2016 Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop

The 2016 NICE Workshop has ended. You can view all of the presentations here. You can also download slides from some of the presentations. See links to download in agenda below. Congratulations to our student poster award winners, Thomas Jackson and Luziwei Leng! Read on for more information about this event.




2016 Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop


Conference Dates: March 7, 2016 – March 9, 2016

Location: Krutch Theater Conference Center
Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley
2601 Warring St. Berkeley, CA 94720
(view map)

Presented by the NICE Workshop Foundation.

Click here to register!

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Workshop focus

Conventional, stored program architecture systems are designed for algorithmic and exact calculations.  However, the problems with highest impact involve large, noisy, incomplete, “natural” data sets that do not lend themselves to convenient solutions by current systems.  Our task is to build upon the convergence among neuroscience, microelectronics and computational systems to develop a new architecture designed to handle these natural data sets. The applications and clarification of the value proposition for new neuro-inspired, neuromorphic systems are critical focal points of this workshop.

Learn about past NICE workshops.



By bringing together researchers from different scientific disciplines and applications, we seek to provide a nucleation point for the development of next generation information processing and computation architectures that go beyond stored program architecture and Moore’s Law limits.

At this workshop, we will:

  • Present applications that are looking for solutions that are beyond the capabilities of current computational systems
  • Highlight technical approaches that are at the early to middle stages of development for new computational systems
  • Identify pathways and resources to accelerate the development of these new systems



Neuroscience: Sensory information processing in cells and circuits, mechanisms of plasticity, learning and development.

Theory: Theoretical principles of brain information processing, sparse coding, stochastic computing, the role of spikes, Bayesian computing.

Algorithms: Computational synthesis of brain information processing, deep learning.

Platforms/Hardware: Massively parallel neuromorphic hardware architectures, application of commodity systems, novel digital, analog and mixed-signal architectures, application of novel devices.

Applications: Robotics, spatio-temporal pattern detection, causal relations in big data, prediction, approximate computing.



Click here to view all of the presentations (>> NICE 2016 Workshop playlist, UC Berkeley events channel on youtube). You can also download slides from some of the presentations. See links to download in agenda below.

Click here to view abstracts.


