Mens et Manus:

MIT's motto is "mind and hand" - understanding something deeply, and then building real things from that. We are trying to approach neural networks by taking recent insights from the lab and applying them in a very concrete context, to precipitate new breakthroughs.



Building Neural Networks - Nara Logics

My fundamental interest is how neural networks can organize information into maps and link facts to those maps. To come at this in a new way, we started Nara to build an Internet-scale "organizational system" based on neural networks and to define simple building block principles for linking "things and attributes" across the web in a new way. The platform is now operational and growing, and powering a growing number of businesses in more and more categories. Our offices are located in the heart of Kendall Square of Cambridge, MA and the company continues to expand more rapidly:

Understanding Neural Networks - MIT

Before Nara I was at MIT, focusing on the cerebral cortex and how it can be an "automatic information sieve" - weaving data and meaning into each of our personal brain structures to save and concentrate it. I focused on this through a Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies, working to help isolate the mathematical logic of neural networks:

Connecting to Neural Networks

To further understand neural networks, I worked to help pioneer a number of new ways to connect to brains at the network level. This is difficult because traditionally we focus on the activity of single cells, but not the complex distributed patterns across neuronal networks that may be vital to elucidating how brain areas work. Towards this end I've built some systems that use computers and physics to stimulate and record from numerous brain cells in patterns:
  • VISOR: "Two-way communication with neural networks in vivo using focused light" (Download Software)
  • PRISM: "An open-source platform for electrophysiology control in MATLAB" (Download Software)
  • MATRIX STIMULATOR: A machine that I am especially proud of, and demonstrations of it stimulating networks in patterns while monitoring interesting learning dynamics across the network. It hurts that I've never had time to publish it (Where is this?)

Etudes - Building Systems

I try to get better at building, discovering and stabilizing things by doing night sessions that I call "etudes" which are simple, short technological challenges with specific goals, to isolate and rehearse different aspects of technical understanding. In recent years these hobby projects have been focused in:
  • PIM - a personal information management system
  • HomeStat - a fully custom home automation platform
  • CarNet - an automotive environment / mobile bubble
Each is geared to understanding the relationship of the human mind to its surrounding environment, and the nature of that interplay. I am always up for discussions on these topics, because I think they are important for understanding our future selves.