Sunday, November 13, 2011

In memoriam: David Staelin

On November 7, MIT's David Staelin wrote to several of us who participate with him in a seminar:

We [with Carl Staelin] have finally finished our book on neural spike processing and its relation to perception and cognition....  The copyright enables redistribution of parts or all of it without permission, either electronically or in print.
The website will be updated periodically.  I hope you and your colleagues find both the quantitative and the more qualitative and speculative parts useful.

On November 10, David died.  The dedication to the book reads:  "We dedicate this monograph to our wives and families who helped make this work possible and life worthwhile."

The introduction reads: 

This monograph addresses in a new way how brains may use signal spikes to compute, perceive, and support cognition. It presents and simulates simple novel numerical models of neurons and discusses the relationship between their performance and known neural behavior. Modest math skills combined with the included brief review of neural signaling should enable most readers to understand the basic issues while skimming over the more specialized portions.

What simple and elegant statements from a man who exemplified the open exchange of academic thought in the pursuit of knowledge.  He will be greatly missed.

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