Craig Graci, Director
114 Snygg Hall
Cosponsoring Programs: Anthropology, Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology
Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary study of the mind which features exciting ideas associated with models of computation, mechanisms of evolution, and work in the fields of language and vision. By studying Cognitive Science at Oswego you will acquire a distinctive education which is at once steeped in intellectual tradition and informed by the most recent advances in technology.
While cognitive science has deep roots in long standing philosophical traditions, the modern origins of the field, per se, can be traced to synergies which emerged between the fields of psychology and artificial intelligence in the 1950’s. Revolutionary work in the field of structural linguistics and dramatic advances in research on vision throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s helped to propel “the mind’s new science” into the limelight of intellectual pursuit. The 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s saw the biological ideas associated with genetic algorithms and neural networks developed into powerful discipline shaping forces. More recently, cultural anthropologists, cognitive musicologists, and many others are playing ever more substantial roles in helping to advance our understanding of the mysteries of the mind. Last but not least, the field of philosophy has, throughout the development of cognitive science, vigilantly examined and reexamined issues pertaining to metaphysics and the nature of knowledge in light of accruing insights.
As this short historical account suggests, a large coalition of vibrant disciplines are successfully bringing their own special methodological approaches and epistemological perspective to bear on the study of a wide range of important questions about mental phenomena. It is the region of convergence of these several disciplines on questions pertaining to cognition which is the realm of cognitive science.
Oswego offers majors leading to the Baccalaureate of Arts and the Baccalaureate of Science degrees in Cognitive Science, as well as a Cognitive Science Minor. Both the BA and the BS degree provide a sound grounding in the field of cognitive science through courses in which students explore cognitive concepts, methods of inquiry, and classic intellectual issues. Moreover, both degrees feature a nine credit hour “learning agreement” which provides an opportunity for the student to explore some particular aspect of the field in depth, to develop an interest into a wealth of focused knowledge. The BS degree is a strict extension of the BA degree consisting of additional course work in artificial intelligence and psychology. The minor provides a broad introduction to the field and can easily be tailored to nicely complement virtually any major.
With its dual emphasis on conceptual understanding and skill acquisition, and with its dual focus on intellectual tradition and advanced technology, the study of Cognitive Science at Oswego will position you well to either pursue graduate studies or for employment opportunities.