Introduction

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Mod4NeuCog is a master's program in the modeling of neuronal and cognitive systems, which is designed to train the interdisciplinary researchers of tomorrow. Through its innovative mentoring approach, Mod4NeuCog aims to encourage students to develop their natural curiosity and independence. The goal is to train active researchers at the crossroads of applied mathematics and cognitive sciences. This 2-year program offers two degree track options: applied mathematics or cognitive science. 

At the end of the program, students will have acquired sufficient basic knowledge in mathematics, statistics, computer science, biology and cognitive science to model neurocognitive systems. They will also be specialized in a particular field of interest through research projects hosted at UCA laboratories.

The fields of specialization include medicine, mathematics, linguistics, physics, experimental economics, psychology, computer science, neurophysiology or chemistry of olfaction.

The Mod4NeuCog MSc is part of the NeuroMod Institute.

Structure of the program

Mod4NeuCog is designed to progressively stimulate autonomy and initiative through courses, projects and internships that require students to be more independent at each stage. Hence the following structure:
1. A highly interactive and intensive refresher module (called "bootcamp", first few weeks of study).
2. Basic courses, including modeling, biology and cognitive sciences (first semester).

3. Prospective research and innovation (second semester).
4. Projects 
(second semester).
5. Two long internships (one locally based and one international) (second year).

Mod4NeuCog offers two tracks: a major in Applied Mathematics or a major in Cognitive Science. A successful candidate will have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in either Mathematics, or Statistics, or Computer Science.  The program is conducted in English. The admission requirements for both tracks are a bachelor-level degree in a variety of fields, including Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Cognitive Science or Social Science. Evidence of sufficient mathematical background may be required in addition, depending on the type of bachelor's degree.

Courses (first year)

Track 1Track 2
(*) Choose 2/3

 

Projects (first year)

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During the first year no internship is required. Instead students apply knowledge acquired in a mini-project and an independent project. Mini-projects are individual, while personal initiative projects are based on group work. The projects are guided by the following objectives:
• Direct application of knowledge acquired in cognitive sciences and neurosciences.
• Creation of a model.
• Practical implementation (hardware, software/simulation, etc.).
The personal initiative project is developed by students in the OpenNeuroLab. A small budget is at their disposal. For more information visit the following links:

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Internships (second year)

The second year consists of two internships. The first internship (at a Université Côte d'Azur based lab) starts in September and ends in January. The second internship is preferably abroad or outside of academia, but exceptions may be possible, especially in the case of visa problems. The teaching staff of Mod4NeuCog assists students in finding their internships. One or both of the internships can be a continuation of the mini-project or the personal initiative project.


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OpenNeuroLab

The general approach to teaching in the Mod4NeuCog program is based on the maker/hacker philosophy (learn by making). In the OpenNeuroLab (minifablab), students freely explore and share knowledge by experimenting with other students (alongside researchers, industrial developers, artists, etc.). This process stimulates creativity and openness to collaborative work. Our approach breaks from traditional teaching by replacing, in part, formal lectures with interactive lessons and increased experimentation. For instance, students are asked to solve problems by developing multiple original solutions, following the approach of Minsky, or to choose their own research topics.

The OpenNeuroLab provides the environment to work on the projects. As part of their independent project, students have a budget to spend at their discretion (for example, on a 3D printer, on books, to invite a leader researcher in the field, to participate in an international competition, etc.)

International contacts

Mod4NeuCog provides opportunities for finding international internships through its many contacts with foreign institutions, such as:



Brasil

Sao Paulo
ridc.png RIDC NeuroMat The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) is a center of mathematics whose mission is to develop the new mathematics needed to construct a Theory of the Brain accounting for the experimental data gathered by neuroscience research. Hosted by the University of São Paulo, the RIDC NeuroMat was established in 2013. It has an interdisciplinary team, bringing together researchers in mathematics, computer science, statistics, neuroscience, biology, physics and communication, among other disciplines.

USA

Austin, Texas
mathneurolab.png MathNeuro Lab The MathNeuro laboratory in Austin develops novel analytical and algorithmic tools to address questions at the interface of Systems Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics: stochastic neural dynamics, information coding capabilities, and neural assemblies as transport networks.

Denmark

Copenhagen
dsin.png The Dynamical Systems Interdisciplinary Network The project network encompasses visual cognition, neuronal signalling and networks, renal and cardiovascular physiology, metabolomics, molecular dynamics and econometrics. By combining ideas from the many fields where an understanding of dynamical systems is essential, and by combining comprehensiveness with in-depth expertise, the network aims to create an internationally unique research centre, where pioneering methodology can be developed thanks to cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Spain

Bilbao (Basque Country)
bcam.png BCAM BCAM is an applied mathematics research center that was created with the support of the Basque Government and the University of the Basque Country. The center aims to strengthen the Basque science and technology system, by performing interdisciplinary research on the frontiers of mathematics, and training and attracting talented scientists.

United Kingdom

Nottingham
mnn.png UK Mathematical Neuroscience Network MNN aims to provide a UK focus for the use of mathematical approaches to problems in neuroscience. Mathematical neuroscience here means an area of neuroscience where mathematics is the primary tool for elucidating the fundamental mechanisms responsible for experimentally observed behavior. The Network allows and encourages more UK mathematicians to engage in fundamental neuroscience and at the same time tackle substantial mathematical challenges that are of broader scientific interest to the nonlinear and complex systems community. Importantly, it can draw attention to, and develop, those pieces of mathematical theory which are likely to be relevant to future studies of the brain.

Future Careers

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Both of the Mod4NeuCog tracks provide a thorough introduction to a variety of computational and experimental methods, and also give an overview of state-of-the-art research in neuroscience, cognitive science and machine learning. Our graduates are prepared to enter a high-quality PhD program or to work in private R&D industrial positions in a wide range of areas including neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science and applied mathematics.

Mod4NeuCog’s strong links with research laboratories directly leads motivated students to PhD opportunities.

Mod4NeuCog provides its students with an excellent opportunity to showcase their motivation and talent and develop a network including some of the best researchers locally or abroad, paving the way for an academic career at the Université Côte d'Azur and its associated laboratories.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted online via the following link:

http://univ-cotedazur.fr/education/training?AMONEC&lang=en#.WrioOsi-lTZ

The deadline for applications is June 30th. Documents to be uploaded by applicants include diplomas, grades/transcripts, and evidence of the ability to communicate in English (for example Toefl scores, etc). Native speakers and graduates from universities with instruction in English may be exempt. It is important to provide evidence of the ability to follow mathematics courses at a rapid pace, therefore we recommend that applicants include sylabi of mathematics courses already taken.

The application includes a motivation letter explaining the applicant's interest in neuroscience and cognition. A short essay is required in addition, describing a project that the applicant would like to develop. Please have this document ready in PDF format before filling out the application form. The exclusive purpose of the project description is to evaluate the applicant's capacities. It might not be feasible to carry out this or a similar project during the Mod4NeuCog program.

Financial matters

The tuition fee is €4,000 per academic year plus a small additional amount for registration in the French system. The students may benefit from a tuition waver and/or receive a student contract, depending on the availability of funds. 

Other funding opportunities are rare. Please consult Campus France for more information, in particular the following links can be useful.

 

 

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