Health & Human Kinetics Faculty Work

An Algebra-Based Introductory Computational Neuroscience Course with Lab

Christian Fink, Ohio Wesleyan University


A course in computational neuroscience has been developed at Ohio Wesleyan University which requires no previous experience with calculus or computer programming, and which exposes students to theoretical models of neural information processing and techniques for analyzing neural data. The exploration of theoretical models of neural processes is conducted in the classroom portion of the course, while data analysis techniques are covered in lab. Students learn to program in MATLAB and are offered the opportunity to conclude the course with a final project in which they explore a topic of their choice within computational neuroscience. Results from a questionnaire administered at the beginning and end of the course indicate significant gains in student facility with core concepts in computational neuroscience, as well as with analysis techniques applied to neural data.