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Partha Mitra

Partha P. Mitra


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1993 | (516) 367-6942

Mitra Lab

A theoretical physicist by training, my research is centered around intelligent machines. I do both theoretical and experimental work. The theoretical work is focussed on analyzing distributed/networked algorithms in the context of control theory and machine learning, using tools from statistical physics. My lab is involved in brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping in the Mouse as well as in the Marmoset. An organizing idea behind my research is that there may be common underlying mathematical principles that constrain evolved biological systems and human-engineered systems.

Partha Mitra is interested in understanding intelligent machines that are products of biological evolution (particularly animal brains), with the basic hypothesis that common underlying principles may govern these “wet” intelligent machines and the “dry” intelligent machines that are transforming the present economy. Dr Mitra initiated the idea of brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping, and his laboratory is involved in carrying out such mapping in the Mouse ( and the Marmoset (in collaboration with Japanese and Australian scientists at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute and Monash University).

Dr Mitra spent ten years as a member of the theory department at Bell Laboratories and holds a visiting professorship at IIT Madras where he is helping establish the Center for Computational Brain Research. He has an active theoretical research program in machine learning and control theory, wheren he is using tools from statistical physics to analyze the performance of distributed/networked algorithms in the “thermodynamic” limit of many variables.

  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Senior Member, IEEE
  • H N Mahabala Chair Professor (visiting), IIT Madras
  • Senior Visiting Scientist, RIKEN Brain Science Institute
  • George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award

Bamieh, B. and Jovanović, M. R. and Mitra, P. and Patterson, S. (2012) Coherence in large-scale networks: Dimension-dependent limitations of local feedback. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 57(9) pp. 2235-2249.

Feher, O. and Wang, H. and Saar, S. and Mitra, P. P. and Tchernichovski, O. (2009) De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch. Nature, 459(7246) pp. 564-568.

Bohland, J. W. and Wu, C. and Barbas, H. and Bokil, H. and Bota, M. and Breiter, H. C. and Cline, H. T. and Doyle, J. C. and Freed, P. J. and Greenspan, R. J. and Haber, S. N. and Hawrylycz, M. and Herrera, D. G. and Hilgetag, C. C. and Huang, Z. J. and Jones, A. and Jones, E. G. and Karten, H. J. and Kleinfeld, D. and Kotter, R. and Lester, H. A. and Lin, J. M. and Mensh, B. D. and Mikula, S. and Panksepp, J. and Price, J. L. and Safdieh, J. and Saper, C. B. and Schiff, N. D. and Schmahmann, J. D. and Stillman, B. W. and Svoboda, K. and Swanson, L. W. and Toga, A. W. and Van Essen, D. C. and Watson, J. D. and Mitra, P. P. (2009) A proposal for a coordinated effort for the determination of brainwide neuroanatomical connectivity in model organisms at a mesoscopic scale. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(3) pp. e1000334.

Pesaran, B. and Pezaris, J. S. and Sahani, M. and Mitra, P. P. and Andersen, R. A. (2002) Temporal structure in neuronal activity during working memory in macaque parietal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 5(8) pp. 805-811.

Andrews, M. R. and Mitra, P. P. and Decarvalho, R. (2001) Tripling the capacity of wireless communications using electromagnetic polarization. Nature, 409(6818) pp. 316-318.

Additional materials of the author at
CSHL Institutional Repository