Prof. H.J. Kappen (Bert)

Professor - Biophysics
Professor - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Professor - Donders Centre for Neuroscience
Professor - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Head - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Head - Foundation for Neural Networks

Prof. H.J. Kappen (Bert)
Visiting address

Heyendaalseweg 135
Internal postal code: 85

Postal address

Internal address: 85 Postbus 9010

Prof. Bert Kappen conducts theoretical research that lie at the interface between machine learning, control theory, statistical physics, computer science, computational biology and artifcial intelligence. He has developed many novel approximate inference methods inspired by methods from statistical physics. He has pioneered the mean field analysis of stochastic neural networks with dynamical synapses, revealing up and down states and rapid switching. He has identified a novel class of non-linear stochastic control problems that can be solved using path integrals. This approach has been adapted by leading robotics groups world wide, and is recognized as an important novel approach to stochastic control. His work on mean field theory for asymmetric stochastic neural networks is at the basis of current research to find connectivity patterns in neural circuits. He is author of about 130 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals and leading conferences. In collaboration with medical experts, he has developed a Bayesian medical expert system, including approximate inference methods, and he has co-founded the company Promedas to commercialize this system. He is director of SNN, the Dutch foundation for Neural Networks. SNN has a long reputation for successfully applying neural network and machine learning methods in collaboration with numerous industrial partners. He has co-founded the company Smart Research bv, that offers commercial service on machine learning and that has developed the Bonaparte Disaster Victim Identification software. He is honorary faculty at the Gatsby Unit for Computational Neuroscience at University College London.

Research theme Research group

Research grants and prizes


Curriculum Vitae

Additional positions

Bert Kappen’s research focuses on neural networks and machine learning, and the development of self-learning intelligent systems, which, among other things, can assist in locating missing persons. He also explores how quantum technology can be used for machine learning.