MSNE Research Internships in Manchester and Atlanta

As a part of our Master’s program, MSNE students explore labs outside of our programs in 6 to 8 week research internships. In this and a following series of posts, we collected stories of the experiences we made during our internships. In the second post, Lucas and Jonas share their impressions from their internships in Manchester and Atlanta. Lucas: University of Manchester, UK In the 2018 spring break, from February to April, I was part of the APT Advanced Processor Technologies Research Group at the University of Manchester.

15x4 Munich

At the beginning when we (as a second batch of MSNE) started this program, Steffen shared one event with us. It was about 4 lectures that were 15 minutes each and mostly related to Neuroscience. Around 10 fresh minds, eager for new knowledge, especially if related to neuroscience, went to the event. It left me a very good impression and after this event, the events from 15x4 Munich were visited regularly by students from our program.

Neuroengineering Matinee (MSNE Summit 2019)

The Neuroengineering Matinee took place the morning of the 16th of January at the Vorhoelzer Forum. Led by Professor Jakob Macke, two guest talks were held: Patrick van der Smagt, Volkswagen: Latent Optimal Control Srinivas Turaga, HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus: Connecting the Structure and Function of Neural Circuits Afterwards, MSNE students held a presentation and poster session, introducing the audience to the research projects carried out during the program:

MSNE Research Internships in Californa, Tübingen and Boston

As a part of our Master’s program, MSNE students explore labs outside of our programs in 6 to 8 week research internships. In this and a following series of posts, we collected stories of the experiences we made during our internships. In our first post, Pranshul, Annika and Vanessa share their impressions from interning in California, Tübingen and Boston. Pranshul: UC Davis with Dr. Clifford Saron I joined Dr. Clifford Saron’s lab at the University of California, Davis.

14th Bernstein Conference in Berlin

The Bernstein Conference for Computational Neuroscience took place at the end of September in Berlin. A group of students from MSNE attended the conference and Vanessa and Mohammad presented a poster from their research projects. There were a lot of wonderful talks and posters, including a talk from Dr. James DiCarlo from MIT who discussed “Reverse engineering human visual intelligence” that was particularly exciting, and a talk from Tatjana Tchumatchenko from the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt, Germany) on “How to understand neural network dynamics via intracellular dynamics”.

Farewell dinner with Professor Glasauer

Stefan Glasauer, one of MSNE’s most iconic Professors, will take some distance from the program at the end of this semester as he is starting a new research group at the TU Cottbus. Fortunately for future generations of MSNE students, Prof. Glasauer will still visit us in Munich from time to time to give his beloved lectures. We did not want to let him go without a proper farewell, so on Monday the 6th of August many of us students gathered with him in the Hofbräukeller Biergarten to have dinner together.

Farewell for Prof. Jörg Conradt

As our co-director Prof. Jörg Conradt will be moving to KTH (Sweden) in August to build up a research group there, Auguste and I organized a farewell party for him. With support from the Institute for Electrical Energy Storage Technology, we set up a bunch of tables in the backyard of the Karlsstraße university building and everyone of us neuroengineering students brought some food. Mirroring the diversity of our nationalities we had a plethora of tasty dishes, from Bavarian brezels and Italian caprese salad to great eastern dishes that I can’t remember the names of.

RobotCare - Future of Care between Human and Machine

Once we grow old, will we still be cared for by humans or will robots have taken over? According to Science and Technology Studies (STS) this is the wrong question to ask. There is no technological determinism - the course of technological development is not written in stone - we humans have the ultimate say in the matter of what becomes reality and what doesn’t, or at least we can play a role in the complex interplay of social and technical factors.

Conference on Clinical Neurotechnologies and Healthy Aging

In June, Nicolas and I made our way to Tübingen to attend the German-Israeli Conference on Clinical Neurotechnologies and Healthy Aging. The focus lay on brain stimulation which could even be tested during the coffee breaks (I prefer not to show the video of my involuntarily kicking legs here). When speaking of the ‘brain’ the retina is also meant (of course). On the last day the MedTech Startup School offered an Open Innovation Day where we discussed several aspects of founding a Neuro-Tech start-up.

