Bains interest in science started after she saw her first hologram and laser show (aged nine) at the Ontario Science Centre. After studying physics (and completing three holography projects) at university, her attention gradually turned to optics and optoelectronics applied to computing, neural networks, and signal processing, and eventually to machine vision and artificial intelligence generally (AI). When she finally decided to do a Ph.D., she was able to combine most of these interests.
Dr. Bains' research is generally concerned with hardware and emerging technologies, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI). Her Ph.D. work involved the development of a model of computation intended to show the relevance of analogue computation for embodied AI applications, and was particularly intended to bridge the gap between the practical field of neuromorphic engineering and the theoretical concept of super-Turing computation.
Research-related activities have included her attendance at the Telluride Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop in 2001: an experience she found both inspiring and important. She was also the founder and program co-chair of Critical Technologies for the Future of Computing,conference held as part of the SPIE Annual Meeting in July/August 2000.
- Sunny Bains, Being Analog, Lecture Notes on Computer Science, to appear 2011. (Preprint available.)
- Sunny Bains, Physical computation and embodied artificial intelligence, Ph.D. thesis, The Open University, January 2005.
- Sunny Bains, Physical computation and the design of anticipatory systems, IEEE Conf. on Systems Man and Cybernetics (SMC), 2004.
- Sunny Bains, Extending neuromorphic engineering beyond electronics, Brain-Inspired Cognitive Systems (BICS), 2004.
- Sunny Bains, Intelligence as Physical Computation, AISBJ 1 (3), 2003.
- Sunny Bains and Jeffrey Johnson, Noise, physics, and non-Turing computation, Joint Conference on Information Systems, Atlantic City, 28 February - March 3, 2000