Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science and Technology A National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center

Our Focus on Education

CELEST is creating a new paradigm for educating graduate and undergraduate students in systems neuroscience by connecting biological knowledge about brains to an understanding of intelligent behavior through neural and computational models. CELEST models are rigorously tested in experiments with humans, animals, and artificial agents. Systems neuroscience is rapidly developing in increasingly computational directions, and this holds not only for modeling but also for experimental work. It is difficult to conduct research on, for example, “decoding” of fMRI or EEG or multi-unit electrode recordings without a mathematical and computational background going far beyond the traditional one or two semesters of statistics afforded many experimentally oriented students. Accordingly, CELEST graduate students cross-train in experimental and modeling techniques in ways that will make them valuable members of cross-disciplinary teams of the future of systems neuroscience, because they will be fluent in more than one “language.”

To balance modeling and experimental training in undergraduate education

CELEST is supporting the development of 5 new courses at Boston University, with strong computational components and a systems-level treatment of cognitive neuroscience.

  • CN210/NE204: Introduction to Computational Models of Brain and Behavior
  • CN/NE 330: Introduction to Computational Models of Vision
  • CN/NE 340: Introduction to Computational Models of Skilled Action
  • CN/NE 350: Introduction to Computational Models of Perceptual Memory
  • CN/NE 360: Introduction to Computational Models of Hearing

CELEST funds summer research experiences and tutorial workshops for undergraduates; members of groups underrepresented in science are especially encouraged to apply. Learn more about the CELEST Summer Undergraduate Program.

To balance modeling and experimental training in graduate education

  • CELEST supports doctoral dissertation research projects that involve both modeling and experimental components.
  • CELEST offers non-credit tutorials (MATLAB, computer simulation) for experimentally-oriented students.
  • CELEST also offers professional development seminars.