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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe 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 Computational Cognitive Science. 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.
Course description 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.

This course requires familiarity with cognitive and linguistic issues, as evidenced by having taken, e.g., [Computational Cognitive Science or Computational Cognitive Neuroscience or Cognitive Psychology] and [Advanced Natural Language Processing or Foundations of Natural Language Processing].

Some mathematics background is required:
- comfort with mathematical notation (e.g. summations, vector notation)
- basic probability theory is strongly recommended (e.g. familiarity with Bayes' Rule and probability distributions)
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 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's 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.

You should expect to spend approximately 50 hours on the coursework for this course.

If delivered in semester 1, this course will have an option for semester 1 only visiting undergraduate students, providing assessment prior to the end of the calendar year.
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No Exam Information
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 and create a coherent presentation on that topic.
Reading List
There is no main textbook for the course. Readings will be chosen from classic and current research papers on cognitive modelling.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
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Course organiserDr John Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 4420
Course secretaryMiss Claire Edminson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4164
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