Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain

Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain: Impact

Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain: Course Impact

Past participants say that the Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain is a career-changing experience. Learn about the impacts of the course on their careers and research.

Student comments

Research and technical skills impact

  • The Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain taught me Python and expanded the range of my computational skills. I probably wouldn't be a data scientist right now if it weren't for the workshop. (Participant, 2016)

  • Attending the Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain gave me my first introduction to Python, which is now my primary coding language. It taught me about open science and the magnitude of possibility with datasets such as those provided by the Allen Institute. I'm now using all of these skills. (Participant, 2014)

  • It was an enriching first experience to collaborate with scientists working on different disciplines for a computational neuroscience project. Our project... included three neurophysiologists, a computer scientist, and a statistician (myself). I believe such a practice helps build the ability to accommodate different perspectives to build something greater... I learned about different topics in neuroscience and experimentation, and about Allen Institute datasets, which bettered my understanding of the field. (Participant, 2018)


Career development and collaboration

  • I really learned the value of open and reproducible science. I have implemented a policy of open science and data sharing in my lab - including making all data and code available. (Participant, 2017)

  • The sheer access to talent and resources is hard to match. I owe a lot of what I do now to the Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain, particularly with serving as a strong introduction to modern computational neuroscience and giving me the much needed courage to pursue a doctorate degree in a much more computational lab than in my Master's. (Federico Bolanos, 2017)

  • How to work efficiently in groups. You meet complete strangers and at the end of 2 weeks have had to formulate, work on, and present a project together. That's a pretty unique skill. (Stephanie Seeman, 2015)

  • I think this workshop was one of the handful of factors that made me want to understand what questions were important for neuroscience, not just for neuro-theory. After this experience, I spent several years in an experimental lab for my postdoc, and my career trajectory totally changed as a result. (Participant, 2014)


Professional networks and community

  • I found my postdoctoral mentor at Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain! I also have longstanding friends/collaborators from the course. (Participant, 2014)

  • I found my current post-doc through a connection I made at the course. I've also stayed in touch with a few of the students and we continue to support each other in various ways, e.g. going through the job market process. I've also continued to interact with a few of the faculty on teaching computational neuroscience. (Madineh Sedigh-Sarvestani, 2016)

  • It functioned as a great in depth overview of currently highly active research fields within neuroscience, beyond the ones I knew about off the top of my head. This was great for understanding what work I might want to pursue next in my career. (Emily Gelfand, 2019)


Published projects

All students participate in a small group project during the workshop to develop their skills in computational neuroscience, Python, and data analysis of Allen Institute open datasets. Some students go on to publish or present their work at conferences. Published course projects and related work by past workshop participants includes:

  • Bolaños, F., Orlandi, J. G., Jagadeesh, A. V, Gardner, J. L. & Benucci, A. Processing of visual textures in the primary and secondary visual cortex of the mouse. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 1–12 (2021).

  • Bomkamp C., Tripathy SJ, Bengtsson Gonzales C, Hjerling-Leffler J, Craig AM, Pavlidis P (2019) Transcriptomic correlates of electrophysiological and morphological diversity within and across excitatory and inhibitory neuron classes. PLoS Comput Biol 15(6): e1007113.

  • Iqbal, A., et al. "Decoding Neural Responses in Mouse Visual Cortex through a Deep Neural Network." 2019 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). IEEE, 2019.

  • Sedigh-Sarvestani, M. et al (2021). A sinusoidal transformation of the visual field is the basis for periodic maps in area V2. Neuron 109(24).

  • Seeman, S.C. et al., (2018). Sparse recurrent excitatory connectivity in the microcircuit of the adult mouse and human cortex. Elife. 7, e37349

  • Campagnola, L., Seeman, S.C., et al., (2021) Connectivity and Synaptic Physiology in the Mouse and Human Neocortex. bioRxiv doi:

  • Zdeblick, D., Shea-Brown, E., Witten, D., & Buice, M. (2019). Data-Driven Discovery of Functional Cell Types that Improve Models of Neural Activity. NeurIPS 2019 Neuro↔AI Workshop, Vancouver, BC.

  • Zylberberg, J., 2017. Untuned but not irrelevant: The role of untuned neurons in sensory information coding. BioRxiv, p.134379.

  • Pruszynski, J.A. and Zylberberg, J., 2019. The language of the brain: real-world neural population codes. Current opinion in neurobiology, 58, pp.30-36.

Are you a past workshop participant and your publication/presentation from the course is not listed here, or you would like to share comments on the impact of the course on your career? Please email us at