COGS 100: Cyborgs now and in the future (Winter 2017)
Course website: http://thiscourse.com/class/cogs100/wi17/
David Kirsh (Professor)
Office Hours: M 12-1, or by arrangement in CSB 175
Lucas Chang (TA)
Office Hours: W 3-4 in AP&M Annex 2839, Access by bridge from the 2nd floor of AP&M near the main elevators
Michael Allen (TA)
Office Hours: Tu 5-6 in CSB 229
Niel Bezrookove (IA)
Krystle Tham (IA)
“Cognitive processes extend beyond the boundaries of the person to include the environment, artifacts, social interactions, and culture. Major themes include the theories of situated, distributed, enactive, and embodied cognition. Explains how cyborgs are a natural consequence of our current understanding of embodied minds embedded in culturally shaped niches; how mental systems can be distributed over other people and things.
We'll ask whether your iPhone or google glasses are part of your mind, whether shoes are cyborg parts, how tools and computers make us smarter, and what might happen as human technology carries us beyond ourselves.
By the end of the course, you'll have new theoretical tools for thinking about what cognition is and where cognition occurs; you'll have exposure to some of the cutting-edge empirical research on embodied, embedded, extended, and distributed cognition; and you'll be able to apply these skills and this knowledge both to analyze the cognitive systems in which we’re embedded such as cars and classrooms, and to think about the design of possible new technologies.
All readings can be found here.
Course Details and Policies
You can access the full course syllabus here.
Course CommunicationPlease enroll at: piazza.com/ucsd/winter2017/cogs100 to receive communication and ask questions of the TAs.
Requirements and Evaluation
This course requires regular in-class participation, four brief article reviews, five reading quizzes - one midterm, a final exam – and submission of a cyborg journal in which you find and discuss cyborg parts. It’s not a lot of work, necessarily, but it’s spread throughout the quarter. This is on purpose. It helps you learn.
Breakdown of Final Grade
· Engagement and Participation 2%
· Reading Summaries (4 x 2 pages) 8%
· Reading Quizzes (4 with the worst thrown out) 15%
· Cyborg Journal 20%
· Midterm 25%
· Final exam (cumulative) 30%
Additional details on assignments and exams will be provided in class and on the website.
Engagement and Participation (25%)
Objective: Critical reflection is crucial to understanding and mastery. To encourage genuine engagement, a quarter of your grade will come from:
· peer-discussion during lecture (2 points)
· reading summaries and quizzes, designed to encourage timely reading (23 points)
Here’s the deal: we want you to put in the effort to read, reflect, and participate during lecture. In return, you can earn these easy points toward your final grade.
In class Activities: An important part of each lecture involves you doing in class research, discussion and presentation. Activities will vary from class to class. Early on you will be asked to find examples of cyborg parts. Each class will have a theme. For instance, in the first class we will explore cyborg parts for vision. What counts as a cyborg visual part? Obviously artificial retina, but do glasses?
In groups of three you will discuss and collect examples of such parts: images, video, schematics. You will post your media and brief explanatory caption to a class google presentation and the TA’s will review them and identify interesting ones for discussion by Prof Kirsh the whole class. In your cyborg journal you will choose the best of your own media and cyborg parts and comment on it in greater detail. The journal will have several other parts including one where you invent a new part and provide the appropriate evidence for its motivation and design.
You will use peer studio to grade each other’s cyborg journal.
Exams (25% for the midterm; 30% for the cumulative final)
Exams cover material from both lectures and readings. For the assigned readings and lectures, you should be able to articulate: the general topic, the hypotheses or research questions, the methodology (or methodologies) employed, the main claims or results, and a critical assessment of any of these parts. All exams will include a combination of multiple choice, true-or-false, and possibly short answer. The final exam is cumulative.
Course grades will be assigned according to the following scale:
≥ 97%: A+ ≥ 93%: A ≥ 90%: A- ≥ 87%: B+ etc.
If this produces a distribution of grades with a median or mean lower than 80%, a curve will be applied to bring grades up.
Details of assignments and key activity dates can be found here.