Do you have the background required to take this class?

- The class requires some basic background in neuroscience/neurobiology. Any class where the brain and/or nervous system was discussed in at least 3 or 4 lectures should do. If you can explain most of these terms, you should be fine: Hemisphere, cortex, neuron, action potential, synapse, neurotransmitter, ion chanel, voltage, current, dendrites, hippocampus, Electro EncephaloGram, glutamate, inhibition.

- The class also requires some background in computer programming. We will use a free neural simulator that will make things easy for us, but you will need to modify (and probably write) code. The language is very similar to matlab or R, and is interpreted, but knowledge of any classical programming language should do. Here is a self test to find out if you have the background required. If you can do this (in any language you like, by yourself), you are probably ok. By all means, check with the instructor if you are unsure.

> Generate an array of 1000 real/float random numbers between 1 and 10.
> Plot the array.
> Compute and plot a histogram (say, bins are 0.1 wide) of the differences between 2 consecutive elements of the array.
> Sort the array in ascending order. Compute and print its mean and standard deviation.

Feel free to email the instructor if you have questions about your background.


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