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CNeuro2021 Teaching Assistants

Runping Chen

Peking University in Beijing, China

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I am Runping Cheng, a PhD student in Theoretical Neuroscience supervised by Professor Louis Tao. Before that, I studied Physics at Nanjing University, My current focus is on understanding the dynamics in Olfactory Learning. I am trying to construct an artificial neural network based on the circuit-level organisation of biological neural systems.

I participated in CNeuro2020 last year and it gave me a broader and deeper understanding of Neuroscience. Not only the lectures, but also the other students provided lots of great insights from different perspectives. CNeuro2020 was a wonderful experience for me, so I applied TA for CNeuro2021 without any hesitation and was luckily accepted. I will do my best to help all participants and give them a wonderful experience this year!

Xuanjun Guo

Institute of Science & Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence (ISTBI) at Fudan University in Shanghai, China 

Hello everyone, my name is Xuanjun Guo. I am a first-year graduate student majored in Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-inspired Intelligence (ISTBI), Fudan University. I graduated from the School of Electronic Information of Sichuan University last year.


My current research interests are brain signal decoding and neural closed-loop modulation. I have experience in coding, Machine Learning, and time series signal processing, now I am also really interested in complex systems and chaos theory though it’s a little bit hard to understand for me.


I learned about CNeuro2020 last year through a fellow student who had attended before. Throughout the process, I was impressed by the atmosphere of the school. It was also during this summer school that I first learned about chaotic systems and attractor theory in relation to the study of brain networks, which was very inspiring to me. I am grateful to CNeuro2020 for providing such an opportunity to interact with leading professors in the field of neuroscience and to interact with neuroscience researchers from different backgrounds.


Daguang Li

University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, China

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Hi everyone, I’m a Ph.D student majoring in Biophysics at Prof. Quan Wen’s lab, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). I got my Bachelor’s degree in Physics at USTC and my Master’s degree in Computer Science and Technology at the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT).


I’m working on the statistics of the whole brain activity of larval zebrafish. I’m curious about what kind of network structure could produce the statistics observed from the data. I’ve been working on the tracking system of the whole brain imaging platform for freely behaving larval zebrafish as well as the preprocess of the whole brain imaging data.


I was once a teaching assistant of CNeuro2019. This summer school provides a great opportunity to learn the basic ideas as well as the frontier research directions of Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience. I believe you will be attracted by this exciting field. Looking forward to discussing with you!

Ziyu Liu

Institute of Science & Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence (ISTBI) at Fudan University in Shanghai, China

I hold a Bachelor degree in Automation (Railway Traffic Signalling and Control) from the School of Information Science and Technology (SIST). Currently, I am studying for my Master degree in Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-inspired Intelligence (ISTBI), Fudan University, with a focus on Computational Neuroscience, Vision Bionics, Super-Resolution and Brain-Inspired Algorithm,

Last year, I, fortunately, had a chance to take part in CNeuro2020. And I did improve my systematic mathematical theory for understanding the secret of the brain, during every excellent professors' lectures and group discussions. This year, I really want to join this summer school again as a TA to help more students feel the charm of Theoretical & Computational Neuroscience in CNeuro2021! Besides, I am an easy-going, responsible and teamwork-spirited student, and I have experienced lots of Computational Neuroscience training. I will try my best to bring my advantages to do a good job as a TA in CNeuro2020!

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Trang-Anh Nghiem

Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France 


My name is Trang-Anh Nghiem. I am a third-year PhD student in computational neuroscience and statistical physics under the supervision of Prof. Rava da Silveira in Paris, France. I studied physics at the University of Cambridge and cognitive science at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. 

My research focuses on understanding how macroscopic cognitive functions like visual perception emerge from intricate microscopic interactions within biological neural networks. In particular, I am interested in how incessant background 'noise' from spontaneous neural activity and from involuntary eye movements can shape and sometimes support neural coding and computation. I use tools from statistical physics, information theory, and machine learning to construct computational models and analyse neural and behavioural data. 

I was very fortunate to attend CNeuro 2019 in person, as a student and as a teaching assistant. There, I particularly appreciated the opportunity to learn about a diverse array of fascinating works in theoretical neuroscience, as well as to meet other neuroscientists from across the globe. I am very excited about the line-up of lecturers this year and look forward to virtually meeting the lecturers and students.

