The Department of Computer Science & Engineering
CSE/LIN/PHI/PSY 575 & APY 526:
Spring 2011


This is a living document; the latest version will always be available on the Web at:

Last Update: 14 January 2011

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

Index: Other Relevant Links:
  • Course Description
  • 575 homepage
  • Prerequisites
  • Directory of Documents
  • Staff
  • Email Archive
  • Class Meetings
  • Texts
  • Important Dates & Tentative Schedule
  • Reading
  • "Rules of the Road"
  • How to Study
  • Grading
  • Incompletes
  • Academic Integrity
  • Classroom Disruptions


    PREREQUISITES: Graduate standing, or permission of instructor.



    Lecture Rapaport
    CSE 575:179297(3 cr.)
    LIN 575:115202(3 cr.)
    PHI 575:339246(3 cr.)
    PSY 575:168170(3 cr.)
    APY 526:461529(3 cr.)
    MWF 10:00–10:50 A.M. O'Brian 112


    1. Edelman, Shimon (2008), Computing the Mind: How the Mind Really Works (New York: Oxford University Press); ISBN 978-0-19-532067-1.

    2. Gardner, Howard (1987), The Mind's New Science, new edition (New York: Basic Books); ISBN 978-0465046355.

    3. Wilson, Robert A.; & Keil, Frank C. (eds.) (2001), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).



    1. As the semester progresses, I will adjust some of the dates below to reflect what we actually do in class, rather than on what I hope to do :-)

    2. There will be guest lectures by faculty members of the UB Center for Cognitive Science (CCS).
      As these are arranged, they will be added to the schedule below.

    3. You should make every effort to attend the colloquia sponsored by CCS.
      These are held on Wednesdays, 2:00–4:00 P.M., in Park 280.
      (If you need to leave for a 3:00 or 3:30 class, that's OK; the lectures usually end around 3:00, and the rest of the time is used for discussion.)
      The CCS colloquium schedule will be announced over the class Listserv and is posted online at: CCS Spring 2011 Colloquia.

    4. In the schedule that follows, the readings listed on a given date are intended to be read before the next lecture.
      E.g.: and so forth.
    topical order
    [chap. order]
    topical order
    [chap. order]
    (significant ones in boldface)
    M Jan 19 Intro to course   Chs. 1–3 This syllabus, plus:


  • Rapaport 2000
  • Boden 2006: 1–16


  • Watson 1913
  • Miller 1956
  • Chomsky 1959
  • Miller et al. 1960, Ch. 1
    F   21 What is cognitive science? Ch. 1 Ch. 4
  • Putnam 1960
  • Fodor 1981
  • Fodor on modularity
  • Wilson, "Philosophy"
  • Crane, "Mind-Body Problem"
  • Baker, "Folk Psychology"
  • Gordon, "Simulation vs. Theory-Theory"
  • Gopnik, "Theory of Mind"
  • M   24 What is the mind?   Ch. 5    
    W   26 What is the mind? (cont'd)        
    F   28 What is mind (cont'd):
    • Folk Psychology, Theory of Mind, Modularity

