24-25 June 2019
NMBU, Ås, Norway
Europe/Berlin timezone

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NMBU Campus


The NEST Initiative is excited to invite everyone interested in Neural Simulation Technology and the NEST Simulator to the NEST Conference 2019. The NEST Conference provides an opportunity for the NEST Community to meet, exchange success stories, swap advice, learn about current developments in and around NEST spiking network simulation and its application.

This year's conference will take place on the beautiful campus of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) at Ås, just 30 km south of Oslo, during the brightest time of the year.

NEST Initiative NMBU FZ Jülich HBP DEEP Projects


For brevity, only presenting authors are shown in this overview.

You can download the complete NEST Conference 2019 Programme and Abstract Booklet.

Monday, 24 June:

  • 11:00 Registration and lunch
  • 12:30 Opening
  • 12:50 GeNN: GPU-enhanced neural networks (James Knight)
  • 13:25 Communication sparsity in distributed Spiking Neural Network Simulations to improve scalability (Carlos Fernandez-Musoles)
  • 14:00 Coffee & Posters
  • 15:00 Sleep-like slow oscillations induce hierarchical memory association and synaptic homeostasis in thalamo-cortical simulations (Pier Stanislao Paolucci)
  • 15:20 Implementation of a Frequency-Based Hebbian STDP in NEST (Alberto Antonietti)
  • 15:40 Spike Timing Model of Visual Motion Perception and Decision Making with Reinforcement Learning in NEST (Petia Koprinkova-Hristova)
  • 16:00 What’s new in the NEST user-level documentation (Jessica Mitchell)
  • 16:20 ICEI/Fenix: HPC and Cloud infrastructure for computational neuroscientists (Jochen Eppler)
  • 17:00 NEST Initiative Annual Meeting (members-only)
  • 19:00 Conference Dinner

Tuesday, 25 June:

  • 9:00 Construction and characterization of a detailed model of mouse primary visual cortex (Stefan Mihalas)
  • 9:45 Large-scale simulation of a spiking neural network model consisting of cortex, thalamus, cerebellum and basal ganglia on K computer (Jun Igarashi)
  • 10:10 Simulations of a multiscale olivocerebellar spiking neural network in NEST: a case study (Alice Geminiani)
  • 10:30 NEST3 Quick Preview (Stine Vennemo & Håkon Mørk)
  • 10:35 Coffee
  • 10:50 NEST3 Hands-on Session (Håkon Mørk & Stine Vennemo)
  • 11:40 A NEST CPG for pythonic motor control: Servomander (Harry Howard)
  • 12:05 NEST desktop: A web-based GUI for NEST simulator (Sebastian Spreizer)
  • 12:30 Lunch & Posters
  • 13:30 Tools for the Visual Analysis of Simulation Datasets (Óscar David Robles)
  • 13:50 Neural Network Simulation Code for Extreme Scale Hybrid Systems (Kristina Kapanova)
  • 14:10 Accelerating spiking network simulations with NEST (Susanne Kunkel)
  • 14:30 NESTML Tutorial (Charl Linssen)
  • 15:30 NEST Desktop Tutorial (Sebastian Spreizer)
  • 16:30 Closing (Markus Diesmann)

Wednesday to Friday:

  • NEST Hackathon

Contributions invited!

We would like you to share your experiences made and results obtained with NEST during the conference. You can do so either by a short oral presentation (10–15 minutes) or on a poster.

Please use this template to prepare your one-page abstract and send it as .pdf via email to conference@nest-initiative.org. Please use the subject line “Abstract Submission” for a poster contribution or “Abstract Submission (talk)” if you would prefer to present your work as a talk.

Registration and costs

Registration deadline is 15 May 2019.  Please register using this form!

Registration fee including lunch (24 & 25 June) and dinner (24 June) is:

  • for members of the NEST Initiative: NOK 550
  • for non-members: NOK 850

To qualify for the member rate, you need to submit your NEST Initiative membership application and pay your membership dues by 10 May 2019. Please see the NEST Initiative homepage for information on how to join the NEST Initiative.

You need to cover your travel and accommodation yourself. Unfortunately, we are not able offer travel grants this year.

Important dates

  • 15 May 2019 — EXTENDED Deadline for poster contributions
  • 1 May 2019 — Notification of acceptance
  • 10 May 2019 — Deadline for membership application
  • 15 May 2019 — Deadline for registration


There are several accommodation options:

  1. We will reserved single rooms in student dormitories on NMBU's campus at Ås. These rooms are in apartments where several rooms share bathroom and kitchen. The cost per night is NOK 500 with a minimum stay of three nights. You need to book these rooms with your registration and they will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will need to pay the rooms in full together with your conference fee. This is a convenient option, since you will be directly on campus with minimal travel time during the conference and hackathon.
  2. The closest hotel to NMBU is Thon Hotel Ski, about 15 minutes by direct bus from our campus. You can book directly through the hotel website.
  3. There are many hotels in Oslo which you can find through the usual hotel booking sites. Unfortunately, the train line from Oslo to Ås will be closed for construction during the conference. There will be alternative transportation from Oslo to Ås, but you will need to allow for 1 hour each way with 1-2 connections per hour. If you stay in Oslo, you should choose a hotel not too far from the main train station (Oslo S). We will provide details later when schedules for the summer become available.
  4. If you plan on booking private accommodation through web services, you should try to find accomodation either in walking distance from Campus or along the bus line 510 Bøleråsen-Ski-Holstad-Ås-Brønnerud-Dyrløkke for easy access to our campus.


If you arrive by airplane, the best option is to fly to Oslo-Gardermoen airport (OSL), which has connections from most major European airports as well as several airports in the Americas and Asia.

Note that there is a small chance that you will be shown flights to Sandefjord/Torp (TRF), even if you search for flights to Oslo; avoid Torp, since transportation options are limited.

From the airport, you reach Oslo conveniently by train, or Ås by Airport express bus. To get to Ski, you will need to change from train to bus in Oslo. The train line between Oslo, Ski and Ås will probably be closed for major track improvements this summer. We will post more detailed information closer to the conference date.

Please note that there is no train/bus connection to Ski or Ås during the night. We therefore recommend that you book a flight that arrives by 19:00.


If you have any questions concerning the NEST Conference 2019, please contact us at conference@nest-initiative.org!

Photography during the event

Photos will be taken during the event, which may be used for public relation and/or documentary purposes, in online and print media of the NEST Initiative, NMBU, the Human Brain Project or related publications. By participating in the event, you declare that your picture may be used in respective publications.