Massimiliano Versace

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Massimiliano Versace
Born (1972-12-21) 21 December 1972 (age 45)
Nationality Italy
Alma mater
Known for SyNAPSE
Awards Fulbright Scholar
Scientific career
Fields Artificial Intelligence
Institutions Boston University
Thesis Spikes, synchrony, and attentive learning by laminar thalamocortical circuits (2007)
Doctoral advisor Stephen Grossberg

Massimiliano Versace (born December 21, 1972 in Monfalcone, Italy) is co-founder and CEO of Neurala Inc. and founding Director of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab. Versace is a Fulbright scholar and holds two Ph.Ds: Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy; Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, USA. He obtained his BS from University of Trieste, Italy.

Professional life[edit]

Versace grew up in Monfalcone, Italy and came to the United States in 2001 as a Fulbright scholar. Versace holds a masters in psychology from the University of Trieste and a two PhDs (Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy—Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, USA). He is a Research Assistant Professor at Boston University, where he founded and directs the Neuromorphics Lab. In 2009-2011, he was Co-PI of the DARPA SyNAPSE effort in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard, where he led the Boston University neural modeling team. In December 2010, the IEEE Spectrum published a cover page featured article [1] authored by him regarding the roadmap to develop a large scale brain model making use of memristor based technologies. The Modular Neural Exploring Traveling Agent (MoNETA) was the first large-scale neural network model to implement whole-brain circuits to power a virtual and robotic agent compatibly with memristor-based hardware computations. A cover page article in IEEE Computer [2] features the software platform and modeling implemented by the joint HP and Boston University teams, and the March 2012 edition of IEEE Pulse [3] features his lab work on brain modeling. His work has also been featured [4] in the Italian national daily business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, in the magazine [5] Geek Magazine and in the documentary series [6] Future Tense. In 2006, with two colleagues from Boston University, he co-founded Neurala Inc. to bring this technology to market. He successfully led the company through the TechStars program in 2013, including round of financing and product launches.


Versace is a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship in 2001. He was recipient of the CELEST Award for Computational Modeling of Brain and Behavior in 2009, was awarded top cited article 2008-2010 in Brain Research, and has been named Outstanding Researcher at the Global Conference on Business and Finance, Las Vegas (along with Charles Wong).

Neural modeling, Deep Learning, and Robotics[edit]

Massimiliano Versace's research interests are focused on neural networks, in particular applied to cortical models of learning and memory, and how to build intelligent machines equipped with low-power, high density neural chips that implement large-scale brain circuits of increasing complexity. His Synchronous Matching Adaptive Resonance Theory (SMART) model shows spiking laminar cortical circuits self-organize and stably learn relevant information, and how these circuits be embedded in low-power, memristor based hybrid CMOS chip and used to solve challenging pattern recognition problems. His work has been featured on Fortune,[7] Inc,[8] Tech Crunch,[9] IEEE Spectrum,[10] Venture Beat,[11] among others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Versace, Massimiliano; Chandler, Ben (2010), "MoNETA: A Mind Made from Memristors", IEEE Spectrum, 12: 30–37 
  2. ^ Snider, Greg; Amerson, Rick; Carter, Dick; Abdalla, Hisham; MuhammadShakeel, Qureshi; Leveille, Jasmin; Amerson, Rick; Versace, Massimiliano; Chandler, Ben; Patrick, Sean; Mingolla, Ennio; Gorchetchnikov, Anatoli; Ames, Heather (2011), "From Synapses to Circuitry: Using Memristive Memory to Explore the Electronic Brain", IEEE Computer, 44: 21–28, doi:10.1109/MC.2011.48 
  3. ^ Ames, Heather; Versace, Massimiliano; Gortchechnikov, Anatoli; Livitz, Jasmin; Aisha, Sohail; Leveille, Jasmin; Mingolla, Ennio (2012), "The Animat" (PDF), IEEE Pulse, 3: 47–50, doi:10.1109/mpul.2011.2175638 
  4. ^ Tremolada, Luca (2011), "Il ratto nel computer", Il Sole 24 Ore 
  5. ^ Casey, Matt (2013), "On Edge About AI" (PDF), The Geek Magazine 
  6. ^ Dennis, Thierry (2012), "Future Tense", Future Tense Documentaries 
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External links[edit]