From brain to computers and back, a philosophy of distributed computing
Department of Computer Science
San Diego State University
Jun 1, 2002
School of Mathematics,IPM
Recent decades have witnessed an evolution in all aspects of life as a result of the introduction of computers and their tremendous improvement and application in many daily tasks.
This evolution started with the introduction of the first computers as scientific calculators, and has taken us to current times when powerful PCs are reaching our desks, performing tasks from receiving and sending voicemail and fax to scientific computing all at the same time. The computer technology has reached a critical juncture beyond which it may not be able to maintain its recent rate of improvement. Even if they did, many believe that a simple inprovement in speed of components such as processors and memory without organizational rethinking may not be enough to accomplish what computers were ultimately created to do, namely, to do what the human brain can do.
We are currently at a critical juncture similar to the one that was observed at the beginning of the 1980's, which ultimately resulted in instruction level parallelism.
However, the issues now are much more philosophical and at a basic level. These issues question the fundamental design concepts of today's computer technology. If properly addressed, the revealed answers not only can provide computational platforms significantly more capable that the ones in existence, but also could answer some ancient questions regarding the organization and inner workings of the human brain (such as in cognition and signal processing).
In this Area, several research projects are available for Masters and Ph.D. level students as their thesis and dissertation projects. The projects will be supervised jointly by Dr. Valafar (of SDSU and IPM) and a faculty member available at one of the local universities interested in the subject area.
All projects will be conducted in conjunction with IPM in Tehran.
Students and faculty who are interested in learning more about this subject area, would like to work on similar projects towards their degree at their universities, or would like to learn more about related developments at IPM, are cordially invited to attend a talk given on the subject by Dr. Valafar and a follow up discussion session.