Saturday, September 30, 2006

Conference on Goal-Directed Neural Systems

Dear MIND members,

The Conference on Goal-Directed Neural Systems, jointly sponsored by MIND and the Texas SIG of the International Neural Network Society, is slowly taking shape. The date is set for Friday and Saturday November 3 and 4 (all day both days). Tentative location is Nedderman Hall at UTA. A block of rooms will be reserved this week at one of three hotels in the Arlington entertainment district.

The current list of speakers is:

From outside Texas: Paul Werbos (National Science Foundation); Donald Wunsch (U of Missouri at Rolla); Robert Kozma (University of Memphis); Leonid Perlovsky (Air Force Research, Bedford, MA); Jose Principe (U of Florida).

From within Texas: Frank Lewis (UT Arlington); Daniel Levine (UT Arlington): Yoonsuck Choe (Texas A&M); Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna (Texas A&M); Derek Harter (Texas A&M Commerce); Gerhard Werner (UT Austin); Risto Miikkulainen (UT Austin): Haluk Ogmen (U of Houston); Horatiu Voicu (U of Texas, Houston)

I hope to get as many of you as possible to attend and some to help out with the preparation. I am thinking of the following fee structure (please send an e-mail, preferably with a “reply all,” if you have any comments on it):

$90 for employed people who are not members of MIND or INNS (other than speakers);
$50 for employed paid-up MIND or INNS members;
$30 for students who are not MIND or INNS members;
$15 for students who are MIND or INNS members (except for free for those who provide substantial organizational help)

Since MIND has not met for a while NOBODY (myself included) is a currently paid-up member. But I would like to collect (ahead of time if possible from some people) membership due which I am proposing to be $40 a year except $15 for students. (So anyone who pays FULL registration for the conference automatically becomes a MIND member for a year from the conference dates.)

I also would like to get volunteers for help with the registration tables, collecting fees, possible transportation (although whatever hotel we use is likely to have shuttles between the hotel, the airport, and UTA), and web-related tasks (I still need to talk to the people who currently hold mindnetwork.org). And some time before the conference, those of us who are actively involved in planning should try to meet about local arrangements. I will be gone Oct. 12-15 and have an out-of-town non-work friend visiting Oct. 28-30, so those times are bad for me but others in October are possible.

I look forward to hearing from everyone and hope we can make this even more exciting than the MIND conferences of old.

Best,
Dan Levine

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