Call for Applications - 2018 Nengo Summer School

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo is excited to announce a special version of our annual Nengo summer school that will host the first public access to Braindrop, a new mixed analog-digital neuromorphic chip developed in collaboration with Stanford and Yale.

In addition to introducing Braindrop, this two-week school will teach participants to use Nengo to build state-of-the-art cognitive and neural models to run both in simulation and on neuromorphic hardware. Nengo provides users with a versatile and powerful environment for designing cognitive and neural systems, and has been used to build what is currently the world’s largest functional brain model, Spaun [1]. Nengo is also being used to program a variety of state-of-the-art neuromorphic chips, including Braindrop!

For a look at last year’s summer school, check out this short video.

We welcome applications from all interested graduate students, research associates, postdocs, professors, and industry professionals with a relevant background.

[1] Eliasmith, C., Stewart T. C., Choo X., Bekolay T., DeWolf T., Tang Y., Rasmussen, D. (2012). A large-scale model of the functioning brain. Science. Vol. 338 no. 6111 pp. 1202-1205. DOI: 10.1126/science.1225266.

Application Deadline

February 15, 2018


A combination of tutorials and project-based work. Participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas for projects, which may focus on testing hypotheses, modeling neural or cognitive data, implementing specific behavioural functions with neurons, expanding past models, or providing a proof-of-concept of various neural mechanisms. Hands-on tutorials, work on individual or group projects, and talks from invited faculty members will make up the bulk of day-to-day activities. A project demonstration event will be held on the last day of the school, with prizes for strong projects!

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to:

  • interface Nengo with various kinds of neuromorphic hardware
  • build perceptual, motor, and cognitive models using spiking neurons
  • model anatomical, electrophysiological, cognitive, and behavioural data
  • use a variety of single cell models within a large-scale model
  • integrate machine learning methods into biologically oriented models
  • interface Nengo with cameras and robotic systems
  • implement modern nonlinear control methods in neural models
  • and much more…

Date and Location

June 3th to June 15th, 2018 at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Please visit, where you can find more information regarding costs, travel, lodging, along with an application form listing required materials.

If you have any questions about the school or the application process, please contact Peter Blouw ( We look forward to hearing from you!