“Visual Computing in Connectomics”

Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:00 PM

Location: Room 2120 A.V. Williams Building

Speaker: Hanspeter Pfister
An Wang Professor of Computer Science
Director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Visual computing tools are essential to gain insights into data, by combining computational and statistical analysis with the power of the human perceptual and cognitive system, and by enabling data exploration through interactive visualizations. I will present our work on visual computing in Connectomics, a new field in neuroscience that aims to apply biology and computer science to the grand challenge of determining the detailed neural circuitry of the brain.

The key to our methods is to keep the user in the loop, providing input to our fully automatic reconstruction methods, or validation and corrections of the reconstructed neural structures. The main challenges are how to analyze petabytes of image data in an efficient and scalable way; how to automatically reconstruct very large and dense neural circuits from nanoscale-resolution electron micrographs; and how to analyze the brain's neural network once we have discovered it.