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Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop


Telluride, Colorado, July 1st - July 21st, 2012

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Deadline is March 30th, 2012

Applications will be accepted as of February 15th, 2012. 

Sunday July 1st - Saturday July 21st, 2012, Telluride, Colorado

We invite applications for a three-week summer workshop that will be held in Telluride, Colorado from Sunday July 1st - Saturday July 21st, 2012.   The application deadline is Friday, March 30th and application instructions are described below. 

The 2012 Workshop and Summer School on Neuromorphic Engineering is 
sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Neuromorphic
 Engineering, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Institute for 
Neuroinformatics - University and ETH Zurich, Georgia Institute of
 Technology, University of Maryland - College Park, Johns Hopkins 
University, Boston University, University of Sydney,
University of Florida - Gainesville and the Salk Institute.


  • Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Johns Hopkins University
  • Timothy Horiuchi, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Tobi Delbruck, Institute for Neuroinformatics, Zurich

Workshop Advisory Board:

  • Andreas ANDREOU (The Johns Hopkins University)
  • Andre van SCHAIK (University Western Sydney)
  • Avis COHEN (University of Maryland)
  • Barbara SHINN-CUNNINGHAM (Boston University)
  • Giacomo INDIVERI (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Jonathan TAPSON (University of Cape Town, University of Western Sydney)
  • Jennifer Olsen HASLER (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Rodney DOUGLAS (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Shihab SHAMMA (University of Maryland)
  • Malcolm SLANEY (Yahoo Research)

Previous year workshop can be found at: and last year's wiki is


Neuromorphic engineers design and fabricate artificial neural systems whose organizing principles are based on those of biological nervous systems. Over the past 17 years, this research community has focused on the understanding of low-level sensory processing and systems infrastructure; efforts are now expanding to apply this knowledge and infrastructure to addressing higher-level problems in perception, cognition, and learning. In this 3-week intensive workshop and through the Institute for Neuromorphic Engineering (INE), the mission is to promote interaction between senior and junior researchers; to educate new members of the community; to introduce new enabling fields and applications to the community; to promote on-going collaborative activities emerging from the Workshop, and to promote a self-sustaining research field.


The three week summer workshop will include background lectures on systems and cognitive neuroscience (in particular sensory processing, learning and memory, motor systems and attention), practical tutorials on analog VLSI design, mobile robots, hands-on projects, and special interest groups. Participants are required to take part and possibly complete at least one of the projects proposed. They are furthermore encouraged to become involved in as many of the other activities proposed as interest and time allow. There will be two lectures in the morning that cover issues that are important to the community in general. Because of the diverse range of backgrounds among the participants, some of these lectures will be tutorials, rather than detailed reports of current research. These lectures will be given by invited speakers. Projects and interest groups meet in the late afternoons, and after dinner. In the early afternoon there will be tutorials on a wide spectrum of topics, including analog VLSI, mobile robotics, auditory systems, central-pattern-generators, selective attention mechanisms, cognitive systems, etc.


  • Learning and Computational Intelligence in Neuromorphic Cognitive Systems (Gert Cauwenberghs and Giacomo Indiveri)
  • Integrating Perception, Cognition, and Action in Neuromorphic Hardware and Software (Kwabena Boahen and Chris Eliasmith)
  • Human Attention in the Machine (Shihab Shamma and Barbara Shinn-Cunningham)
  • Social Neuroscience and Robotic Pet Project (Sergi Bermudez and Ulysses Bernardet)

In addition, there will be a number of ad-hoc tutorials (featuring Rajit Monahar, Jennifer Hasler and Scott Koziol), demonstrations, and discussion groups that will focus on important issues in the research community.

Terry Sejnowski Computational Neuroscience (invitational mini-workshop)


The summer school will take place in the small town of Telluride, 9000 feet high in southwest Colorado, about 6 hours drive away from Denver (350 miles). Great Lakes Aviation and America West Express airlines provide daily flights directly into Telluride. All facilities within the beautifully renovated public school building are fully accessible to participants with disabilities. Participants will be housed in ski condominiums, within walking distance of the school. Participants are expected to share condominiums.

The workshop is intended to be very informal and hands-on. Participants are not required to have had previous experience in analog VLSI circuit design, computational or machine vision, systems level neurophysiology or modeling the brain at the systems level. However, we strongly encourage active researchers with relevant backgrounds from academia, industry and national laboratories to apply, in particular if they are prepared to work on specific projects, talk about their own work or bring demonstrations to Telluride (e.g. robots, chips, software). Wireless internet access will be provided. Technical staff present throughout the workshops will assist with software and hardware issues. We will have a network of PCs running LINUX and Microsoft Windows for the workshop projects. We encourage participants to bring along their personal laptop.

No cars are required. Given the small size of the town, we recommend that you do not rent a car. Bring hiking boots, warm clothes, rain gear, and a backpack, since Telluride is surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Unless otherwise arranged with one of the organizers, we expect participants to stay for the entire duration of this three week workshop.


Notification of acceptances will be mailed out around the end of April 15th, 2012. The Workshop covers all your accommodations and facilities costs. You are responsible for your own travel to the Workshop. For expenses not covered by federal funds, a Workshop registration fee is required. The fee is $700 per participant, however, due to the difference in travel cost, we offer a discount to participants outside of the US, Canada and Mexico.

European registration fees will be reduced to $450; non-US/non-European registration fees will be reduced to $300. The cost of a shared condominium will be covered for all academic participants but upgrades to a private room will cost extra. Participants from National Laboratories and Industry are expected to pay for these condominiums.

------ HOW TO APPLY: -------

Applicants should be at the level of graduate students or above (i.e. postdoctoral fellows, faculty, research and engineering staff and the equivalent positions in industry and national laboratories). We actively encourage women and minority candidates to apply.

Anyone interested in proposing or discussing specific projects should contact the appropriate topic leaders directly.

The application website is (after February 15th, 2012):

Application information needed:

  • contact email address
  • First name, Last name, Affiliation, valid e-mail address
  • Curriculum Vitae (a short version, please)
  • One page summary of background and interests relevant to the workshop, including possible ideas for workshop projects
    Please indicate which topic areas you would most likely join
  • Two letters of recommendation (uploaded directly by references)

The application deadline is March 30th, 2012.
Applicants will be notified by e-mail.

15th February, 2012 - Applications accepted on website
30th March, 2012 - Applications Due
15th April, 2012 - Notification of Acceptance