NeuroHub Seminar Gael Varoquaux

Better neuroimaging data processing: driven by evidence, open communities, and careful engineering

Speaker: Gael Varoquaux, Research Director,L’Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique  (INRIA), France; Visiting Scholar at the MNI and MILA

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 1pm

Location:  de Grandpré Communications Centre, the Montreal Neurological institute and Hospital (The Neuro), 3801 University Street, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, Canada

Free event: Open to faculty and students from McGill University, Concordia University, University of Montreal and UQAM, and others.

Space is limited, register via Eventbrite or Facebook

Abstract: Data processing is a significant part of a neuroimaging study. The choice of corresponding methods and tools is crucial. I will give an opinionated view how on a path to building better data processing for neuroimaging. I will take examples on endeavors that I contributed to: defining standards for functional-connectivity analysis, the nilearn neuroimaging tool,, the scikit-learn machine-learning toolbox -an industry standard with a billion regular users. I will cover not only the technical process -statistics, signal processing, software engineering- but also the epistemology of methods development. Methods govern our results, they are more than a technical detail.

Bio: Gaël Varoquaux is a tenured computer-science researcher at Inria. His research focuses on statistical learning tools for data science and scientific inference. He has pioneered the use of machine learning on brain images to map cognition and pathologies. More generally, he develops tools to make machine learning easier, with statistical models suited for real-life, uncurated data, and software for data science. He co-funded scikit-learn, one of the reference machine-learning toolboxes, and helped build various central tools for data analysis in Python. Varoquaux has contributed key methods for learning on spatial data, matrix factorizations, and modeling covariance matrices. He has a PhD in quantum physics and is a graduate from Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris.

Organizer: Dr Jean-Baptiste (JB) Poline is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill; the co-Chair of the NeuroHub and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee for the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) at the Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital (the NEURO); and a Primary Investigator at the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health

Contact: Tel: 514 398-3956; Email:

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