NYU’s Courant Institute Receives $500,000 NSF Grant to Discover the Learning Algorithm of the Brain

New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and its institutional partners-Stanford University, MIT, and the University of California, Berkeley-have each received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the “learning algorithm of the brain.” The four-year, $2 million project seeks to develop new computational models of how the visual system learns to recognize objects.

“How can our visual system learn to recognize object categories, such as dog, airplane, or chair by merely being shown a small number of examples of each category?” said NYU’s Yann LeCun, a professor of computer science at the Courant Institute. “This project will enhance our understanding of this process by drawing on the recent progress in a new class of machine learning methods called ‘deep belief networks,’ and through new experimental methods to study the visual cortex.”

The project’s researchers hope to uncover new mechanisms that could explain the learning process in neural circuits. These experiments, they contend, will attempt to disc 500

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