Introductory AI for Both Computer Science and Neuroscience Students

Susan Eileen Fox

Macalester College offers a single undergraduate elective in artificial intelligence. This course is cross-listed between Computer Science and Cognitive and Neuroscience Studies, and includes majors from both disciplines. Computer science students bring strong technical knowledge and skills but little awareness of the deeper issues of cognition and intelligence, while neuroscience students bring knowledge about biological and psychological models for human and animal behavior, but much less technical knowledge and experience. To meet the needs of these very different student populations, the course was redesigned from the ground up: choice of topics, classroom activities, kinds of assigned work. The resulting course retains strong technical content, and provides opportunities for all students to pursue topics related to their interests. It has maintained strong enrollment by computer science majors, even as the number of majors has declined, and has seen an increasing number of neuroscience majors each time it is offered.

Subjects: 1. Applications; 9. Foundational Issues

Submitted: Feb 11, 2007

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