Towards a sustainable research career with progression based on merit

ANICT MSc Fellowship: towards artificial intelligence using nanostructured materials

João Ventura, member of ANICT and researcher at Universidade do Porto, was the winner in the “Engineering and Technological Sciences” field of the 2012 ANICT Msc Fellowships awards. He will supervise the MSc candidate Catarina Dias, to pursue her thesis in Physical engineering at the University of Porto, in the theme of “Memristor based adaptative Neural Networks”.

ANICT member João Ventura (left) and MSc candidate Catarina Dias (right)

More about the MSc project:

This project aims to develop electronic synaptic components and artificial neural networks based on metal-insulator-metal memristor nanostructures. This proposal is driven by the recent discovery that memristors are capable of adapting their electrical conductance in a similar manner to the connection strength adjustments between neurons in biological systems.

Neuron synapses are dynamic elements whose function is to modify the signal emitted by the pre-synaptic neuron and deliver it to the post-synaptic neuron. In a simplified view, if two neurons are frequently co-activated the corresponding synaptic strength is potentiated, i.e. learning occurs. The work plan will focus on the dynamic properties of the memristor structures. These will be systematically probed aiming the control of artificial “synaptic plasticity”, i.e. the ability of a synapse to change the connection strength in response to its activation.

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