IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor: Jeff Orchard

1 August 2013 - 1 August 2014

Models of brain function and processing are often abstract and have little resemblance to the biology. However, with the increase in computer resources it is becoming possible to build models that are more biologically relevant. Some researchers are now building models with large populations of neurons that actually produce spikes of activity similar to real neurons. There are only a very few centres in the world carrying out this work. The Fellowship will allow Professor Orchard to bring these methods to Bristol and apply them here in a focused set of collaborations and a broader programme of interactions via Bristol Neuroscience.

Jeff Orchard received degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Waterloo (BMath) and the University of British Columbia (MSc), and received his PhD in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University in 2003. Since then, he has been a faculty member in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Professor Orchard's research focuses on computational neuroscience, using mathematical models and computer simulations of neural networks in an effort to understand how the brain works. He has developed a model of the entorhinal cortex, a part of the brain that seems responsible for our perception of where we are in a room, or some other space. He has also worked on unsupervised learning algorithms in neural models of vision.

For further information on Professor Orchard's visit, please contact
Dr Casimir Ludwig.

During his stay at Bristol, Prof Orchard will be giving a talk about Spatial Navigation and the Fourier Transform.