Archive for October 14th, 2011

Advanced Speaker Series on Emerging Technologies

Suspicious Coincidences in the Brain
Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Hosted by: Toby Berger
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
4:00 – 5:00 pm
MEC 205
Reception at 3:30 pm (before talk)

Abstract:  Brains need to make quick sense of massive amounts of ambiguous information with minimal energy
costs and have evolved an intriguing mixture of analog and digital mechanisms to allow this efficiency.  Analog
electrical and biochemical signals inside neurons are used for integrating synaptic inputs from other neurons.  The
digital part is the all-or-none action potential, or spike, that lasts for a millisecond or less and is used to send
messages over a long distance.  Spike coincidences occur when two or more neurons fire together at nearly the
same time.  In this lecture I will show how rare spike coincidences can be used efficiently to represent important
visual events and how this architecture can be implemented with analog VLSI technology to simplify the early
stages of visual processing.


Calling all UVa SEAS entrepreneurs and innovators!   We are pleased to announce the third annual UVa SEAS Entrepreneurial Concept Competition (ECC) on Wednesday, November 9.   This is an opportunity for engineering students (both grad and undergrad) to pitch a new product, process, or business and win a share of the $5000 in prizes.   The winner of the SEAS ECC will also have the honor of representing the School in the university-competition for the UVa Cup where the top prize is $20,000.

The deadline for submissions to the SEAS ECC is Saturday, October 29 at 12 noon.

Participants:    You may enter as an individual or with a team (see details on web site)

Submissions:   The SEAS contest submission is to be a two-page proposal written as an executive summary (see website listed below for details)

Prizes:              Three awards consisting of $3000, $1500, $500 each

Winner:            Must present to U.Va. Entrepreneurial Cup on November 18, 2011

Website:          (
Dates to Remember:

29 October:    SEAS proposals due

2 November:   SEAS Finalists contacted by email

9 November:   SEAS Competition

18 November: U.Va. Cup Competition

For more information, please contact Letitia Green at or Bernie Carlson at

SLab and ITS Software Workshop: Introduction to R

Wednesday, October 19
2:00 p.m.
Alderman Library Electronic Classroom

Introduction to R, the widely used open source statistical environment.  Instructor: Kathy Gerber.

GIS Workshop: Visualization of Tabular Data with Fusion Tables

Tuesday, October 18
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Alderman Library Electronic Classroom

Ever had some tabular data and thought how cool it would be to map or graph it?  We will show you how to get started using Google Fusion Tables.  Fusion Tables are a good way to manage and visualize tabular data.  You will learn several ways to visualize your data including mapping.

Digital Humanities Speaker Series: Lev Manovich

How to Compare One Million Images?  Visualizing Patterns in Art, Games, Comics, Cinema, Web, and Print Media

Lev Manovich
Professor, Visual Arts Department, University of California, San Diego
Director,  Software Studies Initiative, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2)

Tuesday, October 18
4:00 p.m.
Scholars’ Lab Common Room
Alderman Library, 4th  Floor
Reception immediately follows.


The explosive growth of cultural content on the web including social media, and the digitization work by museums, libraries, and companies make possible a fundamentally new paradigm for the study of cultural content.  We can use computer-based techniques for data analysis and interactive visualization employed in sciences as well as the artistic techniques developed in media and digital art to analyze patterns and trends in massive visual data sets.  We call this paradigm Cultural Analytics.

In 2007 we have established Software Studies Initiative ( at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and California Institute for Telecommunication and Information (Calit2) to begin putting this vision into practice.  I will show examples of our research including visualization of art, film, animation, video games, magazines, graphic design and other visual media.  I will also discuss how working with massive cultural data sets – such as one million manga pages – forces us to question most basic concepts of cultural analysis which we normally take for granted.

Dr. Manovich’s talk is co-sponsored by IATH, SHANTI, and the Scholars’ Lab

RSS Feed

October 2011