Columbia University Medical Center


John Patrick Cunningham, PhD

John Patrick Cunningham, PhD
  • Department of Statistics (Columbia University)
  • Assistant Professor of Statistics (Columbia University)

Member, Grossman Center for the Statistics of MindMember, Center for Theoretical NeuroscienceMember, Institute for Data Science and EngineeringMember, Neurobiology and Behavior Graduate Program

Many fields and industries are witnessing huge increases in the quantity and complexity of recorded data. This changing data paradigm will only lead to a similarly dramatic increase in theoretical understanding and useful technologies if we create the analytical methods to meaningfully interrogate this data. Creating these statistical and machine learning algorithms is the focus of our research.

We particularly focus on statistics for understanding computation in neural systems: we use our brain in everything that we do, but we understand relatively little about how it works at a computational level. For example, how do populations of neurons control complex, sophisticated movement?

The purpose of these algorithms is to advance scientific understanding of the neural basis of movement, and to advance computational learning methods in their own right. Our tools are drawn from statistics, computer science, and engineering, including: dynamical systems, dimensionality reduction, nonparametric statistics, approximate inference, optimization, and numerical linear algebra.

Education & Training

  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
  • Fellowship: Cambridge University (United Kingdom)
  • Primary Lab Locations

    Jerome L. Greene Science Center

    3227 Broadway
    Quad 5d
    New York, NY 10027

    (212) 853-1091

    Lab Website

    Research Interests

    Computation and theory
    Theoretical neuroscience
    Cognitive/Systems neuroscience
    Statistical machine learning
    Motor systems

    Lab Members