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From Brain Science to Intelligent Machines

Visiting Professor wins prestigious award

ISRC visiting professor Scott Kelso, Glenwood and Martha Creech Eminent Scholar Chair in Science and founder of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), has recently received the Bernstein Prize, the highest award of the International Society of Motor Control (ISMC) for his life’s work in the area of brain science.

“This is well-deserved international recognition of Dr. Kelso’s research and contributions to the field of brain science,” said Gary Perry, Ph.D., dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at FAU. “The Bernstein Prize is the highest honour, and Dr. Kelso will only continue to excel in his field.”

The Bernstein Prize is awarded biennially to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the development of the area of motor control and how the brain coordinates movement. Kelso and his colleagues’ seminal work in this field was published in the journal Science in 1979 and 1988, and the journal Nature in 1998, as well as other prominent journals in the fields of neuroscience, physics, biology and psychology, and continues to the present day.

Ulster Computational Intelligence Expert scoops another Major International Award

Dr Damien Coyle, lecturer in the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, was in San Jose this week to pick up the International Neural Network Society’s Young Investigator of the Year 2011 award for outstanding contributions in the field of neural networks. Neural networks are mathematical algorithms which are inspired by the way the brain processes information. The award was presented by Prof Ron Sun, president of the International Neural network Society, at the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN).

Dr Coyle is a member of the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Magee and is focused on developing neural network based algorithms that can accurately predict and classify information and adapt autonomously to changes in signal and data dynamics. Dr Coyle applies neural networks in biosignal processing applications particularly in the field of brain computer interface (BCI) technology. BCI technology enables people to interact with computers using their brainwaves and has applications in assistive technologies for the physically impaired, rehabilitation after stroke and Guillain Barré syndrome and in non-medical applications such as games and entertainment.

ISRC hosts UKIERI Workshop

An international conference at the University of Ulster’s Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) on 7 and 8 July 2011 has shed new light on pioneering scientific research that will give disabled people a better quality of life.

The conference trained a fresh focus on international advances that are harnessing robotic science and the computer-aided power of brainwaves in ways that will improve healthcare and independence for people who are disabled.

The "International UKIERI Workshop on the Fusion of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) and Assistive Robotics (AR)” drew some 60 researchers, manufacturers, rehabilitation experts and care personnel from across the globe.

They explored the latest developments in brain-computer interface (BCI) technology and assistive robotics (AR). Their ongoing goal is to map out ways of integrating and moulding the two disciplines so as to improve the lives of people with severe physical disabilities.
ISRC Director Professor Martin McGinnity says that while tremendous advances have been made by researchers in both BCI and robotics technologies, there could be even greater potential if the two areas of research could be better integrated.

Bio-Inspired team featured on Siliconrepublic

Siliconrepublic, the Irish technological news site founded in 2002, has featured an article on the ISRC's Bio-Inspired and Neuro-Engineering Team. Technology has changed dramatically since 2002, and the ISRC has always kept pace with the new trends. It is for this reason that we, at the ISRC, are always pleased to see that our constant work to be one of Ireland's references for innovation is recognised.

Some excerpts of the article, which features a joint research between staff from the Intelligent Systems Research Centre and the National University of Ireland Galway can be seen below:

'Engineers at NUI Galway and the University of Ulster are developing bio-inspired integrated circuit technology which mimics the neuron structure and operation of the brain and will help robots to think for themselves in search-and-rescue operations and space exploration.

ENNS best student paper award

Mr Snaider Carrillo, one of our PhD students, received one of the ENNS best student paper awards at the International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN 2011). The award (€400) was given by the European Neural Network Society (ENNS) Executive Board at the ENNS General Assembly open meeting held within the ICANN 2011.

ICANN is the annual flagship conference of the European Neural Network Society (ENNS). The ideal of ICANN is to bring together researchers from two worlds: Brain-inspired computing and Machine learning research. On this 2011 edition, ICANN returned to its roots after 20 years. The very first ICANN in 1991 was organized on the premises of Helsinki University of Technology in Espoo, Finland.