New Directions in Statistical Signal Processing: From Systems to Brain

In the course of some 60 to 65 years, going back to the 1940s, signal processing and neural computation have evolved into two highly pervasive disciplines. In their own individual ways, they have significantly influenced many other disciplines. What is perhaps surprising to see, however, is the fact that the cross-fertilization between signal processing and neural computation is still very much in its infancy. We only need to look at the brain and be amazed by the highly sophisticated kinds of signal processing and elaborate hierarchical levels of neural computation, which are performed side by side and with relative ease.

If there is one important lesson that the brain teaches us, it is summed up here: There is much that signal processing can learn from neural computation, and vice versa.

It is with this aim in mind that in October 2003 we organized a one-week workshop on “Statistical Signal Processing: New Directions in the Twentieth Century,” which was held at the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel, Lake Louise, Alberta. To fulfill that aim, we invited some leading researchers from around the world in the two disciplines, signal processing and neural computation, in order to encourage interaction and cross-fertilization between them. Needless to say, the workshop was highly successful.

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