A Rosetta Stone for the Indus script


A Rosetta Stone for the Indus script

Source - http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuatedequilibrium/2011/jun/30/2?INTCMP=SRCH 


How would you solve the world's oldest and most difficult crossword puzzle? Watch this video to learn how one man is approaching this challenge

Do you love a good mystery and ancient texts? Rajesh Rao sure does. He is a computational neuroscientist at my alma mater, the University of Washington in Seattle. He has devoted much of his professional life to cracking "the mother of all crossword puzzles": How to decipher the 4000 year old Indus script (example pictured; public domain). To do this, Dr Rao uses computational modeling to understand the human mind in two ways: first, he develops computer models to describe how human minds think, and then second, he applies these models to the task of deciphering the 4,000-year-old script of the Indus valley civilization. This interesting video provides a glimpse into his methods and logic:



ECR  100 :  Introduction aux écritures anciennes /  Introduction to ancient writing systems

Some of the questions that motivate Dr Rao's research include: How does the brain learn efficient representations of novel objects and events occurring in the natural environment? What are the algorithms that allow useful sensorimotor routines and behaviors to be learned? What computational mechanisms allow the brain to adapt to changing circumstances and remain fault-tolerant and robust?

You can learn more about Dr Rao's work by visiting his official departmental website.