Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A (Simple) Digital Neural Network

My friend Reed at UMASS is an ex-computer-science-turned-neuroscience-major. In his free time he writes programs, and quotes Sam Harris. The first program he ever showed me was a simple neural network which simulates how action potentials work. A little simple at the moment, but still impressive! I am sure various uses could be found for virtual networks like this on larger, and more complex scales.

Also worth mentioning are the small programs he writes that auto generate absurd visual eye candy.  Note: if you have elipsy, some of these programs might give you a seizure.


His Tumblr has more similar applications. If being sucked through a computer and dying from lack of oxygen while being hurled through the Internet was an actual way to die, I am sure it would look like these programs.

The book is Head First Java, published by O'Reily.
These seemingly simple programs go to show how valuable the skill of computer programming is in the field of neuroscience. Why would any research lab in the country not want someone who knows their way around computer code? When I asked Reed how he learned how to program, he took out a Java book as thick as the phone book and said he read it cover to cover.

In fact Reed, if you never graduate I am sure that you can make a profitable business teaching other people to program. Look, I have already got a potential advertising campaign set up:

Just as Reed Silverstein has conquered the vicious Lizard King,
you too can learn how to conquer computer programming through him.

Naturally I expect a fifty percent cut of all profits.


  1. Woah, what a clever chap. CS to neuroscience, that's broad talent right there.

  2. Heh, I'm in the process of reading a big-ass Java text, hope it does as much good for me as it did for Reed!

  3. whoa, i got lost in the middle of this, shit cant understand half of thoese stuff.