Odelia Schwartz, PhD
Associate professor, Computer Science
University of Miami
Computational neuroscience; natural scene statistics; machine learning
odelia [at] cs.miami.edu


Our research is at the interface of computer science and the brain sciences. We are interested in understanding how neural systems make sense of information in the environment, resulting in complex inferences, perception, and behavior. A main focus has been building models based on the hypothesis that images, movies, and sounds have predictable and quantifiable statistical regularities to which the brain is sensitive. Our approaches are interdisciplinary, employing tools from machine learning, including unsupervised learning, and deep learning; signal processing; and mathematics. We also collaborate with experimental groups in neurophysiology, psychology, and cognitive science. We are currently pushing the notion of learning statistical regularities in visual scenes to make testable predictions about how cortical circuits process natural scenes. We are further focusing on understanding how the brain processes visual information hierarchically and the role of canonical nonlinearities. We expect our approaches will also lead to better artificial systems, that have perceptual and cognitive abilities more like humans, and can generalize better across stimuli and tasks.

We have received funding from the NSF Robust Intelligence, the NIH National Eye Institute, an NIH CRCNS (Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience) grant, a Google faculty research award, the Army Research Office, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. We have received a GPU hardware donation from NVIDIA.


Luis Gonzalo Sánchez Giraldo, postdoc
Nasir Laskar, PhD student
Joshua Bowren, PhD student

Former lab members:

Michoel Snow, MD/PhD student (now faculty member at Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Ruben Coen Cagli, postdoc (now Assistant Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Florian Röhrbein, postdoc (now in TUM’s Informatics)
Toviah Moldwin, research position (now doing PhD at Hebrew University)
+ web design: Ruben Coen Cagli _ last update by Odelia: 12.2014 +