BioNB330 - home - syllabus - lab

BioNB330 Logistics                                                                                                  

Webpage: Course webpages:

Instructor contact: Christiane Linster -

TA contact: Shane Peace -

This course covers some basic ideas of Computational Neuroscience, focusing on neural representation of information in cortical structures. Topics covered include neural coding, vector representations of sensory stimuli, plasticity, associative memory and effects of neuromodulation on neural information representation.

The course consists of lectures and discussions. During lecture the instructor will cover materials from notes and readings. Students are held responsible for all materials, will be expected to participate in the discussion and should be prepared to be called on.

Homework will now be submitted via Blackboard.

For those new to Blackboard:

Check the website:

To find the course, click the “All Blackboard sites” tab after setting up an account and logging in, and search for “Computational neuroscience”. Homework assignments can be found in the “Homework assignments” folder  after clicking the “Assignments” button. When you are ready to submit your homework, click on the "Homework Dropbox" button from the menu and then click the "Send File" button on the next page. This will bring you to the page that allows you to upload your homework. Please title your homework with your name and the Assignment number."

Grading: The course emphasizes active participation. Homework will be given throughout the semester. Regular short quizzes during the lectures will ensure that all students follow the covered material in an adequate manner. For every student, the quiz with the least points will be omitted from the final grade calculation. Practical excercises during class and lab modules as homework will be used to enhance student learning. The final exam/paper/project will test for understanding and integration of the material covered in class.
Students need to be prepared to be called on during discussions to explain homework assignments, discuss readings and lab assignments.
3 credit lecture course:
Midterm and final: 20% each
Quizzes: 25%
Homework and blackboard quizzes: 25%
Lab modules: 10%
4th credit projects :
100% of the 4th credit
Readings. Readings consist of preparatory readings for the materials covered in class, original literature, as well as explanatory notes that accompany some original literature. Check the webpage and your email regularly for updates on readings. Readings are mandatory.
Lecture notes. Lecture notes are posted on the website, slides, when available, will be posted on the web before each lecture.
Homework: Homework questions will be posted on the website; homework answers have to be submitted to BLACKBOARD by 6pm on Sundays. Email, call or come see Christiane or Shane if you have trouble answering the homework questions. You will be graded only on the final product, independently how much help you receive.
Lab modules: Lab exercises will use the freely available simulator NEURON. Check the lab-page for instructions and assignments. Lab exercises can be completed at home or in the teaching lab (Comstock Hall B160) during lab hours Monday (10 am - noon). Lab reports are due Sundays at 6pm and will be submitted via Blackboard.
4-credit projects: Will be discussed in group sessions with the instructor, only the final product after discussion will be graded.
Question-answer sessions: The class TA, Shane Peace, will be available to answer questions and discuss the material during lab session. Shane will be available Monday mornongs (10am - 11am) in the computer lab in Comstock Hall. Christiane Linster, the class instructor will be available every Monday and Wednesday after class to discuss the material and to answer questions (W245 Mudd Hall).  You can also email questions or make appointments by email.
Quizzes: Quizzes will be announced at least a week ahead. Quizzes will consist of short questions concerning the material covered in class and take 20 minutes during lecture. Notes taken in class as well as materials posted on the webpage can be used during quizzes. Instructions as to how to answer the questions have to be followed precisely.
Final and midterm: The finals and mid-term will be take-home. Due dates will be posted on the webpage.
Material: Preparation readings, notes, homework questions and slides will be posted as on the webpage. They will be added to the syllabus in time for each lecture. Make sure you check the webpage on a regular basis.