Topics in Cognitive Science
Psych/Ling/Phil/Educ 7775
CSCI 7772

Fall 2008, Spring 2009

Time and Location: Friday, 12-2, MUEN D 430, ICS large conference room
Course Credit: 1 credit hour (6 talks) or 2 credit hours (12 talks)
Office Hours: Tuesday 1:30-2:30 and Friday 2-3, Hellems 295
Instructors: Fall: Martha Palmer and Spring: Tamara Sumner
  • Attendance: 30%
  • Written critical review of each session: 40%
  • Participation in session discussion: 10%
  • Contribution to the online class discussion 20%

  • Course Objectives

    The intent of this course is to expose students to the breadth and depth of current research issues in the field of Cognitive Science. They will attend presentations of innovative theories and methodologies of Cognitive Science that they will be expected to critically evaluate. Students participate in the ICS Distinguished Speakers series that hosts internationally recognized Cognitive Scientists who share and discuss their current research. Session discussions include analysis of leading edge and controversial new approaches in Cognitive Science


    There are no pre-required courses. This course is now offered as either one-unit or two-units. For one unit at least 6 talks must be attended and reviewed. For two units 12 talks are necessary. It is required to be taken for two semesters as a core requirement in the Cognitive Science graduate certificate program and the joint Ph.D. program. Students who enroll in this class must be enrolled in one of the ICS Cognitive Science academic programs.


    Each speaker will provide appropriate background reading (e.g, journal articles, book chapters) and/or references to provide a grounding for what they will be talking about in their colloquium. These materials will be distributed to the students 1-2 weeks prior to the colloquium.


    There is no formal exam for this course, but at the end of the semester there will be an ICS colloquium centered around a student-only discussion session which will figure into the grade.


    Students are required to submit a 2 page, double spaced, critical evaluation of each colloquium session. The content of this report should identify the main theoretical viewpoint/hypothesis presented by the speaker, discuss the degree to which it was presented in an interdisciplinary format, and discuss the degree to which the evidence presented provides support for the viewpoint provided. Students will submit their critical reviews to an online class wiki, to facilitate online group discussion of the sessions.


    There will be a minimum of 12, 2 hour colloquia per semester. The agenda for a given semester changes each year. The scheduled ICS talks for this semester and for previous semesters can be found on the ICS web page, here. On the Fridays when there is no colloquium we will meet informally in the small conference room to discuss the talks.

    Syllabus Statements:

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