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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Topics in Cognitive Modelling (Level 11) (INFR11086)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaInformatics Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe aim of this course is to expose students to a variety of cognitive models and to discuss competing models for similar problems, i.e. to explore a small number of cognitive domains in depth rather than to aim for broad coverage, as in CCS. The course will focus especially on how to evaluate and compare models against each other and experimental data. Students will be expected to present and critique classic and recent research articles from the cognitive modelling literature, chosen from a list provided by the instructor.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Topics in Cognitive Modelling (Level 10) (INFR10050)
Other requirements For PG and final year students in Informatics and PPLS only, or by special permission of the School. This course requires familiarity with cognitive and linguistic issues and basic probability theory, as evidenced by having taken, e.g., [Computational Cognitive Science or Computational Cognitive Neuroscience or Cognitive Psychology] and [Advanced NLP or Foundations of NLP].
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralLecture1-11 10:00 - 10:50
CentralLecture1-11 10:00 - 10:50
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 10:00 - 10:50, Zone: Central. Forrest Hill 3.D02
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate understanding of classic and current articles on cognitive modelling by summarizing their central ideas and/or results.
- Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between computational models and psychological theories, by being able to critically assess the psychological adequacy of a given model.
- Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different models of the same behaviour.
- Synthesize information from several papers on the same topic in a coherent presentation that critically assesses the state of the art in this topic, identifies problems and shortcomings, and proposes creative solutions to these shortcomings.
Assessment Information
Written Examination 0
Assessed Assignments 80
Oral Presentations 20

The assessment will be based on several components:
- Oral presentation (20%): students will (in pairs or small groups, depending on course enrolment) choose 2-3 papers on a given topic to present (topics and papers will be selected from a list provided by the instructor; students may choose a different topic if approved by the instructor).
- Brief paper responses (25%): For each class other than the one with their own presentation, students will submit a brief (1 paragraph) summary of the main content of one paper presented that day, as well as any comments or questions arising from their reading. Responses will be due on the day of each paper&ęs oral presentation, so that those students who have written responses can serve as additional discussants of paper.
- Essay (55%): students will choose an area of cognitive modelling and write an essay based on one or more articles approved by the instructor.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The syllabus consists of two parts. In the first part, the instructor will provide introductory and background material, as well as information on how to develop skills in reading scientific papers and
presenting them. In the second part, students will present papers on a variety of cognitive models from the literature, chosen from a list provided by the instructor (or approved by the instructor).

Topics covered by the instructor will include
- Introduction and overview of modelling approaches/philosophies.
- Model comparison and evaluation methods.
- Necessary background in probability and information theory.
- How to read, analyse, and present research papers in cognitive modelling (including general oral presentation skills).
- Example presentation(s) of papers.

Topics available for students to present will vary depending on the instructor, but will likely emphasize language learning and processing. Other topics may include visual processing, cognitive development, categorization, memory, decision-making, reasoning, and motor control. For specific topics, see the course web page or contact the instructor directly.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list There is no main textbook for the course. Readings will be chosen from classic and current research papers on cognitive modelling.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Lectures: 20
Tutorials: 0
Timetabled Laboratories: 0
Non-timetabled assessed assignments: 50
Private Study/Other: 30
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Michael Rovatsos
Tel: (0131 6)51 3263
Course secretaryMiss Kate Weston
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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© Copyright 2011 The University of Edinburgh - 16 January 2012 6:17 am