Jacques J. VIDAL

Emeritus Professor, Computer Science Department,
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
4532 Boelter Hall
(310) 825-2858 (OFC)
(310) 825-1322 (SEC)
(310) 825-2273 (FAX)

Dr. Jacques J. Vidal was born in Liege, Belgium. He obtained an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Liege in 1954, After a military term ending as a Reserve First Lieuteant in the Belgian Air Force, he became a Lecturer at the University of Liege, and in the same period, earned a Nuclear Engineering Certificate in 1958 from the INSTN in Saclay, France and, in 1961, a Doctorate from the University of Paris.

He left Belgium for the United States in 1963 to join the faculty of the School of Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is now Emeritus Professor in the UCLA Computer Science Department of which he was a founding member. Although officially in retirement, he continues to work with his graduate students and at times to teach his signature class. Neural Network and Soft Computation (CS267A-B). This course has been consistently well received by students and, through multiples revisions and occasional name changes, was offered yearly for nearly thirty years.

Since the release of the Mathematica software in the early nineties, the course format evolved toward computer demonstrations in the classroom. The courseware written for this class became a continually expanding collection of Mathematica Notebooks. Some of these notebooks have also been available on the mathsource database at http://www.wri.com.

Long interested in the mysteries of the Brain, Vidal spend a sabbatical year in 1970 at the UCLA Brain Research Institute to study the mammaliam vestibular system and joined a research group headed by Professor Jose Segundo. Subsequently he was elected a permanent member of the Institute.
During the seventies, Vidal coined the expression Brain Computer Interface for his current research project, a part of a large, government sponsored futuristic research in biocybernetics and human-machine interaction. The name is now firmly entrenched into the lexicon of biocybernetics research. One of the results was the first successful attempt to include brain signals into human-computer communication, The goal of providing a non invasive communication channel into the human brain remains a contemporary challenge. A number of laboratories in the US and abroad are currently involved in related projects.

His dominant research interests, still brain-related albeit sometime indirectly, have revolved around "Soft Computing" (Neural Networks, Fuzzy Systems Genetic Search). Recently, and through his long term association with a research group at the University of Paris headed by Professor Alain-jacques Valleron, Vidal has started to explore the application of functional modeling in statistics and, in particular, to the prediction of outbreak of disease, a concern given a new importance by the emergence of bioterrorism.

Some Publications are listed below

(These cover a range of vidal's research interests and a time span from early career days to the present.)