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Neuromatch Academy: Democratizing computational neuroscience education through interactive, intensive instruction
April 2, 2021 @ 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.Free
Abstract: Neuromatch Academy (NMA) was founded in spring 2020 in response to two catalysts: (1) the recognition that traditional intensive summer programs in computational neuroscience are expensive and exclusive, leaving out a large proportion of qualified and deserving trainee participants; and (2) the COVID-19 pandemic canceled these in-person summer schools anyway. We founded NMA with the goal of tackling these problems by providing online, globally-accessible high-quality computational neuroscience training at a low, waivable cost ($100USD or less) so that any student with the appropriate background and skillset to participate would be able to join. In its inaugural year, NMA’s 3-week summer intensive program enrolled 1700+ students supported by 190+ teaching assistants from 60+ countries, provided instruction in 14 languages, and built an organizers’ community of over 300 neuroscience academics worldwide. Over 85% of enrolled students completed the course. Now, we are designing new evaluation metrics to understand which elements worked best, to continually improve, and to understand how online learning can be optimized to best reach students across geographic, political, socioeconomic, and linguistic barriers worldwide. So now we ask you: What would you like to see, and how can NMA best pilot and optimize educational innovations that can be applied to other areas or fields?
About the Speaker: Megan Peters is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Sciences at UC Irvine and the President and co-founder of Neuromatch, a nonprofit organization that provides online computational neuroscience education through the Neuromatch Academy (NMA) summer school. Peters’ academic research is on metacognition, perception, and consciousness with focus on computational and cognitive neuroscience methods in humans. She received her PhD in Psychology from UCLA in 2014 which was followed by a postdoc there, and from 2017-2020 she was on the Bioengineering faculty at UC Riverside before moving to UC Irvine Cognitive Sciences in 2020. At NMA, she is the President and Chairperson of the Board and is involved in curriculum development, operations, and evaluation among wearing many other “hats”.
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