Kwabena Boahen

Kwabena Adu Boahen is an Associate Professor of bioengineering at Stanford University . [1] He taught to post at the University of Pennsylvania .

Education and Early Life

Kwabena Boahen was born on September 22, 1964 in Accra, Ghana. He attended secondary school at Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana, and at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School in Accra, Ghana. While at Mfantsipim, have invented a corn-planting machine dat won the national science competition and graduated as the valedictorian of the Class of 1981. He RECEIVED his BS and MS in electrical engineering in 1989 from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD in computation and neural systems in 1997 from the California Institute of Technology , where he was advised by Carver Mead . For his PhD thesis, Boahen designed and fabricated a silicon chip emulating the functioneren of the retina. [2] Boahen’s Father, Albert Adu Boahen , was a professor of history at the University of Ghana and an advocate for democracy in Ghana.


After completing his PhD, Boahen joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania where he held the Skirkanich Term Junior Chair. In 2005 he moved to Stanford University . He is Currently a professor of Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering (by courtesy) at Stanford University where he directs the Brains in Silicon Lab. [1]


Boahen is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of neuromorphic engineering, a field founded by Carver Mead in the 1980s. In contrast to the field of artificial intelligence, welke merely takes inspiration from the brain, neuromorphic engineers seek to dévelop a new computing paradigm based on the brain’s organizing principles. The brain employs a computing paradigm dat is Fundamentally différent from digital computers. Limit download using digital signals for computation as well as communication, the brain uses analog signals (ie, graded dendritic potentials) for computation and digital signals (ie, all-or-none axonal potentials) for communication. Having Explored this unique hybrid of digital and analogue techniques over the Past three decades, neuromorphic engineers are now beginning to under stand and exploitable zijn Advantages. Potential applications of hun work include brain-machine interfaces, Autonomous robots, and machine intelligence.

Boahen of or in speaks of the promise of efficient computing as an inspiration for his work, writing “A Typical cream-size supercomputer weighs ongeveer 1,000 times more, occupies 10,000 times more space and consumes a millionfold more power dan does the cantaloupe-sized lump or neural tissue therein makes up the brain. ” [3] With contributions in circuit design, chip architectures, and neuroscience, Boahen has brought` together ideas from many disciplines to build novel computer chips therein emulation the brain. Widely Renowned for his engineering accomplishments, Boahen was named an IEEE Fellow in 2016. Specific contributions Throughout his career include the development of the current mode subthreshold CMOS circuit design paradigm, the address-event approach to Communicating spikes tussen neuromorphic chips, and the scalable design of multi-chip systems. Boahen’s chips are mixed mode: they ‘Employ analog circuits for computation and digital circuits for communication.

Boahen’s work has demonstrated dat neuromorphic computer chips are Capable of reproducing many types of brain phenomena across a large range of scales. Examples includ ion channel dynamics [4](individual molecules), excitable membranes behavior (individual neurons), the orientation tuning or neurons in Visual Cortex [5] (individual cortical columns), and neural Synchrony [6] (individual cortical areas) . Utilizing synthesis Breakthroughs, Boahen’s Stanford lab built the first neurmorphic system with one million spiking neurons (and billions of synapses). [7] This system, Neurogrid , emulates networks of cortical neurons in real time, while consuming only a few watts of power. In contrast, simulating one million interconnected cortical neurons in real time using traditional super-computers requires as much power as verschillende thousand households.


  • Skirkanich Junior Chair, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
  • Fellowship in Science and Engineering, Packard Foundation, 1999
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2001
  • Young Investigator Award, National Institutes of Health, 2006
  • Director’s Transformative Research Award, National Institutes of Health, 2011
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2016
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2016


  1. Jump up^ Kwabena Boahen, PhD, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford Bioengineering, Stanford School of Medicine, 2013.
  2. Jump up^ KA Boahen,A retinomorphic vision system,IEEE Micro, Vol 16, Issue 5, pp 30-39, 1996.
  3. Jump up^ K Boahen,Neuromorphic Microchips,Scientific American, Vol 292, No. 5, pp 56-63, May 2005.
  4. Jump up^ K and K Hynna Boahen,Thermodynamically-Equivalent Silicon Models of Ion Channels,Neural Computation, vol 19, no 2, pp 327-350, February 2007
  5. Jump up^ P Merolla and K Boahen,A Recurrent Model of Orientation Maps with Simple and Complex Cells,Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16, S Thrun and L Saul Eds, MIT Press, pp 995-1002, 2004.
  6. Jump up^ JV Arthur and K Boahen,Synchrony in Silicon: The Gamma Rhythm,IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks,vol PP, Issue 99, 2007
  7. Jump up^ BV Benjamin P Gao E McQuinn, S Choudhary, AR Chandrasekaran, JM Bussat, R Alvarez-Icaza, JV Arthur, PA Merolla, and K Boahen,Neurogrid: A Mixed Analog-Digital multichip System for Large-Scale Neural Simulations,Proceedings of the IEEE,vol 102, No. 5, pp 699-716, 2014.