Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Saturday, February 6, 2016, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

CMSC 100
Exploring Computer Science

An introduction to the ideas, problems, methods, and solutions of computer science. We will emphasize algorithmic thinking and treat computer science as a science—investigating issues, at a beginning level, of interest to actual computer scientists. Not intended as preparation for CMSC 250 or 270. Units: 6.

PHIL 105
Introduction to Cognitive Science

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of how the mind works. Topics include: the nature of perception; what human language reveals about the mind; the basis of morality and altruism; how sexual selection has shaped human psychology; and the cognitive science of religious and spiritual belief. We will discuss tools, theories, and assumptions from philosophy, psychology, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience. Units: 6.

LING 150
Introduction to Linguistics

Introduction to theory and methods of linguistics: universal properties of human language; phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic structures and analysis; nature and form of grammar. Units: 6.

PHIL 150
Symbolic Logic

Formal study of the notions of validity, consistency, and equivalence in the languages of sentential logic and predicate logic, plus an introduction to semantics for these languages. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

EDST 180
Psychology of Learning

An investigation of how people learn. This course examines learning theories (e.g., behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, constructivist) and their implications for the educational process in schools. Other topics include learning and the brain, the nature of expertise, the design of learning environments, and approaches to instruction that promote meaningful learning. Practicum of 20 hours required. Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 180

ECON 225
Decision Theory

This course will present a thorough introduction to decision theory, the study of how people should or do make decisions. Building on that foundation, game theory, the science of strategy, will be introduced, with economic applications. Units: 6. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or ECON 120

PSYC 260
Developmental Psychology

A study of the development of behavior and mental processes from conception through middle childhood. Topics include prenatal development, attachment, children’s language skills, social and cognitive development. A variety of theoretical perspectives are covered. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PSYC 265
Developmental Psychology

Identical in content to Psychology 260, but requiring a weekly three-hour laboratory that involves systematic work with infants and children to learn assessment techniques and experimental methodologies for the study of development. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PHIL 300

An examination of some basic questions concerning the nature and extent of human knowledge, focusing on the topics of skepticism, justification, certainty, the a priori and the a posteriori, and analyses of knowledge. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 305
Experimental Philosophy

An introduction to experimental philosophy. The course will examine the ways in which experimental techniques can be applied to problems in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, ethics, and other subfields of philosophy. Special attention will be paid to the question of whether experimental research is a legitimate methodology for philosophy. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

ANTH 330
Language and Culture

An introduction to the core concepts of linguistic anthropology, definitions of language, basic methods of linguistic anthropology (observation, transcription, analysis, ethnography), power and language, language discrimination, and language ideology theory. Lectures, discussions, and labs. Units: 6. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or LING 150
Also listed as Linguistics 330

LING 335
Words, Words, Words: Introduction to Lexical Semantics

This course introduces fundamental concepts and research issues in the linguistic study of word meaning. Topics include: representation of word meaning; relation between lexical, truth-conditional and context-dependent meanings; semantic relations; meaning variation; semantic properties of nouns and verbs (e.g. mass-count distinction, verb classes, aspect, semantic roles); interaction between content and function words. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150

BIOL 340
Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Spring 2016: Acetylcholine
Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter to be discovered, and all muscular movement is accomplished by the release of acetylcholine. It is also the target of some of the deadliest toxins. This course will use research literature to explore the role of acetylcholine in health and disease. Units: 6. Prerequisite: CHEM 116 and either BIOL 140 or BIOL 150, and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor
Also listed as Psychology 580

LING 340
Introduction to Syntax

An introduction to descriptive analysis of morphological and syntactic structures in natural languages with an emphasis on gaining insight into the nature of such structures, rather than on linguistic formalization. Topics include levels of representation, X-bar theory, case theory, thematic roles, the lexicon, grammatical function-changing rules, and head-complement relations. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 340
Cognitive Psychology

An investigation of the mental processes involved in the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge. Information-processing and other approaches are used to study pattern recognition, attention, memory, imagery, problem-solving, and related topics. One laboratory per week involving class demonstrations and experiments. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

LING 350
Introduction to Phonology

An introduction to the formal study of phonetics, phonemics, and phonological analysis and theory. Topics include stress, syllable structure, tones, metrics, phonotactics, and links between phonology and morphology/syntax; exercises on familiar and unfamiliar languages. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

LING 355
Child Language Acquisition

Every normally developing human acquires language in early childhood. This course explores how this feat is acomplished. We will examine data on children’s linguistic knowledge at difference developmental stages and what types of theories might explain these data. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze real child language data. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150, or PSYC 260 or PSYC 265

