Friday, January 24, 2014

[Comp-neuro] Last Call: UOttawa Computational Neuroscience Summer School

         7th COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE SUMMER SCHOOL                     



MAY 5-18, 2014


We are pleased to announce the 7th summer School in Computational Neuroscience, which will be held from Monday May 5, 2014 until Saturday May 17, 2014 inclusively. It is organized by the Center for Neural Dynamics at the University of Ottawa, and supported by the NSERC-CREATE program in Quantitative Biomedicine, the CIHR training program in Neurophysics and the Organization for Computational Neuroscience. This highly pedagogical course is directed at graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from the physical sciences (e.g. physics, applied mathematics, engineering, computer science) and the life sciences (e.g. neuroscience, biology, physiology, human kinetics) who wish to develop their skills in neural data analysis and in mathematical modeling of neural activity. The topics will range from cellular to systems neuroscience, with a focus on sensory and motor systems. There is no tuition fee for participants from academic institutions, and further, there is support for travel and accommodation based on need.


The course will consist of 3 hours of lectures in the mornings, followed by 3-hour MATLAB-based computer laboratories in the afternoons. Participants will pair up for these laboratories, and an effort will be made to pair someone from the life sciences with someone from the physical sciences. All classes and laboratories will be held on the main downtown campus of the University of Ottawa. The School will be held in English. All participants must also do a research project and 15-minute presentation. The course can also be taken for official credits, since it is a University of Ottawa three-credit graduate course (NSC8104). The mark for the course will be based on work done in the computer laboratories, on the presentation of a research project by the end of the course, plus a write-up to follow within a week. The first evening of the school (Monday May 5th) will consist of a refresher on linear differential equations, linear algebra and probability theory open to all participants, as well as an introduction to MATLAB. 


Enrollment in the course will be limited to 40 participants. Apart from enjoying the numerous cultural activities of the capital city, there will also be opportunities to hike, swim or bungee-jump in the Gatineau hills nearby, or to go white-water rafting down the world-class Ottawa river.


MATH PRE-REQUISITES: Calculus I and II, first-year university level Linear Algebra  and Probability and Statistics.  

LIFE SCIENCES PRE-REQUISITES: first-year university level life science courses for students in the physical sciences.




Prof. Jean-Claude Béïque, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa

Prof. Maurice Chacron, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, Dept. Physiology, McGill

Prof. John Lewis, Biology, University of Ottawa

Prof. André Longtin, Physics, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa

Prof. Len Maler, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa

Prof. Cathy E. Morris, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and U. Ottawa

Prof. Georg Northoff, Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa

Prof. Jon Rubin, Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh  

Prof. Jean-Philippe Thivierge, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa



None for participants from academia. $2500 for participants from industry.

See the application form at:



Accommodation will be available at the Residences of the University of Ottawa, a few minutes walk away from the lecture hall and computer lab, cafeterias and downtown Ottawa with its restaurants, museums etc... Accommodation consists of a single room (with desk and internet access), with communal kitchen and living area and shared bathroom. The moderate cost will be announced shortly.  



For those demonstrating the need, limited partial financial support for travel and accommodation will be available ONLY for students registered at canadian universities and canadians studying abroad. Lunch and dinner will be covered for all participants. Support is provided by NSERC (CREATE training program in Quantitative Biomedicine, University of Ottawa) and CIHR (Neurophysics Training Grant, Universite Laval, McGill University and University of Ottawa). Also, two student/postdoctoral members of the Organization for Computational Neuroscience will be chosen to receive financial support for travel and accommodation. 




February 3rd, 2014: Application, including a letter of recommendation sent to

February 15, 2014: Notification of acceptance and level of financial support.

February 28, 2014: Notification of acceptance by the participant.

Accommodation: as soon as possible after notification of acceptance, participants can reserve their accommodation online at or by phoning 1-888-564-4545.









1. Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Probability

solutions of linear differential equations

qualitative analysis of nonlinear differential equations

elements of probability theory

2. Single Neuron Models (André Longtin and John Lewis)

ionic models

simplified deterministic models

stochastic models

3. Neural Spike Train Analysis and Modeling (Maurice Chacron)

basic statistics

autocorrelation, crosscorrelations, spectrum

information theory toolbox

4. Sensory Coding (Len Maler)

artificial and naturalistic stimuli

modeling activity along the afferent pathways

modeling feedback

population coding and information theory

5. Synaptic Plasticity (John Lewis)

short term depression and facilitation

long term plasticity

implications for information processing

6. Bursting and Deep Brain Stimulation (Jon Rubin)

mechanisms of bursting

cellular coupling

central pattern generators

Parkinson's and deep brain stimulation

7. Functional and Structural Networks (Jean-Philippe Thivierge)

Graph statistics

Multiscale networks

Analyzing dynamics from Multi-electrode arrays

8. Outlook onto New Areas

          computational Neurotrauma (Cathy E. Morris)

          resting state dynamics and psychiatric illness (Georg Northoff)

          homeostatic plasticity (Jean Claude Béique)



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