Events

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22-26 September 2014

Computational Modeling Workshop

Lectures and practical tutorials on programming, neuro-comptational modelling, neuro-morphic and bio-inspired hardware and robotics.

Disciplines: Computational Modelling

Day 1. Neural Networks                                                                                Venue: Link 3 Workshop Space

Time

Topic

Instructors

09:30

 

Welcome and overview

Computational projects – overview of roles (inspired by Bacon)

Thomas Wennekers

Sue Denham

09:45

Introduction to modelling

Tony Belpaeme

10:45-11:00

Tea & Coffee

 

11:00

Neural Network building blocks

Guido Bugmann

12:00

Neural Network modelling tools

Michael Klein

13:00

Lunch

 

14:00

Hands on parallel sessions

Session 1: Neural networks – PyNN and Brian

Session 2: Modelling in Matlab – cellular automata and the Game of Life

 

Michael Klein

Martin Coath

 

17:00

Project discussions

(Tea, Coffee & Biscuits available in workshop space)

 

18:00 ‘till late

Welcome reception (Link 3 Workshop Space)

Social

 

 Day 2. Micro-processor boards                                                                    Venue: Link 3 Workshop Space

Time

Topic

Instructors

10:00-13:00

Introduction to Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Thomas Wennekers

11:00

Tea & Coffee 

 

13:00

Lunch

 

14:00

Hands on parallel sessions

Session 1: Arduino and RPi projects

Session 2: Modelling in Matlab – Prisoner’s Dilemma

 

Thomas Wennekers

Martin Coath

17:00

Project discussions

(Tea, Coffee & Biscuits available in workshop space)

 

Day 3. Smartphone Apps                                                                               Venue: Link 3 Workshop Space

Time

Topic

Instructors

10-13:00

Introduction to Android Apps

Ian Howard

11:00

Tea & Coffee

 

13:00

Lunch

 

14:00

Hands on parallel sessions

Session 1: Android programming

Session 2: Modelling in Matlab – Sound processing in the cochlea

 

Ian Howard

Martin Coath

17:00

Project discussions

(Tea, Coffee & Biscuits available in workshop space)

 

18:00

CogFilm: Brief Encounter

 

Cinema

 Day 4. Robotics                                                                                               Venue: Link 3 Workshop Space Eve - Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building

Time

Topic

Instructors

09:30-11:00

Introduction to humanoid robots: iCub

Tony Morse

11:00-11:30

Tea & Coffee

 

11:30-13:00

Introduction to humanoid robots: Nao

Paul Baxter

13:00

Lunch

 

14:00

CogFilm follow up: Affective modelling of the viewer in cinematic practice

Michael Punt

15:00

Hands on parallel sessions

Session 1: Kinect programming

Session 2: Matlab – statistical analysis and data visualisation

 

James Kennedy, Robin Read

Martin Coath

17:00

Project discussions

(Tea, Coffee & Biscuits available in workshop space)

 

18:30

CogTalk: Clinical Research: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Dr Chris Rollinson and André Tomlin  

Day 5. Computational Modelling Symposium & Hackathon                  Venue: Link 3 Workshop Space

Time

Topic

Instructors

9:30

Towards Developmental Personal Robots

Nikolas Hemion, Aldabaran

10:30

Brain Modelling

Guenther Palm, University of Ulm

11:30

Tea & Coffee

 

12:00

Cortical processes for navigating complex acoustic environments

Shihab Shamma, Uni. Maryland

13:00

Lunch

 

14:00

Hackathon: self-organised project groups

 

17:00

Presentations of project ideas + coffee & cake

All

19:00

CogJam: experimental music and film performances

 

All. Rumpus Cosy

 

Symposium Abstracts

Nikolas Hemion, Aldebaran

Towards Developmental Personal Robots

Up until a few years ago, advanced humanoid robots existed exllusively in research laboratories. The only robots that were available for use at home were comparably simple such as vacuum cleaning robots. Today we are facing a situation where humanoid robots are bocoming affordable. However, these robots are still limited in their abilities to do the things that they were carefully prepared for by the programmers. Seemingly simple but unforseen events will leave the robots puzzled because their programming does not tell them how to react. We can change this if we learn how to build robots that can develop the way that infants do, so that they can autonomously acquire new knowledge by exploring their physical and social environment. This talk will give an overview of the research that is done in the AI lab at Aldebaran, towards this goal of building developmental personal robots. 

