STS 350

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Bob Matthews

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Spring, 2007


Weekly reading and lecture schedule


Exam reviews

Term Paper/Project

Some Course Handouts / Course Links

Some other Links:


Links to previous editions of this course:




This is a single-instructor offering of a course that has been team-taught for many years now (the other members of the team have been Bill Beardsley (Philosophy), Cathy Hale (Psychology) and Tom Fikes (now at Santa Barbara)), with additional lectures by Mark Reinitz. While this course results from an enjoyable and intellectually challenging collaboration,  the course this semester does reflect the instructor's personal background and interests. While we will be looking at matters in computer science, philosophy, and psychology, the emphasis will be on examining the notion of a computational model for intelligence (i.e., primarily computer science and philosophy). This is by way of an apology to those who might want to see more philosophy, neurobiology or psychology in the course, but I wanted to be honest with everyone.

Read-and-respond exercises: For several of the assigned readings, I will ask for a (word-processed) summary in your own words of the main points and arguments in the reading. These will be graded as follows:

These "read and respond" assignments will be due at the start of class on which the reading is scheduled to be discussed. I will expect at least a solid paragraph for each one, but many (even most) will require more. No more than two (single-spaced 12 pt) pages should be written for any of the readings - generally no more than one page.

In addition to readings requiring a response and classroom discussion, there will be other readings in the textbook and anthology.  My plan is to preface those reading assignments by a bit of discussion about them.

Although email is great for informal discussions and questions about the course, assignments, exams, reading, etc., not all word processing programs produce output readable by all computers. Therefore, no email submissions of homework will be accepted except by prior arrangement.

No late homework can be accepted past the last day of classes (Wednesday, May 2). 

Please note that the last day to withdraw with an automatic 'W' is Monday, February 26.  The rules for withdrawing from a class have changed.  Please review the revised policy on course withdrawals in the Student Handbook

Should you find yourself in difficulty at any point in the semester, please make arrangements to meet with me as quickly as possible.

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