Present Status

I am Professor of Computational Neuroscience & Neural Engineering in the department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sheffield, and the Head of the Machine Learning group.


Research Focus

As a Computational Scientist and Engineer with extensive cross disciplinary experience, I contribute to the understanding of the learning principles underlining animal learning. My team and I take inspiration from these principles to design novel, machine learning bio-inspired techniques, and in particular reinforcement learning methods. We also work closely with material scientists and engineers to design hardware that computes in a brain-like manner. 


Selected Publications

Manneschi L, Ellis MOA, Gigante G, Lin AC, Del Guidice P and Vasilaki E (2021) Exploiting multiple timescales in hierarchical echo state networks, Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. doi.org/10.3389/fams.2020.616658 https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.04223  

Mehonic A, Sebatian A, Rajendran B, Simeone O, Vasilaki E, Kenyon AJ (2020) Memristors—From In‐Memory Computing, Deep Learning Acceleration, and Spiking Neural Networks to the Future of Neuromorphic and Bio‐Inspired Computing. Advanced Intelligent Systems. doi.org/10.1002/aisy.202000085 https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.14942 

Cope A, Vasilaki E, Minors D, Sabo C, Marshall JAR and Barron AB (2018) Abstract concept learning in a simple neural network inspired by the insect brain. PLOS Computational Biology, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006435

Berdan R, Vasilaki E, Wei SL, Khiat A, Indiveri G, Serb A, Prodromakis T. (2016), Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 6, 18639; doi:10.1038/srep18639


Current Grants

EPSRC, "CausalXRL: Causal eXplanations in Reinforcement Learning". (Feb 2021 - 31 Jan 2024).

EPSRC, "MARCH - Magnetic Architectures for Reservoir Computing Hardware". (Feb 2021 - Jul 2024).

Leverhulme Trust, "Harnessing Complexity: Neuromorphic Computation with Magnetic Domain Walls". (Mar 2019 - present, with Dr Thomas Hayward),  

EPSRC, "ActiveAI - active learning and selective attention for robust, transparent and efficient AI". (Jul 2019 - June 2022).

EPSRC, "From Stochasticity to Functionality: Probabilistic Computation with Magnetic Nanowires". (Apr 2019 - Mar 2022).

Wellcome Trust, "The cortical representation of low-probability stimuli and its neuromorphic implementation", Fellow Dr Vanattou-Saïfoudine, collaboration with the institute for NeuroInformatics ETHZ/University of Zurich (Sep 2016 - Jun 2021). 

EPSRC, "Brains on Board: Neuromorphic Control of Flying Robots”. (Dec 2016- Dec2021)

Google Deepmind Faculty Research Awards Program, "Modeling probabilistic reinforcement learning and variable behaviour in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster" (2017 - present). 

© Eleni Vasilaki 2018