A computer scientist thinks about the Brain - DLS Talk by Christos Papadimitriou, UC Berkeley

Thursday, February 16, 2017 | 3:30pm - 5:00pm
(NEW) Life Sciences Building - 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Room 1002

Speaker:  Christos Papadimitriou, Professor, UC Berkeley

Title:  A computer scientist thinks about the Brain

Host:  Nicholas Harvey, UBC Computer Science


Looking at scientific problems at large from the point of view of computation often results in unexpected insights, and progress in important fronts.  In this talk, I will discuss certain examples from the theory of equilibria in the social sciences, as well as from the evolution of genotypes in a sexual population, but I will mainly focus on approaches to a computational understanding of the Brain, arguably the ultimate scientific frontier of our time, and the one with the closest affinity to computation (in joint work with Santosh Vempala, Wolfgang Maass, and their groups).  In particular, I will propose that the formation of memories in the medial temporal cortex, and the creation of associations between such memories, together with the closely related topic of language, may be an opportune subject for algorithmic modeling and analysis.

Bio:  Christos H. Papadimitriou is the C. Lester Hogan Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Before joining Berkeley in 1996, he taught at Harvard, MIT, NTU Athens, Stanford, and UCSD. He has written many books and articles on the theory of algorithms and complexity, and its applications to optimization, databases, control, AI, robotics, economics and game theory, the Internet, evolution, and the brain. He holds a PhD from Princeton, and honorary doctorates from nine universities. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a recipient of the Knuth prize, the Gödel prize, the Kalai prize for CS in Game Theory, the EATCS award, and the von Neumann medal. He has also written three novels: "Turing," "Logicomix" (with Apostolos Doxiadis) and "Independence" (in Greek).

This seminar is proudly sponsored by:

 Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

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Speaker Affiliation: UC Berkeley
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