Your final project is an opportunity to get in-depth experience applying the techniques we've discussed in class to a question that interests you. In choosing a project, you should draw on your own background, interests and strengths. You do not have to work on a project that relates directly to the topics covered in the classes and readings: other topics in that pursue the general idea of probabilistic models of cognition are fine, and you should try to work on a project that captures your interests within that fairly broad scope. Working on existing research projects is okay, if they relate to the themes of the class.
You are encouraged to do projects in small groups of two or three people.
Possible types of projects:
- Behavioral: Form a hypothesis inspired by a probabilistic model and test this hypothesis using one or two small experiments.
- Computational: Make a computational model of an aspect of human cognition, either significantly extending a model we've learned about in class, or modeling something new.
- AI: use an idea we've discussed in class to implement an interesting new AI system.
- Inference and infrastructure: Extend Church inference with a better algorithm, implement a useful automatic analysis of prgrams, or do another infrastucture project.
- The best projects will do a combination of these things, especially combining behavioral experiments with a computational model.
Your proposal should be no more than one page long (single
spaced). Make sure that you cover the background, question, and
methods of your project. The background should include the topic and
the context of your project, including other research you have found
in this area. The specific question you are planning to ask through your
project should be clearly stated. You should briefly describe the
methods you plan to use, including potentially: an overview of your experimental
design, your modeling approach, your data analysis, or your
algorithm (as appropriate to your project).
Email your proposal to the instructor as a PDF file by midnight on Feb. 16, 2012.
Project presentations will be March 13 and 15. Each person or team will have ten minutes to present their project. We will go in alphabetical order. The presentations should describe your question, methods, and results at a high level.
Your final project should be described in the format of a conference
paper. It should follow the guidelines of paper submissions to the
Cognitive Science Society conference: see
here. In particular it should be no more than six pages long
(and can be shorter if you can clearly communicate everything in
less space). Your paper should cover the background behind your
project, the questions you are asking, your methods and results, and
your interpretation of these results.
Email your paper to the instructor as a PDF file by midnight on March 18, 2012.