    Last Drop/Add Day

    Ch. 3 [Ch. 2] Ch. 9 [Ch. 6]
  • Thagard 2005
  • O'Shea 2005
  • Albright & Neville, "Neurosciences"
  • Shepherd, "Neuron"
  • M   31 Cognitive neuroscience Ch. 4 [Ch. 3]      
    W Feb 2 Cog. neuro. (cont'd) Ch. 2 [Ch. 4] Ch. 6 [Ch. 7]
  • Haugeland 1981
  • Aydede 2004
  • Jordan & Russell, "Comp'n'l Intell."
  • Lewis, "Cog. Modeling: Symbolic"
  • F   4 AI: Computation    
    M   7 AI: Comp'n (cont'd)   Ch. 14
    [Ch. 8]
    Newell & Simon 1976
    @ readings on rules
    Horgan & Tienson, "Rules & Rep'ns"
    W   9 Rules; GPS     Newell et al. 1958 Simon, "Newell, Allen"
    F   11 Newell & Simon        
    M   14 SNePS        
    W   16 SNePS (cont'd) Ch. 8 [Ch. 5] Ch. 13
    [Ch. 9]
  • "So You Think You're Logical"
  • Johnson-Laird 1980
  • Tversky & Kahneman 1974
  • Johnson-Laird, "Mental Models"
  • Gilovich, "Tversky, Amos"
  • F   18 Reasoning    
  • McCulloch & Pitts 1943
  • Rosenblatt 1958
  • McClelland & Rumelhart 1981
  • Fodor & Pylyshyn 1988
  • McClelland, "Cog. Modeling: Connectionist"
  • Jordan, "Neural Networks"
  • Ramsey, "Connectionism, Phil'al Issues"
  • Smolensky, "Connectionist Approaches to Lang."
  • M   21 Connectionism Ch. 7 [Ch. 6] Ch. 7
    [Ch. 10]
    Chomsky 1956
    Chomsky 1967
    Chomsky 1969
  • Chierchia, "Ling'ics & Lang."
  • Pesetsky, "Ling'ic Univ'ls & Univ'l Grammar"
  • W   23 Linguistics: Chomsky        
    F   25 Ling: Chomsky (cont'd)     Lakoff & Johnson 1980 Glucksberg, "Metaphor"
    M   28 Linguistics: Metaphor   Ch. 12
    [Ch. 11]
    Mervis & Rosch 1981
  • Holyoak, "Psychology"
  • Medin & Aguilar, "Categorization"
  • Hampton, "Concepts"
  • W Mar 2 Concepts & categories        
    F   4 Ccpts & ctgies (cont'd)        
    M   7 Ccpts & ctgies (cont'd) §4.2      
    W   9 Ccpts & ctgies (cont'd) Ch. 5 [Ch. 7] Ch. 10
    [Ch. 12]
  • Lettvin et al. 1959
  • Hubel 1982
  • Schiller, "Visual Anatomy & Physiology"
  • and other "Visual X" articles
  • F   11 Vision        
    M–F   14–18 SPRING BREAK
    M   21 Vision (cont'd)        
    W   23 Vision (cont'd) Ch. 6 [Ch. 8]      
    F   25 Vision (cont'd)   Ch. 11
    [Ch. 13]
  • Pylyshyn 1973
  • Pylyshyn 2003
  • Kosslyn 2005
  • Kosslyn & Rabin, "Imagery"
  • Tarr, "Mental Rotation"
  • M   28 Mental imagery        
    W   30 Mental imagery (cont'd) Ch. 9 [Ch. 14]
  • Van Gulick, "Consciousness"
  • Nagel 1974
  • McGinn 1989
  • Koch & Greenfield 2007
  • 2 articles on consciousness
    F Apr 1 Consciousness

    Last R Day

    Ch. 10      
    M   4 Csness (cont'd)        
    W   6 Csness (cont'd) Ch. 11      
    F   8          
    M   11     Ch. 8
  • Fodor 1980
  • Brooks 1991
  • Hollan et al. 2000, §§1-2
  • Clark & Chalmers1998
  • Sperber & Hirschfeld, "Culture, Cognition, & Evolution"
  • Smith, "Situatedness/Embeddedness"
  • W   13 Situated cognition    
    F   15 Sitd Cogn (cont'd)     Rapaport et al. 1989  
    M   18 Interdisciplinary Cog Sci Projects:
    Deixis & Narrative
    W   20 Deixis & Narrative (cont'd)     Rapaport & Kibby 2007  
    F   22 Interdisciplinary Cog Sci Projects:
    Contextual Vocabulary Acquisition
    M   25 CVA (cont'd)    
  • Turing 1950
  • Searle 1980
  • Rapaport 2000
  • Michie, "Turing, Alan Mathison"
  • Searle, "Chinese Room Argument"
  • W   27 Turing Test        
    F   29 Chinese Room Argument App. B Gardner 1995
  • Miller 2003
  • Boden 2007
    M May 2 Summary & Review        


    "Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself." — Chinese Proverb

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." — American Proverb

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you must convince him it is water before there is any chance he will drink." — Albert Goldfain

    "Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire" — William Butler Yeats

    "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." — Sir Richard Steele

    1. There are a lot of topics to cover, and not nearly as many lectures as there are topics. Consequently, in lectures, I will only be able to skim the surface of the issues. But I will assign a lot of reading, which I will expect you all to do. (Which is different from expecting you to do all of it :-)

      No matter how far we stray from the tentative schedule, if you do the readings at the assigned times, you will be able to finish everything by the end of the semester. (I recognize, however, that you may not have time to do anything else :-)

    2. How much do you really have to read?

      "The more you read, the more intelligent you are. It's really that simple." — Ethan Hawke


      "To read critically is to read skeptically. The reader asks…not only, 'Do I understand what this means?' but 'Do I buy it?' " — Kenneth S. Goodman

      Why are there so many readings?

