Chair, Associate Professor SAFA ZAKI

Advisory Committee: Professors: DANYLUK***, KIRBY***, H. WILLIAMS. Associate Professors: CRUZ, ZAKI.

Cognitive science is concerned with how humans, non-human animals, and computers acquire, represent, manipulate, and use information. As an interdisciplinary field it combines research and theory from computer science (e.g., artificial intelligence), cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and neuroscience, and to some extent evolutionary biology, math, and anthropology. Complex issues of cognition are not easily addressed using traditional intra-disciplinary tools. Cognitive researchers in any discipline typically employ a collection of analytic and modeling tools from across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Thus, the methods and research agenda of cognitive science are broader than those of any of the fields that have traditionally contributed to cognitive science. The Cognitive Science Program is designed to provide students with the broad interdisciplinary foundation needed to approach issues of cognition.


The concentration in Cognitive Science consists of six courses, including an introductory course, four electives, and a senior research project.

Minds, Brains, and Intelligent Behavior (COGS 222) is the entry point into the concentration, and provides an interdisciplinary perspective on issues of cognition. Ideally, it should be taken before the end of the sophomore year. Emphasizing the highly interdisciplinary nature of the field, the four electives must be distributed over at least three course prefixes. In the fall of the senior year, concentrators will conduct interdisciplinary Research in Cognitive Science (COGS 493), supervised by members of the advisory committee from at least two departments.




The following courses are recommended for students seeking a richer background in cognitive science. These will not count as electives for the cognitive science concentration.


Formal admission to candidacy for honors will occur at the end of the fall semester of the senior year and will be based on promising performance in COGS 493. This program will consist of COGS W31-494(S), and will be supervised by members of the advisory committee from at least two departments. Presentation of a thesis, however, should not be interpreted as a guarantee of a degree with honors.


Students who wish to discuss plans for study abroad are invited to meet with any member of the Cognitive Science advisory committee.