Speaker of Workshop 2
Will talk about: Using experimental design to design neuroinformatics data structures
Gully Burns develops pragmatic biomedical knowledge engineering systems for scientists that (a) provide directly useful functionality in their everyday use and (b) is based on innovative, cutting edge computer science that subtlely transforms our ability to use knowledge. He was originally trained as a physicist at Imperial College in London before switching to do a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Oxford. He came to work at USC in 1997, developing the 'NeuroScholar' project in Larry Swanson's lab before joining the Information Sciences Institute in 2006. He is now works as project leader in ISI's Information Integration Group, as well as a Research Assistant Professor of neurobiology at USC’s College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He maintains a personal blog called 'Ars-Veritatis, the art of truth', and is very interested in seeing how his research in developing systems for scientists could translate to helping and supporting understanding and our use of knowledge in everyday life.
The interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience research leads to an explosion of different informatics tools, data structures, platforms and terminologies. A central difficulty faced by developers is that knowledge representations for any neuroscience subdomain must serve the domain-specific needs of that specified sub-community. Related representations overlap, they contradict each other, they have competing standards. The process of standardization is itself difficult to organize within the community and even harder to enforce in practice. This involves complex issues involving ease of use, computability, data availability as well as scientific correctness and philosophical purity.