Center for Computing Research (CCR)

Center for Computing Research

James Bradley Aimone

James Bradley Aimone
Data-driven & Neural Computing
Email: jbaimon@sandia.gov
Phone: 505/284-3147

Mailing address:
Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800, MS 1327
Albuquerque, NM
87185-1320

Computational Function of Adult Neurogenesis

Much of my research has focused on developing computational models of adult neurogenesis, the process by which neural circuits in the brain add new neurons continuously throughout life.  Adult neurogenesis has been implicated in the memory deficits observed in a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as depression and traumatic brain injury.  In the healthy brain, new neurons are believed to be linked to a number of aspects of episodic memory formation.

Prior to Sandia, I co-authored several papers using theoretical and computational techniques to describe the function of these new neurons in memory formation (Aimone et al., Nature Neuroscience 2006, Aimone et al, Neuron 2009, Aimone et al., Neuron 2011).  At Sandia, my research has focused on ultra-large scale simulations on high performance computing platforms, enabling us to investigate the effect of neurogenesis in realistic scale systems.

Brain Inspired Computing

The computation that occurs in neural circuits is fundamentally distinct from conventional computing technologies.  The brain utilizes highly parallel, non-linear algorithms to perform complex tasks, such as image recognition, memory formation, and decision making.  Neural circuits are assembled in highly parallel, densely interconnected architecture in which memory, processing, and communication are effectively colocalized; providing considerable advantages in terms of processing speed, energy consumption, and reliability.

Successful development of neural inspired computing hardware has the potential to revolutionize how computing is used; particularly in data-centric problem domains relevant to both national security and commercial domains.  In particular, my reserach focuses on the best practises for the development of neural algorithms based on modern neuroscience; including assessing the value of leveraging neural plasticity processes such as continuous neurogenesis in neural hardware. 

Analysis and validation of biologically realistic neural simulations

Both the computational neuroscience and brain inspired computing work described above are increasingly pushing the boundaries of conventional computer simulations.  In particular, the design and validation of neural models - whether intended to understand the brain or engineer new hardware - requries the development of metrics and procedures to quantify and validate the function of a neural system.  This includes the development of new techniques for assessing information content and neural processing in high dimensional neural circuits as well as developing techniques in sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification of neural models both implemented on conventional hardware or novel neural architectures. 

Education/Background

Ph.D. Computational Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego                 2009

Thesis title: “Computational modeling of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus”

Masters of Chemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston                                   2002

BS in Chemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston                                             2001

Selected Publications & Presentations

2018
  • Severa, William Mark, Richard B. Lehoucq, Ojas D. Parekh, James Bradley Aimone, "Spiking Neural Algorithms for Markov Process Random Walk ," Conference Paper, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks 2018, July 2018.
  • Severa, William Mark, Craig Michael Vineyard, Ryan Dellana, James Bradley Aimone, "Whetstone: An Accessible, Platform-Independent Method for Training Spiking Deep Neural Networks for Neuromorphic Processors," Presentation, Neuo-Inspired Computational Elements (NICE) Workshop 2018, March 2018.
  • Severa, William Mark, Ryan Dellana, Craig Michael Vineyard, James Bradley Aimone, "Whetstone: An accessible, platform-independent method for training spiking deep neural networks for neuromorphic processors," Poster, SysML Conference 2018, February 2018.
2017
  • Draelos, Timothy J., Nadine E. Miner, Christopher Lamb, Craig Michael Vineyard, William Mark Severa, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "Neurogenesis Deep Learning," Conference Paper, IJCNN 2017, May 2017.
  • Draelos, Timothy J., Nadine E. Miner, Christopher Lamb, Jonathan Cox, Craig Michael Vineyard, Kristofor Carlson, William Mark Severa, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "Neurogenesis Deep Learning," Conference Paper, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks 2017, May 2017.
  • James, Conrad D., James Bradley Aimone, Nadine E. Miner, Craig Michael Vineyard, Fredrick Rothganger, K. Carlson, Samuel A. Mulder, Timothy J. Draelos, Adrian Francis Faustine, Matthew Marinella, Steven J. Plimpton, "A historical survey of algorithms and hardware architectures for neural-inspired and neuromorphic computing applications," Journal Article, Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, Vol. 195, pp. 49–64, Accepted/Published January 2017.
  • Parekh, Ojas D., Cynthia A. Phillips, Meghan Galiardi, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "Constant Depth and Subcubic Size Threshold Circuits for Matrix Multiplication," Poster, 5th Neuro Inspired Computational Elements Workshop (NICE 2017), March 2017.
  • Phillips, Cynthia A., Ojas D. Parekh, Craig Michael Vineyard, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "Studying Adaptive Learning through Game-Theoretic Modeling," Presentation, 5th Neuro Inspired Computational Elements Workshop (NICE 2017) , March 2017.
  • Severa, William Mark, Ojas D. Parekh, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "A Combinatorial Model for Dentate Gyrus Sparse Coding," Journal Article, Neural Computation, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 94–117, Accepted/Published January 2017.
2016
  • Verzi, Stephen Joseph, Craig Michael Vineyard, Eric D. Vugrin, Meghan Galiardi, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, "Optimization-based computation with spiking neurons," Abstract, NIPS 2016 workshop on Computing with Spikes, December 2016.
2015
  • Vineyard, Craig Michael, Stephen Joseph Verzi, Conrad D. James, James Bradley Aimone, Gregory L Heileman, "Repeated Play of the SVM Game as a Means of Adaptive Classification," Conference Paper, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, July 2015.
2014
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Wei Deng, Fred H Gage, "Chapter 15 – Adult Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus," Book, Space, Time, and Memory in the Hippocampal Formation, March 2014.
  • Rothganger, Fredrick, Christina E. Warrender, Derek Trumbo, James Bradley Aimone, "N2A: a computational tool for modeling from neurons to algorithms," Journal Article, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, Vol. 8, No. 1, Accepted/Published January 2014.
2013
2012
  • Vineyard, Craig M, James B Aimone, Glory R. Emmanuel, "Neurogenesis in a High Resolution Dentate Gyrus Model," Conference Paper, Biologically-inspired cognitive architectures 2012, October 2012.

Awards & Recognition

2017
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Other External Recognition, US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium Invitee, National Academy of Engineering, Nominated to be one of ~100 young engineers to participate in a multi-day symposium on emerging topics in engineering. https://www.naefrontiers.org/Symposia/USFOE/USFOE-PastSymposia/54726.aspx , September 25, 2017 – September 27, 2017.
2014
  • Aimone, James B, Invited Talk, Are New Neurons in Humans Important? How Scale Affects Neurogenesis Function, Keystone Meeting on Adult Neurogenesis, May 16, 2014.
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Invited Talk, Revisiting a Model: Continually Reassessing the Computational Role of Adult Neurogenesis, UC Irvine Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Spring Meeting, May 1, 2014.
2013
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Invited Talk, Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Memory Resolution, Pattern Separation, or Both? , University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Neuroscience Program, March 12, 2013.
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Invited Talk, Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Memory Resolution, Pattern Separation, or Both? , Boston University Biomedical Engineering, April 10, 2013.
  • Trumbo, Derek M, Christina E Warrender, James Bradley Aimone, Fredrick Rothganger, Other External Recognition, Copyrighted and Open Sourced N2A Software, Department of Energy, February 27, 2013.
2012
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Invited Talk, Computational Function of Adult Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus, University of New Mexico Neuroscience Seminar Series, February 2, 2012.
  • Aimone, James Bradley, Invited Talk, Translating new neurons from mice to humans: the computational neuroscience of scale , Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, October 10, 2012.

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