UBC Students attends a GoGlobal Seminar in order to receive more information & interact with fellow, to-be exchange students

Cognitive Systems

Cognitive Systems grounds students in the principles and techniques used by both natural and artificial intelligent systems.

The Cognitive Systems program is designed to introduce students to the issues and approaches associated with the study of the mind and other intelligent systems, specifically as they relate to problems concerning cognition, computation, information, language, perception, and rationality.

These issues are as old as our first attempts to explain the relationship between the mind and the brain, knowledge and reality, or reasoning and truth. Arts students may choose to specialize in one of the following 3 degree streams supervised by Psychology, Linguistics, and Philosophy respectively: Cognition and Brain; Language; or Mind, Language and Computation.

Get experience at UBC

Building your career takes more than attending academic lectures. Get involved with research and complement your studies with relevant research and applied experiences. Whether you choose one of the experiences listed below or one of the many other great opportunities available, you’ll learn new things, make new friends, network, and set yourself apart. It all counts.

Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics - VA Learning Environment

Visual analytics is defined as “the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces.” It is a multidisciplinary field intended to help people understand how to synthesize information in order to derive insights from massive, dynamic, ambiguous, and often conflicting data. In practice, it helps skilled analysts rapidly explore large, complex data sets to gain new insights using interactive visualizations. 

The Visual Analytics Learning Environment (VALE) gives students the opportunity to build visual analytics skills through projects and a series of workshops, and to connect with peers, mentors, alumni, and industry/academic partners. If you have questions or want to learn more about what they have to offer, email VALE@viva-viva.ca, or visit their website.

Research Opportunities

A hallmark of the Cognitive Systems program at UBC is the hands-on experience in research labs that is available to undergraduate students.  In fact, it is one of the few programs with a research component in the degree requirements.  As such, COGS undergrads are encouraged as early as possible to find a lab they find interesting and get involved with real-world University research!  Not only is it a fun alternative to classroom learning, but it’s also a great way to get a feel for graduate school life.

Some labs that are associated with Cognitive Systems are:

Cognitive Systems Society (CSS)

The Cognitive Systems Society is a student-run organization supporting students in the COGS program, and those with an interest in COGS-related fields such as neuroscience, artificial intelligence, human-computer interfaces, and robotics. They hold a wide range of fun events, including popular licensed events (including the Welcome back BBQ, Robot-Themed Dance Parties, and Masters of Debate), and academic events (study sessions, Meet the Profs). They also have a lab space with a patio in the basement of the Friedman building if you ever want to study or just relax.

Volunteering for the CSS is a great way to meet fellow COGS students, contribute to UBC's campus life, and learn valuable leadership skills. The student executive, which organizes events and promotes everything COGS, is elected every spring. You can also get involved through helping out with their events or dropping by weekly meetings, which are held at 1PM on Tuesdays in the COGS Lab. Meetings are open to all CSS members. For more information on the CSS, email them at css.ubc.exec@gmail.com

Go Global

Imagine student life in Birmingham; attending classes in beautiful Victorian buildings, and getting to know the “gastro-capital” of the UK in the evening. Whether you end up studying cognitive neuropsychology in the UK or applied cognitive psychology in Poland, you’ll immerse yourself in the languages and cultures of another part of the world.

Did you know?You can take on an international internship, participate in a Global Seminar, go on exchange or even conduct research abroad. Check out all the ways you can Go Global.

Arts Co-op Program

Put your language skills and cultural knowledge to work for you. Gaining paid, full-time co-op experience will help you explore careers in non-profits and community organizations, arts organizations, education, government, and the private sector with employers across Canada and abroad. Graduate with career skills, experience, and a network of professional contacts that will give you a competitive edge after graduation.

Arts Internship Program

Build a career while you are studying through part-time, unpaid internships. Exciting internships are being created in diverse non-profit and social service organizations, and in local galleries and museums, like the Chinese Cultural Museum, or the Delta Museum and Archives. Apply your valuable intercultural understanding and language skills to the world of work and gain industry contacts along the way.

Community experience

Work and learn in community settings like non-profits and inner city schools. Take a course with a community-based experiential learning (CBEL) component and develop an understanding of community contexts and the systemic factors underlying community needs. Whether it’s a course or signing up for Trek & Reading Week placements, or a grant project in community, you’ll build skills in real-world settings and make invaluable connections with people in community.

Student Directed Seminars

The Student Directed Seminars program provides upper-year undergraduate students (in 3rd year or later) the opportunity to propose, coordinate, and lead their own 3-credit seminar class with a small group of peers on a topic not currently offered at UBC-Vancouver. Each seminar brings together a group of highly-motivated students that explore and investigate a topic through learning activities including group discussions, research papers, presentations, guest lectures, applied problem-solving, and Community Service Learning. This is a fantastic opportunity for Arts students to share their passion for a topic, as well as build key skills in the areas of facilitation, time management, peer-to-peer learning, and more.

Using your degree

Using your Cognitive Systems degree

COGS students develop the communication and analytical skills necessary to ensure their success in various professional and academic settings. What distinguishes COGS graduates is the breadth of their training, their strong foundation in research, and direct experience with collaborative research and presentations. COGS students are self-starters and internally motivated; as graduates they are successful in any career path they choose. This makes COGS graduates highly sought by industry and academia.

Career possibilities

Our graduates generally move on to post-graduate training for academic and industrial research, or take jobs in some form of computer and information technology. The most frequent job placements are in the areas of: cognitive engineering (human factors), human-computer interface design, artificial intelligence, neural network applications, software design and development, and Internet startups. There is also a growing demand in neuroscience, biotech. Some students have taken their skills and started their own companies.

Here are some areas of industry currently related to Cognitive Systems:

Aerospace
Artificial Intelligence/Robotics
Human-Computer Interaction
Human Factors/Usability Testing in Computational Design
Biotechnology/Medical Technology
Consulting
Customer/Technical Support
Databases

Academic possibilities

Academic next steps

Alumni profiles

Resources