Big Data Neuroscience Workshop 2017: Organized by the Advanced Neuroscience Network (ACNN)

September 8 - 9, 2017
Bloomington, IN


What An interactive Big Neuroscience Data Analytic Workshop
Where Indiana University Bloomington
Dates September 8-9 2017
Accommodation Biddle Hotel Indiana Memorial Union
See the Lodging and Travel section
Travel Scholarships 50+ scholarships for trainees will be offered on a competitive basis. See more information about scholarships.
Working Groups Participants are encouraged to self-organize working groups that focus on specific Big Neuroscience Data challenges, resource, translational education activities, and collaborative opportunities.
Call for Abstracts Abstracts for oral presentations, lightning talks, and posters are due August 14. See more information about abstracts.


Organizers: A team of transdisciplinary investigators from the Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network (ACNN), including:

Goals: Students, trainees, fellows, junior investigators, and outside researchers in Midwest academic institutions and industry partners are invited to attend and actively participate in this workshop. Expected workshop outcomes include (1) building an active Midwest Neuroscience Network Community, (2) open-sharing of data-intense challenges, datasets, research projects, expertise, software, services, protocols, resources, learning modules, and (3) productive discussions of joint (multi-institutional) grants, training opportunities, publications, research projects. The workshop success will be measured by assessing the community involvement (early registration, active workshop participation, post-workshop activities and interactions), website analytics (geographic locations of income traffic, counts, frequencies, and intensity of web-site utilization (, and evidence of collaborations on development of software tools, services, learning materials, end-to-end pipeline workflows.

Call for Abstracts

Deadline is Monday, August 14

The workshop will have opportunities for participants to present in three formats: posters, lightning talks (5 min), or parallel session talks (12 min). We are interested in presentations and posters on topics relating to neuroscience and big data featuring original research or on topics such as uses of large-scale datasets, data-intensive resources, expertise, software, services, protocols, and learning modules.

To submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract for consideration, please use our submission system: by August 14.


Keynote Speakers

Randy L. Buckner, PhD

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Harvard University
Director, Psychiatric Neuroimaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

Deep Phenotyping of the Individual: Data Science Challenges and Opportunities


No two individuals are exactly the same, and each person experiences transitions over time that can affect brain function and behavior. Typically human neuroimaging analyses combine measurements from many people, providing a fictional “average brain” that collapses meaningful variation. Recently our work has turned to exploring the detailed organization of individual brains and how that organization differs across people and changes over time. This push toward the individual brain is critical for clinical translation as well as a number of open questions about how transient brain states influence behavior. In this talk I will survey some of the informatics challenges and discoveries that arose from our development of low-burden large-scale data acquisitions across thousands of individuals and how these approaches have been redeployed to study the individual brain over time.


Randy L. Buckner is Professor of Psychology and of Neuroscience at Harvard University and affiliated with the Center for Brain Science. He is also Professor at the Harvard Medical School and the Director for Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from Washington University, under the direction of Steven Petersen and Marcus Raichle. He trained with Bruce Rosen as a postdoctoral fellow and then Instructor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, where he pioneered new functional MRI methods to study human memory. His work expanded to include studies of Alzheimer's disease and neuropsychiatric illness. This work led to a description of the brain’s default network and how it is targeted early in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past several years, his laboratory has targeted understanding the idiosyncratic organization of the brains of individuals. Professor Buckner’s awards include the Wiley Young Investigator Award from the Organization of Human Brain Mapping, the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the 2007 Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences, and the 2010 Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease from the MetLife Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Vince Calhoun

Executive Officer, Mind Research Network
Distinguished Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of New Mexico

The mind-research network: Large-scale analysis of multimodal medical images


Dr. Calhoun is currently Executive Science Officer at the Mind Research Network and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of more than 500 full journal articles and over 550 technical reports, abstracts and conference proceedings. His work includes the development of flexible methods to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging such as independent component analysis (ICA), data fusion of multimodal imaging and genetics data, neuroinformatics, and the identification of biomarkers for disease. Among other things, he leads an NIH P20 COBRE center grant on multimodal imaging of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression as well as an NSF EPSCoR grant focused on brain imaging and epigenetics of adolescent development. Dr. Calhoun is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, The Association for the Advancement of Science, The American Institute of Biomedical and Medical Engineers, The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Terry Jernigan

Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychiatry, and Radiology
Director, Center for Human Development
Director, Coordinating Center for PING Study
University of California, San Diego

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study


The ABCD Study is a landmark, nationwide longitudinal study focusing on health and mental health of adolescents. The consortium will enroll 11,500 children and perform repeated assessments that include multimodality MR imaging, biospecimen collection for genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, and other biomarker assays, and mobile technologies for passive data collection. In addition, multiple environmental factors will be assessed. The children will all be 9 or 10 years of age when enrolled and followed for 10 years. Some of the primary objectives of the study are to:

  • Identify individual developmental trajectories (e.g., of brain, cognitive, and emotional development, academic progress), and the factors that can impact them.
  • Develop national standards of normal brain development in youth.
  • Examine the roles of genetic vs. environmental factors on development, (e.g., by analysis of data from 800 twin pairs who will be recruited as part of the cohort).
  • Study the effects of physical activity, sleep, as well as sports and other injuries on brain development and other outcomes.
  • Study the onset and progression of mental disorders, factors that influence course or severity; and the relationship between mental disorders and substance use.
  • Determine how exposure to various levels and patterns of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, cannabis, and other substances affect developmental outcomes and vice versa.

In this presentation, the emphasis will be on the open science model adopted by the ABCD Study, and on a description of the evolving data repository.


Dr. Terry Jernigan is Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychiatry, and Radiology, and Director, Centerfor Human Development at the University of California, San Diego. For over 30 years, she has studied the human brain using noninvasive imaging. This work has focused on brain development and aging, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychiatric and substance use disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders. For the last decade her central research interest has been the developing human mind and brain, with a focus on the dynamic neurodevelopmental processes that give rise to human individuality—and on how these processes are affected by experience, substance exposure, genetic variation, and other factors. She is Co-Director of the Coordinating Center for the ABCD Study. She serves on the Council of Councils of the National Institutes of Health, and on the scientific advisory boards of several research organizations in the United States and Europe.

Brian A. Wandell

Director, Center for Cognitive & Neurobiological Imaging
Deputy Director, Stanford Neuroscience Institute
Stanford University

A project on scientific transparency


The complexity of neuroimaging data and methods limits our ability to check one another’s work. When Bob Dougherty and I developed the infrastructure for an MRI center at Stanford, we were determined to try to help investigators manage the large-scale neuroimaging data and to support them by providing computational tools. Our ambition was to provide an experimental environment that supports both sharing published data and the computational methods used to analyze the data.

I will describe the cloud-scale collaborative-science (CS)2 software tools we are developing to help scientists steward neuroimaging data and computations. Data from our instruments are directly imported into a database that is managed by the Center. Data sets are checked for completeness and critical functions (backups, quality assurance, file type conversion) are automated. Mechanisms for sharing platform-independent computations are part of the system. Our approach to making the system sustainable through a commercial entity will be described.

It is our view that the data and analytic software should be the heart of our publications; the accompanying article should describe the data and results so that colleagues can check one another’s work so that we can improve and extend published data and analytical methods.

Note. This work is in collaboration with Gunnar Schaefer, Michael Perry, and Renzo Frigato. We are grateful to the Simons Foundation and Arnold Foundation for their support and Victoria Stodden, Dave Donoho, and Mattan Gavish for useful discussions.

Commercial Disclosure: Flywheel Exchange, LLC.


