The Neuroscience and Behavior Program had a fun and productive retreat. Students, postdocs, and faculty met at an idyllic spot in Vermont where they shared a day of discussions about student and post-doc success and how to navigate a life in science. There was a fun Minute of Science competition, where contestants gave a 60 second talk and were judged on arbitrary criteria. Faculty then headed out while students continued to commune over the next day. Here are some images from Melise Edwards.
Dr. Andrew Barto has been selected to receive a UMass Neurosciences Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering research into reinforcement learning. The award will be presented to him by Chancellor Subbaswamy after his lecture at the UMass Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Conference on May 28th. Dr. Barto is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass. He is perhaps best known for an influential book, which he co-wrote with Richard Sutton, called “Reinforcement Learning” (MIT Press). The book, which is now in its 2nd edition is considered almost a sacred text by neuroscientists studying the neural basis learning as well as engineers and computer scientists who work on artificial intelligence.
The extent to which Dr. Barto is loved and admired by researchers around the world is obvious in the tributes that are pouring in as a result of this announcement. If you would like to add your words to this website praising Dr. Barto’s contribution, send them to email@example.com.
This workshop is part of the UMass Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Conference, which focuses on Neuroengineering this year. The main goal of this workshop is to bring together neuroscience and engineering researchers to discuss modern techniques in neurotechnology. The intended audience is students (graduate and undergraduate), postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff who have interests in learning about or implementing new technology in their neuroscience research. In particular, we will discuss viral vector techniques, open-source strategies in electrical and optical neural monitoring and manipulation, and design of experimental tools and techniques. In addition to hearing about the latest work in systems neuroscience and neurotechnology, time will be provided for discussion with experts about how to incorporate these techniques into your own research, so attendees should come prepared to ask questions and participate in discussion.
This conference brings together neuroscientists and engineers to find areas of overlap for collaboration. It includes new approaches for visualizing and recording from neurons, manipulating gene expression in neurons, and understanding brain function. Speakers will also talk about interfaces between the brain and the rest of the body and the mechanical forces on neurons. The conference is preceded by a morning workshop on Methods in Systems Neuroscience and Neurotechnology.
Registration is free and open to faculty, students, and staff from UMass and other universities,. It features two keynote speakers: Andrew Barto (UMass) and Steven McCarroll (Harvard) and five local speakers. There will be an evening poster session for anyone to present their neuroscience or engineering research regardless of topic.
Your donation to the Initiative on Neurosciences (IONs) for #UMassGives will help fund opportunities for UMass undergraduates to participate in exciting brain research.
If you give during our Power Hour on April 30th from 2:00 – 3:00, you put us in the running for extra funding.
The Initiative on Neurosciences (IONs) is promoting the growth of brain research at UMass. There are researchers in many different colleges and departments dedicated to understanding the brain and helping to cure neurological diseases and conditions.Continue reading →
The Neurosciences Faculty Forum is a lunchtime group that meets twice a month. It gives faculty members and post-docs from across the UMass campus a chance to meet and discuss their research ideas in an informal setting. Powerpoint slides are discouraged (maximum of 3). The goal is to increase understanding and look for areas of cooperation and collaboration. Continue reading →