IEEE Neural Networks 2011

Gail Carpenter Named IEEE Fellow
on Neural Networks

Gail Carpenter is not an electronics engineer, but that didn’t stop the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) from offering her a fellowship. Carpenter, a Graduate School of Arts & Sciences professor of cognitive and neural systems and of mathematics, received the honor earlier this month for her development of the adaptive resonance theory (ART) and modeling of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons, both of which play a crucial role in neuroscience. ART can be used to model how the brain or a machine can quickly learn, remember, and recognize objects and events, and it can be applied to challenging engineering problems.

“I enjoy working with engineers, ” says Carpenter. “Engineers appreciate the notion that the brain is a working model, and they’re used to having mathematical models that describe what they are trying to build and to predict what the bridge can hold or where the rocket will go.”

Virginia Sapiro, dean of Arts & Sciences, says she is delighted for Carpenter. “It is an important and well-deserved recognition of her work, ” says Sapiro. “And it will shine a light on the first-rate science for which Boston University faculty are responsible.”

Carpenter says the fellowship shows how far neural modeling has come since she began her work in the field four decades ago. “Back then, neural modeling wasn’t even a field, ” she says. “A small number of us would go to conferences in mathematics or psychology and maybe give a talk that was really marginal. It has evolved in a way that none of us would have anticipated.”

Source: BU Today

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