Prize 2020

Winner of the 2020 Misha Mahowald Prize for Neuromorphic Engineering

The 2020 Prize has been awarded to a team led by Prof. Shih-Chii Liu, at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, for their pioneering “Dynamic Audio Sensor” (DAS) that emulates processing principles found in the biological hearing sensor

Even at the end of Moore’s law, digital computation will lag behind biology’s energy efficiency by at least a factor of a thousand. Thus, the potential efficiency of hybrid analog electronic systems such as DAS is becoming more important than ever.” (Quote: Shih-Chii Liu)

The DAS team members who contributed to this project are: Minhao Yang, Chang Gao, Enea Ceolini, Adrian Huber, Jithendar Anumula, Ilya Kiselev, Daniel Neil, and Shih-Chii Liu.

(from left) Enea Ceolini, Minhao Yang, Chang Gao, Danny Neil, Jithendar Anumula,
Shih-Chii Liu, Adrian Huber, Ilya Kiselev

Response of DAS to the utterance “The quick red fox jumped over the lazy dog”. Different colors correspond to the two banks of frequency sensing channels that correspond to the two ‘ears’. The channels emit spike events analogous to biological auditory sensors. Each dot is one event. The mean event rate is 17 thousand events per second.

Prof. Karlheinz Meier stands in front of the layout diagram of the BrainScaleS neuromorphic Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) in January 2017.Image courtesy of Bjoern Kindler.

Misha Mahowald Recognition of Lifetime Contribution to Neuromorphic Engineering

This special award is conferred posthumously on Prof. Karlheinz Meier, who died prematurely in 2018. Prof Meier was Professor of Experimental Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University. His scientific creativity and leadership propelled his research group and their BrainScaleS neuromorphic computer to international recognition. In addition, his intelligent, collaborative and engaging manner made him a binding figure in European neuroscience, as well as the global neuromorphic community.

"The two most fascinating systems known to Mankind

are the Universe and the Brain." (quote: Karlheinz Meier)