Course Calendar

These are tentative schedules. Classes and/or instructors may change or be canceled. Please consult the official Schedule of Classes on TritonLink each quarter.

Featured Courses

COGS 160s: Seminars in Special Topics - Spring 2019

COGS 160 (A00): Communication in Infancy | Professor Gedeon Deák

This course is a mixed Practicum/Seminar course designed to provide hands-on experience in research on infancy and early childhood. Students learn skills and are assigned responsibilities based on the project to which they are assigned. Students also participate in a journal club and prepare brief end-of-quarter presentations and reports. It is a 3-quarter sequence. Content, skills, and responsibilities evolve and expand every quarter. Students work with a supervisor who oversees training and task progress. 
Prerequisites: GPA of 3.3 or better; commitment to this COGS 160 for 3-quarters; permission of instructor based on interview and availability. 

Request Enrollment by contacting Dr. Deak (


COGS 160 (B00): Biological Enculturation | Professor Rafael Núñez

In this seminar we will explore how human biology and culture —often seen as separate— have interacted over evolutionary and historical time in rich and complex ways. Informed by findings in the sciences of the mind and anthropogeny (the study of human origins), special emphasis will be put on how cultural practices and traits such as cooking, animal domestication, writing technology, art, and mathematics, have actually affected and modified the very biological phenomena that made us the animal we are: from anatomical features to the immune system, from the genome to the brain.
Prerequisites: upper-division standing

Request Enrollment through EASy


COGS 160 (C00): Animal Communication | Professor Federico Rossano

In this seminar we will explore how different animal species communicate, the sensorial and cognitive underpinning of communicative systems and what is similar and different between human communication and other animals ways of communicating. Relying on readings of empirical articles, we will investigate both the ultimate and proximate mechanisms that account for the occurrence of communication between conspecifics and between different species. We will review different types of animal signaling, the informative vs. manipulative functions of communication and discuss what the evolution of language changed in terms of our abilities to communicate with each other.
Prerequisites: upper-division standing

Request Enrollment through EASy

DSGN 119: Design at Large Seminar - Spring 2019

DSGN 119: Design at Large (course information

New societal challenges, cultural values, and technological opportunities are changing design, and vice versa. The seminar explores this increased scale, real-world engagement, and disruptive impact. Invited speakers from UC San Diego and beyond share cutting-edge research on interaction, design, and learning. 2 units. P/NP grades only.  Meets Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:00pm in EBU3B 1202.

Prerequisites: upper-division standing

EDS 124AR: Teaching Computation in the Digital World - Spring 2019

EDS 124AR: Teaching Computation in a Digital World (course website

This online course develops educators’ knowledge base around aspects of the Digital World (e.g., digital devices, systems, networks; data and analysis) and their impacts (social, ethical, legal issues) and contributions to society. Projects introduce novice programming framework(s) and/or other online interfaces to explore and model issues. Prior programming experience is not required. Students may not receive credit for EDS 124AR and EDS 124A.

Prerequisites: upper-division standing

**Approved Design & Interaction Elective and general CogSci major elective**

COGS118C: Neural Data Analysis - Summer Session 1 2019

COGS 118C: Neural Data Analysis | Richard Gao 

Are you excited by the notion of controlling an exoskeleton with your brain signals? 

  • Are you curious about the scientific pursuit of dissecting the neural basis of our minds? 
  • Are you driven by creating consumer neurofeedback technologies that can improve our lives? 
  • Or are you simply fascinated with decoding the brain as an extremely complex electrochemical system?

Learning how to analyze brain signals, as well as understanding their biological origins, are the first steps to accomplishing all of the above, and if you answered yes to any of those questions, you should consider enrolling in COGS118C - Neural Data Analysis, now offered in Summer Session 1.