Brian A. Wandell is the first Isaac and Madeline Stein Family Professor. He joined the Stanford Psychology faculty in 1979 and is a member, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering and Ophthalmology. He is Director of Stanford’s Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging, and Deputy Director of Stanford’s Neuroscience Institute. Wandell’s research centers on vision science, spanning topics from visual disorders, reading development in children, to digital imaging devices and algorithms for both magnetic resonance imaging and digital imaging. Wandell graduated from the University of Michigan in 1973 with a B.S. in mathematics and psychology. In 1977, he earned a Ph.D. in social science from the University of California at Irvine. After a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1979. Professor Wandell was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1984 and became a full professor in 1988. In 1986, Wandell won the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his work in color vision. He was made a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 1990; in 1997 he became a McKnight Senior Investigator and received the Edridge Green Medal in Ophthalmology for work in visual neuroscience. In 2000, he was awarded the Macbeth Prize from the Inter-Society Color Council, and in 2007 he was named Electronic Imaging Scientist of the Year by the SPIE/IS&T, and he was awarded the Tillyer Prize from the Optical Society of America in 2008. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. Oberdorfer Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2012. In 2014 he was awarded the highest honor of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. In 2016 he was awarded the George A. Miller prize of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Wandell was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Invited speakers

  • Olaf Sporns (Indiana University): Network Neuroscience: Mapping and Modeling Complex Brain Networks.
  • Melissa Cragin (Midwest Big Data Hub): Accelerating the Big Data Innovation Ecosystem.
  • Ivo Dinov (University of Michigan): Predictive Big Brain Data Analytics.
  • DK Panda (Ohio State University): Exploiting High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data to Accelerate Processing of NeuroScience Data.
  • Satya Sahoo (Case Western University): A Scalable Neuroinformatics Workflow for Deriving Functional Brain Networks using Electrophysiological Signal Data.
  • Lei Wang (Northwestern University): SchizConnect Work-in-Progress: Data Mediation, BIDSification and Pipelines for Neuroimaging Research in Schizophrenia.
  • Richard Gonzalez (University of Michigan): Statistical methods for big data neuroscience.
  • Franco Pestilli (Indiana University): Multidimensional encoding of brain connectomes: Building biological networks with preserved edge anatomy.
  • Andrew Saykin (Indiana University School of Medicine): A systems perspective on Alzheimer's disease: Challenges and opportunities of multi-modality neuroimaging and -omics data.

Talks and Posters

The call for abstracts is open throught August 14.

Student Travel Support

Over 50 student National Science Foundation-funded scholarships are available and will include the registration fee, housing (shared hotel room), and up to $200 in support for travel. Please note that the NSF Scholarships can only support US residents. There may be a very limited number of scholarships available for international students, however, the maximum travel support available for transportation to the workshop would still be $200.

The deadline is August 14. Apply here:

Sharable Resources

A web form will be provided soon to submit items for inclusion in the sharable resources. Examples (not an exclusive list) of appropriate resources that may be suggested includes:

  • Highly scalable APIs
  • Relevant publications
  • Cloud-services
  • Computational Resources
  • Algorithms, methods, techniques
  • Education and Training Opportunities

Lodging and Travel

On Campus Hotel Accommodations

Host Hotel: Indiana Memorial Union (IMU)

A block of hotel rooms on the IU Bloomington campus have been reserved for people attending the Big Data Neuroscience Workshop.

900 East 7th Street
Bloomington, IN USA 47405
812.856. 6381

The Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) is located in the center of campus and is in easy walking distance to many of Bloomington’s downtown shops, cafes and restaurants. The IMU will serve as the host hotel and will be the site of workshop registration, sessions and food events.

Rates & Reservations

In order to secure a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union, contact the hotel directly or reserve your room on-line. When phoning for your reservation, you must identify that you will be attending the ACNN Workshopin order to obtain a room.

On-line reservation: ; click “reserve a room”
Code: ACNN2017
Phone reservations: (812) 856-6381
Room rates: Rates currently range from $139/night to $189/night depending on the type of room you reserve.
All rooms are currently subject to a 12% tax.
Reservation cut- off date: August 7, 2017
Parking: free to hotel guests
Wireless Internet: free

Off Campus Accommodations

There are many hotel options outside of the IU Bloomington campus. Some hotels are located within walking distance; some are a short drive from campus. Check out the Visit Bloomington web site for off campus lodging (

Driving to IU Bloomington

We suggest that you consult Mapquest or Google maps for the best directions to Bloomington and return or use GPS to guide you. Driving to and from the airport to campus is simple and direct. Driving time from the airport to camps is approximately 50 minutes.

