[visionlist] Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course

Brains, Minds and Machines

A Special Topics Course at MBL Woods Hole, MA

Directors: Gabriel Kreiman, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and Tomaso Poggio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Course Dates: Aug. 13 – Sept. 3, 2016

***Application Deadline: March 14, 2017***




The problem of intelligence – how the brain produces intelligent behavior and how we may be able to replicate intelligence in machines – is arguably the greatest problem in science and technology. To solve it we will need to understand how human intelligence emerges from computation in neural circuits, with rigor sufficient to reproduce similar intelligent behavior in machines. Success in this endeavor ultimately will enable us to understand ourselves better, to produce smarter machines, and perhaps even to make ourselves smarter. Today’s AI technologies, such as Watson and Siri, are impressive, but their domain specificity and reliance on vast numbers of labeled examples are obvious limitations; few view this as brain-like or human intelligence. The synergistic combination of cognitive science, neurobiology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science holds the promise to build much more robust and sophisticated algorithms implemented in intelligent machines.


Set in the charming town of Woods Hole, there will be lectures and tutorials by leaders in the field. In addition, students will be working on cutting-edge projects with the help of faculty and teaching assistants. This course aims to cross-educate computer engineers and neuroscientists; it is appropriate for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty in computer science and/or neuroscience. Students are expected to have a strong background in one discipline (such as neurobiology, physics, engineering, and mathematics). Our goal is to develop the science and the technology of intelligence and to help train a new generation of scientists that will leverage the progress in neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science.


The Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM) [cbmm.mit.edu] will also be hosting an Evening Lecture Series, including speakers from both industry and academia, in the fields of neuroscience, computer science, and cognitive science.


Invited faculty include Larry Abbott, Bill Bialek, Bob Desimone, Jim DiCarlo, Winrich Freiwald, Sam Gershman, Asif Ghazanfar, Nancy Kanwisher, Boris Katz, Gabriel Kreiman, Christof Koch, Jeff Lichtman, Marge Livingstone, Josh McDermott, Tommy Poggio, Marc Raibert, Lorenzo Rosasco, Rebecca Saxe, Haim Sompolinsky, Liz Spelke, Max Tegmark, Josh Tenenbaum, Shimon Ullman, Matt Wilson, Patrick Winston, Jeremy Wolfe, among others.


For more information, including the link to the application portal, please visit:





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