Bionet Group Researchers
Aurel A. Lazar has been a professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University since 1988. He founded the Bionet Group in 2003. His primary research interests focus on the molecular architecture and the functional logic of the fruit fly brain. He leads research projects in Building Interactive Computing Tools for the Fruit Fly Brain Observatory, in Computing with Fruit Fly Brain Circuits and on Creating NeuroInformation Processing Machines. [Past Research in Communication Networks (1981-2002)]
Yiyin Zhou (Ph.D. October 2015) succesfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Massively Parallel Spiking Neural Circuits: Encoding, Decoding and Functional Identification". He received the Jury Award from Columbia's Electrical Engineering Department for outstanding achievement by a graduate student in May 2016. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist with the Bionet Group. His interests are in signal representation in neural systems, particularly in time encoding and decoding for visual signals and computational implementations thereof.
Nikul H. Ukani (Ph.D. October 2018) successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Sparse Algorithms for Decoding and Identification of Neural Circuits". In November 2018 he joined the D.E. Shaw Group.
Chung-Heng Yeh is interested in the analysis of dynamic phenomena in neural systems and spike processing of olfactory signals. He received the MS Award of Excellence from Columbia's Department of Electrical Engineering in 2013 and the Professional Development Scholarship from Columbia's Engineering Graduate Student Council in 2014.
Mehmet Kerem Turkcan received the M.S. degree in Computer Science from Columbia University in December 2016 and joined the Bionet Group in January 2017. He is interested in deep learning and computer vision in general.
Lucas Schuermann is interested in the real-time simulation of complex neural processes using massively parallel computation including the development and implementation of neural models and corresponding low-cost, high-accuracy numerical integration schemes. He is a Columbia Class of 2018 Egleston Scholar.
Bionet Ph.D. Alumni
Lev E. Givon (Ph.D. May 2016) successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "An Open Pipeline for Generating Executable Neural Circuits from Fruit Fly Brain Data." He received the Professional Development Scholarship from Columbia's Engineering Graduate Student Council in 2014. As of October 2017, he is a data scientist at DowDuPont.
Yevgeniy B. Slutskiy (Ph.D. October 2013) successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Identification of Dendritic Processing in Spiking Neural Circuits". He received the Jury Award from Columbia's Electrical Engineering Department for outstanding achievement by a graduate student in May 2014. As of June 2016, he is a data scientist at Curalate.
Anmo J. Kim (Ph.D. October 2010) succesfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Information Processing and Representation in the Drosophila Early Olfactory System". In June 2011, he joined Rockefeller University as a postdoctoral researcher. Since March 2018 he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea.
Eftychios A. Pnevmatikakis (Ph.D. February 2010) defended with distinction his doctoral thesis entitled "Spikes as Projections: Representation and Processing of Sensory Stimuli in the Time Domain". He received the Jury Award from Columbia's Electrical Engineering Department for outstanding achievement by a graduate student in May 2010. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Statistics and the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University between 2010-2014. As of 2014, he is a research scientist at the Simons Foundation.
Bionet Graduate Student Alumni
Wenze Li (M.S. February 2012) worked on developing novel recording methods for studying olfactory signal processing in the fruit fly. He also worked on memristor-based modeling of neural circuits. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Hillman Lab at Columbia's Biomedical Engineering Department.
Hanyu Li (M.S. February 2015) investigated massively parallel representations of stimuli in neural systems and analyzed spike processing of olfactory and visual signals. Since September 2015 he is a Ph.D. student in the computational neuroscience program at the University of Chicago.
Lingyu Zhang (M.S. February 2015) studied mechanisms of direction selective visual responses in starburst amacrine cells in the vertebrate retina.
Andrew Edward Pope II (B.S. February 2015) investigated the translation and efficient simulation of in vivo neuronal networks to functional in silico models.
Ban Wang (M.S. February 2014) worked on a behavior study of the olfactory system of fruit flies and genetic manipulation to find new useful features in transgenic flies. Since September 2014 she is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Washington, Seattle.
Daniel Clark (M.S. February 2014) investigated information processing algorithms and the neural architecture of the visual system, as well as applications of massively parallel computation. As of 2014, he is a research programmer at the Child Mind Institute.
Arthur Argall (M.S. May 2014) was interested in olfactory circuits and the basic biophysical properties of olfactory sensory neurons. As a Ph.D. student in the program in Neurobiology and Behavior, he was on rotation in the Fly Lab during the summer of 2013. In 2014 he joined the NYU School of Law.
Lu Xu is interested in developing new methods for obtaining electrophysiological recordings from transgenic flies. She was on rotation with the Fly lab during the Fall semester of 2012. Currently she is a Ph.D. student in the Biological Sciences department at Columbia University.
Prabhat Godse (M.S. February 2013) developed and implemented GPU-based models of auditory circuits in the fruit fly brain. He also participated in the Neurokernel Project. As of February 2013, he is an engineer at BioDigital Systems.
Robert J. Turetsky (M.S. 2003) investigated spike signal processing, dendritic computation and spike-based models of audition with an emphasis on the analogy between DSP and neural computing. He received the Millman Outstanding TA Award from Columbia's Department of Electrical Engineering in May 2010. As of 2017, he is a data scientist at Facebook.
Noah Berland (M.S. February 2008) investigated models of bursting neurons and topologies of bursting networks. He examined conditions under which small changes to neuron or synapse model parameters lead to drastically different network behaviors. As of 2013, he is a medical student at NYU Medical School.
Bionet Undergraduate Student Alumni
Amol J. Kapoor is interested in the development of neural modeling as a way to advance long term studies in artificial intelligence and brain-computer interfaces. He is a Columbia Class of 2018 Egleston Scholar. As of July 2018, he is a software engineer at Google.
Stephanie Rager is interested in the intersection of neurobiology and computer science and how we can use the tools that advanced computing and engineering methodology provide to further our knowledge of how the brain processes and responds to stimuli. She is a Columbia Class of 2019 Egleston Scholar.
Bionet High School Student Alumni
Jonathan Marty (a rising senior at Holmdel High School in NJ) was an intern during the summer of 2018. He packaged the Fruit Fly Brain Observatory software using Docker and implemented a model of the fruit fly early visual system using Keras and Tensorflow. His interests span machine learning, neuroscience, and cybersecurity.
Khyber Sen (a rising Senior at Stuyvesant High School) was an Intern during the summer of 2017. He is interested in applying GPU programming on NVIDIA Jetson Embedded System and use it to control a robotic platform. He is now an undergraduate student at Columbia University.
Jason Zhang (a graduate of Newman Smith High School ) was an Intern during the summer of 2017. He learnt GPU programming and applied them on processing videos streamed to a robotic platform uisng the NVIDIA Jetson Embedded System. He is now a Electrical Engineering student at the University of Texas, Austin.
Andre Kessler (a rising Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology) was an Intern during the summer of 2010. With interests in time encoding/decoding and the representation and manipulation of visual stimuli in time-domain systems, he developed a parallel implementation of a neural linear programming circuit. He graduated from MIT in 2015 and is now with Space-X.