Max received a BA-MA in Cognitive Psychology in 1997 from the University of Trieste, Italy. He came to the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University in 2001, after working as a consultant in hi-tech companies in Italy. He completed his PhD in 2007 on a model of laminar cortical circuitry for learning and recognition, and is currently working with several CELEST students in applying the model to learning larger challenging datasets and to neuromorphic implementations.
Max was a CELEST-funded graduate student and worked in the CELEST student and postdoc organization, where he organized three CELEST-sponsored ICCNS workshops, the first CELEST Career Day, and worked Heather Ames to launch the new CELEST Catalyst.
In 2009-11, Max was Co-PI of the Boston University subcontract to Hewlett-Packard on the DARPA-sponsored Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project. Launched in late 2008, the goal of the project is to “investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in neuromorphic electronic devices that are scalable to biological levels.”
Max is currently a senior research scientist in CELEST, and Director of the CELEST Neuromorphics Lab, established in July 2010 to design multi-system neural models to be embedded in high-density, low-power neuromorphic hardware and robots capable of interacting and learning in real time in complex natural environments. In his role of lab Director, he is supervising several projects involving more than twelve among graduate students, technical staff, postdocs, research scientists, and research assistant professors. His work has been featured on the cover page of IEEE Spectrum (2010) and IEEE Computer (2011), New Scientist (in press, May 2011) as well as in several printed and online media outlet, including MSNBC, Popular Science, Slashdot, Robotics news, Tech News Daily, BU Today, Nanotechnology, Boston Innovation, and Il Sole 24 Ore (the major Italian business newspaper), and many others. Since July 2010, the Lab has authored more than thirty among peer-reviewed articles, magazine articles, conference papers, conference presentations, and invited talks in academic institutions, companies, and national labs. The Neuromorphics Lab work will be also featured in the 2011 edition of Research at Boston University.
In 2006, Max also founded a technology company, Neurala LLC, with two CELEST colleagues. Neurala aims to integrate brain-based technologies into a variety of applications ranging from remote sensing and acoustic scene analysis to financial time series analysis.
Max is a also co-founder of the Neurdon blog, a rapidly growing source of information and ideas on topics in neuroscience, brain-machine interfaces, robotics, neuromorphic technology, and business applications of neuroscience research.