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Current Students: Cory Kendrick, Joanna Patterson
Cognitive Science (possible Education minor)
F08-S09 D-plan: R-L-R
Favorite and least favorite thing about department: Favorite: its size. Cog Sci steals profs from four other departments on campus, all united around a common interest. It’s super interdisciplinary, and depending on who you talk to, you can follow contacts into many more fields than just cognitive science (psychology, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, etc). I feel so much personal attention being one of a handful of majors in my whole class, and I’ve never worried about not getting into classes . Least favorite: its size. The familiarity is great, but one little problem is that some classes are only offered once every two years – which takes a lot of advance planning to make sure you don’t miss that crucial class while you’re on your off term!
Important info for potential majors: Take either COSC 5 or PSYC 28 your freshman spring if you can! More generally: be very conscious of when you’re going to take the required classes. Like I said, because it’s a small department, sometimes classes are only offered once every two years or so (and some are offered at the same slot during the same term). Just pay attention! If you’re not sure you want to be a cog sci major- try out one of the baseline classes (LING 1 is a great starter). They’re there to garner interest!
Talk to me if:You’re not sure if Cog Sci is the right fit for your interests (and how it’s different from Psych, Neurosci). OR – you’re exploring what direction to take within the major.
Most valuable academic info learned: That really interesting, dynamic fields of study can be approached from countless different angles. Cognitive science has given me a whole different perspective on brain studies in general, and I’ve attacked it from all sides—neuroscience, psychology, philosophy…. I’m always being challenged to think in new ways. Also—personal connections with professors are invaluable. Seek them out!
Favorite class and professor: LING 1 (Intro Linguistics) – Pulju PHIL 34 (Philosophy of Language) - Sorensen
Major classes taken:LING 1, 26; COSC 5; PSYC 28; PHIL 34, 50 (Phil. of Cog. Science)
Major journey:I had no idea what I wanted to major in. Every class I took freshman year was in a different department. I was really interested in brain studies, but wanted a more specific view than the Psychology major could offer. I discovered Cog Sci and have been hooked since; it lets you take more control of your own major and decide the direction you want to take. It fit my interests and had the interdisciplinary flexibility I was looking for.
Major-specific activities:1 term volunteer lab assistant with Laura Petitto in Language Acquisition lab (Educ. Dept); America Reads mentor (helping kids with literacy in Upper Valley); Presidential Scholar research with Rick Granger (computational neurosciences)
Other activities: Ski Patrol;
Women’s Ultimate Frisbee B-team co-captain; Cabin & Trail; Friday Night Rock; Dartmouth Ends Hunger
Off Campus Program: Spanish LSA in Barcelona, 07F (Linguistics FSP in New Zealand, 08W)
Cognitive Science Major
F08-S09 D-plan: R-R-R
Favorite and least favorite thing about department: The best thing about the department is the amount of freedom it affords you. After you finish the core, which is essentially one course from each discipline, you can take the major in any direction you want. The diverse background that the core courses provide you with gives you great, well-rounded perspective, regardless of which electives you choose. The biggest challenge about the major is the lack of cohesiveness between departments. Each professor is very passionate about their discipline, but often unable to provide you much direction in terms of how exactly it interacts with the others. You really have to make an effort to pull together everything you’ve learned, which is why an independent study can be particularly valuable.
Important info for potential majors: Plan ahead! Each of the disciplines have specific courses which do and don’t count towards the major, and most of the courses are only offered once a year or once every two years, so if you think this is a major you’re interested in then start planning early, You’ll be able to complete the major in a condensed time frame, but not necessarily taking all the courses you’d prefer.
Talk to me if: Talk to me if you’re confused about what a Cognitive Science major is all about, or if you’re particularly weary about any of the four disciplines – especially computer science!
Most valuable academic info learned: This extends beyond Cognitive Science courses, but really take the time to get to know professors. Beyond helping you understand coursework, they can be great mentors and in the case of a multi-disciplinary major like Cognitive Science, help provide more cohesiveness and direction!
Favorite class and professor: CS 5 (Intro to Computer Science) with Tom Cormen – I went into the course absolutely petrified of computer science but ended up loving it and really changing my outlook on information processing. Also, Cogs 85 (Independent Study on Music & The Brain) with Rick Grainger – As my culminating experience, this let me really delve into a rapidly expanding discipline that really brought together all the elements and disciplines of the major for me.
Major classes taken:Ling 1, 10; CS 5; Phil 26, 35; Psych 10, 21, 25, 28, 52; Cogs 2, 85
Major journey: An ’07 directed me towards Cogs 2 / Psych 28 (Cognition) my Freshman spring, and I never looked back. In the spirit of liberal arts, it really expanded my perspectives – not only in terms of the disciplines it covers but in all of my experiences. I quickly realized that Cognitive Science is an area that I will be able to draw from regardless of what I decide to do.
Ski Patrol – Apprentice Liaison & Social Chair; The Dartmouth – News & Mirror Staff; Big Brother Big Sister – Co-Chair & Big Sib; Eating Disorder Peer Advisors – Advisor; Tucker Foundation – Civic Intern; Sigma Delta
Off Campus Program: French LSA+ in Toulouse, 07S
Internship experience: Street Kids, researcher, 08X, Toronto, India & Philippines – I’m still in the processing of ironing this out, but I am putting together a proposal for how Street Kids, and international NGO, can work with NGO’s in business process outsourcing (BPO) heavy countries like India and the Philippines, to identify youth on the streets who would be good candidates to undergo Street Kids’ training to enable them to enter the workforce. Brookfield Financial Real Estate Group, intern, 06X & 07X, Toronto