About me

I am Patrick J. Mineault*, neuroscientist & engineer.

I did a PhD a visual neuroscience at McGill with Dr. Chris Pack and a postdoc at UCLA with Dr. Dario Ringach. I studied how the brain iteratively processes visual stimuli to produce meaningful representations which can drive behaviour. I worked for a couple of years at Google, studying at how people view and interact with webpages. I’m now a Brain Computer Interface engineer at Building 8 at Facebook, building a system that allows you to type with your brain.

Contact

Email: patrick DOT mineault AT gmail DOT com
LinkedIn
CV [PDF, 2 pages]
Twitter: @patrickmineault
Neurotree

Education

  • PhD (2014), Integrated Program in Neuroscience, McGill University. Thesis: Parametric modeling of visual cortex at multiple scales. [PDF]
  • B.Sc., Physics and Mathematics (2007). McGill University

Peer-reviewed articles

Work

2017-present – Brain Computer Interface Engineer at Building 8 @ Facebook

Building a brain-computer interface that will allow people to type with their thought. Some press coverage: [1] [2] [3]

2015-2017 – Software Engineer at Google

Helping organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

2014-2015 – Postdoctoral researcher at the Dario Ringach lab, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.

I studied representation in the visual cortex of mice, looking at how stimuli are differentially encoded during locomotion. I developed and applied Bayesian decoding methods to better understand how simple changes in gain can lead to adaptive neural codes that conserve energy in times of lethargy and perform better during times of high demand.

implemented and improved signal processing methods for 2-photon imaging, in particular constrained matrix factorization to extract meaning out of recordings in the photon shot-noise regime.

2008-2014 – Doctoral researcher at the Pack Lab, McGill University, Montreal.

I studied visual representation and decision making at the level of single neurons, populations of neurons, and psychophysical observers. I refined and applied systems identification methods to understand how humans classify noise images; how the brain processes optic flow; and what happens to visual representation around the time of saccades. I worked on signal processing methods for local field potentials, applicable to neural prosthetics and BCI. [PhD thesis].

2005-2008 – Programmer, self-employed, 5 1/2 enr.

I ran a consulting business specialized in Rich Internet Application programming in Flash and PHP. I lead the amfphp open-source project, a RPC backend which allows PHP/Flash communication. I worked on promotional material for Windows Vista – in collaboration with MercuryCloud LLC – and a Google-Maps-like app for tracking buses and metros for the Société de transport de Montréal – in collaboration with H2H interactif.

Teaching experience

  • Guest Lecturer, NEUR 603, Computational Neuroscience (Graduate-level class)
    Class Instructor: Dr. Christopher Pack
    Lecture title: Generalized Linear and Additive Models in neuroscience.

Distinctions

  • Postdoc grant, Fonds de recherche Québec, Nature et Technologies (FRQNT), 2015 – refused.
  • Top 5% Kaggle submission, AXA driver telematics, March 2015.
  • PhD scholarship, Fond de recherche Québec, Nature et Technologies (FRQNT), 2011-2013.
  • Selected for Cold Spring Harbour Lab 2012 Computational Vision class (< 20% accepted).
  • Graduated with joint honours in Physics and Mathematics, McGill University, 2007

Other endeavours and projects

I have been writing about neuroscience, programming, data science on this blog since 2008.

I developed Zotero Reader, which gives access to your Zotero library on mobile and desktop web browsers. I also ran SciTrends, which tracks trending science articles on social media.

I’m working on a project that uses EEG recordings to do visual diagnostics faster in glaucoma patients with some people at UCSF.

I’m an enthusiast of the ancient Stoic philosophers, and am currently translating Seneca’s De Brevitate Vitae (on the Brevity of Life) from Latin to French.

In my free time, I dance swing and jive:

Licensing

All of the code snippets on this blog are authored by me – unless otherwise indicated – and are licensed under an MIT license, which means you can use them without asking me about it. All the text is CC-BY-2.0, which means you can include it in a textbook, a paper, or repost it elsewhere and potentially modify without asking permission as long as you maintain an attribution line.

*My last name is pronounced Mino, as in the last two syllables of domino.

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