CCTP-711 Semiotics and Cognitive Technologies
Fall for 2016-2017
*Fulfills Research Methods Requirement

This new course will introduce major topics of current research and theory on human meaning systems, the nature of symbolic cognition, and the functions of technical mediation from an interdisciplinary perspective. The main objective is learning the major features of human meaning systems and their recent implementations in media, interfaces, and computational architectures for a better understanding of their core functions and design principles that have “open extensibility” for new and future developments. Motivated by research in the cognitive sciences, many disciplines are now converging on major questions surrounding the nature of human symbolic cognition and cognitive technologies (the technologies for symbolic representation, media, information, and communication). We will draw from key research and theory in several intersecting fields: linguistics; the study of meaning systems and human symbolic artifacts (semiotics); communication and information theory; media theory and human-computer interface (HCI) design; theories of computation; cognitive anthropology and archaeology; artificial intelligence; and philosophy of language and mind.

Research programs in these fields address the big questions that we will investigate:

1) What is the current state of research on the human symbolic faculties, language, and the brain/mind; that is, what are the consequences of being the “symbolic species”?

2) How and why are all our cognitive symbolic capabilities and their material encoding systems necessarily intersubjective and collective?
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Fall '16: Irvine, M (web site, description)
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