MSNE Journal Club

Why a Journal Club? Science communication is an essential aspect of scientific research. It enables scientists and researchers to inform each other, as well as the public, about science progress and invoke scientific, political and ethical thinking. The general purpose of a journal club is to facilitate the review of research studies and to discuss implications of the study in practice. In general, a journal club helps with: Sharing knowledge of current research Facilitating the learning process Enhancing literature critique and appraisal skills Encouraging interaction and dialogue with other researchers Encouraging research utilization, and Promoting team building Neuroengineering Journal Club (NJC) is all about the above-mentioned objectives.

MSNE team 'Neuruns' at the ENB EliteCup 2018

Saturday the 9th of June was witness of another edition of the ENB Elite Cup. The Neuruns took part in it again, with two batches together adding up to the might of the team in what was an epic day in the history of sports. The neurons arrived in the early morning to warm up and define the new positions for the team. Starring were Georges, Jonas, Michael, Janne, Nicolas, Auguste, Elisa, Francisco, Mohammad and Lucas.

2nd MSNE Retreat

After the very successful retreat last year, we decided we wanted to make this a tradition and organize it again. This year it was held in Ofterschwang, Allgäu from May 31 to June 3. During these four days we had 3 guest lectures who gave us about 2 hour lectures each. Invited Talks In our Retreat we had the honour to have the presence of Professor Jakob Macke from TU Munich, Professor Benjamin Grewe from the Institute of Neuroinformatics at ETH Zurich and Professor Thomas Euler from the University of Tübingen who talked to us about their research on different aspects of neuroscience.

CoC Neuro-Engineering Networking Workshop

This April, first and second year students as well as faculty members of the MSNE met at the Networking Workshop of TU Munich’s Center of Competence in Neuroengineering. Event agenda 14:00 Introductory remarks by Prof. Gordon Cheng Chair for Cognitive Systems (TUM) 14:10-14:30 Prof. Ilona Grunwald Kadow Neuronal Circuits and Metabolism, School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan (TUM) “Asking the fly to reveal neural network principles underlying behavior” 14:30-14:50 Prof. Markus Ploner Heisenberg Professor of Human Pain Research, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine (TUM) “Neuroengineering approaches to the understanding, diagnosis and therapy of pain”

Interdisciplinary College 2018

From 9th to 16th March, MSNE students Auguste, Pranshul, Steffen and Nicolas attended the Interdisciplinary College (IK) in Günne. Since 1997, this annual spring school brings together students and researchers from the fields of computational neuroscience, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive sciences and philosophy. The overall topic of this year Me, Myself and I was approached from various different angles through the lenses of the different scientific disciplines. Among many other lectures, we enthusiastically attended the lecture series of MSNE faculty Prof.

2nd HBP Student Conference - Transdisciplinary Research Linking Neuroscience, Brain Medicine and Computer Science

The 2nd HBP Student Conference took place in Ljubljana, Slowenia, from 14 to 16 February 2018 and and offered a rich program covering different aspects of Neuroscience and Computational Methods within Neuroscience. Apart from invited talks, MSc and PhD students got the opportunity to present both original and ongoing research in four oral and two poster sessions, comprised of the topics Neurorobotics, Neuromorphic Computing, Theoretical Neuroscience Medical Informatics High Performance Computing, Brain Simulation Human Brain/Mouse Brain Organisation, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Wednesday: Arrival, Neurorobotics and Kickoff I particularly perceived the conference as an effort of bringing together scientists from neuroscience and computer science and as an effort to improve communication between the fields and enhance mutual understanding.

Entrepreneurship in Neuroscience

While walking through the aisles on a train to Heidelberg, I finally stumble upon my reserved seat… Only to find it and its neighbors are surrounded by a family of 20. Rather than making a fuss - I go ahead and choose an unoccupied seat farther back, hoping to get some sleep in preparation for what I’m imagining will be a long three days. At the next stop, I’m roused awake by somebody asking in a distinct American accent “Is this seat available?

