Sunday, September 20, 2015


The CSML is staffed with student interns under my supervision and the supervision of a student lab manager as a complement to the university's cognitive science program. This year's lab manager is Jacob Green, a senior cognitive science major. Last year, the position was held by Cody Baker, a double major in cognitive science and applied mathematics who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in mathematics at Notre Dame University. 

Even though the CSML maintains a tight affiliation with our cognitive science program, interns have come from all of the colleges at the university. Past majors have included athletic training, exercise science, engineering, computer science, mathematics, marketing, finance, economics, and even philosophy and creative writing. Interns have also ranged over all four college years. Freshmen and Sophomores register for the internship experience under COGS 292, while Juniors and Seniors register under COGS 492. The experience may be repeated, and selection for open spots is by way of application. Registration and tuition costs are handled by the University of Evansville.

The Spring 2015 CSML Internship Staff
Interns generally work on a common project as a single team or a set of teams, though self-motivated students who have their own projects in agent-based modeling or network modeling have also worked in the lab. Several single-student computer science senior projects have been undertaken in this capacity, most of which have won first place as the outstanding senior project in computer science for the year they were undertaken.

Internships may be for 1, 2 or 3 credit hours, with the following expectations: that a 1-hour internship will involve four hours of work in the lab per week, a 2-hour internship will involve seven hours of work, and a 3-hour internship ten.

The goal of the lab is to explore the intersection of computing, computer modeling, artificial intelligence, and cognition, in an open, creative, team-oriented environment. From the start, we have never been adverse to "reinventing the wheel," if reinventing it helps us to understand "the wheel" better, gain insight, and apply that insight to other problems.

As the CSML director, I agree completely with a statement that I heard cognitive scientist Paul Thagard make in a keynote address for an annual meeting of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy: "One thing I like about working with undergrads is that they have yet to learn what is impossible." This is a sentiment worthy of being posted on the door to our lab.

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