, BMI Press, 2012.

The course syllabus.

Short bio

Juyang (John) Weng is a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Cognitive Science Program, and the Neuroscience Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA. He is also a visiting professor at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He received his BS degree from Fudan University in 1982, his MS and PhD degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985 and 1989, respectively, all in Computer Science.  From August 2006 to May 2007, he is also a visiting professor at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science of MIT.   His research interests include computational biology, computational neuroscience, computational developmental psychology, biologically inspired systems, computer vision, audition, touch, behaviors, and intelligent robots.  He is the author or coauthor of over 250 research articles.  He is an editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics and an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development. He has chaired and cochaired some conferences, including the NSF/DARPA funded Workshop on Development and Learning 2000 (1st ICDL), 2nd ICDL (2002), 7th ICDL (2008),  8th ICDL (2009), and INNS NNN 2008. He was the Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Conferences on Development and Learning (ICDLs) (2005-2007, ), chairman of the Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2004-2005), an associate editor of IEEE Trans. on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, an associate editor of IEEE Trans. on Image Processing. He is a Fellow of IEEE.