Computer systems are vital to advancing our understanding of the brain. From embedded chips in brain implants, to server systems used for large-scale brain modeling, computer systems help shed light on all aspects of brain biology, behavior, and cognition. This talk will show the challenges facing such computer systems. We will discuss the extreme energy needs of hardware used in brain implants, and the challenges posed by the computational requirements of large-scale brain modeling software. To address these problems, we will discuss recent results from my lab, focusing on our design of brain implants to monitor the cerebella of awake and anesthetized mice. We will show that perceptron-based hardware branch predictors can be co-opted to predict neuronal spiking activity in various brain sites, and can guide power management on brain implants. We will also discuss other promising ways of exploiting the underlying biology of neurons and brain tissue to enable energy-efficient brain-machine implants of the future.
Bio: Abhishek Bhattacharjee is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers University and a CV Starr Fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University. His research interests are in designing computer systems for all scales of use, from server systems for data-centers to embedded systems for biomedical devices. Some of the research results from his lab have been integrated on commercial chips and the Linux OS. Abhishek is this year's recipient of the Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research.