Academic Profiles

Daniel Wolpert
Professor of Engineering (1875)

Daniel Wolpert"While computers can now beat grandmasters at chess, no computer can yet control a robot to manipulate a chess piece with the dexterity of a six year old child. Reverse engineering how the brain controls the body would have far reaching impact both for medical science and for the development of novel technologies."

Although initially entering Cambridge as an undergraduate to read maths, Professor Wolpert changed to medical sciences "as biology and medicine seemed to have more pressing unsolved problems than mathematics". He completed clinical medicine and a D.Phil. in Physiology at Oxford, a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT before joining the Institute of Neurology, UCL. In 2005 Professor Wolpert was appointed as the Professor of Engineering (1875) to develop Bioengineering, a key theme within the Department's strategy. Bioengineering offers a significant opportunity as the demand grows for a quantitative mechanistic understanding of biological systems.

His research interests are computational and experimental approaches to human sensorimotor control. To examine the computations underlying sensorimotor control, he has developed a research programme that uses computational techniques from machine learning, control theory and signal processing together with novel experimental techniques that include robotic interfaces and virtual reality systems that allow for precise experimental control over sensory inputs and task variables.

He teaches 3rd and 4th year modules in the area of Computational Neuroscience.

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