Author Archives: demaris99

Mind Field: a piece at the vurv group show

In collaboration with James Hill O’Brien I’ve put up an interactive piece with video controlled by a ‘neural field’ simulation. From around 1992 through 2001 I used a computational math framework called coupled map lattices in the statistical mechanics community where it was studied. I identified ways to use it for image similarity (unsupervised learning) and recognizing 3D objects from different views, and identified the chaotic maps at each site with an emerging idea called ‘balanced networks’. This was, and remains, an unusual approach to neural network modeling which assumes that a lot of the action in neural computing happens at the level of local field potentials, a localized version of what is observed in EEG signals. In the early 20th century the Gestalt psychologists, given the fascination with newly discovered electromagnetic fields and light, had a different view of mind that was informed by visual experience. They were scattered by the rise of fascism and WWII, and behaviorism and computational ideas came to the fore in the understanding of mind.

In the art piece here, spatial patterns are formed when you increase the coupling; in turn these influence which regions of state space are visited more frequently, which might be considered an analog of attention. In this piece, when a fragment of the poem is finished, the next most active subspace triggers another fragment to be overlaid.

Apart from work in computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience, I was motivated to understand the experience of art and the creation of art using these concepts.

When I encountered the work of Paul Valery, an early 20th century poet fascinated with mind and the interior experience of art, I did a piece incorporating neural fields and some ideas about the perception of poetic rhythms for a conference called “Einstein meets Magritte”. Francesco Varela also spoke at this conference, and was an early promoter of using the recurrent field concept for neural modeling, as well as one of the originators of the term autopoesis. Along with Valery, the philosophers of art and culture bridging the Gestaltists and arts were inspirational to what I envisioned as a revival of symbolist art practice with modern complex systems theory.

Dynamic Symbolism, Chaos, and Perception

Since then I used the formalism to generate music for the ending of an opera, a modern day Faust reworking based on the interactions of quantum physicists, especially the life of Wolfgang Pauli and his relationship with Jung. Together, Paul, Jung, and Marie Louise von Franz pursued a framework in which mind and matter might be understood on similar terms.
It was presented at Vortex as part of the Fusebox 2014 festival.

For Fear the Glass May Shatter

The text by James is inspiring and very meta, alluding in some sense to the concerns of these pioneers to look for mind at very deep levels; this is at odds with the contemporary embodied cognition movement, which holds Varela up as a kind of saintly figure, but I think they can be reconciled. We are mind bound with body, fields which construct space and time within to match that without.

Talk on machine learning and cybersecurity Thursday.

 

I’m giving a talk to Austin Science Club this Thursday,  June 15 2016 on anomaly detection using sparse dictionary learning.  The talk is tilted toward cybersecurity, but my own experience with this method came from detecting structures on VLSI chips that may not be adequately characterized or handle by proximity correction algorithms.  The technique is general and has been used in biosignal analysis as well to detect unusual trends.

In other news, I’ve been reviewing a great deal of material on oscillations and neuroscience, and an interpretive framework known as microgenesis, with an eye toward a review paper and suggestions of how to make this a computational framework.

Over the past year or two I’ve been interested in the overlap between various branches of network theory, neuroscience, and the psychology of multiple individuals interacting (from dyads to large groups on the internet).  The term Collective Intelligence seems to be coming into relatively widespread use.

I’ll be giving a talk this Thursday Feb. 19 to Austin Science Club,  our mostly-neuroscience salon / journal club.

A recent Kaggle.com competition for seizure prediction provided examples of interictal and preictal (up to one hour before a seizure) ECoG data from five canine and two human subjects.  I was working on the contest but was ruled out from competing by a technical rule (you must make some submission one week before the deadline).  I was exploring a novel descriptor which looked at relationships between channels.

Many features have been used historically,  ranging from energy in various bands, cross correlations, signal decomposition and  nonlinear complexity measures.  I used normalized compression distance (NCD) to judge similarity between 16 channels at various,  and used the resulting measure as a feature to train support vector classifiers for each subject.

I’ll briefly review some prediction features,  what the contest winners did,  the limits of NCD and possible improvements (including additional features I’ve written code for which have not been commonly applied).

Most of my previous experience in data science was unsupervised learning, so I viewed this as an opportunity to improve my skills in supervised learning and begin to build a data science portfolio and library of EEG analysis tools.

We’ll look at open source tools for research in this area:  scipy, signal processing libraries  and scikit-learn were used.  I’ve also ported code for multi-scale permutation entropy from matlab and will look at this feature set in future work.

For Fear the Glass May Shatter
April 4-18, 2014 8 pm
Plus 3 nights of Fusebox Festival: April 19 @9 pm, April 20-21 @8 pm


For Fear the Glass May Shatter explores the science and struggle around Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, whose personal crisis led him to Carl Jung as a patient, friend, and critic. A key figure in nuclear physics from 1920-1958, Pauli was also the anonymous dreamer in Jung’s “Psychology and Alchemy.” The opera recapitulates 20th-century music and features neuro-physics dream music built from oscillating fields and statistical mechanics. The narrative manifests through themes including scientific criticism, competition and collaboration, concern for reputation, the social and personal politics of war, and the role of women in science and culture.

Conceived and written by David DeMaris, For Fear the Glass May Shatter was developed in 2014 through workshops with the cast and musical collaborator Emily Breedlove. Directed by Bonnie Cullum. Choreography by Heather Huggins. Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Jason Amato. Costume Design by Jane Clarke. Video Design by Lowell Bartholomee. Stage Management by Tamara L. Farley.

Featuring Mick D’arcy (Wolfgang Pauli), Trey Deason (Werner Heisenberg), Chelsea Manasseri (Lise Meitner), Michelle Haché (Marie-Luise von Franz), Melissa Vogt-Patterson (Irena Sendler), Amber Quick (Franca Pauli), Rudy Ramirez (Paul Ehrenfest), Eric Hungate (Neils Bohr), Mindy Rast-Keenan (Albert Einstein), and Matthew Patterson as Carl Jung.

For Fear the Glass May Shatter is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Tickets 

For Fear the Glass May Shatter explores the science and struggle around Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, whose personal crisis led him to Carl Jung as a patient, friend, and critic.  A key figure in nuclear physics from 1920-1958, Pauli was also the anonymous dreamer in Jung’s “Psychology and Alchemy.” The opera recapitulates 20th-century music and features neuro-physics dream music built from oscillating fields and statistical mechanics. The narrative manifests through themes including scientific criticism, competition and collaboration, concern for reputation, the social and personal politics of war, and the role of women in science and culture.

Conceived and written by David DeMaris, For Fear the Glass May Shatter was developed in 2014 through workshops with the cast and musical collaborator Emily Breedlove. Directed by Bonnie Cullum. Choreography by Heather Huggins. Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Jason Amato. Costume Design by Jane Clarke. Video Design by Lowell Bartholomee. Stage Management by Tamara L. Farley.

Featuring Mick D’arcy (Wolfgang Pauli), Trey Deason (Werner Heisenberg), Chelsea Manasseri (Lise Meitner), Michelle Haché (Marie-Luise von Franz), Melissa Vogt-Patterson (Irena Sendler), Amber Quick (Franca Pauli), Rudy Ramirez (Paul Ehrenfest), Eric Hungate (Neils Bohr), Mindy Rast-Keenan (Albert Einstein), and Matthew Patterson as Carl Jung.

For Fear the Glass May Shatter is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Tickets 

 

Hello mid 2013

I’m taking a brief sabbatical period after many years of working in the semiconductor business. It’s a good time to catch up on developments in various fields of interest and to re-boot my web presence.

Some things I’m occupying myself with:
1) Reviewing developments in neuroscience, especially the dynamical and neurophysics communities. Within the broader field, I was motivated to understand the problem of cross-frequency interactions and am delighted to see a lot of work in this area.
2) Algorithmic music and signal processing systems, in my favorite language python and others.
3) Creating a library of python based scientific and engineering software.
4) Studying the history of the development of quantum mechanics and field theory, and looking at recent trends in “emergent” quantum mechanics.
5) I’m working on a chamber opera which draws on all of the above, and applying to a local arts festival.