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Gerhard Fischer: “Doctoral Level Independent Studyy” – Fall Semester 2006

Assignment 8b — The Institute of Cognitive Science at CU Boulder


Tuesday, November 14, 10am on the SWIKI class website

Marie Banich (, director of the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) at CU Boulder, will present a guest lecture in this class meeting.

To do:

1) analyze the ICS website at

2) articulate one question for Prof. Banich about ICS – related to your personal interests and/or the topics which we have discussed in the course


1) insert your question directly (with your name) on the Swiki page of Assignment 8b

2) submit on time that I can forward the questions to Prof. Banich

Huang, Yingdan: I saw cool snapshots of projects on ICS homepage. I know some of them but I am curious about the others that I don't know (blocks with question marks in the below picture). Could you briefly introduce these projects to us? And do you think these projects can represent the flavor or tenor of ICS? Thanks.

Shao, Peng: The joint-PhD degree description states that, "Earning such a certificate can significantly enhance a studentt’s academic knowledge and career choices." What is the motivation of opting for the joint-PhD at ICS over, say, a unidisciplinary PhD (eg. Computer Science) that has interdisciplinary ties to Cognitive Science research? What are the advantages of the former?

Betty Eskow Can you give us a brief history of how ICS became an interdisciplinary institute? i.e. were there political or other hurdles to overcome, and who were the key players to bring the institute into existance?

Amanda Hughes I came across the Cognitive Development Center webpage when navigating through the ICS homepage. I really liked the idea behind the center, and I was hoping to find some examples of their research. Unfortunately, the area of the web-site that lists their current projects is "under construction". Could you provide information on some specific projects being worked on at the Cognitive Development Center?

Ben Robinson I followed a link to the Craft Technology page from the ICS homepage because the link mentioned a program called Learning Math through Craft. But when I got to the Craft Technology page, the goal of the project seemed to focus on improving spatial skills or creativity – which to me seem more like general life skills. So I was wondering whether any of the Craft Technology program's projects are more specifically mathematics-oriented, and if so what some examples would be.

Daniel Crumly In looking over the Center for Spoken Language Research it seemed as though most of the research was interested in improving how Technology understands spoken language. Is there any research on using this knowledge to help us understand how people understand spoken language?

Hadjar Homaei In the website it has been stated that "Good standing" students in one of the participating academic units with Cog Sci department can be approved for the joint PhD degree with Cognitive Science, I wonder what are your criterias in accepting students in this program. And what are the requirements for the PhD Thesis for the getting a joint degree? for example if somebody's doing a cognitive modeling, if the student gathers the experimental human data herself, along with the computational modeling, will this satisfy the PhD Thesis requirements? And if a student is doing a joint degree, which department will be responsible for her expenses and providing fundings? Is the student welcome to use the expensive facilities at Cog Sci department like neuroimaging and recording for example?

Mike MacFerrin While looking through the CSLR (Center for Spoken Language Research) website, I became curious about the types of real-wolrd applications their research has had a hand in helping produce. However, under "Industry Affiliations" the site is listed under construction. Do you have any feedback as to what types of partnerships and/or inustry products the CSLR group's research has helped inspire? To put it succinctly, what have they produced that I could brag to my mom about?

Karie Shipley I already know some about ICS because of my affiliation with CSLR, but I do have a question about the Graduate Certificate and/or Joint PhD program. I've already taken a number of courses that meet the requirements, which I applied towards the Human Language Technology Certificate; would I be able to count those courses towards the Cognitive Science requirements? And of course, what do I need to do to apply for one of the programs?

Abhishek Jaiantilal On the "Research Areas and Centers's" page there is mention that the areas researched are Training and education, Language processing & Higher level cognition. But I don't find an associated center doing research in Higher Level cognition (cognitive neuroscience). Is it that the research is colloborated with the Psychology/Neuroscience department or is it not that much researched?

Chih How, Bong I am pointing my question at Learn Math Through Craft (Craft Tech): I am very interested in this particular study. Can you tell me how many projects have been successfully accomplished by this research endeavor? Are they been ground-tested in schools or organizations?

Jaeheon Jeong If I want to develop an application to help people articulate correctly, what kind of backgrounds are needed for this project? Some companies' customer service on the phone already use the speech recognition systems, but it never understand what I said, due to the phonetic problems. In addition, when the 'speech to speech' translator is available on the market, in your opinion?

John Giacomoni After going over the ICS website I'm a bit confused on what the aims of the institute's research are. On the main page we are told that research spans from basic research ("examinations of disorders") to applied research to technology transfer to startup-for-profit businesses. It seems that the institute is attempting to cover all stages of the Linear Model of funding. Note that, in my mind, all stages of development are equally valid. However, since basic research was supposed to be purely about the pursuit of basic science with no external business pressures (applied stage if there is), can you explain how the insitute insulates those who do basic research from the pressures of turning research into a for-profit business?

Aaron Beach After looking at the goals of ICS's three research centers, I am not fully able to connect some of their goals with the metrics that will be used to gauge progress or goal accomplishment. Given the complex nature of human thinking/knowledge and unpredictability of human activity, how does a researcher go about evaluating success of a project related to "research on training", for instance..?

Kevin Bauer What is the relationship between the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Computer Science department?

Assad Jarrahian If one was in a sub field such as NLP (Natural Language Processing), what sort of addition "career choices" come about when one gets a joint PHD with ICS?

Todd Mytkowicz Can you detail the Institute's more prolific and/or well known work? What/how/why did computer science contribute to this work's success? This is a rather open ended question, so feel free to make it fit your needs.

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