Cognitive Computing – Merging Concepts with Hardware


December 18-20, 2018, Hannover, Germany

** An interdisciplinary networking event / scientific conference **

We would like to draw your attention to a slightly unorthodox scientific
community event that could be realized with the generous support from
the Volkswagen Foundation, Germany’s largest private organization for
the advancement of scientific research.

The aim of this event is to work towards a general, productive, and
rigorous theory of “computing” in non-digital, nonlinear physical
substrates. Biological brains and unconventional computing machines
would become understandable as different instantiations of the same
underlying principles.

Three scientific communities, namely

• cognitive and computational neurosciences,
• theory of computation, and
• nonlinear materials, devices and systems

have since long been exploring diverse facets of such principles of
non-digital computing. But differences in terminology,
discipline-specific objectives and a scattered spectrum of formal
methods have handicapped cross-fertilization. Everything in this
conference is geared toward stimulating linkages between these fields:

• single-track with rather few, rather long oral presentations,
• long break and poster session times for person-to-person
• keynote and plenary speakers of interdisciplinary renown,
• a limited (200) number of participants,
• a splendid setting in the Castle of Herrenhausen, a heritage
of the Kings of Hannover, with adjoining hectares of
classical French gardening.

Invited speakers:

• Kwabena Boahen, Stanford University
• Joanna J. Bryson, Univ. of Bath and Princeton University
• Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo
• Edward A. Lee, UC Berkeley
• Demetri Psaltis, EPFL Lausanne
• Pieter Roelfsema, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam &
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
• Susan Stepney, University of York
• Ipke Wachsmuth, University of Bielefeld
• David Wolpert, Santa Fe Institute

We solicit the submission of 2-page abstracts, with themes oriented
toward our five topical sessions:

• applications of unconventional computing systems,
• theoretical concepts and mathematical foundations,
• neuromorphic hardware,
• novel physical substrates,
• guides from neuroscience for computing technologies,

encouraging survey / introductory / didactic contributions (besides the
standard discipline-specific result reports which are also possible).
Detailed information can be found on and
in the Call for Abstracts that is posted there. Timelines:

• Abstract submission: July 31
• Notification of acceptance: September 30
• Final abstract for online publication: October 31

Registration fees:

• Students (incl. PhD students): 150 Euro
• Others (academic): 300 Euro
• Industry: 900 Euro

Contributors of accepted oral presentations will be exempted from fees
and will receive travel refunding.

The organizers:

• Daniel Brunner (photonics, neuromorphic architectures;
University of Besançon)
• Herbert Jaeger (machine learning, nonlinear dynamics;
Jacobs University Bremen)
• Stuart Parkin (nano systems, quantum electronic materials;
Max-Planck-Institute for Microstructure Physics, Halle)
• Gordon Pipa (neuroinformatics and cognitive computing;
University of Osnabrück)