Leader of the group Machine Learning: Peter Grünwald.

Our research group focuses on how computer programs can learn from and understand data, and then make useful predictions based on it. These algorithms integrate insights from various fields, including statistics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience.  

 Machine-learning applications are increasingly part of every aspect of life, from speech recognition on cell phones to illness prediction in healthcare. One common problem is extremely polluted data, for which no single model can provide adequate explanations. At CWI we address this issue with statistical machine learning based on combining predictions from different models and experts in order to achieve reliable conclusions.

We also study how networks of neurons in the brain process information, and how modern deep-learning methods can benefit from neuroscience. We develop novel neural networks, like Deep Adaptive Spiking Neural Networks, and also theoretical models of neural learning and information processing in biology. Applications of our work range from low-energy consumption neural machine learning to neuroprosthetics, to increased insight into the question of how the brain works.



Sander Bohté, professor by special appointment of Cognitive Neurobiology at UvA

Sander Bohté, professor by special appointment of Cognitive Neurobiology at UvA

Sander Bohté (1974) has been named professor by special appointment of Cognitive Neurobiology, specialising in Computational Neuroscience, at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)'s Faculty of Science. The chair was designated on behalf of the Science Plus Foundation (Stichting Bèta Plus). He will be combining his professorship with his position as senior researcher at CWI's Machine Learning group.

Sander Bohté, professor by special appointment of Cognitive Neurobiology at UvA - Read More…

CWI participates in new NWO Perspectief programme

CWI participates in new NWO Perspectief programme

In the coming years almost a hundred researchers are going to develop innovative technologies together with industry and social organisations. That will happen in six new Perspectief programmes, which have been given the green light by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, on 21 November 2017. CWI's Machine Learning group participates in the programme Efficient Deep Learning Systems.

CWI participates in new NWO Perspectief programme - Read More…

Current events

Event-based Asynchronous Neuro-Cognitive Control

  • 2019-08-26T12:00:00+02:00
  • 2019-08-28T15:00:00+02:00
August 26 Monday

Start: 2019-08-26 12:00:00+02:00 End: 2019-08-28 15:00:00+02:00

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (26 – 28 August 2019)

Compared to modern Deep Learning, the human brain needs vastly fewer examples to learn tasks and is massively more energy efficient. The brain’s ability to control, and learn to control, hundreds of flexible and variable muscles for motion remains unsurpassed. Sensory information processing, cognitive deliberation and subsequent muscle control is also an ongoing continuous-time process, a fact mostly ignored in deep learning models. Finally, the brain solves an inherently multi-scale problem: fast high-dimensional sensory information feeds, (relatively) slow and low dimensional cognitive deliberations, which are then translated into fast and high-dimensional muscle activations resulting in typically low-dimensional feedback for learning from the environment in the form of success or failure of actions. Recently, models for a number of components in this sensori-cognitive-motor chain have been proposed.

In this workshop, we aim to bring together experts in computational neuroscience and machine learning to foster collaboration and start working on integrating the various components into coherent end-to-end cognitive models. Specifically, we aim to determine the `missing components’ that are needed to implement fast and effective sensori-cognitive-motor models.

At a high level, the main topics in the workshop include End-to-end time-continuous learning, Multi-level Motion Representation, Planning and Control and Event-based asynchronous neural computation.

The workshop will be held over a 3-day period at CWI, the Dutch National Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science. Invited speakers will bring broad-ranging expertise from neuroscience and machine learning, with a special focus on efficient platforms. The workshop will also have plenty of time for formal and informal discussions.

Confirmed invited speakers

Thomas Nowotny (Univ Sussex, UK)
Wulfram Gerstner (EPFL, CH)
Shih-Chii Liu (INI Zurich, CH)
Eleni Vasilaki (Univ Sheffield, UK)
Friedemann Zenke (FMI Basel, CH)
Terry Stewart (Univ Waterloo, CA)
De Ma (Zhejiang University,CN)
Chiara Bartolozzi (IIT Genova, IT)
Raoul-Martin Memmesheimer (Univ Bonn, DE)
Mihai Petrovici (Univ Heidelberg, DE)
Jamie Knight (Univ Sussex, UK)


The current program can be found here. Directions are here.

Organising Committee

  • Sander Bohte – CWI / Univ. of Amsterdam / RUG Groningen, NL
  • Aditya Gilra – IST Austria, AT
  • Qinghai Guo – Huawei Research, CN
  • J. Camilo Vasquez Tieck – FZI Karlsruhe, GE



Associated Members



Current projects with external funding

  • Efficient Deep Learning Platforms (eDLP)
  • Enabling Personalized Interventions (EPI)
  • Safe Bayesian Inference: A Theory of Misspecification based on Statistical Learning (SAFEBAYES)
  • Spiking Neural Networks research program

Related partners

  • Philips
  • KPMG
  • SURFsara B.V.
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
  • Universiteit Twente
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam