SAGE Center Lecture Series

April 02, 2018
Partha Mitra, Professor of Biomathematics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Partha Mitra is Crick-Clay Professor of Biomathematics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received a B.Sc degree in Physics from Presidency College, Kolkata in 1989 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Harvard University in 1993. He was a postdoctoral member of the Bell Laboratories theory group from 1993-95 and Member of Technical Staff from 1996-2003. In 1997 Dr. Mitra was Assistant Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. Dr. Mitra is also H. N. Mahabala Chair Professor (visiting) at IIT Madras, India (2015-) and Senior Visiting Researcher at RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan (2014-). Dr. Mitra is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and Senior Member of the IEEE.

Dr. Mitra is interested in understanding intelligent machines that are products of biological evolution (particularly animal brains), with the basic hypothesis that common underlying principles may govern these "wet" intelligent machines and the "dry" intelligent. Dr. Mitra initiated the idea of brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping, and his laboratory is carrying out such mapping in the Mouse and the Marmoset (at RIKEN BSI, Japan). These projects in have generated over a petabyte of data, and Dr. Mitra’s group is building a Machine Vision system for Gigapixel image data, a “virtual neuroanatomist”. Dr. Mitra has an active theoretical research program in machine learning and control theory, where he is using tools from statistical physics to analyze the performance of distributed/networked algorithms in the "thermodynamic" limit of many variables.

Dr. Mitra played an active role in helping shape the US Brain Initiative and is an active contributor to Scientific American. Dr. Mitra has performed in Roald Hoffman’s “Entertaining Science” series at the Cornelia Street Cafe and recorded an album of the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. He was the organizer of a series of public science lectures at the New York Public Library (Science Soirees at the SIBL). In collaboration with sculptor Fre Ilgen, he has produced artistic renditions of nervous system architecture.