About Cognitive Systems

The UBC Cognitive Systems Program (COGS) is a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program supported primarily by four departments: Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology.

Our program provides students with a thorough understanding of the systems that support intelligence, both natural and artificial.  It emphasizes the study of existing systems (e.g., perception; linguistics), the implementation of new ones (e.g., machine intelligence; computational models), and the design of interfaces between different forms of intelligent agents (e.g., human-computer interfaces).

We inquire into the challenges and opportunities presented by advancements in computational intelligence. We study the psychological, philosophical, and linguistic principles underlying the advancement of technology, in our attempt to understand the human mind. And we ask how best to design and implement systems that enable different intelligent agents to interact in ways that are safe, ethical, productive, and rewarding.


Cognitive Systems offers five degrees – 3 offered by the Faculty of Arts and 2 offered by the Faculty of Science:


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Program Overview

The Cognitive Systems Program is designed to introduce students to the issues and approaches that are associated with the study of the mind, and of other intelligent systems, as these relate to cognition, computation, creativity, information, language, perception, and rationality.

The program trains students to understand the theoretical connections between natural and machine intelligence, and the consequences of discovering such connections.

It provides students with the opportunity to acquire expertise, and to complete detailed hands-on research, in at least one area of concentration, while also providing a broad knowledge of the ways in which research findings in related disciplines can be integrated.


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Mission Statement

The mission of the Cognitive Systems Program is to equip students with the skills and experience needed to understand thinking, and the systems in which thinking takes place, by training them in the theory and practice of computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.  We are committed to working across disciplinary boundaries in order to achieve an understanding of natural and artificial intelligences, in all of their various forms.


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