Course Objectives

The overarching goal of this course is to prepare advanced undergraduate students for graduate studies and industry careers in (computational) neuroscience. Specifically, by the end of the course, students should leave with:

1) knowledge of cellular and physiological processed involved in various neural signals (from action potentials to EEG),

2) theoretical & mathematical understanding of signal processing algorithms,

3) a personal portfolio of Python programming toolbox that demonstrates practical proficiency in neural signal processing, and 

4) reading and communication skills to critique and present scientific findings centered on articles in neuroscience.

Prerequisites: Math 18 or Math 31AH, Cognitive Science 14B or Psychology 60, and Cognitive Science 108 or Cognitive Science 109.

COGS 143 + 184 (GS): The Origins of Mind (Scotland) - Summer Session 1 2019

St. Andrews, Scotland - Global Seminar

COGS 143GS: Animal Cognition | Professor Christine Johnson

Review of historical perspectives: introspectionist, behaviorist, and cognitivist models. Examination of how perceptual and motor constraints and ecological demands yield species-specific differences in cognitive repertoire. Contemporary issues in the comparative study of the evolution of human cognition. 

Prerequisites: Upper-Division Standing

COGS 184GS: Modeling the Evolution of Cognition | Professor Christine Johnson

This interdisciplinary course integrates data on evolutionary theory, hominid prehistory, primate behavior, comparative neuro-anatomy, cognitive development, and collaboration. After lectures, readings, discussions, and Museum of Man tour, students generate a detailed timeline of five million years of human cognitive evolution.

Prerequisites: COGS 17, or 107A, or 107B, or 107C

COGS 152: The Cognitive Foundations of Mathematics - Summer Session 1 2019

COGS 152: The Cognitive Foundations of Mathematics | Josephine Relaford-Doyler

What is the nature of mathematics? Are mathematics objects real? Where do they exist, and how do we come to have knowledge of them? These questions have fascinated philosophers of mathematics for millennia. In this course we take the perspective that mathematics is a human conceptual system; thus, in order to understand the nature of mathematics, we must investigate the cognitive mechanisms that allow for mathematical thinking. By integrating findings from psychology, anthropology, linguistics, education, neuroscience, and the history of mathematics we will address questions such as:

  • Are we “hard-wired” for mathematics?
  • How do we think about infinity, when everything we experience is finite?
  • Why is 0! = 1, while 1/0 is undefined?
  • Are all infinite sets the same size, or are some infinities bigger than others?
  • Are mathematical truths always true?

Over the course of the term we will discuss a range of mathematical ideas, ranging from numbers and arithmetic to calculus and transfinite numbers. However, it is not assumed that all students are familiar with these concepts. All mathematical content will be introduced in class, so no particular mathematical background is required to take the course. Students from all disciplines are welcome!

Prerequisites: Cogs 1 or Phil 1 or Psyc 1 or Eds (20 or 30 or 31) and upper-division standing.  Or consent of instructor.

COGS 171 + 174 (GS): Social Cognition and Drugs (Australia) - Summer Session 2 2019

Sydney, Australia - Global Seminar

COGS 171GS: Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition (course information) | Professor Jaime Pineda

This class will examine the neuroanatomy, physiology, and functional correlates of the human mirror neuron system and its putative role in social cognition, e.g., action understanding, empathy, and theory of mind. We will examine the developmental, neuroimaging, electrophysiological, as well as clinical evidence, for and against this hypothesis. 

Prerequisites: Upper-Division Standing

COGS 174GS: Drugs: Brain, Mind, and Culture (course information) | Professor Jaime Pineda

This course explores how drugs interact with the brain/mind and culture. It covers evolutionary and historical perspectives, brain chemistry, pharmacology, expectancies and placebo effects, and models of addiction. It also provides a biopsychosocial survey of commonly used and abused substances.

Prerequisites: Upper-Division Standing

Course Pre-Authorizations

All COGS course pre-authorizations and prerequisite override requests must be made through the UC San Diego Enrollment Authorization System (EASy).