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The Swartz Foundation

Photo: Swartz Foundation Logo

The Swartz Foundation was established by Jerry Swartz in 1994 to explore the application of physics, mathematics, and computer engineering principles to neuroscience, as a path to better understanding the brain/mind relationship. The Swartz Foundation set out to meet this requirement proactively, bringing the necessary intellectual resources to bear on understanding the brain/mind connection by attracting and preparing scientists from these areas to participate in the mainstream of neuroscience research. We think this convergence of scientific cultures will produce not merely novel insights, but new kinds of insights. These will be the entry points for robust paths to a deeper understanding of the brain.

To achieve these goals, the Swartz Foundation supports a number of initiatives. One of these is the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego, for the application of new mathematical and modeling techniques to human brain activity/behavior studies. A new center for theoretical neurobiology has been established by the Foundation at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In addition, the Foundation continues to support the Sloan/Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology at five centers in major research universities and institutions around the country. Established in cooperation with the Sloan Foundation, these centers form a strong nucleus for the advancement of integrative neurobiology. In other research support activities, the Swartz Foundation sponsors a wide variety of individual projects using quantitative approaches to understand how the brain works. 

Cognizant of the fact that many new ideas arise from discussion and exchange among researchers, the Swartz Foundation regularly organizes interdisciplinary scientific workshops and meetings. Core themes include finding workable approaches to the study of consciousness and the identification of general principles of brain function and brain dynamics. Finally, we work to inform the public about neuroscience issues. In particular, at Stony Brook University the Foundation sponsors the Brain/Mind Lecture Series.

Photo: Jerome SwartzDr. Jerome Swartz co-founded Symbol Technologies Inc., in 1975. He was chairman of the board and chief scientist until retiring in 2004. Swartz received a BEE degree from the City University of New York and a PhD in electrical engineering from Brooklyn’s Polytechnic University, where he was the recipient of National Science Foundation and Ford Fellowships. Swartz is a recognized expert in the allied engineering physics fields of electro-optics, laser systems, and optical design, with particular application to new product development. He is credited with more than 180 US patents and is the author of more than 30 published papers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE. Under his leadership, Symbol Technologies was awarded the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the United States’ highest honor for technical innovation. Dr. Swartz is a member of the Stony Brook Foundation Board and a member of the Board of Trustees at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Polytechnic University.