Introduction

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Mod4NeuCog is a master level program on the modeling of neuronal and cognitive systems, and is designed to educate the interdisciplinary researchers of tomorrow. Through its innovative approaches to mentoring, Mod4NeuCog aims to foster natural curiosity and autonomy in students. The goal is to train active researchers at the interface of applied mathematics and cognitive sciences.

This 2 year program gives two degree track options: applied mathematics or cognitive science. It is also possible to acquire a double degree.

At the end of the training program, students will have acquired sufficient basic knowledge in mathematics, statistics, computer science, biology and cognitive science needed to model neurocognitive systems. Moreover, he/she will be specialised in a field of interest through research projects hosted at UCA laboratories.

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

The Mod4NeuCog MSc is part of the NeuroMod Institut NEUROMODCONEX.png

Structure of the program

Mod4NeuCog is designed to progressively stimulate autonomy and initiative through courses, projects and internships, with each stage requiring more independence of the students. Hence the program has the following structure:
1. A highly interactive and intensive update module (called ‘bootcamp’, first 5 weeks of study).
2. Basic courses, including biology and cognitive sciences (first semester).

3. Prospective research and innovation: non-academic contacts (medicine, startups, companies, art), research-based (evaluation of) innovations (prosthetic material, etc.), and philosophical discussions (transhumanism, AI, etc.) (first year)
4. Projects 
(second semester)
5. Independent project 
(second semester)
6. 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. There is also a possibility of obtaining a double major with additional coursework. A high level of proficiency in Mathematics will be required for both tracks. The program will be conducted in English.

 

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Overview of the two tracks:

Track 1 Applied MathematicsTrack 2 Cognitive Science
Major Applied Mathematics Cognitive Science
Minor Cognitive science Applied mathematics
Entry Requirements (recommendation) Bachelor level degree in Mathematics or Computer Science Bachelor level degree in Mathematics, Computer Science,
Cognitive Science or Social Science. Evidence of
sufficient mathematical background is required.

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 the students will apply their acquired knowledge to three mini-projects and a more substantial, independent project. All of these projects are based on group work. The projects will be guided by the following objectives:
• Direct application of knowledge from cognitive and neurosciences.
• Creation of a model.
• Practical Implementation (hardware, software/simulation, etc).
The independent project is to be developed by students in the OpenNeuroLab, and a small budget will be 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 UCA based lab) will start in September and end in January. A list of possible internships will be provided in the course of first year. The second internship (abroad or outside of academia) will start in February and end in July.

A student wishing to acquire a double degree (Math and Cognitive sciences) will be required to complete an additional course in either the minor field, or in another UCA/UNS Master,s program, or at a foreign institution during the internship abroad (subject to the approval of the coordinator). During the second year each student must attend at least 6 seminars, on themes related to the program. These seminars might be abroad. An attendance sheet must be signed by the organiser of the seminar and validated by the coordinator at the end of the year.


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OpenNeuroLab

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The general approach to teaching in the Mod4NeuCog program is based on the maker/hacker philosophy (learn by making). In the OpenNeuroLab (minifablab), you will freely explore and share knowledge by experimenting together with other students (alongside researchers, industrial developers, artists, etc.). This way you will become both more creative and open to colaborative work. This approach breaks from the traditional form of teaching, by replacing, in part, formal lectures with interactive lessons and increased experimentation. For instance, you will be asked to solve problems by developing multiple original solutions, following the approach of Minsky, or to choose your own research topics.

The OpenNeuroLab will provide the environement to work on the projects. As a part of the independent project students with have a budget to spend at their discretion (for example, it could be used to buy a 3D printer, buy books, invite a leader researcher of the domain, participate in an international competition, etc.). Students will have a 24 hours secured access to the OpenNeuroLab.

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International contacts

Mod4NeuCog will provide opportunities for finding international internships through its numerous contacts with foreign institutions, for instance:



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 in 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 behaviour. The Network will allow and encourage more UK mathematicians to engage in fundamental neuroscience and at the same time tackle substantial mathematical challenges that will be 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/directions will provide a thorough introduction to a variety of computational and experimental methods, as well as give an overview of the state of the art research in neuroscience, cognitive science and machine learning. Upon completion of the program you will be prepared to enter a high quality PhD program or to work in private industry 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 will directly lead to PhD opportunities for motivated students.

Mod4NeuCog will provide you with an excellent opportunity to showcase your motivation and talent and to develop a network including some of the best researchers locally or abroad, allowing you to start an academic career at UCA and the related laboratories.

How to apply

To apply you need to fill out an online application and upload a motivation letter. You will be asked to provide the evidence of your ability to follow mathematics courses at a rapid pace  Specifically, your application will need to include diplomas, grades/transcripts, syllabi of previous mathematics courses, recommendation letters, and evidence of your ability to communicate in English.  Will you require evidence of ability of communicate in English (for example Toefl scores etc)

The motivation letter should explain your interest in neuroscience and cognition and briefly describe a project you would like to develop. Please have this document ready in PDF format before filling out the application form.

The applications are open now: and close at the end of May.

Financial matters

The tuition fee is 4000 Euros per academic year. The students may benefit from a tuition waver and/or receive a scholarship. Two or more scholarships will be awarded by the program, on a competitive basis. Other funding opportunities exist, see the following links:

 

 

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