PSYC 360
Brain and Behavior I

An introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system and its relationship to behavior. Topics include cellular physiology, neuroanatomy, sensory processes, motor control, and neuropharmacology. No laboratory. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; at least one biology course recommended

LING 370

An introduction to the science of speech sounds, focusing on descriptive and experimental studies of articulation and speech acoustics. Laboratory demonstrations of speech production, acoustical analysis, and speech synthesis are combined with lecture/demonstrations to relate phonetics research to theories of phonology and language acquisition. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150, PSYC 340, or consent of instructor
Also listed as Psychology 375

PSYC 370

An introduction to the physiological and psychological processes by which we receive, transform, and use the information from the world acquired through our senses. Special emphasis on visual and auditory perception to allow a more in-depth study of two perceptual systems and to provide information useful to those interested in the visual arts and music. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PHIL 400
Philosophy of Language

An examination of major theories of meaning, reference, and cognitive content and an attempt to understand how language functions to relate “internal” psychological states to things in the “external” world. Contemporary philosophers are emphasized. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor; PHIL 150 recommended
Also listed as Linguistics 400

PHIL 405
How to Do Things With Words

An examination of major and cutting edge topics in the philosophy of language and linguistics. Where do word meanings come from? How can one word mean different things in different contexts? How do we promise or make commitments? Why do slurs hurt and jokes amuse? What is the nature of metaphor? Where does the border between what words mean and what speakers mean with words lie? These and other questions will be considered. Appropriate for students with an interest in philosophy, linguistics, or cognitive science. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor
Also listed as Linguistics 405

ECON 410
Advanced Game Theory and Applications

This course develops game theory, the science of strategic interaction, i.e., interdependent individuals seeking to promote their self interest, with applications in economics, biology, and philosophy. The mathematical nature of game theoretic models will be reflected in a focus on problem solving. Sufficient mathematical maturity required. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor

PHIL 410
Philosophy of Mind

What is the relationship between the mind and the body? What is the nature of conscious experience? How do mental states represent states of the world? Is our common sense conception of mental states and processes compatible with the methods and assumptions of cognitive science? These and other questions in the philosophy of mind will be considered. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, PSYC 340, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 420
Topics in Logic

An investigation of topics selected from among the following: consistency and completeness theorems for both sentential and predicate logic, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, logical paradoxes (Russell’s Paradox, the Liar Paradox, and Newcomb’s Paradox), and modal-tense logic and its formal semantics. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PHIL 150 or consent of instructor
Also listed as Linguistics 420

CMSC 470
Artificial Intelligence

A detailed investigation into foundational concepts of artificial intelligence: search, knowledge representation, and automated planning. Specific topics include uninformed and heuristic search techniques, logic-based knowledge representations, automated theorem-proving, logic programming (Prolog), action representations, means-ends analysis, regression and partial-order planning, and reachability analysis using graphs. Units: 6. Prerequisite: CMSC 270

LING 470
Cognitive Linguistics

Cognitive linguistics is a subfield of linguistics and cognitive science that studies conceptual structure, language, and meaning in relation to general cognitive mechanisms. Topics include cognitive and construction grammars, categorization, construal, image schemas, mental spaces, conceptual metaphors, and conceptual blending. Units: 6. Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

CMSC 515
Theory of Computation

A study of programming in the abstract, leading to an understanding of the precise nature and limitations of computing machines. Topics include universal computing machines such as Turing machines, decidable and undecidable predicates, regular and pushdown automata, and regular and context-free grammars. Units: 6. Prerequisite: MATH 300 and CMSC 150

PSYC 530
Brain and Behavior II

An examination of interrelationships between the brain and behavior. Topics include sleep, language, motivation, emotion, learning, and mental disorders. One laboratory per week on basic neuroscience techniques. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 360

ANTH 531

Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols, and signification in social life. This course will cover semiotic theory, including theorists such as Saussure, Peirce, Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, and Bakhtin, and the application of semiotics to the study of language and social life, conducted through lectures and seminar-style discussions. Units: 6. Prerequisite: ANTH 330/LING 330 or LING 150, and junior class standing
Also listed as Linguistics 531

PSYC 540
Topics in the Psychology of Language

An examination of the nature and structure of language, integrating knowledge from linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and sociology. Focus on the psychological theories and experimental evidence about language production and perception. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PSYC 340, LING 150, or consent of instructor
Also listed as Linguistics 450

LING 545
Gesture Studies

Gesture studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the use of the hands and other parts of the body in communication and cognition. In this seminar we discuss studies of gesture types, universals, and variations; gesture development; gesture production and perception; relations of gesture to thought and language (spoken and signed); and functions of gesture in human interaction, problem-solving, and learning. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in linguistics or psychology, or consent of the instructor
Also listed as Education Studies 545, Psychology 545

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