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The Physics of Neural Networks – A Historical Perspective - Hanoch Gutfreund - May 19 2022

Thursday, 19 Maggio, 2022 - 17:00

ILAS - SISSA Interdisciplinary Lab for Advanced Studies and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin are pleased to invite you to participate in the joint webinar:

"The Physics of Neural Networks – A Historical Perspective"

Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 5 p.m. CET
delivered on zoom by Hanoch Gutfreund, Former President, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem  

Abstract: The study of neural network models begins with the work of McCullock and Pitts (1943) who introduced the notion of a formal neuron as a two-state threshold element and showed that networks of such elements can implement any logical function. Since then, a variety of models based on this notion, refined to better resemble a biological nervous system, were used to study models of associative memory, pattern recognition, various classification tasks and learning. A formative step in this development was the entry of physics, specifically of statistical mechanics, into this endeavour. This led to the emergence of a new field – Computational Neuroscience. In the talk I shall describe the important landmarks in this development with a special emphasis on the role of statistical mechanics.

This webinar is the fourth of a series of seminars delivered by leading scholars in history and philosophy of science. The first seminar took place on january 20 2022, given by Michel Janssen on the "Evo-Devo of Scientific Knowledge"; the second one was given by Matteo Valleriani on "From the quadrivium to modern science"; the third by Giulia Rispoli on "Anthropocene Markers: Contexts and Narratives". The series will end with a talk by Don Salisbury and Yin Xiaodong on science in China to be scheduled in june.

These seminars are meant as an opportunity for students, post-docs, and researchers to broaden their cultural perspectives on the scientific enterprise and as a prelude to the conference “The Evolution of Knowledge” that SISSA will host July 14-16 2022. The conference is organised jointly with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Chinese Academy of Science and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

To attend, please contact the interdisciplinary laboratory via email to recieve the webinar link.