Sebastian SeungPh.D., Author, Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Dept. of Brain and Cog. Sciences, MIT

Hyunjune Sebastian Seung is a Korean American multi-disciplinary expert whose research efforts have spanned the fields of neuroscience, physics and bioinformatics. He was a professor of Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is now a professor at Princeton University. He also was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is the son of the philosopher, T. K. Seung.

Seung studied theoretical physics at Harvard University where he obtained his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of David Robert Nelson. Seung’s doctoral dissertation is entitled “Physics of Lines and Surfaces.” He completed his postdoctoral training at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before joining the MIT faculty, he was a member of the Theoretical Physics Department at Bell Laboratories. He has been a Sloan Research Fellow, a Packard Fellow, and a McKnight Scholar. He has published numerous scholarly papers.

His algorithms for nonnegative matrix factorization have been widely applied to problems in visual learning, semantic analysis, spectroscopy, and bioinformatics. He continues to study neural networks using mathematical models, computer algorithms, and circuits of biological neurons in vitro.

He recently authored a book, Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are, released in February 2012.

Seung leads a team working on an online Citizen science project named EyeWire. It is human-based computation game about tracing neurons in the retina. The game was developed by MIT and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research.

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