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Course Information

Instructor Info:Laura Sizer
Office Extension x5619
TA Info:Nathan Anecone
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221

This course is a seminar for any student who is pursuing, or plans to purse, a Division II concentration in Cognitive Science. The course examines different theories of mind and their methodological and conceptual implications. We will look at computer minds and animal minds, along with adult and child human minds, with the aim of pulling out questions and ideas that unite and drive the cognitive sciences. This is a writing intensive course and students will pursue independent projects.

Course Objectives:

The course will expose students to a variety of fields and perspectives in cognitive science, with the aim of encouraging interdisciplinary thinking, research and writing. Students are expected to develop an understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches in the cognitive sciences, strengthen their ability to read and work with primary research articles in a number of fields, make connections across fields, and strengthen their analytic writing skills. Assignments include a number of short assignments, focused short papers, and an independent research project of the student’s design.

Evaluation Criteria:

Attendance and preparation: You are expected to attend class regularly. More than 3 unexcused absences from group meetings over the course of the semester may result in a No Eval. Be prepared to discuss that day’s assigned reading. Please bring an electronic or paper copy of the readings, and bring notepaper and writing instruments. If you take notes on a computer, you must have some way of doing informal writing and noting edits.

 Short exercises: There will be a series of relatively short, targeted assignments throughout the semester. Some will be pursued in class, others will be assigned and due in the next class period. Due dates will be announced in class and on the course website.

 Short papers: There will be approximately three short (3-5 pages) focused papers on assigned topics. See course website for due dates.

 Independent project: Each student will conceive of, design, and carry out a research project on a topic related to other minds. In addition to submitting a final version of the project for evaluation in the course portfolio, each student should also include a brief retrospective essay that reflects on the process and outcomes of the project, and discusses ways that the project might be improved, revised or extended.

 Portfolio: At the end of the semester you must turn in a portfolio that includes all of your written work for the class. Portfolio and all remaining work for the class is due no later than Friday, December 14th.

Additional Info:

Texts & Materials: All course readings will be posted on the course website. Please have copies of the readings (electronic or paper) at lectures and group meetings. Most assignments will be posted on the course website, but some may be distributed in class. Readings and assignment due dates are likely to change. All changes will be reflected on the course website so please check the course website often.