Introduction to Cognitive Science

Introduction to Cognitive Science
Winter 2015
Lectures: Mon, Wed 11:00-12:15 Dodd 175
Instructor: Sean McAuliffe
Office: 7625 Franz Hall, Hours: Mon 12:30-1:30, Wed 10:00-11:00
Email: [email protected]
T.A.: Carolyn Bufford
Office: 6573 Franz Hall. Hours: Tue 12:30-1:30 and Fri 1:30-2:30
Email: [email protected]
Text (reader): Selected readings from Osherson et al. (1995). An Invitation to
Cognitive Science. Second Edition. MIT Press, Volumes 1,2 and 3. The reader
which is available at UCLA course reader solutions in Ackerman. Reader will be
available beginning of week 3, please do not try and get it before then or you
will be wasting your time.
Warning: The topic is hard. The readings are hard. The material in this class is
abstract, and may be different from the kind of stuff you’re used to thinking about.
Leave yourself time to read, and time to understand the material in this class.
Grading: Four components will go into your final grade:
44%: Mid-term Exams (22% each) (Mon 1/26, and Wed 2/18 in class)
42%: Cumulative Final Exam (Thu March 19, 11:30-2:30 in class)
12%: Video Presentation (You will create a video presentation in teams of 2 – a
handful of the best presentations will be shown in class during week 10..
Presentation must be uploaded by 3:00 pm on Mar 4). Presentations uploaded
late will lose points in the following schedule.
0-6 hours late – minus 2 points.
6-24 hours late – minus 4 points.
More than 24 hours late – Presentations cannot be submitted and you will
get 0 points.
Details will be given later how to upload presentations.
2%: Attendance for Student Video Presentations
Because the material is difficult, exams (and reviews) will be given more often to
help keep students on track. Generally, no make-up exams will be given. In
EXTREME cases, contact me to make arrangements. Make-up exams will be
harder than the original exams.
Exams will be short-answer, short-essay, fill-in-the-blank and maybe a few
Please show up on time.
Grading will be curved, but only to help the student. If everyone does well,
everyone can get a high grade. The class is difficult and often the students are
pretty sharp and work hard. Therefore, if everyone does well, then I may adjust
the mean for the curve (or not use a curve if that produces a better grade. Your
total number of points at the end of the quarter, including the final, mid-terms,
student presentations and attendance for student presentations will be used to
assign letter grades based on the distribution of scores in the class. After each
mid-term, you will be told what the distribution of scores for that exam was, so
you have an idea of where you stand.
Policy on Incompletes: To take an incomplete, you must have a passing grade
in other aspects of the course. You many not take an incomplete if you miss
more than one exam. Check with the Undergraduate Advising Office if you intend
to take an incomplete.
Web site: All course materials are available at
There is also a discussion board on the UCLA course website. You can post
questions on the discussion board and they will be answered in a reasonable