Call for Applications to the 2016 Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop



Sunday June 26th - Saturday July 16th, 2016, Telluride, Colorado

IMPORTANT DATES FOR APPLICATION (Instructions are at the bottom of the page)

Application Website Open - 16th February, 2016

Applications Due - 2nd April, 2016, Extended to April 10th

Notification of Acceptance - 15th April, 2016

Application website:  https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/7040.


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.


Decoding Multi-Modal Effects on Auditory Cognition: Edmund Lalor (Trinity College Dublin), Alain de Cheveigne (UPMC, Paris), Malcolm Slaney (Google), and Shihab Shamma (UM-College Park)

Spike-Based Cognition in Active Neuromorphic Systems: Ryad Benjamin Benosman (UPMC, Paris), Cornelia Fermuller (Univ. of Maryland), Garrick Orchard (National University of Singapore), Michele Rucci (Boston University), and Bert Shi (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

 Neuromorphic Path Planning for Robots in a Disaster Response Scenario: Jeff Krichmar (University of California, Irvine) and Jennifer Hasler (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Neuromorphic Tactile Sensing:James Wright (MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University), Jonathan Tapson (MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University), and Nitish V. Thakor (SINAPSE, Singapore University for Neurotechnology)

Computational Neuroscience (invitational mini-workshop): Terry Sejnowski (Salk Institute)


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). There are several small airports (e.g. Montrose) close to 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 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 15th, 2016. The Workshop covers all your accommodations and facilities costs for the 3 weeks duration. You are responsible for your own travel to the Workshop.

Registration Fees: For expenses not covered by federal funds, a Workshop registration fee is required. The fee is $1500 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.

The 2016 Workshop and Summer School on Neuromorphic Engineering is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering, University of Maryland - College Park, Institute for Neuroinformatics – University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, University of Western Sydney and the Salk Institute.

Workshop Directors:

Cornelia Fermüller (University of Maryland)

Ralph Etienne-Cummings (Johns Hopkins Univ.)

Shih-Chii Liu (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich)

Timmer Horiuchi (University of Maryland)

Katalin Gothard (University of Arizona)

Michael Pfeiffer (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich)

Francisco Barranco (University of Granada)

Former 2007-2013 Workshop Director: Tobi Delbruck (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich)

Workshop Advisory Board: Andreas Andreou (Johns Hopkins University) Andre van Schaik (University Western Sydney, Australia) Avis Cohen (University of Maryland) Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (Boston University) Giacomo Indiveri (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich) Jonathan Tapson (University Western Sydney, Australia) Malcolm Slaney (Google) Jennifer Hasler (Georgia Institute of Technology) Rodney Douglas (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich) Shihab Shamma (University of Maryland) Tobi Delbruck (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich)


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 16th, 2016):  https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/7040.

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.

16th February, 2016 - Applications accepted on website

2nd April, 2016 - Applications Due

15th April, 2016 - Notification of Acceptance