Every summer, Berkeley’s Redwood Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience organizes a ten-day summer course on Neuroscience, bringing to Berkeley several dozen young researchers (graduate students and postdocs) from all walks of science with a serious interest in learning about Neuroscience, and especially about techniques for mining and modeling of neuroscience data. This year, the Simons Institute and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute were, for the first time, co-organizers of this course, in order to attract more computer scientists and mathematicians to this important field. The program included one day of lectures by Vitaly Feldman and myself on the theory of computation, learning theory, and computational models by Valiant, and recently by Vempala and myself.
The Computing Community Consortium, which has been recently very active in promoting the emerging research interface between Computation and Brain Science, see cra.org/ccc/events/brain-workshop, generously agreed to fund this CS component of the summer course.
We advertised the course to CS departments, and from a field of about a dozen applications we selected four CS graduate students, who ended up attending the course: Chihua Ma (UI Chicago), Yunjie Liu (UC Davis and Lawrence Berkeley Labs), Yu Liu (UC Davis), and Antonio Moretti (Columbia). Below are their contributions about highlights of the summer course.