Welcome to Our Newest Students!

Welcome to the Cognitive Science Program!

Cognitive scientists may focus on particular cognitive faculties, such as language or memory, on specific cognitive phenomena, such as empathy, or on understanding the fundamentals of cognition quite broadly, for example in information-theoretic terms. What sets cognitive science apart from its core areas is its commitment to cross-disciplinary methodology. Students wishing to pursue work in cognitive science take a defined group of core courses and then design a focus study area comprised of a series of electives selected from courses taught in a variety of departments.

The following courses are recommended for first-year students:

  • COGS 01:   Introduction to Cognitive Science (S)
  • COGS 21/PSYC 40:  Introduction to Computational Neuroscience (F)
  • COSC 01: Introduction to Programming and Computation (F)
  • LING 01:   Introductory Linguistics (F)
  • PSYC 28:  Cognition (S)


COGS 21/PSYC 40: Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

The mind is what the brain does, and the brain is becoming understood computationally. Computational neuroscience has as its twin goals the scientific and engineering tasks of understanding of how brain computes mind, and using that understanding to characterize and reconstruct these computations. Scientific understanding of the brain will confer the ability not only to describe and characterize the mind, but to modify it, enhance it, diagnose and treat its illnesses, and, eventually, to imitate its operation. Dist: SCI.

LING 01: Introductory Linguistics

An introduction to the scientific description of human language. The course teaches methods of analyzing languages’ sound systems (phonology), word structure (morphology), sentence patterns (syntax), and systems of meaning (semantics and pragmatics). Some important implications of linguistics for the study of human cognition and cultural behavior will be discussed. Dist: QDS.

COSC 01: Introduction to Programming and Computation

COSC 1 will teach you to design, write, and analyze code to solve computational problems from a range of disciplines. You’ll also learn to think about problems the way a computer scientist thinks – a skill that is valuable in any field. The course is suitable for students with no previous background in Computer Science, and no knowledge of mathematics beyond high-school algebra. Dist: TLA.