Two COGS Undergraduate Course Offerings in Fall 2023

We are pleased to announce TWO undergraduate course offerings from The Cognitive Science Program in Fall 2023. Seats are filling up quickly so sign up soon!  

Coding for Cognitive Science 

Course Name: COGS 2500Q: Coding for Cognitive Science  

Days and times: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30am – 10:45am   

Classroom: Oak 308  

Instructor: Dr. Stefan Kaufmann  

Instruction mode: Hybrid Limited  

Prerequisites: None  

Course overview: This course is an introduction to computer programming for students with little or no prior programming experience. Its goal is to familiarize students with core concepts and essential skills, with special emphasis on typical tasks and applications in the Cognitive Sciences. We use the Python programming language because it is both accessible to beginners and widely used in real-world scientific programming. However, the concepts and skills we cover are helpful in mastering other programming languages as well.  


Language & Racism  

Course Name: COGS 2345/AFRA 2345: Language and Racism  

Days and times: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:30pm – 1:45pm   

Classroom: Arjona 105  

Instructors: Drs. Letitia Naigles & Bede Agocha  

Instruction Mode: In-Person  

Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher. Recommended preparation: One course in AFRA or COGS.  

Description: This course examines the relationships between language use, both historically and across the lifespan, and the social construction of race, racism, and racial identity, with particular emphasis on racial politics in the United States.  

Course overview: LANGUAGE plays an immense, though often underrated role in nearly every domain of students’ lives, including where they live, who they love, what they learn, and whether and how they get and keep a job. Relatedly, then, language can also prevent all of the above. Language is a vehicle of racism because the language used by those in the majority or in power is artfully constructed to categorize people according to race and to place groups in deeply hierarchical relationships to one another.  

Our course on Language and Racism deploys tools of the cognitive and psychological sciences to both illuminate and illustrate potential interventions for language racism.  

  • We examine the linguistics and sociolinguistics of the language(s) used by Black communities in the U.S., including their origins, creolization, complex linguistic structure, and issues of stigma versus pride.  
  • We examine the language of racism, including the types of discourse that construct Whiteness as dominant over Color, the processes of language standardization, and the ideologies of language and their interaction with group identity at both the local and national community levels.  
  • We consider antiracism interventions that are language-based.  
  • The course is project-based, with students learning to understand how language is used in their various social contexts as well as in contexts they can access via stored content. Students will learn to analyze their own and others’, famous and commonplace, racist and antiracist linguistic output/texts, using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) computational tool, which analyzes texts as manifesting properties such as anger, authority, in-group, out-group, and fairness.