Cognitive Systems

Study Cognitive Systems at UBC

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About Cognitive Systems

Cognitive systems explores how intelligent systems (eg. human beings and autonomous robots) perceive, act upon, and learn about their world. Cognitive systems at UBC is a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program involving four departments: Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology. It provides students with a thorough grounding in the principles and techniques used by intelligent systems (both natural and artificial) to interact with the world around them. It emphasizes the study of existing systems (eg. perception and linguistics), the design of new ones (eg. machine vision and machine intelligence), and the design of interfaces between different forms of intelligent agents (eg. human-computer interfaces). People with backgrounds in cognitive systems design intelligent computer systems (for example, medical diagnosis systems), or may become psychiatrists or researchers in cognitive neuroscience. The field is useful to researchers who want to know how people take in and interpret information and communicate with language.

Program details

Cognitive Systems offers majors (B.Sc. or B.A.) which provide an opportunity to concentrate on interdisciplinary studies of perceptual and cognitive functioning, with a specialization in one of three streams: cognition and the brain, language, or computational intelligence and design. B.Sc. majors can enroll in either the cognition and brain stream (supervisory department Psychology) or the computational intelligence and design stream (supervisory department Computer Science). Students must apply to the program at the end of second year.

Programs offered

  • Major Cognitive Systems: Cognition and Brain
  • Major Cognitive Systems: Computational Intelligence and Design


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Career options in Cognitive Systems

With an undergraduate degree

  • Biomedical researcher
  • Cognitive systems engineer
  • Consultant
  • Data analyst and database designer
  • Information systems manager
  • Software designer/entrepreneur
  • Systems designer
  • Technical writer
  • Technical support
  • Usability, user experience professional

With additional study

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Human-computer interaction scientist
  • Medical genomics researcher
  • Neuroscientist
  • Robotics engineer

UBC Science Cognitive Systems Graduates Work With

  • Cognitive Neuroscientist, ACELab University of Alberta
  • Data Scientist, Boeing Canada
  • Graduate Student in Cognitive Psychology, University of Toronto
  • PhD Candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience and Human-Computer Interaction, University of Waterloo
  • User Experience Designer, iQmetrix

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