History of Workshop

The genesis of the workshop lay largely in the labs of Carver Mead and Christof Koch at Caltech, and with Terry Sejnowski's lab at Salk Institute. Mead's was furiously developing the earliest neuromorphic electronic systems (see Mead's 1990 Proc. IEEE paper), and growing enthusiasm led to the first 2-day workshop gathering, in 1993, in a mountain condominium in Idyllwild, California. This gathering was documented by PBS in a Discovering Women in Science episode about Misha Mahowald. The event was organized by Terry Sejnowski (Salk Inst), Rodney Douglas (then at Oxford and visiting Caltech) and Christof Koch (Caltech) using a seed grant from the National Science Foundation.

The following year the workshop moved to Telluride. It has been there every since. It has been continuously supported by the US National Science Foundation for more than 25 years, and has brought together over 3000 researchers; see Past Workshops on this page and awards from the workshop. Since going online with COVID in 2020, the workshop reach has expanded enormously, from about 100 / year to 1000 / year.

From the 1994 workshop

From left: D Ballard, C Koch, M Tilden, R Douglas, S Deiss, ?, ?, A Cohen, ?, M Mahowald, ?,Tim Edwards (red shirt),? ?, ?, A Whatley, ?, K Boahen, R Friedman, ?.

Front row: T Sejnowski, R Douglas, M Mahowald, S Deiss, V de Sa.
2nd row: P Vershure, T Horiuchi, A Cohen, T. Edwards, SC Liu, A Whatley, T.Yagi
|2nd from back row: J Kramer, K Boahen, ?, S Deweerth.
. Back row: T Delbruck, D. Ballard, C Koch, R Friedman, M Tilden, ?.