Noah Benson is a senior data scientist at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. He received his B.S. from Purdue University where triple-majored in computer science, math, and biology (2001-2005) and his Ph.D. in biomedical and health informatics from the University of Washington where he studied the analysis and representation of molecular dynamics simulations (2005-2010). Since graduating, Noah has worked primarily in the domain of human neuroscience and vision with an emphasis on understanding the relationship between the anatomical structure of the brain and its function. He has worked as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2014) and a research scientist at New York University (2014-2020).
The primary goal of Noah’s research is to understand how the 3D structure of the human cerebral cortex is related to its organization and function. His work primarily examines the visual system, the structure and function of which can be easily queried with high spatial resolution using MRI. His work on the first three cortical visual areas (V1, V2, and V3) has shown how the cortical map (a canonical feature of how cortical areas are organized) can be modeled in terms of the brain’s sulcal topography and predicted in a subject based on that topography alone (Benson et al., 2012; Benson et al., 2014; Benson and Winawer, 2018). He has also worked extensively with data from the Human Connectome Project (Benson et al., 2018).
Noah has spent much of his research career writing and supporting software tools that enable other researchers to duplicate and extend his work. He supports and has contributed to a number of open-source libraries on GitHub and is the author of the Python library neuropythy, a general utility library built around understanding neuroscience data formats, anatomical analysis, and visualization. Among other things, neuropythy is a powerful tool for organizing, obtaining, and understanding the data from the Human Connectome Project.
- Neuroinformatics and neuroimaging
- Containerization (Docker)
- Version Control (GitHub)
- Data Sharing and Visualization
- Jupyter Notebooks