Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course

In May 2014, the Center launched the first Brains, Minds, and Machines (BMM) summer course, held on the campus of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Annually, the course enrolls 30 graduate students and postdocs from around the world, and provides a “deep end” introduction to the problem of intelligence - how the brain produces intelligent behavior and how we may be able to replicate intelligence in machines. Like CBMM itself, the philosophy of the course is that the synergistic combination of neuroscience, cognitive science, mathematics, and computer science, will lead to the creation of much more robust and sophisticated algorithms implemented in intelligent machines and will accelerate the scientific investigation of how intelligent behavior emerges from neural activity in the brain.

The BMM summer course includes tutorials on general theoretical foundations and computational methods used in intelligence research, with hands-on computer work, and introductions to empirical methods used in neuroscience and cognitive science to probe the function of neural circuits and emergent behavior. Through lectures by CBMM faculty, the course delves deeply into current research on intelligence, with emphasis on topics that reflect the scientific focus of the Center. Students pursue extended research projects supervised by course faculty and teaching assistants. The overall goal of the BMM summer course is to create a community of researchers in the science of intelligence who are equally knowledgeable in neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science.

The content of the 2015 summer course is published on MIT OpenCourseWare. Additional lecture videos and supporting materials for tutorials on useful computational methods can be found on the Brains, Minds, and Machines Summer Course: 2016-2020 page on the Science of Intelligence Learning Hub.