Symbolic Systems 2 : Many Parts -- Cohesive Whole

Spring 2008-09

     [Description]    [Calendar]    [Course Staff and Contacts]    [Hours & Locations]


Through a combination of films, brief readings, and presentations by and discussions with Stanford professors and recent alumni, we will explore each of the nine branches of the SymSys major: applied logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer music, decision making and rationality, human-computer interaction, learning, natural language, neurosciences, and philosophical foundations. Students unfamiliar with the SymSys major will gain an overview of its various branches, students who have recently become involved with the major will gain a better idea of which track they should pursue, and students already familiar with SymSys will gain a more thorough understanding of how the different branches of the program fit together.


Date Concentration Description
March 31 Cognitive Science Anna Schapiro, Brendan Lake, M.S. Candidates in Symbolic Systems
April 7 Applied Logic Eric Pacuit, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Logic and Game Theory -- An overview of the role that logic plays in game theory.
April 14 Learning Dylan Arena, Symbolic Systems Alum
Learning sciences from fMRI and VR to original software designed to foster learning.
April 21 Human Computer Interaction Cliff Nass, Communications Professor, and by courtesy Computer Science, Education, Science Technology and Society, Sociology and Symbolic Systems
Disagreeable Paperclips and Disagreeing Robots: The Social Psychology of Human-Machine Interaction
April 28 Decision Making and Rationality The Trap by Adam Curtis (video)
May 5 Neurosciences Matt Kaufman, Symbolic Systems Alum
The human motor system
May 12 Natural Language Processing Mike LeBeau, Symbolic Systems Alum
Mobile speech technology and user experience
David Leo Wright Hall M.S. candidate in Symbolic Systems
How new paradigms emerge in scientific research (meta-research) and unsupervised learning of linguistic structure
May 19 Computer Music Jieun Oh, Symbolic Systems Alum, Music Ph.D. candidate
The Stanford Laptop Orchestra and/or Music Cognition
May 26 Artificial Intelligence The Great Robot Race (video)
June 2 Overview
Todd Davies
Thoughts on Symbolic Systems and Practical Advice   slides [.pdf]

Course Staff and Contacts

Coordinator: Evan Cox

Email: evancox(
Coordinator: Graham Herrli

Email: herrlich(
Faculty Sponsor/Advisor: Todd Davies

Email: davies(

Staff mailing list:

Hours and Locations

Class: Tuesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Arroyo Lounge