The 2016 NICE Workshop has ended. You can view all of the presentations here. You can also download slides from some of the presentations. See links to download in agenda below. Congratulations to our student poster award winners, Thomas Jackson and Luziwei Leng! Read on for more information about this event.


2016 Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop

nice_smConference Dates: March 7, 2016 – March 9, 2016

Location: Krutch Theater Conference Center
Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley
2601 Warring St. Berkeley, CA 94720
(view map)

Presented by the NICE Workshop Foundation.


Workshop focus

Conventional, stored program architecture systems are designed for algorithmic and exact calculations.  However, the problems with highest impact involve large, noisy, incomplete, “natural” data sets that do not lend themselves to convenient solutions by current systems.  Our task is to build upon the convergence among neuroscience, microelectronics and computational systems to develop a new architecture designed to handle these natural data sets. The applications and clarification of the value proposition for new neuro-inspired, neuromorphic systems are critical focal points of this workshop.

Learn about past NICE workshops.


By bringing together researchers from different scientific disciplines and applications, we seek to provide a nucleation point for the development of next generation information processing and computation architectures that go beyond stored program architecture and Moore’s Law limits.

At this workshop, we will:

  • Present applications that are looking for solutions that are beyond the capabilities of current computational systems
  • Highlight technical approaches that are at the early to middle stages of development for new computational systems
  • Identify pathways and resources to accelerate the development of these new systems


Neuroscience: Sensory information processing in cells and circuits, mechanisms of plasticity, learning and development.

Theory: Theoretical principles of brain information processing, sparse coding, stochastic computing, the role of spikes, Bayesian computing.

Algorithms: Computational synthesis of brain information processing, deep learning.

Platforms/Hardware: Massively parallel neuromorphic hardware architectures, application of commodity systems, novel digital, analog and mixed-signal architectures, application of novel devices.

Applications: Robotics, spatio-temporal pattern detection, causal relations in big data, prediction, approximate computing.


Click here to view all of the presentations (>> NICE 2016 Workshop playlist, UC Berkeley events channel on youtube). You can also download slides from some of the presentations. See links to download in agenda below.

Click here to view abstracts.

Monday, March 7, 2016*Tuesday, March 8, 2016*Wednesday, March 9, 2016
8:00Welcome8:00Welcome8:00 Welcome
8:10Programmatic overview:
Thomas Potok (ORNL)
Karlheinz Meier (EU HBP)
(download presentation)

Jacob Vogelstein (IARPA)
Bruce Hendrickson (Sandia) (download presentation)
8:15Steve Furber (University of Manchester) SpiNNaker update (view abstract) (download presentation)8:10Theme 3 overview - Approximate Computing
9:00Thomas Nowotny and
Michael Schmuker
(University of Sussex)

(download presentation)
9:00Conrad James (Sandia)8:15Ila Fiete (UT Austin)
9:25Amir Khosrowshahi (Nervana) Rethinking computation: a processor architecture for machine intelligence (view abstract)9:25Narayan Srinivasa (Intel)8:45Joe Bates (Singular Computing) Practical Approximate Computing (view abstract)
9:50Break9:50Break9:15Theme 4 overview - Co-local Computing and Memory
10:10Christof Koch (Allen Institute for Brain Science) Understanding Cortex in an Open Access and High Throughput Manner (download presentation)10:10Pentti Kanerva (UC Berkeley) Computing with Hypervectors (view abstract) (download presentation)9:20Surya Ganguli (Stanford)
10:55Paul Rhodes (Specific Technologies, Evolved Machines)10:35Speaker unable to attend9:50William Dally (NVIDIA, Stanford)
11:203x10 minute lightning talks:
Lloyd Watts (Neocortix)
A Platform For Intelligence
(download presentation)
Sek Chai (SRI)
Deep Temporal Models
(download presentation)
Brad Aimone (Sandia)
Modulating Neural Computation (download presentation)
11:003x10 minute lightning talks:
Paul Franzon (NCSU)
Katie Schumann (ORNL) Evolutionary Optimization: A Training Method for Neuromorphic Systems (download presentation)
Mihai Petrovici (Univ. of Heidelberg) Stochastic inference with deterministic spiking neurons (download presentation)
11:55Lunch11:45Lunch10:40Bruce Hendrickson (Sandia) Summary of Conference (download presentation)
1:00Dharmendra Modha (IBM)
TrueNorth: Recent Advances in Technology and Ecosystem
(view abstract)
1:00Rod Rinkus (Neurithmic Systems) Sparse Distributed Representation Trumps Machine Parallelism for Improving Computational Efficiency (download presentation)11:00Computing and Neuroscience Discussion
1:25Alice Parker (USC)
Tradeoffs in Neuromorphic Circuit Design: Reliability, Efficiency, Density of Computations, Power, and Biomimicity (view abstract) (download presentation)
1:25Jeff Hawkins (Numenta) What is Intelligence, that a Machine Might Have Some? (download presentation)12:00Lunch
1:50Bruno Olshausen (UC Berkeley, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience) Beyond inspiration: Three lessons from biology on building intelligent machines (view abstract) (download presentation)1:50Giacomo Indiveri (University of Zurich) Neuromorphic electronic circuits as key enablers of autonomous cognitive agents (download presentation)1:00Max Di Ventra (UCSD)
2:15Poster and demo overview 2:15Break with posters1:25Jesse Engel (Baidu)
2:35Break with posters2:35Theme 1 overview - Spike Based Representations1:504x10 minute lightning talks:
Kristofer Bouchard (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Tarek Taha (Univ. of Dayton)
William Severa (Sandia)
Dhireesha Kudithipudi (RIT)
3:00Dan Hammerstrom (DARPA) UPSIDE / Cortical Processor Study (download presentation)2:40Wolfgang Maass (Technische Universitat Graz) Principles of network optimization through STDP and rewiring (view abstract) (download presentation)2:35Break with posters
3:20Karlheinz Meier (EU HBP) Neuromorphic Computing in the European Human Brain Project (download presentation)3:10Aurel Lazar (Columbia)
NeuroInformation Processing Machines (view abstract)
3:00Arvind Kumar and Winfried Wilcke (IBM) 3D Wafer Scale Integration:
A Scaling Path to an Intelligent Machine
(download presentation)
3:40Kris Bhaskar (KLA/Tencor)3:40Theme 2 overview - Asynchronous Computing 3:20Gert Cauwenberghs (UCSD) Reverse Engineering the Cognitive Brain in Silicon (download presentation)
4:05Christos Papadmitriou (UC Berkeley)3:45Fritz Sommer (UC Berkeley, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience)3:40Johannes Schemmel (University of Heidelberg) Accelerated Analog Neuromorphic Hardware (download presentation)
4:30Panel discussion/open mic4:15Rajit Manohar (Cornell) Asynchronous Logic: A Computer Systems Perspective (download presentation)4:05Garrett Rose (University of Tennessee - Knoxville) A Memristive Dynamic Adaptive Neural Network Array (download presentation)
6:00Dinner at Clark Kerr4:45Panel discussion/open mic 4:30 - 6:00Panel discussion/open mic
7:00 - 10:00Poster and demo session open6:15 - 8:00 Hosted dinner at The Claremont Hotel (map)


Invited Speakers (Confirmed)