Thursday Sept 23rd — Christos Papadimitriou from Columbia University

The next Foundations of Data Science virtual talk will take place on Thursday, Sept 23rd at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (13:00 Eastern Time, 18:00 Central European Time, 17:00 UTC).  Christos Papadimitriou from Columbia Univeristy will speak about “How does the brain beget the mind?”

Please register here to join the virtual talk.

Abstract: How do molecules, cells and synapses effect reasoning, intelligence, planning, language? Despite dazzling progress in experimental neuroscience, as well as in cognitive science at the other extreme of scale, we do not seem to be making progress in the overarching question: the gap is huge and a completely new approach seems to be required. As Richard Axel recently put it: “We don’t have a logic for the transformation of neural activity into thought […].”

What kind of formal system would qualify as this “logic”?

I will introduce the Assembly Calculus (AC), a computational system which appears to be a promising bridge between neurons and cognition. Through this programming framework, a Parser was recently implemented which (a) can handle reasonably complex sentences of English and other languages, and (b) works exclusively through the spiking of neurons.

The series is supported by the NSF HDR TRIPODS Grant 1934846.

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