COGS 300 Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems 2013/14 (Term 1)
COGS 300 (3) Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems – Theory and methods for integrating diverse disciplinary content in cognitive systems.
Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm, Geography 147
Peter Danielson (Applied Ethics/Pop & Public Health) email: email@example.com office: LCK 225 office hours: TBA
David Poole (Computer Science) email: firstname.lastname@example.org office: ICCS 109, office hours: after class or by appointment
Braden Staudacher, Mazdak Gharibnavez email: email@example.com
This course develops a multidisciplinary approach to the theory, methods, and current issues across the member disciplines of the Cognitive Systems program. The perspectives of these disciplines are integrated by way of general principles of information representation and processing. Central to this are the ways that information can be represented and processed by any cognitive system, both natural and artificial.
The goal of this course is to help you think creatively and critically about integrating various approaches to the understanding and design of cognitive systems. The lectures will focus on issues such as theories of mind and intelligence (biological and machine), computational characterizations of agents (biological and machine) in complex environments, situated cognition, communication, and interaction in natural and artificial systems. In tandem the laboratories will provide a “hands on” way of investigating some of these topics experimentally through the use of LEGO Mindstorms.
The formal prerequisite is COGS 200. PSYC 100, CPSC 110 and CPSC 121 are recommended.
There is no required textbook. There are assigned readings for each topic and lecture. Readings include conference papers, journal papers and book chapters. For students wanting the overall structure a book provides, the following are suggested:
• Braitenberg, Valentino (1986). Vehicles: experiments in synthetic psychology. MIT Press.
• Clark, Andy (2001). Mindware: an introduction to the philosophy of cognitive science. Oxford University Press.
• Haugeland, John (Ed.). Mind Design II: Philosophy, Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, MIT Press, 1997
• Pinker, Steven (2009). How the mind works, (re-issue edition). W.W. Norton.
• Simon, Herbert A. (1996). The sciences of the artificial, (3rd ed.). MIT Press.
Lectures: Students are responsible for reading all assigned material before each lecture.
Readings often contain more material than is covered in class. Some material covered in class will not be in the readings. Notes for many of the lectures will be made available on the course web site. Some material in the lecture notes also may not be covered in class.
Students are responsible for material covered in class, for the lecture notes, and for the readings. Any of this material may appear on quizzes and exams.
Note: The instructors reserve the right to adjust the grading scheme at any time. The final grading scheme will be fairly close to (and result in a mark no worse than) the calculation given above.
The procedure to follow if you wish to appeal an assigned grade is:
1. Write a note detailing the basis of your appeal. Identify which parts you believe were marked inappropriately and why. Staple this note to the entire assignment/exam and submit it to one of the instructors.
2. An instructor will review the marking (generally with input from the person who did the original marking). The decision of the instructor is final. The decision may increase or decrease the assigned mark based on the appeal itself and on a review of the entire assignment/exam.Note: Marking typically involves some degree of subjectivity. When the assigned mark is consistent with the marking scheme used, the instructor will respect the judgment of the original marker. This is to assure consistency in marking for all students.
3. In order to have a mark reviewed, you must make your submission to the instructor no later than two weeks from the day the assignment/exam was returned. Note: Failure to pick up your assignment/exam when first available for return is not grounds for an extension to this deadline.
Quizzes & In-class exercises: an iClicker kit is required for this course. Quizzes (and other interactive activities) will be part of all lecture classes and will be used in the grading. You will have a chance to help determine the quiz questions the day before class; many have found this incentive and deadline helps them prepare for the class.
Exam: There will be no midterm exam. The final exam is held during the regular examination period, Dec 4 – 12, 2012, as scheduled by the Registrar’s office. Note: Students should not make travel plans until the exam schedule is known. Exams may involve a variety of formats, including matching, short answer, and essay.
Students are expected to come to class prepared to talk about the assigned readings.
Lab Projects [group]:
There are four marked lab projects. Lab marking includes both laboratory performance and assessment of a written report. Specific information for each lab project will be made available on the course web site.
At the end of the term, each group will submit a report regarding the division of labour within the group (e.g., that two members each did 30% of the work, and the third member did 40%). These reports will be use to allocate marks to individuals for group work. Groups are encouraged to talk with each other about the division of labour throughout the term, and then to reach final consensus regarding what the group report will say. In the event that consensus is not reached, individual group members may submit minority reports.
Course Web Site:
The course home page is: http://www.cogsys.ubc.ca/300/ Course material is posted on the course web site, which should be monitored regularly.
There will be NO makeup exams in this course. Students who will miss a course deadline for medical reasons (including psychological or psychiatric ones) should contact an instructor before the exam or deadline. If the student is excused on medical grounds (appropriate documentation may be required), an instructor will arrange with the student to rebalance the grading scheme, putting the weight of the missed activity onto other components of the course.
A student missing the final exam due to illness must request academic concession from the office of their dean or director as soon as possible.
In accordance with UBC Policy 65, students who are scheduled to attend classes or write examinations on the holy days of their religion must notify their instructors two weeks in advance of the religious holiday they wish to observe. Instructors will provide opportunity for students to make up the missed work without penalty.
Plagiarism and other form of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating on exams) will not be tolerated.
UBC Regulation on Plagiarism policies will be enforced.
Three quick tips to do well in this course:
1. Attend all lectures and labs. If you must miss, talk to classmates about what happened and get their class notes. Also, get any associated lecture notes from the course web site. Note: It is your responsibility to be aware of any class announcements made during your absence.
2. Do the readings ahead of time. Read “actively.” Pay attention to what you’re reading. Ask yourself what points the author is trying to make. Why should you care? Why should anybody care?
3. If you’re having trouble with any course or lab material, ask one of the instructors or lab assistants about it right away. Do not be shy! Similarly, if you get a poor mark on an assignment or on the midterm, find out why right away.
The course material is exciting. It also is challenging. Your course staff is committed to making COGS 300 a significant and fun experience for anyone interested in Cognitive Systems, broadly defined. There’s lots for all of us to learn.
Welcome to the course, and good luck!