 

Gunther Palm, University of Ulm

Brain Modelling

Why should we model the brain? How can we model the brain? What goes on in your brain? Building blocks and levels of organisation. Computation vs. embodiment.

 

 Shihab Shamma, University of Maryland

 Cortical processes for navigating complex acoustic environments

Humans can attend to one of multiple sounds, and follow it selectively over time. The neural underpinnings of this perceptual feat are the object of extensive investigations. Some studies have concluded that sounds are heard as separate streams when they originate from diverse locations or if they are so different as to activate well-separated populations of central auditory neurons, and that this process is largely pre-attentive. I will review the fundamentals of sound representation in the auditory cortex, and the transformations from representation to meaning in the auditory cortical fields up to the prefrontal cortex. I will then explain how source segregation depends primarily on temporal coherence between responses that encode various features of a sound source, and discuss algorithms for implementing this process that are inspired by auditory cortical  mechanisms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Evening  Events

Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter will be introduced by Prof Michael Punt both contextually and as an example of cinema as an instrument of affective modelling. There will be a follow up presentation and discussion in the CogNovo seminar space (link 3) on Thursday 25th September at 14:00. If you would like to join that discussion you are also most welcome.

Brief Encounter 1945 Dir. David Lean 

After eight years in development Brief Encounter was released in 1946 and is clearly stamped with its period. Despite its realist style it is nonetheless a melodramatic rendition of the familiar love triangle that has captivated, irritated and amused audiences for nearly 70 years. Its stilted language and overstated formality of emotional relationships has become something of a humorous cliché such that it is often parodied and lampooned in films, comedy and television advertisements. Yet the film is also often obliquely quoted by auteur directors as a benchmark of cinema (see for example Eyes Wide Shut), and it has remained a favourite for a wide range of audiences, film enthusiasts and scholars.

These apparent contradictions may be because although it is almost impossible for audiences to identify with the main characters and their staged emotional restraint, the narrative structure and the mise-en-scene provide a flawless model of the effects of an erotic romance on humans. The melodramatic conventions that (barely) drive the plot stand in stark contrast to the portrayal in image, sound and performance of the often incomprehensible feelings experienced by the main characters in the real world. What appears to be an implausible story of unrequited love in suburbia is simultaneous (and insightfully) played out as the intersection of three quite independent imaginary worlds in which the difference between named emotion and affect (as Frederic Jameson has recently proposed them) is laid out before us in a simple tale told from the inside out.

Michael Punt

September 2014

CogTalk

Clinical Research: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

With the rise in open-access journals and the proliferation of scientific blogging, reporting and patient-led forums on the web, it could be argued there’s never been a better time for producing and accessing clinical research. However, with the tendency of tabloids for sensationalist reporting, recent scandals of research fraud, withholding of data by commercial interests and political tussles over research funding it can be difficult even for health professionals, let alone the general public to find good quality research and make sense of all the information out there.

In this month’s CogTalk, Dr Chris Rollinson and André Tomlin will discuss what makes good research, where it can go wrong and who regulates researchers, as well as how to interpret media reporting of research, where to find the information you need and how to make sense of all the research out there. 

Chris Rollinson is Research Governance Manager at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. He has a background in clinical research and runs training courses on good clinical practice. André Tomlin is Founder and Director of Minervation, an evidence-based healthcare consultancy, and runs The Mental Elf, a website that provides up-to-date reliable information on the latest good quality mental health research.

Tickets: E-store

CogJam

CogJam the Third will bring you an eclectic mix of jazz, pop, Klezmer, karaoke, oddsteppery space jams and a trip to Eberplatz. In the relaxed surrounds of Rumpus Cosy, CogJam will feature the Diego and Pinar, Jack and John, Claire Download and Chris, The Oddstep Deployment Unit, a film from Guy Edmonds and DJ duties performed by Pinar Oztop. See you there for tea, cake and other delights from 7PM

Rumpus Cosy, Derry's Cross, Plymouth