Shaked Ron

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (IIT) in Haifa, Israel 

My name is Shaked Ron, I am an MD-PhD student at the Israel Institute of Technology - IIT (Technion) coming from a background in Biomedical Engineering (B.Sc.).

These days I am working on my PhD research at the Gutfreund lab (Neuroethology). My current focus is on understanding the neural regions and mechanisms involved in spatial representation in the brain of freely behaving birds The main methods I use are Electrophysiology, Video & Image Processing, Advanced Data Analysis of the acquired data and Computational Models.

I participated CNeuro2020 and had an insightful experience, the great lectures along sessions of inspiring discussions expanded my knowledge into the fields of Theoretical & Computational Neuroscience.

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Shuai Shao

Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Brain Research
in Frankfurt, Germany


My name is Shuai Shao. I am a third-year PhD student majoring in Computational Neuroscience. I’m currently supervised by Prof. Julijana Gjorgjieva from Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. I got my Bachelor degree in Applied Physics from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2018.


My current research projects are mainly about circuit mechanisms in neural computation. Specifically, I’m investigating the generation of sequential activities in turtle cortex, and visual processing in the eye of Drosophila. I also used to work on information theory, segmentation of EM neuron images, reinforcement learning and motor circuits of C. elegans.


I was once a teaching assistant of CNeuro2018, the first year of CNeuro summer school. I had a wonderful experience with all the lecturers and fellow students at that time. It is also really exciting to look back now to see all the achievements and development of CNeuro summer school over the past 3 years. This year I hope to participate as a TA again, collaborating with students from all different backgrounds, and sparing no efforts to help them get a deeper understanding of Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience..

Yuxiu Shao

Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, France

Hi all. This is Yuxiu, a post-doc fresher in theoretical neuroscience, my major research interest is circuit modelling. I started studying mechanical engineering at BUAA, I had been obsessed with algebra, calculus, theoretical physics and other science kinds of stuff during my undergraduate studies. Then I got a chance to switch field to computational neuroscience, supervised by Professor Louis Tao. During my PhD training, I had a lot of fun exploring cortical dynamics in visual processing, and I started to cover some theoretical parts which might have influenced my choice of postdoc. I got my PhD diploma at PKU last year during the pandemic and currently, I am doing my first year postdoc with Srdjan Ostojic at ENS, France. Now I endeavour to understand the low dimensional structures in random EI network and the connectivity-dynamics relation.

I first heard CNeuro from Prof. Tao, but I didn't manage to participate in the first two. Last year, I thought there was no way to miss it, so I applied TA for CNeuro2020 and was luckily accepted. The online summer school was a little different from the usual one, but that didn't take away the joy of listening to lectures given by excellent scientists, learning and improving together with exceptional students.

Participating in CNeuro2021 has been extremely appealing to me, for refining my expertise and meeting friends with the same interest and goal. There is also a personal reason for my applying. Last year, I met many intelligent girls in CNeuro, many of them do not have background in physics or math, but they provided a lot of great insights from different perspectives. I have always been inspired by female theoretical neuroscientists, in academic meeting, summer school, collaborating and job interviewing etc, etc. They are my beacons who give me the confidence to step into this field and guide me on this academic adventure. I know I'm way too junior to advise those talented students, but I will spare no effort to help them through this adventure.

Neuroscience is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get, let's explore together :) 


Yudi Xie

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
in Massachusetts, USA

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Hi everyone, I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before graduate school, I got my bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China where I worked with Prof. Quan Wen during my undergraduate studies.

In grad school, I am particularly interested in several questions. For example, how does the brain learn, maintain, and manipulate mental abstractions about surroundings? How does the brain transform highly abstract plans into continuous high-dimensional motor output? How does intrinsic motivation guide learning? Currently, I am working with Prof. Robert Guangyu Yang on building artificial neural network models of working memory to investigate how we flexibly store and manipulate information.

I participated as a student in CNeuro 2020. It was a wonderful experience for me. This year, I am fortunate to be a TA. I will do my best to help more people get familiar with this exciting field. This summer school will provide you with a unique opportunity to learn from world-class researchers and interact with other students who share the same passion. Enjoy!

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