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Artificial Neural Networks: From Early Days to Present Fruition

May 2004 Section Meeting

When: Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Roger L. Barron - President Emeritus, Barron Associates, Charlottesville, VA. Click here for his biographical information.


McCulloch and Pitts postulated the formal mathematical logic of a rudimentary artificial neuron in 1943. Sixty years later, more flexible artificial neurons, interconnected in powerful Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), have come into widespread use. These ANNs are not the "thinking machines" of science fiction, but are able to perform sophisticated tasks in modeling from data. For pattern recognition, prediction, control, and signal processing, achieved with accuracy, reliability, and computational efficiency, ANNs are becoming the method of choice when dealing with complex processes not amenable to classical procedures.

The most important strides along the ANN road since 1943 have been:

This presentation will outline the evolution of ANN technology from its beginning to the present, with emphasis on aerospace applications, and will include anecdotes from the career of one who lived the subject intensely for 40 years.

Biographical Information:

Roger L. Barron is recognized for his pioneering and advancement of polynomial neural networks and their applications, founding the first neurocomputing company in 1961 and continuing to produce innovative and proven results for over 40 years. In 1983, Mr. Barron founded a small privately held company, Barron Associates, with a view toward applying intelligent modeling and control algorithms to advanced aerospace applications, and to do so in a small business environment where every customer would get the individualized attention of a small group of experienced researchers. Today, Barron Associates is in its second generation of ownership, but it continues in the tradition started by Roger L. Barron by providing leadership in computational neural networks, controls and statistical modeling. Over the last two decades, Barron Associates has grown its expertise and introduced hundreds of new customers in the aviation, space and health systems industries to its advanced and innovative R&D, tools, services and solutions.
Roger L. Barron received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton (1955), his S.M in Aeronautical Instrumentation & Control from M.I.T. (1957). He was the founder and CEO of Adaptronics, Inc., McLean, VA, '61-'82, and Barron Associates, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, '83-'98.

For more details about Barron Associates, please visit their web site,

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