Home / Directory / Professor David Barrett

Professor David Barrett

Research Associate, University of Cambridge.
College Research Associate, St John's College, Cambridge

Contact information

Computational and Biological Learning,
Office BE-435,
Information Engineering Division,, Department of Engineering,, University of Cambridge
United Kingdom


I received an undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 2006, and an M.Sc in Sparse Coding in 2007. I completed a Ph.D in Computational Neuroscience and Machine Learning at the Gatsby Unit, UCL, with Prof. Peter Latham and Prof.Prof. Peter Dayan in 2012. After my PhD, I held a joint-research position at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon. In May 2014, I joined theComputational and Biological Learning Lab at Cambridge University, where I have been working with Máté Lengyel. I am also a College Research Associate at St John's College, Cambridge.

Research interests

Neural Networks, Sparse coding, Variational Inference, The Helmholtz Machine, Auto-encoding, Optimal compensation theory, Quadratic Programming, Balanced network theory, Noise correlations, Visual cortex tuning, Natural sound processing and Information theory.

About us

The Cambridge Centre for Data-Driven Discovery (C2D3) brings together researchers and expertise from across the academic departments and industry to drive research into the analysis, understanding and use of data science and AI. C2D3 is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.

  • Supports and connects the growing data science and AI research community 
  • Builds research capacity in data science and AI to tackle complex issues 
  • Drives new research challenges through collaborative research projects 
  • Promotes and provides opportunities for knowledge transfer 
  • Identifies and provides training courses for students, academics, industry and the third sector 
  • Acts as a gateway for external organisations 

Join us