News Archives

Summer 2008

Grant:

The BCL and collaborators at Arizona State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Prarie View A&M University secured a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation for "Design, Implementation and Dissemination of Multidisciplinary online Java Digital Signal Processing (J-DSP) Materials"

Spring 2008

Biotechnology Institute:

Prof. Stiber, along with UWB colleagues Prof. Steven Collins and Prof. Alan Leong, have formed the UWB Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology Institute (BBTI) as an interface between resources and events at UWB and the area life sciences industry.

Honor:

Prof. Stiber has been named a Fulbright Senior Specialists Roster Candidate for the years 2008-2013 by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

Winter 2008

Grant:

The BCL, in collaboration with the UWB CSS Distributed Systems Lab, earned a $4,000 UWB Collaborative Undergraduate Research project grant to support the development of gridware for neural simulation.

A new look:

Our web site now has a new look, thanks to the efforts of Jeevan Vaikunthanathan from Brian Bansenauer's BIT 113 class at Cascadia Community College.

Fall 2007: Conference Paper

Conference paper:
  1. Michael Stiber, Fumitaka Kawasaki, and Dongming Xu, "A model of dissociated cortical tissue", International Workshop on Neuronal Coding, Montevideo, Uruguay, November 2007.

    Summary: This is the first of a new line of investigation for the BCL. We are interested in understanding how developing brains form networks that perform useful tasks. One method that a number of investigators are using is growing cultures of "dissociated cortical tissue" -- brain cells from fetal rats -- on electrode arrays. The idea is to be able to probe networks as they develop. Unfortunately, what usually results is a network that produces large bursts of activity and little else. We now have a model of a small network that we used for a preliminary evaluation of how such activity might arise.

Summer 2007: NSF Grant

We received a grant (OISE-0652336) from the National Science Foundation for a "Joint US/Uruguay Workshop on Neuronal Coding", to be just before the International Workshop on Neuronal Coding in Montevideo, in November 2007.

Spring 2007: Journal Paper

Journal paper:
  1. Michael Stiber, "Transient bifurcations in neural error correction," Biosystems 89(1-3): 24-29, May-June 2007.

    Summary: This paper continues our investigation into the significance of timing in nerve cells and, in particular, the possibility of error correcting codes. In this case, we looked at the interplay between errors and the kind of behavior a cell exhibits. We showed that we can predict the aftereffects of an error using our knowledge of a cell's nonlinear dynamics.

Fall 2006

The BCL received a $2,000 UWB Collaborative Undergraduate Research project grant, "Liquid state machines as models of cortical cultures."

Prof. Stiber is on the organizing committee for the Neural Coding 2007 meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Spring 2006: Institute Funding Received

Prof. Stiber and the BCL became a partner in the creation of a Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology Institute at UWB. Among other things, this new institute will help connect BCL research and students to local industry. Creation of the BBTI is supported by a $20,000 UWB Worthington Academic Distinction grant.

Fall 2005

We now have a local copy of the J-DSP software installed. This is in preparation for its incorporation into the Spring 2006 edition of our Multimedia Computing course.

Prof. Stiber is back from his sabbatical at the University of Florida Electrical and Computer Engineering Department's Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory.

Conference paper:

  1. Spanias, A., V. Atti, R. Chilimula, S. Haag, A. Papandreou-Suppappola, C. Tepedelenlioglu, J. Zhang, F. Bodreaux-Bartels, M. Stiber, T. Kasparis, and P Loizou, "Work in Progress - Multi-university development and dissemination of online laboratories in probability theory, signals and systems, and multimedia computing", IEEE Frontiers in Education, Indianapolis, October 2005.

Summer 2005: Conference Presentations

  1. Stiber, M. "Bifurcations of neural transient responses", International Workshop on Neuronal Coding, Marburg, Germany, August 2005.

March 2005: Grant Funded

The Biocomputing Laboratory has received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in collaboration with Arizona State University, the University of Texas, Dallas, and the University of Rhode Island. This support will be used to develop a set of on-line computer laboratory modules and study materials for the lab's digital signal computing course for software majors.

February 2005: New Journal Papers

  1. Michael Stiber, "Spike timing precision and neural error correction: local behavior", Neural Computation 17(7): 1577-1601, 2005.

    Summary: One of the open questions in neural computation is how important the timing of nerve cell outputs is. Our research shows that it is plausible that nerve cells could use high-precision outputs as a type of error correcting code. Besides addressing questions in biocomputing, this could have applications to pulse-coded and secure communications.

  2. Leonel Gomez, Ruben Budelli, Rafael Saa, Michael Stiber, and Jose Pedro Segundo, "Pooled spike trains of correlated presynaptic inputs as realizations of cluster point processes", Biological Cybernetics, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 110-127, 2005.

    Summary: One of the difficulties facing people investigating biocomputing is that of high connectivity: each nerve cell typically sends and receives outputs and inputs to and from thousands of other cells. In this work, we apply the concept of cluster point processes to analyzing the responses of nerve cells to large numbers of inputs.

Academic Year 2004-05: People

Prof. Stiber is a Visiting Associate Professor in the University of Florida Electrical and Computer Engineering Department's Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory for the academic year. While there, he has been working on models of nervous system formation for cortical cell cultures: living nervous system tissue grown in "petri dishes". These cultures show promise as tools for investigating neurological diseases like epilepsy. They also serve as the basic building blocks of a new generation of hybrid biological/electronic computing devices.

Summer 2004: Conference Presentations

  1. Michael Stiber and Mark Pottorf, "Response space construction for neural error correction", International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, Budapest, Hungary, July 2004.

    Summary: This work with a UWB student continues our investigation of error correction in biocomputing by examining the detailed internal dynamics of a single nerve cell in response to individual inputs. We hope to use this information to build a more general model for information coding in nervous systems that takes into account timing precision and errors.

  2. Michael Stiber and Thomas Holderman,"Global behavior of neural error correction", International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, Budapest, Hungary, July 2004.

    Summary: This work, also with a UWB student, takes a broad view of the issue of nerve cell error correction. It shows how techniques previously used for "static" neural behaviors can be extended to aid our understanding of error correction.

  3. Michael Stiber, "A Signal Computing Course for Software Undergraduates", Meeting of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, Norfolk, VA, March 2004.

    Summary: We have been developing a laboratory course that introduces the concepts of computing with real-world signals to UWB students. These are topics that are usually covered in an electrical engineering curriculum. In the BCL course, students learn the software and systems issues related to digital signal computing.