CS 6795: Introduction to Cognitive Science

Instructional Team

Ashok Goel

Ashok Goel
Instructor
Irene Ng

Irene Ng
Head TA

Overview

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence lying at the intersection of artificial intelligence, psychology, neurobiology, education, linguistics, anthropology, and philosophy. In this course, students are introduced to the basic concepts, hypotheses, models, methods, issues, and debates in cognitive science. The course will cover the main information-processing paradigms in cognitive science as well as the main critiques of the paradigms. The knowledge and understanding acquired through this course will inform students' subsequent work in human-centered computing, information system design, digital media, educational technology, design computing, human-robot reaction, and more.

This course counts towards the following specialization(s):
Interactive Intelligence

Foundational Course
Interactive Intelligence Specialization Elective

Course Goals

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence. The core question is how does the mind work? Cognitive science lies at the intersection of computer science (especially artificial intelligence), psychology, biology (especially neurobiology), education, linguistics, anthropology, and philosophy. The main learning goal of the course is an introduction to the basic concepts, hypotheses, models, methods, issues, and debates in cognitive science.

Specific objectives include:

  • Introduction to the main information-processing paradigms in cognitive science as well as the main critiques of the paradigms,
  • Introduction to the central questions, topics, themes, and perspectives that drive the study of cognitive science, including their historical development,
  • Understanding the variety of methodologies used to explore cognitive science, including the capabilities and limitations of different research methods, and
  • Learning about the relationship between cognitive science and computing, including human-centered computing, robotics, design, and educational technology.

Sample Syllabus

Spring 2022 syllabus and schedule (PDF)

Note: Sample syllabi are provided for informational purposes only. For the most up-to-date information, consult the official course documentation.

Before Taking This Class...

Suggested Background Knowledge

This class does not have significant prerequisites before participation. In lieu of readiness questions, the following bullet points describe the tasks you will complete as part of this class; you may use this description of tasks to evaluate your readiness to take this class.

In this class, you will:

  • Understand and participate in scholarly conversations on cognitive science.
  • Read and understand cognitive science papers.
  • Analyze and address problems in computing from a cognitive science perspective, especially in human-centered computing, information system design, educational technology, design informatics, human-robot interaction, etc.
  • Use an interactive modeling tool to construct a model of a complex ecological system and reflect on how scientific knowledge and discoveries are made.
  • Build a computational “proof-of-concept” system for a proposed task and critique the model from the perspective of cognitive science.
Technical Requirements and Software

Browser and connection speed: An up-to-date version of Chrome or Firefox is strongly recommended. We also support Internet Explorer 9 and the desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10 and above (not the metro versions). 2+ Mbps is recommended; the minimum requirement is 0.768 Mbps download speed.

Operating system:

  • PC: Windows XP or higher with latest updates installed
  • Mac: OS X 10.6 or higher with latest updates installed
  • Linux: any recent distribution that has the supported browsers installed

Academic Integrity

All Georgia Tech students are expected to uphold the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code. This course may impose additional academic integrity stipulations; consult the official course documentation for more information.