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Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop


Telluride, Colorado, June 30th - July 20th, 2013

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Deadline is April 15th, 2013


Sunday June 30th - Saturday July 20th, 2013, Telluride, Colorado

We invite applications for a three-week summer workshop that will be held in Telluride, Colorado from Sunday June 30th - Saturday July 20th, 2013.   The application deadline is Monday April 30th and application instructions are described at the bottom of this document. 

The 2013 Workshop and Summer School on Neuromorphic Engineering is sponsored by: 

  • National Science Foundation
  • Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering
  • Qualcomm Corporation
  • EU-Collaborative Sonvergent Science Network (CNS-ll)
  • Institute for Neuroinformatics - University and ETH Zurich
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Maryland - College Park
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Boston University
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Salk Institute



  • Cornelia Fermuller, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Johns Hopkins University
  • Shih-Chii Liu, Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich
  • Timothy Horiuchi, University of Maryland, College Park

Workshop Advisory Board:

  • Andreas ANDREOU (The Johns Hopkins University)
  • Andre van SCHAIK (University Western Sydney)
  • Barbara SHINN-CUNNINGHAM (Boston University)
  • Giacomo INDIVERI (Institute of Neuroinformatics, UNI/ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Jonathan TAPSON (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
  • Malcolm SLANEY (Microsoft Research)
  • Jennifer HASLER (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Shihab SHAMMA (University of Maryland)
  • Tobi Delbruck (Institute for Neuroinformatics, Zurich)

Previous year workshop can be found at: and the workshop wiki is at


Neuromorphic engineers design and fabricate artificial neural systems whose organizing principles are based on those of biological nervous systems. Over the past 18 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 emerging hardware 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, vision and auditory systems, central-pattern-generators, selective attention mechanisms, cognitive systems, etc.


  • Human Cognition: Decoding Perceived, Attended, Imagined Acoustic Events and Human-Robot Interfaces
    Project Leaders: Shihab Shamma (UM-College Park), Malcolm Slaney (Microsoft), Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (Boston U), Edward Lalor (Trinity College, Dublin)
    Featuring:  Chris Assad (NASA – JPL)
  • Recognizing Manipulation Actions in Cluttered Environments from Vision and Sound

    Project leaders: Cornelia Fermüller (UM-College Park), Andreas Andreou (JHU)
    Featuring:  Bert Shi (HKUST, Hong Kong) and Ryad Benosman (UPMC, Paris)
  • Dendritic Computation in Neurons and Engineered Devices
    Project Leaders:  Klaus M. Stiefel (UWS, Australia), Jonathan Tapson (UWS, Australia)
  • Universal Neuromorphic Systems and Sensors for Real-Time Mobile Robotics
    Project Leaders:  Jorg Conradt (TUM, Munich), Francesco Galluppi (U. Manchester, UK), Shih-Chii Liu (INI-ETH, Zurich) and Ralph Etienne-Cummings (JHU)
    Featuring:  Bert Shi (HKUST, Hong Kong) and Ryad Benosman (UPMC, Paris)
  • Emerging Technology and Discussion Group: Cognitive Computing with Emerging Nanodevices
    Group Leaders:  Omid Kavehei (U. Melbourne, Australia), Tara Julia Hamilton (UNSW, Australia)
  • Terry Sejnowski (Salk Institute) – 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 April 30th, 2013.  The Workshop covers all your accommodations and facilities costs for the 3 weeks duration. You are responsible for your own travel to the Workshop, however, sponsored fellowships will be available as described below to further subsidize your cost.

Registration Fees:  For expenses not covered by federal funds, a Workshop registration fee is required. The fee is $1250 per participant for the 3-week Workshop.  This is expected from all participants at the time of acceptance.

Accommodations:  The cost of a shared condominium, typically a bedroom in a shared condo for senior participants or a shared room for students, will be covered for all academic participants.  Upgrades to a private rooms or condos will cost extra. Participants from National Laboratories and Industry are expected to pay for these condominiums.

Fellowships:  This year we will offer two Fellowships to subsidize your costs:

  1. Qualcomm Corporation Fellowship:  Three non-corporate participants will have their accommodation and registration fees ($2750) directly covered by Qualcomm, and will be reimbursed for travel costs up to $500.  Additional generous funding from Qualcomm will provide $5000 to help organize and stage the Workshop.
  2. EU-CSNII Fellowship ( which is funded by the 7th Research Framework Program FP7-ICT-CSNII-601167:  The top 8 EU applicants will be reimbursed for their registration fees ($1250), subsistence/travel subsidy (up to Euro 2000) and accommodations cost ($1500). The registration and accommodations costs will go directly to the INE (the INE will reimburse the participant’s registration fees after receipt from CSNII), while the subsistence/travel reimbursement will be provided directly to the participants by the CSNII at the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.

------ 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, 2013):

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)

Applicants will be notified by e-mail.

15th February, 2013 - Applications accepted on website
15th April, 2013 - Applications Due
30th April, 2013 - Notification of Acceptance