Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
COGST1105 Introduction to Linguistics Overview of the science of language, especially its theoretical underpinnings, methods, and major findings. Areas covered include: the relation between sound and meaning in human languages, social variation in language, language change over time, universals of language, and the mental representation of linguistic knowledge. Students are introduced to a wide variety of language phenomena, drawn not only from languages resembling English, but also from many that appear to be quite unlike English, such as those native to the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Full details for COGST 1105 - Introduction to Linguistics

Fall, Spring.
COGST1111 Making a Difference by Design This course provides a broad overview of design applied various disciplines, scales, and problem contexts, and how design can offer an alternative, and often more human-centered perspective towards solving the problems around us. With a focus on designing with a human-centered mindset in this age of technology, we will examine topics on the role of design in wearable computing, virtual and tangible interfaces, robotics to biology. We will also apply the lens of design to issues on sustainability, healthy environments, diversity and inclusion, and designing for social good. Each week, through case studies and familiar examples, DEA 1110 explores how designing is part of every discipline.

Full details for COGST 1111 - Making a Difference by Design

Fall, Summer.
COGST1500 Introduction to Environmental Psychology Environmental Psychology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with how the physical environment and human behavior interrelate. Most of the course focuses on how residential environments and urban and natural settings affect human health and well-being. Students also examine how human attitudes and behaviors affect environmental quality. Issues of environmental justice and culture are included throughout. Hands-on projects plus exams.

Full details for COGST 1500 - Introduction to Environmental Psychology

Fall, Summer.
COGST1501 Introduction to Environmental Psychology - Writing in the Major Human-Environment Relations is an interdisciplinary field concerned with how the physical environment and human behavior interrelate. Most of the course focuses on how residential environments and urban and natural settings affect human health and well-being. Students also examine how human attitudes and behaviors affect environmental quality. Issues of environmental justice and culture are included throughout. Hands-on projects plus exams. Lecture and discussion sections. WIM section attend a regular lecture but also meets weekly with a graduate writing tutor. The two principal objectives of WIM section:

Full details for COGST 1501 - Introduction to Environmental Psychology - Writing in the Major

Fall.
COGST2200 The Human Brain and Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience At the turn of the 21st century the age of Embodied Cognition dawned: a reconsideration of relationships between body, brain, and mind. Researchers in philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience challenged the 20th-century dogma that the mind is like a digital computer, and can be studied independently of the body, brain, and world. Researchers turned their attention to the role that bodily experience plays in thinking and learning, and the roles neural systems for perception and action play in cognition. This course views the field of Cognitive Neuroscience through the lens of Embodied Cognition research, and evaluates the extent to which "embodiment" may be passing fad, a useful shift in perspective, or a revolutionary new way of building theories about brain and mind. 

Full details for COGST 2200 - The Human Brain and Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

Fall.
COGST2230 Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience Introduction to psychology from a biological perspective, which focuses on brain mechanisms of behavior. Topics include the structure and function of the nervous system, physiological approaches to understanding behavior, hormones and behavior, biological bases of sensation and perception, learning and memory, cognition, emotion, and communication.

Full details for COGST 2230 - Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience

Fall, Summer.
COGST2310 Introduction to Deductive Logic Covers sentential languages, the truth-functional connectives, and their logic; first-order languages, the quantifiers "every" and "some," and their logic.

Full details for COGST 2310 - Introduction to Deductive Logic

Fall, Spring.
COGST2415 Introduction to Moral Psychology This course is an introduction to the moral mind from philosophical and psychological perspectives. Many traditional philosophical problems about morality are being illuminated by current work in cognitive science. In this course, we will look at several of these problems. In each case, we will begin with a presentation of the philosophical problems, and we will proceed to examine recent empirical work on the topic. A wide range of topics will be covered, including moral judgment, agency, the self, and punishment.

Full details for COGST 2415 - Introduction to Moral Psychology

Fall.
COGST3190 Memory and the Law Focuses on how the scientific study of human memory interfaces with the theory and practice of law.

Full details for COGST 3190 - Memory and the Law

Fall.
COGST3300 Introduction to Computational Neuroscience Covers the basic ideas and techniques involved in computational neuroscience. Surveys diverse topics, including neural dynamics of small networks of cells, neural coding, learning in neural networks and in brain structures, memory models of the hippocampus, sensory coding, and others.

Full details for COGST 3300 - Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

Fall.
COGST3500 Interspecies Communication: Theories and Practices This class proposes to rethink human language "uniqueness" thanks to an exploration of interspecies communication, connecting philosophy (through a focus on ancient Greek and French materials) with cognitive science, biology and experimental psychology. Mixing eras and texts, we'll first consider the traditional theoretical framing about language in humans within the European tradition (reading for instance Democritus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Descartes, Buffon). From there, we'll examine the theories and practices used in diverse 20th C. attempts to teach "language" to non-human species (apes, especially, but also dolphins and parrots). We will also reflect on the more recent lines of work on interspecific lexicons (among different monkey species for instance) or multispecies choruses in the wild—and signaling between humans and domesticated species, through multiple (sometimes technological) interfaces.

Full details for COGST 3500 - Interspecies Communication: Theories and Practices

Fall.
COGST3801 Introduction to Game Theory and Strategic Thinking Some knowledge of game-theory is essential in today's age of complex decision-making, diplomacy, and corporate strategizing. This course is an introduction to the basic principles of game theory and rational choice. The course is designed for students with an interest in economics, political strategy, moral philosophy, and algorithmic reasoning. Important ideas and concepts, with real-life illustrations, will be discussed. Over the semester students will learn the essential ideas of Nash, Schelling and others, different conceptualizations of equilibrium, such as the Nash equilibrium and subgame perfection, and how they apply to different contexts, such as competition among firms, war, and diplomacy. The course will help us understand everyday phenomena, such as addiction, procrastination and moral dilemmas, and show how reasoning can be a critical input for personal happiness. Students will be introduced to some unresolved paradoxes of rational behavior and encouraged to try to solve them on their own.