Monday, March 7, 2016*Tuesday, March 8, 2016*Wednesday, March 9, 2016
8:00 am Welcome8:00 amWelcome8:00 am Welcome
8:10 amProgrammatic overview:
Thomas Potok (ORNL)
Karlheinz Meier (EU HBP) (download presentation)
Jacob Vogelstein (IARPA)
Bruce Hendrickson (Sandia) (download presentation)
8:15 amSteve Furber (University of Manchester)
SpiNNaker update (view abstract) (download presentation)
8:10 am Theme 3 overview - Approximate Computing
9:00 amThomas Nowotny and Michael Schmuker (University of Sussex) COMPARING NEUROMORPHIC SOLUTIONS IN ACTION (download presentation)9:00 amConrad James (Sandia)8:15 am Ila Fiete (UT Austin)
9:25 amAmir Khosrowshahi (Nervana)
Rethinking computation: a processor architecture for machine intelligence (view abstract)
9:25 amNarayan Srinivasa (Intel)8:45 am Joe Bates (Singular Computing) Practical Approximate Computing (view abstract)
9:50 am Break9:50 am Break9:15 am Theme 4 overview - Co-local Computing and Memory
10:10 am Christof Koch (Allen Institute for Brain Science) Understanding Cortex in an Open Access and High Throughput Manner (download presentation)10:10 amPentti Kanerva (UC Berkeley)
Computing with Hypervectors (view abstract) (download presentation)
9:20 am Surya Ganguli (Stanford)
10:55 am Paul Rhodes (Specific Technologies, Evolved Machines)10:35 am Speaker unable to attend9:50 am William Dally (NVIDIA, Stanford)
11:20 am3x10 minute lightning talks:
Lloyd Watts (Neocortix) A Platform For Intelligence (download presentation)
Sek Chai (SRI) Deep Temporal Models (download presentation)
Brad Aimone (Sandia) Modulating Neural Computation (download presentation)
11:00 am3x10 minute lightning talks:
Paul Franzon (NCSU)
Katie Schumann (ORNL) Evolutionary Optimization: A Training Method for Neuromorphic Systems (download presentation)
Mihai Petrovici (Univ. of Heidelberg) Stochastic inference with deterministic spiking neurons (download presentation)
10:20 amBreak
11:55 amLunch11:45 amLunch10:40 am Bruce Hendrickson (Sandia) Summary of Conference (download presentation)
1:00 pmDharmendra Modha (IBM)
TrueNorth: Recent Advances in Technology and Ecosystem (view abstract)
1:00 pmRod Rinkus (Neurithmic Systems) Sparse Distributed Representation Trumps Machine Parallelism for Improving Computational Efficiency (download presentation)11:00 am Computing and Neuroscience Discussion
1:25 pm Alice Parker (USC)
Tradeoffs in Neuromorphic Circuit Design: Reliability, Efficiency, Density of Computations, Power, and Biomimicity (view abstract) (download presentation)
1:25 pmJeff Hawkins (Numenta) What is Intelligence, that a Machine Might Have Some? (download presentation)12:00 pmLunch
1:50 pmBruno Olshausen (UC Berkeley, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience) Beyond inspiration: Three lessons from biology on building intelligent machines (view abstract) (download presentation)1:50 pmGiacomo Indiveri (University of Zurich) Neuromorphic electronic circuits as key enablers of autonomous cognitive agents (download presentation)1:00 pm Max Di Ventra (UCSD)
2:15 pmPoster and demo overview 2:15 pmBreak with posters1:25 pmJesse Engel (Baidu)
2:35 pmBreak with posters2:35 pmTheme 1 overview - Spike Based Representations1:50 pm4x10 minute lightning talks:
Kristofer Bouchard (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Tarek Taha (Univ. of Dayton)
William Severa (Sandia)
Dhireesha Kudithipudi (RIT)
3:00 pmDan Hammerstrom (DARPA) UPSIDE / Cortical Processor Study (download presentation)2:40 pmWolfgang Maass (Technische Universitat Graz)
Principles of network optimization through STDP and rewiring (view abstract) (download presentation)
2:35 pmBreak with posters
3:20 pm Karlheinz Meier (EU HBP) Neuromorphic Computing in the European Human Brain Project (download presentation)3:10 pmAurel Lazar (Columbia)
NeuroInformation Processing Machines (view abstract)
3:00 pmArvind Kumar and Winfried Wilcke (IBM) 3D Wafer Scale Integration:
A Scaling Path to an Intelligent Machine
(download presentation)
3:40 pm Kris Bhaskar (KLA/Tencor)3:40 pmTheme 2 overview - Asynchronous Computing 3:20 pmGert Cauwenberghs (UCSD) Reverse Engineering the Cognitive Brain in Silicon (download presentation)
4:05 pmChristos Papadmitriou (UC Berkeley)3:45 pm Fritz Sommer (UC Berkeley, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience)3:40 pmJohannes Schemmel (University of Heidelberg) Accelerated Analog Neuromorphic Hardware (download presentation)
4:30 pmPanel discussion/open mic4:15 pm Rajit Manohar (Cornell) Asynchronous Logic: A Computer Systems Perspective (download presentation)4:05 pmGarrett Rose (University of Tennessee - Knoxville) A Memristive Dynamic Adaptive Neural Network Array (download presentation)
6:00 pmDinner at Clark Kerr4:45 pmPanel discussion/open mic 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Panel discussion/open mic
7:00 pm - 10:00 pmPoster and demo session open6:15 pm - 8:00 pm Hosted dinner at The Claremont Hotel (map)

Invited Speakers (Confirmed)



Daniel Hammerstrom, DARPA
Karlheinz Meier, University of Heidelberg
James B. Aimone, Sandia National Laboratories
Jacob Vogelstein, IARPA
Robinson Pino, DOE Office of Science
Paul Rhodes, Evolved Machines
Bruno Olshausen, UC Berkeley, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience
Murat Okandan, NICE Workshop Foundation



Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (2016 workshop host)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Human Brain Project
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)
Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience
Sandia National Laboratories
Department of Energy Office of Science
The Kavli Foundation
Oak Ridge National Laboratory