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Samora Okujeni at the Sloan-Swartz meeting 2009 at the Harvard University in Cambridge

Samora Okujeni at the Sloan-Swartz meeting 2009 at the Harvard University in Cambridge

 

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Being a member of the Bernstein Network I was fortunate to receive a stipend from the Sloan-Swartz Foundation to attend the Annual Meeting on Theoretical Neuroscience in 2009. The meeting was held at the Center of Brain Science at the Harvard University in Cambridge. Me and other Bernstein members that came traveling from Germany were all well received and accommodated in the first evening before the meeting and afterwards took the opportunity to promenade through the history-charged campus area which was, I think, a worthwhile experience.

The multifaceted composition of topics, ranging from information processing in the retina (Markus Meister) and functional circuit reconstruction (Mitya Chklovskii) to optical control of neural circuit dynamics via channel rhodopsins (Ed Boyden), applications of the ‘brain bow’, song production and plasticity in birds and even swarm behavior of fish, yielded an overall very interesting program. As an experimental biologist I was delighted and encouraged to find so many experimental studies being presented in a meeting on theoretical neuroscience and inspired by nice examples for a successful combination of theoretical model or analysis methodology and experiment. Besides the talks and lectures, involving a notable fraction of well-known scientists, extensive evening poster sessions provided insight into the work of other Sloan-Swartz and Bernstein students and made it possible to present the own results in front of a distinguished audience.

Following the intensive scientific program, the warm summer evenings in July invited to explore the surrounding city of Cambridge together with other participants of the meeting. An official evening banquet in dignified atmosphere further contributed to getting to know the other attendees better and to exchange ideas and experiences.

I am really glad that I was given the opportunity to make this exciting, inspiring and refreshing experience during my PhD time and can strongly recommend the meeting not only because of the excellent scientific content.

Samora Okujeni

 


 

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