MSNE Welcome Event

With the start of the semester, 23 new students joined the Master’s program in Neuroengineering at TU Munich. This Friday, the first and second year MSNE students met for a first get-together.

13th Bernstein Conference, Göttingen

This september we visited the 13th Bernstein Conference organized by the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Göttingen (BCCN Göttingen) in Göttingen. Posters by NST Faculty and MSNE students Tayeb Z, Erçelik E, Conradt J (2017) Decoding of EEG Brain Signals using Spiking Neural Networks on SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Hardware. Bernstein Conference 2017. doi: 10.12751/nncn.bc2017.0100 Widderich C, Everding L, Richter C, Conradt J (2017) A Cooperative Stereo Matching Neural Network on TrueNorth.

MSNE team 'Neuruns' at the ENB EliteCup 2017

The ENB EliteCup 2017 is a football tournament between the master programs of the Elite Network of Bavaria that takes place every year. This year, we jumped at the opportunity to participate and assembled a neuroengineering team, called ‘The Neuruns’. Despite the odds of being still a very small program and some of us not being able to play due to Ramadan, we managed to form a team of sufficiently many players.

Spring 2017 MSNE Retreat

The Spring 2017 MSNE Retreat took place in Fischen, Allgäu from May 14 to May 17. Apart from the MSNE Students, we welcomed the following speakers for invited talks: Thursday: Prof. Dr. Matthias Bethge, Bethge Lab, University of Tübingen Friday: Prof. Dr. Heiko Neumann, Institut für Neuroinformatik, University of Ulm Saturday: Dr. Dmitry Kireev, Institute of Bioelectronics, Forschungszentrum Jülich Retreat Proceedings Proceedings of the retreat are available here.

Participation in the Munich Brain Course

After a semester of interesting theoretical lectures in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology we had the chance of gaining practical hands-on experience about the human brain in the Munich Brain Course. The Munich Brain Course is a yearly intensive course on neuroanatomy organized by the Institute of Anatomy of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) - the non-technical university in Munich. The course started in the morning with a nice welcome buffet. Strengthened by the snacks and the coffee, we learned about the century-long history of neuroscience research in Munich and about the structure and organization of the course during an introductory talk and then had the pleasure to hear from Prof.

1st Human Brain Project student conference in Vienna

In February, Raja, Abdallah, James and Nicolas had the chance to attend the first student conference of the European Human Brain Project in Vienna. This study trip was carried out within the MSNE program and was supported by the Elite Network of Barvaria (ENB). Having already brought our suitcases to the final exam in Computational Neuroscience, we started our trip directly after handing in our solutions. Late in the evening, after a four-hour train ride, we finally arrived in Vienna and checked in at our hotel which was in walking distance to the university of Vienna where the conference was hosted.

Christkindl Market

On Dec. 9th we met with the MSNE program manager, Florian Rattei, at one of the many Christkindl-Markets in Munich for some nice hot Glühwein. The medival-themed market with its many craftsmen and -women including a glassblower, a goldsmith and calligraphers as well as the authentic wooden stalls immediately makes one forget the stressful daily routine and emits a traditional Christmassy atmosphere. Standing around a stump that served as a table for our Glühwein cups, we also talked about organisational matters and planned activities like the writing of this blog.

Welcome to our blog!

We are students from the Master of Science program in Neuroengineering (MSNE) at the Technical University in Munich and are using this site to share our experiences. This blog serves two purposes: We want to write a diary about the many great things that we are doing and experiencing. The blog is also supposed to give information to students interested in joining the program. Disclaimer: This is a personal blog by the students in the Neuroengineering program and not an official website by TUM.

Report about Research Visit at Emory University, USA Jonas Braun, 21.02.2019 During the summer of 2018 I joined Prof. Chethan Pandarinath’s Systems Neural Engineering Lab at the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta, USA, as a summer research intern. The lab is located at the Emory campus and is working on “understanding how large populations of neurons in the brain perform computations and represent intention” (from snel.