Jobs at the Allen Institute

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is currently recruiting. The positions are listed on this link but in particular see below:


The Modeling, Analysis and Theory team at the Allen Institute is seeking a candidate with strong mathematical and computational skills who will work closely with both the team as well as experimentalists in order to both maximize the potential of datasets as well as realize that potential via analysis and theory. The successful candidate will be expected to develop analysis for populations of neurons as well as establish theoretical results on cortical computation, object recognition, and related areas in order to aid the Institute in understanding the most complex piece of matter in the universe.


Michael Buice, Scientist II


5 thoughts on “Jobs at the Allen Institute

  1. as an aside though this is nothing new i see my ‘national capital skeptics’ group is promoting an NSF lecture with your colleague K Hall, on math of obesity. (that group also has a ‘drinking skeptically meeting at a bar i can get to—one member is a statistician, but a frequentist, not bayesian, like me; i view bayesianism as a subset of frequentism just as nonlinear is a subset of linear—though you can view it the reverse way, a la taylor’s series). i have 3 options for meetings like this that day so i wont go. Michael Shermer, libertarian, skeptic magazine, chapman university was on the radio last nite—‘why people believe’. he had an amusing quote about the bible, gays, and marijuana. ‘according to leviticus in the bible, if two men lay down together they must get stoned’.


  2. An aside, how sure can we be that the brain is “the most complex piece of matter in the universe?” I’ve seen/heard this a lot and understand it is good marketing for neuroscience, but it seems like an arbitrary statement to make. Wikipedia points to citations saying 8e10 neurons with 10e14-10e15 synapses, but one could also get humongous numbers when looking at say, objects interacting at a planetary or galactic scale. I guess there could be an unmentioned qualifier — it could be “most complex piece of matter in the universe [that we know of at a certain size]?”


  3. Weird. I started typing my comment before Ishi’s appeared and opened with the “aside” phrase as well by coincidence.


  4. @wally I also get annoyed with statements about the brain being the most complex thing in the universe. It’s a completely meaningless statement in that 1) There is no universally accepted definition of complexity and 2) How do we know our brain is more complex than say a rat’s brain?


  5. ps. my comment had ‘as’ an aside—you need the correct coefficient.

    for example, old history of special relativity had several different proposals for E=Cmc**2; einstein set C=1 which is the accepted convention (i think earlier ones had C=3/2).. (of course in many calculations people set every constant = to 1 and later on put the real values in). A notorious journal called ‘chaos, solitans, fractals’ run by an egyptian billionaire named el naschie —which published his numerology but also alot of good papers—also had his own value for C.

    I used to read these old papers in J Theoretical Biol trying to quantify the complexity of various organisms like yeast or bacteria, or how much information they contain . (eg is shannon info or kolmogorov complexity of a yeast greater or less than that which is in the computers of the NSA? (I met a guy a few months ago with a PhD in theor physics from notre dame who works there; he also told me the star of Notre Dame in ‘network theory’ Barabasi is not a nice person ; some academics even say his stuff really should not be published in places like Science or Nature because its redundant and well known. I have a bunch of his papers, and mostly studied the ones on translating bose-einstein condensation into the language of network theory—i felt he did it the wrong way tho now i think its possible its just a different dialect).

    There are different opinions on that issue in general. Crutchfield of SFI has written on this too. eg

    my dog once found a bobcat’s den when we were hiking up in west va off trail. i had to pull his tail to get him out of there. (bunch of rattlesnakes up there too—i caught a couple, but my family put a stop to that cuz i caught another kind of poisonous snake and got bit which was a hassle). DC has quite a few copperheads along the potomac.
    in dc where i grew up there was a colony of escaped domestic cats in the alley—they finally were taken out. my firend also had a colony in her backyard—one day we went and caught the kittens—-very hostile little critters—and then calmed them down and took them to the park and gave them to anyone who agreed to take care of them. we have one wild domestic cat here—all black except for a white spot on its tail. people feed it but it runs away if you get too close.


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