BRAIN Workshop

Workshop on the Research Interfaces between Brain Science and Computer Science

Computer science and brain science share deep intellectual roots – after all, computer science sprang out Alan Turing’s musings about the brain in the spring of 1936.  Today, understanding the structure and function of the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our generation. Decades of study and continued progress in our knowledge of neural function and brain architecture have led to important advances in brain science, but a comprehensive understanding of the brain still lies well beyond the horizon.  

This two-day workshop, sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and National Science Foundation (NSF), brought together brain researchers and computer scientists for a scientific dialogue aimed at exposing new opportunities for joint research in the many exciting facets, established and new, of the interface between the two fields.   

Click here for the workshop program PDF.


Date: December 3-5, 2014
Location: Washington, D.C.
Hotel: Hotel Sofitel, Washington, D.C.



December 3

5:30 PM Welcome and Overview of the Workshop Panels
6:30 PM
7:30 PM

December 4


7:30 AM
8:30 AM
8:40 AM
Plenary: Aude Oliva, MIT Time, Space and Computation: Converging Human Neuroscience and Computer Science
9:30 AM
Panel: Brain Mapping
11:00 AM
11:30 AM
Panel: Brain / Mind / Body
1:00 PM
Working Lunch
2:00 PM
Plenary: Jack Gallant, UC Berkeley, A Big Data Approach to Functional Characterization of the Mammalian Brain
2:45 PM
Panel: Computing and the Brain
Shafi Goldwasser
Yann Lecun
Leslie Valiant
Moderator: Sanjeev Arora
4:15 PM
4:30 PM
Breakout Sessions
6:15 PM
7:30 PM
Plenary: Leslie Valiant, Harvard, Can Models of Computation in Neuroscience be Experimentally Validated?


December 5

7:30 AM
8:30 AM
Panel: Creating Open-Science Platforms for Heterogeneous Brain Data
Jeremy Freeman
Greg Farber
Joshua Vogelstein
Sean Hill
Moderator: Miyoung Chun
10:05 AM
Plenary: Terrence Sejnowski, Salk Institute, Theory, Computation, Modeling and Statistics: Connecting the Dots from the BRAIN Initiative
10:50 AM
11:05 AM
Breakout Sessions
12:00 PM
Working Lunch
1:00 PM
Breakout Reports
2:00 PM
Workshop Concludes




Polina Golland 
Professor, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Gregory Hager
Chair of the Computer Science Department, The Johns Hopkins University 

Christof Koch
Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science

Christos Papadimitriou (Chair) 
C. Lester Hogan Professor of EECS, Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley

Hanspeter Pfister
An Wang Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University 

Tal Rabin
Head of Cryptography Research Group, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Stefan Schaal
Professor, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California

Joshua Tenenbaum
Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kenneth Whang
Program Director, NSF

Ross Whitaker
Professor, School of Computing SCI Institute, University of Utah

Ann Drobnis
Director, Computing Community Consortium



Lightning Introduction Slides