Full details for COGST 3801 - Introduction to Game Theory and Strategic Thinking

Fall.
COGST4250 Translational Research on Decision Making Introductory laboratory-based course focusing on basic foundations in translational research on decision making across the lifespan. The course introduces students to hands-on applications of research skills in the context of research on decision making, spanning basic and applied research in law, medicine, behavioral economics, and policy. It focuses on such topics as human subjects protection, working with populations across the lifespan (e.g., children, seniors), database development, working with external partners and stakeholders (e.g., schools, hospitals), and basic concepts and techniques in decision research. Students participate in weekly laboratory meetings in small teams focused on specific projects as well as monthly meetings in which all teams participate. During laboratory meetings, students discuss ongoing research, plans for new studies, and interpretations of empirical findings from studies that are in progress or have been recently completed. New students work closely with experienced students and eventually work more independently. In order to fully grasp how the research projects fit into the broader field, students read relevant papers weekly and write reaction responses. Because several projects are ongoing at all times, students have the opportunity to be involved in more than one study and are assigned multiple tasks such as piloting research paradigms, subject recruitment, data collection, data analysis, and data entry. Students attend a weekly lab meeting for 1.5 hours per week, read pertinent papers, write reaction responses, and work 10.5 hours per week in the laboratory completing tasks that contribute to ongoing research studies.

Full details for COGST 4250 - Translational Research on Decision Making

Fall.
COGST4265 Translational Research on Memory and Neuroscience Laboratory-based course focusing on basic foundations in translational research on the neuroscience of human memory and memory development. Students attend a weekly lab meeting for 1.5 hours per week, read pertinent papers, write reaction responses, and work 10.5 hours per week in the laboratory completing tasks that contribute to ongoing research studies.

Full details for COGST 4265 - Translational Research on Memory and Neuroscience

Fall.
COGST4270 Evolution of Language Seminar surveying a cross-section of modern theories, methods, and research pertaining to the origin and evolution of language. Considers evidence from psychology, the cognitive neurosciences, comparative psychology, and computational modeling of evolutionary processes. Topics for discussion may include: What does the fossil record tell us about language evolution? What can we learn from comparative perspectives on neurobiology and behavior? Can apes really learn language? Did language come about through natural selection? What were the potential preadaptations for language? What is the relationship between phylogeny and ontogeny?

Full details for COGST 4270 - Evolution of Language

Fall.
COGST4310 Topics in Cognitive Science A seminar series examining current and classical ideas in human sciences and the humanities.  Themes vary from semester to semester.

Full details for COGST 4310 - Topics in Cognitive Science

Fall, Spring.
COGST4420 The Psychology and Ethics of 21st Century Technology New technologies are changing our world at a rapid pace. In many cases, the society does not fully understand the impact of technology and is not prepared for the speed of the change that is occurring. This seminar will explore a few of these new technologies and investigate their effects on the users and on the society at large. The topics that will be explored include face recognition, virtual reality, violence in media, general AI, and the technological singularity. We will look at the ways in which these technologies affect our lives, with a focus on education, entertainment, employment, politics, and the future of humanity.

Full details for COGST 4420 - The Psychology and Ethics of 21st Century Technology

Fall.
COGST4700 Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science Experience in planning, conducting, and reporting independent laboratory, field, and/or library research in an interdisciplinary area relevant to Cognitive Science.

Full details for COGST 4700 - Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science

Fall, Spring.
COGST4710 Cognitive Science Research Workshop Provides a research workshop in which undergraduate students who are engaged in research in a particular area relevant to cognitive science can meet across disciplines to learn and practice the essentials of research using interdisciplinary approaches. In this workshop, students critique and discuss the existing literature in a field of inquiry, individual students present their research designs, methods, and results from their independent research studies, debate the interpretation of their research results, and participate in the generation of new research hypotheses and designs, in a peer group of other undergraduate students involved in related research.

Full details for COGST 4710 - Cognitive Science Research Workshop

Fall, Spring.
COGST4740 Natural Language Processing This course constitutes an introduction to natural language processing (NLP), the goal of which is to enable computers to use human languages as input, output, or both. NLP is at the heart of many of today's most exciting technological achievements, including machine translation, automatic conversational assistants and Internet search. Possible topics include methods for handling underlying linguistic phenomena (e.g., syntactic analysis, word sense disambiguation and discourse analysis) and vital emerging applications (e.g., machine translation, sentiment analysis, summarization and information extraction). 

Full details for COGST 4740 - Natural Language Processing

Fall.
COGST6020 Research in Risk and Rational Decision Making This hands-on laboratory course will develop research skills in the context of risk and rational decision making in human development from multiple disciplinary perspectives and with respect to different kinds of decision-making under risk and uncertainty.  Topics will depend on student interests but may include decisions about war, terrorism, cancer control and prevention (e.g., screening tests), personal behaviors that involve risk (e.g., HIV prevention), and other public health risks (e.g., vaccinations), law enforcement (e.g., use of a weapon), and legal decision making (e.g., jury deliberations). Students will read the research literature, discuss the latest empirical findings and scientific theories of risk and rationality, and engage in group work and peer review to hone their skills.  Students will then design research projects and engage in research activities as well as read additional references tailored to their interests.

Full details for COGST 6020 - Research in Risk and Rational Decision Making

Fall.
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