SC12 Home > SC12 Schedule > SC12 Presentation - Simulating the Human Brain - An Extreme Challenge for Computing

SCHEDULE: NOV 10-16, 2012

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Simulating the Human Brain - An Extreme Challenge for Computing

SESSION: Current Large-Scale Computing Activities

EVENT TYPE: Keynote and Invited Talks

TIME: 8:30AM - 9:15AM

SESSION CHAIR: Wilfred Pinfold

Speaker(s):Henry Markram


Knowledge of the brain is highly fragmented, neuroscientists are locked into their subspecialties, and while it is obvious that we need much more data and new theories in order to understand the brain, we have no way to assemble and make sense of what we know today or to prioritize the vast number of experiments still required to obtain an integrated view of the brain. It is time for a radically new strategy of collaboration, where scientists of many disciplines can come around the same table and begin reassembling the pieces that we have, find out what data and knowledge is really missing, what gaps can be filled using statistical models, and what parts require new experiments. In the Blue Brain Project, we have been building a technology platform to catalyze this collaboration and integrate our collective knowledge into unifying computer models of the brain. The platform enables supercomputer simulations of brain models, developed to account for all we know, to predict what we cannot measure, and to test all we can hypothesize about how the brain works. To develop this platform for the human brain is an extreme undertaking with a far larger and more multidisciplinary consortium of scientists - a Human Brain Project. To account for all genes, proteins, cells, circuits, brain regions, the whole brain all the way to cognition and behavior, we need to build on relevant information from all of biology and everything we have discovered about the brains of animals. Building and simulating brain models across its spatial (nine orders of magnitude) and temporal (twelve orders of magnitude) scales will demand extreme solutions for data management, cloud-based computing, internet-based interactivity, visualization and supercomputing. We believe the effort will transform supercomputing by driving the hardware and software innovations required to turn supercomputers into visually interactive scientific instruments, and that it will spur a new era of computing technology combining the best of von Neumann and neuromorphic computing.

Speaker Details:

Wilfred Pinfold (Chair) - Intel Corporation

Henry Markram - EPFL

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