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Michael A. Arbib papers

 Collection
Identifier: 5315

Scope and Contents

Michael A. Arbib is currently the Fletcher Jones Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering,and Neuroscience and Psychology as well as the former (and first) Director of the USC Human Brain Project. Arbib has based his career on the argument that we can learn much about machines from studying brains, and much about brains from studying machines. He has thus always worked for an interdisciplinary environment in which computer scientists and engineers can talk to neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. His primary research focus is on the coordination of perception and action.

Arbib's papers document his research as a theoretical neuroscientist and a computer scientist, as well as his work as a professor at USC. Included in the collection are his correspondence with colleagues in the field and publishers; articles and manuscript materials; and material pertaining to the Human Brain Project which Arbib conducted in the late 1990s. The papers cover much of Arbib's career and research at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst during his years before arriving at USC. Most of the materials comprising this collection are Arbib's extensive subject and author files which highlight all of Arbib's chief fields of study.

Dates

  • 1970-2016

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Note

Michael A. Arbib has been Emeritus as University Professor, Fletcher Jones Professor of computer science, and professor of biological sciences, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, neuroscience and psychology at the University of Southern California since 2016. He currently is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of California at San Diego where he also explores the possible roles of neuroscience in the architecture of the built environment.

Born in England in 1940, Arbib was educated in New Zealand and Australia, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1960 at the University of Sydney. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963, and then spent five years as an assistant professor at Stanford before joining the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he became the founding chairman of the Department of Computer and Information Science in 1970.

Arbib joined the staff of the University of Southern California in 1986, continuing the research best expressed in the title of his first book, Brains, Machines, and Mathematics (McGraw-Hill, 1964)in which he asserted that though the brain is not a computer in the current technological sense, we can learn much about machines from studying brains and much about brains from studying machines.



Arbib has always promoted an interdisciplinary environment in which computer scientists and engineers can talk to neuroscientists and cognitive scientists, and this interplay has led him to work in computer science, linguistics, computational neuroscience, and neuroinformatics. He was also highly involved in providing the first computational model of mirror neurons and conducting some of the key initial imaging studies of the human mirror system.

At USC, Arbib was founder and the first Director of the Center for Neural Engineering, with his research focusing on the coordination of perception and action. Arbib initiated the USC Brain Project, which is engaged in developing new tools and methodologies for neuroinformatics and exploring the evolution of the human language-ready brain.

Extent

78.7 Linear Feet (136 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Papers of Michael A. Arbib, Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science; University Professor; Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology; Director, USC Human Brain Project. Prof. Arbib has based his career on the argument that we can learn much about machines from studying brains, and much about brains from studying machines. He has thus always worked for an interdisciplinary environment in which computer scientists and engineers can talk to neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. His primary research focus is on the coordination of perception and action. Arbib's papers document his research as a theoretical neuroscientist and a computer scientist, as well as his work as a professor at USC. Included in the collection are his correspondence with colleagues in the field and publishers; articles and manuscript materials; and material pertaining to the Human Brain Project which Arbib conducted in the late 1990s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Michael A. Arbib, May 25, 2016.
Title
Finding Aid of the Michael A. Arbib papers
Status
Completed
Author
Jacqueline Morin
Date
2019 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States