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Is early vision like a convolutional neural net?

Early convolutional neural net (CNNs) architectures like the Neocognitron, LeNet and HMAX were inspired by the brain. But how much like the brain are modern CNNs? I made a pretty strong claim on Twitter a few weeks ago that the early visual processing is nothing like a CNN: In typical Twitter fashion, my statement was […]

Building Neuromatch Academy

Neuromatch Academy 2020 is a three-week online summer school in computational neuroscience that took place in July of 2020. We created interactive notebooks covering all aspects of computational neuroscience – from signals and models of spikes to machine learning and behaviour. We hired close to 200 TAs to teach this material to 1,700 students from […]

An online summer school for computational neuroscience

Megan Peters, Konrad Kording and the people behind neuromatch are building an online summer school for computational neuroscience (July 13 – 31st). If you’re reading this blog – chances are you should be a student in this class or a TA. It’s going to be awesome! 3 straight weeks of computational neuro education. Designed for […]

Scraping webpages with developer tools and Selenium

There’s a lot of interesting statistics you can do by scraping websites, whether it’s reading tables from Wikipedia, grabbing and aggregating climate change tables from government websites, or quantifying the exponential growth of covid-19 articles on Medium. Many of these pages will have easy-to-use methods to download the data in a develop-friendly format, for example […]

Reverse correlation: linearizing black-box functions

Reverse correlation is a tried-and-tested nonlinear systems identification method to understand biological neurons. The idea is to open the black box that is a biological neuron by using random stimuli to probe how the neuron responds. We present a series of random stimuli to a sensory neuron. By averaging those that generated a response, we […]

Rewriting Matlab code in Python

This was part 3 of my guide on transitioning from Matlab to Python. Read part 1: a curriculum to learn Python and part 2: choosing environments, IDEs and packages.

Orienting yourself through Python

I was surprised by the amount of positive response to my last article on transitioning away from Matlab. Many people are ready to switch – but they’re facing some significant challenges. One of the biggest things I’ve heard beginners say is that they are overwhelmed with the number of choices they have to make with […]

Transitioning away from Matlab

In my last article, I talked about how I got a job in industry. I had been programming Python on and off for 10 years when I got my first non-academic job. Having proficiency in a language that people use outside of academia will improve your chances of getting a job in industry. Learning a […]

How I got a job in industry

I often get asked how I landed a job in industry after my postdoc. After my PhD at McGill, I started a postdoc at UCLA in July 2014. After about 6 months, like many a postdoc, I started to get worried about my financial security and academic job prospects. So I started exploring jobs outside […]

The eyes of scallops

A scallop. Each of the blue dots lining the shell is an eye. Source: Wikipedia. Scallops are a family of bivalves. These modest saltwater clams often end up on seafood dinner plates, but did you know that scallops have dozens of image-forming eyes? They focus light onto a multi-layered retina through a telescope-like parabolic mirror. […]

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