      This course and the readings try to tell a story. There is only one story, but it can be told in several different ways. I will tell it one way in lecture, Edelman tells it another way (computationally), Gardner tells it yet another way (historically), and then, of course, you can read the classic papers yourself.

      And you can read Edelman or Gardner either in topical order (following my lectures) or in their chapter order.

      There are 3 levels at which you can keep up with the reading assignments:

      1. Minimal:
        • Just read Edelman (for the computational perspective) or else Gardner (for the historical overview), either in syllabus order or in chapter order.
        • Or just read the classic papers (if you want to read the actual history).
        • Also read MITECS for brief overviews of recent research.

      2. Medium: Read either Edelman or Gardner and the classic papers. (And MITECS.)

      3. Maximal: Read Edelman and Gardner and the classic papers and the recommended-reading items that I will announce from time to time. (And MITECS.)



    1. You will be expected to:

      1. attend all lectures (attendance will be taken),
      2. participate in class discussions, and
      3. complete all readings and assignments on time

    2. Any important announcements will be made in lecture. Therefore, be sure to get a classmate's phone number or email address (for instance, 1 or 2 people sitting next to you in class, whoever they are!) so that you will not miss announcements in the unlikely event that you miss a class.

      Announcements may also be posted to the course website or the email Listserv.

    3. Email Listserv:

      You will automatically be placed on an email list (a "Listserv") for the course. If you do not normally read email at the email address that UB has as your official address, please either do so for this course, or else have your mail forwarded. I will use this list as my main means of communicating with you out of class. And you can use it to communicate with the rest of us.

      You may send questions and comments that are of general interest to the entire class using the Listserv: Just send them to:

      You can also send email just to me, at:

      In any case, be sure to fill in the subject line, beginning with "CSE575" so that my mailer doesn't think it's spam.

      If you send email just to me that I deem to be of general interest, I will feel free to remail it to the email list along with my reply unless you explicitly tell me that you want to remain anonymous, in which case I may choose to remail it to the email list preserving your anonymity.

      The emails will be archived at the listserv website, and I will also archive them at

      For more information, read the Listserv Information webpage.

    4. There will be no term project. Anyone needing a term project should contact me.

    5. Students should notify Prof. Rapaport within the first two weeks of class if they have a disability which would make it difficult to carry out course work as outlined (requiring note-takers, readers, extended test time, etc.).

    GRADING: Your final course grade will be a function of your attendance, as follows:

    By "missed", I mean an unexcused absence, where an excused absence is defined as missing a class because, e.g.:

    The following are examples of other unexcused absences:

    For information on my philosophy of grading, see my web document on "How I Grade"


    It is University policy that a grade of Incomplete is to be given only when a small amount of work or a single exam is missed due to circumstances beyond the student's control, and that student is otherwise doing passing work. I will follow this policy strictly! Thus, you should assume that I will not give incompletes :-)

    Any incompletes that I might give, in a lapse of judgment :-), will have to be made up by the end of
    Summer 2011
    because I will be on research leave in Fall 2011 and not here thereafter.

    For more information on Incomplete policies, see the Graduate School web page, "Incomplete Grades".


    Although it is acceptable to discuss general approaches with your fellow students,
    the work you turn in must be your own.

    It is the policy of the CSE department that:

    Please be sure to read these webpages:

    which spell out all the details of this, and related, policies.

    For some hints on how to avoid plagiarism when writing essays for courses,
    see my website "Plagiarism".


    In large classes (but surely not ours :-), students have been known to be disruptive, either to the instructor or to fellow students. The university's policies on this topic, both how the instructor should respond and how students should behave, may be found in the PDF document "Obstruction or Disruption in the Classroom".

    Text copyright © 2011 by William J. Rapaport (
    Cartoon links and screen-captures appear here for your enjoyment. They are not meant to infringe on any copyrights held by the creators. For more information on any cartoon, click on it, or contact me.