Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
- Leonardo Da Vinci
Sadique Sheik
Sadique Sheik

Senior Director, Algorithms and Applications,
SynSense (formerly aiCTX AG)
Thurgauerstrasse 40,
CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland
Email: sadique dot sheik at synsense dot ai

Research Interests

Understanding the principles of nature has always been at the core for the evolution of physics and engineering. The human brain is perhaps the pinnacle of this endeavor. I strive to extend our understanding and employ it to design neuromorphic devices to perform robust, energy-efficient cognitive computation.

Spiking Neural Networks
  • Spiking Deep Neural Networks(SDNNs), and Spiking Convolutional Neural Networks (SCNNs)
  • Recurrent networks, Learning and Classification of spatio-temporal patterns.
  • Learning rules, pairwise/triplet/calcium based STDP.
  • Multi-modal, sensory integration.

Machine Learning / Deep Learning
  • Novel architecture design for ML applications on the edge
  • Understanding cognitive computation from a machine learning perspective.
  • Unsupervised learning, Generative models, Reinforcement Learning.

Neuromorphic Engineering
  • Substrate driven computation.
  • Computational models to exploit peculiarities in neuromorphic engineering (like mismatch).
  • Architecture design for neuromorphic processors.
  • Generic description of neuromorphic chips and standardization.
  • Software interface to neuromorphic chips.

  • PhD in Neuroinformatics and Neuromorphic engineering (2009-2013)
    Institute of Neuroinformatics,
    Department of Physics,
    ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • B.Sc.(Hons.)+M.Sc. in Physics (2002-2007)
    Department of Physics,
    Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur, India
Work Experience
SynSense (formerly aiCTX AG) (2018 - current)
Senior Director, Algorithms and Applications (2020 - curent)
Senior Research and Development Engineer (2018 - 2020)
At SynSense I am responsible for directing development of applicaiton driven neuromorphic design efforts for low-power real-time systems. My daily activities at SynSense involve:
  • Analysis and development of state-of-the art event driven algorithms for deep learning inference
  • Coordinate algorithms team and hardware design team efforts
  • Development of efficient and compact hardware architectures for event-driven computation
  • In-house research tool development
  • Product design for software products
  • Project management

BioCircuits Institute, UCSD (2014 - 2018)
PostDoc - Neuromorphic Engineer and Computational Neuroscientist
My research involves investigation of event based learning algorithms for spiking neural networks to perform cognitive tasks, and to do so in real-time with neuromorphic hardware, in a robust manner. Some fields of research I was involved in are:
  • Sequence learning and classification
  • Stochastic computation with spiking neurons
  • Role of stochasticity in Learning
  • Dynamical systems approach to Neural Networks
  • Large scale neuromorphic systems
  • Hardware-software drivers and UIs

Intel Labs - Circuits Research Lab (2015 August-November)
PostDoc Research Scientist
I investigated several computational models of spiking neural networks and machine learning algorithms from an application standpoint and exploring optimal neural architectures for such models.
  • Investigated energy efficienfy of Synaptic Sampling Machines.
  • Developed a novel spike based learning algorithm optimal for neuromorphic implementation.
  • Designed software moduels and API for interfacing with hardware

IBM India Pvt. Ltd. (2007-2009)
Associate System Engineer - SAP Basis Consultant
SAP Basis Consultancy deals with installation and maintenance of software that integrates all the jobs and data of an organization, in order to maximize organizational efficiency. It also deals with system security. My key contributions are listed below.
  • Implementation of SAP R/3 4.7 Data Recovery Server.
  • On-site SAP Basis support and maintenance for a major petro-chemical firm (HPL).
Academic Responsibilities
Guest Editor
Frontiers in Neuroscience, Neuromorphic Engineering
Society Membership
  • IEEE and CAS Member
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • IEEE Transactions in VLSI
  • Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • IEEE Transactions in BioMedical Circuits and Systems
  • IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
  • IEEE BioMedical Circuits and Systems
  • International Joint Conference on Neural Networks
Invited Talks
  • "Spike-based Temporal Processing and Learning for Neuromorphic Systems"; Muri workshop,San Diego, USA 2017
  • "Neuromorphic Engineering for Machine Learning"; First International Symposium on Neuromorphic Engineering, Shanghai, China, April 29, 2016
  • "Role of Transistor Mismatch in Neuromorphic Engineering"; Boise State University, USA, March 13, 2015
Technical Skills
  • Programming: Python, Scala, Haskell, Java
  • HDL: Verilog
  • GUI designing: JavaFX, Qt, GTK, Tk
  • ERP: SAP Basis and Security.
  • SMD soldering.
  • PCB design - Eagle.
Under Graduate Projects
  • Development of Directionality in Evolutionary Algorithms (M.Sc. Project with Prof. Arghya Taraphder, IIT Kharagpur).
  • Microscopic Polarization Imaging: Imaging of Biological cells and Tissues (Semester project; Advanced Experiments in Physics with Prof. Partha Roy Chaudhuri, IIT Kharagpur)
  • Nonlinear Dynamics and Boundary Conditions of Excited Double Pendulum (Summer project with Prof. Krishna Kumar, IIT Kharagpur)
  • Design and Development of Web Based Text Editor (SRIC sponsored project at CET, IIT Kharagpur)