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31Y7: Biologically Inspired Computing

Last updated 3 December 1999 (added: quite a lot of lecture notes, and a new link) LSS.

This page is for the 31Y7 half-course option entitled "Biologically Inspired Computing". This half course is run by Dr. Leslie Smith, and will have two guest lectures from Dr Catherine Breslin.


  1. Syllabus
  2. Lecture Notes
  3. Lecture Times
    1. Lecture time alterations
  4. Tutorial Times
  5. Useful Links


Brains and Biological Computation
    Brain areas, basic functionality, neurons, ions and spikes
Model Neurons
    McCulloch-Pitts, linear threshold, integrate-and-fire
Neural Networks: basics
    Decision surfaces, Perceptrons, Delta rule
Neural Networks: modern concepts
    Backpropogation, Radial basis functions, Self-organisation
Genetic Algorithms

Lecture Notes

Lecture 1 (lss) 26 October 1999
Lecture 2 (cjb) 2 November 1999
Lecture 3 (cjb) 4 November 1999
Lecture 4 (lss) 5 November 1999
Lecture 5 part 1 (pdf), part 2 (ps)(lss) 9 November 1999
(Note: the lecture notes below are .ps files. They are also NOT complete records of what was covered in the lectures)
Lecture 6 11 Nov 1999
Lecture 7 16 Nov 1999
Lecture 8 17 Nov 1999
Lecture 9 18 Nov 1999
Lecture 10 19 Nov 1999
Lecture 11 23 Nov 1999
Lecture 12 26 November 1999
Lecutres 13-15 (last) are on Genetic Algorithms. No electronic version of these lectures exists.

Lecture Times

Tuesday 11:00 B3
Thursday 12:00 2A87A
Friday 14:00 2A87A

The first lecture is on Tuesday 26 October; the following one being on Tuesday 2 November.

Lecture time alterations

As Dr. Smith has some other committments, the following lecture time alterations will apply
Cancelled: Lecture Friday 12 November 1999, Thursday 25 November 1999
Added: Lecture Wednesday 17 November 1999, 12:00, Wednesday 1 December, 12:00 both in 2A81.

Tutorial Times

Tutorial date and time Location
Monday 12:00 3B146
Wednesday 11:00 3B145


Useful links

  1. A list of references.
  2. Some exercises using perceptrons and the Delta rule.
  3. An introduction to neural networks (by LSS)
  4. Some references on Genetic Algorithms (Edinburgh University)

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