Air Travel to IU Bloomington

Most attendees who elect to fly to the workshop will fly to the Indianapolis International Airport.

Airport Symbol: IND

Location: 50 miles north of Bloomington, IN

Ground Transportation from the Indianapolis Airport to Campus and Return

Shuttle Service (two options):

Go Express Travel
  • Service 9 times daily between the airport and Bloomington campus
  • Advance reservations: Recommended
  • Reservations on-line:
  • Phone: 1.800.589.6004 or 812.332.6004
  • Rate: Currently $18.00 one way
  • Airport pick-up location: Ground Transportation Center. Lower level, outside of airport Baggage Claim
Star of America
  • Service 9 times daily between the airport and Bloomington campus
  • Advance reservations: Recommended
  • Reservations on-line:
  • Phone: 1.800.933.0097
  • Rate: Currently $18.00 one way
  • Airport pick-up location: Ground Transportation Center. Lower level, outside of airport Baggage Claim

Limousine Service

Classic Touch Limousine
  • Door to door service from airport to any location in Bloomington
  • Advance reservations: Required
  • Rates: Currently $122 roundtrip per person. When making your reservations, inform Classic Touch that you are attending a conference at IU. Request an IU conference rate. Rate is for shared ride service; private car rate is not guaranteed
  • Reservations:
  • Phone: 1.800.319.0082 or 812.339.7269
  • IMPORTANT: The limousine driver will not meet you inside of the terminal nor will he/she have a sign identifying you by name. It is your responsibility to approach a Classic Touch limousine and provide them with your name.

Car Rental

Most major car rental companies provide service at the airport. Car Rental companies are located in the Ground Transportation Center on the lower level of the terminal, outside Baggage Claim.

Bus, Taxis

There is no convenient bus service from the Indianapolis Airport to IU Bloomington.

Taxis service is available, but is very expensive and not recommended.


Parking is free of charge to those staying at the Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel.

Attendees electing to stay at off campus hotels who wish to drive to campus and park their car on campus may do so in the two parking lots adjacent to the Indiana Memorial Union. There will be a fee for parking in these lots. Discount parking passes will be available at the registration check-in desk for conference participants. The approximate discounted parking fee is currently $12/day.


In order to plan for your arrival, we encourage you to register early.

Dates & Deadlines

Registration Opens Monday, May 8th
Deadline for cancelling registration: Monday, August 28th
On-line registration closes midnight Monday, Sept. 4th

Registration Fees

Faculty $60.00
Academic Staff $60.00
Industry Staff $60.00
Post Doc $40.00
Graduate Student $25.00
Undergraduate $25.00

Registration Fees include

  • All workshop materials
  • Attendance at sessions
  • Continental breakfast (Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9th)
  • Morning and afternoon beverage breaks
  • Buffet lunch (Friday, September 8th)
  • Boxed lunch (Saturday, September 9th)
  • Registration Check-in

    Time: beginning at 7:30 a.m.
    Location: Frangipani Room, Mezzanine Level
    Indiana Memorial Union (host hotel)
    900 East 7th Street
    Bloomington, IN 47405

    Cancellation of Registration

    A refund, less a $10.00 administrative charge, will be accepted if received by midnight Monday, August 8th. Refunds will be made in the same form that you submitted payment. Refunds will not be issued after August 28th, but you may substitute another delegate.

    All cancellation requests must be made in writing and either emailed or faxed to the Conference Registrar at: or FAX: 812.855.8077


    If you have questions about how to register or how to cancel your registration, contact the Conference Registrar, Melissa Kocias at: or 812.855.4224


    Administrative: Mary Morgan ( or Programmatic: Franco Pestilli (


    This work is sponsored by National Science Foundation Award 1636893. Additional workshop sponsors include:

    • Midwest Big Data Hub
    • Indiana University College of Arts and Science
    • Department of Psychology
    • Indiana University Office for Vice President for Research Technologies
    • Indiana University Program in Cognitive Science
    • Indiana University Program in Neuroscience
    • Indiana University Emergent Area of Research Initiative: “Learning: brains, machines and children"