Your academic opinions on Cognitive Science programs ?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ChairmanOfTheBored, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. ChairmanOfTheBored

    ChairmanOfTheBored New Member

    Hi Folks,

    I am genuinely curious to hear some views about the discipline/field of Cognitive Science. I start a Masters program in two weeks time, fulltime coursework (with perhaps a variation to substitute 2 out of 6 subjects for a Thesis). What do you think about it as an field of academia, and what type of roles do you believe could benefit from the broad based application of such studies ? I don't expect to be mowed down with responses (after all, it's a fairly specific question LOL ;-) but I'd like to hear from any one with a view.

    The Chairman
  2. deej

    deej New Member

    Did you find a DL master's in cog sci? I've been looking, unable to find one...
  3. ChairmanOfTheBored

    ChairmanOfTheBored New Member

    I didn't make that clear

    Sorry Deej, I didn't make that clear in my ramblings - I am not taking on a distance programme in this area, I am doing it at UNSW (Aussie based B&M operation). I am sure I have seen it as a DL option somewhere, just can't think off the top of my head ........... then again, it may have been a mill listed "degree" but as I said, I can't be sure.

    What's your motivation in wanting to study Cog Sc if you don't mind me asking Deej ?

    What about your thoughts Uncle J, or Rich D or George B ???

    The Chairman
  4. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    My own opinion is that it's a facsinating field. Among other things, it occupies a niche between psychology and philosophy, two fields with which I'm connected. As to the employment prospects of such a degree...
    "Do you want fires with that?"
  5. ChairmanOfTheBored

    ChairmanOfTheBored New Member

    Fires ??

    Do I want fires with that ? Are you suggesting that it's a useful course for Pyromaniacs ?? LOL ;-)

    I have to admit that it fascinated me too Jack, and it crosses so many disciplines from computing and artificial intelligence to psychology, education and philosophy. It is very much a multi-platform area and I am enthusiastic about taking it on just to see where the subject meanders.

    Thanks for reply by the way.

    The Chairman
  6. Rivers

    Rivers New Member

    I believe what Jack was refering to was chips(i.e. French fries in the states) in other words what are your true employment possibilities?
  7. alarmingidea

    alarmingidea New Member

    Supplemented with programming or mathematical skills, or for those with a background in various sciences, there are a number of potential career paths in cognitive science. I know cog sci folks who are programmers and who work in biotech and pharmeceutical research, employing a mixture of their skills.
  8. ChairmanOfTheBored

    ChairmanOfTheBored New Member

    I got it ;-)

    Thanks for setting me straight Rivers, and I assumed Jacks was nothing more than a typo ..... and tossed out a (obviously) unfunny retort playing on it. LOL ;-)

    Ahhh yes, the ol McDonalds Qualification - "do you want fries with that" - there has long been a joke in Oz that this is what most Arts Graduates end up doing.

    In regards to career paths, I was not asking with so much that outcome in mind, just about the opinions of others in general about the field. I have heard quite a few folks say that as a field of study it become every bit as complex as a science or computing course of study depending on what kind of knowledge you are seeking to gain.

    PS: Jack, can you super size me while bagging my Fries ? LOL ;-)
  9. agilham

    agilham New Member

    Well, I've been happily employed in the computing field for the past seventeen years with a degree that came from a school of cognitive science, so it's quite possible to escape from the world of fries ;-)

    As to what cog sci means, it really does depend on who you talk to. My MSc dates from the years when the hard AI theory still looked like it might be a good idea, and the department in which I studied was into philosophical and computational approaches to AI. However, since hard AI bit the dust, a variety of approaches to cog sci have all battled for supremacy. I did my PhD in simulation based agent-oriented approaches to understanding, but didn't bother resubmitting after my rewrites because I no longer believed in what I was doing.

    Personally, I wouldn't do pure computational approaches to cog sci nowadays, as all the people I know who did that are now just in tech-type jobs. I'd go for a psychological or neuroscience based approach.

  10. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: I got it ;-)

    Thanks for that.:D

    Actually, I have the utmost respect for those who pursue Arts/Humanities degrees knowing that they are unlikely to reap any substantial financial benefit. These degrees hold the collective wisdom of our cultures and the fact that they are not generally valued indicates something negative about our global society.
    (heavy sigh. I know, I'm just waiting for the next new MBA program.)
  11. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    BTW, Americans are the Ferengi
    (for better or for worse)
  12. ChairmanOfTheBored

    ChairmanOfTheBored New Member

    Heavy Mannnnnn

    Bravo JT,

    That's one of the most charming things I've seen written about the good ol' Arts / Humanities grounding and a generation of navel-gazing sandle-wearing incense-burning pot-smoking folk-song-singing cravat-wearing beatniks salute you Munificent One. LOL :)

    Seriously, I agree, Arts has copped a bad rap for years, and with the explosion in modern times of the various subject matter one can gain a major sequence in, they can be quite heavy going me thinks.

    PS: OK OK, to keep the Fashion Police happy, you can delete the word 'cravat' from the sentence above. LOL

    The Chairman
  13. agilham

    agilham New Member

    Re: Re: I got it ;-)

    Tell me about it.

    My degree in cog sci/CS/AI comes on top of my degree in history and politics. I wouldn't say that they didn't make me any money, as I did manage a couple of years specialising in the applications of computing to the humanities, but I'd've been a lot better replacing politics with economics in my first degree and going to work for Goldman Sachs.

    My current MA, well that's wonderful and I'm having a great time, but classics is never going to pay the rent in this part of London and the course fees are paid from my husband's income as an investment banker.

    Having said which, my husband and I did a return on investment calculation on an MBA that we'd both be happy with and the figures didn't work out unless you were a lot younger than I am.


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